Six-word story mail art!


For the past few months I have been doing a little bit of mail art with of couple of good online art buddies, Jewels Welsh and Jo Urbani. It has been great for me! Doing these exchanges really helped me to dive back into an art form I love. Plus it has been wonderful to have created our own tiny, closed facebook group for discussion which also meant more time to chat with each other. For our last exchange Jewels came up with a six-word story idea. The postcard we make was to be based on a six-word story we created. It was kind of hard for me to come up with an idea at first. In the end I just let myself be inspired by what was going on in my world . . . .

"Swallowtail Caterpillars are on my Parsely" was my six word story . . . and they were not just ON my parsley, they were really EATING my parsley!! I had never seen such unusually striped caterpillars.





I used photographs I had taken of these most unusual caterpillars, which I discovered through Google were Black Swallowtail Caterpillars. I later had the joy of seeing these caterpillars return to my parsley as butterflies! See how much of it they ate??


Anyway . . . enough about my entry - let me share Jewels and Jo's  . . . 

Jewel's six word story was
She thought it would be different 
Jewels cleverly did hers on the back of a vintage recycled Happy Anniversary card!
Jo and I both celebrated anniversaries when we received so it was very appropriate!


And Jo's six word story was
He began to feel rather odd
I love this and the fact that our stories were similar but different . . . just like in real life!
I am so glad to have had the opportunity to share mail art and life with Jo & Jewels. 
Coming up, Jo is taking a break - but Jewels and I will work on a summer theme that we should wrap up and share with you in a couple weeks! Until then, don't forget to have a little fun.
Add some ART to your Mail! 




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at home in my studio at last!


Home at last : ) my dear friend Linda Kunsman made this ornament for my husband Steven and I a few homes ago . . . I cannot even remember which one, maybe Deercliff Road? Anyway I love it and have continued to move it with me and give it a new place of honor. Now it is hanging on the armoire in the dining room that holds many of my art supplies.

Today, I have finally unpacked and found a home for all of my supplies in my art studio/office!!! Phew. It is not perfect, but IT IS DONE! I struggled this time with moving into a smaller art room and not having the same "containers" to put things in. It took me six months to unpack and set up, but I have done it and I am so proud and happy.

I took a quick video when I finished today and you can find it here via this link or watch it below if you are reading on my blog. Steven is taking me out to dinner tonight to celebrate, hee hee! I am so looking forward to creating more art. Yes, I have done some, but the last few boxes have been taking up space on my counter and I have not been able to work. It was getting depressing! Now I look forward to trying out the gelli plate I bought a month ago! I hope you enjoy the video with me doing the commentary. I'll be back!



Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
   ~ Amelia Earhart

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

wonderful card and mail art envelope!

My friend Joanna who lives in the UK, sent a wonderful card and mail art envelope to us celebrating our recent move to a new home on the river. Her card and envelope are just so lovely, I wanted to share them with you. My own art stuff is still in boxes . . . so I thought you would enjoy this gift we received from Jo. : )

Below, a photo of Joanna taken for an Art House Co-op project we were both in together called, The Meal. I love this photo of her and Rosie Mae! It helps me to imagine her "across the pond".


This was so beautiful to find in my mailbox . . . I was grinning!


I just love this envelope and the card!  xoxo


Wow. Then look at the back of the envelope, bellow! 
Joanna knows I love quotes and this one is just perfect for Steven 
and all the canoeing he is doing these days. ; ^ )


Thank you Joanna! Please go say hi to her on her blog, Fiddlesnips.


"Live with intention.  Walk to the edge.  Listen hard.  Practice wellness.  Play with abandon.  Laugh.  Choose with no regret.  Continue to learn.  Appreciate your friends.  Do what you love.  Live as if this is all there is."  -Mary Anne Hershey

creative woodworking

My husband Steven met Paul Anderson through Lucas Boatworks. After discovering a similar interest in woodworking, Steven gave Paul some of the very nice, harvested wood that was my dad's -some cherry and bird's eye maple. There is truly more wood stacked up than Steven can use! Paul is a very prolific and accomplished woodworker; past president of the Florida West Coast Woodworkers Club . . . 

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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

Mail Art!!

Oh what an absolute delight to go to my mailbox and pull out this gorgeous envelope
from Sue Emmerson in NSW, Australia!

Inside I found a lovely note, 2 postcards and a page suitable for collage with lots of ships. This is so very appropriate for me with my boat loving husband.
Thanks so very much, Sue! Her enclosed note mentioned she had read an earlier post on mail art where I mentioned that my mailbox had been a little more quiet lately, probably because I had not been sending as much mail out. It is so sweet for Sue to jump right in and send me such special mail!! I really appreciate it. Earlier this month I also received mail art from Linda Kunsman. I made a little photo collage of everything Linda sent me and will insert it below. So fun! 


I think she heard my wishes as well. : ) This was stamped on the back:
HUNGRY
FOR
MAIL
ART

You can see the card she made and she also enclosed a library card and holder.
* Thanks, Linda! * Thanks, Sue! *


Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.
  ~ Denis Diderot

making a kayak paddle

My husband Steven has found great satisfaction since moving to Florida by taking the woodworking skills he learned from my dad . . . and then applying them to making something he knows well and loves: kayak paddles! Steven recently sent what he described as "the best paddle he ever made" up north to the wife of a very dear friend of ours, Garth. His wife Nora is the kayaker in their family! Garth was the best man at our wedding in 2005 and Steven & I have both known him forever. I was just 14 years old when I met Garth, and Steven and I originally met in 1972 because of Garth! Here’s what Nora had to say after using Steven's handmade paddle for the first time . . . the direct link to the video is here if you don’t see it below: http://youtu.be/h6nSq1rrS_A

 
An enthusiastic testimonial on one of my husband's super lightweight kayak paddles. Steve Deming's paddles are handmade from cypress wood in a modified Greenland style with long, narrow, tapering blades. The paddles are all hand-shaped in Bradenton, Florida at Lucas Boatworks. They are also very lightweight, weighing only between 20 and 28 oz.
 

We so enjoyed received this short video from them!!! When Nora speaks of the paddle being effortless, I believe she is talking about how lightweight the paddle is, making it easy to power her boat even in winds and not get tired. Steve's paddles weigh between 20 and 28 oz, which is very light weight, but he also makes them strong.

Here is Steven in action, making a paddle in his shop . . .

He uses skills my dad taught him . . .

 yes, I gave him my bone folder for this part! He's preparing to airbrush . . .

I have put together a series of videos sharing his airbrushing and finishing process. He’s actually painting the paddle he sent to Nora in these videos. Links are below":

Part one: getting started airbrushing

Part 2: more of the process (many layers)

Part 3: finishing the paddle

I filmed and produced these videos at Steven's request and you can sometimes hear me in the background!  It was fun to do and I learned a lot about filming & editing. Below is the paddle rack Steven built outside his tent shop at Lucas Boatworks. My dad would be proud! In fact, that is my dad's John Deere tractor. Steven uses it all the time.

My dad’s John deere Tractor

My dad’s John deere Tractor

Always do right. This will gratify some of the people, and astonish the rest.
— Mark Twain

stamp carving 101

I am taking a stamp carving class with Julie Balzer that I highly recommend, Stamp Carving 101. It is an online workshop taught on a private class blog with videos. I finally made time to do Lesson 6 and even though it was challenging, it was successful! we learned how to transfer and carve a Damask design that Julie provided us with.... this is my finished test sheet!
It started like this . . . 

After testing, I made two tags, one for me and one for my friend Linda Kunsman who encouraged me to take this workshop with her. That was a fabulous idea because doing this with her has spurred me on! When we finish all 10 lessons, we will send each other a tag book with one tag from each lesson! 
 click for more details/larger photo -this tag below I made for me! 
 Then as Julie suggested, I used the scrap pieces from trimming this stamp and made some bonus stamps. Mine were all patterning stamps -love it!

Thanks for checking in - I enjoy your visits!


Wake up with a smile and go after life . . . . Live it, enjoy it, taste it, smell it, feel it.
   ~ Joe Knapp