Sunday, October 31, 2010

10.30.10 sketchbook project

I carved a space out among the boxes waiting to be unpacked in my studio and really enjoyed working on this spread in my sketchbook. It is very mixed-media and very "lenna-like" with lots of different things to see. Click on any photo or scan for more detail. Thanks for looking! I think this spread is weird and wonderful . . .

a scan of the whole spread

when I stitched on the new spread I also stitched on the previous one. When I added a pink water soluble pastel to my new pages, the color seeped through the stitching holes to the thread now on the previous page - a surprise! 

you can see how thick my sketchbook is getting and how devoted to art my dogs are! You can see more of their bandannas here! 

A photograph of the new spread of pages.
With the photograph you can see all the little bits I like to leave sticking out for interest! To start my spread, I used one of the cemetery images I photograped for Lisa's skinny page. It is a transparency and I laid it over handmade paper.

a close up of my collage work -click for detail. The mermaid is stamped on fabric that was printed with one of my own  photographs. It was a test piece for ATCs made earlier this year -I found it in one of my collage boxes.

I found this rusty piece on one of my walks earlier this year and was thrilled to have a use for it! An old color slide was glued on top of it. Both of these items were in a collage box where I stash things to work with later. Again, click for DETAIL!

A close of of the left hand side. I used handmade paper embedded with leaves. 
-there are lots of details when you click!

happy to share this with you . . .  lenna

Saturday, October 30, 2010

new blog header

I like to change my blog's design a lot, I think . .  . I imagine it is just another creative outlet for me. Recently, I've received a number of lovely comments about my new blog header (thank you!) so . . . I thought I would share the entire collage with you. I created this about 2 years ago and the original post about it can be found here. It describes some of my techniques. I started this as a demo piece in a class I was teaching in CT, then finished it as part of my online collage on canvas workshop. I framed it because I thought I might sell it, but it is still with me! Although, it is packed in a box somewhere . . . . since I have not seen in in person for about a year and a half it will be a joyous occasion when I unpack it and hang it up. Have a great weekend -- I am very happily working in my sketchbook (!!) and will be back with a peek at that before long . . . . 

Since posting this, my friend Denise asked HOW I made the header & so I thought I would answer right here. Just skip this if you are not interested!! You need to be signed into your blog, first. Then click on "Design" top right in the navbar (navigation bar). You will see the name of your blog with (Header) after it and a link below it to the right that says Edit -click on that. Once there, you will see the blog title (you can change it or leave it) and a space for a description - that is where I have typed "the art and life of lenna young andrews". Then you can choose if you want the title and description to be: a) behind the image b) instead of the title and description (no words, just image) or c) - the description after the image. I usually choose the first choice: a) and then work with the template designer and the different fonts available to get the title placed where I want it. Sometimes, I choose b) - if I have used a program to add text to my image and so I don't need the title & description showing. Next, you'll see: Image. If you have an image uploaded already you will see "remove image" underneath it. Click on that if you wish to change it . . . and you will see where you can upload a file from your computer or from the web. I always choose one from my computer and have located it before I start this, so I know where to look for it! I also resize it to a good size before I go to upload it. For me, I find something around 850 x 350 pixels or 900 x 500 pixels works for my blogs. It's probably easier if you know how to size your photos. Every computer works differently . . . it is best to get someone local to show you how. 

I think I owe it to my son Decklin, who got me started working with email, websites, files and photos online, way back in 1994. He always told me, "you won't break it mom! Just try it!". It took me a while to feel confident but now I am. If you don't like what you have done, you can change it!!!! It is always good to have a back up of your blog before doing any major changes. I hope this helps. For me now it is a matter of how do I do this? then I search for answers. Google Help has a lot of answers. You can do it, be brave! 

Friday, October 29, 2010

a rak from Linda K

It has been quite a while since I've personally sent out any "random acts of kindness". A "rak" is usually a card or a postcard, or sometime a small gift. A number of years ago, it was quite the typical thing for me to do -send out a bunch of raks randomly, for no other reason than it would be nice for the recipient. ; ^ ) Well, today I received an incredible rak! It's purpose was to congratulate us on our new home so it was not totally random, but it was so unexpected and so touching that I'm definitely considering it a rak!

Linda Kunsman, who has participated in many of my creative swaps, sent me the most incredible card featuring photos she had copied of me and my husband and our two dogs!! Plus she made the cutest little house that I can hang up in my studio or anywhere. See below-click for more details! I must admit Linda has made houses for me before . . . but notice that this one says, "Home at last".

Isn't this the greatest?? Made by Linda K. for me & Steven.

I love Linda's stamp for "card art" with her initials. 

Linda has a knack for taking present-day photos and combining them with scrapbook paper, paint, words and collage. When Steven & I got married, she created an extra piece (for us) through one of my swaps that used photos in much the same way; you can see it here. This is still one of my all-time favorite pieces of art that anyone has made for me. Thank you ever so much, Linda!

sketchbook project 2011 - last call

The scan above shows the last time that I worked in my moleskin that is used only for the Sketchbook 2011 project. This page was scanned on September 6th, 2010 - yikes! I really need to get back to creating in this sketchbook in a bad way, so watch for something new soon. 

I am writing about this project because there is only 1 day left to register. If you are interested in participating registration goes through October 31, 2010. This is one of many projects that are organized by the art house co-op. It's hard to believe, but there are over 25,000 participants registered for the sketchbook project. Do you think they got the word out?! sheesh. Are you curious at all? Find out more about the Sketchbook project HERE.

The art house co-op also sponsors other cool projects that are open for participation and you can read about them here. Both Frieda Oxenham and I (we are good friends) signed up for a new project of theirs called AMLP: a million little pictures: photomobile. So cool! Especially since neither one of us knew that the other one was signing up. It just happened that way. I got my custom designed disposable camera from the art house co-op today. My theme is "27 ways to say . . . . "
I have not decided '27 ways to say - WHAT' yet, but I will be thinking of it. It has been a long time since I have done anything but digital photos, so this will be an interesting project, that's for sure. 

I found on the art house co-op's website:
"Art House Co-op organizes interactive art projects that connect thousands of artists from all over the world and operates the Brooklyn Art Library, our storefront space and permanent archive. All of our projects are open to everyone."

I really think they have something going on!! I was very happy to find out today that The Sketchbook Project 2011 TOUR had been expanded to include Winter Park, Florida, July 29-31. Wowser!! I might be able to go SEE my own Sketchbook . . . and Frieda's, and Lisa Mallete's, and Marnie's, and Sharon Walworth's, Sarah Boblit's, Elizabeth's, Nadia's and Mary Green's . . . plus I am sure there are more friends doing this project that I don't know about. Please let me know if you are involved in this project too. What a treat that would be to see yours in person, my kind of treat as in 'trick or treat!'

creatively yours,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

skinny page for Lisa Busch

I belong to a group of artist friends (the 'oh my gothic' group) who are finishing a year and a half of creating "skinny" 4"x8" pages for each other on a theme. My own theme that participants have been creating on for me is 'love'. I have received so many beautiful interpretations of this theme it is hard to describe -I will show you sometime! It is going to be wonderful to put all of the pages together in one skinny (fat) book!
Here is a close-up peek at what I just created for Lisa . . .

This month it was my turn to create a page for Lisa Busch in Texas. Lisa required no parthicular theme. She said she would prefer that each artist express herself and she liked Frieda's idea to have the art go either vertically or horizontally. She noted she did favor cemetery images, saints, gothic anything, gargoyles, medieval, Renaissance images, angels, the Madonna/child, and contrasts between the dark and the light . . . .

As soon as I read cemetery images, there was a spark of inspiration. The little home my husband and I just bought, in fact borders an old Florida cemetery. There is a tall fence between our property and the cemetery, but it is just a quick walk down the street. So off i went with my camera.

Here is what I came up with for Lisa's skinny page. I printed my photos onto various papers . . . watercolor paper, vellum, antiqued parchment cardstock and plain white cardstock. I used water soluble oil pastels, and my sewing machine to attach a piece of vellum to another piece of paper and added a bit of rubber stamping with StazOn permanent ink. Fortunately, I know where a good portion of my rubber stamps, ink pads and water color papers are!! (we just moved about a month ago).

Lisa will be binding her pages on the 4" side, so this page is designed to flip :: with the bottom of one side being the top of the other. I hope you enjoy; it sure felt good to make/create this art.

studio progress

I'm still moving rather slowly as far as unpacking and moving into my studio goes . . . but I have begun. I have hung up a few pieces of artwork and found homes for some supplies, but progress is slow. Chasing away any negative comments (my own!!) and telling myself that the way things are is really okay is the order of the day. This studio will happen, when it happens! It is very unlike me to be creating as little art as I am right now, but again I am telling myself it is okay. It's not like I have "lost my muse". I always feel strange when people say this because I never feel that way, even now. For me, it is more of a physical thing that my supplies are for the most part still in boxes and and I am not "set up" to create like I used to be. I am slow to unpack but I have eeeeked out a few things none-the-less . . . 10 ATCs - Zentangle ones in fact! (a new art form for me). I have done a bit of mail art on envelopes and also sent out one big technique swap. Recently, I organized another large art swap complete with a 22 page lesson, all about mail art. I have also been taking lots of photographs and just yesterday I carved out space on the studio counter and created a 4"x8" skinny page for an exchange I am in. So I know I am really doing okay, even though I am not exactly where I want to be!!!!

One day I'll have photos of an organized studio for you, but for now . . .

we have boxes, piles of stuff and sleeping dogs!

I am finding places to store things.

I do a LOT of art related stuff right here.

The dogs don't seem to care!!

I am imaging it will be a lovely studio when I get settled in and for now I am just making it work! I will happily share the skinny page I made for Lisa Busch in a separate post. Thank goodness for those deadlines and art commitments I have!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

happy October 25th

On this day six years ago when I was separated and not yet divorced from my husband who had left me, I called my old friend Steven Deming at work. We have know each other since 1972. I had learned recently from our good friend Garth that Steven was divorced (much the same circumstances as me). This was news to me, as we had not spoken for some time! Three and a half weeks after I called him on October 25th, Steven & I simply knew we were going to get married. It was amazing. We were always just friends before. My divorce was final in April and in June, Steven & I tied the knot. Today we celebrated October 25th!

Happy anniversary, Steven! Dinner out and a canoe trip, what more could we ask for?!
moon & star my dad carved on the canoe he made
The electric motor works well even on the peterborough canoe!!

The Manatee River, Bradenton, FL

Happy anniversary of that amazing day, october 25th!
We are still thanking our lucky stars.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

dogs on a boat

"dogs on a boat" - Now this sounds almost scary, but it was actually fun. I think Asia & Chloe had a great time, and they got to sail to their favorite park to take their usual walk! This was my second time in the rebuilt sailboat name Starfish and I felt even more comfortable, despite our additional passengers. : ^ ) lots of photos in this set (click to view) as taking photos is another creative outlet of mine. Here are a few favorites:

thank you, steven, for sharing your passion - this sailing/motoring trip was a wonderful adventure! Now, I just can't help but add a link to one of our favorite videos . . . the censored version of 'I'm on a boat'!

Friday, October 22, 2010

mail art

I love mail art . . . can you tell? These are just some of the mail art envelopes and postcards I've done over the past year or so.

click to view each on individually, if you wish: 1. mailart2, 2. Cat Envie 4 Caroline, 3. Mail Art -for carol, 4. Mail Art, 5. Mail Art, 6. Mail Art, 7. Front of envelope 4 Teri, 8. mailArt-Frieda3.09.10, 9. envelope for carol

In fact, I love mail art so much that I have written a 22 page lesson on it! This lesson is part of your registration for the new swap I have recently announced on my creative swaps blog. It does not matter if you are new to mail art or if you create artful envelopes & postcards all the time . . . we hope you will join us! We have 29 wonderful artists registered already from all over the world, so it is sure to be a grand exchange. You only need to create 3 mail art pieces and get them delivered to me by December 4th, so it will not be a difficult swap. Extra bonus: I will be creating a mail art envelope for everyone who completes the swap, so what are you waiting for? : ^ ) visit creative swaps for all of the details . . . see you in the mail!

Monday, October 18, 2010

zentangle quilt squares and moving

This post on the Zentangle® blog really caught my eye: Quilt squares! Check it out. Oh, what a fun thing to try sometime! The two samples shown on the post were done by Jane Monk with a long-arm quilting machine. Although I don't have one of those, this post is still giving me ideas! Zentangle is still a new art form for me but I love the marriage of the tangles (designs) with stitching. The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at where you can subscribe to their newsletter as well.

In the meantime, with my latest creative swap behind me & sent home, I have finally started unpacking my studio and office area. My family tells me I am the only one who is so hard on myself! Well, I do feel a little bit delinquent taking this long (one month) after we moved to start working on this studio project, but . . . .  there were reasons for my delay and in fact, I just really did not want to start until I was ready to tackle it! The most fun I have had so far is covering the wall in front of my computer desk with recent notes and gifts and some things that were near my desk in other homes I lived in . . .

I have opened boxes of paints, brushes, sponges & gel medium . . .   and returned them to the armoire where I previously stored them.

And bless Steven, he refinished my big work table for me by sanding it and adding polyurethane to finish it beautifully. I had bought it UNfinished, way before we were married. I think it looks so pretty and will hold up to my abuse so much better now - thank you Steven!! The sewing machine is already set up, and my fabric is stored in clear plastic bins nearby in the garage, so I'm getting there!! It feels good to have started this . . . and I will continue, one step at a time and then share photos here when I am done. I will also be working on my document/lesson about Mail ART for my next art exchange, in-between this unpacking and organzing & will let you know as soon as I am ready to announce that swap on my other& blog: creative swaps. Have a great day!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

another creative swap complete

I have a second blog that only focuses on the creative swaps I host, and you can view it here. Hosting art swaps is something I love to do and I have been told that I have a talent for it too, isn't that sweet? No wonder I keep doing them! I document the participation as the swaps come in by uploading the art, but I always like to finish the swap off with some sort of video or slide show. I do this for myself and the participants. I am so proud of what we have both accomplished! To see my latest animoto video featuring the tags & techniques from our swap, please click HERE! This video is almost 6 minutes long, but the music is great (i think!) and I do think you will enjoy all the beautiful work. I will be announcing a new swap soon, a Mail ART swap - and I am so psyched!!!

my own technique tag book - I also participated!

A big thanks to all the participants.
I hope to see you in the next creative swap!!