happy new year

wishing you and yours 
a wonderful new year ahead . . .
will you turn over a new leaf??
hmmm, nature printing, anyone?
To see the "table project" Steven and I 
worked on together -follow this link
There is a slideshow option top right
if you prefer! 


just a peek

at what I was working on yesterday . . .

My husband Steven made the wooden table top above out of cherry strips. He learned this technique from my dad and the boats they have worked on together. Steven is also using this same technique on an unfinished canoe he picked up inexpensively and is now completing . . . click for more detail.

Deck strips added
He does a lot of reading about this type of thing too! The woodwork in the first photo is done on top of an old plastic table of my parent's that we are recycling. Steven literally insisted I do nature printing on top of this table. We have a coffee table I rubber stamped that he absolutely adores. How could I say no! I had a lot of fun too. 

I will share more of the nature printed table when Steven finishes epoxying and varnishing on top of the prints I did. That will really make the prints pop and protect them as well! 

Yeah! Another collaborative project for us! 

nature print envelopes for my mail art swap

I have been making lots of envelopes for my mail art swap! There are over 50 participants and wanted to send their returns home in a mail art envelope I had made myself. So I got busy and made a few different kinds of mail art envelopes. This was my last batch - nature printed envelopes.

Isn't this print beautiful? click for details.

It had been a while since I had done this and it was different working with the plant material that is available in Florida versus Connecticut. I even tried Spanish moss! Nature printing is not hard at all. You need plant material, something to print on (an envelope, piece of paper, or fabric) some paint -Lumiere paint is wonderful but any will do, some scrap paper for pressing/printing, and something to paint your plant material on. I use a plastic write-on transparency sheet because I have a lot of them, but you could use a piece of wax paper. click on any small photo below for a larger photo. 

add paint to your leaf with a sponge or foam brush.
It is on top of the transparency sheet.
paint side down onto your receiving item
place scrap paper over and use your hand(s) to press the leaf
(or use a brayer - I prefer my hands)
Lift carefully . . . 
You can generally use the same leaf or flower over a number of times unless it is really fragile. I often mix colors right on the leaf and today I used pigment powders, sprinkling them over the wet paint. The spots of gold below are a Pearl-Ex Pigment powder. Click for details.

To see more of the nature printing I did today, please check out this set of photos on my flickr account. Thank you for reading & looking! : ) lenna

Orange and Green ATCs

The Colour Groupies group is at it again -the fab 5 who make ATCs on a color combination theme every month! For October our color-combo is "orange and green" and I just got word that everyone has received their ATCs from me, so I can share them now.
This month I decided to make nature printed ATCs for my friends and pulled out my Lumiere paints, which have a lovely sparkle.
I used both halo Pink Gold and halo Blue Gold, which really do look orange & green with a shimmer of gold added! You can read a brief description on how to do nature printing within my free fabric stamping tutorial that is up on the Joggles.com site.
For Tristan. . . .

For me! . . . .

Below, for Frieda . . . .

For Debby . . . .
and for Caryl . . . .
To make these cards I took plain white cards, about 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size and used real leaves and Lumiere paints for the nature printing. I made 5 ATCs for the group plus a few extras, very similar to these, that I could give to friends as gifts. When the paint was dry I took a number of fun unmounted quote stamps from Zettiology and stamped on top of the leaf prints with permanent StazOn ink.
I also rummaged around for a little pink-orange & green tissue paper to fill in some of the areas around the printing which was looking too white for me. I finished the edges of these ATCs with a light brush stroke of some of the same colors of Lumiere I used for the printing. i hope you enjoy and try nature printing yourself. it is a blast!
lenna young andrews, September 25th, 2009.

Studio Classes!

Beverley Teichrob from Victoria, BC at my Studio, October 18, 2008

Beverley was a participant in two of my recent studio classes. This was an extra special case because Bev was here visiting from British Columbia, Canada! While her husband was working, she got to play. In fact, we arranged two classes that Bev could take while she was here. I wrote about the collage class she took in an earlier post, and on October 18th, Bev took Nature Printing & Paintstik Techniques with me in my studio. I made a small collage for her as thanks for coming all this way and taking my classes, and that is what she is holding in her hands. : ) Bev is also a frequent participant in my creative swaps.

Here are a few photos from our workshop that day -please click on any photo for more detail:

So, if you are traveling and know you will be near Avon, CT - let me know! We may be able to meet or to arrange a class for you, in my studio. I do have a number of workshops scheduled through December -check my website for more details. There is an Image Transfer class in November, as well as another Collage class, and two silk scarf classes are scheduled for early December.

more teaching fun!

Last Thursday I happily spent my morning giving a workshop on oil paintstiks and Nature Printing to my friend and artist Carla Kurt. I was honored that she asked me if I would instruct her! She was surprised to hear me say that, saying I knew so much about mixed media techniques that I could teach her! So, it was quite a mutually beneficial (and fun!) time for both of us and we plan on doing it again. How cool is it that we live about 20 minutes apart and yet met via the internet?

To the left you'll see 2 of my shiva oil paintstik 'rubbings' as well as a number of nature prints. Below is Carla with one of our paintstik exercises/experiments, just as she was just getting started:

And here is her piece as she added more, adding mono printing and stenciling on top of her wonderful masked background.

I love the colors Carla choose and the way she did her masking! I went for a much straighter masking line for my demo . . . .

The Nature Printing leftovers . . . .
they are so beautiful still tinted with Lumiere paint.

Below are a couple of fabric things I nature printed a few years ago. I brought these pieces into my studio to show Carla some more examples . . . .

The scarf to the left was created this past summer while I was on vacation, and features printed grape vine leaves from Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada. The dogs Asia & Chloe were part and parcel of this private class (Carla welcomed them!) : )

I am teaching this class again next Saturday (October 18th) in my studio located in Avon, CT ~ please email me if you are interested in joining us!

nature print cards

I spent some time last week creating "nature print" cards in my effort to create art for sale, a new aspiration for me. In fact, I ended up making 30 cards -wow! If you click on the photo or link below, you'll go to my flickr account where you can view more of what I stamped with leaves and flowers . . .

natureprint.cards.01, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

My husband Steven loved these cards so much --the fact that they were nature themed/created with leaves and yet so different and unusual in their coloring. He insisted on taking them to work to show off and to possibly sell. : ^ ) Well, he did just that and the next day I took the rest of the cards to the Tapestry Rose Gift shop in Rocky Hill, CT. Steven's cousin, Sally Farrell, who owns the shop, really loved them. She took all the cards that were left! That was so wonderful for me!

Nature Printing is not too hard to do, it just requires practice & experimentation to find out what you like and what works. You need natural plant material, or even silk plants will do in a pinch. It's best to pick the material fresh, or you can store them in a plastic bag in the fridge if you need to, for a day or two. You'll need acrylic paints (I love using Lumiere, by Jacquard ) and an acrylic sheet, or a plastic plate. Even a piece of freezer paper will work for a paint palette. You will use this palette to mix paint colors and as something to put your nature item on when you sponge your paint onto it. You’ll need lots of plain paper to use as cover sheets for your nature items while printing.

How to do Nature Printing on Fabric: Take your nature item (leaf, flower, etc.) and put it on your palette sheet. Take a foam brush or a sponge and dip it in to the paint that you have poured onto your palette. Gently dab the paint onto your nature item. If you need to mix colors, do that on the palette sheet first.

Important: use a piece of scrap fabric or card stock to *test your nature print first* before going onto your actual piece of fabric or card/stationery. Use tweezers to pick up the leaf or flower if it is very messy and transfer it with the painted side down, to the scrap fabric or paper. Wipe your hands off and place a plain paper cover sheet over the back of your nature item and gently press or rub your fingers all over the back of the cover sheet & the nature item. Use a brayer if you prefer -I like using my fingers. Remove the cover sheet, and use the tweezers again to pick up the nature item. If it is a sturdy item, you will be able to use it more than once. You will definitely need to re-paint the item each time you press for a good print. If you are satisfied with your print, re-paint and go on to the actual piece that you are printing, replacing the nature item as it wears out. I love to mix colors on one leaf or flower and that is how I got some of my finished results that you see. I will be teaching this in person to my friend Carla Kurt in October, what fun!