Friday, May 29, 2009

water media class (I am taking)

water color on canvas paper - brought home and added to with my sewing machine!














Before we even decided to sell our home, I signed up for a "water media" class at the local West Hartford Art League with Frank Federico. His paintings have been exhibited in New Orleans, LA, Florida, California, New Mexico, New England, Brunei, Stockholm and Tokyo, in group and solo exhibitions. I am so glad I signed up for this class, even if I've had to miss a couple of sessions because I was getting our home ready to put on the market.

A few years ago I had taken class with Frank and was absolutely charmed by him. I cannot paint anything like the way that Frank does, but he has always encouraged me to use whatever I can take from his example and combine this new knowledge with my own mixed media art, and my own style. Such a great teacher! I love watching him demo his painting techniques at the beginning of every class. I find his demo so magical! This week I've taken photos while he was demoing and created a slide show to share. In class I've also learned a lot from the other students, many who have been taking class with Frank for many years. To find out more about the artist Frank Federico, please visit his website. Besides teaching at the Art League, Frank gives many workshops around the country throughout the year. One particular workshop at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops in New York, coming up this September, really caught my attention. The example of his painterly pastel on the workshop page is so beautiful!

Here is a slide show of Frank's demo - he's painting a dock scene in Gloucester, Massachusetts from a photograph, for our class on May 28th, 2009. Frank starts with a few pencil lines, then he adds paint with a fat brush, switches paint, switches brushes, tells us about the color palette he's using and what he's doing, and 45 minutes later, voilĂ ! It is amazing.






I have had so much fun in this class, even though I am not a"water color artist". I usually take my attempts home and then add something very mixed media to them (see the top of this post) like fabric or I'll cut my water color papers up and create ATCs (Artist Trading cards) out of them! I did this recently with a neon painting I fooled around with in class, brought home, added rubber stamped quotes to -- and then surprised Frank and my fellow students with a few ATCs in the next class as gifts. This was all new for Frank and my classmates, and I think they really enjoyed!




















Thank you, Frank!! xo lenna

tapping into generosity - winners!!

Okay! Here it is, May 29th and I have had 8 people respond to my "generosity meme" post where I offered to make something by hand for five people. I was to choose 5 names from those who left a comment to that post, by today . . . but instead . . .

Congratulations are in order to everyone - all 8 who responded: Vickie Trancho, Linda Schultz, Andrea, Frieda Oxenham, Dottie Mucha, Patti, Sharon Schutt, and Vicki Page -- because you have ALL won! Whoo whoo!

Everyone who commented will receive something handmade by me, sent by the end of the year -if not sooner. This will give me something creative to work on while we go through the process of showing and selling our home. I already have just about everyone's snail mail address because of participation in my Creative Swaps, but I do need Andrea and Patti's snail mail addresses, so I can send their handmade something to them. Please email your mailing addresses to me! You can find my email address on my profile page, and again, Congratulations! I look forward to creating something for each of you & then sending it off. Don't forget to let me know you when have received it. You can read more about this wonderful idea here! : )
Happy May 29th, from lenna

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chocolate & Red ATCs for Colour Groupies

When I went to visit my mom & dad in Florida earlier in the month of May, I brought along a ziploc bag of art goodies that might be appropriate to use for the 'Colour Groupies' May color combo: Red & Chocolate Brown. I love taking a small creative project with me when I travel and really had a lot of fun altering a few more ARTchix Art Blast Playing cards. The first ARTchix Art Blast Playing Card I altered was for one of Helga's weekly challenges (on her blog) ~ you can see the 1st altered card I made here ~ it's truly one of my favorite recent creations.

Shown to the right is the Chocolate & Red ATC I made and kept for my own Colour Groupies collection. Below are the other variations on that theme that I created and sent to each member of our group: Frieda Oxenham, Debby Harriettha, Tristan Robin Blakeman and Caryl Hoobler!

First, I used a chocolate brown Chartpac marker to outline the white edges of the playing cards. I collected transparency images, faux post images, words and phrases from the 'Tell me A Story' collage sheet (really cool phrases), other ARTchix Studio images, RED ribbon, BROWN lace, and RED Paper mesh from ARTchix Studio.com. I brought these items along with some RED wooden bingo chips, a few tiny rubber stamps, a Black StazOn ink pad and a little tiny bottle of glue. Here's what happened when I altered those playing cards . . . I love how they turned out! I hope that my colour groupies friends like them too : )

Below --who else could this be for but Tristan, with these words!










For my dear friend, Frieda:


















For Debby, below left:




and for Caryl, below right!




















You can see close-up views of these ATCs and more, on my flicker photo sharing account.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

tapping into generosity

Note: I am extending the deadline to enter this generosity meme - see below!

I have swiped this idea from Patti Digh's blog! She posted it a while ago but I was caught up with getting our home ready for sale. Now that the project of "home ready-ing" is done for the most part and our house is actually on the market, I can breathe a little bit and find I'm looking for a few reasons to throw myself back in the studio!

My friend Frieda, who lives in Scotland, turned me onto Patti Digh when she reviewed Patti's book called: 37 Days -Life is a Verb on her own frieda quilter blog -one of my favorites. You can learn about the book on Patti's blog -I have read it myself and really loved it. The idea I am presenting/swiping from Patti is a generosity meme, in which you offer to make stuff for five people. To be one of those five, respond to this post below in the comments section. At the end of the Memorial Day weekend here in the USA ~ On May 29th, I will assign everyone who commented a number and then randomly choose (5) people that will get something made with my own two hands -- that's the generosity part!

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully…
I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. No refunds… and no exchanges!!!! What I create will be just for you, and handmade with love from me. It will be created sometime in this calendar year (2009) and sent to you, and when you receive it, you will need to let me know it has arrived.

I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world that I'll decorate and send to you through the US postal system. It will not be something cyber. It may be strange or it may be beautiful. I may even create something totally unbelievable and really surprise you!! It will be handmade, it could be any size, and it will be created from my heart in any medium I choose. I may take my time or I may make it quickly. I reserve the right to do whatever comes to mind when I create something for you!

The original meme requires you to post this text (or similar) into a note/blog post of your own and then make 5 things for 5 people who to respond to it. I’m not going to require that of you. If you would like to do this generosity meme too, that would be great. I encourage you to participate and generously create, but it is not a requirement in order to enter and win. As Patti pointed out, this isn't just for artists--it's for everyone. She says we are all artists, and we're all able to create something precious for another human being. Patti wrote, "One of the most gorgeous things I've ever received was a small box of precious stones from a child I met once--she made it for me, assembling it, cherishing it, giving it. You can do the same."

So, if you are interested, please leave a comment below and I will publish them as I am able with all our house showing appointments, etc. I'll draw five names from those submitted as a comment to this post by 6 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 25th (extended to) Friday, May 29th. Whether your name is drawn for this meme or not, I do hope you'll comment and play, participate, make, and give! Post this meme on your own blog, tweak it as you like, or put a sign up in your office and find a way to be involved. What fun!

I'll announce the winners on May 29th -- you'll need to send your mailing address to me if you win: lenna [at] creativelenna [dot] com - in order to receive whatever cool art I will make just for you ... if you don't, I will have to choose someone else ... I am really looking forward to this!!!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

what I have been busy with

Our home is for sale!
Getting ready for this has occupied most of my time lately. Our home went on the market last Thursday, we had one showing that day, two on Friday, one Saturday, and an Open House with 8 visitors yesterday. Today we had 2 showings --phew. Tomorrow (5/19) is a lunch-time Open House from 11:30-1:30 -wow! I did not expect quite so much activity so soon. It's all good; it just requires a little juggling of getting our dogs Asia & Chloe out of the house for the showings, and us too! Hopefully the interest that is there will lead to someone for whom the house is a "fit" before long . . . . The listing is linked here -- and you can see what a good job our Realtors, Charlie & Barbara Kaylor have done. Steven & I have worked hard too, cleaning up & clearing out - whew!! We do look forward to joining my parents in Florida, sometime in the future. We are ready to go!

As for my art -I do have some ATCs I made for the Colour Groupies to share . . . and I will, in due course, when they have all been received by the group! Till then . . . .

Monday, May 11, 2009

Time with my parents : )

I have had a very relaxing time with my parents these past few days I've spent with them in warm & sunny Bradenton, Florida . I arrived on Friday, and I leave tomorrow morning, May 12th. My dad is doing very well considering everything he's been through - and my mom too! Dad has been in remission from Liver cancer for some time now, and today he is having an angiogram. This is in preparation for another direct radiation treatment on the other lobe of his liver. He has already been through the whole process once before, but there are two lobes of his liver that need to be treated. He is seeing great results, and he is also quite a fighter.

Dad and I went out with a friend of my parents who is a Real Estate Broker this morning and we looked at 2 house possibilities for Steven & I, when we move here. I hope that one of these homes may still be available when we are ready to buy, because they would work for us. We also got a tour of a neighborhood near my parents that I was not familiar with. All good stuff! Our home in Connecticut goes on the market on Wednesday. I have not been posting a lot here because I have been otherwise occupied so much with cleaning and clearing out in preparation for selling, phew! I want our home to look it's best. I did create a few little things while relaxing here with mom & dad this weekend and I will share them with you later this week ~ take care till then!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

12x12 Quilt for my swap

Here is a close-up of the 12x12 quilt I made for my own swap that just concluded this past week. Go to my creative swaps blog to view all the entries: http://tinyurl.com/cpnnjh. We had lots of incredible fabric art produced for this 12x12 fabric techniques swap which also featured recycling or using what you had on hand. There were 32 participants that completed their quilts and sent them in on time, making for a very large & successful swap -Thanks to all who participated!

I recycled a dried rose that I had saved and used it on my quilt! It just seemed appropriate for my theme and I figured if I sealed it with a coating of gel medium, the dried flower would hold up. I swapped my 12x12 with Linda Garcia's 12x12. The swap worked out so that everyone had a partner and I swapped them 1-for-1, which I think was really nice.

To make my quilt I used fabric I had in my stash and Flower & Leaf beads from Alpha Stamps: Glass Leaf Charm Sets and Pearlized Leaf Stick Pins found here at Alpha Stamps and beads, also found at Alpha Stamp on this page. Such lovely, lovely items!

The back of my quilt is also recycled - silky olive green fabric I had saved from an old chemise. I had saved this for some time now, even though I was not wearing it anymore because I so loved the fabric. I cut the edge of the fabric all around to make fringe.





I am a little slow in getting this posted as we just finished our second weekend of Tag Sales designed to clear out our home and my studio. I am happy to say we have done an excellent job! Phew, what a tiring undertaking. But we are on our way. We met again with our real estate agent Charlie Kaylor yesterday, and our home will be put on the market very soon after I return from visiting my Mom & Dad in Florida May 8-12. My Dad is doing well; getting ready for his second round of radiation on the other lobe of his liver - next week. This starts with a CT scan and is usually a 3 step process. I am happy he is doing well, in remission and ready to fight some more! Hopefully it won't take too long to sell our home so that Steven and I will be able to join my parents in Florida. I imagine my attention will be elsewhere for the most part, in the upcoming days - finishing our clearing out & starting to pack, trying to keep the house clean for showings . . . but I am sure I will still be creating a bit (Colour Groupies ATCs, etc) and I will share here with you as I can! Stay well, lenna

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