Sorbian Easter Eggs {Tutorial}

Hello,

I have a confession to make: I am not big into Easter decorations at all. Heck I don’t even own Easter decorations. Usually it’s just a pot of flowers and that’s about it.

I grew up with a one simple decoration. Every year we would cut some birch twigs and put them in a huge vase. On Saturday before Easter we would then hang easter eggs to decorate. And as I grew up in a area in Germany where there is a minority called Sorbs living, most of our eggs where made in their traditional way – at least that’s how I remember.

sorbian easter eggs tutorial

Since last year I was having the urge to give this craft another try. I remember we did it as kids but the eggs probably looked horrible. Maybe I can find some on this year’s Easter bouquet.

The sorbs have four different techniques for decorating their easter eggs but I only know how to do the wax batik technique. Wax is applied with special quills to the eggs shell and in various usually very detailed and complicated patterns. Then it is dyed. Different colors can be achieved by dying in many different steps and in-between applying more wax.

To make Sorbian Easter Eggs with the wax batik technique a bit of preparation required though.

Eggs.

I recommend doing this technique on blown out eggs. It is time consuming and it would be sad to have them broken on Easter morning. However it’s up to you but make sure to boil them before starting to craft. Usually the eggs have stamps on them that need to go. With a bit of soap and a brush or sponge you usually get it off. You could also use nail polish remover but you really need to wash the eggs carefully afterwards otherwise the dye will not stick.

Tools.

Feathers are your drawing or better stamping tool for this craft. It’s important to get feather from the wings and goose feathers* are recommended. Then you cut of most of the thin hairlike thingies left and right of the bone of the feather until you have only the tip left. (Sorry not sure how that is called in English but you hopefully know what I mean.) Now you cut your shape. (I just read that a cutter is better suited than scissors… Well next time…) For basic patterns you would need a triangle, a drop, diamond and a arrow shape. The dots are made with the heads of a pin.
tutorial sorbian easter eggs quills and tools

In the picture below you can see what kind of (traditional) shapes can be made with those basic tools:

basic shapes for sorbian easter eggs
source: www.sorbische-ostereier.de

Once you have the quills you need the wax. It is important to use a mixture of regular candle wax and bees wax. The bees wax makes it more flexible to apply and also easier to get off as it melts faster. You also need a tinplate spoon. I used mine out of New Years Eve lead-pouring kit. Then set up you station by curving the spoon in a 90° angle and pushing it into a flower pot. Place a tea light underneath and add a bit of wax to the spoon. Now you are ready to go.

tutorial sorbian easter eggs wax station

How to do Sorbian Easter Eggs.

Your first egg will probably look horrible. Its ok because it’s to learn how the quill works. It is important to work fast and with a steady hand. Not always easy.

  1. Put your quill to the wax and make sure its fully soaked (first time) or fully melted (after already using it). You can see tiny little bubbles.
  2. Now press the quill to the shell and remove immediately. I found it to be practical to remove the tip by slightly moving it towards your body (always making sure you don’t mess up the pattern). If you let the quill rest too long the wax will melt and then you have to jerk the quill away and usually this results in tiny wax drops all over the egg shell.
  3. When you are done with your pattern you can dye your egg. Use only cold dye otherwise the wax will melt. If you are planning to do a two colored egg you only need to have it in the dye a very short time. Otherwise the difference is hard to see.

The following picture shows the steps for a simple wax batik egg with only one dyeing:

tutorial sorbian easter eggs 1 color1. your cleaned egg // 2. wax is applied // 3. after dyeing // 4. after wax is removed

And here you can see the steps for a two colored egg.

tutorial sorbian easter eggs1. your cleaned egg // 2. first coat of wax applied // 3. after first dyeing // 4. second coat of wax applied on dyed surface // 5. after second dyeing // 6. after wax is removed

You get the idea. You can go with multiple dyeing rounds when your pattern requires it. My brain however can only think ahead two rounds.

4. Once you are done with your egg you can start to remove the wax. We used to do it over an gas flame but this time we put the eggs in the oven. Preheat oven to 50°C/120°F, put paper towels on your grate or baking pan and add eggs for about 3 minutes. Wipe of melted wax with an old rag. Tada and you just made your first Sorbian Easter Egg.

How to do patterns.

This is the hard part, something coming with practice I guess. However I found it useful to divide up your egg by either going in a circle from top to bottom or by making a line at the thickest part of the egg. This gives some direction to help with the symmetry. And symmetry is key when it comes to Sorbian eggs. For more complicated patterns I thought it was easier starting from the middle and working your way out of the pattern. I saw online that some people predraw the patterns with a pencil. I don’t understand how this works as you can’t get it of once the wax is covering it. Maybe after dying but that requires the dye covers the rest of the predrawing. Well you figure it out and let me know.

Here are a few patterns I have tried:

sorbian easter egg 2 colored blue by craftaliciousme

sorbian easter egg 1 colored by craftaliciousme

sorbian easter egg 2 colored by craftaliciousme

sorbian easter egg 2 colored red by craftaliciousme

If you need more inspiration and ideas follow my Pinterest Board.
Follow Tobia’s board SPRING :: EASTER on Pinterest.

I found this craft amazingly meditative and I am really hooked. I am pretty sure we have a few more days of scrambled eggs ahead of us.

What do you think, will you give it a try or is it too complicated for you? How do you dye your easter eggs?

Happy wax dipping,

Tobia

PS. If you want to read a bit more about the traditions and helpful tipps check out www.sorbische-ostereier.de (only German)

*affiliate link (more info here)

VIRTUAL COFFEE DATE | VOL II

It’s time to meet for our virtual coffee date and I am so thankful for you to join me again.

First of I would…

pour us a cup of coffee and add a spoon of coconut oil. It’s my current favorite and perfect way to flavor the coffee without adding any sugar. It’s also quite filling. Did you ever try it?

I would…

then like to tell you about my struggle to finish my current book “The sudden appearance of Hope”. I have started it over three weeks ago and for some reason it takes forever to get through. Maybe it’s because I have a lot of other stuff going on and I am regularly reading something else, but still. I’ve a lot of thoughts about this book and think I need to sort this out in a separate post. Have you read this book yet?

I would…

want to tell you about the new car we finally picked up last weekend. It’s been ordered in June and was supposed to be delivered end of November. So it’s high time we finally got to pick it up. Unfortunately all the delay is just taking the fun out of it… Weird way the human mind works.

I would…

like to let you know that my photo job I mentioned last time went really well. The client was more than happy and I have been able to pick up a few more tricks. But I love learning so I booked myself a portrait workshop at the community college. I’ve been waiting for this course two years. The professor was on maternity leave and I happy she’s back so I can finally take the class.

Also I would…

want to know if you are joining #the100dayproject. I will participate for the fourth time. I successfully finished in year one with #100daysofcraftaliciouspatterns and in year three with #100daysofcraftaliciousdrops. Currently I have a list of five ideas. The whole fun starts on April 2. Let me know if you join so we can motivate each other when it gets tough.

And finally I would…

let you know that my godchild will come visit over the weekend. She is already over twenty. The weather will be poor so it will be lots of movies (our favourite) with some Gin Tonics and just hanging out and enjoy our time together. I always cherish those weekends.

Now I need to run and get everything in order for the weekend, catch up on some work, run a few errands…

Later I’ll take a break and jump in for a coffee with Lecy and Denise and see how she is doing this time around. Who will I meet?

Have a wonderful day

Tobia

The Comparison Trap {BlogLiebe vol2}

Do you fall into the comparison trap? I know I do. There are moments I am pretty good at not letting stuff get to me but then I do have my weak ones. The ones where I feel nothing is good enough. The ones where it feels everyone else is doing a much better job – at keeping up the blog writing, in filling up the Instagram feed, in managing life…

Recently I feel more trapped. Just for my last blogpost I spent a lot of time researching, baking, writing, taking pictures and uploading. The response is meagre… Can you relate? Those times I wonder what I do “wrong”. Why is no one interested or why does “the algorithm” banish me. I admit it feels awful. But honestly isn’t the real problem that I need the likes and comments? Isn’t it enough that I had a wonderful experience creating something, tasting some homemade fresh steaming rolls with melting butter? That I was able to spend some time doing photography that I love. That I spend a few moments remembering my honeymoon in Finland?

In those moments I need to remind myself why I actually signed up for blogging and Social Media in the first place. Do you still remember? My list looks like this:

  • connect with friends and like minded people –> like crafters
  • find inspiration. For me that is mainly artists, I love watching how they paint, what ideas they follow, what inspires them. Because that sparks my creative juices.
  • a chance to write in English

Exactly, that is it. The list is short. I didn’t sign up to stalk people. I didn’t sign up to see if my next door neighbor had a fancy living room or a messy kitchen. I don’t care what celebrity xyz is wearing. So why should it bother me now when it is plastered all over my feed because the algorithm tells me I might like it?!

I recently unfollowed a few accounts that made me cringe. I knew a few people and I still wait for them to say something but honestly my mental health is more important than keeping up appearances. I’ve done something similar in 2015 when I deleted my entire blog roll and feed reader. Not a smart move if you want to grow a following. But what does it help me if I have a ton of people around me I don’t feel connected to?

It does get a bit more complicated when you need to follow certain people to keep up with your job. I have not yet figured out how to manage that part. I need to know about certain trends and happenings. Unfortunately I am sometimes just bored or either overwhelmed. Currently I follow a lot f Freelancers they all seem to have it figured out much better than I. (At least that is what it seems like.) What to do then?

I’d be interested in your thoughts. If you also like to chat about it feel free to read the other posts Bine collected in February’s thoughts on comparison – her 2019 blog series #blogliebe!

Virtual Coffee Date | vol I

Hello my dear,

Do you sometimes feel all your friends are all over the place? No one is close by for a quick coffee chat? Well, that’s what it feels like for me every once in a while. So why don’t you join me and Lecy for a virtual coffee date and let’s chat a bit about what is going on. I have a few things to share and I am glad you have time for a virtual coffee date.

virtual coffee date with Tobia | craftaliciousme

I would …
go ahead and order an earl grey tea with a dash of milk. It seems like I can never get enough. And then I would quickly tell you that my favorite green tea blend is no longer available. It was a service where I could mix it myself and I spend years perfecting it. So sad. Not even a heads up so I could stock up.

I would …
enthusiastically tell you about my husbands friend, a Dominican film producer, who premiered his movie “Holy Beast” at the Berlinale yesterday. It’s the first ever Dominican movie shown at the festival. It was so great to share this moment with him and see him so proud. Something about people achieving their dreams just makes me happy.

I would …
also tell you very enthusiastically that I have recently landed my first photography job (outside of family) and will be doing a portrait shoot today. Fingers crossed all goes well. They will be needed for a book publishing. I am really proud.

I would …
tell you about my fifth wedding anniversary. Can you believe it’s been 5 years since our winter wedding? It feels like nothing has really happened in the last five years but then so much. One thing hasn’t happened for sure and that is winter. Since our wedding there was no decent winter in Berlin. I haven’t been able to get out my ice skates. We had hardly any snowfall. This year I didn’t even crack out my winter jacket. Global warming is real my friend. Maybe I need to book a trip to Scandinavia rather urgently to get my snow fix.

Also I would …
need to talk about books. I have been reading a lot again. I have set – for the first time ever – a reading goal list for 2019. My plan is to read 40 books and I already have read 8. Most of them were awesome but the last was really annoying. So I was wondering and wanted to ask: How do you handle a bad book. Do you keep on reading or do you stop? Also, do you review bad books? I always try to review on Goodreads but mainly for myself so I can remember.

And then I would …
also ask if it is too early to think about Easter crafts. My fingers are itching to get back to my Sorbian Easter eggs. So many more patterns to explore and it’s just so meditative. Only problem is, I never hang up any eggs. I wonder if people would buy them. But then I always think it’s not good enough yet…

Before we leave our coffee date I would ask what is going on in your life. What are your next big plans. What struggles have you came a cross and what book have you read.

Then we would hug and wave good bye.
Until next time friend

Tobia

PORKKANAVESIRINKELIT – Finnish Carrot Rolls

It’s time for our annual Finnish get-together. How awesome of you to join me for the fifth time and celebrate with me. I promised you dinner last year unfortunately the recipe I was going too serve needs to be in the oven for 5 hours or so. Not very ecological when cooking for 1-2 people. So instead let’s have some hot steaming porkkanavesirinkelit – Finnish for carrot rolls. Could be part of your dinner too however I enjoy them in the morning.

Finnish Carrot Rolls PORKKANAVESIRINKELIT spread

Here is what you need:

  • 100 ml of warm water
  • 50 ml of milk
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 7g of yeast which equals one pack of dry yeast

  • 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • 3 spritz of agave sirup
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 100g grated carrots
  • 500 g flour (I used 350 whole grain and 150 wheat)
PORKKANAVESIRINKELIT finnish carrot rolls hands

Here is how it’s done:

Dissolve yeast in warm water, milk and add sugar, salt and oil. Add too carrots and mix well. Now add flour and knead dough until it comes off your fingers. Let rise in a warm place. I prepared the dough at night and let it sit over night.

Form little balls and gently press flat. Let them rise a bit more while you start heating a pot with 2 l of water and add 2 teaspoons of salt for cooking. Preheat oven 200-degree.

Make a hole in the middle of the buns with your thumb and drop them into the water a few at a time. Allow to boil for about a minute and bring them to baking paper to dry.

Bake the rolls about 15 minutes until they have a beautiful color.
Serve with salted butter or marmalade.

Finnish Carrot Rolls –PORKKANAVESIRINKELIT

Now I would suggest you enjoy them still warm and fresh out of the oven. At least that is how I prefer homemade fresh rolls.

As you know I love a good winter hence my winter wedding. However it seems like yet another winter where Berlin is not really blessed with snow. We’ve only gotten one or two days with a tiny bit of snowflakes. Nothing stayed on the ground of course. While I haven’t given up completely on winter yet I see the signs for spring all over. And therefore I was wondering if those rolls might actually be a perfect addition to an Easter brunch. What do you think?

Well for now let’s enjoy the cold weather.
Happy Friday

Tobia
PORKKANAVESIRINKELIT – Finnish Carrot Rolls for easter brunch

Reading Goals for 2019

In the last couple of years my reading has picked up significantly. I love it. I always read a lot during my childhood and I am really happy to have re-discovered this hobby. So for the first time I am attempting to write down some reading goals. I’ve never done it but got some inspiration from Lecy. So let’s see of this would work for me as well.

In the previous years I have mainly read free novels I could find on amazon for my kindle. So I figured I will give myself a budget in the beginning of the year to spend on reading otherwise I will again reach for free novels instead of books I really want to read. My hope is that I will end up with a mixture of books I discover and books I am interested because of recommendations. Also this way I could sign up for a monthly membership when I know I have a lot of reading time coming up. I need those tiny tricks to cheat myself into investing. Also last year I went ahead and bought the books I wanted to read right at the beginning of January.

I want to read 40 books in 2019. This is manageable as I read 50 last year. But I want to read a few more “complicated ones” which take more time for me. Ok, let’s see if I can sum up some books I want to read. Everything else is up to my mood.

Fiction Books
  • Jade City, Fonda Lee – I love fantasy and this seems to be a good one.
  • Strange the Dreamer, Laini Taylor – and here is another fantasy one with great reviews. Done in January 2019
  • Finishing the All Roads Lead Home, L.L. Ward series – I read the first one and really enjoyed it and just realized there are three more.
  • Book or author that won a Pulitzer Prize – thinking about The Unconsoled or The Burried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Ice Genisis, Kevin Tinto – I really enjoyed the first book in the series so I am looking forward to see how this unfolds.
  • A Place called Freedom, Ken Follet – I haven’t read a book from him that disappointed and this one was on sale recently (0,99€) so of course I got it.
Non-Fiction & Guidance Books
  • Non-violent communication: A language of life, Marshall A. Rosenberg – I’ve started this one in 2018 but didn’t get done. This is something I need to work through so I will continue and hopefully finish.
  • The Creative Habit: Learn stand use it for Life, Twyla Tharp – other book I am working on far too long. For some reason it’s not really captivating but everyone references to it. So this year I’ll give it another try.
  • A Brief History of Time, Stephan Hawkins – I asked for this one for Christmas. I know this will be a tough read so I got the illustrated version. But I also believe my mind will expand.
  • Born a Crime, Trevor Noah – I like him and his humor but I really interested in his story. In my teens I read a lot about South Africa and apartheid.
  • The Girl in the Letter, Emily Gunnis – read someones review and it ended up on my TBR list Done in February 2019
  • When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi – I am interested but I am not sure if I am up to it. I know I will be very emotional here.
  • The Bible – never read it whole and my goal is for the coming years to read other religious books like the Koran, Thora or Pali-Kanon. Because it doesn’t hurt knowing more about things that are different. Jeannette posted a worksheet to help with this reading goal.
German Books

I set out last year to read more in my native tongue. I find it hard to do as usually those books are not as engaging for me. However I realized it is good to read German every once in a while. And some authors who neither write in English nor German I can easily read in the German translation.

  • Momo, Michael Ende – I’ve read this book but I believe I was too young back then and there will be lots of wisdom hidden within.
  • One Book by Jules Verne – probably “Überwinterung im Eis
  • A Classic – I think it’s going to be Dracula, Bram Stoker which has been on my reading list way too long. It’s my only piece I own of my late father in law so it’s emotional.
  • Blackout – Morgen ist es zu spät, Marc Elsberg – this one sounds really intriguing. All Europe without power after a hacker attack.

Well this is 19 books so far. All other ones I just pick up as I go to achieve my reading goal of 40 books. I will also aim to finish some of those series I started in the past years. I’m off to a good start as I just finished my first book in 2019. If you are curious which one that was, come check it out on Goodreads.

Now if you have any recommendations on how to handle an annual reading list or books I would enjoy, feel free to leave a comment.
Until then happy reading,

Tobia