It’s another major holiday, so that means it’s time for me to pay another visit to the Craft Failure department.

I don’t know why I try. I don’t. I think it’s because I am surrounded by some truly, amazingly, unbelievably-talented crafty people and I believe this will somehow rub off on me. More likely, it’s because on holidays like Easter the traditionalist in me is disturbed by how few traditions we seem to have.  I do believe in the importance of cultural and family touchstones. I do want my children to be able to anticipate what’s to come each year based on the year before. I do want them to have fond memories of their childhood focused around things we do together.

However, I’m beginning to fear I’m going to have to hire those things out to someone more competent.

I wanted to dye Easter eggs.

Is that really too much to ask?

It probably was, considering that in the deepest, most in-denial part of my imagination, the finished eggs looked something like this:

Photo borrowed from the clearly infinitely more talented Avelino Maestas on Flickr.

Spoiler alert: our eggs didn’t look like that.

Let’s go through some reasons why:

  1. I couldn’t be bothered to purchase actual egg dye, or go through the effort of making homemade natural dyes, and opted instead to use the food coloring that had been in the cupboard for, oh, three years.  Food coloring can be used to dye eggs but, as I discovered and you will, too, shortly, it’s not all the subtle. Or pretty. Or easy to blend.
  2. I neglected to do things like “investigate technique,” or “gather supplies,” or “dig any deeper in the junk drawer once I found a single rubber band to use for a stripe.”
  3. I was working with eggs from our chickens, which are not pure white.  Or perfectly smooth. Some of them were actually blue.
  4. I thought that it would be fun to simply paint glitter onto the blue ones. Okay, glitter glue. Okay, glue with big sparkly chunks in it.
  5. The purple didn’t come out purple. The purple came out brown. Apparently red + blue = purple is too difficult an equation for me to follow.
  6. Annabel dropped an egg.
  7. Sam tried to eat an egg.
  8. I attempted to draw a design on one, despite having the hand-eye coordination of a drunken orangutan.
  9. And, oh yes, I was working with two preschoolers.

At the end of an hour I was covered in food coloring with glitter glue in my hair, and this is what we produced.


It’s not quite what I envisioned.

Annabel came around the corner later in the afternoon and peered into the basket. “WOW!” she said. “Those are bee-YOO-ti-ful.”

For a moment I believed her.  I believed that we really had produced something homespun, yes, but essentially lovely.

Then I remembered that this was a girl who dressed herself that day in a shirt with one kind of stripe, a dress with another, a floral print skirt, and leggings with dogs all over them. This is who I’m taking my taste cues from? What does she know?

But maybe she’s onto something. Maybe that’s our Easter tradition: making really crappy crafts, getting glitter everywhere, and pretending that it’s all beautiful in the end.

Nah. She’s only four. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

Happy Easter.

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