ABR RR - Altered Books Revisited RR

Here's a page spread I did earlier this week for an Altered Book RR I've been hosting for the past few months. This is Cynthia Weed's wild book titled, "I could have married . . . ." : ) fun stuff!

The premise of this ABR RR: there are six of us who had shared art via round robins in the past; we wanted to revisit working in altered books. Our exchange is almost over now with just one more book to alter and send home to it's owner. Despite my busy-ness of buying/selling our homes, packing and moving, subsequently being short on time over the last few months, I have really enjoyed being part of this exchange; as always, it has in a way forced me to be creative! Thanks to Cynthia, Ann, Pilar, Shauna and Linda for playing with me, I am grateful for you and the art you have shared with me. To see more, please go to the ABR RR Blog that I created just for this exchange.

Pay it Forward update : )

I have been a bit busy lately and have not let you know yet, that I did receive my 'Pay it Forward' gift from Sandy Babb. Wow! It is a spectacular pop up card, with it's construction being much like the pop-up ATCs she created for my Alpha Stamps mother Goose swap. Thank you so much, Sandy! This little angel card is beautifully stitched on the outside and inside it is a pop-up, with a very sweet message about how I was an angel for hosting the swap.

: ^ ) Sandy won first place prize for her most creative ATCs and was awarded a Mother Goose Tote Bag from Alpha Stamps, who sponsored the swap.

It was during the swap while visiting Sandy's blog that I saw her intriguing challenge. If you signed up on her blog she would send you a small handmade gift, if you in turn posted about the giving challenge on YOUR blog. You would then make and send a small gift to the first three people who signed up on your blog ~ Pay it forward! I was quite busy at the time but wanted to do this none-the-less, so I signed up! My participants just had to wait a bit to have their gifts sent out. Jan, my first volunteer, has received her gift from me and already posted it on her blog - what fun! Maggie in Canada and Eva in Sweden are waiting for their gifts to arrive; they were sent on Tuesday. Eva said "I'm waiting by the mailbox to meet the postmen... so exciting... Eva" hee heee! Thanks Sandy, for this fun idea.

Vintage Image Madness Collaborative 2008 Calendar

Just last night I got an email message from my friend Casie at Vintage Image Madness, that the collaborative calendar that she had been working on, was done! (click on the scan for a closer look). Casie asked me, as well as Tally Oliveau, Cindy McMath, Cathy Johnson, Lise Kirk, Frieda Oxenham, Kim Tedrow, Janet Heritage, Lisa Martin, Susan Metcalfe, Doreen Cosenza and Megan Hull to create a 4x4 piece of artwork using images from Vintage Image Madness. What a gorgeous calendar if I do say so myself!! It is a limited edition printing of only 100 calendars and you can purchase the calendar on Casie's Etsy site for only $10.00! The calendar measures 4.75 inches by 5.5 inches and comes packaged in a CD calendar case. The case can be turned inside out to form a desktop stand to hold and display the calendar. The calendar has been professionally printed for outstanding color and wonderful reproduction. We hope you enjoy!

You can see a close up of my February page by clicking here.

TipTop Journals - Lenna for Paula Dion!

I was a little late in getting this artwork for Paula Dion finished, but I completed my pages and got them in the mail today, only 1 day overdue, phew! (Click on any photo for a close-up). Paula and I are both in a group of mixed media artists gathered together by Frieda Oxenham and Debby Harriettha called TipTop Journals. On the 15th of every month, Frieda gives us a partner with whom we exchange pages by the 14th of the following month. We are all working in the same size blank journal (8x8) and so we simply take pages from our own blank journal to create on for our partner. Then we mail JUST the pages, not a whole journal, which has been really great!

Paula's Theme was Cowgirls & Prairie Doves (ladies of the night - Saloon Girls). To tell the truth, I had never worked on this particular theme before and I had no images on hand to inspire me. So I went to Google images and looked up various phrases - Cowgirls, Women of the West, Prairie Doves (soiled doves!) cowboys & cowgirls, etc. and found a number of good images. Then I started gathering a few fabrics I thought might work for the background; I knew I definitely wanted to use denim for Paula's spread of pages on a Cowgirl theme.

I originally thought I might work with the images I found right on top of a piece of old denim jeans. But when I went to play with the denim, I decided it might be too bulky to attach to the blank page. It was then that I got the idea to color COPY it. I laid a section of an old pair of Steven's blue jeans on top of the copier bed - inserted a sheet of fabric that was already prepared to go through my printer/copier and much thinner and flatter than denim - and pressed COPY! I was really happy how it came out, as when you look at a scan or photograph of my pages I bet you will think you are looking at a pair of real blue jeans. I did fool the eye a bit by removing the actual belt loops from Steven's jeans & gluing them directly on where they are located on the photo copy! I also took the real "Original" twill tape out of the real jeans & glued it on the copied pair of jeans as well.

On the left side of the page I use a transparency, which got a little muddled (I glued it on) but I decided it was OK after all. I added some small studs, a chain from a bracelet, some lace (one of paula's wishes!) bingo chips, alphabet letters that spell out "COW GIRLS", and a piece of 'rope' that ends in a tag with matching leftover printed denim fabric attached. This was really oh so much fun, Paula, ThANK You! Get ready to lasso your postmaster - the pages are on their way!

Find Moments

Lenna-011, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

This is one of the Quilties I created as an example during the class I taught at Sew Inspired on November 3rd. It features a beautiful Alpha Stamps fabric image from The Balcony sheet, plus metal roses and German Scrap trim from artchix studio. i love the words that I printed onto plain twill tape with my own printer - so appropriate! A few days ago I uploaded a couple of photos of my class, but it took me untill now to finish the quilties I started making while leading Carol, Donna & Rena throught the fabric page making process! Finishing these little fabric pieces today reminded me that I have to get back to my journal quilt challenge!! I am really thinking about it now, so I would bet I will be getting back to that soon. In the meantime, if you would like to see more of my quilties please follow the link to my flickr photo sharing page. I have 4 new fabric pages uploaded there. Thanks and enjoy : ) lenna

Alpha Stamps Design Team Member Project

Lenna-Christmas07.01, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

Well, I often do things in a big way and I also often obsess about things - getting them right, so maybe it will not surprise you that I took on such a big project for my Alpha Stamps Design Team Holiday project! I took a blank book with about 15 sets of pages and created a Gift List/Card List for the Holidays that perhaps I will even use!!

You'll see the Cover here, and if you follow the link to my flickr account you'll see a lovely slide show of all the pages I created. I do admit it was a ton of work, but something I wanted to do and something I enjoyed doing, plus I got to use A LOT of lovely images, papers, and other goodies from Alpha Stamps, yum! The slide show is quite nice, but if you are looking for links to specific products, look at the pages individually. I hope you enjoy! Creatively yours, Lenna

Ribbon Sachets!

_LennaRibbonSachet1, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

As a design Team Member (DTM) for Alpha Stamps I get to try many of their products. The "Ribbon Sachet Kit" is something I ordered from Alpha Stamps via my allowance - my pay in product, so to speak for creating samples for the company. WOW! I love this kit! It is chock full of beautiful ribbons and comes with a delicious smelling rose & lavender 'Victorian Shadows' aromatic sachet blend. Mmmm! It's lovely! And you can put these sachets together easily without any sewing - glue strips & dots (that are very sticky & work well) are included in the kit. I will show you a few variations I made and I still have ribbons, images and sachet mix left over! Click on the images for more detail . . . . The main square portion is a folded wide ribbon which holds a teaspoon or so of the custom sachet blend in the middle of it. Wonderful!

It's hard to 'capture' what these little ribbon sachets look like in a scan . . . here's another try with a photo, below:

I used the irridescent glass spheres from Alpha Stamps around the round pendant image onthe right, and on top of the white trim on the left - I love these things!

catching up

One of my Quilties I did in class as an example -
Alpha stamps M is for Magpie image:
I have been quite busy lately between the Mother Goose swap I just sent out, sponsored by Alpha Stamps and 2 different weekends 2 weeks apart where I was teaching an all day long workshop. Phew! Time is simply flying by. We have been in our new home almost 2 months now, although we were a bit afraid ro unpack everything as we have been renting from the owner until he was ready to close. We have had a couple of closing dates come and go since we moved, but it looks like we will finally CLOSE the deal and own our new home, which we absolutely LOVE, as of Tuesday afternoon the 13th of November, 2007.

Steven says this is just a coincidence, but I think it is pretty unusual that we put our 37 Cliff Drive home on the market on August 13th (it sold in 2 days), we moved out of that home and into this one on September 13th, AND we will be closing on our new home here on November 13th!! You might say 13 is our lucky number. We also just figured out we will be having 13 guests for Thanksgiving dinner! : ) pretty amazing.

Last weekend's class: Quilties, was held at Sew Inspired, in Simsbury CT --
Below: Carol van Gerve stitching one of her pages - what a lovely classroom!

Some of carol's wonderful work:

Below: Donna & Rena: We made a mess, got creative & had fun!

meet my Pay it Forward Volunteers!

How this got started: Through a fabric Mother Goose ATC swap I hosted, sponsored by Alpha Stamps, I met Sandy Babb, who pens a blog called Quill Cottage. It was through Sandy's Blog that I recently learned about a giving challenge called Pay it Forward. Sandy may still have a spot open on her blog; go and check out her original Pay it Forward post here and see! I thought about it and decided I would love to do this and could make the time to create the gifts, so I added the post to my blog (see below). In just a few days I have 3 lovely volunteers! To each of them I will send a small handcrafted gift, made by me. In return, they will post this same giving challenge on their own blogs.
My first volunteer is Jan from California. I do not think I know Jan from classes or email conversation, but she does follow my creative lenna blog- it's listed as one of her favorites! : ) Jan is a quick worker - she has already posted the Pay it Forward giving challenge on her Blog, StampQn Art , has gotten her first volunteer AND created a gift for her - wow! check it out!

My next volunteer is Maggie from Canada. I originally met Maggie in a yahoo group. She later took an on line class with me, and has participated in some of my swaps at Creative Swaps. I met Maggie in person this summer when I was vacationing near Kingston, Ontario. She was there in Kingston for a fiber course. Maggie took the ferry over to Wolfe Island after her workshop, we met her at the ferry dock and she delivered her ATCs for the Garden swap to me in person! We had a glass of wine and sat and next to the St. Lawrence River and talked with my husband Steven, like we were all old friends. : ) I have a few pictures here of that summer evening, scroll down below my garden ATCs at the top of the post. Maggie has a Blog called Creative Gleanings which I follow, as she is a talented quilter and does lots of wonderful things with fabric. I have a page of hers in a collaborative fabric book we worked on together! She will post the Pay it Forward giving challenge on her blog & you can follow it there!

My third volunteer is Eva from Sweden! I recently met Eva through an on line class I taught on joggles.com. Eva is a very talented fiber, mixed media, and digital scrapbooking artist - check out her blog, Eva Scrap. A lot of the pages she created in my mini art quilt book class can be seen here on her flickr page - I love what she did! So it is really fun for me to have Eva sign up for this. She will post Pay it Forward on her blog, and I will make a small gift & send it to her - what fun!

Thank you all for participating : ) I will let you know when I send your gifts out!

creatively yours, lenna
*Update November 9th: I have one gift made (sent out today) and 2 more gifts in the works! Sorry to my participants for the delay. I have been quite busy this past week with a swap to swap & send out, a couple of classes I was teaching and a large Design Team project I was making. I have not forgotten! I will let you know when ALL the Pay it Forward gifts have been sent : )) Thanks for signing up!
*November 13th - ALL the gifts have been sent, enjoy!!

Pay it Forward!

I was visiting Sandy Babb’s Blog – Quill Cottage when I saw an interesting post entitled Pay It Forward. I was so intrigued by this idea; what did that mean? I even went to check out the post where Sandy had first seen this challenge; The Feathered Nest. Well, I love creating, especially when it brings a smile to someone's face, and so I decided to sign up in response to Sandy’s post!

Pay It Forward – This is how it works: I will make three small handcrafted items, one for each of the first three people who would also like to do this challenge and announce it on their blogs, thus paying it forward. The first three comments left on this post, expressing an interest to volunteer to take this challenge, will continue the deed of kindness and receive a gift from me!

~ November 1st: I have my 3 volunteers, thank you!!

To participate:

1. Comment on this post, expressing your wish to participate in ‘Pay it Forward’. I will contact the first three responders for your mailing address so I can send you your giftie. Make sure I have your email! If I can't contact you, I won't be able to include you : (

2. The first 3 to comment here who I can contact, will receive a little handmade gift from ME!

3. The first three who comment here will post this message on their own blog, and offer three more small gifts, handmade by them. You will be making one gift for each of the first three people who comment on your post, who in turn will go ahead and announce this idea on their blog and then make gifts for the first three people that sign up with them!

~ On & on the cycle continues . . . . . everyone has fun - plus there is beautiful art to enjoy & display in your home and cool mail to anticipate and open!

I hope that you will join me in spreading a little handmade love! Now to get busy & make 3 Little gifts! : )

Creatively Yours : ) Lenna

2008 Vintage Image Madness calendar submission!

My friend Casie Metcalf who runs the on-line shop Vintage Image Madness is hosting a collaborative project! Earlier this summer when sending out her monthly shop newsletter, Casie wrote:
"I'd like to announce my first collaborative project on the Vintage Image Madness website! I'm very excited about this idea and hope that you will be too. I'd like to design a 2008 desk calendar using vintage images from my site that will be packaged in the blank CD cases.
In order to participate in this project, you will create one (or more if you so desire) piece of artwork sized 4 x 4 inches square. The backs don't need to be decorated but should contain your name and email address. Each piece chosen for the calendar will be featured and the designer will receive a calendar as a thank you for participating. Do not design a page with any specific month in mind. Please mail your finished piece and signed released to me - please email me for my snail mail addy and an emailed copy of the release. Questions? Please email me at mainemadness@gwi.net ."

Casie wrote to me recently and asked me (begged me?!) if I could submit something as she needed a few more pieces to complete the calendar. I had been busy with moving earlier this summer and had not paid attention to her call. This is what I came up with - all of the images were downloaded at a very reasonable price from Vintage Image Madness.

The piece above was done on a card stock 4x4 square with watercolor crayons adding color and a text stamp for interest. The 2nd piece (blue) was a piece of scrap silk that I had painted with dye-na-flow attached with batting to a 4x4 card. The beauty of images you pay for once & download to print whenever you like was really apparent to me on this piece. I splattered too much metallic ink on the faces of the couple. What to do? I ran upstairs and reprinted the image, cut the couple out and laid it over my "mistake" - another creative recovery for me, thanks to the re-printable nature of these sheets! thanks Casie, I had fun and I hope to see one of these on your 2008 calendar!!!

Slide Show of my ATC class at Artfest4theSouL!

I really had a fun day on Saturday October 20th, traveling to Cromwell CT to teach an all-day workshop at ARtFest for the SouL. My workshop that day was the ATC Book with Fabric cover that I had published on the Cover of Expression Magazine in their May/June 2005 issue. I had a small class of 3 students, but I must say that did not seem to matter. I think we all had a wonderful time! It had been a while since I had taught an "in person" class, but I got back in the groove quickly that day and received rave accolades on my organization of class materials and generosity in sharing from Sharon, Laura & Elizabeth; thank you all!! In this slide show you will see all the individual pages (ATCs) we made together that would later become our book pages, as well as the finished books we put together. We all finished our project too - something I know some of you did not know if we could do at the beginning of the class!

I must extend hearty congratulations to Sallianne McLelland, Ellen Purtill-Legare, Lauren LaFlamme and Iris Carde for putting on a really top notch event right in my home state of CT, to benefit breast cancer patients. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about the whole weekend from my students! : ) yours creatively, Lenna

p.s. click on "View all images" for larger photos.