Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts

17 Mar 2013

Polka Dot Easter Eggs in Tea Cups

How's that for a descriptive title?  No beating around the bush here.

If you have been reading this blog for a while then you know that I am not one to go all out for holidays.  I'll usually put up a few things here and there, but there is no mantle decorating, no seasonal wreaths and usually no centrepieces.  For Easter this year I decided to keep it low key.  Last year I made my wet felted Easter Eggs, but this year I just wasn't feeling the purple.  I wanted something a little bit more modern. 

I hard boiled a half a dozen eggs one night, let them cool overnight and then got to work on glamming them up.  

The next day I used my Brass Liquid Gilding to goldenize me some eggs.  Ta-da.

Gilded easter eggs

I called them the Liberace eggs (if Liberace had a chicken, that is...).

If you are a gilding virgin, here's my basic method - it's highly technical.  Wrap your finger in plastic wrap.  Then wrap your finger in a paper towel.  Dip your finger in the gilding and then smear it on the eggs.  Do half the egg, let it dry for about 5 minutes and then do the other half.  Done.  Super easy.  Don't skip the plastic wrap step or you will have a completely gold finger that will last for days. 

So here's the truth.  I wanted to speckle my eggs with white....but it was a big fat fail.  I tried speckling by flicking a tooth brush, but I just ended up speckling myself and the sink instead of the eggs.  Maybe my aim was off, I don't know.  I gave up on that and decided I'd dot them with white.  Well, that was a fail too.  The paint (I was using latex wall paint), just kept dripping off.  Duh, I finally remembered that latex can't go over oil based product.  Luckily the paint just washed right off, so I was back with my basic Liberace egg.  On to Plan C.

Plan C was to use more gilding, but this time in Pewter.  I used a pencil eraser to stamp little dots onto the eggs.  

polka dot easter eggs //

And now I think they look like Liberace dinosaur eggs.  Or is it only me who automatically thinks of dinosaurs when I see spotted eggs?  Maybe I watch too many kids shows. (Fin LOVES the Dinosaur Train show). 

Anyhow, I liked them.  They were not pastel, not cutesy, and Easter-ish, but not too Easter-ish.

I brought out a few of my tea cups (from my favorite china set), wrapped up some jute twine with some fake grass stuff and pretty much just plopped everything in.

gilded easter eggs in tea cups. //

Cute little nests for the Liberace dino eggs.  

I had 5 eggs (one cracked during my multiple painting attempts and too-rough washing), so I used 3 tea cups.   I put them on our credenza in the living room.

Credenza decorated for easter ///

Polka dot easter eggs in jute twine nest  //

Clearly I am going through a gold phase.  Gold elephant, gold twigs, gold eggs.....

Gilded easter eggs //

easter decorating ///

I am really liking the tea cups on the credenza.  I think I am going to have to find something different to go in them after Easter.  

gold and pewter easter eggs in tea cups //

Update: Since the taking of these pictures another egg has bit the dust.  I was making breakfast in the kitchen one morning and Fin was in the living room.  It had been really, really quiet for a few minutes, so I peeked my head in to see what was going on.  Usually when she is quiet I try and be very quite too so that I don't disturb what she is doing.  If she sees me it's game over and I automatically have to help her.  So I tip toed.  And what did I see?  She had grabbed an egg and was very busy smooshing it into the carpet...and her hair....and her PJs.  Ahhh.  I don't think she had eaten any.  Thank goodness.  Teaches me that I should have blown the eggs out instead of doing it the short-cut way.  The tea cups are now moved ALL the way to the back of the credenza. 

So tell I the only one who isn't really into pastel Easter stuff?

25 Mar 2012

Wet Felted Easter Eggs {tutorial}

Before I delve into the world of Easter Eggs I need to just rant a little bit about Mad Men. Is anyone else as excited about the Season Premier tonight as I am? It feels like it's been so long since we last hung out with Don Draper.  Even though he's a jerk most of the time I sure do love me some Don Draper. I am crossing my fingers that Fin sleeps well tonight so we can just sit on the couch and soak in all things Mad Men for a couple of hours. 

Ok, on with the Easter Eggs......

Even though we are still in the throws of snow in these parts of the woods I figured it was time to bring a bit of spring into the house. I wanted something that was cheap and easy (in a crafty kind of way!) and that I could complete in a night.  These cute little felted eggs fit the bill.

I've included a ton of pictures in this post so if you want to make your own you can follow right along.  Thanks goes out to my Mom for taking the pictures, as my hands were quite tied up with the eggs.  I am definitely not quiting my day job to become a hand model anytime soon! I always think my hands look so awkward in photos...

With that said, here's the low down:

I went to Michael's and bought a giant pack of cheapy pastel plastic eggs for $2.99 and a roll of wool roving for $5 (regularly $8, but I had a 40% off coupon).  

At the Michael's near my house they only had one type and colour of roving, so I had to take what I could get as I didn't want to drive into the city. Luckily it was a purple so it fit right in with the spring/Easter theme.  The roving was thick and thin, which wasn't exactly what I wanted but I figured I could just cut out the thin pieces and it would work.  

Here's the original roving - it looked just like purple dreadlocks sitting on my kitchen table.


Since I was stuck with the thick and thin roving I started by cutting off the thick pieces of roving from the ball of yarn.  I then started pulling apart the thick pieces creating very fluffy strands.  It reminded me quite a bit of pulling apart a cotton ball (like when the cotton ball gets stuck in your freshly painted nails and the little fibres get stuck to everything you touch.....).  I then placed the pieces on the table overlapping the strands to make a 'blanket' of sorts.  As I went along I learnt that the fluffier the fibres the easier it felts.  The 'blanket' needs to be about double the width of the egg and triple the length, and not have any big holes or gaps.


Once the first blanket was done I did it all again but placed the fluffy pieces running perpendicular to the pieces underneath.


By this point my 'blankets' looked like a serious rat's nest. I really don't like things that aren't neat and uniform but I sucked it up and carried on. 

I then laid the egg down on the 'blanket' and started rolling it up just like a burrito, tucking the ends in as I went along. 



Here's how the little burritod egg looked:


There were some holes where I could see the egg through the roving but I didn't worry about it. 

Then it was time to get wet.  I filled two bowls with water. One was as hot as I could stand and the other ice cold. I dipped the burritod egg into the hot water and almost instantly all of the fluffiness that I had painstakingly created melted away.  This was my chance to move the fibres around and fill any gaps. 

I then put dab of dish soap on my hands and start passing the egg back and forth between hands with just a little bit of pressure.  I quickly learnt that the more soap you have, the easier the egg is to work with and the less fibres stuck to my hands.  I kept passing the egg back and forth, dipping it every once and a while until there were no longer any fibres sticking out and it looked pretty matted. This usually took me anywhere from 3-5 minutes per egg.


Once it seemed pretty matted and no rogue strings were sticking out, I then started to use a plastic shopping bag.  A quick tip: if you are doing this with light coloured roving turn the bag inside out just to make sure the ink from the logo doesn't come off onto your egg.

Holding the plastic bag and the egg with both hands, I started to apply some serious pressure and rub the bag against the egg.  Rub and press, rub and press, rub and press.  Whenever the egg would start to cool off I'd dip it back in the hot water. The bag seemed to really help as it allowed me to apply quite a bit of pressure without nicking or tearing the newly created felt.  



After a few minutes in the hot water I then repeated the whole bag process in the cold water bowl. 

Once the felt looked good and matted I placed the egg on a tea towel to dry.  By this time most of my eggs didn't actually look like eggs any longer and instead looked like purple blobs.  To make them look like eggs again I rolled one end on the towel to try and recreate the egg peak.

I finished felting my eggs around 9 p.m. and by the time I woke up the next morning they were dry and ready to go.

This really was a quick and easy little project. I made 5 eggs and from start to finish it took me about an hour and a half.  It probably would have been quicker if I didn't have to stop to pose for the lovely hand model shots (but aren't you glad I did?).

I don't tend to get too crazy about Easter decorating as it's usually a bit too pastel pink for me, but these eggs bring just a tiny amount of spring into the house and brighten up my newly refinished end table.


Hope you have a great week. I am off to get my Mad Men on.....

I'll be linking up to:

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

DIY Show Off Project Parade

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