Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pink, Pirates and Eggs


One of the favorite sayings of a little bunny named Max is frequently echoed in our household. There's just something about pirates that makes all little boys dream of being one someday. We've decided to get it over with in our household and let Gabriel be a pirate for a whole day - the day of his third birthday party.
The invitations have been sent (the Facebook invitations, that is) and the planning has begun. I've decided that since we're going to do a theme at all, we might as well do it right. ...Which is why I bought a wooden model 3-mast, 22 gun ship that's 18" tall and 2' long. Not exactly a necessary purchase, I'll admit, but while I was cruising through Value Village with the pirate theme in the back of my mind, and I happened to see this gorgeous ship at the end of one of the aisles, well... what would you have done??? So, $15 later and I am now the proud owner of a ship - an expenditure which my husband has no wish to censure, and my comment of, "We can sell it after the party" was utterly scorned by him this evening.

As I alluded to above, the pirate ship was not my main reason for being at Value Village. Tomorrow is my niece's 3rd birthday party (she and Gabe are 8 days apart) and the theme that she picked was "pink". That's it - Pink. Everyone will be wearing pink, the house will be decorated with pink, the food will be pink... It's all pink. Well, neither Matt, nor Gabe, nor Nathaniel had any pink clothes, so I opted to hit up Value Village for outfits that would last them for the party. Nathaniel was a complete strike out, but my sister had already offered up an outfit for him - check. Matt got an American Eagle pink plaid shirt that I plan to inherit after the party - check. And Gabe... well that one was hard. Anything pink in his size was frilly, flowery, and obviously feminine. There was nothing of any real potential, except... blue. From several unfortunate incidents involving bleach and nice clothes of mine, I have learned that dark blue bleaches pink. You see where this is going, right? So I picked up a blue shirt, brought it home, made a stencil and sprayed it with bleach. I put a cardboard piece inside to keep the bleach from seeping through the layers because I wanted a different design on the front and the back. First I sprayed it with a light mist of diluted bleach. Then I sprayed a more focused stream quickly across the front, leaving brighter blotches. Next, I sprayed a stream of more concentrated bleach around the stencil to make it stand out more. I let that set a bit, removed the stencil, flipped it over and sprayed a stream on a diagonal across the back. The end product actually looks quite cute! And with all my picture taking today I failed to get a shot of this project, so I'll have to post it another day!

Tomorrow is Good Friday and as a Christian, Easter is one of the most important times of year for me. To celebrate the fact that my Savior not only came, and died, but also rose is huge - it's what my whole life revolves around actually.
I tried to convey that to Gabe in a way that a two year old would understand. He might not fully understand the ramifications of Christ's atonement of sin, but He does get that Easter is a big deal in our household. The rest we'll chip away at bit by bit.

Today we prepped for Easter by decorating eggs. We had never done this with Gabe before so he was rather confused when I showed him a picture of brightly colored eggs. "Why are those eggies silly, Mommy?" Sigh... I love him. Gabe's recently decided that his favorite color is green, and for the first time he's actually sticking by a 'favorite'. Everything from his underwear, to his dinnerware has to be green. Care to guess what color his eggs were?
I opted to dye Gabe's eggs with KoolAid, but I wanted them to be more fun that just a solid color. So once the eggs were boiled and cooled we broke out the crayons. Gabe had fun drawing on the eggs and he even thought that was enough beautifying of the eggs - until he saw the green KoolAid. He had loads of fun gently stirring the eggs in the KoolAid and he kept checking to see if they really were turning color. Unfortunately, after taking out the second egg I went to get my camera, realized it was low on batteries and detoured to take them out. When I came back the third egg was a little... overdone. You can see that it looks flaky in some of the pictures. Fortunately I was able to wipe that off and then salvage the egg by more dying later, but be warned! - That's how it goes down when you let KoolAid eggs sit too long!
Once I got the boys down for a nap (which they both skipped yesterday, which explains the lack of a post from then - no naps = no time for fun projects!) I went about dying the eggs I had blown out earlier in the week. Matt never tracked down a dremel for me to make a clean hole so I could fill them with chocolate, so I decided just dying them would have to do for this year. I followed Martha Stewart's instructions for Marbleized Eggs and I realized something - regular food coloring is not the same as the stuff she uses. I'd probably have to use a whole little bottle of food coloring to get anywhere near the intense color she has on some of her eggs. For the base color you can let the egg sit longer to soak up more of the color, but for the actual marbleized effect, it's a one-pass deal; you dip the egg in, roll it once and take it out - done. Anyway, you can see from my pictures that some of my eggs worked better than others. I'm reasonably happy with the end product, but I think that for next year I'll have to order some crazy strong food dye so I can make some more stunning eggs.
I did 5 eggs with a yellow base, and 5 with a blue base. I love blue speckled eggs (check out my Easter board on Pinterest for proof), but some of my favorite ones I did were with the yellow base. The blue ones all ended up looking too similar. In person you can see subtle differences, but I wasn't able to pick them up in the pictures with the lighting I had (I take pictures on my bench seat in my living room to get natural light in, but it was too late in the afternoon when I took these for really good lighting)((Incidentally, I almost fell off my bench seat today trying to get better angles for some shots...))

Well, it's about an hour after I started writing this, thanks to interruptions from excited little kids who don't understand the importance of sleep. I've still got laundry and packing to do, not to mention I was planning on showering tonight. Oh yes, and at some point, I've got to sleep too!

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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