Sunday, December 21, 2008

happy holidays to YOU!

Enjoy! You'll find a post about what I am doing for the holidays on my creative lenna blog: http://creativelenna.blogspot.com/

Thank you for your participation in these creative swaps and I will be in touch after the new year! Don't forget the Alice in Wonderland ATC swap is Open and not due until Feb. 3rd. Swap details below or in the sidebar to your right . . . . wishing you all the best!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

winter holiday hello!

I know many of you are busy with holiday preparations and I imagine things will be quiet here on the creative swaps blog for a while. I sent the forest quilties home a week ago and have heard from some excited recipients, thank you! I know how busy this time of year can be. I have been working about 20 hours a week at Stonewall Kitchen here in Avon, CT and it has been VERY busy and quite crazy! Inside that store, you would not know there was a recession going on!! Anyway, I have been thinking about what a busy time this is and have decided to extend the deadline for the Alpha Stamps Alice in Wonderland ATC swap. The new due date (in my hands) is Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009. I hope this helps you! For the information on that swap, please go to this post.

Steven and I are leaving on Monday the 22nd to spend 6 days with my parents in Florida. The good news as of yesterday is that the chemotherapy seems to be having good effects, even if it has made my dad feel bad sometimes. Yesterday the Dr told my parents that his CEA marker (a cancer marker) was down from 90 to 9 - wow! Great news. I can't wait to see them and plan on visiting as much as I can in the coming months.

I will announce another swap, but not until after the new year. I am thinking of an April due date for that. Thank you for your participation, your wonderful art and your support & friendship! It is treasured.
lenna

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Forest Quilties SWAP!

I am here to announce both the winner of the most creative forest quilties and to let you know they are all swapped, packaged & labeled - Ready to be mailed, tomorrow!

It again was another hard choice to pick the most creative entry for this swap, but one participants' quilties stood out more than the rest to me. Congratulations are in order to Vicki Page in Wisconsin. She has won the most creative entry with her beautiful set of wool forest quilties! I have gathered together a bunch of fabrics (including some wool) that I hope she will enjoy, and added this prize pack to the quilties Vicki received in trade. I have never seen anything like the quilties that Vicki created for our swap! You can see them below along with all the other wonderful quilties on a forest theme that came in for this swap. Thanks to everyone for participating, and a special thanks to those who were able to make an extra quiltie for me, It is so appreciated!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Forest Quilties: Margaux Lashbrook, Scotland

From Margaux Lashbrook who lives in Scotland, we have 5 really delightfully stitched forest quilties, thank you! It will be difficult to choose one for myself, that's for sure . . . .
Margaux enclosed a note that said, "The backing is a homage to the Tartan rugs so much a fixture of my childhood, and regular trips to the countryside."

I have never been to the Scottish countryside, but have seen photos of how beautiful it is from my friend who lives there, Frieda Oxenham. Frieda, in fact, introduced Margaux to my creative swaps blog and this is Margaux's 6th creative swap! See all of Margaux's fabulous artwork for creative swaps HERE.

Margaux also asked me how my dad is doing -- better, thank you. He is off chemo for the rest of the week and will start the pills at a lower dosage next week. Steven & I go to visit my parents in just 2 and 1/2 weeks -Dec 22 through 27th. I aim to have ALL of the FOREST QUILTIES swapped and in the mail by December 15 and will keep you posted here!







Forest Quilties: Fiona Brockie, Scotland

From Fiona in Scotland, we have more wonderful fabric art. This is Fiona's 12th creative swap, wow! Thank you Fiona for all the beautiful artwork you have sent in to me to swap!! See ALL of Fiona's creative work for our swaps HERE.

I see you are using a number of Alice in Wonderland images in your forest quilties . . . I hope you will join us for the Alpha Stamps Alice in Wonderland ATC swap, due in January. Let me know!





Tuesday, December 2, 2008

update from lenna

Hi ~ I just wanted you all to know that Fiona and Margaux's forest quilties have made it safely 'across the pond' and into my mailbox; I received them yesterday. If it was not for the Thanksgiving Holiday, they would have been here exactly on time! I run my creative swaps with a "must be here by . . . " deadline that you have to meet, specifically to make things easier for everyone. I found in the past when I did not have a hard receiving deadline, the entire swap group was made to wait -sometimes weeks- for stragglers, which I came to feel was not fair to anyone: me or the swap participants. But, that being said, if a participant in the UK or elsewhere outside of the USA has mailed their package to me over a week ago and it is still not here . . . I do tend to allow a day or two grace period. I think that is fair and I hope you agree. I am so happy Margaux and Fiona's packages arrived yesterday! I have not opened them up yet, but will get them uploaded here as soon as I can.

Last week was a rough week for me. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving I had to go to the ER with a very bad nosebleed -for the second time in 3 days. The ER is never fun and after 4 hours they had packed my nose. This left me totally congested, and I remained that way for 5 days until I saw the doctor yesterday and he removed the packing. I could breathe again! He said I have a spur on my nose where my septum is bent. This is from a car accident I had with Decklin (my oldest son) 25 years ago where my nose hit the steering wheel; it is still a bit crooked. Anyway, I did some research and found out a bone spur is a growth that builds up along the edge of the bone and pushes outward. A spur forms as the body tries to repair itself, by building extra bone. This makes sense, re: the accident. Spurs can cause occasional nosebleeds because the turbulent airflow leads to mucous-membrane chapping. That was what happened to me. I was directed to use a saline nose spray to keep my nostrils moist, as often as I could, and use a cool air humidifier too. I am hoping these things help me so that I will not have to address my nose issues with surgery -argh! I would only do that if huge nosebleeds continue to be a problem. Sorry for all this not so pleasant and yucky news . . . It was a bit of a hard week all around as my poor dad has not been feeling well lately. We are not sure if it is the Chemo he is receiving for his liver cancer or the flu or some of both. He had to go into the Dr’s office & get an IV of fluids so he would not be dehydrated and they gave him steroids in his stomach too – for the nausea and diarrhea. Poor, poor guy. He sees his oncologist today and I hope for a bit more news from my mom.

So! This is really an update to let you know the packages are in, but it has been a bit of a not so easy time for me lately, and not to worry if you do not hear from me immediately about the swap. I was off from my part-time job at Stonewall Kitchen with my packed nose as I could not wait on customers with a drippy nose! I return to work today, plus I have a silk scarf class in my studio tomorrow and I need to deliver some artwork I made for sale to Tapestry Rose for Holiday shopping! I will keep you updated here, but those of you in the swap, please do not be surprised if it takes me until 12/15 to have the forest quilties swapped and mailed. I bet if will be sooner as I may easily be able to, but I want to allow myself that extra time, just in case. Thank you!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Forest Quilties: Marianne Baugher, Maryland


Marianne Baugher from Laytonsville, MD sent in 2 sets of "green" forest quilties.
Below is what Marianne e-mailed to me:












Thanks so much for hosting this swap. It has been a long time since I joined an online swap. I let life get in the way of my need to play. My quilties were made using all leftovers from other projects and some wise ol'charms that I have had for years and could never figure out what to do with them. I live in the woods so this project was perfect for me. I layered my materials to represent the layers on the woodland floor. I hope everyone likes them. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of love and happiness.
Marianne Baugher

Thank you, Marianne! I think your quilties are a wonderful addition to our swap. My husband saw me unpack them and was saying how much he liked them!

Note: There are a few more swaps to come in which hopefully I will receive by tomorrow. Two are coming from overseas and left over a week ago, so I may need to allow 1 more day for the mail. I will keep you updated here, thanks.

Forest Quilties: Carol Cooper, Texas


From Carol Cooper in Plano, TX We have 4 beautiful landscaped quilties.
I love the dimension Carol achieved with her trees -bravo!
The colors are lovely, thanks very much for participating, Carol.

Forest Quilties: Anne Hartman, Iowa

We have a set of 4 wonderful quilties from Anne Hartman in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Thank you, Anne!




I especially like the colors in the background and all the leafy vines. This is Anne's 2nd creative swap and I hope to see her back for more. You can read more about her art on her blog: http://annehartman.typepad.com/. She posts her swap pieces and the jewelry she creates there!



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Forest Quilties: Lorraine Webber, Rhode Island


This is Lorraine's 1st creative swap . . . please click on any scan for more detail of her beautiful quilties. Earlier this year, Lorraine and her friend (and fellow creative swap participant) Sharon Walworth, took a 5 week on-line/email workshop with me: A mini Art Quilt Book! Lorraine enjoyed the class, and I think Sharon encouraged her to try her hand at a swap once she took the class.

Lorraine enclosed a note with her quilties:



"Hi Lenna,
Here's my first attempt at a swap. Hope they're all right and meet the requirements. (Yes!!) I enjoyed the challenge to my limited creative juices. Thanks for hosting, Lorraine W."

Well, I think I would disagree with you about limited creative juices, Lorraine. Your forest quilties are just great! Thanks for participating.

: ) lenna

Forest Quilties: Linda Garcia, New Mexico

From Linda Garcia, a set of beautiful New Mexico forest quilties . . . Linda writes on the back of each one,
"Remembering the Forest, Santa Fe".
I am so very thankful she made an extra one for me! I love the stamp she used on the back of her quilties: Like water, feel peaceful, Like wood, keep growing, Like fire, be alive, Like earth, experience balance, Like metal, stay strong.








Linda emailed me when she sent her quilties . . .
"Remembering Santa Fe Forest when I took photos of the Aspens a couple of years ago…when the Aspens drop their leaves it looks like a golden carpet, thus the gold tinted tulle. Just to sit and listen to their rustling leaves reminds me of enjoying tossing leaves and jumping into the piles, which I could still enjoy if I didn’t think about all those possible critters now. Ah youth—so innocent. I enjoy it all, seasons talking. The reverse has muslin with torn tissue (paper) on top, a new technique that is so simple. (and beautiful!) I’ve inserted a picture for a preview, taken outdoors. You may choose the one you wish to keep. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving mi amiga
Linda"

This post celebrates Linda Garcia's 12th - yes, 12th creative swap since I started this blog in April, 2007! You should feel so very proud Linda, and a lot more creative because of it!!! : )

Click on Linda's name at the bottom of this post to see ALL the creative swaps she has participated in!

Forest Quilties: Kiki Finlayson, Oregon

This is Kiki's 4th creative swap and she writes from Oregon saying that she appreciates the support I've given the community of women who participate in my swaps, adding how much she thinks it helps in the creative process. Wow! How kind of you to say - thank you, Kiki.

You will need to click on these scans to see some of the details of Kiki's fabric art.


Via email, Kiki told me about how she created her quilties, "I used fairly traditional appliqué, quilting and beading techniques. The one unusual material I used was some dark brown unryu paper, a traditional Japanese paper which is very easy to sew through but still fairly tough. I used a polyester fleece batting (I used only materials already in my stash, a sort of attempt to be green) which I will not use again as I do not like the feel of working with it. It is too thick and stiff. I much prefer the cotton batting I normally use. The picture in my head when I started was lying down in the forest and looking up as I have often done through the trees at the sky. I also tried to be sort of geometric, hence the squares, but that didn't last long, as you can see by the freehand quilting and beading! I had fun making them and look forward to more swaps in the future.
Thanks again for sponsoring these swaps!
Kiki Finlayson"

Forest Quilties: Joellyn Quinn, Wisconsin


This is Joellyn's 4th quiltie swap through creative swaps! She sent in 5 quilties (an extra for me, thank you) on 2 different themes. Joellyn often does a lot of free-motion quilting, which I love. If you click on her name at the bottom of this post, you can see all the quilties she has created for my swaps -very impressive!




Sunday, November 23, 2008

Forest Quilties: Vicki Page, Wisconsin


Gosh, these forest quilties from Vicki Page in Wisconsin are amazing! When she sent them, Vicki emailed me saying --

Hi Lenna,

I sent my quilties yesterday there is an extra one for you. I hope you like them I'm playing much more these days in wool and I love the stuff.
Vicki Page


Wow! I really have never seen anything like these Vicki, and they are GREAT! I love the texture that you have achieved. I am so happy you could create an extra one for me -Thanks so much.



Forest Quilties: Sharon Walworth, Rhode Island

I love batik fabrics so I am really taken by Sharon's forest quilties. Sharon is from Rhode Island, and she had an interesting (and successful) approach to creating her quilties. Here is Sharon's email to me:

For this swap, I set myself a goal of working "green" (not just the quiltie color) and I succeeded in making them without purchasing anything! The background on the front came from a quilted vest which wasn't very successful, and the backing is the vest lining. I used scraps of batting, scraps of batiks for the leaves, and threads from my too large collection. I borrowed the design concept from one of my leafy journal quilts of a few years ago, and the leaf shape is from an old thimbleberries pattern(it was originally an 8" leaf, but I have used it in sizes from the original down to 1 wee inch.) Looking forward to your next quilties swap!

Thank you, Sharon. Here are close-ups of the front and back of these marvelous quilties - click on them for even more detail.




Forest Quilties: Vickie Jones, South Dakota


Vickie Jones, from South Dakota, sent in two sets of really interesting and textural Forest Quilties. She used photographs of trees printed onto fabric and large colorful sequins to represent the leaves of the forest trees. Vickie wrote me an email describing her process, when she sent her quilties to me:

I struggled a little, because I was looking for the perfect background and was not finding what I wanted. The fabric I chose ended up being more bold, but think it ended up working fine...I wanted to get the effect of the sunlight shining through the trees. I used some heavy yarn to represent the "aspen" trees, stitched that on the background, added yarn wrapped pipe cleaners for the the bigger trees. I stitched colored capis disks to represent the aspen colored leaves and added a few regular leaves in the mix. The printed saying set the tone. Enjoy, and thank you so much for hosting these challenging swaps!

You are most welcome, Vickie! Thanks so much for an extra shades of the forest quiltie just for me. Here are a few close-ups of Vickie's fabric art:

I love the jewel tones in her quilties. Click on any scan or photo for details.



Forest Quilties: Sharon Schutt, Indiana


Sharon Schutt from Indiana, has sent in a set of leafy and colorful forest quilties for our swap - see the photos here and also on her blog: Five Shadows.


I love her colour choices, and most especially the leafy tags she attached to each quiltie. Very creative! Thanks so much for the extra quiltie for me, Sharon!



Saturday, November 22, 2008

: ) 500 Post Give-away *Winners*

I took a very scientific approach to choosing 10 winners for my 500th post to this blog celebration give-away . . .

I made a list of those who commented to my original post . . . cut the list of names into little strips . . . put all of them into one of my winter hats, and drew out 10 names for 10 prizes!!

















I have 3 winners for a FREE swap registration:

Nina Owens, Cindy McMath and Cat Dodt Ellis!!

The winner of the book Creating Romantic Purses is: Frieda Oxenham!!

The Collage Pack was won by: Carolyn Outz Hay!!

The Santa Stamp was won by: Lisa Mallette ; )

The Frame Stamp was won by Rena Matus!

The Octagon collaged Box created by me was won by: Kate North!

The Expression magazine with my autographed article was won by: Gunnel Svensson : )))

And . . . the Fabric Collage created by me, especially for this give-away was won by . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Barbara Roberts - wow! CONGRATULATIONS to ALL!

~ Thanks to everyone who left a comment to let me know why you enjoy visiting this blog. Your kind words were appreciated very much . . . If I do not have your mailing address already through the swaps I will contact you over the weekend - or feel free to contact me first -happy day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Forest Quilties - Fabienne Lunel, FRANCE



This is Fabienne's first Creative Swap, and my first participant from France! What lovely fabric work you have created for our swap, Fabienne -thank you for joining us. Fabienne typed up a description that she added to each of her quilties:

Foret d'automne (automn forest)
First, I thought about the colors of the forest during automn: orange, red, brown. yellow and green. Then I imagined the noise you make when you walk in the dead leaves and the wind in these leaves.



That's why I used brown paper and nylon organza in different colors for leaves. The quilting represents the whirl of wind in the forest. I hope you will love this quiltie. It's the first time I trade this kind of work. (please excuse my bad English!)-Fabienne: http://fabiennelblog.blogspot.com/


Fabienne also enclosed a beautiful fabric ATC for me as a hostess gift - Thank you, Fabienne! I treasure this!

Forest Quilties - Andrea Millington,Cornwall, UK



This is Andrea's 3rd Creative swap and we are so glad to have her participating. I have a couple of photos/scans to show you here of her quilties (click on them for a larger photo/scan), but please go and visit Andrea's blog, Indigo Blue, for a really great description on how she made her Forest Quilties. I love that Andrea has added Nature Printing to her quilties, and so appreciate that she created an extra one for me - thanks!!!


Forest Quilties - Janice Perkin, Warrington, UK

Janice is another Creative Swaps participant who is completing her 10th swap with the Forest Quilties swap - wow. Congratulations, Janice! Below are the swaps Janice has participated since I started this blog . . . and she lives in the UK! (more effort for her to send to the USA, I think)

7/31/07 -Garden ATCs
11/5/07 -Mother Goose ATCs
3/22/08 -Tallulah's card/postcard
4/26/08 -White Quilties
5/24/08 -AB Design ATCs
7/19/08 -Brown & Blue Quilties
8/9/08 -Itty Bitty Collage
8/30/08 -Row House Swap
9/20/08 -Sunshine quilties
11/29/08 -Forest Quilties


Janice was so kind . . . She made me an extra piece of hand dyed silk as a hostess gift, thanks so much Janice. I don't think you will mind if I use it in my fabric art!

Janice wrote to me when she sent her quilties:
Hi Lenna - I loved doing these. Hand dyed my fabrics to catch the shades of the forest. Our pine forests always seem to reflect a purple light to me even on bright days. I do like dyeing! Enjoy this dyed silk, Janice.










I really like the quiltie with the feather . . . click on any photo for more detail!



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