Saturday, May 31, 2008

my mom & dad

I am thinking so much about my parents!
Steven & I will go visit them for a week, starting tomorrow . . . and my dad is finally well enough to be out of the hospital. I feel very blessed about all this, and wanted to upload and share these photos.

Here is my Dad with my oldest son Decklin when he was just 2 --now 26! My dad has a John Deere Tractor and could not help but get a toy one for Decklin for his 2nd birthday!!

The photo below left, shows my dad's father (Gander), my beautiful mother, and my dad. I am not sure of the date. I would guess late 50's or early 60's.

Below right, My mom & dad in our Glastonbury, CT home in the 1970's.

My mom and dad at the Holly Ball, 1953!
Here is my mom, me, my dad and his mother ('Nonie') in 1972. I am 15 years old, the same age I was when I met Steven (my husband) for the first time! I used this photo for the "about Lenna" page on my new website that I am working on slowly, but surely. It's called: A Little Creative Space and I'm devoting it to free tutorials and on-line/email learning. I hope you have a minute to visit and let me know what you think! I will have more info added to the new site before too long . . .

I have created 10 color-combo ATCs for the Colour Groupies group, and sent them off yesterday. They're not uploaded here yet because we keep what they look like a surprise until they are all received! I can't share them quite yet . . . so until then, thanks for reading and take care until I return.

Yours Creatively, Lenna

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Card for Carol Van Gerve

I had fun yesterday making this card for my friend and student, Carol Van Gerve. I met Carol 10 or 12 ago when I worked at Impressive Impressions, an Art Rubber Stamp store in Farmington, CT that is sadly, no longer in business. Carol is a really lovely person and so when I worked there, we always talked and she took a number of my mixed media classes. At that time, Carol and I lived in the same town, - in fact, right down the road from each another! I stopped by her beautiful home more than once & got to know her better. Since that time many years ago, lots has happened. My first husband left me, we got divorced, I reconnected with Steven, we got married, and then Steven & I moved twice in the past 3 years to find "our" home. I lost track of Carol for a while there, but somehow we reconnected, I think at the Springfield MA stamp show in June of 2005. Slowly but surely we started writing to each other again -- and I do mean writing, as in regular long-hand writing with paper cards as Carol does not do email! (smile)

We both enjoy creating things for each other and we both love mail art (both the making and the receiving!). You can click on the photo above of my card for Carol for a larger picture -- it was hard to reduce the size of it for the web and not lose the detail, but I think I did okay. I started with a pale green card and layered a piece of mulberry paper with music note inclusions and also some hand made lacy paper on with a glue stick and a bit of tacky glue. Then I attached a fabric collage image from Alpha Stamps' Mermaids #3 with super sticky red liner tape. I chose this tape instead of glue because I did not want any wet glue to make the card buckle. I added a bit more of the lacy handmade paper on top of the fabric mermaid image. I found a pink velvet flower given to me as a gift and added that to the bottom corner. There was a tube of tiny green/pink/blue micro beads on my work table because I had spied them when I was looking for something else and thought they were interesting. Now they seemed the perfect touch for this underwater card. I used a bit of tacky glue here and there and sprinkled on the micro beads liberally. I also had to add a few iridescent glass spheres. These are just one of my favorite embellishments -thanks to Leslie from Alpha Stamps!!

To finish the card, I added a piece of hand dyed ribbon embroidery thread and a sheer white & gold striped ribbon to the side of the card. On the inside I stamped "Thinking of you" and on the outside of the card I used just a part of that same stamp to add a few vines and leaves that surrounded the words. Then I decorated an envelope!

I used a postage stamp I made through that features a photo of me my husband recently took and the message "hello from lenna". Carol always remarks how much she loves the postage stamps I use, so I had to include this new one on her envelope. The rest is simply rubber stamping and watercolor crayons with a bird image added to the mix, as Carol loves birds. I would like to share two sets of cards and envelopes that Carol has sent to me this year as they are just beautiful:

I hope this inspires you to create a handmade card and envelope for a friend or loved one in your family . . . speaking of family, I will be visiting my mom & dad in Florida next week so my blogs may be quieter than usual! I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your thoughts and good wishes, and prayers for my dad. He is doing remarkable better! It seems the antibiotics have beaten down the two infections that he has been battling and his heart valve looks good, with no infection. It looks like, and we are hoping that it stays true, that he will not have to have open heart surgery on the valve. Later this summer he will have an operation to reverse the colostomy that was part of the removal of the cancerous tumor, but all looks as well as it can be and he is getting around with a cane now. Steven & I so look forward to seeing him next week, and we think he will be out of the rehab center & home with my mom! Gratefully yours, Lenna

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mini Moo Cards for a Swap!

These are my 'Moo Cards' or mini cards that I created for a swap hosted by Terrie Lightfoot at Lost Art Creations. They are called MOO cards because is the name of the UK printing company that can print your photos onto this mini size card for you. How big are they? We made mini cards that were 1 -1/8" wide x 2 -3/4" tall -wow!

We made original, handcrafted mini cards, not printed ones. And because this was a Lost Art Creations swap we needed to use one of the companies collage sheets and one "pretty bit" (fiber, charm or ephemera from LAC).

I choose to work with the Dancer's Paradise sheet which is one of my favorites. I love the colors and the paintings Terrie features. Mmmmm~ I also added a snippet of ribbon to each mini card: Fantasea.

I used a lightweight card stock & cut it to size. Then I cut the collage sheet images up, a little smaller than the mini card. I used glue stick to attach the images to the card stock, then I added some rubber stamping using just part of a stamp (or two or three!). I had some dancer stamps and inked up just a shoe or a hand . . I did the same with a Paula Best stamp, using just a few of the words on the block. I did this in a layered fashion, first with a darker color ink and then with a lighter color ink. (VersaCraft). If a part of the stamp made an impression where I did not like it, I could wipe it away with a rag because it was not heat set yet.

After heat setting the ink, I used one of Tim Holtz's dye based Distress inks around the edges. I was going to sell all of these ink pads at a recent Garage Sale I had, but after seeing my friend & student Carol van Gerve use them in a class I taught, I decided to keep a few!!
(click on any photo for more detail)

I wasn't quite sure they were "done" and the inks I used to stamp a second or third time were still moist, so I decided to sprinkle a little embossing powder on! I heated the embossing powder that had a bit of a sparkle to it, and this gave them an interesting, distressed look. I decided to finish them with a couple of coats of gel medium, gloss! Then I printed labels with my info and used them to hold the snippets of ribbon in place. This was a lot of fun, Terrie! thanks.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sweet Home Blogger Award!

Thank you, Carol!

The very talented, kind and thoughtful Carol Stocker presented me this week with the "Sweet Home Blogger Award" for sharing beauty, love and joy through my blogs ... wow! thank you Carol!
I am honored.

My job is to pass this award on to 5 people that have inspired me with their blogs. Below are five blogs that I truly enjoy and are inspired by. Each of these women share beauty, love, joy (and fun!) through their writing and sharing of art. They are all very deserving of this award, which is given with love. A note to those whom I have awarded: I will understand if you do not have time to pass this award on! None the less, I wanted to give the award to you so you knew how much I enjoyed what you do! Thank you. xo lenna

TipTop Journal spread for Judy Evitts

Each month I create a spread on blank pages from an 8x8 journal I have for one of the artists in the TipTop Journal group. We are all working in the same size journal so it's easy to pluck some pages, work on them and then just send the pages off -not the whole book. Sweet!! To see all of the spreads I've completed including this one click here.

My latest spread was done for Judy Evitts, and her theme was 'White Rabbit' as in Jefferson Airplane. Judy even directed us to a Wikipedia Link for inspiration!

I must say that I used that link to grab to the song lyrics. I printed them out onto a clear transparency with pink ink after changing the font to something a bit more funky. I specifically picked out a piece of wild tie-dyed looking fabric and some psychedelic paper (left side) that I had in my collage stash. I used twinkling H2Os for their iridescence on both pages, both painting & splattering. I found some mini heart brads (blue) from ARTchix Studio and added those . . . I had a postcard of Alice & the Cheshire Cat that I reduced & added along with a few other copies from an old Through the Looking Glass book, and I did a lot of sewing with decorative stitching to attach the fabric, the paper and just to embellish the page. I also added a bit of rubber stamping with VersaCraft ink: peace & love plus the chessmen (top right) from Claudia Rose. I've added some close-ups of the pages below. What do you think??

Saturday, May 17, 2008

ARTchix unbound Chunky Book

Have you ever made 76 pages for a chunky book? Wow. It's quite a job! I just finished doing just that because I joined a unbound chunky book swap hosted by Helga Strauss, the owner of
ARTchix Studio! The theme for this swap was 'By the Sea' and we were instructed to create a 4" square collage (front and back) with a By the Sea theme using at least 2 ARTchix products. Then make 76 photocopies (front and back) onto heavy cardstock, cut them out, glue them together in the center . . . and add embellishments to the final piece as you like.

My version of by the sea is pictured here - click on any photo for more detail. For added embelishments I used a 14K Gold metallic marker around all the edges and also on the netting that I added to the bottom of each page. I also stamped "believe" in blue on each page and I added a page pebble (a clear, round plastic dome) over the face of the girl on the collage sheet to make her look as if she was underwater. My husband was simply amazed that when I decided to add the page pebble to accentuate her face that I had enought of them around in my studio to do that. "HA!" he laughed. "You had 76 page pebbles just hanging around in your studio??" Well, yes. but I did have to hunt for them!

My background was created with the ARTchix
Sea Dreams collage & transparency sheets. The girl featured in the middle of the collage is from Day at the Beach collage sheet. I put Brass Gears in her hair, a Brass Sunburst Halo around her waist and I used Victorian scrap shells (they look real, don't they?) and 3 miniature starfish. Wow! Photo copying the metal items was interesting . . . I was not so sure about this original collage when I was done photocopying it, but my husband Steven thought I was crazy. "I love it!" He said. "It's one of the most interesting things you've done." I do trust his opinion and so with the grace of a little more time from Helga, I was able to put all the pages together.

Helga is hosting a number of interesting ARTchix swaps and collaborative Projects this year: visit the ARTchix Studio Classes & Activities section of their website to learn more! You do need to be a member of the
ARTchix yahoo Group to join, but it's easy to do if you are not a member already, just follow the link! Here are some more photos:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Shiva Paintsticks!

I acquired a set of Shiva Paintsticks many years ago and only used them briefly. I never really explored using them. Recently, my local quilt shop, Sew Inspired was offering a class called "Playing with Paintsticks" and I thought to myself, this would be perfect! I can TAKE a class, learn more about these paints and how to use them on fabric, and PLAY! My instructor Betty was a really good teacher, I had a lot of fun and will definitely be using these more in my fabric art now. Plus I got to shop for fabric! I love the batiks that Sew Inspired carries.

Click on any photo for more detail!

The book, Paintsticks on Fabric -by Shelly Stokes in linked to your right in the sidebar. This was a requirement for the class and goes over everything we did, and more. I would highly recommend this book if you want to learn the techniques on your own or need a refresher! I used rubbing plates that I had bought previously & had not used yet . . . and I really enjoyed them! You put them under your fabric and either use a stencil brush loaded with the Paintstick paint, OR use the paintstick to color directly on top of your fabric over the rubbing plate.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Grimm fairy tale Fabric BOOK

Leslie Elledge at Alpha Stamps has been collecting old books and specifically the Brothers' Grimm Fairytale books for a long time. This spring she started by releasing not one, but 12 - absolutely gorgeous image sheets, plus new rubber stamps and the coolest clear stickers. ALL related to the Grimm fairy tales in conjunction with a swap I am hosting based on the same theme (May 2008). Now Leslie has added at least a dozen more collage sheets (paper or fabric), more clear stickers and more rubber stamps! I was compelled to create a fabric book of my own design using these items simply because of how beautiful the images are. I used mostly paper collage sheet images sewn onto fabric and I am really impressed with the quality of the paper; even my husband commented on it when the book was finished! I also used clear stickers, rubber stamps, and these cool shoe buttons that Leslie carries. Find all of her stuff here:
Here are the inside pages -please click on any picture for more detail.

I used a simple linen fabric and made a sandwich of 2 pieces that I filled with soft & natural cotton batting. I worked on double pages and did not sew the edges together until I felt the book was finished. I used decorative machine stitches to sew the paper collage images to the fabric. The stickers seem to stick to my fabric very well, but just in case, I sewed the edges down too. The black & white (clear) border that goes around the inside corner, below right, is a sticker. The black mice border on the right & left sides of those pages is a stamp from alpha stamps, and so is the raven stamp in black on the blue page to your left. Rubber stamping was done with VersaCraft ink, which I heat set. I also added a few beads and sequins on the first page.

The roses are all clear stickers. I stuck them to the fabric and sewed them on for good measure. You'll find them on the Brothers Grimm collage sheet page.

For the back of the book I stamped on a clear sticker (part of a rose) with permanent ink and added my name written in permanent ink.

I did a bit of embroidery here as I attached the buttons. I really love how this came out!

ATCs for book pages

ATCs for book pages, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

I created 8 ATCs for a little book with a fabric cover I made in a small class I taught earlier this month. The images on the 5 ATCs above are from: -always lovely images to work with!
I also created 3 ATCs for this little book using some beautiful Alpha Stamp images, and you can see those ATCs below right: Click on any photo for more detail.

The ATCs become the pages for a sweet little fabric covered book in a class I teach. I provide either an old feedbag or some burlap material to create the cover. Here I added a fabric collage image from (see below) to the front cover of my book. This image is from the 'Sheet Music' collage sheet.

You can also see below how the ATCs become the pages of the book!

We had a very small class in my home studio that was quite enjoyable for everyone. A friend asked if I could teach this to her -even privately was OK, and then another student and friend of mine joined us! Since this was my first time teaching in my new studio, I limited the class size. It took us from 10:30 in the morning till 3:30 in the afternoon to create all 8 ATCs and the book, with of course a break for sustenance and exploring my studio! I find it's always fun to make this ATC book project and because the class was so small I demonstrated & created right along with my students. I got to show the techniques and have fun creating too!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Follow-up on Collage Mania II

Collage Mania II was a HUGE success, raising over $13,000.00 in just 2 days. Wow! Virginia Spiegel is amazing! Both of my collages were acquired, I am so happy about that! You can view all the collages that were acquired here. Quite a lot of eye-candy! Thank you so very much for your support of a cause near & dear to me. My dad continues to get stronger after the removal of a cancerous tumor and Steven & I will hop on a plane to visit him and my mom again soon.

I've been getting ready for a big Art Tag Sale this coming weekend but will be back soon with more art from me!


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