Friday, December 31, 2010

sketchbook progress

Another spread is done, just 2 more page spreads to go! 

It started like this . . . 

The paint you see is actually on another piece of paper (freezer paper) that I inserted into the sketchbook. It was leftover paper, I imagine from a nature printing session. It had been lying in one of my collage boxes for a long time. The photos of me at different ages are printed onto a clear transparency sheet. I used my xyron to adhere them. I added pattern tissue paper on top of the paint background with gel medium . . . .

Then I started adding Zentangle patterns and filling in with watercolor pencils -

More Zentangling and some journaling . . . . click for details

The finished spread with rubber stamping is below -

I find I have mixed feelings now as I am coming near the end of this project! I do want to finish the last two spreads and send this to the Art House co-op so it can join the other sketchbooks on Tour, but I am also a little sad it is almost complete. I will start a new journal for myself, but this first one is special. 

But I am so glad that my friend Sharon Walworth told me about this project. She was absolutely right when she said she found something she thought I would be interested in. If you would like to view all the pages in my sketchbook (that is not a sketchbook) please visit this flickr set. Expect the last 2 page spreads pretty soon!

- happy new year with lots of creative energy sent your way!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

sketchbook project 2011: a few more . . .

There are just a few more weeks to go and I only have a few more spreads to go in my sketchbook for the Art House co-op project. From the Art House Co-op: Your book must be postmarked by January 15, 2011. No exceptions. Fortunately, I only have 3 more spreads to do in my sketchbook so I know this will not be a problem. To learn more about the Sketchbook Project 2011 TOUR: click here. It's really something - 28,833 artists have registered to participate. I plan to try and go to Winter Park, Florida this coming July for the tour stop! Here is my latest spread dedicated to my mom, who just celebrated her birthday December 10.

a close-up of part of one page
another close-up 
The entire spread
The page spread started with an old calendar as a base. this calendar actually hung in our kitchen in 1969 . . .  It is amazing I still have it especially with how often I have moved. I added a red watercolor crayon, photos of my mom printed as transparencies, rose petals from the bouquet I gave her for her birthday, pigment powder and a bit of zentangle inspired doodling! The see the entire progression of this spread and additional sketchbook pages I have done, visit this set of photos.

I will be back with more pages to finish this project, and soon! What I've enjoyed most about doing this work is that it got me to create fairly regularly in an artist's journal, something I had never done before. People have asked me all along if I will have difficulty in sending this sketchbook off . . . no, I will not. I may miss it a little, but I created in it with the idea I was going to send it away to be a part of this big project. That was the goal and I like creating just to create, not to keep. And the fact that I know I will pick up a new journal and continue working this way is very exciting to me. : ^ ) lenna

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Venice Skinny for Frieda

As part of the Oh My Gothic yahoo group, I needed to make a skinny page, 4" x 8" for my dear friend Frieda on her theme of Venice. Oh, the torture!! (not!) I admit I did procrastinate a little bit because of course wanted to make something special for her, but in the long run the looming deadline won out and I simply made myself start working on it. I decided it had to be a fabric page, so I gathered things first.

Above are fabric images from Alpha Stamps and a photo I printed onto fabric of my son Dallas, next to a canal in Venice. Yes, I have gotten a lot of mileage out of this photo! See here for another piece. I almost forgot to say, my son Dallas is in the 'States' for the Holidays and will be coming here to visit with his fiance' Liz on Sunday for 4 days!! They are employed by the International School of Trieste in Italy.

To see more of this skinny progression, view a short slideshow here! 

I loved creating this skinny page for Frieda Oxenham and I have already sent it off to her in Scotland. I hope it arrives swiftly despite all the snow she has been having . . .  and I also hope it delights her!  :  ^  ) lenna

a little music

This features my nephew Dale Rothenberg on piano (he is 19) with his friend Matt Gold on guitar. My brother-in-law wrote me, "All of this music was made "on the fly." This is completely improvisational - so it has no name and it's unrehearsed, one take only."  Dale is attending Oberlin Conservatory and studying music; I think he wants to teach music. He is very talented as you will hear . . . His mom, my sister Kathy, is coming to visit on Thursday :  ^)


I hope you enjoy! 

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27th and it's 39 degrees (in Florida!)

It seems it is cold and snowy everywhere. Even here in Florida I am wearing a hat and scarf! Yes, on the beach no less, but still! It's very windy. I fooled around with Photoshop for the photo below. Click to view.

Steven says there really is a "winter -time" in Florida. 
But no snow here yet, so we are counting our blessings!!

my "blip" of the day -I've really been enjoying that. ; ^   ) lenna 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

december 25

Yesterday afternoon we took a walk as usual . . . Can you believe it has been cold enough here that the leaves have turned color? In Florida?? Yes, it's true!

And even dropped . . .

I have been playing with Photoshop filters. This is about the only thing I have figured out how to do! Here is a photo of Steven and the pups yesterday afternoon, accentuated with "poster edges". I find this program fun to experiment with. Click on the photo for details -it's cool! And yes, even though it has been colder here, when the sun is out we can get away with just short sleeves, no sweater. Don't hate me too much! 

Asia was obviously tired from our walk. While we opened a few presents, she fell asleep on my crocs! 

My dad opening a gift from my sister : )) She will be here on Thursday! 

happy christmas afternoon . . . 

my mom  xoxo

my dad : )) 

merry christmas, happy new year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

happy christmas morning : ^ D

Our tree is finally decorated!
The stars are from our wedding

Steven had one request . . . .  we exchanged one present!
Just what he needs! (He loves Tim Dorsey books)
He made these for me!!! So lightweight & beautiful.

I love them! xoxox

Chloe and the squirrel toy : )
Asia in the sunshine

Tired already? We haven't even gone to my parents yet!

Happy day!

Friday, December 24, 2010

yummy holidays for you & yours!

Sand Tarts I made for my dad ; ^ ) 
My Nonie (his mom) always made them this time of year.
My mom made them a lot too! 

The other day, my dad was describing these cookies and our holiday traditions to his British friends. Like a sugar cookie but very thin and crispy, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, rolled out in confectioners sugar, with a slivered almond plopped in the middle . . . a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe (where Nonie, his mom was from). My mom had given me the recipe a long time ago but I had only made them once or twice myself. My Nonie & my mom always made them!! When my dad mentioned these cookies the other day . . . well! I knew what I could make him for Christmas! 
It was not even as hard as I thought to roll them out and all. 

So, I think he will be surprised as I don't think he even knows I have the recipe! Since we are not doing much or really exchanging any presents, this is perfect I think. It is very quiet for us this Christmas, but then we can concentrate on making a nice meal (lasagna! garlic bread! salad!) and Steven and I will bring it over. Steven made a squash pie today too! It smells yummy. We are doing the cooking as my mom is still getting over the effects of a whopper of an infection from a bad tooth (it was a rough one) and my dad has had to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy, not always the greatest stuff to deal with. His next step, experimental treatments. I'm glad he is trying something different.

I want to stop and say thank you for visiting my art & life blog, for all your kind comments, for your friendship. For taking a moment to care! 
You are the best readers, lurkers & commenter's alike! 
Safe, happy & healthy holidays to you & yours.
xo lenna 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Art Channel

My Artist Trading Card video (animoto) is featured today, 12/21/10 on The Art Channel blog! What a lovely surprise for me to find an email this morning, alerting me to this and making sure that it was okay the video was posted. It's wonderful! Visit 'The Art Channel' at the link above, it's very cool and interesting.

"Welcome to The Art Channel. The Art Channel is a project which aims to bring together a collection of online videos which showcase the work of artists, art educators and art program facilitators from around the world. Imagine if we had a TV channel which broadcast Art programs all day, every day. What difference might this make to the world we live in? Happy Viewing!"

Jan 2008 - Black and Gold 
from the Colour Groupies ATC exchange is featured
Direct link to the post with my video -enjoy! lenna

For a higher quality video, go to animoto where I created it ; ^ )

Monday, December 20, 2010

just playing with photos

The blipfoto site has me playing with photography more these days. Now, if you have visited here much, you probably already know I take a lot of photos. But since I found blipfoto, well . . . I find myself thinking more about how I take photos and trying things like Photoshop even when I don't really know how to use it. (I have learned a few things already just by diving in!) That's how I was able to get the graphic above from the photo below. It's my desk where my laptop sits. The picture is from our wedding night in 2005. Steven is taking the photo while kissing me, talented guy that he is! i love this photo.

Just taking a little time to play and share! 
Wishing you wonderful holidays . . . 
time together with your loved ones
plus love and laughter. 
*thanks for visiting*

Thursday, December 16, 2010

sunshine again

The temperature has dropped to 50 degrees F now (10 C) where we are in Florida, but earlier today it must have climbed to 65 degrees and more importantly, the sun was shining. Mmmmmm! This felt wonderful after welcoming in a brisk 38 degrees F (3 C) the other morning. Plus we've had many days in a row of wearing socks, sweaters, sweatshirts and jean jackets -sometimes all at once. I know we are spoiled with those temperatures and I know many of you are feeling a lot colder and snowier!! Brrrrr! But Florida is not supposed to be quite this cold!

I took the photo above today in that 65 degree sunshine and am pretty pleased with it. I have been trying to learn a bit about my husband Steve's Olympus SP-510 camera that I inherited when my camera got dunked in our canoe 'splash' last summer. I am grateful to have his camera, but you know how it is to learn new things when you are used to something else -it can be hard! So, I had been shooting photos only on automatic. I changed that today. I chose a "scene" and used the close-up macro setting. I like how it made the background a bit blurry and the flowers stand out more. I have much to learn about photography. I am using blipfoto to help me, thanks to Frieda! Blipfoto is a daily photo journal. While I have not added a photo every day, I do have a little collection going! You can view my journal here. It's fun.

Today I also met up with my new friend Susan, who lives nearby. I shared with her some of the many mail art envelopes that participants were so kind to send me through the mail art swap I hosted on creative swaps. Susan was in the swap, saw many of these envelopes online, and now she got to see them in person. She is so cute!
Susan holding Sarah Boblit's envelope

It is quite the stack of mail art!! 
I truly appreciate it -Thank you all!

Stay warm & cozy -I'm sending you some Florida sunshine : )

Monday, December 13, 2010

just a peek

at what I was working on yesterday . . .

My husband Steven made the wooden table top above out of cherry strips. He learned this technique from my dad and the boats they have worked on together. Steven is also using this same technique on an unfinished canoe he picked up inexpensively and is now completing . . . click for more detail.

Deck strips added
He does a lot of reading about this type of thing too! The woodwork in the first photo is done on top of an old plastic table of my parent's that we are recycling. Steven literally insisted I do nature printing on top of this table. We have a coffee table I rubber stamped that he absolutely adores. How could I say no! I had a lot of fun too. 

I will share more of the nature printed table when Steven finishes epoxying and varnishing on top of the prints I did. That will really make the prints pop and protect them as well! 

Yeah! Another collaborative project for us! 

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Today's 'blip' for me - 12/11/2010
I am really enjoying this new site my friend Frieda turned me onto, thanks again!! I would say there are many people uploading photos there that are more knowledgeable and more talented photographers than me, but they don't seem to mind! I've been very welcomed there and the people there seem genuinely friendly.

The idea is you may upload only one photo per day. A lot of people use this photo to blog about whatever they feel like -the photo, what's going on in their lives, a poem. It has a very different feeling than lets say, this blogspot blog I am writing on right now.

Would you like to check it out?
The main page is Blipfoto -The daily photo journal for everyone. You can learn more there and also browse through the tons of outstanding photos that come in daily. Click on any thumbnail in the grid to go to that photo journal. Find photos by Frieda Oxenham here. Frieda has truly amazing shots of the huge amounts of snow she has been experiencing in Scotland. They are absolutely beautiful photos. Click on any highlighted day on the calendar in a journal to see the blip of that day for that author. My new blip photo journal is here. Go there to read the story of the rose petals above . . . I only have 4 blips so far and have just started my blipfolio, a small attached portfolio. I think you may enjoy this though, have fun! It will be a good break for you if you are busy-busy with holiday preps. This year we are being as simple as can be, so don't be surprised if you see me continuing to post art stuff throughout the coming days. I wish you many blessings and time to spend with the ones you love.
Take care of yourself!! xo lenna

Thursday, December 9, 2010

progress: sketchbook project 2011

It is in the back of my mind that I only have about a month to finish up my sketchbook with a theme of: This is not a sketchbook!! I'm doing this for the sketchbook project 2011. Wow. I just found out (right at this moment) by visiting the home page of the Art House Co-op to grab their link, that one of my sketchbook pages is featured on their home page! That is pretty cool. Yes, I submitted this myself, but what the heck?! They approved it -yay! Anyway, here are my most recent pages and progress with this project.

This beautiful papillion paper is part of the 
Illustration pages-Antique French Dictionary
available from
Green Paper Packages!

As you can see, I only have a few blank spreads left!
It needs to be postmarked by Jan 15th, 2011.
You can view ALL the pages in my sketchbook in detail here
Or, watch an easy slideshow, featuring large photos here!


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