"packing up is hard to do" . . . .

"packing up is hard to do" . . . . just writing that made me think of this song.
Well, I have finally completed emptying my very large 4-drawer metal file cabinet and tossing a lot of stuff out. Then reorganizing all the folders and placing the contents into file boxes for our upcoming move, phew! We will close on a new home at the end of next week and are anticipating moving sometime in early November. I will keep you posted on when we move and I know you will understand if I am not posting here on the blog as much. I do have a personal trade or two that I hope to accomplish soon -- I still need to be creative, even if I am moving!

We now have an empty file cabinet . . .


The next thing for me is to pack up the art you see here -
On the walls and on top of the file cabinet! 



From that empty file cabinet, we now have these 3 boxes plus one more on the floor!
(and a couple of accordion fie folders)


Of course my husband teasingly suggested that I could have just moved the whole file cabinet without going through it!! Yes, he is right, but! I did toss out 2 huge garbage bags full of old unneeded papers and now I can actually go through the files easily and find whatever I'm looking for. Plus I don't want to keep this old metal file cabinet. I guess moving was the impetus I needed to do this tedious job over a number of days. I did take breaks! This afternoon I started working on the template for this blog - creative lenna (if you are reading a feed) and later my creative lenna photos blog. Doing this work is a different way of being creative for me, one that I obviously enjoy doing. If you know me at all, you know I enjoy tweaking these online sites and changing the photos I use for headers & the backgrounds. I am especially happy with the changes I made today that include recent photos I have taken myself. I switched to the "lightbox" method of showing photos, something I have held out on for a while, but I think I like it. Your comments are always welcome.

Another interesting thing about packing and sorting was that I came across a few old newspaper clippings, old emails, old poems (mine & my boys), school reports and drawings. I even found an old invitation we made for my oldest son Decklin's 9th birthday (he is now 31 years old!). These things now have their own special accordion file folder - click for details.



That was really fun and made it all worth it for me.
I hope you all are well and happy and making the most of what you've got! sending love, lenna

The most valuable of the arts is the art of living.
 ~ Cicero


creativity re-channeled

With a house move on the horizon and all that is entailed with that, I find my creative outlet of choice is now taking photos... see my blipfoto journal for a beautiful clear and yet colourful photo of the Gulf of Mexico flowing over crystal white sand here in florida. I may be able to squeeze in a little 'hands on' art in the next month or so before we move, I would like to for my own sake, but I am trying not to fret about it if I don't.

The new house we found is moving along nicely as far as the contract, so it looks like we should close by the middle of October. There is some painting in the kitchen to be done before we more in, plus I have my Nia White Belt Training October 13-19, so we don't think we will move until early November. I guess it depends on how the packing goes! So far, I have only just begun. It wil be worth it! Our new home is located on a short canal right off the Braden River.


A large screened "lanai" as they call it here, overlooks the water.
French doors go to the master bedroom.

Asia came by boat with Steven for the showing . . . see her running on the lawn!

Only a four and a half minute paddle to Lucas Boatworks where Steven is every day, amazing! I'm looking forward to paddling there myself and visiting with Dave's wife Helen, who is a quilter.


This space below is in the front of the house; a more formal "living room" and separate dining room. The dining table you see there was left behind and we wiill not use it . . . I have a lovely dining room table given to me by my parents. I will put this long table in the front "living room area" along with some of the furniture from my studio that would look alright there. Then I will use the smaller "dining room" area for my messy studio work table, messy storage things etc. In fact, the large table in the front room could double as a teaching spot or an extra work area, when covered! It is amazing I'll get to spill my studio over into 2 rooms....


This is the view from the kitchen (we will paint the cabinets white) into the family room, complete with a wood burning fireplace which we will use in December & January!! The "dining room" space is in front of the kitchen, facing the street and the "living room" space is in front of the family room. The large screened lanai is behind the family room. There are 3 bedrooms as well, so plenty of room for guests.

This is just a little update for you . . . everything happened very quickly, so you may have missed my mention of this move in my last post. We are happy and excited and flabergasted we could find a home like this, on the water. Our current home? We may rent it out or possibly try to sell it. We have not discussed everything with our realtor yet as closing on the house comes first.

October 1st is coming up soon. This is the 1st anniversary of my father's passing and also the 1st wedding anniversary of my son Dallas and his wife Liz. My family experienced both death and a life commitment - all on the same day. I could not be at their wedding understandably, but I am so happy to have made a celebratory animoto photo-video for Dallas and Liz for their first wedding anniversary. If you cannot see the video below, follow this link. And wonderful news, my older son Decklin & his partner Tina will be getting married next year on October 5th, 2013!



sending love


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!

we're on wolfe island!

The wi-fi internet that Steven's cousin set up at the big house (his great-grandparent's house) was a surprise when we got here! Steven helped to configure it and got it going, but being on an island, the internet availability seems to come and go. It is nothing like what I am spoiled with at home -meaning that I cannot transfer a lot of data by looking at a lot of sites or pictures. But Steven okayed my idea to add a re-sized photo a day to my blipfoto journal - Just go there and use the calendar to work backwards to see a few of our 3 day trip here and our past week on the island. And a photo or two here is okay too!

This is our view towards Simcoe island from the cottage.

and me later swimming in that somewhat cold but beautiful water . . . 


The St Lawrence River is directly in front of our cottage and it is lovely to even just walk down the steps, sit and listen to the water lap on the rocks. That is not sand in the first picture, but a large flat rock. We have to wear some kind of shoes when swimming because of the zebra mussels which will really hurt/cut your feet. I am wearing one of my old pair of crocs- how handy my favorite shoes will also work for this! 

I lead a fairly laid-back life these days at our home in Florida, but things are even more laid-back here on the island. We have visited with many members of Steve's extended family whom we have not seen in 3 years or more -there are a total of 4 houses/ cottages along the river here that belong to the family. Plus, my son Decklin and his partner Tina have just arrived from Boston! They will be here with us all week and since we only see them a couple of times a year it is wonderful to have them here. As soon as they found out we would be going to Wolfe island they said, "can we come and visit you??" ; ) My youngest son Dallas & his wife Liz were not able to get away . . . but we spoke to him on the phone yesterday as it was his 28th birthday! 

I brought my Sketchbook Project 2013 journal with me and have been working on that while here. I decided on the theme of Travelogue and have been working on the idea of "Journey to Wolfe Island". It is a complete departure from any of my previous sketchbook projects with journaling and drawings (yes!). I also did a page in my personal art journal yesterday and worked on painting some small canvas coin purses I threw in my bag. And I have been taking tons of photos as usual. Uploading them to my laptop does not require any internet usage! I am well and happy and hope you are too. Steven is in heaven being back at his childhood family summer home on the water. We have been out in our boat Chelsea many times, even traveled to neighboring islands to visit friends. Chloe and Asia are very happy here too! I will try to check in again sometime . . . we are here for another couple of weeks. Promise to catch up with your blogs when I return home. xo lenna 


stamp carving 101 . . . is fun!

Well, I am loving this class I'm taking on stamp carving with Julie Balzer. Most of the teaching is done by videos that are not too lengthy, through a private class blog. I have not watched them all yet but for what I've seen so far, they each run about 20-25 minutes. That's just about right for someone antsy like me! There's also an outline of skills to practice for each lesson and a flickr group to share your creations on. It is working out well and I have completed lessons 2 and 3 since I last wrote about it.

Carving stamps is not entirely new for me. I found out the other day when I located a small notebook that I carved my first stamp in 1995. Wow, do the math and you'll discover that was 17 years ago! (see the bottom of this post for more on that). But I was correct in thinking that a "refresher course" with someone I admire, whose carved stamps I have seen and loved, was a great idea, and a great deal at only $30!

Lesson 2 was about creating two simple interlocking stamps; stamps that you can overlap or rather, overstamp so they compliment each other. I have never done this type of carving before. We started with simple stripes, but I would like to try a more complicated design in the near future.

It may be hard to tell, but these blocks of speedy carve are the same striped design, filled in with black on opposing stripes. I used my linoleum cutting tool to remove all the black on both stamps, creating 2 opposite printing blocks.  




Trying out the printing . . . I need to practice interlocking carving again, 
but it was still fun even if it did not turn out "perfect".



The tags I made are below -I used different colors on a black tag. I am taking this class with my friend Linda Kunsman and we are doing an exchange. We'll make 2 tags for each lesson, keep one and then send one to each other when the class is done! This will make a neat little tag book.


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Lesson 3 was about carving a larger size stamp. The first few we made were only about an inch or so in size. This time I cut out about a 3" square piece of speedy carve and tried following Julie's chevron design. 







I am definitely enjoying this and look forward to lesson 4!

* * * 

I could not help but scan some of the pages in the tiny notebook where my boys and I stamped our early carved stamps. They were around 11-to-12 and 14-to-15 years old at the time (now 27 and 30!!). You can click on any scan for a larger, more detailed look.

my first carved stamp, 8-11-95

dallas and decklin's first carved stamps


Remember, I told you they were carving Calvin & Hobbes! 



This is just FUN!! Stamp carving material is so much better these days. 
Speedy carve is like butter to carve in comparison to what we used 17 years ago. 
Maybe you'll join us? The class I'm taking is Stamp Carving 101 with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer! 

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Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.  ~ Ella Fitzgerald