Monday, September 29, 2008

collage class -in my studio again!

I really had a great time teaching in my studio to 5 wonderful students on Saturday! Yes, it was work to prepare for and to do, but it was well worth any of my efforts. Here we have (L-R) Dottie, Rena, Sherri, Beverley & Carol who took a minute from doing their artwork to smile for me! Dottie, Rena & Carol have taken classes with me for many years, but Sherri just emailed me last week after finding me through a Google search on collage classes. I just happened to be teaching exactly what she was looking for and was so glad she could join us on short notice. And Beverley . . . while the rest of the students live nearby in CT, Bev is from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada!! Her husband has business on the east coast so she let me know she was coming and we actually planned this class (and now another one!) around her travels. Bev has been participating in many of my creative swaps - so it was great to have her request a class, meet her & spend time with her. We only wish her friend Susanne could have come too . . .

Here are some of Dottie's backgrounds on the right, and Rena's collage is below left. For more photos of the class and what we did, please visit my PictureTrail.

I will be offering a Nature Printing and Shiva Paintsticks class on Saturday October 18th from 10am-3pm. Beverley will be there, and I can take a few more students. Let me know if you have questions! lenna(at)creativelenna.com



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shades of Sunshine Quiltie swap

I participated in my own swap ~the "shades of sunshine" quiltie swap (4 quilties, sized 6" x 6" ) hosted through my very own creative swaps blog! The deadline for this swap was this past weekend and all swaps had to be in my hands by 9/20/08. I squeaked my entries in just in time : ^ )

I am sorting out the swapping part now and forsee sending these beautiful swapped quilties from all over the world home to their new owners later this week -always the exciting part! There is another quiltie swap going on currently on creative swaps due 11/29/08 with a theme of ~shades of the forest. We are really enjoying working on these color themes. Sign-ups take place on the creative swaps blog with PayPal payment in advance for shipping & handling.

To make my set of 5 quilties (1 extra for me to keep) I started with some very vibrant sunshine-y fabric I picked up at my local quilt shop as soon as I had the color wave set for this swap. There is a different bright orange daisy fabric on the back. I sewed paper images from ARTchix Studio's Pretty Bird Sheet on first, working with just the top fabric. Then I added a decorative leaf stitch in various patterns and differently on each quiltie. If you click on the scan above you will be taken to more photos of the 5 different quilties. I added sentences from the Her Words sheet (ARTchix) by gluing them in place with tacky glue - I love this sheet!

Still working with one piece of fabric, the top piece, I sewed on a variety of beads, a little differently on each quiltie. Then I added batting to the middle, added the back fabric and sewed the front & back fabrics together with a simple zig zag stitch in yellow, keeping the edges raw. I used glue again to attach gold sequin trim, yellow eyelet trim and various ribbons & trims. I finished the piece by threading a number of larger yellow & rosy pink beads onto a piece of waxed linen and attaching the string of beads to the quiltie by sewing it in place and letting it dangle.

The colours of this swap were calling me to work with them and I certainly enjoyed this creative exercise!

Monday, September 22, 2008

nature print cards

I spent some time last week creating "nature print" cards in my effort to create art for sale, a new aspiration for me. In fact, I ended up making 30 cards -wow! If you click on the photo or link below, you'll go to my flickr account where you can view more of what I stamped with leaves and flowers . . .


natureprint.cards.01, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

My husband Steven loved these cards so much --the fact that they were nature themed/created with leaves and yet so different and unusual in their coloring. He insisted on taking them to work to show off and to possibly sell. : ^ ) Well, he did just that and the next day I took the rest of the cards to the Tapestry Rose Gift shop in Rocky Hill, CT. Steven's cousin, Sally Farrell, who owns the shop, really loved them. She took all the cards that were left! That was so wonderful for me!


Nature Printing is not too hard to do, it just requires practice & experimentation to find out what you like and what works. You need natural plant material, or even silk plants will do in a pinch. It's best to pick the material fresh, or you can store them in a plastic bag in the fridge if you need to, for a day or two. You'll need acrylic paints (I love using Lumiere, by Jacquard ) and an acrylic sheet, or a plastic plate. Even a piece of freezer paper will work for a paint palette. You will use this palette to mix paint colors and as something to put your nature item on when you sponge your paint onto it. You’ll need lots of plain paper to use as cover sheets for your nature items while printing.

How to do Nature Printing on Fabric: Take your nature item (leaf, flower, etc.) and put it on your palette sheet. Take a foam brush or a sponge and dip it in to the paint that you have poured onto your palette. Gently dab the paint onto your nature item. If you need to mix colors, do that on the palette sheet first.

Important: use a piece of scrap fabric or card stock to *test your nature print first* before going onto your actual piece of fabric or card/stationery. Use tweezers to pick up the leaf or flower if it is very messy and transfer it with the painted side down, to the scrap fabric or paper. Wipe your hands off and place a plain paper cover sheet over the back of your nature item and gently press or rub your fingers all over the back of the cover sheet & the nature item. Use a brayer if you prefer -I like using my fingers. Remove the cover sheet, and use the tweezers again to pick up the nature item. If it is a sturdy item, you will be able to use it more than once. You will definitely need to re-paint the item each time you press for a good print. If you are satisfied with your print, re-paint and go on to the actual piece that you are printing, replacing the nature item as it wears out. I love to mix colors on one leaf or flower and that is how I got some of my finished results that you see. I will be teaching this in person to my friend Carla Kurt in October, what fun!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mail Art for Carol



Mail Art, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

Above is the front of a handmade envelope and the card that goes with it, on a bird/nature/art theme. This was made for my friend Carol Van Gerve. Now, Carol does not do email, but is quite the correspondent & she keeps me very busy (and happy) creating mail art! : ) All of the images I used are from ARTchix Studio; collage & faux postage images - I love those bird faux posts! I also added nature printing to the card and rubber stamping to the envelope before sending it off. I am still making good use of the embossed leaves I have from Alpha Stamps, as you can see I used one with a little glue, to help seal the envelope on the left side.

Here is what the card looks like, open:

I doubled up on the ARTchix images that I used for the inside of the card. Underneath is a paper collage image from the Birdsong Collage Sheet. Over that I laid a transparency image from the Spring Blossom Transparency sheet in the same size, over the paper image, and I used 2 brown brads at the top to secure both pieces to the card. The nature stamping of the grasses was done first with acrylic paints. I wanted the bird to be in the right relationship with the grasses I had stamped earlier, so I ended up redesigning the fold of the card as you can see in the first photo -top (the fold is not centered). Because the card was not a typical size anymore after changing the fold, I had to create an envelope to fit it!


I took a piece of scrapbook paper I had copied for my Bubbles ATCs and never used, and folded it around my card. It was a little short on the back, so I added a strip of tan cardstock and then decorated it with fun words from the Tell me a Story collage sheet by artchix studio. I added a number of rubber stamped images, and with a little extra postage (because of it's size) it was ready to fly to carol!

: ) lenna

Friday, September 12, 2008

art for Tapestry Rose


art for Tapestry Rose, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

I have been creating art for two local gift shoppes here in CT. One of the shops is Tapestry Rose located in Rocky Hill, and the other is the Bleu Willow in Simsbury. I did not realize how busy I had been creating things until I made up an album on my flickr photo sharing site for all my "shoppe art". This album set does not include the pieces that have already sold either, my goodness. The photo above is a close-up of one of my hand painted and hand stamped (with real leaves) silk scarves I did while visiting Wolfe Island, in Canada this summer. If you click on the picture you will be brought to more photos of what I have been busy doing behind the scenes for these local shoppes!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Daily Window Backpack


Daily Window Backpack, originally uploaded by creativelenna. (More photos on flickr)

I decorated a backpack with Alpha Stamp products for a company called Daily Window -they produce bags of all sorts, with a clear window to show off your art, very cool. You can change the art in the window daily! Anyway, I just sent them the backpack I designed and they loved it. If you follow the link above to their website you will find my backback in their Designer Gallery of Inspiration, next to Carol Murphy's designs!

The Daily Window also has a blog, where they have added a very nice photo and my instructions. The backpack features the distressed Ivy leaves Leslie (Alpha Stamps) carries and the Woodblock Raven Print collage sheet. The Blog entry with my instructions is found here - http://dailywindow.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/ivy-league-artwork-from-lenna-andrews/

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

AuG 08-for Caryl ~chartreuse & flamingo combo

I am catching up with sharing the very fun colour-combo theme ATC exchange I do with a small group of friends and artists. We call ourselves the"Colour Groupies" and my Colour Groupies buddies are: Frieda Oxenham ::: Debby Harriettha ::: Tristan Robin Blakeman ::: and Caryl Hoobler -lucky me! If you click on the large picture of the August color combo I did for Caryl, above (while I was visiting Wolfe Island!) you will be brought to my flickr photo sharing account where you can view ALL of the August and July ATCs I have not shared yet -too many to post all of them here. If you click on the 'Colour Groupies Exchange Set' on the right when you get there, I would suggest trying the slide show option to view them (at the top of the set page). I just did that and it works quite well! (The newer ATCs are at the end).

Hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I enjoy creating them! : ^ ) lenna

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Garden card & envelope!


A card and envelope I made for my friend Carol VG, thanking her for the invitation extended to Steven & I to visit! We spent a couple of wonderful hours last Sunday afternoon with Carol & her husband in their beautiful gardens . . . . mmmm, it was so gorgeous and so peaceful.

The triangle clip is holding the leaves & tissue paper on the inside of the card, for carol to create with!











The image for the front of the card is printed on vellum with my printer at home, and attached to the card with mini brads. I used a variety of leaf & fern stamps with regular color box pigment inks, and tried to stamp them so some would show through the vellum.





Of course I had to art-up the envelope with some of the same leaf stamps and a couple of my old LennaLines quote stamps! I simply love stamping and coloring and collaging envelopes!

(click on any scan for more detail)





Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Alpha Stamps Lotto

The Alpha Stamps yahoo group has a fun lotto-rama where if you make an ATC for the current lotto, you get a chance to win all the ATCs that are entered by means of a random drawing. Here is my entry for the August/September Lotto with a theme of "unique"~
I started with a watercolour card sized for an ATC - 2.5" x 3.5" - then added an image from the Alpha Stamps Pierrot #3 sheet -I think those images are really unique and different, and I like them. To make the ATC different, I plucked some embossed ivy leaves that have writing on most of them (I think that's why I bought them, they are so unusual!) I tried to place the leaves in a way that would make this ATC look different (unique) . . . . I added a bit of watered down metallic green Lumiere, a piece of ribbon I had around, some leaf ribbon too, and finished it off with my favorite iridescent glass spheres from Alpha Stamps too. They look like water bubbles . . . It is not a requirement to use Alpha Stamps products for this lotto, I just wanted to! It was a fun project.

wolfe island

Here is a slide show I made of our time this summer on wolfe island, in ontario, canada. Hover your mouse over any photo for a description. Clicking on the photo will open it in another window, and you can even click again for larger photos. I think you will see why I love this beautiful place. Thank you, Steven!


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