Ready for Easter

Easter is just a few days away and here in Costa Rica the whole week preceding Resurrection Sunday is marked by days of prayer, fasting and penitence as well as beautiful church displays depicting the Garden of Gethsemane complete with a life sized praying Christ figure.  People leave offerings of foodstuffs at these “gardens”,  which are later sold and the proceeds distributed among the needy.  There are also colorful processions in just about every town with local folk recreating Christ’s walk down the Via Dolorosa and parishioners dressed as Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathea or the Centurion among other well known biblical figures. Passion plays are also a beloved Costa Rican tradition and several towns draw crowds of people from all over the country due to their elaborate and well done open air productions. The whole week from Palm Sunday onward is a national holiday and many businesses close their doors the entire week as do schools. Government offices and banks close on Holy Thursday and don’t re-open until the following Monday.

What you won’t find much of in Costa Rica however, are bunnies, eggs or easter baskets.   These things have never really taken root in Latin America and the only store here where I’ve seen a few Easter decor items is Walmart and even they don’t have too much. So over the years I’ve purchased items on Ebay or my kids have brought goodies down to me when they’ve come here from the U.S. for vacation. This year I was surprised to see how much stuff I have actually managed to accumulate. Probably more than I really need.

I’m not really a big Easter “decorator” (like I am when it comes to Christmas or Halloween) but I do like to put together a centerpiece and a couple of other table decorations.

These faux chocolate bunnies are actually made of resin but they are so realistic that more than one unsuspecting chocoholic around here has been fooled. What I like best is that they won’t melt in the tropical heat.

This sparrows nest was left in a tree in my backyard by it’s former owners. There were no eggs when I found it though. These little blue ones are ceramic.

A couple of Easters ago I spent several days carefully blowing out and emptying egg shells until my cheeks were sore and puffy. I then decorated them with decals, varnished them and placed them in a decorative bowl. Unfortunately my cats discovered them. They are absolutely convinced that anything round and shiny is a toy meant just for them to play with. No matter how much I scolded them, the minute my back was turned they’d grab the eggs out of the bowl and send them crashing to the floor. This year I put the few remaining ones in a glass jar with a lid. I hope they won’t notice them. I  try to stay a step ahead of the kitties, but at times they outsmart me anyway.

A couple of years ago, inspired by Hakan over at the Rose Garden in Malevik    I made several different sized  lace eggs using a styrofoam base and scraps of lace, ribbon and rhinestones.

This year I painted wooden eggs rather than real ones. If the kitties decide to play with them, they won’t break.

These bunny rabbits aren’t really Easter decorations. I have them out year round. Some years ago there was a ceramic supply store in my area that was going out of business and they were getting rid of all their greenware and bisque items. I bought a bunch of animal figures that I later painted or decorated with ceramic decals or just glazed and sent off to the kiln. These bunnies were among them. 

It’s always a good time for chocolate cake and tea!

Joining Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

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Egg Sighting

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I think I may have gone a little overboard with the Easter Eggs this year. I’ve had far too much time on my hands since my laptop charger decided to suddenly stop working a few weeks ago. That meant that I had very little computer access and lots more free time to work on other things. Long story short, I made easter eggs (alot of them!) so I would’t die of boredom in the meantime. I’m glad I did because it brought back warm memories of making Easter crafts with my mom when I was in elementary school. I still haven’t been able to find a new charger. I went to Radio Shack as well as to several computer places and nobody seems to have that model in stock. Drat. I guess I’ll just have to order it on Ebay or Amazon but that can take a couple of weeks or more to get here from the U.S. so I decided it was time to dig out the old MacMini desktop and set it up temporarily. I was tired of using the ipad and having to type entire paragraphs with my index finger.

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These lace eggs were actually inspired by Hakan over at The Rose Garden in Malevik who had some lovely ones on his blog several weeks ago. I used foam egg shapes in different sizes for these and I added bits of rhinestone chain and beads over the lace.

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I also made sugar eggs, sometimes called Panoramic eggs. I hadn’t made those in years. When I was in about 5th grade or so, my mom took cake decorating classes with Wilton. Among all the wonderful things she learned to make in that class were sugar Easter eggs. It wasn’t long before I knew how to make them as well, my mom loved to teach me what she had learned and she was very patient. We would always make a few extra ones to sell. I remember carefully packing them in a cardboard box and taking them to school much to the delight of my classmates. When I recall the ridiculous prices we charged back in the day, I have to laugh. We sold the small ones for 50 cents, the medium sized ones for 75 cents and the very large ones cost $1.25 because they were a bit trickier to make and they used up alot of sugar.  I couldn’t believe my eyes the other day when I saw a small sized one for sale on Etsy for 35 dollars. How times change!

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These are just made out of damp sugar which is packed into a plastic egg shaped mold, turned out onto a countertop and then left to dry overnight.

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My rose making technique was a bit rusty, it took me a while to get the hang of it again.

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They have a little opening or peek hole on one end and an Easter scene inside. This one has rabbits playing in the grass.

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And lastly, I made blue and white decoupaged eggs just because it’s one of my favorite color combos. These are made with real eggs which I blew out and emptied. I used small blue and white floral decals on these eggs and then gave the eggs a few coats of spray varnish. So, it’s not a true decoupage in the strictest sense, but close enough. Once they are varnished, they’re so shiny that they almost look like porcelain even up close.

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Wishing everyone a blessed Easter!

Joining the blog parties at:

French Country Cottage-Feathered Nest Friday

The Rose Garden in Malevik-Saturday Show Off