RamsHead -Salt Pond Bay, St. John

SaltPond Bay RamsHead, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

A Happy New Year to all who visit the creative lenna blog! I am so glad to have you with me on my journey. If you follow my work here regularily, you know it's been quite a while since I posted . . . I must say I have enjoyed my time away with my family. Steven and I are having great fun discovering the charms of simple pleasures like playing one of our favorite childhood games, Monopoly! Because of our vacation & the time we enjoyed together, we have also proposed to take 2 days off a month, as a "vacation date". No computer for Steven or I, no work; just time spent together however we choose! Yesterday was the first of these "vacation dates" and we visited the New Britain Museum of American Art. Wonderful! I saw one of my great Uncle's paintings there, always a thrill. We watched Forest Gump on TV, played Monopoly, read books (I'm reading Elinor Lipman), cooked dinner and talked. I am looking forward to this!

I did want to drop by though and say hi, and also share a photo I took while Steven & I were in St. John, US Virgin Islands. As you can see, it is quite beautiful there. If you click on the photo, it will take you to my flickr photo sharing account where you can view many more pictures as a slideshow or singly, as you choose. Steven & I took probably 200-300 photos between us, but don't worry - I did not upload them all! We hope to use many of them in artwork in the months to come. I also kept a diary of sorts while we were there and I may choose some photos and upload them along with my entries in the weeks to come.

I have recently updated my creative swaps blog and I welcome you to visit: http://creativeswaps.blogspot.com/

We wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year! Yours creatively, Lenna

Journal Quilt #28: Dec. 16, 2007

_Dec16.2007, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

Journal Quilt - ice & snow. This is the 28th journal quilt I've made this this year! When our flight didn't leave on time today I snuck this in! [note: we did get away the next day] This journal quilt started with a photo I took of a boulder in our back yard (see photo below, previous post) all icy. I printed the photo on matte paper and then sewed it to fabric. The Iridescent Glass Spheres I added are from Alpha Stamps - I just love these!

This is my journal entry for the back of the quilt (added 12-26-07)

December 16th, 2007 * Journal Quilt Number 28 *

*Ice and Snow*

For this journal Quilt I used a photo I had taken of a boulder in our back yard that had been covered with ice during a recent storm. I printed the photo out using matte photo paper and considered doing an image transfer to fabric, but decided instead to use the print just as it was on paper so I could capture all the details of the ice on the rock. I added a square of batting behind a piece of muslin and then stitched all the layers together – batting, muslin & photo printed on paper – by stitching around the edge with a zigzag stitch. Next, I used a straight stitch to follow the lines of some of the branches in the photo and further ‘quilt’ the piece. Lastly, I added 2 sizes of Iridescent Glass Spheres from
Alpha Stamps by using quick-drying Goop glue. The way these glass spheres sparkle reminded me of the ice!

The ice storm that fell the day before I made this journal quilt delayed our trip to the U.S, Virgin Islands by a day, and the icy conditions made me worry a bit, but everything turned out OK. We got off the next day for our trip and when we returned it was an unnatural 50 degrees outside (for Connecticut in December!) and all the ice in our driveway had melted. : ) Merry Christmas!

snow & ice & vacation!

12.07.07 010, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

Steven & I were supposed to leave this morning on our vacation, but yesterday morning they canceled today's flight because of a 2nd storm (within a few days) hurling itself across the country. This photo was taken before these storms hit Connecticut, but you get the idea . . . . snow & ice, oh my!

Hopefully we will be off to warmer weather and relaxation tomorrow . . . . our gift to ourselves. Any comments left here will be saved and published upon our return! Thanks.

Wishing you a creative and fun-filled holiday time during the next few weeks . . . yours creatively, Lenna

Featured artist!

About 2 weeks ago I received an email from Nina Pateña, a Design Team member for Queen Kat Design stamps - which are all clear stamps and meant to be used with clear acrylic blocks. Queen Kat and Nina host a related blog called Queen Kat's Blogger's Club and were looking to feature me on their blog.
Nina wrote, "We think your blog rocks (in fact, we think you rock!) and we’d love to feature you as one of our Bloggers of the Week/Day in the QK Bloggers Club!"

How lovely! I answered their questions via email and just 2 weeks later my interview/feature article is up! Go HERE to read it - what fun! : ) Thank you both, Queen Kat & Nina. These two are on the look-out for more featured bloggers as they 'aim to bring stampers and scrappers together in one blog'. Do you know of someone who should be featured? Do you want to be featured? Check out the QKD Bloggers Club!

I've been TAGGED!

I have been tagged by Wanda!

Here are the simple rules to being tagged:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Here are my random/weird facts:

1. Most of you probably don't know (unless you've been reading here for a while) that I had heart surgery when I was 6 years old. My grandfather often came to visit me during the 6 weeks I was in the hospital and later told my mother, “Lenna is so bored that she put a crayon between her toes and is drawing pictures that way!” I had Patent Ductus Arteriosus, a heart valve problem that was fixed with some complications at the time; but I have lived a healthy life since then.

2. Did you know that my great uncle was a famous American Impressionist at the turn of the Century? His name is William Glackens, and I am named after his daughter, Lenna Glackens (pictured to your left). William Glackens married Edith Dimock, who was also an artist and the sister of my grandfather noted above. I have a whole page devoted to William Glackens on my website.

3. I have never created an "Inchie" before, but have now signed myself up for TWO inchie swaps hosted by Frieda Oxenham!!

4. My studio is still only partially unpacked, with lots of boxes all about, even though we moved in September- 3 months ago. We did not OWN our home until the middle of November, but still . . . you would think I could have unpacked a few more things! It has not stopped me from creating, just gets a bit frustrating at times. (which means I will attend to it soon - I hopE!)

5. I am seriously considering taking a job outside of my art and my teaching only because the extra money would certainly help with any expenses of our new home.

6. Every year I visit beautiful Wolfe Island, in Ontario, Canada - the largest of the Thousand Islands. I had a dog named Coda for 5 years, and he now lives on this Island with Farmer John Posthumous. This farmer adopted Coda after I could not keep him anymore. Last summer Steven & I saw Coda (in John's truck) for the first time in 2 years. His granddaughter told me they are inseparable (John is in his late 70's or 80's) and Coda seemed to recognize me, but was obviously farmer John's dog now. I felt settled after seeing Coda like that.

7. I met my husband when I was only 15 years old, but did not marry him until I was 48! Did we have a very long courtship? No . . . our first marriages ended when the same thing happened to both of us: our spouses cheated on us and left. It all worked out for the best though! Steven and I were good friends for many years; Steven even watched my children grow up and used to draw silly pictures for them. At that time I never thought of Steven romantically . . . . Steven on the other hand, freely admits now that he has always had a crush on me! : ) We are very happy to be together and still very much in love.

I am tagging:

Carla Kurt - http://anonyrrie.typepad.com/

Frieda Oxenham - http://friedaquilter.blogspot.com/

Debby Harriettha - http://innerreflections.typepad.com/

Eva Nyberg - http://eva-minabilder.blogspot.com/

Maggie Hannigan - http://creativegleanings.blogspot.com/

Vicci Henderson - http://www.moonstarsandpaper.blogspot.com/

Cat Dodt-Ellis - http://catworx.blogspot.com/

TipTop journal exchange ~ for Angie

I am in an exchange of journal page spreads, called TipTop Journals. Last summer, Frieda Oxenham and Debby Harriettha invited me to join them, and I said (without hesitation) - 'Yes!' There are 10 of us all together and each month we create a journal spread for a different partner, on her chosen theme. Here is what I created for Angie Hall Haviland - click on the photo:

We all are using the same size, and in most cases, the exact same blank journal with removable pages; this makes it very easy to create for each other. Angie had a 'free choice' theme, so I tried to think of what colors she might like and what I thought was important to her. I picked pink & gold for the colors and chose a theme of family, friends & love. Here's the left page - click on any photo for a close-up view:

and the right page:

I used both Angelina "film" and a bit of Angelia fibers, pre-printed words, pink flower petals used for paper making, itty bitty gold stars & gold star glitter, little bits of abalone shell and various handmade papers. The image of the man & woman on the left page (above) is from Vintage Image Madness - I love it! On the bottom of the left page and on the top of the right page are images from Tracy Roos 'Christmas Angels' ~ available through Alpha Stamps.

In my typical fashion, I did not really know what I was going to do when I started. I had a germ of an idea and I started gathering things that I thought might work for this page spread. As usual, I thought of other things or added items after I began . . . one thing usually leads to another when I create! I had never worked with Angelina film before. I tried ironing it, crumpling it up and finally got the most interesting results with my heat gun. This film is what is adding most of the irridescence you see to this spread. All in all, I am happy with how this piece came out and hope Angie enjoys it!

FBRR - fabric book rr!

Here is Sara's page for the Fabric Book RR I have been involved with for almost a year, hosted by Dawn Sellers. This is my very LAST fabric page to contribute; this is for Sara Davis' garden & flower themed book. Sara had ribbons flowing out of her cover, so I felt I need to add ribbons to my page for her; they are from Alpha Stamps (scroll down).
The flower images are fabric and from the 'Iris' sheet and the bugs are paper collage images glued on from the 'Butterfly' sheet; all Alpha Stamps.

Below is one of my pages stacked with all the rest, inside Sara's wild, ribbon festooned cover! Sara, your book left town today - and is on it's way back home to YOU!

Brass pendant

A brass pendant I made from Alpha Stamps 'Pendant Kit'. I love these kits Leslie puts together!

I had fun earlier with the ribbon sachet kit . . . . so I had to try this kit too. The brass pendant kit comes with a college sheet, transparency frames (which cover the image nicely), 3 brass label holders and 8 yards of yummy ribbon. I made this pendant reversable; using 2 images, 2 transparencies & 2 brass frames, so that when it flips over while you are wearing it there is something lovely to see on both sides... Below is the other side - click on any photo for much greater detail.

A journal quilt!

nov28 journal quilt, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

Amazing, a journal quilt done just for me & steven!! I have not created one for myself since August 8th. We put our home on the market 5 days later, August 13th - and that was it for me, until now. It felt soooooo good to create this piece! Here is what I wrote for the journal part which is printed onto fabric & attached to the back:

November 28th, 2007 * Journal Quilt Number 27 *

*We have found our home*

This is the first time since the summer, August 8th to be exact, that I have created one of my Journal quilts . . . I find it hard to believe that much time has gone by . . . . almost 4 months! Wow. I found I did not have the energy to put into creating these while I was packing and moving, buying & selling houses and living out of boxes. So I dropped my challenge for the time being.

In January '07, I originally set out to create mini quilts with a journal entry once a week! I did quite well with that challenge until we decided to sell our home. I will see how many more quilties I can create before the year is over. My original goal was to create 50 Journal quilts and now I think 30 might be more likely! I will take all the journal quilts I have made in 2007 for this personal challenge and put them together so they will all be on display together. I want to mount them so that you will be able to look at the front and read the back of the quiltie – the journal entry as well.

My friend Frieda Oxenham sent me this fabric when we moved. She said it reminded her of Steven & I and our move to a new home. I have purposefully left this fabric out in my studio so it would CALL ME to work with it, which it did! I used watercolor crayons to change the black & white fabric to something more colorful and I added transparencies from ARTchix Studio. It really felt wonderful to do this quiltie. This is the first piece I have done for myself for a long time, thank you Frieda!

Posted on Wednesday Stamper 11-30-07

new home & studio update

I have been wanting to organize, upload & share photos of our new home & my new studio for a while . . . . but something else always seemed to take precedence! Then, when we kept not being able to close on the house because the owner wasn't ready, I began to wonder IF we would ever close and be able to stay in this new home we had found & loved.
Well, it all worked out and on the third try (3x's a charm!) we closed on the 13th of November. We put our former house on the market on the 13th of August, moved on the 13th of September (we sold in 2 days!) and we closed on the 13th of November -- all too wierd I think, but okay with me as everything worked out in the end. I have created some new albums of our new home & studio so if you are at all interested you can go to my flickr photo sharing account & see them. That links show all the sets of photos I have in various albums so you can pick & choose what you might like to view. I hope you enjoy! lenna

Creative ART Swaps!

Jo~Ann Reichert's bag for our swap 11/07
Just in case you didn't know, I host creative art swaps throughout the year. I am crazy enough (or in love with this activity enough) to post ALL the swap art that my participants send in for each swap! I had 2 swaps due recently, one October 26th and one November 15th with about 25 participants in each swap. This has kept me quite busy this fall! The last swap I wrapped up was a 1 for 1 fabric bag swap with an amazing amount of beautiful art produced for this swap (see example left). You can view all of the entries via a cool slide show I created when the swap was complete, or if you want to read more about how the artists created their bags, then follow this link to my swaps blog. The earlier swap due in October was a fabric ATC swap with a Mother Goose Theme, based on images found at Alpha Stamps. Again, the participants really impressed me with their creations! You can view all of the artwork from that swap by visiting this link. I hope you enjoy!
See Susanne Wiebe's Humpty Dumpty ATC for our Mother Gooose swap below!

I have just posted 4 new swaps due in 2008: A Valentines Ornament Swap, Creative Bags, 'Alpha Stamps Tallulah's' Vintage Card/Postcard swap, and a Quilties swap with a Shades of White theme, mmmm! You can read more about the swaps by going here: http://creativeswaps.blogspot.com/. Scroll down once you are there -the swaps are about 1/2 way full already so if you are interested in joining you'll need to write me and see if there is any space left . . . all details on the swaps blog!

At this time of year with Thanksgiving just passed, those of us in the US are most likely to be remembering what they are thankful for; organizing these swaps is one thing I am very thankful for! I love seeing the swap artwork up close, I love being able to orchestrate these exchanges and inspire people to create, and I love coming up with creative ideas for swaps; it keeps me on my toes. I enjoy that I have the time right now to do this in an organized fashion & that I make it happen. I love hearing from participants how much fun they had creating for the swap or how they loved the swaps they received! So, I want to say thank you to all of those who participate in my swaps. I love keeping in touch with you this way & seeing what you create - thank you!!

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