Image resist gel print ❤ mail art exchange!

Image resist gel print ❤ mail art exchange!

“We ❤ Mail Art” is a small group of friends consisting of Jo Urbani, Julie Welsh & me. Since 2013, the three of us have exchanged art on a theme or technique a few times a year, placing an emphasis on Mail Art -see some examples via that link. It’s a lot of fun . . . This time we tried Image Resist Gel Prints!

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song lyrics mail art

song lyrics mail art

For the "We ❤ Mail Art" group (that's me, plus my friends Julie Welch & Jo Urbani) - our October mail art theme was Song Lyrics. It took me some time to decided which song to pick for my inspiration, because there are so many to choose from. I listened to a lot of Pandora while driving and auditioned many a song . . . 

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We ❤ mail art Exchange: Foldnotes

We ❤ mail art Exchange: Foldnotes

I am lucky to exchange mail art with my 2 friends, Julie Welsh and Jo Urbani -check out their blogs! They have both also written about our exchange for September 2014: Fold notes. Take one magazine page, paint it for more strength and then decorate it as you like . . . 

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a look behind the scenes at creative lenna

a look behind the scenes at creative lenna

A look behind the scenes at creative lenna via a virtual blog tour. I'm not sure when this 'blog tour' got started on the web, but I learned of it from my friend Joanna Urbani. How absolutely lovely that she wanted to nominate me for inspiring her!  :-D

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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

creative play: it's good for you!

I hosted a prayer flag swap recently, see the results here. It turned out to be a really fun swap, more than I anticipated when organizing it. Many of the participants found they so enjoyed working on these easy to make small flags, creating them with prayers, wishes and good thoughts in mind. There was a huge variety of flags which you can see if you follow the link above. A lot of us said, "I think I am addicted to making  these!"  When Jan Smith added a link to her photos on her blog, she wrote: I'm still addicted to making them...so if anyone out there fancies swapping a shabby style prayer flag (1 to 1 swap) I would love to hear from you.....

So guess who wrote back to her? That's right, me! I figured I would need a break from that tedious job of packing, so I went ahead and agreed to a trade. I knew Jan loved "shabby chic", so I took some fabric I had found and plunged in. These flags are small, around 5" x 8" - so it didn't take long and was a treat for me after a morning of squishing things into boxes and going through oodles of packing tape. While packing up some of my fabric I found a really old piece of cotton print that I made something out of 20 or 25 years ago!!! I also purposely chose one of my grandmother's old linen pieces with cherries on it, very small in size -not sure what it was used for, some type of napkin? I also chose a lace doily & trim for a shabby look. If you click on this first photo, you can view them all in the lightbox . . . . I made 2 layers for this flag, one muslin and one the old cotton print and only sewed them together at the top so they could move freely.


I sewed the doily on only via 1 straight line in the middle so it would flop over.
There is my Nonie's 'cherry' linen piece layered under.


I added a quote printed on fabric (found while packing) for my thoughts 
or wishes . . . and some cotton lace across the bottom



I also cut the floral print so it would be fringed


On the back I sewed a business card


Here it is -Voila! 


I sent this to Jan today . . . it is traveling to the UK so it will take a week or two if we are lucky and she is sending one to me today as well, what fun! My received prayer flags are shown via the link - wow, so many of them! Everyone was so generous and I received many flags as gifts. They stayed up outside for about 2 weeks and are now packed in a box to be brought to our new home.

New home? Yes, our closing is tomorrow morning!!!!!!!! We will move in about 3 weeks to a home on a canal right off the Braden River, and we have decided to rent our current home. I have Nia White Belt Training starting on Saturday that runs long days for a full week. We (mostly Steven!) have some things to do in the new home like painting the kitchen (cabinets too) and all the windows being replaced with Hurricane ones . . . Steven and I have an anniversary (together 8 years) coming up October 25th we'll be celebrating in Casey Key with our boat Chelsea in tow. I still have lots of packing to do here. I really have only just begun! So, that is my story, what about you? I cannot promise to answer but I would so love to hear from you. 

Hope all is well with you & yours. 
xo lenna  

by the sea chunky ATC

I had never heard of a "chunky" ATC before until I read about it on Lisa Busch's Collage Stuff Blog -go there to check out just one of her beautiful samples. Lisa owns a business called "Collage Stuff" where she sells wonderful collage stuff!  I often find just what I might need for a project and also, collage items that inspire me to start something new! And Lisa runs super art swaps through her yahoo group - check that out too! I learned from her that a chunky ATC is a variation on a trading card made on a wood block, 2.5" x 3.5" x 3/4" wide. This was a one-for-one swap, sending directly to the person Lisa signed you up with. Here is what I came up with -a bit of my creating process. First some gathering . . . I have collected lots of lovely shells living in Florida!
 I did not have to, but decided I wanted to paint my block white. I got my blank chunky wood ATC from Collage stuff - follow this link and scroll down a bitThey are high quality pre-sanded blocks.
I used Goop glue (E6000) to secure the various shells.
The little gold sequin stars I got from Collage Stuff, the pearls were a broken bracelet.
The dictionary page came as a gift from Lisa with my last order -perfect!
Now my chunky ATC has shell "feet"!
For the back, I wanted a business card that had a copy of "Shell art" already on it.
(ATCs I created for another swap)
But Lisa wanted the back arted up too, so I stamped various images on white tissue paper using permanent ink. When adhered to the block with matte medium under and over, the tissue paper melts away. Only the image remains!
From the side . . . 

From the top!

The front, from the top. The crinkly wire wrapped around is from collage Stuff.

That was sure fun to do! Thanks, Lisa for the inspiration and organization.
My chunky ATC is in the mail as of yesterday, swimming it's way to Andrea in Texas. I have already received a beautiful chunky ATC from Gloria - what a great swap!


Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
  ~ Chinese proverb

An exchange with Frieda

It is always nice to exchange art with friends, but especially lovely when exchanging with someone you have gotten to know over time and whose art you admire so much! This wonderful envelope from Frieda Oxenham landed in my mailbox late last week. We are doing a very loose exchange of art without any set themes - or rules about what to make - and we have up to 3 months to respond when something is sent. Frieda and I both used to be in a monthly ATC swap together called Color Groupies. That exchange is over now and so this is helping to fill that void.
I love all the postage stamps and the rubber stamping Frieda did on the envelope. I have not gotten a lot of mail like this lately, so opening my mailbox and finding this envelope was a real treat for me and a definite mood lifter! Thank YOU, Frieda!! Hmmm, perhaps I should be sending more mail art out - if I want to receive more? Inside the yummy envelope was a photo card produced by a fellow blipfoto journaler whom we both subscribe to. What a treat!
Inside the card was a handwritten letter, which I especially cherish in this day and age and a wonderful fabric ATC, hand stitched and beaded by Frieda. What a cutie pie she is -then & now!
Frieda has written about how she made this ATC on her blog. Hand made felt is her base!
You may remember I sent Frieda an ATC and mail art envelope in May, at the start of our exchange. I wrote about what I made here, and below is a quick photo of my envelope and ATC.

Now I will have to think about what I will make next for Frieda. Another ATC? I miss making them on a monthly basis, so perhaps yes! I could respond in July or I might wait and create something in August when we are traveling to and visiting Wolfe Island, Ontario. The cottage is directly in front of the St Lawrence River and is such a lovely spot for art making . . .  

Again, thank you Frieda. Your mail and art was just what I needed.  I am also quite honored that you squeezed this exchange in among all your other art and quilt work! xox 
Make sure to visit Frieda's blog and blipfoto, amazing.

Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand above: Kindness in another's trouble, and courage in one's own.  ~ Diana, Princess of Wales





A friend . . .

A friend is someone who will do a personal art exchange with you, hee hee!
My good friend, Frieda Oxenham and I have been exchanging our art and our thoughts since 2005. We've never met in person yet because we live across the ocean, but we've developed a good friendship through our many exchanges. Two of the groups we were exchanging small works of art with recently wrapped up their exchanges. I felt bereft in not having Frieda's art and her snail mail letters in my hands on a regular basis. She is very busy and involved with both her award winning art quilting and her mixed media art but we figured a loose, open exchange with a long response time might work for us. I decided to start with an ATC for her and made myself one as well (similar, but different) as a mirror of what I created for her that I would keep. Frieda has received her ATC now, so I will share both with you! Click for details.

Frieda's ATC is on the left - the one I made for myself is on the right.
Frieda's has a "friend" rubber stamp on it that is quite correct!

For this small ATC I wanted to use one of Frieda's favorite colours, yellow. I reached for a piece of "fabric paper" that I created two years ago. I attempted such a large piece of fabric for this project, I have plenty leftover!! This was not planned when creating my ATC for Frieda, but so appropriate because it was Frieda who taught me how to make fabric paper in the first place!


I ran an ATC size card through my xyron adhesive system and then pressed the fabric paper onto the card. I used a strip of yellow fabric with an additional piece of fabric paper on top and attached it to the card by beading tiny seed beads onto the card. This type of beading is what I would call a "signature" of Frieda's fabric art. i was trying to create something that would make her smile!!



Then I got Frieda's latest letter out, sat down, read it and composed my response.

"Hi Frieda!" 
I was taking photos for A day.org that day . . . 

Mail art for Frieda, who always appreciates it! 

'Till next time!! 


Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
  ~ Vincent van Gogh