* * * happy holidays * * *

Well, I won't be in my wedding dress, nor will Steven be looking so snazzy in his dark suit made complete with a vest stamped to match my dress . . . but this is the company of whom I will be sharing for the next week ~ my dad, my mom & Steven. I'd say: lucky me!

For the holidays, I created a 2009 calendar for my mom, and found some fun pictures, which I included at the top of each page . . . here are a few! ~ click on any photo for more detail:

My son Decklin & his girlfriend Tina

Steven & my dad with the canoe that dad made steven

My sister Kathy & I when we were young,
wearing very fashionable winter coats with bunny ears!

At our wedding, here with my dad and my sister Kathy, as she toasts to us

My dad as a boy on his bike, and me as a young girl at the family farmhouse and my grandmother Nonie's house

Steven paddling one of the canoes my dad made

happiest of holidays to you!
: ^ ) Lenna

New year, New calendar 2009

I was asked to participate again in Casie Metcalf's Vintage Image Madness collaborative calendar, and I did! Again, this project was completed a while ago (in October!) but I just never got around to mentioning it, until now. Since you may be in need of a new and artful calendar - I thought I would direct you to Casie's site, where you can purchase it for $10.00. Once there, scroll down to read about it and all the wonderful artists I collaborated with again to create this calendar.

To the right is my original artwork, using images from Vintage Image Madness. The beauty of Casie's site is that you can purchase images as you usually would and have them sent to you, OR you can download the images to your own computer for a lesser charge and be able to print them out onto whatever paper or fabric you would like, at any time! It's brilliant!

To the left is my artwork, after it was fashioned into the June 2009 calendar page. Thank you so much, Casie, it looks great! Click on any image for more detail.

Casie limits production of this calendar to 100 copies . . .

(from her website)
The calendar measures 4.75 inches by 5.5 inches and comes packaged in a CD calendar case. The calendar comes with 14 total pages - 12 months plus the cover and back - each month is a separate page. 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. This calendar would make a lovely gift for yourself or that artful someone in your life!

I hope you enjoy! lenna

mixed media collage

This collage done on a canvas panel, is one that I actually finished working on a few weeks ago, but did not make time to upload it here, until now! I started working on the background of this piece for a demo during one of my

collage classes

held earlier this fall. Below you will see how the collage began, far left:

After applying a wash of paints and rubbing alcohol, I was showing my student Joyce how to add things like paper napkins peeled down to the thinest layer and tissue paper for texture. I also showed her how she could rubber stamp with permanent ink on to white tissue paper and then adhere it to her canvas so that the tissue paper would not be visible.

My next step was to add some figures . . . and on the top right I added a wonderful image from ARTchix Studio's Loveliness collage sheet, which has been in the collection for many years, but is still one of my favorites.

In the bottom left corner, I added a favorite image from Alpha Stamps' British Queens 3 collage sheet. I like how both heroines are gazing outward.

From there I added a Victorian Scrap paper butterfly and words from an ARTchix collage sheet, Tell me a Story. I also cut out wings from another ARTchix Studio sheet: Wonderful Wings. I think this was perfect with the way she is looking at the butterfly and the words from the collage sheet! The gold "fence" at the bottom of the panel is a gold German scrap paper from ARTchix called Gold paper Mesh.


I ripped pieces of shiny gold paper and adhered them with gel medium, added some scrapbook and other paper bits, did more rubber stamping -- this time directly on the canvas. It was curious for me to reach for a postage related rubber stamp and find one addressed to Trieste, Italy. This is where my son Dallas is living now while doing an internship at the International School of Trieste. Pretty amazing!

I added tiny gold beads as well with glue -- click on any photo for more detail.

A real canceled postage stamp from an envelope I had received and saved because it was so cool, was also added . . . see below for a close up.

. . . . I added oval lines with a permanent marker around the word I stamped (See) to accentuate it. Finally, I framed it with a simple black frame because I plan to sell it!

Thanks for visiting my blog! : ^ ) lenna

wine charms . . .

I am not doing a lot of gift giving this year . . . well, a few purchases from Stonewall Kitchen (where I work part-time). Check out their website! The Stonewall Kitchen sauces, jams, sweets, savories, etc. are so delicious, and made so well with wonderful fresh ingredients . . . . . m m m m m Mmm! It is very easy for me to work there and extol the virtues of their products (smile).

I am also making a few little gifts. Wine charms are easy to make and so much fun, too! I picked up the round wires inexpensively at a craft store, then added beads from my collection, and voila! Steven & I use our set of wine charms all the time. We put them on our wine glasses for a party a couple of years ago and just never took them off . . . . we love them. They look so pretty and serve a purpose too. You can add shells, charms, danglies to your beads -really, whatever you like or think your recipient would like. Have fun!
click on the photo for more detail!

Colour Groupies ATC exchange

NOV-Lenna 4 Lenna, originally uploaded by creativelenna. Round collage images from artchixstudio.

Somehow, I have not been very diligent about blogging the wonderful exchange I have been a part of this year -- The Colour Groupies ATC exchange! If you click on the photo of the 'Orange and Red' ATC here in this post (that I created for myself as part of our November 2008 exchange) you will be brought to my flickr photo sharing account. There you can browse through the other 4 ATCs I created on this colour theme as well as my October 2008 'yellow & purple' and my September 2008 'Beige & black' ATCs which I have not shared yet, except with the small group that's in the exchange! There are even more ATCs to look at for the earlier months of the year in my Colour groupies flickr album, and one more set soon to come from me for December 2008 - my Blue & Gold ATCs. I am very happy to say we will exchange again next year on the same kind of challenge and we already have our colour combos picked out. Each of us added suggestions to the mix - what fun! Keep watch.

I hope you enjoy viewing this challenge as much as I like be challenged by it!! : ) lenna

From plain notebooks to art-ful delights!

Here are some plain notebooks that I painted and then collaged with various papers and photos on the front & back covers. They are 5" x 7" in size with lined paper inside. I covered the inside covers with various papers, then wrapped them in clear cellophane and brought them to Tapestry Rose, a wonderful gift shop in Rocky Hill, CT! You will find these collaged notebooks and many other wonderful handmade gifts there. Perfect for the upcoming Holidays!

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 : ))

Collage class (11/16/08) and catching up!

Gosh, where does the time go?
I almost could not believe it when I looked at this blog today, and saw it had been 2 weeks since my last post! Things may continue to be that way for a while . . . even though I'm still busy creating, it could take a while for me just to catch up and upload photos of what's been going on! These days I am putting in a number of hours each week at Stonewall Kitchen in Avon, CT for the Holidays, which shortens my time for everything else I like to do . . . . Although, I do really enjoy working there! Yummy, yummy food, great people, and all-around nice place to work.

So then, what are all the photos here in this post?? The photos you see here are from a collage on canvas techniques class I taught that was held in my home studio in Avon, CT on November 16, 2008. Click on any photo for more details. Usually I am much speedier in getting class photos uploaded to my blog; but not this time! Below you will see a wonderful photo or two of Joyce Adomaitis, my only student in class on that day. Having just one student made for a very relaxing class, and we certainly enjoyed ourselves! During class we went over various techniques to cover a blank canvas - using baking soda, rubbing alcohol, masking tape, salt, tissue paper, plastic wrap, and more - to create backgrounds with acrylic paints.

-- Joyce's collage to the left in progress, just lovely! Joyce wrote me an e-mail after class:

Thank you for making the class such a wonderful experience-it was a pleasure meeting you. I received so many compliments on my creations, and it was great to have a finished piece at the end of class. Please keep me on you email list when you open up additional classes.
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday with your family-hope to see you in the new year!

The class was was great fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
I do have a few more classes scheduled. Here are the dates:

*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

Please E-mail me with any questions or to register for any of these classes.
yours, creatively, Lenna

Fabric Collage for prize giveaway : )

This is the fabric collage I made specifically for the 'giveaway' I am currently holding on my creative swaps blog in celebration of writing 500 posts there! I thought I would show the collage off more in detail here on this blog, and tell a little bit of how I created it, below.

On November 22nd, I picked
the winners
for the give-away and my student and swap participant Barbara Roberts won this fabric collage. It was wonderful to receive Barbara's reply to my announcement email:

Hi Lenna, I couldn't believe it when I saw my name. I saw the first 3 names and thought --Oh I didn't win, then I saw more winners and still not me, and low and behold there I was at the bottom --the grand prize winner!! I almost fell out of my chair. I called out to my son and let him find my name on the screen. I am so honored to be able to have the fabric collage you created for this occasion! It will be loved. Your fabric book class I took a few years ago opened up a whole new world for me and I will always remember you for that.
Thank you!
Barbara in Ft. Walton Beach, FL


How I created this collage: First, I gathered fabrics that were appealing to me. I had spied the blue, bubbly fabric on the left earlier in the week and had put it at the top of the fabric pile so I could find it again. The dark purple fabric is actually in the same pattern but a different color -someone gave me this piece in one of the swaps.

On the right is a greenish-blue fabric I colored myself with Dye-Na-Flow as part of my Fabric Stamping & Painting class prep work. I stamped that fabric with purple VersaCraft ink as I was putting this collage together. I used a little chicken scratch stamp from Magenta and heat set the stamping with an iron after drying it with my heat gun. The denim material in the middle is an old swatch from a pair of Steven's worn out jeans that already had the fabric patch sewed on - I stamped this as well with the words "Art is just another way of keeping a diary". (click on the photo for more detail).

Then, I put these fabrics together in a way that looked pleasing to my eye, like a patchwork, and then found a piece of fusible interfacing to iron to the back of all the fabrics and hold them together. My idea was that this would keep the pieces together until I got a chance to sew them together. Instead of using batting and another piece of fabric for the back of this piece, I opted to use a piece of thick blue felt. I peeled the paper off the back of the fusible interfacing which was stuck to the patched fabrics and ironed the felt to the other sticky side. When I stitched the various fabrics together later, it created a great pattern on the back of the piece that shows.

I had just finished teaching an image transfer class prior to making this, and so the first addition to this fabric collage was the transfer of a woman's face, somewhat incomplete, to the main fabrics. I used a decorative, almost button-hole stitch to sew it in place, and before I completed all the seams around this transfer, I stuffed a bit of the leftover felt inside to make the image more dimensional. Next, I used decorative stitches to sew down all the raw fabric edges where any 2 fabrics met up and lastly around the edges of the entire piece. I chose a leaf stitch to free hand stitch all around the collage; you can see the pattern I did best from the back of the piece... I do love that stitch!

I wanted to add some other things to this because the piece did not look finished to me. I wondered if any trims would work? I found a small scrap in just the right colours and size and added it to the top (this seems to happen a lot). Then, I considered skeleton leaves, having used them recently with my students in a collage class. I found I liked using a combination of a maroon leaf and two gold leaves by 'trying them out' - placing them down and seeing what they looked like on the fabric collage before using any glue. Tacky glue was a good choice for these once I decided to add them as it dries clear. I 'audition' items like this a lot when I am working.

Lastly, I decided to add shells to this piece. I think there was a small bag of shells in one of my collage boxes which gave me the idea -this was not in my plans originally. I have a larger stash of shells that we have collected laid out on a tray on a shelf. I retrieved it and did more 'auditioning'! I settled on 6 different kinds of shells in different sizes and shapes and added them to the collage with Goop Glue. My favorite on this piece is the large Abalone shell Steven & I picked up off the beach while visiting Sanibel Island, FL. I sprinkled a little bit of iridescent glitter over the piece and it was caught where the glue was still exposed and wet around the shells. I signed my name and smiled.

It felt really good to me, even though I was quite busy that day, to create this piece. I enjoyed working with fabric again and following my typical process of gathering items and jumping in to start creating. I talk about this process with my husband Steven a lot - how it seems rather odd that I rarely have a formal plan when I start to create something. Instead, I start with an idea or certain materials and I make myself start doing something because as always, one thing leads to another. Steven says watching me has changed the way he will create art in the future. In the past, he told me he always knew exactly what his finished piece would look like before he even started creating it. I am the opposite - I never really know what I create will look like before I start . . . perhaps I'll have an idea of it, but I almost always get fed information from my brain while I am creating that guides me in what to do that I would have never guessed from the start. To me, it seems that this way of working is not quite right or up to par somehow - almost like cheating, and yet my husband says it is a truly artistic, creative way of working that he aspires to do -go figure!

I said a lot more in the post that I started out to (kind of like my creative process) but I hope you enjoy my thoughts on this anyway!!

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

"Red & Pink Hearts" for ARTchix Studio swap!

Just in the nick of time (these are due to be postmarked by Monday the 10th of November!) ~ I have finished and packaged up my "Red and Pink Hearts" valentines for a swap hosted by Helga Strauss, the very creative owner of ARTchix Studio. Helga has recently started writing a very cool and inspiring blog that I love to visit: My ARTistic Life.

The swaps hosted by ARTchix Studio are a lot of fun, very well organized and you get to receive items from all over the world with such a large number of participants. Plus, Helga sends amazing treats and ARTchix Studio goodies with each swap! An added bonus is that she uses the art pieces she receives for the swap to create wonderful collage sheets -participants must sign a release form when sending in their swaps. How cool is that?! Your art could be published on an ARTchix Studio sheet! You can read about upcoming ARTchix swaps on the Classes & Activities page of their website.

I created my valentines for the most part when I was in Florida the last week of October, visiting my parents. I had brought a small art kit with me and specifically put in some squares of red paper about 4" high, as the swap call suggested. I also added the required products - At least one piece of ARTchix Red or Pink German scrap for each piece. I brought along red mesh and pink flowers along with a number of chixies PINK faux postage pieces (created from an earlier swap). I also brought an 'I love ARTchix Studio' sticker originally created by yahoo group moderator Cindy McMath and I added a few other collage images I like from ARTchix as well.

I free-hand drew my first heart on the red paper square, cut it out, and then used that heart as a stencil for my other hearts. I borrowed some of my dad's carpenter's wood glue since I was traveling lightly and did not bring any glue with me on the plane (it worked fine!). I chose bits of scrapbook-type background paper I had in my art kit and played with the placement of the collage images and faux-post stickers.

Lastly, I added the red mesh and/or pink flower German scrap and in some cases, lace trim. I used my watercolor crayons to add color and lines to the edge of the hearts. Since I forgot my watercolor brush, I simply dipped my finger in a bowl of water and worked it along the line of the watercolor crayon -- born out of the the necessity and ingenuity of traveling & wanting to create!

The six hearts I made for the swap are shown above. Then, because my parents are going through a tough time with more to come (my father starts chemotherapy for his liver cancer this week) I decided to make a few extra valentines . . . one for my husband Steven, whom I was missing while I was in Florida (he stayed home this time), one for my mom, and one for my dad. They are shown below.

The valentine for my dad is the one on the top, and says "Thinking of You". I left it on his computer desk. The one on the bottom left is my mom's; it says "I Love You" and I left in on her bureau. They found them later . . . The one on the bottom right was for Steven, and said "Thinking of you". I carried it home with me, and forgot to give it to him at the airport. Later, while he was at work, I slipped it inside a book he was reading, next to our bed. Later, I asked him if he had found the valentine, and he said, "what? No!". We went and looked for it and . . . it was gone! Mind you, we have 2 very curious and playful cats and at least one dog who likes to eat paper!!!! We think they collaborated. Steven never held it in his hands - only saw the photo I took in Florida that I am showing you now!

The apple does not fall far from the tree!

I have a number of posts that I want to write and not quite enough time lately to pull it together . . . but, this one I am pushing through!
In the photo to your left (click for more detail) are 4 lovely little handmade wooden spoons my dad made for me recently. I was visiting my parents in Florida last week and while I was there, I noticed my dad had ordered a work bench, drill press and a band saw for the work area in his garage. Now, mind you, my dad has a wonderful, very professional woodworking workshop at his home in CT - but because of my dad's health issues, my parents did not make it back to CT this past summer. So, I think my dad was itching to do some creative woodworking again! He has made many beautiful wooden boats and he plans to make a custom canoe paddle for my husband Steven, hopefully by the time we come to visit them again in late December - as there is a handmade Dale Andrews canoe down there already!

When I was talking to my dad on the phone about his various Doctors appointments the other day, he slyly told me near the end of our conversation that he had sent me a present. What? With all that you have going on, you sent ME a present?? Yes, he said, I thought you deserved a present for coming down to see me - ha! I was so happy to visit my parents! Well, I did not know what the present was, nor did he tell me what it was. Maybe some oranges, I said to Steven? My dad has sent me those from Florida before, usually Mineolas, yummy! Yesterday, his package arrived. It was these 4 spoons and this note:


The 1st project from my new workshop. Your mom always enjoyed the stir-ers I did a couple of years ago. I hope you like them. I had a small piece of Tiger Maple left over from a boat model I did.


What a treat! I absolutely love these little spoons he made and I am so glad my dad sent them to me! The first project from his new FL workshop too, that is so great. My mom always says that I got all my creative genes from my dad . . . well, I am not sure about that, as my mom is very arty and creative too, but it is a really wonderful thing to be his daughter. My dad has always been a shining example for me and he is continuing to be that for me through his cancer diagnosis. My mom too. Both of my parents are concentrating on taking things one step at a time, which I truly believe is the only way to get through anything like this that seems really too overwhelming to think about. As I told my friend Carla, I aspire to be as grounded as they are in the face of such news. With much love, lenna

ATCs for Colour Groupies

Colour Groupies is a small group of friends who exchange ATCs on a color-combo theme. Our September color combo was Black & Beige and the October ATC combo was yellow and purple. I sent mine out together this time, a few weeks ago at the cusp of the two months . . . . and amazingly, while visiting my parents I had a minute to finally upload these ATCs! My husband Steven has thoughtfully set me up with remote access to my computer at home while I am traveling, one of the many benefits of being married to a computer technician extraordinaire - xo! thank you steven and I hope those of you reading enjoy these little works of color combo art.

Thanks to the members of the Colour Groupies: Frieda Oxenham ::: Debby Harriettha ::: Tristan Robin Blakeman ::: and Caryl Hoobler - for sharing these ATC color-combo challenges with me. November's combo is Orange & Red and I so look forward to it! Click on the Colour Groupies link at the end of this post to see more : )

Wedding Wishes & love

I am in Florida right now with my parents. They have gone to bed and I find I am thinking of the wedding steven and I attended yesterday before I traveled here. Steven's cousin once removed ~ Anna, married Bryan, on what was the 4-year anniversary of calling up my old friend Steven Deming, just to talk, a month or so after my ex-husband John had left me. Well . . . little did Steven and I know how much we had in common, what good friends we still were, and how in love we would fall with each other in such a short amount of time. wow. After having a lovely time at Anna & Bryan's wedding, Steven & I came home and read through some of the many, many emails we wrote to each other, starting on October 25th, 2004. We had a grand celebration of love all around!

I painted this 6"x 6" wooden panel for Anna & Bryan in celebration of their marriage. I don't think I have ever worked on a wood panel before, but I enjoyed it and I will do this again. I used acrylic paints for this, mostly Lumiere. I started with the heart first, freehand, and then sponged and painted 2 colors of Lumiere Gold and Pearl White around the heart. I layered the sponging of the paints so it came out very textural and almost lace-like. I finished the background off by masking the heart with post-it notes and spritzing the paint with a little bit of walnut ink to age it. When everything was dry I used VersaCraft ink to stamp the word love, and heat set everything with a heat gun.

I used a small stamp on the inside back of the panel, and hand wrote the newly married couple's names and their wedding date. After being part of their wonderful ceremony yesterday, I know they will cherish it. Love was spoken of many times with great feeling, during the ceremony and after.

Speaking of love, I feel very lucky to be here now, to receive my parents love, as well as give them my love and support. My dad has had an extremely rough year this past year, and while he looks much, much better to me, there are still more treatments he has to go through to fight his battle with cancer. Tuesday, mom & I will go with him for another consultation with the doctor. We will listen and learn, and then do what we know best how to do; surround my dad, an awesome man who loves his family dearly, with our love.

Studio Classes!

Beverley Teichrob from Victoria, BC at my Studio, October 18, 2008

Beverley was a participant in two of my recent studio classes. This was an extra special case because Bev was here visiting from British Columbia, Canada! While her husband was working, she got to play. In fact, we arranged two classes that Bev could take while she was here. I wrote about the collage class she took in an earlier post, and on October 18th, Bev took Nature Printing & Paintstik Techniques with me in my studio. I made a small collage for her as thanks for coming all this way and taking my classes, and that is what she is holding in her hands. : ) Bev is also a frequent participant in my creative swaps.

Here are a few photos from our workshop that day -please click on any photo for more detail:

So, if you are traveling and know you will be near Avon, CT - let me know! We may be able to meet or to arrange a class for you, in my studio. I do have a number of workshops scheduled through December -check my website for more details. There is an Image Transfer class in November, as well as another Collage class, and two silk scarf classes are scheduled for early December.

Alice in Wonderland ATCs

I created the ATCs shown here for one of my own art swaps! You can read all about this ATC swap -not due until the next year (Feb. 3. 2009), on the creative swaps blog. Directions for registering for the swap are right there.

This nine for nine ATC swap uses Alice in Wonderland related images from Alpha Stamps. There are so many beautiful images from this company in various forms of card stock collage images, clear stickers, fabric images, transparencies, rubber stamps, even paper doll sheets - I simply could not resist hosting an ATC swap with them. For this swap you are required to use something 'Alice in Wonderland' (even the tea images) from Alpha Stamps - but everyone who participates will have the chance to win a first prize of an Alice in Wonderland Tarot Card Deck for the most creative ATCs and all participants will receive a custom 'thank you' collage sheet as a gift from Alpha Stamps.

All 4 ATCs shown here started out as plain 2.5" x 3.5" watercolor cards. I wanted something nice & sturdy to create and paint on a little, so I chose the watercolor paper. I combined Alpha Stamp card stock images with rubber stamps and watercolor crayons (wet), on all of them . The card stock images on the ATC above comes from 2 different Alpha Stamp sheets. The image of young Alice (which I love) is from the image sheet called Mad Hatter's Tea Party #2. You can order this any number of ways, not just on paper! The words come from the I Wonder sheet, which I have used here in the paper version, but have since ordered in a clear sticker sheet. I do have a few more ATCs to make, so look for more examples coming up! I adhered these collage images to the watercolor paper with YES glue which I spread on with an old credit card. Because I wanted to use rubber stamps on my ATCs, I reached for the Caterpillar from the red rubber Alice's Adventure sheet. I attached this rubber stamp to an acrylic block (using Tack n' Peel - easy & quick) and I stamped the image with permanent StazOn Ink because I knew I would be using a wet brush over it. For the card above I started colouring with a yellow watercolor crayon (Lyra Aquacolor) and then adder the red around the edge. I tend to work with a special water brush (water is held in the barrel of the brush) but a regular brush & separate bowl water would of course work too.

This is the wildest of the ATCs I made, I think! The Mad hatter is not my most favorite image, but this drawing was so strong, and had so much 'punch', I was inclined to try it. I found this image on the Mad Hatter's Tea Party #2. It is a black & white drawing. First I stamped the phrases "Drink Me" and "Eat Me" from the Alice Tea Party Clear Stamp Set directly onto the card with StazOn Ink and then I colored the white space with my watercolor crayons in various shades, using my water brush to activate the colors and make them pop. Where the color is more intense, I either used more crayon or less water! The watercolor paper makes a great base for this technique.

Below (Alice & the cards) is my most favorite, I think. I just loved this image the minute I saw it. In fact, I had to cut it down and not use the entire image in order to fit it on to the card! Since the image covered the entire watercolor card I decided to try adding my watercolor crayons on top of the card stock image. It worked! The pinkish-red color you see seeping in on the edges is from the watercolor crayons. On all of the edges of the ATCs I used a bit of gold metallic marker, just gracing the edges, but on this card, I added some gold swoops of the marker near all the edges to add to the flying cards. The stamp is actually the title of the red rubber Alice's Adventure sheet. It seemed appropriate!

The last ATC was created the same way with an image this time from The Red Queen and the queen stamp from Alice's Adventure sheet. I thought it was pretty funny I could get the Queen stamp to fit right in on the ATC where the image of the queen was looking right at it! I wanted to add something else to this so I used rub-ons ~ the black vines. I did add brown watercolor crayon and a gold metallic edge to this ATC too.

Rubber Stamped card, for Joan

Here is a simple rubber stamped card I made last week for our 'across the street' neighbor. She had invited us to walk up her driveway anytime and enjoy the view from the porch of the cabin on her property that overlooks the Farmington Valley. Our road is situated on a small mountain ridge and some of the houses on the road are lucky enough to have a gorgeous view! When Steven and I called Joan last week to see if it was a good time, she was delighted, and told us to come right up. Amazingly, my grandparents lived on this very same road when I was a teenager. They also lived on the cliff side and their view was much the same as what I was seeing at Joan's ~ it felt almost like a dejavu, being there.

I mentioned my grandparents and Joan remembered them! She said they had been to her home for cocktails! Wow.

I wanted to thank Joan for our delightful visit with her that afternoon and create a card that looked like her cabin sitting there on the edge of the cliff. I found a cabin stamp that was in with my Stampscapes stamps, a grass stamp, and a tree branch. Everything was stamped with Brown StazOn ink and then just a bit of colour was added simply with chalks. I stamped an envelope for Joan, and popped it in her mailbox - we do have bears in the neighborhood and Joan and I have both had a ride in a hot air balloon : ))

more teaching fun!

Last Thursday I happily spent my morning giving a workshop on oil paintstiks and Nature Printing to my friend and artist Carla Kurt. I was honored that she asked me if I would instruct her! She was surprised to hear me say that, saying I knew so much about mixed media techniques that I could teach her! So, it was quite a mutually beneficial (and fun!) time for both of us and we plan on doing it again. How cool is it that we live about 20 minutes apart and yet met via the internet?

To the left you'll see 2 of my shiva oil paintstik 'rubbings' as well as a number of nature prints. Below is Carla with one of our paintstik exercises/experiments, just as she was just getting started:

And here is her piece as she added more, adding mono printing and stenciling on top of her wonderful masked background.

I love the colors Carla choose and the way she did her masking! I went for a much straighter masking line for my demo . . . .

The Nature Printing leftovers . . . .
they are so beautiful still tinted with Lumiere paint.

Below are a couple of fabric things I nature printed a few years ago. I brought these pieces into my studio to show Carla some more examples . . . .

The scarf to the left was created this past summer while I was on vacation, and features printed grape vine leaves from Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada. The dogs Asia & Chloe were part and parcel of this private class (Carla welcomed them!) : )

I am teaching this class again next Saturday (October 18th) in my studio located in Avon, CT ~ please email me if you are interested in joining us!