Martha Mondays: Easter Eggs

March 28, 2010

Thanks to Teresa at Homemade Iowa Life for picking this project – the assignment was to make Easter eggs from the selection on Martha’s site. I made the silk tie dyed eggs last year (#12 in that slide show if this link does’t take you directly there) and my only regret is that I used hard boiled eggs, so all my hard work was thrown out! They were gorgeous and a great project – I highly recommend them. This year I decided it was time to try blowing out eggs. The first

Making the hole

challenge was the eggs. I only buy organic, and they only come in brown, so we ended up buying regular eggs and dumping the contents (wasteful, and I am ashamed).

I read Martha’s instructions for this and her method is to go buy a egg blowing contraption. I decided I didn’t want to invest in that so we decided to do it the old fashioned way. I read some other online

Blowing the egg

instructions about how to do this yourself and we got started. Mr. MarthaAndMe went first since his hands actually do what his brain tells them to do. He used a cake tester and scratched and scratched and scratched at one end until he had a hole. He did the same on the other end and moved the cake tester around to make the hole bigger.  Then you swirl the cake tester around inside to break up the yolk.

Washing the egg

Hold the egg over a bowl, big hole down and blow through the small hole. Success! Next, submerge the egg in a bowl of water and keep blowing water out until it runs clear. Set it back in the egg carton to completely dry.

When I tried it, I couldn’t get the egg to come out. When Dude Martha tried it, his holes ended up uneven and shattered looking. Mr. MarthaAndMe decided that there had to be an easier way. He’s a man, so that meant power tools. He came back with his drill and used a small bit for the small hole and a slightly bigger one for the bigger hole. He stood the drill up

Here come the power tools

and held it stationary and then moved the egg towards the drill bit so he could control it. This worked well the first time. The next few broke, but then he got back on track. Some eggs broke as they were being blown. Out of a dozen eggs, we ended up with 8, 3 of which had nicely shaped holes. Not such a great ratio. It was fun to try this though since I had always wondered how hard it was (pretty hard). I also enjoyed making comments about Mr. MarthaAndMe sucking eggs which made him almost choke as he was trying to blow one out, so that was a highlight as well.

The next day we colored the eggs. I decided to try Marbelizing Eggs. The Attempting to marbelizedirections say to color the egg first in one bowl then in another bowl, mix up the dye and add oil. Swirl the oil and roll the egg through it to get the marbelized effect. Total disaster. No marbelizing happened at all. None. We tried adding more dye, more oil, etc and nothing working. So Dude Martha and Mr. MarthaAndMe then began to experiment (shudder). Mr. MarthaAndMe has memories of making these kinds of eggs as a kid and tried to recreate it by

Marbelized result - not so marbelized

adding drops of food coloring to vinegar and water, not mixing it, and quickly rolling the egg through it. It sort of worked. Then he started dripping food coloring directly on the egg and rolling it in the water. That worked the best and resulted in the more brightly colored eggs. Dude Martha did the same thing and the eggs really did turn out quite vibrant and interesting.

This was fun, but was not as successful as I’d hoped. I do like having blown out eggs to work with so that if you’re lucky enough to create something beautiful, you can keep it. That being said, I think I’ll go back to the Broadway Market next year (see yesterday’s post) and buy some more professionally made eggs for $10!

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Egg-Citing Easter Crafts

March 30, 2009

Easter eggs. Anyone can do that, right?  Well, that’s what I thought anyway. I decided to do some decoupage eggs as Martha shows in April Martha Stewart Living and also the glitter eggs that are mentioned at the front of the magazine as being online (and are also in the Craft Encyclopedia). This sounded like something I could manage.

The first step was getting the eggs. Blowing out eggs was way too much work for me. Martha says in the magazine you can find blown out eggs at “any craft store”. Ha! Neither Michael’s nor Joann had them. Joann had no eggs of any kind – nothing wooden, paper, etc (and snotty people working there who were not interested in helping me). What craft store has NO wooden or faux eggs available 2 weeks before Easter?

Michael’s had wooden eggs so I bought some of those. I also bought some Mod Podge glue. As for decoupage, I simply do not have the fine motor skills to cut out the shapes in the template in the magazine. Not a chance. So I thought I would be clever and buy some Easter stickers and some cute little confetti.

Sticker Shock

Sticker Shock

The first thing I did was to paint the eggs I was going to decoupage. The first problem was that that the price stickers would not come off!

I don’t know how you paint these without getting fingerprints all over them. I ended up doing several coats and got it all over my hands and the table. I kept dropping the eggs (good thing they weren’t real!).

Painting

Painting

Glue for Glitter

Glue for Glitter

While those dried, I attempted to do the glitter eggs. I read the instructions in the craft encyclopedia several times. It says to hold the egg and paint it with glue then set it in the glitter and cover it. If you hold the egg while putting glue on, the glue comes off on your hands and does not stick to the egg. When you pick the egg up out of the glitter, the glitter comes off on your hands. This is why my first egg ended up with bald spots! I tried to dab a little more glue on and put more glitter, but that was unsuccessful.

Bald Patch

Bald Patch

I was ready to toss the damn eggs out the window, when Mr. MarthaAndMe suggested sticking a nail in the bottom of each one so I could hold the nail. The man is a genius. This worked perfectly and I ended up with evenly glittered eggs that looked pretty darn nice. He made some holes in a piece of wood so we could just stick the nails in it and let the eggs dry. My father-

The Solution

The Solution

in-law says you can do anything if you have the right tools, and again he was proven correct. I think the instructions for this craft made it sound far too simple and did not offer enough guidance.

Next, onto the decoupage. I have never decoupaged, but after hearing Rosie O’Donnell rave about it for years, I thought, how hard could it be? I’ve seen her demonstrate it several times and it looked so easy.

Disaster

Disaster

Wrong. The problem probably lies in my materials and I am willing to admit that up front. The stickers did not work. First of all, they were too large and crumpled at the edges because the eggs are curved. Mr. MarthaAndMe said they were too thick to work and that somehow the adhesive on the stickers interfered with the glue.  Similar problem with the confetti – it would not stick. I was using Martha Stewart confetti and it was kind of stiff.

The Ones that Turned Out

The Ones that Turned Out

Again, I was ready to open the window and pitch the damn things out, but Mr. MarthaAndMe suggested we just hole punch some white paper and use the dots to make polka dots with decoupage. You can see why I married this man. This worked pretty well. I had some trouble with the glue making the paint moist and the paint smearing and coming off.  I was also able to use the tiny Easter egg stickers I had – some of them stuck and some of it didn’t.

Was this fun? Umm, no. It made me crazy. It made a mess. It was not cheap. I would rather buy some decorative eggs for display than monkey around with this and have it never be quite right.

I guess the Easter bunny will not be too happy with me this year.

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