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13 Exquisite Easter Eggs

Easter time is upon us all and whether or not you celebrate, you can still appreciate the artistry that goes into many Easter eggs. Here are a few of my favorite designs from all over the world.

1. Pysanky Easter Eggs

Also known as Ukrainian Easter eggs, these stunning shapes are applied not with dyes or paint, but with carefully applied beeswax. A wooden tool, called a ‘kistka' is used to apply the wax. Although the most common Pysanky eggs are those using patterns, like the one above by Wikipedia user Lubap, the methods can be used to create all variety of designs, including this amazing recreation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

2. Cross Stitched Eggs

Ukrainian Easter eggs are known throughout the world for their complex designs and beautiful artwork, but Ukrainian artist Forostyuk Inna decided to forgo the usual wax and dye methods and opted to cross stitch her eggs instead. No one seems to be quite sure about the methods she used to create these cool designs, but that only serves to make them that much more incredible.

3. Carved Emu Eggs

The emu egg shell naturally has three layers of color, ranging from white to teal to a deep green that often appears black. By taking advantage of these layers, artist Gary LeMaster is able to create intricately detailed and colorful egg creations with nothing more than a set of carving tools. He also works with all other types of eggs, including regular old chicken eggs, adapting his style to suit the egg type and design accordingly.

4. Celebrity Eggs

When it comes to Easter eggs featuring celebrity images, one name stands out above all the rest. Artist John Lamoroni does amazing egg portraits of everyone from President Obama to Elton John. My personal favorite is this wonderful piece featuring the characters from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

5. Kiss Easter Eggs

Who says you have to be an professional artist to create eggs that everyone will remember? Flickr user Rakka created these unforgettable rock star eggs with nothing more than a bit of creativity and a set of markers.

6. The Egg Bot

Not only do you not have to be a professional artist to create amazing egg designs, you don’t even have to be a human. The Egg Bot is a specially designed invention that serves only one purpose—to decorate eggs and other rounded objects. While this may not sound all that impressive, the selection of its completed projects is (a handful of these projects are seen above).

7. Geode Easter Eggs

Perhaps you like your eggs a little more exotic, but 100% natural. If so, these geode eggs are something you can easily make at home using a few simple ingredients you already have at home.

8. Chalkboard Eggs

If you’re looking for another simple Easter egg project that your kids can enjoy, these chalkboard eggs featured on Skip to My Lou are a great option. Just cover eggs with chalkboard paint and let your little ones write and draw on them with their chalk.

9. Lucha Libre Eggs

You may think eggs are fragile, but these masked warriors can certainly hold their own in a fight. If you want to make your own luchadore eggs, Diary of a Crafty Chica has a great tutorial to guide you.

10. Battlestar Galactegga

For the sci fi geeks in our audience, these Battlestar Galactica eggs are a good way to celebrate your interests while still following holiday traditions. Geeks Are Sexy has some great tips for making your own, but your results will most certainly vary based on your own artistic talents.

11. World of Warcraft Easter Eggs

The world of World of Warcraft might be full of fun Easter eggs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make literal Easter eggs based on the game’s characters. Be sure to check out the awesome Noblegarden Contest winning egg designs.

12. Knitted Easter Eggs

Not everyone likes to eat eggs, and it seems like a waste to decorate real eggs if you don’t want to eat them. Fortunately, these knitted Easter eggs by Purl Bee provide a vegan-friendly alternative that also has the benefit of being a lot less fragile.

13. Felted Eggs

While these eggs seen on Craftzine may look like they don’t use actual eggs, the shell is actually a crucial part of the felted nest structure. The felted wool is simply formed around the exterior of a very carefully cut egg.
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If you’re looking for more Easter egg decorating goodness, be sure to check out Miss C’s article from a few years ago that also has links to instructions for creating your own awesome designs. If you have any links to your own favorite artistically inclined eggs though, please feel free to share the links in the comments.

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5 Simple Seating Tricks That Will Transform Your Living Room
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Seating arrangements can make or break a social event. Whether it's a cocktail party, a book club get-together, or a Game of Thrones binge night, you want a setup that makes socializing easy and enjoyable. The right combo of comfortable chairs, tables, and other furniture is the key to making your abode more inviting and homey. We’ve got five ways to hack your living room seating for social occasions or everyday life.

1. MAKE THE TV THE FOCAL POINT OF THE ROOM.

When people are over to watch the season finale of your favorite show, the TV becomes the obvious focal point of the gathering. You can easily calculate the optimal viewing distance for your seating based on the size of your TV. For 1080p screen, double your TV's diagonal measurement to get the proper distance in inches, which you can then convert to feet.

Let's say you have a 43-inch TV—multiply that by two and you get 86 inches, or about 7 feet, as your best viewing distance. A 48-inch screen, which is one of the most popular sizes for living rooms, will allow you 8 feet of viewing space. If you have a higher-def 4K TV screen, you can sit a little closer: Experts recommend a distance of one to 1.5 times the screen size.

Now that you have the right distance in mind, arrange your couch in front and place other chairs at varied heights at the sides and behind it. Have plenty of comfy floor cushions for those who don’t snag a sofa seat so that everyone has a good sightline to the TV.

2. CREATE A CONVERSATIONAL CIRCLE.

When the social event doesn't require everyone to face the same direction, arrange the seating in a circle around a central point. This setup works best for book club meetings and gatherings where casual conversation is the main draw. Opt for a round table at the center for setting drinks and snacks. “At a round table you can see everyone at once, whereas at a rectangular table, there’s a chance you’re not seeing the faces of people on your side two or more seats down, making it difficult to chat with them,” Whitney McGregor of Whitney McGregor Designs in Greenville, South Carolina, tells Mental Floss.

A 2007 study suggested that people are drawn to circles and softer organic shapes because the rounded edges are perceived as less dangerous than sharp edges. Create a similar feel of safety, comfort, and inclusiveness in your living room with a set of chairs around a circular coffee table or a large tufted ottoman.

3. LEAVE SOME SPACE—BUT NOT TOO MUCH— BETWEEN SEATS AND TABLES.

Seating arrangement with turquoise curtains
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To keep conversation flowing, leave at least 3 feet of space between each seat (not including couches, where people are expected to chat more intimately). For example, place arm chairs about 3 feet away from the ends of the sofa or 5 to 6 feet across from the sofa. The coffee table, whether round, square, or rectangular, should sit about 14 to 18 inches from the front of the couch—far enough to provide comfortable legroom, but close enough to set a drink down without getting up.

These cushions of space prevent guests from feeling like they're sitting on top of one another, according to Apartment Therapy. But a stretch of 10 feet or more is too much to converse easily, so pull out the tape measure as needed.

4. FRESHEN A STUFFY ARRANGEMENT WITH ASYMMETRY.

It's possible to switch up the whole feeling of your room—without purchasing new furniture—by changing the existing seating and accent tables from a symmetrical to an asymmetrical arrangement, and vice versa. “Asymmetry versus symmetry can be a fickle thing,” Christy Davis of Christy Davis Interiors in Columbia, South Carolina, tells Mental Floss. “Symmetry gives a sense of wholeness and completeness, whereas asymmetry makes you think a little more because it’s not as common as symmetry.”

Do you crave that whole and complete feeling? Put two matching chairs on either side of a table to make the room seem more visually balanced and formal. For a casual look with more energy, take those same two chairs and put them in a random order: One to the left of the couch as a discrete conversational seating area, and the other on the opposite wall and farther down in the room, along with a side table and lamp, as its own smaller conversation nook.

5. ADD SURFACES FOR DRINKS AND MORE.

With every good seat comes the need for a place to set a drink, your phone, or the remote control. While you want your coffee table at least 14 inches in front of the couch, the rules for accent table placement are a little looser. Try sitting in each location in your room and checking if there’s a place to set your glass within each reaching distance. If not, add a side table or garden stool, then dress it up with plants and photos. According to The Spruce, the side table should be about the same height as the arm of the seat it's next to.

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These Suitcases Convert Into a Mini Kitchen, Office, or Bed
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Finally, a product has been released to appease travelers who have long demanded a suitcase they can cook scrambled eggs on. A new line by Italian designer Marc Sadler, spotted by Lonely Planet, features three aluminum suitcases that can be converted into either a mini kitchen, a work station, or even a bed.

A cooktop suitcase
Marc Sadler

The cook station suitcase will soon be released as part of the special edition Bank collection, which will be sold by suitcase brand Fabbrica Pelletterie Milano. It comes with built-in power, a cooktop, mini fridge, several drawers with cutlery, and a foldable chopping table.

Those who travel often for work may want to opt instead for the workstation suitcase, which features a pull-out chair, work surface, electrical outlets, and wooden drawers. Ideal for camping, the bed station comes with a fold-out wooden frame and mattress topper. It also happens to be the most expensive of the three, at a cost of €6900 ($8135).

A suitcase converts to a pull-out bed
Marc Sadler

A suitcase with a built-in desk and drawers
Marc Sadler

It's unclear whether these suitcases would make it through airport security, but TSA does permit camp stoves as long as they don't have fuel inside them. Don't try to make breakfast while waiting at your gate, though—there are probably rules against that.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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