Monday, March 31, 2008

Brown & Robin Egg's Blue ATCs: Colour Groupies March Swap

Colour Groupies is a small group of fabric/quilt and mixed media artists that asked me to join them earlier this year. This very small group of 5 members is a lovely place for me to share art, friendship, and receive support.

Today's reports from my mom are that my dad has improved since the weekend, but unfortunately with all of my dad's health problems this winter, I found I've needed to share my feelings at times. These friends are there for me -this is definitely a caring group of artists (thank you) and they are so accomplished as well!

Each month we create one ATC for each artist in the group based on a colour-combination as our theme. January was Black & Gold, and February was Hot Pink & Orange. To see my two previous month's ATCs and learn more about the group, go here to see ALL colour groupies posts, or go directly to the February and January ATCs. For March, we all worked on the color theme of brown and robin's egg blue, mmmmmm! I had a small paper egg in my studio that was just the perfect color - soft blue with brown spots... I wanted to use it to create my ATCs but was not sure how I was going to accomplish it. Then it hit me -- I could take a photo of the egg and use the photo I printed out to create my ATCs : )

Above you will see the original photograph I took of the paper egg surrounded by handmade papers that were functioning in this case as a "nest". I printed this photo out six times, ATC size (2.5" x 3.5"). One copy was for each of the 4 other group members, one was for me (I always like to keep a copy myself) and one was for my friend Carol van Gerve who I was going to visit that week. We were celebrating the first day of Spring and I thought this would be a perfect small gift for her.

I printed the egg photo out onto a piece of matte photo paper first, repeating the image a number of times on one sheet. Looking at this after I printed it I thought it was a little too strong as far as the color, and I wasn't sure I even liked it. I thought about printing the photo on fabric instead and remembered I had a sheet of ExtravOrganza I had never tried printing on before. One of my swap participants, Shannon Sawyer had recently sent in some fabric cards for the Alpha Stamps Tallulah's card swap using ExtravOrganza and we had talked via email about it, so it was on my mind! (thanks, Shannon!) I printed the same images out onto the sheet of ExtavOrganza I had and found it to be really quite sheer, like Shannon had said. Interesting, but I did not know if that was the look I wanted either! As I was sitting there looking at both the paper copies and the ExtravOrganza copies of the egg photo, I decided to lay the sheer fabric copies over the matte photo paper copies . . . and voilĂ ! THAT was a look I liked. I will upload my finished ATCs for the Colour Groupies below -and see what you think:

I used my new sewing machine which I LOVE because of all the lovely stitch options it has: a Brother 60-Stitch Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine-and I stitched the sheer ExtravOrganza fabric image directly to the matte photo paper base image (it was exactly the same).

I added bird & nest charms I found at Lost Art Creations and beautiful brown, die cut self-adhesive felt leaves I found at Alpha Stamps! The blue ribbons are from Alpha Stamps as well -try the solid ribbon section there. I finished all the ATCs off with a small amount of light blue Prisma Stardust Glitter by Gick Crafts.

A few close-ups of the brown & blue ATCs I created -

Caryl's ATC:

Tristan's ATC:

Frieda's ATC:

. . . and Debby's ATC : )

: ) Thanks to the group for the challenge and your friendship! Lenna

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Collage Mania II

Virginia Spiegel, who does an phenominal amount of fundraising for the American Cancer Society (ACS) is hosting Collage Mania II on May 5th and 6th, 2008. I am proud to say that I have created two collages for this event and I submitted them today, digitally. I found out shortly afterwards that they have been accepted, hooray! You can see them here in this post - click on any picture for more detail.

The idea for this fundraiser is that Virginia put out a call for art to be created & donated to Collage Mania II. On Gold Donor Day - Monday, May 5, 2008, all of the accepted collages will be available for a minimum donation of $80 starting at 9 a.m. CST on Virginia's website. The Regular Collage Mania Opens on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 and all collages will be available for a minimum donation of $40 starting at 9 a.m. CST. You can view all collages available - a 'Patron Preview' beginning April 28 on Virginia's website and a weekly Collage Mania Preview can be seen each Wednesday on Virginia Spiegel's blog.

Virginia writes, "Collage Mania II will be held May 5 and 6 on my website. There will be a Collage Mania II preview page with more information for patrons prior to that date and all available collages will be posted a week in advance so you have time to study your choices."
Note: Fiberart for a Cause has raised over $150,000. that has been donated to the ACS. This is the #2 Nationwide Fundraiser for 2007 ACS Relay For Life (Press Release).

I created my collages on a piece of fabric-paper I created last summer based on the instructions my quilt and mixed media artist friend, Frieda Oxenham gave me. A tutorial on how I created this base for my collages is told here, in an earlier post. I used my original fabric paper for these two collages, not a copy. To the fabric paper I added Lumiere paint, rubber stamping with VersaCraft inks, pigment powders, a button, ribbon embroidery thread and a small flower. As specified, I mounted them on 10" h x 8" w 140lb watercolor paper, signed and ready to be framed. My husband was so impressed to see my collage work so professionally prepared! I think I will have to treat my collages like this more often.

When submitting these two collages to Virginia she asked us to indicate if we were donating our collage as a survivor, or in honor of or in memory of someone special to you.

I wrote in my submission, "Virginia, I am doing these collages in honor of my father. He is a survivor of prostate cancer (5 years ago) and on March 24th, 2008, he had a tumor removed from his colon that was cancerous. I want to thank you personally Virginia, for all you do for the American Cancer Society and the way you gather together artists for this worthy cause."

Sincerely, Lenna Andrews, March 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

small collage

small collage, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

I am going to participate in Collage Mania II this year (the deadline is soon!) and this small college (4x6) was a practice, or rather a warm-up for me. I used a bit of the paper & fabric collage I created last summer based on the instructions my quilt and mixed media artist friend, Frieda Oxenham gave me. Oh, what great fun this was to make! I think I will try my hand at another fabric paper collage soon. Read more about the process here and, can you spy the section of the larger fabric & paper collage I got this from?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ARTchix Itty Bittys Swap

I really love the idea of a collaborative project/swap with a chance to have my artwork published so I signed up for the first one offered by ARTchix Studio -Itty Bittys with ARTchix Faux Postage Swap. It was due January 10th.

This year, Helga at ARTchix Studio has decided to host all the ARTchix swaps and collaborative projects run through her yahoo group by herself, and I must say I am thoroughly impressed. When I got home from visiting my parents this week my returns for the Itty Bitty collage (sized 3" x 3" square) were waiting for me. Beautifully packaged, I recieved 6 Itty Bitty collages swapped back in return for the ones I made, as well as 4 ARTchix Studio image collage sheets created from entries for this swap - wow! Helga also slipped in a small chocolate heart and the whole package was tied up with a special ARTchix ribbon! An extra bonus for me was that I found out that one of my Itty Bittys shown here had been chosen for one of the image sheets (the bottom left sheet in the collection).

There are more swaps and collaborative projects planned and you can read about them here. You must be a member of the ARTchix Studio YahooGroup in order to participate in these swap/projects as announcements will be posted on the yahoo group when artwork is received as well as any updates for the swaps. If you'd like to see all of the Itty Bittys I made for this swap, please jump to my original post. Featured here in this post is the Itty Bitty I created that was published on one of the ARTchix collage sheets. A big thank you to Helga and also to Cindy McMath who designed the Faux postage stamp I used on this Itty Bitty!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Arty International Yahoo Group ATCs

Above: the front and the back of one of my 'local architecture' ATCs made for a swap hosted by Teresa Abajo on the Arty International Yahoo Group, due March 31st, 2008. I created 10 of these ATCs in total, all slightly different from each other (the extra one is for me). I used a lots of great Alpha Stamp products including transparencies from Tallulah's Kisses & Paris Showgirls laid over my photo, a haunting CROW rubber stamp stamped with StazOn ink, and some really yummy Green Leaf ribbon. The transparencies are rather ghostly, but I like their affect on the ATC.

The 'local architecture' I used was a photo I took of the Wadsworth Atheneum, in Hartford CT. Established in 1842, this is America's oldest public art museum. Steven and I visited there most recently on a cold day in January, 2008. My Great Uncle, William Glackens has several paintings on exhibit in this museum which I always love to see. The building itself is so interesting, I snapped a photo of the Atheneum from the outside . . . .

. . . and then, once inside, I took a photo from the inside -- looking out. This is what I based my ATCs on. See ALL of the ATCs for the swap, below -click on any photo for a larger version. These ATCs are being mailed this afternoon to Australia!

No flash is allowed so this is a rather blurry photo of me standing in front of one of my Great Uncle's paintings at the Wadsworth Atheneum. This large painting is of his wife Edith Dimock, my grandfather's sister : )

I do love to visit this museum and I think that's why I chose it as my 'local architecture'. Thanks for hosting, Teresa!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

just a note

(below: me & my dad in 1994 with one of the wooden cedar strip boats he's made- that's my mom in back!)

It has been some time since I posted; I just realized how long when I came here to my own blog tonight. On February 28th, I flew down to Florida to be with my mom & dad earlier than expected. Steven & I were scheduled to visit them for a week in early March, but my dad has had a number of health problems which hospitalized him and led me to be there with them sooner. My dad is still under care at a rehab facility and is awaiting an operation for a tumor on his colon, which is small but cancerous. Too many other things happened to him to go into here on my blog, but my family is hanging in there and we are wishing for my father's speedy recovery. Steven and I will return to CT on Monday, possibly breifly for me. We'll see what my Mom needs and what she wants me to do. I will be back home for at least a week, and if my family needs me, I will go back down to Florida. Amazingly, while down here I have gotten one small bit of artwork done for an International ATC swap I'm in. I will post it upon my return next week!! Thanks to those of you who already had heard of my dad's troubles through the swaps I host and various groups I'm in, and have written emails with love and support; they have been so appreciated.
Thank you.

with love, lenna