My spoon carving doesn't start happening until after Easter. This year, I had a difficult time coming across green wood to carve, so I got a late start.
On a recent trip to West Virginia, the friend from whom I rent a mountain top farmhouse told me I could cut a limb off her cherry tree. Oh happy day!!!!!!!!! Cherry is one of my favorite woods for spoon carving.
I carefully selected a limb that would not be missed. Probably I got about 10 spoons worth of cherry.
My first spoon was carved for my friend. When I carve there, I hole up in a funky side porch area that is out of the wind. Many times when my friend visited the farm and came over to say hello, she picked up the spoon to inspect it. I don't think she knew it was intended for her.
When I was finished the carving, I wood burned "County Line Cherry" into the side of the handle to show the wood came from her farm. Sometimes it is so very hard to let go of these things!
Last night I went to a retirement party for a long time coworker friend. Did I know about the party for a long time? Yes? Did I wait until the day of the party to actually work on my gift to her? Yes. I had planned it in my mind, but I procrastinated making it. That's not like me.
I also procrastinated taking the photos of the piece. Ugh.
The four sides have silhouettes that represent four parts of her adult life. The bottom left shows a woman holding a flag, which represents her many years as a Marine wife. The bottom right shows her running with the Olympic torch, which she did.
The bottom left here shows her pushing a baby carriage, representing mother- and grandmotherhood. On the right is a cut out of her as she reads to children. She was a teacher and reading specialist for many years.
I could kick myself for not taking better photos and some closeups. Maybe that will spur me on to do a better job of that next time.
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.
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.
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.