Pysanky Eggs

Last week I went over to my sister’s house and we dyed eggs and had an egg hunt for my nieces. A tradition my sister carries on is making Pysanky Eggs. Pysanky Eggs are  “pretty Ukrainian Easter egg[s], decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist (batik) method.” [Wikipedia] My sister bought a kit off of the internet, and while we are not from a Ukrainian ethnicity, this is a type of art that my step-mother learned and taught us when we were younger and something  my sisters and I continue to do today. We did not let the 4 and 5 year old do these eggs. I personally got burnt a bit with the hot wax, this is not a craft for really young children.

Basically you apply melted wax to the white egg using a stylus in a special design. The part with the melted wax remains white as you dye the egg in building colors from yellow to purple or black. What you cover with the wax stays that color. In the end you remove all the hardened wax by heating the egg over a fire and wiping off the wax to reveal your design. The hard part of making pysanky eggs is thinking backwards re the colors. It’s also a difficult practice because we do not use hard-boiled eggs, instead we use raw eggs, a crack can spoil the egg and then you have to throw away hours of hard work. But those that turn out are kept as decoration for years. 

Here are some traditional Pysanky Eggs. You can find more on Pinterest along with several design instructions to make your own.

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And here are a couple pictures of mine. I kept the dying process simple, choosing to do two shades of blue and worked on making a more elaborate design with those colors than my previous designs. Even with a simple design and only dying it two colors, the process took me four hours. I accidentally burnt parts of the egg when melting off the wax, which accounts for some of the discoloration.

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Movie Review of The Last Unicorn and Playing Dress Up

I’m currently watching The Last Unicorn, Anniversary Edition, which I borrowed from the library because my niece likes unicorns, still believes in magic, and is confident the workers on the side of the road are pumping magic treasure into the ground. The Last Unicorn is set in medieval times and is about a Unicorn that sets out to find other unicorns, convinced she is not the last one left on the earth. Along the way she encounters danger, adventure, and monsters. The Last Unicorn, based on the book by Peter S. Beagle, boasts the voice acting talent of Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, Alan Arkin, and Christopher Lee with songs performed by America.

Some notable moments are the riddle speaking butterfly that made my niece quite excited. I mean, talking butterflies with hats, what more could a five year old ask for? Plus he calls the unicorn sunshine, or sings about sunshine, I couldn’t quite tell from the kitchen where I was cutting apples; but my niece was quite happy and said, “You know my grandpa with the long beard? He calls me ‘Sunshine.’” Which made me laugh quite a bit, because her description was hilarious and accurate. She’s talking about my father, and you tell me if she was spot on.

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OK, so it’s not the longest beard I’ve ever seen, but it is pretty intense. In fact, when his hair is sticking up and wiry someone once aptly called him a bush with two eyes.

The movie is far more detailed and the plot line more extensive than I would have thought. The art work is quite good, with the animation classic scooby-do (I’m sure there is a proper term for this, but that is what I call it). The background is very vague and the characters detailed, but with little shading. Some of the animation gets a bit muddled with all the magic going on, but an eye pleasing experience over all.

I didn’t finish the movie though. As I said it is rather detailed in plot and my niece got bored about halfway through when the plot hadn’t even taken off yet. It just kind of meandered along really, I was bored myself. So I suggested we get dressed up and go for a walk. Which we did, and had a grand time. I mean to go back and watch the end of the movie, but high fantasy isn’t really my thing and I couldn’t justify giving time over to a movie I didn’t really want to watch when there are so many other shows I’m behind on. Like HIMYM. (I just got around to watching my DVR of the show and watched the series finale and WHAAAA???)

I mean, doesn’t this look like more fun anyway?

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New Movie from Dollhouse Alums

I recently started rewatching Dollhouse at night and stumbled on an article about the Dollhouse alum making a movie titled Lust for Love. I’m going to have to track this one down, Victor is one of my all time favorite male characters and I’ve been meaning to track down the actor and see some of his other work. The trailer made me laugh out loud. Headbuttee FTW! http://youtu.be/w_fy3efQCaE

Throw Back Thursday Circ. 1985

Jami opening phone

It’s throwback Thursday where people post pictures of them from eons ago, or maybe from just a few years ago. Apparently at one point and time I had a mullet. My only excuse is that it was the 80′s and I was a curious child who first cut her hair with scissors and then when those were taken away found some nail clippers.

My mom likes to tell the story that my little baby sister found my curly hair piled under the crib where I had cut it all off and brought out one of my curls to tattle tail on me. My mom seeing the curl thought it was a rat’s tail and screamed bloody murder. I think it was payback for her desire to name me Jami Smurf….., you heard me right. Smurf. Though to be fair she was 17 when she was trying to name me and there were lots of critters that got into that trailer, a possum and raccoon for a few examples.