Monday, April 20, 2020

Quarantine Easter

Does every blog post have to relate to the quarantine? Maybe.  Am I just lazy and keep repeating titles accidentally? Yes, absolutely.

Easter this year was nice and low key.  I spent the week beforehand gathering together pics and links and thoughts about Holy Week and sent them to some people and made myself a nice little way to prep for the Easter Day.  I printed off all this stuff and it will go into my quarantine scrapbook.

This year we hid some eggs in our own yard. Julian felt too old and like he'd rather hide than hunt, a sure sign of the aging out of childhood, alas. Fortunately for him, I've NEVER aged out so I'm happy to still be hunting.  Also Sean, as seen here:

this pic isn't really anything, turns out.

On Sunday, we had an egg-dying blitz, which i love.  We started this tradition maybe last year, maybe the year before (what is time anymore?) and it's kind of my favorite.  We used all of the kits we have which somehow seem to multiply, and then got a new one for this year (ok, i see what's happening there).

Something I learned this year: I really love putting together an Easter basket.  We have one family one and we were sure to order our favorite chocolate from our favorite places, and get a little something for everyone.  Sean and Julian went camping to a secluded spot the day or two before and I got to assemble in solitude and again, rather loved it.  I love Easter candy way more than, say, Halloween or Valentine's Day candy.  I also love everything about Easter-- the religious symbols, the "everything is born again" vibe, like baby animals and springtime.  I didn't take a pic of my finished basket because I'm a dummy because it was nothing short of glorious, but we had:

  • fancy chocolate eggs which i had been looking forward to for weeeeks.
  • mini-eggs, much beloved by Sean, newly beloved by Julian, and now with the dark version, adopted by me as well. 
  • twix for kids who like that
  • a large chocolate egg filled with truffles
  • a collection of other truffles with a variety of white, milk, and dark chocolate, all delicious because it's good quality. I love my Easter snobbery. It's one more reason for the season, for me. A carefully curated basket.  
  • medici almonds-- so pretty and almondy. 
  • chewy tiny tarts, my deep, unabiding guilty pleasure candy. 
  • and the creme de la creme, a paper mache victorian egg i purchased this year, filled with delights and was no match for the delight that filled ME. I looooved this thing. 
  • some peeps, which are gross, but traditional.
I don't know what it is about Easter treats, or Easter in general.  I have such vivid memories of Easters of my youth. Why?  Must be the time of year, when I feel like I can truly open my eyes for the first time. Memories are more in focus, I'm taking those first deep breaths after hibernation.  I remember making Easter crafts with my mother when I was a kid-- those sugar string eggs, where you wrap sugary goo-covered string around balloons, wait until it's hardened, and then pop it and you have this weird egg shell thing.  Or those sugar eggs filled with a little Easter scene made out of candy.  Why do I love this so? I'm not sure I'll ever know.

Here are some pics.  

First, here's Julian after I was like, "hurry up and go find the basket! I WANT IT."  

The basket unpacked:

There's something about digging through the grass to find the candy that keeps the excitement alive. If it were just a basket with goodies, no grass, where's the surprise? Where's the thrill of discovery? It would just be a basket full of stuff. With grass, it's mysteries and possibilities. This is all part of Easter for me.

My Victorian egg!
ohhhh my good heavens, I love it so much
 Here is an egg collage, in case you didn't want to scroll through  all 87 of our very BEST eggs:

Methods used:

1. Melting crayons on hot eggs. This made for a couple cool eggs (A2, B2, and A3) but was quite difficult as it was so flaming HOTTT.  I burned my fingertips which just kept on burning because--hot wax. So, not sure I'd mess with that again. On the other hand, those eggs look awesome. So maybe the pain is worth it. Wait-- C1 is also a wax egg. Sean did this one and I think it's my favorite of them all. How did he get that pale blue?? I have no idea. He did something to it and then wiped it all off and that was the result?  Who knows.  So beautiful. So pure.

2. Eggsperimenting with dyes.  One of my favorite things to do is to pretend I am a chemist and try to make the color I want using the limited colors these kits give me.  Or just something different and unique.  I was most proud of eggs B1, B3, and C3 which is more grass-green than teal, which is what the kit dye made.  I worked hard at this.  I love that brown one of B3.  And B1 took many trials, back and forth, back and forth, until success.  Now I know how Marie Curie felt.

3. New stripy stripe machine which made every egg look awesome.  I saw this on Instagram and, like every purchase I've made from there, i did not regret this one bit.  It was so easy and fun and again, made everything look cool.  In fact, here are some more because you need to see:

When I was a teen, one of my favorite things to do was spin boiled eggs really hard on the table so they'd turn upright and then take a Sharpie marker to it and watch the change occur, like a pottery wheel.  When it stopped spinning, it looked like nothing, unlike these eggs.  So thanks, stripe machine.
Next year I want to do natural dyes again. We did this a few years ago and I'm itching to do it again. Yes, itching.  

More pics.
Easter kitty:

Egg filled with truffles. Favorite, and very difficult to see:

Lastly,  a few mornings before Easter, i opened the back door and saw some feathers on the mat. NO. I knew what this meant.  "Carnage!" I shouted to Julian.  And instructed him to look for the body.  We found it not too far away, lying on the grass:

I love birds.  And this horrified and disgusted me.  Our killer cat struck again.  We somehow got the bird into a garbage bag to throw away but then that didn't feel right so we decided to bury it instead. 
Julian and Sean dug a hole and Julian made a stone for remembrance.  I looked upon our Easter bird and reflected on death and life, how they go hand-in-hand, recited a poem, and said a solemn prayer in my heart for the bird that needlessly died, on what we now call Easter Thursday. The eve of Good Friday. It was a somber moment and good symbol for the proceeding days.

p.s. I've been watercoloring a bit lately. It's calming and I enjoy it.  There's a photographer on Instagram I follow. He is Finnish and, from what I can tell, lives in the forest and takes insane photos of every amazing woodland creature you can imagine as well as other wildlife.  In fact, go follow him. His snaps will brighten your day. I particularly love the birds, and tried to paint them:
i will not rest until i can capture the bird face.  it's so hard.

this one is ok except i broke the bird's beak. :(  Sorry.

 Watercolors suit my personality.  They've got a laissez-faire quality I really enjoy. It helps me to just let go, see what happens. It's a form of painting by water where part of your role is to just see what picture will be revealed.  There are a few high stress moments like with the eyes (deep breath) but other than that, I just see where the flow takes me, what colors I can achieve.  I like it.



Craig said...

I'm finally reading this and delighting that we are soul sisters in our love for Easter and dyeing eggs and all that good stuff.

Also, Colton has those same socks that Julian is wearing (mostly green, with some orange and grey striped throughout) and that also makes me happy.

I need to make myself paint!!!


)en said...