Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Our "leftover fabrics" projects never end. That natural toned, wire mesh ribbon that we have been creating with, has traveled with us to Myrtle Beach, St. Marys, and Charlotte to inspire all those that saw first hand,just what we can do with that ribbon. Jen created hers by painting the ribbon Citron Green Lumiere and weaving complimentary fabric, ribbons, buttons and beads while I used the natural color and added rayon ribbons, mother of pearl buttons and a variety of frabjous fibers.
Christina Eckert from Wisconsin visited our shop in early April was inspired to create hers when she got home with beautiful blue silk ribbons, beads and fibers. Thank you Christina.
Then today, Susie Hursey came in and showed us what she has been doing . . .and it isn't a cuff. She saw the ribbon & she created ... a belt. You can she how she wove scrap dupioni silk fabrics & Renaissance Ribbons on the mesh ribbon that she dyed brown with rit dye. How deep and luscious is that brown? Susie is not quite finished with her belt as she plans to add several colorful embellishments from her own "robin's egg blue" collection at home.

Look at those shoes... completely covered with colorful beads! How could I not take a picture of Sophie's shoes? If her shoe habit is this bad at the age of 7 what can she expect at 25? How girly are these? I would wear those if they made them for adults or I could sit and bead them myself when I have nothing to do. hmmmmmm. Maybe I could get Sophie to help now that she will be out of school for the summer.
My ATC swap cards have been mailed in to Chrysti in Raleigh for the "Get your doodle on" swap. Doodling really isn't my thing but she was so enthusiastic about the doodling that I just had to join in. She is enthusiastic about all her art and she has this positive energy that goes on and on and on. Once I started, I realized that I was NOT a doodler. Oh well, it was a stretch for me with a lot of practicing and stressing, of course, to get to the "finish line". I guess that I take things too literally and my expectations are quite high. So, I started with some copies of some drawing from an old readers digest large print and started doodling over the top of those, adding extras, using colors, including some of my own doodles along the the way. Is that cheating? Drawing over drawing? I don't think so because I altered what was there, added my own and "kicked it up a notch". One of my first experiences in the art world, that I remember, at the age of 6 or so was taking drawing classes from someone in the neighborhood. She set up easels for us along with charcoal pencils and the interesting smelling eraser. Loved it and still do to this day. Thank you Chrysti for getting me going.
Katie Kendrick, mixed media artist, will be here in June to teach intuitive face drawing and mixed media collage and I am hoping that I can be a part of those classes. I always choose instructors that I want to learn from but never get an opportunity to get in. This time I will make every effort to do that. I need to do it.... for me!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Yesterday was special. Kristi Steiner
and Susan Edmonson, the two gals that host Believe in Yourself Retreats in Blowing Rock, NC stopped by my shop on their way to the Quilt Symosium in Mars Hill, NC. Both are teachers there this weekend along with many other creative women . I am so sure it will be a beautiful weekend for everyone involved. Both Jen and I made time for a very special and relaxing lunch with lots of catching up on Kristi's workshops in Orvieto, Italy, Susan's continuous quilt teaching adventures and Jen's upcoming trip to Sweden and Germany. Whew! Not enough time to hear everything from each of us.
After lunch Susan presented me with a very unique sewn fabric and bead cuff that she made especially for me. I think I got so excited when I saw the first one that she made that she somehow "knew" I needed one. Maybe we can get her to come and teach this to us. Keep your fingers crossed. You can use photo transfers instead of stamps for the focal point or you can use one of your favorite embellishments. It is so awesome. Thank you Susan. I love you.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I tried and I tried but it just didn't happen,then I started pulling the trash out of the garbage can. In the bottom, I knew, that I tossed the whole container of vinegar, fabric and steel wool. What?You ask, was I doing with all that mess in the first place? Well, 4 of us in the Altered Art group wanted to try our hand at rusting,,, so we did. But on Tuesday it was still just a dirty mess with smidgeons of steel wool floating around and attaching itself to the fabric. Yucky and smelly.
I thought I might save it but instead I threw it all in the trash can. On Thursday I dug deep to the bottom of the can, through all that other trash only to find it. Sure enough, it all rusted through and through. Now what lovely project deserves these beautifully colored fabrics? hmmmm. Maybe some pages in Meg's altered book? Hmmm .... nice idea, I think that I will write it down and sketch it out so I don't forget.
I guess impatience was the one key ingredient that kept me from seeing that fabric turn rusty. I just didn't add enough of that to the mix.

In order to let all of you have a sneak peek at last weekend's festivities here, I am adding a few more photos of our time spent with Michael DeMeng. What a genuine, sharing and knowledgeable instructor, who took time with each and every person and critiqued with kindness and positive instruction for completing their projects. Success comes in the way of comments from our participants.
"I had a wonderful time and have raved to everyone about the workshops and the shop. I have really tried to encourage the TN Stampers in the Knoxville area to check out the jewel in their back yard!" from Lynn Roberts in Columbia TN
"Checked your blog and saw the photos! Reminders of a great class! We had fun. I'm still finishing my box and Claire took the info she learned and created a very unique and special piece for me for Mother's Day. Thanks for the opportunity!" from Ginger Brame in Raleigh

"Thank you so much for a wonderful Saturday. We had such a great time! Thank you so much for a wonderful Saturday. We had such a great time! I will snap a picture of our finished projects and email them to you in the next couple of days." From Sheila Carpenter in Charlotte, NC.

From top to bottom . . .
Denise Henderson listens as Michael shares some suggestions
Michael prepares to critique each project with the class
Cathey Stoney uses the dremel with all the right safety equipment
Cindy Trobaugh of Morristown, TN shows off her Retablo
Wayne Thornley of Columbia SC has got a great start to his project
Wanda Marsh from Charlotte has just about completed her Cigar Box Retablo

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Michael DeMeng creative weekend is all but a faded memory as we all try and recover from a jam packed few days with Michael and 50+ awesome artists. Some came from as far away as Fort Lauderdale, FL and Ocean Isle, SC and Myrtle Beach, SC, Phoenix, AZ, Atlanta, GA, Nashville, TN and Athens, GA... It was truly an amazing Mothers Day weekend as 4 sets of mothers and daughters joined together to attend our assemblage workshops along with 50 other artists. The festivities began on Thursday evening with Michael doing a reading from his new book, The Secrets of Rusty Things, due out in July. After 2 days of liquid nails, found objects & critiques from Michael, this successful & fun-filled weekend came to an end. As a finale to this amazing event,we enjoyed a delightful dinner at Flight in Hendersonville,NC with Michael, Cheryl Prater & her husband, Mark and Christ Werst from Atlanta.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ok, here we go. I have more pictures of us at the show at Art and Soul Retreat in Hampton, VA. Thanks to Clara Boza and her quick thinking, she got some "action shots". See all the people in our booth? See all the new customers buying our "assorted goods for creative mindfulness". We were burning out the rolls of paper in the adding machine & in the cash register. It was all we could do to keep up with the sales. They loved us and especially our wholey paper, watch part packs, liver of sulfur, ink jet transfer packs,rust and iron refinishers, D-ring tape, mica, lace tape, cloth paper scissors, woven cuff material(see picture of the cuff that I am wearing. All I did was cut the cuff material to size, wove fabric scraps through the holes ( not all of them, just random ones,) add some ribbon, some buttons and some beads and presto--- you have a completed cuff. You can do it too, with that stash of fabric that you already have laying around. Add some great ribbon and there you go! A great new piece of jewelry and unique to you!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Art and Soul in VA is but a memory now as I unwind and unpack whatever is left from our successful adventure. Wow! What a crowd of enthusiastic and creative women I met this past weekend. Unbelievable to say the least. Everyone, eager and willing to learn, share & express themselves creatively without fear.
Vendor night was a flurry of activity from the time the doors opened at 7pm until we shut down at 10pm. What craziness to try and answer questions, complete the sales and be sure to thank everyone who stopped by to purchase our "assorted goods". Top sellers for us was by far the wholey paper and recycled sari silk ribbons, followed closely by mica packs, the latest issue of CPS, vintage watch parts those little lead alphabet letters.
But with a good night rest, the car packed & ready to head back to Saluda on Sunday morning, all we could talk about was what a great time we had and the really cool people that we met.
Trading cards (atc) were everywhere, and quite a few people did the charm swap and were wearing their necklaces. Very, very cool. As for me I traded one card with Cindy Trobaugh and received a pair of handmade beaded earrings from Chandra Thompson.
Susan Edmonson created an awesome quilted art cuff that she graciously allowed me to wear on Saturday.
So, back home to North Carolina with eager anticipation of Michael DeMeng's classes here on Friday and Saturday. But before we start classes we party at our shop on Thursday night for an artist show and sale with Michael. Whew! I hope that I can make it through another jam packed week of things to do.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Now... the car is packed and ready to go with room for luggage. How about that? Just as the rain decided to fall upon us the final box was loaded into my little matrix. Just a tad bit of room left for an overnight bag.
We are so excited to get there but a side trip to Chipotle in Winston Salem is a must. This great mexican fast food restaurant that started in Denver, Co in 1993. It grew and grew and now the same fabulous, grain fed chicken and veggie stock foods can be found all over the country. Thank goodness for Chipotle. Yum Yum Yum. What an awesome break in the middle of a road trip. Soon I hear there will be one in Charlotte at Sharon Amity & Randolph Rd.
Now that's only 1-1/2 hrs away from Saluda. Here we are at a Chipotle in Orlando back in February after we worked the Creative Palette Convention in St. Marys, Georgia. HAD to locate the nearest ones while traveling. The quest for the nearest Chipotle continues as we travel to Virginia for Art and Soul. Sorry Richmond, you are not in the line of travel.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Only 2 days until I leave for Art and Soul in Hampton, Virginia. Everything is packed and ready to go except my luggage. Do you think that I might need some luggage for the weekend? It’s always a challenge to see what fits into our Toyota Matrix. Maybe the luggage might just have to stay here in Saluda. Jen and I have been busy since the Charlotte Quilt Show getting all the boxes packed and we “think” we are all set. On Thursday we will try it out to see just what fits and. . . what doesn’t. The saga of packing the car to be continued…

Cheryl Prater’s blog is all about her new line of rubber stamps that she is developing. You might want to go there and tell her what you think. These will be sold exclusively through Random Arts & by the way, all of you who are attending Michael DeMeng’s Head Sea Scroll workshop will get to meet this wild and crazy gal Cheryl Prater then. Cheryl is featured again in the newest Cloth Paper Scissors issue #12 and will be here to teach the Modular Mini Collage (page66) using the wholey paper, Bazzill Chips and other goodies on Sept 22nd . This journey for Cheryl all began with her commitment to do a 1.5" square piece of art each and every day beginning in 2007. As it evolved, her small daily projects became the building blocks for larger pieces. All of this and more can be seen in May/June issue of Cloth Paper Scissors which is now available at our shop.

And the very first WINNER of our giveaway for April's comment is. . . . . . .
e.beck. I am not sure if it's Emily, or Elizabeth, Eliza, Emma, or Etta, or Elaine but it doesn't really matter because this happy artist won a vintage bingo card that is so unique and so unusual that she will want to hold on to it and never use it. I hope not because I really want to see what kind of happy art she will make with it. Congratulations e.beck for commenting on my blog. I thoroughly enjoy seeing what you "happily" do every day. Thank you.