hello . . .

Lenna & Kathy Oravec at Nia on Siesta beach - December 4, 2012

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
  ~ Bertrand Russell

If you think you can do a thing, or think you can't do a thing, you're right.
  ~ Henry Ford

Above are two quotes pulled randomly from a document on my computer, that contains all of the quotes I've collected because I love them. 15 years ago, my son Decklin created a program for me that randomly selects a quote I can add to my email signature or anywhere else. With a click of the mouse, a quote is chosen randomly from a very large list and copied to the clipboard, ready to be pasted anywhere. I love this program and still use it! So often the chosen quote matches my current thoughts or state of mind; it’s quite uncanny.

I wish to say I am sorry for my leave of absence from my blog. It has been a while since I have had so little to share with you! I think most of you know I have recently moved house and that has been the main culprit. We have been here in our new home 4 weeks now, which seems incredible.

I have not begun to unpack and organize my studio – I only continue to put this job off. A lot of other things are going on and so doing this was another decision making process that I did not feel I had the energy to face. And it still remains undone! Instead, my creative outlet recently has been my photography. Lately I have been working hard on catching up with the uploading of my photos and you can find them here on Blipfoto where I keep a daily photo journal, and also on flickr.

Since I like to use this blog to mostly share my art making process, I have not had anything to share with you! I do know I will make art, work in journals and create with paper & fabric again, but I am not at that place yet. We are doing a large amount of landscaping with the help of many talented people and that takes a lot of time. I am very seriously working on my health issues by exercising daily and sticking to around 1200 calories a day – fresh, wholesome, mostly vegan foods. I found out recently I have a chronic liver disease (fat cells in my liver) that can be reversed by losing the extra weight I have been carrying. I have lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks and while that is slow, I think it is good. Only 28 more to go!

So, do not fear! I will return with my art when I get things organized here. In the meantime, I will check in when I can but you can almost always find me on Blipfoto. The weather is beautiful here in Florida now and I am still dancing in Nia class as you can see by the photo above. All is well and I truly hope the same for you. 

xo lenna

4x4 for Trudi

Through the Oh My Gothic yahoo group, I have been creating 4"x4" pieces on a monthly basis. In October it was my turn to make something for Trudi Sissons. Her theme for this exchange is Nature's Garden with Quotes - soft shades, flowers, vines, butterflies. Click for details.

To create this I used a copy of a vintage ad printed onto vellum paper to keep it soft and almost see-through. The John Muir quote was rubber stamped with black StazOn permanent ink. The cloth leaves and paper butterflies were hostess gifts given to me; just the perfect touch I think. Trudi has seen her piece on the yahoo group (a closed group) and told me she loved it. It should reach her in Canada before too long! It was good for me to make this, I enjoyed. 

*art journal every day* May 4, 2011

On May 1st, I read about Julie Balzer's Art Journal Every Day. It sounded like a great idea to me so I jumped right in. I am going to shoot for working in an art journal a little bit every day for the month of May. So far, I am spending more than 10 mins or even 20 minutes . . .  I think today I spent about 45, and the other days probably more time! While I like really doing this, I am going to try to make myself cut back on the amount of time I am spending just so I can keep up! We'll see how that goes . . .
The finished spread:

I tried to be simpler today and use different things than the past few days. 
I started by spraying walnut ink and  Perfect Pearls Mists in 2 colours to create a background. 

I added my favorite Magenta stamp repeatedly around the edges with wet ink so I could sprinkle on embossing powder and emboss it. I do not have much of a plan, I am just looking for things to try.

 Below, the lines of the mesh stamp have been embossed with an embossing powder that sparkles.

On the left I added a quote that was one of my LennaLines quote stamps (2000-2003).
The dark black film was part of how the original stamps were made -click for detail.

The "violet scheme" is a Glidden paint card!
Another quote was added.

Reading about Julie's circle stamps had me thinking of circles . . . so I traced around some from rolls of masking tape in different sizes. I had paper flowers in a tube on my desk that my friend Frieda had remarked about when she saw a photo . . .   having her comment on my mind made me open the package up and see what I could do with them!
I added micro beads to the centers of the flowers  . . . 

and painted inside the circles using a brush with the Perfect Pearls mists!

Thanks very much for your visits and comments! 



I found this video by going from my good friend Sharon Borsavage's blog, to her friend Karen's blog, Thread Therapies. From there, I followed a link to Barbara Lewis' blog where I found this amazing video. With my passion for art, creativity and inspiring quotes, I cannot help but to share this with you. I hope you enjoy. I think it is quite powerful and contains some of my favorite quotes.

Page swap: *WOMEN*

Above is a cropped section of just one of 7 pages I did for a page swap.
To view all seven pages, 
please visit this link on flickr. : ^ )
I'm a member of the Circle of Friends yahoo group which has a monthly swap exchange . . . on this group, Caroline Ouzts Hay proposed a page swap on the theme of women, and seven of us have signed up. Caroline is going to take our pages, swap them out among us so we have one of each, and then bind them into a cool little book before sending them back home, wow! I made my pages all the same way, but each a little different from the other. This is how I typically make things when doing multiples. With a little research online I found a list of 50 inspirational women which I decided to use to make my background. I copied the list and formated it so the words ran one line after the other on a page (not in a list). I chose an interesting font for the words, a light tan colour, and then printed my text out to use as a background for my seven 6.5" x 4"  pages. Previously, I had gathered all of my "women"  rubber stamps that I could find and I stamped them with permanent ink on top of the text. Then I got out my watercolor crayons and played! The quote on white sticker paper is one of my original "LennaLines" quote stamps from back in the day (2000-2003). I added a bit more of the leftover text to the back of the page and put all the swap particulars there. They have already been sent, caroline! Looking forward to my return. : ) lenna

published 10 years ago . . .

I found this collage I created in 1999 among my photos recently and added it to my desktop for a  background picture. I've been studying it a little bit each time I go to the computer and had somewhat of a hard time believing it, when I figured out it was published in the May/June 2000 issue of RSM magazine -yikes! That would be 10 years ago! Somehow, this seems impossible. Click on the scan above for a larger more detailed view - I have enjoyed reading the collage description myself. It is from the instructions for the collage class I taught at Impressive Impressions (a rubber stamp store) in Farmington CT, back in 1999! The writing on the top left is in my Grandmother Dimock's hand and reads, "Yet this, at 80 I can say, as I see every sun rise from the sea, I'm sure: the best is yet to come." I found this writing of hers on some scrap paper, tucked away in a box after she died and it has always meant a lot to me. I certainly hope I am doing collage 10 years from now and can look back at this published piece and say, Wow!! That was 20 years ago! - lenna young andrews - March 24, 2010

400 posts and a giveaway to celebrate!

Unbelievably, this is my 400th post here! I started writing and sharing my art on this blog in December of 2006. To celebrate 400 posts here I have created a collage that I would like to offer as a giveaway! Just leave a comment below (with your email if i don't know it -so i can contact you) on this post by Tuesday morning 9am Florida-time. I will choose someone randomly from the comments and send the collage above to you if you win! click on the photo for details. lenna young andrews - January 8th, 2009
The winner is: JoY Meadows!

p.s. i forgot to add how i made this collage! It's done on a 9" x 5" water color paper base with scrapbook paper and an old ledger page from 1892 layered on top. The image of the couple is a leftover from an experiment of using my ink jet  printer to print vintage images onto watercolor paper. More description and another ATC here. I ripped hand dyed tissue paper and gold marbled mulberry paper and glued them around the image and the ledger paper. A Pablo Picasso quote was rubber stamped in the corner (an old lennalines stamp) "Love is the greatest refreshment in life." Little bits of gold metallic paper were added, along with a charm that says 'listen'. The quote below the couple "she flew up to the moon" is from ARTchix Studio. I thought the scrapbook paper background was very interesting with these words: "Love is not just a justification of the eyes. Beautiful objects will of course, inspire possessive urges - you need not despise your taste. But when insatiable desire inflames you for a man who is out of fashion, lacking in glamour, plain, in fact - that fire is genuine: that's the authentic passion. Beauty any critic can admire"  wow! It's all there in small scribbles on the scrapbook paper (click for more detail) on the left side.

AB 2009 :: Words with Color

~This is the cover of my own altered book for a RR exchange that begins in September. I will be sending it around Round Robin style for 12 other artists to work in: Sallie Rodman, Barb Malty, Barbara DeLisle, Bonnie Ashurst, Buffy Izzo, Christy Laudig, Gigi Lorenc-Gibson, Joy Meadows, Lisa Robinson, Peggy Gatto, Renee Stockfleth, and Susan Cervantez- wow! I was asked earlier this month if I would like to join in the 2nd round of this AB group and I said, 'Yes!" I believe everyone involved in this exchange met on the artchix studio yahoo group. Thanks to Sallie Rodman for hosting!

I took the opportunity of my ample free time while on vacation on Wolfe Island to work on my altered book pages and cover. I wanted to complete this project early, as things are up in the air with our home being on the market. This way, if I get busy packing (our fingers are crossed!) this project is complete and ready to send.

I painted the cover with white acrylic paint in order to cover the original photo. This is a Cookbook - Pillsbury's Creative Cooking! The theme for my book is "words" with the additional theme and use of a color combination. I have so been enjoying the Colour Groupies color combinations that I wanted to extend that theme to this book and see what combinations the participants would come up with.

I used sections of ripped lime green and gold mulberry paper (my color combo) to add color to the plain white cover. I also rubber stamped the title and added other fun stamps with both VersaCraft and StazOn inks (permanent). I had grabbed a bag of magnetic words meant for your refrigerator (where these used to be!) and choose some words to fit my theme and book. The words I picked read: With Open Mind We Make Our Way ~cool! I added them to the cover with E6000 glue.

Below, my intro and sign in page . . . I typed the important info up and then printed it out & affixed it inside the cover -click for more detail. I had fun adding a lot of lines and squiggles with various pens.

The first few pages are below - click on them for more detail . . .

On the "contents" page I listed the participants and kept with my lime green/gold color combo. I also had fun with some fish stamps made by Fred Mullett that have been in my collection for years! I added one of my favorite quotes, top right . . . .

I left one of the recipes to show, along with not obscuring the words on this page below by using a light wash of paint. I love those gyotaku (art of fish printing) stamps by Fred Mullett.

The last page shown below is entirely fabric and was glued directly to a paper page after doing the sewing, painting, gluing of paper, and beading on the piece of fabric separately. I sewed a fabric image from ARTchix Studio to the fabric base and added beads. Hmmm, ARTchix Studio does not sell fabric collage sheet images these days . . . so, I copied a transparency sheet collage image of theirs onto a piece of plain fabric with my color copier. Instructions for this are available on the ARTchix website -part of one my free classes: Transferring ARTchix images to fabric!

It is so delightful to work on an altered book again! I really look forward to this upcoming Round Robin. We will keep our work for each recipient secret until the books return home to their owners . . . so I may only show tiny cropped portions of my work, or nothing at all while this is in process. In a year (or less) I can share my book with everyone's work and all my pages in their books - enjoy! Lenna Young Andrews, July 27, 2009

Do not fear mistakes . . .

"Do not fear mistakes - there are none."
-- Miles Davis

Shown here to compliment this quote is a photo of a signed poster I have framed, done by my watercolor teacher from the West Hartford, CT Art League - Frank Federico.

The reason for this post is I have so many quotes saved up in a signature file, my guess is I will never be able to use them all as a closing line in my emails! My son Decklin, who is now 27 years old, set up a program for me a long time ago (was he 15 at the time? I think so!) that would randomly choose a quote paired with my name and my website that I could paste into an email. When I switched computers the program was out of commission for a while, but not too long ago I begged Decklin to set it up for me again. He did.

I've decided I will choose a quote from my bank of quotes from time to time and simply post it on my blog. This one by Miles Davis stood out to me this morning for a couple of reasons. I am in the middle of teaching two online courses and I always think of this quote when I think of my students. One of my favorite sayings of my own, that evolved from teaching others over the past 2 decades is: "There are no mistakes, only creative recoveries!"

Students laugh and embrace this and for good reason! It gives them permission to try without failing. To enjoy the creative process and not suffer. I often have to recover from "mistakes" I make in my own artwork and it often makes the piece even stronger than I originally intended. Go figure!

Another reason this quote has meaning is to me is that Miles Davis = Jazz to me, and Jazz it will be tonight with my nephews performing in Pops 'n Jazz at West Hartford CT’s Hall High School, which is the home of one of the nation’s top high school jazz programs. Hall was one of the first high schools in the United States to integrate jazz into its daily curriculum, and Hall students have performed around the world. More than 100 student performers are featured in Pops ’n Jazz ’09. They are pretty impressive, if I do say so myself! Decklin & his girlfriend Tina will be coming down from Cambridge, MA today to go with us to see the performance later today . . . my dad is doing well and still in remission from liver cancer, fighting it with radiology now . . . Steven & I go spend a week with my parents starting on the 25th of March, and I am definitely counting my blessings.