Sunday, August 31, 2008

The "MUST SEE" art spot in southwestern N.C!!

I must come clean here and tell all that one of the reasons that I most wanted to explore the SW region of N.C. was the shop Random Arts that was featured in Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine, last year! Don't get me wrong, I have long heard of the art mecca that is Ashville and I have been wanting to experience all that the region has to offer for a very long time. But when I saw this article and we were looking for a new place to explore where no one had been before, I decided that the Hendersonville/Saluda area would be "ThE" spot!!
Saluda is a tiny little town very close to the NW border of South Carolina. THe town is charming and wonderful and very small. Nested into a wonderful spot on the tiny Main Street is the amazing Random Arts owned by the delightful Jane Powell.
Meet Jane!! Many of the pieces on the wall behind her are pieces that she has created using torn paper collage!! The items that she is working with are my purchases- I sure had a great time shopping!!!
As soon as I entered the shop I felt right at home! I was engulfed in all things artful- from fabulous ribbons, "wholley paper" (an item totally unique to Random Arts) - to amazing displays of finished art pieces surrounded by everything neccesary to create similar works! It is truely a fairyland of inspiration!!
Jane and I had a great time visiting and I happened to be wearing one of my Scrappy Bead necklaces. She was very curious about it and I offered to return later in the week and do a Demo for her and some of her friends. She was thrilled- I was "Over the moon Thrilled".
I returned on Thursday after being given all sorts of fabulous tips on what to see and do in the area , with her cell phone # in hand in case I 'Needed Anything!" What a doll!!
When I arrived I was so lucky to meet and talk to Joyce Berger and Bead Artist Extrordinaire Louise McClure!! (Be on the lookout for Louise's new book coming out in early 2009 !) It turned out that Joyce had lived for many years, in Hyannis MA, on Cape Cod and had owned a Bead Shop on Main Street in Hyannis for years!! I spent most of my teenage years on Cape Cod! How Cool Is That!! There were also several young ladies visiting the shop who were very interested in my Scrappy Beads so we all got to work!
These two gals were extremely creative and were off the next day to spend time with their artist grandma who was going to spend several art days with them. Needless to say , we all had a blast!!
Here is another shot of all of the treasures to be found at this wonderfully inspirational, "Must See" artists Mecca nestled in the Beautiful country of Saluda, N.C.! When visiting this part of the world , be sure to stay at Cabin Fever Cabins and say "Heh" to Lon andLeslie!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Art Now For AUTISM!

I have finished the piece that I will be sending off for the Art Sale at ART NOW FOR AUTISM.
If you click on the above link you will learn waht this amazing art sale is all about. The SALE begins on October 1 and every penny goes to furthering the cause of AUTISM RESEARCH.

This necklace is 24 inches long and it is made of Fabric Paper beads that have been encircled in copper wire and encrusted with sparkling seed beads. I have been asked to price the piece and I think that I will set the price at 50.00. The necklace will be up for sale at the Art now For Autism site on October 1.. This piece would make a wonderful Christmas present for a lucky someone with the added benefit of the recipient knowing that their gift contributed to the advancement of Autsim Research!

Here are some close-ups!!

I love the copper clasp!

The seed beads are all glass and imported and are a mixture of matte and gloss finishes.

Please stop by the ART NOW FOR AUTISM site! You too, can make a difference!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Awesome mail and Painting my Shoes!!!!

Today was an absolutely wonderful mail day!!! My wonderful friend Martha of Ontario , Canada created a fabulous House Collage for me- we were swap partners and it arrived today!!!!!!! Oh Happy, Happy, Happy!!!! Martha is a mom and a Fulltime kindergarten teacher and a fabulouso artista. You can see more of her wonderful work in the new book A Charming Exchange and on her blog, Destination Unknown.

The task before us was to create a collage on an 11x14 inch canvas with a House theme. You saw my collage for Martha several posts back.

Here is the glorious piece that she has created for ME!!!!!!

The colors, the layers, the textures, the bird, the words, the images of the children- I LOVE it all!!! Here are some close up shots so you can see some of the wonderful details. You can also visit Martha's blog where she wrote about how she created this piece by clicking here!

The top with the darling little bird!

The bottom with the kids!

The middle portions with all of the words and window details. Martha does such wonderful work!! I am soooo very lucky to add this piece to my new art wall in the family room!!

Now for a total change of pace. For 6 years I have been wearing a wonderful pair of Bojrn sandals. I got them for half price in Oklahoma and my feet absolutely adore them. Over the years they have started to show their age although they are structurally very sound. the shine is off the leather, there are paint splatterson them (oh yes!!) and I wear them in the garden when I am opicking veggies. they were starting to look treaty doggone tired, soooooooo, I painted them of course!!!

Here they are!! First of all I wiped them down thoroughly with Isopropyl Alcohol to remove any residual shine (you have got to be kidding!!!) and to remove any dirt (that's more like it!!) Then I went at them with several coats of my Metallic Lumiere paints!! I did all of the design work with the end of the paint brush as I did not want the patterning to come out looking stamped or too perfect. What a fabulous remake!! I have a new pair oF sandals that no one else on the planet can possibly be wearing !! as Michelle Ward would say How Cool Is That??!!???!!! To seal the paint I sponged on two coats of Future Floor Wax and let them dry overnight!!!!

So don't be getting rid of that expensive ,favorite pair of sandals , just paint 'em!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Visitor

Today I spent a few moments setting up for some sunprinting. I have had a lonely idea rolling around in my head for quite awhile now. Finally it has gathered enough detritus and dust bunnies to evolve into a full fledged idea and I wanted to get started. (Sometimes this process takes awhile....) I have been wanting to combine sunprinting with quilting and then painting and embellishing to create an art quilt. I have been so inspired by the work of Laura and Linda Kemshall and their fabulous book The Painted Quilt.

With both of these pieces I will quilt and then paint and then embellish.

I don't even want to begin to count the number of projects I have going on simultaneously!!! But I could not pass up the sunshine and the lack of wind and the presence of the flowers and foliage that I needed from the garden!!

I was finishing arranging the pieces on the wet fabric, a movement in the adjacent flowerbed caught my eye.

Seeing amazing creatures like this Praying Mantis , in my garden, along with all of the birds and butterflies, is the amazing payoff for gardening organically!!!!!!!

Isn't she amazing??? (I have decided that she is a she because it is my garden!!)

Pay It Forward!! I LOVE THIS !!!!!!

This is one of my favorite things to do. DO a simple kindness for someone who is not expecting it, for no reason and ask for NOT A THING in return!!!!This is the theme for the latest Street Team Challenge run by amazing artist, person, friend, Michelle Ward.

Not long ago I recieved a totally unexpected gift from one of my wonderful blogging friends. I was wonderfully surprised and blown away by her kindness. I felt truely loved and appreciated and I thought for about the zillionth time how much my blogging artist friends mean to me. My life has been so enriched and expanded since I started blogging. Sharing my work with "Strangers' and getting feedback from the same folks and establishing friendships based solely on common interests has been truely amazing.

So I am going to Pay that Kindness Forward to one of my inspirational blogging friends. This gal lives far away and we will likely never meet (I suppose one never knows though). She is an incredible inspiration and motivational force for me and I love visiting her blog to see the latest magical creations that she has wrought. I will be sending her a sampling of the amazing beads that my brother brought to me this summer. These beads are very SPECIAL.

They are made from recycled glass by HIV/TB patients (mostly women) in Tanzania. My friend has a passion for beads as I do and my brother was so generous in his gift to me that I immediately thought that I had to share the treasure. I know that my friend will create amazing things with these amazing beads. I also know that she will be very happy to PAY IT FORWARD!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ocean Treasure

One of the things that I look forward to about my visits to Cape Cod, is our time at the beach. For me, being at the beach is not about sunbathing, in fact I do everything possible to limit my exposure to the sun- clothing, #70 sunscreen, hat , sunglasses- I must be quite a sight!. Many of you know that I DO NOT tan and being of scandinavian heritage, I get terrible sunburns and I do not want to get skin cancer. I have finally reached the age where I really don't care about how I look- health is more the issue. I digress.
You all know what a surfer chick my Becca has become, we spend alot of time at the beach, preferably at the best tides for "primo "waves!! The best waves for surfing happen to come at low tide and that is also the best time for treasure!!! Now for me, treasure is tumbled rocks, shells, flotsam and jetsam with the occasional ultra treasure of sea glass!! Well this year Becca outdid herself!! She has become amazingly good at spotting special shells with holes drilled in them (by other sea creatures) while the peices are being tumbled around in the surf. This year on a break from Boogie Boarding , she snatched a peice of Blue Willow porcelain out of the waves!! All who were present proclaimed that she had found the prize of the summer. The piece had been beautifully tumbled and had obviously been in the water for a long time. The gloss glaze was gone and the piece is quite thin. Back in the days of sailing ships, porcelain was used as ballast for the ships- these pieces were usually rejects and therefore were considered only useful for their weight. During the 16-17-18 hundreds there were up to 80 ships a year that were lost off Cape Cod!! So the piece that Becca found could be quite old- I wish that it could tell us from whence it came!!!

Becca's Godmother and my dear friend Rebecca Bunting is a Jeweler. She does amazing work of all sorts, mostly custom and all original designs with amazing gem stones. She is working on her web site but to date has been far too busy keeping up with her customers to get a site up and running.
Here is dear Aunt Rebecca with her namesake and god daughter Becca!! They are great friends.
When we leave Cape Cod we always stop in to vist Rebecca and Rob and their sons in their wonderful home in Guilford CT. Becca asked Rebecca to create a small pendant using her porcelain treasure. We matched Becca's piece up to the gate section on a Blue Willow plate that Rebecca had in her collection! At the top of the pendant you can see the tiny section of gate.
This is what Rebecca created and we are thrilled with it. Now this wonderful beach treasure will become a Woodford family heirloom that Becca can share with her children when they wlk the beaches looking for treasures!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Post Mixup!

Somehow my latest post titled North Carolina Mountain Vacation has been placed following the Bird's Flew In post. To see the latest post, scroll down past the checkered Birdies, and you will read all about our cabin adventures in the Blue ridge mountains. Not sure what gremlins are at work- probably something that I did!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Birds Flew In..... the latest edition of Somerset Home!!! I am so excited to see my Bird Tota for a Child's Room on page 23!!! My friend Martha has a wonderful apron that she created for her classroom on pg 65!! You can check out her piece here!

It is such a fabulous compliment to have work sleected for publication!! It is hard for me to think that other's find my work worthy!! It really gets my isnpirations and motivations recharged and the creativive geers working overtime!

Here is my piece!

Scanning the magazine doesnot do any of the work within any justice! If you happen to be at a newstand that carries the Stampinton Magazines, pick one up and thumb through it! All of these magazines are packed with wonderful inpiration, I just wish that they didn't cost 15.00 a piece!! Just looking is free though!!
Here are some of the pictures that I could not share with you at the time of creation. If you are sending in something for publication , the magazines don't want it to have been seen before! Sorry about the glare on the first shot!

The wings were made out of collaged bits of bright cottons that I fuzed together and then stitched onto a base of paper/fabric. Then I fan folded each wing and tacked it to the brid body with a brightly colored button!

Here is a close up of the bottom bird and the scrap beads that I made to finish it off!

North Carolina Mountain Vacation

We actually returned home form our trip a week ago today, but it feels like months ago. I have had a crazy week that included Tom's trip to Helsinki Finland for work, and the extraction of son Matthew's wisdom teeth. It has been a very "Mommy intensive "week!!

Now back to the focus of this post. We ventured to Saluda, North Carolina, a small town south of Ashville nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains and within spittin distance of South Carolina. I have been wanting to go to Ashville for ages and here we were, finally able to go! We stayed in a great cabin (pictured above) at CABIN FEVER. There are 6-7 cabins owned by Lon and Leslie and their 16 year old son Troy. The cabins are rustic and very comfortable, nestled down in the trees and surrounded by a huge stand of wild Rhododendrons. ( We just missed bloom time! :( )

The cabin that we stayed in was named High Top. It was very private and offered a fresh spring water spigot, fire ring, very adequate kitchen and bathroom, wood stove, screened in porchs and great beds, and fans- it was unusually hot!! We could have taken our dogs with us but I am very glad that, in the end ,we decided to leave them home with neighbors!! There was also a wonderful playground with a cool Zip Line for the kids and a great common area full of rocking chairs and marshmallow roasting equipment. We will definately be returning to Cabin Fever and recommend it highly to anyone wishing to visit the Saluda, Hendersonville, Ashville area. ( Micheal DeMeng stayed at Cabin Fever when he visited Saluda to teach at Random Arts!) More about Random Arts in my next post- that is a story in itself!!

Our front porch with the view that met us each morning!! I am looking forward to visiting again at a time when we could have fire in the woodstove and enjoy cool crisp weather!!

The water from the spring was sooo cold and super fresh. The kids especially liked partaking after the long walk up the hill!

Marshmallows and more s'mores and any excuse to build a fire!!! ( Fire Protection Engineers just love to build fires!!!)

I did manage to find several very late rhodedendron blossoms tucked away and can only imagine how beautiful the area must be when the bushes are at their peak bloom!!

All of the cabins were made from wood generated from the site with wonderful touches like our railing !

The Zip Line that Becca absolutely loved- of course it required the efforts of brother, Mom or Dad to make the whole deal work!!!! Matthew was a very good big brother and hauled Becca down that line quite a few times!!! And Boy did she fly!!!!

Rockers lined up and waiting for some folks to enjoy the fire pit.

As it was sooo very hot we went looking for some water adventure and discovered the area full of waterfalls near Brevard, N.C. We were able to swin at the falls of the Little River in the Dupont National Forest . Becca and I made several trips to the falls, and as you can imagine, I had a very tought ime getting Becca to leave!! These pictures were all taken at Hooker's Falls.

One day we went into Ashville (about a 30 minute drive from our cabin). I found it to be very similar to Portland Oregon in spirit and atmosphere. It is a very creative and energetic city. Next visit I will plan to spend several days there exploring. I did find a fantastic bead store called The Chevron Trading Post- icould have spent hours there and left 100's of dollars behind but as I had DH and children with me, my opportunity for serious trouble was limited. The store was complete with a huge salt water fish tank, comfy sofas, a shop cat you were encouraged to play with as she needed to loose some weight and a very wiggly large yellow lab who could not get enough friendly attention!! All of these ammenities had been added to entertain spouses and children , so serious beaders could get their fill of all of the beading treasures. It worked for about a half an hour!!!

This wonderful metal sculpture was on th street outside a wonderful independant bookstore. The little dog at the far left, made me think of my Buddy.

These window boxes adoned widows that looked out on an alley. It seemed that where ever I looked, I saw that people had paid attention to creative expressions to beautify their surroundings- even on alley facing windows!! Even this drain pipe had been artistically embellished!!

It looks like some sort of wackt totem pole but the point is that someone had taken the time to make it a canvas for creative expression. It was transformed from an eyesore to a focal point! Too Cool!!

I loved what this artist had done with this old window frame!

I did manage to get to Earth Guild- the wonderful crafts supply store that began it's life in Harvard Square Mass. and moved to Ashville over 30 years ago. I can rmember going to the Harvard Square store with my Mom when I was a young teenager to get wool and dyeing supplies!! A wonderful store run by terrific people. There is so muchy more to see in this area that it will take several return trips to take it all in- perhaps without kids!

I will have more on our trip with tales about Random Arts and the impromptu Demo/class that I taught there, in my next post!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Finished before Departure!!

I worked very hard to finish up one last project before we left for our week long trip to North Carolina. A wonderful new friend from Liberty Town in Fredericksburg VA, Elizabeth Seaver , had asked me to create a cell phone purse for her new phone. She does not use pockets and she wanted her cell phone close at hand, or "neck"!
In a previous post I showed you the latest collage fabric that I was working on, the colors are pinks and oranges.
I cut off a segment and embelished with beads and trims, added some of my own scrappy beads in the same color way, created fringe and VOILA, a cell phone purse!
This is the back before the cording was added.

And here is the finished purse from the front with the cording added.

Elizabeth was very pleased with her new purse/necklace! I think that I will probably be creating more of these for future sales!!

Have a terrific day and look for an upcoming post about our wonderful exploration of Asheville and Saluda, North Carolina!!


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