Monday, March 30, 2009

Even More Easter Eggs

It is Easter Egg season so I am excusing myself for featuring and talking about so many eggs. These here are by Carla Tomaszewski. An American egg artist skilled in Eastern European egg decorating techniques. Pictured below is her scratched Easter Egg range. A technique which I have attempted several times and left alone as Ihave found it too time consuming and at times frustrating and difficult to master. Carla tells me one egg can take her three hours to make. I'm not suprised judging by the level of detail. I have been greatly inspired by these eggs and will be having another go at this technique. I love these especially because they look exactly like the traditional Polish eggs. Technique and design is true to tradition. Something Carla is very passionate about. Go to her website here and you'll see a great deal of information about Poland and its history and traditions.

image source Carla Tomaszewski

image source Carla Tomaszewski

image source Carla Tomaszewski

More Easter Eggs

Taking a turn away from traditional Eastern European Egg decorating I'd like to share these beauties from my friend Lisa Tilse's studio. I love these black chalkboard eggs. They are so different and fun and make a fantastic gift if you're over the whole chocolate thing. Although you can still give a chalkboard egg AND chocolate! Come to think of it they don't even have to be given as an Easter gift exlusively. I can see these as a fun gift all year round. The eggs are ostrich and are painted with chalkboard paint all ready for you and/or the kids to have fun on. Check Lisa's blog for more info and how to buy them.

image source: lisa tilse, the red thread

image source: lisa tilse, the red thread

AND I absolutely love these. I loved them from the moment I saw them. They are so subtle and soft and very much Lisa's style. These are goose eggs dyed with natural vegetable dyes and painted in white designs. Again check out her blog for more on these. In fact just check out her blog alltogether because it's gorgeous and full of breathtaking inspiration. Thank you Lisa for letting me share these with my blogs visitors!!

image source: lisa tilse, the red thread

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Easter Eggs

Alas Easter! I feel somewhat sad coming up to this Easter. It is the first year that I can remember that I have been unable to paint eggs like I usually do every year. I did do a few, some for me to test out a new method and a couple for a friend of mine who ordered them way back in January. I am delighted that all my other products have been selling so well that I've found it hard to keep up but the downside is that I will have no eggs to sell this year. I send out my apologies once again to all of you who emailed me wanting to place orders. Next year will be different.....(famous last words!)

Anyhow here is a selection of eggs I have painted in the past that I wanted to share with you all. If you're into egg painting or want to have a go I hope some of these may inspire you. I get ideas and inspiration from all sorts of disciplines of Polish and eastern european folk-art. I never worry about getting anything perfect. None of the designs on any of my eggs are perfectly symmetrical or even. In fact much of it is lopsided, lines are unevenly thick and thin and the colours are never smooth. However having seen a lot of other folk-art I have been delighted to see that it's not all about getting it perfect. Much of the art is made by common folk in their homes next to fireplaces and with relatives and friends. It is all about the tradition, the process and the cultural practices. The end result is a colleciton of works with soul and substance that you just won't get with mass produced work. To me the whole egg, the process, the love of doing it and the overall finished effect when you have a dozen colourful eggs in the basket is what makes me smile in the end. Having said that there are some incredibly talented egg artists out there. The kind that ought to have their eggs displayed in museums. (and some do). I admire those people to no end as they posess skill and talent acquired over many years and practice as well as through the teachings of other masters before them. Enough talk here are the pics...

These are from 2003. I painted them using basic acrylic paints. I prepared each egg by coating it with a good layer of gesso. This helped the paints to stick nicely to the egg surface. Also I used some little beads to finish off the top and bottom holes made by hollowing out the eggs.

This lot is from 2006. It was my greatest glory as I had these featured on the front cover of Good Living magazine. I will keep thanking John Saxby (editor) until I die. You can see the front cover on the "press" page of my website. Acrylic on a base of gesso once again.

These are from last year. I tried a new method this time as I was after a glossier finish without having to varnish them in the end. So I found these porcelain paint pens by Pebeo. You can get them in nearly all art supply shops. I base-coated each egg with a creamy coloured acrylic. I wanted all the eggs to have the same base colour and as you know eggs come in many different shades of white-brown. I was very pleased with these and enjoyed doing a monochrome range.

These here are goose eggs. I wanted a totally different look with these. I was after an earthy, rough kind of feel. I wanted these to be matt as opposed to all the glossy ones I'd done in the past. Again I used acrylic paints but this time I first sanded the egg lightly to make the paint adhere better to the surface. Then I painted the design on first in just one colour (mainly brown) and then sanded it back until it looked just like a grainy veil of colour and then I applied a second coat of acrylic over the top. This brought the grain out from undeneath and muted the colours that went over the top. I like this result as well. Although if I did a lot more and mucked aorund with more colour combinations I know they'd look a hundren times better. I will be getting back to these.

The most recent. I did these for my friend Helen who asked for some eggs many months ago. This is the style I was going to go for this Easter. Full bright colours and big bold patterns. I was really plased with these and will definately return to this design style in the future.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Wall-hangings

WOW I'm back and delighted to be back! I didn't think it would take this long to get back into the swing of things after Christmas but it did. I have been very busy with new retailers and new products and my two children one starting school and the other pre-school which has been a very big deal in our house. We all seem to be settling into a routine now so I thought now is a good time to get back to my blog.

The wallhangings pictured below have been a long time coming and finally I can say that they are available for sale. It's taken this long mainly because I have been searching for the right type of fabric to use for them. I tried canvass, different types of cotton, raw silk, hessian and was never 100% satisfied with any. That was until I went out and bought some heavy weight hemp. I am absolutely delighted with the result and even more so since learning of all the wonderful ecological and health benefits that hemp has to offer. I get supplied by and if you visit their website you can learn about all the qualitites of hemp and never look back! I am now in a kind of hemp trance and want to get rid of all the bedsheets in the house and replace the lot with hemp!

The wall-hangings are printed on heavy weight hemp canvass and are finished off on the reverse with double stitched herringbone tape. They measure 65cm x 90cm (appr). The design printed on them is a traditional polish-folk art motif which I designed late last year for the wrapping paper. The wrapping paper has been extremely popular and people from all over have been saying that I should use that design on other things. I am not fond of recycling my own work but must admit I am very happy with these.

I also have a special offer available on these until the end of march. If you'd like to take advantage or get onto my mailing list send me and email

That's all for now :)