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Easter Egg-periment… not all it was cracked up to be!

When I was a young girl, (way too many years ago to confess too), my paternal grandmother showed me how to dye Easter eggs using the old German method her grandmother had shared with her when she was about the same age as I was at the time.
We went to the produce bins at the grocery store and gathered all of the loose onion skins that had fallen off and were about to be tossed out. My favorite was the paper-thin skins in various shades of dark purple, but we also gathered the softer yellow and white skins too.
When we returned home we wrapped about two dozen fresh eggs, uncooked in the onion skins and tied them up with string. We put them all into a big pot of boiling water and let them boil for about 10 minutes. The results were always amazing; beautiful marbled eggs!

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Well, this year I decided to keep with the tradition of coloring at Easter, but like all CFCG’s I just couldn’t do things either easy, or straight forward! I was going to utilize my daughter Jenna’s 9-month old kitten as my canvas. I have to confess, I am under strict orders to keep my little creative hands off of Leonidas. In fact, I am rarely called upon to groom this beautiful blue-point domestic long-haired feline because Jenna is a CFMG in training and needs no assistance from me. BUT, the way I figured it….. a little temporary color wash didn’t really count…..

Preparation is important and prepare I did. I gathered my supplies: vinegar, food coloring, water, measuring cup and jar. I almost forgot my rubber gloves but at last minute realized I didn’t want to spend Easter looking like a Swamp Thing. Color washing with food coloring is a temporary color, but If you’ve dyed eggs with the dye, you know it can stick to skin for a few days.

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Color washing supplies

I double checked with Kelsie Brown of the National Association of Professional Creative Groomers, LLC on the best method for color washing cat hair. Kelsie recommended that I use Show Season’s Results Rinse instead of vinegar for more efficiency, and eliminate the possible slight lingering vinegar smell from the final showcase. Unfortunately, I was out of the rinse and went with the vinegar. Honestly, it isn’t so bad.

Here is where things began to go wrong, and it’s an important point for any artist to make note of. Never, never alter or compromise your vision for another’s wishes, for you will invariably find yourself with a body of work that does not reflect you or your dreams. I allowed my desire to convince Jenna that she enjoyed a little color work on Leonidas to dictate my color choice and I strayed from my vision. Jenna loves the color green, so I decided to go with that. When I imagined giving Leo a little color for Easter, I had automatically envisioned him cast in a pastel lavender hue. But… instead of going with my vision I went with green thinking I would get a positive emotional response from Jenna and then be able to manipulate her in to letting me try something a little more wild next time.

Leo in the tub enjoying his color rinse
Creatively this was a big mistake.
I ended up with a color washed cat that looked like he had just gone outside and rolled around in the freshly mowed grass! The process of a food coloring wash worked well but the results were depressingly AWFUL!
Jenna’s response…. “If you had asked me, I’d have told you to use blue or purple. Anyone would have known green would look ugly”.
Thank goodness color washing with food dye is temporary!

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Leo in the tub enjoying his color rinse

Creatively this was a big mistake.
I ended up with a color washed cat that looked like he had just gone outside and rolled around in the freshly mowed grass! The process of a food coloring wash worked well but the results were depressingly AWFUL!
Jenna’s response…. “If you had asked me, I’d have told you to use blue or purple. Anyone would have known green would look ugly”.
Thank goodness color washing with food dye is temporary!

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