Saturday, April 6, 2013

Language of Flowers Mail Art & where I've been!

Here's the story of my long absence! Even though the blog has been quiet for 3 months, I've actually still been here. If you kept this space bookmarked and are reading this post, I'm both amazed and grateful. Truth be told, the work of moving to a new home in November coupled with a health issue kept me away from my blog. The move left my art supplies boxed up for months. The rest of the house got unpacked but the studio space required so many decisions. I was just not up to making them. And since my creative art making process is what I really enjoy sharing here, I found I was not blogging either.

Fortunately, the health issue has been sorted and . . .  the studio is almost all unpacked! I have a new Doctor, one that listens, who recently told me he was not worried about me, but would continue testing my liver every six months. I have a chronic liver disease called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH, which is a common and often “silent” liver disease. There are no specific treatments yet, but losing weight has been found to be helpful to shrink the fat cells that aggravate the liver. I'm happy to say I'm down 15 lbs since September and my cholesterol is down too. I had to give away a huge bag of clothes (too baggy) and I'm now fitting easily into clothes that used to be too tight! I have another 15 pounds to shed but I'm not worried about it. Removing wine or any alcohol from my diet has been a huge help in losing weight - plus that is best for my liver. When I have bloodwork and another ultrasound in June, I'm anticipating an improvement in the health of my liver.

Now, in regards to the Mail Art, which is what I really want to talk about most here . . . this is what happened. Knowing how I work, I thought a deadline would be most helpful to get me to started creating again. I've continued being creative through photography during my absence (see my photo journal at blipfoto) but I instinctively knew that to get myself doing collage or mail art I would need a deadline. This is where two of my art buddies, Joanna Urbani and Jewels Welch stepped in to help me (follow those links to see their mail art). They have been exchanging mail art with a theme every month. I have been enjoying their creations! So I slyly asked them if I could join in their exchange . . . . well, they both enthusiastically wrote back that they'd be more than happy (VERY happy!!) for me to join in with their Mail Art/postcard fun. Whoo hoo -in like Flynn!

Queen Victoria in her wedding dress -note the headpiece

Jewels gave us the theme of the Language of Flowers. Choose a flower, look up the meaning, decorate a postcard and an envelope to share the meaning of the flower without using the name. Then the mail art recipients could have fun guessing the flower. My friend Cheryl who lives near me in Sarasota gave me the idea for my flower. I told her what I was doing and she reminisced about planning her parents wedding anniversary. Cheryl had looked up the meanings of the flowers that were in her mom's original bouquet, as she was reproducing it for the occasion. One flower in particular she told me about, I already had growing in my yard!

I created the collage sheet above from photos I had taken, to use on the card and envelope.

my card above

attached to the back of the card

 I researched on the internet (fun!) and created an information sheet about the history of the orange blossom, then enclosed it inside a small envelope attached to my card.

one of the envelopes 

back of the envelope

  I sent three mail art envelopes  one to Joanna, one to Jewels and an extra one to Cheryl for her friendship and inspiration! My Flower is the Orange Blossom. It has the most heady and wonderful sweet smell. We planted a Hamlin Orange tree here at our new home in January and so enjoyed smelling those flowers as we walked by! Now there are little green oranges that we are hoping will continue to grow and grow . . . check out Jewel's blog post and Jo's blog (post to come) for their Mail Art on the language of Flowers : ) A huge thanks so much to both of them!  xo lenna

Love is the flower you've got to let grow.
  ~ John Lennon


  1. I am so happy you are doing well now, I had no idea. I am grateful you are good, and soooo glad to see you doing art!!! Your postcards are incredibly beautiful, just like you!'

  2. this morning i was wondering about you.......& this afternoon here you are!
    happy to see you again, glad you are ok.

  3. Awesome mail art Lenna! So good to see you back here. I wish you all the best with your health as well as your art.

    Hugs, Gunvor

  4. So glad to see you are back in action. I've missed you. Anytime you want to join our Mailart swap, just give a shout.Hugs.

  5. I was just thinking and wondering about you the other day, and here you are! Glad your health is going in the right direction, and that you are ready to get into your studio and art supplies. All the best.

  6. I'm not sure an earlier comment I made got through- anyway glad you are back and feeling better! Was just thinking about you recently and wondering how things were.

  7. It's great to see you back blogging, Lenna, and making art of course. Although we have been keeping in touch anyway I feel that the fact you're writing this post is in itself a very good sign that you're feeling happy after all the upsets of the past few months.! xox.

  8. Lovely! Just in time for spring. And have you read The Language of Flowers? A really good book....
    I have a vintage Language of Flowers postcard too. Would you mind telling me where you bought the fun mail art stamps? I am always looking fo add to my collection. Happy Spring!

  9. Hi Pamela,
    For the mail art stamps, the official Mail Art in a circle, the ‘Make Art’ and ‘Art is the oxygen you need’ are all from CatsLife Press and still available I believe:
    The “You’ve got Mail” is Stampa Rosa circa 1998 . . .don’t know if it is still available.
    The tiny Mail Art is from a set – hero arts I think?
    The First class Mail Art is Claudia Rose, sadly no longer in business . . . Most of my stamps I purchased in the 1990s, early 2000’s. Good Luck and so glad you enjoyed! lenna

  10. You've had a lot on your plate these last months Lenna. I am so glad you found a good doctor and now are well on your way to optimal health. Congrats on your weight loss!! And yes, isn't it wonderful to take on a challenge to get you back into the creative realm again. LOVE your flower mail exchanges-gorgeous!!! XO

  11. Welcome back Lenna! You have been missed. So pleased your health is on the mend. Hope that studio is up and running soon so you can get back to doing what delights you.

  12. so wonderful to see you back here, Lenna! I'm so sorry you have been ill - please take good care - sounds like something not to be taken lightly. The language of flowers was used almost on a daily basis during Victorian times if you were of the Court of in the Upper Class. I have always found it most fascinating - you are having fun. That's the best medicine. Beautiful work Lenna. Keep us posted on your health. Sending good vibes. hugs, Donna (PS, I've missed you!)

  13. hello hello. It's so great to see you again. I am happy to hear you found out what was ailing you and that you are headed in the right direction. Your Orange Blossom Cards are wonderful.

  14. Hello Lenna,
    I am sorry you have been going through a challenging time of late. I am glad you now have a doc that listens. That is fab! Congratulations on your weight loss, that is hard work.
    I wish you the best with your treatment.
    Your mail art is vibrant and creative. I am glad you are back at creating art.

  15. Your postcard and Mail Art is so beautiful, Lenna! I'm so glad that you are joining in with Jewels and me :)

    ps mine is on it's way to you........

  16. Welcome back! I have visited your (empty) page quite often, hoping for signs of creative rebirth....and here you are! It is wonderful to hear that your health is in good hands. I hope all the appointments and programs have not kept you from your "beach dancing"? Now, I hope to bring up the swaps page and hear that you are sponsoring a new swap. NO ONE runs a swap as fine as yours. Love....



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