Thursday, July 30, 2009

prayers for peace banner project

WolfeIsland09Steve-103A, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
I am participating in a cooperative project involving 18 artists from around the globe, hosted by Carol Murphy of Altered by The photo above shows me painting the fabric for my banners. Each artist in the collaboration is creating 18 flags/pennants to swap.

Here are the specs: Originals only. The size will be 9 inches at the top widest point and 12 inches long, with the top inch turned under, hemmed and ready to be hung by a rod or ribbon. Carol noted that fabric or paper could be used to create the banners and that adding dimension and texture would be welcome. We were also requested to write a short paragraph on how we chose our peace topic, colors, and what peace means to us at this moment in time. . . Carol said, "These peace flags are merely an artistic expression touching the lives of 20 different people from different backgrounds, with different calls to peace."

Above is one of my finished banners. The are all similar, yet different, which is a typical way that I work, especially when I have multiples to do. To make my flags for the prayers for peace project, I started with a large length of plain unbleached muslin. I wanted to hand paint the fabric for the banners myself, as it is the process of art making that very often brings me peace. I envisioned a colorful, multi-colored hand dyed piece of fabric for my flags, reminiscent of the days of tie dye, peace and love : ) wet fabric drying on the line!

I was vacationing on Wolfe Island in Ontario, Canada while I worked on this; planning for it in advance and bringing my supplies with me. While there, I decided the front lawn of the cottage in front of the huge St. Lawrence River would be the best place to do this, since this would be messy. I spread freezer paper (coated) on the grass and laid the length of muslin on top of it, using rocks to keep the fabric from blowing away. It was a very windy day! The first thing I did was wet the fabric with a water mister to help the paint to spread more easily. Then I used lighter colors of paint; also spraying them and dripping paints onto the damp fabric and then adding more water with a spray mister to blend. My paints were mostly Dye-na-flow by Jacquard, with a few acrylics including Lumiere added in for its shimmer. Sometimes I used a sponge filled with paint or my fingers to spread and blend the paint.

I was working with a large piece of fabric – about 3 or 4 yards, so I continued layering colors of paint on to get rid of all or most of the white space. At times, I even poured water directly on the fabric with a watering can! Steven took a video of me doing this which I hope we can convert to a mpeg file and share online sometime soon. The water I used helped to migrate and blend the paints on the fabric, at least I think so! After working for a couple of hours, I took a break for lunch (washing my really messy hands first!!). Then I came back and re-wet the fabric, adding more layers of paint colors by pouring, spritzing, and sponging more vibrant colors until I felt the whole piece of fabric was balanced. Even though I would be cutting this larger piece of fabric into many banners/flags, I wanted a good distribution of color throughout.
I hand lettered the words onto each banner after cutting them out, using a permanent marker. After much thought and months of keeping this project in the back of my mind, I decided “peace begins within you” describes what peace means to me. Creating outside in front of the river also had me thinking of (and singing!) a song from my many summers at Camp Woodstock in Woodstock Valley CT. . .

Peace Of The River

Peace, I ask of thee, old river
Peace, peace, peace
When I learn to live serenely
Cares will cease
From the hills I gather courage
Visions of a day to be
Strength to lead and faith to follow
All are given unto me
Peace, I ask of thee, old river. . .

Many thanks to Carol Murphy for organizing – I would have never taken on such a large project if not for this collaboration! If you would like to see ALL of the photos Steven & I took for this project, just click on this link for the banner set I have on my flickr account, and enjoy! lenna young andrews, July 30, 2009.

ARTchix weekly challenge: just add turquoise!

I am glad Helga, owner of ARTchix Studio, is back with a new challenge inspired by her vacation in the Bahamas ~ just add turquoise! Here's the deal: Make a piece of art (any size or shape) using the color turquoise as your main color. Scan and post it to your blog, flickr account or website and link back to Helga's blog. Then go leave a comment on Helga's 'just add turquoise' post with a link to you blog -cool!
I used fabric I had painted while vacationing on Wolfe island (more on that to follow) to make a fabric ATC for this challenge. I just love receiving an inspiring idea from Helga to push me forward to create! I chose a faux post sticker from the Peace, Tranquility & Harmony sheet, and layered a new transparency image from the royal inchie birds sheet. I used my xyron adhesive sticker maker to do this easily. I added batting and a plain 2.5 x 3.5" card inside for stiffness, then sewed around the images and the edges with a zig zag stitch. Then I decided to add fringe and turquoise beads for a little extra. Thanks again Helga! Just what I needed to do on a rainy afternoon in CT . . .

Monday, July 27, 2009

AB 2009 :: Words with Color

~This is the cover of my own altered book for a RR exchange that begins in September. I will be sending it around Round Robin style for 12 other artists to work in: Sallie Rodman, Barb Malty, Barbara DeLisle, Bonnie Ashurst, Buffy Izzo, Christy Laudig, Gigi Lorenc-Gibson, Joy Meadows, Lisa Robinson, Peggy Gatto, Renee Stockfleth, and Susan Cervantez- wow! I was asked earlier this month if I would like to join in the 2nd round of this AB group and I said, 'Yes!" I believe everyone involved in this exchange met on the artchix studio yahoo group. Thanks to Sallie Rodman for hosting!

I took the opportunity of my ample free time while on vacation on Wolfe Island to work on my altered book pages and cover. I wanted to complete this project early, as things are up in the air with our home being on the market. This way, if I get busy packing (our fingers are crossed!) this project is complete and ready to send.

I painted the cover with white acrylic paint in order to cover the original photo. This is a Cookbook - Pillsbury's Creative Cooking! The theme for my book is "words" with the additional theme and use of a color combination. I have so been enjoying the Colour Groupies color combinations that I wanted to extend that theme to this book and see what combinations the participants would come up with.

I used sections of ripped lime green and gold mulberry paper (my color combo) to add color to the plain white cover. I also rubber stamped the title and added other fun stamps with both VersaCraft and StazOn inks (permanent). I had grabbed a bag of magnetic words meant for your refrigerator (where these used to be!) and choose some words to fit my theme and book. The words I picked read: With Open Mind We Make Our Way ~cool! I added them to the cover with E6000 glue.

Below, my intro and sign in page . . . I typed the important info up and then printed it out & affixed it inside the cover -click for more detail. I had fun adding a lot of lines and squiggles with various pens.

The first few pages are below - click on them for more detail . . .

On the "contents" page I listed the participants and kept with my lime green/gold color combo. I also had fun with some fish stamps made by Fred Mullett that have been in my collection for years! I added one of my favorite quotes, top right . . . .

I left one of the recipes to show, along with not obscuring the words on this page below by using a light wash of paint. I love those gyotaku (art of fish printing) stamps by Fred Mullett.

The last page shown below is entirely fabric and was glued directly to a paper page after doing the sewing, painting, gluing of paper, and beading on the piece of fabric separately. I sewed a fabric image from ARTchix Studio to the fabric base and added beads. Hmmm, ARTchix Studio does not sell fabric collage sheet images these days . . . so, I copied a transparency sheet collage image of theirs onto a piece of plain fabric with my color copier. Instructions for this are available on the ARTchix website -part of one my free classes: Transferring ARTchix images to fabric!

It is so delightful to work on an altered book again! I really look forward to this upcoming Round Robin. We will keep our work for each recipient secret until the books return home to their owners . . . so I may only show tiny cropped portions of my work, or nothing at all while this is in process. In a year (or less) I can share my book with everyone's work and all my pages in their books - enjoy! Lenna Young Andrews, July 27, 2009

Asia and Chloe say "we are ready!"

One of my favorite photos from our visit to Wolfe Island in Ontario, Canada -July 2009. This is the 2 person (and 2 dog!) Peterborough canoe -a hand made cedar strip canoe made by my father. In this photo we're about to take off on the St. Lawrence River in front of the Deming Cottage on Wolfe Island. Both Asia and Chloe have no fear of boating and jump right in and in fact whine and cry if Steven wants to go solo! My dad made the beautiful paddles and hand caned the seats as well - view the making of these boats HERE.

If you are so inclined to see the many, many photos Steven and I took during our 12 days there this year, the easiest way is this flickr slideshow --just click on that link and then click “show info” on the top of the screen if you want to see my comments and descriptions! enjoy! Lenna Young Andrews, July 27th, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

paper/fabric quilt square for patti digh

We are back home after 12 lovely days on Wolfe Island and I am busy sorting though and resizing my photos. We took so many pictures, plus I created a lot of art while there. It is hard to know where to start! As always my best course of action is to dive in and start somewhere . . .
like right here! Before we left for Canada I saw this post on Patti Digh's blog: All I want for my birthday is a paper quilt. This certainly appealed to me and I made sure I printed out the specs:
Let's make a paper quilt, you and I. Get a 4x6-inch index card, or cut a piece of card stock paper that size, and make a wee piece of art on it for me. Whatever you'd like. Play! Perhaps in response to 37days or Life is a Verb, a message to me or to the universe, whatever makes you happy . . . A collage, a painting, a puzzle, fabric, a poem, a photograph, anything!

I copied the mailing address too and brought it along with me, just in case. All 4x6 pieces for a paper quit commemorating Patti Digh's 50th birthday are due to her by August 10th. Jump on this project, if you have the chance! Here's what I created-click for more detail:

I took fabric I hand painted while on the island, cut a piece of watercolor paper 4"x 6" and glued the same size swatch of fabric on top with a light coat of tacky glue. I cut the fabric a little bigger than the paper so I could fringe the edges. Then I took a favorite mantra from Patti's Book, Life is a verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally. I hand wrote this quote onto my fabric with a bright green gel pen and hand drew the stitches on. Simple, but meaningful to me and I think it will be meaningful to Patti too. I finished the piece by signing the back as requested and doing a bit of Mail Art for Patti on the envelope to brighten up her birthday mailbox. I have enjoyed her book and her blog and wanted to give something back! : ) lenna young andrews July 26th, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

olive & wine

I am in Canada right now, lazing away on Wolfe Island. It's located on the St. Lawrence River, 3 miles from the city of Kingston, Ontario. I'll have little or no access to the internet while I'm here (except infrequent trips to the library) but I've scheduled this post to publish while I am away! We won't be back until the 26th . . . and yet my 'colour groupies' friends should have all received their ATCs by now. I must say before sharing them with you, that we have had a "thing" for colors related to food and drink this year! We started the year off in January with Mustard & Olive. Then there was Peach & Cream for our theme in April. May was "Chocolate" (not just brown!) with Red, and in September it's a 'Lemon & Lime' combo ~ yummy!! Hmmm . . . . for August, the month I am celebrating here, the color combo for the ATCs we are sharing is Olive & Wine. Here are the ATCs I created on that theme for the entire group which includes me, Frieda Oxenham, Debby Harriettha, Tristan Robin Blakeman and Caryl Hoobler. Check out their websites -they are all very talented!

For Caryl:

For Debby:

For Frieda : ) with a photo of our barn made into a moo sticker . . . . .

One for me below!
It's kind of funny because it includes a small moo sticker of a fabric collage I made a few years ago . . . click on the link above to see it full size.

For Tristan:

~These ATCs were all made by simply gluing fabric around a thin piece of 2.5" x 3.5" cardstock; in fact, I made them while visiting my parents in Florida last month! Yes, they are all fabric, but with no sewing this time. I love the olive green frog fabric and finally had a chance to use it . . . I added ripped pieces of wine colored paper, then glued on a few wine-colored beads and wrapped each ATC with olive green and wine embroidery threads twisted together. I left the edges raw and used Twinkling H2Os in a berry-wine colour to accent the edges. Two or three of the ATCs have velvet leaves glued on, Frieda's & mine have stickers I made at moo cards from my photos on flickr and Caryl's has a lovely paper heart from ARTchix Studio -heart & Soul Collage sheet. To view all the color-combo ATCs I have made for this group during 2008-2009 with all of my notes/posts, click on this link. That will bring you to ALL of the posts I've written tagged with "Colour Groupies" including this one at the very top. I hope you enjoy viewing them almost as much as I do creating them! ~ lenna young andrews, July 11th, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

a day at the beach

Okay, just one last post of art before I go . . . . for the ARTchix Studio yahoo group bi-weekly lottery!
The theme was "a day at the beach" and I tweaked it a bit, just for fun. I was not going to participate in this lotto because we will be away, but I decided to instead make sure I go to the library on the 20th of July to see who wins, where I need to send my ATC, or what theme I would choose for the next lotto if I am the winner!

The saying is rubber stamped and it is by CatsLife Press. I used a watercolour card I got from Helga at ARTchix as my base and colored it with a pale wash of Twinkling H2Os. I stamped with VersaCraft ink in brown and heat set it . . . then I added a transparency image (fish) from Sea dreams and a woman from the Hats and Parasols sheet, which I don't think is available anymore . . . The little starfish/london on her dress is from the Inchie World Transparency sheet! I used both a silver and gold marker to finish the ATC. Thanks to Christy Laudig for the great theme and of course to Helga for the inspiring supplies!

wolfe island . . .

Friday, July 10, 2009

stars they rise and fade

Click on any photo, and you'll see a larger photo with more detail . . . Here's a close-up of one section of this canvas I painted and collaged for a friend:
This collage on a canvas board is a good example of the background techniques I teach in my collage on canvas workshop. If you've taken the class with me, I am sure you recognize the rubbing alcohol, salt and baking soda on this piece. It is so interesting that I had two students sign up for this online course this same week . . . . I will be away on vacation for the next two weeks, but would be happy to coach you through the collage on canvas lessons after I return home on July 26 if you are interested. See the link above for lots more information. Here is another close-up section of this canvas -click on it for more detail ~
The words you see printed on this canvas are lyrics from two different songs by a Scottish 'psychedelic' folk band that I listened to back in the 1970's called the Incredible String Band! I printed the lyrics out onto paper after finding them online and ripped the paper into usable shapes; then applied the words to the painted canvas with gel medium. I had almost forgotten about this very unusual and interesting band until I caught up with an old friend of mine via email recently and we were talking about music we listened to, back in the day! Here is a photo of the entire collage:

The small image of the woman is one of my favorites from the Over the Moon collage sheet by ARTchix Studio. After all the papers were glued down, I added gold Lumiere paint to the canvas with a sponge. I also sponged teal and violet dye-na-flow paint onto the papers once they were adhered; using the same colours as I used on the canvas for the background so they blended in. Small plastic stars were glued directly to the canvas with tacky glue to fit the theme : ^ )

If you click on any of the photos for a larger view, you should be able to see some of the rubber stamping I did -small stars, with a Brilliance ink pad in Galaxy Gold. To finish this collage, I edged it with a 14K gold marker, signed it, and then sent it off to my friend . . . who just wrote and said, "I love the painting you sent me". Awesome! That makes me happy. Wishing you happy summer days and warm starry nights ~ lenna young andrews ~ July 10, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My last "generous project" in the series

Wow, when I decided to copy the "generous project" from Patti Digh and offer anyone who responded to my original post the chance to receive something handmade by me . . . I really had no idea how doing this project was going to be so good for me! In preparation for putting our home up for sale and on the market this spring, we cleaned, tossed, had two huge tag sales, did more cleaning and got a dumpster- did more tossing all in an effort to simplify things for our big move from CT to FL, whenever this happens -soon we hope! For a good part of April and May 2009, my attention was everywhere else besides creating art! So, I must say thank you to all those of you who responded to that post, gave me your contact info and allowed me to stretch myself and create without a suggested theme! I had to think about what you might like, jump in and create, and it has been simply awesome. To see everything I created for this project, please click on this link/tag. This same post will be right at the top and then the others will follow.

Here is what I made for Vickie Trancho, who is one of my longtime creative swap participants that I know loves images from the company Alpha Stamps, where all the images in the project below are from! I created a type of accordion book/card for her. Click on any image for more detail. After the photos, there is more info on how I made this.

To make this for Vickie, I took a multiple accordion style black card I had on hand and made it fold into just 3 sections. I took my Alpha Stamps fabric sheet images from The Ball 1, English Rose, and Over the Garden Wall and my paper collage image from Tall Castles, and ran them through my xyron machine to make each of them into a sticker. I affixed them to the card where I wanted them so they would tell a story. Then I got out my rubber stamps and a Brilliance ink pad in Galaxy Gold. This showed up nicely on the black cardstock. I used a hatch-mark stamp by Magenta and a very old stamp (origin unknown) of a leafy vine. Steven thought the paper came already done like this! I used my 14K gold marker around the edges of the images and I also splattered a bit of the ink on the card. Then I added a bit of gold ribbon, gluing it in place with E-6000 glue, for a tie closure. The velvet leaves on the front are also from Alpha Stamps, and truly are there for a "creative recovery" from a small stamping error! They look good anyway, so . . . . . I am smiling! I imagine that Vickie has received this by now, or she will soon, and I hope she enjoys it!!! lenna
p.s. On July 13th I received a sweet email from Vickie:

Hi Lenna,
I just picked up last week's mail from the Post Office. What a wonderful surprise! You know I love fairytales!
Thank you so much. You are a very special person with a grand, loving heart. Have a good summer!

Much love to you and yours,
xo, Vickie

from the widows walk . . .

from the widows walk, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

Taken in 2008 by Tina (my son decklin's girlfriend), from the widows walk on top of the 'Big House' where Steven's grandmother was born! ~Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada. We'll leave on Sunday 7/12/09 for two glorious weeks here! I won't be bringing a computer, so I will just check in at the library a few times . . . . instead, lots of reading, sailing and canoing the boats my dad made, family time, walks with dogs, lots of art time for me -heaven! I have a few more art things to post before I go, but wanted to share this now . . . . that is the St. Lawrence River, which is 3 miles wide there - looking at Kingston, Ontario across the way. Wolfe Island is the largest of the Thousand Islands and is located at the mouth of Lake Ontario. One of the most beautiful places I have had to good fortune to visit!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Farfel & Star have a new home

When Steven and I decided to sell our home here in CT so we could move to Florida near my parents, we sadly knew that we would not be able to take our two cats Star & Farfel with us. For one thing, we are simplifying our life and downsizing for this upcoming move, and for another -my mother is highly allergic to cat fur. So, after we made our decision, I contacted Mary's Kitty Korner in Granby, CT. This is the shelter where we adopted Star & Farfel from as kittens about 2 years ago. I worked with Lisa who had helped us before and we set up an ad through their listing on It took about two months, but we were lucky to find a wonderful new adoptive "mom" for our beautiful and sweet boys . . .

The exchange took place last Thursday at Mary's Kitty Korner, and I received an email from their new mom today! "The boys are doing well. They spent their first day sniffing everything. Star hid behind the TV and I couldn't find him any where and worried that he snuck outside (which would have been odd, nonetheless), but then I found him. They both spend time together under my bed or on my bed now when I'm not home. Otherwise, they have been playing with their new toys and seem to be having fun. They follow each other everywhere, so I can see why they needed to be adopted together! They are really sweet. Enjoy Canada! " Cheryl (we leave for vacation in a week's time)

I was so happy to receive this news and very glad they are both adjusting as I thought they would, and doing well. It is strange to not have them around, but there are benefits too -only 2 animals to feed now - instead of 4, etc! And, this was a necessary step for us. I feel blessed that Star & Farfel did not have to spend any time in a cage waiting for someone to adopt them, and instead they went from one loving home to another. We are all very lucky!

On our way home . . .

On our way home: This is the theme that Marion Bockelmann chose when she won the "garden party" lotto on the ARTchix Studio yahoo group last week. As a member of the yahoo group, you can participate in a Bi-Weekly Lotto and have the chance of winning all of the art entered for the lotto, and hosting the next one! : ) I was not sure if I would have time to do something, but I squeezed in my interpretation of the theme this morning . . . .

I did not feel like making an ATC this time, so I made a small 4" x 4" piece for the lotto instead. It has a fabric base. I sewed two paper images from ARTchix Studio's ART BLAST collage sheet on the top layer of fabric with my sewing machine first. The two birds are faux post from the Feather Your Nest Faux Postage Sticker Sheet, and the "Love Birds" words I added are from the birdsong collage sheet. The back looks like this:

I attached another piece of fabric and sewed the two together so the seams would face the inside. I stuffed the little fabric pillow with a bit of batting and used yellow embroidery thread to make a few stitches around the piece and sew the bottom up by hand. I then took an extra stamped quote on watercolor paper and added color to it with Twinkling H2Os. I still had this on my table from practicing for one on Helga's weekly challenges! When it was dry, I added the paper quote to the bottom of the piece with fabric glue. Then I turned it over and added another faux post image from the Feather your nest sheet and signed it! VoilĂ ! I can enter the lotto now : ))

Saturday, July 4, 2009

ARTchix Weekly Challenge 7/7/09 ~ play with pink & blue

Note on July 9 - These twinchies were chosen as one of Helga's favorites for this challenge and I have won the new Chixies Art Blast Collection! Thanks so much, Helga!
For Helga's weekly challenge on her blog I played with the colors pink & blue! Amazingly, in the monthly color combo I participate in with 4 friends, we have yet to work with this particular combination . . .

I decided to make 'Twinchies', which are 2"x 2" squares, as I already had some watercolor cards cut in that size . . .

I used various words (fortunes) and images from the ARTchix Imagine collage sheet, a sticker from the Chixies True Colors Sticker collection (spoil me muse -i love art) and wonderful words that I love from the Her Words collage sheet. I painted the watercolor squares first with Twinkling H2Os water colors in watery shades of pink & blue, added a bit of blue checked scrapbook paper and finished them all with a blue glitter pen. This was just what I needed to do today. Thanks for the challenge, Helga!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

garden party Mail Art for Marion!

This is what I sent to Marion Bockelmann when she won the "garden party" lotto on the ARTchix Studio yahoo group -which is where you can participate in a Bi-Weekly Lotto and have the chance of winning all the art entered for the lotto! I was inspired by the theme and created 2 pieces; a Fabric ATC and a also a bookmark. You can read how I created them, here in my orignal post!

To send them to Germany, I rubber stamped a card (Tall cards by JudiKins) and an envelope for Marion with Magenta stamps, to hold her lotto bounty. I just heard that Marion has received my envelope on the yahoo group, so I can share it with you now.
: )

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

my Florida visit : 0 )

I had a great visit with my mom & Dad in Bradenton, Florida recently. I am showing them here in a photo-op with their good friends from the UK, Roger & Pat James! That's Roger on the left, next to him - my mom, then Pat, and then my Dad. Doesn't he look great? : 0 ) Dad made a wonderful handmade canoe paddle for Steven and gave it to him last March when we both were visiting, and then Dad went ahead and made a special canoe paddle for me, which he gave me last Friday. I am amazed at his workmanship. He made the handle out of apple wood; he carved it himself just for me.

WOW! If you look closely - click on the photo below, you can see how he specially burned my nickname, 'Lenna Pie' into the handle of the paddle! This is what his mother - my Nonie, used to call me, along with everyone else in my family! Well, actually, my parents do still call me Lenna Pie sometimes!!!!

Dad is doing so well with his liver cancer and is presently in remission. He really looked the best I have seen him in a long while (a year and a half) and my mom looked really good too. Both of them helped me to scout out a few homes this weekend and we found some possibilities . . . now Steven & I have to sell our home here in CT first, and then we'll be making an offer and moving down there!!