Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ukrainian Egg Dying 5th and final part

Happy Easter! (to those of you who celebrate the holiday, otherwise happy spring day.)  The final two eggs are most appropriate to this day.  During the annual Easter egg hunt at the church I grew up in, there were always three special eggs.  If you found those, you could trade them in for a big prize, a chocolate rabbit or a coconut lamb cake.  When I was a kid, my mother used to make these eggs, writing the word Alleluia on them in latin, greek, and hebrew.  When I made my version to give as a gift to my new parish, I decided to go with latin, arabic, and hebrew.  A disclaimer is needed here:  I don't nor have I ever written or spoken any of these languages.  I got them off the internet so I apologize if they are terribly recreated here.

My mother created a beautiful egg also celebrating this season.

I love how she made the purple mottled looking.  This has been my Holy Egg Week.  I hope you enjoyed it.  What are you doing to celebrate the season?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ukrenian Egg Dying Part 4

Today I am going to share the eggs I made for Katie and John, now that they both have seen them.
I tried to make a tree on Katie's egg because she loves branch imagery. I had a bit of trouble getting a brown color for the trunk, but overall I am satisfied with my efforts.

John's has three panels, but i am only going to share the two with pictures on them.  The third is personal.

The star panel didn't photograph that well.  It looks much more elegant in person.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ukrenian Egg Dying part 3

Since I was making eggs for my finace, John, and my sister in law, Katie, for their "Easter Baskets", I asked my mother to make one for mine.  Here is what she came up with.

Isn't it sweet?  She used a q-tip to apply the dyes instead of dipping the egg, so it has a more springy pastel quality to it.  I love it!
I made this swirl egg just to try out the hot pink and turquoise dyes.

What do you think?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ukrainian Egg Dying Part 2

Yesterday's post was kind of ridiculously heavy, so today I thought I would go short.  Today I am sharing my geeky egg.
Captain Eggmerica!  Sorry, I couldn't resist.
I wanted to make quite clear that this was a Captain America egg and not just a patriotic egg, which is why I chose to put the scales on the blue part, and my favorite part, the helmet wings.

I think all the little scales really add a lot.  John says I should make a whole Avengers set, so who knows, that may be in the cards at a later date.  Check back tomorrow for another big reveal.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ukrainian Egg Dying part 1

Ukrainian egg dying is a wax resist method for dying artistic eggs.  An intricate pattern or design is created by drawing on the egg shells with wax using a tool called a kiska.  You then dip the egg in dyes, covering the sections you want to remain those colors as you go.  I have traditionally done Ukrainian Egg dying every year as part of my pre-Easter activities.  This year is the first year I have done it as an adult in my own home.  In the past, I have dyed raw eggs that were unblown.  Once they are colored, you can let the insides dry slowly and after about a year they are completely dry.  Since I was not sure I could keep raw eggs either in our current apartment, or through our upcoming moves without breaking them, I decided to blow the eggs out first.  I used a single hole method, drilling a small hole in the egg shell and then blowing all the insides out before rinsing thoroughly. 
Out of the dozen eggs I started with, I only lost two in the process.  They popped when I inserted the pump.  They dyes are made by mixing powdered pigment with boiling water and vinegar.  I set up nine different colors.

I dyed eight of the eggs, and my mother dyed two, so I thought I would share a few photos each day this week until Easter.  Call it Holy Egg Week.
The first egg I want to share was one I wanted to imitate a vase I saw.  It was white with a blue floral print on it.

Here is a close up of my favorite flower from this egg.
This flower inspired me to try a more structured version of this egg.  I created a herringbone pattern to divide four panels in which I depicted a few flowers like the one above.  Here is is during the process, after I had put on the wax but before I put the egg in the dye.
You can see how challenging it was to get the whole panel evenly colored so it would turn out white.  here is the final result.

Check back tomorrow to see some more eggs.
What are your pre-Easter traditions?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Here's what I've been up to. . .

I went to my mother's for a few days, and on Friday we took six hours to rip down the '70s style wood paneling in the family room.  Here it is before:

After we got the first panel down, we found some drywall in pretty good shape behind it.  We thought, great, we will do a bit of spackling and paint the wall no problem.  That was optimistic, at the end of the six hours we thought, we'll hire someone to do a lot of spackling and paint the wall, no problem.  Here is is after:

The room looks so much bigger and full of light now!  I can't wait to see it with a fresh coat of paint.
Since returning home, I have been working on some egg dying for Easter.
 I will share the results in a couple of days.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Paper Baskets

Spring is (theoretically) on the way, and with it, Easter.  Those of us living in the US, at least, no matter how hard we try to avoid it, are receiving catalogs filled with images of bright pastel clothing and jewelry.  This seems a perfect opportunity to make some woven paper baskets.
 The colors are so bright, and the glossy catalogs are the perfect weight to make sturdy little baskets.
I started off with the idea that I would just weave them and rely on the weaving to hold together, but I ultimately used a few dabs of hot glue to finish them off and make them a bit stronger.
In a few weeks you will see the items I am making to fill these little baskets, other than the curled newsprint that is.
What do you do to upcycle those pounds of wasted paper?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


When I was a little girl, I had a massive collection of stuffed animals.  And I mean massive.  I had two twin beds in my bedroom and one of them was pretty much covered with my collection.  Among the collection, I had two that were very special to me.
HugglySnuggly and Bunny
I slept with them pretty much my entire childhood.  My mother bought Bunny for me when we were visiting my grandparents the year I was born.  Somehow, I got the idea that my grandmother had gotten her for me.  She passed away the next year, so I always felt connected to her through Bunny.  My sister got HugglySnuggly for me the Christmas that I was five.  As you can tell, those animals mean a lot to me and the people who gave them to me are always with me when I have my animals. (I know, I'm a grown woman, and I don't sleep with them anymore, but you'll see where I am going with this.)
Recently, I took on the project of knitting a stuffed hippo for a baby who joined our family recently.

 I love to knit, and I will take any excuse, but even more then that, John and I are moving to California in September, and I don't know how much of a role I will have in this baby's life.  I might not be able to be there, if he loves this hippo, then I will be a part of his life.

I got the pattern from the book Itty Bitty Toys

Friday, March 8, 2013

Facebook Page

Well, I finally did it.  I created a Facebook page for my various blogs and etsy shop.  I will be posting updates about my progress, as well as related notes of interest.  If you want to like the page, you will have access to all those updates.  You can find the page here:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sunny Day Sewing

I don't have much to share today beyond a bit of sewing on this beautiful, sunny day.

There is something about drinking tea and ironing pattern pieces that I find fits with a sunny morning.  Like the world is new and I am making something new myself.  I am working on a few new projects, the ones pictured being brush rollups for my etsy shop.  I'll let you know when they are up.  Oh, and I also got a new basket from Marshalls to store my yarn in.  Sure beats the cardboard box!

I love the circular handles because I can pull the yarn through them and the ball stays put.  No more balls of yarn going on walkabout!