Saturday, November 26, 2011

a wonderful day in Connecticut

I arrived back in my home state of CT late yesterday afternoon; my sister happily picked me up at the airport. It is funny how someplace that was once so familiar looked very different to me. I have not been here -have not left Florida for 2 years. But we had a wonderful day today. We visited with family and reminisced about my dad. My sons were in town visiting their dad for Thanksgiving and I got to spend many hours with them and their significant others today. You can see below, how it made me smile.

with my oldest son, Decklin. Amazingly, he is 30 years old.

Ian and Dale -my nephews (L), Decklin and my other son Dallas -he's 27!
It was really fun for my sister and I to see our boys together again.

The lovely women that are with my sons: Decklin's legal partner, Tina
and Dallas' wife Liz; newly married!

my sister Kathy and her husband Dan 
It was quite the crowd and a lovely day!

The weather even cooperated. It was very mild for the Northern state of CT at this time of year, which suited me just fine considering I am more used to 70-degrees. It's good to be here . . . although someone named Steven called me on the phone tonight and said the house was just not the same without me and even Asia was acting a little down. I guess they miss me! I have another full day to spend with my sister and her family and will head back to Florida on Monday. The good news is Kathy, Dan and their boys will be coming down to stay with my mom for a week around Christmas. My boys & their significant others hope to come to FL and stay with Steven and I for a few days in February. My fingers are crossed! I hope you were able to enjoy time recently with your family, thanks for the opportunity to share mine with you! yours creatively, lenna

kathy's favorite photo I took on our walk this afternoon

Friday, November 25, 2011


yesterday i celebrated my gratitude for all i have and will recieve . . .

first, by joining my new friends in Sarasota I've met through Nia to dance on the beach.

It seems that many people who live in Florida celebrate their Thanksgiving by going to the beach with family and friends. One woman who stopped by and danced with us told us it was their tradition to get up early and cook, then come to the beach for the day and have dinner later. Some people even cooked their Thanksgiving dinner in the pavilions right there next to the beach! 

football on the beach was big . . . 

but I enjoyed dancing barefoot in the sun best of all.

we received both looks of curiosity and big smiles . . . 


what a wonderful way to start my day.

I traveled back home, 45 minutes but a quiet drive and prepared for my second Thanksgiving, a feast at Lucas Boatworks, where my husband is one of the 5 full-time builders. It was amazing!

Steven made mashed potatoes

This is held in the open pole barn where they build boats -all cleaned up!

 happy thanksgiving to Chloe and Asia too! 

 Dave Lucas, Steven and Austin

Austin is working in Steve's shop making a guitar with some of my dad's wood!

Austin has a nickname, "wood" and a tattoo of the same!

Always something fun going on at Lucas boatworks : )

we are grateful.

I am off to fly to Connecticut and visit my sister and family. Both of my sons and their wives/partners will come down to my sister's house from Boston - I can't wait! wishing you the best, lenna 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

shells of love

I made this for my son Dallas and his new wife Liz. They married on October 1, the same day my dad died. Bittersweet day for me as I was with my mom and dad where I wanted and needed to be, but not with my son as the wedding was in Massachusetts. I will bring this wedding present to them this weekend when I return to the North-lands (not Florida) for a family visit -my first time away from Florida in 2 years! 

Steven made the wooden heart shaped base for me at Lucas Boatworks where he has been doing tons of beautiful work, a lot of it with my dad's stash of wood, dad's tools and the skills dad taught him. How cool is that?? Dad is still here with us in a way. The shells that adorn the wood are very special (I think). Last January, Dallas and Liz had a break from their jobs in Italy and made time to visit Steven and I for 4 days or so while they were back in the States. They borrowed my car (and my camera) one day and went to the beach, 2 different beaches I think! 

They jumped for joy because they were in love and they were getting married this October.

They gathered shells . . .

They brought the shells back to our home, saved in a clear plastic bag. When Steven and I got home from bringing them to the airport at the end of their visit, I marveled at the changed sheets in the guest bedroom. Then I found the bag of shells on the bureau. Dallas and Liz obviously decided not to bring them with them as they were heading all the way back to Italy to finish the school year. Ah ha! (my little brain thought). I will save these shells they collected and make something for them someday. And so I did. This is just the type of creating I love to do. 

Dallas Chandler Foster and Elizabeth Kee Porter Hood
October 1, 2011

with love, lenna

Limited Edition Sketchbook registration - a treat!

The Sketchbook Project Limited Edition Vol. 1 is a collaborative series of art books created by 5,000 artists (the project is limited to 5,000) from around the world. I am one of them! My theme will be create and capture. It will be the next sketchbook I work in after completing my current sketchbook project: Sketchbook project 2012 ~ all organized by Art House Co-op.

I received a newsletter today that had a Thanksgiving treat in it from Art House Co-op:
Use the coupon code: GOBBLEGOBBLE for 15% off any order — from now through Sunday, Nov. 27!
Go here to read more about this project and register.

Anyone — from anywhere in the world — can participate in the project. Sign up to receive a blank sketchbook in the mail, then fill it up and send it back. Your work will be cataloged in the Brooklyn Art Library and published in the Limited Edition art book series. As of this moment I know for sure that my friends Elizabeth Duke, Frieda Oxenham and Joanna Urbani have registered for the Art House Limited edition Sketchbook project -and we did not even tell each other. We just did it on our own and found out afterwards! Frieda's theme is Surface and Threads, Elizabeth's is Stitch and Fold and Joanna's is Words & Pictures. The themes change (you may not find the same ones) and you don't have to decide on one straight away. Even though we all have different themes the coolest thing is this: Every contributor to the Sketchbook Project Limited Edition Vol. 1 will be included in a series of art books documenting the project. Together, the series will provide insight into the imagination and process of each artist participating in the project. Bound by the Brooklyn Art Library Press and hand-finished in our Brooklyn workshop, the book series will be published in the fall of 2012.

won't you join us?? I'd love to have my sketchbook artwork in a bound printed book along with yours!

yours creatively & thankfully, lenna

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

life's what you make it

I heard this on pandora radio today and started dancing in my studio . . . then I wanted to share it. When I looked up the song I was surprised to see the single was from 1986 - could that be true?! 25 years ago? wow. One of my favorites, then and now . . .

Baby, life's what you make it
Can't escape it
Baby, yesterday's favourite
Don't you hate it

Baby, life's what you make it
Don't backdate it
Baby, Don't try to shade it
Beauty is naked
Baby, life's what you make it
Celebrate it
Anticipate it
Yesterday's faded
Nothing can change it

Life's what you make it
Celebrate it
Anticipate it
Yesterday's faded
Nothing can change it
Life's what you make it

-singer/songwriter Mark Hollis of the band Talk Talk, 1986


more info and songs by Talk Talk on You Tube.

Another big time favorite of mine is It's my Life by the same band. I guess you could say I still like that 80's music! I hope you enjoy . . .  lenna

Monday, November 21, 2011

moving along: sketchbook project 2012

I have made some progress in my 2012 Sketchbook Project and that is a very good thing because the Sketchbook Project Special Edition arrived in my mailbox the other day! The 2012 sketchbook project is due at the Art House Co-op January 31st, 2012 and the Special edition sketchbook project is due April 30th, 2012. Which ones are you doing??

I have reconstructed my sketchbook for the 2012 project. I removed the journal pages and taped them together to create a larger surface to work on, then returned them to the cover. I painted the pages and began working on them. While sometimes it feels slow going to me, I know I am getting back into the groove of working in art journals/the sketchbook project and other mixed media fun. I must say that my father's passing had (and still has) an effect on me, but we are all finding our way.

After bringing my sketchbook to my Nia class on the beach the other day I had an inspiration. A comment was written recently about using sand like glitter and it gave me an idea. I found tiny shells with sand I had collected and used fluid matte medium to create a beach inspired page. 

You'll see later in this post what the page looks like when dry.

Next up, I continued on the other side of the green pages . . .

I used many of my rubber stamps, a variety of inks and another NASA image!

The quote is a "tape transfer" - originally from a magazine:

I added more stars to the first side of the pages I worked on . . . .

I wrote a haiku and then added it to the page with a white jelly roll pen:

i see moon + stars
a shimmering paper sky
swirling energy . . .

 ~ the beach page!

There is still a little sand sticking to the pages -
of course, it's from me doing this! 

I have taken yet even more photographs and a lovely way to view them is via flickriver. 
Click on the Sketchbook Project 2012 photo set once there and you'll be ready to easily view! Thanks for joining me here.

Yours creatively, lenna

Friday, November 18, 2011

a peaceful place

to take photos

watch the waves

take a Nia movement class on the beach

I took my Sketchbook project with me and it collected a little sand : ^ )

* My favorite photo of the day *

I hope you had an enjoyable day too and did something creative! sending love, lenna

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

intro and first page: sketchbook project 2012

okay, more diving in. I typed up what I wanted to say and used my xyron to adhere the paper to the painted pages of my sketchbook/journal. Click to enlarge & read.

The text typed on the second page: 
How? When I go to create it is usually because of a deadline I have given myself or that someone has given me. I may have a loose idea or a starting point, but no set plan. I like to start and see what connections I make as I am creating. I’ll evaluate as I go and see what the piece needs. For me, the most important tool for my creating is simply to START. 

Why create? This is a funny question I think because there are so many reasons, but since the theme I have given myself is encyclopedia of how and why, here are a few that resonate with me – To feel good * to exercise your brain * to build self confidence * express yourself * add beauty to the world * to fine tune your creative side * to share * to let go * to learn * to find like minded friends *
I hope you enjoy my 2012 sketchbook project!

Practicing my rubber stamping!
It is always a good idea to practice first - gets you and the stamp
warmed up! This is a quote of my own design, from my own
company LennaLines (2000-2003).

The shiny particles are pigment powders, 
sprinkled on when the paint was wet.
Repeated rubber stamping with StazOn Ink.

Photo of NGC 7822 in Cepheus from NASA: Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Thank you, Donna did it! (click for a better view)

Separating a paper napkin:
3 layers, take the top one!

Testing the napkin out for size.

Done for now . . . there is another side to work on and 3 more sections. 

It feels good to do this. Steven was teasing me about "diving right in" -whoosh! I must say that after my father passed away (10/1) I just did not feel like working on any mixed media art. It was not that I did not have inspiration, I just did not feel like doing it. Taking photos was okay and much to Steven's delight I started taking over more of the cooking and doing creative things with that. But recently I started thinking about the Sketchbook project I had signed up for and I started wanting to do it. Then I truthfully made myself start. It is a pretty familiar pattern with me and we'll see where it takes me . . . . I appreciate you stopping by - please say hi, comments & questions welcome.  yours creatively, lenna


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