ARTchix Studio is 10

ARTchix is 10 years old this month, how can that be?? I remember when Helga Strauss started ARTchix Studio! Her collage sheets and art supplies have been a staple of my mixed media art for 10 years. I am so happy she created a masterboard and asked her blog readers to create something with it for a blog challenge. Read Helga's challenge here -find out more about masterboards. Now extended till Nov. 8!! Details here at the end of the post : )

I took Helga's challenge and used her art to create a card for her celebrating this special birthday. With much love & thanks to you, Helga!  xoxoxox lenna

complimentary colors - twinchie challenge

On My ARTistic Life last week, Helga Strauss gave us a new challenge: "Make a twinchie (2" square collage) with complimentary colors." She wanted them uploaded by Monday -today,  May 10th -eep! I believe I just made it in under the wire . . .  I chose brown + blue as my complimentary colors and started by drawing blue circles with my trusty watercolor crayons on a 2" square of watercolor paper. I thought it looked pretty cool, just like this:

But since this is an ARTchix Studio challenge, I wanted to add something artchixy! I had recently downloaded the new Cool Silhouettes collage sheet and printed it onto a clear Transparency with my Ink Jet Printer. Don't you think it was the perfect choice? I love it because it doesn't obscure my complimentary colors.

Fabulous fun, Helga! I look forward to your next spin of the color wheel  : ^) lenna 

A monochromatic 2" x 2" collage

Over at My Artistic Life Helga gave us a challenge of creating a monochromatic (one color) twinchie.
2" x 2"
I took a 2" square piece of watercolor paper paper and covered it with 2 different sized squares of pink fabric, using Tacky glue to attach the fabric to the paper card. Then I used a watercolor crayon around the white edges of the paper square and on top of the fabric too; with a wet brush I activated the crayon. I found a section of a large fabric paper collage I had made & stamped with pink mark, cut a snippet and layered that on. There is also a bit of a pink paper Helga made for her master board challenge, underneath part of an inchie she designed: "desire, discover, dance". I finished this tiny collage with a bit of pink lace edging from my large fabric paper collage and a good amount of pink glitter. Thanks, Helga!!

Challenge: Show Off Your Favorite Twinchie!

On My ARTistic Life -the blog of ARTchix Studio owner Helga Strauss, the challenge this week was to make a twinchie (2" square collages) and then make something with it! Helga said, "Frame it in a unique way, turn it into a cool card or piece of jewelry, a nice ornament for a friend....". Helga had a wonderful example on her blog of taking one of the Twinchies she made with paper and making into a pendant using a silver Memory Frame with a large glass insert to protect and enhance it -find out more on her blog. This gave me the idea to create a Twinchie out of fabric and then make it into a necklace!
I created a two-sided piece; here is the back:
The images I used are from the 'Chixies Bubbles' collage sheet, a collaborative effort, via an art swap that was hosted by Helga! The words are from one of the "Tell Me" collage Sheets. I find myself using these sheets all the time now. They often inspire or greatly add to the collage I am working on.

here's me with my necklace . . .

That was really fun to make! 

happy birthday to me! lenna young andrews -february 21st, 2010

Twinchies Challenge

On Helga's blog: My ARTistic Life the challenge this past week was to make 3 or more twinchies (2" square collages) and add something recycled if you'd like. Cool! Remember the scans make them look larger . . . they are truly only 2" x 2"!

These little 2" square collages started out with a sturdy watercolor base I cut myself (not the straightest). To make it easier, you can purchase already cut pieces from ARTchix Studio. Since Helga suggested recycling, I went to my collage boxes (flat recycled cardboard boxes) and looked through. I had some images from ARTchix Studio that had been cut out but not used at the time and I grabbed those; the top collage has a transparency on the right. Then I spied photos of trees I had taken in CT and printed out onto clear transparency sheets. I saw a tea bag label, a postage stamp and some thin scraps pf paper and fabric -amazing what i saved that made the move from CT to FL! Some of the phrases from ARTchix's collection of word collage sheets were out on my work table and the rest i hunted down. To finish these tiny collages i looked for a texture or design stamp i could use on sections of my Twinchies, to pull them together. I used VersaCraft ink for the stamping to give me a rich, thick look and heat set it for permanence. Thanks for looking! lenna young andrews - february 16, 2010

Inchies for Helga's challenge

InchiesLenna 2nd set, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
Yes, these are only 1" x 1" even if the scan makes them look larger! On Helga Strauss' blog: - the challenge this week was get get inspired by making inchies and using the "power" of the number 3. Helga requested we limit ourselves to only 3 main items to play with and to please make one of your items something you've recycled.
So, I recycled some leftover bits of Helga's masterboard she gave us to work with for a challenge last summer. I had copied her collaged design onto fabric and had not thrown away the extra bits leftover after i made my ATCs for that challenge. So that was my base, on top of watercolor 1" squares. On top of that i added words from 'Her Next Words' collage sheet to make a fun found poem/line and then my third item was transparency squares from the 'Inchie World' transparency sheet -both Everything was assembeled with my xyron 2 1/2" sticker machine.
I love these challenges. They keep me thinking creatively, how cool is that? Thanks a million, Helga!

inchie challenge

On Helga Strauss' blog: My ARTistic Life the challenge this week was to get inspired by creating inchies, 5 inchies, either one a day or all at once. I picked the "all at once" option, and here are my efforts.

It had been a while since i had created any "inchies" (1" x 1" collages) and i had truly forgotten just how small they were! So, i decided to start making them more or less together, cutting them apart at the end for any final embellishing. I took my 1" square pieces of scrapbook paper and glued them to a piece of watercolor paper.

next, i drew around the edges of the squares with a watercolor crayon. Yes, i use these all the time!
I used a wet brush on the crayon to activate it
adding rubber stamping (CatsLife Press) with StazOn ink
added more crayon to the paper squares (yellow)
then cut the inchies apart -phew!
a little more stamping (stars) and words from ARTchix and i was done ; ^ )

Thanks, Helga!! Another great challenge! ~lenna young andrews - February 1, 2010

power of 3 and the moon

I made myself rummage through my traveling supplies so i could participate in the current ARTchix challenge -  I still have not unpacked much in my art space! But the rummaging was worth it because i feel better already  : ^ ) and ready to take on my huge task of unpacking & setting up. Ha! we'll see . . . . i imagine i will just 'need' something in one of those boxes soon, and be forced into it!! Once i  start, i know i will enjoy the process, it's just thinking about it that is overwhelming. How many of you have moved? -my husband often reminds me, 3 times in 4 years- and had to break down & re-set up your art working space? you know what i mean!
For this week's challenge on Helga's blog, My ARTistic Life, she wrote: Get Inspired by the Power of 3! Make a piece of art that has 3 of something in it. You do not need to use ARTchix Studio products for Helga's artistic challenges, but i often do. For my challenge piece i used an image from Snowflake Kisses that i had reprinted onto vellum (bottom left) and 2 Transparency images from the Starry Night sheet. I also chose 3 different pieces of text from the Tell me more collage sheet. You can find all of these in the ARTchix Studio Shop!
I started by gathering the 3 images that i wanted to use, and then based on their "moon" theme, i looked for a background. I had a leftover piece of an old magazine page from creating a 'universe collage' a few months ago which i thought would be perfect. I glued that starry background piece to a watercolor postcard and played around with the placement of the women/moon images. Once satisfied with where i thought they looked best, i glued them down to the background paper with my mini xyron. Then i got out my circle template (Helga's gotten me into circles!) and used both a white opaque marker and a silver glitter marker to emphasize the "moons" and the power of 3! I also wanted 3 sets of words, and chose 3 different ones from one of Helga's word sheets (i use these sheets all the time) to create kind of a found poem: be in a dream, far far away, a deep dream of peace. Later, when i took the dogs out before bed, i looked up and saw the moon and gasped! i tried to capture a bit of what it looked like for me in florida; hope you enjoy! lenna young andrews - January 26, 2010

Helga's Jan. 5th ART Challenge

jan5-challenge 015, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
It's been a while since I have been able to do one of Helga's wonderful challenges . . . we are still in the middle of our long-distance move from CT to FL. We have settled for the time being, in a cottage near my parents with what we could fit in the car! In about 2 weeks or less, the moving truck will meet us down here at a house we will be renting for a year, phew!

Anyways, Helga's January 5th challenge on her blog - - was to use 3 or more of her recent art challenges and combine them together to make one fabulous piece of art. : ) I could not resist! I chose 'Get Inspired by Pattern, Color, Texture, Your Reading Materials, Things You Enjoy, and Your Scraps!

I started with a circle pattern. I used a circle template and my watercolor crayons, adding different colors, layering and adding gold & black pens. My base was a 12" x 12" piece of scrapbook paper and I pulled colors out of that paper to work with. I added texture by crumpling up a piece of scrap paper and pouncing pink and gold lumiere paint onto the scrapbook paper to add color & texture. I added a piece of watercolor paper behind the scrapbook paper to support it.
I added scraps of thin, hand-dyed tissue paper around the image of the couple. This was an ad in a Jockey underwear catalog! (my reading materials!) I brought this catalog with me when we left CT because I loved this picture, it inspired me! To the horse, I added a pink ribbon with a hand made copper charm that my friend Sharon Borsavage tied around a present for me! The charm has an "xo" etched into it. There are other scraps of paper added, including the couple in the corner on water color paper.
I added "rub-ons" of swirls and flowers and rubber stamping with thick black VersaCraft ink, which I heat set. the stamped saying above the woman on the horse is from Cats Life Press and says, "Can you hear me?" she whispered. "Yes, my sweet, he smiled, and you are music to my ears." That seemed most appropriate for this collage.

I used a metallic marker to edge the piece and splatter all over, something I cannot not seem to resist adding to my work! This is a very "worked over" piece, my favorite kind of art to do.
yours creatively, lenna young andrews January 4, 2010

10.27.2009 My Artistic Life challenge - Inspired by Your Reading Materials!

10.27.09. challenge, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

On Helga Strauss' blog, My Artstic Life we are working on expanding our creativity through her fantastic weekly challenges. Click on the link above to find out more . . . and click on the photo above to view the full image. This is the 2nd week of an online class Helga is generously offering for free! This week our assignment was to "make a collage using images from one of your favorite magazines and add dots and circles in a variety of ways". Last week we worked on dots & circles (see below) and we were supposed to pick our favorite pattern to add to our collage. A perfect idea!

I do not usually work with circles and dots so these have been great challenges for me. Thanks, Helga!!
lenna young andrews, October 27th, 2009.

Circle Challenge

10.20.09-circleChallenge, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

This is what i did for Art Challenge #1 (of 9): Get inspired by Pattern! - found on Helga Strauss' My Artistic Life Blog Challenges. Wow, thank you Helga! this exercise was just what i needed today . . . a little art therapy for me while i also discovered some very cool backgrounds that i may employ for my next project. Cool! I love your challenges because they always make me stretch and try something new. I am so grateful to you for that experience that you consistently bring me.

Above I used water color crayons and a big pad of paper -mine was 10"x 14". I divided the sheet into 6 grids. Top left was freehand circles with a crayon - i colored the background too. The middle top square = sequin waste as a stencil. I colored in some circles with crayons, and when some washed away as i wet the crayons, i stenciled some Dye-Na-Flow through the sequin waste instead. Top right is a button i traced with the crayons; everything was wet with water to activate when i was done filling in the squares.

Bottom left - painted a blue background with water color crayons and let dry, then dotted with white acrylic paint directly from the tube! I also used a white marker to circle the paints and add dots. Middle bottom square was tracing a Lumiere paint jar . . . . and the bottom right = using a circle template and tracing various sizes. I really enjoyed this exercise, Helga & can't wait to see next week's! awesome! yours creatively, lenna young andrews, October 20th, 2009.

Helga's Little-BiG combo challenge!

The current challenge on My ARTistic Life (Helga Strauss -ARTchix Studio) is a 'Little-Big' Combo challenge. Helga suggested, "For these 2 weeks, make a little collage (1" square) and combo it up with a large collage (4" square or ATC 2.5" x 3.5")."
yeeHa! I always bring a bag of ART stuff along when i travel, so i worked on this piece while i was visiting my parents in Florida. I choose the 4x4 size to combo with the 1x1 square. I took Helga's Masterboard that she created for a previous challenge and copied it onto a piece of vellum. Actually, i did that in August for that challenge, but did not use it. I used a copy i made on to fabric instead. The vellum copy is very light and kind of transparent. I used my xyron to make it into a sticker and then placed it on top of a piece of watercolor paper that i had first colored with yellow, green and orange watercolor crayons --this shows through the vellum print of Helga's masterboard.

My 1x1 square was an old ledger sheet that i added color to with my trusty crayons.Then, when everything was attached i used a permanent black pen and more watercolor crayons to accentuate the lines of the bird, Helga's swirls and the edges of the 1x1 piece. I finished this with hatch marks from a silver glitter marker! Thank you Helga for your continued inspiration. xo, lenna young andrews, October 12th, 2009.

play with pink & green!

Over at My Artistic Life, Helga Strauss has challenged us to play with pink & green! Today I was inspired by all the wonderful entries I saw on the ARTchix Studio Yahoo Group and decided to make some time myself, for this challenge . . . tonight! I love pink & green so it was not too hard to find some good things to work with. I gathered up different fabrics & images to fit the theme and then played! This 'playing' morphed into a 9x12 art quilt.

I laid fabrics out and then stitched them together on my machine, attaching them to a batting piece at the same time. I started out around the edges and then changed the stitch and sewed randomly around the entire piece. That was fun! Then I sewed on various ARTchix Studio collage and transparency images. I used a white pen to accentuate and extend some of the lines on the fabric. Lastly, I glued a quote I had previously printed in pink onto plain muslin fabric with my own printer. It is one of my favorite quotes, and most appropriate for all the fun we have with Helga's blog challenges, yahoo group activities, swaps . . .

"Each of us has a spark of life inside us, and our highest endeavor ought to be to set off that spark in one another." -- Kenny Ausubel

: ) lenna young andrews, September 24, 2009
note on September 29th: I found out this afternoon, I was one of the winners for Helga's Pink & Green challenge - Whoo whoo!! follow that link to her blog to see all of the winners. My prize was to choose 3 ARTchix sheets of my choice, and here is what i picked: Tell me More Collage Sheet, the Royal ATCs Transparency Sheet, and the Gothic Arches Transparency sheet. Lucky me! more wonderful variety to play & create with : )

a lovely 'trade'

a few weeks ago i received this wonderful comment on my blog from Sharon Borsavage . . .

". . . just adooore your little video, and love your 'blue' piece, and your 'bold and beautiful' bird IS MY favorite, BUT your 'to have and to hold' IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE!! Would you possibly trade it for anything, jewelry or anything!! If not, no problem. I just love it and I am such a newb to this, the depth of your media is astounding to me! Thanks for making me smile, and all of the inspiration! "

WOw! thank you Sharon, for being outspoken, telling me how you feel, and asking me to trade! I cannot remember the last time I 'traded' art with someone. I sent Sharon my 'To have and to hold' challenge piece from Helga Strauss' September 9th challenge. When you go to that link, you'll see that Sharon WON this challenge with her wonderful composition. Here is my piece that I traded with Sharon:

. . . and, lucky, lucky me - this is what Sharon sent me per my request, a wire wrapped necklace she made, her 'love' necklace. i really LOVE it! click on any scan for more detail.
This necklace came with a beautiful silver chain and a hand made closure, but i switched it to a long cord because the length of the chain had the necklace falling right where the amethyst my father gave me hangs on my neck. I always, always wear that piece that he gave me (never take it off) to keep him forefront in my thoughts, so . . . with a little adjustment, my Sharon Borsavage 'Love necklace' is perfect for me! please check out her Blog: -
Thank you again, Sharon!

Checkerboard Fun: ARTchix Weekly Challenge!

Helga Strauss at has given us a new challenge: to try out some checkerboard fun! I never work in an organized fashion like this except for once before when she gave us a challenge of working with a 'grid', so it was really a wonderful challenge for me. I used images from the new Paris bookmark sheets, ooh lala -found at - and also used some of my favorite rubber stamps from Claudia Rose. Of course, i reached for my watercolour crayons too, as they were still out on the table. I really did have fun creating this! The "marvelous treasure" image with the buttons in the middle, comes from the bookmark i made originally for this ARTchix Swap swap; Helga used all the Paris Bookmark entries to produce these awesome collage sheets -the ones on my challenge piece are just a few of the images. I feel very lucky that she gifted them to all the participants, including me!

: ) Thank you, Helga!

Note added 09/16/09 ~ I was so tickled to learn tonight that Helga chose my piece as one of her favorites in her Checkerboard Blog Challenge - yowza! I am honored. My prize was to choose 3 ARTchix Studio image sheets . . . i picked an old favorite: Over the Moon, and two brand new sheets: Sepia Style and Sepia Birds!

ARTchix challenge: To have & to hold

On Helga Strauss' blog, the challenge is: To Have and To Hold . . . she asks us to "make a piece of art that shows a person or animal holding something"~ wow! Check out some cool samples at the link above. Since the deadline is September 8th, i am amazingly, early this time! You don't need to use ARTchix Studio products for Helga's blog challenges, but i often do just because i love to use them. Here is what i came up with in answer to her call; a close-up of the main section, which is done on canvas paper -click for more detail:

and, the whole challenge piece shown below, is sewed to a section of hand painted fabric i made this summer:

I started with an image from Women in Art, a classic ARTchix Studio collage sheet, then I cut out two hearts from the Heart and Soul collage sheet. I wanted the woman to be holding the hearts for Helga's challenge, so i got out my x-acto knife and carefully cut out her arm & hand. Then i just played with the placement of the 2 hearts (glued together by now) until i got a look that pleased me, then attached them to her with a glue stick.

I looked for a background to place the Woman in Art image on, and found a small piece of canvas paper that i had done a tissue paper background sample on for one of my collage classes. It had the right color and feeling. I used my xyron machine to make the image with the hearts into a sticker, but then also sewed this to the canvas paper to make sure it stuck and to add interest. Then i got a little carried away and sewed all over!

I wanted words to express what the image was portraying, and settled on a quote rubber stamp that i produced when i had a small line of quote stamps: LennaLines. I stamped this on tissue paper with permanent ink and then used gel medium to attach it. I also spread gel medium over the entire collage and added a turquoise yarn and a gold thread to the composition. Then i had to be patient and let the canvas paper piece dry - i placed it out in the sun! I did not like it all by itself, so i reached again for the fabric i painted for the peace banner project to use as a frame or base for the whole thing. Ta DA! I sewed the canvas to the painted fabric & smiled. I am ever so grateful to Helga at ARTchix Studio for her continued inspiration and challenges, they are keeping me in form!

Weekly Art Challenge: Masterboard Playtime!

I am back from a lovely visit with my mom & dad in Florida, and while I was there, I made time to work on Helga's art challenge for August 25th - Masterboard Playtime! : ) Helga created a very cool "masterboard" for this challenge. You can read all about how she made it, using the link above. It really is the base for the fabric ATCs I have created here. For my pieces, I took Helga's masterboard and color copied it onto a prepared fabric sheet! I cut sections of the fabric into Artist Trading card sizes, (2.5" x 3.5") added text from the Her Words sheet and also small snippets of paper (the green triangles & hearts). Then I sewed the finished fronts to a bright tie-dye fabric backing with a bit of cardstock in-between for stiffness. GREAT challenge, Helga, wow!! I so loved collaborating with you! xo lenna young andrews, august 25th, 2009.
p.s. 8/26: Helga chose my entry as one of her favorites -i am psyched i can choose 3 artchix sheets! I am also very honored with so many awesome entries. See Helga's favorites here!