Setting the Easter Table

Setting the Easter table I always look forward to.  I find myself to be anxious and excited for Easter brunch or dinner.  As a child we always looked for our Easter basket in the morning so by early afternoon the basket usually was depleted of all signs of candy.  Now, my nieces and nephews have a little more self control.  But there is still lots of energy in the house.  I love to put some sort of rabbit as the centerpiece.  He is the guest of honor after all.  I did some researching to come up with something new this year.  Should I go vintage or cheery cute? Here are a few finds on Etsy from sellers on our team and some not.

Above the top photo is a beautiful spun cotton rabbit carrying his colored easter eggs and ready to do his deliveries on Easter morning.  The details in his face are amazing, the colors of the organic yarn are mesmerizing.  You can purchase him from jejeMae on Etsy.

Above is a rabbit moss ball with a rabbit fern in it.  How appropriate and creative!   Art of Plants is owned by Jenny Stanley in Brooklyn.

From Romi Ceramics, a selection of vases, adding a few spring buds to each one will add some variety and dimension to your table.

Possibly my favorite are these reclaimed wood coasters.  Great to write your guests names on the back side because of the soapstone chalk.  These are from Simply Nu who specialize in sustainable products.

Simply Nu reclaimed wood coaster

Simply Nu reclaimed wood coaster

And last but not least you do need an Easter basket.  Here are some vintage wire baskets from WishboneArt.

Do you have any favorite ways of decorating your Easter table?

Have a wonderful, cheery holiday!



The Secret to Successfully Blowing Out an Egg

A couple of weeks ago Leslie from Astor Knot posted a wonderful tutorial on the art of Pysanky. After reading through the tutorial, I was curious to try blowing out eggs as I've never done it before, and after doing it I thought I would share some tips with all of you who might want to try it. 

1. First, I found out that it is easier to blow out an egg that is room temperature rather than one right out of the refrigerator. Leave your carton of eggs out for a couple of hours first. Another thing that I discovered is that fresher eggs from healthier chickens have a stronger shell that is less likely to break, so spend the extra dollar or two to get better eggs.

2. To poke the holes in the eggs, I used a couple of needles, one small sharp one and one slightly larger one. Using the smaller needle, I gently poked one hole in each end. Then I used the larger needle to make one of the holes slightly larger. Then, I used the larger needle to stir up the inside of the egg, piercing the egg yolk and scrambling the inside.

3. The next step is blowing out the inside of the egg. You can do this by just blowing using your mouth, but I used one of those runny nose sucking tools designed for babies that came in a baby medical kit. It's much more fun to use this on an egg than on an infant. In this case, the egg doesn't scream bloody murder and look at you with betrayal. I put the sucker thing on top of the smaller hole, then pressed the bulb to push out the insides of the egg through the larger hole on the bottom. Do this as gently as possible so you don't break the egg. Keep repeating the process until nothing else comes out.
*Note: In this project, I used a whole carton of eggs and ended up dividing the egg innards into separate bowls which I then used to cook and bake with. Thankfully my family enjoys eggs!

4. After the egg blowing portion of the activity, my daughters and I set off to paint and decorate our new eggs! We decided to paint versus dying so we could get brighter colors, but I think we'll also do some egg dying later this week. Don't want to deprive the girls of tradition.

5. I poked some glass head needles into the top of an egg carton for the eggs to rest on while they dried.

6. Finally, we ran some brown grocery bags through the paper shredder for a "nest" and settled the newly decorated eggs in the basket. The great thing about blown out eggs is that will last as long as your kids will handle them carefully. In our household, that is about three minutes, but you may have better luck in your home. Enjoy!

Until next time,

March Printable: Happy Easter Banner

Yesterday our talented and longtime contributor Kerry of KBatty Designs shared her fun Easter card tutorial with you. Today her Easter banner will kick off our new series of printable downloads created by our Etsy Street Team for you. Use the banner to decorate your home, or to lend some spirit to you Easter brunch festivities.

You can download the complete banner here:

To assemble it follow these instructions:

  1. Print each page on card stock
  2. Trim out each 4 x 4inch square on the gray lines - use scissors, x-acto knife & ruler or paper cutter...whatever you prefer
  3. Use twill tape, ribbon, or twine to hang the banner. You can either tape twine to the back of each square, or more elegantly, punch a hole into each corner of the panels and thread twine or ribbon through each square. Use your imagination!
Quick Tip: Small removable hooks like these work really well for hanging your banner.

A big thank you to Kerry for sharing this with us and have fun with your banner!



A Potato Stamp Tutorial :: Easter Cards

Easter is almost here! Do you celebrate? Want an easy craft to make part of the fun? When you get tired of dying all those eggs (did you see this post last week? Amazing!) pull out your spuds & have some fun with potato stamping. This is so easy it's criminal.

Here's what you need:
Potatoes (you can get several stamps from one potato, but if you have lots of stampers, a few would be a good idea)
Cutting tools such as: a chef's knife, paring knife - I also found my x-acto to be helpful
A cutting board
Stamp pads in fun Easter colors (found at any craft store)
Also optional a glue pad & glitter (but I recommend them as they were my favorite decoration)
Optional markers or pens to decorate the eggs
Paper to practice on
Paper to stamp on (you could also do this on envelopes!)
Paper towels! (not pictured but essential!!)

Also optional is a bowl of lemon water to leave your stamps in while you aren't using them. It keeps them from turning that red/brown that potatoes turn when they've been left out. Like apples. This didn't take very long so I didn't run into that problem.

**Also a note about the cutting tools: obviously you don't want to give kids a knife, so adults should do the cutting here. I did see one guy who used a plastic knife on his potatoes. Use your judgement on whether that is ok for your small ones. 

Oh, I should mention that I actually washed my potatoes first. Just in case there was any dirt on them, I didn't want it to bleed onto my stamp pad or my project.

Step 1: cut your potato

Make sure that you slice straight down to get a flat surface for stamping or carving.

Depending on the size of your potato, you can make several stamps from one spud. I tried it. The variety was subtle but I liked it. Also, it gave me options for carving a few pieces & leaving other slices as whole "eggs". Multiple slices also give you multiple stamps for multiple hands. Great if you are stamping in company.

Step 2: practice

First, use a paper towel take off any excess water that comes out of your potato. To ink your spud, lightly dab it on the stamp pad just as you would a regular rubber stamp. These pick up plenty of ink.

I never go straight to my nice paper. Always practice your impression. I found it helpful to really push down on the center of the slice for a relatively solid print. After a few stamps, I broke out the markers & decorating accessories to figure out what appealed to me. This also gave me other ideas for shapes to carve in my potatoes.

For the "broken egg" on the right, I used a pen & then my x-acto knife to randomly draw the broken pieces on my stamp. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of the actual process, but this YouTube video shows a great example of how to get a stamp like this. You just carve away the parts of the potato that you don't want in your design.

Keep practicing until you are satisfied with a few ideas. It's easy to switch colors with potatoes. I just flipped my slice over or you can wipe off any extra ink. Keep those paper towels handy either way. It's easy to get the ink all over you & everything around you. Which is important to look out for in our next step...

Step 3: Move to your card

After a few practice designs, I figured out what I wanted to stamp. A combo of colors & shapes on most of the cards made for a good look. I used the edge of my green pad to make grass for my "eggs" to sit in. Then came the glitter!!! I loved that the most. I stamped the color, then inked the same potato with the glue pad & stamped right over the same place again. Pour the glitter on, excess goes back in the container. Pretty!!!

Step 4: dry & clean up

This might be the best part. Make sure there aren't any little potato pieces on your stamp pads. Close them up.  Pitch the stamps in the trash. DONE! Make sure all your stamps are dry before putting them away or sending them off. Where I overstamped (2 colors over each other) they took about 10 minutes to dry.

Thanks for joining me! I hope you enjoy doing this project. It's SOOO easy. YouTube has tons of great videos on potato stamps if you're interested in other ideas. With different types of inks or paint, you could make napkins, notebooks, tshirts...Let me know what you create with your potato stamps!