The third time was a charm for Peep contest veterans Russie Hastings and Judy Hoffman, both of Lewiston.Their diorama, “Moby Peep,” won the 13-and-older category for the third annual Inland 360 Peeps Diorama Contest. The winner of the 12-and-younger category was Erynn Brady, 12, of Asotin, with her entry, “Peeps Peeping Cake and Ice Cream.”
The Peeple’s Choice Award for 13-and-older goes to “Seahawks vs. Broncos,” created by Sydnee Morscheck, Cole Morscheck and Skyler Morscheck, children of Kyle and Stephanie Morscheck, and Leyla Marshall, Venice Marshall and Ewan Marshall, children of Jeff and Heather Marshall, all of Clarkston. The entry won 163 of 402 online votes. The Peeple’s Choice Award for 12-and-younger goes to “You Can Never See the Easter Bunny,” made by Frida Gross, 7, of Pullman. Gross is the daughter of Andreas Gross and Jiaji Han. The entry won 50 of 165 votes.
Hastings and Hoffman, sisters who live next to each other, have entered each of Inland 360’s three Peeps Diorama Contests. They learned more each time, which they said likely contributed to their victory.
“The first time it wasn’t big enough,” said Hastings, who advised against using shoeboxes. “The second time we didn’t use enough Peeps.”
But the two mastered their art on their third attempt. The idea for “Moby Peep” came about a year ago. They agreed that early planning is important. Having a year to track down materials meant they could find a yard sale gourd to transform into a white whale and a grandchild’s Noah’s ark to turn into the “Peep-quod.” And their biggest tip?
“Buy your Peeps today for next year,” Hoffman said. Stale Peeps are easier to work with, she said, and they take paint better, which is how Ahab got his scowl and others sported proper sailor attire.
Lots of practice in creating miniatures — and perhaps a box of sugary Peeps inspiration — contributed to Brady’s win. She assembled her scene over a weekend with no help or input from either of her parents, Matt and Kelly Brady.
Brady enjoys making miniatures out of Sculpey clay and collects odds and ends for that purpose.
“Some of my friends call me a hoarder,” she said.
Together those habits made for a detailed scene complete with the rare two-legged Peep (courtesy of another Peep’s ears) and a royal Peep family enjoying a tasty treat.
Brady was watching “Cupcake Wars” on TV when she got the idea to create a cake and ice cream shop for the contest. She used some miniatures she already had and got busy making more, including her favorite element — a huge ice cream sundae.