The art and craft of pysanky

egg artist

Two More Classes Coming Soon!

This just in…Two Ukrainian Egg Workshops on Saturday March 12, 2016

9:30 AM to 12 PM — Introductory Class

Darkredradiatingstarlarge1301413This basic class is for anyone who wants to take the first steps in making these colorful eggs.  No previous experience or skill needed.

1 to 3:30 PM–Trypillian Egg Decorating

1600313webIn this class we will use the same layering of wax and dyes as in the introductory class, but work on a very different style of Ukrainian egg.

To sign up contact Carmichael Recreation and Park District.  For more details and to register, click here.


A Taste of Heaven

Five days of “playing eggs” with friends old and new, now that is my idea of what heaven is like.  I just got back from the Pysanky USA Retreat 2015 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and am still on a pysanky high.  Together with 70 other pysanky artists we spent our days giving and teaching classes, hanging out in the play room working on eggs, and catching up on each other’s lives.  True community at its best.

 

This is a far-flung group to say the least.  One person came from Japan and not only that, she comes from the same city where I was born.  Such a small world, isn’t it?  Another spent this last year on the medical ship Mercy Africa in Madagascar.  Many folks came from the Northeastern states but we had attendees from the South, the Midwest, the West Coast and also Canada.

 

Here are just a few photos to give you a taste of my personal heaven.


Summer Camp for Me!

Doing what you love is a good thing…but doing it with a bunch of other people who also love it is an amazingly good thing.  I spent last week in Pennsylvania with 60+ other pysanky artists at an egg retreat learning, teaching, connecting and laughing with friends old and new.  To put it simply, I went to summer camp for adults…and I highly recommend it.

 

This is my third year attending the Pysanky USA Retreat.  I took a few classes, taught a few classes and mostly hung out in the “play room” where we could work on our own projects as we talked and shared about egg art and life in general.  The room population ebbed and flowed throughout the day as classes started which allowed me to meet new people with the luxury of unhurried time on our side.  Free flowing ideas sparked new techniques, new color combinations, new dyes to try.  Wow, my brain got full fast!

 

I came away from this week not only with a renewed enthusiasm for this art but with a sense of community and connectedness to my fellow pysanky artists across the country.  And I’m already looking forward to next year!


Calendar Girl

calendar

I know this is a bit late but I’m Miss February, for the third year running!  Or at least one of my eggs is Miss February.   Click here to see a preview of all the wonderful photos and find out how you can order a 2014 calendar for your very own.

Creating beauty on eggshells can be a time-consuming and lonely process but thanks to modern technology I am part of a worldwide egg art family.  To me, this calendar is tangible proof that even though separated by miles, we are a community connected through our art.


Passing It On

More than thirty years ago in my former life (those days before marriage and children) I worked as a registered nurse first in a hospital and then in a doctor’s office.  Another life chapter began when I started teaching Body & Soul, an international program that combines faith and fitness.  Twenty three years later I’m still leading my fitness class weekly and have also been speaking and demonstrating the art of pysanky to individuals and small groups whenever the opportunity arises.

As I reflect back on all those experiences I noticed a common thread…teaching.  I never thought of myself as a teacher before but the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense.  Even when I worked as a nurse, the part I liked best was that one-on-one time teaching.

I delight in taking complex topics, breaking them down to understandable pieces, and communicating those ideas in a simple way the listener can grasp.  I also love the challenge of coming up with different ways to transmit knowledge to help the student gain success.  And I especially love seeing that student’s eyes light up with understanding when the “light bulb” turns on at last.

Arts Camp Pysanky 2In a couple of weeks I get to teach another group of fifth and sixth grade students all about this egg art called pysanky.  Arts Camp 2013 at Oak Hills Church in Folsom is one of the highlights of my year.  Students from first through sixth grade come together for a week of fun and excitement where they explore a particular art and in the process learn more about the God who created them.

If you know of a student who might be interested, it’s not too late to sign up for this great adventure.  My class still has a few spots left and I know there are openings in a wide variety of other arts as well.  For more information, click here.

Let the fun begin!


Me on TV???

I am a “behind the scenes” person by nature.  I do not like being the center of attention.  And that sentiment goes a long way back.  In second grade I remember vividly a time when our classroom ended up with an extra red rubber ball after recess one day.  My teacher asked for a volunteer to return it to the neighboring classroom and everyone jumped up waving arms ecstatically in the air.  That is, everyone except me.  I sat quietly with hands folded thinking, ”Why would anyone want to go and do that?”  Sister Mary Vincent settled the class down and then imagine my shock when she called on me.  I began quaking in my saddle shoes as she handed me the ball.  I can still feel the terror of leaving the safety of my classroom to walk that long hallway, knock on the door and then enter the other classroom, all eyes fixed on me.  Oh the horror!

Given my aversion to the limelight, it’s rather hard to imagine myself on television but that’s what happened on the Friday before Easter.  With just a few days notice Channel 31 Good Day Sacramento’s Cody Stark and his camera man came into my kitchen to highlight my egg art.  Ch31 truckMe on live TV, just like that.  I didn’t have much time beforehand to fret and get nervous which is probably a good thing.  And talking about pysanky and demonstrating the process was easy.  While I can’t exactly call myself a television star, I can at least say,”Want to see me on TV?  Click here.”


Lightning Does Strike Twice!

product_thumbnailLast year I had the privilege of seeing a photo of my eggs printed in a beautiful calendar featuring pysanky from artists across the globe.  My son, Ryan, did an amazing job photographing a collection of my red eggs which was the featured photo for February.

This year I am thrilled to announce another photo of my eggs appears in a calendar…and once again it’s for February.  Click on Incredible Eggs 2013 Calendar to get more information and preview all the pictures.

I guess now I really am “Miss February!”