Saturday, March 30, 2013

How to make batik Easter eggs

Happy Easter! 

Near where I come from in Saxony (South-East Germany) live the Sorbs (not to be confused with the Serbs), an ethnic minority that has been living in the area of Lusatia since the 6th century. They have their own language and traditions, among them the art of making the most wonderful Easter eggs. You can read more about the Sorbs here
While my family is not Sorbian, we have been making those Easter eggs in our family for a long, long time and now I am doing it with my own children on the other side of the world, in Australia. The technique is a simple batik one that children can enjoy as long as you can trust them around an open flame. With supervision, naturally. 
You don't need any fancy equipment. The hardest thing to find in Australia is white eggs. Light brown eggs work  too, but it looks best if you can manage to start with a white egg.

This was me and my 3 kids on Good Friday. Step right in. Excuse the messy kitchen...

Step 1: 
An empty egg. Make a hole, blow the egg out...

...Scrub it gently and dry it. 
Cleaning it  is important or the colours won't stick.

Step 2:
Melt some beeswax in an oil lamp. Real beeswax is by far the best and you can get it from a beekeeper. If that's not possible then get a good quality candle and melt that. Cheap stuff won't work. 

Here are the tools you'll need:

A cork with a pin in it (a glass pin is preferable) and some chicken or goose feathers. Cut the tip of the feather into simply shapes, like triangles and diamonds. Mine get used again and again, so they're looking a bit scruffy.

Step 3:
Once the beeswax is totally melted, dip the pin into the wax, let it heat up and use it straight away to paint on the egg. You can make spots and lines, perfect for flowers. Joel made some Japanese words. Not really the traditional design, but still fun.
Everything you paint now will stay white in the end.

Step 4:
Make some dye. 
I have some real Easter egg dye, but if you don't have that, improvise with a few drops of food dye in a cup of water. Whatever you use, it's important that you add a table spoon of vinegar to fixate the colours. And the water has to be cool by the time you dye the egg or the wax will melt.
I like to use a spoon and a bamboo skewer in the hole to hold the egg under water. Let all the air bubbles come out and it will stay under. The longer the eggs stays in, the deeper the colour gets. Not rocket science, really.

Here is how I made a multi-coloured egg: 
Dip the feather into the wax and press it against the egg. 
You can make lines with the pin like this:

Everything you've just painted will stay white.The finished egg will look best if there is plenty of white, so got to town.
Now dye your egg yellow.
Paint some more designs on the yellow. Those will be yellow in the end. Now dye it orange.
Now paint on the orange. You get the idea. Keep adding as many colours as you'd like, but always paint something first.
 Next I dyed my egg red and then dark pink. You always go from lightest colour to darkest, not the other way around. 
And how do you get the wax off? 

Step 5:
Hold the finished and dried egg close to a flame and let the wax melt, then wipe it off with a tissue. 
Wipe it all over the egg as you go, This gives the egg a nice shine and will protect the dye from fading. You can even hang those eggs outside.
The colours will really shine now and the first layer turns out white. 
Now it looks nice and beautiful.

Step 6:
Cut a match or toothpick in half, tie on some thread and feed it into the hole of the egg:

Now you can hang it up. Done! 

And here is our Easter bouquet:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

little forest fairy

When you have several photos that are very similar and you have already scrapped your favourite photo on one page, what do you do with the others? I had that dilemma. I scrapped the best photo last year, which was published in Australian Scrapbook Ideas. Now I  had no more of that paper, but several more photos. Here's a solution: Use a similar colour scheme and scrap all those leftover photos in a fun pattern of circles. You can use up to 6 photos that way.

Now I have 2 pages that are nothing alike but will sit well together in an album. (I have already given the page on the right to my sister, so I can't take a photo in similar lighting, but you get the idea.) 

We will do the circle layout in class next week, so if you haven't passed out from an Easter chocolate overload, come along! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bushranger show

 So I've hurt something. My shoulder is so sore and I can't sit at the computer for long. Some sort of joint dysfunction. Until it gets better, I'll keep my posts short. Here is next week's home class project: 

You can make the photo mat into a pocket if you have lots of memorabilia or extra photos. 
Lots of fun texture and stamping on different surfaces. Despite the cork there was no bottle to empty. So all you happy helpers can put your hands down...

Unfortunately I've had to give up teaching at Kaisercraft because the long drive there and back was killing me. I just have to take time out and get better. But the good news is my home classes are still on.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


 How cool is it to stop by the side of the road and eat blackberries to your heart's content! We're making this funky little page in my home class next week.

There are groovy little felt circles...

...some stamping and Sew Ribbon stitching...

...and sparkly letters... 


... similar to the ones I did for the last post: 

This one has the new sugar beads from my2angels. If you like those on your letters, follow this link to see all the colours available. 

We can cut chipboard letters on my Cricut if you don't have any, they will look like this:

 ♥♥ Geli ♥♥

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fab titles with sugar beads

In an effort not to end up on the "Hoarders" TV show I've been trying to use up bits and pieces from my stash. Here I made a background from 2 papers and a barcode strip, added some stickers, an old rosette and some arrows. So far so good.


Stashbuster pages are great but they sometimes end up looking a bit slapped together. Which they are!
Especially my title chipboard looked to be from the last century (it is). I glammed it up with some mint crush sugar beads from my2angels.
(The letters were already printed in different shades and patterns of green.)

First I covered the bottom of the letters with Glossy Accents and covered them with sugar beads. The bigger beads tend to come out first and I made sure there were plenty of them. I let that dry and then repeated it with the smaller microbeads that come out last. I let the original colour show through on the top of the letters, giving it all a multi-coloured effect.
2 more coats of Glossy Accents kept everything in place.


The waves below the title are quick to stitch with the Sew Easy tool and the scallop head.
All my2angels Haberdashery products can be found here in the Haberdashery Section
Did you spot the little ship's steering wheel charm? You can sew them on with an embroidery stitch!

So, if you have some unloved stuff on the bottom of your stash, glam it up with some fabulous sugar beads!