Saturday, July 31, 2010

shades of white skinny page

close up of one side for Leslie
I am lucky to be in an group where every month we exchange 4" x 8" skinny book pages made for each other. We base what we do on the theme picked by who we are creating for. For July, I was assigned to make a page for Leslie Anderson, whose theme is "shades of white, with a splash of color". She loves vintage, old lace, textures, watches, birds, numbers and sparkles. I tried to include a bunch of what she loves!

I started by gathering shades of white, different textures and a splash of color.

I started sewing one side (top) after playing with the placement of things
and you can see how I was planning the second side on the bottom. 

I added a surprise! some neighborhood ibis . . .

Now they are sewn together with cardboard in the middle for support.

Thanks for the great theme, Leslie! I loved being able to work horizontally. This was the first time I had that opportunity in this exchange and it was a lovely change. To view all of my posts on the skinny pages I've made so far, click on this link and it will take you there. Next up for me, in August, is Debby Harriettha. Her theme is "Express Yourself -Artists' choice!" She loves vintage and colorful, so I will be thinking on that! Hope you are taking time to make some art this weekend. : ^) 

Friday, July 30, 2010

a colorful spread: sketchbook project

My second spread for this project is paper on both sides. I imagine I'll be mixing up paper and fabric, like I usually do . . .

You can click on the pages to enlarge it and read the writing. The circles were drawn with a template and some were colored in with markers. I went a little crazy making circles, but I think it works. The color underneath the circles on the right comes from Spectra Art Tissue. This glossy piece of card stock was the cover paper. On the left is watercolor crayons for the background directly on the pages of the moleskin sketchbook. Very muted because of the paper, but nice. I added a couple of photos of me back when I was 15 and 21. I am the same, just different, at age 53! It feels very good to be working in this sketchbook, that is not a sketchbook! (although, didn't I sketch just a bit here?) I don't have too many plans, but feel that I want to get in here and do things. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

first spread

The first spread of pages in my sketchbook project . . .

Both sides are fabric pieces I did, glued to the pages. I somehow feel this project is just showing me what to do. I was not planning on journaling! I have never kept an artist journal. It just seemed like I needed to write for this project and so that is what I did. Who knows what will come next? I received comments about being brave to start with my covers for this project . . . Truthfully, I felt I needed to do that and I also wanted to do that to 'set the stage' so to speak, to get me started with this project. For me, getting started is making myself jump in. Once I jump, I do not worry, I just swim! Does that sound silly? Well, it is the truth for me. How about you? How do you get geared up to create? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

sketchbook project 2011

I am so happy to have had some time to get started on this project! I signed up and received my moleskin sketchbook a while ago but had not been able to really dive in until now.... there was my usual procrastination, and then a new technique swap needed my attention, all the while Steven and I were spending time looking at houses! But it felt very good to start my Sketchbook project 2011 and here is what happened . . .
I used the fonts on my printer to make an interesting document
 printed on card stock to go over the cover - it's 5.5" x 8.5"
Have you guessed the theme of my sketchbook yet?

we are required to leave the bar code visible so that it
can be used to "check out" the sketchbooks on tour.

my first page - the pages are very thin so I glued 2 together.
There is handmade paper and rubber stamping here and a favorite
photo from 2005 - wolfe island, Asia & my father's handmade boat.

my favorite part besides the bright watercolor crayons is on the back
above the bar code, "well, maybe a sketch or two" : ^ )
perhaps I can get steven to draw something!!

It feels good to start this and figure out that this project will be an extension of what I already do; share my art and life, just this time in a journal to share. When I'm done it will be sent off to go on tour with 8,963 other sketchbooks (more or less!) and end up as part of the permanent collection of The Brooklyn, NY Art Library. I cannot quite put into words how cool I think that is! And I have friends doing this with me - look on my project page to find out more. If you are doing the sketchbook project and you are not listed on that page, please request friendship. I would be glad to reciprocate. I've been totally loving watching my friend Frieda move so easily into her sketchbook for this project; it is such a joy to see! She has been continually inspiring me and making me want to get started with mine. I'm so glad to join her and really look forward to this project.

Monday, July 26, 2010

a new swap -Technique Tag Book!

I am very pleased to announce a new art swap organized over on my creative swaps blog!  (8/20/2010: the swap is now CLOSED for registration.)

Tag & Envelope Book with my sample tags -
gel medium transfers is one of the techniques in the pdf file.
Due September 30 October 9th-deadline extended! We will all be working with the Envelope and Tag Book you see above, available from available from Alpha Stamps (back ordered) -but also at Bluemoon Scrapbooking . . . and emma's paperie (thanks, Helen!) . . . and the online store, eCrater. Or find it locally! We are using Melissa Frances 'Attic Treasures' Envelopes & Tags Book, item GN292. The tags tuck into envelopes that form the pages of this tag book. You can read all about the swap on this post - click here. Registration for the swap is on the blog, in the sidebar. We already have an awesome group of artists signed up to participate already! The registration fee includes a 25 page pdf file with step by step photos of possible techniques you could use for the swap. Hope to see you involved in this swap - any questions, email me!

tomato and avocado

sounds yummy, doesn't it?? In fact we had that for dinner the other night as a salad, mmmm! In this case though, avocado green and tomato red was the color combo for July's Colour Groupies ATC exchange.

The images are fabric, from the majestic tomato collage sheet at Alpha Stamps. I like that Leslie gives you the choice of cardstock (paper), sticker, transparency or fabric when ordering. The green leafy vine can also be found at Alpha Stamps: stitched leaf ribbon. I played with the placement of the images and ribbon and then used decorative stitches with my Brother sewing machine. I love this inexpensive machine got 2 years ago. It is just right for the mixed media work I do. I left the edges raw as I am partial to that look, and sent them off to frieda in scotland, debby in canada & caryl in illinois. Everyone has received their ATC now and so, I can share them with you! Coming up next month is the combo of Ivory and Mango. I have some lovely ripe mangos in my kitchen courtesy of one of my parent's trees, so we'll have to see where I go from there! Thanks for visiting. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

d is for dandy

I squeezed in this ATC for the ARTchix Studio Flickr group lotto drawn on July 14th, when the theme was the letter "D". I had fun going through the old dictionary pages I had gathered for the Vintage GlueBook class
I took and looking for an inspiring word. As soon as I saw "dandy" that was it! The image and words are both from ARTchix Studio. This same ATC is winding it's way to the lucky winner, Cindy McMath in Canada and she has chosen the new theme of Mystery, ooooooh! Check out the entries here!

Friday, July 23, 2010

campari and orange ATCs

one for me, for my collection
I really have been quite busy lately and not feeling like posting much! The new blog header you see above shows something of what I have been busy with. That's me working on one of the techniques I'll be sharing in a pdf file of instructions for a soon to be announced 'technique swap' over on my
creative swaps blog

Today, I got into revamping the templates on both blogs, really as a break from writing these instructions. Doing that reminded me I have things to share! I've uploaded 3 new sets of lovely postcards and ATCs for the current swap over on the swaps blog, and on my personal blog I wanted to share at least one of the sets of ATCs I've made for the Colour Groupies recently. June's color combo was Campari & Orange, compliments of my dear friend, 
Frieda in Scotland!
She assures me it is a yummy drink, but I have not tried it, yet!! The color is beautiful and I do love it combined with orange. I created my ATCs out of fabric and added paper embellishments from
ARTchix Studio

for caryl hoobler 

for debby harriettha

for frieda oxenham 

I hope you all are well, and I will be back with more things soon! lenna young

Thursday, July 15, 2010

creative swaps

If you are not familiar with it, creative swaps is my other blog, for art swaps. This is where right now, you can view beautiful postcards and ATCs on a garden variety theme that have been sailing into my mailbox lately. With 50 participants registered for the swap, I am really happy to have the swap art arrivals spread out over the summer! For everyone's enjoyment and inspiration I scan and post the swap artwork as it comes in. I like to do this for my art swaps and found I am not the only one who enjoys it! If you'd like to see what has come in for our Alpha Stamps garden variety swap (now closed for registration) please hop over to creative swaps.

Once there, you can sign up to keep track of what's going on by heading to the sidebar of the blog. You can "follow" the blog via Google or sign up with Feedblitz to receive posts as a Newsletter email sent right to your mailbox. I'm mentioning this because I have a new swap brewing that will be announced soon. Everyone so enjoyed our previous swap, a Tag Book swap; especially the return of the “book” of tags. When this swap was completed we emailed each other about doing another similar swap. One of my participants, Sharon Walworth came up with a "technique" idea on tags, which everyone loved!

Preparing for this swap is what is occupying me right now, besides looking for a house for Steven and me! I have been culling over technique ideas - making samples on tags just like the ones we’ll use, and writing instructions. I'll share a photo of one of the many simple but beautiful technique ideas I'm working on for our Tag Technique swap; two acrylic paint backgrounds.


The idea behind this swap is that I will write a mini workshop with technique ideas to be included in the registration. If you join the swap/receive the pdf, you could try one or more of the techniques - if you you like - on 10 tags for the swap. Of course, you do not have to use any of the techniques illustrated by me, you could choose your own technique or techniques to use.

Everyone who registers for the swap would need to purchase and use the Envelopes & Tags Book from Alpha Stamps – The tags you see above in my sample fit into envelopes that make pages of a book. The set comes complete with  the loose leaf rings to bind the pages/envelopes with tags inside! Even if you choose one technique for all 10 of your own pages, through the swap you will receive in return a book of 10 tags & envelopes (both decorated) with 10 different techniques including one Tag of your own! This is just a sneak peek at what will be up next at creative swaps. Hope to see you in a creative art swap of mine soon; they are great fun!

p.s. I am hankering to work in my Sketchbook and start that project – oooh!! My friend Frieda is really inspiring me to do so! I may finish up this prep first, but will be onto it soon and share my art here! In the meantime, check out the Sketchbook Project 2011. Maybe you will join us?? It looks so promising!

Monday, July 12, 2010

moleskin journal: 7-second crab

After finishing my Vintage Lace ATCs yesterday, I was drawn to work in my small moleskin journal that I began doing gluebook work in after taking Mary Green's on-line course, Your Vintage GlueBook. I did not really have any ideas on what to do, I just wanted to work/create. I think in the back of my mind I knew that I really needed/wanted to work in the larger moleskin journal for the Sketchbook 2011 Project, but was not quite ready to dive in and start the project yet. It is the starting of making art that I always procrastinate about! Once I start, I would say creating comes fairly easily. One thing will suggest another and before you know it, I'm done.

I began by rummaging through a large flat cardboard box where I had gathered and saved a lot of vintage materials when I was taking Mary's class. The background paper of bugs that you see above comes from a download of Illustration Pages- from an Antique French Dictionary, that I found at Mary's Green Paper Packages e-shop. That page was in the box as well as a page of mushrooms from the same download. There is something about these illustrations that I just love, so I decided to cover my blank spread of pages (2 1/2" x 3 1/2" each side) with these illustrated designs. I had previously used different pages from the same book in an earlier gluebook spread I did in class called Live in the Sunshine -see it here. These colorful papers got me started, and here is what happened . . . .

On the left I have a flash card given to me by Mary; I believe she has similar ones for sale in her etsy shop. I added a handmade transparency from an old advertisement over top of the card and placed a celestial image from ARTchix Studio over the top of it. I placed of bit of handmade paper in the left corner first. 

I also added an appealing (to me!) scrap of fabric from a recent ATC project down the middle of my spread. I did not want to obscure my bugs and crustacean background too much and deliberated what to do . . . then I remembered the scrap of paper my husband Steven drew on the day before. He called it a "7-second" crab because he told me that is how long it would take him to draw it!!! He was right. I grabbed the quick sketch off my desk, ripped the paper to a workable size, loaded the back of it with glue from my trusty glue stick, and voila'!

I giggled with delight upon placing this in my moleskin because I had wanted to do something with his cute cartoon, but had not decided what yet. When Steven came home from the boat shop, I didn't tell him what I had done. I simply handed him the notebook to show him my art, as I often do . . . 

He was happy and surprised, but not really!! I often take his art and incorporate it into something. :  ) lenna young

This is not a sketchbook!

Not too long ago, I signed up for the Sketchbook Project and found out afterwards that my friend in Scotland, Frieda Oxenham has signed up too. We had never spoken about it, what synchronicity! I am very happy about this because seeing her work for this project already has spurred me on to get started. Follow the link above, or click on the Sketchbook Project badge in the side bar to learn more about this exciting international project, which includes a tour of the sketchbooks around the USA and then becoming part of the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library. As of this writing there are about 6,100 sketchbooks claimed and the project is still open to join. The Art House Co-op is behind this huge project and many others, creating "massive, international art projects that tie thousands of artists together – and anyone can participate". This sounds really good to me! I want to thank Sharon Walworth for knowing I would be interested in this and sharing the link with me. I'm also so glad that Mary Green, my talented instructor from the Your Vintage GlueBook class class has signed up for the project too!

I chose the theme: This is not a sketchbook. I thought that would give me a lot of freedom. Each book comes with it's own bar code which must remain in place no matter how much you alter the book. You really can do whatever you like, there are only a few sensible rules!

This moleskin notebook is larger and taller than the one I have been working in for my GlueBook pages. 

After working in the smaller moleskin book tonight and talking the project over with my husband, I feel ready to actually start working in my Sketchbook Project 2011- called that because the sketchbooks wil be touring the country in 2011. You can catch my posts here on the blog or check out my portfolio on the art house co-op page to follow along with my progress. How about joining us? Check it out!! It will be an awesome challenge and so much fuN!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vintage Lace ATCs

My dear friend Frieda is hosting a Vintage Lace ATC swap through the ATCs for ALL site. I have participated in a few swaps there, mostly ones hosted by Frieda. : ^ ) and I have enjoyed them all. If you are looking to swap ATCs, check the ATCs for ALL site out! For Frieda's Vintage Lace swap, these were the guidelines: Your cards need to be vintage looking and include lace in some shape or other! Vintage images and mixed media are especially welcome!! 
Here is my response to Frieda's swap call . . . 

I used a white cloth handkerchief that was my Nonie's and already had light green lace on it, how cool is that? Two of the ATCs were layered with another lacy piece from a white cloth napkin. I used various stitches from my Brother Sewing Machine -which is a simple sewing machine, but very good and not too expensive. There is batting and a piece of cardstock sandwiched between the front & back of all of the ATCs. I hand sewed a vintage button on with contrasting thread and then glued on white rick rack! I contemplated leaving them plain and stopping there, but in the end I could not resist adding transparencies from ARTchix Studio. I was glad I did, it completed the ATCs for me and besides, I know Frieda loves artistic nudes like these from ARTchix Studio! There is an extra ATC made, so Frieda can take her pick of these as a hostess gift! I appreciate all she does for hosting wonderful swaps, being my friend for the long haul and giving me these challenges that make me stretch my wings. 
:  ^) lenna young

Friday, July 9, 2010

Letters to Mary

Mary Green, my fabulous Your Vintage GlueBook instructor gave us a challenge the other day . . . read all about it on her blog: Green Paper. What is really great about this challenge is that Mary is giving us a free collage sheet on her blog to do the challenge! Post your artwork with the challenge images on your own blog, and then use a linky tool to create a small thumbnail on Mary's Green Paper Blog that will take visitors to your art. Mary is always coming up with great stuff and I so admire her. For her challenge I did a gluebook page, continuing in my 5" x 8" notebook that I started in class.

Click on the book for more detail!
The images I needed to use were the large envelope addressed to Miss Mary Hayes, the small blue-flowered cigarette card in the envelope and the image of the actress Mabel Amber that is sticking out of the envelope on the right side. I took the envelope image and attached it to the front of a glassine envelope the same size, folding the envelope back to the front and using it like a pocket. Besides the challenge items, I added 2 postage stamps to the envelope, (thank you sharon walworth!) part of Mary Green's business card and a bit of crumpled tissue paper; the same tissue paper that I used as a background for the right side of the spread and as a top trimming for both pages.

On the right there is an old photograph that I liked because it looked as if the children were looking at the actress. I painted her dress with a bit of blue pigment powder, still out in the table from my last project. I added one of the calendars from Mary Green's e-shop and some border scraps from a sheet of scrapbook paper. On the left side I used a illustrated dictionary page sent to me from Mary with the returns of our Vintage Gluebook ATC swap - I love it! The colorful flowers at the bottom I purchased from mary's e-shop and the birds were another swap gift from Mary. Did she know she was sending me "Florida Grasshopper Sparrows"? wow!!  I made the tiny envelopes by hand, and added a small photo of me in California from 1979 at the top of the left hand page. I am into almost Vintage Gluebook pages now that I have graduated from Mary's class! This class is available online, still active and self-paced. Find out more about it by going here: Your Vintage GlueBook class. Thanks for the challenge, Mary!!

summer vacation ATCs

Caroline Ouzts Hay is hosting this swap through the Alpha Stamps Yahoo Group and I could not resist signing up. The rules were to incorporate at least one Alpha Stamp collage sheet or rubber stamp image and to . . . “ Think Summer!”

lenna406 I used Alpha Stamp fabric images sewn onto sea-blue fabric in a wavy stitch for the front, but backed my ATCs with a watercolor card, gluing the two pieces together. I also used generous amounts of pigment powders to add some shimmer and sheen, which is hard to see here.

back02 The ribbons and small gold shell charms are also from Alpha Stamps.

lenna103The words were cut out of a travel article from a Subaru magazine sent to us!

lenna204The shells were collected locally and the iridescent glass spheres are one of my favorite embellishments.  The “sand” is old ‘weathered white’ PSX embossing powder, glued in place & not heated. I forgot to gather any of the real stuff!

lenna305 Thanks for the fun exercise, Caroline. I look forward to seeing my returns!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

handmade by steven

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Back in June for our 5th wedding anniversary, Steven surprised me with a beautiful moon and star pendant that he made just for me. To start with, he chose a piece of wood from my dad’s stash; South American fine hardwood in a very pretty color. He hand shaped the tiny pieces into a moon and 2 stars with a small saw and sandpaper. Then he coated it with beeswax oil to protect the wood. He bought a beautiful silver chain and hid it away until June 11th!  

I made him a small photo book of our many adventures here in Florida since we left CT last December. Here’s Steven opening my present for him when we went to Siesta Key to celebrate,  you can see my jewelry box with  the necklace is on the table. 

I always wear the amethyst my dad gave me for my 40th birthday, so Steven’s present now joins it! Besides this wonderful sculptural wood piece, my husband is also very talented with lettering & painting. In fact he did a lot of this when he was younger! I loved it though the other night, when I started getting questions from him on where my paints were . . . and if they were waterproof when heat set! : ^ D
Steven painted a cap with the name we have finally decided to call the sailboat he is restoring with my dad,  S T A R  F I S H !
It is coming along and getting near the finish! My dad and Steven work on it most every day in the workshop space they are renting.

with love, from lenna and steven in FLORIDA!!