Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pretty Eggs

This year we decided to dye Easter Eggs with things found in our pantry. This was because we wanted to be natural, to avoid the dangers of dye...and because I had failed to plan ahead and buy a kit! ;) I have dyed eggs with brown onion skins before (very fun!), but this time we ventured into other items, such as: red cabbage, turmeric, chili powder and cayenne pepper, and green tea.  This is what was supposed to happen:
Red Cabbage: Blue
Turmeric: Yellow
Chili/Cayenne: Red
Green Tea: Green

It was fun to see what worked (and what didn't), and what colors we thought would come out vs. what colors we really got.  We added a few tablespoons of vinegar to set the colors of some of the batches (and some I forgot to put it in).  Some eggs were wrapped with rubber bands, some were put into tights (this worked with mixed results), and some we wrapped in cabbage leaves.  The cabbage batch was the biggest wild card. This is what we ended up with- a basket of beautiful, speckled, solid, splotchy eggs. 
The green tea batch came out speckled brown (no vinegar added), Chili and Cayenne did come out red, Turmeric (my favorite) came out a pretty yellow, and the red first, it didn't color the eggs at all- they were still white.  I hadn't added vinegar in the water.  It was midnight, I was I decided to throw a bunch of Turmeric in with the cabbage, and let them sit.  The color came out a greenish blue (yellow plus blue...) and very pretty!  I love the beautiful, muted colors, and the fact that even the cracked eggs can safely be consumed without worry.  The kids did miss the whole dunk the egg process, so I have a whole year to figure out how to do this again and let them dunk around the table.

I also made another kind of natural egg, which I posted for Easter:

I have had a lot of people ask how I did it, so I thought I'd do a short DIY feature.  I know, this would have been very helpful LAST week! Ha!!  But, I am all about getting you ready ahead of time for next year.  And, you can probably find the eggs on super-sale right now! (AND, I didn't do this project until Friday night and into Saturday....). This technique really could be used for many different here we go:

You will need:

Mod Podge
Paper Mache Eggs
Crochet Thread (thinner than yarn)
Paint Brush

Decide what design/pattern you want to end up with, and paint a small bit of Mod Podge on your egg.  Only paint what you will be working on, as the glue will either dry before you get to the rest of the egg, or will get really sticky with multiple layers.

For circles. start with a quarter-sized spot of MP. In the center of that, lay your thread down and start circling the thread around itself. You have the option of winding tight, which produces nice, thick color, OR you can wrap loosely, which will produce a more organic, handmade feel. 

Wrapped tightly
Any shape design works with these, there are just some shapes that are a little more challenging to wrap uniformly.  Some designs needed me to work with cutting small bits of thread and gluing in place- a little more challenging than wrapping with a continuous length of thread. I will also say that it is much easier to wrap starting from inside the shape and getting larger, than starting with the outside shape and wrapping in.  Play with it and be creative...most of the time it turns out differently than you planned, but still beautiful.

This was a super-fun project to do, and there are so many variations with the eggs.  You could use tissue paper to decoupage, or use your dyed, cracked egg shell to do a mosaic!  Hope you had a wonderful Easter!!

***Side note about the yellow Butterprint Pyrex bowl...This is what happens when I'm up at three in the morning nursing a baby, scanning Pyrex patterns on ebay.  I was being goofy, and placed a bid on this bowl, completely sure I would get outbid. I didn't. This is the first piece I've gotten off ebay- I really only buy thrifts.  It IS unusual- I don't ever see this color Butterprint at the the thrifts, so I am happy I ended up with it.  Now to find the other three bowls... :)

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