sketchbook progress

Another spread is done, just 2 more page spreads to go! 

It started like this . . . 

The paint you see is actually on another piece of paper (freezer paper) that I inserted into the sketchbook. It was leftover paper, I imagine from a nature printing session. It had been lying in one of my collage boxes for a long time. The photos of me at different ages are printed onto a clear transparency sheet. I used my xyron to adhere them. I added pattern tissue paper on top of the paint background with gel medium . . . .

Then I started adding Zentangle patterns and filling in with watercolor pencils -

More Zentangling and some journaling . . . . click for details

The finished spread with rubber stamping is below -

I find I have mixed feelings now as I am coming near the end of this project! I do want to finish the last two spreads and send this to the Art House co-op so it can join the other sketchbooks on Tour, but I am also a little sad it is almost complete. I will start a new journal for myself, but this first one is special. 

But I am so glad that my friend Sharon Walworth told me about this project. She was absolutely right when she said she found something she thought I would be interested in. If you would like to view all the pages in my sketchbook (that is not a sketchbook) please visit this flickr set. Expect the last 2 page spreads pretty soon!

- happy new year with lots of creative energy sent your way!

sketchbook project 2011: a few more . . .

There are just a few more weeks to go and I only have a few more spreads to go in my sketchbook for the Art House co-op project. From the Art House Co-op: Your book must be postmarked by January 15, 2011. No exceptions. Fortunately, I only have 3 more spreads to do in my sketchbook so I know this will not be a problem. To learn more about the Sketchbook Project 2011 TOUR: click here. It's really something - 28,833 artists have registered to participate. I plan to try and go to Winter Park, Florida this coming July for the tour stop! Here is my latest spread dedicated to my mom, who just celebrated her birthday December 10.

a close-up of part of one page
another close-up 
The entire spread
The page spread started with an old calendar as a base. this calendar actually hung in our kitchen in 1969 . . .  It is amazing I still have it especially with how often I have moved. I added a red watercolor crayon, photos of my mom printed as transparencies, rose petals from the bouquet I gave her for her birthday, pigment powder and a bit of zentangle inspired doodling! The see the entire progression of this spread and additional sketchbook pages I have done, visit this set of photos.

I will be back with more pages to finish this project, and soon! What I've enjoyed most about doing this work is that it got me to create fairly regularly in an artist's journal, something I had never done before. People have asked me all along if I will have difficulty in sending this sketchbook off . . . no, I will not. I may miss it a little, but I created in it with the idea I was going to send it away to be a part of this big project. That was the goal and I like creating just to create, not to keep. And the fact that I know I will pick up a new journal and continue working this way is very exciting to me. : ^ ) lenna

Venice Skinny for Frieda

As part of the Oh My Gothic yahoo group, I needed to make a skinny page, 4" x 8" for my dear friend Frieda on her theme of Venice. Oh, the torture!! (not!) I admit I did procrastinate a little bit because of course wanted to make something special for her, but in the long run the looming deadline won out and I simply made myself start working on it. I decided it had to be a fabric page, so I gathered things first.

Above are fabric images from Alpha Stamps and a photo I printed onto fabric of my son Dallas, next to a canal in Venice. Yes, I have gotten a lot of mileage out of this photo! See here for another piece. I almost forgot to say, my son Dallas is in the 'States' for the Holidays and will be coming here to visit with his fiance' Liz on Sunday for 4 days!! They are employed by the International School of Trieste in Italy.

To see more of this skinny progression, view a short slideshow here! 

I loved creating this skinny page for Frieda Oxenham and I have already sent it off to her in Scotland. I hope it arrives swiftly despite all the snow she has been having . . .  and I also hope it delights her!  :  ^  ) lenna

a little music

This features my nephew Dale Rothenberg on piano (he is 19) with his friend Matt Gold on guitar. My brother-in-law wrote me, "All of this music was made "on the fly." This is completely improvisational - so it has no name and it's unrehearsed, one take only."  Dale is attending Oberlin Conservatory and studying music; I think he wants to teach music. He is very talented as you will hear . . . His mom, my sister Kathy, is coming to visit on Thursday :  ^)


I hope you enjoy! 

December 27th and it's 39 degrees (in Florida!)

It seems it is cold and snowy everywhere. Even here in Florida I am wearing a hat and scarf! Yes, on the beach no less, but still! It's very windy. I fooled around with Photoshop for the photo below. Click to view.

Steven says there really is a "winter -time" in Florida. 
But no snow here yet, so we are counting our blessings!!

my "blip" of the day -I've really been enjoying that. ; ^   ) lenna 

december 25

Yesterday afternoon we took a walk as usual . . . Can you believe it has been cold enough here that the leaves have turned color? In Florida?? Yes, it's true!

And even dropped . . .

I have been playing with Photoshop filters. This is about the only thing I have figured out how to do! Here is a photo of Steven and the pups yesterday afternoon, accentuated with "poster edges". I find this program fun to experiment with. Click on the photo for details -it's cool! And yes, even though it has been colder here, when the sun is out we can get away with just short sleeves, no sweater. Don't hate me too much! 

Asia was obviously tired from our walk. While we opened a few presents, she fell asleep on my crocs! 

My dad opening a gift from my sister : )) She will be here on Thursday! 

happy christmas afternoon . . . 

my mom  xoxo

my dad : )) 

merry christmas, happy new year!

yummy holidays for you & yours!

Sand Tarts I made for my dad ; ^ ) 
My Nonie (his mom) always made them this time of year.
My mom made them a lot too! 

The other day, my dad was describing these cookies and our holiday traditions to his British friends. Like a sugar cookie but very thin and crispy, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, rolled out in confectioners sugar, with a slivered almond plopped in the middle . . . a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe (where Nonie, his mom was from). My mom had given me the recipe a long time ago but I had only made them once or twice myself. My Nonie & my mom always made them!! When my dad mentioned these cookies the other day . . . well! I knew what I could make him for Christmas! 
It was not even as hard as I thought to roll them out and all. 

So, I think he will be surprised as I don't think he even knows I have the recipe! Since we are not doing much or really exchanging any presents, this is perfect I think. It is very quiet for us this Christmas, but then we can concentrate on making a nice meal (lasagna! garlic bread! salad!) and Steven and I will bring it over. Steven made a squash pie today too! It smells yummy. We are doing the cooking as my mom is still getting over the effects of a whopper of an infection from a bad tooth (it was a rough one) and my dad has had to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy, not always the greatest stuff to deal with. His next step, experimental treatments. I'm glad he is trying something different.

I want to stop and say thank you for visiting my art & life blog, for all your kind comments, for your friendship. For taking a moment to care! 
You are the best readers, lurkers & commenter's alike! 
Safe, happy & healthy holidays to you & yours.
xo lenna 

The Art Channel

My Artist Trading Card video (animoto) is featured today, 12/21/10 on The Art Channel blog! What a lovely surprise for me to find an email this morning, alerting me to this and making sure that it was okay the video was posted. It's wonderful! Visit 'The Art Channel' at the link above, it's very cool and interesting.

"Welcome to The Art Channel. The Art Channel is a project which aims to bring together a collection of online videos which showcase the work of artists, art educators and art program facilitators from around the world. Imagine if we had a TV channel which broadcast Art programs all day, every day. What difference might this make to the world we live in? Happy Viewing!"

Jan 2008 - Black and Gold 
from the Colour Groupies ATC exchange is featured
Direct link to the post with my video -enjoy! lenna

For a higher quality video, go to animoto where I created it ; ^ )

just playing with photos

The blipfoto site has me playing with photography more these days. Now, if you have visited here much, you probably already know I take a lot of photos. But since I found blipfoto, well . . . I find myself thinking more about how I take photos and trying things like Photoshop even when I don't really know how to use it. (I have learned a few things already just by diving in!) That's how I was able to get the graphic above from the photo below. It's my desk where my laptop sits. The picture is from our wedding night in 2005. Steven is taking the photo while kissing me, talented guy that he is! i love this photo.

Just taking a little time to play and share! 
Wishing you wonderful holidays . . . 
time together with your loved ones
plus love and laughter. 
*thanks for visiting*

sunshine again

The temperature has dropped to 50 degrees F now (10 C) where we are in Florida, but earlier today it must have climbed to 65 degrees and more importantly, the sun was shining. Mmmmmm! This felt wonderful after welcoming in a brisk 38 degrees F (3 C) the other morning. Plus we've had many days in a row of wearing socks, sweaters, sweatshirts and jean jackets -sometimes all at once. I know we are spoiled with those temperatures and I know many of you are feeling a lot colder and snowier!! Brrrrr! But Florida is not supposed to be quite this cold!

I took the photo above today in that 65 degree sunshine and am pretty pleased with it. I have been trying to learn a bit about my husband Steve's Olympus SP-510 camera that I inherited when my camera got dunked in our canoe 'splash' last summer. I am grateful to have his camera, but you know how it is to learn new things when you are used to something else -it can be hard! So, I had been shooting photos only on automatic. I changed that today. I chose a "scene" and used the close-up macro setting. I like how it made the background a bit blurry and the flowers stand out more. I have much to learn about photography. I am using blipfoto to help me, thanks to Frieda! Blipfoto is a daily photo journal. While I have not added a photo every day, I do have a little collection going! You can view my journal here. It's fun.

Today I also met up with my new friend Susan, who lives nearby. I shared with her some of the many mail art envelopes that participants were so kind to send me through the mail art swap I hosted on creative swaps. Susan was in the swap, saw many of these envelopes online, and now she got to see them in person. She is so cute!
Susan holding Sarah Boblit's envelope

It is quite the stack of mail art!! 
I truly appreciate it -Thank you all!

Stay warm & cozy -I'm sending you some Florida sunshine : )

just a peek

at what I was working on yesterday . . .

My husband Steven made the wooden table top above out of cherry strips. He learned this technique from my dad and the boats they have worked on together. Steven is also using this same technique on an unfinished canoe he picked up inexpensively and is now completing . . . click for more detail.

Deck strips added
He does a lot of reading about this type of thing too! The woodwork in the first photo is done on top of an old plastic table of my parent's that we are recycling. Steven literally insisted I do nature printing on top of this table. We have a coffee table I rubber stamped that he absolutely adores. How could I say no! I had a lot of fun too. 

I will share more of the nature printed table when Steven finishes epoxying and varnishing on top of the prints I did. That will really make the prints pop and protect them as well! 

Yeah! Another collaborative project for us! 


Today's 'blip' for me - 12/11/2010
I am really enjoying this new site my friend Frieda turned me onto, thanks again!! I would say there are many people uploading photos there that are more knowledgeable and more talented photographers than me, but they don't seem to mind! I've been very welcomed there and the people there seem genuinely friendly.

The idea is you may upload only one photo per day. A lot of people use this photo to blog about whatever they feel like -the photo, what's going on in their lives, a poem. It has a very different feeling than lets say, this blogspot blog I am writing on right now.

Would you like to check it out?
The main page is Blipfoto -The daily photo journal for everyone. You can learn more there and also browse through the tons of outstanding photos that come in daily. Click on any thumbnail in the grid to go to that photo journal. Find photos by Frieda Oxenham here. Frieda has truly amazing shots of the huge amounts of snow she has been experiencing in Scotland. They are absolutely beautiful photos. Click on any highlighted day on the calendar in a journal to see the blip of that day for that author. My new blip photo journal is here. Go there to read the story of the rose petals above . . . I only have 4 blips so far and have just started my blipfolio, a small attached portfolio. I think you may enjoy this though, have fun! It will be a good break for you if you are busy-busy with holiday preps. This year we are being as simple as can be, so don't be surprised if you see me continuing to post art stuff throughout the coming days. I wish you many blessings and time to spend with the ones you love.
Take care of yourself!! xo lenna

progress: sketchbook project 2011

It is in the back of my mind that I only have about a month to finish up my sketchbook with a theme of: This is not a sketchbook!! I'm doing this for the sketchbook project 2011. Wow. I just found out (right at this moment) by visiting the home page of the Art House Co-op to grab their link, that one of my sketchbook pages is featured on their home page! That is pretty cool. Yes, I submitted this myself, but what the heck?! They approved it -yay! Anyway, here are my most recent pages and progress with this project.

This beautiful papillion paper is part of the 
Illustration pages-Antique French Dictionary
available from
Green Paper Packages!

As you can see, I only have a few blank spreads left!
It needs to be postmarked by Jan 15th, 2011.
You can view ALL the pages in my sketchbook in detail here
Or, watch an easy slideshow, featuring large photos here!

nature print envelopes for my mail art swap

I have been making lots of envelopes for my mail art swap! There are over 50 participants and wanted to send their returns home in a mail art envelope I had made myself. So I got busy and made a few different kinds of mail art envelopes. This was my last batch - nature printed envelopes.

Isn't this print beautiful? click for details.

It had been a while since I had done this and it was different working with the plant material that is available in Florida versus Connecticut. I even tried Spanish moss! Nature printing is not hard at all. You need plant material, something to print on (an envelope, piece of paper, or fabric) some paint -Lumiere paint is wonderful but any will do, some scrap paper for pressing/printing, and something to paint your plant material on. I use a plastic write-on transparency sheet because I have a lot of them, but you could use a piece of wax paper. click on any small photo below for a larger photo. 

add paint to your leaf with a sponge or foam brush.
It is on top of the transparency sheet.
paint side down onto your receiving item
place scrap paper over and use your hand(s) to press the leaf
(or use a brayer - I prefer my hands)
Lift carefully . . . 
You can generally use the same leaf or flower over a number of times unless it is really fragile. I often mix colors right on the leaf and today I used pigment powders, sprinkling them over the wet paint. The spots of gold below are a Pearl-Ex Pigment powder. Click for details.

To see more of the nature printing I did today, please check out this set of photos on my flickr account. Thank you for reading & looking! : ) lenna

Green Paper Collage challenge : )

close-up of "The letter"
Well, I am way behind in doing my lessons (Collage Basics class) with Mary because I've been quite busy, but this month's challenge on Mary's blog was just what I needed to get me creating! At the beginning of each month Mary gives us a challenge to use all three images she provides on a collage sheet. Read all about it and download the full size image sheet on this post found on Mary's blog: Green Paper. Below, see a smaller version of the required images & my collage response! Mary's challenge images for December:

And here is the full collage I did -it is 5" x 7" ~ click on it for more details. Once you get to the image you can click on it again for a larger version!

I used a floral background paper provided by Mary in the Collage Basics class to layer a copy of the woman printed on matte presentation paper on top of. First, I ran around the edges of her with a brown ink pad and painted her dress with shimmery Twinkling H2Os. I cut a slit under her arms so I could insert the letter. I glued the woman down to the background and then used a copy of "Presented" that I printed on vellum (sheer, almost see-through paper) over her. I had cut it so she was only half-way covered by the vellum. the black roses are a rub-on from Basic Grey. I used scraps of the vellum around the white edges of my  paper and then sewed a black & white check ribbon down one edge. 

Thanks, Mary. This creative work was just what I needed today! xo lenna 

summer skinny for Linda K!

It gives me great joy to create a skinny page for Linda Kunsman as part of the Oh My Gothic yahoo group exchange ; ^  ). I have known Linda K for at least 5 years through yahoo groups, email & art swaps. Linda has always been so kind to me and has also created the best art! My favorite is a canvas collage piece Linda made for a swap I hosted in 2005 on a theme of "moon & stars". This matched our wedding theme and the swap participant's extra collages helped to decorate the room where Steven and I got married! Linda's piece was so personalized for me and Steven, it really touched my heart -still does. See it at the 'canvas' link above.

For the skinny page exchange we create 4" x 8" pages for a different participant each month based on that person's theme, while someone else creates a page for us. When the swap ends this spring, we'll have about 15 skinny pages we can bind into a collaborative book! Linda's theme is "summer" - her favorite time of year. She said, think beach, vintage, nature, birds, lace . . . .  Here's is what I came up with for Linda! It is an all fabric page fused and glued with a piece of heavyweight Fast2Fuse in the middle for support.

I used real shells and a sand dollar I had gathered.
Some of the fabric I painted myself (in the summer!)  
-the two strips tied together above 
and the turquoise strip in the middle below.

The two photos in the middle of each page 
were ones I took myself & printed on fabric -
those are my little black Crocs!
And there is real Florida sand sprinkled on here & there.

This page is especially for you, Linda K. I am so lucky to have your favorite season here in Florida most of the time now. I wanted to send you something to remind you of summer whenever you looked at it!
big hugs from lenna!

sweet bead studio give-away and news!

I don't often advertise give-aways, but the one that is being offered by Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio comes with a most amazing story and photos of an Around the World Necklace Round Robin. My very good friend Sharon Borsavage was part of this necklace and journal RR . . . . and I also saw the link about Cindy's give-away and the story on another friend and participant's blog, Renate of - Put a little magic in your life!
Cindy of Sweet Bead Studio has unraveled the wonderful story about this amazing collaborative project involving five women living all over the world. You can enter her 'sentimental journey' give-away (see photo below) and read the story here, on Sweet Bead Jewelry. Look at this gorgeous giveaway! Thank you, Cindy. Their story has also been published in the winter issue 2011 of Somerset's Belle Armoire Jewelry. Congratulations to all, on many levels!

Sweet Bead Studio 'Sentimental Journey' giveaway
drawing is - December 2, 2010