Year 2 Easter Eggs…They really did happen!

So I apparently only blogged the first week of last years Easter Eggs. Must have gotten distracted by annoying life things, but the eggs themselves did happen. I promise.

Week 2 was natural dyes with a plant relief pattern. I learned a valuable lesson regarding natural dye. It requires planning ahead. I did not plan ahead. And then I think we were impatient and did not let them set more than a few hours instead of overnight. not sure exactly, it was a year ago, but I also made do with what vegetables I could find at Kroger, we didn’t have our Sprouts yet. Anyway, they turned out pretty, but not as colorful as I was hoping. This is one we’ll be returning to in a few years.

As far as the plant relief goes, some turned out beautifully, some obviously weren’t secured tightly enough, either than or the chosen weeds were more porous than others.

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can’t remember what made the black one; the blue was cabbage, improperly aged and set; the yellow is turmeric; the stone looking one blackberries; the brown is beets; and the tan is carrots

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the relief on the black egg didn’t show up at all; the relief on the cabbage egg was a flower with smudged and smooshed petals, looks pretty cool, but the panty hose we tied it on with was tied at the top and made the dye really thin there; the relief on the turmeric didn’t show up at all, but the color was gorgeous.

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the relief on the blackberry died egg didn’t show up at all, and it came out with an odd stone look. it’s odd, not really bright or colorful, but beautiful in a subdued way; the beets probably needed to be prepared differently, or combined with something, but the odd color is still pretty, and it has one of the best reliefs; and the carrots weren’t colorful at all, but, again, pretty in a neutral way, with a very nice relief

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all in all, it was a learning experience and well worth trying again with better attention to directions, hehe

Easter Egg Dyeing: Year 2

If last years theme was ways to tie dye eggs, this years theme is experimenting with dye. My daughter even decided to keep a journal of the results.

We started out with a ubiquitous PAAS egg dyeing kit. I let her choose her three colors and then choose three from what was left. (our kit contained nine color tabs.)

Word of advice, when planning to dye eggs, make sure you have white vinegar on hand. I did not, and we did not. However, in gathering methods, I found an explanation of why we needed the vinegar. I had never thought about it before, but one gentleman who dislikes the smell experimented with quantities until discovering the optimum pH level desired for egg dyes. So, since we had apple cider vinegar, I looked up the acidity as compared to white vinegar and, it being half as acidic, I doubled the amount and we were just fine.

It being an experiment in dye sources, we didn’t do anything fancy, only dunked a whole egg in one color.

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my daughter’s eggs are on the left, mine are on the right

Then, because solid eggs aren’t all that much fun, we’re also going to add something different to each type. This week we added glitter.

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my daughter’s are in the front, mine are in the back

She started with random and messy on the pink egg while I started with swirls on the orange. She she did zigzags and polka dots on the red, and her zigzag gave me the idea of making the yellow egg a Charlie Brown egg. She finished with a large band around her teal egg, and I opted for half-covered on the slant for the blue.

After a while I plan on coating them with a clear acrylic sealer to contain the glitter, but I forgot to pick some up while at the store, so that will have to wait.

I think PAAS has changed their formula over the years, because I don’t remember them turning out this well, but it’s been a long time since I’ve used them, so I can’t be sure. Also, I wonder if hollowing out the eggs first has anything to do with it. Surely not.

 

P.S. I bought the PAAS set at the store.

Easter Egg Dyeing the 4th

So, it worked out well that I hadn’t counted on the extra weekend in March, because I just did not have the energy to dye eggs last week, but we still had one last weekend to use our fourth method. This time around, we used shaving cream and food dye, as seen numerous places including this particular blog, chosen simply because she had the prettiest picture to pin…

Anyway, my daughter had done something very similar a couple years ago, except that time we had used cool whip instead of shaving cream because she was dyeing hard boiled eggs we intended to eat. She really enjoyed that experiment and was looking forward to using the method again.

Suggestions: use a LOT of dye! the thicker the dye, the brighter the colors will be on the eggs. Also, I highly recommend using the neon dye as it also much brighter.

I didn’t have a perfect container this time, so I selected one that may be a bit too small and one that was definitely too big, gathered the dye, the blown eggs, shaving cream, tooth picks and bamboo skewers to swirl the cream and move the eggs around, tongs to pull the eggs out, and cupcake liners to let the eggs dry in.

Once our cat had inspected the materials, it was time to begin.

I went first to test out the little container and so that she would understand all the materials and options.

032 033After filling the tub, I decided it needed to be spread around just a little bit to ensure a better covering of the egg. I didn’t want any air pockets between my eggs and the cream keeping the dye off the shell.

I added my dye…

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My daughter decided I needed a model.

…and swirled it.

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A particularly silly model, apparently…

It was a lot harder to roll my egg around than I expected, smearing and stirring my artfully swirled dye. I wasn’t so sure about how it all ended up on the egg.

 

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The left-over dye in the tub was so pretty, though, and still seemed so thick, that I was curious what would happen if I just used that swirl for my second egg.

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So, in went the egg.

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But, remembering that I didn’t like the process of rolling, I used a spoon to scoop and plop the shaving cream around the egg.

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This time, I liked the colors swirled through the white so much that I dropped the dye further apart and brought it in so there’d be some white. I used the same method with the spoon to cover the egg.

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This is what my eggs looked like set aside to dry.

050054She opted for the big tub and had fun squirting the shaving cream all around it. She also chose to use traditional colors since I had only used neon.

She chose not to swirl the colors, but to just put the egg in and see how that turned out.

She chose not to swirl the colors, but to just put the egg in and see how that turned out.

She also found rolling it to be difficult, and not wanting to use her fingers, she opted for spreading the cream with the skewer like a paint brush.

She also found rolling it to be difficult, and not wanting to use her fingers, she decided to spread the cream with the skewer like a paint brush.

She then decided to use my left over neon cream for her second egg, not even adding extra dye.

She then decided to use my left over neon cream for her second egg, not even adding extra dye.

For her third, she also used the neon colors, but she returned to the big tub and really swirled, almost stirred, the dye.

For her third, she also used the neon colors, but she returned to the big tub and really swirled, almost stirred, the dye.

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Our eggs when we were done:

On the left: my first, third, and second. Don’t ask me why they got rearranged.

On the right: her second, third, and first. Again, the order got weird…

 

 

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Our eggs the next morning:

I slid a poster underneath them because I figured the dye would seep through the thin paper of the cupcake liners. I’m really glad I did, because it almost seeped through the poster as well.

My daughter thought they were pretty ugly at this point.

 

 

 

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My second, third, and first. I like the second one the best. The blue and green didn’t hold as fast as the pink, and the  purple kinda fades into the pink.

 

 

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Her first, third, and second. She doesn’t want to keep the first because it’s ugly, her words. I agree that the red/yellow (seen a little up at the top) doesn’t look that nice, kinda like rust, honestly, but the blue and green might work out okay if you use a LOT of dye, swirl it, and let it set a full 24 hours instead of just over night. Both of the others are primarily pink, but she’s perfectly fine with that. It is the magical color after all. You can see the importance of using plenty of dye here, though, in the difference between my left over dye and her fresh application.

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Easter Egg Dyeing the 3rd

So this week we used finger nail polish. It was a learning experience, but a method I’ll probably return to eventually. Another popular Pinterest method, I followed this particular blog.

I picked out some new Spring-ish colors at the dollar tree special for this activity, but I allowed my daughter to use what she wanted from our existing stash as well. (I never manage to use up a whole bottle before I end up throwing out half-dried useless goo anyway, or even fully dried really useless crust, so I wasn’t worried about saying goodbye to any of those probably-already-too-old colors anyway.)

There are plenty of tutorials out there, so I’ll just share our experience and what we learned along the way.

We gathered our supplies

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and began. Once again, we used blown eggs, so bamboo skewers poked through the holes made a handy way to dip the eggs and limit the amount of nail polish we got on our hands. Notice I stress the word limit. There was still quite a bit on my fingers when we were done, but that was mostly from scooting the eggs off the skewers so they could dry. In retrospect, it might have been a better idea to find something I could just stand the skewers up in. Of course, had I done that I’d probably be sharing the difficulties of having nail polish drying the eggs to the skewers, so maybe this was better after all.

Anyway, nail polish fingers don’t make for good camera hands, so I didn’t get a string of pictures documenting the entire experience. But the basic process is this:

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drip the colors onto the water

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swirl it with a tooth pick

Lesson 1: There is no glitter polish that works. It all comes out goopy and blobby on the eggs. The really find glitter, the large glitter, the glittery color: it all had the same blobby results.

Lesson 2: You only want to dip the egg once, slowly. If the polish doesn’t want to stick to the egg in one place, repeated dipping won’t help, it’ll only muddy what did stick the first time. My first egg had a large white spot, so I tried rolling the egg around until it was covered. All I did was end up with a teal that looked like a darker green because it was layered over other polish rather than white egg, and I still had a mostly bare spot.

My theory is that the top of the egg as you dunk it the first time gets wet in the wake of being dunked, so as you come back up, the polish just slides off that bit. Maybe I should have experimented with rolling an egg across the surface rather than dunking it…hm, food for thought.

dense purple polish wanted to bead and sink.

dense purple polish wanted to bead and sink. “slow and draw…”

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thinner pink polish had no trouble floating on top

Lesson 3: Some nail polish is denser than other and will tend to sink if poured/dropped too quickly. My impulsive, fast-moving daughter’s mantra became “slow and draw…” pour slowly and draw it across the waters surface. It floats better if it’s spread out.

Lesson 4: Don’t take too long swirling your polish together or it will start to dry on the water and will be goopy on the egg.

Lesson 4: Goopy eggs can be saved, and most disappointing eggs will dry prettier than you thought they would. (Either that, or your disappointment fades and you can appreciate what you ended up with.)

2015-3-15 easter egg dyeing week 3 - finger nail polish (7)Left to right:

My first egg: pink polish with pink/purple glitter. It was goopy, and I used a toothpick to spread out the blobs. I was rather disappointed at first, but now that it’s dry I kinda like it, (except for the green spot you can kinda see on the bottom where it touched my still wet second egg).

My second egg: teal and lime polish. You can see the difference between the teal on the second and the steal on the third eggs. That’s because it was double dipped so there’s a layered marble look that I wasn’t fond of at first, mostly because of the altered color, but now that I’m over the color I kinda like the layered look.

My third egg: my favorite of mine. Teal, lime, and pink polish. (This was the egg dipped into the pictures above).

My daughter’s first egg: pink polish with a large-piece glitter polish. You can’t see the glitter in the picture, but the darker bits are where the pink is concentrated around glitter or in the clear base for the glitter. I’m not a huge fan, but my daughter is either easier to please or less discerning than I am, either way she is happy which means I’ll never say a word against it.

My daughter’s third egg: red and pink polish. This is the egg that she took a long time swirling, also, she used red from our stash, so it was probably a bit thick to begin with. It’s stripey because it came out really goopy, and she was ready to right it off as a loss, but I used a toothpick to sorta scrape the excess polish off. I was trying to smooth and swirl as I went, but I noticed the stripes and thought it worked, so I just went with it. By the time I was done, she “actually really like[d] it.”

My daughter’s second egg: my husband’s favorite, my second favorite (and favorite of hers). Pink and lime polish. The lime was the thinnest of the polishes we used and spread out across the water quite a bit, while the pink was a little denser and, once swirled, let the lime show through in a very pretty way.

Again, in my cave of a home, the flash showed up truer colors than the available light. *sigh* Oh well.

*PS the “drying rack” is an idea I got from a post lost to annals of Pinterest. It’s just t-pins stuck up through Styrofoam, but be sure your tripod for each egg is spaced far enough apart or the eggs will want to roll off at the slightest provocation. Trust me on that one…

Easter Egg Dyeing the 2nd

Well, it’s another week and we dyed another six eggs. My daughter didn’t make as many egg related puns this week, but she was excited to find out what I was planning to try. Also, she figured out that if we dye six eggs a week for four weeks we’ll have twenty-four eggs, “Momma! I just did times! Six times four is twenty-four!” I’m so proud of my little math geek.

This week, we went with permanent markers and nail polish remover. Also saw this method several times over on Pinterest holiday and egg decorating boards, but credit for my experiment goes to a pin from the blog post here. Her eggs turned out a little more sophisticated than mine. I think I need more practice…

What you can’t see here is that I also have a baby medicine syringe as a third option for applying the nail polish remover to the egg.

We selected a few different types of markers. We had brights, pastels, and jewel tones, the pastel and jewel tones were both from the same set of Bic permanent markers, and the brights are RoseArt permanent markers.

The eggs, once blown out, washed, and dried, were slid onto bamboo skewers to make decoration easier and to prevent unsightly finger print smears in the wet marker ink. It worked out pretty well, though perhaps one egg per skewer would have been even more convenient.

All set up, we got to decorating. Without any guidance from me, my daughter decided to decorate one egg first to see how it would turn out before coloring on the other two.

I didn’t get pictures of my first egg or my first attempts at using the nail polish remover, sorry, but I started with the jewel tones and just colored patches all over the egg at random. I started with the medicine syringe, but I couldn’t get the plunger to advance smoothly, so it came out in powerful spurts that kind of sprayed the ink off the egg, and I wasn’t fond of the effect or the mess, so I tried the q-tips, but that was more like drawing with a blur effect, and I didn’t want anything that intentional (but someone more skilled than i could probably make some pretty designs and swirls and things with that method. I just didn’t want to waste my eggs. Might experiment with that in the future, though.) The cotton balls, though, seemed to work great. They hold enough nail polish remover to gently wash and spread the ink without being too forceful or too specific.

My daughter decided to learn from my experience and only ever used the cotton balls.

I decided to try the pastels for my second egg. Here you can see the first completed egg and the second colored egg before I used the nail polish remover: (you can see that the purple ink kind of took over my first egg. It spread much more than any of the other colors.)

The pastel inks didn’t spread nearly as much as the jewel tone inks did, which makes sense, I suppose, when you think about the amount of pigment that is probably necessary for the different shades.

Here you can see that the pastel colors were mostly washed out more than they were spread. I may go back and color over them later, just leaving it a color block egg. You can also see the coloring on my third egg. I thought I’d experiment with different shapes in the color blocking. I went back to the jewel tones because my daughter used the RoseArt markers on her first egg, and those pigments seemed almost as colorfast as the pastels. They spread a little better, but she had to kind of draw them out with the cotton ball as opposed to just dabbing the remover on the way I had my first egg.

I don’t think the color blocks on my third egg were large enough to have the nice blurry effect of the first. At first I wasn’t fond of the result at all, but as it dried it grew on me a little. It definitely isn’t my favorite, but I’m not throwing it out just yet, either.

On my daughters egg you can see how little the RoseArt purple spread compared to mine, and I don’t know that she used much nail polish remover on the left egg at all. She was nervous that it would turn out like my third, which she didn’t think was all that pretty, and by the time she was half-way done with it, however, she was getting bored “working on the same egg for so long,” so I think she was also concerned about ruining something she’d put so much effort into. She was excited when I told her she could use as little or as much as she wanted, or even none at all if she just wanted it to be colored. That opened the door to drawing pictures on the last egg, which she couldn’t do on the first because I told her it was all going to smear and wouldn’t look the way she drew it. I think her “rainbow” egg may be her favorite this week.

So, the verdict on markers and nail polish remover is: great for blurring large colorblocks, with room for experimentation using intentional blurring techniques, but a bit boring for an active eight-year-old. Drawing with markers? Total win.

Sorry for the yellowish light, the lighting in our apartment is terrible, and it’s been overcast or raining for a week, so I can’t take it to the window for natural light.

Easter Egg Dyeing

Not a scout related post, but I’m apparently expanding into family matters. This is too fun not to share.

So, I’ve been seeing so many fabulous egg dyeing techniques on Pinterest, that I decided I would have fun this year. My daughter loves dyeing eggs. Well, she loves doing anything artsy with Momma, which warms my heart, so I figured we’d try a different technique every weekend between now and Easter, and we try them with blown eggs so that I can keep my favorites of each technique rather than having to throw them out and keep only the memories and pictures. After all, everyone can always use more seasonal decorations, right? My problem is that I have 12 methods I’d love to try. That’s 3 years of month long experimenting. Sounds fun, now just to choose this year’s.

Well, I have sharpies on hand, and nail polish remover is cheap, so that one goes on the list. I have food coloring, baking soda, and vinegar all in my cupboard, so that one’s on. Same with the shaving cream, and I doubt I’ll use all that dye, so there’s number 3. Well, we can go with kool-aid, that’s cheap, or we can stick with the tie-dye/marble theme and go for nail polish marbling, that’s not too expensive either, or sharpie doodling. We’ll see.

Catch my other theme? Cheap. We have not so much money this year, which is cool, I’m finishing up grad-school and budgets happen. On the future list is gold-leafing (though I hope to mix it up with other metals), glitter (don’t tell my daughter, she’ll want to do that one right away), decoupage (which just involves more time looking for appropriate pictures to cut out than I’m willing to invest this year), and yarn wrapping. Then there’s natural dyes and onion dye with plant reliefs. I think I’ll put the kool-aid with them and let my daughter decide between nail polish and sharpie doodling this year.

Anyway, so, yesterday we dyed six eggs, three each. Honestly, that’s all the eggs we can handle in a meal, and I don’t want to just throw out the edible parts.

For our first experiment, I decided to try the baking soda paste washed in vinegar method some people call volcano eggs,  mainly because I haven’t been to the store for the fingernail polish remover yet.

I took the instructions from a lovely blog post found on Pinterest, where else?

So here’s our experience:

First, after blowing the eggs, I gathered our supplies. I figured a glass per egg, but that was unnecessary, I only ended up using one. I also realized I needed a way for the eggs to dry, so I cut an x in the bottom of some cupcake liners, inverted them, and viola.

First, after blowing the eggs, I gathered our supplies. I figured a glass per egg, but that was unnecessary, I only ended up using one. I also realized I needed a way for the eggs to dry, so I cut an x in the bottom of some cupcake liners, inverted them, and viola.

Then I made a paste of baking soda, a few drops of food dye, and water. I just used as much baking soda as I thought I'd want, enough dye to get a good rich color, and then added water until it was a thick paste but still spreadable.

Then I made a paste of baking soda, a few drops of food dye, and water. I just used as much baking soda as I thought I’d want, enough dye to get a good rich color, and then added water until it was a thick paste but still spreadable.

I think this may be the first time I’ve preferred the picture with flash. The colors were so muted in the natural light available in our cave like apartment. I used neon food dye for my first egg. The pink, blue, and purple turned out amazingly, but the green washed out. It turned out all right, though, because the pale yellow/white spots just show off the bright colors better anyway.

My daughter had gotten so excited about experimenting with different egg decorating techniques she didn't wait for me to tell her my idea before coming up with several of her own and decided to water color paint hers. Once she saw what I was doing, however, she immediately switched methods.

My daughter had gotten so excited about experimenting with different egg decorating techniques she didn’t wait for me to tell her my idea before coming up with several of her own and decided to water color paint hers. Once she saw what I was doing, however, she immediately switched methods.

Once gooped up, the egg was placed in the glass and held down with a toothpick while the vinegar was poured over top.

Once gooped up, the egg was placed in the glass and held down with a toothpick while the vinegar was poured over top.

We learned this method through experimentation. My first egg was dropped into a couple inches of vinegar and just bobbed on top, having to be submerged with a toothpick, so the second egg we placed in the glass first and poured vinegar over it, but just having the vinegar wash over it wasn’t really enough either, and it too was held down by the toothpick. So after that we just started by holding it down. This may not be a problem for hard boiled eggs, only hollow ones, but I don’t know.

Watching it fizz and bubble was a lot of fun, and my daughter discovered that the thicker the baking soda paste is applied, the more flecks float off on the foam which in turn add these great speckles to the eggs.

Watching it fizz and bubble was a lot of fun, and my daughter discovered that the thicker the baking soda paste is applied, the more flecks float off on the foam which in turn add these great speckles to the eggs.

Hers are in the front, mine are in the back. You can see that one of her watercolor eggs was too pretty to get the baking soda vinegar wash.

Hers are in the front, mine are in the back. You can see that one of her watercolor eggs was too pretty to get the baking soda vinegar wash.

The middle egg in the back was dyed with traditional colors, the red, yellow, blue, green pack, and it turned out pretty, but pastel. I probably would have liked it a lot better if I hadn’t been so happy with the vibrant colors of the first egg. I might try again later, but if I do I’ll probably only use yellow and red dye in the respective pastes rather than adding any water at all, because the yellow is barely visible, and the red is entirely washed out. (I liked her water color flower better before the face was added, but the face definitely makes it hers. She is NOT an understated child.)

My favorite from her eggs.

My favorite from her eggs.

This was her first baking soda egg, the first one to show the pretty speckles.

My favorite from my eggs, taking the lesson learned from my daughter and piling on the baking soda so I'd get the wonderful flecks.

My favorite from my eggs, taking the lesson learned from my daughter and piling on the baking soda so I’d get the wonderful flecks.

I copied her method of glopping the paste on instead of spreading it out, hoping to get the same result, and I did. It was watching this one in the vinegar that we discovered the flecks or chunks of baking soda on the foam that makes them.