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

float and dance

Last Wednesday Steven and I joined my friends from Conscious Movement and Nia for a sunset cruise on America's only floating chapel. Below is a photo of my friend Cheryl Wilson in front of the chapel on Sarasota bay . . .
Cheryl is obviously very happy to have received the kayak paddle Steven created for her,
painted in pretty mermaid colors (the top one)

Yes, the chapel floats and we all boarded! 
This boat/ chapel cruises the beautiful Intra-coastal waterways between Sarasota and Anna Maria Island on the gulf coast of Florida where there are beautiful sunsets. We danced into the sunset on the only floating chapel in this Hemisphere -the other floating chapel is in Australia, wow!

I have created 3 very short videos from this event with the help of my husband Steven, who filmed 2 of them. 
You can find all three of them on my You Tube page: www.youtube.com/creativelenna.
My favorite is the 3 minute one titled: The Floating Chapel, dance and float!
My friend Frieda told me it had her dancing in her studio in Scotland! 
We are cruising into the sunset as "Shout! You make me want to shout!" is playing.
~ such fun. 

Thanks for tuning in . . . more art to come.

You never know what you can do till you try.
  ~ William Cobbett



More lesson 4 - then some more on me!


I am taking a stamp carving class with Julie Balzer and originally wrote about what I did in lesson 4 here, in case you missed it. This particular lesson is about creating a series or set of stamps to use together. At the beginning of the video Julie showed us a banner shaped set she made with a cute little flat top, but then she went on to make a chevron set with a pointed top for the actual lesson. I really liked the banner shape and decided to make my first set that way. While I love this cute set of stamps I made . . .
. . . I just could not get that chevron shaped set out of my head! In fact, I found I couldn't move forward to lesson 5 until I made a set with a pointed top that could link together nicely. My "test" sheet is at the top of this post and you can see how I took my "flower" stamp and kind of linked it all together on the left. I am going through the lessons and carving my stamps pretty quickly (impatient to see my carved stamps!) so I figured more practice would be good for me. Below is my process of my second try with lesson 4:

Getting the shapes cut evenly is hard for me
All carved! My stamps are messy but okay.
Practice makes perfect!
A tag for me on the left and one for my friend, Linda K on the right.
Gosh, you must go visit her blog (link above!). Her chevron stamps are so, so cool!
plus she writes about how we talked with each other on the phone : )

For these tags I spritzed them all with water first to see what would happen when I stamped them with wet, dye ink. Just a little experiment for part 2 of lesson 4. I promise now to go on to lesson 5! Below are my banner stamps (L) in comparison with my chevron set (R):

And here are ALL the stamps I have carved so far in Julie's class:
Stamp carving 101 (click to leaarn more!)

This class has been totally enjoyable for me so far and I love having something to work on and learn/practice. I also find that doing the class at the same time as my friend Linda has really helped keep me on track. I love making tags for both of us after each lesson. What fun that will be to send & receive when the class is completed for us. And we got to speak on the phone together! I believe I have 5 more lessons to do. 

Besides carving stamps I played a little bit with watercolor blocks (like crayons) and soft pastels the other day and made a colorful piece on watercolor paper. I don't know what I will do with it yet but it was great to play in the spirit of the class I took with Bill Buchman. Here's a look:

I continue to take many photographs, most every day and try to upload one per day to my blipfoto journal
I have been able to return to dancing at Nia and Conscious movement . . . I am still going to physical therapy twice a week for my frozen shoulder but have improved by leaps and bounds! There are just a few rotating kind of movements that are not there for me yet, but I a happy to be able to dance again and do most things. My mom is doing well and Steven and I will visit with her tonight. Steven has made over 20 paddles now and he has been selling some. ; ) I am working on a 3-part video of his paddle painting process (editing now) and will share it soon. 
Our wedding anniversary is Monday and we are going to drive to the other coast of Florida, watch the sun rise over the beach on the east coast of FL, drive back home and watch the sun set over the beach on the west coast of FL, all on the same day - June 11, our 7th wedding anniversary! I do not think there are too many places you can do that . . . this is Steve's idea and since it is only a 3 and a half hour drive - so I said, why not? I am sure it will be memorable. 

Hope you are well, take care till next time. Any questions or problems with the new blog layout - template I am using, please contact me. If you are on the blog & click on comments, you may have to scroll down to see the comment box!

Nature gives you the face you have at twenty, it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.
  ~ Coco Chanel



sunday goodness

Sunday morning my husband got a phone call. It was kayak Kathy, wondering where the paddle that Steven made for her granddaughter was? whoops! He had brought it to the Botanical Gardens as part of the handmade boat exhibit on Saturday and it was still in his car! No problem to run down there quick with it as the family was already at Lucas Boatworks ready to go out on the river. Below is a photo of the paddle reunited with the granddaughter. She's in a kayak handmade especially for her by her grandfather. Gorgeous!

The look on her face is probably because her grandparents were trying to get her to give up the paddle Steven made for her and she really, really did not want to!! I think she loved the purple & pink Lumiere paint job ; ) When Steven made this paddle it was estimated how long a kayak paddle for a 4 year old should be . . . and this one was a little too short. It is currently being modified.

Here is Dave Lucas checking out the paddle at the Festival where both he and Steven showed off their handmade boats. 

Top: A kid-size kayak paddle
Bottom: A mangrove canoe paddle
(Both painted with my Lumiere paint!)

Later in the afternoon, I stopped by Lucas Boatworks. Who did I find in the Tiki Hut? Seated L-R: Dave Lucas, Stan Tyrel, and my husband Steve -or crazy steve- according to Dave! He calls him that for building a schooner out of an 11 1/2ft wee lassie canoe! 

Stan built this beautiful little boat, including the sail.This is a puddle duck racer or PDR and it's a sailboat that anyone can build inexpensively in their garage. They are built for races and family fun, but you can just enjoy sailing it, as these guys did on Sunday afternoon. I took a video of Stan sailing it Sunday: http://youtu.be/NHZT_JqKfPo 
Dave Lucas is doing the commentary and there is a cameo appearance at the end by Steven!
Stan gave it a great name. Remember it is a puddle duck and he named it the "Florida Quacker"! 

Steven photographing Dave Lucas trying it out

Dave *likes* to make it tip!!!

That is Dave's wife Helen, Stan, Dave (behind Steve in the red shirt), Steven and me on the dock at Lucas Boatworks. Helen had picked up Karen Eckmeier - a quilt artist from Connecticut (!! our old home state) at the airport to do a couple of workshops at Helen's quilt guild. Karen took this photo, then sent it to me this morning labeled, "Relaxing, Florida style"  : ) 
Check  out Karen's site linked to her name above, I look forward to exploring it more. 

sunny Florida wishes to you & yours! 


palma sola botanical park festival

It has been a gorgeous day here in Palma Sola, Florida . . . . Steven was asked to show off his wee lassie sailing canoe and his handmade paddles as part of the Traditional Boat Exhibit at the Palma Sola Botanical Park's Spring Plant Sale and festival ; ) There was sunshine & live music too!

The Botanical gardens -my new Sony camera takes panoramic photos - it is amazing!
The boat in the pond was made by local builder Nick Baden.

Steven describing how he made his sailing canoe . . . 
while the pups find some shade ; ) click for details

The festival was also a plant sale to benefit the botanical gardens


Steven's paddles were a hit! He had a few inquiries and cards taken . . . 
yes, that is my Lumiere paint adorning them! 

If you would like to stroll through a beautiful botanical garden and see some sights, 
including an Annihinga (snake bird) follow the link here. Enjoy! 

yours creatively, lenna 



paddles and paint. oh my!

The Lumiere paint and the new design has been a hit; Steven already has orders for three kayak paddles! He has perfected the design of a lightweight handmade kayak paddle that Dave Lucas originally showed him at the boat shop... Steven's paddle blades are made now so that hardly any water drips into the boat or on your lap. If you have kayaked before you know what I am talking about, you usually get wet ; ) Here's a great photo of Steven with 2 of his handmade paddles I took in our kitchen the other night. The kayak paddle shown weighs only 27 oz. and the stand up paddle, only 22 oz!! Talk about less fatique when paddling! Plus, they are made very strong with good wood laminated with fiberglass. A slideshow of the process is here.


One of the paddles Steven's holding is the kayak paddle he made for me. The other one is the stand up paddle he made for me with the special 'S' design, xoxo. This is all for when my arm is better and I can go kayaking again or learn SUP! Unfortunately, I over-stretched my shoulder and arm in a yoga class on February 1st - that long ago.  My doctor says it's tendinitis, which is really no fun and slow to heal. It is very difficult to not re-injure my over-stretched tendons in just regular everyday movements, but I am trying. Steven had tendinitis once when he was a whitewater kayak-er and tells me it could be 3 or 4 months till it is healed. argh.

The last time I posted I showed you Steven's test piece with Lumiere on a small piece of prepared wood. Since that was successful he tried the technique on a canoe paddle he recently made from extra wood, which you'll see below . . .



Asia wants to know if she has to pose with the paddle? So cute!
She is 10 years old now if you can believe . . . loves her daddy.
Goes boating with him any chance she gets!


Just look at the Lumiere paint over the black, wow! 

I think this is a great idea and I'm so glad some other people do too! 


I really love seeing Steven find his way into doing something creative that he can possibly make some money at. Something that can showcase his numerous artistic talents, and something that he loves doing!!  
So, so happy for him. 


steve & lenna 
March 11, 2012




Steven is stealing my paint!

Well, Steven is not really stealing my paint, I gave him permission! He's working on a new design for kayak paddles: drip-less,lightweight paddles -that don't drip a lot of water into the kayak. See the original photos of making these paddles here. He has made some 'non-boring' ones (a joke between us) with a nice contrasting piece of cedar in the handles . . . but he wanted to design a few kayak paddles where he used paint for the 'zing' instead of contrasting wood. He asked if he could he use some of my Lumiere paint?? why yes, perhaps for a kiss I said . . . and below is his test piece. I'll return at another time to show you a finished paddle painted with Lumiere.


Steven painted a masked off area and painted with black first, then sponged on blue & green Lumiere. Click on any photo for more paddle testing details and paint wow-ability! This sample is smaller that the real paddle handle will be.


He is looking like he really stole my paints! 


This looks very promising -- and, he has an order already! 


A curious happening . . .
Earlier today I was shocked to discover that this blog and my creative swaps blog and another blog I have set up but not published to yet (a photo blog) were truly removed from the world wide web!! When I went to the blog addresses I saw a page that said they no longer existed and had been removed. I questioned blogger via a form and sent in a verification code they text messaged me. After an hour or two, my blogs were back again. When I was asked to verify myself blogger said something about unusual activity on my sites . . . I don't know what it was (the solar flares?? a spammer?) but I am glad to have them back, especially this blog. It is a 5 year journey of my art and life. I really would have been okay without it, but I am glad it has returned!!

last night Steven took this photo, I'm
wearing necklaces from Frieda and Cat D-E
thank you again! 

art, nia, paper beads

It has been busy for me as of late, which is good, especially as I've been busy with creative things. I took some Nia classes over the weekend with 2 wonderful Black Belt Trainers, Winalee Zeeb and Caroline Kohles. On Saturday there was a 2 hour Elegant Elements (earth, air, fire, water) playshop, and on Sunday I took a regular Nia class with both trainers teaching. Winalee and Caroline are awesome and in Sarasota to run a Blue Belt Nia training with classes this whole week hosted by Nia Instructor Kelly Atkins at Sara Dance!

Saturday 01-07-12

Sunday 01-08-12 with Winalee on the far left

It was a great experience and fun to dance with my new friends I have found locally through Nia. This morning I will be back to my Nia classes on the beach with Kathy Oravec. Last week was too windy and cold for me to attend, can you imagine? It was in the 40's!

My husband Steven is making a paddle for stand-up paddle boarding for my friend Cheryl. He's made some lightweight kayak paddles and was inspired to try a stand-up paddle after talking to Cheryl about it. On Saturday after Nia, Cheryl and I stopped at Lucas Boatworks on the way home.

Chreyl LOvEs her lightweight custom made paddle!

We went out in Starfish with the electric motor


Cheryl & Chloe - too cute!

Steven with the electric motor - it's rechargable!

Yesterday was my art class at the Longboat Key center for the Arts. I had been taking photos with my instructors approval . . . and yesterday he asked me if I was filming?? I said, no -just taking pictures so far, but I certainly could!! So, I filmed one of his demos, then shared it with him and he said yes -posting it would be great! I will embed it here, but if you cannot see it below, use this link view it here on You Tube. It is fun and only 3 mins long.



  The new header on my blog came from a creative exercise I did in class with Bill last week, I wrote about it here on this post. Besides taking this class, I am preparing to teach a collage class, Collage for the Soul - locally here on Anna Maria Island! This will be mostly Nia students who found out what I do and requested a class . . . I had forgotten how fun and exciting it can be to prepare for a class like this! It has been a little over 2 years since I've taught class in person (the last time was when we lived in Connecticut!) and I am so looking forward to it on February 1st!

I have been working on creating paper beads and learning more about them . . . I am not ready to announce the swap yet but soon! Some of my beads so far . . . .


This swap will be fun! Stay tuned .  .  . 

Hope you are making time for something creative, yes?? 






Tour of Lucas Boatworks

While my sister and her family are visiting from Connecticut, we wanted them to visit Lucas Boatworks so they could see it first hand. We originally thought we'd put kayaks in the water, but the weather was not that great . .. it was okay, but not really "let's get out in the water" type of weather. But, I took Kathy and her husband Dan and their two boys - ages 17 and 20, out to meet up with Steven there yesterday and they still enjoyed, even without the actual boating!

Kathy, Dan & Ian with Steven down on  the dock- Asia too!
(love the Spanish moss -love that dock!)

Steven with Howard's melonseed sailboat, almost done.
There is always to much to see in the pole barn!

my nephew Ian, Dan and Steven walking by Wally's melonseed

Kathy checking out the weight of one of Steven's handmade kayak paddles -it's very light!

The new paddle he is working on for a Stand-up paddle board

Steven showing us some of the cedar he cut to create the paddle

My friend Cheryl stopped by, yay!! She brought her stand-up paddle and 2 other ones
for Steven to check out. This is his first stand-up paddle design, so sweet of her!
(Dave Lucas watches Steven's antics and says, "crazy steve")

3 different paddles for stand-up boarding - all different
I will share with you the prototype Steven is making for Cheryl when he's finished!

My nephew Dale talking  to dave Lucas about the boat he is building

Then dale, kathy and I went in for a tour of Helen's quilt room!!
Look at the view she has of the Braden River.... mmmmm!

Helen explaining about a collaborative quilt she made, The Fisherman.

She even took it out and showed it to us -beautiful and award winning!!

I could not resist taking this photo - batiks are my favorite fabrics.

This is the most beautiful quilt that Helen made with batiks

Helen says this quilt is Dave's favorite -so cool!

Steve and Dave take Starfish out of the water since we decided not to go out . . . .

Dave helps, driving my dad's old tractor.
Everyone, Kathy, Dan & both nephews were so pleased 
to see dad's tractor still in use. 

Later we came home and I opened the present Cheryl gave us:
a Christmas Cracker!
complete with crown!!
: ) a happy boxing day for us in Florida, 
I hope all is well with you and yours, lenna

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