Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Posted by Rosie
I have great admiration and respect for people who have the foresight to plan, execute, and photograph their seasonal crafts in time to blog about them before the fact. However, I am not one of those clever souls. Luckily, Easter is even longer than Lent, and if nothing else, we can just file these notes away for next year.
(While we're on the subject of doing things ahead of time, I went to the store for our Easter candy on Thursday, and the girl at the register asked me with a sympathetic look, "Getting in some last-minute shopping?" Seriously? You really expect me to buy candy weeks before I can actually eat it? Do I look like a crazy person to you? I don't think so.)
I made these Easter eggs on Good Friday, and would've been able to post about them before Easter had I not spent pretty much all of my time since then (going to church and) making food and subsequently eating it (for a truly decadent but make-ahead brunch, I highly recommend Creme Brulee French Toast. I used homemade bread, maple syrup instead of corn syrup in the sugar mixture, and added a healthy dose of nutmeg into the batter. We didn't have any appropriate booze on hand, so I just left that out. It is a deliciously indulgent treat).
Our current temporary living situation meant I wasn't up for ordering supplies to make psyanky, so I just blew the insides out of a dozen eggs (which insides later went into dough for cinnamon rolls, a delicious-if-I-say-so-myself lemon ginger cheesecake, and the aforementioned French toast), treated myself to a bottle of Mod Podge, and decided to try a few different ideas from Martha Stewart's Easter egg slideshow.
One of them involves covering eggs with pretty origami paper, but since I was only using what I already had, I thought it would also be pretty using these pretty paper bags which I bought (on clearance right before Valentine's Day) for another project I've been meaning to tell you about (and will soon).
I cut a strip from the bag that was a little longer than the circumference of the egg at its widest point, and a little wider than the egg was tall. I was much less precise than her directions specify, and it turned out lovely, so I wouldn't worry about being exact. Snip the paper towards the middle on both sides (leave a quite narrow strip intact in the middle), paint a strip of Mod Podge around the middle of both the egg and the paper, and then smooth the paper around the egg.
Use scissors to snip each strip at an angle, and then use the Mod Podge on both surfaces again to smooth the strips down and cover each end of the egg. Again, Martha does this very precisely, and I'm sure that if you did it her way your egg would be smoother, but I just snipped willy-nilly on one side of each strip, and didn't worry about them overlapping at the top of the egg. When I was all done I covered the whole egg in MP to seal it and give it a little shine.
I also had some colorful tissue paper on hand from wrapping baby shower gifts, so I just folded some narrow strips accordian-style and cut out some simple shapes. Then I painted some Mod Podge onto the egg and used tweezers to place the pieces in various patterns (this was a good call on Martha's part; the tweezers are key with the delicate tissue paper, especially once your fingers are covered with glue, as mine certainly were).
Again, I covered the whole egg with a topcoat of MP when it was done, which gave it a bit of shine and tacked down any loose corners.
Both of these techniques worked really well; the ones with the red and white Valentines paper on them looked very fancy and elegant, and the tissue paper is so thin that the designs look very crisp and delicate, and almost like they were painted on. These were also both easy enough that they could definitely be done with children old enough to wield a paintbrush and some glue. The tissue paper might be a little tricky for young hands, as it tended to tear when it got wet, but I imagine that any thin colorful paper would work well - I think wrapping paper would be great!
I also happened to have some food coloring in my cupboard, so I had gathered some little leaves and things to make botanical eggs and used a bit of trim to make lace eggs, but neither one was successful. The leaves and lace just didn't stick to the egg well enough to make a clean pattern like it did in the pictures (I used rubber bands for the lace and egg-white-and-nylons for the leaves, as instructed by the directions). So I just dyed them again to make them a solid color, and tried to contain my disappointment at my lack of lacy, leafy eggs. Has anyone else had any success achieving these effects? Is there some trick I was missing?
This is the whole batch of eggs, minus one more Valentines/Easter egg that somehow didn't make it into the carton for this shot.
Side note: my egg carton has scripture verses on the inside. How fabulous is that?
We drove down to Dallas to spend Easter with the Lt's brother (a student at the University of Dallas and our only family within hailing distance). The eggs went into our baskets - this one belongs to my brother-in-law. And yes, that is a squirt gun (I didn't have scissors to cut off the dumb plastic tie), and yes, we did have a water fight at two in the morning after the Vigil (oddly enough, college-age boys don't mind indoor water fights in their apartments). And yes, they did come in packs of two, and I did give myself the extra one. I figured it was only fair, considering I was up against two boys, one of whom is a Marine.
In other news, I have fallen in love with Mod Podge, and am planning using it on every available surface in my apartment...