Saturday, June 28, 2008

An update from Lenna!

I have about 8 or 9 packages here to open and scan (or photograph) & most of them are from the Grimm Brothers Collage swap, which was due in my hands today. I have not opened any of these most recent packages yet, but I will soon! I think I have emailed everyone, but if you have any doubts on whether your swap pieces made it here on time please email me.

It is going to take me a couple of days to finish recording the entries and decide on a first prize winner -a very hard task! I will keep you posted. My goal is to be mailing the Alpha Stamp Grimm Brothers swaps out one week from today, on Saturday July 5th. I am going to scan all of the remaining swaps, but I will institute a change in how I manage creative swaps going forward . . .
  • I will only scan one or two pieces per participant for each swap in the future

I love showing off everyone's work and all of it too, but if I want to continue to host as many swaps as I do and share everyone's work, I am going to have to lessen my work load! I now realize it is the scanning or photographing, the cropping & resizing, and the uploading of numerous pieces that is stealing too much of my time. I need to be spending more time creating and finishing my new website that will showcase my on-line/email classes. SO! I figured the best way to do what I want and need to do, would be to do the same thing, but cut out the part that is sucking up my time. Hosting creative swaps is a volunteer position I have given myself, but it is very important to me. So, this is how I figure I can continue doing it and everything else I need to. I myself will miss seeing EVERYTHING on-line that participants create, but . . . I must make this change! Thanks in advance for understanding. yours, creatively, lenna

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Grimm fairytale 5x5 Collage swap: Fiona Brockie

Fiona Brockie from Aberdeen, Scotland has made some very cool 5" x 5" collages! For me, to think about a winner for the most creative collages is getting harder and harder as time goes on, and more outstanding and beautiful things come in. I will try to keep my head on straight! Everyone will receive a gift for participating from Alpha Stamps, but one participant will win a First Prize, and Leslie has asked me to choose -yikes! Saturday the 28th of June is the last day for me to receive collages, as that is the 'received by' deadline day.

Fiona's swap pieces are very appealing to me because while she has used a sturdy card stock base, there is wadding or batting in the middle and a fabric layer sewn on the top. Fiona has also elected to use fabric collage images from the Brothers' Grimm collection. These are so nice and soft to the touch! She used a clear transparency sheet too, called Cinderella Borders that really adds a great look to her collages. There is also iridescent fibers, gold thread stitching, hand sewn buttons, beading and text from Cinderella printed onto fabric - wow!!! Click on any scan for more detail!

Fiona also made this ATC for me below, besides making extra collages. Thank you so much, Fiona!

Itty Bitty Collage swap: Betty Lou Cassidy

From Egg Harbor Township, NJ -Betty Lou Cassidy sends in 6 Itty Bitty (3"x 3") collages plus an extra one. Thank you, Betty Lou! The edges of Betty Lou's collages are covered with what feels like sand, and they all have a decidely summer-time feel or theme. I appreciate you sending in early! This swap is due in my hands by August 9th.

Enjoy the scans of Betty Lou's Itty Bittys and click on any scan for a more detail picture.

Grimm fairytale 5x5 Collage swap: Naomi Healing

From Naomi Healing in Portland, Oregon we have received 4 wonderful collages for the Brothers Grimm swap, plus an extra 5x5 collage for Leslie at Alpha Stamps -- and . . . a small canvas with a similar design for me! Wow, thank you Naomi.

At first I could not figure out what image Naomi was using from the Grimm Brothers' collage sheets on her collages. But when I took a closer look, I saw she had used images from the castle sheets and cleverly cut them apart into strips!

Naomi made this beautiful small canvas for me (to your left). thank you! She also made an extra collage for Leslie at Alpha Stamps, see below. Click on any collage for more detail.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Grimm fairytale 5x5 Collage swap: Carol Stocker

From Carol Stocker in Omaha, NE, we have some absolutely wonderful 5 x 5 collages for our Alpha Stamp Grimm fairytale 5x5 swap! Carol has really gone all out with these . . . as far as the fabric transfer backgrounds she did and the little shink plastic charms . . . the text/story on the back . . . I just love what she has created!

CLick on each photo to get a better look, and to read the clever sayings Carol included : )


Shades of Spring/ Brown + Blue Quilties: Martha Franklin

From Martha Franklin in Virginia, we have 4 lovely shades of spring (brown & robin egg's blue) quilties. Martha handpainted her quilties with acrylics. The tree on each quiltie is free form stitched. Martha also made me a beautiful tag - see below - click on any picture for more detail!

Grimm fairytale 5x5 Collage swap: Dottie Mucha

My neighbor, Dottie Mucha, has delivered to my doorstep 4 collages for the Brothers Grimm fairytale swap plus 2 extra collages in the same design as the first; 1 for Leslie at Alpha Stamps & 1 for me -thank you, Dottie!!

Dottie tells me she never allows herself to look at the swaps blog until she has finished her pieces. Such restraint! I don't know if I could do that . . . I would be sure to be taking a peek just to see what everyone else was doing : )

I love the idea Dottie has come up with, so maybe her method does have a lot of merit. On each of her collages Dottie has include a window, complete with a clear covering. It looks great and gives her an additional area to work in.
Thank you, Dottie! Your collages are beautiful.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Grimm fairytale 5x5 Collage swap: Bella Ayers

Wow! Miz Bella, one of the moderators of the Alpha Stamps yahoo group -AND the Alpha Stamps Design Team Coordinator has joined us for this swap and created 4 simply gorgeous collages! Please note: she created these beauties while corralling 3 OomPA LoOmpas (her children!) and packing up to move to a new home. Yikes!

Bella teases me and calls me one of the "art pod ladies" because I create so much art, but in fact, I think she is the art pod lady! Iam really impressed with her entries. Bella has used sheer fabric to cover her illustration boards which when combined with the bits of paint she added, make them so touchable and downright lovely! Thank you Bella and much luck with your move to a new home!

Grimm fairytale 5x5 Collage swap: Vickie Jones

This is the last week for me to receive pieces for our Alpha Stamps Grimm fairytale 5"x5" collage swap. The in-my-hands deadline is this Saturday, June 28th. Wow, can you believe we've reached the end of June, already???

In today's mail there was a large package from Vickie Jones filled with 2 -sets of 4- Grimm fairytale collages and lots of extra collages! Vickie is new to creative swaps and she enclosed a really lovely note with her collages. I'd like to share part of it with you . . .

"Dear Lenna, Thank you so much for inspiring me to truly adventure outside my confort zone. I have always loved crafts and sewing but have never "adventured" any further . . .

Thanks to your site I gained the courage to try . . . . and that I did! I am a quilter and a scrapbooker . . . and now I enjoy the multi-media arts! I went "crazy" and completed twelve Brothers Grimm cards -- 8 to swap and 4 for you and Alpha Stamps . . . . I hope you enjoy these pages as much as I enjoyed creating them!"

Well, the answer to that is easy, Vickie! Your collages are varied, using angelina, eyelash fibers, my favorite flowers and leaves from Alpha Stamps - wow! I love what you have created and feel honored I could help you venture into a new artistic & creative outlet. Awesome!

Below you'll find the back of one of the collages above (wonderful!) and then more of Vickie's Alpha Stamps Brothers Grimm collages --please click on any scan to see more detail. ThanK you very much, Vickie and welcome to creative swaps. Looking forward to your art for the Itty Bitty collages, Row Houses and the sunshine quilties!

WOW!! great job, vickie!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Grimm fairytale 5x5 Collage swap: Margaux Lashbrook

Margaux Lashbrook from Scotland, UK has sent in 4 collages for our swap, plus two extra - wow!
Margaux told me she loves the Brother's Grimm tales, but found herself getting rather cynical while creating her collages! Below is the back of one . . .

Margaux wrote me an email to explain her motivation while creating her swap pieces: "It started with the first one, having neatly drawn and cut out a silver slipper to add to the Cinders picture, I thought of the high heels so beloved in my youth and which I have recently rediscovered the joy of wearing! So I had to make some high heeled fluffy totally impractical creation instead, which led to the thought of Manolo Blahnik. (Note -this is a fancy shoe designer for those like me who are not in-the-know) Having created one slightly silly collage it seemed appropriate to continue the theme, and since Cinderella is all about 'being rescued by your prince', a concept I am not in favour of, preferring to advocate independence and freedom to live your life, the cynicism naturally won out. Having said that I do love romance! So, to answer the obvious questions, the answer is yes, I am separated, and I do absolutely detest ironing......... All the collages that are coming in look fantastic. It must be such fun for you to see these arrive."

YES! This really is one of the best parts of hosting swaps for me, Margaux is right. I love seeing what everyone comes up with when given a theme and I really enjoyed seeing Margaux's take on this theme. If you click on the pictures you may be able to read the funny things Margaux added . . . .

"Oh dear, too late! Don't let him stifle your creativity."

"He found his true bride. Run my dear! He just wants you to do his ironing!"

"At your feet? Keep him there!"

Thanks very much, Margaux, for joining us : )

The images Margaux used come from these collage sheets on this page at Alpha Stamps -Midnight #1, The Ball #2 and The Happily Ever After.


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