Saturday, August 28, 2010

more of lesson 4

Here is more of what I did in Lesson 4: Collage Coterie Online Workshop with Mary Green. Mary taught us about 3 x 3 composition and the placement of dominant and supportive images. A scan of my finished spread in my small 3 1/2" x 5" moleskine journal is below -click on it for more detail.

I decided to use scrapbook paper instead of vintage papers as a background for this exercise and to use a white Fabrico' ink pad instead of white paint. It gave a similar look, just lighter, like I wanted. 

I chose my images and placement and added watercolor crayon -
don't tell me you are surprised! 

I finished this with a dictionary quote, some handmade paper and
a bit of german scrap trim.

I  think tomorrow is another lesson already! I have a very large swap to swap out, so I may have to try to resist even looking at it for a bit : ^ ). If you have not checked out creative swaps lately, please do! So much to see!

handmade book with Vintage cover

I have had this very old book (1879) for a long time and I've always wanted to do something with it. Tonight I made a handmade book out of it for Lesson 4: Collage Coterie Online Workshop with Mary Green. I don't have a crocodile oops! Crop-a-Dile punch so my husband Steven punched the holes in the covers with something he used for putting grommets in the sails he made for his boat! I was grateful. Then I used a Japanese screw punch to make holes in the pages to match, to fill the covers. I used both original pages from the book and blank watercolor papers and then loose leaf rings were used to bind it. This book was published in 1879 on etiquette! I plan to do artwork and lesson prompts on the pages but may leave some pages as they are. The spine of the book was still attached to the front cover and I am leaving it "as is" for now, we'll see what happens. I think this rocks! It's very cool - I truly love being a student in Mary's classes. : ^ )

Thursday, August 26, 2010

a RAK for me

I had a lovely surprise in the mail today . . .
 it had been quite some time since I received a random act of kindness (RAK) sent right to my mailbox.

- a sweet friend whom I have known for a long time, Elaine Akers made me a mermaid ATC (artist trading card) and sent it to me along with some cool netting to play with! ThANk YOu, Elaine!! What a wonderful surprise and a lovely treat. I love the batik you used on the ATC.

Now back to my very large Alpha Stamps garden variety postcard swap -uploading scans. You'll find lots of new uploads (beautiful postcards, too) on the creative swaps blog soon -the deadline is Saturday. phew! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reconstructing for Collage Coterie class

08.25.reconstruct, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

> click on the photo above for more!

08.29.10: I found this photo in my camera yesterday . . . I wanted to include it to show how this piece started.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

black & white in sketchbook

A few leftover papers in a box on my desk called me to leave the scanning and uploading of creative swap postcards for later, and so I did. Being creative was what I needed! I am taking an online course by Mary Green called Collage Coterie and that is where the ideas I came up with for this spread in my sketchbook come from. I started here with a variation on the ripped paper technique Mary showed us  . . .
and painted the background paper with white paint, watered down a bit. Then I brushed a lot of it off with a wet wipe.


Next I added some distress inks in the color of ‘pumice stone’ . . .
and used my heat tool to dry the ink on top of the paint. I like the aged look the ink gave the page. This is a new ink pad for me that I picked up on Saturday at the art supply store. I added various paper elements to my background, thinking about the shapes of the items i was adding. Mary’s third lesson in Collage Coterie is about shapes in collage. I’m also working on my charcoal pencil skills from lesson 2. Thanks to Nan, a fellow student, and Mary, I got my charcoal pencil sharpened without it crumbling! I may have gone a little overboard outlining with it, but I had fun using it and the shadows look good to my eye.


some close ups:
this is vintage paper from a seed catalog, circa 1898 -not a copy

that is me in the garden, little lenna, circa 1960 . . .
love this mushroom paper from mary’s e-shop!
I have not done a lot of making background papers of this type, or thinking about shapes in my collage, or using charcoal pencil as of late, until I took Mary Green’s classes. Run, don’t walk! and sign up!! We are not even halfway through - the blog posts/lessons are scheduled from August 15th through September 9th, the workshop can be joined at any time.The class blog will stay open for 7 months after the end of class; through April 30th. Click here to view more details on the class and hope to see you there!
p.s. This is also the 9th spread of pages in my Sketchbook 2011 project : ^ ) .

Sunday, August 22, 2010

chalk, shape ~ Collage Coterie

This spread in my tiny moleskine journal (3 1/2" x 5") shows my responses to Mary Green's lessons 2 and 3 in the online class I'm taking, Collage Coterie.
I have the 'shape in collage' part of Lesson 3 and the 'chalk & charcoal' portion of lesson 2, all wrapped up into one moleskine journal spread! ; ^ )
I did not have any chalk on hand or even a charcoal pencil, until yesterday when I took a Zentangle class and had a chance to buy some supplies. Mary's Lesson on shape today had me wanting to try this spread. Ever since I saw the image of the woman on the rock, back in Lesson one, I wanted to cut her out and round the shape some more. I realize now looking back, that I have copied Mary's example in the lesson with the round shape of the woman & the rectangular postcard! (Great minds think alike?? I think so!).
I had some trouble sharpening my charcoal pencil, and can't remember the best way to do it since it's been so long since I used one. Does anyone have any hints? (it kept crumbling while I was sharpening and not making a point). Must say I enjoyed playing with both the chalks and the charcoal today.

Note: The background paper in this spread is a real page from an 1898 Vintage Garden catalog and I loved using the real thing. Must admit I did copy it first though, for future use!! Collage Coterie is still open for registration, Click here to view more details - it is a fantastic class!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I was lucky enough to take a Zentangle® workshop here in Bradenton, FL today! Above, a close-up scan of some of my first tangles (patterns). The Zentangle® website describes the art this way:

"Zentangle is an easy to learn method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is a fascinating new art form that is fun and relaxing. It increases focus and creativity."

The first Zentangle I ever saw was done by a student and swap participant of mine, Sarah Boblit. She did a wonderful Zentangle as one of her 4" x 4" pieces for our Roads and Paths swap this April. It truly fascinated me, and in fact, I traded one of my swap pieces for this particular one of hers - see Sarah's Zentangle below:

I did not even know this was a Zentangle® at the time! Later, I ran into a flickr group sharing their tangles and then I looked the word up via a Google search and found the originators website plus many other links. It was much more involved than I would have guessed. The name Zentangle® is patent pending and a registered trademark. To teach this art form you need to attend a Zentangle Workshop to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher, wow! As fate would have it, I received a newsletter a few days ago from a local office & art supply store in Bradenton called Keeton's. It listed a basic Zentangle class that Patsy Monk was teaching and when I inquired there was still room. So I signed up and I am so glad I did!! Here is my first Zentangle in full:

Those are the names of the "tangle" patterns I did
written around the edges.

patsy also had us tangle a name tag : ^ ) 

You can see more of the patterns if you click on my participation certificate!

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more about this art form at where you can subscribe to their newsletter as well.

Before I took the class today I had already purchased two thin volumes; Design Original books by Suzanne McNeill with many illustrated patterns. I know now that I have gotten started with this process I will return to these books and the web site to learn and do more. Thanks again to Sarah, for originally enlightening and inspiring me. I have already really enjoyed zentangles! Below are some links to Zentangle books that you might like, enjoy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

found typography (in my sketchbook)

I decided to try Michelle Ward's Green Pepper Press Street Team challenge again. This month the theme is Text messaging or you could say ~ found typography: words and phrases as a background for your page. Pretty cool! I don't usually do this type of collage or background so I decided to try. My 5.5" x 8.5" moleskine (theme: this is not a sketchbook!) - the one I'm using for the sketchbook project 2011, seemed like just the right place to try this technique out -click on the scan for detail.  

I started as Michelle suggested and browsed through magazines, grabbing (snipping) lines of text. Actually, I only used 2 magazines, one current 2010 and one circa 1971. That was fun! I wonder if you can pick out which lines came from what year . . . . I arranged the words quickly once I had gathered them and used a glue stick to secure them to my moleskine. Then I got out my watercolor crayons. Let's admit it, I rarely put them away!! I filled in the spaces in between and around the edges and when I was done with that decided my background needed just a bit more - a bit of rubber stamping. Done! fun!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

color + contrast in collage

crop2-Lesson2, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
A small portion of a page I did for for Lesson 2 of Mary Green's Collage Coterie Online Workshop. Her prompt for this lesson was: Colors in Nature. This made me think of greens & browns . . . and trees. For contrast, I printed Mary's black & white images she included in this lesson onto a handmade patterned paper I created in her last online class- Your Vintage GlueBook class ; ^ ) Can you tell I just love Mary's classes -they are excellent and you can still join if you like! i used watercolor crayons around the edges and yes, a bit of pigment powder! Click on the photo above to see the whole spread in my flickr account. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The official launching of Starfish and goodbye to dallas!

Tuesday morning, before my son Dallas left us to rejoin his fiancĂ© Liz, he helped Steven with the "official" launching of the sailboat 'Starfish'.  My dad and Steven have been rebuilding this boat these past few months and it is now finished. It has had sea trials and even a solo shake-down cruise! All that was left was the "official" launch. There wasn't any wind Tuesday morning, but that did not deter these two. They took Starfish to the 59th St boat ramp nearby my parent's, launched the  boat and then paddled with my dad's handmade paddles from the manatee river into the Warner's West Bayou where my parents live. I spied them coming down the bayou!

I told my mom & dad they were on their way and we went down to the dock to meet them.
There's Dallas and Steven in Starfish. Steven says it paddles like a dream!
 My dad meets them at the dock.
Here is Steven  :    ^ )  No, I have not gone in the boat myself, yet!
Asia hopped in though! *Star fish is "officially" launched!* 

Then, it was time to take Dallas to the airport. Have you ever seen the Sunshine Skyway bridge before??

It is amazing! 

At the airport, the puppies say, 'Dallas is leaving already??"
i say, "love you dallas, hope you can visit us in January!!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

lesson 1 collage coterie

lesson 1 collage coterie, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
A completed spread in my very small (3.5 x 5.5") moleskin journal. This was done for the 'small packages' prompt within Lesson 1 in Mary Green's Collage Coterie class = click here to learn more. This class is fabulous, as I expected, after taking Mary's Vintage Gluebook class. It is also really fun to have friends from around the world, in the class learning and sharing with me. In the first lesson Mary discusses the importance of 'size' in collage and teaches us a blended paper background which I really love. I trimmed most of the paper from my ripped paper pieces to the size of the page, but not all - see my top left page. I like the way it stuck out and so I left it there! I tried using smaller & larger bird images to see the effect, while striving to keep my eye happily moving around the page. I love Mary's teaching format!

(edit 8-18-10) I am adding a photo of the other side of the page where I did not trim the blended paper technique (on the right from this side). i think you'll really see why I left it that way . . . click for detail:

more on this page spread done earlier can be found HERE.

butterfly artist trading cards

How I managed to sneak in making these ATCs, I don't know! I think it had something to do with my son Dallas who is here visiting us, zipping off to the local thrift shops. This is one of his favorite things to do, as I would say he has eclectic taste in clothes! He came back a few hours later with a number of $5 ties (as in men's neck ties). He likes to wear them when he is at work in the school library (in Italy). He also found a lovely sweater for his fiance' Liz (they just got engaged!!) from the "British Colony of Hong Kong" and some new argyle socks! But I digress . . . Dallas' time away on the day of the mailing deadline prompted me to fullfil my wish of participating in this ARTchix swap. The requirements were to make 6 ATCs using either the Hot Butterflies collage sheet, the Cool Butterflies collage sheet, or both! I chose the download option from ARTchix Studio a few days ago which meant I got a download version of my collage sheets immediately. I printed out the Cool Butterflies on a prepared fabric sheet and the Hot Butterflies on a sheet of matte brochure paper with my ink jet printer, and got to work!

one of my fabric ATCs - the fabric sheet was stitched
with interfacing behind it, then a paper card was slipped
in between the front and backing piece for stiffness.
the back of the ATC above
one of my paper ATCs cut from a section of the Hot Butterflies
sheet printed on paper, although the butterflies on top
are cut from the Cool Butterflies fabric sheet I made.
the back of the one above.  The "paper" ATCs were done
on a canvas-paper base.
Two fabric ATCs. I cut sections of 2.5 x 3.5 pieces of the collage sheet printed
 on fabric and added words from ARTchix Studio sheets & extra butterflies
for dimension - click for more details.
the back of the two ATCs above came from a large piece of
fabric paper I painted and collaged earlier this year.
Two paper ATCs done on canvas paper. On the left: watercolor crayons and
a transparency of a photo. On the right: handmade paper, watercolor crayons,
pigment powder and rubber stamping. Click for more details.
the back of the 2 ATCs above

I am so glad I was able to make time to participate in this swap! These collage sheets were calling for me to work with them. To see all of the entries for this swap, check out the Butterfly Artist Trading card album and enjoy!


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