25 February 2012

Easter's A-Comin'

I completely lost track of time. Lent totally snuck up on me. In fact, if it wasn't for the 105 students coming through my classes on Wednesday with ashes on their foreheads (our uni is heavily Catholic), I would have had no idea that Catholic lent had started, or that "my" lent (Russian Orthodox) was even near... until my grandmother asked me what I gave up probably two weeks in, that is.


BUT, now that I'm back in reality, and realizing that well, Easter is a'comin, I've got pysanky on the brain. For those who don't know, pysanky (singular = pysanka) are Ukrainian Easter eggs, and they're decorated using a wax-resist method similar to batik.

Basically you go from this...

To this...

To a finished egg! (This is an egg of mine from a few years ago.)

I did a short, visual, kind-of-sort-of "how to" on here a few years back when my mother and I first got back into the tradition after a long break.

Well, we didn't get to make any last year... my first year teaching was just WAY too crazy. But this year, I have plans, and have already been looking for inspiration. And of course, as usual when I'm looking for inspiration, Pinterest was the first place I turned to.

I was a little shocked at how few actual pysanky I found there. It seems to me that they would be the kind of thing that the Pinterest Community would eat up. But I did find some gems among the regular food-color methods, particularly non-traditional designs, which I have a particular soft spot for.

Source: flickr.com via Maggie on Pinterest

Like this one, from pysanky artist So Jeo which is inspired by Japanese chiyogami paper and has gold leaf details. Stunning, and combines my interest in Japanese culture/designs with my own tradition!

Source: etsy.com via Maggie on Pinterest

Or these, which are actually decoupaged wooden eggs from etsy seller CatnipStudioToo. Great inspiration for single-color eggs.

Source: etsy.com via Maggie on Pinterest

Or how about this stunner which I sadly cannot find a source for. The pin traces back to etsy, but the item does not seem to exist any longer. I love the Tiffany-style stained glass look. It looks like they may have even gone over the black lines with black beeswax after the whole thing was done and before it was varnished in order to get that raised stained glass texture.

Source: flickr.com via Maggie on Pinterest

Here's another Japanese inspired design, this time from LadyTetsu on Flickr. I will definitely be experimenting to try to get those kinds of pinks and purples this year.

And then there are these super adorable watercolor eggs by blogger Alisa Burke, whose blog I immediately added to my RRS reader. Some truly beautiful stuff, and great ideas there.

I'm pretty excited to start planning and get started on these this year. I'll be ordering my dyes as soon as I get my next paycheck, and I'll be continuing to catalog inspiration over at Pinterest.

I can't wait to get started!


16 February 2012

Views from the Workstation

Nothing too terribly exciting going on here at Lunaticraft. Lots of work, lots of studying, lots of rehearsal. You know, the same old same old and usually the reasons I drop off the face of the earth during the semesters.

But I'm making a point to at least post once a week this time. I've got a number of posts in the draft stage, and I've decided to diverge from my usual "this is what's happening to me" posts and start featuring things from outside my little bloggy world.

I know I've said this several times in the past, but this time I've actually gotten beyond the "all talk" stage. So I'm hopeful.

In the meantime, I figured I'd fall back on habit and share a little of what I've been up to. Photos of what I see basically every day care of my flickr phone app - my desk at work, and a little preview of my current "mindless" knitting project.

I'm using a pattern I found on Ravelry called the "Favorite Scarf Ever" (link to my project page). Easy peasy to memorize, and it's a great knit for at the end of the day when I simply can't think anymore. Perfect for a mid-semester project.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day. I for one woke up to this cute little arrangement from my parents. They know me well. Boyfriend and I ended up stuck in rehearsal and class from early morning until about 10 at night on Tuesday, so we're actually going to celebrate later this afternoon with a dinner date after he gets out of class.

He dropped by the most stunning bouquet of flowers that night though. I haven't had light nice enough to photograph them yet, but as soon as I do I'll be sharing.


(And yes, my name is Maggie. It's about time I got over my internet paranoia and outed myself.)

05 February 2012

Cozy Cozy Kogarashi

An FO!

Wait... really?

YES! Shockingly enough, I've actually finished a project in less than two years.

I started off with two skeins of Noro Kogarashi and four skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky (now discontinued) that I had picked out/been given for Christmas two years ago.

And I ended up with this!

It's just a basic Noro Striped Scarf a la Jared Flood. Quick, easy, non-complicated, but with yummy yummy results.

I was pretty shocked at how far the Kogarashi went - I only used one of the skeins of the Kogarashi (and about 2 1/2 of the Debbie bliss) and the scarf is over six feet long! I thought for sure I'd need both.

The scarf itself is super cozy and colorful, and its impossible for me to catch the full effect of it on camera due to how long it is. One of these days I'll commission the boyfriend to help me do a quick photo shoot with me wearing it.

In the meantime I'm faced with the question of... what to do with the left over yarn? I'm thinking matching headband or hat. Or mittens. Or... or... I'm not really all that sure.

Time to get my thinkin' cap on!