Thursday, 31 March 2011

Washington Wonders

Celebrated some personal milestones in fantastic Washington, DC last week.  Just in time for their Cherry Blossom Festival.  Although the trip was too short, we were able to visit many of the major attractions.  Weather was beautiful and the sites from atop the double decker were breathtaking.  Unlike my previous visit which was for the book launch of About the Pysanka—It Is Written!  A Bibliography, when Library of Congress was closed for a movie shoot, we were able to actually get into this amazing place.  The librarian in the Thomas Jefferson reading room was pleasantly surprised that someone other than official readers, researchers or tourists were making inquiries.  Some pages of the bibliography were dog-earred, indicating a pattern of use. Glad the book is so popular! 

Maybe next trip we'll be in time for the White House Egg Roll!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Dye Happy

"My dyes have sat for some time between use and have grown mold on the surface.  Are they ruined?  If not, how can I save them?  How do I store them between use so this doesn't happen again?  HELP!
Beginner in the USA

Have faith!  No, your dyes are not ruined.  Here are some tips on how you can save them and store them between use:
  • dyes can last for many years
  • their two enemies are evaporation and mold growth
  • store dyes in airtight jars (glass or plastic)
  • freeze dyes when you’re not using them to avoid bacteria growth
  • if dyes turn cloudy (i.e. showing evidence of bacteria growth) simply strain them through  cheesecloth, bring to a boil, and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • during your busy season add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to dyes to rejuvenate their dyeing power
  • do not throw away the instructions for preparing the dyes after you have made them--some dyes don’t require the adding of vinegar
  • save the instructions and tape them to your dye jars—or indicate some other warning on your jar such as “do not add vinegar”
I hope this info helps.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Orange you glad you asked me?

Erica, you said you are not "having good results with the orange dye.  Even leaving the egg in the dye all day, the color is light".  I'd like to comment on that and help you figure out what's going on.

I had the most amazing results with orange dye today, so it's not the dye lot.  However, that's of little comfort to you, so let me go through a process of elimination to help you with your situation.

Assuming the dye is mixed according to the package directions, here are a few things that could be happening:
  • it could be the eggs themselves, but unfortunately there's no way of knowing any adverse effects in advance
  • are your hands clean and/or free of hand lotion?  grease and oil can prevent the dye from adhering to the egg
  • are you using orange on a yellow egg?  a yellow foundation will help the orange
  •  are you using orange on a green or blue egg?  orange makes an excellent "wash" and removes darker colors (such as light green, light blue or turquoise) to prepare your shell for the brighter colors of red, pink or brick; however by doing this, your orange may not be as bright as you expect
  •  are your eggs fresh (I don't mean whole eggs versus empty eggshells; I mean freshly purchased)? over time an eggshell will dry out
Assuming you have taken care to prepare your eggs and dye, you could try a quick dip into colors such as red or scarlet, then back to the orange to see if you get more depth of color.

Let me know if any of these pysanky tips resolve your problem!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Rock a Pysanka

Our 2011 Spring Break pysanky workshops:

Pysanky4Kids – daily from March 29 to April 3rd at 2:00 pm.  Ask for our family rate!

Discover the Magic – evening workshops from March 29th to April 3rd at 7:00 pm

Friday, 4 March 2011

One small step for pysanky, one giant leap for iluvpysanky . . . .

Joan Brander here, on the launch pad of iluvpysanky.  Welcome to my first official blog!  I decided I needed to take steps to launch my Ukrainian pysanky egg decorating company, Baba’s Beeswax, into the galaxy of the contemporary social network rather than just think about it.  So this is my first step. 

I reflect on the journey that has brought me here, back to the days of the dinosaur, or at least to the last millennium in 1997, when I first created  I remember all those hours hunched over my keyboard programming html, and am amazed that today in just a few seconds I created this blog with a touch of a button! 

Blastoff!  As I thunder into orbit, who knows what the future of this blog will be.  Hang on for the ride!