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Posts tagged ‘pysanka’

August: Eggmergency Survival Kit!

Well, a few days late on this one – but I’m very excited to finally reveal to you the world’s first Eggmergency Survival Kit! Many of you have been following along and are familiar with this one. For those who are getting a first look, the theme for this project was “Survival” and the project medium was Ukrainian Easter Eggs. My boyfriend was actually the one who came up with the idea for the survival kit – so props to him! When he first mentioned the idea, it instantly sounded fun, silly, and utterly ridiculous… three very great criteria for a creative project, don’t you think?

It’s been a long process getting all nine eggs completed.. I finished the last of them around 2am last night. I got the egg container spray painted red yesterday as well, so thankfully today was mostly taking final photos and getting the label designed and printed out. I’m sure a few of you know from my posts along the way, that the August project and I had a very love-hate relationship. There were definitely moments of tension between us. The results have made the struggle worth it though. It’s only purpose is really to delight, it’s completely fictitious and it’s very silly – and I love it for that.

The kit includes a sampling of 9 eggs – each with unique designs and symbols to represent the survival tool inside. The style of the designs is inspired partly by traditional Ukrainian easter eggs – which use ornate patterns and specific symbols to tell stories. In a wonderfully whimsical other world, you’d simply break open these little beauties to reveal the tools stored safely inside.

A little fun fact regarding survival and this project: The rope egg (also somewhat resembling a pretzel) was quite the trooper.. when taking it into the kitchen to do the first coat of dye, it slipped off the counter and fell to the floor.. yup, totally cracked. In my moment of frustration, I’m actually quite surprised I didn’t cry profusely – as this is my normal method for dealing with tiny disasters. On any account, I put it aside to finish a few more and came back to it the next day. Though it was heavily cracked and looking somewhat dejected – I decided to give it one more chance. To my surprise, it actually survived the entire dyeing process in-tact and became a beautifully green-striped little member of the group. You can actually see the crack in the close-up shot below if you look close. Very proud of this sturdy little egg – way to go!

Below are the close-up shots of each egg, so you can see them in all their egg-cellent glory (I apologize, but there had to be at least one of those in this post!). In order, here are the fellas: Compass egg, water ration egg, flashlight egg, food ration egg, rope egg, bandage egg, knife egg, fire starter egg, flare egg.

I think my favorite one ended up being the food ration egg – I just love the diamond patterned greens on it. Although the flare egg came out pretty snazzy too. Which is your favorite?? Drop me a comment – I’d love to know!

That’s all folks!

Inspiration: Katy David

I came across these today and just had to share.. Katy David does some really beautiful eggs with incredibly fine lines and details! For more of Katy’s work, visit her Etsy shop: katyegg

Wrapping Up for the Night…

So that thing I said about how well I work under pressure? Yeah, that was kind of a lie. At least, not under THIS amount of pressure. So the nervous breakdown is over for tonight… and I have gotten a pathetic total of 2 eggs done. I’d hoped for twice that. Stupid eggs and their breaking. At least now I am at the halfway point – just a few more days and I’ll be done with this ridiculousness.

My cat decided to give me a little added stress of course just as I was beginning to relax for the evening – they are so good for that aren’t they? I had plopped down on the couch to watch some TV and turned around to see this huge fumbling dork of a cat hovering atop my neat little nest of beautifully completed eggs. Dear God, why do I ever think I can leave anything precious laying around my house… ever? In a fury I jumped up, the eggs were just moments away from being kicked by a leaping cat and flung into the air. It took all the restraint I had to calmly call him off the table instead of smacking him right off it.. slowly he jumped down, leaving my precious cargo and hours of work just barely unharmed…… what an ass. Like an annoying older brother who screws with you just to laugh at you freaking out, that’s a cat.

I have now tucked all the eggs away in my laundry room – safe and sound from the dorkiest cat on the planet and the cat that’s big enough to BE a planet. Here’s a quick shot of the progress… a tasty treat to tide you over until the finale. I will be taking a break tomorrow night to celebrate a friend’s birthday (and have some much-deserved drinks!), but will be back at it Saturday to finish this thing. And now… finally… to sleep! Goodnight to all who are reading.

Preparing & The Water Ration Egg!

As so often happens – and like so many of you who also battle procrastination – I have waited until the last moment to get going on this project. This is okay… I work so well under pressure! At least that’s how I make myself feel better about it. =P I got all of the dyes made last night… that actually took up the majority of my time as you have to boil the water and measure each one out and then wait until they are room temp to actually use. But thankfully you only have to make the dye once.

After that I emptied all the guts out of the eggs using the egg blower (that’s a LOTTA scrambled eggs for breakfast!). I had one casualty sadly, so I’ll have to redo this little guy!

Then finally to the good part – doing the first of the eggs for the survival kit! Each egg will represent a different item in a survival kit – such as food rations, flashlight, knife, compass, bandages, etc. This first one was the water ration. I really wasn’t entirely sure how good it would look at first – just sorta chose a few colors to keep things simple and off I went. But I was surprised when I melted all the wax off at the end! It turned out so well! Below are a few pictures of the process..

Drawing on the wax, about to do the final color of dye.

Yellow (first color) and royal blue (final color).

The finished piece – A Water Ration Egg!

The alternating yellow and blue waves were actually a mistake… that was around midnight and I was so tired that I totally messed up… drawing the waves on too soon so that they came out yellow. I decided to just alternate sides and actually like how it came out even better. Yay for exhaustion!

So there we have the first egg! Eight more to go. Somehow I will conquer these in the next few nights…
wish me luck on my journey of late nights with candle wax & egg dye.

Dyeing the Breast Cancer Egg

Got the breast cancer egg dyed tonight! Amazing how strong the dye is – only had to leave it in for about 30-45 seconds and it came out a bold, vibrant pink. I’ve sketched out the ideas for each egg for the survival kit too, and should be getting started on those tomorrow night.


Decided to do a practice run before getting to the final project for this month. To keep with the theme, this one is a breast cancer egg. Sketched out a ribbon design with pencil first, and then traced over the lines with wax. Tomorrow after work I’ll be swinging by the store to pick up some mason jars to put the dye in, and getting this little one dyed a pretty pink!



The Kit has Arrived!

Got my Ukrainian Egg Dyeing Kit in the mail today! The kit comes with 10 colors of dye, three styluses (known as a pysachok, pysak, pysal’tse, or kystka, depending on region), a block of beeswax and a booklet of basic designs to get started with. I also bought an egg blower – which is used to clean out the inside of the egg with minimal damage to the shell. I’m excited to get started practicing on some eggs this week!

Announcing the August Project!

Still working on getting the final glass and other touches done on the coffee table this week.. but the projects must go on! Time for new cards… was getting a bit bored with the old woodgrain background for my card shots, so I decided to mix it up a bit and use some of the leftover wallpaper from my last project. Liking it!

My sister will be especially excited about this month’s project – as she’s the one that introduced me to Ukrainian Easter Eggs, also known as Pysanky. For those who have never heard of these, I’ve included a picture below and a link here to read more on the history of these beautifully ornate dyed eggs.

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