prayer flags - more on mine

Back in June when I was preparing for the artist's prayer flag swap I was about to host, I showed you my first prayer flag I ever made. You can read about that first flag and see my process here.
In this post I will show you the rest of the prayer flags I made. If you'd like to see ALL of the wonderful and beautiful, creative and thoughtful prayer flags made by the 36 participants - visit the creative swaps blog. When you get to the bottom of the blog page, you will need to click on Older Posts to view more! I am in the process of swapping them out and sending them home. When the flags are all sent I will give the artists the opportunity to share photos of their own flags and the swap flags they received, hanging up in the breeze! So watch creative swaps main page for more beauty.

I made these two prayer flags while visiting wolfe island, Ontario
My work area overlooking the St Lawrence River. So very peaceful.

The first flag I made on the left. I'm getting started on a new one.

I took one of my grandmother's (Nonie) linen cocktail napkins with embroidered fish already on it and added my own crude embroidery. At first I did not like it, but by now it has grown on me . . . the word/wish I embroidered is "energy". I will keep this one to fly at home and send me energy!

This is before I accentuated it with inks and also beads.

I did really enjoy hand stitching and adding beads in front of the river . . .

Here are some others I made. This one is made out of a hand towel! 
I think I will keep this one. 

I also added lovely handmade beads by Carolyn Saxby, sewn on to the corner...

This one is so simple, but I love it. All glue and no stitching! 
(my machine was at home!) This one will be swapped.

I made this when I returned home . . . I love this flag but I will swap it.

This one was made on the island and will be part of the swap (I participated too)

My first prayer flag I will keep. Remembering balance in my life is something I really need to bestow upon myself! I beefed up the lettering by outlining it with a black sharpie marker.

Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. 
The only way to retain love is to give it away.
 ~ Elbert Hubbard

Reminder: prayer flag swap

Our new Creative Swap: Prayer Flags still has room in it for you! I have a wonderful group of 20 artists signed up for this newly announced swap that I am hosting on the creative swaps blog, but there is still room, if you are interested.

  • This is a 3 for 3 Prayer Flag swap - Create THREE prayer flags in exchange for the same amount in return
  • each flag will have a word, a prayer, a wish or a hope associated with it.
  • simple or no sewing is okay
  • Due in my hands September 15, 2012 

The $10 registration fee includes a 10 page pdf lesson on making prayer flags, plus the return postage for your flags, sent anywhere in the world. Find the complete details on the CreativeSwaps blog! Follow the link below to learn more and register . . .

- See more completed flags made for the swap by our talented participant Frieda Oxenham:

All so very wonderful!!
yours creatively, lenna young andrews

art & life:

online classes/free tutorials:

art swaps:

If you could choose one characteristic that would get you through life, choose a sense of humor.
  ~ Jennifer Jones

my first prayer flag

Prayer Flags. Have you ever made one? 
Traditional Tibetan prayer flags are usually squares or rectangles of brightly colored fabric, often woodblock printed. Buddhist prayers, mantras and symbols are displayed on them. These flags are hung in multiples on a line, and often in a distinct color sequence. It is believed that by meditating on the prayer, wish, or hope that is used while making the flag - and then by hanging it, the wind will carry the prayer far and wide and bless all the wind touches.

Recently, I became interested in the newer mixed-media/fiber/fabric version of the traditional prayer flag and did a search online . . . I discovered that the magazine Cloth Paper Scissors had done a cover story about Prayer Flags in their March/April 2012 issue-maybe you have this issue? I don't, but was still able to learn more about prayer flags via an online how-to article by Cate Prato on the CPS site. Read it too, by clicking on her name! 

After reading this I decided prayer flags would make a wonderful swap, so watch my creative swaps site for an announcement soon. For this swap, I am organizing a 3 for 3 swap (make 3, receive 3) so it won't be too many to make. Swaps will not be due until the middle of September - plenty of time for you to make your prayer flags. There will be a registration fee to join the swap that will include return postage and handling, documentation of your flags on creative swaps, plus a short lesson on how to make them, by me! My idea is that you'll make some flags to swap and also a few more for yourself, so you'll have a nice bunch to hang when the swap is complete and be inspired by other talented artists. What do you think?
Above, the back of my "balance" prayer flag

I am looking forward to this! 

Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people do that but the really great people make you feel that you too, can become great.
  ~ Mark Twain

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traveling hearts

For Lindsay

Back in November, Lindsay of Dryada Journals in Belgium visited my blog and commented. Then I went and visited her blog and read about how she was creating mail art and even offering to send some. I took her up on that but promised to send her something too. Below is what Lindsay sent me in December; you may have already seen it via a recent post I did on mail art. The heart with the message is something I believe Lindsay calls Travel Hearts. : ) thanks so much, Lindsay!

Today I took a piece of leftover vellum I printed yesterday for tags and put it together with a piece of cast-off jeans and a little heart I cut out of felt. See my process below.

Alphabet Rubber stamps and writing with a Sharpie marker

The vellum side - I glued a large snowflake in-between the jeans & the vellum

All sewn up! Click for details.

I placed the postcard in a glassine envelope . . . 
Now it is on the way to Belgium! 

mail some art today and feel better! 

4x4 (inch!) collage for Connie

As part of a year long exchange I'm in, I created a 4x4 collage for Connie Senyitko. We do these on a monthly basis and work on the theme chosen by who we are creating for. Connie requested soft shades of white or neutral with a spot of color. She likes: vintage children images, clocks, birds, nests, eggs, french, vintage, laces, numbers, vintage ladies hats or crowns and flowers, fabrics, stitching, vintage sheet music paper, poetry, and black & white vintage images. Well! It was great to have so many 'likes' to choose from and in that small space I managed quite a few....

For the front I used fabric - an old cloth napkin of my Nonie's stitched all around. I added a fabric stamped image of a Robin that my friend Sharon Borsavage made and gave to me - perfect! Next I layered a vintage text page on top of a 4x4 watercolor card before gluing the fabric down. I also added a bit of vintage music paper, some pretty ribbon, a small bit of a map, a small velvet leaf and gold micro beads. click for detail.

For the back of the card I wanted to include Connie's love of poetry. I had recently picked up a small book of poems by Oscar Wilde and chose this one at random, ripping the edges to fit the card. Then I added a tag to identify the piece and I was done! I believe I have only 4 more 4x4's to create -wow! To see more, go to the flickr photo set I created just for these collages. 

I hope you are doing well and not to crazy with the holiday season. My sister and her family are coming to visit for a whole week, but other than that we are not really doing much . . . not even exchanging presents! Sounds Grinch-like, but it really is what works for us this year. Stay well and happy, I will be here adding things as I can! 

art journal every day

yup, I am still doing this project! I may not post about it every day, but I am trying to squeeze at least something creative in every day. Like the other night before going to bed I remembered I had not done anything in my art journal, yet. I said to myself, Well, I could certainly take 5 minutes or so and slosh some paint around on that blank spread of pages. That is exactly what I did and it felt good.

I cannot seem to give up that watered down halo pink gold Lumiere in a spray bottle that I made up (on the right page) because I continue to use it. I just love the mix of the pink and the gold. So I guess I will keep on using it until I get tired of it! On the left side is yellow dye-na-flow . . . well, some yellow migrated over to the right. It is only there on the left page because I spilled some on this side of it while working on the other side of the page. That is truly what made my decision for this page. But I like it. After I did this - a quick 5 or 10 minutes, I left it to dry while I slept. Contrary to popular opinion, I do sleep!!

Here is what it looked like the next morning (yesterday) -you can click for more details. I like the way the gold from the watered down lumiere paint concentrated in a line at the top of the right page. Do you see above where it is wet and liquidy and pink? Below is how it dried! I have removed the masks from my windows that I added in the previous spread.

I decided to add fabric to this page, just to try something different. I had a small amount of sheer patterned fabric on my table that I had been wanting to use for something. 
Below, you'll see the fabric at the top of the spread before I pulled it over the pages. I have already sewed on a piece of dyed cheesecloth that would extend out over the edge of the page, click for details.

I sewed the fabric to the edge of the journal page on both sides with my machine.
I use an old needle designated for paper.

Below, both edges are sewn and the fabric is loose in the middle, 
covering both the windows and the spiral binding.

The view from the previous page . . . I love when things stick out of journals!

I have left myself the ability to add things to the pages underneath at this point.

So, I snuck in an extra copy of the photo I used to create Linda's 4x4 . . .
A lovely memory of the day when I took that photo and then using it to create a piece for her. You will be able to faintly see the bird through the fabric.

I added some old music text  . . . 

so far, so good . . . 

The photo below shows how I am going to attach the fabric to the page with a line of Tacky glue. It will still be loose on the page, but anchored. It also shows the bird page text I received from Joanna! I love what she sent in a mail art exchange package and it has been very inspirational and useful ; ^ )

I also embellished the edge of the page on the right, adding fibers and ribbons, gold mesh, iridescent glass balls, and pieces of jingle shells picked up on the beach the same day as the bird photo. The fibers were all attached with tacky glue and E6000 was used for the shell pieces.

A final scan. I would say that this is a strange and unusual spread of pages, but one that challenged and satisfied me in the making of it. I don't think art always has to be pretty!

And, if you can believe it, because I am crazy with taking in-process photos, I have more even more steps for this spread that I have uploaded to my flickr photo account. If you start HERE with this photo and use the Next button at the top, you can view them all large and go through them quickly or slowly . . . whatever you like!
Thanks for your interest and support. : ^ ) lenna

Learn more about this project here: Art Journal Every day.
All of the writing on the process of my art journal is here
-it starts with the current post, scroll down.

start and stop

My new mantra: Start and Stop! This is working for me. Of course I am tempted to do more, but I make myself stop now before I get in too deep. This allows me to not spend so much time doing my art journal that I end up not having time for anything else!!

Another BLANK page, hmmm. What to do?
I gathered up stuff that might be fun to work with.

I decided I wanted to work with fabric. I have not done that yet in this journal.
I laid out some pieces I found to see what I might like.

I decided on my fabrics and used my sewing machine to stitch them together. The lace was 
"dyed" years ago. I used spray bottles of watered down paint to dye the white lace.

* details - click for details! *

For the other side of the spread I took a map Steven had printed out. For some reason 
we had an extra copy -I nabbed it. He printed it out so he could see the channels - 
the boating channels when paddling or sailing around here. The water is very shallow. 
It is on xyron backing paper as I sent it through my xyron to make a big sticker. 

Above, adhering the map to the page.

On the right I used distress stain in weathered wood to fill in the edges of the page. 
My fabric piece I had been working on for that side was not quite the same size
as the page. Now it will blend in better.

A transparency photo of me is on the left and the bank white space 
is awaiting my fabric piece.

me and my sister . . . I am not sure of the year, maybe 1967??
I adore this photo because we are both dressed up in pink, and my sister Kathy 
is smiling and giggling with her hand over her face looking so cute.
A lot of the photos we have of her as a child she is making faces, looking silly,
not pretty like this. And I look like such a big sister here, I just love it! 

It is not glued into my journal yet because I am not sure what I might add.
So I am going to wait until tomorrow, stop and start again!
Click here: Art Journal Every Day.

xoxo lenna 

last skinny page for now

I have been working with a group of very talented women for over a year, creating skinny pages (4"x8") for each of them, monthly. We base what we create on whatever theme the person we are creating for has chosen. I have one more skinny page coming my way, and then I will create a page on my theme of "love" and bind all of the pages together somehow. I will share it here when I do!

I just finished creating my last skinny page for the group, and this one is for Trudi Sissons. Her theme was "Artist's Choice" and some of her favorite things are: vintage images, quotes, postage stamps, clocks, birds, butterflies, whimsy . .. . I also knew she was a fan of Deviant Scrap and I had just downloaded some free items from them courtesy of Stampington. Above, you can see the front of the skinny page. The base of it is a fabric upholstery piece given to me by a new friend who owns an upholstery store! On top of it I have sewn on a piece of antique parchment card stock printed with an image I had saved to my computer (origin unknown). I added an appropriate quote from ARTchix Studio by gluing it on and also a butterfly printed on to card stock. The back is shown below . . .

I started creating the back of the skinny page with a couple of images from Deviant Scrap. I put them together in Photoshop elements, see below.

Then I printed out that digital collage onto a piece of cotton fabric and started sewing . . .

I used the cap of  a re-inker to create more circles, mimicking the digital design. 

I added splatters of perfect Pearls Mist in Turquoise . . . 

and sandwiched it together with the front. A piece of Pellon interfacing was stuck in-between. It is quite thick and adds to the stiffness of the page.

This skinny page is already on it's way to Trudi in Canada! Even though this exchange is wrapping up, the good news is most of the group will be exchanging 4"x4" pages starting in June and continuing for an entire year! Hooray, more creative activities to keep me busy and happy!  ; ^ )  lenna