I love Easter. It is one of my favourite holidays. This is the time of year that there is a renewal and rebirth in everything. While it is early this year, Easter represents Spring to me. The earth is muddy and ready for new life, the pond has lost or is close to losing its ice cover and this year, the ducks and the swans are back making nests.
Early mornings here at the farm, before the sun is up, I hear the wild turkeys clucking away and oddly at the same time, coyote pups. Then the sun begins to rise and it all just explodes in a racket of wildlife. A sure sign of what is to come – the spring peepers (frogs) at the pond and the swallows return. Nest building begins!
Since my girls were old enough to hold onto eggs, we made an easter “tree” adding blown out decorated eggs each year. We all love crafts and even today, the girls and I sit down at the kitchen table and make a pretty big mess. Our Easter tree is really branches placed in a vase that we put on the counter now with all our crazy animals about who would happily eat the eggs or worse, tip the vase over.
When Carlyle was in her first year, we lived in Hamburg, Germany and in this part of the world Easter is a very serious holiday and beautiful decorations begin at least two weeks before. The most creative arrangements: wreaths, wooden and cloth decorations, blown eggs beautifully painted; every store has a display and the markets are full of celebratory offerings. We started our own tradition of blowing out eggs and decorating them with a collage of materials: paint or fabric, tissue paper and protecting them with a glaze so the shells would be hard enough to last a few years. They have lasted a few years. Carlyle is 21 and we still have some of the originals! There was the one disaster year when the new kittens tipped over the “tree” and sadly that year, we lost a few. There was also Lillie the lab who thought anything was fair game to eat and she knew enough that at some point there had been food inside.
This weekend, try your hand at an egg craft. So simple to do. Take one raw egg and with the tip of a skewer, poke gently at each end of the egg until you have a hole big enough for the insides to come out – about the size of the ball point needle.
Then gently hold one end of the egg, put your lips over the hole and blow the insides out into a waiting bowl – to make scrambled eggs with later! At first it is hard and then the yolk and whites usually just stream out. If necessary, you can poke the skewer through the hole to stab into the yolk to get things going. That’s it. For decorations, take a small bowl and mix together about 2 tablespoons of white glue with 1/4 cup of water. Spread out before you things you want to use to decorate the outer shell. The easiest to use is scraps of coloured tissue paper but thin fabrics, ribbons, grasses anything that inspires you will do. Dip your scraps one by one into the glue mixture and then spread on the egg.
This part is where your own creativity comes in. Before it dries, thread a piece of thread, I use rafia through the egg and then cover the opening with a last piece of your egg covering to keep the thread in place after it dries. Leave the egg on a empty egg carton to dry. Then hang your egg on your easter tree and begin your own tradition of making an egg or two each year. Or, bring it as a gift to friends or family. Either way, it’s a nice way to spend part of the holiday.