Artist: Brenda Estes
First Place Decorated
"I am 54 years young, born and raised in small town Alabama. I am mother to three beautiful adult children, one of which died in a car crash at age 25, and grandmother to one precious granddaughter. I also have one stepson and one step granddaughter. I have always loved most any type of crafts. I love fishing and deer hunting with my wonderful husband of six years. Actually, I love doing just about anything outdoors. I guess you could say I just love God's gift of nature." Brenda is pictured to the left with a new creation - a Recipe Card Egg. The card shown with the egg is approximately 5" X 7". She has painted "What's For Dinner?" on it and also painted corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash on it.
Brenda tells us that she got into egging by chance when visiting a friends emu ranch. " I went to a lifelong friend's Emu Ranch to buy Emu Oil for my Mother who had cancer (she drank some before each radiation treatment and also used it on her skin in the area being treated). While there I spied a big green object on her kitchen table. It was so pretty I couldn't believe my ears when she told me it was an Emu Egg...a REAL one even! I asked her if she had dyed the egg or if it were naturally a dark green and she replied that was the natural color. She had two more of the eggs nearby and here I was standing there with all kinds of ideas running through my mind on what I could do with those eggs. I told her I bet they'd make great Prize eggs for an Easter Egg hunt and could be decorated with little stickers and things. She said I could have the three eggs if I wanted to try to decorate them. She told me she had seen some emu eggs in NY (in a well to do shop) that had been cut and decorated and they were priced over $500. Wow, my mind really started racing then! I just knew I could do this (yeah right!). Well to make a long story shorter, my sweet hubby went and bought me a dremel tool to use on the eggs and I could hardly wait to get started. My first egg took nearly a month to finish, working an hour or two a day. In the meantime, I got on the internet and did a search for Emu eggs. Imagine my disappointment when I realized there were so many people cutting and decorating eggs! Here I had been thinking all this time that I was breaking into a craft very few people even knew about! I saw so many beautiful eggs on the internet and also got many new ideas. I never copied an egg I saw there, but instead, I was inspired to "outdo" the ones I saw."
It turned out that the egging was good therapy for Brenda during her Mother's extended bout with cancer. " It kept my mind occupied when I wasn't taking care of her and it really gave me a good feeling when I saw the egg transformed into a beautiful gift for loved ones. I felt good that I could take an already pretty egg and add trims, small figures inside, and add a sealer and stand and have something that would make a beautiful gift for a reasonable price. Each egg took on a life of it's own as I worked on it, adding trims, figurines and stands. I never took lessons in egging, although it did enter my mind a few times. Of course for the first year or so, I gave most of my egg creations away to family and friends. I also sold a few at online auctions."
"I always enjoy seeing people's expression when I show them one of my eggs, especially if they have never seen an real live emu egg before. I can imagine their expression is much like mine was the first time I saw one.
I eventually got up enough nerve to enter the Emu's Zine Online Extravagant Emu Egg contest. I never thought for one minute that I would win First Place, much less Best Of Show! After entering the contest, I emailed all my online friends and asked them to go vote on my egg, and then I promptly forgot about it. When I saw an email from Myra Charleston about the contest, I was almost afraid to read it, dreading the disappointment I just knew I'd feel. When I finally got up the nerve to read it, I had to read it over and over to be sure it was real! Once I knew it wasn't a joke, I ran to my husband, yelling "I won, I won" and jumping up and down. He had no idea what I was saying until I repeated it without yelling. I had to make him read the email and then he got all excited to. All my family and friends knew before morning of the next day! This being the first time I have ever won anything that amounted to anything makes it even more special. I have even rearranged my craft room to make room for my prizes and can hardly wait to get started using the fantastic engraving system I won! Many thanks to all who voted for my Wedding Egg. Thanks also to Myra Charleston and staff at EmusZine.com for sponsoring the contest, and also to Angels Rest who gave the Endura Engraving System.
Be sure to check out my website soon, as I'm sure I will be making new eggs using my new engraving system and the eggs I won. I have never worked on eggs other than Emu eggs so I can hardly wait to get my hands on an ostrich and rhea egg!!"
Eggery to see more of Brenda Estes's work!