pysanky 2012

easter eggs pysanky

Every year I host a Pysanky Party and invite friends over to learn how to decorate eggs Ukrainian style. I also make some traditional Ukrainian food like paska for my guests. And every year, people tell me they're going to come and then don't show up.

I'm not sure why...but it's a phenomenon that has plagued my Pysanky Parties from New York to Seattle and now to Denver. Everyone seems excited about the activity, but then the excuses flow on the day of the event.

I used to get upset by all the no-shows. While the lame excuses still annoy me, I know like to view it as my "weeding out" process. The people who show up and like it get included on the list for next year...and the no shows? No luck.

I brought the finished eggs to a few friends at church on Sunday morning. It was an effective way of finding new people to invite next year. A few people saw the eggs and were very interested in them and I'm mentally adding them to the invite list for next year.

easter eggs

As for me, I haven't finished my eggs for the year. I'll still do a few more this week before I'm done. So far, my best egg from this year is the blue egg on the right of the picture above. Typically, I start off with ugly eggs and progressively get better, but this one was my first try. I had a few failed designs after that...but I'll finish strong.

The other eggs are from last year.

We did have a few egg casualties. In fact, the people my Mom invited over ALL dropped at least one egg. One of my friends lost an egg in the car on her way home. And our dog managed to ruin one of our older eggs.

How? We had a few on display on one of the end tables. He jumped up and grabbed one. Luckily it was one that was dry inside. He took one bite and realized the egg was rotten inside. I guess that was his punishment.

Lesson? Don't name your dog Rascal, or he'll live up to his name. (He looks so innocent, right?)

Rascal the bichon


a non-pastel easter

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you've probably noticed that I'm not a big fan of pastels. That's why I make baby blankets for my friends that aren't pastel pink, blue and yellow. (You know, like this one, and this one, and this one). You probably won't be surprised to learn that I don't love all the pastel colors of Easter. My primary Easter craft, Pysanky or Ukrainian Easter eggs, has rich and dark colors. No pastels in sight. But, head over to Pinterest and do a search for "Easter" and you'll find all sorts of pastel pinks and yellows. Some of the crafts look interesting, but I can't get over all the pastels.

So if you dislike pastels as much as me OR if you're just looking for some alternative colors to mix things up, here are some non-pastel Pinterest finds to brighten up your spring.


This Easter centerpiece from Dear Lillie is lovely and would match any decor. Head over to the blog to view a variety of other Easter ideas that are perfect for neutral colors.


I love these Easter egg designs that are drawn on the egg with a sharpie! If you aren't up for the complicated process of dying your Ukrainian eggs, try this with different colored sharpies. (from Alisa Burke) I love to doodle and will definitely give this a try.


Ok, this picture is admittedly a little pastel-y for my tastes, but it doesn't have to be! Modern Parents Messy Kids will show you how to turn paint samples into an Easter garland. (Does anyone else feel guilty when picking up tons of paint samples at the hardware store? I know they're free...but it always feels wrong.)


Finally, I love this picture of purple and white Pysanky. I'm going to re-create some of these designs that I found from an Etsy store.

What Easter crafts are you making? Share links to your favorites in the comments!

how to make pysanky (ukrainian easter eggs)

Ukrainian Easter Eggs Pysanky

Easter seems to sneak up on me every year. I'm never prepared with Easter foods or crafts. And I end up sharing what I did for easter a month afterwards when no one really cares anymore.

This year I'm finally on top of things. Instead of telling you about my Easter tradition in May, I'm ready with a tutorial in March so you can enjoy this activity before Easter.

My Mom is 50% Ukrainian and since I was a little girl, we've had a tradition of creating and decorating Ukrainian Eggs. Many of the supplies we have belonged to my Mom's grandmother and aunt. They passed along the tradition to my Mom who passed it on to me. Back in the Ukraine, egg decorating was a women's activity. My brother used to try it with us when we were young, but he never had much patience for it and didn't enjoy it.

Working with raw eggs is tricky making this type of art precise. It also requires quite a bit of patience. It can take hours to complete one egg. And sometimes when you've completed your masterpiece egg, you drop it and it breaks, ruining all your work. I can't tell you how many times that has happened to me over the years. It can be frustrating, but it's also really rewarding. My favorite part of the process is melting the wax and seeing the final design.

The infographic below will show you the basic steps for creating an egg. You can find more designs and purchase supplies from the Ukrainian Gift Shop. And I highly recommend making some Paska (Ukrainian Bread) to eat while you're decorating!

How to Create Pysanky