Monday, April 24, 2017

Let's Meet the Chickens


Rob and I are extremely lucky!  We are friends with some wonderful people!  The McCays are not just fun loving people, they are extremely fun to be around and are all around wonderful giving people! 

About 2 weeks ago Rob and I visited Mike and Lisa McCay to have dinner and spend some quality time with them.  We had a delicious dinner and a great time.  During that visit, Rob and I were introduced to the chickens that lay the green eggs my mom and I use for our crafts.  Mike and Lisa raise a few Aracauna chickens!  These amazing chickens are adorable and they are great egg layers!


These eggs are amazing!  They taste great and they are extremely strong!  If anyone in the north east PA area is in need of some green eggs please lt me know, I will put in touch with the McCays!

Not only were we introduced to the chickens, we were introduced to some new born goats... Yes.. 2-3 days old to be precise! 


Isn't this guy adorable! I have to admit That Rob's picture puts mine to shame... 


I know right? That kid is too cute for words!  I tried to steal him, but I was stopped by none other than the mother...  Am I making that up?  The world may never know... 


After a tasty meal, meeting some adorable animals, and having a great time all around with our friends, we left with some eggs of course and an amazing recipe for earl grey tea liquor!  I cannot wait to try my hand at making it.  


The outdoor cat was a little minx.  She wanted as much attention as her chicken and goat counterparts.  I wanted to try to take her home as well.  Rob told me that it is bad form to attempt to steal people's pets.  I am not so sure he was right, but it kept me at bay.  Watch out Mike and Lisa, when we visit you again, the cat may be coming home with me! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter... Paska... Old Egg Designs... and Egg Games!

Easter is finally over! The eggs were made, the food was prepared, and the day was bright! 

I had an amazing Easter this year with my family.  Although my husband could not be there because he had work, we still had a great day! 

This year I tried something new and made Paska bread for my family at the request of my sister Carol!  The bread turned out great!  We even took pictures with some of my older eggs! 



Isn't it funny how your designs and technique changes over time?  My old eggs are so different!  I forgot half the designs my mom has saved in her cabinet.  


I will recreate the tri-section Easter egg I have no done for at least 5 years!  I remember the border being a pain in the butt to shade to white.  Now that I have less problems with that, I think it is time to resurrect the design (pun totally intended).  You can see the design below next to the golden bird.  The purple egg with the Lamb of God.



What Easter traditions do you do with eggs?  


We play the egg cracking game!  This year I was the victor! My egg held up against everyone.  Some will say I cheated.  Sore losers I say! In the end the winner can keep and eat all the cracked eggs because it is a traditional treat you avoided during Lent.  Today, we keep the eggs for egg salad.  Normally you decorate the eggs for the game.  My mom and sister did the traditional drop and pull craft on the eggs.  They were lovely! They are under the flower arrangement in the next photo!


In the end, Easter was a success!  I cannot wait to get back to egg etching after I clean up the flour covered kitchen and get a few things put away! 

I hope to hear some great Easter/egg stories from you!  


Monday, April 10, 2017

LaSalle Academy Spring Fest

This is the third year in a row that I participated in the LaSalle Academy Sprign Fest.  Although ti is much different than it was 3 years ago (then called the Egg and Art Show), my Mom, sister and I had a fun time. 


As always I worked on eggs during the show and bought a lot of cool stuff!! Not only did I get an awesome straw cake tester, I also bought a handmade wooden chip and dip lazy susan! I now need to have a party with a baked cake and chips and dip.  

I also bought some amazing cupcakes from a culinary graduate who now is a chef at the school!  All his cupcakes were Disney themed.  I bought the red velvet rose cupcake... Beauty and the Beast.  It was fantastic!  I even bought a dozen for the office ladies.  I am sure all will be gone before the end of the day!

Although there may have been less traffic than I would have liked at this craft show, we had a lot of fun, and both my mom and I were able to get a lot of work done with our egg crafts.  She worked on drop and pull eggs and I had a chance to shade many eggs throughout the two day event. 

Now... Easter is coming, and I am excited to get my baking on! 

Don't worry, I will still be working on eggs regularly.

Than green man is coming... I hope to show it to you in a couple days. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

And the Winner is...

GREEN MAN!

Today I will attempt the Green Man egg!  I hope to complete it on a larger egg.  I made a quick sketch today just to see how it would look on an egg shape...  Wish me luck and I thank everyone who voted!


Monday, April 3, 2017

Mondays... Why Have Them?

Mondays... Am I right? Why do we have to have Mondays?

After a two craft show weekend, this particular Monday was particulary hard to get through.

This past weekend my kom, sister, and I went to Rockville Maryland and Uniontown Pennsylvania.  I had an amazing time in Uniontown!  The Eggstravaganza was so much fun!

I bought tools, amazing food, and some great egg shells.

Take a look at some of the photos and mark your calendars for March 18, 2018!

This awesome guy and his mom had wonderful pysanky eggs as well as white and green chicken eggs for sale!  My mom and I ended up buying some eggs for crafting! 


Did I mention the baked goods were spectacular!  I bought far too many cookies, but I am not complaining.  There were even cookies with amazing piped icing making pysanky egg cookies!!!

** I ended up adding to my collection with one of these items! The middle egg with a bank of red flowers.  I have it hanging at home! I love his work!!

Aren't these spiky eggs cool? I had to share this new style of egg art! It's a great idea to gets kids interested!

My mom and sister are great helpers! My mom's eggs looked amazing in the new egg carrier display she purchased.  My sisters photos of Lithuanian and Easter eggs made some popular greeting cards!


Larry came with his countless eggs! I can't believe he has this many ready for sale!!! Great job Larry!!


My sister and I ate soup and cookies, hung out, and had an all around blast!


I was excited to see this modern marvel... an EGG MOBILE!  I thought I was gaga over eggs, but these ladies put me to shame! Loved this car and told my husband that our next car needs to have an egg on the side! He's skeptical. 

The craft show was full of egg artists, egg supplies, great food, and even more amazing people!  As always, I cannot wait to come back to Uniontown, Pennsylvania.  March 18, 2018 here we come!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Poll

It's Wednesday and I need some motivation and thought I would conduct a poll to determine my next egg design.  I recently completed most of the normal designs I like to have for craft shows.  Now I need to make some new designs that are a little different from what i usually do.

Check out the Poll on the left side of this post and vote today!

Here are the options:

1. Celtic Green Man:  The Celtic pagan green man has a face made from leaves, branches, nuts, and any natural elements.  I see oak leaves and acorns as the usual elements.  Lithuania was the last pagan country and has strong connections with oak leaves and acorns.  I thought molding these two pagan elements together would be interesting and fun.  Here are some ideas for the egg:





2.  Wolf:  Lithuania has a special relationship with wolves.  There is the iron wolf as well as the attraction to nature again.  I was hoping to do a new wolf design with howling.  I did a howling wolf in the past but I do not have a photo of it to replicate. 




3.  Poppies:  Maybe its the fact I'm listening to the music from the Wizard of Oz lately or maybe it's because Spring is finally popping out all over.  Either way, the idea of a poppy egg sounds bright and festive.  I never attempted this flower and it may be a nice change from the lilacs and roses I usually do. 






So what do you think? Green Man, Wolf, or Poppies?

The Poll is up and I cannot wait to see the winner! I will close the poll Wednesday of next week! Thanks in advance for voting!

Don't forget to vote on the poll to the left of this post at the top of the page!




Thursday, March 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday - Egg Etching Step by Step Instructions

In 2015, I was lucky enough to supply a Lithuanian Magazine "Bridges" which step by step instructions for etching eggs the Lithuanian way.  For today's Thursday throwback, I though I would provide those photos and instructions once again. 

1. Egg Preparation:

I personally like to etch blown out eggs.  That means the inside contents are already removed.  The contents are removed first, the egg is cleaned, and finally the egg is dyed and dried.  

When choosing my eggs, I look for eggs with no pimples, grooves, or unsightly bumps.  Not only do they make the egg unattractive, but they also create areas where the blade could catch and crack the egg when etching. 

After the egg is blown out (I use an egg blower), I clean the inside of the egg with HOT water.  This ensures all the egg insides are out so the egg will not smell later. The egg is cleaned with a baking soda and water paste, then washed in vinegar.  This will give a clean surface for the dye to adhere to. 

I hold the egg in a dye bath with tongs. When the egg is the color I want, I dry the egg on a drying board. 



2. Draw and Outline Design: 

I draw the design I wish on my egg with a pencil.  This gives me an outline to follow with the blade.  

Then I take the blade, hold it like I do a pencil.  

**You will see in the photo I hold the blade backwards.  This is not preferred by many people.  Hold the blade the way you feel comfortable.  The key is to simply have the blade to the side as to not dig into the shell, cracking it. 

I use a towel to push the egg on, giving me stability that is still safe for the eggshell. 


3. Shading: 

Once the egg is outlined, I shade the egg with either the same blade or another blade that was recently opened.  The sharper the blade, the easier it is to shade detailed lines. 

Once complete, I use an eraser to clean up stay pencil marks. 

At this point the egg is complete.  You can spray the egg with acrylic or another clear protection layer.  I personally do not do this.  I am not a fan of shiny eggs and like the look of a matted finish.  

If you put another hole in the top of the egg you and string a ribbon through to make your creation into an egg ornament. 


Now that you know the basics of egg etching, I will be excited to see if anyone would post an egg they etched here!  I see creations online far better than my own, and would love to see yours. 

This type of egg art is dying.  Not many people try it as much as pysanky.  I started seeing more people learning this craft in the past couple years, and I hope the interest will continue to grow. 



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Networking 101

Today I am excited to discuss networking... how does this connect to eggs? Well turns out a friend of mine Mike McCay, trades green eggs with me for etched eggs.  He told a friend of his who raises geese about my work. She gave me 31 goose eggs on Sunday!! I am in heaven!  These eggs are goregeous!!

I cannot wait to empty these eggs out, clean them, dye them, and etch new designs onto them! 


I am grateful that a friend thought of me when speaking with someone else. I gained some eggs, a new contact, and potentially another friend who has an interest in birds and eggs. 

The next post will be devoted to Mike McCay and the green chicken eggs he collects! Check back soon!

Monday, March 20, 2017

First Day of Spring!

First Day of Spring!! This means if egg artists have not been in full swing, they certainly are now!  Egg items are in stores for Easter, chicken eggs are flying off the shelves at grocery stores, and farmers are making a killing with their egg sales.  


Everyone is looking for chicken, duck, goose, turkey, and other types of eggs.  More and more articles are coming out about how to cook with eggs, how to store eggs, and all around egg information and recipes.  

Quiche once again has become a popular french dish to prepare and serve (and not just for breakfast and brunch).  

I personally bought goose and turkey eggs from an egg farm and recently received them.  I even bought my first rhea egg to tackle.  

Although I am a fan of fall and winter, the beginning of Spring has its own appeal.  The air is crisp and I can smell life.  Even the smell of dirt smells amazing because it is teaming with potential.  Soon the last of the snow will be gone, buds will form, and grass will grow.  Green will emerge and colors will come back to the world.  The flowers will come up, and the idea of an afternoon stroll with the dog sounds like the best idea one could possibly have.  

I am an impatient person.  I want immediate gratification.  Spring could not come sooner.  Should it race here over night, wearing bells and whistles, I would wake up one happy camper. 

Right now, my goals are grand and impractical.  I hope to etch eggs with all my spare time, and reap the pleasures of Spring as soon as they present themselves.  We shall see how much I accomplish and enjoy in the days to come.  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Luck of the Irish!


Happy Saint Patrick's Day! I forgot just how much I love wearing green!  I have my 3.00 bargain bin green glasses on at work, and feel like a pot of gold! :-) 

Above is my Shamrock egg.  I had forgotten about this design and am glad to resurrect it.  Hopefully a Celtic design is in my future. 

Today I received a call about goose eggs! I am excited that a friend of mine was kind enough to mention my egg passion to another person who raises chickens and geese.  The barter system is amazing! I will get gorgeous goose eggs in exchange for an etched goose egg!  That is a perfect trade in my opinion.  

After talking with the lovely lady, I very much want to raise my own hens with colored egg shells.  I think I need to embrace the fact I cannot do everything and be content in meeting new people, building eggs related friendships, and acquiring eggs that way. 

I worked on a new goose egg design last night ironically enough.  It turned out very well if I do say so myself.  I have not had a chance to shade it yet, but when I do, I will post it here.  I like it enough that I already outlined a second, and I will outline a third.  That way, if my mom wants it (which she usually does when it has to do with Lithuanian designs), she can have her pick and I still will have two for craft shows. 

This weekend there will be no craft show.  Although I am a little bummed about it, I am excited that I will have a weekend to stay home, clean up the house after Snowmageddon, etch eggs, and all around relax.  I want to drink an entire pit of tea while making earrings in front of the fire, and watch a musical.  Maybe "Hello Dolly."  Yes, I am a real party animal. 

The corned beef is in the crockpot, I will head home for lunch to have a bowl of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and corned beef.  Then when the day is done, Carol (sister), Jess (friend) and I will go see Beauty and the Beast.  We cannot wait, and I am sure the experience will be magical! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Snow Day Means Egg Day!

March 14, 2017 - lovingly dubbed Snowmaggedon was a fun day for me!  Not only was the office closed (though I brought some work home to do, since I am so responsible), but I finally had some time to photograph all my egg designs to date for my portfolio. When I say, I had time, I mean I was able to convince my husband to take the photos while I worked on other things, like office work. 

I now have the job of photo shopping each photo, cropping the images, and posting them here.  The suspense is killing me.  Although the office is once again closed today, while the plow people figure out where to put 24 inches of snow around the entire time, I am still in the office getting a few things done.  When I get home, I will be working on all the photos so I can post them here for your viewing pleasure.  

Here is a sneak peek of the photos!  I even had the ability to use the light box I bought roughly 2 years ago.  The box was very easy to use and I am pleased as punch with my purchase.  


Once the photos are tweaked, cropped, and posted, I will get back into etching more eggs.  I started remembering designs I haven't done for years.  Isn't it funny how designs sometimes just fall out of your memory bank.  Some of the designs I started recollecting are old favorites that I cannot believe I forgot in the first place.  

Once those designs are completed, I will be working on newer and larger designs.  I have an idea for a Lithuanian sash design to put on a goose egg.  I started outlining it last night, and when it is done, I hope to share it with you on here. 

I hope everyone on the East Coast is snug and warm in their homes.  Please be careful if you are driving at all in the snow.  If you are not affected by Snowmaggedon, please pray for those who are. 


Friday, March 10, 2017

TGIF and NCCC Craft Show Bethlehem

Thank goodness it's Friday! 

Finally, the week is over and we can start thinking about the crafts we will complete over the weekend!

Will tonight be a few etched eggs?  Maybe some soap and earrings.  Or perhaps a few cards for Easter. 


I hope to make some cute HOPPY cards and Easter related eggs this weekend. 

I have a show coming up tomorrow in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at NCCC.  Check Out Website Here!

The show will be from 9:00 AM through 3:00 PM. 

I am excited to be selling the following: 

  • Lithuanian Scratched Bantam, Chicken, Duck, Turkey, and Goose eggs 
  • Drop and Pull eggs (natural and colors)
  • One of a Kind Greeting Cards
  • Handmade Soap 
  • Earrings
  • Homemade Nut roll and Peanut Butter Eggs
  • Much much more!
Hopefully I will have the chance to take pictures when I am there and post about the fun my mom and I had.  

Until then... Happy Weekend Crafting!!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Throwback Thursday!

Today let's look back at 2011!! Roughly 6 years ago my family and I were preparing for the 97th consecutive Lithuanian Days! 


We had a blast getting ready for the huge event held in Frackville Pennsylvania.  

Here is the gang with Father Wassel, my parent's childhood priest.  

I had my eggs for sale.  It is certainly interesting to see how some designs stand the test of time and how others are simply forgotten.  I should remake a few that slipped through the cracks over the last 6 years.  


Tonight I should try to get a few more eggs done and then I will be spending some time on earrings and cards.  

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Spring Egg Festival - PITTSBURGH

My mom and I had our first Spring 2017 craft show! We got our feet wet and had a blast in Pittsburgh, PA!
The Polish Group for the Nationality Rooms and the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral for Learning set up a wonderful Spring Egg event with craft tables and food from European Countries.  Lithuania, Poland, China, Ireland, Germany, Ukraine, and many other countries were represented!







The event also had an egg crafting station for people to learn some basic techniques with pysanky and the drop and pull egg art.  

People of all ages were having so much fun learning how to write with wax and adding the eggs to different color egg baths! I was hoping to work on an egg there myself since I do not work with wax traditionally.  Unfortunately I did not have the time, but here are some photos of one of the groups working diligently on their works of art. 


My mom and I had a blast setting up for the show! We were lucky enough to sit around other Lithuanian tables as well as some other countries.  

Even more awesome was the fact that we met face to face with some members of the Incredible Egg Group from Facebook!  There is a photo floating around out there of all 5 of us together for a picture!  I certainly enjoyed watching one woman work on her pysanky during the day.  Her work is impeccable! 

Throughout he day I worked on a few eggs and had fun talking with people as well as showing how I scratch designs onto the eggshell.  





I even sold my "Mistake" egg.  The egg was dyed pink.  When sitting on the drying rack, another egg dyed purple dripped some dyed on the the pink egg.  I could not wipe away the dye quick enough.  I huge purple dot ruined my pink egg.  I decided to dye it purple.  Later, when scratching the egg, I notice the purple would scratch away, but the pink would partially remain.  It made an amazing dual color look.  I loved it! The egg sold during the show, so I took a picture to try to duplicate it when I try dying an egg two colors again. 



Now I am preparing for another craft show this coming Saturday in Bethlehem.  Hopefully I will find time to work with my bud Jessica on some earrings and maybe soap.  I'm really having fun etching eggs right now. We shall see w