Tuesday, April 25, 2006

isn't it beautiful?

i took a picture of the flowers that sally nelson brought, see.

Poetry Reading

I'm doing poetry with my 7th graders, and on the last day before Easter break we read some Edward Lear limericks, then wrote some of our own. A few of the girls got really into it at the time, and during their science class later in the day they kept coming to me with ones they had written (apparently in science they had some time to kill, as they were studying erosion and were watching water drip on the ground... literally).

Anyway, so when we got back from vacation one of them came to me with a whole bunch that she had written - I present here, for your amusement, the best (in my opinion) one of the bunch.

Limerick #1
by A.R., 7th grade

There once was a lonely old hag,
Whose possessions numbered one rag.
But with cunning and skill
And against the man's will
A husband she managed to snag.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Hi All,
I finally signed in Lawler Family Blog.
See ya.

Grandma's Birthday

Bridget writes her card for Grandma. (Note the new haircut)


The Donovans- Grandma's neighbors

Aunt Fran and cousin Julie

Pop presents the cake

Suki, Grandma, and cousin Joanne

Deirdre, Grandma and Aunt Ellen

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The cake I want for my next birthday

The Ukrainians are Coming!!

You gotta love Pysanky. As I make plans to go professional, here's a shoot of most of my work up till now.

Pictexplanation: The evolution of a pysanky egg:

First you draw your design and put down wax on the plain egg, if you want any white on your final product.

Then you dip in the dyes, light to dark, waxing as you go. Here I added lines onto the yellow egg, but they're a little hard to see.

Now I've got gold over the yellow. A subtle difference -- but notice how the wax is accumulating?

Then I did pink and then brown. Here's the finished product, after all the wax has been melted and wiped away.

And a close up. Lots of lines on this one.

A random picture of the blue dye. Yep. There it is.

Some products of past years:

I believe I did this one on a naturally brown egg.

This one was brown too. It comes out very pale tan next to the dyes.

Two views of this one - pysanky done on a naturally green egg.

The front of this one didn't come out too well. I always prefer looking at its side.

Some less traditional designs. This art takes a lot of expirimentation.

Two views of my henna egg.

This one broke. You can't really tell, but the other side of the top is cracked away. It's also superglued in places. Fragility of the eggshell is just one of the many variables in pysanky. Sometimes you drop them and they live. Sometimes they burst in your hand for no apparent reason... this one I accidentally knocked off the table.

It's okay though. See, I'm beginning a reproduction of the egg! I think this one's gonna be better anyway.

Two views of a very traditional one I did last year. This was also done on a brown egg. I got lucky: notice the gorgeous shape of this shell.

Three views of one from last year, and my favorite to date. This was a gift for mom, who loves bees.

This is the first egg I did this year up in my attic studio. I found that when I moved all the pysanky stuff down to the kitchen for the lent/easter season, my work improved. Not sure why.

Had some trouble with the dyes on this one...

I was so frustrated with this one I almost broke it. A few drops of dye got into the egg during the first dippings-- and then came back to haunt me later. If your egg isn't completely dry on the inside, the egg can leak and sweat, which messes up subsequent dyes, thwarts the wax, and generally makes life miserable. Plus I got the first blob in years. (If you spill wax on your egg, you can't take it off. It seals on whatever dye it touches and consequently ruins your design.) You can't see it from this view, but it's there.

Another on a brown egg. After this one I decided I'd stick with pure white eggs for the nonce.

Front, side, and back views of one of this year's eggs.

Front and back views. I often like to have contrasting designs on the sides.

My latest thing is the stained-glass window egg. The trick is to do everything but the lines, which you leave for the last dye in black. It takes a lot more planning than a lot of the designs I do.

Four views of my favorite egg from this year (so far). I figure each layer of color takes me anywhere between 20 min. to an hour.

Here's the work of many years... fruits of the whole family's labor. Every Holy Week the kitchen smells like beeswax, smoke, and vinegar.

Then we have pretty Easter decorations like these!