Monday, April 30, 2007

Leave comments and win! At the end of each month I will be choosing a "random" name from those that left comments and sending them "assorted goods" from Random Arts. Don't miss out on a great item coming your way, but you have to leave a comment to enter.

This is what I woke up to on Sunday morning in Saluda. Blooming Azaleas, wild phlox & Lunaria. What sharp contrast from the rugged west where earthy brown tones dominate the landscape and little splotches of green appear along with teeny tiny wildflower accents. But in the mountains here it is alive with color and it's just another form of inspiration for me.
My relationship with gardening runs deep from my earliest memory as a child when my grandfather gave me a pack of radish seeds. I even remember where I planted them in my back yard and watching each day to see what happened over night and pulling them out of the ground and eating them one by one. Ever since that early childhood moment, gardening and being at one with the earth has stayed with me. There have been times when it was absent from where I was at the time, but it was always buried somewhere deep inside of me. Now it pulls me closer and closer to being free to be me.
As I planted new trees and prepared the soil I zoned into a place of serenity. Nothing else mattered at the time. Pulling weeds, laying mulch and raking all served it's purpose to bring me back to my space in North Carolina. The place never really matters much as long as I am doing what I love. It started in Dyer, Indiana as a child and took me to California, Arizona, back to Munster,Indiana and then to Saluda, North Carolina where in turn my roots are planted in the deep rich southern soil.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Montana is history, at least for a few months and right now my main focus it to get to Art and Soul in Hampton, VA this next weekend for the big 3 hour sale. One of the very coolest things that we will have to sell is the wholey paper in 9 x 12 packs. Cheryl Prater has done lots of cool projects with this paper including a spread in the latest Cloth Paper Scissors. She also demonstrated the paper at the latest mixed media event in Chicago for Make it University. Be sure to check out her blog for her latest art work.
Other than the wholey paper, we will have sari ribbon, ink jet transfers packs, ink jet transparency packs, random assorted goods new to everyone, Chinese Brush Pens, Japanese Screw Punches, metal and acrylic letters, vintage assorts, Fast to Fuse, a large assortment of blank board books including the house, copper mesh, assorted metal/copper and art glass grab bags, and much much more.
See you there...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

more awesome moments in Yellowstone. . .
From the steaming geysers to following buffalo on the road to soaking in the Boiling River at dusk, Montana is all about the outdoors, wildlife and the big big sky. Each day is filled with a new adventure such as feeding the horses, hiking in the wild, eating at some really good places such as Looies Down Under, Mackenzie River Pizza, wine at Plonk and of course a cozy night spent at Chico Hot Springs in Pray, MT. Guess what? NO sales tax in Montana so that means I should be shopping, too.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Today started with a little drizzle and cloudy skies but the excitement first thing was the golden eagle in the tree across the street. Can you see it without my zoom lens? Really, it's there. Later on we saw the bald eagle and a red tailed hawk in the same tree.
After the "let's walk outside and see it" event early this morning we were off to get apples to feed the horses, although the drizzle and mud kept us from staying too, too, long. THEY were hungry.

Late in the afternoon I walked down Main Street in downtown Bozeman. peaking into the antique shops hoping to find that special something & into card shops looking for the perfect card or paper & clothing stores, just because and then serendipitously into Bear Comforts quilt shop
where I met the lovely store owner Lisa Carter.
I was in heaven with all those colors and textures, oh, oh, oh. How long can I stay? How much can I buy? So sorry, we are about to close. "that's ok,I can shop fast". Moda, batiks, hoffman..... love it.
On to the Home Page Cafe' for a little internet access and blogging.Here I am taking a picture of myself in photo booth on my MacBook. Since it looked so bad I had to do a little reimaging with Apples Photo Booth effect and saturation tools. Believe me it looks a lot better than when I took it. Use your imagination, if you will.
I looked sort of scary before but now you have to read between the lines or look between the colors, I can only think of the possibilities with these effects. That means from here on out you will be seeing bazaar effects appearing on this blog. What has happened to me? This conservative state of Montana might just throw me out.
The night is still young as I drop into Looies underground at 101 E. Main Street in Bozeman to wait on my daughter to get off work. It's all about food wherever I go with her. I won't be surprised if I gain 10 pounds this week.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Doesn't everyone know how much I love country western music and country bars in the middle of nowhere? hmmmm, neither did I but by the looks of the pictures I might be having a darn good time at Stacey's Old Faithful Bar in Gallatin Gateway, Montana. And get a look at that 80 something heart throb on the guitar. He is dressed for action, isn't he?

Unfortunately for me I just wasn't dressed the part for one of the last of it's kind country bars in the Bozeman area. Everything is gentrifying here and this is one of the last hold outs. Everyone from cowboys to ranchers to college kids to normal people like me frequent this hot spot for music on Friday and Saturday nights. Last night it was Victoria's Secret Agents. I know, I know. That was the name of this group with a steel guitar and all. I just found out what that was from the cowboy next to us, Eddie. I thought that the guy was playing a piano. Boy do I have a lot to learn.
Today was a hike to the top of the M. which is Montana State University, Bozeman area where everyone goes to hike. My daughter, Jonquil told me it would be easy, it wasn't. For her it is since she works out everyday and runs marathons, but I did it and I was glad that I did. Here is the source of my inspiration... if they can do it so can I. Telling myself that I had all the time in the world to do it helped too.
Don't forget to leave comments and win! I will be choosing a "random" name at the end of each month and sending something special to that winner. So comments are always welcome.
Until tomorrow.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Greetings from Bozeman, Montana... I didn't waste any time immersing myself into day to day life here. First stop mexican food at la tinga. Oh yes. the best kept secret in bozeman right on main street. Authentic rice and beans burrito for both of us. yum yum. Off to meet Chris Olsztyn, owner of BT Timberworks , to pick up a restored antique door transformed into a dining table. We learned about the old world oxidation process for "staining" wood using potassium permanganate. Once the medium is applied to the wood, oxygen changes the color from a red to a deep rich mahogany color. This is an amazing process and I kept wondering how I can work this process into collage or assemblage or even fabric, huh? It is quite a substantial dyeing process. Not only does he work primarily with reclaimed wood such as frasier fir, ( he said that is what america was built with) he has a complete metal working facility on site. Much of his work is timber frame, however his shop also builds huge tables and railings for some of the biggest ranches in the west.

As I wondered around his property several things became photo worthy, such as this dumpster of goodies.... Is there something in there that I need? Another thing caught my eye and I couldn't leave without taking this picture of this very simple handle attached to this metal. Not a work of art for anyone else but it certainly makes for a great picture.
After a little rest back at Jonquil's house we headed to Plonk, a wine bar on Main Street in Bozeman. THIS is "the place to be" in Bozeman ( if there is such a place) and of course, like mother like daughter we talk to everyone. For some reason I turned to the 4 people sitting next to us and asked them if they lived here . Only one said that he did and one lived in Great Falls and was partner in a law firm there but he went to Bozeman High School and was native american and grew up on a reservation, played football, got a scholorship on football at Dartmouth and the rest is history... Jack Manning, law partner with offices in Great Falls, Canada, Europe and Asia.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

In case some of you haven't met Jen, here she is. She was an energetic customer who loved what our store was all about. When the timing was right she started working here part time and then 4 days a week.... until she and husband decided it was time to have a baby. Torsten is now 2-1/2 yrs old and is a ball of fire... just like her. Now she works one day a week but I think that for most of us her one day is equal to 3.
Recently Jen and I started working on using a woven wired ribbon about 3 inches wide to use as a cuff.

Since we started we have sold tons of the ribbon and had a multitude of ideas on how to use it as well. My thought was to sew pieces together for a purse, or amulet bag. someone else suggested belts. Right now I am sticking with a cuff since I can work on it in my small space without any trouble. The first one I did with red ribbon and then we found the natural. What we like about the natural is that we can paint it with lumiere. Jen painted hers with Citron Lumiere and proceeded to weave batiks and ribbons through the fibers. Finishing touches are metallic threads, buttons, beads and a closure. We love it. Any one up for a challenge? We certainly can see the possibilities, can you?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My old sewing machine with straight and zig zag will get a real workout again with my latest project...I found another jacket to alter with some of the fabrics that I found at the quilt shows and other trips and this is the beginning of my adventure with this one. It's almost like working on a collage with paints and paper since there is a blank canvas of a jacket and i can go in any direction. I just lay pieces out in various places an start pinning. Eventually I will add more lace, antique buttons, maybe some beads and of course this great chenille that I sell in the store, in 1/2" widths. It comes in a roll in many colors and you just sew it on (or when altering books, glue it on) then "fluff" it up by washing it or brushing it. I usually add 3 or more layers to give it more texture.The finishing touch is always those antique buttons that I am saving for just the right project. The saga of the altered jacket will be continued but in the meantime -
Leave comments and win! I will be choosing a name from those who left comments and sending them a great gift from us at Random Arts. It's real simple to enter... just leave a comment with your name and email and at the end of each month we will choose a name and .... presto - YOU could be a winner.
brrrrrrrr, winnnnnnnndy brrrrrrrrrrrr This is so unlike all the Aprils' that we have experienced in the past 13 yrs here in western nc. It may as well be Chicago. Trees have blown over and closed streets all over town and half of Saluda is out of power. Fortunately for us, Random Arts is up and running as far as I know. Last night as we drove through a partially dark downtown, lights in our shop were dimly glowing. A good thing.
On May 19th this year Saluda will host it's annual Art Festival and we have over 70 artists that are participating this year. It will be an all day event free to the public so we invite each and every one of you to try and attend. This has a real success for us in the past and welcome you all back to experience the large number of musical venues as well. You can visit Saluda Lifestyles for details of our big party.
Prior to that on May 10th, we will host a Michael DeMeng artist show and sale at 7pm and everyone is invited to meet the artist and view his work. This will be held at our shop, so mark your calendar for that as well.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Here's Paul flying Friday afternoon in Hendersonville, NC with his buddy Todd. One day it's a plane next day it's a helicopter. Did I want to go? Yes, but I was too busy doing the grocery shopping. what kind of excuse is that? Not sure, but I have done it in Las Vegas 2 years ago with my daughter, her boyfriend and paul. It was the most amazing thing i had ever done and encourage others to do so as well. Lifting off the ground is the first magical moment, then hovering along the run way until it's clear and then the ground gets further and further away and before you know it you are high above the las vegas strip heading for the grand canyon. 8 of us shared this magnificent trip along with the music in our headphones from Rocky.... One minute we are in the mountains and then all of sudden the bottom drops out and we atop the grand canyon of the world. Although Paul wasn't atop the grand canyon on friday he said it was the most spectacular feeling.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I have a new look on my blog. I like it better but I still do not know how to access all the features. Like, how do I get my picture on the side bar? I am having a little trouble with that one and I want to know how to do it all before I go to Montana this week. Each day I hope to take you to a distant place ( not too, too far) through my travels. Be sure to leave comments. Yesterday Tony told me how those that leave comments on his blog have the opportunity to win something every month like a bead or a charm that they handcrafted. I will be doing the same but in order to win you have to leave a comment. It could be as simple as " I read your blog, love the picture" with your name.
More pictures of yesterdays class are added today. The energy was so captivating and Lisa is such a patient, generous, humble and encouraging instructor. We hope to have her back in August for a 2 day workshop with Green Girl Studios. ( I think I said that in my previous blog)
Oh well. it's early and my coffee hasn't started working yet.
Now that my kiln is set up and I have a griddle for warming and Jen knows how to work it we are seriously thinking about setting up a pmc group here that will meet once a month. The details haven't been worked out but I am extremely anxious to start this process since I have never been able to take a class. With a kiln in place I will also be able to fire pieces that you create at $20 a firing. So, what that means is you can create all that you want, bring them in and get them fired. I might set a "firing date" once a month as well so everyone will have a chance to get their pieces in to me. Anyone wanting to learn pmc can contact me via email or blog or phone or coming in. Communication.... there is no excuse any more.......

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Saturday was filled with a shop of amazing & creative people and a serendipitous meeting of long lost friends. It all comes together here at the shop for so many people. Lisa & Tony Blackwell were here to teach PMC to a filled classroom of artistic women and each of them created 1 pair of resin filled earrings, a pair of post earrings and a handful of unique charms for other projects. This was the day to "unveil" and "fire up" my new kiln and Lisa and Tony did it beautifully. Just look at it. Isn't it beautiful?
Lisa & Tony brought their friends Cynthia & Greg of Green Girl Studios in to visit and they brought along their pewter charms. It was delightful to meet them and get to them and their daughter Azalea.
Later in the day a woman, Margaret Cornelius from Deland, Florida walked in and asked me if I knew Martine House, a well know fiber & quilt artist in the area.
I then told her that I knew Martine & that she was a teacher here. As we continued to talk I found out that her husband and Martine's husband both taught at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and both were transferred to Germany. They had not seen each other in many many years so she picked up the phonebook, found her number called and became reunited. It was so much fun listening to her husband Ray talk to her native language of France. I just stood there quietly & listened to him speak in that romantic language. Long story short, they drove down the mountain to meet up with Martine. Every day is an adventure here at the shop.

Friday, April 13, 2007

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He follows his dream... after moving here from Cape Cod, my friend Joyce Berger's husband Ralph began taking welding classes and is now selling his work at galleries and shows all over the southeast. The photos that Joyce took of his work and of him are extraordinary, don't you think?

On another topic, I am eagerly anticipating Lisa Blackwell from Zoa Art, teaching venue here today. She now lives in Tucson with her husband Tony Blackwell and teach PMC all over the country. I get to try out my new PMC kiln that I bought last August. Now that Tony set it up and it's ready to go I might be using it for what it was intended... precious metal clay. Today we will do pmc earrings with resin over collage/photos. Can't wait.
Earlier this week Tony and Lisa brought "Green Girl" artist Cynthia over to visit our shop from Asheville. Some of you may be familiar with Green Girl Studios that we sold a few years ago. Cynthia carves molds out of polymer clay, and forms the charms using pewter. We are talking to her about doing a "duo" workshop with Lisa.

Only one week until I leave for Bozeman, Montana to visit my daughter, Jonquil. I am counting the days and while I am away I will be blogging every day (I will try) so you all can see where I am and what I am doing. Bozeman is such a cool place and right near Bozeman is Chico Hot Springs, Yellowstone and more. Stay tuned for more day to day excerpts from Saluda and...Montana.

I saw this building as I was leaving a doctors office and stopped to snap this picture. Is it the color, the size, the charm, the shadows, the setting? Recently I have been attracted to that color, robins egg blue so it really caught my eye. It is a charming little building that must be a garage for a little car. Notice the white picket fence on the right and the little window up top. Someone loves this building and took care in painting it the right color. I can only imagine what's inside... wondering too what they have in their house. Is it as charming as this? Who owns it? What kind of person is it? Do I want to get to know them? Do you?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What a surprise it was on Wed to see 2 of our new friends from the far corners of Georgia visit our shop. By far corners we mean as close to Alabama and Florida as one can get! We met them at the Creative Palette convention in February and they were dying to see our shop. So, off they drove, 7 hours to see Random Arts in person. They loved us and we loved them! It is really a joy to see those familiar faces again in Saluda. Last week we had several quilt artists visit us who saw us in Charlotte and decided that they needed to make the short drive to Saluda to spend the day and in one case... the night. That's right, we have bed and breakfasts here in Saluda, each with their own unique flair. Some with a view, most have incredible breakfasts and all are welcoming and inviting. Thanks to all of you for visiting us in Saluda. Isn't it fun?

On another subject, I am getting all giggly preparing to go to Bozeman, Montana next week to play... Just a week in this beautiful part of the country to visit my daughter who volunteers for the wilderness society and works at looies and works out 24/7. I am so excited to get back there and visit chico hot springs, shop the thrift stores, eat, cook, visit yellowstone again and on and on and on. Yesterday another customer who recently moved to ohio surprised me at the shop, melanie kocher. What a joy to see her again after a couple of years. She, too goes to montana once a year and she told me about the boulder hot springs in boulder montana. its only an hour from bozeman so that is a must for a couple days next week. maybe i will see some snow. pictures will follow so stay tuned to see my adventures in the west.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Right now, at this moment, my daughter Jonquil is baking lamb cakes for Easter and is planning on sending them off. She is carrying on the tradition that my Grama Teutemacher started when I was a little girl. Every year at Easter we could expect a lamb cake with toothpicks embedded in the ears to make sure that they didn't "fall off" during baking. She would spend hours frosting the cake and covering it with coconut. Green basket grass was used as whiskers, and jelly beans for eyes. Now Jonquil is doing the same thing at her young age of 34. She loves old things and is a hopeless romantic who wouldn't settle for an aluminum repo of the lamb mold. She HAD to have the old cast iron one that Grama Teutemacher used. Once she found it, she was on her way to a baking frenzy.
Not only is she baking these, but she is frosting,decorating and mailing them out from Bozeman, Montana to me and her sister in Charlotte. I wonder how they will fare out during all the bustling about in those big post office trucks? Picture to follow.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Good morning from Saluda. Having a laptop is a wonderful thing, but having a MAC laptop is even better. Wow, I feel so special however it is all new to me to be able to wake up, pick up my little bitty Mac lap top, while still in bed and start working... Did I say working? I guess I did and I guess I am. A laptop and a camera in my laptop. Wow. It doesn't get better than this.
I am still in recovery mode after that awesome workshop here at random arts with Janet Lasher from Charlotte. Everyone loved what they created using encaustic processes and the critique at the end of the day gave each of the participants an opportunity to #1 look at each others work in an introspective w ay and #2 to take a second look at where they might improve there technique, design or composition for future works.

The weekend spent in Charlotte at the quilt show is still fresh in my mind and more and more events from the weekend continue to surface. Our conversation with Valerie Fox from Fox Family Farm was certainly a highlight for us. Not only did we have the opportunity to meet her but she personally invited us to be a vendor at her annual benefit/fund raiser at her farm in Waxhaw, NC. They are in their 3rd year for this gala event held in their horse barn with enormously tall ceilings that openly express the need to have beautiful quilts hanging from the rafters. Each year they feature a local artist and this year they have chosen Fulvia Lucianao.
Jen and I are so excited to have this unbelievable opportunity to be in the midst of the these fine artists and quilters from this area. If you go to the their website you will be able see all that the Fox family does to make this dream come true.

Camp Sew & Sew is being hosted by Melinda Rose of Sew Originals in Boone, NC and Winston Salem, NC at the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center in Boone, NC on August 9th, 10th and 11th this year. We will be attending as a vendor for this event and hope to be teaching one of our unique, one of a kind fabric books while we are there. This event and sale
is open to the public for the entire weekend so if you are in the western NC area this summer be sure to stop by and see our assorted goods, take a quilting workshop or "lust" over the work being done by other quilters at the event. Boone, NC in the summer... it doesn't get better than this, so mark your calendar now and email us if you have any questions.

Etsy has become my new favorite place to shop and it should be for you, too. Right now I have added my wholey paper & copper mesh sheets to the supplies section and will soon add the large sheets of mica and all the other assorted goods for creative mindfulness. BUY! SELL! AND PLAY ON ETSY.