Friday, April 11, 2014

Easter preparations

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I fooled the girls with this little bunny.  They thought it was chocolate, but actually it was an old resin sprinkler that a neighbour gave us years ago.   I saw the idea of spray painting objects glossy brown and wanted to give it a try (I used Rustoleum  Gloss Espresso Brown spray paint). 

This is what he looked like before! It is amazing what two coats of spray paint can do.

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Our American Girl dolls now have new Easter dresses, bonnets, and baskets.  The girls made the baskets using mini peat pots -  Kim K has an excellent tutorial for peat pot Easter baskets.  The doll size version uses the mini seed starter peat pots.  The American Girl bonnets are a historical pattern (Kirsten’s bonnet) and the dresses are the tea party dress from the book Little Things to Sew.

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Spring has finally arrived! 

Have a wonderful weekend and for those of you will be commencing  Easter and Passover celebrations in the coming days, I wish you a meaningful one.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Dressing for Downton

I am a fan of Downton Abbey so I was really excited to learn that the costume tour included Toronto’s Spadina Museum.   Today, my girlfriend and I took a couple of hours to enjoy the exhibit which included a selection of 20 costumes worn by Lady Mary, Sybil, Edith, Cora and the Countess of Grantham.

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The costume exhibit takes place on the third floor of the Spadina Museum (a historical Toronto property built in the late 1800s – with additions into the 1900s).
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The Spadina Museum is a neighbour to Casa Loma (pictured above), one of Toronto’s historical landmarks.
The curators included a photo booth with props. Say Carson!
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Gloves & hat from the exhibit’s prop inventory  (dress mine from Shabby Apple).
Have a lovely weekend,
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pysanky: Ukrainian Easter egg decorating workshop

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{above: beautiful pysanky eggs for sale at the workshop}

On Saturday, I attended a pskanka workshop. It was a fundraiser for the Dzherelo Children’s Rehabilitation Centre in Lviv, Ukraine. 

I have long admired pysanky eggs and wanted to try the technique.  Pysanky is much like batik -  beeswax resist, dye,  and a steady hand.  {There is an excellent process tutorial here.}    Briefly, the beeswax is applied with a small tool called a “kistka”.  The kistka works like a pen. A funnel holds the wax and the melted wax moves through the point.  An open flame is used to heat up the kistka and melt the wax.  Both the wax and dye are applied in stages as the design evolves.  Dye is applied from the lightest colour to the darkest colour.  Once you are finished your egg, you have to remove all the wax by melting it off using heated oil and/or an open flame.

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It takes quite a bit of practice to master the kitska and controlling the flow of the melted wax - especially on the egg’s sphere. I had to change my design several times because I dropped several wax blobs on the egg. While it took me nearly 2.5 hours to complete a single egg which turned out very primitive (!), I learned a great deal about the technique.  I even plan to sign up for next year’s workshop.

“Being given a Pysanka is a gesture of friendship or could be a token of esteem. Just as the ancient people drew symbols of sheep they wished to hunt for their families, Ukrainian belief is that Pysanky in the home brings good fortune and health, as well as protection from harm.”  Annie’s Hallmark on the history of the Ukrainian Egg

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Happy crafting and thanks for stopping by,

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