Thursday, December 15, 2011

To zen doodle or not? That is the question.

From fiber artists & tapestry artists
to scrapbookers & mixed media artists
and book artists....
They all come together to enjoy the lively art
of "zen doodling here at Random Arts
every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month
from 10 am till 12 noon.

Savannah tried out her
doodling talent using a 6 x 6
decorative paper as a background,
and caught on really fast.

While Marianne figured out to do
our challenge by going outside the lines.

And, Martine, used a ornamental design
in a rubber stamp to get started on her doodle.

Everyone is welcome to join us and all you have to do
is bring your journal and a black pen. We provide
the lovely, well lit, cozy workspace here
at Random Arts. Oh yes, the creative inspiration
comes from all of us. . . we like to share.

Friday, December 09, 2011

A new approach to dyeing silk

The Eco Printing may not be new to
some of you but when I saw it
just a few weeks ago, I was really
taken back.
It is so organic, but of course it is...
the entire dyeing process is
done with organic
materials from the earth.

Lea Nickless, from Coconut Grove, Fl
and... Saluda
has transformed other beautiful silk
scarves into these stunningly
dyed works of art.

It may be difficult to visualize the
finished piece as a scarf but just imagine
the process the process of adding olive seed pods,
yellow root, walnut hulls, and every other
imaginable living organic flora to the pot
of dyes.

Several of her hand crafted scarves are available here
at Random Arts and they would make
the "perfect" holiday gift.

Not only is Lea accomplished at this type of art,
she is also an acclaimed mixed media artist showing her
work at a number of galleries and shows in the Miami area.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Holiday Cards in a hurry? This is the place!

6 fun loving and creative women joined me 
in our Fast and Easy Holiday Card workshop
yesterday at Random Arts.

For those of you that have been with us
in the past, creating holiday cards
always involved rubber stamps.

This time around we brought out handmade
papers from around the world, some current
adhesives, colorful ribbons and of course
the much needed scissors. 

There didn't seem to be much need
for "supervision or instruction" as 
everyone seemed to be bouncing their
creative energy off of each other to complete
their projects. 
 Margaret, from Saluda, SC, took advantage
of the beautiful blue and gold handmade papers
to complete this simple but elegant card.
A little red accent completes the look.

One of our regulars here at Random Arts, Marilyn,
loves using the earthy tones on her project and this
card is the perfect example of her style.

I took some time in the workshop to explain several techniques including the correct way to tear mulberry paper to get the frayed edges to look natural. 

In addition, the method of using strips of scrap paper from your stash showed everyone how to make use of those and turn them into, what I call, strip cards. It's a fast, easy and fun way to create a card in just minutes. We have assorted papers and cards coordinated in a pack to make it even easier for you at our new shop in Saluda.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Altered Fashionista take center stage

I think it must have been about a year ago that we did this
workshop at Random Arts
and I have finally added it to the calendar for tomorrow, Sat. Nov. 19th
All it takes is a few magazines, some paint and a sewing machine.

The thing that I like best about it is that
is a NO - STRESS workshop where
anything goes!

There are so many variations in this
class. You can use watercolors, or
acrylics, pan pastels, colored pencils
or water color crayons.
No one is judging... It's just a fun way to spend
a couple of hours de-stressing from the workaday world.

Everyone had such a different take on this project
from what paint they chose, to the color of the thread
to the design they used on the sewing machine.

Monday, November 07, 2011

What's in store

There were times when I wondered if I had
enough product in the store, was it the right
mix and if it was enough to please even
the most discerning artist...
Vintage items seemed to appear out of nowhere
and the boxes packed with goods became
extraordinarily empty. I thought
that would never happen considering
the amount of boxes that were hauled
to the New Random Arts.

The shelves seemed bare but all of a sudden
there was an over abundance of really good
"stuff" in the shop.
Michael deMeng's recommended does of Kroma Crackle
led the way...
Mix a little with your Golden Acrylics
and spread it on the surface. Let dry to see the crackle form.

Then came the Alchemic Rusting powder found
in these cobalt blue jars. Wow....
Just sprinkle it over a little adhesive,
let dry, and spritz with vinegar. hmmmmm... Instant Rust!

Beautiful vintage lace almost 4 inches wide
found it's way to the library area of the shop
where we sit and brainstorm about our next

This shabby chic vintage style paper ribbon
2 inches wide that's wired. I can see it on
a holiday tree, floating among the soft branches.
ooooh. I love this item.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kristi Steiner in Saluda

Spend an entire day with Kristi Steiner at Random Arts
Saturday, Oct 22nd
My True Nature Mini Book
filled with inspiration, creativity & messages from the heart

Kristi has mixed it up again,
this time creating a darling book
from a jewelry box – what she calls a BOX BOOK!

'Longing to touch what is real' is the theme of this diminutive project. Gifts from nature are showcased in two box frames which serve as book covers. Texture abounds as we play with crackle paste, modeling paste, and metal patinas.

Gossamer pages hold butterfly wings and dried flowers. See the countless ways the new Distress Stains can tint and color every surface.
Your finished book will be filled with the wonders of your true, beautiful nature.
A kit of essentials is included

Some supplies are required.
Time: 10-4
Cost: $100.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NEW workshop just announced

We have finalized our plans with Carol Sloan for a 2 day workshop
here at the new studio for Oct 12th and 13th entitled
“Bound By Heart, Made By Hand”

Put together a hand bound journal or artist book as you learn to integrate your personal keepsakes. You will learn how to construct a book using techniques that anyone can master. We will cover ways to add your vintage ephemera, add bits and pieces of lace, trim, fabric & fibers as well as treasured papers to create a book that is uniquely yours.

This class is packed with great techniques including:
Understanding the differences in papers and
acrylic mediums and which mediums to use at what time.

Great ways to include vintage linens and keepsakes
that you have been hanging onto will also be included in this workshop.

Other techniques that you will learn include the following:
•Basic construction of a handmade book.
•Sewing on nontraditional surfaces.
•making and painting signatures/book pages
•collage methods to create beautiful book pages
•constructing a waterproof book cover
•machine and hand-stitching techniques to attach signatures

Whether you use your journal to record your thoughts,
do some urban sketching or jot down ideas
for your next project, you’ll love the techniques
that you learn AND you will go home
with a “one of a kind” hand bound book
that will be the envy of all your friends!

DATES: Tues and Wed. Oct 11th & 12th
COST: $245
TIME: 10 am till 4pm
INCLUDED: 2 days of instruction and 2 days of catered lunch

Monday, September 12, 2011

It won't be long now.....

Since last December the thoughts of owning this 1920's bungalow
on the edge of town has taunted and teased us with it's
location, charm, innocence and opportunity.

Throughout the process of 6 months ,the ideas and visions of setting up
our new Random Arts was twirling around in our heads 24/7
and finally, this past June 4th, it became a reality... and the work set in.

As winter became spring and spring flung us into summer,
we've mastered the art of tuckpointing, venetian plastering, carpentry,
radiator heat systems, crawl space integrity, flooring,
landscaping, insulation, drywall,
painting and priming and everything in between.

The rewards of all of this are coming to an end/beginning as the
opening of Random Arts is right around the corner.
Although there are a few things left undone we feel that we
are close enough to say " WELCOME" to all of you.

As we get started,
the plans are to be open Thursday,
Friday and Saturday from 10-5
beginning Thursday, Sept. 22nd at 10 am

(although this is a picture from the spring, the house
still looks the same. You can't miss it as you drive
into Saluda from I-26. Its less than a mile on your left
before you get to the
T in the road.)

Workshops are being scheduled for both this year and into 2012.

Friday, Sept. 30th RANDOM STROKES with Catherine Langsdorf

For most creative people, doodling is something they have do
ne all their lives. It is a release. A pen and a piece of paper can lead to amazing things. It can travel easily with you and put you into an artistic zone. Join us for a day of creative play and learning. Many of the doodlings will be based on patterns that when added together create intricate pieces. Learn about the art of Zentangle®, the method created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. This relaxing pen and ink artform can help even the most hesitant person find a creative outlet. Great for journaling.
Catherine Langsdorf, currently lives in the beautiful mountains of Western, NC. Catherine has been studying calligraphy for over 20 years and has been teaching for 15 of those years. Catherine enjoys many forms of lettering - from the formal copperplate to the casual brush letters. Catherine also dabbles in the altered arts, bookmaking and watercolor painting. Her work can be viewed on her two blogs:

She has most recently been published in Somerset Studio, Sept/Oct 2011 issue.
10 am till 2pm COST $35. per person
Limit 12

• • • • •
Saturday, October 22nd, My True Nature Book with Kristi Steiner
Kristi has mixed it up again, this time creating a darling book from a jewelry box– what she calls a BOX BOOK!
'Longing to touch what is real' is the theme of this diminutive project.
Gifts from nature are showcased in two box frames which serve as book covers.Texture abounds as we play with crackle paste, modeling paste, and metal patinas.Gossamer pages hold butterfly wings and dried flowers. See the countless ways thenew Distress Stains can tint and color every surface.
Your finished book will be filled with
the wonders of your true, beautiful nature.

A kit of essentials is included

10 am till 4pm
cost $115. includes catered lunch

Limit 12
Email to register

Saturday, Nov. 5th "Kisses sweeter than Wine" bracelet with Louise McClure
10 am till 4pm

Create this narrative, mixed-media bracelet complete with three
very special charms and one wire wrapped and beaded fabric bead. #1: Layer
images and elements in a resin filled metal bezel. #2: Apply text from a vintage
french dictionary to a chandelier crystal. Add bits of fiber, glass beads,
swarovski crystals. #3: Layer a lovely lucite flower with a swarovski crystal
rondel. #4: Learn to wrap, hammer and oxidize copper wire to create special
beaded links, wire wrapped fabric beads and closures.

Class fee $95. Includes ALL the materials
just bring your jewelry tools ie; pliers etc to the class.
Limit 12

So far our calendar for 2012 includes the following instructors....
Jane LaFazio
Michael deMeng
Sue Pelletier
• Louise McClure
Kristi Steiner

• • • • • • • • •
Our new address is
481 Louisiana ave
saluda, NC 28773

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's that time again

Believe in Yourself Retreat
Sept 7-11th, 2011
"Creativity is the Spice of Life"

(Close up view of the Spice of Life project for this years' retreat)

Yes, it's that time again for short trek up the mountains to cooler temps and refreshing air for
The Believe in Yourself Retreat in Blowing Rock, NC.

Each year we all look forward to this laid back, creative adventure with
Kristi Steiner and Susan Edmonson. We have so much fun
taking 3 full days to interact with everyone & watch the process of the individual creativity. It's truly amazing how each
person comes up with such a different take on
what Susan and Kristi have designed.
(A group of happy participants at Believe in 2010)

From using different fabrics and embellishments
to changing the colors to match their own decor.
We just love watching this and... providing all the necessary
products to make it happen.

It's your time to play, and ours!
NO phone, NO kids, NO tv,
NO laundry, NO work, NO interruptions!

(Kristi, Susan, & their staff of volunteers)

The clear mountain setting of Blowing Rock sets the tone
for this one of a kind retreat complete with it's very
own, best of the best vendors. ie Random Arts, Fiber on a Whim &
Paula with her amazing doo daas and antique buttons.

Our theme for 2011 is Creativity is the Spice of Life.
Susan and Kristi will be offering the latest in mixed-media techniques
as they introduce an exciting new project.
The retreat is limited to 50 creative spirits,
and there are still a few spaces available for
last minute decision makers.
Contact Susan (
Kristi (
for registration details.

Every detail is designed to pamper and surround you with endless inspiration.

• Enjoy 3 days of creative play with Kristi and Susan.

• Shop with fabulous vendors offering the newest
artistic essentials.

• Beautiful room accommodations are provided by the
Meadowbrook Inn, with breakfasts included.

(Karina and Vicki doing their thing and having a blast together)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Progress for the new and improved Random Arts

The big digging and moving machines arrived again yesterday to
do "their thing" at our new location in Saluda.
The guy who "drives" that thing and tells
everyone else what to do is Chris,
and he is a local Saluda guy.

So, after putting down tons of gravel they
came to lay the timbers on the perimeter.
Long, heavy timbers that they hammered
and screwed to the ground.

There was only one little scrub tree in the way
and within seconds that big machine
took it down and moved it away.
I told them that they should take a clipper
and cut each branch and let it fall . . .
Did they listen to me ? NOOOOO!

They did it their way, which turned out
to be a much faster and efficient way.
What do I know anyway?

Now, what does Paul do?
Check it out below...
He gets here and gets
out his LEVEL to see if they
did it right!
My own "Mike Holmes"

Random Arts is on the move but the parking lot is there to stay...
level or not,
that is the question.