Natural Dyeing of Eggs

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Friends in town invited us for a natural egg dyeing date today. It was a new method to me and the results are beautiful! In years past we have water colour painted, drawn upon, dyed in stockings with onion skin and parsley, wax crayoned and dyed and more. something in the natural plant and berry dyes pleased me so much today. the shades are unpredictable and all the colors are well, edible.  it brings to mind my natural dyeing of silk joy which has been put aside for many months. i keep opening the carton to caress these wonders. thankyou hens.

it was a pleasure to share one of our/their Easter rituals as often I hold festivals for my family alone. we spoke about festival traditions in the family and I realised with the weekend approaching fast i am ill prepared! {apart from having lots of eggs}. I look forward once again to seeing what authentically comes for the festival this year. it’s an interesting time to marry Easter to Autumn and i have found a few stories and inner images which sit peacefully for me. our Autumn table evolves slowly and soon the Egg tree will appear.

this book Easter in Autumn is helpful for southern hemisphere dwellers. i am seeing how contributions can become tradition in a few short years and the grounding this gives my children and myself. if you want to bring more depth or tradition to festivals, i recommend beginning simply, or adding just one or two things you can easily uphold and add to over the years.  i enjoy Lily’s anticipation of events, Cedars current enjoyment, worry expectations {my own mostly} may not be met, {can i really make sourdough hot cross buns this year?} witness her recounting past festival highlights to others and propel myself to find my Zopf recipe!

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Natural Egg Dyeing/Eco printing method

Using just herbs, ferns, flowers and weeds from the garden; press the leaves and petals over the egg (white shells for best color results, this year i found them in the library, raised by the High School kids garden chooks) and carefully wrap with sewing thread. this is tricky with a T at first. so be patient and help the little ones. leave a tail of thread hanging at the beginning so you can use it to tie up at the end. the more you wrap and press the leaves onto the egg the better your chance of a print. leave the north and south pole of the egg bare so you can blow your egg out afterwards. {thankyou for your wise counsel today E}

carefully blow your eggs and then pop into boiling water/dye bath for up to 10 minutes. for the dye bath use any plant/food matter which has a great colour content such as berries, onion skins, coffee, tumeric, red cabbage, etc only 500 mls or so is needed to do batches of 4 eggs.

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a brew of red hibiscus flowers in water dyed the shells a subtle blue, the pot of mixed squished up berries had more success with mauve to rich purple. keep turning the shells in the boiling dye brew to get an even colour as they will float on top of the liquid. remove and once cooled remove the thread and plant matter with a thread cutter, unpicker, seam ripper??. (technical name eludes me right now) useful sewing tool. everyone needs one!

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so for our Easter tree we have these beauties. we will break up matches and tie string on them to slip inside the eggs tomorrow.

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after all that fine work the children gallop exuberantly around the field. picking up ticks no doubt….

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a natural dye note to myself for next year.

marigiold petals dyed a wonderful gold.

waxy ferns made a resist to the dye

basil made a resist

chocolate mint left a lovely green

hibiscus left blue

parsley left green

and there where many surprises.

try a tumeric bath

*let each child have a different colored thread so you can easily identify them and wrap wrap wrap them very well.

*have a dog handy to lap up any dropped eggs

*make a potato and goats cheese frittata with the eggs….

*if you only use edible plants you could hard boil the eggs to eat them. though who gets hungry at a blue egg….

i have this post on my Easter and blowing eggs from last year.

 

so, what are your Easter traditions?

have you natural dyed eggs or anything before?

x

ps is it as odd for you as it is for me to be here writing and sharing once more? many reasons behind my blog holiday and i have written eggsplicitly about it all. it just isn’t where im at today. call it writers block.

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Our Easter in Autumn Story

IMG_0703 on Easter eve we are visiting friends on the journey north from Sydney. The children go out in the sunset pink to cut grass to line the easter basket and to feed the Easter hare
IMG_0710 while they cut I retell an Easter story about the journey of the Easter hare and the purpose of the eggs as i have adopted it from this great book. Easter in Autumn. i deeply enjoy storytelling without a book in front of me as i took the time to learn the story and make it my own. They are both captivated and i feel peaceful with this serene wash of calm coming over me as i bask in the moment and the beauty of the simple now-ness and connection we are sharing. i am inspired to learn more stories to tell.
IMG_0713this basket was woven in Arnhem land, jesse gifted it to Lily on return of his trip there last year. {i got a lady version for my birthday}IMG_0714the light is soft and pastelly and embracing and look below, it hints to the sky of the dawn…IMG_0723Lily and I have made a date to silently watch the sunrise on Easter morn.

we are camped by a river and the light bounces from the water in a myriad of pastel delicacies..IMG_0725Pelicans join us and we are gifted this close observation of a much loved birdIMG_0730 IMG_0747Lily points out the Pelican has made a heart with it’s own reflectionIMG_0748 i resolve to make more dates with Lily, the peace of simply being together touches us both deeply. It is grounding and loving and sets us up for a rich connection through the day.
IMG_0749 IMG_0758 finally a golden peep through the clouds melts the dew from waxy leaves

a new day

a new beginningIMG_0759 as we walk back we pick golden sunny flowers to decorate the bus and the easter baskets, glistening with dew

Cedar and Jesse are awake and after the children exclaim over the gifts from the Easter hare in their baskets, they go outside with a poem of clues to find the Easter treasures
IMG_0775 oh whats under here??

skip to a quick ant bite interlude….

then the treasure hunt is back on….
IMG_0779 IMG_0786looking looking looking, Lily can see the silver paper on the tyre and is encouraging Cedar to find it and giggling about his looking but not seeing… i remember Lily at this age needing very obvious eye level treasures to find… IMG_0787 I found it!!
IMG_0790 and up here Cedar!

i am wondrous to see Lily turn the seeking into a game for Cedar in which she is showing and helping him in a thoughtful way, instead of rushing around claiming all the treasure. it reveals the change out of early childhood i am seeing into a less selfconcerned world view. beautiful.IMG_0798the treasure is in and unwrapped and eaten.

after struggling in the night with my staunch anti chocolate stance, i realise the experience of my uptight stress is less beautiful than the joy the children will have when unwrapping 2 squares of organic chocolate before breakfast!

and it was fine, and they were so happy, and they did not have sugar meltdowns!

it’s good to let go a little now and then. but yes i am pretty strict about sweets in our own home and prefer to savour these type of treats for specials.

later in the day we prepare eggs to decorate and enjoy an omelette for lunch

you may know how already but here

  the simple steps to blow eggs ready for decoration and hanging
IMG_0803use a large pin to pierce one end of an egg, i use a series of punctures in close proximity to open a 2mm hole, repeat on the opposite end and remember to have a bowl ready to catch your egg insides {make an omelette or cake…}IMG_0805apply your lips and lungs to the task of blowing a stream of egg insides to the outside. rinse by submersing in water and blowing out once more. towel dry and there they are, light and ready to decorate. we often use water colour pencils or paints, or dye with onion skin…IMG_0808in the weeks coming up to Easter i scout around town for white shelled eggs.. {In Bellingen they are sold at the Providore from a local farmer….} this year we had little choice as we travelled…IMG_0809the easter bounty which the children are happy happy happy withIMG_0814during our afternoon drive i watch Lily singing out the window like a puppy with her face in the wind…

i imagine her reflecting on the day and she is singing her happiness to the world…

some sweet sweet moments in our day

blessings and happy new beginning to us all…