Monday, January 31, 2011

Custom Collage

When someone special has a birthday, a regular card just won't do. That's why I made a special collage for my friend, Chris. She's not just a 'friend', but a lifelong friend...since we were 11 years old, in fact. (Forgive me if I don't tell you how many years that's been :) Now we have the pleasure of watching the friendship between our sons; my three and her two. It's quite a houseful when we all get's wonderful.

Creating custom collages really is a joy. There's something very special about using images of those you know and love.

Custom artwork is offered through my website, My Collage Art.

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Artful Blogging

The Spring 2011 issue of Artful Blogging by Somerset Studios has arrived on my doorstep. I am honored to have my blog featured among such talented artists. The photographs in this magazine are stunning.

My article covers three spreads and focuses on my entry into the world of blogging and the reason I enjoy it as much as I do.

I highly recommend this will not be disappointed. I share space in this issue with some of my favorite artists: Kelly Campbell-Lish, Samantha Kira Harding and Mindy Lacefield. What fun to be in such good company!

And special thanks to the editor, Jennifer Jackson. Working with Jennifer is always such a pleasure!

Images © Stampington, Inc and Nancy Lefko

Friday, January 28, 2011

Illustration Friday ~ SURRENDER

Ahhh...sweet SURRENDER.

I encourage you to visit the Illustration Friday website, follow the links and find all of the wonderful artwork and blogs.

©Nancy Lefko

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Collections: Part One

As I was ironing tablecloths today, my mind began to wander and I thought about my many collections -- vintage tablecloths for one. I started a mental inventory of the collections I house and began to others collect too? And so, I thought I would share with you some of my collections and ask, "What do you collect?"

I have collected McCoy Pottery for a number of years. I've found many pieces in antique shops, but the bulk of my collection hails from Ebay. I have a few favorite colors and prefer the vases and planters from the 1940's and '50's.

A friend of mine turned me on to the beauty of vintage hankies and I like to display them around the house. You'll notice they share space with McCoy pottery, and a couple of head vases on the shelf above.

Then there are the birthday angels from the 1950's. I collect every July angel that I can find and have received a few as gifts. (You guessed it, I'm a July baby. My first angel was one that I received as a child that hails from the 1960's...I'll bet you can pick it out of the crowd.) I also have a boy angel for each of my sons' birthday months. Hubby is represented too as he shares a birth month with our oldest.

So, there is a peek at some of my collections....more to follow.

What do you collect?

Images © Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Love Endures

This canvas started last week and I have already shared some of the WIP photos with you. Here is the finished product and another look at its progression.

I had all intentions of keeping this canvas for myself, but with such a strong Valentine's Day feel to it, I have decided to list it in my Etsy shop and when time permits, make another for myself.

I hope you are enjoying your Valentine's Day preparations...maybe those include decorating, baking, shopping? And always remember..."love endures."

© Nancy Lefko

Monday, January 24, 2011

Great Offer from "Art Is...You"

WIN BACK YOUR REGISTRATION TO ART IS...YOU: THE EAST-WEST COAST ART RETREATS! - Anyone who has already registered and anyone who registers from now until midnight on January 31st will go into a drawing to win back their complete registration. Don't waste another minute - secure your place today!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

WIP's Continued

Grabbing a few moments here and there over the course of this weekend, my current WIP's have been rolling along. The first is another sample for my "Mixed Media Farmer's Market" workshop at "Art Is...You: The East Coast Retreat" to be held in Danbury, CT this October. This piece, when finished, will most likely take up residence in my kitchen until October.

I am also working on the first in a series that will feature inspirational affirmations...statements that I believe in and that help me to soldier on...and will also find a place in my home.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snow Day in the Studio

The night before last I awoke at 3:08 am, unable to fall back to sleep. I lay awake thinking about a myriad of things and eventually my muse took over and creative ideas began to emerge. Upon getting up to rouse the kids for school at 5:30 am, I quickly took a piece of scrap paper from my art desk and roughly sketched out the idea my muse had planted in the wee hours of the morning.

One of the benefits of a snow day is the feeling that I can take the day off from (some) of my household duties and enjoy time in my studio. Today, thanks to my insomniac muse, I knew exactly what I would begin.

I am also working on another canvas that I had started a few days ago. OK, I like these snow days. But come June, when we have days to make up, you may have to ask me again.

© Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Day Journaling

A snow day...a no school day...still has an allure all these years later. Because when the kids can enjoy a lazy day, my frantic pace slows a bit too. I can take some time in my studio, prep a canvas and create a couple of journal pages.

These two pages were inspired by workshops taken with Pam Carriker. The "Shades of Gray" class, via Creative Workshops that I finished quite a while ago and the current "Recycled Journal Pages" Workshop via the Visual Journal Online Workshop Series by Strathmore Artist Papers.

As always, I am most grateful for Pam's inspiring workshops!

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's Here!

The wait is over! Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker has made it's way to my doorstep. It hardly seems possible that my artwork was sent to Pam over a year ago. The time really has flown by, but the last few days waiting for the book to arrive have crawled at a pace slower than slow.

When I saw the package, it was like Christmas morning and I opened it with joyful anticipation. It was packaged so carefully...peeking out from behind the bubble wrap.

Pam's book is a treat for the eyes. The assortment of art from SO many talented artists is amazing. I looked through it page by page, and will wait for a quiet house and a good cup of coffee to devour it cover to cover.

I am forever grateful to Pam for including me on this journey and to have contributed my small part to this book.

© Interweave Press

Friday, January 14, 2011


I love Fridays! It is the one day of the week, when the kids are at school AND I have no pressing responsibilities. I can actually afford a few hours...uninterrupted my studio creating. I've had this mixed media collage in my mind for so long. (It's even been on my "to do" list so I wouldn't let the idea slip through the cracks in my otherwise impeccable memory :) And today was the day that "eggplant collage" can be crossed off that list.

Creating this type of mixed media still life is one of the workshops I will be teaching at Art Is...You: The East Coast Retreat come October. The workshop is entitled, "Mixed Media Farmer's Market" and it would be my pleasure to meet you there!

© Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recycled Journal Page

Always looking for new inspiration and direction in my art, I am currently taking Pam Carriker's "Recycled Journal Pages" Workshop via the Visual Journal Online Workshop Series by Strathmore Artist Papers.

As an artist and instructor, Pam never disappoints. She always brings a new twist to a medium or technique and can really get the creative juices flowing. In this workshop, she guides the learner in using previously created journal pages as collage fodder for new pages. Pages with their own unique voice.

The journal page pictured above was created using bits and pieces from the pages below. Some pages, you will see, were printed in black & white, not in their original color; another is from my "Shades of Gray" journal (another class taken with Pam) and there is also a scan of a background from a page in progress.

I encourage you to sign up for these wonderful, and free (yes, FREE) online classes. What a great way to while away a snowy afternoon.

Gracious thanks to Pam and Strathmore!

©Nancy Lefko

Monday, January 10, 2011

Illustration Friday ~ DEJA VU

"Betty slipped into a dry martini one night diving for the olive," and thought, "Have I been here before?"

I encourage you to visit the Illustration Friday website, follow the links and find all of the wonderful artwork and blogs.

©Nancy Lefko

Art Journaling by Somerset Studio

The Winter 2011 issue of Art Journaling by Somerset Studio has arrived and I am, once again, thrilled to have contributed to this issue.

This contribution was special, in that it was a collaborative article between myself and two very talented artists, Pam Carriker and Carrie Todd. It was great fun to create together, sending our images and messages back and forth via email, encouraging each other along the way.

Our journal pages are unique, but our love of art journaling is the same.

Images © Stampington, Inc and Nancy Lefko

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sweet Storage

For the longest time I have wanted an artful way to store my ever-growing necklace collection. When I ran across an idea in a magazine for using vintage doorknobs as "hooks" on a shelf, I had the answer.

Why not take my collection of vintage glass doorknobs and attach each to a decorative wood block...and voila'...sweet storage!

After priming the wood blocks, I painted them dark brown and when dry, rubbed candle wax on the edges and raised surfaces. Two coats of ivory paint later, I used a Scotch-Brite pad to sand the edges and give them a distressed look. Hubby drilled out the centers of the blocks and figured out how to attach the doorknobs securely. (It involved threaded rods, nuts and washers, I think :)

With sawtooth hangers on the back, they were ready to hang. Ahhh...I can't tell you how happy I am to have my necklaces at the ready; not getting tangled in my jewelry box nor taking up room spread out on my dresser. And I think they look great too!

(But I'm still on the lookout for a vintage dress dummy...a girl can't have too much storage, you know :)