It started a few years ago, no, scratch that (ha, ha, pun intended even if you don’t get it yet) it started when I was a child. Probably the biggest Easter event in my childhood home was decorating Easter Eggs. My mom, my sister, Penny, and I would decorate at a minimum one dozen hard boiled eggs each. Then when we were done with the hard boiled eggs we would decorate every raw egg in the house. We had multiple types of dyes, dyeing tools, stained fingers, and beauty to behold. We spent hours on our creations.
So, it’s really no surprise to me that when my mother-in-law described the eggs her mother used to decorate, I was all for the challenge. My mother-in-law creates the traditional onion skin colored eggs. It’s akin to a tie-dye method where she places greens, leaves, or pine needles on a cheese cloth, ties it around a white egg, and boils it in a bath of onion skins. Liene, cousin-in-law, in France has some fantastic examples of this method on her blog here. There is another traditional, less common, decoration, which is to take an egg and scratch a design into the brown stain. This was the challenge I opted for.
Yesterday, my MIL designed, tied, and dyed her eggs, plus two all brown ones for me.
The first year, I tried several tools for scratching the designs and settled on a straight pin. (which reminds me that I’ll need to buy her a corsage for Mother’s Day so that I have a new sharpened pin for next year’s eggs) The large pins for corsages are easier to handle and stronger to take the pressure.
On the day of scratching, I wander around the house until a design catches my eye.
we’ll see how well I did…
Latvian designs are very geometric which is probably why my mathematical brain likes them so much. However, it is difficult to create symmetrical, geometrical designs on a surface that is rounded and narrower at one end. My portions never look quite right. This shears (inside joke, right, Jeanne?) was the best that I have done so far.
Although, I was pleased with the symeritry on the first one, I thought it lacked something.
A glutton for punishment, I started on the next egg. The shell was harder, the pin duller, and the design was just not coming out right.
Because I can not leave well enough alone, I continued to add additional designs to take away from the failure of my second design. It was only then that I realized how much the added borders and shapes enhanced the look of the egg. So, I went back to the first egg and added more geometric shapes.
MIL was proud enough to take these to baznīcu (church) to show off to her friends.