… about the smallest bit of my art at the White House !
The 2007 White House State Easter Egg Display
Welcome to this Eggs-ultation of the event
and the author's role as her state's Artisan that year.
Image: submission for Connecticut, per
The Connecticut Poultry Association and The American Egg Board,
Now archived at
The George W. Bush Presidential Library Dallas, Texas.
An eggcraft diorama of one of Connecticut's famous Colonial waterfall-powered mills and State symbols, in an actual chicken egg, with craft media, and real gold and gems.
Scroll down for the detailed DESCRIPTION of the Egg and for photo gallery.
2008 White House State Easter Egg Display !
The show's last year. Mine was in the year before.
Clicking on the State names brings up a larger-than-life image of each.
You can also visit this and most other White House events at the National Parks Site. The White House is part of Presidents Park.
These displays, tiny "National Treasures" are permanently archived in the Presidential Libraries after the Easter Season each year.
The White House extends its hospitality to ALL, world-wide, to visit the White House, year-long, and you may enjoy a visit at Easter, and view the year's Actual Display.
If you have the right focus for it, you may even wish to submit your eggcraft, for your own state, one year. The event was begun in 1994, within the White House Visitors Center, to coincide with the famous events outdoors at the White House at Easter. Former President Obama discontinued many events, including this one, temporarily, to help the money, but we hope the event will be reactivated. Springtime festivals happen worldwide, and this one is historic - and for all Americans from all cultural backgrounds.
You would be most welcome to participate. It's an American thing.
Do contact me, with question and comment!
The people of this nation, and all nations, are the real National Treasures!
This page is an attempt to share the story of the dream, motive, planning, development, creation, submission and presentation of one small treasure, for this special project.
The Story ~ may you find it worth the read!
It was 1997. Injured, ill, exhausted, lifelong arts and redcross-and-similar work, I was safe and sound at a home for ambulatory disabled. Some years ago, I had sold my house, to jog around and find my way, after widowhood and empty-nesting had left me in need of such action. It was great, after the many years of keeping the corporate wife household to be free of household things, for a bit...until I was injured.
But the lovely apartment I enjoyed included a computer room full of sunshine, plants and wicker chairs with lots of nice cushions, which I'd been enjoying doing without, for a bit. But now they were wonderful! Healing with feng-shui works. And with time for web-surfing, immobility was not so bad. ` I was amazed at the things I'd missed online!
And then I found it: WhiteHouse.gov!
I am a patriot, at heart, and thoroughly enjoyed the full tour of the Nation's website. It changes a bit with each President, like the Oval Office Decor, but remains a wonderful gift and tool for all people. I recommend it for all Americans! Really well-done and enjoyable!
It was there that I found the beautiful page about The White House State Easter Egg Display, which won a featured spot, at the WhiteHouse.gov Website HomePage, at the time.
I had heard of the famous White House Easter Egg Roll, an American Event of Spring Celebration for more than a century, but the State Eggs Display was a new thing to me.
The page explained that the State Egg Display was relatively new, and sponsored each year, since 1994, by the American Egg Board. Each year, one craftsperson from each state was chosen to create in eggcraft a representative submission to take its place in the National Display ~ a true All-American Show!
Lifelong in the arts, I am one of those who owes a great deal to remarkable love, support and inspiration from parents and teachers in it all, girlhood thru college. The Polish "Pysanki" or "Egg-writing" was part of this training ~ a special treat for me, one spring, to be permitted to learn to make the beeswax and dyed pretty eggs. It was taught like the eighth sacrament.
Now, it was many years later, and Julia who taught the Pysanki, had passed away, at over one hundred years old, and her exquisite crafts, a star in her crown, and legacy. My own Mother and Aunts and others of the men and women who took the time, work and money to feed my arts interest, were retiring!
I thought, "I'm going to become involved in this White House Easter Egg Display, and make a pretty egg, to be a song of praise and thanks to them, at this time in their lives."
I was truly very injured and disabled, at that time, and I knew that I could do no such thing that year.
But I had a dream, and a new dream helps, when old ones are dashed.
It was 1999. Well enough to move, I was working a bit again, in a new apartment of my own, with help, as needed. Feeling much better, but grieving: my Father had passed away. I am the eldest, and had tried to help, as his health failed, but then was injured myself, and for some time, he had needed more. His illness was long. When he died, through my tears, I rejoiced that his exceptional soul was free from a body that had become a prison! Handsome, smart, loving, conversational, musical, modest, a great Father, he talked with his hands, when enthusiastic about his subject.
My bonding with my Mother and the other women was wonderful, but I think to have enjoyed such a Father, too, was a special "extra". Second of three generations of DuPont his lively hands, a millwright's hands, had made the gold foil that wrapped the Lunar Landing Module, under contract to NASA. He left me money for a computer of my own, finally, and some of that very gold mylar foil, and the idea that life was a place for innovation, great work, creativity and great fun!
My son, a tech authority, flew East from his home in San Francisco, and, on my new computer ( Mac, of course ), taught me a thing called "html code", the language of webpage-making. Apt, I prayed for mercy, that my newly-recovered health would not backslide, while I stayed up all night, absolutely "hooked on html". Soon ElleFagan.com was up and running.
While limping about, I had done some paintings of nearby beautiful Connecticut Hills, especially the waterfalls that had reached out to me and helped me heal spirit and body.
I had been away from this, my home state, for twenty years, and returning, there was a wonderful appreciation for "home", that I have enjoyed and shared ever since.
It was 2002. Development It was Easter again, and I realized that I was, after all, going to be able to do the White House Egg Project. The desire to do something special to honor my seniors had grown with my Father's death. My normal work and personal life was getting OK again. And so, with my new computing powers, I found the Show Sponsors at the American Egg Board Website and told them of my interest in an e-mail. No reply.
Advancing in these new paths for my arts business, feeling better and more skilled as I went along, I tried again, and again, in e-mails and handwritten letters to connect with the Event Chairman at AEB, without success.
It was 2005. March, and Easter, still again. It finally occurred to me that, since it was a National Project, at the White House, I might need to route my request through my Congressman. He knew of me, through previous work and art, and disabled advocacy, when I was hurt.
So I called and e-mailed the office of then-Congressman Rob Simmons (R-2nd District), telling him of my desire to submit a crafted egg to the White House Easter Egg Display, and how my attempts to connect with the Sponsor had not been successful.
Congressman Simmons wrote AEB on my behalf on Thursday, and on Monday, I received, at last, the phone call from AEB!
The Event Co-ordinator was very gracious and friendly, and easy to talk with. She explained that thousands of requests like mine come to AEB, and that I was wise to get help in my goal.
She interviewed me, on the spot, to be sure that I was aware, skilled and able to do the job, and then said that I sounded promising. She then explained that the egg-craft submissions come to AEB from the State Egg & Poultry Boards. She referred me to Gary Proctor, Board Member and Events Chairman for The Connecticut Poultry Association, and we said good-bye for now.
I called Gary Proctor, and interviewed with him, a second time, and was told that the 2005 show had been a fine success, and that artisan for the 2006 Display was already at work at it, and that "yes!" I had been awarded the place as Artisan from Connecticut for the 2007 display!
Creation The Award, he announced with happiness and pride, included a cash grant for supplies and travel expenses to the Opening Day Events connected with the Display at the White House.
I was very pleased, of course!
We soon met in person, so that I could present folios of my work and sketches of tentative ideas for the design of my crafted egg. When we resolved, I made a foot-tall molded paper model of my submission, with its own carry-case, to present to the monthly Connecticut Poultry Association meeting, for CPA Board approval. CPA liked the design, incorporating many of the State official symbols. We received the "good-to-go" - approval of the design - in May and a little break, to share the good news and outline the next steps to come.
It was 2006 and Easter. The cash grant for supplies was disbursed to me. And now to get busy. To submit a design so intricate was one thing: to develop all details, quite another. My background interests and training from girlhood through arts college included lots of exposure to many of the issues involved in manufacturing such a work, in a real chicken's eggshell: one that actualized the design faithfully, and one that could withstand shipping and handling throughout the display, and endure through years archived. The previous months found me refreshing a dozen aspects of the specific skills I would need, and glad that I had thought to do so.
Shopping for supplies was great good fun, if occasionally 'eggs-asperating". I will forever be grateful to the "Manchester, Connecticut, Minerology & Gem Club" for their help, since the size and type of gems needed were not really that easy to find. The tiny pearls that line the front opening were not to be found, and the ones we did find were all too large, too expensive, or not best quality. Then the club found just the right ones, for just the right money! Lucky me!
The design incorporated many state icons and symbols and was to be done in a real chicken egg. Gem mining is popular in Connecticut. The red garnet, the official state gem, is found here, casually scattered on riverbanks. The crown and foliage of my design includes them - liberally.
The completed egg would be shipped, by December 1, 2006, to AEB Headquarters in Park Ridge, Illinois, assembled into the display, then carefully taken to the White House Visitors Center for arrangement for the show. Quite a journey, for a thing so small and fragile!
Here it got "interesting": Since lifelong arts taught me that things do happen, I assigned myself a deadline one month sooner than the one set. Thank you, good teachers, for such thinking! The final draft broke - a weakness in the shell at one point, and the weight of the gems and stained glass crafting medium was too much for it.
I had hoped to skip high drama in this event, and show off the cool act - not so fortunate! But the new final draft was better in half a dozen ways: strengthening the shell at the inside, with craft liquids and carboard buttresses, and interfacing, between the shell interior and lining. Now this submission was not only pretty, but strong.
As I placed the last tiny bit of foliage in place, I thought an angel lifted my hand to it, all alone at my work table, it seemed that special a moment!
Submission Next, I crafted some home-made paper pulp to make a perfect cushioning case for the egg, and a box to contain both. Bubble wrap and another box completed the shipping preparations, and the Connecticut submission shipped and arrived right on time for the December 1st deadline.
Description of the completed egg & Sources
One Large Chicken Egg Shell ~ Red Apple Market in Vernon Connecticut
Exterior finish in Connecticut light blue, done in tints and buffed beeswax glaze - courtesy of Crystal Blueprint ( Art Supply Store ) Rockville, Connecticut
Opening to diorama made in the shape of the Connecticut State Seal, the shield shape, and outlined with tiny real pearls ~ CPA-approved design ~ Pearls courtesy of Phoebe Designs / Phoebe & Li P.O.Box370266 West Hartford, CT 06137 Tel 860 324-6037.
Interior of egg lined with some of the DuPont Gold Mylar used on NASA's LunarLandingModule ~ gift from my Father, who crafted the first foils and many later.
Scene inserted: Vernon Rockville Connecticut's Daniel Mill and Hockanum Falls tumbling from it, just to the bottom point of the shield ~ my studio location.
Mill fashioned in paper , paint and stained-glass craft medium ~ Mother's contribution.
Falls crafted in stained glass craft medium and precious gems: aquamarine, danburite ( discovered in Danbury, Connecticut ) and zircon ~ Gems Jewelry TV
Right of the falls: the three grapevines as on the Connecticut State Seal, done in faceted amethysts, with stained glass craft medium foliage. The grapevines surrounded by more foliage studded with flowers of mixed gems, including emerald, diopside and garnet~ Gems JTV & Manchester Gem & Mineral Club friends.
Left of the falls: mountain laurel and foliage done in Connecticut-mined red garnets ~ Curtis Patch of Manchester Gem & Mineral Club.
The egg is topped with a hill of garnets and danburite, set in gold mylar, from which emerge two flags: the American Flag and that of the State of Connecticut. The flag finials are each topped with one real gold nugget, a gift from another Gem Club Friend, and mined in North Carolina, where we lived with Wellcome Foundation 1970-84.
Needless to say, when AEB thoughtfully e-mailed me to say the egg had arrived safely, and on time, Before Thanksgiving 2006 it was a very special moment!
And also time for very Merry Winter Holidays !
At last! 2007 !, and my submission for the State of Connecticut to this year's White House Easter Egg Display was done and at the Headquarters of the American Egg Board, with the other State submissions, being arranged artfully for display at the White House at Easter.
Presentation- Each egg would be attached to its own crystal lucite pedestal and arranged, by AEB Event Representatives, in a pyramid-shape, to create the full display.
Now talk and emails and official mailings began to arrive about the Event that motivated all that came before.
The event is about a gathering of all State Artisans, though not all could be there; still it was going to be a luminous day of inter-state friendship and American pride and grateful feelings, and celebration of Spring!
The event is a display and not a competition, once the Artisan for Each State has been chosen. There are official state-level public qualifying competitions in some of the states for this event, but in Connecticut at this time, the selection of Artisan among applicants is more private - at Board-level.
The idea is to Celebrate State Friendship, love of Country and Celebration of the White House at Spring!
The goal is to delight all those who see it at the White House Visitors Center !
Earlier on in things, I was concerned that my being an artist might be a "pro/am issue". It was not. The other artisans were quite a mix of background, age, and focus. Even one Hollywood arts / film pro, who happened to do some fine egg-crafting! And lots of Agricultural folk.
Publicizing the Show, in general, or any individual egg was regulated in that nothing should appear, especially, until after the show opening on April 3, 2007.
Each Artisan was welcome to bring three guests, to make a party of four from each state.
Security data for each was to be sent on ahead, to minimize security issues on the day, and on-site at the White House.
All would meet at the White House in the morning; be security-cleared and enjoy lite social among the state artisans and guests.
The First Lady, Laura Bush, would then arrive and open the Show officially.
The First Lady would then meet individually with each Artisan for a moment's handshake and photos.
The AEB Officers present, the Egg Artisans and their Guests would then proceed to the nearby Hotel Washington to enjoy a banquet luncheon, and congratulatory speeches and thank-you gifts from AEB.
The Group would then proceed to the White House, Proper, to enjoy the Official and Private tour, and the Event complete.
The Official White House envelope arrived in March:
"Laura Bush invites you...." inside and that followed by official agenda from AEB.
Wafting and swooning permitted in the privacy of your own home, before or afterward but not on.....
Two of my guests, the President of the Connecticut Poultry Association and his lady escort, traveled to Washington, DC, the day before, and my daughter and I, due to work schedules, slept on the Amtrack nite-train, which we love, and arrived early in the morning, rested, celebratory and nicely primped and attired.
We met at the Hotel Washington for morning coffee, more primping, and chat, and found many of our group there, the excitement of the event creating a lovely sort of glow among us. The Hotel Hospitality was 'just plain charming and grand'. Everywhere we went, there was a special bit of "extra nice" for us.
AEB exec, at the time, Jacinta Le Donne, arrived and gathered us into a proper group and led to the White House Visitors Center as planned.
I was impressed with the way the social and security requirements were gracefully integrated:
easy to comply - no edge, and all very pleasant, and we were even allowed our cameras and cellphones, except in the immediate vicinity of the First Lady.
The First Lady arrived, and was greeted by AEB Events Chairman, of the time, Christine Bushway, and declared the 2007 White House Easter Egg Display Officially Opened
Beside them, the display! Each tiny egg on a lucite pedestal, arranged in a four-sided Pyramid, for optimal viewing.
I cannot speak for anyone else, but it was near-holy, to me. The culmination of several years' thought and two years' work, and commitment.
Then we formed a casual line to be greeted individually by the First Lady and enjoy the photo for History!
Was it the event? I don't know ... but all seemed just perfectly lovely! The First Lady more lovely in person than in the news stories, and very easy to meet and greet.
There was no feeling of stress or rush, and yet all was completed at a nice pace and done. She greeted the Artisans ahead of me in the line, and then she greeted me, and I introduced myself, giving my name and state, and pointed out my egg in the display and talked about its symbols - nothing prolonged, just one sentence or two, in respect of the time allowed. Mrs. Bush then shook my hand again and we posed for the photos and then the crafter behind me approached for his moment, and so on.
We were given some time to mill about the display and enjoy seeing all the submissions close-up, then White House staffers placed a clear lucite cube over the entire display to allow all Visitors, to follow, to get close to the State Egg Display, without fear of damaging it, till Show closing on April 24th.
At that time, the entire display was to be archived with things to go to the George W. Bush Presidential Library. A delightful "National Treasure" to be enjoyed there in Easter seasons to come, and available to all visitors , by arrangement.
We were fortunate in the weather, and as we emerged from the Visitors Center Show Opening the breeze and sunshine were a treat! Washington DC celebrates is famous Cherry Blossom Festival at Easter, too. Mrs. Bush had new trees installed to replace ones that had died, and so the show of pink blossoms was profuse!
All the group was in fine spirits, walking outdoors to the Banquet Room nearby, and we owned the town, for a minute! Technicolor!
In chat at the grouping in the morning and again at the luncheon I learned I was in "pretty good company". New friends from Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, California, Washington State, and many more.....and though I am a Connecticut native, some of my happiest years 70-84, with my late husband and little children were spent in North Carolina, so I insisted on a hug for this year's Craftsman from the Tarheel State, for memory.
The luncheon itself ,at historic and elegant Hotel Washington was the best, but the great talk and the sun shining "just that way" made it the thing.
The American Egg Board people were perfect....friendly, pleasant, celebratory and easy to consult with question or comment. They seemed delighted with us all, and shared memento gifts with us, and the food and comfort was very nice.
The White House Tour awaited, though, so on we went.
The White House This is difficult to get into one modest commentary. I love Washington, DC, and have visited many times, for art, history and romance and Red Cross Work. My late husband and our son and daughter, then 6&8, rented a neat Georgetown Brownstone and enjoyed the Bi-Centennial events for a week...and we visited the White House at that time, for the first time. This visit was like to an old friend and yet new...odd feelings, as I wished my late husband were along with my daughter and myself, and we cell-phoned my son later, at work in San Francisco, and included him in,for a minute. Still, the memories and the respect and love of country and delight in the beauty of the White House and its decorations was wonderful...it felt nice to have "favorites" to see again and share more fully with my daughter than possible when she was six...I will not tell our secrets: which were our favorites, but all of it was done too soon, and time to get to the train. I have included at the foot of this page, text and image about the White House and I hope you realize that it belongs to ALL Americans, and that all good people, worldwide, are invited to visit, and think a bit on how much our lives are enhanced by our identity as Americans..how much we have to give and receive in the Third Millennium, because of all that has been built and organized, all over the world, by those who came before. I think that visitors leave with a better appreciation of our place in today's world, and a desire to do our part maybe a little happier and better than before.
God Bless America!
I hope you enjoyed my story, and that you will let me know your thoughts and correct my omissions or errors as need be. I like, very much, hearing from my site visitors.
The Display Opening
Opening Day at The White House Visitors Center ~ First Lady & the 2007 State Eggs Display Connecticut's egg, as in close-up, above, may be seen near the top of the side facing front.
The White House Visitors' Center features alcoves of displays and films to enrich the Visitors' experience, so the background is dark, like a movie theater. But the eggs dazzled and this photo will dazzle me, always.
"Eggs-actitudes", post-scripts and Egg-notes:
On June 19th I was able to attend the Connecticut Poultry Association's Annual Poultry Day Banquet, and speak to the membership and guests about my wonderful "Egg-sperience", for which they paid.
My talk was happy, backed up by PowerPoint 6-foot images of the egg and its description, and I truly enjoyed both the banquet and talk thoroughly. It was so nice, as told of some detail of the project that inspired or challenged, or made me smile, to look out on the audience and see that they enjoyed it , too!
It was also a treat to meet others of the membership in person. I had actually only met two of them before that evening. Details of the dinner will be found at the Connecticut Poultry Association site, and are worthy of the visit. The group helps state poultry and egg farmers to produce and share some of the best on earth! They also give college scholarships to tomorrow's Poultry people, and area prizes for Eggs-quisite desserts! Recipes available on request.
The Event Thank-you List You can imagine the length of this list at least twice what it appears. So many helped, from start to finish ! But let me try to express true Thanks to:
The White House, and all involved in creating an experience that has enhanced my life and will do so always!
The "mommies" who inspired it all - who, in my childhood, co-operated with my interest in learning the eggcraft
The arts folk and experience, lifelong, that made me feel I could do this project even still half-disabled
The Internet - a chance discovery about this event, clicking about on the internet for something else began this fine journey.
The Media - TV and news coverage, except for one missed-mess, was lovely, elegant, easy to do, and really special. I think they all did a great job of chronicling the event and sharing it with the community.
The buddy whose computer I was on at that moment - I did not realize it, but it did a nice thing for his life and he was "there" for me, throughout
My Congressman, Rob Simmons (R-CT), whose support for my participation was really helpful, since I think my disability created some blocks to my acceptance
AEB friends, Christine Bushway, and Jacinta Le Donne, whose leadership made it a fine success and no broken eggcraft
CPA friends Jim Rock and Gary Proctor, whose acceptance and support were a great keel throughout...and even fun
My Father, for the lining of my eggcraft submission: a bit of the Gold Foil he made for NASA's LLM
The Manchester Gem & Mineral Club, for the locally-mined gemstones in the submission and the entree to the gemshow that offered JUST the pearls I needed
Jewelry TV, for a few other gems that were still needed but not otherwise available
My Family and children, for their support and fun and understanding when the way of things was not mine to rule and not easy for them.
Local arts friends, for the right brand of close/distant...foreground middleground and background
And last, but not least- the special Angels who graced me To be honored with such participation ~ a grand thing! I love my country and have served, but to enjoy the opportunity to add to the 'All-American' fun with a bit of my own work... that is some fine music to enrich a life, lifelong! God Bless America !
About "National Treasures" A silly, but sincere, and very special "thank you"! The moment was tense - the egg had broken and only a few weeks to re-do it and submit, with its vulnerabilities corrected, so it would not break again! A health issue popped up and needed attention, and my "right-hand" man had to be elsewhere, due to a death in the family... what "theater"! to have such things pop up at the last minute! I needed backup of the spirit... but what sort? I had already been praying, as much as one is allowed... That week a movie named "National Treasure" (released 2004) was airing on cable television. I smiled....couldn't hurt...after all, it might inspire just right, and help me absorb the idea that my little eggcraft would be, indeed, archived at the Presidential Library. So I tuned-in.
It did the trick! I got it out in DVD and played it, as needed, on occasion, and it became a neat sort of "backup music" to cheer me, and level me out, from the dip, for this last-minute bit of the work.
I am playing it one more time tonight and have purchased a copy, to be a permanent part of my DVD collection, for the rescue of the spirit it created for me.
About the movie: Disney/family-friendly, takes place in the present, but is about our Founding Fathers and their times. It is a great treasure-hunt adventure, starring Nicholas Cage, Jon Voight, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Harvey Keitel, the amazing Sean Bean, and the famous Christopher Plummer, sporting a wonderful All-American soup-strainer mustache and flashing eyes and loving smile as he begins the story-telling, to his young grandson, that inspires the man-hero he grows up to be, and, indeed, the rest of the film. Such moments, between family members, do inspire for a lifetime, and they need to be featured more and more...it is what it is all about.
The historical references are so enticingly done, that it should send us all to online search, from curiosity and love of country, to follow-up, back-up and fill-out the references.
I liked also, that exciting discoveries, throughout the treasure hunt, give us one more reason to respect and celebrate our History and our Patriotism. None of the success in the hunt could have happened if Historical fact, people, places and things, had not been respectfully documented and preserved.
I do recommend this film, for all Americans, and happy to advertise its sequel National Treasure ~ Book of Secrets about mysteries around the time of Abraham Lincoln. Soon to be released.
eggs-oneration for the egg
My late husband was corporate and somewhat medical-related, we were at the fore about cholesterol and the egg took a lot of abuse in the 70's and the controversy almost disrupted our normally-happy breakfast table once or twice: the yolk issue was no joke...however, since that time, we are smarter about a lot of things.....here is the latest on it, from Yale researchers through the American Egg Board site newsletter... I hope you enjoy it!
New Research Finds Eggs Are Heart-Friendly
AEB and ENC collaborated with the prestigious Yale Prevention Research Center to inform the public about a new scientific study published in the March 10, 2005 issue of the International Journal of Cardiology, which finds that eggs are not detrimental to cardiovascular health.
The study indicates that egg consumption does not appear to adversely affect blood vessels in healthy adults, suggesting that eggs, and the dietary cholesterol they contain, may not be directly harmful to cardiovascular health and can be consumed as part of a heart-healthy diet.
According to the research, participants who consumed two eggs daily did not show increased levels of either total cholesterol or LDL (bad) cholesterol.
As a result of these findings, the lead researcher, David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., admits he has added eggs back into his diet.
To generate broadcast coverage of the study's findings, AEB sent video footage via satellite to media outlets nationwide.
The video footage included interviews from ENC's Don McNamara, Ph.D., as well as one of the renowned authors of the article.
In addition, a news release describing this study has been distributed to various newspaper and magazine journalists' in our efforts to educate the print media about these eggciting findings.
To date, stations in major media markets across the country, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Detroit have broadcast stories about this egg-citing research."
Stay tuned as we continue to generate the public's awareness about the wealth of health benefits that eggs provide.Including my introduction to it all, through my activities, per the Connecticut Poultry Association, as the Connecticut Artisan for the Annual White House Easter Egg Display 2007, sponsored by the American Egg Board. Referenced and linked notes about AEB, the Connecticut Poulty Association International Egg Craft, and how all are helping to bring the best to all of us in light of Third Millennium needs and options.
First Lady Accepts Specially commissioned etched Easter Egg The American Egg Board and have been so happy to have met and achieved with their events co-ordinators, first Lin Jackowski, then Christine Bushway, and Jacinta LeDonne. The Incredible Edible Egg was never more so, and you will find their site useful, informative, and fun! It offers the facts, with references, to use eggs well, including alternatives, cholesterol facts, and recipes and much more. The Connecticut Poultry Association , its President, James S. Rock, and its local Representative, Gary Proctor, were referred to me by AEB' s Ms. Jackowski, and, again , a revelation. I have enjoyed the experience of the many facets of this project. The Egg has become big news again, for anumber of reasons, and the this project gives me the opportunity to learn and share about poultry, as well. Today's Poultry Managers are often scientists, as well as farmers, in the classic mold. Every day their work saves lives, developing healthier, hardier strains of poultry, and protecting them and the public against poultry-borne diseases. They also work internationally, learning from countries whose experience existed before there was an America,and helping less developed nations do the same, and sharing our advanced science and technology, as well.
I hope you enjoyed this page, and will return to enjoy updates and reviews.
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Technical Notes: My design for the 2007 White House Easter Egg, From Connecticut, incorporates state symbols in miniature.
The item is created in a real chicken egg shell.
The outside is done in Connecticut sky blue. A front-facing opening, in the shape of the Connecticut State Armorial Bearings, is trimmed in tiny real pearls , one for each state - 50.
Through the opening is visible a lovely scene of waterfall-powered mill, stone fences, and flora and fauna; all are state symbols and historic, fashioned in mixed media, including real gems.
The display eggcraft is archived at the Presidential Libraries, after the show, so I am being careful to test materials for durability.
Paper mockup, one foot tall, having been done, I got busy with tool-making and practice models in a range of media. At one time, I crafted eggs as a prime focus, but not at this time, so the practices and warm-ups are important, as are "rough -drafts" of the final product.
I painted some eggs and shared them with friends..."good eggs for good eggs".... :-)
I played with the wax and wax-resist techniques, and some modern craft media, for effect
Then did the second-to-last draft of the egg, in actual scale, many of the media that will be used, to test them, but not using the real gems yet.
I practiced with some "invisible secrets" to strengthen the egg against damage, and had fun , casually tossing it at my family dinertable "show and tell", to show off it's sturdiness.
We had discussed and agreed upon the need for , maybe, a "backup duplicate" of the final draft, to protect the seamlessness of the project in the event of damage to the original, or some issue of loss or damage during shipping of the egg, which happens at end 2006, to permit plenty of time for White House Designers to construct the Easter 2007 Display.
more later.....winter 2005.
=========Getting to it
=====The cash grant for supplies from the Connecticut Poultry Association allowed for the purchase of supplies.
and their charm and friendship were the best.
Some gems came from Jewelry Televisiongreat, affordable:
It was nice to be able to search and find so easily. JTV has invited me to send in the story, when the egg is done, to share on TV and at their website.
But most were obtained through the Manchester, Connecticut Minerology and Gem Club It seemed appropriate to include locally-mined Gems where possible.
The more diffcult search was for an effective, long-lasting, non-yellowing, not-cracking adhesive.. E6000 and Bond 527, for not too much money, delivered to my door.
....stay tuned: more to come.......Spring 2006.
News Story ~ Journal-Inquirer ~
Vernon Connecticut ~ Saturday-Sunday April 7-8, 2007
04/06/2007 So egg-citing!:
Local woman chosen to decorate egg for White House display
By:Kym Soper , Journal Inquirer
VERNON - For local artist Elle Fagan - whose decorated egg was selected to represent Connecticut in the annual White House Easter egg display - this week has been a scramble of activity as she jetted down to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to visit with First Lady Laura Bush for the official unveiling.
"We socialized delightfully with all the other egg crafters from the 49 states, and then the artisans were lined up to meet and say a few words with the first lady," Fagan said breathlessly after returning home to Connecticut Thursday. "I pointed out my egg to her, and she said it was lovely," Fagan said of the first lady's response, adding "The whole event was just beautiful, and I'm a little tired and hoarse because I've been talking a lot, but it was truly wonderful."
The annual spring event is coordinated by the American Egg Board and done in recognition of the White House Easter Egg Roll.
Gaggles of children have been rolling hard boiled eggs on the South Lawn each Easter Monday since 1878, but the traditional display of decorated eggs - one from each state - started only 13 years ago.
To ensure that a large number of visitors may be allowed to view the eggs, the White House Visitor Center holds a public exhibit of the display, presenting the 50 eggs upon Lucite stands of varying height.
The exhibit runs through April 24, then will be archived with the displays from past years.
No stranger to the nation's capital, this was Fagan's 18th trip to Washington, D.C. and her second visit to the White House.
But it was an inaugural meeting with a member of the first family, the 59-year-old Fagan said.
And it was no easy task getting there this time. Each year artists from around the country present mockups of their designs to local egg and poultry boards, who choose one winner to represent their state for the display.
Fagan said she first heard about the White House egg display five years ago, and was determined to make the cut. She said it was a way to honor past teachers and her mother, who taught Fagan a Ukrainian ( artist's note: "Polish" , in my case, not "Ukranian" ) egg-decorating technique called Pysanki that uses a combination of glazing, painting, and beeswax. One of 12 children born to Polish immigrants, Fagan's mother would deliver eggs to Fairfield County mansions during the Depression. They called her "the little egg girl," Fagan said. Decorating eggs in the traditional manner at Easter was considered the "eighth sacrament," Fagan added, referring to the seven Catholic ceremonial rituals that range from baptism to last rites.
But even with steadfast resolve, Fagan said she still found herself languishing on a long waiting list of artists. It took more than two years but Fagan successfully lobbied to be the state artist creating the 2007 entry. In 2005 Fagan enlisted the help of then-Congressman Rob Simmons, and his involvement launched her to the top of the waiting list, Fagan said.
"I still had to go through screenings and interviews and submitting a design for review," Fagan added. A foot-tall mockup of the design and a carry case was constructed for the process. "They accepted it, and I was off to the races," she said. The board gave Fagan a $700 grant for art supplies and travel expenses.
Using a real chicken egg bought from a local store, Fagan emptied and cleaned out the shell, painting the outside a pale blue and fortifying it for strength and ease of handling.
An opening was created in the shape of the state shield, which is studded with miniature pearls and showcases a diorama inside of a scene straight out of Vernon: the Hockanum Falls tumbling forward with Daniel's textile mill at its crown.
Representing the grapevine found on the state flag, amethysts and garnets, mined in Connecticut and donated by the Manchester Mineralogy Club, can be found in the scene tucked within the surrounding foliage. And a scrap of Mylar that was used to wrap parts of the Lunar Landing Module fills the background. Fagan's father gave her the leftover piece when he worked for Dupont on the moon-landing project, she said. ( for the record, the mylar came to me through my Father's estate when he passed away.) At the top, miniature national and state flags are crossed.
"It shows the power and energy and healing and light with the jewelry and waterfalls and mills that I see in this state and here in Rockville," Fagan said. "The overall effect is a totally Connecticut scene, that shares many symbols and honors our heritage."
To view the entire White House Easter egg display, visit the Web site President's Park Holiday Displays
Nutmeg State Federal Credit Union - Journal Inquirer 2007
Sponsor for the The State Easter Egg Display is The American Egg Board the Incredible Edible Egg was never more so, and you will find the site useful, informative, and fun! The AEB sponsors the dazzling Easter Egg Display at the White House each year, since 1994.
Find a moment to enjoy the beautiful display, online or as part of your next visit to the White House.
At the State Level, The Connecticut Poultry Association was my Grantor for the project, and I cannot thank them enough!
Today, America's Egg & Poultry people are international heroes, working as much in the labs as in the hatchery, keeping quality and safety high, and keeping Avain flu a distant issue. World markets buy from us, because we are able to do the job so well!
Celebrate the Eggs-onerated egg! Now that we are all so cholesterol-aware, for a while folks were warned off the overuse of the egg, but the many benefits of The Incredible Edible Egg inspired the Medical Authorities to re-instate the egg as a worthwhile diet item - like, any other, to be used wisely and deliciously!
As a symbol of the cell, one of life's basic concepts, it is nice to see the Egg okay-ed for our love again.
As for me, even years later, the memory is a favorite and , I am in my Famous Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair in my imagination, at least, updating the page and satisfied and more grateful than I can say, for every minute of participation in this event.
I have my business back and functioning and jogged in the Manchester Road Race at 65 and feeling triumphant and humbly grateful all at once, since, at the time of Project described on this page, I had been injured and was disabled and struggling. This project was CPR for my spirit - helped very very much with the spark to get up and try again - not easy for ladies after hotflashes - and so I reminded myself to LET THE PROJECT DO ITS MIRACLE! and it did.
I made sure that I delighted in the entire "egg-sperience" ! It was a life all its own! I flashed at the outset, convincing others that I was qualified, disabled or not, that I was up to it. I gloried in the opportunity! My internal drivers revelled in the challenges, the trouble spots, the demands, the triumphs of each tiny detail! I jumped at every chance to share each little happiness with those in my world. I was blythe about it when I received the odd look over my enthusiasm. I enjoyed most of all, the success and the celebration, and the funny symbolism in the very small thing I got to do!
Proud and humble...it seemed just what a thing should be. We work to win through things and get on with things and put them behind us to do best in the present, but the glow from this one will always be with me and anyone who cares for me! After saying "thank you" a hundred times, the words are finally seeming to be effective.
And this story is shared here, to delight and inspire, in every fine way.
Vote for The White House at "LoveMarks.com" ! "LoveMarks" is an Icon, itself, since its Site & Book Celebrating the World's Best-loved People, Places & Things ! Once you visit the site, you will come back, again & again, and maybe nominate a LoveMark of your own!