April 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had so much fun trying my hand at decorating eggs – not the typical holiday egg coloring we do with our kiddos around this time of year, but something a little more crafty. It’s impossible for me to even think about Easter eggs without thinking of my Aunt Doc. When I was little and we’d go to Indiana to visit my grandparents, we would always visit Aunt Doc and Uncle Mac. Lifelong friends of my grandparents, they were more family than friends and definitely earned their affectionate “Aunt” and “Uncle” titles.
Visiting their house was like going to a museum. Besides her doll collection, which in itself was amazing, Aunt Doc decorated eggs and had all of her unbelievable egg creations in glass cabinets displayed throughout the house. Describing these eggs, it’s impossible to convey their detail to a degree that would do them justice. To say that some of them had hinged doors or lit up or played music wouldn’t even give the full picture – they were truly works of art. Just search the web for pictures of “hand decorated eggs” to see some of the amazing creations people have made. The one of Aunt Doc’s that I remember most was Cinderella’s coach, a large ostrich-type egg with golden wheels. The sides were cut out – the doors even opened – and tiny figures sat inside on plush seats. It was amazing!
Upstairs Aunt Doc had an entire room devoted to her craft. There were at least two long tables filled with supplies, and I loved looking at all the tiny specialized tools, like the little drills, tweezers, magnifying glasses and detail cutters. There was equipment to blow out the eggs, painting supplies, hundreds of tiny embellishments and the eggs themselves: from tiny quail to large emu, a lot of which had to be special ordered. She had taken classes on egg decorating – believe me, I now know from experience that blowing out the eggs is tricky to do without breaking the shell – and even competed with some of her masterpieces. I remember how fun it was to look at the eggs that were still in progress, and I loved talking to her about what was going to happen to them and imagining how they would turn out. It was inspiring.
That’s the thing about inspiration, it’s everywhere. Every source is like a tiny seed – maybe not much to begin with or even something you can recognize, but those seeds begin to grow. The seeds for my creativity came from a lot of places. My dad is great at drawing, and a painting he had done – a copy of an old National Geographic cover photo – hung in his apartment when I was little. I remember being so impressed that he had painted it himself. And my mom, who has always loved to sew, was constantly creating sewing, cross-stitch and crochet projects. She loved making things for us and for others, giving away beautiful gifts.
It is no coincidence that 30-something years later I have a room in my house filled with specialized tools and embellishments to craft to my heart’s content. It’s not by chance that I love the entire process of creating my own projects, from gathering the supplies and coming up with the ideas to admiring the finished work and giving away some of my favorites. Being creative makes me happy. So thank you to everyone who has inspired me, including Aunt Doc for her beautiful eggs – her inspiration and creativity planted a seed that helped to grow into something that brings me so much joy. I could never decorate an egg like her, but I know there’s a part of her that helped spark my own creative passion.