Thursday, November 29, 2007

Just for fun!

A mosaic of my art & life as of late. You can create one yourself with your own photos here. Have fun!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A journal quilt!

nov28 journal quilt, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

Amazing, a journal quilt done just for me & steven!! I have not created one for myself since August 8th. We put our home on the market 5 days later, August 13th - and that was it for me, until now. It felt soooooo good to create this piece! Here is what I wrote for the journal part which is printed onto fabric & attached to the back:

November 28th, 2007 * Journal Quilt Number 27 *

*We have found our home*

This is the first time since the summer, August 8th to be exact, that I have created one of my Journal quilts . . . I find it hard to believe that much time has gone by . . . . almost 4 months! Wow. I found I did not have the energy to put into creating these while I was packing and moving, buying & selling houses and living out of boxes. So I dropped my challenge for the time being.

In January '07, I originally set out to create mini quilts with a journal entry once a week! I did quite well with that challenge until we decided to sell our home. I will see how many more quilties I can create before the year is over. My original goal was to create 50 Journal quilts and now I think 30 might be more likely! I will take all the journal quilts I have made in 2007 for this personal challenge and put them together so they will all be on display together. I want to mount them so that you will be able to look at the front and read the back of the quiltie – the journal entry as well.

My friend Frieda Oxenham sent me this fabric when we moved. She said it reminded her of Steven & I and our move to a new home. I have purposefully left this fabric out in my studio so it would CALL ME to work with it, which it did! I used watercolor crayons to change the black & white fabric to something more colorful and I added transparencies from ARTchix Studio. It really felt wonderful to do this quiltie. This is the first piece I have done for myself for a long time, thank you Frieda!

Posted on Wednesday Stamper 11-30-07

new home & studio update

I have been wanting to organize, upload & share photos of our new home & my new studio for a while . . . . but something else always seemed to take precedence! Then, when we kept not being able to close on the house because the owner wasn't ready, I began to wonder IF we would ever close and be able to stay in this new home we had found & loved.
Well, it all worked out and on the third try (3x's a charm!) we closed on the 13th of November. We put our former house on the market on the 13th of August, moved on the 13th of September (we sold in 2 days!) and we closed on the 13th of November -- all too wierd I think, but okay with me as everything worked out in the end. I have created some new albums of our new home & studio so if you are at all interested you can go to my flickr photo sharing account & see them. That links show all the sets of photos I have in various albums so you can pick & choose what you might like to view. I hope you enjoy! lenna

Monday, November 26, 2007

Creative ART Swaps!

Jo~Ann Reichert's bag for our swap 11/07
Just in case you didn't know, I host creative art swaps throughout the year. I am crazy enough (or in love with this activity enough) to post ALL the swap art that my participants send in for each swap! I had 2 swaps due recently, one October 26th and one November 15th with about 25 participants in each swap. This has kept me quite busy this fall! The last swap I wrapped up was a 1 for 1 fabric bag swap with an amazing amount of beautiful art produced for this swap (see example left). You can view all of the entries via a cool slide show I created when the swap was complete, or if you want to read more about how the artists created their bags, then follow this link to my swaps blog. The earlier swap due in October was a fabric ATC swap with a Mother Goose Theme, based on images found at Alpha Stamps. Again, the participants really impressed me with their creations! You can view all of the artwork from that swap by visiting this link. I hope you enjoy!
See Susanne Wiebe's Humpty Dumpty ATC for our Mother Gooose swap below!

I have just posted 4 new swaps due in 2008: A Valentines Ornament Swap, Creative Bags, 'Alpha Stamps Tallulah's' Vintage Card/Postcard swap, and a Quilties swap with a Shades of White theme, mmmm! You can read more about the swaps by going here: Scroll down once you are there -the swaps are about 1/2 way full already so if you are interested in joining you'll need to write me and see if there is any space left . . . all details on the swaps blog!

At this time of year with Thanksgiving just passed, those of us in the US are most likely to be remembering what they are thankful for; organizing these swaps is one thing I am very thankful for! I love seeing the swap artwork up close, I love being able to orchestrate these exchanges and inspire people to create, and I love coming up with creative ideas for swaps; it keeps me on my toes. I enjoy that I have the time right now to do this in an organized fashion & that I make it happen. I love hearing from participants how much fun they had creating for the swap or how they loved the swaps they received! So, I want to say thank you to all of those who participate in my swaps. I love keeping in touch with you this way & seeing what you create - thank you!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

ABR RR - Altered Books Revisited RR

Here's a page spread I did earlier this week for an Altered Book RR I've been hosting for the past few months. This is Cynthia Weed's wild book titled, "I could have married . . . ." : ) fun stuff!

The premise of this ABR RR: there are six of us who had shared art via round robins in the past; we wanted to revisit working in altered books. Our exchange is almost over now with just one more book to alter and send home to it's owner. Despite my busy-ness of buying/selling our homes, packing and moving, subsequently being short on time over the last few months, I have really enjoyed being part of this exchange; as always, it has in a way forced me to be creative! Thanks to Cynthia, Ann, Pilar, Shauna and Linda for playing with me, I am grateful for you and the art you have shared with me. To see more, please go to the ABR RR Blog that I created just for this exchange.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pay it Forward update : )

I have been a bit busy lately and have not let you know yet, that I did receive my 'Pay it Forward' gift from Sandy Babb. Wow! It is a spectacular pop up card, with it's construction being much like the pop-up ATCs she created for my Alpha Stamps mother Goose swap. Thank you so much, Sandy! This little angel card is beautifully stitched on the outside and inside it is a pop-up, with a very sweet message about how I was an angel for hosting the swap.

: ^ ) Sandy won first place prize for her most creative ATCs and was awarded a Mother Goose Tote Bag from Alpha Stamps, who sponsored the swap.

It was during the swap while visiting Sandy's blog that I saw her intriguing challenge. If you signed up on her blog she would send you a small handmade gift, if you in turn posted about the giving challenge on YOUR blog. You would then make and send a small gift to the first three people who signed up on your blog ~ Pay it forward! I was quite busy at the time but wanted to do this none-the-less, so I signed up! My participants just had to wait a bit to have their gifts sent out. Jan, my first volunteer, has received her gift from me and already posted it on her blog - what fun! Maggie in Canada and Eva in Sweden are waiting for their gifts to arrive; they were sent on Tuesday. Eva said "I'm waiting by the mailbox to meet the postmen... so exciting... Eva" hee heee! Thanks Sandy, for this fun idea.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Vintage Image Madness Collaborative 2008 Calendar

Just last night I got an email message from my friend Casie at Vintage Image Madness, that the collaborative calendar that she had been working on, was done! (click on the scan for a closer look). Casie asked me, as well as Tally Oliveau, Cindy McMath, Cathy Johnson, Lise Kirk, Frieda Oxenham, Kim Tedrow, Janet Heritage, Lisa Martin, Susan Metcalfe, Doreen Cosenza and Megan Hull to create a 4x4 piece of artwork using images from Vintage Image Madness. What a gorgeous calendar if I do say so myself!! It is a limited edition printing of only 100 calendars and you can purchase the calendar on Casie's Etsy site for only $10.00! The calendar measures 4.75 inches by 5.5 inches and comes packaged in a CD calendar case. The case can be turned inside out to form a desktop stand to hold and display the calendar. The calendar has been professionally printed for outstanding color and wonderful reproduction. We hope you enjoy!

You can see a close up of my February page by clicking here.

TipTop Journals - Lenna for Paula Dion!

I was a little late in getting this artwork for Paula Dion finished, but I completed my pages and got them in the mail today, only 1 day overdue, phew! (Click on any photo for a close-up). Paula and I are both in a group of mixed media artists gathered together by Frieda Oxenham and Debby Harriettha called TipTop Journals. On the 15th of every month, Frieda gives us a partner with whom we exchange pages by the 14th of the following month. We are all working in the same size blank journal (8x8) and so we simply take pages from our own blank journal to create on for our partner. Then we mail JUST the pages, not a whole journal, which has been really great!

Paula's Theme was Cowgirls & Prairie Doves (ladies of the night - Saloon Girls). To tell the truth, I had never worked on this particular theme before and I had no images on hand to inspire me. So I went to Google images and looked up various phrases - Cowgirls, Women of the West, Prairie Doves (soiled doves!) cowboys & cowgirls, etc. and found a number of good images. Then I started gathering a few fabrics I thought might work for the background; I knew I definitely wanted to use denim for Paula's spread of pages on a Cowgirl theme.

I originally thought I might work with the images I found right on top of a piece of old denim jeans. But when I went to play with the denim, I decided it might be too bulky to attach to the blank page. It was then that I got the idea to color COPY it. I laid a section of an old pair of Steven's blue jeans on top of the copier bed - inserted a sheet of fabric that was already prepared to go through my printer/copier and much thinner and flatter than denim - and pressed COPY! I was really happy how it came out, as when you look at a scan or photograph of my pages I bet you will think you are looking at a pair of real blue jeans. I did fool the eye a bit by removing the actual belt loops from Steven's jeans & gluing them directly on where they are located on the photo copy! I also took the real "Original" twill tape out of the real jeans & glued it on the copied pair of jeans as well.

On the left side of the page I use a transparency, which got a little muddled (I glued it on) but I decided it was OK after all. I added some small studs, a chain from a bracelet, some lace (one of paula's wishes!) bingo chips, alphabet letters that spell out "COW GIRLS", and a piece of 'rope' that ends in a tag with matching leftover printed denim fabric attached. This was really oh so much fun, Paula, ThANK You! Get ready to lasso your postmaster - the pages are on their way!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Find Moments

Lenna-011, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

This is one of the Quilties I created as an example during the class I taught at Sew Inspired on November 3rd. It features a beautiful Alpha Stamps fabric image from The Balcony sheet, plus metal roses and German Scrap trim from artchix studio. i love the words that I printed onto plain twill tape with my own printer - so appropriate! A few days ago I uploaded a couple of photos of my class, but it took me untill now to finish the quilties I started making while leading Carol, Donna & Rena throught the fabric page making process! Finishing these little fabric pieces today reminded me that I have to get back to my journal quilt challenge!! I am really thinking about it now, so I would bet I will be getting back to that soon. In the meantime, if you would like to see more of my quilties please follow the link to my flickr photo sharing page. I have 4 new fabric pages uploaded there. Thanks and enjoy : ) lenna

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Alpha Stamps Design Team Member Project

Lenna-Christmas07.01, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

Well, I often do things in a big way and I also often obsess about things - getting them right, so maybe it will not surprise you that I took on such a big project for my Alpha Stamps Design Team Holiday project! I took a blank book with about 15 sets of pages and created a Gift List/Card List for the Holidays that perhaps I will even use!!

You'll see the Cover here, and if you follow the link to my flickr account you'll see a lovely slide show of all the pages I created. I do admit it was a ton of work, but something I wanted to do and something I enjoyed doing, plus I got to use A LOT of lovely images, papers, and other goodies from Alpha Stamps, yum! The slide show is quite nice, but if you are looking for links to specific products, look at the pages individually. I hope you enjoy! Creatively yours, Lenna

Ribbon Sachets!

_LennaRibbonSachet1, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

As a design Team Member (DTM) for Alpha Stamps I get to try many of their products. The "Ribbon Sachet Kit" is something I ordered from Alpha Stamps via my allowance - my pay in product, so to speak for creating samples for the company. WOW! I love this kit! It is chock full of beautiful ribbons and comes with a delicious smelling rose & lavender 'Victorian Shadows' aromatic sachet blend. Mmmm! It's lovely! And you can put these sachets together easily without any sewing - glue strips & dots (that are very sticky & work well) are included in the kit. I will show you a few variations I made and I still have ribbons, images and sachet mix left over! Click on the images for more detail . . . . The main square portion is a folded wide ribbon which holds a teaspoon or so of the custom sachet blend in the middle of it. Wonderful!

It's hard to 'capture' what these little ribbon sachets look like in a scan . . . here's another try with a photo, below:

I used the irridescent glass spheres from Alpha Stamps around the round pendant image onthe right, and on top of the white trim on the left - I love these things!

Friday, November 9, 2007

catching up

One of my Quilties I did in class as an example -
Alpha stamps M is for Magpie image:
I have been quite busy lately between the Mother Goose swap I just sent out, sponsored by Alpha Stamps and 2 different weekends 2 weeks apart where I was teaching an all day long workshop. Phew! Time is simply flying by. We have been in our new home almost 2 months now, although we were a bit afraid ro unpack everything as we have been renting from the owner until he was ready to close. We have had a couple of closing dates come and go since we moved, but it looks like we will finally CLOSE the deal and own our new home, which we absolutely LOVE, as of Tuesday afternoon the 13th of November, 2007.

Steven says this is just a coincidence, but I think it is pretty unusual that we put our 37 Cliff Drive home on the market on August 13th (it sold in 2 days), we moved out of that home and into this one on September 13th, AND we will be closing on our new home here on November 13th!! You might say 13 is our lucky number. We also just figured out we will be having 13 guests for Thanksgiving dinner! : ) pretty amazing.

Last weekend's class: Quilties, was held at Sew Inspired, in Simsbury CT --
Below: Carol van Gerve stitching one of her pages - what a lovely classroom!

Some of carol's wonderful work:

Below: Donna & Rena: We made a mess, got creative & had fun!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

meet my Pay it Forward Volunteers!

How this got started: Through a fabric Mother Goose ATC swap I hosted, sponsored by Alpha Stamps, I met Sandy Babb, who pens a blog called Quill Cottage. It was through Sandy's Blog that I recently learned about a giving challenge called Pay it Forward. Sandy may still have a spot open on her blog; go and check out her original Pay it Forward post here and see! I thought about it and decided I would love to do this and could make the time to create the gifts, so I added the post to my blog (see below). In just a few days I have 3 lovely volunteers! To each of them I will send a small handcrafted gift, made by me. In return, they will post this same giving challenge on their own blogs.
My first volunteer is Jan from California. I do not think I know Jan from classes or email conversation, but she does follow my creative lenna blog- it's listed as one of her favorites! : ) Jan is a quick worker - she has already posted the Pay it Forward giving challenge on her Blog, StampQn Art , has gotten her first volunteer AND created a gift for her - wow! check it out!

My next volunteer is Maggie from Canada. I originally met Maggie in a yahoo group. She later took an on line class with me, and has participated in some of my swaps at Creative Swaps. I met Maggie in person this summer when I was vacationing near Kingston, Ontario. She was there in Kingston for a fiber course. Maggie took the ferry over to Wolfe Island after her workshop, we met her at the ferry dock and she delivered her ATCs for the Garden swap to me in person! We had a glass of wine and sat and next to the St. Lawrence River and talked with my husband Steven, like we were all old friends. : ) I have a few pictures here of that summer evening, scroll down below my garden ATCs at the top of the post. Maggie has a Blog called Creative Gleanings which I follow, as she is a talented quilter and does lots of wonderful things with fabric. I have a page of hers in a collaborative fabric book we worked on together! She will post the Pay it Forward giving challenge on her blog & you can follow it there!

My third volunteer is Eva from Sweden! I recently met Eva through an on line class I taught on Eva is a very talented fiber, mixed media, and digital scrapbooking artist - check out her blog, Eva Scrap. A lot of the pages she created in my mini art quilt book class can be seen here on her flickr page - I love what she did! So it is really fun for me to have Eva sign up for this. She will post Pay it Forward on her blog, and I will make a small gift & send it to her - what fun!

Thank you all for participating : ) I will let you know when I send your gifts out!

creatively yours, lenna
*Update November 9th: I have one gift made (sent out today) and 2 more gifts in the works! Sorry to my participants for the delay. I have been quite busy this past week with a swap to swap & send out, a couple of classes I was teaching and a large Design Team project I was making. I have not forgotten! I will let you know when ALL the Pay it Forward gifts have been sent : )) Thanks for signing up!
*November 13th - ALL the gifts have been sent, enjoy!!