Wednesday, June 29, 2011

two new swaps announced

Please take a look at the previous two posts to see what is up next at creative swaps!
I will be adding additional ATC swaps for August & September, but wanted to get these up straight away. The July ATC swap is a quick turn-around with a due date of August 6th. You will have more time to create for the subsequent ones! I hope you enjoy. I have worked hard to organize everything up front so that the swaps will run smoothly but if you have any questions please let me know. My email is in both swap announcements. Thanks! Now I will write a quick email for the newsletter to alert them of the new swaps and then go relax and visit with my sister & family! ; ^ ) lenna

new creative monthly swap: ATCs (colour my world)

Creative Swaps Monthly ATC Swap
(Artist Trading Card Swap)
July 2011 ~ Colour my world

  • A 3 for 3 ATC Swap! Make 3 ATCs out of fabric, paper or both.
  • They may be identical – or - different from each other.
  • Receive 3 ATCs in return.
  • The July 2011 Theme is: Colour my world ___________.
  • You will fill in the blank with one color. This color can be monochromatic, if you like. “A monochromatic color scheme uses only one hue (color) and all values (shades or tints) of it for a unifying and harmonious effect”. Your set of 3 ATCs can all be created using the same color -or create them based on different colors. Write whatever color you are using on the back of your ATCs as part of the ATC swap title, “Colour my world _________”.
  • All ATCs are due IN my Mailbox no later than August 6. This is a firm deadline and I will sadly return any late swaps to the sender. Whatever is in my hands on August 6th is what I will swap. There are no exceptions to this rule, so please mail early!
  • TWO sets of 3 is the maximum you can submit. You must register for each set, $5.00 per set. Simply register twice on the creative swaps blog if you plan to send in 2 sets.
Registration for this swap is closed 07/31/11. To register: Use the ‘Add to Cart’ PayPal button on the registration page of the blog: http://creativeswaps.blogspot.com/p/registration.html. This page can now be accessed by a tab at the top of the blog too. The $5.00 fee (special price) to register for this swap is your non-refundable payment for postage, handling and complete information including a mini lesson pertaining to this swap. What is here on the blog is an abbreviated version. PayPal is a free on-line banking service, you can find out more here: https://www.paypal.com/ The $5.00 registration fee covers return mailing of one set of 3 ATCs, both within the USA and internationally.

When your payment is received you will receive an automatic email confirmation from 'e-junkie' for your swap registration with a link to any pdf files you need for the swap. Please make sure your PayPal email is correct or you will not receive important swap information vital to your participation! Doing this is your responsibility. If the email you have listed with PayPal is not the correct one for me to correspond to, please email me your preferred email. If you have sent in a PayPal registration and have not received confirmation within 24 hours please Email me lenna@creativelenna.com directly.

Make 3 ATCs in your chosen colour(s)
  • All ATCs must be sized 2.5” x 3.5” (6.4 cm x 8.9 cm)
  • your design can be in either landscape or portrait orientation
  • your ATCs can be all fabric, all paper, or combine them
  • Image transfers and transparencies are fine
  • Painting, collage, drawing, sewing, zentangles, rubber stamps, photography: any and all mixed media techniques are acceptable
  • your ATCs can be of ALL the SAME design, ALL different, or a mix
  • All ATCs should be handmade and not photocopies
As the swaps arrive, I will photograph or scan your ATCs and post them on the creative swaps blog. By registering for the swap and sending in your ATCs you are giving me permission to post your artwork on the creative swaps blog -with credit to you, of course! If you have a blog or website and you post your ATCs for the swap, you can send me the direct link and I will add it to your post on the creative swaps blog. I can add a description of your techniques to the creative swaps blog, if you send me an email with the info. I really prefer an email description if at all possible, as hand written directions are sometimes hard to decipher and whatever you write in an email I can copy & paste, making it easier to add to your post.

This swap is limited to 50 players and due in my hands August 6, 2011.
If you do not make the deadline you will not be included in the swap. All swap returns will be mailed back to you promptly within 7-10 days, if not sooner. Hope to see you in this fun swap!

new creative swap: postcard mail art!

creative swaps postcard mail art swap
due September 17th 2011  - registration is closed 9/15/11

  • Create 3 postcards on a summer’s day theme using any media. Paint, dye, watercolour crayons, fabric, colored pencils, digital art, poetry, charcoal, collage, various papers, quotes, rubber stamps, stencils, photography, magazine images, recycled book pages, drawing, printmaking and sewing: any and all mixed media techniques are acceptable.
  • ‘A summer’s day’ can be a real day, an imagined day, a summer day that you wish for, one that you are planning . . .
  • Your postcards can be simple or elaborate and any style of mail art postcard is okay. Beginners are welcome to join this swap, but the quality of your work must be something you are proud of and something I can proudly swap! I reserve the right to return swaps not made with effort and care.
  • Receive 3 postcards in return, sent individually through the mail – you send your postcards to me in one envelope, I send the returns back individually.
  • Postcards may be identical –or- different from each other.
  • Create your own postcards out of fabric or paper, or recycle already made postcards. Add your art or alter them in some way based on the summer’s day theme.
  • This swap is limited to 50 players and due in my hands September 17, 2011. This is a firm deadline and I will return any late swaps to the sender. Whatever is in my hands on September 17th is what I will swap. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  • TWO sets of 3 postcards is the maximum you can submit. You must register for each set: $10.00 per set. Just register twice on the creative swaps blog if you plan to send 2 sets. Return postage to international and US destinations is covered through your registration if you don’t want to add postage stamps yourself.
  • Much more info and instruction will be sent automatically after registering!
To register: (closed) Use the ‘Add to Cart’ PayPal button on the registration page of the blog: http://creativeswaps.blogspot.com/p/registration.html. You can also access the registration page by a tab at the top of the blog. The $10.00 registration fee is your non-refundable payment for postage, handling, documentation on the blog, a lesson on mail art and complete information pertaining to this swap. What's here on the blog is an abbreviated version of what you need to know! PayPal is a free on-line banking service and easy to use, learn more here: https://www.paypal.com/

When your payment is received, you will receive an automatic email confirmation from 'e-junkie' for your swap registration with a link to the pdf file you need for the swap. Make sure your PayPal email is correct and can be mailed to or you will not receive very important swap information vital to your participation! This is your responsibility. If you have sent in a PayPal registration and have not received confirmation within 24 hours please Email me: lenna@creativelenna.com directly.

As the swaps arrive, I will photograph or scan your postcards and post them on the creative swaps blog. By registering for the swap and sending in your postcards you are giving me permission to post your artwork on the creative swaps blog - with credit to you, of course! If you have a blog or website and you publish your postcards for the swap, you can send me the direct link and I will add it to your post on the creative swaps blog.

This swap is limited to 50 players and due in my hands September 17th, 2011. If you do not make the deadline you will not be included in the swap. All swap returns will be mailed back to you promptly within 7-10 days, if not sooner. Hope to see you register!  : ^ ) lenna

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A bonus video for you

I was not sure I was going to do this with such a large swap . . . .
but I could not help it - I did it!

Some instructions: This is a HD (High Definition) video at 720pHD. Just click on that number on the screen if your computer prefers 480p or 360p. Next to the numbers in the right corner of the screen is a little box. If you click on it you can view the video in Full-Screen. Just hit the Esc key when you are done. It is over 5 minutes long, but I think well worth every minute. I am sorry for misspelling "Maryland, USA" twice! I could not go back and fix the spelling after I realized it, as I had  finally gotten one photo from everyone included in the song and the video was already produced.... enjoy!

I am really proud of the Little Book swap and you should be too! ; ^ ) lenna



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Little Books all sent! ; ^ )

Yes, it is true. All of the little books are swapped, packaged and SENT to their new homes. I went to the smaller post office this morning and halfway through all the weighing and figuring out of postage, I remembered with a jolt that this little branch took only cash or check -NO credit cards, eeep! I counted my money with a racing heart and ended up having enough cash to mail all but one package. I carried it back to my car, went grocery shopping & got cash back, put the groceries in the car and went back to mail the last package. Sheesh! But everything worked out very smoothly (I am very happy to say) and you should have your swap packages in your hands before too long.

When you receive your swaps, my wish would be that as soon as possible you take a minute and acknowledge who you received from. This is the kind and thoughtful thing to do. Think of the time you spent on yours, wouldn't you like to hear from who has them now? Most emails are somewhere, either on a card or directly on the book. By doing this you might find a new friend or a new blog to look at. If you know the maker of your book you can cherish an old friend. Or you could strike up a conversation with someone who's like minded and find a new snail mail art pen pal. If you cannot write to everyone, please at least leave a comment here so I know you have received your package. That will give you a chance to say thanks too!

What's next you say? I do have plans, they just need to be set up. For a hint, you can look at our new Registration Page on this blog. In a few days time there will be more info!

Thanks so much. lenna


Monday, June 20, 2011

1/2 sent - ALL swapped!

Yes, this is good news! It is hard to believe, but right before dinner tonight I got the very last 3 swap packages swapped, wrapped, addressed and packaged up. Hooray! Steven said perhaps we should "invest" in clear packing tape at the rate I was using it, ha! : ^ )

Earlier this morning on my way to my Nia dance class I left extra early so I could stop at the post office. Once there I grabbed the customs forms I needed. I had filled out 2 at home but I needed 12 more!!!!!! Got 'em filled out and stood in line hoping & praying for the "nice" postal clerk, Theresa. Someone heard me because she helped me with all 25 packages without blinking an eye. We even laughed together! There were 14 international and 11 domestic packages sent this morning without a hitch!

Here is what's left to send -

A bag & a box - 23 more domestic packages that will be sent tomorrow morning. 
Not too shabby. Really, this went a lot better than I sometimes imaged. The Little Book swap was more of a challenge because of the number of participants - 49. But I still go about making the "swaps" as I always do. You can see my "list" there in the box. I try to trade you a piece I think you will love or at least appreciate, based on your style and what YOU make. Whomever you have received from - they have a piece of yours. So no matter how busy you are, please try to drop them a line . . . okay? It's just nice! And of course I would love your feedback. I may try a little book swap again (a few people have asked) but I would probably limit it to fewer participants.... I think this was an A+ swap, but man oh man, it was a lot of work! Partly my fault as I want to show as much as possible. Bottom line: All of you in the swap REALLY made it worth it. I have no complaints.

The late packages sadly have still not arrived. When they do I can trade them with each other and thanks to your generosity, I do have a few extra little books here. We also sadly had one participant whose envelope opened in transit and arrived here EMPTY. I plan to send her a book or 2 when all the late packages are in. 

Thanks! creative swaps would truly be nothing if it was not for your fine participation,
you rock!!!!!!!!!!!!
xo lenna 


Sunday, June 19, 2011

working on it! {little books}

Just writing to tell you I have completely swapped and packaged up about 1/2 of all the participant's swaps. I concentrated on getting the International packages done first as they have the farthest to travel . . . and then I did a bunch more. It is great that everything is working out so well as far as the exchanging . . . the only thing is it does take a bit of time to swap 49 packages! I don't have to send my own out, so really only 48 to package up. Tomorrow, I'll bring what I've got done to the post office and later in the day work on this some more. I want the swap to be finished and in your hands as much as you do . . .  so you'll be holding a swap package in your hands very soon!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

update 6.18.11

While Steven was messing about with boats . . .
(that is his little sailing canoe in the front here)

I was messing about with little books! 
** 49 sets of little books! **
151 handmade books in total 

I did get 8 packages completely swapped, sealed up and addressed this afternoon,
with a bunch more partially done. Steven came home and then we went to visit my mom & dad. Dad is doing alright, looking better in fact -he's been dealing with cancer for some time now. We chatted, came home & had some wine, had dinner and watched Glee on our Raku -via streaming Netflix. We don't have TV, but I am hooked on that show Glee!

Anyway, I will get back to the packaging of books tomorrow, promise. I appreciate all your support on how I run my swaps. It is not always easy (you cannot please everyone) but I think it's the right way to do it and I am so grateful most of you agree!
thank you - xo lenna 




Little Book Swap is closed.

Today is June 18th and the Little Book Swap is officially closed. I went to the mailbox earlier, hoping a package or two that had not arrived yet would be inside. Unfortunately, there were no swap packages at all in my mailbox today. I am sorry to say, that two or possibly three packages did not arrive on time. If they do arrive next week, I will swap what I can with any other late packages and/or any extra swap pieces given to me that I can spare. Late arriving little books that could not be swapped will be returned.

I'll actually start working on the physical swapping out part of all the little books this afternoon! Steven is busy having fun at a local boat "mess-about" so the timing for me to start right away is good. I am very sorry for those of you who sent but either did not allow enough time or found the post office did not come through for you as you thought. I will stand by my mailing instructions given to you when you register: Please allow 5 - 7 days mail time within the USA and 7 - 14 days outside of the USA; must reach me by June 18th. Note: sometimes mail to Canada has taken up to 3 weeks lately.  Mail is generally slow to reach me here in Florida and I cannot be responsible for mailing time, nor can I wait for any delayed mail. Late mail will be returned. Mail EARLY!!

This is a big job but I'm up for it. I'll keep you posted! : ^ ) lenna

Friday, June 17, 2011

#49. lenna andrews - little book swap!

Yup, I am participating in my own swap! Wasn't sure if I would be able to pull it off, but I did. I made 3 little books out of recycled materials. You might remember about a month ago I realized I need to remove pages from my already bulging art journal. I wrote a post about doing that here. Those 3 small little books I started kept calling to me, saying -we are halfway done! So this is what I did . . . I started with the pages I had removed, cut in half, and sewed them with my sewing machine down the middle.


Then I rummaged around for suitable "cover" material and found some old, discarded jean material (Steven's worn out pants legs) that I had already used to test rubber stamping on. I don't remember what I was testing for, but I know that is why the jean fabric was stamped! It looked suitable for covers, so I cut it roughly to size.

I sewed the blue jean material to the paper pages . . . . leaving the edges raw.

 For one of the books I added some lace that I found along with the jeans.

I lined the inside covers with scrapbook paper

Rubber stamped some quotes and sayings and added decorative tape.


~ anchored a ribbon in the middle of the back by sewing it on . . . 

And tied it closed! 


Book 2





Book 3






That's it! A small little book, fun to make and I hope fun to receive for whomever!
:  ^ ) lenna



*One more day: Little Book swap!

*Tomorrow - 6/18/11- is my receiving deadline for the Little Books swap! I believe there are 2 or 3 packages out there that I'm hoping will arrive with tomorrow's mail. Unfortunately, if they don't arrive by the deadline, the late packages are not going to be part of the swap. I cannot extend deadlines for my creative swaps, so please do not ask! If a package is sent but does not make it to me by the deadline, I do my best to try to trade any extra swap pieces I have been given with the late person; and this is done outside of the swap. What I cannot trade, gets returned to the individual. This may sound rather strict and harsh, so I wanted the chance to explain why!

After many years of hosting swaps I have found the best way to run them for me was to pick a due date, stick with it and plan on swapping and exchanging whatever is here in my hands BY that due date. This has proven to be the most fair approach for those participating and also for me hosting. In the past, I have been held up by participants telling me they were sending their swaps -and either they never did send them, or the mail was messed up for some reason and their packages took forever to arrive: 10 days for a package sent priority! The entire group of participants who sent their swap pieces in on time was made to wait --and wait--and wait.
Definitely not a good way to run an exchange in my opinion! So now when I host a swap, I choose a due date and give the participant the responsibility to get their items here on time if they want to be part of the exchange. I certainly hope you understand. just wanted to clear that up. Thank you! ; ^ ) lenna

#48.Yvette Snowden -Little Book swap!

From Yvette in Maryland, 3 yummy little books for our swap! Plus, the butterfly you see behind them, is the cover of a very pretty card Yvette made for me. ; ^  ) It is much appreciated!


The cover of book one:

Painted and stenciled inside:


Book two:

 Yvette made it from "security" envelopes!

so pretty!

Book three:



Thanks so much, Yvette! Glad your books made it in on time ; ^ ) lenna

#47 Rena Matus - little book swap!

From my friend and student, Rena Matus in Connecticut, we have 2 lovely and unusual books! Rena recently took a class with Terrie Lightfoot (a CT artist I know & have exchanged with) and came up with these wonderful books for our swap. Rena writes, "The little books are made from acrylic squares that are backed with a gel medium transfer and scrapbook paper. The blank inside pages were colored with radiant rain by Luminarte." Rena so thoughtfully enclosed the absorbent papers she painted the pages on for me to play with. I  think they will be going right into my art journal, thank you! Take a look at her books, click for detail.
Book one





The back of book 1, below

The front of book 2






Thanks so much, Rena. They both look wonderful!

#46 Barbara Johnson - Little Book swap!

From Barbara in Illinois, we have 3 wonderful books that I just love. 
A great bit of Mail Art too!


I should have realized Barbara's drawing on the envelope was a sign of things to come.
Look at the cutest little book she enclosed, below.

All hand drawn and colored . . . 
Whee! Striped pants make me dance!
I just love this!

A Blue tag book . . . 
click for details 


And a flag book - or crisscross book, wow. One of my favorite books! 
The cover is kind of deceiving as to what's inside . . . 




Thank you Barbara! You've sent in 3 wonderful additions to the swap  ; ^ ) lenna

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