Bringing back childhood memories

April 1, 2012

Social Media

In a break from my usual technology-focused blogging, I’m sharing a few childhood memories conjured up this past weekend while coloring Easter eggs with my sons Alex, 3, and Max, 2. I am, however, posting this under Social Media, because it’s also my first Pinterest post. (See the “pin” for this article at

Handmade Easter eggs designed by the Payne family for Easter 2012.

If you don’t know Pinterest, you may not be as kewl as you once thought… Pinterest is an invitation-only social network that allows you to share sites, pictures, and more in a new way. But, enough about the medium – let’s get back to childhood memories.

When I was younger, my mom and dad would help us hard-boil, color, hide, find, and eat Easter eggs (okay, I think dad may have helped mostly with the eating part) – at least every year up until the time we didn’t find one of the eggs for over a month… our noses led us to it…. enough said.

This was the first time I’d led the egg-coloring with my own children. For the past couple of years, Bev has been buying the little dye tablets and letting the boys dye eggs in little plastic cups and put stickers on them afterwards. This year, Bev was spending the evening with some girl friends and asked me to color eggs with the boys. I don’t think she realized the magnitude of the task she assigned me…

Of course, I couldn’t settle for dye tablets from Walmart. I bought “real” food coloring drops (still from Walmart, but on the baking aisle), secured masking tape, recruited crayons, and doubled the number of color cups from the year before (to 10, up from 5).

Food coloring makes sense, but masking tape? Yep, masking tape is a secret weapon in the arsenal of a Master Egg Decorator – it’s a massive understatement to call what I do to eggs “coloring”. I decorate eggs in the same way an eccentric artist creates art – pretentiously and in an unnecessarily difficult manner.

Masking tape keeps color from reaching the surface of the egg (see the red and white “swirl” egg on the platter above, upper right). It can also be used after a first color has been applied to the egg, like a light yellow, to maintain that color on part of the egg while the rest adds a second layer of dye (see the patchwork-quilt-style egg on the paper towel, top left).

Most people know about crayons – by writing on the egg with a crayon before dipping it in dye, the wax prevents the dye from soaking into the crayon pattern, and voila, cool egg.

But, what happens if you apply crayon to an egg when it’s fresh out of the boiling pot of water??? Take a look at the aquamarine and pink swirl egg near the center of the platter for one example, and the Superman egg in the middle, and frightened-clown egg bottom center, and the Alex and Max eggs… Did I mention I really like melting crayon on hot, freshly-boiled eggs?

Don’t even get me started on the double-dipped, half-and-half technique also demonstrated on the Alex egg (platter center, to the left of the Superman egg, or SuperEgg, as he was known in our household for an evening).

Of course, I should admit that while I was painstakingly making that double-dipped egg – with my 3-year-old’s name on it, ironically – I wouldn’t let him touch it, and he remarked in frustration, “I can’t do anything!” Ouch. I dialed back my artistic fervor a bit, gave the boys the rest of the hard-boiled eggs, and we just colored.

Cool. Now I know how mom felt. It was the best Easter-egg-coloring excursion I’d been on in at least 25 years.

Hope you enjoy the artwork – comment below if you’ve got other Easter egg (or Pinterest) tips :).


About Bryson Payne

Author of Teach Your Kids to Code, Speaker, and Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Georgia.

View all posts by Bryson Payne

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