Decorating with Art :)

I wanted to hang my recent returns from the ARTchix Studio Blue ATC swap so I could enjoy them a lot more. I thought you might like to see what I came up with . . .

The little stars are courtesy of editing the photo in PicMonkey . . . 
It's a free photo editing program I love & use all the time. You might enjoy it!


I attached the ATCs I received together with blue washi tape on the back.


I had six ATCs that I put together into one strand . . .

To see them all in more detail with credits, please go here.


Then I wrapped the tape around the piece of yarn I use to display art in my studio!
I like how the ATC display came out and I think it goes well with the rest!

On the bottom left is a beeswax collage I received the other day from my dear friend and talented artist, Sharon Borsavage. The package included a gorgeous necklace I ordered (that Sharon made) and my book from our altered book exchange . . . I wanted to hang her collage up right away.




I so love this piece Sharon made for me.
Our altered books were based on the themes of birds and nature!
* It is perfect *


Thank you sweet, talented Sharon!


I had my husband take a couple of photos of me wearing the necklace Sharon made...

Steven gave me the short necklace and Sharon made the gorgeous longer one. 
She calls it Messages. It's made of copper, freshwater pearls and a coral piece.
No wonder I fell in love with this piece! Sharon describes it like this... 
"I feel a true connection with nature with this piece, very serene, organic, and peaceful."
~ see more of Sharon's art-ful jewelry HERE ~


What a great way to decorate with art!!
Hope you have fun doing the same - put up some ATCs or a postcard
and EnJOY!! 



Risk the truth with those you love and give them the gift you would want yourself.
    ~ Unknown





wonderful swap returns . . . .

I thought I would share the really wonderful swap returns I recently received, for your enjoyment! I'm doing a mail art swap on a monthly basis with Jo Urbani and Jewels Welsh, plus I signed up for the ARTchix Studio Blue ATC swap. That was so fun to do - see my ATCs here. Yesterday I received an Awesome BLUE package from Nikki Smith, the swap hostess. Inside were really some first rate ATCs plus extra goodies from Helga, the owner of ARTchix Studio and Nikki -wow!



A huge thanks to the creators of the ATCs I received, such beautiful art. I can't wait to decorate my studio! I was so super psyched to receive one of Helga's ATCs and one of Nikki's too -wow! 

THANK YOU!

For the mail art, our theme last month was The Language of Flowers. I love how this phrase sounds and in fact have now ordered a book on the subject via a recommendation from my friend Frieda Oxenham. I shared my own mail art here earlier based on the theme the language of the orange blossom, find it here if you missed it. I used photos of my very first Orange Tree that is growing in our yard . . . which now has lots of little green Hamlin oranges growing on it and more blossoms are forming at the same time! But even more fun I think than creating my own mail art was receiving mail art from Joanna & Jewels. 


Jo created the sweetest postcard and envelope using Daisies





Jewels picked the French Willow and a corresponding quote that I really like . . .


You can read more about the techniques she used to create her postcard HErE. Below I did a collage in Photoshop to show you the back of her envelope with the front below on the left and the postcard and the back of it on the right . . .



I hope you enjoy! I also received an incredible package from my dear friend and talented artist, Sharon Borsavage the other day. It included a gorgeous necklace I ordered but also my book from our altered book exchange that we alternated working in... it is really something! I want to add a wee bit more to the book as there are a few blank pages left and then I will share it with you. Thanks for your patience as I wind my way back into my art life. xo lenna


Who so loves believes the impossible.
  ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

ARTchix Blue ATCs


I had the pleasure of participating in the ARTchix Studio Blue ATC swap. I was really happy to see Helga announce this swap as I knew very well that a deadline would nudge me to create (and it did!) Of course time got away from me and everything was sent in on the last possible (deadline) day . . . but on the positive side, I did accomplish making them. The idea was simple: Make 6 Artist Trading Cards using the color blue and use an ARTchix Studio item on each ATC. 

I used ARtchix ART blast playing cards as a base, the ones with birds printed on them.


I started with watercolor crayons around the edges in shades of blue.


Then wet the crayon marks (watercolor) and spread the color around . . . 


I added sayings from various ARTchix word collage sheets and gave all the birds crowns


and I added bits of Transparencies from ARTchix Studio -see the blue edges:


I glued on beads and added a bit of glitter . . .




The backs belong to the playing cards . . . 


 All six of my ATCs scanned . . . 

They are a bit different, not perfect and pretty, but they are interesting, unusual, blue, filled with birds and creativity and ARTchixStudio and fun and experimenting . . . just what I needed! 

Thank you Helga and also to our hostess Nikki for organizing - so appreciate it!!

~

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
  ~ Anais Nin




guest post on Art Journal Every Day with Julie Balzer!

I am so thrilled that Julie Balzer asked me to write about the Sketchbook Project for Art Journal Every Day! My guest post was published today (May 18) and you can read it here. This has been quite the week for me, that's for sure. I am also a guest artist on the ARTchix Studio blog, whoo hoo! The Sketchbook Project, Art Journal Every Day and ARTchix studio are all favorites of mine, so I feel quite blessed. If you are new to my blog because of these posts, welcome! I'll be back soon. enjoy your day, lenna

Nothing happens unless first a dream.  - Carl Sandburg


ARTchix Studio Featured Artist

Earlier this year I got an email note from Helga Strauss, owner of ARTchix Studio.
She wrote, "I've been making backgrounds on wood and then cutting them into shapes.... like the hearts. If I send you some wood, would you like to play and make some backgrounds? And then send them back to me and I'll cut them into shapes? Then you can send me a few photos of yourself and your art space and I could feature you as a guest artist on my blog and etsy shop.
I would sell your shapes and send some back to you so that you can enjoy some too."

Whoo Hoo! I said, "I’m in, Helga! I would love to do this!! Making backgrounds is such a fun and creative activity. I'm honored you asked!" After I received the wood from Helga I got to work - or I should say, play- with an early April deadline to have the backgrounds returned to her. Here's a peek into my process of making the backgrounds on wood before Helga transformed them into some very charming shapes!

For the board I collaged with papers, I ripped a variety of papers to start with, click for details.


Helga recommended painting the wood with gesso first to prepare it.
I decided to do a "practice" board. I tried my collage, painting and rubber stamping on
the practice piece first, to see what everything looked like on painted wood.


All 3 boards that I arted-up for Helga are below 


And this is how Helga transformed them! 
They are available for purchase in Helga's ETSY shop! 

The feather shapes come from this collaged board and started with 
the papers seen at the top of the post. The back of the board is painted gold.

When Helga received the photos of my studio for the feature post, 
I think this photo influenced her ideas on what shapes to do! 

I really adore it that she picked up on my love for feathers and transformed 
my paper collage board into wood feathers!!! Thank you, Helga!

available here

The red board with the paper hearts was cleverly made into coral and the bright green board with circles was cut into wee houses. I tried that idea at home with a house stencil that Helga had sent me previously and thought it looked fantastic . . .  


My featured ARTchix guest artist post is here on Helga's blog.

There is a tour of my studio you might enjoy and it is rather fun to be featured there (link above). I have known Helga since she started ARTchix Studio and she is just the best! So many wonderful products to go with such a warm and wonderful person. I am blessed to know her, thanks again Helga! Here are a few more studio pics . . . we took more than needed for the article -these are different additional photos.

Me at my computer desk. Can you tell I like to surround myself with art?

me with Asia & Chloe at my art table

Thanks to my husband Steven for the "studio photography" xo


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. 
  ~ Scott Adams, American cartoonist




where I've been . . .

I have been busy! First, I was away with my husband for a 'small boat meet' last weekend, then this week, I have been writing a guest blog post for Julie Balzer. I believe it will be published next Friday - 5/18. On Tuesday, I took a video of my friend Kathy's Nia class on the beach and edited/published it -use the link above the view it on YouTube. I am quite proud of it!
I'm ready now for Helga Strauss to share the backgrounds I made for her wood shapes -she'll do that on 5/16, also giving a blog post tour of my studio at the same time. So, as far as press, when it rains it pours! : ) Plus, I've been going to physical therapy twice a week to heal my frozen shoulder, geeze. But, I just could not stay away any longer. Last Friday we traveled 3 hours north to beautiful Cedar Key and I took lots of photos, starting with some of the Sunshine Skyway bridge, which spans Tampa Bay and is over 21,000 feet long . . . click on any photo for details!




It really is quite amazing. We got to Cedar Key in good time even though we were towing a boat. Cedar Key is a beautiful little fishing village surrounded by other keys on the gulf side and the home of the Small Boat Meet the first weekend in May. This is the second year Steven and I have gone. This year, we towed our launch Chelsea and Steven tied the single-man canoe my dad made onto the roof of the car. My favorite part of the weekend I'd say, besides taking photos of the boat meet was staying in the beautiful Cedar Key bed and breakfast! This B and B is so lovely -- highly recommended.



See the 2nd floor balcony? That was our room - the Tree House! 
It was outstanding and Alice's breakfasts delicious. 

Here are a few favorite photos I took from the Small Boat Meet!
The Lucas Boatworks "gang" -My husband Steve on the far right

click for more details 


Stan in his puddleduck racer - the blue saill

Steven in Chelsea giving Howard and Phil a tow back to the island (currents)

Doug and Kristan christened their new boat, Ransom II with champagne! 

Doug carved this horse in honor of Kristan's horse, which the boat is named after. 

I love the look of this photo I took. It is like something out of a movie! 
The small canoe in the front is Steven's wee lassie, made by my dad, for him.

boats, boats and more boats, all different kinds from all over!

Steven heading back to Atsena Otie Key (island)
after dropping me back at the B and B!

I took about 300 photos and the majority of them are up on my flickr account if you are wanting to see more. I have had about 675 visits to my set of photos from Saturday because Dave Lucas of Lucas Boatworks included the link in his "boatnuts" email. (That is a lot of visits!) I was also featured on the DoryMan blog which is so cool! So my photos must be okay!! I will leave you with a very very short video I took of Rex Payne, Dave Lucas and my husband having a conversatioon at the boat meet that made me feel like they were speaking another language - Yes, it is a "boat" language I think!




When an artist explains what he is doing, he usually has to do one of two things: either scrap what he has explained, or make his work fit in with the explanation.
   ~ Alexander Calder

she is free

A 5x7 collage I made for a challenge on ARTchix Studio's facebook page -
my entry for the Challenge of BIRDS, EGGS, NESTS and/or CHARTREUSE!!

I did not win, but I love playing in Helga's challenges, anytime. 
I'm inspired by ARTchix's supplies and have been for years and years!

Tomorrow, I will be more free myself, hmmmmmm.   :  ( 

My boys are heading back to Boston in the very early morning hours. We have been lucky to have both of my sons and their wives/partners here with us for 5 full wonderful days. Nothing like having some youngsters around! They range from 26 to 30 years old. Click on any photo for a larger one.

Dallas on my Dad's old John Deere tractor. It's now at Lucas Boatworks and still used
by my husband. My dad used to tow my boys around in an attached cart when they were small.

Liz, Steve, Tina and Decklin checking out a Lucas Boatworks Boat (handbuilt)

Decklin and Liz climbed inside the boat Dave Lucas is finishing!

we went kayaking on the river : )

Then the kids cooked dinner for us!! I'd say miss Asia looks quite interested : ))

Had to cap off the evening with toasting marshmellows : ))
Decklin, Tina and Dallas

I will miss them . . . . even though our house is small for 6 adults and we needed lots more food in the house!!

Love them all, so glad to spend time together. A wonderful birthday present!! xo

our favorite holiday

more than christmas, birthdays, new years or even election day, Steven and I love valentine's day.

I stitched on a canvas leftover from a class
then collaged with various papers
and added eco hearts from ARTchix Studio.

 the finished piece - the words are from an ARTchix Studio sheet: perfect! 

 I added mail art even though this collage was hand delivered! 
I used an envelope I received in the Vintage Note Card Swap from 
Lynda Roddy Ozzauto to hold the collage, but added rubber stamps to personalize it.  


Steven was very excited to give me his gift - he etched these wine 
glasses secretly with moons & stars ;  ) amazing!
He had made 2 for us a few years ago and alas, they had both broken.
Click for details.


Steven made the card too . . . and then added his logo (and a price-ha!)


beautiful!!


loving wishes to you & yours -
lenna & steve



4x4 inch collages for an exchange

On the Oh My Gothic yahoo group we are exchanging 4x4 inch collages. Most of the participants are making them into a little book . . . but you could just enjoy them . . . or make into a larger collage. Hmmm, I am not sure what I will do with the ones I have received yet, but I have made two more and sent them off today. My dear friend Frieda in Scotland requested a theme of flowers, yummy! I am sure this will brighten up her cold days when she receives it.

The words are from ARTchix Studio. The flowers I got from Collage Stuff, by Prima. 
This 4x4 is made of paper and fabric.

The 4x4 watercolor card I bought already cut to size from ARTchix Studio -then I painted it. 
Later, I took a piece of sheer fabric (a scarf) and sewed it directly onto the watercolor card. It started like this below . . . .


Then I fooled around with which flowers might work and where the words should go. 
I ended up spray painting the plain white Prima flowers with Perfect Pearls Mists. I also added some glitter glue in the center of each flower because Frieda loves shiny, Magpie things.


I glued the flowers down with Tacky glue and was happy with the arrangement. 
 I hope you like it, Frieda . . . it is on it's way!



I also made a 4x4 for Debby on the theme of vintage children : ^)

I chose many more images than I would need, just to see what might inspire me. 
These are all pretty much from ARTchix Studio!


I also had a number of already painted 4x4 watercolor squares to choose from. 
After preparing for my collage class I had leftover paint. Instead of throwing it out 
I brushed it onto the watercolor squares. 

I chose a square and started playing with the composition. 
I ended up cutting the background away from the 3 girls. 

I added a layer of handmade lace paper for texture. It mostly disappears when added to the watercolor paper with gel medium, but I thought the extra wisps of paper fiber would be good.

A part of a pen shell adorns her hair and silver star tinsel that my friend and Nia teacher Kathy Oravec gave me, because she thought I could use it! She was right :  ^ ) I also added glitter and silver metallic marker splashes.

the back was finished very simply . . . That was fun! 
Now this is on it's way to Debby : )

I must say I have noticed, and maybe so have you, that I have not been doing as much mixed media artwork since my dad passed away, October 1. My creativity has continued to surface - taking photographs almost daily and also through lots of movement and dance: Nia classes, Conscious Movement and Dancing gratitude that I have found here in Florida. I am still doing a few things with mixed media and so I do not worry about the smaller output, just notice it. I imagine something will happen to fire me up and push me into more creativity when the time is right! I hope all is well with you. I am truly fine, except for a hole in my life. I miss my dad. 



'Vintage' for Tag Tuesday

The theme for the past week on Tag Tuesday has been Vintage! I am getting mine in at the very end of the last possible day, but that is okay! Let me walk you through how I did it. Click on any photo for a larger one.

I had a vintage looking postcard Tag I got from Lisa at Collage stuff -
I thought that would work well for this theme.

I glued the old dictionary page down and
inked the edges with distress ink - pumice stone 

I sprayed it with water to distress it some more!

This is what it looked like when dry.

I added the image of a woman, originally from ARTchix Studio
but is now printed onto watercolor paper.

To finish my tag, I added the lace and a small shell I found yesterday
while visiting a wonderful beach with my husband.

Go visit Tag Tuesday -there is tons of inspiration there!  Plus anyone can join in after emailing our hostess Carolyn. See how to join us in the sidebar once you get there : )