Episode Twenty Five – Goodbye, America

The other part of my spring trip I want to tell you about is our egg-dyeing session. Of course. As I’ve mentioned, Grant has an account of our D.C. trip in the pipeline, and while I’d love to tell you the whole story from my perspective too, I don’t really think anyone cares so much about those three days to require two separate accounts. Plus, I might have a shot at finally getting this blog up to date if I let him take this one.

So again, I don’t expect this to be super-long. Aside from regular coupley things like coffee, cooking and going to the mall, which was lovely for us but probably not riveting material for my readers, our greatest achievement was undoubtedly the dyeing of our Easter eggs. As Easter was late this year, I was back home by the time it rolled around, but I wasn’t going to let this stop us getting our hands dirty. I am crazy about making things – there’s nothing that can make me prouder than the act of producing some visually pleasing thing from scratch. As though I need to tell you that. I’ll share with you some of my more recent projects soon enough, but for now I’ll stick with the egg-dyeing.

As you’ll have seen, the creative endeavours Grant and I have undertaken together tend to be hugely successful, and there’s something magical about sharing the making process with someone you love – especially when the end project is something which represents a celebration, a particular season, or even just time spent together. I like having souvenirs from my visits, and there’s nothing like a handmade souvenir!

You will need…

So I downloaded Martha Stewart’s egg-dyeing app for my iPod and dragged Grant out to get all the necessary materials. Apparently he knows Martha better than I do, because I took her egg-blowing video tutorial at face value and figured it’d be every bit as easy as she made it look; he was much more skeptical. Against his better judgement, I spent about $7 on an aspirator from CVS and only used it on two or three eggs before giving up. One of them exploded. So heads up – blowing eggs is difficult, frustrating and time consuming. Don’t let Martha fool you. And while it’s nice to be able to keep the eggs you make if you blow them instead of boiling, it also makes them float when you put them in the dye solution. Which makes everything much more difficult then, too.

Apart from the eggs themselves, all we really needed were various colours of food colouring. I recommend you fork out on good stuff if you’re serious about egg-dyeing (who’s serious about egg dyeing?), and steer away from cheap off-brand alternatives. We followed the instructions to the letter, and this is how the ‘purple’ came out:

It’s the one on the right – we didn’t take a picture of it on its own. I’m sure you can guess why.

Ever-creative soul that I am, I rectified the situation with an experimental bleach treatment – but I do believe a nice purple hue would have turned out more pleasantly than my… interesting… final result.

At least it looks more impressive now…

To be fair, though, if the purple hadn’t come out the way it did, I never would have thought to try spraying eggs with bleach solution for the ‘spatter’ effect, and I never would have produced this gem:

Known to Grant as the ‘cloud’ egg. Fair enough, I say.

So next Easter, once you’ve downloaded your Martha Stewart app and got in your egg-dyeing supplies, bear in mind that removing some of your dye with bleach-based household cleaner is another cool way of decorating your eggs. Wear gloves though, that stuff isn’t too kind to skin. Martha’s other tips are also well worth a shot too: Grant and I were working with fairly primitive tools and supplies, but I dream of the day when we have embossing powder coming out of our ears, gorgeous embellishments abounds, and heaps of time to make a proper project out of it. We can take the kiddlywinks out for a forage in the woods and mask our eggs with foliage; we can cut shapes from vinyl and make cute patterns; and we can apply wax with a stylus and make hand-drawn designs.

Yes, I’m something of a romantic. But preparing for celebrations is probably my favourite part of the process, I’m coming to realise. I’m tempted to post links to all the awesome egg-decorating how-tos I kept finding three months ago when it was actually relevant; but I won’t. I’ll be more on-the-ball next year, with any luck.

Grant gives a throwback to his time in Scotland with the classic tartan egg.

So that leaves us with three full seasons’ worth of crafts – the cannibalistic pumpkin we carved back in October (my personal favourite so far, I have to say); the ‘gingerbread’ (read: graham cracker) house of Christmas Eve, and April’s Easter eggs. It’s so exciting, welcoming in a new season! Honestly, I think the year would be so much harder to get through if it weren’t for the constant changes in climate and the endless excuses for new celebrations.

What is there to do for summer, though? What will we have time to make in Costa Rica this July?

As if you need a holiday to celebrate summer. Summer is the celebration! I guess we’ll just have to take lots of pictures of the beach and the sea and the sun, and make a collage or something.

As for the rest of my spring visit, there really isn’t that much else to recount, for once. I apologise if I’m being lazy by not posting about D.C., which was definitely one of the highlights of the trip – of course! – but it seems a little redundant and, judging by the word count Grant gave me for his post so far, he doesn’t seem to be leaving any stone unturned in his account of the weekend. All that said, I may get to it at some point nonetheless – I do seem to be getting back into the blogging vibe of late.

Grant’s ‘Galaxy’ Egg – I brought this one home with me.

On that note, I’m hoping (no commitments, you’ll notice!) to keep up with what’s been going on with me lately, now that I’m back in Scotland. Jenny remarked recently that I never post about my life here, and while the idea behind this blog in the first place was to let everyone back home know what I was up to on my travels, I do think my neglect of my time in Scotland makes it seem like I attribute less importance to the time I spend here. Which is just not the case – I have plenty to say, and as Grant has pointed out, I should be saying it. Documenting your experiences is a great thing to have done when you come to look back on it.

Plus, I’m always finding cool crafts and stuff on the internet which I always decide to repost and never get around to it. I need to work on improving my relationship with WordPress!

That’s for another time, though. One more thing for today: I mentioned earlier the other major product to come out of my visit to Ohio. I had a linguistics dissertation to hand in the day after I got back to Scotland (the same day I also had a Portuguese oral exam and wisdom-tooth surgery – in that order, thankfully). For the dissertation, though, we had a choice of subject areas and of language to focus on; and I ended up discussing the external influences on the Scots language. It was actually quite an interesting topic to work with – enlightening for me anyway – and the research I put into it did change my view on language in the U.K., which I think is a sign of a worthwhile assignment. Anyway, this is the part where the delay between the actual fact and my blogging about it comes in handy. I can spare you the suspense and the nailbiting, and reveal that my dissertation passed at 59% (so almost a B – why would they do that??!), with which I’m not over the moon because I thought it was an in-depth study of the issue; but I’m willing to accept it. It was way over the recommended length and focused on the influences of Old English, which is technically an ancestor rather than external factor affecting the development of Scots. Anyway, all I needed in linguistics was 40% as it’s not my degree, so I can deal with an overall C, which is what I’ve got since the essay was worth 60% of my grade, and I got 48% (:S) in the exam, which is only worth 40%. Not a grade I’m proud of, but not an essential part of my degree, so ho hum.

I also got Bs in Spanish, French and Portuguese : )

Those I am proud of.

My ‘Sunset’ egg was one of the blown ones, so it’ll last : )

Ok, bragging over – that’s all for now. Best wishes to all… and to all a good night?



P.S. I totally forgot to explain the blog title. As I was in America this spring, I realised that, what with our next plans to see each other involving Grant visiting me – first in Costa Rica and then in Edinburgh – I probably won’t be back in America again for a while. I was sad to say goodbye indefinitely to Grant’s family, of course – they are such happy people to be around! But this next year will be a very exciting chapter of my life, so I’m trying to look forward to that, for now. I’m getting along well and enjoying my last few weeks in Scotland (three weeks from now I’ll be in Costa Rica!), and I’m sure the next few months will be exciting and memorable, to say the very least! Anyway, there you go. Goodbye, America.



Filed under America, Crafts

4 responses to “Episode Twenty Five – Goodbye, America

  1. Colm

    Easter is never late, nor is it early. It arrives precisely when it means to.

  2. I fancy them eggs. I love the new layout/picture/font situation. Looks really good! Sepia is good for the soul!

  3. Thanks Jenny! I had to change my whole layout to use the fonts I wanted, and it ended up being the best thing that ever happened to my blog! :) I do love a bit of sepia, it’s true.

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