Friday, April 13, 2012

Tutorial: Blown-Out Easter Eggs

They're gross to make, but I love the ability to preserve an actual Easter egg, dyed and painted and colored, as a memento of our holiday. True, we've also got wooden eggs that we've dyed and painted and colored, and felted wool eggs, but there's nothing quite like a real egg-shell Easter egg...

...even if they do remain very delicate. Last year, the girls had a playmate over who didn't believe that the wicker basket-full of beautiful Easter eggs were, as Willow kept insisting, made from REAL eggs. So she crushed one in her hand. THEN she believed, poor babe!

Again, it's gross, but blown-out eggs are, at least, very easy:

1. Take a raw egg, hold it over the sink, and poke into one end of it with an awl (mine is made for bookmaking, but I use it for a million things), or a needle, or anything sharp and pokey, really:

2. Swirl the tip of the pokey thing around inside the egg to break up the yolk, then chip away a few more bits of shell from the hole to widen it:

3. Poke a straight hole into the other end--no widening!

 4. Here's the gross part: hold the egg over a bowl (so that you can save the eggs!), put your mouth around the smaller hole, and blow with all your might until the egg comes squirting out the larger hole:

What, that doesn't sound totally gross to you? Watch this--it's so gross that it cycles back around almost to not-gross and I can't stop laughing as I watch it:

Did you vomit, or did you manage to stick it out?

5. Fill a pot with water on the stovetop, and put the blown-out eggshells in it. They want to float on top, so you have to either find something to submerge them gently, such as a colander resting on top of them, or hold them under yourself until they fill with water. I usually do the latter, two eggs per hand, taking turns with all the eggs while the water heats up.

6. Make sure the eggs are boiled for several minutes (I do ten) to kill germs and bacteria, then lay them out overnight to dry. If they came in a cardboard egg carton, that's a good place to put them, because they can sit vertically to allow the water to drain and the cardboard won't hold the water.

When the eggs are clean and dry, they're ready to paint! Although the girls and I had a fun morning blowing out the eggshells, by the time they were dry the next day everyone had lost interest in actually painting them, so I simply put them up in their carton on a high shelf in our study/studio. Sometime when somebody feels like painting or doing some decoupage, I'll bring them out. I imagine it will be quite novel to be decorating Easter eggs in the middle of summer!

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