Thursday, September 30, 2010

zentangle firsts

First Zentangle® ATCs, by lenna
Not too long ago I came across Zentangle®. This is a simple way of drawing repetitive patterns to create beautiful imagery. Sarah, a student and swap participant, is really the person who introduced zentangle to me with one of her swap pieces she did in this fashion. That's when I got really intrigued. The first post I wrote about this subject last month and the first experiences I had with zentangle, can be found here. More on the theory of zentangle can be found here. This is on the originator's website and it is really quite interesting. With my recent move and all that entails, I have not been able to practice much of this new art form I learned from the first zentangle class I took last month. But last weekend, I received an email from my Zentangle® teacher, patsy monk. She was reminding students that the local art supply store here in Bradenton FL, Keeton's, would be hosting a Zentangle ATC swap this Saturday 10/2/10. Wow! I still had unpacking to do, but man . . .  this sounded like just what I needed after not creating anything for a couple weeks. So, I made myself start some ATCs.

I must say I am not at ease with this new process yet, as I am new to all the patterns and have far from mastered any of them. Yes, you can create your own patterns too, but I would like to start with some tried and true basics. So, I struggled a bit at first, but then got into it. I also struggled with the decision of whether to add color or not. Traditional tangles are black white and grey, created with a permanent pen and a pencil. In the end, I decided that my ATCs needed color and I found my watercolor crayons. Here are the very same ATCs shown at the top of the page, after I added watercolor.

zentangle ATCs with color added 9/30/10
I have created 6 to trade so far and hope to make at least 4 more before Saturday! Here are the rest, both versions (with and without color).

Hope you enjoy, I sure did! I have been a little under the weather, although I'm feeling better today. The downside of this is that is my studio is still very much deep in boxes and pretty much totally unpacked a week after we have moved! At least I had the foresight to put blank watercolor paper ATCs, Micron pens, pencils and watercolor crayons in a supply bag that has made it into a cupboard. That bag and my already received current swap pieces are all that are really in place in my studio! oh well . . . i know it will  happen  ; ^ ) 
I almost forgot! Just this week Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, creators of Zentangle® made their first YouTube video showing how to tangle "betweed."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

mango and ivory

mangos from my parent's yard, originally uploaded by creativelenna
Click on the photo above to see all related photos. 

The photo I took above of the mangoes in a bowl, which were picked from trees in my parent's yard in Bradenton, Florida, is how I got started working on my mango and ivory ATCs for an exchange. This was for the Colour Groupies exchange; which includes myself, Frieda Oxenham, Debby Harriettha and Caryl Hoobler. Each month the four of us make ATCs to trade with each other based on a predetermined color combination. When I saw that 'Mango & Ivory' were the colors for August, at the same time the mangoes were dropping off the trees here, I thought somehow I would use a real mango in my creations.

for Debby Harriettha

the back of the ATC

I printed some of my photos onto textured, watercolor paper with my inkjet pinter, then spritzed and dripped water onto the printer ink to manipulate and change the print a bit. Then I brushed on ivory paint and sprinkled a bit of gold pigment powder onto the wet paint. Next I rubber stamped the name of the color combo on the ATCs with permanent ink. All of the ATCs for the exchange were basically the same, except for mine. 

august 2010 Color Groupies exchange: mango & ivory
a slice of Florida mango!

ATC for me!

Monday, September 27, 2010

paddling to Gilligan's island

This was my view from under the shade of mangrove trees yesterday, when we stopped for a rest from paddling. After weeks of packing, moving and now, unpacking and organizing, I told Steven I was ready for a break! The conditions have to be good for paddling one of our canoes around here, so I requested the next time the wind and the tides were right, for Steven to take me out with him. He said, "I know, we can paddle to Gilligan's island." That sounded like fun! This is a deserted island in the Perico Bayou, not far from our new home. We left the shore around 2 pm and returned around 4pm, so it was not too hard a paddle.

I find the Florida sky amazing . . .  click on any photo for more detail.
the water is beautiful, and the fish are literally jumping!
The cormorants were drying their wings after diving under water -wild!
This is Gilligan's island!!
My dad's handmade boat is beautiful and serves us very well.

We made it to the island, and then promptly went swiming! 

* happy paddlers *

white egret: a common sight for me now.
Trailering the beautiful boat back home . . . 
Till next time!

Monday, September 20, 2010

we are here in our new home

tired, but very happy . . . phew!

moving day!
Very importantly, Steven moved all of the boats. I believe there are 8 of them, but not sure. They seem to multiply.
The living room got set up this afternoon. It is small but nice & cozy. 
Another view of the living room. 
Kitchen to my studio . . . 
There is a lovely kitchen . . . 
An even lovelier studio (i think!!)
Our first dinner here.

 a happy and tired lenna

Friday, September 17, 2010

almost there

our new house is almost ready for us . . .
The overhead lights in the studio are newly installed - perfect.
 My new studio space looks awesome! Thanks again to Steven and my dad.

Chloe and Asia like it too . . . they have had dinner there a few times!
The orange walls are being transformed, thank you Steven! It is much lighter and brighter.
"why are they doing all this cleaning & painting?? mmmm, resting is so much better."
The first piece of mail/package I received, from my dear friend, Frieda!!
A 'Home Sweet Home' doorstop : )) so sweet of her, sent all the way from Scotland!
Yes, our new mailbox is THAT big!! creative swaps, you know . . . . 
Ahh, I think it feels like a wonderful home all ready! I am down to the nitty gritty of last minute packing up and there's not much left to do in that respect either. Steven has more painting to do, but he is doing a fantastic job, is almost done, and we have 2 days left before the move. Now, unpacking! That is another story . . .  Till next time! lenna

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

it is happening

The bedroom & bath floors are being tiled at the new house (thanks to dave)  . . . the cabinets and counter in my new studio space are finished and in place (thank you, steven!!) . . . and my studio here in our rental house is completely packed up in boxes - it is really amazing! Yes, I admit, I still have the kitchen and our bedroom to pack, but c'mon, my studio is done? That is always the hardest part!
Asia at our rental home today while I was packing.
I think she knows something is up!
Steven installing cabinets for me in my studio space at the new house.  xoxoxo
I love this man! 
The living room was already tiled and now holds the supplies for the other rooms.
The orange walls will be painted before we move in on Monday, phew!
Tiles are mostly done in all the bedrooms . . . waiting for grout. 
Asia & Chloe: I brought one of their beds to the new house so they could be more comfy.
I also moved my sewing machine and various other odd-shaped things that do not pack well in boxes, over to the new house today. There are a ton of shelves in the garage!

That is my update. We are all doing well. And, it is so easy to go to my mom & dad's from our new house, I am totally in love with that too!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

vintage travel ATCs

This is probably the last bit of artwork I will do before I move house a week from Monday (9/20/10) and I wanted to share what I've done. Some people might wonder if having a commitment like this, at this particular time caused me stress, but no. Truly - I was really happy to create these! It gave me a needed break from all this tedious packing. And when I was finished, I really started packing up my studio with a vengeance, just to get it done! These ATCs are for my dear friend Frieda's swap: Vintage Travel ATCs hosted on the ATCs for ALL site. I have partaken in quite a few of Frieda's swaps there and they are always fabulous. Frieda's Swap call:

Here we are in August and it's time to go on holiday. Travelling has been a firm favourite for centuries now and what could be better than to celebrate vintage travel in our ATCs. All techniques are welcome and mixed techniques are a special favourite of mine, so painting, collaging, fabric, stamping, stitching or whatever else you can think of, or in fact a combination of them. Keep in mind though that the cards have to look VINTAGE!

I made 5 ATCs: one for Frieda, one for Steven, and 3 for the swap! They are all based on photographs from Steven's family because I wanted them to have more meaning for me while making them. I used an old map as a background for the photos and blended 2 colors of paint together per Mary Green's instructions in Lesson 6 of Collage Coterie Online Workshop.
What do you think? Click for super-size ATCs!

The Wolfe Island Ferry, Ontario, Canada -Steven's family still owns property there.
Steven's grandmother and mom
Friends of the Deming family flew in to visit!
Steven's Father seated next to his mother on the right.
They were traveling in MAINE, and those are all names
of towns there. Steven chose this one to keep. ; ^ )
 He says he will use it as a bookmark! 
Steven has labelled this photo "Three days to Canada".
Pictured is his grandmother and one of his Aunts travelling from
Hartford CT, to Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada where is grandmother was born.
I had fun making these ATCs and I am so happy to say my studio is really shaping up - or I should say, getting boxed up! I will be mailing them off to you tomorrow, Frieda!!!