Friday, October 31, 2008

It all starts with nothing -

On a rainy Friday recently, 6 of us gathered to create
the woven book using imported Italian
Text blocks, fabric scraps, fibers, sari ribbons & photo transfers.
Everyone brought in their trusty sewing machine to assist in
creating magic with our materials. Interestingly enough each
person in attendance brought a color coordinated array of fabrics
and an enormous curiosity to what the day would bring.

As we progressed with our weaving, we readied our projects for the
organza overlay. With that in place, it was time to sew.


Adding & spritzing walnut inks
onto the fabrics brought some of the values
down somewhat and gave the fabrics an earth
well worn vintage look, while Louise chose
to use all white tones keeping it quite simpleThis is where the magic happened since our "floppy"
cotton strips seemed a little measly to create a book cover.
Once the random stitching was complete we saw
our piece beginning to take shape.

After a long awaited day we were finally ready to
"distress" our fabrics. Oh no! All that work
and now we are going to torch it?
Not to worry, it only burns a little bit!

Louise still has a little more to do to complete her work...
Barbara chose a photo transfer using a photo from
Ghost Ranch in Sante Fe, NM
Chris & Barbara used the exact same fabrics
with totally different results.
Vicki loved the softness of her piece without
the distress and chose not to add that element of style to hers.
Lauren kept the sides of her woven book cover
uncut and plans to attach a photo transfer
with extravorganza. A completed book cover is near at hand.

Last but not least, Holly chose colors that
in the same family that work really well together.
As a finishing touch she chose a vintage
buttons and silk ribbons as a focal point.
A few little details and she'll have this
woven book cover completed.
Great work everyone... or should I say "great play"!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just in!
New by Kim Rae Nugent

It's all about making "moving" art
Give your art new life by adding interactive elements that beg
to be touched, pulled & flipped. Interactive Art Workshop teaches
you how to set your art in motion with pull tabs, secret flaps,puzzles
and more.
Go beyond moving parts and stimulate the senses of smell, hearing,
and touch. Find inspiration from more than 20
talented contributors in a gallery of more than 100 interactive
projects, including artist trading cards, postcards,altered books & cards.
Contributing artists include our very own Catherine Anderson
from Charlotte, NC, Judy Wise, Claudine Hellmuth,
Laurie Mika and more.
Available now at Random Arts


Friday, October 24, 2008

A winner has been chosen... at random.

Thanks to all of you who commented on World Blog Tour and the interview with
Cate Prato. Cate did a great job answering my questions about her book, her
thought process and her inspiration on putting her book together.
Cate chose a name randomly from those that commented on my blog
( To be fair, we took Joyce's name out of the running since she works here)
The winner is............................ Cindy Trobaugh.
Congratulations Cindy!!!!!!!
Please send an email on to me with your mailing address and Cate will send
a copy of her new book, "mixed media self protraits".
Hopefully, it will be a signed copy.

Living in the moment

Thanks to my friend, Pattie Edmon and
her suggestion to learn more about
this great book " Life is a Verb" by Patti Digh.
We should have this book on our shelves
next week & in the meantime be sure to
check out the You Tube video on
37 days Beckon the Lovely... It will tug
at your heart.
Lifeisaverb_2"I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I adore Patti Digh’s book Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally. I love her writing, her depth, her sizzle. This is a book that makes me sing with life and the possibilities we all have for transformation and awareness. It is the best antidote I’ve got these days for the pain and fear raging around us--that and loving hugs, long naps, fervent prayer and letting myself feel whatever I’m feeling.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Read on. . .

All you need to do is comment on my blog after
reading Cate Prato's
answers to my questions on her new book -
"Mixed Media Self Portraits"
Remember, comments that you add to my blog
will automatically enter your name to
be eligible for winning her book!

Here it is..... answers to some burning questions directed to Cate Prato
author of the newest and hottest book to hit the market...


Random Arts asks Cate:
It appears that you have put a lot of thought into

taking the fear out of creating self portraits.
What steps did you take to feel comfortable about the process?

Cate replies:We definitely made a point of easing people into the process
of making self-portraits. First, I explain the history of the genre—all the
best artists have done it, so you shouldn’t feel self-conscious about it. Second,
I got two of the very best essayists I know to write about their awkward feelings
about examining themselves in the mirror: Cheryl Prater for her humorous
approach (of course) and Loretta Marvel for a more poignant
and thoughtful self-examination. Then, I have a series of “warm-up” exercises.
Finally, I hope the sheer variety of self-portraits included in the book—
from mixed-media photography to journal dolls to
assemblage will encourage readers to shake off
their anxiety about self-portraiture and dive in.

Random Arts asks Cate:
What about realism?

Most of us feel and have the impression that
a portrait should look exactly like the person?
How do you feel about that?

Cate replies: Realism is overrated! Even Rembrandt—

who made scores of self-portraits over the course of his life—
“disguised” himself with costumes, props, and so on to achieve
different results that informed his art. In the book we show
how a self-portrait can express “you” or
teach you something about yourself without being a
literal likeness.
It can be a book about the year you were born, as
Debbi Crane’s 1967 mixed-media fabric book or a
“snapshot” of time like Kelly Rae Roberts’ painted collage,
or Jenn Mason’s found object assemblage, where each item represents a
part of her life and her personality.

Random Arts asks Cate:
How does "personality" play into the creation

of a self portrait?

Cate replies: I guess I would say one’s personality
shapes one’s self-portrait, from the colors and
techniques you use to make it to the purpose of making
it to the style of self-portrait you choose. And that can change
from one day to the next. The best part of making creative
self-portraits is that it is, truly, all about you. And you can
do it any way you want. It’s like being a kid again.

Now, all you need to do is comment on Cate's
answers or my questions, for that point.
Remember, comments that you make will
be eligible for winning a free book
from Cate Prato.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Win a FREE Mixed Media Self Portrait Book


Post a comment on my blog on Wed. Oct 22nd
and register for a chance to win

"Mixed Media Self Portrait Book by Cate Prato"

We will feature Cate's book on the World Wide Blog Tour
on Wed. Oct 22nd

There will be a list of questions that we are asking her,
and she will respond with her comments.
All you have to do is comment on
your reaction to her answers, her
thoughts, her creative process and the
rest is up to us. A winner will be chosen randomly
as we go through the day, so remember to comment...
How can you resist a chance to win her book?
So, please send in your comments on Oct. 22nd
after you read the authors response
and you will be eligible to win
Cate's book
"Mixed Media Self Portraits"

Everyone's doing it

I get google alerts everyday from different key words including some family related ones like Bozeman, Mt (daughter #2) Columbus Ohio (daughter #1) and on, and on, and on. I rec'd one today with a Random Arts alert and it turned out to be Ali Edwards Blog. Some of you know who she is from the Scrapbooking world and from the books that she has written. Well, last year at the Donna Downey Inspired Artist Retreat in Concord, NC I got to meet her and she shopped at our store there and loved loved, loved it!
In her latest album she used our vintage rulers among other things to complete her work.
Ali Edwards has used these in a very creative way showing
the design composition of the circles & lines
soft and sharp and the cohesiveness of the
brown tones. . . I like it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Waiting. . .

I wait all summer for this spectacular show and every year it is well worth the wait.
My beautiful Heavenly Blue Morning Glories perform
in grand style despite our lack of rain this year.
Not only do I wait for these to come full circle,
but each year I wait for the seeds to arrive in the mail.
Those little packets that sit there ... waiting...
to be opened and placed in the warm rich earth.
These are one of the first things I see when I go
into the kitchen for my morning coffee.... oh yes coffee.
Each morning looks better than the last one
with more blooms reaching toward the sky.
They must really love the cool evenings here in
the mountains because I never ever had a show like
this living in Chicago.

Let's not forget my all white cosmos that seem
to take center stage right along with the Heavenly Blues.
I can plant hundreds of cosmos seeds but they always come
up white. This year the combination of the blue
and white are perfect, don't you think so?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fabric Beads anyone?

Yes, it's a fabulous Fabric Bead book from the creative souls at Interweave Press - You know...
Cloth Paper Scissors, Quilting Arts, Mixed Media Self Portraits and on and on and on.
Click Here to see inside the book. We have a limited supply available and shipping is FREE to U.S.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I love this new issue of Quilting Arts because I had time to go through each and every page this morning while I was at the dentist office. It came in yesterday and I had the foresight to take it with me today, just in case I thought there would be a wait. OMG each and every page that my creative little fingers touched excited me even more.

The first thing that I saw was an article by
Jane LaFazio who was working with... sheer organza.
How cool is that, I just bought some of that today
for my woven book cover project. Of course I needed
to see how she used it and it gave me a few more
ideas that I jotted down for myself.
Home Free Collage with Sylvia Naylor are projects that she creates
of the various homes that she had lived in over the last decade.
The thing that I liked about her collage projects is that she
worked small, about 12 x 12" and she does everything
in paper first. Her designs are simple with the illusions
of lines, doors, windows,roofs & chimneys.
All in all it looks like a project that could
be easily undertaken by any of us in a short amount of time.

Margaret Applin, fiber arist, has an awesome
article & project on how to combine
journaling and art which she
calls "Scrap Wisdom". Isn't that cute?

It goes on and on... I could make each
and every one of those projects. This is
the best issue ever.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Mixed Media Self Portraits - Available NOW!

Cate Prato's new book has just been released and we are so happy that our
shipment came in first. Not only that, she has chosen us, Random Arts, along
with Cheryl Prater, Wayne Thornley, Leslie Riley, Kelly Rae and others to "kick off" this
world wide blog tour.
The tour begins on Oct 14th and Cate has scheduled our
tour for Oct 22nd. We will be asking you submit your comments on the blog
thus registering you for some great prizes from Cloth Paper Scissors/Interweave Press.
Details will be forthcoming but in the meantime we are fully stocked and ready to ship.
The cost is $22.99 and we will ship it to you at NO COST.
Visit Cate's website for more info regarding the World Wide Blog Event.

Here's the details about Cate's book ...........
Featuring artwork from a wide range of contributors, this resource explores creative self-portraits through fun and easy exercises and essays that instruct and inspire artists working in all media. Examples of collage, fiber arts, and mixed-media artwork offer visual inspiration while essays throughout the book act as a guide to personal and artistic self-discovery.

Step-by-step techniques and creative prompts are used to direct artists through different approaches to creating self-portraits while exercises utilizing collage, drawing, photography, and stitching will jump-start the creative process and get ideas flowing on paper and fabric, encouraging artists to express themselves in new ways.

Sassy French Long Stitch book

It was a fabulous day with 7 delightful and excited students in
Savannah's book workshop this past Saturday.

Nancy Gruber was Savannah's creative assistant with this project
and took a really huge part in creating the women's face molds.
Each one was artfully detailed and used as a center piece
in this Monet inspired gate fold book.

Follow my blog..............

Hey everyone! Follow my blog and be eligible for "random prize giveaways".
Each and every person who signs up as a "follower" of my blog has the opportunity to WIN!

You all know what we have in our store, so anything could happen.
Take a look around this place.
It's filled with all sorts of random creative tools.
Wow, it could happen to you!
Every month a new winner!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Glorious glass bead leaf

How could the colorful North Carolina fall leaves
look any better?
With Glass Bead Gel, of course.
This is absolutely the coolest product ever
and last fall we discovered a brand new way to
play with it.
Day after day we all talked about
how beautiful the autumn leaves
were. so we took things into our own hands.
"Let's coat these leaves with Glass Bead Gel and
see what happens!"

It's crystal clear when it dries
and it brings out and intensifies
the already breath taking colors.
We sold so much that we ran out before the leaves
were gone last fall. Now a year later we are
fully stocked, waiting for more treasures to fall
from our trees.
I have already started coating some leaves
that I picked up after walking and
each leave reflects the gel differently and
I am already thinking of other ways to use
these jewels in more creative ways.

We would be happy to ship your jar of
glass bead gel, just in time to preserve
nature's beauty.

Friday, October 03, 2008

It's a woven wonder workshop

Great idea for gift giving!
Several months ago, my friend Marney showed the book group here, a woven wrap for a journal that she created using fabric scraps, fibers, & ribbons. With that in mind I decided to take it to an different place and chose to make one of my own, then another and recently, 2 more.
It's fast, easy and fun!
Out of that idea came an inspiration for book covers for our Italian imported text blocks. These come in lined and unlined as well as wine journals & address books. We offer ivory & white as well.
The thought of doing case binding was way too defined for me so this loosely structured option became a reality.
Last week Jen and I decided to make another textured fabric piece and after choosing color coordinated fabrics and such both of us ended up with a really cool piece. Now what? Then came the idea to form a workshop that encompasses the creation of the wrap and then completion of a book cover over the text block. Hence the Woven Wonder Book Cover Workshop on Friday October 24th from 10am till 4pm.
Additional text blocks available in wine journal or address book formats

Color choices of fabrics etc are yours to make and bringing a sewing machine in to class is a must as well. Not to worry, it's not like you are making clothes or anything. Think of a sewing machine as a means of attaching 2 things together... like a brad or a staple or glue.... same thing. only much more fun.
These high quality text blocks make bookbinding even easier. They
are hand crafted in Italy and are acid free lined or unlined versions with
many different sizes available.

In this all day workshop you will learn about color choices, design, simple weaving
techniques, embellishment, photo transfer, simple basic sewing machine techniques,
and simple book covering ideas.
Date: Friday October 24th
Time: 10 am till 4pm

Cost: $40
Some supplies will be required.