Thursday, September 30, 2010

A little bit of background...

Ok, so I've kinda been on an egging break for the past few days due to continuing health issues.  This could probably use some explaining for those of you who don't know me or haven't seen me work.  I have an interesting set of circumstances, so I'll give you all the run down...

...cue wavy flashy-backy  vision...

Firstly, I was born with only one hand.  Yup, you heard hand.  My left decided to be fashionably late to the party and then missed the whole event entirely.  So, that leaves me with just my right, which up until now has never really been an issue.  I've never let it stand in my way and have always been determined to do whatever the hell I want to do.  Take that left hand!  Didn't need you anyway!

But missing a hand isn't my health problem, it's more of a complication at this point.  For the past 6 years my day job was working as a Teacher Assistant in a severe special needs classroom.  I worked one on one with children with severe autism.  This is one of my major passions.  I'm fascinated by this field of work and think it's the most rewarding and worthwhile job I've ever had.  Up until this past year, I worked with a child who was non-aggressive and the two of us got along like peas and carrots.  But, this previous year, the child I worked with changed.  This child was much more involved and needed a lot of physical interventions for his own safety and the safety of the staff and children around him.  Mainly this consisted of  daily physical restraints so he couldn't hurt himself or me, his aide.  This was really the first time I had ever needed to do a restraint, and wouldn't you know, I realized I couldn't do it with one hand.  I brought this up to my superiors and with administration but no help was given.  Eventually, this led to some major hand problems for me.  So much so that I have been unable to return to work still.

I was out of work for a month in November to try and recover, but not much changed.  Having only one hand, it's really impossible to give it the rest that it needs to recuperate.  Theres no way for me not to use it.  Even if I'm resting my hand, I still need to feed myself, get dressed, brush my hair, take care of my living space, and so on an so forth.  So as you can see, theres really not much rest involved.  After months of no improvement we found out that I had a severe case of Dequervain's Tenosynovitis, a few ganglion cysts, and an improperly healed fracture that led to a bone ridge and spur.  Super fun!  I ended up in surgery for it all in April, and hoped that by the end of the summer I'd be back to normal and back to my job.

But that would have been way to easy, so of course it didn't happen.  Even after surgery, nothing was improving.  In fact, I was having new and worsening pain.  So, back to the surgeon I went.  Turns out I had a pretty raging case of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome on top of the tendinitis, and now that one was fixed, the other was rearing its ugly head.  Awesome.  Just what I needed.  Because of the new CTS and the restrictions it causes (no lifting, pushing, or carrying over 5 lbs) I haven't been allowed to return to my job.  I'm still in severe pain daily and am looking at a second surgery to fix this issue.  I know what you're thinking, you all wish you were as lucky as me. I know you're all super jealous.  Don't deny it...

...end flash back...

SO...thats where I've been for the past few days...curled up in a little ball of agonizing pain.  It's been damp and rainy here and thats really not helping at all.  But I woke up today crying slightly less than yesterday and my hand isn't visibly shaking like it was earlier in the week, so I might actually be able to get some eggs done! Wahoo!  I'll keep y'all posted...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Big Reveal!

I'm a mass egger - meaning I work on a few dozen eggs at a time, working on all of them at once, color by color.  This is great because I usually finish them all at the same time too.  I find this to be much more effective time wise.  This is also great seeing as my favorite part is the final step, taking off the wax.  I'll build up a huge pile of finished, wax covered eggs, and then take all the wax off in one big go.  It's like Christmas morning!  I get to see all my hard work come to life right in front of me!  It's a wonderful feeling!  So, I want to share it with you too...

Here's the finished eggs, covered in wax.  Now it's time to go back to the exciting!

This is one in process.  I love wiping away the wax and seeing what the colors look like next to each other.  When I'm working on an egg, I have to guess as to what it will look like when it's done.  So seeing it all come together here is really satisfying.  

And here they are!  Wax free and ready for varnish!  I absolutely LOVE looking at a big pile of freshly finished eggs!  Yes, I may be the only one who's totally jazzed by eggs, but who makes me happy!

So there you have it! I'm back to work now, making more eggs and hopefully some new dyes today.  I'll keep you posted.  Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Wahoo!  Two of my egg orders came in!  I feel like a kid on Christmas morning!

Heres the three boxes I got in: 1 from Beverley's Goose Hatchery and 2 from Bracken Ridge Ranch.  Oh, and that's the big fat cat I share my egging futon with.  His name is Schnooky and he really likes smelling eggs.

OK!  Let's unpack!

Squee!  Inside box number one, 90 Embed goose eggs! Yay!  Now on to the next two!

I love this!  Time to throw out the peanuts and unwrap each individual egg...theres a lot in here, trust me!

See!  Told you!  24 turkey eggs, 95 bantam, 38 bobwhite quail, and two freebie blue duck eggs!  Thats 249 eggs, including the goose eggs.  I am so ready for today!

Yahoo!  Applesauce: eaten!  Coffee: brewed!  Eggs: unpacked!  TIME TO GET CRACKING! see what I did there?  I about to work on eggs...and I said time to get cracking...tehehe...

I'm full of bad egg puns, just ignore me :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

House to myself!

Well, my fiancĂ© started his first day at the office today...leaving me home with my eggs and the first 4 installments of Friday the 13th!  I'm quite happy with this set-up :)  I have a pile of work to do and I can't wait ti get started! I'm also going to try and make all my new dyes, all 54!  I'll update and post some pics as I get stuff done.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Taste the Rainbow!

Squeeee!  I feel like a kid in a candy store!  I just got my shipment from Pysanky USA, and all I have to say is WOW!  I ordered the 54 set of Colorama dyes and I'm so excited to start using them.  54 Colors!  On top of that, their customer service is amazing.  I got my order in 2 days AND with a bunch of awesome freebies!  I ordered some Black Onyx beeswax, and Jim, the owner, threw in an extra block of Blue Sapphire wax with a note saying I would fall in love with it.  Of course I had to try it out immediately.  Fall in love I did!  It's amazingly smooth and writes like a dream!  It has the most buttery flow through even my finest stylus and the visibility on the surface of the egg is the best I have ever seen.  And, it smells like sweet honey :)  Yum.

This website also has some really unique products.  This is the only shop I've seen that carries #000 (3x) Fine manual styluses.  The smallest manual styluses I had ever seen previously were plain old fine, with the smallest electric tip being a #00 (2x) fine tip.  These little babies have a smaller tip than my electrics!  Wowzers!

I am so impressed with the quality and range of products on this site.  Not to mention their incredible customer service.  I highly recommend going through Pysanky USA for your supply needs.  I'm just blown away.

Goodies!  Each one of those packets is a different!  Plus all the freebies:
Blue Sapphire wax, extra setting crystals, two rubber hole stoppers, and two
beautiful postcards.  I love Pysanky USA!

"Studio" isn't quite the right word...

So, I don't really have a least not one you would picture if you heard someone say "I'll be working in my studio".  I have a corner of a futon with a coffee table jammed up next to it.  I also share this futon with a very large pile of laundry and an equally large cat.  Theres really not much work space, but dammit all, I make it work!  Except for today...waaaaaay to much stuff in the way!

So, I'm in for a day of cleaning and organizing before I can start my work.  Ick.  The faster I clean the sooner I can start egging right???  I'm desperately searching for motivation....and failing...epically...

*UPDATE*  I actually organized things really quickly!  Yay!  And I took some pictures so you can see the tragically tiny space I'm working in.  Although, it's slightly better than my last workshop...which was 1/2 the kitchen table and the top of the dryer.  At least now I don't have to stop working when someone wants to eat or do laundry!
super swanky, huh?

close up...ooooh, pretty

Friday, September 17, 2010

Egg Photos

I've uploaded a bunch of photos, as much as Flickr will allow without paying for an upgrade!  I'll add more as I get them uploaded.  Enjoy the eggy goodness!


In this group I have a few different eggs types: bantam, standard chicken, duck, and goose.  I use everything from finch eggs to ostrich.  Pretty much is it lays an egg, I'll use it.  I'm always looking for a challenge.  Right now, I'm working on ways to fill finch eggs with epoxy and use them as earrings.  Wahoo!  Its an immense headache, but damn do they look great when their done!

Alright, thats all for tonight...until tomorrow my fellow eggers!


Hi, my name is Nicole and I'm an really, I have a problem...

I'm absolutely obsessed with pysanky making and love to share it with the world.  So, welcome!  I'm hoping to use this blog space to share my love of this art with anyone who is interested, as well as give some tutorials and a look into my studio and work.  I'll be posting egg galleries shortly and will keep this space updated with what I'm currently working on and whats coming down the line.

Thanks for reading!  I'll put up more soon!

-The Crazy Egg Lady