Decorating for Easter Try Pysanky an Overview on How to Make Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Pysanky, these Ukrainian Easter eggs are decorated using the wax-resist (batik) method. Covered in stunning motifs often taken from Slavic folk art

Pysanky (plural form of pysanka) is from the Ukrainian word “pysaty” meaning “to write.” Pysanky eggs are hand-drawn creations—first in pencil using guidelines to section off eggshells into a grid pattern, and then with detail within the grid. Afterward, pencil lines are covered with beeswax using a stylus or writing pen called a kistka and dipping in dyes of progressively darker shades. Similar to the batik work done on fabric. The last step is to remove the wax with a candle flame to reveal the beautiful design hidden beneath. 

Pysanky Ukrainian egg decorating. Authentic Ukraine O. Yasinska & I. Fediv pysanka
Ukrainian egg decorating
Authentic Ukraine O. Yasinska & I. Fediv

But the intricacy of the design is not the only thing that makes a pysanka beautiful. Even simple patterns can be just as striking as detailed ones. The key to beautiful traditional decorating for easter pysanka is symmetry and precision (although symmetry does not always play a role in contemporary patterns). By precision, I mean that the design is drawn within a grid that has been laid out meticulously, I use a lathe and see-through the ruler/stencil for drawing circles. If a pysanky is only divided in half, each half will measure exactly. Similarly, in quadrants, each will measure the same. The entire design, whether simple or detailed, depends on these first measurements to be exact. This is especially important if the egg will be very intricate.

If you have decorated an egg, then you have participated in one of the oldest decorative arts. Archaeologists have long known of egg art if the form of decorated ostrich shell pieces and empty eggs in Africa of great antiquity, found in tombs or archaeological digs, but they did not know how old this custom was. In 2010 an important find was announced that a team led by Pierre-Jean Texier found a cache of decorated ostrich eggs in layers in South Africa dating from 65,000 to 55,000 years before the present.[1]  They had been whole shells but crushed into fragments over time. These eggs were likely used for storing water, as hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari desert do even today. It is speculated that the designs might have been the mark of individual owners of the shells.  An interesting find was that the scratched decorations on the eggs changed over time. Earlier eggs had cross-hatched designs that looked like railroad tracks. Later designs used finer parallel scratches inside of lines. Archaeologists have unearthed ceramic decorated eggs in Ukraine dating circa 3,000 B.C. For those ancients worshiping the sun god Dazhboh, decorated eggs were an affirmation of spring following a harsh winter. The eggs were also considered protection against illness and other forms of misfortune.

When Ukrainians adopted Christianity in circa 988, the practice of easter egg decorations continued but with the focus on Easter. Every egg coloring design has meaning. In the first century A.D. Christians took the ancient legend of the phoenix (one symbol of the sun to the Egyptians) as a sign of the resurrection[i]; in illustrations the bird stands on the egg from which it has risen. Hence, the Easter egg. The first color used to dye Easter eggs was red, symbolizing blood and its life-giving qualities. For several centuries early Christians observed all the traditional Jewish festivals, and thus Easter and Passover coincided. Colored eggs are also used in some Passover celebrations, but whether it was a tradition borrowed from Christianity or not remains a mystery. In ancient China eggs, dyed scarlet, were given as gifts in the spring. A circle represents the sun and integrity, also nature’s triumph over evil. Dots stand for the future. A star or “rosetta” is used to convey life itself, the source of light, beauty and perfection. Triangles are air, fire and water. Straight lines indicate eternal life.

There is meaning to the colors, too. White represents purity, birth, light and rejoicing. Green is fertility and hopefulness, the sun and life’s joys. Purple means faith, trust and patience. Black symbolizes constancy, eternity and the dark before dawn. Throughout history, eggs have been at various times magical, protective, divine — even evil, and they are an obvious fertility symbol. In Buddhist, Taoist and certain Russian rituals they are offered to the dead as representations of the revitalizing powers of nature. 

I think the best learning egg dyeing videos are from Lorie Powpow master pasanky artist. Some tips of mine for in addition to Lorie are: 1) Double down on yellow aniline dye, 2) use a 1 tsp citric acid and 4oz of distilled water and submerge egg for 15min to remove egg membrane and make a perfect canvas, 3) use magic eraser Mr Clean sponge and a drop of water to remove pencil lines never use a rubber eraser. 4) if you love it invest in an electric kistka (wax pen). 

How to draw pysanky designs. Here below is a step by step illustration for a few easter egg designs for pdf download. 

pysanky pysanka wax-resist (batik) Here below is a step by step illustration for a few easter egg designs for pdf download. 

For more detail on pysanky using natural dyes and other egg decorating techniques and folklore see the pamphlet “Egg Art,” Library of Congress American Folklife Center (1982).

Pysanky sculpture was commissioned by the town of Vegreville, in the Canadian province of Alberta noted for its high Ukrainian Canadian population
The sculpture was commissioned by the town of Vegreville, in the Canadian province of Alberta noted for its high Ukrainian Canadian population. In order to obtain funding for it, the town applied for a federal government grant and was eventually able to obtain some funding, but only if the sculpture was dedicated to the 1975 centennial of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Vegreville received a grant to construct the egg, a nod at Ukrainian culture in Canada,and specifically at early Ukrainian settlements east of Edmonton, Alberta

The current Pysanka Museum building was built in 2000 in the western Ukrainian city of KolomyiaIvano-Frankivska Oblast. Previously the pysanka collection had been housed in the Kolomyia church of the Annunciation. The museum is part of the National Museum of Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttya Folk Art. The central part of the museum is in the shape of a pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg). This is the only museum in the world dedicated to the pysanka, and it has become a calling card of the city. In August 2007 the museum was recognized as a landmark of modern Ukraine.

Pysanky Pysanka Museum building was built in 2000 in the western Ukrainian city of Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivska Oblast.

The video below is how I set up batik dyeing.

Pysanky supply shopping hollow blown out goose egg for purchase
Pysanky electric kiska for purchase

Egg Art by Visual Artist Nancy Tranter

Pysanky easter egg art Four Seasons by visual artist Nancy Tranter
Pysanky Egg Art by Visual Artist Nancy Tranter
pasanka wax resist batik multiple eggs
Pysanky Egg Art by Visual Artist Nancy Tranter
pasanka wax resist batik wolf
Pysanky Egg Art by Visual Artist Nancy Tranter
pasanka wax resist batik multiple designs
Pysanky Egg Art by Visual Artist Nancy Tranter
pasanka wax resist batik flower design egg on plate

source: So Jeo, Laurie Popow, Luba Perchyshyn, Gail Lamba, Texier, Pierre-Jean, Library of Congress cataloging Slavic materials, St. Clement of Rome, First Epistle to the Corinthians, Euromaidan Press, Slavko Nowytski, Authentic Ukraine O. Yasinska & I. Fediv, wikipedia.org

#pysankyeggdesigns #pysankysupplies #bestpysanky #pysankydesigns #pysankykit #ukrainianpysanky #howtodrawpysankydesigns

Sandalwood Bar Soap A Fool-Proof Easy Formula

sandalwood soap and tea pot

A wonderful soap for all skin types, this exfoliating bar is made with soothing sandalwood powder from India mixed throughout the bar and luscious exotic oils such as babassou oil, apricot oil, and mango seed butter is a cut above.

Sandalwood bar soap powder from India combines practicality and luxurious comfort for a wonderful bathtime experience. Sandalwood is being used for centuries now. Mostly, it is used in Ayurveda. It relieves you from any kind of cuts or wounds and improvises your skin. The additional sandalwood pencil line is not only aesthetic but a place for coarse exfoliation.

Yogurt Powder has antibacterial and antifungal properties and can rid the face and skin of impurities and the lactic acid found in Yogurt Powder will tighten and soften the complexion as well. Natural dyes such as indigo and infusion of rosehip will add health benefits rich in vitamin C, anti-inflammatory, and have antioxidant benefits


Exotic, woody and warm fragrance with hints of sandalwood, ale, and leather make this lightly scented sandalwood soap unique and delightful. A nice hard soap that will last long.
*No parabens, phthalates
*No preservatives
*No EDTA
*No sulfates
*No synthetic dyes


My soaps are made in small batches with skin-loving vegetable oils, moisturizing butter, and milk. I use only premium grade natural essential oils and absolutes, and even sophisticated fragrance oils from Givaudan, Firmenich. Natural herbal ingredients are also used for their color and properties. super fated around 5%. Due to the handmade nature of my soaps, sizes and appearances may vary from photo. Each bar will weigh approximately 4.5 – 5.5 ounces.
Available at nancystoreonline.com

One of the reasons my guy wanted some new body wash options was that he has sensitive skin. So, I was able to leave out the harsh chemicals that irritate it and now, he’s rather keen on my Sandalwood Soap, to be honest. He likes the way it smells, the manly way it looks, and, the fact that I made it for him. Makes it unique, which a handcrafted gift should be if you ask me.

Sandalwood Bar Soap Recipe by Nancy Tranter

Glucam for a fixative: Painting, Chemistry, and Perfumes

I promised a few of you that I would put up my formula for perfume (12ml) to create a cypher. finished weight approx. 1oz (29.6 ml) using Glucam for a fixative

(top) 3.6ml 30% total top 
0.25ml Glucam p-20
2.6ml Rose de Mai
.5ml Manderine
.25ml Black Tea
.25ml Black Pepper

Description of Scent: NancyPantz rose, brightness, softness, leaf and sweet woods, 

Glucam for a fixative: Painting, Chemistry, and Perfumes for Women

Glucam™ P-20 humectant is a naturally-derived, 100% active, propoxylated methyl glucose ether. It is one of the few naturally-derived cosmetic fluids that are miscible with water, alcohols, organic esters, and oils. In any product, it delivers humectancy with a lubricious, emollient feel. In alcohol-based systems, Glucam P-20 humectant reduces the stinging effect alcohol has on the skin. Equally important is fragrance-containing formulations, it acts as a fixative by subduing volatilization of the “high notes”. The light color and low odor of Glucam P-20 humectant will not interfere with the mood the fragrance is trying to communicate. It is recommended for use in hair care and skincare products.

(heart) 3ml 25% total modifier 
2ml Rose Damask
.125ml Damascone Beta
.125ml rose oxide
.25ml tuberrose
.125ml Peonile (G)
.25ml jasmine
.20ml ylang ylang

(base) 5.4ml 45% 
4.25ml white musk
0.25ml gaiacwood
0.125ml Opopanax-Sweet Myrrh Kenya resin
0.125ml Iso E Super (I)
0.25ml patchouli
.25ml sandalwood

Glucam for a fixative: Painting, Chemistry, and Perfumes for Women

I was creating a sizing for a canvas to be used to make a painting and decided it should smell good as well. I then quickly realized the beauty of the similarity between perfumes and painting joined by chemistry.  

a few perfume notes: Glucam P-20 Fixative (2-5% of your fragrance formula concentrate) for the top mid notes

Marie Curie Marie Sklodowska Curie es. esGram
Marie Curie Marie Sklodowska Curie es. esGram

Juice new undiluted mix sit an at least a few days in order to get an idea of what the scent will really be. After diluting, you need to let it sit for 4-6 weeks. Otherwise, all you will smell is alcohol if you’re using that as the carrier agent. measure this all out in ml everything by volume and refer to math formula, perfume oil 8 parts (29%) of the remaining 70%, alcohol 19 parts (95%) water 1 part (5%) This percentage is extremely important: it is, for the major part, responsible for the tenacity of the perfume. A perfume containing 20% of bases, 30% of modifiers, and 50% of top notes will lack tenacity since the percentage of bases would be relatively too low as compared with that of the more volatile modifiers and top notes. Therefore, the proportions are selected so as to obtain a balanced evolution during evaporation.

sources: The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques by Ralph Mayer, perfumersapprentice.com, two thousand formulas, recipes and Trade secrets by harry bennet F.A.I.C. #perfume #canvassizing #essentialoils #fragranceoils #nancytranterperfume

How to Get Ahead in Interior Design with Restoration: Moe Bridges Art Deco Chandelier

Sometimes an Art Deco Chandelier only needs a light cleaning to remove superficial dirt leaving the original lacquered finish intact.

Interior Design with Restoration Moe Bridges Art Deco Chandelier

The Moe Bridges Chandelier arrived from the flea market with the bobeshes and beaded crystal trim missing. The wiring was from 1910 and the finish was irregular. I acquired the Art Deco Chandelier from a demolition expert working on a house in Sterling, Illinois. If you can find yourself a demolition expert in the midwest the restoration becomes affordable and worth it.

The whole project cost me 38$ not including paint and wiring. The Restoration of the polychrome arms was going to be tricky. I used a mild ketchup solution (that’s right ketchup!) which is great for cleaning paint. I left the ketchup on overnight and gently washed it away with warm water in the morning the brass and chrome were shining. Don’t use chemicals for cleaning paint you run the risk of removing it. The girls had a blast squeezing ketchup everywhere. The photographs speak for themselves.

I first started repainting the molded iron body. Matching the original color was not as hard as I thought in 1910 there were fewer enamel choices and the company Moe Bridges recorded the colors and they are readily available in many places. Next came the verdigris removal. I used a soft tip dremmel and took my time there was a minimaI amount of lost metal. Then I rewired using porcelain fittings and 16AWG UL wire with copper grounding.

Interior Design with Restoration art nouveau chandelier moe bridges

Art Deco Chandelier Lighting can make or break your kitchen interior scheme make sure you take the time out to design for ambient, task, mood, accent, and decorative.

I’m about to install dimmer switches their inexpensive and can give me a wide range of ambient overhead chandelier options. This bolsters my light from the 2′ x 4′ skylight I have. Next is ‘Task’ lighting to ensure safe food prep’ built-in light is under the cabinets. I have an open-concept kitchen. Using ‘Mood’ lighting is a great way to solve the problem. Battery-timed wall sconce candle is a great choice for mood lighting. Avoid fabric-covered lighting ideas as these absorb grease and smells and keep lamps off counters to free up work zones.

sources: ebay, essortment’s channel, grandbrass.comcolin and justin, pricedownmall

art nouveau chandelier moe bridges

sources: ebay, essortment’s channel, grandbrass.comcolin and justinpricedownmall

The Halloween Theme Party Plan to The Enchanted Black Forest

Forests can be spooky and mysterious places. There are a lot of strange noises and things can be seen moving out of the corners of people’s eyes in forests. The enchanted forest theme works well with Autumn. When it comes to famous forests perhaps none comes close to the Black Forest in Germany.

As I look at my Grandmother’s chachka they remind me of her stories of the Black Forest. Her oversized wooden spoons along with figurines of black bear carvings made from walnut. They took on a life of their own when we were little. The Black Forest is a mountainous region in southwest Germany, bordering France. Known for its dense, evergreen forests and picturesque villages, it is often associated with the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. This book is great for the kids during Halloween. The area is renowned for its spas and the cuckoo clocks produced in the region since the 1700s. The region’s largest town, Freiburg, is filled with Gothic buildings and surrounded by vineyards. It was the failure of the vineyard in the 1890s that propelled my family to immigrate. When the Great Wine Blight hit in the mid-1890s, the culprit turned out to be a pest called Phylloxera that would forever alter wine production and the fate of my family. Great great maternal grandmother Katerina Fink picked up her cuckoo clock and 2 surviving children then left for the lower east side of New York.

This season’s celebrations will have a bit of family history infused into it pulling from the decor and motif from the Black Forest. This is a nice updated spin on the Fairytale Forest party ideas.

Photos Below: The Forest archway or entranceway is an important place to decorate. This is your guests first experience with your theme so make it a statement

The archway or entranceway is an important place to decorate. This is your guests first experience with your theme so make it a statement
Andersons decore store: The archway or entranceway is an important place to decorate. This is your guests first experience with your theme so make it a statement
Dolce Gabanna 2016 show: The archway or entranceway is an important place to decorate. This is your guests first experience with your theme so make it a statement
Interior design inspiration from the region and culture of the Black Forest sources for purchase listed at the end of post

The Enchanted Forest party theme is very popular. Everyone is going crazy for this fun theme because it’s so versatile. Enchanted Forest themes can be mysterious, magical, dreamy, elegant, haunted, or any combination you want. Whichever way you go with for your age group, here are the fundamental elements you’ll need to create an amazing Forested theme for your parties. You can’t have this party without trees, but what you choose and how you arrange them are totally up to you. To add depth to your area, try tree background silhouettes or tree murals to display against the back wall. Then, fill in your forest with whatever trees help you achieve the effect you want. Tree theme props and wire trees can help add a magical look to a fairy tale or winter wonderland scene. Tree cutouts can add the perfect finish to create a haunted forest look.

Interior design inspiration from the region and culture of the Black Forest sources for purchase listed at the end of post
Interior design inspiration from the region and culture of the Black Forest sources for purchase listed at the end of post
Interior design inspiration from the region and culture of the Black Forest sources for purchase listed at the end of post

Where ever you make your starting point with your Forest theme, you will soon be hooked by the beauty and mystery that Forests have to offer.

sources: Andersons , DG, Disney, Better Homes and Gardens, Relatives from Baden-Württemberg, Germany, hyggeandwest.com, Etsy

What (Really) Goes Into Homemade Natural Deodorant That Works

Making your deodorants and perfume allows you to blend your favorite scents to develop a signature perfume all your own.

Here is a natural deodorant recipe that I have been playing around with

Natural Deodorant Homemade Ingredients Recipe - Nancy Tranter

Ingredients

3 Tbls rosemary antioxidant in olive oil
3 Tbls arrowroot
2 Tbls  baking soda
2 Tbls kokum butter
1 Tbls Beeswax
1/2 Tsp emulsifying wax
4 small gells of vitamin e

essential oils (tea tree) I used 20 drops but you can use less for sensitive skin

Tea Tree may be the hands-down most popular antibacterial essential oil. Lavender essential oil is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory (AND stress reducer, especially for kids), and is helpful in the healing of small burns, cuts, and insect bites, don’t use if pregnant. When more serious antibacterial action is necessary, natural medicine professionals turn to Oregano essential oil. Also a highly-regarded antibacterial, but with gentler action and scent, a Geranium essential oil is a very worthwhile addition to the home medicine chest. The ‘old stand-by’ of Lemon should not be overlooked when searching for ways to convert your home to a healthy ‘green’ lifestyle. My Personal favorite yet it is a little pricey is Rose Otto, Rosa damascena, also known as Damask rose. I discovered this little less known antibacterial from my travels to Turkey. they are the main producer with approximately 10,000 tonnes of flowers grown annually for essential oil production. It is anti-inflammatory and cooling to skin conditions such as rosacea, tones capillaries, and fights to age with antioxidants. I currently get my rose absolute from lalaessentialoils.com

Preparation for Natural Deodorant

microwave in a glass measuring cup for 30 seconds and stir. If not melted microwave for 15-second intervals until blended. Warm and fused liquid suspension is what you want. Don’t microwave too long or hot you don’t want to burn off the essential oil of rosemary extract.

ONLY add essential oils and vitamins after heating. Store in a cool place, I use my refrigerator.

Here is a natural deodorant recipe that I have been playing around with

What deodorants have aluminum?

Aluminum isn’t normally found in deodorants. Most antiperspirants, on the other hand, do contain aluminum. Two-in-one products — meaning they’re both a deodorant and an antiperspirant — will also include aluminum. Aluminum from antiperspirants may build up in breast tissue after years of use. Aluminum does have the ability to disrupt your endocrine system, but there’s no scientific evidence to show that aluminum from antiperspirants causes breast cancer. More research is needed.

For my other graphic design resources check out my category archives graphic section 

material source: mountainroseherbs.com, nuts.com, RibbiRue, Healthline.com, lalaessentialoils.com, some links in this article are Amazon affiliate links. That means if you click on them and make a purchase, I earn a small commission. This costs nothing extra for you but does help me afford to keep doing what I do. (Thank you!)