21 March 2009

Ahhh, the wonders of spring break...

Spring break has been treating me well this year. I've been run ragged by school and work for the last few months, having never fully recovered from my substitute stint, so the past week has been wonderful. Slept until I woke up naturally, puttered around with my coffee a bit, worked on pysanky for hours, crocheted a little while I watched my daily news shows, and fell asleep whenever the hell I wanted to. It's been glorious, and just what I needed to recharge my batteries for midterms.

I am trying to get as many pysanky done as I possibly can, because I know once break is over it's going to be much more difficult for me to get done without the time to sit down and finish a whole egg in one session. I have a dreadful time just working bit by bit, because I forget what I've already done. I also forget where I was planning to go from that point. My mother, on the other hand, is able to just sit down, work for fifteen minutes at a time, and go do whatever it is she needs to do, picking up exactly where she left off after she's ready. As I result she gets many more done in much less time. I guess it comes with practice.

Anyway, I've managed to pull off my first really successful egg (the egg directly above), and we took the wax off of it the other night (slightly blurry photo at the top of the post). My mom did the de-waxing, because clearly I don't have the knack of it down yet, judging by my last failure. I plan on doing some simple two-color eggs today sometime, so I can practice de-waxing them myself without worrying about ruining something I spent five+ hours on.

I'm pretty happy with my first successful egg of the season, I must admit. My lines are gradually getting straighter, and I'm getting far more confident with the kitsky.

Of course, it certainly doesn't match my mom's skills yet. She's still got me beat by miles, both in accuracy, design, and quantity finished, as you can see above. Mine is in the top left corner. All the rest are hers. But that's okay, she's got a lot more practice than I!

I do think that my next egg is going to at least come close. It's taken me about 7+ hours on this one, but the time was well worth it. Above you can see it ready for it's first dye bath, and below it's all ready for the wax to come off.

I'm going to see if my mom will de-wax it tonight (I don't trust myself with this one, even after I practice today!), and I can't wait to see how it turned out. My only complaint is that the orange dye didn't take very well to the egg. It came out more like a peachy pastel, which kind of annoyed me. But there wasn't that much orange in the design, so here's hoping it'll be great!

Despite all the pysanky mania here, I did get some progress done on my afghan/bedspread. Not much, but some. I'm up to 16 squares now, so I think about a little over half done. I threw around some different arrangement options for the square organization this morning, and I think I'm liking the way it's turning out. The random rounds make it look like a more modern update of the normal granny square blanket. Not that I don't like regular granny square blankets, but I think this is going to be cool too. Well, in real life, anyway. The colors on this one just don't want to photograph properly, no matter what I try, and I'm getting pretty frustrated.

Oh well, I'll figure out eventually!



Jennifer said...

Your work is beautiful!! Don't compare it to anyone else's, only enjoy the process and the lovliness you are creating! I had a lesson in the traditional easter eggs when I was a child, but of course never came anywhere near the level of artistry that you and your mother have achieved!!
I am really enjoying your blog! I don't know if you ever got my reply to your first comment on my blog, but it was funny, I was reading yours when I got the email telling me you had commented on mine.... I am glad to meet you, my new blog friend!!
Ah, Nathan Fillion... Did you see him on Ellen? You would love him more if you knew the story of Dirty Cat. Who DOESN'T love him??

lara griffiths said...

oooh the afghan is turning out fantastic!

Iron Needles said...

Those are really something! Very impressive.

By the way...moms are just suppose to be really good at some stuff...or at least let on like we are!

Lupie said...

All the eggs are amazing and I can't wait to see your last one.
This is such a beautiful tradition you can pass on to your children. We need to do more things like this with children to make their lives and the lives of future generations richer!

Megan said...

These are so freakin' impressive! I LOVE the one you did and the one on the bottom right with the flowers.

Timiae said...

Ok, that is seriously really cool. Beautiful!

The afghan is great! Are you crochet seaming them together or what? I have my pattern for my next granny square afghan, just need the kick in the rear to start it.

petrina said...

your eggs are fab! the patterns are so striking