Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A little creative space

Did you know I have a website dedicated to my online lessons and free mixed media tutorials? Yes, I do! You'll find it here: www.alittlecreativespace.com. (I've removed the site as of August 2014)

This afternoon I finished adding PayPal buttons for all of the workshops I offer there so that the lessons could be delivered to you immediately by e-junkie, via a download link. I have wanted to do this for months! It's really so amazing how a deadline will drive me. ; 0 ) I knew it would be next to impossible for me to send the lessons as pdf files when we will only have dial-up at the cottage -- and we are leaving in a few days! So, now it is all done, hooray! This web work also gave me the chance to go over the whole site and update everything . . .  I hope to add more content when we return but in the meantime, there are 4 great workshops that you can purchase anytime and do at your convenience. The lessons are very complete and I have received rave reviews! There's a fabric book/quilties workshop, a collage workshop, a photo-art journal workshop and a fabric stamping and painting workshop. I hope you check them out. Yours, lenna

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
   ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, July 29, 2012

wolfe island, ontario

Steven and I are preparing for a 3-day, 1500 mile drive from Florida to Canada with our 2 dogs Asia & Chloe, our boat Chelsea and two canoes! The 2-person Peterborough canoe my dad made will go on the roof of our Subaru. This ensures that Steve and I can take some beautiful canoeing trips together, most likely with the dogs in the boat too - they don't like to be left behind!

Steven's small one-man sailing canoe he rigged himself will fit inside our boat Chelsea. We'll be trailering Chelsea behind the Subaru. With the little sailing canoe he'll have the opportunity to explore on his own . . . and with it's tuned-up lawn mower engine, Chelsea can take all of us lots of places - even across the river to Kingston! Remember, we are going to be on an island! Since the family cottage is directly on the St. Lawrence River - mouth of Lake Ontario, the availability of boats is a high priority for Steven : ) Below you'll see the bunkhouse of the cottage to your left.

This is a family parcel with many cottages that Steven grew up going to in the summer-time. Every year he would go to Wolfe Island with his family and later on his own. His grandmother was born in the 'big house' on the property and between that big house and all the cottages on the property, Steven would see various cousins, Aunts and Uncles every year. He has a very large extended family with about 140 relatives! The first time I went to Wolfe Island was in 2005 after we married. The impression it left on me was that it was such a beautiful and peaceful place. Wolfe Island is very rural, in fact Steven's family still owns farm fields there. We went there together every summer until after we moved from Connecticut to Florida in late 2009. We did not want to leave town while my dad was ill with cancer. Dad passed away October 1, 2011 and we decided this year to make the long drive in August and stay for 3 weeks. Here is why I love it so . . . these photos are from our last trip there in 2009. Below, Steven walking towards the 'big house' and the Oats Barn. If you click on it you may be able to see the widow's walk on top. The St. Lawrence and the boat docks are down the hill to the left.

Below - the Deming's Dock was originally constructed by Steven's great grandfather and updated by his Dad in the 1960's. Kingston, Ontario is across the way.


 The 'big house' where Steven's grandmother was born.

Looking from the big house - that is the drive shed. The cottage we share with Steve's brothers is on the other side of it.


 Steven's grandmother's garden at the big house.

 Looking from the big house across the river to Kingston.

 Something new in 2009 was added to the farmer's cow fields - wind turbines!



walking down Third Line road . . . I had just taught Asia how to do a "High 10!"

 The cottage steps that look out over the river, towards Kingston - 3 1/2 miles away.

 Getting our boat "Buzzy's" motor ready . . . you see Asia and Chloe keeping their distance!!

 such cutie pies... they are sitting in one of our driveways!

The motor is ready so off we go! Steven has had this boat since he was a kid.

 You can tell Asia hates boating, huh?

 The family property as seen from Buzzy . . .

 Love this!!!

 In 2009 we trailered the melonseed sailboat my dad built up to Canada. Here is Steven paddling it around the dock to where we can get in, take off and go sailing.

 The dogs are following, not wanting to be left behind . . .

 Asia is ready to go!

 me and Chloe too ; )

We also love canoeing when there . . . . in my dad's handbuilt Peterborough

 The Simcoe Island ferry is in the distance -it's a cable ferry.

 Simcoe island is directly in front of us.

 I think you can see why we like wolfe island . . . . life is much quieter there.

 And I have a fabulous studio there!

This year my son Decklin and his partner Tina will spend a week with there with us too. : )) so nice. The internet speed is very scarce on the island with only dial-up. I will turn my attention to other things I think. You may hear from me again before we leave - but if not, don't worry!
There is a cute 2 minute video I did in 2009 with some additional photos: Wolfe Island.

And there are also earlier photos on my original web site. They are from 2005-2008 and one photo shows me finding my art on the cover of Expression Magazine for the first time, in a bookstore in Kingston, Ontario!!! Enjoy and thanks for visiting, lenna

He who knows others is wise; He knows himself is enlightened.
  ~ Lao-Tzu

Sunday, July 22, 2012

by the sea chunky ATC

I had never heard of a "chunky" ATC before until I read about it on Lisa Busch's Collage Stuff Blog -go there to check out just one of her beautiful samples. Lisa owns a business called "Collage Stuff" where she sells wonderful collage stuff!  I often find just what I might need for a project and also, collage items that inspire me to start something new! And Lisa runs super art swaps through her yahoo group - check that out too! I learned from her that a chunky ATC is a variation on a trading card made on a wood block, 2.5" x 3.5" x 3/4" wide. This was a one-for-one swap, sending directly to the person Lisa signed you up with. Here is what I came up with -a bit of my creating process. First some gathering . . . I have collected lots of lovely shells living in Florida!
 I did not have to, but decided I wanted to paint my block white. I got my blank chunky wood ATC from Collage stuff - follow this link and scroll down a bitThey are high quality pre-sanded blocks.
I used Goop glue (E6000) to secure the various shells.
The little gold sequin stars I got from Collage Stuff, the pearls were a broken bracelet.
The dictionary page came as a gift from Lisa with my last order -perfect!
Now my chunky ATC has shell "feet"!
For the back, I wanted a business card that had a copy of "Shell art" already on it.
(ATCs I created for another swap)
But Lisa wanted the back arted up too, so I stamped various images on white tissue paper using permanent ink. When adhered to the block with matte medium under and over, the tissue paper melts away. Only the image remains!
From the side . . . 

From the top!

The front, from the top. The crinkly wire wrapped around is from collage Stuff.

That was sure fun to do! Thanks, Lisa for the inspiration and organization.
My chunky ATC is in the mail as of yesterday, swimming it's way to Andrea in Texas. I have already received a beautiful chunky ATC from Gloria - what a great swap!


Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
  ~ Chinese proverb

Saturday, July 21, 2012

creative lenna photos

I seem to be taking a lot of photos these days and I realized the other day that photography is my main creative outlet at the moment. Because of this, I recently started a new blog, creative lenna photos. Check it out if you think you might be interested in artistic photos mostly of natural things like geckos, birds, dogs, plants & gardens, beautiful photos of the beach, flowers, clouds . . . there is a nice mix of things there and soon to be more. Here is a peek at today's entry.

I will be back here soon with a step-by-step of creative swap art project I just finished: 
a chunky ATC!

He who does not cross a desert cannot recognize an oasis.
 ~ Italian Proverb 



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mail Art!!

Oh what an absolute delight to go to my mailbox and pull out this gorgeous envelope
from Sue Emmerson in NSW, Australia!

Inside I found a lovely note, 2 postcards and a page suitable for collage with lots of ships. This is so very appropriate for me with my boat loving husband.
Thanks so very much, Sue! Her enclosed note mentioned she had read an earlier post on mail art where I mentioned that my mailbox had been a little more quiet lately, probably because I had not been sending as much mail out. It is so sweet for Sue to jump right in and send me such special mail!! I really appreciate it. Earlier this month I also received mail art from Linda Kunsman. I made a little photo collage of everything Linda sent me and will insert it below. So fun! 


I think she heard my wishes as well. : ) This was stamped on the back:
HUNGRY
FOR
MAIL
ART

You can see the card she made and she also enclosed a library card and holder.
* Thanks, Linda! * Thanks, Sue! *


Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.
  ~ Denis Diderot

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

colour study : music & dance

This post I wrote has received 5,012 hits!! 

From the video by OK Go: Skyscrapers 

The video below features the song Skyscrapers by OK Goone of my favorite musical bands. It came out about 3 months ago - I immediately fell in love with it and watched it repeatedly. Recently I saw a link to this video again, reminding me of how wonderful it is . . . and here I am once again -- hooked! I think it's a combination of the song, the colours, and the sensuous dancing which draws me in every time and makes me want to share it here with you. The direct link is here in case you can't see the video below.



Earlier today, I sent a link to this video to my dear friend Frieda. Perhaps she had not been able to watch it before? She only recently got broadband where she lives in rural Scotland. I thought she'd enjoy because of the waves of colour that run through this video, considering all the colour themed ATCs we have shared! The colours as they change while they dance are inspirational in and of themselves. She wrote and told me she enjoyed it hugely!

The woman dancing so beautifully in the video is Trish Sie and her dance partner is Moti Buchboot. Trish is also the producer and the director of this video. Her brother is Damian Kulash, who is OK Go’s lead singer. It is his voice we hear on the video. Trish has choreographed five videos for OK Go, and probably the most well known one is their Treadmill video. That's how I was introduced to this band, by my sons! I love OK Go's videos for more than just the sounds I hear and the visuals I see . . . I love them for their sheer creativity. How they got there. Trish Sie gave an interesting talk on Ted Talks about creativity - which you may enjoy watching. There is also a fabulous article to read in the New York Times (July 13, 2012) about how the Skyscrapers video inspired the dance company Pilobolus to choreograph a piece based on it. Wow!

From the New York Times article, Pilobolus' Executive Director Mr. Kubovy said: he was immediately struck by how “the formal treatment of the colors had so much story in it,” he said. “It was mysterious: What was evocative about it? Was it one couple in a million different situations, or over the course of a long time, or different people in different situations? Without even knowing, it just felt kind of emotional.”

That's how I feel when I watch it, emotional. You? please comment if you like.

Love is, above all, a gift of oneself.
~ Jean Anouilh

sorry, i do not know who this is dancing . . .
It was an image I saved some time ago.

Friday, July 13, 2012

friday is art journal day!

Soft pastels, acrylic paint, one of my hand carved stamps (thanks, Julie!) and a positive affirmation (thanks, Jo!) gave me this art journal spread you see below.
* * * 
 I started here . . . click for details!
then smudged the soft pastels a bit . . .
Next, I spread some pink acrylic paint on the other side with my finger . . .


 Then I sprayed a bit of ink on the pages (it is still on my work table and i can't help it!)
a little more ink (dylusions -pure sunshine) as well as more soft pastels, yellow.
I put one of my business cards in the tea bag pocket.
I added the affirmation, writing with a soft pastel, spraying to set it afterwards.
 I added marks with a gold oil pastel . . . The tea bag tags say "Live in your strength" and "Always be pure, simple and honest". I made ice tea with this Green tea and had to save the packaging!

I added part of a multi-colored pen shell . . . and signed the page.

If the winds of fortune are temporarily blowing against you, remember that you can harness them and make them carry you toward your definite purpose, through the use of your imagination. 
  ~ Napolean Hill 


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