By MICHELLE SCHMIDTOf the 18 entries in the second annual Inland360 Peeps Diorama Contest, “Palouse Peepharmonic” was chosen as the winner of the 13-and-older category. The submission was a group effort by Inga Kingsley, Diane Worthey, both of Pullman, and Amy Browse of Palouse.
The winner of the 12-and-younger category was the “Wizard of Peeps” submitted by Josie Hafer, 12, of Lewiston. The Peeple’s Choice Award, which received 359 of 780 online votes over a five-day span, goes to “LHS — Serving Peeps since 1880.” The diorama was created by Kylie Badertscher, Halee Davis, McKenzie Keatts and Jacqueline Schumacher, all 18, all of Lewiston.
It’s hard to say whether it was the tiny violins, audience finery or
bow-tied Peeps that did the trick for “Palouse Peepharmonic,” which depicts the performance of “Peephoven’s 5th” (Beethoven’s 5th). Each section of the orchestra is represented with Peeps playing small instruments. Matches, foam core, eye-shadow applicators, floss, golf tees and copper wire were all involved in creating the scene.
“The secret to success is hot glue and forceps,” Kingsley said.
The three creators comprise the Harmonia String Trio — Kingsley on violin, Worthey on viola and Browse on cello — that plays for weddings, teas and other events. In addition, Kingsley and Worthey teach music lessons. Browse is a veterinarian.
It was Worthey who came up with the idea and talked the other two into helping her with the project.
“I thought it’d be neat to make a statement to support the arts,” she said. “And once we got started, we decided we were going to go all out.”
The scene took nearly 25 hours to create, sometimes at the expense of rehearsal time.
Kingsley recalled a “rehearsal” where they nearly forgot to rehearse because they were busy with Peeps, accessories and glue. It’s that playfulness that is another message of the piece.
“We work really hard, but musicians also have fun,” Kingsley
The creator of “The Wizard of Peeps,” Hafer, attends Jenifer Junior High and is the daughter of Kevin
and Bonita Hafer of Lewiston. The scene pictures the melting of the Wicked Witch of the West — achieved, in this case, with a microwave rather than a bucket of water. Guards and flying monkeys surround Dorothy and Toto to one side and the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow to the other.
“I just wanted to do something classic from a movie,” Hafer said. “It was this or ‘E.T.’ ”
The diorama was created over a couple weeks and utilized eight or nine packages of Peeps, some of which didn’t make the cut. Several flying monkey were discarded until Hafer found that acrylic paint worked best to color the confections. Feathers from the family chickens completed their look.
“It’s harder to do than it seems,” Hafer said.
She found her plan for the scene changed as she went and was nearly finished when she caught an important piece was missing — the ruby slippers. It was her twin sister, Ellie, who suggested using red jelly beans
cut in half.
“LHS — Serving Peeps since 1880,” the People’s Choice Award winner, pictures Peeps reading books atop Bengal tigers and a shushing librarian bearing the visage of
Lewiston High School’s own librarian, Mary Ann Funk. The diorama was submitted by Funk and created by Badertscher, Davis, Keatts and Schumacher, all library aides. The vote tallies for each entry in the Peeple’s Choice Awards are online at www.inland360.com.