Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Postcards!

Don't ya just love getting goodies in the mail? I sure do. I was excited to open the package from Overnight Prints that contained my postcard order. Thanks to a GREAT sale on postcards, I was able to get a good size batch. I chose artwork for the postcards that represented my different styles of mixed media artwork: vintage vixen, art journaling and still life.

Receiving this box of goodies was such fun, I think it may be time to place a Dick Blick order. Yep, I do believe so!

© Nancy Lefko

Mixed Grill Favorites Podcast

It was my pleasure to chat with Cindy Jones Lantier, of Mixed Grill Favorites, about my creative life and all that it includes. My first podcast interview (with a few more uh's and you-know's than I'd like) is a little glimpse at my inspirations, techniques/materials that I like and how I find time (or don't!) for art in my busy life.

If you'd like to take a listen, you can do so at this link.

Image © Cindy Jones Lantier

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Are U up to Today? Wednesdays - No.2

After all of the errands and chores were done for the day (who am I kidding, there's still laundry in the dryer!) I stole a few minutes at my art desk to continue work on this piece. It's gettin' there...little by little.

Check out what Jen Osborn and others are up to today at "What Are U up to Today? Wednesdays." And maybe you'd even like to play along!

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What I Did Today

Today was a day much like any other Sunday. I wore many hats as I went through the day: mother, wife, Sunday school teacher, sports fan, cook, laundress; and today I was able to add artist to that list. I carved out a couple of hours to spend in my studio working on one of four backgrounds I began yesterday.

I don't often share my works-in-progress, but thought I would take an interim photo of this current WIP. This piece is one I am specifically creating for my own home. It has a long way to go to get to what I see in my mind's eye, and needs a bit of changing now that I see it in a photo! With any luck it will eventually be close to what I envision.

I have a busy week ahead, so it's anybody's guess when I will next have time in my studio. But stay tuned...because when it's finished I'll be sure to post a photo.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, March 25, 2011

Illustration Friday ~ TOY

With three boys at my house, one can barely cross the room without stepping on a TOY.

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

Collage, which was created with a Collage Play with Crowabout collage sheet, is available in my Etsy shop.

©Nancy Lefko

How Cool is This?

Look at this wonderful bookplate Pam Carriker is offering those who have her new book, Art at the Speed of Life. I especially love this coffee illustration...I am a coffee gal and can think of nothing better than curling up with Pam's great book and a cuppa joe.

If you are interested in a bookplate of your own, visit this post at Pam's website for more details.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Journal Fodder Junkies Challenge #3: Steppingstones

Challenge #3 at Journal Fodder Junkies is STEPPINGSTONES and is presented in this way:

"What have been your steppingstones – those significant moments of your life? What have been the moments when significant change or growth has occurred? What have these shifts meant for you and the direction of your life?"

The most significant change in my life was when I became a mother almost twenty years ago. Funny how you never quite master that is ever-changing and always throwing new curves.

A more recent change in my life happened five or so years ago when I decided to make a concerted effort in my artistic life. Now I balance the roles of mother, wife and artist along with other hats that I wear in any given week.

We are always facing changes and new shifts in the direction we thought was a sure and steady one. It is the love and devotion of my family and friends that keeps me on an even keel no matter how fierce the winds of change.

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Art Journal to the Rescue

What do you do when you have the have the desire...but you don't have any ideas?

Today I found myself in that dilemma. I had a couple of hours free to create in my studio, and yet after prepping surfaces (which then needed dry time) I had no idea what else to create. I didn't fret over my absent muse, but rather pulled out my art journal (and some new art supplies that were begging to be tried out) and off I went. No particular particular destination...just art for art's sake. That's the beauty of an art journal. It's always there whenever you feel the urge for creative play.

© Nancy Lefko

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Journal Fodder Junkies Challenge #2: Personal Mythologies

I am happy to participate in the challenges set forth by the Journal Fodder Junkies. The second challenge, PERSONAL MYTHOLOGIES, took a bit of reflection, but the question posed at the site helped me find the direction for my journal page.

"What are the stories that you have told yourself over and over to the point that you believe them and accept them?"

Sometimes the "self-doubt demons" get to whispering in my ear. They want me to believe that I am really not as capable as I would like to think; that I'm just putting on a good show, and in essence, just pretending.

The only way to shut them up is to work even harder, take on more challenges and do the very best I can in every area of my life.

Do you ever feel like you're just pretending?

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Workshops!

The Sharon Arts Center School of Art & Craft has published its Spring 2011 catalog and there are SO many wonderful workshops available.

I have the great pleasure of teaching Painted Fabric Collage: a 4 hour Saturday workshop on June 4th and Mixed Media Art Journals: a 3 session workshop beginning June 13th. I will also be teaching a 2 hour "make and take" in Art Journaling at the Open House on Saturday April 16 from 10 am-2 pm.

If you are in the Southern NH, northern MA or SE Vermont area, I'd love to meet you for some artful fun!

Illustration Friday ~ CULTIVATE

My hope is to CULTIVATE my soul as much as my garden, so that I may see growth in each.

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

Collage available in my Etsy shop.

©Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What Are U up to Today? Wednesdays - No.1

"Well, my bags are packed, I'm ready to go..."

No, I'm not "leavin' on a jet plane," just headed to our local retirement village tomorrow to participate in "Afternoons with Art," on behalf of the Sharon Arts Center. was spent gathering artwork, art journals, postcards and business cards to share; creating a flyer to hand out, and writing down thoughts on notecards for my presentation.

I have twice before made presentations to older folks at my church so I know what kind of audience to expect: gracious, thoughtful and kind. It will be a great day!

Thanks to Jen Osborn for starting "What Are U up to Today? Wednesdays." Although most of my days are not photo-worthy, I hope to participate as much as I can.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Mix it Up with Melange" Challenge ~ CHARTREUSE

This month's challenge over at the Melange Team Blog is CHARTREUSE. An easy topic for me, as it is my favorite color....well, at least it's in the top five. I love to use it in my artwork and especially love it in my clothing!

Head on over to the Melange Team Blog and take part in the challenge. It's open to all mixed media needn't be a team member nor a seller on Etsy. Hope to see you there!

Collage available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Beginning tomorrow, March 14, you can sign up for a wonderful art journaling adventure. 21 Secrets: An Art Journal Playground is an online course with professional artists, art therapists and art teachers collaborating to create a unique experience. It is hosted by Connie Hozvicka at Dirty Footprints Studios. By registering for 21 SECRETS you receive ALL 21 workshops at one time and you are able to pick and choose which ones you dive into first.

Take a peek and you'll want to treat yourself to the magic awaiting you at 21 Secrets.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Illustration Friday ~ STIR

Patsy created quite a STIR when she decided to wear black lace to the PTA meeting.

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

Collage available in my Etsy shop.

©Nancy Lefko

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lookie, Lookie

What fun to open the new issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine and see a full page ad for Pam Carriker's newly released book, Art at the Speed of Life. And even more see that my artwork is featured in the ad...and even my name!

Special thanks to my friend, Pam, for asking me to join her on this magical journey!

Images © Nancy Lefko and Interweave Press

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day #8 "Art at the Speed of Life" Blog Tour

I first “met” Pam Carriker years ago in an online Etsy forum where mixed media artists gather to chat. It wasn’t long before we joined in a collaboration of eight artists from across the country known as, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Canvas. Whether it was through that experience, or through daily snippets of online conversation, our friendship grew into the special bond we share today. That bond is made more special because we share so many commonalities. Both of us stay-at-home-moms to three sons, we share the emotions and challenges in watching our young men fly from the nest and enjoy the magic of our youngest still at home. We share joy in each other's art, online teaching experiences, writing for publications and art journaling. We each have a strong faith that guides us through our daily lives, and we have come to depend on each other as sounding board and confidante.

When Pam told me her plans to write a book it came as no surprise. She had already become an accomplished writer for Stampington publications and her online art workshops were wildly popular. I knew she had a wealth of talent and know-how to share and the drive and work ethic to get it done.

Pam lives an artful life while balancing home, family and various professional commitments. She strikes a balance that artists/mothers, such as myself, strive for.

Pam’s book, Art at the Speed of Life, offers insightful essays from nationally-recognized artists. The essays tackle issues such as creating an online presence and managing computer time, dealing with supplies, finding inspiration, art as a career, creating art on-the-go, art journaling and more. The projects that are sprinkled throughout the book offer a multitude of tried and true techniques with step-by-step instructions.

The essay I was asked to write deals with the “deadline dilemma.” It focuses on how I use organization, setting priorities and delegating household duties while juggling my hats of artist, writer, wife and mother. I certainly haven’t got all the answers, and often I wish I had more hours in the day. I still look to Pam as a role model; an artist who makes time for art every day, and reading her book gives insight into achieving just that!

I’ve learned many things as I’ve tried to create balance in my life. I’ve learned that asking my boys to help with my household tasks or occasionally serving sandwiches for dinner, doesn’t make me a bad mom. I know that it’s no crime if the same to-do list is carried over from day to day and it’s even okay to let the vacuuming wait until tomorrow. Now, if I can just find a way to use dust bunnies as collage elements, I’ll be all set.

Remember to visit the other blog stops along the way!

Crescendoh - Jenny Doh

Suzi Blu

The Altered Page

Suzan Buckner

Sue Pelletier Laugh*Paint

All Norah's Art

Faerie Enchantment

Always Chrysti

Lisa Bebi's Art Blog

Sweet Repeats

Living Out Loud

The Feathered Nest

Paulette Insall

The Art of Julie Bergmann

Gail Schmidt

Images © Pam Carriker, Interweave Press and Nancy Lefko

Monday, March 7, 2011

Box o' Artful Goodness

Today was my first morning volunteering at the Sharon Arts Center office as a Public Relations assistant. It felt great to be doing something to help out such a fabulous organization and to learn a new skill in the process. As if by way of reward for my volunteer work, I was greeted by a box on my doorstep upon my return home. Ooo la la...what fun to open this box from Stampington, Inc. So many wonderful art supplies I don't know where to start! Plus a beautiful art print by the very talented Lisa Kaus to add to my collection. Now, if only tucked inside that box were a few extra hours in the day. Oh well, maybe next time.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Etsy Shop Update!

After a rather stressful and busy week, I treated myself to some serious "studio time," yesterday and today.

It's funny how when I've been away from my art desk for awhile, I border on losing interest and have to force myself back into creating. But once I get involved, I don't want to stop! I am grateful for these past couple of days and many hours well spent in my studio.

I don't really like it when my muse and my initiative take a holiday. I'm glad they're back.

5 x 7 mixed media collages available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko

Friday, March 4, 2011

Journal Fodder Junkies Challenge #1: I Am

I am happy to participate in the first of the challenges set forth by the Journal Fodder Junkies. It's always fun to get a little prompt, or nudge, to set you off on a journaling path.

This challenge, "I AM", set me to thinking about who I am and where I have been, where I want to go and what I want to achieve. It also made me think of all the "hats" I wear on any given day, and who I am in relation to others. All in all, a fun challenge!

Why not join in the fun?

© Nancy Lefko

Illustration Friday ~ WARNING

You've received a WARNING. Approach at your own risk.

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

Collage available in my Etsy shop.

©Nancy Lefko

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mixed Media Monday ~ SHAPE-UP

SHAPE-UP is this month's challenge offered by Mixed Media Monday.

Whenever I add a "shape" to a piece of artwork, you can bet it's a circle. I especially love the little round foam "spouncer" that, when dipped into acrylic paint, makes a perfect circle as in this collage.

I am saddened to learn that this will be the final challenge from the wonderful folks at Mixed Media Monday. I'm so happy to have taken part in many of their great challenge ideas and grateful for their work and dedication in running this monthly challenge.

I encourage you to visit the Mixed Media Monday blog and view the wonderful creations inspired by this, the final prompt.

Collage available in my Etsy shop.

© Nancy Lefko