1000 posts!

I can't believe it! This post marks 1000 posts I have written here since December 8th, 2006. yikes! I did not know that was true until I decided to write a short note to tell you that I would be taking a blog break for a while . . . but if you are a regular reader, I bet you guessed that already. I just finished my Nia white belt training last friday and if you have not been here since then, I changed the main photo of the blog to reflect that -check it out here if you are reading via a feed. The Nia White belt training was intense: long days for an entire week, but very well worth it. I learned a lot and have also signed up for the Nia Green belt training held in Sarasota in February. (That tells you something!!) The Green Belt is an optional training based on embodying the skills to teach Nia. : ) In the meantime, I am PACKING! Boxes and boxes. You would think I would be used to this by now, but no I am not - I am slugging through it all. I do think though, that Steven and I have found our home. One that is really for us, on a canal off the Braden River. Not too far from my mom, either. Our moving date is November 6th - So, I am signing off for a while. Thank you for visiting and for all your comments these past six years!!!!!!!!!!

On tuesday I went to Siesta Key beach for Nia class and took this amazing photo . . .

At least it was amazing to me!! Click on it to view larger. I hope you enjoy and I'll catch you on the other side : ) sending love to you and yours, lenna 

Elbow grease is the best polish.
  ~ English proverb

family time on the bayou

My sister Kathy is visiting from Connecticut, whoo hoo!
We took a walk together at DeSoto Memorial this morning with Asia and Chloe.

Later when Steven got back home from making kayak paddles we went over to my mom's house and took kathy & my mom out in our little boat Chelsea for a cocktail cruise on the bayou. Because the boat is handmade and looks like the African Queen - a gem among all the usual motorboats, we get lots of people waving to us from shore, so fun! It is a slow and peaceful ride with a briggs & stratton lawn mower engine powering us along, putt-putt-putt!


happy mother's day to all the mom's out there . . . .
and all of you who "mother others" like pets and friends!

Trust you own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's.
  ~ Billy Wilder

Our walks at DeSoto Memorial

I took a few walks at my favorite place to walk this week, mostly with the dogs when they did not go to the boat shop with Steven. And I wanted to share some of the beautiful things we saw . . . .

I am lucky I have a zoom lens or I think the dogs would have 
scared this lovely great heron away! 
He was waiting for 2 nearby fisherman to throw him some fish!

I can never get enough of the trees there with Spanish moss.
My camera is drawn to taking various photographs of these trees.

The photo below, I played with layers in Photoshop . . .
You may be able to see the larger Starfish under the smaller one?

 my sweeties on one of the beautiful paths at DeSoto Memorial xo

Have a wonderful Sunday - I am off with my friend and student Ann Medlin Hall to 
dance and move at conscious movement in Sarasota - wheeeee! 


where does the time go?

I returned home Monday night from my travels to Connecticut to see my sister and visit with our families -her boys, my boys, extended family and friends. Now it's Saturday already! Geeze. Tuesday morning I was up bright and early to drive to Siesta Key for one of my Nia classes. It was very windy that day and the surf was loud but we still had a great class none-the-less. I dressed in layers and peeled them off.

A windy day on Siesta Key in Florida

I could not resist snapping a photo during class; what wonderful movement.

Below, I love these pen shells, I think they're called. I pick them up 
all the time (to use in my art) and feel like a regular magpie!

I joined Facebook this week, or was that late last week before traveling? Doing that has kept me really busy - learning how to use it. My account is here and I have started a creative lenna page which is somehow connected. I have not really figured it all out yet. I resisted joining Facebook for many years until I started doing Nia and going to Conscious Movement and Gratitude dancing -all here in Florida. If I wanted to receive announcements for upcoming events for these things, Facebook was how the word was spread. So I caved, and so far, it does not seem as bad as I thought it might be, so it's all good! 
On Wednesday, I took the dogs to De Soto Memorial for a walk and we spied a beautiful white egret.

Whoops!! That's our dog Asia, of course! 
Although, Steven often tells people she's part white egret as a joke : )

On Thursday, I captured some beautiful butterflies that love the flowers in my 
front yard . . .  click for a closer look.

Steven and I visited my mom on Thursday and took some photos of mom's pup, Loki.
He's a white standard poodle and really large for his age. He's only 6 months and teething!


Friday, Nia on Longboat Key beach was on my schedule and it was a beautiful day. There is really something to be said for moving barefoot on the beach, watching the birds as you stretch up towards the clouds, moving all your muscles in the wind, feeling strong and powerful . . . and we even saw two dolphins jumping out of the water as we were dancing yesterday.

The temps are still warm enough to swim if you are brave! 
Yes, there are seasons in Florida. Right now the temps are in the 50's - 80's.

My instructor on the beach, Kathy Oravec.
I can't say enough good things about this program, Nia.

Friday afternoon Steven wanted to bring me over to Lucas Boatworks and show me what they have been working on . . . look at this tiny Kayak being made from a kit!
It is for Kayak Kathy's 4 year old granddaughter, Izzy. 
Steven volunteered to make Izzy a wee kayak paddle.

my stamped coffee table is being refinished; I stamped this in 1998. 
Steven is giving it a fresh coat of epoxy to make it shine again.

I just loved how this wood shaving on his work table looked!

Steven showing me how he is shaping the kayak paddles he's making with my dad's tools.

I have a sketchbook to work in (two actually) and some colorful ATCs and luscious 4x4's are waiting to be made. I will be getting to all of this soon I know. In the meantime, I keep taking photographs and dancing! 
My very best to you, lenna

just a couple photos . . .

a bird at my parent's dock the other evening . . .

a photo taken this afternoon ; ^ )
Note my new hair color (again). Being a red head just didn't stick with me!

I have just a couple of recent photos to share with you. I would love to be creating, but I have not been able to focus on unpacking those many art boxes yet. Can you imagine this statement coming from me, who seems to always be arting it up?  I might be able to squeeze in making some things with the travel cases I packed, but instead I am finishing swapping out the technique tag swap, planning & writing up a new swap, visiting with my sister who was here for a number of days, and I started an exercise program that takes me out of the house for classes or training every day, phew! I just seem to be caught up in what i've already got on my plate. So I have decided not to worry about my studio!!! But I did kind of want to say to you, don't worry. My art will be back here soon - I'm already itching to do some! -sending love, lenna

paddling to Gilligan's island

This was my view from under the shade of mangrove trees yesterday, when we stopped for a rest from paddling. After weeks of packing, moving and now, unpacking and organizing, I told Steven I was ready for a break! The conditions have to be good for paddling one of our canoes around here, so I requested the next time the wind and the tides were right, for Steven to take me out with him. He said, "I know, we can paddle to Gilligan's island." That sounded like fun! This is a deserted island in the Perico Bayou, not far from our new home. We left the shore around 2 pm and returned around 4pm, so it was not too hard a paddle.

I find the Florida sky amazing . . .  click on any photo for more detail.
the water is beautiful, and the fish are literally jumping!
The cormorants were drying their wings after diving under water -wild!
This is Gilligan's island!!
My dad's handmade boat is beautiful and serves us very well.

We made it to the island, and then promptly went swiming! 

* happy paddlers *

white egret: a common sight for me now.
Trailering the beautiful boat back home . . . 
Till next time!

tiny feather finds a home

Steven came to me yesterday with a grin and said, "I found something you could make an inchie with . . . "

If you click on that photo you might be able to make out the tiny, tiny feather that he found! I have been doing a lot of work in my sketchbook recently . . . but I thought a good place for this teeny tiny feather might be the smaller moleskin journal I started during the Your Vintage GlueBook class I took with Mary Green (still available as a self-paced class). I enjoyed that class so much, I recently signed up for Mary's Collage Coterie Online Workshop that is soon to begin on August 15th - whoo whoo! I highly recommend any of Mary's classes. Anyway . . . . I chose the smaller of these two moleskin journals ( 3.5" x 5.5 ") I've been working in, to find a home for my tiny feather.

First, I covered the blank pages with an old dictionary page that included a plover (bird).
I added transparencies, a postage stamp from Sabine Busch in Germany, brown
watercolor crayon and gold pigment powder AND the tiny feather (near the plover).

Here is the finished spread - and one that is mine to keep!

the birds still visit . . .

We do not see the large birds in our yard as often as we did in February or March when it was colder, but we still see them and they are still amazing to me. The temperatures here are more normal for Florida now: in the 70's - 80's during the day - sometimes up into the 90's. I would bet that the Great Blue Heron, the Wood Stork and the Great White Egret that came looking for food in our yard when it was cold, have a lot more natural food available to them now. I never fed these birds when they came to us and I still won't, but I have seen people in the neighborhood feeding them in their yards and I am guessing that the previous tenants in  this house did feed them too. The other day we had a visitor to our yard . . .
a beautiful great white egret
And also on a recent walk I saw a great blue heron on the roof of a neighborhood home:

so amazing!!
We live in an interesting little neighborhood with many tiny one way streets, mostly manufactured homes and two streets of houses. We can walk a couple of blocks down the street to a tiny park with a tiny beach right on the Palma Sola Bay. Steven launches his canoe there quite often and the other day it was so hot we met him at the beach after his paddling trip for a swim in the shallow water. Chloe only wades a bit, but Asia went right in swimming with us, and sat on the picnic table afterwards!!


When Steven is not restoring boats with my father he is often paddling . . . their latest project is a windmill sailboat Steven picked up for free, that basically needs to be gutted:

This is my parent's garage, but they have now secured a workshop space!

You can often find Steven in a beautiful spot just like this, in one of my father's hand made boats!
This gives me ample time to create, talk to my mom, and together we visit both of my parents, walk, and swim. I am counting my blessings, that is for sure. lenna young andrews - may 8th, 2010 - happy birthday to my Nonie, my father's mom, who is not here with us on this earth any more. Still in my heart, i feel her love. xo

the birds still surprise and amaze us . . .

03.14- Great white Egret 2, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
Yes! Frieda is right! -Visit her blog to see her beautiful visiting pheasant. It is not an unusual occurrence to walk around my neighborhood and run into this beautiful great white egret. Or have him come visit my yard, perhaps being joined by a wood stork or two. Then of course, there is the great blue heron, or maybe I'll see a flock of ibis! We are continuing to see these birds a few times a week, if not more. Sometimes, while taking a walk down one of the little one-way roads near my home, all of a sudden I will realize I am walking right past a heron, just standing there cool as a cucumber! Click on the photo above and choose "all sizes" once you get there for a larger photo. Or click on this link for my 'birds gone wild' slide show - a nice glimpse of all the amazing birds we've seen since moving to Florida.

Explore our paradise - thank you, Marion B!

Marion Bockelmann from Germany sent me the most beautiful and appropriate card. I felt I had to share it with you because it is so beautiful and i liked it so much. See what Marion made for me, below. It certainly reflects my life as of late. (she must have been looking at this blog!!) I must say I really had no idea what was in store for me when I moved to Florida in December, as far as birds and natural beauty were concerned. More photos of my recent encounters of the bird kind follow Marion's card for me.. .  Marion's blog is bockel24 - check it out to see more of her wonderful artwork. thank you so much, marion. i love this card!

click on any photo for lots more details . . .

yikes!!!!! All of those photos were taken in one day . . .  one day! (and i did not even share them all). I am grateful to have such beauty and inspiration. Thanks to you who wrote and said "keep 'em coming!"
xo lenna young andrews - February 24, 2010

the egret visits -birds still going wild!

egret.visits3, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
February 17th, 2010 - in front of our house (that's our kitchen window!). A most gorgeous bird. 

American White Pelicans!

02.11- White Pelicans 2, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
I saw these 4 White Pelicans the other day . . . amazing! I had never seen a white pelican before, only brown ones. I was not sure what they were at first? I have been walking and take photographs every day, but not gotten here to blog about them . . . I've been busy instead with my ATC swap that's due next week - and also unpacking & organizing my studio. ; ^  ) You can take a quick look through my recent flickr photos by clicking on the photo above. You'll find more photos in both directions. I also have "sets" to manage my current obsession! : ))) having fun, lenna young andrews - February 13, 2010