I'm tumbling!

june 2nd, 2013
It's been about 2 weeks since I started working on a new blog over at tumblr and by George, I think I like it!  It's a little different as far as the navigation, but now that I am getting used to it I must say I really like the simplicity of a tumblr blog. Once you learn your way around, the structure itself makes it very easy to add a photo or two, share a quote, write a post, share a video or a re-post something you love. I give it a big thumbs up! Find out more at tumblr/about or visit my creative lenna tumblr blog and tell me what you think -ask me any questions.

I won't be using this blog much anymore, but will leave it up online for reference. If you visit online (not via a reader) you can use the search box top right to find things. It allows you to easily look for something in particular and get a list of related blog posts I wrote . . . I just searched for ARTchix Studio and quickly got a list related posts. There are many free tutorials and step by step how-to's that I think could be helpful. You can also change the view of this blog to a different presentation that you find easier to read. On the top, on the left, click on Magazine -the current view- and you can choose from other ways to view like Classic, Flipcard and Timeline.

I also did a bit of updating on my teaching site, where I have pdf lessons on Collage Techniques on canvas, mini art quilt book, photo art journal and fabric stamping & painting. There are free tutorials too! I have added my creative lenna supplies amazon store link there so if you need supplies for the lessons or just for your artwork, you can easily find supplies I use & recommend. There always seems to be much work for me to do keeping my various sites updated so I am really glad to have found the Index-card-A-Day project. I've just blogged about it on creative lenna tumblr.

I'll leave you with some other links to find me elsewhere!

photos of artwork, personal life on my flickr photo account 
creative lenna videos on YouTube 
my photo journal blipfoto ~creativelenna
creativelenna.com my original web site (1995)
2003 - 2011 archive of art and class photos on picturetrail

Thanks for your support, I sure hope you will visit me on my creative lenna tumblr blog!
- Lenna 6/2/2013

trying something new

I'm trying something new! At first I fooled around with this blog, using a dynamic view template instead of a simple one and I also updated my "About" page. If you are reading this via a feed you can see those changes HERE. Now, these were good changes I think, but I found I was still uninspired to write a post even though I had things to share . . . huh? What's up with that?

I started this blog at the end of 2006 so I've used it for quite some time. Maybe I was hungry for a new start? I was not planning on making a change, but serendipitously yesterday when I saw a link on the blipfoto blog for a tumblr blog called humans of new york by photographer Brandon Stanton . . . something happened. I really liked his photographs and the quotes he got from his subjects. Then I saw a "follow" button on his blog. When I pressed it I was brought to tumblr.com where I created an account so I could follow his photos. After that I was curious, knowing nothing about tumblr. I started to explore the site and 24 hours later, I have this:

The address for this new blog of mine is: http://creativelenna.tumblr.com/

Please check it out and tell me what you think!
I am going to try posting there for now and see how it goes . . . . .

Something different, a new format for me. I have certainly enjoyed setting it up already! I love that kind of computer design work as it is a different kind of creative work. There is a spot where you can ask me a question (it opens a new page) and there is also a link on the right to an "about page". I'll add more pages too. You can view other tumblr posts that I have liked on the right and also see who I am following there. Lots of art & photography blogs, right up my alley and mostly short bits to devour. For some reason the tumblr format is relatively new to me. i had  heard of it but do not remember coming across it much before. If you have a blog there or know of any I might enjoy, please let me know. I have added a place for comments on my posts as well. 

 xo lenna 

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

we have moved!

Steven, Asia & Chloe 
paddling home from Lucas Boatworks to our new home on the Braden River.
Steven is using one of the gorgeous paddles he made at Lucas Boatworks : )

we are tired, happy, unpacking tons of boxes, and settling in! 
xo lenna

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
  ~ Katharine Hepburn

still here . . .

Even though I am still packing boxes (not done yet) and helping steven hand-carry over a number of odd shaped things, I find myself still here taking some photos. Thus, the new blog header I put together using Photoshop, Picasa and Picnik (through Picasa). Kind of silly, but not really I guess! I still have that an urge to do SOMETHING creative and my studio is completely packed up!!!!!!! This is hard to believe but true. The contents of my desk are the only things in my studio, that have not been packed and will soon be. The printer and scanner are still here, but we will hand carry those over closer to Moving Day. Yesterday Steven moved the studio cabinets over . . .

we are very lucky to have this luxury of moving in a bit at a time.

Chloe investigating the back yard . . . .

This will be a lovely home for us. Thanks for visiting, I'll stop in as I can. One week till we move!
I hope you are safe tonight, thinking of my family & friends in the Northeast. Love, lenna

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.
 ~ Marc Chagall

1000 posts!

I can't believe it! This post marks 1000 posts I have written here since December 8th, 2006. yikes! I did not know that was true until I decided to write a short note to tell you that I would be taking a blog break for a while . . . but if you are a regular reader, I bet you guessed that already. I just finished my Nia white belt training last friday and if you have not been here since then, I changed the main photo of the blog to reflect that -check it out here if you are reading via a feed. The Nia White belt training was intense: long days for an entire week, but very well worth it. I learned a lot and have also signed up for the Nia Green belt training held in Sarasota in February. (That tells you something!!) The Green Belt is an optional training based on embodying the skills to teach Nia. : ) In the meantime, I am PACKING! Boxes and boxes. You would think I would be used to this by now, but no I am not - I am slugging through it all. I do think though, that Steven and I have found our home. One that is really for us, on a canal off the Braden River. Not too far from my mom, either. Our moving date is November 6th - So, I am signing off for a while. Thank you for visiting and for all your comments these past six years!!!!!!!!!!

On tuesday I went to Siesta Key beach for Nia class and took this amazing photo . . .

At least it was amazing to me!! Click on it to view larger. I hope you enjoy and I'll catch you on the other side : ) sending love to you and yours, lenna 

Elbow grease is the best polish.
  ~ English proverb

creative play: it's good for you!

I hosted a prayer flag swap recently, see the results here. It turned out to be a really fun swap, more than I anticipated when organizing it. Many of the participants found they so enjoyed working on these easy to make small flags, creating them with prayers, wishes and good thoughts in mind. There was a huge variety of flags which you can see if you follow the link above. A lot of us said, "I think I am addicted to making  these!"  When Jan Smith added a link to her photos on her blog, she wrote: I'm still addicted to making them...so if anyone out there fancies swapping a shabby style prayer flag (1 to 1 swap) I would love to hear from you.....

So guess who wrote back to her? That's right, me! I figured I would need a break from that tedious job of packing, so I went ahead and agreed to a trade. I knew Jan loved "shabby chic", so I took some fabric I had found and plunged in. These flags are small, around 5" x 8" - so it didn't take long and was a treat for me after a morning of squishing things into boxes and going through oodles of packing tape. While packing up some of my fabric I found a really old piece of cotton print that I made something out of 20 or 25 years ago!!! I also purposely chose one of my grandmother's old linen pieces with cherries on it, very small in size -not sure what it was used for, some type of napkin? I also chose a lace doily & trim for a shabby look. If you click on this first photo, you can view them all in the lightbox . . . . I made 2 layers for this flag, one muslin and one the old cotton print and only sewed them together at the top so they could move freely.

I sewed the doily on only via 1 straight line in the middle so it would flop over.
There is my Nonie's 'cherry' linen piece layered under.

I added a quote printed on fabric (found while packing) for my thoughts 
or wishes . . . and some cotton lace across the bottom

I also cut the floral print so it would be fringed

On the back I sewed a business card

Here it is -Voila! 

I sent this to Jan today . . . it is traveling to the UK so it will take a week or two if we are lucky and she is sending one to me today as well, what fun! My received prayer flags are shown via the link - wow, so many of them! Everyone was so generous and I received many flags as gifts. They stayed up outside for about 2 weeks and are now packed in a box to be brought to our new home.

New home? Yes, our closing is tomorrow morning!!!!!!!! We will move in about 3 weeks to a home on a canal right off the Braden River, and we have decided to rent our current home. I have Nia White Belt Training starting on Saturday that runs long days for a full week. We (mostly Steven!) have some things to do in the new home like painting the kitchen (cabinets too) and all the windows being replaced with Hurricane ones . . . Steven and I have an anniversary (together 8 years) coming up October 25th we'll be celebrating in Casey Key with our boat Chelsea in tow. I still have lots of packing to do here. I really have only just begun! So, that is my story, what about you? I cannot promise to answer but I would so love to hear from you. 

Hope all is well with you & yours. 
xo lenna  

"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

moving in and finding art

It is taking me a while this time to move into my studio. I am unpacking all my stored art supplies, but I find it takes a lot of effort! So I do a little, then I leave it be for a while, then I do a little more. I am happy to say I have gotten enough unpacked that i am getting comfortable with creating in my new space.

Here you can see I have even found some of Steven's father's sculpture, which I love. Our house is not very big and so I get to have a few pieces right in my studio for inspiration (they are in front of the window on the left -click for a larger view). Steven's dad Ed was a plastic surgeon and what we would both call a 'Renaissance man'. He drew like an angel, painted, did sculpture, woodwork, ceramics, metalworking, welding . . . Steven tells me their basement had all kinds of set-ups for making molds and casts for sculpture, there was a darkroom, wood working equipment, a kiln . . . Steven describes the basement like a factory where you could produce anything out of metal, clay or wood! Ed Deming taught sculpture for over 30 years. He passed away in 1986.

Ed Deming

Ed's sculptures that are keeping me company in my studio now.

One fun part about unpacking is the things you find, especially artwork like the sculptures above. Not too long ago, I participated in a Vintage Gluebook ATC swap hosted by Mary Green. It was part of the Your Vintage GlueBook online class Mary teaches. As soon as I received my swaps, I knew I wanted to display them all together. I hung on to them . . . and just came across them the other day when upacking. A friend of mine had given me a few Vintage towels . . .  and this is what I came up with to display them in my studio, below.

I used large sticky "glue dots" to attach them to the Vintage towel, what do you think?? The cards I have displayed are by: Frieda Oxenham, Sharon Walworth, Sarah Hemphill, Marilyn Butler, "Lou", and Nan Daly. I simply love seeing these ATCs all together. Mary Green has a new online class which starts today! I will be there as a student because I love her classes and get so much out of them -Click here to view more details!

I also have a few more photos of my slowly moving-in process; photos of my studio and our new little home. If you are curious, you can look at them in an easy to view slideshow, here.  

happy november! 

we are here in our new home

tired, but very happy . . . phew!

moving day!
Very importantly, Steven moved all of the boats. I believe there are 8 of them, but not sure. They seem to multiply.
The living room got set up this afternoon. It is small but nice & cozy. 
Another view of the living room. 
Kitchen to my studio . . . 
There is a lovely kitchen . . . 
An even lovelier studio (i think!!)
Our first dinner here.

 a happy and tired lenna

new home

Just a note to let you know the closing for our new home on Tuesday morning went fine. Probably the easiest one we ever did. Hmmmm, don't ask Steven how many times we have moved since we got married only 5 years ago, or he'll launch into one of his stories complete with full regalia! Truthfully, if you count his move out of a condo and into my house in 2005, this will be our 5th move -ugh, I know. Too much moving! Now, we did move 1500 miles the last time and into a rental house, so that should have some bearing on this exceptionally large number. No matter, we are now the happy owners of a great little house in NW Bradenton that is delightfully a few short minutes drive from my parent's house that we hope to stay in for a nice long while.

We have not actually moved there yet, moving day is the 20th of Sept. We are using this time to paint the walls, rip up the rugs, have someone tile the bedroom floors, install studio cabinets (thank you, steven!) and have the electrician over. I am packing up boxes, getting ready for the moving truck.

This is the backyard! Imagine our delight finding these huge, wonderful trees in Florida?

That is my studio window, from the outside above - and the inside, below!

we are blessed

I have one last commitment art-wise that I will be working on when I need a break from boxing up. It is already started and I look forward to working on it. I'll be back for that, but if I am otherwise scarce, now you know why!