Gilded & Naturally-dyed Easter Eggs

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Growing up, I had so much fun dipping perfectly white eggs into their colored baths and watch them instantly emerge in vibrant hues. Now that I’m a mom and try my best to keep artificial colorings and such out of the house, I wanted to experiment with coloring our eggs with none other than….REAL FOODS! Beets, onions, turmeric – all things that I wouldn’t mind if they seeped through the pores of the eggshell a bit…maybe it’ll even count as a serving of veggies ;). Even the glue used to adhere the gold-leaf was made with rice.

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So an idea I’ve had for a while was to take these naturally-dyed (and even more edible!) eggs and use gold-leaf to bring it to another level of pretty.  The concept had been floating around in my head for a couple years, but it wasn’t until this year that I was able to try it out. It took a bit of organization and preparation, and some turned out different form my expectations, but I was so happy with the results! I love that you don’t have to be perfect with the dying or the gilding, it’s a very forgiving design that I was able to do with my 3-year old wanting to “help” with every step.

What you’ll need:

-a dozen eggs (white results in more vivid colors than brown)

-dye materials as described below

-a couple teaspoons of rice flour or cooked white rice

-a couple Tablespoons of water

-small paintbrush

-4-5 sheets of gold leaf

-sponge, the kind with a scratchy side works well

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Steps:

First I made the dyes, using this guide and made about 4 cups of dye per color (2-3 eggs at a time).

-Blue: red cabbage

-Green: red cabbage plus a 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

-Rich orange: yellow onion skins

-Beige-y: beets (was supposed to be pink…tried twice…maybe bad beets?)

-Deep Rust: red onion skins (on brown eggs)

Next, I made some “perfectly” hard-boiled eggs – mostly white ones, but I threw in a couple brown eggs as well just to compare. They soaked in the fridge overnight….this step is more an art than a science, just rotate when you can to prevent white spots and take them out when you like the color!

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The next day was for drying and gilding. As the eggs dried on a plate in the fridge, I noticed the colors changed a bit. The blue tone warmed up a bit and the pink (beet) eggs turned more beige. Use bit of parchment paper in between to keep eggs separated, if needed.

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Meanwhile I made a little batch of rice glue and carefully tore the gold sheets into randomly sized pieces. Using a light hand, I dabbled the glue all over a dried egg and applied the gold leaf, lighting pressing down the edges. After about halfway dry, I took the sponge and broke up the edges. Dry fully and refrigerate until they are ready to be hidden and eaten! Enjoy 🙂

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Wow. Oils!

OK, so seeing as though my track record is a whopping 2 posts a year, I don’t know if I’ll be breaking any posting streaks, but I’m really excited to share something that’s been a new wonder to me: Essential oils. The therapeutic-grade kind.

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I’m a smells kind of girl… I used to think that being a “Nose” for a fancy parfumerie would be a dream job before I was turned off by the idea of lab-created synthetic fragrances being less than ideal for health. Fast forward to this week, when my friend introduced me to pure natural essential oils. I was intrigued and convinced of the safety/purity enough to purchase a starter kit from Young Living. At the least they will make my home smell lovely, right? At best, they can overhaul and detoxify my medicine cabinet. Initially, I wondered if it was mostly for psychosomatic benefits, but this morning’s incident is starting to turn me into a believer:

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I’m just starting to get my feet wet with this stuff, so I’ll share more of my experiences as I learn and discover!

xoxo,

Julie