Stephanie Vuljanic Lemke was brought up on a small, self-sufficient farm nestled in the rolling hills by Ozalj, Croatia, which at that time was a province of Yugoslavia. She left home at the age of fifteen to work and study hotel management on the stunning Adriatic Coast, famous for its scenic cliffs and clear waters. While working at the Zlatne Stjene ("Golden Walls") Resort, Stephanie was offered a job at a West German hotel by vacationing tourists. At the age of seventeen, in 1966, Stephanie left Croatia for Germany, where she worked as a Gastarbeiter (guest worker), and met her husband, an American. In 1972, she and her husband came to the United States, and two years later, they had a son, Steven. Stephanie made pisanica for her son's first Easter. In October 1974, Stephanie was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating and painful disease that she calls "the cruel twister of the human body." The most difficult thing for the independent and outspoken Lemke was adjusting to receiving assistance from others. She began attending Madison Area Technical College's Liberal Arts program, where she discovered her talent for writing and storytelling. For Lemke, writing was not only a hobby, but therapy. Later, after multiple operations to replace painful joints, she took up the paintbrush to capture memories of her childhood in Croatia. Today, polyglot Lemke translates and interprets in Croatian and other languages for the courts and medical facilities. Lemke says: "Through the years, I have developed work that I can do at any level of pain or mental capacity. If I take a heavy-duty pain-killer, I cannot write or interpret, but I can paint, or make pisanica, or even sing. I need to focus on what I've got, not what I don't." Stephanie Vuljanic Lemke has taught workshops throughout the country, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and Folklore Village in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Her pisanica are in the permanent collections of the White House and the Wisconsin Historical Society. And even in the Mazomanie, Wisconsin 1999 time capsule, to be opened in 2049!