Tiny Salutations

Tiny Salutations

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Natural Easter Egg Dying & Easter at our house




Okay guys, I know it has been too long since my last post.  And honestly, I was too tired and a little blue.  So every day I thought "I should write a post", and then once the little guy was asleep, and I could think, I just went to sleep too.  This past month has been so crazy with being unable to walk, that everything got mixed up and nothing got done.  So I am attempting to get things back on track.  Rejuvenation!  And what better way to feel rejuvenated than with a post on Easter!  The rising of Jesus and the lifting of my heart.

So this year, Easter was spent at home for us. We all had those pesky cold viruses, which in our house is not just a stuffy nose, but a big deal.  Layne had a fever and a particularly hard time breathing.  In fact, his breathing continued to decline after he was sick and he ended up needing urgent care (no ER though!).  My husband had a fever, and although I was quite sick lungs-wise, I escaped the fever.  So, since I pray every time that Layne goes to Sunday school that no one brought their able-bodied children to Sunday school with a virus, I never bring Layne anywhere that is not absolutely necessary, especially Sunday school, when he has a cold.

We spent the day hunting for Easter eggs, reading Easter books, and dying Easter "eggs".  Layne spent quite a bit of time throwing his hands in the air and saying "Hosanna! He is risen!" in a way that only children can really do.  The end of this post will have pictures of our day, but first, I want to tell you how to dye Easter eggs with natural dye.

Here are some photos of our eggs:






To make these, you will need:
    fake or real eggs
    ingredients to use for dye (see the dye section below)
    bowls
    a pot for boiling
    the toe ends of old pantyhose- about 6 inches (you can use old pantyhose for a lot)
    plant pieces for prints
    white vinegar (also good for everything)
   
First, we bought fake eggs from the store.  You can get them at craft stores, or even department stores once it gets closer to Easter.  I bought our carton for $2.

Next, you will make your dye!  This is fun.  It's all about experimenting.  You can look for things in your yard to use, which is super fun for the little ones.  Layne and I went out in the yard for Easter hunt #2: looking for materials to use in our dye and to use for prints (I haven't gotten there yet).  He had lots of fun and can identify a few of the simpler plants now.

To make your dye, you will briefly boil each ingredient in a small bit of water.  How much water and how much ingredient depends on how much dye you want to make.  I didn't measure it, but I probably used about 2 cups water for each.

These are the following ingredients we ended up using:
        blueberries- darker blue
        blackberries- purple blue
        paprika- orange
        cumin- light yellow
The blueberries and blackberries were fairly close in color.  Both berries produced rich color, while the spices produced pastel colors.

Once your dye has come to a boil and you can see quite a bit of color, strain it if there is any plant material there (like the berries in our case).

Add some vinegar (approximately 2 tbsp.) to the dye.  And let cool.

Now, you get to dye the eggs!  If you want plain eggs, just put them in the dye at this point.  It is important to point out a few things here.  The fake eggs are hollow and float.  We could not figure out a way to keep them submerged.  If you use real eggs and hard boil them, they will sink, and dying them will be much easier.  The other thing to point out is that natural dyes can take much longer to dye, especially if you are looking for a rich color, like we got with our berries. We left our eggs in the dye over night to get deeper color.  I would think that the berry dye could leave a pastel color fairly quickly, but the spices we used probably wouldn't, especially the yellow.

If you want to make prints, you have to be even more patient. So this may be an activity that is better for older kids (or Mom!), while younger kids will probably want to just dye them.  Encourage their creativity in whatever they choose to do. It's fun, afterward, to see how everyone dyed them in their own style.  Okay, so back to the prints.  Take your plant piece and make sure it fits your egg by laying it out on the egg how you want it.  Once you have the composition you want, hold the plant there with one hand, while placing the egg in the toe of the stocking.  Place it into the stocking so that the plant is toward the toe end.  The stocking will want to pull on your plant piece so make sure it holds it onto the egg the way you want it to look.  Tie the end of the stocking so that it holds the egg tightly.  You want the plant to be pressed onto the egg. Once it is tied, you can dye it!  Just place the egg in the water the same way you would with a plain egg to dye it.

We left our eggs in the dye overnight.  To keep them submerged, we placed full pop cans on top of them.  Happy egg dying!

The rest of this post is pictures of our Easter day. 

Easter egg hunt

Easter egg hunt

Easter egg hunt

Easter egg hunt

Easter egg hunt

A hidden egg

Easter egg hunt

Easter eggs

Our dog helping with the hunt

Exclaiming "Hosanna! He is risen!"

Evaluating the haul 

Layne had fun pointing out all of the dandelions in the yard

A gall on our salmonberry bushes- there are tons

A robin enjoying spring