Decorating with Art :)

I wanted to hang my recent returns from the ARTchix Studio Blue ATC swap so I could enjoy them a lot more. I thought you might like to see what I came up with . . .

The little stars are courtesy of editing the photo in PicMonkey . . . 
It's a free photo editing program I love & use all the time. You might enjoy it!

I attached the ATCs I received together with blue washi tape on the back.

I had six ATCs that I put together into one strand . . .

To see them all in more detail with credits, please go here.

Then I wrapped the tape around the piece of yarn I use to display art in my studio!
I like how the ATC display came out and I think it goes well with the rest!

On the bottom left is a beeswax collage I received the other day from my dear friend and talented artist, Sharon Borsavage. The package included a gorgeous necklace I ordered (that Sharon made) and my book from our altered book exchange . . . I wanted to hang her collage up right away.

I so love this piece Sharon made for me.
Our altered books were based on the themes of birds and nature!
* It is perfect *

Thank you sweet, talented Sharon!

I had my husband take a couple of photos of me wearing the necklace Sharon made...

Steven gave me the short necklace and Sharon made the gorgeous longer one. 
She calls it Messages. It's made of copper, freshwater pearls and a coral piece.
No wonder I fell in love with this piece! Sharon describes it like this... 
"I feel a true connection with nature with this piece, very serene, organic, and peaceful."
~ see more of Sharon's art-ful jewelry HERE ~

What a great way to decorate with art!!
Hope you have fun doing the same - put up some ATCs or a postcard
and EnJOY!! 

Risk the truth with those you love and give them the gift you would want yourself.
    ~ Unknown

wonderful swap returns . . . .

I thought I would share the really wonderful swap returns I recently received, for your enjoyment! I'm doing a mail art swap on a monthly basis with Jo Urbani and Jewels Welsh, plus I signed up for the ARTchix Studio Blue ATC swap. That was so fun to do - see my ATCs here. Yesterday I received an Awesome BLUE package from Nikki Smith, the swap hostess. Inside were really some first rate ATCs plus extra goodies from Helga, the owner of ARTchix Studio and Nikki -wow!

A huge thanks to the creators of the ATCs I received, such beautiful art. I can't wait to decorate my studio! I was so super psyched to receive one of Helga's ATCs and one of Nikki's too -wow! 


For the mail art, our theme last month was The Language of Flowers. I love how this phrase sounds and in fact have now ordered a book on the subject via a recommendation from my friend Frieda Oxenham. I shared my own mail art here earlier based on the theme the language of the orange blossom, find it here if you missed it. I used photos of my very first Orange Tree that is growing in our yard . . . which now has lots of little green Hamlin oranges growing on it and more blossoms are forming at the same time! But even more fun I think than creating my own mail art was receiving mail art from Joanna & Jewels. 

Jo created the sweetest postcard and envelope using Daisies

Jewels picked the French Willow and a corresponding quote that I really like . . .

You can read more about the techniques she used to create her postcard HErE. Below I did a collage in Photoshop to show you the back of her envelope with the front below on the left and the postcard and the back of it on the right . . .

I hope you enjoy! I also received an incredible package from my dear friend and talented artist, Sharon Borsavage the other day. It included a gorgeous necklace I ordered but also my book from our altered book exchange that we alternated working in... it is really something! I want to add a wee bit more to the book as there are a few blank pages left and then I will share it with you. Thanks for your patience as I wind my way back into my art life. xo lenna

Who so loves believes the impossible.
  ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

ARTchix Blue ATCs

I had the pleasure of participating in the ARTchix Studio Blue ATC swap. I was really happy to see Helga announce this swap as I knew very well that a deadline would nudge me to create (and it did!) Of course time got away from me and everything was sent in on the last possible (deadline) day . . . but on the positive side, I did accomplish making them. The idea was simple: Make 6 Artist Trading Cards using the color blue and use an ARTchix Studio item on each ATC. 

I used ARtchix ART blast playing cards as a base, the ones with birds printed on them.

I started with watercolor crayons around the edges in shades of blue.

Then wet the crayon marks (watercolor) and spread the color around . . . 

I added sayings from various ARTchix word collage sheets and gave all the birds crowns

and I added bits of Transparencies from ARTchix Studio -see the blue edges:

I glued on beads and added a bit of glitter . . .

The backs belong to the playing cards . . . 

 All six of my ATCs scanned . . . 

They are a bit different, not perfect and pretty, but they are interesting, unusual, blue, filled with birds and creativity and ARTchixStudio and fun and experimenting . . . just what I needed! 

Thank you Helga and also to our hostess Nikki for organizing - so appreciate it!!


Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
  ~ Anais Nin

Green Paper Vintage Gluebook Page Swap

I registered for Mary Green's Vintage Gluebook page Swap last month, even though I was not positive I could do it ...this swap sounded so good, I just could not resist signing up. So, I was very happy to be able to complete my work for the swap and send it off to Mary today. I made six 5" x 7" pages to swap and an extra gluebook page for Mary, for her own book. To create these, I used what Mary had taught me in her wonderful online class, Your Vintage GlueBook and added my own style to them, to make my swap pages.

Above, the woman in the purple hat is from Alpha Stamps and printed on fabric. 
Each page has a strip of a dictionary over-print (tan with colorful birds, feathers) that I received as part of Mary Green's Collage Club - and I printed this collage sheet from Mary on vellum paper so you could see through to my background papers. 

Above a transparency I printed myself from an old postcard and postage stamps gifted to me from my friend Joanna Urbani (thank you!).

The image in the center is from ARTchix Studio. This one was Steven's favorite.

The "Across the Snow" page is again, from Joanna. xoxo
The transparency of the woman and the bird image are from ARTchix Studio.

Each page has a quote -most of them are LennaLines rubber stamps, which I no longer have as a business but still use quite often! 

an old map, ARTchix Studio image, postage stamps, a bit of Distress Ink.

I love this page! It makes me smile.

They all started with a single background page, glued to a piece of sturdy paper.

 Then I added a few items to each page.... Click for detail.

Then, I brought these pages and my travelling art kit  over to my parents house the other day. My mom had some errands she needed to do and while my dad was sleeping, I worked on these pages across the hall in the spare room. This was the best thing I could have done for myself. He did wake up and I was there, but in the meantime, I could work on these and free my mind. I highly recommend doing art as therapy.

The backs are done on the computer, but then printed onto paper I received from Mary Green, in her classes, or from the Collage Club. I used 3 different kinds of paper.

I really enjoyed creating these pages and so look forward to my returns! Besides my six swapped pages, Mary is adding additional vintage papers, and a vintage book cover. Thank you, Mary.

Another Stack

I was taking photos of my completed mail art postcard swap for my creative swaps blog when I realized here was another "stack" of paper. See Seth Apter's blog for more.

33 participants creating 100 postcards!

A beautiful stack, don't you agree? Thanks to all the participants.

I am going to spend some time with my dad this afternoon so my mom can do a few errands that are a bit of a drive from their home. Hospice is helping my mom out now with my dad, but they can't be there all the time. This is why Steven and I are here. Steven is heading over there right now in fact, to help with the hospital bed. If I am scarce, please know it is because of my family. I just wanted you to know. 
with love, lenna

Garden Postcard Tag swap

garden PostCard Tag 2322, originally uploaded by creativelenna.
Above is one of 5 garden themed Postcard Tags I created for a swap hosted by Lisa of Collage Stuff! This wonderful company is the sponser of this swap. I have found it to be a great resource for collage items of all kinds. Lisa gives great service and has wonderful products. Plus you can join in her swaps too!

For this swap we were required to use the new postcard tags shown below from Collage Stuff. No problem there for me! I found them intriguing. I sewed a piece of my fabric paper with a flower theme to the front of the tag . . .
 And later colored the back with Dye-Na-Flow and a sponge.
I added some prima paper flowers, also carried at Collage Stuff . . .
hey! I got that little green leaf there too! 
And I finished them off with fibers and fabric!

Because I always take lots of photos while creating, there are lots more photos with explanation on how I made these tags if you look in this set on my flickr account. That is, if you'd like to see more! Once there, you can click on the slideshow button above the photos if you prefer to view them larger. I am really glad to be using more of that huge piece of fabric paper I made!! I found the original blog post where I wrote about making it, dated about 14 months ago here: Fabric-Paper. I would like to try again sometime with a smaller piece of fabric  . . . well, maybe after I clean off my work table, it is a total disaster! 

I have been creating so much there is just stuff everywhere and my actual workspace is getting smaller and smaller! I will have to attend to it before I create next.

I now know what I am going to do as far as my daily projects: Art Journal Every Day and Blipfoto every day. I figured it out by talking about it here. I am going to continue to work in my art journal every day if I can because it is really so good for me, I love it and I am getting in a groove. I am going to try to do a photo a day too if I can because that's really so good for my photography skills and my artist's eye. But, I am not going to post every single day about my art journal. Right now I worked in it yesterday and I also worked in it today but I have not posted anything about it yet. I would like to post later tonight, but if not, I will do it tomorrow or the next day. I will add my art journal work to flickr too if you follow there. As for blip, I would like to allow myself to not post a photo a day! When you have been doing it consecutively as long as I have -since december, it is hard to quit that. But it really would be okay if I only posted a photo there, let's say every other day. I'm just trying to sort out how to do everything I want to do to keep growing as an artist. 
Thanks ever so much for listening!!!
Your being here, reading, listening, responding, sharing your feelings mean a lot to me. You are appreciated! :^ ) lenna 

mail art swap reveal

It has been 2 weeks since I sent my mail art off to Australia, the UK and various US destinations for a mail art swap hosted by Sue Emmerson. I gave you a teaser previously . . . I think everyone has received their mail by now, so I'm going to actually reveal what I did for this fun swap!
The theme is: Where I live.
one of the envelopes and contents -click for details!
I started with a regular manila file folder, the kind found at an office supply store -- or in your file cabinet!! I got the idea to work with a folder to create a mailing envelope from Robin Marie Smith when I was researching for the Mail ART swap I hosted at the end of last year. I found a video on YouTube by Robin called Altered Mail Art that used manila folders -great idea!

I opened up the folder and painted the front and back of it with white gesso because I did not want the plain manila background showing. I think it worked out pretty well. The back of the envelope got a copy of a tourist map from nearby Anna Maria Island. I drive over one of those bridges pictured on the map to take Nia dance classes twice a week in Anna Maria. I copied the map from a tourist brochure 5x and used my xyron to adhere it to the folder.

For the front, I cut out words & images from a different brochure (I picked up 5 of them for free!!). This brochure is designed to give the reader the lo-down on the Sarasota - Bradenton area: the Left Coast of Florida! I added lots of rubber stamping from my box of beach-related stamps with StazOn permanent inks. I even gave the young woman a crown of shells.

Yes, I painted more gesso on the folders and sprinkled real Florida sand on the bottom front corner of all the envelopes! I also covered the sand with clear gel medium later when the gesso was dry to make sure it stayed put and did not cause any problems during mailing.
The back, BS=Before Stamping!
The fronts of all 5 envelopes - not sewn together on the edges yet!
The edges were sewn up on my sewing machine, but first I added parts
of a fishing net that I found last year (empty!) on the beach . . . .
I attached it with a little bit of sewing and a lot of Tacky glue!!
The envelopes drying . . . I ended up working on the floor for this project.
More stamping and netting added to the backs of the envelopes . . .
Her eyes brimmed with tears as she realized there wasn't a single piece of personal mail today!!

I added some of my favorite and very old rubber stamps:

. . . Contents Enclosed . . .
. . . Mail Art Mingles Hearts . . .
. . . See you in the Mail . . .
. . . Oh NO, she sobbed. My mailbox is *choke* empty! . . .

Hope you all enjoy!

Blue + White China ATCs

Isn't that an interesting theme for an ATC swap, Blue & White China? If you follow that link you can read all about it! My dear (and talented) friend Frieda Oxenham hosts one swap after the other on ATCs for ALL and I join them ALL! She always has great themes that inspire me and she runs a tight ship-meaning everything is done according to plan, on time, and nothing is overlooked! My kind of swap ; 0) I am always pleased with my returns, the chance to create . . . and I get to meet a lot of people I am not familiar with, so it is a lot of fun.

The first thing I did to prepare for this swap was to gather up my blue and white china and take photographs! Above you'll see a small collection of Burleigh Ware that I collected when I worked retail at Stonewall Kitchen in Avon, CT. On a side note, my friend Joy Hancock who is the Assistant Manager of the Avon SWK store is coming to visit Steven and I for a much needed mini-vacation May 19-23rd ~we cannot wait!!!

Burleigh Ware is described as "Hand-crafted pottery from Burleigh is made in England with pride and the same intricate attention to detail since its 1851 inception. Beautiful heritage quality pieces crafted for inheritance." There is just something about these pieces that I adore and working where they were sold I got my pieces on sale. When Frieda announced this swap I also stopped in a local Thrift shop and found the cutest blue & white tea cup for only $3.00! It seemed to match my other pieces well enough and gave me more to work with.

For my ATCs, I used the photos and printed them out onto card stock in various sizes.
Front of ATC #4
Back of  ATC #4

I added a bit of white glitter to the edges as I thought they needed a little sparkle ; 0 )
Front of ATC #3
 I liked using the blue & white China on both the back & the front.
Back of ATC #3

Front of ATC #1
Back of ATC #1
I made an extra ATC for Frieda . . .  I did not specify which one so she could choose whichever one she liked, but I have a feeling she'll pick this one directly below. I copied a photo she shared of one of her blue & white china pieces and created this ATC. It is rimmed with a photo of some of my Burleigh Ware, fun!

Front of ATC #2
Back of ATC #2

Thank you so much Frieda, this swap was just the creative activity I needed! They should be with you soon.

iHanna's Postcard swap 2011

A few weeks ago I saw a link on someone's blog about a Postcard swap that iHanna was hosting. When I went to her site to check it out, I learned that I was visiting "the blog of a Swedish woman in love with creativity." That sure made me smile! Then I found out I had visited iHanna's blog just in time. I had only one day left to ask to be included in her postcard swap! I signed up and Hanna sent me a list of 10 people from around the world to send to. My Job? To create 10 hand made postcards and send them on their way. Off they flew this afternoon and here is how I made them!

I took a scan of the back of a vintage postcard and combined it with
iHanna's Post Card Swap logo in Photoshop. Then I added my message!
The postcard back was complete.

I flipped the postcards over and stamped a BIG fish from Fred Mullet
using a StazOn permanent ink pad.

I tried out some new acrylic inks I bought after reading about them in
Quilting Arts magazine - FW by Daler Rowney. I spritzed with water too!
These inks are different-more pigmented than Dye-Na-Flow, which I usually use.
some of the colour patterns made from spritzing and sponging.

I added Perfect Pearls interference powders to the wet ink  . . . 

I decided to over stamp the fish with wet pigment ink and to emboss it
with Psychedelic embossing powder - wow!

some of the results -look at it sparkle!

I added a hello from Florida  . . .  this is a very international swap.
I sent my postcards to Japan, Finland, Texas, New York (x2),
Australia, Utah, California, Sweden and Germany!!

more stamping with a favorite Magenta stamp.

The backs got a little messsy with all my inking and sponging on the front,
but I decided I love it!

I added MORE rubber stamping front and back and I was done!
Off to the post office I ran because tomorrow was the deadline to send!
I have already received 3 wonderful postcards from California, London and Devon, UK! Please visit iHanna's blog for more creativity and visit her post: Share the Poscarding Joy to view links to many other posts like mine! Have fun ; ^ ) lenna

mail art!

As if Jewels beautiful envelope yesterday was not enough, I received even more mail art today! Do you think the word is out that this is something I really enjoy receiving?? ; ^  ) Earlier this year Last year (!) I hosted a mail art swap - so much fun! One of the wonderful things that came out of the swap is that Sue Emmerson, one of the swap participants from Australia, decided to continue the mail art fun! She asked a few people from the swap if they would like to exchange mail art every other month and organized themes & mailing dates. To keep the amount of work reasonable she limited the group to 1/2 dozen participants. Today, I received mail art from Linda Freeman in Washington. WOW! Our theme for this mailing is: Where I live.

Linda created her envelope out of a manila folder -so cool! 

back of her envelope

the envelope and the contents! 

Earlier this month, as our sending dates are staggered - I received this wonderful envelope from Sue, our hostess -all the way from Australia. I am very happy!   

Inside, Sue enclosed some goodies too. In fact, now I have an Aboriginal Magnet from Sue, and a Washington State magnet from Linda! 

My mailing date is April 20th, so it will be a few weeks till you see what I do for Where I live -it will be great fun. I am sure glad Sue asked me if I might have time to exchange mail Art! The others in our group are: Joanna Urbani, Laura Hummel, and Yvette Snowden. See you in the mail! 

swap little books -sign up in a few weeks!

Just to keep you in the loop, in a couple of weeks I will be announcing a new creative swap. This new swap will be all about making and exchanging little books! Here are a few small books I've made, please click on the photo for more detail . . .

I run my creative art swaps through a separate blog and anyone is welcome to join, even beginners. There is a registration fee for the swaps that runs between $10-$15. It always includes a lesson. Well really, it's a mini workshop written by me for you to help you jump into the swap! The registration fee also includes return postage for your swap pieces to anywhere in the world. Most anyone will tell you that my swaps are well worth the registration fee!!

I hope you will join us sometime soon. These swaps are a great way to learn new things and exchange art, plus make new friends! If you would like to keep up with any of my blog posts via email, you can sign up here. There are 3 email "newsletters" you can sign up for: creative lenna -all the posts I write here, delivered to you as email. creative swaps -all the posts I write on creative swaps delivered as email. The Swap participants newsletter, the last choice on the list, is different. This is simply an email announcing a new art swap with one follow up reminder and that's it! No posts.

I hope this is all helpful to you!! creatively yours, lenna