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)


Monday, April 20, 2015

Hoop Happy!

Would you look at these amazing pieces of handmade art?! Don't you love them? I am so impressed with each one :o)

Our "Fly" Feather hoop class was filled with fabric, roving, needle felting and plenty of hand stitching. We had buckets of fun! Thanks so much to Rachel, Gabby, Lisa, Gillian, and Deborah for being the bright spots in my day!

My next class is coming up on May 16: The Russian Dolls are baaaack! Find out more and see the class project by clicking here.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Super cute Lambie class a huge success!

If I wrote for the newspaper, this would be my headline story and photo of the day: 

"Needle Felters Create The Cutest Flock of Lambs Ever!"

Can you believe this cuteness?! Yesterday was the Lambie class, and it was a big success. I love how everyone's lamb has its very own personality. Looks at those legs! Those cheeks! The ears??!! Really???! 


You all were such hard workers, and great students, and we had so much fun!

Thank you, Sheryl, Shelly, Dana, Charlene, Heidi (back row) and Debbie, Ellen and Faith! (front row). You all are the reason I keep teaching, I love it so :o)


PS. If you don't live in Southern CA, and still want to take a needle felting class, my Hello Felt online class will be launching very soon. Visit this link to find out more, and to sign up to be on the waiting list! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wood slice art!

So, I started making some needle felted art on wood slices. I'm not really sure how this came about. I guess I was really liking those taxidermy style felt animal heads on boards. Yup. Don't you love those cuties?! 

As things go with me, I just tried to figure out how I could modify them to fit my little needle felting world over here. I worked on creating flattened needle felts. Then, instead of using plain plaque type boards like the ones you mount certificates onto, I decided to use wood slices. Meet Mr. Fox. He was my first one :o)

Mr. Handsome Fox in a Winter Pose

Things generally really ramp up if I like the first one of a new creation. This is completely evident with Ms. Bunny. I think you'll agree:

Ms. Bunny in a Bunny Suit with Pod Bouquets
Ms. Bunny was a 3 day creation. I guess I worked on her for probably a good 24 hours. (Really?) Sheesh.... But, she is cute. Real cute.

Then, much to my surprise, the February assignment was announces for MATS Bootcamp. What? Painted art on a wood slice? Heck! That is only Right Up My Alley!

Here's what went down:

And this is what happened in the end. Plus, this was only the second painting I have created with gouache. I am in love love LOVE with gouache!

If you are so inclined, you can see the entire lineup of all the art created in February's Bootcamp by clicking here. My Owl and The Pussycat is on page 3.

Happy wood slice art day to you!  =^_^=

Friday, February 13, 2015

New Spring classes!

I've added two new classes to the schedule. Here are pictures of the "irresistibles":

Super Cute Lambies

Fly Feather Hoop Art 

And, back by popular demand:

Russian Dolls 
Find out more here!

See you in class :o)
xx, Val

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Have you heard the exciting news?! Make Good won! And I will be one of the 12 Pop-Up shop participants!! Read all about it here:

Remade: A pop up celebration at Make Good sponsored by American Express® OPEN

Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)

Event Details

Remade: A pop up celebration at Make Good sponsored by American Express® OPEN

San Diego-based small business, Make Good won a $5,000 store refresh courtesy of American Express OPEN for their involvement in the Small Business Saturday® and Etsy trunk show program. The store refresh was designed by Rue Magazine, and Make Good has been hard at work re-designing the shop.

To celebrate their store refresh, Make Good will be hosting Remade, a special unveiling party in-store, showing off the refresh and their wide array of unique products. Make Good owner, Sophia Hall is committed to curating and selling 100% locally sourced handcrafted goods and locally sourced resale designer clothing. Remade will feature a dozen Make Good makers in a “meet your maker” pop-up marketplace in an outdoor space adjacent to the store. Food and live music will make it a true celebration!
Here's the details...
Saturday February 7, 2014 3pm-9pm PST

Make Good
2207 Fern Street,
San Diego, California 92104
More good stuff:
· First 25 attendees will receive a tote bag filled with handcrafted merch by our artisans! (see details below)
· Raffle gets you a chance to win more great handcrafted goodness! (see details below)
· Amazing tacos by Tacos La Mezcla Food Truck
· Selfie time with the Amigo Photo Booth· Local DJ spinning all evening, and...
· Live music by Erika Davies (at 6pm-7pm)
First 25 attendees get a tote bag filled with handcrafted merch by our artisans: 
Make sure and RSVP here on Eventbrite. The first 25 customers at Remade will receive a tote bag with a mix of handcrafted goods from some of the Make Good artisans at the Remade event.
Remade Raffle:
During the Remade event, purchase any item in the store (at Make Good) for $20 or more, and you'll receive a raffle ticket. You'll receive 1 raffle ticket per every $20 spent in-store (e.g. $40 purchase gets you 2 tickets, $60 = 3 tickets, etc.). We'll hold 3 raffle drawings (at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm). You don't need to be present to win.
Thanks, and see you there!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cuteness Continues

So, life gives lemons and one makes lemonade, right? Well, life gives me wool, so I make this? Hehe, yes!

What about when life gives a big, fat load of rubbish? Things like mental illness, addiction, and hopelessness in your child? And headbutting your insurance company, including their denials for care? It's not pretty, but it is pretty dang necessary that I buck up and get busy dealing with it. I am not kidding when I say my mind solves the big problems when my hands stay busy. Seems like the bigger the problem, the "cuter" the outcome of my handwork.

Just call me "Manager of Stress" over here... and, if I seem a bit absent, you can always find me over in The Arena.


PS. Yes, Mr. Too-Cute Lamb will be an upcoming needle felting class. I am gearing up to start scheduling 2015 events, which you can always find out more by checking the Events page on my website. 

Take care!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy January! Happy 2015!

I thought we should start things out on the right foot, so I am getting 2015 in gear with a nice dose of Birdie Art!

"Weave" by Val Hebert, 8 x 8", collage and acrylic on board,

I have officially decided I am throwing caution to the wind, and if all my art is "bird art" then, so be it! Let this be the year of The Bird :o)

Hope the start of the New Year is treating you very well.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas treasures

Happiest of Holidays to you and yours!

I am a little bit adrift this Christmas. It's another Christmas spent in a temporary home with all our belongings in storage. So, it's time for me to make a few new treasures that I can enjoy for the moment... at least until they go off to a new home :o) One day soon (hopefully), we will be back in our beautiful home, and I can unpack, display and enjoy all my beloved Christmas treasures. In the meantime, I hope you will join me in enjoying a few of my recent creations....

"Holiday Home", needle felt by Val's Art Studio
This needle felted Holiday scene is so simple, and conveys just the right holiday mood, don't you agree?! I love how it sparkles gently in the light, and gives me a sense of the quietly, wistful Christmas mood that I love so dearly. (This one has SOLD)

"Joyful Wren" by Val's Art Studio
Here is a super cute Sparkle Bird singing a song of Joy! So happy, he makes me smile when I look at him :o) He is needle felted onto linen and cotton, with a repurposed wool scarf, and sweet snowy stitches in the background that are a bit hard to see in the photo. I have framed him in a willow hoop and his winter branches have some delightful glittered berries. Irresistible! (He is available in my shop here)

"Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" by Val's Art Studio
I just finished this delightful Santa pillow today. Isn't he cute? He is getting veeerrry excited about what's to come next week! (Not yet listed in my shop, but please check here and I will upload the listing very soon!)

"Santa" needle felt portrait by Val's Art Studio
Another charming Santa hoop, and one I would definitely treasure, bringing out each Christmas season and hanging up to bring a measure of good cheer. It would look fantastic amongst our Santa collection. I LOVE things like this! (He is available and you can purchase him by selecting the Santa option here)

"Gingerbread House" by Val's Art Studio
Last but not least, an adorable Gingerbread House scene to brighten a place that needs just that. Too, too cute! (Also not yet listed in the shop, but please leave me a message if you are interested in this pillow, and I will put it in my shop for you!)

Hey! I am doing one last Pop-Up Holiday show this coming Saturday! If you are in the San Diego area, stop by the Talmadge Art Show at their original location. Learn more info here. Hope to see you on Saturday!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Snowman Class is THIS weekend!

I nearly forgot to give the shout out for this super fun class that will be taught this SUNDAY at Paper Tales. Scoot on over to my website by clicking here to find out all the dets, and sign up. Only a couple of spots are left!

See you Sunday!


Celebrate Handmade and Buy Local this Holiday Season!

I am, and hope you are too. Here are a few reasons why I believe in supporting our local Handmade artisans:

Image courtesy of Unique USA

Isn't that saying enough?!

Now, go buy Local. (and stay away from those big box retailers...)


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Shop Small + Cyber Monday Special!!

Hellllllooo Holiday!

Are you ready for it? Are you in the mood? Well, I am!! And in order to kick things off properly, I am offering a 20% OFF Shop Small/Cyber Monday special on anything in my Etsy shop! Click here to visit my shop: Shop!

Please note the following:
- Sale is good through Midnight PST December 1st. So don't delay!- Use code SHOPPER to get the 20% discount applied at checkout. 
- In stock items will be mailed within 5 days of receipt of payment. 
- Custom items or out of stock items cannot be guaranteed for Christmas delivery, but I will make every attempt to get them to you in time! If you have questions or concerns, please leave me a comment, or send me a Convo on Etsy. 
- Discount is ONLY good on items ordered from my online shop. Discount will NOT be honored at any of my upcoming craft shows. Thank you for your understanding. 
- I am happy to deliver your order to you at one of my upcoming craft shows, if you are in the San Diego area, and plan to visit me at one of my shows. Please click here to see a list of upcoming Holiday craft shows in the San Diego area. 

Have yourself a Merry Little Holiday season, and please support Handmade this holiday, and ALWAYS!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Handmade DIY: Tea Towels!

A few years ago, I published this DIY right here on my blog. It's super simple, and what a great way to make a few Handmade gifts, or give a sweet and thoughtful hostess gift if you are a guest at someone else's home this Thanksgiving. Please revisit my original post here, and if you order from Spoonflower TODAY, there is a 2-for-1 fat quarter deal going on.... Sweet!

Quick! Click here to visit the Spoonflower site. 

Happy hand crafting!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to you and yours!

Don't forget, the Meet Your Maker show is this coming Sunday from 2-7 pm. Find out more by clicking here

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Two new classes!

I am always so excited to announce new classes! 

Coming up with a new class idea is kinda like a mini birthing experience for me. Cray, I know, but it's true. Often it takes me several revisions of a project to make sure it's suitable for a class project. It's normal for me to make up something that takes me an hour or two to create, but someone who is just learning needle felting may take many more hours to make the same item. So, I do put a lot of thought and considerations into developing a suitable class project.

This cute owl is Halloween and Thanksgiving mixed up into one. Also, the "boo" yarn writing is optional.

Then, there's this adorable Snow Friend Class. I'm still dying over those Leg Warmers! They just crack me up, and make me Happy Happy Happy every time I look at him!

To learn more about these classes, and what you need to do in order to sign up, please hop on over to my website by clicking here.

See you soon!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Scrap happy

I often hear myself say the following phrase when talking with people about how I make my items:
"Nearly nothing goes in the trash bin when I'm in the process of creating!"
What does that mean? Well, truthfully, I can't tell you how many times I've thrown fabric scraps into the trash can only to go back over to that bin because those scraps are calling to me. Invariably, something more needs to be made with that trash those scraps!

The photo above summarizes pretty much exactly what happens.

Scraps can magically transform an embroidery hoop, and call for needlefelting to happen on their surface.

Scraps were the invention of most of my plush pals. This cute dude got a scrappy pocket, AND a removable heart!

I am the first to admit my scrap collection is generally all over the place, even though I attempt to assert some form of control...

There are sectional plates overrun with scraps (see the turquoise plate at the bottom of this pile?) I know. It's hard to find the plate...

I organize my scraps by color, and bag them in my used up fiberfill stuffing bags. How industrious, right?!

And, I have some special fabric bins which are filled up with.... what else? fabric scraps!

Eventually, things begin to shape up...

A garland made of scraps is the perfect Christmas tree ornament, don't you agree?! And look! Scraps turn into leg warmers for a snowman friend's stick legs. So, now do you get the picture?!

Happy scrapping!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Happy Wednesday!

"This Day" Mixed Media Assemblage by Val Hebert

Isn't it so?! 

I hope you are having a happy Wednesday, a good week, an exceptional month, a year that is working out to be one of the best yet. It's all good, so very good... just one worthwhile, beautiful day at a time :o)