high flow paints

high flow paints

I wanted to try some paints I'd heard about that would be good to use with the gelli plate, because they were a bit slower to dry than regular acrylic paints. But before I started playing with my Gelli Plate with them, I tried them out in my very small moleskine journal. The new paints I ordered are Golden High Flow Acrylics . . . 

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I-CAD! You-CAD! We all-CAD!

I-CAD! You-CAD! We all-CAD!

I've made a deal with myself to participate in ICAD (Index card a day) every day during June & July to equal 61 cards. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it! If something happens and I miss a day I'll deal with it and continue. But it is my intention to do something creative (or not!!!) on an index card on a daily basis . . .

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thank you

Thanks to everyone for the many messages of good luck and happiness in our new home, but I really must send a special thanks out to Jewels and Frieda for brightening my new mailbox with these lovelies:

(smile) Thank YoU!

Things are coming along at our new home, slow but sure. It is a beautiful spot so it makes the work worth it, but still, it is so much work to pack and unpack! I will get there, and do enjoy seeing things take shape. In the meantime even though my studio is not set up yet and I have to work on that, I am starting to think about creative art projects. The furniture is arranged, kitchen and bathrooms set up, the clothes, sheets & towels are in place too and now I am starting to think of other more arty things. A friend of mine mentioned the Ning Group The Creative Underground and an online year long class offered through them called: 52 weeks of creative abundance. It did not take me long to decide to sign up! Class starts December 21st and is very reasonably priced, with a discount through Nov. 21st (only $52!!). Go check it out and see if it's for you! I am so looking forward to it. 

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
  ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

by the sea chunky ATC

I had never heard of a "chunky" ATC before until I read about it on Lisa Busch's Collage Stuff Blog -go there to check out just one of her beautiful samples. Lisa owns a business called "Collage Stuff" where she sells wonderful collage stuff!  I often find just what I might need for a project and also, collage items that inspire me to start something new! And Lisa runs super art swaps through her yahoo group - check that out too! I learned from her that a chunky ATC is a variation on a trading card made on a wood block, 2.5" x 3.5" x 3/4" wide. This was a one-for-one swap, sending directly to the person Lisa signed you up with. Here is what I came up with -a bit of my creating process. First some gathering . . . I have collected lots of lovely shells living in Florida!
 I did not have to, but decided I wanted to paint my block white. I got my blank chunky wood ATC from Collage stuff - follow this link and scroll down a bitThey are high quality pre-sanded blocks.
I used Goop glue (E6000) to secure the various shells.
The little gold sequin stars I got from Collage Stuff, the pearls were a broken bracelet.
The dictionary page came as a gift from Lisa with my last order -perfect!
Now my chunky ATC has shell "feet"!
For the back, I wanted a business card that had a copy of "Shell art" already on it.
(ATCs I created for another swap)
But Lisa wanted the back arted up too, so I stamped various images on white tissue paper using permanent ink. When adhered to the block with matte medium under and over, the tissue paper melts away. Only the image remains!
From the side . . . 

From the top!

The front, from the top. The crinkly wire wrapped around is from collage Stuff.

That was sure fun to do! Thanks, Lisa for the inspiration and organization.
My chunky ATC is in the mail as of yesterday, swimming it's way to Andrea in Texas. I have already received a beautiful chunky ATC from Gloria - what a great swap!

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
  ~ Chinese proverb

creative lenna photos

I seem to be taking a lot of photos these days and I realized the other day that photography is my main creative outlet at the moment. Because of this, I recently started a new blog, creative lenna photos. Check it out if you think you might be interested in artistic photos mostly of natural things like geckos, birds, dogs, plants & gardens, beautiful photos of the beach, flowers, clouds . . . there is a nice mix of things there and soon to be more. Here is a peek at today's entry.

I will be back here soon with a step-by-step of creative swap art project I just finished: 
a chunky ATC!

He who does not cross a desert cannot recognize an oasis.
 ~ Italian Proverb 

ARTchix Studio Featured Artist

Earlier this year I got an email note from Helga Strauss, owner of ARTchix Studio.
She wrote, "I've been making backgrounds on wood and then cutting them into shapes.... like the hearts. If I send you some wood, would you like to play and make some backgrounds? And then send them back to me and I'll cut them into shapes? Then you can send me a few photos of yourself and your art space and I could feature you as a guest artist on my blog and etsy shop.
I would sell your shapes and send some back to you so that you can enjoy some too."

Whoo Hoo! I said, "I’m in, Helga! I would love to do this!! Making backgrounds is such a fun and creative activity. I'm honored you asked!" After I received the wood from Helga I got to work - or I should say, play- with an early April deadline to have the backgrounds returned to her. Here's a peek into my process of making the backgrounds on wood before Helga transformed them into some very charming shapes!

For the board I collaged with papers, I ripped a variety of papers to start with, click for details.

Helga recommended painting the wood with gesso first to prepare it.
I decided to do a "practice" board. I tried my collage, painting and rubber stamping on
the practice piece first, to see what everything looked like on painted wood.

All 3 boards that I arted-up for Helga are below 

And this is how Helga transformed them! 
They are available for purchase in Helga's ETSY shop! 

The feather shapes come from this collaged board and started with 
the papers seen at the top of the post. The back of the board is painted gold.

When Helga received the photos of my studio for the feature post, 
I think this photo influenced her ideas on what shapes to do! 

I really adore it that she picked up on my love for feathers and transformed 
my paper collage board into wood feathers!!! Thank you, Helga!

available here

The red board with the paper hearts was cleverly made into coral and the bright green board with circles was cut into wee houses. I tried that idea at home with a house stencil that Helga had sent me previously and thought it looked fantastic . . .  

My featured ARTchix guest artist post is here on Helga's blog.

There is a tour of my studio you might enjoy and it is rather fun to be featured there (link above). I have known Helga since she started ARTchix Studio and she is just the best! So many wonderful products to go with such a warm and wonderful person. I am blessed to know her, thanks again Helga! Here are a few more studio pics . . . we took more than needed for the article -these are different additional photos.

Me at my computer desk. Can you tell I like to surround myself with art?

me with Asia & Chloe at my art table

Thanks to my husband Steven for the "studio photography" xo

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. 
  ~ Scott Adams, American cartoonist

flickr photos = a milestone for me

Tonight I crossed the 10,000 mark on my flickr photo account, which means in 5 years time I have uploaded over 10,000 photos to this account on my art, life, love, moving, family, animals and more. Wow, I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed or proud! Anyway, I wanted to announce this, so here I am. I obviously love to share my photos!

: ) lenna 

p.s. Thank you for your comments!!! Dave, aka Mr. Cachet asked me: How many posts to go with the 10,000 photos? Funny, I started this blog at the same time I started using flickr and I've written 855 posts here since Dec 2006. Thanks for your support!

transformation: sketchbook project + our garage

Today was a busy day because before I even got working on my sketchbook project, Steven & I spent time together cleaning the garage and unpacking and sorting from our move last September. We had moved so many times since we've been married and relocated to Florida that Steven requested no complaints if the junk (oops, important stuff!!) piled up in the garage in our new home for a while. Of course I said yes because I would hear about it otherwise: "5 moves in 5 years"!!  But we did decide together that it was time - and that we would spend one of our "date days" cleaning, tossing, straightening & organizing so that perhaps I may even be able to get my car into the garage! It went from this:

To this! Wow.

Then while Steven was taking a break before we went out to dinner to celebrate our new found space, I dove back into my sketchbook project. I had been thinking since yesterday about the extended pages I had created by taping 2 sets of pages together, and how I wanted to re-insert them into the cover. I had been laying them into the cover "nested" and realized perhaps in a dream or maybe the early morning hours that I wanted the 4 signatures of pages I had created separate, not nested. This would mean sewing the 4 signatures of pages together, slicing the cover in half and gluing the first and last pages to the front and back cover -eep! I also wanted to "prime" the pages a bit and when cleaning the garage I found a new can of spray primer which worked wonderfully, laying down a very thin coat of primer paint on the pages. 

This was my test piece -always test first!

These are the actual pages now that I have taped them together.

It had been a while since I had sewn any pages together so I reached for Unique Handmade Books by Alisa Golden. I found directions for a decorative stitch book with weaving that looked like it would work even though it called for 5 signatures and I was working with 4. 

Creating the holes for sewing with a cradle 
so that all the holes will be in the same place. 

The stitching is similar to the Star Book class I have taught many times.

I use waxed linen to do the stitching.

The weaving part was different, interesting.

Finished! All 4 sections (signatures) of pages are sewn together.

Now to get very brave . . .  and cut the cover in half! 

 I trimmed the cover just a bit, then attached it to the sewn signatures 
of pages in the front and back.

There are 4 sections of pages just like the one above in the sketchbook now.

I finished the basic structure by adding tabs to make it easier to pull the folded pages out.

Now I get to fill this sketchbook up! You may wonder WHY I went to all this trouble of preparing the sketchbook like I did? Hmmm, I could have just worked in it the way it was, right? Well, I did that last year. This year I wanted to challenge myself and do something different. Last year I was satisfied to work in the moleskine the way it was presented to me because I had never really worked in an artist's journal before. That in itself was a new experience for me. I feel good already that I took the challenge I gave myself to do something different with the sketchbook. And the HOW will be here on my blog and I will also add journaling to the sketchbook about my process. Thanks for listening, I needed to get this down!

yours creatively, lenna 

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

working on it?

I have switched my online blog back to one of the earlier templates . . . because even though I really like the new dynamic views templates, the problems readers had with commenting and the fact that older browsers were not able to view the new set up, plus no sidebar gadgets were available . . . .well, that made me switch back to the previous template version I had where unfortunately you need to scroll and scroll to read the posts. I would love to return to the dynamic view when it is a little more seasoned. Some benefits of switching are that I created pages for my creative lenna blog, something I had been wanting to do. The About page is newly reworked and there are other new pages too, just look at the top of the blog. Plus, I discovered you can still view the creative lenna blog in dynamic views by adding /view onto the blog's URL. Try this: http://creativelenna.blogspot.com/view/flipcard to view the creative lenna blog in my most favorite way! I love how you can chose and discover so many posts at one glance.

Edit: I have now added the link to dynamic views as one of the pages. Find flipcard at the top of the blog as a tab and click on that when you'd like to explore and discover more of what's here. It is an amazing way to choose what I have shared to look at. I may have come upon the best of both worlds -combining this current style template as the base for my blog with the ability to view the blog in more dynamic ways. Anyway, thanks for coming along with me on this discovery and we will make our way!

yours creatively, lenna