Saturday, September 29, 2012

creativity re-channeled

With a house move on the horizon and all that is entailed with that, I find my creative outlet of choice is now taking photos... see my blipfoto journal for a beautiful clear and yet colourful photo of the Gulf of Mexico flowing over crystal white sand here in florida. I may be able to squeeze in a little 'hands on' art in the next month or so before we move, I would like to for my own sake, but I am trying not to fret about it if I don't.

The new house we found is moving along nicely as far as the contract, so it looks like we should close by the middle of October. There is some painting in the kitchen to be done before we more in, plus I have my Nia White Belt Training October 13-19, so we don't think we will move until early November. I guess it depends on how the packing goes! So far, I have only just begun. It wil be worth it! Our new home is located on a short canal right off the Braden River.

A large screened "lanai" as they call it here, overlooks the water.
French doors go to the master bedroom.

Asia came by boat with Steven for the showing . . . see her running on the lawn!

Only a four and a half minute paddle to Lucas Boatworks where Steven is every day, amazing! I'm looking forward to paddling there myself and visiting with Dave's wife Helen, who is a quilter.

This space below is in the front of the house; a more formal "living room" and separate dining room. The dining table you see there was left behind and we wiill not use it . . . I have a lovely dining room table given to me by my parents. I will put this long table in the front "living room area" along with some of the furniture from my studio that would look alright there. Then I will use the smaller "dining room" area for my messy studio work table, messy storage things etc. In fact, the large table in the front room could double as a teaching spot or an extra work area, when covered! It is amazing I'll get to spill my studio over into 2 rooms....

This is the view from the kitchen (we will paint the cabinets white) into the family room, complete with a wood burning fireplace which we will use in December & January!! The "dining room" space is in front of the kitchen, facing the street and the "living room" space is in front of the family room. The large screened lanai is behind the family room. There are 3 bedrooms as well, so plenty of room for guests.

This is just a little update for you . . . everything happened very quickly, so you may have missed my mention of this move in my last post. We are happy and excited and flabergasted we could find a home like this, on the water. Our current home? We may rent it out or possibly try to sell it. We have not discussed everything with our realtor yet as closing on the house comes first.

October 1st is coming up soon. This is the 1st anniversary of my father's passing and also the 1st wedding anniversary of my son Dallas and his wife Liz. My family experienced both death and a life commitment - all on the same day. I could not be at their wedding understandably, but I am so happy to have made a celebratory animoto photo-video for Dallas and Liz for their first wedding anniversary. If you cannot see the video below, follow this link. And wonderful news, my older son Decklin & his partner Tina will be getting married next year on October 5th, 2013!

sending love

Monday, September 24, 2012

prayer flag swap complete and hanging up!

Wow, this was quite a swap! It was more popular than I expected, with 40 participants registering and 36 completing the swap. Congratulations to the participants!

The flags were sent to me to be exchanged/ swapped and then returned home. View all of the flags that were created for this swap on my creative swaps blog. A visit to the blog is recommended for inspiration factor alone! Beautiful artist prayer flags arrived in my mailbox from Scotland, Great Britain, Germany, Norway, Canada and many of the states across the USA -so much fun!

As part of this exchange I wanted to share photos of my swapped flags hanging up and then invite the participants to do the same. I'm adding a "link list" to the creative swaps blog so everyone can add a link themselves to a specific blog post or photo that shares the flags they received, hanging up. I'll add this to the "link list" on creative swaps as soon as I finishing sharing my photos with you!

As the swap hostess I was unexpectedly gifted with many gorgeous prayer flags, 23 of them to be exact! I also participated in this swap. I made 3 to swap but I also made 3 extras to hang with my received swaps, for a total of 26 flags hanging! Details of the flags I created are shown in my September 17th post if you'd like to see.

I started by dividing my prayer flags in three fairly equal piles, trying to coordinate them. The Super-Tech spool on the counter is the fishing line I decided to use to hang them. Click for details!

I strung each pile on fishing line with a big plastic yarn needle and then laid them out on the floor to see what they looked like. I ended up with 3 groups of flags strung together. I'm thinking I may choose a rope, ribbon or something different next time to string them on, as the flags slide a bit on the fishing line.

My original plan was to hang them over our patio tied to the tiny little lights we have hanging there, but my husband and I unexpectedly put an offer on a home last week (click to view) and it was accepted!!! Amazing. It is perfect for us. The home is on a canal, only a 5 minute paddle from Lucas Boatworks where Steven goes every day. Since we will be moving soon, I went for this easier to reach location, but they still look beautiful! I have already been thinking of where to put them in our new home : )

I love how they catch the breeze and spread their prayers and wishes . . . 

Thank you to all my creative and generous participants! 
Visit creative swaps to see and read more about these wonderful artists.

There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go.
 - Author Unknown

Monday, September 17, 2012

prayer flags - more on mine

Back in June when I was preparing for the artist's prayer flag swap I was about to host, I showed you my first prayer flag I ever made. You can read about that first flag and see my process here.
In this post I will show you the rest of the prayer flags I made. If you'd like to see ALL of the wonderful and beautiful, creative and thoughtful prayer flags made by the 36 participants - visit the creative swaps blog. When you get to the bottom of the blog page, you will need to click on Older Posts to view more! I am in the process of swapping them out and sending them home. When the flags are all sent I will give the artists the opportunity to share photos of their own flags and the swap flags they received, hanging up in the breeze! So watch creative swaps main page for more beauty.

I made these two prayer flags while visiting wolfe island, Ontario
My work area overlooking the St Lawrence River. So very peaceful.

The first flag I made on the left. I'm getting started on a new one.

I took one of my grandmother's (Nonie) linen cocktail napkins with embroidered fish already on it and added my own crude embroidery. At first I did not like it, but by now it has grown on me . . . the word/wish I embroidered is "energy". I will keep this one to fly at home and send me energy!

This is before I accentuated it with inks and also beads.

I did really enjoy hand stitching and adding beads in front of the river . . .

Here are some others I made. This one is made out of a hand towel! 
I think I will keep this one. 

I also added lovely handmade beads by Carolyn Saxby, sewn on to the corner...

This one is so simple, but I love it. All glue and no stitching! 
(my machine was at home!) This one will be swapped.

I made this when I returned home . . . I love this flag but I will swap it.

This one was made on the island and will be part of the swap (I participated too)

My first prayer flag I will keep. Remembering balance in my life is something I really need to bestow upon myself! I beefed up the lettering by outlining it with a black sharpie marker.

Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. 
The only way to retain love is to give it away.
 ~ Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

creativity and Nia

Yesterday after Nia class, I was interviewed by international faculty member and trainer Gail Condrick. Gail has already edited this video interview and done a super job - see below. She's putting together a number of videos about the Nia White Belt Training coming up in October and February on beautiful Anna Maria Island in Florida. Gail will be team-training with her friend and Nia instructor/trainer Charlotte Jorgensen, October 13-19, 2012. I will be immersing into this October training! Below are the video clips Gail took of me telling a bit about why I have registered for this training. The video was taken inside Island Yoga Space where we have Nia Classes - I love the prayer flags behind me! I have embedded the video in this blog post, but if for any reason you can't see it please use this direct YouTube Link. To learn more about the White Belt Training and Nia - click here.

Video below: Behind the Scenes Planning a Nia White Belt Intensive with Gail Condrick!

From the Nia Website:

What is Nia?
Nia is a sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts, dance arts and healing arts. It empowers people of all shapes and sizes by connecting the body, mind, emotions and spirit. Classes are taken barefoot to soul-stirring music in more than 45 countries. Trainings are designed for those seeking personal enrichment and professional development. Every experience can be adapted to individual needs and abilities. Step into your own joyful journey with Nia, and positively shape the way you feel, look, think and live.

Additional videos: How close is the beach? Gail shows where you can take some time off during the training!

Gail's interview with Irene Schmoller, another White Belt Trainee -and why she is doing the training.

More videos here on Gail's YouTube Channel!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dallas rides for Bottom Line!

-My son Dallas with his wife Liz, and me! We are bundled up on de Soto beach here in Florida one cold and windy day in January 2010. Steve and I hope to see them here again this coming January or February, hopefully with warmer weather and less coats & hats!

In the meantime, Dallas is in graduate School at Simmons College in Boston and Liz is working hard at Bottom Line, an organization that helps low-income and first-generation-to-college students. Bottom Line is dedicated to helping disadvantaged students get in to college, graduate from college, and go far in life.

Dallas is raising funds for Bottom Line so they can help more kids get into college and offer support to make it through. He is participating in the Rodman ride for Kids on September 29th with a 25 mile race. It is a matching gift charity and close to Dallas' heart as his wife Liz is passionate about her work at Bottom Line.

Dallas wrote a lovely letter requesting help for this cause and I would love to share it with you.

"On September 29th I am going to be riding a bicycle 25 miles, as part of the Rodman Ride for Kids, to raise money for the non-profit organization Bottom Line. What is Bottom line and why would I spend my free time trying to raise money to support their mission? That's a fantastic question, Bottom Line works with low income students who are the first generation of their family to go to college. Not only do they help them with the complicated application process, they also support them throughout college, working with them until they graduate.
For more information about Bottom Line, please visit their website:

If you would like to help in my effort to raise 1,500 dollars for Bottom Line, please make a donation of any size at this website prior to September 29th:

Should you have any questions about anything, please don't hesitate to contact me.
All the Best, Dallas Foster"

That's my boy! I just went and made my donation. I hope to go to Boston when Dallas graduates on May 10. Thank you for your time and for reading!! lenna

You live longer once you realize that anytime spent being unhappy is wasted.
  ~ Ruth E. Renkl

Saturday, September 8, 2012

art journal on holiday

Wouldn't it be fun to be on that little sailboat out on the St Lawrence River, heading for Lake Ontario and sailing around the Thousand islands? I saw this boat there . . . well, my drawing skills are not that keen, but the boat looked something like this! We were staying in the family cottage on Wolfe Island in Canada at the time. The St. Lawrence runs directly in front of the cottage and I could not help but try to capture this scene as a fun thing to do at the time and a lovely memory now. I had prepared the page previously with white gesso, so it was all set to go. I liked the texture the gesso left on the page, so I grabbed both acrylic paints and oil pastels and jumped in. 

I left some of the gesso uncovered, especially on the sky, to look more like clouds. The paint is a very thin watery wash, for a nice light airy feeling. You can see I applied a little bit of the same paint to the river too, but then added pastels over that as well.

I had packed my list of positive affirmations, given to me by my friend Joanna. I chose one easily and hand wrote it with my trusty Sharpie Marker . . . . We are looking at my rendition of Kingston, Ontario.

Even though it is not the most realistic of drawings, I am very pleased with this journal entry. Thanks for looking! I am linking this up at Art Journal Every Day!

I also worked on my 2013 Sketchbook project while there and plan to scan & share those pages with you soon. Right now I am concentrating on the Prayer Flag art swap I am hosting . . . I have lots more flags to scan and share. They are really quite remarkable, inspiring, beautiful . . . to name a few adjectives! You can see them all on my creative swaps blog! All swap flags are due in my hands September 15th, so I am sure to have a busy week. Please check it out if you have time - such gorgeous fabric art!

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  
  ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

happy birthday Decklin

My oldest son is 31 years old today!!

happy birthday decklin! xoxo

Accept the pain, cherish the joys, resolve the regrets; then can come the best of benedictions...
"If I had my life to live over, I'd do it all the same."
  ~ Joan McIntosh

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

some art on the island

Here is a bit of some of the art I did while visiting wolfe island . . . a close up of a painting:

The entire painting - you can see it when it's half finished here

I brought the Creative Breakout DVD with me and watched it once again for inspiration. Thanks to my instructor Bill Buchman for all he taught me. I am so glad I got a couple of his DVDs! below is a warm up exercise using his Zen Reed Pens. Just plain fun!

we have fond memories of this trip, even though near the end we wanted to go home and we left a few days early! The long drive (3 days) was tiring too but I still smile at things like Steven and me snuggled on the deck of the cottage to watch the sunset . . . 

That is Tina and my son Decklin over my shoulder. A few days after they left the island, they called with wonderful news. They are engaged to be married! Their date is in October, 2013.

I have more art I did to share with you, so look for more posted here sometime soon. In the meantime I have added some photos of our sweet dogs enjoying island life to my photo blog and I am busily adding lovely, beautiful, thoughtful prayer flags to my swaps blog! I hope you have time to check them out. Take care and I will see you again before long. Oh! i have changed my blog format once again. See what you think! The photo blog remains a "dynamic view" but this main blog is back to the original type of template. Hope it works for you!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

some photos . . .

sunset cruise on the St Lawrence River while visiting wolfe island, Ontario
Please excuse my absence here on my blog, it seems I am still getting caught up after being away for 3 weeks. I have just uploaded a few of my favorite photos from our lovely time on Wolfe island and you can find them all here on my creative lenna photo blog. I have not forgotten you and even have artwork that I did while there to share with you . . . Promise to be back before long!! xo lenna