Monday, April 05, 2010
We dyed eggs this year using natural dyes for the first time. There are reasons behind this. Sophia is highly interested in natural dyes. So am I--in 8th grade art class we made our own paint with various natural substances. It was great fun. I loved as a kid finding sandstone rocks that made different streaks on concrete. And I dye fabric when I have the time and inclination. I love to tie-dye and vat dye and all that. The girl scout troop, next fall, will most likely be learning about dye to go along with a spinning project...anyway, I know eggs are a far cry from fabric, but when Mary P over at Not Mary Poppins posted a link about natural egg dyeing I HAD TO.
In this basket are a few--the center is coffee. The light blue is, surprisingly, purple cabbage. Below that, the brownish-green is spinach (I was hoping for more of a spring green but it was our first time). The two dark eggs are almost navy-purple in person. One is dark tart cherries in syrup (from a can) and the other is purple grape juice. Between those two, the orange one is paprika, and the gray one at the very bottom is a puzzle. It's pickled beet juice, which I'd read would be a lavender-pink. But it is definitely gray. It's a gorgeous gray, mind you, but it was still weird when we pulled it out.
So boiling and adding vinegar and soaking them (for several hours as opposed to the food color method of my childhood, which takes, what, 5 minutes?), added together with cake baking the next morning to take to my mom's house for Easter dinner....my kitchen was a wreck Sunday evening. It's recovered, but it definitely suffered for our art.
And it was so much fun! The mystery of what they'd become, the empowering feeling (which seems cheesy but is part of many things I do by hand or from scratch) that we could do this without fizzy tablets or bottles of food color, the mess--it was all such a good project. I didn't take pictures, alas, of the process, mostly because the camera was upstairs and the kitchen was such a wreck. But at least there are the results. Sophia ate a light blue and a gray for lunch today. She loves them...she has a week of hard-boiled eggs ahead of her.