Monday, June 29, 2009

generosity project - another ATC! (that stands for: artist trading card)


Here is what I made for Vicki Page, one of my creative swap participants who responded to my generosity meme. What fun! I created a colorful ATC for her using my water color crayons and various ARTchix Studio images. I love that bird image from the Pretty Bird sheet! Then I rubber stamped and collaged a card and envelope for her as well, using Magenta and Catslife Press stamps. Vicki received it over the weekend, and so now I get to share it with you too! Click on the scan for more detail.
I am wrapping up my time in Florida with my parents and will be heading home tomorrow. What a fun time we had, and I am sure in part to dad feeling a lot better these days. I am counting my blessings.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

generosity project :: fabric art for my friend Linda Schultz

I am down in Florida right now visiting my parents, but received a lovely email from Linda Schultz last night saying . . .
"I am so stunned by the beauty of the piece you created. It is so
lovely. I think I will shadow box frame it perhaps with some
little treasure or bottle that I picked up.
(I love this idea!)
When the package arrived today and it was like a tonic lifting my
spirits. Thank you! so very much. You can see a scan and a write-up
on my blog:
lindalovesgerry.blogspot.comI was so happy when Linda Schultz responded to my generosity meme! Linda and I have known each other for a long time, and having her respond to this project gave me the chance to create something special for her. Linda love all things Vintage, and in fact, has her own on-line store called: Collage Closet. You can visit her blog too! For her gift I took vintage lace and paired it with a soft burlap type fabric, to frame a silky piece of fabric which backed an ARTchix Studio image (and words) and a piece of floral/bird fabric I had that I thought Linda would like. I added puffy batting and hand sewed beads to the piece. (Frieda's influence!!) Here is a close-up - click for detail. This project has been a wonderful, creative experience for me. I have one more to create, and two more projects to be received and shared! It's been very good all around - I am so glad I did this. : ^ )

And down here in Florida, my dad is looking better than ever. We did a "drive-tour" today together to check out possible homes, and will go with our real estate friend to actually view some on Monday. Alas, no offers on our home in CT yet, but I have faith the right person will find us before too long and we'll be on our way here : ) In the meantime, I will try my best to embrace what I have!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hot Red and Blue ::: July Colour Groupies ATCs


The color combo for July is: Hot Red and Blue!
This is part of my on-going monthly exchange with Colour Groupies -- a small group of mixed media & fabric artists that includes me, Frieda Oxenham, Debby Harriettha, Tristan Robin Blakeman and Caryl Hoobler.

The first ATC you see here, is the one I made and kept for myself. The color red, and particularly HOT Red, is not a color I usually reach for. Fortunately, I had a silky red drawstring bag in my fabric stash that I used to cut the backs and a small section for the front. Sometimes I like to make paper ATCs for this group and sometimes I make fabric . . . I certainly enjoy that I have the freedom to do what I like!

Here are the backs - very simple, but they get the color across!


For Caryl :

For Debby :



For Frieda :



And For Tristan :


To create them I simply cut out the front fabrics, laid some batting in the middle and stitched the fabrics and batting together with a zigzag stitch. Then I cut out paper hearts from the Heart and Soul collage sheet offered by ARTchix Studio. I used my machine to sew the paper hearts to the front of the ATC, one of my favorite things to do! The collage images all had a touch of red, and my machine's thread was switched to red for this month's color combo. Lastly, I sewed the silky red fabric to the backs of all the ATCs and used a sticky label to identify them.

:) another fun combo! I made and sent these a little early, with my June 'forest & rust' combo ATCs and they have all been received. We like to keep it a secret until they have been seen by the recipients!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

6.23.09 ARTchix Weekly challenge: art up an uplifting quote

Check out 'lead ARTchix' Helga Strauss' blog for more info on her creative weekly challenges! This week our challenge was to "Art up a favorite, uplifting quote". Love it! I used to produce uplifting quotes as unmounted rubber stamps called LennaLines, so this was right up my alley... in fact, I still have a ton of my favorite quotes listed on my website. Check it out!

For this bookmark I used a piece of watercolor paper, my trusty watercolor crayons, 2 ARTchix Studio images, 14K gold markers around the edges, and one of my favorite LennaLines quotes, stamped with permanent black StazOn ink. I attribute this quote to my Grandmother, even though it was (and is) a favorite saying for many people. After she died in 1994, my mother gave me a box of her letters and notes. Inside, I found a piece of paper where she had jotted down the following sentences, at age 80.

"Let not the trial of this dark day destroy your perspective; the best is yet to come.
When walls of gloom surround you, think on this; the best is yet to come. In rosey glow of joy and happiness, it still holds true; the best is yet to come.
I lost my love at 24, he came to me at 38, 'twas perfect joy. The years I cried to see my mother toil were followed by her aging years of comfort and of peace.
My years of deep depression and despair were followed by an understanding that opened doors to precious fellowship.
Yet this, at 80, I can say, as I see every sun rise from the sea, I'm sure; the best is yet to come.
-Bertha Allshouse Dimock"


Thanks again, Helga for the opportunity!


my mother & my grandmother --

Monday, June 22, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

garden party art


Congratulations to Marion Bockelmann who won! My ATC and bookmark are headed your way!












On the ARTchix Studio yahoo group you can participate in a Bi-Weekly lotto. The winner of the last lotto selects a theme, and any group member who wants to creates something small, usually an ATC. This is tossed into the lotto by posting a photo on the group of what you made on the theme using an artchix product. The deadline is announced, and on that day the previous winner randomly chooses a new winner from those who posted their art. Then everyone who entered sends the piece they made to the new winner and he or she chooses a new theme!

I have not played for a while as I have been busy with selling our home, but things have lightened up recently and we are pretty well set for the next house showing, so I decided to dive in and create! Lisa picked a wonderful theme of 'garden party' that I could not resist. Entries are due June 22nd, so as of this post you still have time to join -- just go to the group -- remember you need to be a member to join in. It's easy to do!

I created a fabric ATC with a small paper image from the 'feathered friends' collage sheet. I added words from the 'tell me a story' sheets - transparency and collage. I hand sewed beads on the paper image of the woman in the garden after using my xyron adhesive machine to make a sticker out of it . . . I know I was inspired to do this by my friend in Scotland, Frieda! This is a signature of hers that I am beginning to enjoy.

Well, I also had other ideas so I created another small piece, this time a bookmark. I used 4 sections of the 'Floral Fantasy' sheet I had recently won from Helga for being published in Sew Somerset with a mini chix image - it was perfect for this theme! These images were glued to a piece of watercolor paper. I cut out a small image from the Saucy Showgirls sheet -her dress was laden with flowers and it was just what I wanted for this piece. I used watercolor crayons around the small edge of the watercolor paper and brought some of the color onto the images. I added 'she is free' from my favorite 'her words' collage sheet. I punched a hole through two paper flowers, added a leaf Helga sent me in a goody bag and threaded the ribbons through it all. I also edged the bookmark with a 14K gold marker. Click on any photo for more detail.

: ) lenna

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ARTchix Weekly Challenge 6/16/09

Here is my answer to Helga's challenge on her blog when she said, "Make a grid of art." Please click on the photo for a close-up.

Making a grid is something I don't think I have ever done before . . .
I hemmed and hawed and did not do anything until after our Open House was over, our friends from New York had left, and the deadline was seriously upon me!! I decided finally to do a grid of rectangles, 2.5" x 3.5" in size, as Helga said any shaped grid was okay. Then I chose items from the goody bag Helga sent me when she picked my entry as one of her favorites a couple months back. This was serious fun! I also used a 10" x 14" watercolor painting I had created in the class I was taking the past few weeks as a base for my grid. It was not a good painting by itself as I am not a realistic painter, but it was awesome to use for what I wanted to do, and I was happy to recycle it into this challenge!





















I laid the papers, collage images, stickers and ART Blast card from Helga's Goody bag out on top of my still life painting and glued them down once I got an arrangement I liked. I punched a heart shape out of the middle image and laid the extra heart shape on the receipt above it. I added black lines with a thick marker around some of the rectangles, and painted a black border around the entire edge with black acrylic paint. I used 3 different Magenta stamps by brushing the same black paint on them lightly before stamping; I wanted the same look. I added a couple of paper flowers Helga had included by using a brad, in fact everything you see as far as paper & images was from her goody bag! I think I went this way because it limited me in my decision making and helped me accomplish my goal! To finish my piece, I splattered some paint and brightened it by sponging more yellow paint on. Thank you Helga, it is always a pleasure!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Art Quilt Received : ^ )

This is another gift that I made and sent out for my generosity project, and this is definitely a special one. I was so pleased and so happy that my very good friend in Scotland, Frieda Oxenham, responded to my original post. That meant I had my chance to be extra generous, and create a special gift, just for her!

Frieda was picked as one of the 'winners' for this particular project I blogged about, and so soon afterwords I set out to think of what to create, especially for her. This was a bit of a challenge for me because I respect her so much as an artist, and I found it was a little intimidating. She has won so many awards for her art quilts and she is also such a generous and prolific artist in the mixed media world! I festered about what to do for just a bit . . . but I knew I wanted to do something with FABRIC for her and something that had meaning for her and also for me . . . and definitely something she would like!

Finally, I started by simply choosing bright batik fabrics that I imagined Frieda would like - as she has mentioned her love of bright fabrics before. I ripped out a 12"x12" section of two different fabrics; pink & purple! Then somehow, I got the idea of doing something related to her garden. Probably because Frieda has been sharing so many beautiful and appreciated photos of the flowers in her garden in Scotland as of late on her blog, which I have so enjoyed. Occasionally, if a larger version of a photo was available, I would copy it and save it to my own computer for reference or possible use later. While creating this art quilt I remembered I had a very lovely photo of what I believed to be one of Frieda's gardens when the daffodils were in full bloom. I got the idea to print that photo out onto fabric and incorporate it into the art quilt I wanted to make for her.

I ripped out another rectangle of the pink hued batik fabric, gathered some batting, and also the Alpha Stamps floral and leaf beads I had on hand. This made very much sense too, as Frieda still is, and I was, an Alpha Stamps design Team member! I took the top two pieces of fabric with the batting behind them and sewed them together. Then with a decorative leaf stitch from my sewing machine, I added the garden photo printed on fabric. To the top right corner, I added a small bird image from ARTchix Studio's garden sheet collection. I could not resist hand-beading some teeny tiny beads around this image, mimicking the beautiful work Frieda does on ATCs and her larger quilts.

It still needed something! So, I sewed the Alpha Stamps jeweled flowers, leaf beads, and added the pearlized stick pins from Alpha Stamps .... I knew I also wanted to add words and had to think for a while before I knew what I wanted to say. Finally! Meet you in the garden! I decided to rubber stamp this, as Frieda says she learned how to stamp on fabric from ME! I practiced a little and then went to the main fabric. because the batting was already in place it was a little tricky, but it worked. I was happy because what I wrote/stamped could be interpreted in more than one way. It could be the little bird saying, "meet you in the garden" or it could be Frieda saying to her husband John, 'Meet you in the garden', or it could be ME in CT, USA ---saying one day, Frieda, I will meet you in your Garden!! : ^ )))

I got an email from Frieda today, a week after I sent the art quilt out, and I will share with you what she said:

"Oh wow, I could barely believe the wonderful package which was handed over by my postie today. What a beautiful gift and I so love the picture you've used of our garden and how you combined it with the gorgeous batik fabrics. And I do so hope that one day we will meet each other in the garden as your text suggest!! Saying thank you, really does not seem adequate, but at the moment it's the best I can do!! Thanks again so much, from the bottom of my heart!"


: ) she need say no more! I am smiling. What a fantastic project I 'larked' into! Here is a close-up scan, click on any photo for more detail:

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Generosity" ATC received!

click on any photo for more detail Thanks, Patti, for letting me know that another one of my generosity meme projects was received!! This little gift that I sent to Patti Schmid because she responded to my original post, is an ATC that I started creating in my 'water media' class that just ended yesterday. I will certainly miss that class. One Thursday in class, after working on a landscape painting, I wanted to do something a little more 'looser' and free, so I pulled out my Dye-Na-Flow paints and decided to fool around. These paints have a very thin consistency. They are formulated more like dyes or inks, even though they truly are paints. Dye-Na-Flow comes in a wide range of colors and that day I opted for the brightest of colours! My teacher Frank Federico was really 'wowed' at the bright neon colors I used, but he so enjoyed seeing my finished ATCs when I returned the following week!

You can read more about Dye-Na-Flow HERE-the Jacquard web site. For this project I used a sponge and also a fan brush to paint the different colors all over the page. At that point, I had not decided yet what to do with my wild painting . . . . .

When I got home later, the idea hit me to take the entire sheet and cut it up into 2.5" x 3.5" sized ATCs as you see above (all scrunched together). I used my big paper cutter to do this and it worked out great; I got 15 cards from the entire large sheet. At first I did not know what more I wanted to do with them; I had only decided that I would give some to my teacher & classmates, and perhaps give some as gifts for this project. Then, it hit me! I still have all my "LennaLines" quote stamps from when I took my favorite quotes and made them into unmounted rubber stamps to sell. Using the quotes would allow the bright painted background to shine through while giving the ATCs the something extra they needed. I used Fabrico (VersaCraft) ink, which I heat set, in a midnight blue color - less harsh than black, but still with enough contrast. I chose quotes for all of the ATCs and stamped away.

I picked the ATC with the "Art is a calling" quote for Patti because I thought it would speak to her better than any of the other quotes. I do not remember where I got that quote from, Patti . . . it has been in my collected bank of quotes for about 15 years! You can read a whole bunch of my favorite quotes, tucked away on my website. I edged Patti's ATC with a metallic 14K gold marker to frame it, and make it more special. The envelope I sent the ATC in, that you see at the top of the page, is made from fabric! I glued an ARTchix Studio heart on with Tacky Glue as I knew Patti is fond of ARTchix things, and then I used a permanent marker to address it to her. Self adhesive stamps work great on fabric envelopes! So glad you enjoyed, Patti! Thanks for letting me know - this has been a great project so far . . . . I have 3 or 4 more to make and send!



Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary : )

Today, Steven & I celebrated our Fourth (4th!) Wedding Anniversary, wow! Steven joked with me and said he could not believe it -- it seemed longer than that! HA! Don't forget that Steven and I did not tie the knot until we were 48 and 49, but we have known each other and been friends since we were 15 and 16 years old! Of course I wanted to (or needed to?) create something to celebrate this special day with . . . . so I finished the pages of a Star Book that I started as a sample piece in the class I taught in April. I had done the base pages and basic cover, but not completed the inside pages, so I used some appropriately mushy sentiments/snippets from our wedding program, rubber stamping (Cat's Life Press and Magenta), sponging of ink, special photos, and tailored this star book specifically for today, to give to Steven. : )) He loved it and was really happy to have some "Anniversary Art" as he called it!

The Vintage images I used throughout the book are from ARTchix Studio collage sheets . . . .
Click on any photo for more detail and you can see the pages close-up!

Here's Steven working on his laptop while I photograph the book! The hands on the cover & inside page are ours - a scan printed onto fabric. I did this a long time ago, it was simply an extra in my scrap box!




















This last photo I added is to show the Coptic Stitch that binds the three sets of pages together - yes! This is a sewn book, although the covers are glued to the end pages. For more information on this stitch and many other wonderful handmade books, I recommend the book ‘Cover to Cover’ by Shereen LaPlantz. You can find it at Amazon, here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

forest green and rust

Forest Green & Rust is the color combination for the June ATCs I made for Colour Groupies -- a small, closed group of mixed media & fabric artists: Frieda Oxenham, Debby Harriettha, Tristan Robin Blakeman and Caryl Hoobler. As always, I love the challenge this group gives me to create for them, at least as much as I enjoy receiving all of the different interpretations!

Below is a photo diary on how I created mine (click on any one of the photos for more detail). I started out by laying cotton batting in approximately the correct size (2.5" x 3.5") on top of the forest green fabric I chose; I had found some scraps of just the right color in different sizes in my studio. Sewing the batting to the fabric first, I then added some decorative stitches from my machine. Then I cut the ATCs out.






























I used a different fabric for the back - but did not add this fabric until I had finished adding my elements to the front of the ATCs.















I found some old rusty bottlecaps, filled them each with an ARTchix Studio image and my very favorite iridescent glass spheres from Alpha Stamps and a few micro beads. Next, I added Glossy Accents over the image and the glass spheres and beads within the bottle cap and left it to dry. Looking for a little something more, I found a piece of copper mesh that someone had given me through one of my swaps, perfect! I aged it - made it look more "rusty" by sponging on brown paint. When the Glossy Accents (dimensional glue) was set and the mesh ribbon was dry, I glued both the mesh ribbon and bottlecap to the front of the ATC with Goop Glue (E-6000) which is great for gluing metal to fabric. Then before I added the backs to these ATCs, I hand sewed a few rusty brown wooden beads onto each one.



















Then off they went to my 4 friends. This was a lot of fun - thanks again, Colour Groupies! : )

Monday, June 8, 2009

generosity project

Two of the hand made gifts I sent out to the winners of my generosity meme project have been received - so cool! I found it very fulfilling to hear from the recipients personally, that they were so very happy to receive the hand made items I sent out. For me, it recharged my creative spirit to create for them and doing this project was just a very good thing all around!

For Sharon Schutt, I created a small fabric piece with her in mind. She has participated in many of my swaps and we have corresponded a bit. I just now went to her blog and found out she has already written about what I sent & posted a photo of what I made her! She has also decided to do the generosity project, so you really might want to go check it out: HERE.

I created with fabric for Sharon as I know she is a fabric person, and my theme for her was 'HOME' since she told me it is most likely her family will have to move to a new one soon. With teenagers on board leaving friends behind -- this can be rough, so I created a piece I thought would give her positive feelings about the move. Sharon wrote to me and said my gift arrived with perfect timing and she absolutely loved the piece - how sweet! I was happy to brighten her day. To make it I simply looked for fabrics and colors I thought Sharon would like, sewed them together and added some ARTchix Studio images based on her theme- sewing the collage papers & transparencies right on the the fabric with my machine. Easy to do and delightfully fun to make!

For Dottie Mucha, who actually lives down the street from me, I created a small fabric quiltie. I tried to use colors and images I thought Dottie would like --using a romantic transparency from ARTchix Studio placed over white gauzy fabric combined with pink & brown fabric, a little lace and some velvet leaves. ooh la la! Click on any photo for more detail.

Dottie wrote to me, "Thank you. What a beautiful surprise. I didn't expect anything so soon. I am so pleased with your "meme" for me."

: ) It was my pleasure! More notes and sharing as they are received . . . . .

Friday, June 5, 2009

playing with paint and fabric

Above is a scan of what I worked on in my 'water media' class with Frank Federico this week. Click on it for more detail. Instead of working on landscapes this week, we worked abstractly -- much more my forte! We started by penciling in our name or our initials and tried to work with complimentary colors, something Frank excels at and is trying to teach us. I turned the letters of my name into very round shapes and went from there. The scan does not show the whole thing, so here is a photo:
I am not sure what I will do with it from here but I sure had fun getting this far. It is unusual for me to paint or create without a specific purpose - like for a submission, or for a deadline for an art swap or an exchange. It is different for me to just create for myself and also without a specific theme! This is a good thing I think . . . .

Some other creating I did today was for the generosity project (or meme) that I announced a few weeks ago. You can read the original post here. I decided to make art for the 8 lovely people who replied to my post . . . . and I sent out 3 of the pieces today. Each of them is different, and each made with the recipient in mind. As they arrive and they let me know (it's a surprise!) I will post photos of what I made and discuss the pieces here. Doing this project was also a very good way for me to spend time today! With the busy-ness of getting our home ready to sell and on the market, I had to cut back on my art time, a lot. Making and sending these things for those who replied was invigorating for me.

Lastly, I created a fabric card for my local friend Carol Van Gerve, who is always sending me delicious and creative cards and who also had Steven & I over to visit with her & her hubby and enjoy yummy peach pie in her garden last Sunday - what a treat! Click on any of the scans below for more detail. Here is the envelope & front of the card:



The inside of the card is made from a piece of fabric that I tried "shaving cream marbling" on, during a class Carol & I took together earlier this spring. It still smells good! : ) Below shows the front and the back, spread out.


All images in Carol's fabric card are from ARTchix Studio. Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

published in Sew Somerset

What fun. Just this week I received my copy of Sew Somerset Summer 2009 ~ the art of creative sewing with mixed media . . . with my article on Journal Quilts published inside! The editor, Amanda Nolan, wrote me in early January of this year and said, "I came across your site and love your journal quilts! I was wondering if you'd be interested in submitting to Sew Somerset (a sewing arts publication published by Stampington & Company). Please let me know if you would be interested!"

I answered, "Hi Amanda, and thanks very much for your email. I would certainly be interested in submitting to Sew Somerset. I just read your publishing guidelines online. Tell me, are you looking for submissions for the January 15th deadline? And, are you looking for a few of my journal quilts to be submitted?"

Yes! Amanda was interested in more than one of my Journal Quilts, how cool! She told me her favorites, and I was able to write the article and send the Journal quilts in for the January 15th deadline. The next deadline coming up for the Winter issue of Sew Somerset is: July 15th (this is a bi-annual publication). They are looking for all types of stitched work, including: wearables, journals, folders, d├ęcor, ATCs, cards, scrapbook pages, art quilts, or any mixed-media work. So what are you waiting for??!! Below is the first page of my article in this issue (there are 3 pages total), and then photos of all the Journal Quilts that were included in the article with some of the Journaling backs here on my blog for you.

When I receive these JQs back from Stampington, I am bound & determined to finally sew all 28 journal quilts from my 2007 series together. I have never found or made the time to do so, yet. Well, that's a good thing -- if I had done this already, I could not have sent selected ones in to be photographed for this article!! After I sew them all together, this Journal Quilt wall-hanging piece will get lovingly packed up. I'll bring it to our new home in Florida, whenever we move, to proudly hang on one of our new walls. : ) We do have another home showing today and my fingers are crossed the right people come along . . . . . yes, we have only been on the market 3 weeks - and I am trying to be patient!








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