Category Archives: Easter

Gratitude Sunday–The Easter Edition

Easter MuscariSunday – The first muscari of the year bloomed!

Monday – The sunset reflecting off the lake today (as in a real sunset, with the sun and everything!).

Tuesday – Pumpkin Jack has completely decayed (except for the stem) and one of the seeds has started to grow a new plant!Cherry Blossoms 9Wednesday – Cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom and the streets are lined in pink!

Thursday – The grandmother who helped me at the park today so that Dora could ride the zipline without being scared.

Friday – Finding the hidden gnome at the local preserve at the very end of our hike with friends, just when we thought we would be leaving without having found it.

Saturday – Feeling pretty good, despite the previous day’s long hike in the sunny weather, proof that the rheumatalogical medicines are beginning to help!

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Labels: Easter, Gratitude Sunday
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Naturally-Dyed Easter Eggs

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs 1As we’ve been trying to do things more “au natural” around here, I thought that we’d try making natural Easter egg dye this year. I read several posts about it and kind of winged things in regards to making my dyes. I filled large mason jars about 3/4 full with my dyes, added a tablespoon of vinegar to each dye, added our eggs to the jars, and left the eggs sitting in the dyes for about 24 hours.Naturally Dyed Easter EggsWe did run into a couple of obstacles. We did two batches of eggs. For the first batch, we used eggs that I had blown out. These tended to float at the top of the liquid and thereby, only get dyed on one side. I tried holding the eggs under the liquid, so that liquid would fill the empty eggs, but I found that the egg membranes would create a seal over the hole I used to blow out the eggs. I then used a toothpick to try to hold back the membrane so that the egg would fill with the liquid and sink. This worked, but was time-consuming and then the next day, I had to repeat the process in reverse to drain the eggs.

For our second batch of eggs, we used hard boiled eggs. The big challenge with these was that I had to make sure that all of the dyes had cooled to room temperature or else the eggs would often crack. These eggs sunk just fine, obviously, but wherever they pressed against the glass of the jar, the dye color did not take. So, in general, I’d say that whether you use blown eggs or hard boiled eggs, you need to check on them several times and move them around to make sure that they get colored all over.

Overall, I liked the look of the natural dyes. They definitely aren’t as intense as store-bought dyes. They also produce a less consistent look, but I personally liked that. I did have problems with some of the dyes not producing the color that I had read that they would produce. For example, I read that boiling carrots would produce an orange dye, but after several attempts, I never was able to produce more than a pale orange liquid. I also was never able to get a dark green. Next year, I might just make the orange and green by blending the other colors. I did achieve several good colors using these items:

  • Yellow – turmeric (add turmeric to boiling hot water until desired color achieved)
  • Blue – boiled red cabbage (the liquid looked pink, but turned the eggs a light blue)
  • Indigo – grape juice
  • Pink – boiled red beets
  • Brown – tea, boiled chamomile flowers, and red onion skins all produced different shades of brown

No matter what coloring agent you use, be sure to add a tablespoon of vinegar to the finished dye to help the egg shell absorb the color.

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Labels: Arts and Crafts, Easter
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Decorating Beeswax Eggs

Easter Egg Candles 2Last week, Dora and I decided that we would decorate some beeswax eggs that I purchased last year. We used the Stockmar decorating wax, which I have blogged about before. I tried doing more research about this wax since we last used it, to see if there is a better way to work with it and the best that I can tell is that this wax is just too brittle to be modeled and shaped like modeling wax can be. It seems that it just meant to be cut into designs with knives, cookie cutters, toothpicks, etc. and then pressed on to a candle or other smooth object. I haven’t read anywhere that this is the only way the wax should be used and some blogs/vendors imply that the wax can be molded like modeling wax can be. I did, however, find two .pdfs from Stockmar, Experimenting with Decorating Wax 1 and Experimenting with Decorating Wax 2, and and in each of them, they demonstrate various ways of cutting the wax to use it. I believe that the people who make really elaborate candles, with 3-D designs and so forth, must actually be using modeling wax to decorate their candles (the 2nd .pdf from Stockmar even discusses using modeling wax instead of decorating wax). Please, if anyone knows otherwise, feel free to correct me! Since we went into this project thinking we would use the wax like we do modeling wax, Dora found the whole exercise to be very frustrating, so we just decorated two eggs and left two blank. I may try decorating some more candles with modeling wax in the future, so that she can model the designs she wants. If I do, I will post about it to let you all know if it works any better for us. Next time we go to use the decorating wax, I may just cut out geometric shapes ahead of time for her to adhere to her candle in any design she wants to make with shapes.Easter Egg Candles 1I honestly thought the eggs candles were pretty enough just as they were!

Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in. Maureen

Labels: Arts and Crafts, Beeswax, Easter, Spring
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff