Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Friday, April 7, 2017

Pysanky Season

Pysanky season is almost over.  Maybe.  I've been so compelled to work on eggs whenever I have a free minute.  It just seems as though I need to work on other things now that Easter is upon us.

I gave eggs to friends at Jazzercise and my old coworkers.  I have tons of eggs sitting around with no good home to go to.  Maybe my sister will take some off my hands.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pysanky in the Morning

One of my favorite times of the day is pre-dawn. The house is still and I can work undisturbed for a couple of hours. There is no self imposed guilt that I should be doing something more productive, i.e. clean house. Cleaning house would be too noisy, right?

 This morning I plugged into pysanky YouTube videos as I drained egg matter from decorated and varnished eggs. Right after I listened to a video about how to repair broken eggs, I blew out the sides of this egg. .....sigh. At least now I have some idea of how to repair it.

 Here, I have drained the cracked egg and rinsed the insides. This paper towel is wicking the remaining liquid inside the egg so that I can revarnish it. I may use another product to do this, in the hopes that it will provide a thicker, harder coat. Hopefully this will seal the egg and protect it better. Also I am hoping that the crack will look less noticeable and add more layers of protection.

Here's that YouTube video on egg repair, by the way.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pysanky Success!

I'm having much better luck with my pysanky eggs these days.  Eggs had been breaking left and right; before decorating and after.  After much trial and error to fix the problem, I finally have a fix. One of my better tricks that has improved the whole process is that I don't empty the egg before decorating it.  I draw the wax design; color in; varnish it; and then the next day I blow out the contents. It isn't fool proof, but it sure is an improvemet.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pysanky Painting

Here's what I am working on today.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Good Eggs and Bad Eggs

I've been inspired to work on my pysanky the last week.  There have been a few successes, but there have been a lot of problems.  I keep crushing the egg shells.

Now, as far as I know, my grip has not become Hulk-like, so I am guessing the problem is with the egg shells.

Can you see my thumb inside this one?  I was doing the last step of clean up when my thumb went right through the side. 

Then, it happened with the next egg the very same way.  The first egg was Eggland's Best.  The second was a generic grocery store egg. 

I decided that they must not be feeding their chickens enough of what they needed to make a thick shell, so I searched for eggs that were cage free. My thinking was that if the chickens were out and about eating things other than simply grain, their shells might be thicker. I found cage free white eggs at the international store nearby.

Ta da!  Success with the cage free egg.

And then the next egg broke through before I even started waxing it.

I now have dozens and dozens of eggs in my refrigerator, and they are torquing me off.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pulling Out the Kistka on a Chilly Day


I pulled out the kistka for the first time in years. What a good way to pass a chilly day.

Saturday, February 25, 2017


If you work with students whose reading level is lower than most students in their age range, you might find the reading subject matter to be too low for their interests.  Here's a series of books made by a former colleague of mine that meets that need.  Here is one to try out for free at her TeachersPayTeachers shop.

Origami is beloved by elementary students and so art teachers may well love this book too.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Perfect Walking Stick

My friend, Jenny, asked what criteria I look for in choosing sticks I want to make into walking sticks.  She even volunteered her young one to help in the search for new ones!  So I contemplated what it is I look for.  There seem to be some general dimensions I like, but there is something that defines my search more than that.

Have you ever started a hike and discovered that someone has left a walking stick at the trail head?  It appears to be a stick that they found on their own hike, and liked it so much they wanted to share it with the next hiker.  THAT is the stick I want.  Looking at my collection of sticks waiting to be decorated, I can tell that at least half of them have been just that sort of stick.  Previously loved.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Walking Stick Hoarding

The weather has been crazy here in Northern Virginia.  It went into the mid 60's here today. We should be in the middle of snow storms this time of year.

I have been craving to get out my new woodburning tools and work on some walking sticks.  Though it has been requested of me to not hoard so many sticks and branches in the house... (I did get rid of the drawer full in the freezer!)...   I was hoping that some the length of walking sticks survived somewhere. And here they were! These should give me a week's worth of work, at least.