It's that time of year again. . .
. . . time for our annual combination of school studies. . .
. . . we thought we'd focus on the green that's soon to come. . .
. . . on the study of plants.
- Hard boiled or dry blown out white eggs
- Your favorite egg dye and paints (we're partial to these natural dyes and paints but whatever you have on hand would work perfectly)
- Old pantyhose
- Fresh botanical specimens: if they are available outside right now where you live then take a walk to collect a few. If it's still too cold to find any green, you can take few leaves from house plants, pick up herbs from the grocery store, or even a few cut flowers)
- Your favorite books on botany
I really loved the way that all of the various foliage looked on the eggs, so I chose to only use leaves for the silhouettes, but you could also put in flowers as well. I found that specimens with soft leaves (or petals) work best as they make a good seal and a better silhouette. When you have your specimens, cut the pantyhose into pieces about 5"-6" and tie a knot in one end. Place your egg inside the tube and place your leaves where you would like them to be. You might have to push them down a bit as you gather the top part of the nylon to tie up (they can move a bit at this stage). Secure the nylon in place with a knot (the tighter you can get the pantyhose the better the silhouettes you'll have). Dye the eggs following the instructions of the dye of your choice. When you have removed them from the dye, you can let them dry with the nylon in place or take it off immediately. If you remove it right away, dab the egg dry with a paper towel to make sure the excess dye doesn't run into the silhouette.
Full Color Plant Studies in a Cameo Frame:
Submerge an egg in dye leaving the top face above the liquid. Hold down until it reaches the color you like, and then remove and dry. I like the way it looks when there is a little color variation around the edge of the oval frame so I dipped most of my cameo eggs in two colors. Then, use an plant guide or a real specimen to help you copy the coloration of your favorite flowers and plants.
As an added educational element, I made small paper tags for each egg with both the common and Latin names of the specimens.
*Last time in Crafts and Activities: Cloth Garden Calender