Saturday, December 29, 2012

my life: 2012 . . .

. . . a kind of 'year in review' for me using animoto to pull it all together into a video slide show.
The direct link: http://animoto.com/play/1uQ4ErIrUlNK9P8pQPl1wg


for a full-size screen, click on the small white rectangle in the bottom right corner!

A photo of me *by debra pettinato-ross* on Siesta Beach on Christmas day!

I have not returned to blogging here on a regular basis yet, as you might have noticed!
I wanted to suggest if you missed my posts here, you can find me on blipfoto almost every day. Blipfoto is an international photo journal site. You can look at my journal here. The idea is to post one photo a day taken on that day and then write about it, if you wish. Since my main creative activity recently is taking photographs, I have gravitated towards sharing them there . . . instead of here, at least for now! You can sign up for a free blipfoto account and be able to comment, or just visit and read as often as you wish. Not much art is going on here yet as my supplies are only minimally unpacked. I think that should change in the not so distant future but there is a lot going on here at our new home (work to beautify) and I am allowing my art studio to unfold in it's own natural time. 

* I wish only the best for you and your families * I hope you are happy, healthy and doing well * Smiling and laughing and creating! *

My very best to you and yours 
xo lenna


The greatest honor of a lifetime is to be who you are.
~ paraphrased from Joseph Campbell


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

creativity bubbling: a video/art spaces


Last weekend Steven said, "I'm coming to get you at 4pm at take you out on the river in Chelsea." I was pleased; he was arranging a date! Chelsea is the boat that we bought from Lucas Boatworks about a year ago. It was hand built by Dave Lucas and Howard Heimbrock. Chelsea is an unusual boat because it is powered by a Briggs and Stratton riding lawn mower engine (!) and looks a bit like the "African Queen" with the canopy top. I took a short video and a bunch of photos while out in the boat with Steven and our 2 dogs, Asia & Chloe. I remembered about the video yesterday and enjoyed putting it together with a few photos and some music ~I'm learning! But I think it came out good -most importantly, Steven loves it! If you do not see it below, here's a direct link. Only 2 minutes long and a lovely boat ride. Won't you join me?


Asia & Chloe having a chat?
So that felt very good to be creative making that short video. Then today, I started moving things around in my office/studio space and on my lanai (porch) studio space. Cool! I was happy to be finally interested in trying to figure out how to arrange things related to my art so I can get back to that. I moved a green plastic set of drawers full of interesting fabric & goodies, out of the garage and under my work table on the lanai. Then I thought, why not move those two plastic towers filled with rubber stamps out to the lanai as well? They did not feel like they were working well space-wise in my office/studio, so why not? Here's what I've come up with so far . . .

It is comforting to me because the green drawers were in the same place in my old studio. The strange boat you see there is a barge that has been brought in to build our dock!

The drawers of rubber stamps will work so much better out here where my big work table is, probably where they will be used the most. They were behind the big box on the floor in the photo below. They were pushed right up against the wall in my very messy and unpacked studio. These drawers kind of blocked the flow of things and I am happy I got the idea to put them out on the lanai with my table instead. All of this makes me think about unpacking the "studio" boxes in the garage and finding a home for things in my new space!


Please excuse the mess! I have a smaller inside studio now, but with the addition of the work space out on the lanai, I think eventually I will have a very workable and quite pleasing arrangement. I will keep you posted as things progress.


I'll get there!! wow, here is an apropos quote:

Conditions are never just right. People who delay action until all factors are favorable do nothing.
~ William Feather


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

unexpected gifts

Today I was blessed with unexpected gifts: I found two packages stuffed into my mailbox. The first one was from Elizabeth Duke. She lives in Connecticut, where I used to live! We met back when I taught an ATC book class at the first ART IS YOU conference 6 years ago : ) I was not expecting Elizabeth to send me a gift, but so glad she did! Take a peek . . .


Elizabeth sent me a yummy handmade journal she created. It has a painted and stamped canvas cover and a hand stitched signature inside. I can't believe she made it and sent it to me!! She also made her own tag with a red & green script that she tied around the journal with a red ribbon. Then she added a candy cane and a package of Christmas tags, so sweet.


Thank you Elizabeth! ~ You are wonderful! 
We both have participated in The Sketchbook project for the past 3 years, so Elizabeth knew how much I'd appreciate a journal like this beautiful one she made. xo

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Next, I spied a package from Fort Collins, Colorado. Hmmmm . . .
My friend Marla lives there, but this wasn't her address . . . it was a mystery!


The butterflies above are a card explaining the mystery . . . 


It was an unexpected gift from Christi Wich of Timeless Creations! A hand bound stash-type journal (made up of your stash papers!) filled with a great variety of papers, postcards, even maps of Florida and some wonderful text pages. WOW.


* I am still feeling pretty amazed at receiving this beauty! *


Besides the brick and mortar store called Timeless Creations in Colorado, Christi also has an online venue -- The Creative Underground: where "we are able to offer our creative classes and inspirational groups to those of you whom do not live in our city, area, or state.  Or, for that matter...for those of you whom wish to partake in our myriad of offerings but wish to do so in your pajamas in the privacy of your art studio or home!"  

I found out about the Creative Underground online site through my friend, Marla. It was the class Marla had signed up for: 52 weeks of creative abundance, that caught my attention . . . . "Each week will include ARTful projects-both personal and for your home, as well as video lessons, creative self-care practices and rituals, recipes, and a myriad of other inspirational endeavors and adventures that will help you to create a life rich in meaning and purpose, with a few opportunities to swap art with other participants!"

I signed up! Note: You must first sign up for membership to the group here, then you can go to the groups and classes tab and sign up for any of the classes. I did mention this class I had signed up for here on my blog and guess what? A bunch of my friends signed up too! Because of this, Christi wanted to send me a thank you : ) And how perfect is this gift? She has encouraged us to keep a journal throughout the class, and I've decided to use the one she sent me! I had done the first preparatory exercise of making a list of creative soul practices, but had not entered it in a journal yet. Since I have not even unpacked any journals yet, this gift is doubly perfect! THANK YOU, Christi!! I am honored and delighted.

I am so happy some of my friends have signed up because I will be able to work with them, so to speak, on a year long project through this class. I have done online classes before and the ones where you get to share with the other participants are the best!!! It leads to good collaboration, sharing and learning. And the friends who have signed up are so very creative and talented and fun! Are you interested too?? Check out the links above. You still have time, as class starts December 21st, 2012 ~ the beginning of the solar year.

I am most grateful for these unexpected gifts.

Namaste - "to be well"



Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.
  ~ Warren Bennis

Monday, December 10, 2012

taking care of me

At DeSoto memorial National park, the walking is good . . . . 
I'm heading back to NW Bradenton today for an appointment and have decided to walk at DeSoto Memorial National Park afterwards. If I don't go to Nia class, I will walk a few miles to keep the calories burning and my metabolism good. In about 3 weeks I've lost 4 pounds, which is good! Being brave, I added the widget for the fitness app I am using to the sidebar, here on my blog. It will sync with the check-ins I do for my weight on the site. I've been eating a lot less than before - 1200 calories and rarely drinking wine. But it is really going okay. There are conflicting reports about drinking wine or not with fatty liver disease, so I am mostly avoiding wine. I used to enjoy a couple of glasses each evening. My disease is not alcohol related, but the inflammation can be aggravated by it. Not having any saves a lot of calories too!


I do walk around the neighborhood, but DeSoto park is beautiful.


I love that part of the walk goes along the shore. I am fascinated with it. 
But the woodland paths are interesting too . . .

look who I found last time! 


I wonder what I will find there today? 



There is no wilderness like a life without friends; friendship multiplies blessings and minimizes misfortunes; it is a unique remedy against adversity, and it soothes the soul.

  ~ Baltasar Gracian


Thursday, December 6, 2012

hello . . .

Lenna & Kathy Oravec at Nia on Siesta beach - December 4, 2012


To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
  ~ Bertrand Russell

If you think you can do a thing, or think you can't do a thing, you're right.
  ~ Henry Ford

Above are two quotes pulled randomly from a document on my computer, that contains all of the quotes I've collected because I love them. 15 years ago, my son Decklin created a program for me that randomly selects a quote I can add to my email signature or anywhere else. With a click of the mouse, a quote is chosen randomly from a very large list and copied to the clipboard, ready to be pasted anywhere. I love this program and still use it! So often the chosen quote matches my current thoughts or state of mind; it’s quite uncanny.

I wish to say I am sorry for my leave of absence from my blog. It has been a while since I have had so little to share with you! I think most of you know I have recently moved house and that has been the main culprit. We have been here in our new home 4 weeks now, which seems incredible.

I have not begun to unpack and organize my studio – I only continue to put this job off. A lot of other things are going on and so doing this was another decision making process that I did not feel I had the energy to face. And it still remains undone! Instead, my creative outlet recently has been my photography. Lately I have been working hard on catching up with the uploading of my photos and you can find them here on Blipfoto where I keep a daily photo journal, and also on flickr.

Since I like to use this blog to mostly share my art making process, I have not had anything to share with you! I do know I will make art, work in journals and create with paper & fabric again, but I am not at that place yet. We are doing a large amount of landscaping with the help of many talented people and that takes a lot of time. I am very seriously working on my health issues by exercising daily and sticking to around 1200 calories a day – fresh, wholesome, mostly vegan foods. I found out recently I have a chronic liver disease (fat cells in my liver) that can be reversed by losing the extra weight I have been carrying. I have lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks and while that is slow, I think it is good. Only 28 more to go!

So, do not fear! I will return with my art when I get things organized here. In the meantime, I will check in when I can but you can almost always find me on Blipfoto. The weather is beautiful here in Florida now and I am still dancing in Nia class as you can see by the photo above. All is well and I truly hope the same for you. 

xo lenna

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