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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Need inspiration? A challenge?

Looking for inspiration/ A place to start? Here are some creative things you can do for yourself in the new year. I am either partaking in these myself or I have in the past. They are all FREE! 
  • Strathmore 2012 Online Workshop Series: 3 free workshops. Doodles Unleashed (mixed media technique) Watercolor Sketching, and Force Drawing Technique, with 3 different instructors.
  • Book of Days with Effy Wild: art journaling with videos on how to create your own art journal and inspiration to fill it. This is a year long project with a Flickr group and a facebook group.
  • Green Pepper Press Street Team Challenges: Michelle Ward leads wonderful monthly art challenges for you to do in your own art journal and share as you wish by posting on your blog or flickr or wherever, linking via comments on the GPP blog.
  • Creative Jump Start Summit 2012: Hosted by Nathalie Kalbach and featuring I believe, 22 awesome artists and their "jump starts". I just watched the Jump Start #1 video with Dina Wakely and it was really so good! I look forward to more from the other artists.
  • Creative Every Day: with Leah Piken Kolidas. Inspiration and a place to share your creative activities, based on a theme if you wish. This is a "low pressure challenge with the idea of bringing more creativity into our lives." There is a flickr group for sharing as well.
  • Tag Tuesday: Hosted by Carolyn Saxby. Create a Tag on a seasonal theme that will be posted every Tuesday. Keep and use the tag yourself, but simply post a photo to Tag Tuesday. 
  • Art Journal Every Day: with Julie Fei-Fan Baltzer. I can't say enough good things about this project/challenge where the idea is to try to do a little (10 mins) art journaling every day. Lots of inspiration from Julie and fellow art-journalers on the accompanying flickr group.
  • Green Paper: with Mary Green. Every month Mary provides both images and a challenge to use them in any way you like, then share a link on her blog. The January challenge is here, and you have up until January 8th to upload yours. I often do these challenges and always enjoy. Mary has a wonderful bank of Vintage images which she so freely shares with us for this monthly challenge.
  • Penny from the Linen Shelf is soon to start an ATC challenge. Her idea is that we will make an ATC based on the calendar month and we will keep the ATC but add a link to her site, by the end of the month so we can all enjoy. My friend Joanna in the UK told me about this and it looks promising! 
  • Creative Swaps: hosted by me -but usually not free! (the only one in the bunch) There are no art exchanges running currently, but you will find creative swaps up and running again in the near future. You may sign up for the Swap Participants Newsletter - this will alert you to any NEW art swaps hosted by me. 

Of course, this is not a complete list. Just things I am interested in or involved in. I hope you find something intriguing here . . . . and go do something creative!! 

Welcome in the New Year well! : ^ ) lenna

new blog header

I like to change my blog's design a lot, I think . .  . I imagine it is just another creative outlet for me. Recently, I've received a number of lovely comments about my new blog header (thank you!) so . . . I thought I would share the entire collage with you. I created this about 2 years ago and the original post about it can be found here. It describes some of my techniques. I started this as a demo piece in a class I was teaching in CT, then finished it as part of my online collage on canvas workshop. I framed it because I thought I might sell it, but it is still with me! Although, it is packed in a box somewhere . . . . since I have not seen in in person for about a year and a half it will be a joyous occasion when I unpack it and hang it up. Have a great weekend -- I am very happily working in my sketchbook (!!) and will be back with a peek at that before long . . . . 

Since posting this, my friend Denise asked HOW I made the header & so I thought I would answer right here. Just skip this if you are not interested!! You need to be signed into your blog, first. Then click on "Design" top right in the navbar (navigation bar). You will see the name of your blog with (Header) after it and a link below it to the right that says Edit -click on that. Once there, you will see the blog title (you can change it or leave it) and a space for a description - that is where I have typed "the art and life of lenna young andrews". Then you can choose if you want the title and description to be: a) behind the image b) instead of the title and description (no words, just image) or c) - the description after the image. I usually choose the first choice: a) and then work with the template designer and the different fonts available to get the title placed where I want it. Sometimes, I choose b) - if I have used a program to add text to my image and so I don't need the title & description showing. Next, you'll see: Image. If you have an image uploaded already you will see "remove image" underneath it. Click on that if you wish to change it . . . and you will see where you can upload a file from your computer or from the web. I always choose one from my computer and have located it before I start this, so I know where to look for it! I also resize it to a good size before I go to upload it. For me, I find something around 850 x 350 pixels or 900 x 500 pixels works for my blogs. It's probably easier if you know how to size your photos. Every computer works differently . . . it is best to get someone local to show you how. 

I think I owe it to my son Decklin, who got me started working with email, websites, files and photos online, way back in 1994. He always told me, "you won't break it mom! Just try it!". It took me a while to feel confident but now I am. If you don't like what you have done, you can change it!!!! It is always good to have a back up of your blog before doing any major changes. I hope this helps. For me now it is a matter of how do I do this? then I search for answers. Google Help has a lot of answers. You can do it, be brave! 

vintage GlueBook class

vintage GlueBook Class 11, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
I have been taking a class-what fun for me, since I am usually the one teaching online! In the "Your Vintage Gluebook" class that I've been taking, we're finishing up the last lesson. This 3 week online workshop (with 9 lessons) was taught by Mary Green, who was awesome! I think she really rocked as an instructor. I learned a lot about composition, something I naturally do with not too much trouble, but armed with the information Mary gave me, I had a new outlook to approach my art. It was very refreshing!!

The class was held on a password protected blog page with an addition of a flickr group so that anyone in the class who wished could share their progress as they worked. To view the very large body of impressive student work, please go here.

The background papers used in my spread above of ocean life and flowers come from a download of Antique French Dictionary Illustration pages I found on Mary's e-shop: Green Paper Packages. I just love the ocean one especially!! (Both my husband Steven and dear friend Frieda like this ocean/fluers vintage gluebook spread the best of all I've done).

Even though the live blog posts are over, the class is still open to join and all the lessons are available. The class blog will remain open for 7 months after the end of class - through December 31st -- Click here to view more details about the class. It was truly one of the best things I have done for myself creatively in a long time!! (Thank  you, Mary. All your hard work is much appreciated). 

500 miles? No, 500 Posts Give-away for YOU!

The post I added this morning about my altered book coming home was my . . .  500th post! The very first post I wrote here on this blog was dated December 8th, 2006 -wow! It is a little hard to believe I have been blogging all this time. I want to thank you for being here, whether you lurk and read, follow and/or comment, email me, join my art swaps . . . really any combination! I am happy that you visit, share my life and art. 

In celebration of writing 500 posts I am going to giveaway 5 prizes
Yes! 500 posts = 5 prizes!

#1. one Free registration to any one of my online workshops -taken at your convenience. I offer 4 workshops: The Mini art Quilt Book, Collage on Canvas, Fabric Stamping/Painting, plus "Open The Door": A mixed media photo/art journal.

#2. one collage package, hand picked by me from my collage boxes. I will gather items from my stash. Here is one of about 5 of the collage boxes I'll choose items from.

#3. This lovely selection of fabric - the whole pile! The piece top left was hand painted by me!

#4. one creative swaps registration for FREE! The registration could be for the current Tag Book swap or the upcoming Garden variety Postcard swap announced in June. 

#5. One hand made piece of art by me! This will be decided upon after the winner has been randomly chosen, based on the winner's likes/dislikes and desires : )) I will give you a few ideas on what I could create & you can tell me what you might like if you win!

How to win any of these wonderful thank you prizes?? 
Please leave a comment on this post with your email and tell me WHICH prize you would love to win! If you do not want to leave your email publicly, you can email me and let me know you have commented. If you don't give me your email I will have to chose someone else, to be fair. 
FIVE winners will be chosen randomly and announced one week from today on Monday the 24th in the evening. What do you think?? Now just for fun, I thought I should have a theme song for my 500 post accomplishment . . . . 

"But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door"
- The Proclaimers

stars they rise and fade

Click on any photo, and you'll see a larger photo with more detail . . . Here's a close-up of one section of this canvas I painted and collaged for a friend:
This collage on a canvas board is a good example of the background techniques I teach in my collage on canvas workshop. If you've taken the class with me, I am sure you recognize the rubbing alcohol, salt and baking soda on this piece. It is so interesting that I had two students sign up for this online course this same week . . . . I will be away on vacation for the next two weeks, but would be happy to coach you through the collage on canvas lessons after I return home on July 26 if you are interested. See the link above for lots more information. Here is another close-up section of this canvas -click on it for more detail ~
The words you see printed on this canvas are lyrics from two different songs by a Scottish 'psychedelic' folk band that I listened to back in the 1970's called the Incredible String Band! I printed the lyrics out onto paper after finding them online and ripped the paper into usable shapes; then applied the words to the painted canvas with gel medium. I had almost forgotten about this very unusual and interesting band until I caught up with an old friend of mine via email recently and we were talking about music we listened to, back in the day! Here is a photo of the entire collage:

The small image of the woman is one of my favorites from the Over the Moon collage sheet by ARTchix Studio. After all the papers were glued down, I added gold Lumiere paint to the canvas with a sponge. I also sponged teal and violet dye-na-flow paint onto the papers once they were adhered; using the same colours as I used on the canvas for the background so they blended in. Small plastic stars were glued directly to the canvas with tacky glue to fit the theme : ^ )

If you click on any of the photos for a larger view, you should be able to see some of the rubber stamping I did -small stars, with a Brilliance ink pad in Galaxy Gold. To finish this collage, I edged it with a 14K gold marker, signed it, and then sent it off to my friend . . . who just wrote and said, "I love the painting you sent me". Awesome! That makes me happy. Wishing you happy summer days and warm starry nights ~ lenna young andrews ~ July 10, 2009

collage on canvas workshop - online!

Have you ever wanted to learn how to jump in and get started creating a collage on canvas? Need ideas on how to layer and complete a collage?

Good news! I have taken my collage techniques 'in person' class and written an online version, complete with step by step photos, consisting of 3 lessons totaling 77 pages in PDF file form.

Lesson 1 gives over a half a dozen different background techniques for canvas using everyday household products and acrylic paint. The techniques are shown via written instructions, photographs and are all very easy to do. We will spend one lesson exploring the techniques on canvas paper and canvas boards. Then, the 2nd and 3rd lessons will take you from start to finish, step-by-step through the creation of a number of mixed media collages. You can work right along with me as you learn about jump starting your collage and layering. This 3 lesson workshop is designed for both beginning and experienced students and will give you the information and experience you need to create many collages . . . on a canvas panel, a stretched canvas or even mat board!

What is special about this new online workshop is this: Because I had enough interest to merit it, I am offering you an invitation to join me and the other students signed up for the workshop in the creative lenna classroom yahoo group March 18 - April 18, 2009. This will be a private yahoo group, via invitation only for those who have registered for the class prior to March 18 and wish to participate. This yahoo group will allow for sharing of your work via file uploads and conversation about the class and the techniques between the group members. How exciting and rewarding! Please let me know via email or via a note on your PayPal payment invoice IF you would like to be part of this class - or rather do the lessons one-on-one with me, thanks!

Want to learn more and register? Go to my teaching web site - and look on the Collage on canvas Workshop page. The cost for the workshop is $35.00 for all 3 lessons and the classroom experience, if you wish. You'll find a PayPal button on the web site to register with. Any questions, let me know.

In conjunction with this, I am also hosting a collage on canvas swap, 3 for 3, on my creative swaps blog - You will find all the details about this swap, due in June in the original post.

SO glad to be feeling better again! A viral type flu-bug has now run though our home and touched both Steven & I. We are glad to say we are moving around easily again and I am happy to remind you of this workshop & swap! : ) lenna

new online workshop/new swap

I have been quietly working behind the scenes . . . . . and it has produced a new online workshop: Collage Techniques on Canvas -- plus a new swap to match it, hosted on my creative swaps blog. It has been a lot of work, but well worth it I think! I am proud of what I have put together and I hope you enjoy it, as well. The images on the sample collage shown here, for my on-line workshop are from Alpha Stamps - check it out!

making things . . .

Over the past week or so I have spent a lot of time out in my studio making things! I just have not posted about this until now. I've been working on canvas boards and stretched canvas, using paint, paper and creating small collages. I think I will see if I can sell some of these finished pieces either locally in one of the shops, or maybe even online. Some of these canvas collages were made specifically so I could photograph my process, step-by-step, for a new online class I am writing. I've had a few requests for my 'Collage Techniques' class that I teach in person to be made available as online lessons. I am very happy to say that project is well underway and I hope it will be finished soon. You can find all of my on-line workshop offerings on my teaching website: A Little Creative Space.

I had bought a number of very small stretched canvas that I prepared (before the holidays) by painting with either white or black gesso. I thought they might make nice valentine gifts! With that thinking in mind, I painted small hearts in a variety of sizes using Lumiere paints. I also cut out some paper hearts. This was a fun project! After painting, I thought my little canvases needed a bit more oomph, so I found some words from a discarded magnet set and added those with goop glue. You can see the finished pieces below.

The larger canvases (ATC size - 2.5" x 3.5") have a little stand or a hanger, and the smaller ones (1.5" x 1.5" ?) I turned into magnets - what fun!

The other larger canvases I did for my online class are full of my collage techniques - see them below . . . you can click on ANY photo for more detail.

I will write more on these later!