Visual inspiration board

I'm taking an Altered Book Art Journaling course with Tammy Garcia called Novel Approach. I've only just started, but highly recommend it. I have also done Tammy's paper prompts and  ICAD challenges -so much fun!  One of the things Tammy requested we do to get started was to collect items that appealed to us and create a collage out of some of them . . . saving some things for our pages later . . . 

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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

Collaboration with Sharon Borsavage


An altered book collaboration with Sharon Borsavage. : ^ ) 

A week or 2 ago I finished up the pages in Sharon's book and sent it home to her. I wanted to wait until she received this in person before sharing online . . . and then my sons visiting from Boston kept me busy for quite a while!
Today, I got my photographs labeled, resized and uploaded. The slideshow below shows Sharon's book as if you are flipping through it in real life.  You'll see both of our altered artwork sprinkled throughout her book. My own altered book that we have also been working on collaboratively is with Sharon now and whenever she is ready and has time to finish it, I will gladly welcome it home. I don't mind waiting!

If you cannot view the slideshow below, please use this link to view it online.



Sharon and I started this exchange back in late 2009 when I was still living in Connecticut! I moved across the country when my dad was ill with cancer- then he passed away last October. Sharon had some health issues herself to deal with and so we just took our time and worked at a pace that suited us. I will forever cherish this exchange where I got to "talk" to my friend Sharon through our collaborative art! xoxoxox

There is also a companion album where I have included more process photos and work done by both Sharon and I, in my nature themed AB. You'll find it here.

thanks for visiting!

Paper Stacks: Online Collaboration

I read last week on Seth Apter's blog about his proposal to host an online collaboration; a collection of sorts. Read all about it here: Paper Stacks. Having worked in lots of altered books, art journals, and collaborative journals full of paper and more, I could not resist the challenge to upload a photo (or 2 or 3 or 4) to my blog today. I will notify Seth that I have done this and he will add my link to the list of artists here -go check it out! I love that he calls this post/list: Stackaholics Anonymous!

My photos are sharing only a few of the art journals and altered books around here . . .
I did not want the stack to topple over! Right click on the photo and again if there is a plus sign, for a juicier look.

You are looking at the first book I ever altered, back in 2001 - 10 years ago.

Some of these books are collaborations and some are samples for my altered book classes.

I made more than one stack -I could not resist!

A recent art journal from 2011 in the back, an altered book class sample, a collaborative exchange I am still involved with, a Vintage glue book, a book from a class with Kelly Kilmer . . . .

My most recent art journal, a class sample book, a vintage gluebook and my first altered book.


Hooray for stacks of art! 
Thank you Seth, for coordinating. I am proud to add my stacks ; ^ )  lenna 



altered books

It has been a while since I worked in an altered book . . . maybe not since I was creating sample pages for my lessons in Artful pages - 4 artists 4 ways. That workshop is available now as a self-paced class. When you register you will receive access to the blog where all 12 lessons are available immediately. Let me know if you have any questions!

I have been busy for some time almost every day for a week now, working on an altered book collaboration I am doing with Sharon Borsavage of Livewire Jewelry. If you are not familiar with Sharon's jewelry or mixed media art, I urge you to go get familiar! She is so awesome. We started our collaboration almost 2 years ago and have been working in each other's altered books with out any deadlines. I have just finished a number of pages in my altered book and I'm sending it to Sharon now for her to work on as she likes, finish up and send home to me. I already have Sharon's book here in my possession and will start working on a few pages soon so I can send her book back home to her! They are both beautiful already, each filled with both of our art.

I will share a few pages with you, but suggest you go visit the set of photos I have called Altered Book Collaboration. You will see more of the step-by-step photos there and you can even look at the photos as a slideshow if you prefer. ; ^  )

part of a new page I did this week. I love the quote, click for details!

new page spread in my book, by me
that is my great uncle's painting in the middle on the right. 


my page on the left, sharon's on the right  : ^ ))

I did this today, then reorganized my ink pads! (Direct to paper ink technique)

These photos are of Sharon's Zinnia's. I copied them
and printed them onto the book pages (after removing them!)

sharon's work in my book -beautiful! 

my cover

I was thinking about the difference between working in and art journal and working in an altered book while I was doing this creative work this week. It is not too different for me . . . here, I have old music pages as my base. When I work in my art journal I have plain paper, most recently water color paper which allows a lot of wet paint for me! I did do a little bit of journaling on my sea grape leaves page in my altered book . . .  but I found I was starting to do a lot more writing in my art journal. I miss it a bit, so I may just need to do a page in my art journal soon. My art journal is almost complete (2nd one!) just a couple more spreads. I am so, so glad that giving that up on a daily basis, allowed me the time and inspiration to return to this exchange with Sharon, so it is all working out. Do you work in an art journal as well as an altered book? Any thoughts? Do you enjoy one more than the other?? Leave me a comment if you feel like it, I'd love to hear from you! ; ^ ) lenna

Altered Books - Artful Pages


This week in Artful Pages - 4 artists 4 ways . . . 

My first lesson was launched yesterday and what a wonderful feeling! When you have been working hard on something, it's so good to see it come to fruition. My part of Artful Pages is all about Altered Books; how to get started, some page background ideas, where to go from there, plus working with transparencies & gel medium transfers. The lessons are uploaded to a password protected blog on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 4 weeks: one week is devoted to each instructor/subject. I have been trying to do as many of the lessons as I can and it's been great. Each instructor has a different style and a different specialty and its so wonderful to be able to access all of this, in one place. Registration is open as this is an on-going class. There are 7 lessons up on the private blog as of the date of this post - and there will be 12 lessons available to download by the time all of the lessons are uploaded! It is a great value.


There is a flickr photo group to share photos of your work and exchange comments. I hope you can join us! The workshop comes down to just $10 a week as registration is only $40 for 12 lessons. ** If you are already registered and would like to leave a comment on the course, I would love your feedback. Thanks so much!!

my Altered Book for Artful Pages . . .


This small sample book I created to illustrate my lessons has grown quite full! Have you read about * Artful Pages, 4 Artists 4 ways? * This is a collaboratively taught class; I'll have one of the four weeks to teach my 3 lessons on Altered Books. I'll be joined by 3 other wonderful instructors teaching a variety of book arts: beautiful Vintage Gluebooks, Artful Journaling and yummy Altered Fabric pages -there will be 12 lessons in all. Go to the link above to learn more about it and register. I hope you'll be able to join us! You can start anytime and the class opens officially February 20th, 2011.

I added about a dozen photos of sample pages to my flickr account just so you could get a peek at what my lessons will offer, go here to view! Stay warm & dry and don't forget to do a little something creative.
 :  ^ ) 

new book arts workshop starts soon!


and yes, I have been busy writing lessons! 
This is a peek into one of my page spreads for my Altered Book lessons -
part of: Artful Pages - 4 Artists 4 Ways which begins on February 20th.

I have been writing & writing and very soon, I will be busy teaching a collaborative book arts class, online with 3 other wonderful artists: 
Mary Green, Hope Wallace Karney and Lisa McIlvain. We will be covering different aspects of book arts -Vintage Gluebooks, Art Journaling, Altered Fabric Pages and Altered Books. These new lessons will unfold February 20th - March 18th, with one artist teaching each week, sharing 3 lessons that week. As part of the class there will also be a Flickr group for the students. There you can share the art you create as you move through all the lessons. Your instructors and fellow classmates can comment on it, and in my experience, the flickr group is a friendly, caring and nurturing environment where you can definitely feel safe to share your art. I've always learned a lot and been inspired in the other classes I took that were organized this same way by Mary Green of Green Paper. (She's organizing this new workshop too!) The 4 artists 4 ways password protected blog where the lessons are posted, will stay open indefinitely - giving you plenty of time to work on the lessons at your own pace. You can actually join the class at anytime! The cost is only $40 for 12 fabulous lessons taught by 4 different artists. Go to the Artful pages: 4 Artists 4 Ways blog to learn more about what we will be offering and to sign up. It is only a few more weeks till we begin!

I can't wait to share what I've been making with you -
and how I did it, of course! : ^ )



I also can't wait to read Mary, Hope and Lisa's lessons & learn new things -this will be a great class. I hope to see you there, I'd love to have your support! There are already a whole bunch of students signed up and in the Flickr group. Thank you so much!