I knew that this would be a tough week, and I was correct! I still can't spill the details, but now that I am back in the swing of things I wanted to share some of what has been keeping me busy since returning home to Tennessee.... on the red-eye (ugh!)
I was off from work on Monday to recover from the trip, and the red-eye, so that made for a three day work week (with school closed on Good Friday) I decided before I left, that this week would be PERFECT for making Easter Eggs with my students. We used to do Ukrainian Easter Eggs every year, but when we moved to our new building in 2008, those supplies got packed up and never revisited. Likewise, I haven't bothered to pull out my supplies at home since Lydia's first Easter in 2009. As you will see, the technique is difficult (dangerous) with small kids around.
The egg shown above is one of the last eggs that I made. It was designed for Lydia on the occasion of her first Easter. Sounds like next year I will have to make a plan to design an egg for the new baby's first Easter. For now, it was challenging enough to teach over a hundred teenagers the process, while recovering from jet lag!
If you aren't familiar with the process, here is the basic idea. This is a wax resist process, so you start by loading bees wax into a special tool with a little metal funnel. In college, I saw someone demonstrate this technique but didn't catch where to buy the tools. The Internet was still a relatively new concept, so I couldn't just google it! I actually made my own tool by wiring a metal icing tip (basically a funnel) to the end of a handle (a paintbrush). It sort of worked, but thankfully my mother found the real deal at the Ukrainian Gift Shop. If you follow the link, it will lead you to my favorite starter kit of tools and special dyes......unless you would prefer to make your own!
Next you melt the wax over a candle. So in addition to trying to recover from the most insane weekend ever (and a red eye flight) I was also making sure that a hundred high school students did not burn themselves or the school!
Once the wax is hot, you can draw any design on an egg. Whatever color the egg is when you apply the wax, that is what color the design will be. I only had to say that to my students four thousand time and several still gave me a blank stare.
So you apply wax, dye the egg a light color, apply more wax, dye it a darker color, apply more wax, dye it a darker color, etc., etc. Makes sense right? Not if you are in high school! (BTW my nails are a casualty of my busy weekend trip. They have not been fixed yet, but will be fixed soon!)
The last steps involve emptying the egg (a really disgusting process requiring both hands, so no pictures) and melting the wax off of the egg to reveal all the beautiful colors. (Traditional Ukrainian eggs use a special kind of dye that gets really dark permanent colors)
So here is the one and only egg that I was able to make this year. Next year, I have vowed to show Lydia that process. For now, I will end by showing you all the eggs I have made in the past.