It's the most wonderful time of the year—the day after Easter, when all the strangely shaped candy is on super sale. Quick! Get to a grocery or drug store today to buy the last Peeps, malted milk robin eggs and hollow chocolate bunnies of the season.
Even if you don't eat the stuff (and it is pretty low-grade; what tastes so good is the nostalgia), you may want to stock up for the sake of your inner artist. The Washington Post holds a delightful art contest every year for the best Peep-based diorama (bet you thought you'd never need that particular elementary school skill set again).
Mike Chirlin (a friend of one of Smithsonian.com's web editors) and Veronica Ettle are semi-finalists for their Peep*E post (and video, above). They confirm that making these dioramas is a lot of work. Veronica explains:
Michael and I came up with the idea for our diorama about 2 or 3 months ahead of the due date, which was mid-March, so we started gathering supplies like old bike parts then. I had to go to a few different bike shops to find the specific parts we needed that they were planning on throwing away.
It took a few weeks for Michael to build the shelves since it was sort of a trial and error process. I mainly worked on the background objects with sculpey and painting the background. It's harder to sculpt a miniature boot than you would think.
We've gotten a lot of positive feedback, a lot of friends and family members saying "I never even knew a contest like that existed", and a few saying that they will be our competition next year.
You can view the winner and 39 finalists here. What are your favorites? I highly recommend #5 (RelativiPeep), #8 (Mrs. Peepcock, in the Conservatory, with the Revolver) and #40 (Sweet Revenge).