Friday, November 13, 2015

Holiday Show Prep

I take my holiday shows so personally.... the way I see it is this is my one chance to reach out to you and share my heart and my creativity. I love doing shows (once I get past the organizational nightmares... literally, I wake up at night with nightmares that I have forgotten all my product. Or worse. Really?)  And the crazy thing is that I am behaving like a real retailer. I stock up for the holidays like nobody's business!

This holiday ushers in a brand new show audience for me. I will be doing Maker's Arcade in San Diego on Dec 5, and the Stocking Stuffer Pop-Up with The Printed Palette in Del Mar on Dec 12. (Please check out my Events page for a detailed listing of all my upcoming events) I am teaching two brand new classes (details on the Events page too!), and am even participating in a Pop-Up retail event at UTC Mall in San Diego the 4 days before Christmas. All I can say is that I will be one tired pup come December 25! It's all good, though. This is why I do this!

So, I do hope you will mark your calendar if you are in the Southern CA area, and come see me at an upcoming event. And, even though I will be super duper busy, I will try to get back here and post photos of my latest handmade yummies. (please remember you can always see the latest of what I've been up to on my Instagram page :o)


Monday, October 19, 2015

The one BIG Handmade Day is December 5th this year!

I really do think Fall has arrived! Our weather has (finally) cooled off, we've actually had some rainy days (thank you, El Nino) and today, I wore a SWEATER when I left the house! Can you believe it?! I am one who loves warm weather, but I do NOT love weeks worth of humidity (ugh), hordes of summer vacationers making my quaint home town look like main street Disney South, or mosquitos. I definitely hate HATE mosquitos.

So, if you receive my email newsletter (you can sign up for it here- scroll down to see the sign up box) or you can just click on that box to the right --->, you will know that many of the holiday shows I normally attend moved their show dates, and now they ALL are holding their events on December 5th this year. So, that is pretty challenging. First of all, vendors will have a tough time being in more than one place at a time, and the same can be said for shoppers! Really people? Show organizers all vying for the same date? I think we need to change Shop Small Saturday to December 5th this year. It's just cray....

Two of the wonderful shows I normally do are Queen Bee Market and Artisans' Alley in Coronado. Plus, the Talmadge Art Show which takes place the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Well, this year, I am not doing any of those wonderful shows *sniff* BUT, (and it's a good but) I am doing Maker's Arcade AND Unique LA

And, double guess what??? They are BOTH ON THE SAME DAY! Oh, holy heck. How can a person be in two places at one time, let alone 4 or 5? The Handmade Marketplace scene sure is challenging for me this holiday season.

Well, and I have said this before, it's good to have people who have your back. ANd, boy, am I glad I do. I will be at Unique LA with all my Unique woolie goodness, and my faithful assistant, Miss Toshi Awesomeness will be representing me at the Maker's Arcade Market. Whew! I'm glad we could at least make this work out!

So, be sure to mark your calendar, and clear the decks for one big Handmade Day in December- Dec 5, AND be sure to save your pennies and get plenty of rest leading up to that big day! And, don't say I didn't warn you....


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Thank you, Glitterfest!

Well, goodness gracious, that Glitterfest show was waaaay too much fun! My assistant extraordinaire, Toshi, and I were amazed at how much this show had to offer; fantastic location, incredible artists/vendors, exceptional products for sale EVERYWHERE, wonderfully supportive shoppers, and the show was fantastically organized! It was a "Wow!��" around every bend! Here we are at the start of our day...

... Cause, you know, this is how Toshi and I roll... We ARE two glitter babes!

Here are a few more photo snippets for you...

The black cat bag caught everyone's eye!

Mr. and Mrs. Skully kept their eyes on everyone!

I wish I had photographed all the doll vignettes, but alas I did not...

The woodland vignettes are always so popular!

And, last but not least... I'd like to introduce you to Barbara. She proved to be my model extraordinaire for the day. Thank you Barbara!

She looked positively brilliant modeling my gorgeous swing capes. I'm so glad she took this one home. It looked like it was made just for her!

Glitterfest was such fun! Yes, I will be back :o)


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Glitterfest Prep!

Glitterfest is this weekend, and I am getting so ready! This morning, I freshly painted my nails with a nice coat of glitter polish, aren't they pretty?!

Even though I don't normally do more than a few Halloween related pieces, this year, I am doing so many more! Will you look at this Trick or Treat party girl? She's killing me!

Then, there are the skull and pumpkin brooches. I made a few last year, and sold them all. So this year I made more, and even threw in a feisty mustached one. Lol, you've got to love a mustached pumpkin!

And, dolls.... I am smitten with the dolls right now. I have one halloween masked doll, and this Pretty in Pink sweetie. The purse... look at the purse! She's so Vogue :o)

And then there's this Miss Pumpkin doll, who I finished today! Oh my! She's standing in a glitter pumpkin patch! With a sparkle crow friend.... 

Come and see me at this weekend's Glitterfest. I'm sure it is going to be so much FUN!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

I will be at Glitterfest on Oct 10!

Have you heard of Glitterfest? I have heard it is a wonderful show! I have never been to Glitterfest before now, but I am completely smitten with the name. I mean, really? "Glitter-fest" The pictures conjured up in my mind are so sparkle-pretty, I can't bear it!

I will be there, in Sparkle-delight! In fact, I am creating some extra fun pieces with Glitterfest in mind....

Glitter-sparkle Hoops!

Halloween Dolls in Costume :o)

And certainly, I will be sporting Glitter-sparkly fingernails :o)

See you there! (Find out more by clicking the show link here)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fixing moth holes with needle felting!

Hi there! If you find this, or another of my
tutorials helpful and would like to make a monetary contribution 
to help me keep my woolie ideas flowing, I would be most grateful.
By clicking the "Buy Now" button below you can 
choose your own price for the tutorial. 
It's completely optional, but so appreciated! 

Well, hello!

Falling into the category of Needle Felting Tips and Tricks, today I offer you a snippet from my Flat Needle Felting e-course (find out more by clicking here and here) by way of a video! How fun, right?! I love diy videos, and I hope you like this one too!

The video is straight out of my FLAT Needle felting e-course, so no instruction is given on this video about needle felting tools, or how to needle felt. This video is added at the very end of the course as Bonus content, and the people taking the course have had a TON of needle felting instruction by the time they get to this video, so I don't need to tell them anything about how to needle felt*. 

Also, people have watched my hair grow longer and longer through the filming of the course, so that is why I mention my new hair cut! ;o)

*If you are curious about needle felting, you can certainly learn just the basics by checking out the class listing here. All the e-courses and patterns I currently offer are here.

Now go fix those moth holes! Winter is on it's way :o)


Friday, July 31, 2015

I'm in Stuffed Magazine!

Woop! How fun is this?!

I have had a love affair with Stuffed Magazine for quite some time. I love so many of the projects, and how inspired I feel to create after looking through this publication. 

I am fortunate to have my Mr. and Mrs. Sugar Skull dolls featured in the Fall 2015 issue of Stuffed magazine! Here are a couple of (not very good) photos of the article.

You can find a copy of Stuffed at your local fine bookstore, or arts and craft stores. Pick up a copy today. You'll be glad you did :o)


Friday, July 24, 2015

Hello Felt Tips and Tricks: Making an Old Sweater New Again

Hi there! Hello Felt is back with more Tips and Tricks, and felty news I hope you can use. :o)

Here in the US, we are in the middle of summer, and it has been muggy here lately. Whew! We are not used to mugginess at the coast. But this is what we have, so we will make do. Good thing my studio has A/C, I am all set here. This means I can still work on wool without much displeasure.... or sweating. We don't like sweating over here either!

Recently, I had a long-time client bring me a batch of beloved sweaters that she wants me to rework. The sweaters are heirloom pieces she has owned and worn with love, as well as pieces from her family. One her mother knitted, and wore much of her adult life. So sentimental, it's almost impossible to throw away these wonderful knit garments. So we are going to rework them. 

As I am working on them, I have selected a few photos to share with you. But, I am so sorry that I did not take any Before photos. I am so bad at these things sometimes! The sweaters all looked pretty terrible, and it didn't even occur to me to take any before pictures... that is, until I finished the first one, and saw such an amazing transformation! So, the only Before photo is this one here. You can see the huge hole on the front of the sweater, which unfortunately makes the sweater pretty much unwearable. 

This lovely sweater (above) by Beau Tricot was repaired by mending the holes, and needle felting a design over the top. The two sleeves were badly damaged, so I actually removed them, and switched them out with another pair of sweater arms (Yes! It CAN be done!) The tutorial for this sweater repair will be a part of my upcoming Hello Felt Needle Felting course, specifically, the Flat Needle Felting lesson, which you can learn more about here

Never fear, I am going to show you how I mended another one of her sweaters.... 

The second sweater, which again, I have no (ugly) Before photo. This sweater is a beautiful (and costly, I might add) Eileen Fisher linen tape knit sweater. The owner had gotten a large nasty stain on the front, it appeared to be oil of some type, and she had no luck in getting the stain out. The stain was approximately 1" by 2" long. Very unsightly, and rendered the sweater unwearable. As she loves the sweater dearly, she brought it to me for ideas on how to salvage the piece.

We discussed adding a pocket, but she really liked adding an artsy band of felted wool, much like what I had done in the hummingbird pillow, below. 

So, I found a bit of striped felted sweater wool in my overflowing stash, with a color palette that suited her Eileen Fisher sweater beautifully.

I began by 2" wide cutting strips of the felted wool. (Side note: felted wool is wool you have washed and shrunk, so when you cut it, it doesn't unravel)

Then I pinned the strips carefully in place. Since only one strip might look "weird" or out of place, I added 3 strips to the sweater in several areas on the front and back of the sweater, even though we only needed one to cover over the stain. When doing this type of repair work, it is most desirable to make the sweater look like these design elements were intentional from the start. 

You might note how I made sure to lay the strip of wool evenly in place along the knit lines of the garment, meaning the vertical placement of the strip matched up with the vertical lines of the knitting. In the photo above, my finger is pointing to the place where I covered up the stain. 

I pinned the strips in place, and then I used Liquid Stitch sewing glue to lightly glue down the edges of the strips. I let the glue dry for about an hour, and then I stitched the strips down with black embroidery floss. 

In the photo below, you can see again how I lined up the strip of felted wool with the knit lines of the garment. Little details like this mean your repair work looks intentional and neat, and not like something you did haphazardly. I'm sure people will comment when my client wears the sweater how artsy she dresses! 

Here's the remade sweater, all fixed up: 

Now, go take a look for a few stain marked sweaters in your closet (I know they're there!), and see if there's a way for you to breathe some life back into them. Artsy ladies, that we are!


PS. My Hello Felt FLAT Needle Felting course is about to go LIVE! You can find out more by clicking on this link, or look at the course specifics here. I certainly hope you will join me by learning this wonderful craft!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Introducing: Hello Felt Tips & Tricks!

Everybody loves a good bit of free advice, right?! Especially when it has to do with something we feel passionate about, and really enjoy doing. I know I certainly do :o)

So, I am going to offer a hopefully somewhat regular series of Tips and Tricks for you needle felters out there! I posted a great tip a few weeks ago... did you see it? If not, you can take a look here.  It was all about how to NOT regularly break your needle felting needles during your crafting sessions. I got some feedback that people liked what I had to say, so I am going to keep it up.

Todays Tip & Tricks topic is:
What fabrics can I needle felt onto?
What a great question! This is one I am often asked when teaching classes on FLAT needle felting.

What is "Flat" needle felting? Flat needle felting is what you see in the image above. It is when an image is needle felted onto a backing fabric. I also refer to this type of needle felting as "painting with fiber", because that is basically what we are doing. We are using loose wool roving (the paint) and with sharp barbed needles (the "paint brush") we are creating an art image on a backing "substrate", which will be suitable for hanging on the wall, or on clothing, or on home decor items.

What fabrics can I needle felt onto? The basic rule of thumb is this: Any natural fiber fabric will work. So, a 100% wool, 100% silk or 100% cotton fiber backing should take the action of needle felting with little resistance. Please note: silk and some delicate fibers will pull as you needle felt, so it's best to try your project first on a scrap piece of fabric to make sure you are not bothered by the result.

Why is it so hard to needle felt onto a fabric I found at the thrift store? I thought it was 100% natural. Generally, if the fabric you are needle felting onto provides you great resistance, it is most likely a mixed fiber fabric, with synthetics in the mix. The needle felting needles will not felt into synthetics, also that is probably the root of your trouble. Best to give up on this fabric for needle felting - hey, you can paint on it instead! And keep looking for a 100% natural fabric. Read those clothing labels to double check.

More soon on felting your own wool to use as a fabric base. So, stay tuned and check back regularly!


PS. Don't forget that my Hello Felt online classes will be ready very soon in my Etsy shop. Click here to check the current offerings, or click here to be added to a mailing list so you can be among the first to know when the classes are ready to go live (scroll to the bottom of the page). Also, newsletter subscribers will be given specials and discount codes... hint hint!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Hello Felt Launch Update

So, June 1st has come and gone, and I bet you are all ready to sign up for the Hello Felt online e-course. But, guess what? I have a big ol' CHANGE UP in store for you.... It is a good thing, I promise!

Rather than a 4 week intensive course, I have decided to offer the class as individual modules you can take in your own time, at your own pace, and where you can purchase only the lessons you want to learn
Also, there will be an option for a private 1-on-1 session with me, should you feel you need it. I think this is a super cool idea, and I hope you agree!

How has this come about? you may be wondering. You see, I always do a bit of soul searching as each calendar year comes to an end, and try to do some vision planning for the upcoming year. Mixed in with this is a bit of intuitive knowing, where I just open myself up to the pushes and pulls of the universe. I simply ask... and patiently wait for the answer.... Well, last December as I was practicing this, the vision that came to me was that 2015 would be a year of "Quiet Waiting". And the word that came to me was .... Trust.... (big breath in, big breath out...)

When I put out my Hello Felt newsletter a couple of weeks ago, I was very excited, but I was also terrified because I've never done anything like this e-course before. Was I doing it the right way? Would people really sign up? Remember, I am practicing "Trust" and I knew my intuitive guides would lead me where I need to go... 

Wow, I know this might be a case of "TMI" (too much information) or, might be a little too much "woo hoo"-ee for you. I get that, because I am a pretty practical sort of person. But when the intuitive guides speak to me, I do sit up and take notice. It's the kind of thing like when you are listening to your gut, or your heart. Do you do this too?

In the past couple of weeks, a sort of crazy wind whipped through my life, and believe me, it was enough of a physical and spiritual message to make me sit up and take notice. Yes-sirr-ee, it did. Was I listening? Wait... Was I practicing the notion of Quiet Waiting? Humm... apparently I was not. 

Is it fair to step back in life when we are pressing forward on a course of action? Yes, I believe it is absolutely fair, and sometimes extremely necessary. For what is at stake if we do not listen to our intuitive guides? In my humble opinion,  I believe our very soul and peace of mind are at stake. 

So, it has come to me out of a place of Trust and Quiet Waiting to not hold a 4 week intensive online e-course. But, so as not to rob YOU of the experience to learn about needle felting that you may be looking forward to, I am going to make ALL my course material available to you

Classes will be loaded into my Etsy shop between now and mid July. In mid July, there will be an announcement when the classes are ready to "go live", meaning if you buy a class between now and mid-July, you will automatically get an email that tells you the class is all ready for you to access. Or, you may wish to join my Hello Felt newsletter here (scroll to the bottom of the page) so you can be notified as soon as the class links are live and ready to access. Then you can go and shop for only the class(es) you wish to take. I LOVE this idea, and know that this is the way I prefer to take online classes, and I hope you'll agree with me. 

As ever, please leave me a message if you have questions or any comments, and I promise, I will get right back to you.

Happy in Felt...always :o)

Monday, June 1, 2015


Watercolor by Val Hebert,

There's a big story behind this sentiment, but I am fairly certain if I told you, you would freak out. Because, basically, I have freaked out pretty much every day for the past two weeks.... plus three years. But, I am hoping that the overall freak out is going to maybe (please) just maybe settle down. 

My big fat dream is coming true... and we are finally moving back into our beloved house. This doesn't come lightly. When we move next Monday, it will mean 3 moves within a 6 week timeframe. These aren't little moves, these are whole house moves. Costing like around $1000/move. Not to be taken lightly, we have been moving not because we want to, but more because we have had to. Yes, I've been praying this prayer for quite some time now... the moving back to our house prayer. It is super crazy the way my prayer has been answered, the way it's finally come about. 

Oh well, it's only money, and it's life... It is life, and I'm just glad to be living it. Especially if I get to live a bit more of it in my house :o)

There's lots of courage going on around here. When things get rough and tough, you can fold up and die, or you can stop, look the mountain in the eye, and summon up all your courage, and dang it, press on! I'm getting really good at the having courage thing. If you ever visit me over in the Arena, you'll know that about me by now. 

But this Kindness thing... that adds an interesting twist. Being courageous has been a way of surviving for me. It's looking at my fear eye-to-eye, and acting anyway. It's not pretty, in fact it can be downright ugly. It is often frightening. Most of the time, it is generally a case of survival for me. I don't like it and I don't like the way I do it. So I need a new way.

I have decided I'm going to do courage with kindness. Sitting side by side on two chairs right next to me. Courage + Me + Kindness. We three. Me in the middle. And, I think it is going to go better. Smoother, and with a little less crazy. At least that's my intention.

Moving day is next Monday. I can't wait. 

See you,

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hello Felt to soon launch!

Hello there, future Felter!

I know you have been waiting on pins and needles to figure out when my online class, Hello Felt, will be ready for signups. 

Well, guess what! The wait is soon over!

I am opening the class for early bird sign ups on June 1, 2015. If you are subscribed to my Hello Felt newsletter (access it here), or on my Val's Art Studio Facebook page (here), or you stay tuned right here.... you will be in the know for getting in on the super generous early bird sign up! ie... discount :o) I DO so love a discount, don't you! 

So, mark your calendars. Early bird sign ups are starting on June 1. All other info can be found on the Hello Felt page here

Can't wait to see you in class!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Wee Dolls

There's nothing quite as charming or fun as wee little dolls. And, when you make them yourself, by hand, start to finish... well, then, they are completely irresistible!

Look at their expressions! And those aprons... the cheeks.... I am completely smitten!!

Our Russian Doll class at Paper Tales was another fun day of crafting :o) I thank each and every one of my amazing classmates, and most especially the very talented Miss Gabi (L) and Miss Maddy (R), who kept our class extra lively!

Do you hate to miss out? Are you too far away from San Diego to come take a class? Well, guess what?! My Hello Felt online class is gearing up to launch on June 1! Check out all the details here, and make sure to sign up for the newsletter so you can take advantage of the early sign up discount!


Friday, May 15, 2015

You know I teach classes, right?

(Man, new things are tough for us, aren't they? I wish we could push a button and we just ... well, we've got it all down...)

I'm getting ready to launch my Online Class, Hello Felt next month. Early sign ups will be open on June 1! (find out more here) Man, this is exciting, but like anything new, I am plain scared to death I'm not going to do it right! (Surely, my fears are baseless because my perfectionism Virgo gene has never let me down. And I know it won't this time either!) 

In an effort to get YOU excited about the class, (and entice you to sign up!) I am going to be writing about needle felting tips, tidbits and tricks right here in this space over the next several weeks. I hope you enjoy it, and if there's something you wish I would cover, please leave me a comment, and I will try to answer it in an upcoming post!

My Needle Felting Q and A for today... 

Q. How do I not break my needle felting needle(s)???

A. These needles are so thin and fine, aren't they? And the DO break really easily. But the good news is that if you learn how to use them properly, and hold them at the right angle when you are working, they will not break. I have needles that have lasted a reeeaallly long time - like a year - and I use my needle nearly every day.

Here is the trick: 
Hold your needles so you are working with them in a straight up and down motion. 
Do not use them like you are writing with a pencil, ie. at an angle. Putting pressure on them in 2 directions - downward and at a slant - will make them snap in half. Hold them straight, and visualize them pushing the roving straight down into the backing wool fabric. You want the roving to go straight into the wool, and bind together strongly. Needle felting the roving in at an angle is not a very secure method, plus, you will need to stop working so you can run to the store and buy more needles...

More tips and tricks on the way to you soon....


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Historic Home Love

Hello there! How have things been going on your end? I have been a busy, busy bee over here. Lately, my life has been all about the Historic Homes in the town I love... Coronado.

This weekend is the Coronado Historic Association's Mother's Day Historic Home Tour. (Whew! That was a mouthful!) The tour makes for a really lovely day. Six beautiful homes are open to tour. Taking the tour with your mom is an extra added attraction. 

In January, the tour organizers asked me to paint all six homes. Each painting will be a gift to the home owner. In the past, home owner gifts have been a photograph of the home. I think a personalized painting is extra special. And, if it's a painting by me... well! What could be better? ;o)

So, here are the lovely six...

"Crown Cottage" is so pretty, isn't it? I painted the painting with a different sky, and hated- H.A.T.E.D. the sky, so I did what any resourceful painter does; I cut it off! And I repainted it, then glued it in place. Can you see where I did my surgery? Follow the roofline of the house out on either side. The new sky works OH! so much better :o)

Crown Cottage is painted in watercolor.

This house is perched on the bay's edge on First Ave. Isn't the view just glorious? The home is a Mid-Century Modern style, and an original Coronado relic. I love that it is so untouched. The backyard has the view everyone will die for- you just don't see such a grand view everyday... well, unless you are these lucky home owners!

 Bay View Home is painted in watercolor.

This sweet home is an original Coronado "Palmer" home. Built in the 1940s, the Palmer built homes were sprinkled all around Coronado. Small and efficient, I lived in a couple of these homes when I was growing up. The one I remember most fondly was located at 353 I Avenue. It's no longer there, but my memory of living in a Palmer will be with me always.

"431 J Ave" is gouache on paper.

"Preservation Matters" is the theme for this oil painting on collaged board. This gorgeous Tudor home was built in 1933. It doesn't actually back up to the beach... we call that "artistic license" :o) It's part of my signature style when painting these oil paintings. 

Here's another oil on collaged board. This house is a 1915 Richard Requa in the Spanish Eclectic style,with the front door designed by Irving Gill. Requa is one of San Diego's master architects. The title of this painting is "A Beautiful History", for certainly, that is what this house has had. 

"520 C Ave", painted in watercolor on paper, follows another of my classic designs, with the patchwork beach at the bottom, signifying the town's close proximity to Coronado beach. I love the classic Craftsman architecture, with it's generous and inviting front porch. Did you know that one could order a Craftsman home from a Sears and Roebuck catelog in the 1920s? It would be shipped by railroad, all materials included, and just needed to be assembled. The cost was just about $2000!

Here's what 520 C Ave looked like when I photographed it just a few weeks before the tour. Imaging my surprise when I delivered the painting, and was told the house colors had been changed... What??? (Urgggh)

Here's the new color scheme. Very handsome, and very Coronado-ish, yes... But it sure would have been nice for the home owners to let somebody know they had plans to paint their house. Really, people?

Fortunately, gouache is a wonderful medium for painting over watercolor with total coverage. I could fix the house without the necessity of repainting the entire painting. Whew.... 

I will have a Limited Edition of 6 historic home cards available for purchase during the tour. One of each, including 520 C Ave in blue. Card packs will be available for purchase at the CHA shop booth during the tour.

Hope to see you there :o)