Doodles as a Focal Point

Doodles as a Focal Point

I had these two photos of myself taken in 2012 with my new camera (at the time) in a tub of leftover collage papers & photos. It came out of the tub because on Wednesday the 18th of March 2015, a total of 1004 people who do the online photo journal Blipfoto posted photos of themselves with their arms reaching left and right so to virtually "grab" the hand of the next participant when the online journal photos were all lined up together, as they are on the site . . .

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catching up on journal pages

catching up on journal pages

Recently, I found I have not been working in my art journal on a daily basis, but still dive in a few times a month. Instead, I take photographs every day (fairly consistently) and journal about my favorite one for that particular day on my blipfoto journal. This habit has become a wonderful creative outlet for me - obviously, as I just celebrated 4 years of keeping a daily, or almost daily photo journal . . . 

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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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Language of Flowers Mail Art & where I've been!


Here's the story of my long absence! Even though the blog has been quiet for 3 months, I've actually still been here. If you kept this space bookmarked and are reading this post, I'm both amazed and grateful. Truth be told, the work of moving to a new home in November coupled with a health issue kept me away from my blog. The move left my art supplies boxed up for months. The rest of the house got unpacked but the studio space required so many decisions. I was just not up to making them. And since my creative art making process is what I really enjoy sharing here, I found I was not blogging either.

Fortunately, the health issue has been sorted and . . .  the studio is almost all unpacked! I have a new Doctor, one that listens, who recently told me he was not worried about me, but would continue testing my liver every six months. I have a chronic liver disease called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH, which is a common and often “silent” liver disease. There are no specific treatments yet, but losing weight has been found to be helpful to shrink the fat cells that aggravate the liver. I'm happy to say I'm down 15 lbs since September and my cholesterol is down too. I had to give away a huge bag of clothes (too baggy) and I'm now fitting easily into clothes that used to be too tight! I have another 15 pounds to shed but I'm not worried about it. Removing wine or any alcohol from my diet has been a huge help in losing weight - plus that is best for my liver. When I have bloodwork and another ultrasound in June, I'm anticipating an improvement in the health of my liver.

Now, in regards to the Mail Art, which is what I really want to talk about most here . . . this is what happened. Knowing how I work, I thought a deadline would be most helpful to get me to started creating again. I've continued being creative through photography during my absence (see my photo journal at blipfoto) but I instinctively knew that to get myself doing collage or mail art I would need a deadline. This is where two of my art buddies, Joanna Urbani and Jewels Welch stepped in to help me (follow those links to see their mail art). They have been exchanging mail art with a theme every month. I have been enjoying their creations! So I slyly asked them if I could join in their exchange . . . . well, they both enthusiastically wrote back that they'd be more than happy (VERY happy!!) for me to join in with their Mail Art/postcard fun. Whoo hoo -in like Flynn!

Queen Victoria in her wedding dress -note the headpiece

Jewels gave us the theme of the Language of Flowers. Choose a flower, look up the meaning, decorate a postcard and an envelope to share the meaning of the flower without using the name. Then the mail art recipients could have fun guessing the flower. My friend Cheryl who lives near me in Sarasota gave me the idea for my flower. I told her what I was doing and she reminisced about planning her parents wedding anniversary. Cheryl had looked up the meanings of the flowers that were in her mom's original bouquet, as she was reproducing it for the occasion. One flower in particular she told me about, I already had growing in my yard!


I created the collage sheet above from photos I had taken, to use on the card and envelope.

my card above

attached to the back of the card

 I researched on the internet (fun!) and created an information sheet about the history of the orange blossom, then enclosed it inside a small envelope attached to my card.

one of the envelopes 

back of the envelope

  I sent three mail art envelopes  one to Joanna, one to Jewels and an extra one to Cheryl for her friendship and inspiration! My Flower is the Orange Blossom. It has the most heady and wonderful sweet smell. We planted a Hamlin Orange tree here at our new home in January and so enjoyed smelling those flowers as we walked by! Now there are little green oranges that we are hoping will continue to grow and grow . . . check out Jewel's blog post and Jo's blog (post to come) for their Mail Art on the language of Flowers : ) A huge thanks so much to both of them!  xo lenna


Love is the flower you've got to let grow.
  ~ John Lennon

my life: 2012 . . .

. . . a kind of 'year in review' for me using animoto to pull it all together into a video slideshow.

The direct link is here: http://animoto.com/play/1uQ4ErIrUlNK9P8pQPl1wg

A year in the life of Lenna Young Andrews

A photo of me by debra pettinato-ross on Siesta Beach on Christmas day!

I have not returned to blogging here on a regular basis yet, as you might have noticed!

I wanted to suggest if you missed my posts here, you can find me on blipfoto almost every day.

Blipfoto -is an international photo journal site. You can look at my journal here.

 The idea is to post one photo a day taken on that day and then write about it, if you wish. Since my main creative activity recently is taking photographs, I have gravitated towards sharing them there . . . instead of here, at least for now! You can sign up for a free blipfoto account and be able to comment, or just visit and read as often as you wish. Not much art is going on here yet as my supplies are only minimally unpacked. I think that should change in the not so distant future but there is a lot going on here at our new home (work to beautify) and I am allowing my art studio to unfold in it's own natural time. 

* I wish only the best for you and your families * I hope you are happy, healthy and doing well

* Smiling and laughing and creating! *

My very best to you and yours xo lenna

The greatest honor of a lifetime is to be who you are.
— paraphrased from Joseph Campbell


beach, clouds (amazing) and nia

I took these photos over the last two days locally on the Gulf of Mexico here in Florida. Sometimes when I take photos from far away, they come out of my camera with a painterly quality.

Aren't the clouds amazing? You can click on any photo for more detail if you wish. 
The photo below was my blip for July 5th on blipfoto (my photo journal).
The following photos were taken at today's Nia class on Longboat key.
Nia is a sensory based movement practice. What better place to practice than on the beach?

As you may note, I played in Photoshop with these two -fun!!

warm wishes of good health and lots of sunshine to you! 

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. 
~ Theodore Roosevelt

"Creating a snapshot of the world in a day"

I read about this global project on blipfoto where most days, I share a photo of something from my day on my very own blip journal. This project is called aday.org ~ please go there for the full story. Blipfoto had me wanting to participate with the opening line in their blogpost: A global documentary project is aiming to create a crowdsourced snapshot of the world.
If you cannot see the short video I've embedded below about the project, please go here: http://youtu.be/t168HcRgfKQ. I hope you join me!





Les arbres sont la creation de la terre pour parler au ciel.
Trees are the earth's effort to speak to heaven.
  ~ Tagore.

365 photos

I hadn't been adding photos to my journal at blipfoto for quite a few weeks; until recently I was stuck at December 31st, 2011... I just did not feel like it, perhaps some sadness was still with me after my father's passing. But recently, I got the urge to start adding photos again and decided to do what is called a "back-blip" -uploading and filling in photos taken but never uploaded- to my journal during January & February. One of the blipfoto rules is you are only allowed to upload one photo to the day you took it. One slice, one memory, of that day in time. During this process of catching up and adding photos to my journal I uploaded my 365th blip! This is *celebrated as a birthday* on blipfoto! For most people it would represent a year of daily entries, but for me it was more like 14  months : ) But that's okay - there are no rules about time!  Ta da! Here is my 365th blipfoto journal entry taken from my art class with Bill Buchman:


You can read more about it on my journal entry for January 23.
I am still catching up . . . not uploading for every day that I missed, but just for days with photos that are important to me or special in some way that I want uploaded to my photo journal.

Thanks for visiting! I have changed my comments here back to a separate page instead of embedded and I hope that makes it easier for you, I heard it was troublesome at times. I am sorry if the new captcha code (prove you are not a robot) is harder to do (I find it is) but unfortunately I don't have any control over that. I need to leave comment moderation on in order to keep phishing and spam off of my sites. They still try to leave it sometimes, but this way I can catch it and no bad links are posted!


creative every day

I am not going to post what I do creatively every single day . . . but I thought it would be a great idea to do this some of the time. At least good for me, and especially as I embark upon this new (old?) journey. Today, I'm electing to share my creative every day activity with you and hope that you'll enjoy it too. I took many photographs while on a walk with my two dogs this morning and then played with the photos, using layers and filters in Photoshop elements. A leaf floating on water . . . in more than one version!

click for a larger version





I used this one for my blipfoto . . .

This was the original! 

More photos from our walk can be viewed here. Thanks for your notes of support!
; ^ ) lenna



time to tweak

I came to the conclusion the other day that I did not want to or could not, for any extended period of time, do one specific thing everyday as a challenge for myself. I started off last December by giving myself a daily challenge of taking a photo and uploading it to Blipfoto. This was a great, creative challenge for me. For 200 days in a row, I took at least one photo per day and uploaded it to my account on blipfoto -December 19 to June 25. I did this fairly happily without any breaks. Since June 25, I have continued to take photos almost daily and upload them to blipfoto, with the difference being that I've given myself permission to not "have to" upload every day. It is a different experience for sure, but better for me (less pressure). I still enjoy it very much, continue to be active there and have now reached 252 days of uploads.

On May 1st, I discovered and committed to Julie Balzer's Art Journal Every Day. For a while there I was working in both my art journal and taking and uploading a photo, every day. whew! I have just finished four months of doing something in an art journal almost daily -or at least trying to. I really loved doing this and produced so much art. It really threw me into working in an art journal, something new for me, as well as doing something artistic and creative that was just for me. Since I am often doing art for other reasons -swaps, teaching samples, submissions . . . art for ME was an an unusual and wonderful experience!

September 1st rolled around today and I realized I was not ready to commit to working in my art journal every dayI remembered I had saved a link to a website where the challenge was to be creative everyday - making a piece of art (any kind), cooking, dancing, singing, knitting, taking photos -whatever, anything creative! I found the site: creative every day and it definitely appealed to me. Low pressure and I did not need to post about it everyday unless I wanted to. So! I have committed myself to this. I feel good that I have committed to a challenge that will encompass all the things I like to do and not leave me feeling over committed or too frazzled. I may keep a journal about what I'm doing or I may just keep a pact with myself. Does that make sense? To celebrate, a photo I took of Asia today, in the back yard, just for fun. I also made a delicious butternut squash soup for dinner!