Val's Art Studio

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hello Cardinal!

Detail from a needle felted scarf featuring a male Cardinal (sold)

I had to fly off to North Carolina for the past few days. My dear Uncle Rich passed away. We had a beautiful celebration of life for him, and in the beauty of that, my brothers, sister, parent, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, and other extended family I hadn't met came together. Whew! It was a tribe, but it was so much fun! 

In all I experienced, what I brought back home was a reminder... A gentle nudge that our families are our everything. They are the glue that holds us together. The ones who have our backs when we falter, and the ones we care enough to hold together when their worlds fall apart (as worlds have a tendency to do). Life isn't cruel... it is a teacher to us. And our family are the ones who help us put the puzzle pieces together when we can't figure them out on our own. I do so love my family, and feel blessed to have been born into this group of like-minded souls. I feel truly lucky, indeed.

I couldn't resist posting one of my needle felted Cardinals today. I was fortunate enough to actually see a mated pair flitting through the natural gardens at Duke University. The formal gardens were spectacular, brimming with an array of the most beautiful flowering trees and plants I think I've ever seen together. Each one begging for attention, and demanding your eyes to linger there first, and the longest! Then, in homage to my Landscape Architect husband, I dragged everyone into the natural gardens, where we meandered amongst craggy, sloping walkways, with natural ponds filled with frogs, and places to set for a few minutes and watch the birds. And then... well, hellooo Cardinals! I felt like I was in paradise!

xx, Val

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I love you, Bunny!

Oh, Honey-Bunny, how cute are you?
I love all your sweetness
And that neat pink box too.
You make my heart pitter
With the love that you bring,
Your expression, so honest
Why, you make my heart sing!

Thank you, sweet students, for all the fun and camaraderie we shared in our bunny class yesterday. And goodness! Aren't those bunnies adorable?! Each one came out so unique and loveable! 

And now, I must share a quote overheard during our few hours of needle felting:

"I just think (my bunny) is frikkin' adorable!" -Gay

Well, so do I! They all came out frikkin' adorable!


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Feathered hoops!

Yesterday, we had a small group of participants for the Feather Hoop class, but I do so love small group classes. It means a more relaxed pace for me, when I can teach and enjoy getting to know my students. We can sit and visit amongst the needle felting and stitching demonstrations. It's such a nice experience for all involved. 

In fact, I might limit class enrollment for the future!

xx, Val

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cute gremlins

Look what was on my desk when I came into my office this morning! It's soooo cute! Apparently, the cute gremlins were busy last night.

I'm taking not one, but TWO online classes right now; Do/Teach and Lilla Rogers MATS Bootcamp. In trying to catch up, make a little art, and listening to the lessons yesterday afternoon, my hands went to town while my focus was elsewhere. I finished this right before I went home, and didn't really have time to admire it properly before I left.

So I hung it on the wall, but it seemed like it needed a bit of definition. I had this little wood wreath sitting on my desk, and it fit inside there so nicely. 

"Hello Spring!" by Val's Art Studio

Cute, cute. Makes me happy. Isn't that what it's all about?!

Hope you have a cute day!
xx, Val

Monday, February 24, 2014

MATS Bootcamp

Bootcamp sounds intimidating to me, but after taking Lilla Rogers MATS A + B Classes (Make Art That Sells) -find out more by clicking here, I knew I could handle any Bootcamp 'intensity' that might come my way. Honestly, anyone who can finish one 5 week segment of MATS classes, where you go through five different industries, learning the industry details, and creating an incredible body and variety of work in such a short time, should receive a medal! It was dang intense.  

So, Bootcamp means one project per month... a dream! This first month's assignment was to sketch up cuckoo clock design options, and ultimately to create a cuckoo clock smart phone case.

Val's Art Studio cuckoo clock illustrations

My initial sketches involved animal shapes. Well, naturally.... after all, I had been working on a new set of woodland needle felted nesting animals. (Please don't judge this guy too harshly, his eyes aren't in yet. I can't yet decide to have them open or closed!)

Fox needle felt by Val's Art Studio (Sold)

From there, my design evolved into a sort of birdhouse cuckoo clock built from felted wool scraps out of my overflowing scrap bin. Heck, I have to do something with all those luscious feltie woolie bits! I cut and "pasted" but not in photoshop... with scissors, glue and thread. I love every minute of creating art in this manner :o)

After this assemblage was finished, I needle felted the birds in place, stitched some details, added a couple of dried flower buds to act as the pinecone weights, and then was finally ready to negotiate with my Photoshop skills. Yep. I negotiate. Sitting near me while I navigate photoshop is an exercise in using earplugs!

Here's the before and after. I'm not sure if there's a tremendous difference, but I worked on it for at least a day...

Finally, I created the background, a simple logo, and uploaded it to the gallery. Tomorrow, you can see it live on Lilla Roger's website. It will be in the company of crazy pants talented artists and illustrators. I am so ex-cited!!!

" Hello There!" MATS Bootcamp submission by Val Hebert

Thanks for visiting!
x, Val

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hoops 101

I love to show off the beautiful work from my talented students. These fun hoops were from Sunday's Heartfelt Hoop class. Unfortunately, students left before we could get all the hoops photographed. But a few fun hoops are better than none, right?! Thank you students friends, for the creative time together, and for brightening my art world in a very big way!

x, Val

Monday, February 10, 2014


Hello there! Meet Jackson. He is a very sweet and handsome kitty. 

Jackson's "people" (aka owners) recently got married, but were sad Jackson couldn't be a part of their special ceremony. Fortunately, I was very happy that I could offer a possible solution. 

Jackson is really a good poser. He sat nicely for a photo portrait. Then I needle felted his likeness onto a upcycled felted wool canvas (matching the colors in the couple's living room rug, I might add :o), and made it into a special wedding pillow. The pillow was used during the wedding to carry the couple's rings. 

Now, Jackson is very content to pose alongside his namesake buddy. They're like twins :o)

Very handsome twins. Do you agree??!

If you would like a needle felted portrait of your special buddy, please visit this link by clicking here.

If you would like to see how I create this type of pet portrait with needle felting, please click here.

x, Val

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New classes!!!

YAY! New classes are always so exciting for me to announce! All classes are taught at Paper Tales, in Point Loma, located near the intersection of I-8 and I-5 freeways. So simple to find! Call 619-222-2510 to sign up for a class. We will have sooo much fun, and hope you can join in :o)

Class #1: Valentine "Be Mine" Hoop Class - Sewing with 3-D Felted Wool 
Just in time for a Handmade Valentine!

Feb 9,  1- 3:30pm - $38.00 includes all materials to make this project. 

Class Description: Learn embroidery and no-machine sewing skills while you create the most unique and heartfelt Valentine. We will create a lovely handmade Valentine that is suitable for gifting or keeping for yourself to bring just the right amount of cheer into your home, So, so sweet! We will be creating a collage of 3-D felted wool that you will sew in place, and embellish with found objects. Finally, you will "frame" your gorgeous art in an embroidery hoop, and it will be ready for display at the end of this class!

Class #2: Rainbow Art Feather Hoop Class - Introduction to Flat Needle Felting 

March 22, 3-5:30 pm - $35.00 includes all materials to make this project.  *Needle felting tools are NOT included, but are available for a discounted price on the day of the class.

Class Description: Learn basic flat needle felting, embroidery and no-machine sewing skills while you create this beautiful feather framed in an embroidery hoop. Needle felting is using special barbed needles to attach two natural fiber elements together, essentially "painting" with fiber. In this introduction to needle felting class, you will learn the basics of needle felting, and will be using simple embroidery techniques to embellish your fiber painting. Finally, you will "frame" your gorgeous art in an embroidery hoop, and it will be ready for display at the end of this class!

Class #3: Needle Felted Bunny in a Box - An Introduction to 3-D Needle Felting

April 5, 2-6 pm - $65.00 includes felt materials to make this project. *Needle felting tools are NOT included, but are available for a discounted price on the day of the class. 

Class Description: Learn advanced 3-D needle felting skills while you create the most irresistible bunny ever, and just in time for Easter! Needle felting is using special barbed needles to sculpt wool fiber into shapes. In this class, you will learn how to make a solid wool sculpture, and then make a felt box in which you can pose your bunny. 


You do not need to have previous needle felting or embroidery skills to take my classes, but if you have not needle felted before, an extra measure of patience will be needed on your end. I will help you, so please do not worry!

- Warning: needle felting is enjoyable and relaxing. Be prepared to become addicted!!

- Suppliesclass fee includes one kit to make the class project, which includes the necessary materials, BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY NEEDLE FELTING TOOLS. You will need to bring (or purchase) a set of Clover brand Fine needle felting needles, a foam felting mat, and (optional) a Clover brand "pink pen" style needle felting tool which holds 3 needles. Remember, tools may be purchased on the day of the class for a discount. You will need to bring a small pair of scissors and may also want to bring a pair of "cheater" style glasses if you need them, as we always work "small" in my classes!

- Come to have fun! We always do :o)

I can't wait to see you at an upcoming class very soon!

x, Val

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cutes alive and well

Yep, thank goodness! The cutes are alive and well, and continue to run rampant through my studio! 

Snow Friend with Leg Warmers by Val's Art Studio

Hunny Bunny in a Wee Box by Val's Art Studio
Hunny Bunny in a Wee Box will be an upcoming class. Don't worry if you are on my class list and haven't heard from me lately. I am just in the class creating mode still, and will rope down those dates! As soon as they are set, I will send out a newsletter. Please hold tight!

Now as far as my work space goes, you can see here that I am focused on a few other more mundane tasks than creating the Cutes. Have no fear, every so often, I  * m u s t  s t o p * and get back to creating the Cutes. These sweet objects help my imaginative life to flourish when my mundane life takes center stage. Don't you know how true that is!

x, Val

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy new year, happy twenty fourteen!

Happy New Year to you and yours!!! How has 2014 been treating you so far? I hope you have eased into the new year with grace, promise, and prosperity!

My new year started off just right with some of my work featured in the latest Sew Somerset issue, front and center! I was contacted mid last year by the publisher, who found my special needle felted pillows in my Etsy shop. Several had already sold, but I recreated the ones I could, and made a few new ones too. I was thrilled to learn they put all of them into this beautiful magazine. 

Sew Somerset Winter 2013-14

My bird pillows have been some of the most popular items I have created. They are like movable room art, happily sitting on a guest room bed, living room chair, in a bookshelf niche, anywhere! Each one is one of a kind, completely unique. I start with felted wool from recycled sweaters, patchwork them together, then needle felt an irresistible bird to the cover. Then I sew them into a beautiful pillow. I put so much love and care into each one. An X and an O from me to you :o)

Check your local Barnes and Noble, JoAnn Craft store, or specialty book store to get your copy. There are plenty of other fantastic projects in this issue besides yours truly...

Here's to a great beginning to 2014!

x, Val

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Happy Wooly-days!

Things are always so busy this time of year that the days just *poof* disappear faster than a swirl of blowing snow! I hope you are enjoying these magical days, and for you, they are filled with delight. I offer you up a holiday wish filled with some wooly love during this season, today, and always!

I have finished up my show season for 2013. Now it's time to buckle down and complete those holiday orders. Oh man, I have to stay focused! Many dog pillows, but a couple of bird pillows too. Now those will be easy!

With love,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Winter class (Finally!)

I will admit it, I'm always a bit late to the party…  We "Crafter People", (ie ME), are supposed to get those holiday project ideas knocked out in, say, May. I will admit here and now that my mind does not do Christmas in May! It doesn't even do Christmas in September OR October. Apparently, my crafter brain doesn't really get into the Christmas swing until mid-November. Sheesh...

Snow Happy Hoop Art by Val's Art Studio

Well, I finally get a bright idea, then put it in motion, and when it's all done, it's obviously time to re-evaluate. This snowman hoop (above) as a class project will take any novice oh... about 16 hours to complete. So, it's back to the drawing board. How about plan B? I think we can manage this one in about a 2-3 hour window:
Snowfriends Hoop Art by Val's Art Studio
This fun Holiday Snow Happy Hoop class will be offered at Paper Tales on Dec 15 from 2-5pm. Call over to sign up... 619-222-2510

x, Val

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Queen Bee Wrapup

Red-Necked Tanager Needlefelt by Val's Art Studio
Woodland Owl Needlefelt by Val's Art Studio
I do love doing shows. It gives me a break from work, work, working away in my studio. It gets me out into the light of day, and it gets me talking to people. Wow, think of that! Even though it was always a dream of mine to do what I now do, meaning being a working artist, it does make for rather quiet, solitary days. I don't mind that a bit. But the break is always nice!

The other thing I like about the shows is when people ask me for something specific. My sweet bird hoops (look here too) were a popular item at this past weekend's market. But then there's always the rogue question: "Do you have these with owls on them?" And my mind quickly goes to 'now, why didn't I think of that?!' So, now I will be doing a few owls, And a few holiday appropriate themed hoops too. I'm thinking about snowmen. Snowmen with birds… snowmen on scooters. Kooky snowmen, oh heck! Stay tuned…

And my next show is coming up in just a few weeks. Talmadge is on Sunday, Nov 24. Mark your calendars!

x, Val

PS. You can find my newest hoops in my Etsy shop (along with some super cute snowmen hoops too) by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Become a Queen for a day!

Believe me, you will feel like a Queen Bee at this fantastic show! And it's this coming Friday and Saturday Now, let me warn you, take your "pocket book", and prepare to shop. And even if there's nothing you need, well, there are plenty of things you will find that you just can't live without!

And don't tell me I didn't warn you!

See you at the Market!!!

x, Val

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

To the birds

            ... What else is new???

Hope your week is going along well. I am taking MATS 1B, so I will be going under for a bit... take care, and until then, get your bird on!! (Sorry, I admit I'm a bit batty. Yikes!)
x, Val

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hoop Happy

Needle Felted Birds in Embroidery Hoops by Val's Art Studio

This weekend is the Coronado Art Walk. I should warn you that I've been rather "hoop happy" as of late, and unless all my bird hoop pieces have sold out of Austin's Gallery, I should have several for sale. Each is one of a kind, and they have been quite popular. So, if someone is interested in a bird hoop, I do suggest they arrive rather early ;o)

x, Val

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Here it is! Val's Art Studio Needle Felting Video: Process and Perception

Yay! Here it is! Enjoy :o)

x, Val

Completion of the stop motion video!!!

When one is in the middle of making a 5 minute stop motion video, one must get used to the hijacked nature of their computer. That is, after an additional 3000+ photos and 30+ videos invade the normally calm conditions. Yep, one view of that stupid spinning ball, and the curses starts flying! Or, get used to finding batches of crazy photos taking over the iPhoto library. Do not, do NOT think that once they photos are in iMovie you can trash them. Oh no... they must stay put until the video is in final cut version! Here's a small sample of what my iPhoto library looked like this morning, before I began moving everything - all 3000/30 of them to the beloved external hard drive!

And then there are the endless shots of a single item in many different settings, situations, and experimental backgrounds. There are lighting dilemmas to review, shadow problems, and things that just don't "look right". Two critical artists with a bit of OCD will rework things until the cows come home...

Or, until the bunnies finally fall asleep :o)

Today, the video is done! As I write this, it is in the process up being uploaded to YouTube, and I hope to be able to share it with you later today!

Now, I will get back to freeing up my computer's compacted memory. Hopefully that spinning ball goes away for good!!

x, Val

Monday, July 29, 2013

MATS1 and the GTS (Global Talent Search)

My submission for the Global Talent Search, a Journal cover for Paperchase

Taking online art and business classes have been a way for me to broaden my art world over the last few years in more ways than one. Undoubtably, I have been learning the subject matter at hand, but of equal importance, I have been broadening my reach into the creative cosmos in the form of connectivity to an art population that is much greater than I could ever hope to gain by taking art classes in my community. I'm talking about a worldwide art community!

To date, I have taken several classes from these amazingly talented people:

Kelly Rae Roberts' Flying Lessons:

From Do What You Love, by Kelly Rae Roberts and Beth Kempton: 

Also from Do What You Love: Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells

Needless to say, my art brain is growing, stretching, and becoming so many more in ways I could have never imagined! I really recommend these fantastic classes for anyone interested in growing their art business.

And now for a sweet peek at a sweater made with one of those cute bunnies featured in my GTS submission... Awww! 

"Busy Letter B" by Val Hebert

Have a busy artsy day!
x, Val