Thursday, 1 April 2010

Decorated Easter Eggs

Easter is closing in on us and around this time of year you can be sure to spot little cute bunnies, fluffy chickens and loads of chocolate eggs everywhere you turn. These you can of course make yourself, but if you want to go traditional all you need is some good old fashioned chicken eggs and some colours.

Throughout history the egg has been widely used as a symbol of the start of new life, just as new life emerges from an egg when the chick hatches. And decorating birds eggs is an old craft, which even has it's own guild. It's difficult to say how old the craft is, but maybe as old as 8000 years as that is the time the chicken was domesticated.

Painting eggs really are a great craft because you can paint tiny intricate patterns but children can also really get their hands in, and yet it all looks pretty. Only the other day I found this wonderful box of decorated eggs standing around at my job - some children really had a good time with these!

When painting birds eggs you first need to make a little hole in each end of the egg and blow out the contents - a process requiring good lungs and delicate movements at the same time (to avoid Salmonella clean the egg with a little white spirit on a cloth). The now empty egg shell is all ready for decoration - plain-coloured, multi-coloured, patterned, dotted - you think of it, it will probably look awesome!

When the egg is dry you can tie a piece of sewing thread in a loop to half a tooth pick. Then gently push the tooth pick through the hole in the smallest end of the egg. Inside the egg the toothpick will get 'stuck' and you can hang the egg from the thread loop. In Denmark, and maybe elsewhere, it is fashion to cut some fresh twigs from the garden, place them in a vase with water and hang the decorated egg on the twigs. Because of the water and the warmer temperature indoors little buds will soon show on the twigs. It doesn't get more spring like than this.

Another way of decorating eggs is by boiling whole eggs in water together with onion peels. For extra effect you can wrap the egg in tin foil or silk paper or arrange rubber bands around it. The colour depth depends on the type of onions, how much onion peel you use and how long you boil the eggs (remember to throw them out after Easter and make fresh ones next year...).

After boiling the eggs  you can now arrange your  beautiful coloured eggs in a nice bowl VOILÀ!

Note: Don't throw away good onions just because you need the peels. Make a good French onion soup if using brown onions or one of my personal favorites: Eddies red onion marmalade when using (guess what) red onions.

May the seasonal crafts be with you!

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