Create Your Own Eggshell Masterpiece

I’m taking a break from our regularly scheduled programming to share with you the best holiday “craft” I’ve ever done, hands down.

The idea came from a pin that I saved and then later realized led to a broken link. Since there aren’t ready-made instructions to point to, I’m taking a moment to write out the steps (which are much easier than I’d expected when I set about to figure this out myself) because you’re going to want to do this.

Seriously, you have to do this. It doesn’t matter if you have kids or not if I’m being honest, I did this more because I wanted to than because I knew L would dig it. I’ve always wanted to make my own faux Jackson Pollock – it’s literally on my bucket list – and this project allows you to be joyful while also unleashing any pent-up frustration you might have lying around in there, and end up with a thing of beauty (or at least a good old-fashioned outdoor mess!).

Get some eggs. Get some paint. Do iiiitttttt.

The sticking point for me when I started trying to figure out how to make this work was how in the world to empty eggshells and then fill them with paint. I googled “how to make a hole in an eggshell” and “how to cut the top off an eggshell.” I learned about fancy tools made for these purposes. I read anecdotes about people’s grandmas preparing blown eggs when they were children. I came across detailed knife-sharpening recommendations. I checked to see if we own an awl (we don’t).

The real trick: don’t overthink it. When it came right down to it, I didn’t need eggs with perfect little holes or with the tops neatly cut off; I needed empty eggshells that could hold paint.

So, to start your project: Take an egg. Take a spoon. Whack the skinnier, pointy end of the egg with the spoon.

6E7A9A3B-FB49-4494-976B-5BFD873109C0That’s it. A good whack or two should crack the end enough that you can pull a few chips of shell off, shake out the contents (I saved the eggs and made a breakfast casserole), and have a big enough opening to easily squeeze some paint into. It wasn’t hard at all – I prepared 20 eggs in less than 15 minutes and I didn’t lose a single shell to accident or error.

Step two: Rinse out the inside of the empty egg shells and let them dry. I’m assuming this might be important, although I didn’t test what happens when raw egg white and paint mix. I actually prepared our egg shells a few days beforehand.

Then, simply fill the empty shells with paint (I used paint that came in a squeeze bottle and filled the shells about ⅔ full), prop a large canvas up against a tree or other surface you don’t mind getting some paint on, and have at it.

CDC00C51-16EE-41B2-A6C1-0AFD213FC3FC

The canvas we used is 30” x 40” and was on sale for just $14 at Michael’s. I balked at the first large canvas I came across that was $75 dollars, but we kept walking and found the discount canvas section just beyond the fancy ones.

L’s first throw wasn’t hard enough, and the egg ricocheted off without breaking, so this might not be ideal for younger kids or kids who will have trouble throwing with some force (L is almost six and has quite the cannon, for a t-ball player). Luckily, if the egg doesn’t break, you can just pick it up and try again. We were even able to refill and rethrow a couple shells that made good contact but stayed mostly intact. Just be sure your kids know to pick up the shells with the open side up!D67A01F3-99E7-4EFF-A183-69B7CCCA0821.jpeg

This was SO fun. Our masterpiece is currently drying and is going to hang in a place of honor in our basement. I kind of wish I had prepared a few more eggs just so Z and I could have thrown a few more ourselves (we ended up doing around 5 each while L did the other half) but I’m honestly not sure how much more paint this canvas could hold!

Follow @ThisGutsyLife on Twitter

42343820-5B96-4D2C-87F2-1794395BE3E6.jpeg

Advertisements

Marathon

This morning L participated in the “Read, Right, & Run” marathon. Today’s race was just a 1.2-mile course — still a fairly formidable challenge for a kindergartener! — but it was the culmination of a months-long commitment to read 26 books, do 26 good deeds, and run a cumulative 26 miles.

It took us more than three months to complete the entire marathon. We read and read and read. We picked up litter at the park, put quarters in all the carts at ALDI, made cards for family members, delivered treats to neighbors, shared snacks and toys with G when she was sad. And L spent his weekend afternoons and even his recesses at school running, bit by bit, completing an entire marathon one half-lap at a time.

L learned — and sometimes struggled with — new and difficult concepts like pacing yourself, patience, and keeping going even when things are hard. Lord knows he’s done all these things before, without realizing it, but this was the first time he’d faced some of these concepts head-on, by choice, across weeks and months, and he rose to the challenge admirably.

On the way out, Z and I wanted to grab a coffee, so we took a different route out of the park — one that took us right by the hospital. As we paused at a stoplight, I looked up to see this shiny new hospital tower rising above us, and it took my breath away.

771DE070-734E-4930-88BD-8222D1A9972F.jpegYou see, for more than three years, L and Z and I watched this tower being built from the windows of the neighboring children’s hospital. We were admitted so many times I’ve lost count, and for a truck-loving toddler, there was no better entertainment during those endless inpatient hours than watching the crane swing slowly but surely around, watching the construction workers do their well-choreographed dance, watching a giant made of concrete and steel materialize before our eyes.

We watched that tower rise, bit by bit, layer by layer. At times it was a marker of my frustration; they had made so much progress, and here we were, back again, making so little.

They weren’t quite finished with it last time we were inpatient — now over two years ago, thanks to the incredible surgeons and GI team who work in that very building. And now, today, the tower stands complete, and my son has run a marathon.

“Mama,” I heard a little voice say from the back seat. “Mama! I wouldn’t have been able to do the marathon if I was in the hospital, would I?”

No, buddy, no you wouldn’t; but you wouldn’t have been able to do it without that hospital, either.

Follow @ThisGutsyLife on Twitter

A1B507A7-51F9-48C0-8AFF-065ABF53846F.jpeg