Thursday, December 28, 2006

I was just thinking this morning as I read my emails just how many talented, creative and inspiring people I meet on a daily basis. From photographers, to graphic artists, to poets, to mixed media artists, to quilters and jewelry artists and it continues into every possible imaginable area of art. Just think about it... every day I feel the energy of so many talented men and women. I love it.
So, in honor of this, I though I would mention a few that I may have forgotten over the past year.
First of all there is Janet Micek, a customer from Charlotte who had a story to tell in the latest Legacy publication from Somerset Publications.
She wrote about her love for her mother and sent along a project that she created, never expecting it to be featured in a full page article. It's a sincere & heartwarming tribute to her mother and to herself. Congratulations Janet for your work.

Over the holidays I received emails and links from other talented artists who shared their web sites with me. One of those is Fulvia Luciano
I met her through Jan Bode Smiley and Judy Sy when they visited her several weeks ago.
Fulvia is a mixed media artist who works mainly with fiber and photographs from her world travels. She explains her work quite elequantly and the galleries section is amazing. Please be sure to visit her website.
One of all all time favorite artists and friends, Martine House, forwarded us a link to some of her new work and we wanted to share that with you, too. We are fortunate enough that Martine lives in our area however with her busy, busy schedule she is not able to teach here as often as we would like. Please be sure to link onto her site to view her incredible work and see when she will be here teaching at Random Arts.

Now that the new year is almost upon us (less then 24 hours and counting) I can look forward to 2 months of "free time" when I can develop classes, work on new projects and get ready for Charlotte. One of the things that we are doing at both Myrtle Beach and Charlotte is teaching workshops at our hotel in the evenings. Stay in touch with us if you are in one of those two areas for the times, dates and descriptions of what we are doing.

For now, my very best wishes to you for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The moment that we have all been waiting for...Cloth•Paper•Scissors - Jan/Feb 2007 is here and our dear friend and customer's premier art work is on the cover. We have been awaiting this moment ever since Cheryl Prater told us that they had chosen her project. Not only is it on the cover but there are 6 full cover pages devoted to the Sixtyopoly Game that she created for her mother in law's 60th birthday. We saw the game when she brought it to show us back in August and my first thought was " let's get this in Cloth Paper Scissors". The process began and here it is. We have plenty of copies available here at the shop... but wait! It's not all about Cheryl. This is the first of the every other month publication and there is an article on quilting with paper monoprints, and artist profile with ricki arno, textured valentine assesmblages, The wonder of lutradur, muse-ical exchange, the power of RED and "My egg book".

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It was a day that I had been looking forward to and it always arrives just before Christmas. It's a special treat that is created with love, lots of sugar, and come straight from the heart... homemade toffee from Kristi Steiner! When I opened the box and saw this beautifully packaged toffee, presents, ribbons and bows all contained in a distressed tin pail, my heart skipped a beat. What a presentation, although it really was not a surprise that something so beautiful could be created by Kristi. Kristi has a way with color and the creative process, which is why we continue to have her come back to Saluda to teach. Now, on with the show.... here is the picture of her gift.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Unveiling #1 from Cheryl Prater is something that she created (of course) from her "sixtyopoly" game that will be featured on the cover of Cloth Paper Scissors Jan/Feb '07. But for right now you get to see the sweet gift that she gave me on Saturday.
You will learn about the entire process when you see the zine but in the meantime she took one of the pieces, her mother in law with wings, which is a game piece, and transformed it into an ornmament for me.
It's about 3" x 2" with beautiful ribbon. She has a wonderful source, Cafe Press, for turning her artwork into actual usable items such as cards, mugs,calendars, t-shirts and more.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Good morning........I am on a roll, can't you tell? A blog a day? Well, I hope I can continue as it seems that so much is going on and I have so much to share. When I was reading some of my first blogs I began to think that maybe I should add a photo of my "table" where I work/play and where all these pieces of art are created. As always the table is in shambles but it is the one place where I allow "my mess" to overflow. Thank goodness for the drawers on this awesome table and the shelves which serve me well. My friend Cathy Knothe sold me this table in September and after looking at it for several weeks, it found a place in my dining room. It is so perfect; yeah!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Along with Cheryl's unbridled enthusiasm for life, she brought along a little gift for me. As you see it here... it is a beautiful, altered unopened package. Even the package is a gift personalized with my name on the silver pieces. Tune in tomorrow to see what's inside.

Yesterday, our book art group got together for our annual holiday celebration. Betsy Libbey got us started with a short journaling exercise using Christmas as the topic. "What was your favorite Christmas present?" and " What do you want for Christmas?" Two questions and an hour worth of discussion and sharing among friends. Along with our journal exercise we devoured wonderful foods brought in by each of us and exchanged handcrafted holiday gifts.
I was the excited recipient of a 2 foot tall hand made grapevine christmas tree bedecked with miniature books as ornaments, created by Betsy Libbey. Other gifts included a beautiful knitted suede shawl made by Linda Hartzig, an altered book candle holder made by Linda Campbell, a nature inspired mica bird twig sculpture hand crafted by Meg Fowler, beautifully done handmade marbled paper journal by Monita Mahoney, a handmade altered book using fabrics and paper lovingly made by Penny Baugh. Gabe Cyr exchanged a beautiful collage that she had framed and Meg received my journal that I covered with a fabric scrap journal made of batiks, chiffon, gold stitching and beads.

On Saturday, December 9th, Cheryl Prater, of Atlanta, came to share the holiday spirit with me for the day. We brainstormed about upcoming events, newest techniques and what is going on in the industry. Cheryl will be featured on the COVER of the January issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. She has a great website, zoegraphicdesigns, that showcases her altered art, her assemblage, her stuff and her store. Her enthusiasm and upbeat energy is really, really contagious. Paul said it would be great if her and Jen were both here working at the same time. Oh boy!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I wanted to share some of my windchimes with you with a photo of my front porch. This picture was taken just a couple of days ago on a cold winter morning here in the mountains. One thing about these wind chimes is that they last forever. They have been outside when I lived in Chicago and now have been outside again for 14 years here in Saluda. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I have. Unfortunately, the sound of these lovely chimes isn't coming through your computer.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I have gotten some awesome inspiration recently and have put it to great use, as well. As you know, I am always getting new books in here at the shop and I try to look through each one of them and grasp onto something that "grabs" me. Last week, Bernie Berlin's new book, ARTIST TRADING CARD WORKSHOP really caught my attention. So, it has been by my side ever since. Bernie's dedication in the front of her book, says it all. She hopes this book inspires those who love art, to create art, to embrace every part of the process and to share a part of themselves with the world.
From the time I picked up the book I began to experiment with all of her fascinating techniques. She has organized each technique onto a 2 page spread with a step by step illustration and lots of samples. My first choice was to gesso magazine pages and then outline specific areas with my favorite tool, the black glaze pen. Very dramatic and just the right thing to do when you don't have to work with "rules". Just do it!
Thanks Bernie for getting me going and doing what I love. Visit Bernie's web site:
I have been thinking that we will need to get a group together over the winter and try out some of these techniques and then plan to trade our ATC's with each other. Sounds like fun, huh?

On another topic, our warm fall days have ended as of today. Cold, cold 21 degrees here in the mountains with roaring winds that are blowing my 10 foot tall pampass grass round and round. I always know when the wind is strong because the chimes on the front porch bounce about happily chatting with each other and sometimes keeping me up at night. These windchimes have been collected over the years and some of my favorite ones have come from a place in Arizona. Arcosanti is an interesting commune type community that merges architecture and environment along with work and play. Paolo Soleri is the founder of the concept, arcology. Men and women come from all over the world to participate. In exchange for the learning experience they work in the gardens, maintain the grounds, cook meals, and make these awesome bronze wind chimes/bells and garden pots from caliche. It is definitely worth a trip north of Scottsdale, AZ to experience this amazing space. Visit them at:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Good morning from sunny Saluda, North Carolina. What a beautiful day here in the mountains!
Last night I started a new project using the inspiration that I found in the newest book from C and T publishing, "Fabric Leftovers". With the awesome Moda fabric that I bought from Karen at Country Mercantile in Lowell, NC, I had a great start with color combinations. She sells these little packets of 5 or 6 pieces of Moda fabric, all color coordinated so of course I bought some not knowing what I would do with it. It spoke to me, what can I say? So after some cutting, tearing and shredding I pinned all the pieces to some muslin and started sewing it down. Along with that I added a transparency ink jet transfer of a crow. Love it! I guess it will be a book or something. Not quite sure. I'm still working on it and my plans are to add a little lace crown, some interesting words, some gingham red ribbon that I found in my stash and who knows what else might happen. It's just the beginning.
Having my new work table in the dining room in front of the window works! It's a mess in my DR but I needed to do it. Now I can walk through from the kitchen to the computer to the bedroom and look at what I am doing. How many projects can I get going at once? I am so excited to have this space. Claudine Hellmuth and Leslie Riley, both said in their books that having your creative space where you spend lots of time is the way to go. They were right!
Love it!. It's just the beginning. Thank you every one who encouraged me to find a place to play!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I guess Susan was right! She "gently" reminded" me that it was time to do more on my blog. Yes, she was right but the words were just not flowing. OK, OK I will make myself write. Once I sit down and do it I am fine with it. But the whole thing with "strangers" reading it is very scary to me. So, now you all know my insecurities about writing. Sad but true. I will try and live up to my own expectations.

We will be closed on Thanksgiving (Nov23) but we will be open for business on Friday, Nov 24th at 10am and again on Sat. Nov 25th and again on Sunday, Nov 26th from 1pm till 4pm.

As we look forward to 2007 our plans are to take Random Arts on the road starting with the Myrtle Beach Quilting Party in January. In February we will be taking our store to the Creative Palette in St. Marys, Georgia. The Charlotte Quilt Guild host their annual quilt show in March at the Latin School and we will be there selling our assorted goods. In April we head to Chicago for Quilt Fest and we are very anxious to get back to our home town and enjoy some of great food that we sorely miss. May leads us to to ART and Soul in Hampton, Va. Go to their web site and register now for some of the best workshops with the best teachers in the country. We will be there for the weekend bringing our shop to all of you and maybe taking a few classes as well.
After Art and Soul, Michael DeMeng returns to Saluda to jump start his new book on Thursday, May 10th and 2 full days of workshops on May 11th and 12th. Michael is an assemblage artist from Missoula, Montana and he had such a great time in Saluda this past June that he chose to come back again in '07. On March 31st we will host
Janet Lasher, surface design artist from Charlote, NC. Please go to her web site and check it and email us to sign up.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Welcome to my new blog
Random Notes
with Jane Powell

It took me a while to get around to doing this but I finally decided that it was time to let you all see the "behind the scenes" part of Random Arts in Saluda, NC. The photo here on the right is one that was taken of me in April when the photographer from Mountain Traditions Magazine came here to do a shoot for their recent article on our shop. Hurrah for us! We were "published" and it was... wonderful.

Where We've Been
Anyway, that was in April and this is September. Jen and I just got back from Blowing Rock, NC where we went to be a vendor and sell our "assorted goods for creative mindfulness" to the participants at the "Believe in Yourself" retreat with Kristi Steiner and Susan Edmonson. It was an amazing retreat where 50 like-minded creative spirts ( the muses and the sprites) learned some altered forms of free motion quilting, coloring fabrics and trims, stamping on fabrics and the much discussed issue of " How do I break through my creative stumbling blocks?"

What to do now?

Kristi will be here on October 28th for an altered book workshop entitled "My Heart's Desire" or if you like, you can call it " My Soul Revealed". Not only does Kristi share her nurturing and sharing talents but she is going to "nudge" you into a creative space of journalling and tapping into your creativity... one step at a time. We still have room so email us to get in on Kristi's workshop. My personal thoughts on this is that we should have her here while we can because now that she teaches at Art and Fiber Fest, she may be out of our reach.... I hope not.

Time for Me

In this past week of time off for me, I found time to do a few creative things of my own. For the past year I have wanted to paint one wall in the master bedroom a deep rich brown. Maybe I was a little frightened at such a dark color but after thinking about it for a year ( and having already purchased the gallon of paint) I decided to PAINT THE WALL on a rainy Wednesday.
It is spectacular and it is the perfect color! I was so excited and it turned out just like I had hoped. Yes!

While browsing through a recent issue Bound & Lettered ,by John Neal Booksellers, I saw a project for a simple little flag book so I decided right then and there to create my own little flag book. Well, one thing led to another and after several hours of watercoloring the little pages, collaging them with magazine photos and words, and using the greatest wax pastels ever... NEO II by Carand'ache, I crafted my very own little flag book. And... it's awesome.

Speaking of the NEO II wax pastels, I used these in some journal pages that I did while I was in Blowing Rock. What fun! After watercoloring a plain white page in my journal, I added collage items, drew lines and added color with the NEO II wax pastels, then used the Glaze pens for journalling. These added punch! They are rich, vivid and dimensional. A must for all your creative journalling.

I just started doing some journal pages and that is HUGE for me but I successfully launched into this after following a suggestion from Kristi Steiner. She told me to go to Teesha Moore's web site and look at her ideas on journalling. Her suggestions were to start with water color, add collage then use the carandache wax pastels. Another big help for me was listening Meg Fowler when she told me to use quotes on my page if I didn't want to "really" journal. That jump started me to the pages I am displaying on my blog. Loved it! Had fun! What a blast! and... I will do it again and again and again.