Sunday, January 31, 2010

and now a blue heron . . .

and now a blue heron, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
First, we were visited by wood storks, and now a great blue heron!!! The bird pictured here visited our front yard in Cortez, FL today -click on the photo to see more!
I Googled 'great blue heron' and found out it is the most common and largest of North American herons. This is a wading bird found along coastlines, in marshes, or near the shores of ponds or streams. . . and we live very near the Palma Sola Bay.
"Great blue herons' size (3.2 to 4.5 feet/1 to 1.4 meters) and wide wingspan (5.5 to 6.6 feet/1.7 to 2 meters) make them a joy to see in flight. (which we did see today) They can cruise at some 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 kilometers) an hour." -you can find more info here, on the National Geographic website.
wow!! I love this photo I took of Steven and our visitor. It is not an everyday occurance that you get to stand next to a great blue heron . . . . hmmm, well maybe it will be, in our new home!

red + white ATC for lotto

On the ARTchix Studio yahoo group there are bi-weekly lottos, challenges where a randomly chosen winner picks the next theme to create ATCs on & makes the winning draw. Whoever wins the lotto draw, receives all of the ATCs that were made on that theme - they are sent directly to the winner. Joy Meadows was the most recent winner of the lotto and picked 'red + white' for the next theme due February 7th. She wrote: "The theme is red and white - could be Valentine-ish or not.  Whatever you want to do as long as the colors are predominantly red and white!  Have fun!"  Joy : )
Here is what i came up with. Bear in mind that red is not a favorite colour of mine, but i still liked the challenge very much. I am more of a brown/green/blue girl.

I created this atc with a playing card as a base, click on it for more detail. I did not plan using a playing card; i simply was looking in my collage boxes (which i have now unpacked since our move, hooray!). The red feather was something else i found while gathering 'red + white' items to do this lotto challenge that someone gave me some time ago. The photo of me as a babe with my mom was already printed out and lying in one of my collage boxes. I have used this image more than once in my artwork. The feeling it has when i look at it holds great meaning to me. Here it is in a larger size as an altered book page
The transparency of the wing, with Helga's handwriting "wings" is from ARTchix Studio. Check out their newly re-designed website! The words 'one brief moment' is also from an ARTchix collage word sheet. The word FLY was rubber stamped onto the playing card with permanent StazOn ink. I was really happy with how this came out. Thanks for the great challenge, Joy!
This particular lotto is due to be posted on the ARTchix group by February 7th in the photo section, and you have to be a member to view the messages & photos there. It's easy - just go to the group (link-at top) and sign up with Yahoo - yahoo!! lenna young andrews - January 31st, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

for sharon, 1st page spread

Sharon Borsavage and I are doing an altered book exchange together. We fell upon this after Sharon found my blog, fell in love with my work (and vise-versa!) and we decided we wanted to do a one on one exchange together, and alter old books.

The theme of my book for our exchange is nature, and Sharon's theme is birds (my work in it shown above). We both have been really busy but i squeeked out some art time to play in her book and sent it off to her on Monday. Sharon is finishing up arting in my book and will be sending it to me soon. Then we will both do some more work in our own books and exchange again until the pages run out or we feel the books are complete.

Since Sharon has received her book with the pages I altered, I can share them with you now. I have quite a bunch of photos of my work in her book, so I have simply put one favorite here. iI you click on this photo you will go to my flickr account where you will find even more and descriptions with each photo. A slide show of our collaborative work so far is here: Altered Book Collaboration. I am really having fun altering books again after a bit of a break, and it is especially meaningful to me to work with another artist i admire, all the while getting to know her better and having her high caliber of artwork encourage me to stretch and grow and love!
-enjoy! lenna young andrews -January 30th, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

morning walks . . .

I have started walking in the morning around the neighborhood without the dogs, for a little more exercise for myself and time out alone. The dogs get plenty running around with Steven and on our afternoon walks and visits to my parent's house with my mom's 2 big dogs, Anika & Imp.
it has been low tide when i go, and this morning was the lowest i had seen -and the most beach i had ever seen at the teeny tiny city park at the end of our street. I walked on the beach for a while before meandering down the little neighborhood streets again, and what did i see but two wood storks slurping up a delicious breakfast! Since i had vowed not to feed them when they came to our door, this made me feel a whole lot better . . .
still amazed i am here in florida!
it is very good to be here, to be able to see my mom and dad so often and their home grown oranges and avocados are simply the best! I will have more art to share with you soon - I have a scanner now which will make it easier . . .  and I am actually making quite a bit of progress unpacking & setting up my art space -wow! that's exciting! : ^ ) lenna young andrews, January 29th, 2010.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

power of 3 and the moon

I made myself rummage through my traveling supplies so i could participate in the current ARTchix challenge -  I still have not unpacked much in my art space! But the rummaging was worth it because i feel better already  : ^ ) and ready to take on my huge task of unpacking & setting up. Ha! we'll see . . . . i imagine i will just 'need' something in one of those boxes soon, and be forced into it!! Once i  start, i know i will enjoy the process, it's just thinking about it that is overwhelming. How many of you have moved? -my husband often reminds me, 3 times in 4 years- and had to break down & re-set up your art working space? you know what i mean!
For this week's challenge on Helga's blog, My ARTistic Life, she wrote: Get Inspired by the Power of 3! Make a piece of art that has 3 of something in it. You do not need to use ARTchix Studio products for Helga's artistic challenges, but i often do. For my challenge piece i used an image from Snowflake Kisses that i had reprinted onto vellum (bottom left) and 2 Transparency images from the Starry Night sheet. I also chose 3 different pieces of text from the Tell me more collage sheet. You can find all of these in the ARTchix Studio Shop!
I started by gathering the 3 images that i wanted to use, and then based on their "moon" theme, i looked for a background. I had a leftover piece of an old magazine page from creating a 'universe collage' a few months ago which i thought would be perfect. I glued that starry background piece to a watercolor postcard and played around with the placement of the women/moon images. Once satisfied with where i thought they looked best, i glued them down to the background paper with my mini xyron. Then i got out my circle template (Helga's gotten me into circles!) and used both a white opaque marker and a silver glitter marker to emphasize the "moons" and the power of 3! I also wanted 3 sets of words, and chose 3 different ones from one of Helga's word sheets (i use these sheets all the time) to create kind of a found poem: be in a dream, far far away, a deep dream of peace. Later, when i took the dogs out before bed, i looked up and saw the moon and gasped! i tried to capture a bit of what it looked like for me in florida; hope you enjoy! lenna young andrews - January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

and now there are three (storks!)

Now not one, but three wood storks came to pay us a visit!

Our neighbors told us that the previous tenants used to feed them. We are not feeding them.... because it is bad for these birds to be fed by humans and become dependent on them (they have other food available) and it is illegal to feed any endangered wildlife in Florida. I found out with a little google research that the wood stork is an endangered species. A curious and beautiful wading bird, i can't believe they come right to our door! wow, will wonders never cease!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Venice, FL -Brohard Paw Park

venice FL -Brohard Paw Park, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
we visited another Dog Park/Dog Beach today -Brohard Paw Park. Wow, Florida is full of wonders!! More photos of the day if you click on the one above. Chloe & Asia enjoyed and it sure was good to get out and about, discovering instead of unpacking. Later, I did get into my studio for the first time since moving. i just pushed the boxes aside and finished my pages in Sharon Borsavage's altered book for our exchange. I won't share them with you until Sharon receives them, but it sure felt great to create! : ) Have a great weekend! lenna young andrews, january 23rd, 2010.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chloe spies the wood stork

chloe spies the wood stork, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
This is the second time the wood stork has come to visit us! He is very brave and comes right up to the door, practically. If you click on the photo it will bring you to more photos of the stork and a few of us moving into our new place in Florida.

I unpacked a LOT today and found places for many things but i still have a long way to go, especially in my studio. I have faith i will get there! I have work to do in Sharon Borsavage's altered book, and I have Peggy Gato's AB to work on for another exchange. I do look forward to that! Unfortunately, my scanner died in the move, so we will have to go get another one. I especially need it for my current ATC swap. But there is music in the house today as we set up our new system of computer/speakers, dvd player/flat panel screen in the living room. I can play cd's through the computer or Pandora and that is a welcome sound. Thanks for checking in : ) There will be more art forthcoming as i get organized here! lenna young andrews - January 21st, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

florida inspiration

i have tweaked the color a little bit, but there are tons of amazing trees like this one in the Bradenton, FL area. i find them really incredible with all the moss hanging down. In fact, all of the foliage here is so different from what i am used to; very interesting and truly inspiring to me. i snapped this photo on a walk near the cottage the other day, one of my last walks in this more 'downtown' neighborhood. Tomorrow we will be officially moving over to the rental house i showed you a photo of in the previous post, which is more 'in the country' and near a small beach where the dogs can romp. i have my work cut out for me at the new house with many, many boxes to unpack, but the home and neighborhood are both full of promise. The house seems to suit us already with it's layout and yard, and we have even met some dog-walking neighbors who were nothing but friendly, kind and entertaining! I have been working on a little bit of artwork these past few days for my sanity at the cottage, and the Colour Groupies ATCs were sent off to my friends in that group today. As soon as they are received I can share them with you. I am also in the middle of an altered book spread for a 1-1 exchange i am doing with Sharon Borsavage - yeah! Those pages will be posted here soon too. Lastly, the first swap i've hosted in a long time has 30 participants registered and some wonderful entries in already - you can follow it here!  : ^ ) lenna young andrews January 18, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Today was the day . . .

The Moving Van came from Connecticut with our furniture and boxes!

I am tired, but wanted to share these photos with you. Here is the home we are renting in Bradenton, very near Cortez, FL.

Look at the Coconut Palms in the front yard! We have been told a dozen or more coconuts drop every week, yikes! I guess I'll have to be careful getting to the front door -ouch!  ; ^ )

We saw 3 little wild green parrots flying when we took a walk around the neighborhood and when we stopped by a few days ago, a Wood Stork came to visit! This was taken right outside of the front window . . . click on any photo for more detail.

Here is my studio space before any furniture or boxes - i so look forward to working in it!!! lucky me.

I will be busy for a while now, but sure to pop back in as i can. We are still living in the cottage for now as we have it until the end of the month and slowly moving in to the new house. : ^ ) lenna young andrews - January 13th, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

and the winner is . . . . joy meadows!

For my 400th post i created a collage to celebrate that milestone and then offered a chance to win it, to anyone who left a comment on that 400th post! This morning I took all the commenter's names and put them in a hat, the old fashioned way, for the drawing. It is pretty funny (maybe!) that i have been wearing this same hat on our daily walks, in FLORIDA! (see a picture - 2 posts earlier) I brought it with me from CT as kind of a lark; my mom had told me it gets cold here sometimes . . .  i crocheted it myself and liked it too much to leave it, never realizing how much i would need it!! It was down in the 30's again last night and the heater in the cottage is just not equipped to handle the work load; ours has frozen up twice. ANYWAY . . . . .

I wrote everyone's name down and cut them into strips, closed my eyes, reached in and pulled out JOY MEADOWS name!!!! Congratulations, JOY!

Joy always takes time to comment on the art I share, whether it is here on the blog, through the ARTchix Yahoo Group or on my flickr photo account. Gosh, I am so, so happy i picked her name! Joy, I will send this out to you today! Thanks to everyone who commented, that was fun! lenna young andrews - January 12th, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

400 Post Give-Away 1/12/2010

Don't miss your chance to win my collage!
 Enter Here with a comment! 

random drawing 9:00 am EST 1/12/10 
The winner is: JoY Meadows!!

Dallas + Liz

jan5- 008A13, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
My youngest son Dallas (25) and his girlfriend Liz, came to visit us here in Florida last week. Yes, this photo was taken in FLORIDA, in JANUARY!! We took them to our usual walking spot, De Soto Memorial National Park and braved the wind on the beach with hats, coats and scarves. Really amazing. It has been extremely cold here for Florida standards, in the 30's at night and not even reaching 50 during the day since Jan. 1st. eeeep! - brrrrrr. No matter the weather, we still had a wonderful visit with Dallas & Liz, and they got to see my parents for the first time in two years because they've been working at a school in Trieste, Italy. I saw them last summer in CT, but this is the first they have been able to get to Florida - yay! You can see more photos in a slideshow here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

400 posts and a giveaway to celebrate!

Unbelievably, this is my 400th post here! I started writing and sharing my art on this blog in December of 2006. To celebrate 400 posts here I have created a collage that I would like to offer as a giveaway! Just leave a comment below (with your email if i don't know it -so i can contact you) on this post by Tuesday morning 9am Florida-time. I will choose someone randomly from the comments and send the collage above to you if you win! click on the photo for details. lenna young andrews - January 8th, 2009
The winner is: JoY Meadows!

p.s. i forgot to add how i made this collage! It's done on a 9" x 5" water color paper base with scrapbook paper and an old ledger page from 1892 layered on top. The image of the couple is a leftover from an experiment of using my ink jet  printer to print vintage images onto watercolor paper. More description and another ATC here. I ripped hand dyed tissue paper and gold marbled mulberry paper and glued them around the image and the ledger paper. A Pablo Picasso quote was rubber stamped in the corner (an old lennalines stamp) "Love is the greatest refreshment in life." Little bits of gold metallic paper were added, along with a charm that says 'listen'. The quote below the couple "she flew up to the moon" is from ARTchix Studio. I thought the scrapbook paper background was very interesting with these words: "Love is not just a justification of the eyes. Beautiful objects will of course, inspire possessive urges - you need not despise your taste. But when insatiable desire inflames you for a man who is out of fashion, lacking in glamour, plain, in fact - that fire is genuine: that's the authentic passion. Beauty any critic can admire"  wow! It's all there in small scribbles on the scrapbook paper (click for more detail) on the left side.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Altered Book exchange -Bonnie's Book

Altered Book crop C, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
Above is a cropped portion of one of the pages i created in Bonnie Ashurst's altered book, with a theme of circles & squares, for an ABRR exchange i am participating in. I really did enjoy working in this book, Bonnie; great theme! If you click on the photo above it will take you to a few more photos of the full pages i did.

Bonnie's book was hand-made in Nepal and the pages are made from the Lokta plant. So interesting to work on! I found they really soaked the water up when I used my watercolor crayons on the pages. This handmade paper is really very strong though, and i just glued a couple of pages together so you would not see the back side of my colors running through.

I used images and papers from Helga Strauss' previous masterboard challenge - and - as well as images from If the images did not already come in a circle or a square shape, i cut them out that way! Most of the cutting was done during an hour long car trip up to the airport to pick up my son, Dallas who is visiting now : ) Later, when we were back at the cottage, i pulled out all the images i had cut out and played with their placement on the pages until i was happy with the arrangement. Next, i drew with watercolor crayons around the shapes to accentuate the circles and squares and when the page had dried, I added a bit of Pale Gold metallic marker around the watercolor marks and also some dots on the page. The shiny dots you may be able to see are because of the clear glue I added on top of the metallic marker dots to make them more dimensional. Lastly, i added some metallic gears and tags in a circle shape.

i still enjoy working in altered books, i started in 2001 - and this group has given me a chance to play again, thank you!!
lenna young andrews - January 6th, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

Helga's Jan. 5th ART Challenge

jan5-challenge 015, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
It's been a while since I have been able to do one of Helga's wonderful challenges . . . we are still in the middle of our long-distance move from CT to FL. We have settled for the time being, in a cottage near my parents with what we could fit in the car! In about 2 weeks or less, the moving truck will meet us down here at a house we will be renting for a year, phew!

Anyways, Helga's January 5th challenge on her blog - - was to use 3 or more of her recent art challenges and combine them together to make one fabulous piece of art. : ) I could not resist! I chose 'Get Inspired by Pattern, Color, Texture, Your Reading Materials, Things You Enjoy, and Your Scraps!

I started with a circle pattern. I used a circle template and my watercolor crayons, adding different colors, layering and adding gold & black pens. My base was a 12" x 12" piece of scrapbook paper and I pulled colors out of that paper to work with. I added texture by crumpling up a piece of scrap paper and pouncing pink and gold lumiere paint onto the scrapbook paper to add color & texture. I added a piece of watercolor paper behind the scrapbook paper to support it.
I added scraps of thin, hand-dyed tissue paper around the image of the couple. This was an ad in a Jockey underwear catalog! (my reading materials!) I brought this catalog with me when we left CT because I loved this picture, it inspired me! To the horse, I added a pink ribbon with a hand made copper charm that my friend Sharon Borsavage tied around a present for me! The charm has an "xo" etched into it. There are other scraps of paper added, including the couple in the corner on water color paper.
I added "rub-ons" of swirls and flowers and rubber stamping with thick black VersaCraft ink, which I heat set. the stamped saying above the woman on the horse is from Cats Life Press and says, "Can you hear me?" she whispered. "Yes, my sweet, he smiled, and you are music to my ears." That seemed most appropriate for this collage.

I used a metallic marker to edge the piece and splatter all over, something I cannot not seem to resist adding to my work! This is a very "worked over" piece, my favorite kind of art to do.
yours creatively, lenna young andrews January 4, 2010

why i am here

mom and dad Fla. Dec. 2009, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
My sister sent some great pictures she took while visiting, this one of my mom and dad at home, here in Bradenton, Florida, Dec. 2009. My mom really does not like having her picture taken, but i love this photo and so i hope she won't mind! See the fireplace? We have been using it often as it was 41 degrees here this morning, very cold for Florida standards. brrrr! Dallas (my son) and Liz arrive tonight- I told them to ditch their bathing suits and bring sweaters instead! more photos click here.

lenna young andrews - January 4, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

01.01.2010. new years day

01.01.2010 new years day, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
It was a different New Years for me this year!
-on a BEACH
-it was 57 degrees
-I was wearing 2 lightweight coats
(i know i shouldn't complain) it was VERY windy!
-I enjoyed hot chocolate after brushing the sand off!
Here's hoping your day was happy
-more pics of my day if you click on the sign above
-thank you so much for visiting my blog
i love sharing my art & life
love to you all!
looking forward to 2010!
lenna young andrews

Friday, January 1, 2010

new year - new swap!

Happy New Year! 
To start out the new year I am hosting a 4 for 4 ATC swap (fabric or paper or BOTH) based on the theme, Love Gone Wild! You can read all about it and also register on my creative swaps blog.
Registration will be limited to 40 participants and the swaps are due Feb.15th, so don't delay too long! If you have never done a creative swap before, they are a lot of fun and very well-organized (so I've heard!) I 'll send you a mini-lesson (pdf file) of materials with your registration ($5) and the art work for my hosted swaps has always been really top-notch. Check out some of the past swaps on the blog!
I am offering this collage below made on the same theme, as a randomly chosen prize for anyone who participates in and completes the swap:

This is a 4" x 4" collage layered on top of a slightly larger piece of decorative scrapbook paper. I chose images from Vintage Image Madness, and ARTchix Studio and free images I found online. The woman with her hands in her hair in the middle of the piece is actually an ATC I had made previously but never used. It was still in my art bag. I found some old text from a letter and rotated the position of these items around until I had something that pleased me. I used an unmounted quote from the rubber stamp company I used to own, (LennaLines) "A man's kiss is his signature" and stamped this separately on a scrap of white card stock so it would show up nicely. I used other rubber stamps (CatsLife Press, etc) both before and after I glued everything in place. I also used a small cats eye chalk ink pad in chestnut brown to age the edges of all the elements. My husband was amazed at what I could come up with working out of only a bag and a box -personally, I can't wait till the moving  truck comes! You can click on the image for more detail. 
(edit 1/2/10) There are now THREE Prizes for this swap and gifts for everyone! Vintage Image Madness has volunteered to sponsor the swap by donating small packets of their wonderful images for each player, PLUS giving a free monthly subscription for one month (usually $25) to the Vintage Image Madness website for unlimited downloads.  Anyone who completes the swap will have a chance to win (via a random drawing) a 4" x 4" collage created by Lenna - shown on the creative swaps blog and another random drawing will be held for the unlimited download subscription. Additionally, one participant will be chosen for the most creative ATC artwork and this person will be awarded free participation in the next creative swap! ALL participants will receive a small gift. I am looking forward to a new year with you, filled with art. Check out the creative swaps blog when you have time!
lenna young andrews ~ January 1st, 2010