We finally got around to decorating our Easter Eggs yesterday. Normally I would have loved to do more Easter crafts but the first week back from vacation coupled with looking at houses (we are thinking about moving) and teaching 15 classes at the studio, I was a wee bit swamped. So I am giving myself a pat on the back for just taking a time out to spend some quality time as a family. Balance right? It's there somewhere ;)
We tried two different techniques this year. The first one I saw here on the Artful Parent. I have done crayons on eggs before, but her technique of drawing while the eggs are still very hot definitely made it easier to draw on the eggs (the wax melts as you draw so it the colors were very smooth and vibrant). For this technique start by boiling your eggs.
Next take the eggs out while still very hot (I used tongs for this) and put the eggs back in an egg carton or egg holder. Grandma C sent Bria home with a really neat little egg holder that she could rotate while she drew. For Mimi we just popped it in the egg carton and she went to town. I explained a few times they girls were not to touch the eggs with their hands, and they actually listened (we are going through a selective listening stage).
Next we dyed the eggs. I used food coloring, half a cup of boiling water and 1tsp of vinegar for each color. We let the eggs sit for about five minutes in the dye on each side. Mimi was enthralled watching the eggs turn colors.
I really like how vibrant these eggs turned out! They were very simple to create and great for ages 2-32! We'll do these again for sure!
Our next technique did not quite go as I planned... I love Pysanka Eggs. When I was in grade 3 a friend invited me to decorate eggs with her Baba. 4 hours later we had some very simple Pysanka eggs which I cherished. Using traditional tools and dyes made the process even more exciting! While I hope to try this with the girls when they are older I knew there was no way they could do this yet. But what if I simplified it?
We have recently been exploring with low heat glue guns. Once the glue dries it is easy to peel it off most surfaces. With Pysanka you use hot wax to create your patterns and a repeated dying process before finally scraping the wax away to show the pattern. I thought we could do the same thing with the glue gun! It worked... kind of....
First I decided we should blow out the eggs like traditional Pysanka's. Chris thought this was particularly funny, snapping pictures of me and laughing until I made him help me. Now I know why my mom never wanted to do blown out eggs as a kid. It is a lot of work. Although I did make a yummy omelette for supper. Next time I would get hard boil the eggs (but more on why later)...
Once the eggs were empty and dry we started the gluing process. I explained to Bria wherever we first put glue would remain white in the end. They put the egg in yellow dye. Once dyed we repeated the process knowing that whatever the glue covered would remain yellow. We continued to repeat the process for a few more colors.
After we were satisfied with our designs and dye we began to peel the glue off the egg. This is where the trouble began...
I learned a few things to change for when we try this activity again. First you need to put the glue on sparingly. Anywhere where the glue was thick it was much harder to get off the egg without cracking or breaking it. This is also why I would hard boil the eggs. Because the glue was tugging at the shell when it was removed but had nothing holding it down on the other side we ended up with some of the shell coming off in places. I think if you cooked the eggs the shell would be stronger. Also you can't get quite the intricate patterns I was envisioning with the glue gun, or at least not with the size of tip we have. But I still like the way they turned out!
The girls had so much fun, enjoying the process and that's what counts in this house. Since it was taking me so long to blow out the eggs they also spent some time making sticker art and using the paints that had come on the egg holder. Mimi in particular was very proud of her final product.
Bria's Mermaid Art using stickers, crayons and watercolors. She told me the paint at the top of the page were shooting stars. Aren't they gorgeous?
Mimi's Easter Egg Art using lots of stickers (she had to show me each one before she stuck it on the page asking "Mama you like it?") and then very wet watercolors. She was very proud!
I love the big basket of Eggs that now sits as the centre piece on our kitchen table. We will enjoy them this week and then use the shells next week for another Mod Podg craft (thanks to two of my dance students who gave me a beautiful piece of art that inspired me. I promise to post a picture of it next week). Hold onto your egg shells if you want to try this activity with us!