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April 2006
Letter From The Editor

There has been so much happening in the world of Limited Edition collecting that it's hard to believe that Easter is right around the corner. The BIG news is that ALL collectibles made by Reco International and Islandia are now retired. Those two companies are no longer making Limited Edition Collectibles. Our stock of plates made by Islandia have been being scooped up by collectors faster than we can ship them and now our stock of plates and figurines by Reco International are starting to go also. We still have small numbers of those collectibles left, but it won't be long before they are all gone forever, and they will only be obtainable on the secondary market.

The first Islandia plates to go, of course, were the Norman Rockwell plates. Wise collectors started buying those plates up early. Rockwell is one of the most beloved of American artists and his art has always been highly collectible. Norman Rockwell will be May's Artist of the Month. You can read his 'Artist's Profile' in our May newsletter. You may want to visit the Norman Rockwell Plate Gallery page, that we created in his honor, to view some of his most popular works of art. You may also want to visit his figurine page to get in on the last few Norman Rockwell figurines we have left in stock.

Sandra Kuck plates are also flying out the door faster than we can ship them. Sandra has always been popular, but now collectors are buying up her plates at a feverish rate. Many of her older plates were already hard to find, but now that problem is quickly extending to her more recent work as well. As you probably already know, her heavenly angels also adorn wonderful figurines and exquisite ornaments. They too are ALL now retired and will no longer be available once our stock runs out.

The big news at The Plate Lady™ ® is that we are now offering the enchantingly beautiful Vivian Alexander Collection on our website. Vivian Alexander is America's foremost Faberge-style artist and the original creator of the 'Egg Purse'. She hand crafted the magnificent 'Imperial Coronation Egg' that was shipped to Rome and used in Warner Brother's Ocean's 12 film. Her Imperial Easter Egg replica rivals the original Egg that was presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his wife the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna at Easter in 1897. Vivian Alexander is our Artist of the Month for April. You can read her 'Artist's Profile' below and see her exquisite eggs on our Vivian Alexander Gallery page.

In this month's newsletter we have included three articles on decorating Easter Eggs with natural plant dyes and other natural materials. The first article "Natural Easter Eggs" explains what plant materials can be used to make dyes and how to prepare them. The Second article "Easter Eggs Grow Up" discusses ways to create Easter decorations with natural materials, and the Third article "Easter Dyes Start Naturally" describes ways to imprint leaves, flowers, and other natural findings onto your eggs for a special unique touch. We hope that you enjoy the articles we found for you and that your Easter holiday will be uplifting.

Happy Easter From The Plate Lady™ ® of Tampa Bay Staff!

Artist's Profile: Vivian Alexander

Vivian Alexander is a world renowned artist from Maurice, Louisiana. She creates modern day Faberge treasures from silver, goose, ostrich and other types of eggs in the tradition of Peter Carl Faberge, the Russian goldsmith and jeweler who created treasures for Russian Czars to give as presents to those who were dear to them. She created the replica of the Imperial Coronation Egg that was used in the 2004 film "Ocean's 12". She was also the original creator of the Egg Purse.

Licenced by The Forbes Collection to make Romanov-inspired frames and Faberge-inspired eggs in the guilloche style, Vivian's designs are intricately fashioned into hand crafted works of art that incorporate pure .999 silver, sterile ostrich (rhea) eggs, goose eggs, pewter, prong-set Swarovski Austrian crystals, silver & gold findings, and gemstones. The result is ornaments, eggs, egg boxes, egg purses, clocks, cardholders, frames and other beautiful decorative items of unmistakable quality and craftsmanship that mirror rare antique Russian treasures of Romanov period art.

The highlight of Vivian Alexander's collection is her recently released series of Limited Edition, pure silver, guilloche style ornaments. Each ornament is hand numbered and limited to only 200 worldwide. The guilloche technique was adapted and perfected by Peter Carl Fabergé in the late 1800, early 1900 era. It is a surface treatment in which waves and striations are engraved on an object's metal surface. Then the object is fired in an oven after each of several layers of translucent enamel. The enameling process used by Vivian Alexander, to coat eggs and silver, is proprietary and recognized as the highest quality in the United States.

Natural Easter Eggs
Natural Health by Kirsten Whatley & Katherine Gallia

IF YOU'RE PLANNING to dye Easter eggs, you should know that there's a better option than those conventional crayon-colored tablets. Nature offers many dyes that are rich with character.

The technique is simple:
Place a single layer of uncooked white eggs in a quart pot. Add 2 cups of fresh dye plants (or 1 cup of dried plants or 1/4 cup of ground herbs) and cover with tepid water. Then add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Over a medium-low flame, bring water to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Carefully remove eggs from the dye bath, rinse with cold water, and air dry.

SHREDDED RED CABBAGE = Midnight blue and teal CONCORD GRAPE JUICE = Lavender gray
Creamy brown
CINNAMON POWDER = Light mahogany
TURMERIC = Vivid gold BLACK TEA = Reddish tan
BEET ROOT = Reddish brown CARROT TOPS = Soft gold
PAPRIKA = Light orange SPINACH = Soft green

COPYRIGHT 1999 Weider Publications
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

Easter eggs grow up
Southern Living, by Ellen Riley

Bright colors, secret hiding places, diligent searches, and gleeful gatherngs give eggs a new purpose at Easter. A symbol of life, these orbs can also be used to celebrate spring.

Colored with natural dyes, eggs take on rich tones that complement spring flowers. The kitchen is full of hues a clean white egg can proudly wear. Fully cooked, they can remain at room temperature for about five days. Note: They will not be safe for consumption; use them only for decoration.

You can make a magnificent shade of blue with red cabbage. Purchase two small heads, and coarsely shred them. Place cut cabbage in a large pot; add 8 tablespoons of white vinegar and 4 quarts of water. Carefully tuck uncooked eggs into the cabbage, making sure they're completely submerged. Bring to a boil; then cover and turn off the heat. Leave the container undisturbed overnight. The next day, rinse and dry the eggs.

Empty shells dye as easily as whole eggs, and can be used as tiny pots for blooming seedlings. Open the egg toward the top, leaving a large bottom half. For rich brown shells, place them in a large pot with 1 quart double-strength coffee and 2 tablespoons white vinegar. (Tip: Gently hold down the empty shell until it fills with liquid; otherwise, it will float.) Cover the eggs with an inch of liquid; if needed, double the liquid recipe. Bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and soak for several hours; rinse and drain.

Golden eggs aren't a fairy tale. Turmeric, a spice used in Middle Eastern cuisine, will cloak an egg in earthy yellow. Use 3 tablespoons turmeric, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, and 1 quart of water to make the dye. Eggs should be covered with at least 1 inch of liquid. Place whole eggs or shells in the brew, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes; remove from heat, and soak until cool. Rinse well, and dry before using.

For a springtime centerpiece, line a nursery flat with foil, and fill it with moist potting soil. Sprinkle wheat grass seeds on top, and keep the surface slightly damp until the seed sprouts. In about a week you will have a thick mat of grass. Attach sheet moss to the outside of the flat with a glue gun.

To make a viola vase, harvest fresh, unblemished violas, and dry them. Then break an egg close to the top, rinse it, and dry. A dab of hot glue on each dried flower will secure it to the shell. Space the blooms so a bit of shell shows between them. Carefully fill the viola vases with water, and nestle them in the grass. Clip small spring blossoms from the garden for your miniature arrangements. Ellen Riley

Copyright Southern Progress Corporation Apr 2001
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company.
All rights Reserved

Easter dyes start naturally
Sunset by Peter O. Whitely & Chantell Cordova

Leaves, flowers, and vegetables give surprising patterns with rich colors when printed on eggs.
The delicate silhouettes of leaves and flowers from your garden can be framed by colors made from surprising but natural sources such as onion skins, walnut shells, beets, or red cabbage. When you combine their earthy hues with simple plant shapes, you get eggs that are fun to find--their natural hues help them blend into their hiding places--and almost too elegant to eat.

The low-cost project takes only a few hours to complete. Young children can collect leaves, grasses, and flowers. Ask them to select only flat and pliable plant material that is no bigger than an egg. Adults or older children can make the dyes. Assemble the skins of six yellow onions, the shells of a dozen walnuts, half of a small red cabbage (cut up) and six beets (sliced). You'll also need four pots to hold at least 2 quarts of water each.

The onion-skin dye will turn eggs yellowish brown; the walnut dye makes deep reddish browns; the cabbage turns white eggs robin's-egg blue and brown eggs greenish blue; and the beet dye creates a light pink color.

To create a pattern, you need to hold a leaf or other piece of vegetation firmly against the eggshell so that no dye will seep underneath. The secret is to center the leaf on a 4-inch square cut from a nylon stocking and bind the square firmly around an egg by gathering the corners, pulling them tight, and tying them with string; a second pair of hands can help.

Place one pile of dye ingredients in each pot; add water and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Bring the pots to a boil and completely immerse the wrapped eggs; you may need to press them down into the vegetation with a spoon. Simmer them, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Remove the eggs to cool, and let the dyes cool. For stronger colors--immerse eggs in dye again and let stand overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove and discard vegetation, remove the nylon and leaves, and dry the eggs. Rub each egg with a light coat of olive or salad oil. Wipe eggs dry and buff to bring out highlights.

COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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