our new neighborhood

We took our first walk around the neighborhood since we moved, today. Our new home is much more in the 'country' with miles of fences to keep animals like horses in.


This neighborhood has a Ranch-like feel, very much . . .

We enjoyed the nice sidewalk, safe off the road . . . me & my sweeties, Asia & Chloe.

What?? This is not a horse! 


This llama came right up to the edge of the fence to meet us. Chloe even growled as we quickly walked past! Chloe was definitely really not sure about this llama, who seemed sweet to me . . although I did not get too close either! 

Another photo of our llama friend is found on my blip journal, here.

Do you see Asia ^ here still staring at the llama? : ) Chloe seems to have gotten over the encounter by now . . . this was a good first walk, about 2 miles, with just one small blister on my heel from wearing sneakers instead of my usual crocs!

Thanks for coming along with us . . . . we are making our way and slowly getting resettled. I am concentrating on the kitchen first, my clothes next, and then my studio!!!!! OH! My actual studio space is too small for my big art table so now it is out on the lanai -a screened porch, very large. It overlooks the water and is so grand! More photos as things come together  : )


Happiness is good health and a bad memory.
  ~ Ingrid Bergman

some art on the island

Here is a bit of some of the art I did while visiting wolfe island . . . a close up of a painting:


The entire painting - you can see it when it's half finished here

I brought the Creative Breakout DVD with me and watched it once again for inspiration. Thanks to my instructor Bill Buchman for all he taught me. I am so glad I got a couple of his DVDs! below is a warm up exercise using his Zen Reed Pens. Just plain fun!


we have fond memories of this trip, even though near the end we wanted to go home and we left a few days early! The long drive (3 days) was tiring too but I still smile at things like Steven and me snuggled on the deck of the cottage to watch the sunset . . . 

That is Tina and my son Decklin over my shoulder. A few days after they left the island, they called with wonderful news. They are engaged to be married! Their date is in October, 2013.

I have more art I did to share with you, so look for more posted here sometime soon. In the meantime I have added some photos of our sweet dogs enjoying island life to my photo blog and I am busily adding lovely, beautiful, thoughtful prayer flags to my swaps blog! I hope you have time to check them out. Take care and I will see you again before long. Oh! i have changed my blog format once again. See what you think! The photo blog remains a "dynamic view" but this main blog is back to the original type of template. Hope it works for you!

wolfe island, ontario

Steven and I are preparing for a 3-day, 1500 mile drive from Florida to Canada with our 2 dogs Asia & Chloe, our boat Chelsea and two canoes! The 2-person Peterborough canoe my dad made will go on the roof of our Subaru. This ensures that Steve and I can take some beautiful canoeing trips together, most likely with the dogs in the boat too - they don't like to be left behind!

Steven's small one-man sailing canoe he rigged himself will fit inside our boat Chelsea. We'll be trailering Chelsea behind the Subaru. With the little sailing canoe he'll have the opportunity to explore on his own . . . and with it's tuned-up lawn mower engine, Chelsea can take all of us lots of places - even across the river to Kingston! Remember, we are going to be on an island! Since the family cottage is directly on the St. Lawrence River - mouth of Lake Ontario, the availability of boats is a high priority for Steven : ) Below you'll see the bunkhouse of the cottage to your left.

This is a family parcel with many cottages that Steven grew up going to in the summer-time. Every year he would go to Wolfe Island with his family and later on his own. His grandmother was born in the 'big house' on the property and between that big house and all the cottages on the property, Steven would see various cousins, Aunts and Uncles every year. He has a very large extended family with about 140 relatives! The first time I went to Wolfe Island was in 2005 after we married. The impression it left on me was that it was such a beautiful and peaceful place. Wolfe Island is very rural, in fact Steven's family still owns farm fields there. We went there together every summer until after we moved from Connecticut to Florida in late 2009. We did not want to leave town while my dad was ill with cancer. Dad passed away October 1, 2011 and we decided this year to make the long drive in August and stay for 3 weeks. Here is why I love it so . . . these photos are from our last trip there in 2009. Below, Steven walking towards the 'big house' and the Oats Barn. If you click on it you may be able to see the widow's walk on top. The St. Lawrence and the boat docks are down the hill to the left.

Below - the Deming's Dock was originally constructed by Steven's great grandfather and updated by his Dad in the 1960's. Kingston, Ontario is across the way.


 The 'big house' where Steven's grandmother was born.

Looking from the big house - that is the drive shed. The cottage we share with Steve's brothers is on the other side of it.


 Steven's grandmother's garden at the big house.

 Looking from the big house across the river to Kingston.

 Something new in 2009 was added to the farmer's cow fields - wind turbines!



walking down Third Line road . . . I had just taught Asia how to do a "High 10!"

 The cottage steps that look out over the river, towards Kingston - 3 1/2 miles away.

 Getting our boat "Buzzy's" motor ready . . . you see Asia and Chloe keeping their distance!!

 such cutie pies... they are sitting in one of our driveways!

The motor is ready so off we go! Steven has had this boat since he was a kid.

 You can tell Asia hates boating, huh?

 The family property as seen from Buzzy . . .

 Love this!!!

 In 2009 we trailered the melonseed sailboat my dad built up to Canada. Here is Steven paddling it around the dock to where we can get in, take off and go sailing.

 The dogs are following, not wanting to be left behind . . .

 Asia is ready to go!

 me and Chloe too ; )

We also love canoeing when there . . . . in my dad's handbuilt Peterborough

 The Simcoe Island ferry is in the distance -it's a cable ferry.

 Simcoe island is directly in front of us.

 I think you can see why we like wolfe island . . . . life is much quieter there.

 And I have a fabulous studio there!

This year my son Decklin and his partner Tina will spend a week with there with us too. : )) so nice. The internet speed is very scarce on the island with only dial-up. I will turn my attention to other things I think. You may hear from me again before we leave - but if not, don't worry!
There is a cute 2 minute video I did in 2009 with some additional photos: Wolfe Island.

And there are also earlier photos on my original web site. They are from 2005-2008 and one photo shows me finding my art on the cover of Expression Magazine for the first time, in a bookstore in Kingston, Ontario!!! Enjoy and thanks for visiting, lenna

He who knows others is wise; He knows himself is enlightened.
  ~ Lao-Tzu

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!


(http://www.flickr.com//photos/creativelenna/sets/72157629701222468/show/)

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

guest designer for gauche alchemy

Here is my first project as the April guest designer for Gauche Alchemy. I am working with their Showstoppers Kit, which I really enjoyed. I only really needed to make 3 projects, but I ended up making 4! You can find my notes on how I made this mini album over on the gauche alchemy blog. Click on any photo for a much larger view and if you you any questions or comments please leave me a comment! The KaiserCraft big ticket album is included in the Showstopper's Kit.













Have patience with all things, but first of all, yourself. 
 ~ St. Francis De Sales



a sunday drive

A sunday drive, out in our boat chelsea. It's docked on the davits (so it hangs out of the water) at my mom's house on the bayou . . . A full view of this boat hanging is here.


Chelsea was hand-built by the guys at Lucas Boatworks here in Bradenton, FL. It uses a riding lawn-mower engine for it's power and since we go so slow, Steven says it only "sips" gas.


 Steven is using a baster -yes, like a turkey baster, to flush the engine with water 
and get the cooling system running!

 Asia is ready to go! It looks like she might be volunteering to steer . . . click on 
any photo for details. Yes, that is a hand-built steering wheel.


Miss Chloe, so happy to be along for the ride.
She is the star of my blipfoto journal today . . . with a different, beautiful close-up.


I love this high deck built for looking out over the bayou. The silver palms are one of my favorites too.

 Some kids on shore told us they lost their ball in the water -could we go get it for them? At first we didn't understand over the sound of the motor (put-put-put) but when we saw this orange ball floating downstream in the water, we understood! Steven steered the boat, grabbed the ball . . . .


 Yeah!! Thank you!!

 me & chloe


 headin down another bayou . . .


 love the reflections . . .

 and the sunshine . . .

 Headin back to the dock at mom's . . .

 I really enjoyed this time "away" with steven . . .

The initials on Chelsea's flag above, stand for Florida Gulf Coast Traditional Small Craft Association. The boats hand built at Lucas boatworks are traditional small craft. Steven has been helping with the finishing work for many of these beautiful boats, but his passion at the moment is crafting dripless, lightweight kayak paddles. As for me, I have been creating a few projects for Gauche Alchemy as I will be their guest designer for the month of April! I need to wait to share those with you here, but in due time you can see them on the Gauche Alchemy blog and also here. My paper and fabric bead swap just ended Saturday and soon, I will be exchanging the 340 beads (or so) that came in!!! There is a second part of the swap where I will give everyone a chance to create something with their swapped beads and then share a link to a photo of it on the creative swaps blog. I will let you know when that happens as it should be really fun & inspiring! I am continuing with my abstract art class on Monday afternoons through April . . . with the beach traffic/Spring Break it is had to get there sometimes, but I made it just fine last week. The class is out on a barrier island, past some prime beaches. I just leave early now! It seems like there is a lot going on with me but sometimes I don't get to write about it . . . I do post a photo and short journal entry most everyday to my blipfoto journal, so please visit me there anytime. Hope you all are doing well!


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! 


xoxoxoxo


a walk at desoto memorial

The puppies and I went for a brisk walk at the prettiest place around here I think . . .

It is hard to get a good photo of the moss on the trees here,
but I like this one very much. The light often filters through like that.
So magical! (click for more detail)

where to next, mama? That way??


The sea grape leaves are turning, soon to drop off . . .
because it is January in Florida - it gets (relatively) cold,
and I am still in love with taking photographs.

who couldn't resist these two sweeties?! 
Asia and Chloe, sporting 'peace' bandannas I sewed for them,
just because it was fun and creative to do (and easy!).

yes, the leaves do turn colors -- even in Florida : ) 
I wore a light coat today, it's about 55. 
* I'm not complaining!!!!!! *

Stay warm, make art, sing, dance and by all means, don't forget to laugh!




every single moment you are . . . .





. . . . writing the story of your life.

I just realized, watching this animoto video I made, that it was actually about healing. The art you see, the Nia/dance, the beach, the sun, water and shells, taking these photographs, my dogs and my family, especially my husband, have been my way to heal after the loss of my father. I am so grateful for all I have and I hope you enjoy the sand and sea.






*I suggest watching this in full screen by clicking in the bottom right corner!
If you cannot see the video here, use this link.

p.s. this is the first time I have ever tried using video clips and I think it worked well!
To view more of my videos, visit my YouTube channel.

: ) lenna

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!


wow!

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

gratitude


yesterday i celebrated my gratitude for all i have and will recieve . . .


first, by joining my new friends in Sarasota I've met through Nia to dance on the beach.

It seems that many people who live in Florida celebrate their Thanksgiving by going to the beach with family and friends. One woman who stopped by and danced with us told us it was their tradition to get up early and cook, then come to the beach for the day and have dinner later. Some people even cooked their Thanksgiving dinner in the pavilions right there next to the beach! 


football on the beach was big . . . 


but I enjoyed dancing barefoot in the sun best of all.


we received both looks of curiosity and big smiles . . . 

 

what a wonderful way to start my day.

I traveled back home, 45 minutes but a quiet drive and prepared for my second Thanksgiving, a feast at Lucas Boatworks, where my husband is one of the 5 full-time builders. It was amazing!

Steven made mashed potatoes

This is held in the open pole barn where they build boats -all cleaned up!



 happy thanksgiving to Chloe and Asia too! 

 Dave Lucas, Steven and Austin

Austin is working in Steve's shop making a guitar with some of my dad's wood!

Austin has a nickname, "wood" and a tattoo of the same!

Always something fun going on at Lucas boatworks : )


we are grateful.

I am off to fly to Connecticut and visit my sister and family. Both of my sons and their wives/partners will come down to my sister's house from Boston - I can't wait! wishing you the best, lenna 






Rosie Mae's cheesy dream biscuits!

I was reading my friend Joanna's blog when she told us about making dog biscuits for her sweet pup Rosie Mae - yes, making them herself! In a comment, I mentioned to Joanna that I just might need that recipe, having two sweet pups of my own. Joanna sent it to me directly today! This recipe looked so easy I decided to try it out right away. The oven was on for dinner anyway . . . . and our dogs love treats.


I had given away all my cookie cutters when we moved to Florida (one less thing to move) and so instead, I decided to cut out square "biscuits" with a knife, after rolling the dough out. Steven would rather have small treats for the dogs anyway and so that worked out well. It was easy to do and the dogs love them! 


many thanks to Joanna : ) 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!