art journal on holiday

Wouldn't it be fun to be on that little sailboat out on the St Lawrence River, heading for Lake Ontario and sailing around the Thousand islands? I saw this boat there . . . 

well, my drawing skills are not that keen, but the boat looked something like this!

 We were staying in the family cottage on Wolfe Island in Canada at the time. The St. Lawrence runs directly in front of the cottage and I could not help but try to capture this scene as a fun thing to do at the time and a lovely memory now. I had prepared the page previously with white gesso, so it was all set to go. I liked the texture the gesso left on the page, so I grabbed both acrylic paints and oil pastels and jumped in. 

I left some of the gesso uncovered, especially on the sky, to look more like clouds. The paint is a very thin watery wash, for a nice light airy feeling. You can see I applied a little bit of the same paint to the river too, but then added pastels over that as well.

I had packed my list of positive affirmations, given to me by my friend Joanna. I chose one easily and hand wrote it with my trusty Sharpie Marker . . . . We are looking at my rendition of Kingston, Ontario.

Even though it is not the most realistic of drawings, I am very pleased with this journal entry. Thanks for looking! I am linking this up at Art Journal Every Day!

I also worked on my 2013 Sketchbook project while there and plan to scan & share those pages with you soon. Right now I am concentrating on the Prayer Flag art swap I am hosting . . . I have lots more flags to scan and share. They are really quite remarkable, inspiring, beautiful . . . to name a few adjectives! You can see them all on my creative swaps blog!

 All swap flags are due in my hands September 15th, so I am sure to have a busy week. Please check it out if you have time - such gorgeous fabric art!

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  

  ~ Theodore Roosevelt

friday is art journal day!

Soft pastels, acrylic paint, one of my hand carved stamps (thanks, Julie!) and a positive affirmation (thanks, Jo!) produced this art journal spread you see below.

I started here . . . .

Next, I spread some pink acrylic paint on the other side with my finger . . .

smudged the soft pastels I had used a bit . . .

 Then I sprayed a bit of ink on the pages (it is still on my work table and i can't help it!)

 A little more ink (dylusions pure sunshine) as well as more soft pastels, yellow. I put one of my business cards in the tea bag pocket. I added the affirmation, writing with a soft pastel, spraying to set it afterwards.

I added marks with a gold oil pastel . . . The tea bag tags say: "Live in your strength" and . . . "Always be pure, simple and honest".

I made ice tea with this Green tea and just had to save the packaging!

I added part of a multi-colored pen shell . . . and signed the page.


This post is part of:

Art Journal every Day

mistake embraced

 When sending a handmade fabric sheet for my first prayer flag through my printer, it mistakenly printed out a troubleshooting report! At least "no problems were found". I was mad at the time because I had to make up another fabric sheet, but this feeling went away as soon as I successfully printed the words I wanted to for my prayer flag. However, I just could not bear to throw this fabric away. Instead, I thought it might make an interesting background for my art journal. I used my xyron adhesive system to lay sticky adhesive on the back of the fabric, smoothed it into my journal with a bone folder, spritzed ink and watered down paint on this "mistake" and waited for another idea.

 When I returned a day or two later I got the idea to add color with soft pastels. I had never really done that on fabric, but figured it was worth a try. I really liked how the pastels meshed with the fabric. Usually I will use a spray fixative with these pastels but this time, I gave them a light coat of matte medium. I had it out and was using it to apply a thin layer of paper napkin to the left side of the spread that was blank -the printed fabric ends 1/2 way across that page.

 The round clock image with the swans is from ARTchix Studio a sheet called Art Time Pieces. As you can see below I added another positive affirmation from the list my friend Joanna gave me. This time I had a crazy idea to write it out on a fabric flag of sorts. The affirmation is attached only at the spine and is loose. Click on any photo for more details.

 When the matte medium I was using was still wet, I sprinkled on stardust glitter! I love how it shines.

 I ended up spraying the affirmation flag with a bit of the pure sunshine dylusions ink because it seemed to blank otherwise.

 The orange flower in the corner was one I received when I went on a sunset cruise on the floating chapel last month. Since I was with some of my local Nia friends, who do support my growth, I thought adding the flower made a lot of sense. I used E-6000 to make sure it stuck!

 Above shows my flags flipped over. I really like the look of the gold pastel around the edges. That particular one is an oil pastel.

As a note: I don't look at this journal as a place to do remarkable, outstanding art! I look at it as a place to let loose and play, to try different things, to challenge myself with my favorite question, "what if?"

I really appreciate your interest, that you come and take a look, and maybe even comment. Thank you!

It is getting fuller every week! 

We must have the courage to be happy.

 ~ Henri Frederic Amiel

Art Journal Every Day

art journal progress

Slow but steady, every week, I make sure I get something added to my personal art journal -mostly because I can play along with Art Journal Every Day.  I would probably work in my journal on my own, but Julie Balzer's posts and a chance to share definitely keep me on track. 

This week I tried painting my pages with white gesso and then spraying the page with various inks on top of the gesso while it was still wet.

I did not plan this idea out in advance, but instead started my work in my art journal by deciding it might be fun to work with gesso as a base this time. After painting it on both pages I thought, what if I did not let the gesso drybefore doing something else? To let it dry was my original thought. Grabbing a new Ranger dylusions ink spray (pure sunshine) and also a Adirondack Color Wash (Denim) I started spraying on top of the wet gesso. 

Then, I sprayed more plain water on top of the ink to see what would happen.

I liked the effect! Next I sprayed with the Denim ink . . . 

I sprayed on both sides of the spread with more plain water sprayed on top.

I also used the brush I had applied the gesso with to blend the ink and gesso in places.

There was a bit of Lumiere (Halo blue green) on the edge of the left page, which was carried over from the

previous spread

. I liked it though! This prompted me to add more of that paint to the edge of the page and a bit diagonally across the middle. 

 I used my heat gun to dry the gesso and ink, but not too close.

I love some of the patterns that were made through my experimenting!

This looked almost like a beach scene to me - I see sunshine, sand, waves. 

I had chosen my affirmation from my list before I started and thought this time I would hand write this on the page with a thin tipped Micron marker. I have been including a positive affirmation on every page spread in this art journal using a variety of ways to do it: Rubber stamped, computer generated and printed on paper or a transparency sheet, handwritten, magazine letters, painted . . . it is fun to choose them and gives me a bit of a theme.

The collage image I chose is one of many beautiful ones on a sheet called Art Time Pieces from my favorite, ARTchix Studio. I purchased mine as a downloadable image sheet, which worked great and was very fast to receive after ordering.

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.

It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.

  ~ Anne Lamott

from painting to page

from painting to page

Last week I did not work directly in my art journal right away. Though as you might be able to tell from the photo above, my painting exercise ended up in my journal a few days later! I cut it to fit. It was not my plan to paint separately and add the paper to my journal. Instead the painting was done because I felt a need to get back to the exercises I did with Bill Buchman . . .

Read More

art journaling is good for me

art journaling is good for me

It is lovely to be back to working in my own journal, this one just for me. I do love the Sketchbook Project and have signed up for the 2013 project, I have even received my blank journal. But I guess I was ready to do some journaling for myself because that is exactly what I have done . . . 

Read More

Art Journal Every Day (only when you can!)

Art Journal Every Day (only when you can!)

"I have some awesomely good news for you: you don't actually have to art journal every day to be a part of Art Journal Every Day. So if you're up for a little bit of "you" time every day (or every other day, or simply when you can) I hope you'll join us for Art Journal Every Day this year." Julie Balzer . . . 

Read More

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

limited edition sketchbook fun!

I am working . . . hmmm . . . rather I am playing at a slow but steady pace in my sketchbook that is part of the limited edition project hosted by the Art House Co-op. So far, I have put fabric of my own design over the cover and I am covering the blank pages of the journal with paper, paint, ink and even embossing powder. I cut holes in the pages first to give viewers a sneak peek at the photos I inserted throughout the book. These are my own photos and I am enjoying mixing them up with paint and paper. I have written an intro and inserted it on the inside front cover but other than that, I notice that I have not done any journaling yet. I think when I finish arting up the pages I will revisit them and add some words. My most recent pages follow, please click on any photo for a larger, more detailed one. Thanks for stopping by!

I like playing with paint and paper in this sketchbook/journal and feel it is helping me connect back to art journaling again. For more info on art journaling, I would highly recommend Julie Balzer's site and the section Art Journal every Day, yay! 

The love we give away is the only love we keep.
  ~ Elbert Hubbard

sketchbook project: Limited Edition

I finally got started and literally dove right in! That was a good thing, as this sketchbook/art journal project for the Art House Co-op is due to be postmarked by April 30. Two things happened. I had been looking through my journals from when I was doing Art Journal Every Day and was feeling like I needed to start art journaling again . . . and then, I saw what my dear friend Frieda had come up with for her Limited Edition sketchbook on her blog, view hers here. So yummy! I simply fell in love with what she did and seeing her work really pushed me to get my blank sketchbook out and play. I started with the cover; so odd but true. It was Frieda's cover that gave me the idea to work with fabric.

I chose a piece of fabric I had printed up from one of my own art journal pages at You can see both of the designs I created from art journal pages here.

On the front cover (above) I added one of my favorite photos I had taken in the last 6 months . . . You can see a better photo of it here - a feather caught. Then, I started working on the inside of the journal. Since my theme for the project was "Create and Capture" it led me to the idea of creating on the pages as well as showing a few of the beautiful images I have captured lately with my photography. 
I got the idea to cut out windows so to "hint" at the images first.

I chose my images, printed them and laid them out through the journal with windows, and then today I started to "art up" the blank pages using watercolor crayons, paint, rubber stamping and paper collage -click on any image for more details.

water color crayons, circle template and circle stamps
by Balzer Designs!

1st layer

more layers of paint and rubber stamping

I used embossing powder over white ink for the texture, below. That is a map of the area here on the left, Palma Sola Bay, FL. I took the photo of the starfish while walking in De Soto memorial a few weeks ago. De Soto is located in the area of this map -this was not planned!
and glued on some lace & string paper around the window.

On the left I glued on marbled blue & gold paper first, then added ripped bits of "lace green with white thread" paper I found at Jerry's Artarama.

There is more to come, but I will save that for another post!
Don't forget to check out the Art House Co-op ~
I highly recommend their wonderful art projects!