I am delighted to be participating in Marion Bockelmann's Annual ATC Swap! The theme this year is 'All Things Alice'. When announcing the swap Marion noted that we did not have to stick to the original illustrations or the story . . .Read More
I like how my art journal allows me to play and to try whatever I feel like doing without worry. To concentrate mostly on doing and enjoying! I do love exchanges where I am given parameters and themes as those often help to me get started in my art making.
But there is really something about working on a free theme without any boundaries or expectations, except to try to do "something" for at least a few minutes everyday.
Writing and sharing about it here on my blog really helps me to keep this project alive. I do not think everything I do in my art journal is fabulous -- but the act of being creative every day is most certainly fabulous! And that is what keeps me going.
Last night I added a few papers to my art journal, and doing that suggested to me to add a little charcoal pencil. The scrapbook paper I laid down on the right had a bit of a dark edge and I wanted more.
; ^ ) lenna
|Cat Dodt Ellis won most creative ATC!|
Just yesterday, I finished sending out the returns for the Alpha Stamps Garden variety swap I hosted, due last Saturday. This was the largest swap I ever hosted, with 49 participants including me, wow! The artwork that came in for this exchange was truly wonderful, and a first time swap for many. In order to showcase something from each participant, I have created a short animoto video well worth watching. View it by clicking on this link: creative swaps -which will take you there directly.
I really enjoy making animoto videos. It is fairy easy to do if you are comfortable with uploading files. How it turns out really depends on the photos and music you choose, the order of the photos, and of course the effects animoto uses. If you don't like it, you can edit it! This one came out well on the first try - check it out! I hope you enjoy.
|Sabine Schneider won 1st prize for most creative postcard -it opens!|
it had been quite some time since I received a random act of kindness (RAK) sent right to my mailbox.
I used Alpha Stamp fabric images sewn onto sea-blue fabric in a wavy stitch for the front, but backed my ATCs with a watercolor card, gluing the two pieces together. I also used generous amounts of pigment powders to add some shimmer and sheen, which is hard to see here.
The ribbons and small gold shell charms are also from Alpha Stamps.
The words were cut out of a travel article from a Subaru magazine sent to us!
The shells were collected locally and the iridescent glass spheres are one of my favorite embellishments. The “sand” is old ‘weathered white’ PSX embossing powder, glued in place & not heated. I forgot to gather any of the real stuff!
Thanks for the fun exercise, Caroline. I look forward to seeing my returns!
There you have it, why I was so quietly busy!! You can find all of the supplies for the samples I created above on the Alpha Stamps Summer Garden Theme Page. If you have time, I would love to see you in the swap!
Go HERE for all of the swap details!!
happy day, lenna
Above is a close-up of one of the Fabric ATCs I made for the "Color Groupies" May combo of chestnut + fern. We did get a little creative with the naming of our color combos this year I'll admit; next, I will be working on Campari and Orange! Frieda Oxenham, who is part of this group along with Debby and Caryl, actually sent me a photo of a bottle of Campari when I told her I did not know the color!!
These ATCs were started as a larger piece of fabric and netting, to which batting was placed behind, while I sewed various stitches in a random fashion. I will add some photos below to show my progression.
|fabric, netting and batting pinned together|
|lots of stitching!|
|my ATC "sandwich"|
|Adding color - it needed more "chestnut"!|
|made for Caryl - images from Alpha Stamps|
|made for debby|
|made for frieda|
This one was made for me to keep. Caryl's, Frieda's
and Debby's chestnut and fern ATCs for me,
will join mine in a special Colour Groupies album.
|A close up view of mine - click for more details.|
I hope you enjoyed this peek at how I made them!
ARTchix Studio and Alpha Stamps mostly - as I have an abundance of them! The last envelope shown was originally white and I use Dye-Na-Flow inks with a sponge to color it, all in the name of art and fun and a smiling recipient. : ) lenna young andrews - march 29th, 2010
p.s. I have been doing this for a while . . . I put the envelope shown below, that I decorated and sent in 1975 before I knew anything about mail art - into one of my altered books . . . Wild, huh? This envelope/letter was sent to my first husband, John before we were married . . . the altered book it is in was about our marriage that ended in 2004.
The ATCs for this swap started like this -click for more detail -
I collaged and layered fabrics until I was happy with the arrangement and then started sewing pieces to the hand painted background fabric with my machine. When I had finished all of the sewing, I fused the front and back fabrics to a heavy interfacing called "fast 2 fuse". I had never used this before but picked some up because my friend Frieda Oxenham often talks of it, or something similar! I enjoyed using it. I could do my work separately on the fabrics, and then iron it to a sturdy base. voila'! Here's the other side:
"Starting on Saturday, December 26, 2009 (through Sunday, January 3rd, 2010), I’ll post a Giveaway on the blog every morning, and you’ll have until 11:59pm PST to enter. To enter all you’ll have to do is leave a comment on that day’s blog post (don’t forget to leave your email address, too, so I can contact the winners!)* After midnight I’ll randomly pick the previous day’s winner."
Go and make a comment and have a chance to win! http://www.alphastamps.com/blog
"The desire to make art begins early. Among the very young this is encouraged (or at least indulged as harmless) but the push toward a 'serious' education soon exacts a heavy toll on dreams and fantasies. Yet for some the desire persists, and sooner or later must be addressed. And with good reason: your desire to make art -beautiful or meaningful emotive art- is integral to your sense of who you are. Life and Art, once entwined, can quickly become inseparable; at age 90 Frank Lloyd Wright was still designing, Imogen Cunningham still photographing, Stravinsky still composing, Picasso still painting." . . . .
. . . and in another section of the book, this: “in a supportive environment –one found, more often than not, within the artistic community itself- approval and acceptance often become linked, even indistinguishable." ~ from Art & Fear, David Bayles & Ted Orland."
So! When I wanted to do something special for Frieda for her birthday, I would say that I hesitated slightly on exactly what to do for her because she is such an accomplished artist. When her birthday was becoming imminent and I was lamenting not doing anything for her yet, Steven suggested I give her some unusual and interesting things to work with - good idea, I said! Off to my studio I went with the intent of gathering things for her when I came upon the lovely image above, which I believe it is a Waterhouse painting? Helga Strauss of ARTchix Studio has this image on a transparency sheet. I took the transparency and color copied it onto a prepared fabric sheet; this I had done previously, and the image on fabric was already in my supplies in my studio. When I saw it I said, perfect! Look at this woman, really loving and savoring those roses. It said "Frieda" all over it! At that moment I said to myself, why couldn't I use this fabric image to make something for her birthday? It was the spark I needed.
I stitched the fabric image to a piece of hand painted fabric from my peace banner project; I made lots of extra painted fabric when i did that project, much to my delight now. Then I gathered the olive green velvet leaves and arranged them around the image; these were glued down with E6000 glue. I hand sewed on two carved shell flower beads from Alpha Stamps and then I added bits of broken abalone shell to the woman's dress. Frieda has told me she is often like a magpie, being drawn to glittery and shiny, luminous things . . . . so I also reached for two colours of iridescent glass spheres in 2 different sizes, also from Alpha Stamps and added these to the piece with tacky glue. The gold fabric which serves as the back of the piece and a frame of sorts, came to me as I was searching through my fabrics; it seemed appropriate for celebrating the treasure of a good friend.
The small words on the bottom of the image read, "admired and loved"(ARTchix Studio) which is how I know Frieda feels about roses, and how I definitely feel about her. We have know each other perhaps 5 years now, maybe more, and even though I have not yet traveled to Scotland and she has not yet traveled to Connecticut, I feel it is safe to say we have a long and slow growing friendship that seems to deepen every year through our artistic and personal sharing. Happy birthday to my dear friend! How lovely to be working on this post in preparation for the quilts arrival in Scotland and have Frieda email me in the middle of writing it and say, "Dear Lenna, your present is here, it arrived today and it left me totally speechless, so it's just as well I'm typing this!" I do believe she liked it! : ) oh happy day, from lenna young andrews on September 5th, 2009 (my son Decklin's 28th birthday - wow!)
Here is what I made for Vickie Trancho, who is one of my longtime creative swap participants that I know loves images from the company Alpha Stamps, where all the images in the project below are from! I created a type of accordion book/card for her. Click on any image for more detail. After the photos, there is more info on how I made this.
I just picked up last week's mail from the Post Office. What a wonderful surprise! You know I love fairytales!
Thank you so much. You are a very special person with a grand, loving heart. Have a good summer!
Much love to you and yours,
Frieda was picked as one of the 'winners' for this particular project I blogged about, and so soon afterwords I set out to think of what to create, especially for her. This was a bit of a challenge for me because I respect her so much as an artist, and I found it was a little intimidating. She has won so many awards for her art quilts and she is also such a generous and prolific artist in the mixed media world! I festered about what to do for just a bit . . . but I knew I wanted to do something with FABRIC for her and something that had meaning for her and also for me . . . and definitely something she would like!
Finally, I started by simply choosing bright batik fabrics that I imagined Frieda would like - as she has mentioned her love of bright fabrics before. I ripped out a 12"x12" section of two different fabrics; pink & purple! Then somehow, I got the idea of doing something related to her garden. Probably because Frieda has been sharing so many beautiful and appreciated photos of the flowers in her garden in Scotland as of late on her blog, which I have so enjoyed. Occasionally, if a larger version of a photo was available, I would copy it and save it to my own computer for reference or possible use later. While creating this art quilt I remembered I had a very lovely photo of what I believed to be one of Frieda's gardens when the daffodils were in full bloom. I got the idea to print that photo out onto fabric and incorporate it into the art quilt I wanted to make for her.
I ripped out another rectangle of the pink hued batik fabric, gathered some batting, and also the Alpha Stamps floral and leaf beads I had on hand. This made very much sense too, as Frieda still is, and I was, an Alpha Stamps design Team member! I took the top two pieces of fabric with the batting behind them and sewed them together. Then with a decorative leaf stitch from my sewing machine, I added the garden photo printed on fabric. To the top right corner, I added a small bird image from ARTchix Studio's garden sheet collection. I could not resist hand-beading some teeny tiny beads around this image, mimicking the beautiful work Frieda does on ATCs and her larger quilts.
It still needed something! So, I sewed the Alpha Stamps jeweled flowers, leaf beads, and added the pearlized stick pins from Alpha Stamps .... I knew I also wanted to add words and had to think for a while before I knew what I wanted to say. Finally! Meet you in the garden! I decided to rubber stamp this, as Frieda says she learned how to stamp on fabric from ME! I practiced a little and then went to the main fabric. because the batting was already in place it was a little tricky, but it worked. I was happy because what I wrote/stamped could be interpreted in more than one way. It could be the little bird saying, "meet you in the garden" or it could be Frieda saying to her husband John, 'Meet you in the garden', or it could be ME in CT, USA ---saying one day, Frieda, I will meet you in your Garden!! : ^ )))
I got an email from Frieda today, a week after I sent the art quilt out, and I will share with you what she said:
"Oh wow, I could barely believe the wonderful package which was handed over by my postie today. What a beautiful gift and I so love the picture you've used of our garden and how you combined it with the gorgeous batik fabrics. And I do so hope that one day we will meet each other in the garden as your text suggest!! Saying thank you, really does not seem adequate, but at the moment it's the best I can do!! Thanks again so much, from the bottom of my heart!"
: ) she need say no more! I am smiling. What a fantastic project I 'larked' into! Here is a close-up scan, click on any photo for more detail:
These ATCs began as one piece that I fused together with timetex interfacing in the middle and cut apart into 4 ATCs. I did this while taking a workshop with Elin Waterston - more on that later! After cutting out the 2.5 x 3.5 pieces, I added the Romantic fabric images from Alpha Stamps and stitched away to my heart's content on each one.