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

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

ARTchix Studio Featured Artist

Earlier this year I got an email note from Helga Strauss, owner of ARTchix Studio.
She wrote, "I've been making backgrounds on wood and then cutting them into shapes.... like the hearts. If I send you some wood, would you like to play and make some backgrounds? And then send them back to me and I'll cut them into shapes? Then you can send me a few photos of yourself and your art space and I could feature you as a guest artist on my blog and etsy shop.
I would sell your shapes and send some back to you so that you can enjoy some too."

Whoo Hoo! I said, "I’m in, Helga! I would love to do this!! Making backgrounds is such a fun and creative activity. I'm honored you asked!" After I received the wood from Helga I got to work - or I should say, play- with an early April deadline to have the backgrounds returned to her. Here's a peek into my process of making the backgrounds on wood before Helga transformed them into some very charming shapes!

For the board I collaged with papers, I ripped a variety of papers to start with, click for details.


Helga recommended painting the wood with gesso first to prepare it.
I decided to do a "practice" board. I tried my collage, painting and rubber stamping on
the practice piece first, to see what everything looked like on painted wood.


All 3 boards that I arted-up for Helga are below 


And this is how Helga transformed them! 
They are available for purchase in Helga's ETSY shop! 

The feather shapes come from this collaged board and started with 
the papers seen at the top of the post. The back of the board is painted gold.

When Helga received the photos of my studio for the feature post, 
I think this photo influenced her ideas on what shapes to do! 

I really adore it that she picked up on my love for feathers and transformed 
my paper collage board into wood feathers!!! Thank you, Helga!

available here

The red board with the paper hearts was cleverly made into coral and the bright green board with circles was cut into wee houses. I tried that idea at home with a house stencil that Helga had sent me previously and thought it looked fantastic . . .  


My featured ARTchix guest artist post is here on Helga's blog.

There is a tour of my studio you might enjoy and it is rather fun to be featured there (link above). I have known Helga since she started ARTchix Studio and she is just the best! So many wonderful products to go with such a warm and wonderful person. I am blessed to know her, thanks again Helga! Here are a few more studio pics . . . we took more than needed for the article -these are different additional photos.

Me at my computer desk. Can you tell I like to surround myself with art?

me with Asia & Chloe at my art table

Thanks to my husband Steven for the "studio photography" xo


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. 
  ~ Scott Adams, American cartoonist




creative things


Tomorrow, 2/5 is Conscious Movement here in Sarasota and I am so looking forward to it. This is the closest thing I have found to the modern dance improv I did growing up and for many years after, that I love. The photo above is a Photoshop version of 2 photos I took at the last conscious movement event. I love taking just a few quiet photographs during the hour and a half and then bringing them into Photoshop and seeing how I can tweak them artistically. Tomorrow we may have visitors from St. Pete join us, so I think there will be lots of energy and spirit dancing in the room!

Today, I went to a wonderful Zentangle® class taught by certified Zentagle instructor, Mary Masi. I met Mary through Conscious Movement and Nia classes! Here are the two 3" x 5" tiles I completed in Mary's excellent class today . . .


Zentangle looks like doodling, but is really so much more. From the Zentangle® website, "Our Zentangle method is a way of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is fun and relaxing. Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages." Find out more about Zentangle here on the website. I found it so relaxing. 

I also visited a new studio and Gallery called Artspace on Anna Maria Island this afternoon. My friend Cheryl who hosted my collage class earlier this week, told me about Deborah and her husband who are opening this awesome space. It is bright and beautiful, with a gorgeous view of the Anna Maria Bay.

The view!! It is above the post office, 101 Bayview Plaza, Anna Maria Island, FL

It looks so good! They are going to have their first show to coincide with the Grand Opening on March 23 and I am definitely going to make a "Spring Cleaning" piece and enter! 

Afterwards, a quick trip to the north of the island . . . 
ahhhhhh . . . i love the beach. 


happy weekend! 
lenna 


before and after

You may have heard me "rumbling" about the mess in my studio . . . .




I finally could not stand it anymore and I am pleased to show you this instead . . .





a h h h h h h h . . .  
i do love having lots of things around to grab and use when I am working
but in the other hand, sometimes you get closed in by all that, 
don't you agree?

I felt it was time for me to re-boot, as my husband would say! 
happy creating! with love, lenna

from our visit to Selby Gardens last sunday . . . .
wow!


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! 


studio progress


I'm still moving rather slowly as far as unpacking and moving into my studio goes . . . but I have begun. I have hung up a few pieces of artwork and found homes for some supplies, but progress is slow. Chasing away any negative comments (my own!!) and telling myself that the way things are is really okay is the order of the day. This studio will happen, when it happens! It is very unlike me to be creating as little art as I am right now, but again I am telling myself it is okay. It's not like I have "lost my muse". I always feel strange when people say this because I never feel that way, even now. For me, it is more of a physical thing that my supplies are for the most part still in boxes and and I am not "set up" to create like I used to be. I am slow to unpack but I have eeeeked out a few things none-the-less . . . 10 ATCs - Zentangle ones in fact! (a new art form for me). I have done a bit of mail art on envelopes and also sent out one big technique swap. Recently, I organized another large art swap complete with a 22 page lesson, all about mail art. I have also been taking lots of photographs and just yesterday I carved out space on the studio counter and created a 4"x8" skinny page for an exchange I am in. So I know I am really doing okay, even though I am not exactly where I want to be!!!!


One day I'll have photos of an organized studio for you, but for now . . .

we have boxes, piles of stuff and sleeping dogs!

I am finding places to store things.

I do a LOT of art related stuff right here.

The dogs don't seem to care!!


I am imaging it will be a lovely studio when I get settled in and for now I am just making it work! I will happily share the skinny page I made for Lisa Busch in a separate post. Thank goodness for those deadlines and art commitments I have!

zentangle quilt squares and moving

This post on the Zentangle® blog really caught my eye: Quilt squares! Check it out. Oh, what a fun thing to try sometime! The two samples shown on the post were done by Jane Monk with a long-arm quilting machine. Although I don't have one of those, this post is still giving me ideas! Zentangle is still a new art form for me but I love the marriage of the tangles (designs) with stitching. The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com where you can subscribe to their newsletter as well.

In the meantime, with my latest creative swap behind me & sent home, I have finally started unpacking my studio and office area. My family tells me I am the only one who is so hard on myself! Well, I do feel a little bit delinquent taking this long (one month) after we moved to start working on this studio project, but . . . .  there were reasons for my delay and in fact, I just really did not want to start until I was ready to tackle it! The most fun I have had so far is covering the wall in front of my computer desk with recent notes and gifts and some things that were near my desk in other homes I lived in . . .


I have opened boxes of paints, brushes, sponges & gel medium . . .   and returned them to the armoire where I previously stored them.


And bless Steven, he refinished my big work table for me by sanding it and adding polyurethane to finish it beautifully. I had bought it UNfinished, way before we were married. I think it looks so pretty and will hold up to my abuse so much better now - thank you Steven!! The sewing machine is already set up, and my fabric is stored in clear plastic bins nearby in the garage, so I'm getting there!! It feels good to have started this . . . and I will continue, one step at a time and then share photos here when I am done. I will also be working on my document/lesson about Mail ART for my next art exchange, in-between this unpacking and organzing & will let you know as soon as I am ready to announce that swap on my other& blog: creative swaps. Have a great day!


silk scarf stamping & painting

I had a nice little break from my retail holiday job at Stonewall Kitchen and from the trouble I had with my nose last week by teaching a private silk scarf class to my student Sherri Hennessy (shown with her scarf, right) on Wednesday December 3rd. Sherri recently found me through doing a Google search on-line, and since she lives nearby and is now back into being creative, she has taken 3 classes with me this fall! It is a pleasure to have her in class.

On Wednesday, we worked on taking a blank white silk scarf, stamping it with images and words using a permanent ink and then adding colour with paints. We had fun! Here is a photo diary of our day.

There are two classes scheduled already for 2009 in my Avon, CT studio! Click on the class title for more information:
Wednesday, January 14th (New Date to be announced!):

The Star Book -10am-4pm - new date: April 18th

Saturday, February 7th, 2009:
The Accordion Fabric Panel Book -10am-4pm. These classes were arranged because of student requests. I hope you will join us! (note that my studio is small & space is limited) Please E-mail me with any questions or to register for any of these classes.

Asia helps me teach in the studio! (with sherri's permission, of course)



The blue scarf here is my sample scarf for class demonstration -below, only 1 colour has been added so far and the scarf is very wet . . . Click on any photo for a larger, more detailed photo in a separate window.







To the left is Asia & Chloe with my scarf before I did any coloring at all. They like hanging out in my studio, complete with dog beds & treats : )


Sherri is sponging on colours below. We used Dye-Na-Flow paint by Jacquard ~it acts like a dye:




















~my studio is a nice place to work --or to hold classes!




WOW! Sherri was very happy with her scarves - her final outcome, to the right : ))

Studio Classes continue . . .

Last week on Tuesday, I had 5 students over to work in my studio learning image transfer techniques. I forgot to take any photos during class; the photo here is of my own working space, when class was over! To see more of what my studio looks like with students actively working - visit my pictureTrail. There are a photos of some of the 2008 classes held in my Avon, CT studio, in the top left album.

Image transfers are definitely tricky and an all day class (10-3) is a great way to try a number of transfer methods and different materials and get comfortable. It also gave us time for a nice break in the middle of class for lunch (homemade soup and bread, salad) and to look at all the art that has come in for the swaps I host in person. My hope with this class is that students will have a number successful transfers to bring home and use in other projects as well as find the best methods for transfering for them. So many choices and variables!

Upcoming studio classes:

Sunday, November 16th, 2008: Collage - Techniques on Canvas 11am-4pm
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008: Painting & Stamping Silk Scarves 10:00am-1:30pm
Saturday, December 6th, 2008: Painting & Stamping Silk Scarves 10:00am-1:30pm
Wednesday, January 14th (New Date to be announced!): The Star Book 10am-4pm
Saturday, February 7th, 2009: The Accordion Fabric Panel Book 10am-4pm

E-mail me with questions or to register!
yours, creatively, Lenna