Monday, December 15, 2008


A Note About The Mrs. Beetons
The wristwarmers that you may have seen me wearing are called Mrs. Beetons Wristwarmers (a photo of my newest orange Mrs. Beetons will soon grace this post, once I take the photo, that is, and once I figure out how to use the iPhoto on my new macBook...) Apparently, Mrs. Beeton is the English version of Martha Stewart. Well, the wristwarmers are fabulous, and I am the first to admit it. Actually, it's really Gail, Marcia, Susan and Judy who had to twist my arm (wrist) about the Mrs. Beetons on our knit retreat up to Julian. Though they actually were the first to enlighten me about the Mrs.Bs, I have taken the cause full force, and now have knitted up 3 sets of these Mrs. Bs. (More than anyone in my knit group, I might add, however they are catching up) Two pair have gone to new homes, and I only have my lovely newest orange pair to give me the grace and polish I deserve once donned. (donned; is that an actual word?!)

The Mrs.Bs come straight from, and are a free download I might add. So, all you knitters out there, just get yourself busy learning this pattern. And, I might warn you, get the pattern straight, because you will be knitting these things up like they are going out of style. Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE will want their own Mrs. Beetons. And, believe me, they will request them in every color combo imaginable. So, choose the finest and most yummy yarn you can (like yarn from The Grove), and love them to death, because you will not have them for long once you start wearing these oh-so-something Mrs. Beetons... (sigh)

A note to the non-knitters: Okay, I will start out by saying that I am so very sorry. Sorry about my knitting skills. My knitting skills, like my crafting skills, are very polished, but oh-so-very s-l-o-w... So these Mrs. Beetons take me about 20 hours to knit up. Yes, I know this for a fact. I'm on my 4th pair. Yes, I've speeded up a little bit with repetition, and I've modified the pattern so they are oh-so-perfect (the fit), but s-l-o-w with the creation. I will say that I do pick out a fine yarn combination (thanks to the little help from my friends ;o), and the beading selection is wonderful with a little help from Marcia, the bead queen. So, if you want me to make you up a pair of these fine wristwarmers, they will not be cheap, oh-so-sorry!

Photo op coming soon, I promise.... though I missed my iPhoto session at the Apple store today. Too rainy for my brand new laptop without a case...

Lastly, a PS; Okay, due to the fact that these Mrs Bs are in such demand, and due to the fact that I have many recycled wool sweater cuffs at my disposal, I am going to mock up a fake pair of Mrs Bs and I will post a picture of them here so you can tell me if they "work". So check back soon, perhaps by the end of the week, and tell me what you think...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Very Big Thank You!

Thank you so very much!
I am so touched by you and all your positive comments about my handcrafted art. My confidence is absolutely soaring right now after such a successful day at Artisans' Alley, and the big sales at Austin's over the past several weeks. I wouldn't be where I am today without all your love and support. I am absolutely honored...

Been busy, busy, busy
Along with that, I am nicely recovering after the positively busiest month of my life! Sleep would elude me at the slightest bump, snore (GREG), or anything. Just the slightest noise would kick my mind in gear, so there I was, 3 am, mentally planning my next year of design. And what a year I have in store. I am so energized, I can hardly wait! I plan on introducing (finally) a line of women's sweater vests and art scarves. I do hope you will stay with me on my journey, and join my loving quest in revitalizing discarded wool clothing into fabulous new designs.

My Sleepy Poem
This poem was on my mind as I woke up the other sleepy morning. I hope you can see where I was at during the planning and preparation of Artisans' Alley. I do put my heart and soul into my work...

Sleepy tired me
Feet won't comply
Stumble as I walk
Rest eludes me now.

Just the other night
Slept for eight whole hours!
Accomplished everything
My imagination sings.

So creative now
Bright, fruitful visions
Conjured by my brain
Hands will deftly make.

Excited for the path
That leads towards tomorrow
What will happen then
I can only dream of now...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Here's What's New For Artisan's Alley

A Few New Friends Will Join Us
Yes, it's true. I plan to introduce a few new items to Artisan's Alley shoppers who visit Val's Art Studio booth, # 63 (across from the entrance to the food court area). The first will be the pillows mentioned in my last post. Please meet the new friends:

Felted Jewelry
Sweet Beaded Candy Rose Choker necklaces are made from felted wool and cashmere sweater scraps, and area charming gift for a favorite sister, niece, daughter, or YOU! The charm hangs on a suede cord, and the clasp is adorned with a charm that might be a leaf, a dragonfly, a bee, or even a beautiful message like "Be Yourself". I really like that message. If we are true to ourselves, then everything seems to work out in a magical way.

Felted Purses
(I am really most excited about the felt purses)
These felted purses are made from recycled wool sweaters. Each one is completely unique and is a one-of-a-kind art piece. I might be able to find a 
similar sweater, or color, but there is no way two 
purses will ever come together the same way. 
Okay, granted, several purses will be adorned 
with needle felted birds, that is a guarantee.... But there are always pups, kitties, leaves, patterns... the possibilities are endless.

The other truly exciting addition to the Val's Art Studio line is the LINING of the purses. I am completely undone over the incredible selection of fabrics available to me, and especially love the selections from Amy Butler, Michael Miller, among many fashionable others. I get as big a kick from designing the linings as I do the purses. Now, does anyone have the name of a good seamstress they can send my way?!
Please leave me a comment and let me know 
what you think. After all, YOU are the first to 
meet the new friends!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What's New With You?

For me, it's Pillows.

Now Debuting Pillows
Pillows are the newest item "taking over my life". Okay, I'll admit it; either I am fickle or I have ADD. Or, maybe I just have too many sweater scraps. Who really knows? First the sweaters and the purses (more later on the purses), now the pillows. What I love about the pillows is how they shine like a beacon of light in my living room :o) Also, if you want a change of pace, you can switch to the back of the pillow, which has that great animal print on the back. Too fun. I just love the giraffe print. It's what I'm all about. At least for right now. Today, that is..

The Real Deal
What about the dog?, you may ask. Well, that is actually a likeness of our sweetie missie, Lola. I just need to have her around me. She's my lovie. So, since many people have lovie pets, I thought it might be nice to add customized pet pillows to my repertoire. One only needs to email me a photo of their beloved, and I can turn it into a reasonable needle felted likeness. I might add the needle felting goes onto a recycled sweater fabric background, framed with decorative trims and ribbons, and stuffed with eco-friendly, non allergic cotton/bamboo batting. I'm trying to stay as natural and green as we all need to be... Please check out the listing in my etsy shop, or email me for more information on PILLOWS!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I've Just Been Busy...

I know it's been a while since my last post, and I do's just that I've been a wee bit busy. Last Friday night was my solo artist show at Austin's Gallery. I told myself I wouldn't get myself all undone and try to do too much in preparation, but that's exactly what I did! I ended up coming up with new jewelry pieces. I am very happy with the outcome, but am unsure how much effort I will put into jewelry. Some of the pieces took too darn long to get them pulled together! Plus, I've decided that beading is the one art form that takes the most patience of all! I thought I was going to pull my hair out (sigh)... Here's what I made. Let me know what you think of them.
The knit bracelets were the most time consuming. The felt necklaces and felt pins are ones I will continue with, providing they sell at Austin's, or in my etsy shop. I did sell a couple of pieces on Friday night, which makes me feel pleased :o) Thank you to all you who support me, which in turn supports my effort at being a working artist!

Other News
The boys are going back to school on Tuesday. They aren't very excited, but I am! No more time spend trying to get MY turn on the computer, or battling about doing summer math sheets or summer reading, or just worrying if they're having enough fun over the summer...It was nice while it lasted, but I am ready to move on into the fall. Which means....

Time To Start Preparing For Artisan's Alley!
I put this in bold so as to remind myself that I cannot sit back, eat bon-bons and relax (I did a bit of this today, and now I have a stomach ache!) So, back to school for the boys, and back to the grind for me!

A Note About Greg
We are very excited to announce that Greg won the top honor for 2008 Garden of the Year in San Diego Home and Garden Magazine (Sept 2008 issue). He also won a second award for a beautiful garden he worked on for client's in the Rancho Santa Fe area. The top honor garden is a small but beautifully designed garden which belongs to our neighbors. It is spectacular. Greg hates when I brag about him, so that's enough of that...(sorry Greg...however, I doubt that you will read this... I'm just very proud of you!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not To Spoil The Surprise...

Latest Pug Pin Inspires Magical Dog House Pincushion 
Well, actually, Lulu is the one really responsible for all this inspiration. She's the one who organized the Pincushion swap on Ravelry. (Did I mention that I'm finally a Ravelry member?!) So, Lulu loves her sweet 14 year old pug, called Grampa. (Lulu's name on Ravelry is Gramma. I guess she feels about married to that pup, after 14 years!) I tried several new pincushion designs, knowing all the while that I would definitely be sending Lulu one of my Pug Pins due to her love interest. But then it dawned on me... how about a pincushion that goes WITH the pug. What better design than the doghouse? 
I suppose this dog house is a bit of a girlie 
design, for a male dog and all. But, hey, 
at 14, one just has to go with the flow, right?! Anyhow, please don't spoil the surprise by showing Lulu my latest post. I want her to open the package and be so surprised that her eyes pop out, just like a pugs eyes do. If someone's there to take a picture, Gramma and Grampa will be look-alikes, just like an old married couple. How sweeeeet! I hope you love it, Lulu. I did so love making it for you. :o) 
-I didn't post the photo of the back of the 
dog house. The back has a little peek hole, 
with writing around it that says "Peek Thru 2CU". It's a bit hard to read, but you can make it out if you try. 
The next one I'm going to make will be a bird house for a sassy birdy. Then I'm going to list it on my etsy site, and I bet it won't sell because I'm going to make it about $125.00! I swear, this one took me 3 DAYS to make. But, really, doesn't everyone need a glorious house pincushion with a removable sassy pin that says everything about how avant-garde you are when you wear it?!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Birthday Boys

Time To Get A Year Older!
Yes, it's that time of the year for Drew and Kyle. Their birthdays are only two weeks apart, so it seems like we are in birthday mode for at least half a month around here! Then comes Lola, who turns 2 on June 9th. I wonder what sort of birthday party we should plan for her?! How many doggie friends shall she invite? And, most importantly, will they play nice?!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Our Award Winning Garden :o)

Who Would Have Thought?
One top award winning garden right here at our house! Our little drought tolerant garden takes a Top Ten Garden in Coronado Award. And we have the ribbon to prove it! Seriously, Coronado is generally all about the garden built on annuals, and more bang for the buck. Most people go and buy hordes of flowering plants to spiff up their gardens right before judging. Our sweet little garden just hums along it's merry way, and flowers year round. All the succulents and drought tolerant plants are happiest after a good rainy winter, and are full of color and happiness right now. There are no annuals to add to this garden to make it more special than it already is. So, thanks to the garden judging committee to recognize our charming spot, and for honoring drought tolerant plantings with this award!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Last But Not Least of Hawaii

One more look
Just a couple more pictures from our trip, and then I am finished! I think Kyle really liked seeing the hula girls in action. Both boys thought the fire dancing at the luau was one of the best things they saw during our trip. Of course, the 3-4" spider was another exciting site, one you just couldn't miss, even if you tried. The boys kept asking why so many houses were built on stilts. After seeing that spider, I'm convinced it's to keep the bugs out!
I included the picture of the pretty hula dancers so you 
don't think I only had eyes for the guys (you'll see what I 
mean when you read down further). The beautiful wahines (sp?!) were just a spellbinding as the men!

Enjoy our pictures. That's it, for now!

A Few More Hawaii Pics

Kauai, The Garden Island
A color not found in nature-? What?
Who? My HAIR, how dare you! 
...I think the color ADDS to the natural beauty of the surroundings. Why, nature almost pales in comparison to the lovely shade of my coloring! (sigh- He really doesn't know what he's talking about, does he??!) Oh, go sit on a rock!! Well, I still love you anyway, Honey. Even if you do find the color of my hair a bit shocking and outlandish. I just have to keep up with these modern times. That, and, well, I LIKE the wonderful shade of mahogany red, and how it glows beautifully out in nature. (So there!)

The photo at the top left is of Drew and Greg when they were directed to the stage to perform the Hula up in front of a crowd of about 500. Notice how Greg managed to get to the back edge of the stage! Greg and I are posing at the entrance to the wet cave, which is located at the North end of the island by Hanalei, just before the end of the paved road. Drew and Kyle were finished with our tour guide efforts, and they refused to get out of the car to see the caves. We had fun on our own! Aloha from the Heberts!

A New Painting To Share

Garden Walk
Here is my latest painting in my Coronado Cards series; it's titled Garden Walk. This sweet image is based on my walks around Coronado with our pup, Lola. She sniffs and I gawk (Okay, I admit it!). Everything is so beautiful around town now, with everyone getting ready for the Flower Show in April. People are planting out their front yards with beautiful flowers and are spiffing up for the home front judging! Who will get a blue ribbon?!!

Pool and More Pool 
Here is the photo I had difficulty with adding to my last post. I will most likely add more Hawaii pics to my blog in an attempt to share them all with my family, so stay tuned!!!

Refreshed By Hawaii!

A Wonderful Trip
Kauai was beautiful and remote, and just what we all needed. Our days were filled with enjoying the beautiful surroundings, the pool, the beach, mai-tais :o), more pool, visiting the Fern Gardens (not that great for the money, and a bit hokey), a trip up to the north shore of Kauai, a Luau on Greg's birthday where Greg and Drew were called up on stage to do the hula(!), a trip to the Grand Canyon of Hawaii, pool, more mai-tais, and looking in pearl shops (Val only). I felt like I had been transported back in time. I also fell in love with those Hawaiian guys from the Luau (oops - sorry Greg!). Golly gosh, they are...well, words escape me! At least I have the pictures to enjoy.   
These pictures (left) are from the luau, when the dancers were dancing a historic hula. It was lovely.
The picture of the single guy is for Tracy (I know he's just your type, Tracy!!) I didn't find out if he's single, though, so sorry.
Here he is:

Here's another picture of my boys doing what I'm sure they went to Hawaii to do: swim in the pool day in and day out! We actually had difficulty dragging them to the beach. The pool was just too fine... (oops, the pool photo won't load. I'll try again later!)

Monday, March 17, 2008

We're Hawaii!

Spring Break, Woo Hoo!
...In Hawaii, no less! This is a big treat for us, the first trip of this kind that we've ever taken with the boys. It should be lots of fun. We are heading to Kauai, and will stay at Poi-poh Beach. (I don't know how to spell that beach name, so that's my best guess!) I am really looking forward to the warm weather and relaxation. Sadly, no pincushion-making kits will be tagging along in my luggage, however, my knitting goes! At least I'll give my shoulders, neck and fingers a rest from all the needlework. Have a great spring break yourself, and I'll be in touch upon our return, tanned and relaxed. :o)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hail Mary... It's hailing in Coronado!

Wow, hail here in Coronado. It's truly a novelty, one we hardly ever see living so far south, and so close to the coast. The trampoline was half covered in hail, and the white spots are falling hail. 

We were just 
standing in the door and gawking! 

The succulent garden looks like we peppered it with salt! An Alaskan storm moved through the region today, and brought the snow level down to 2500 ft. We are at sea level, and hardly EVER see hail. I don't remember ever seeing this much hail in Coronado before. Too fun (for us :o)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blog Posts From You to Me

Hopefully Changed

I think I changed the setting so you can respond to my blog. Please try to send me a message by clicking on the Comment link so I can see if it's working properly! The link to the right of Comment will send a personal email to me.

Taxes On Friday

This whole idea of taxes and paying taxes is, well... taxing to me. (Sorry, I just couldn't help that. Nalini would appreciate it). I have been purposefully avoiding tax preparations (sorry to Greg for that... at least our garage door is newly painted!) This Friday is the day we visit our tax preparer, Connie. I am always happy to see Connie, but I just grit my teeth at the whole tax situation. In order to keep myself sane, I just sit there and knit the whole time. It may seem rude that I'm knitting, but it's the way I can answer the questions calmly and politely (calmly being the operative word here). I wonder how Connie and Greg would feel about me taking out my pincushion making bin, and covering Connie's desk with bits of felt! Anything for keeping my sanity. One thing I know; in the future when it's my time for going to the afterlife, at least there will be NO taxes there! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Newby

Meet the Itty-Bitty Bouquet of Roses Pincushion

I am so dang frus-trated over that darn crocheted roses pattern (Gail knows!). I look at the pictures, and drool over their loveliness. I dream about them at night. I contemplate a private lesson with Mel. (Somehow, crochet is not my thing. At least, not now...) Sigh... Then, last night a vision came to me. Rose pincushions. And then, a rose bouquet; hooray! This sweet little bouquet, inspired by my mindnumbing quest for crocheted rose bouquets, came to life. (What do you think, Gail?) Me, I'm happy with them. I actually find them irresistible :o) I can peacefully put the crocheted roses aside, for now....

Monday, March 3, 2008

It's All Coming Together!


I am feeling like a whiz! Today I listed 6 items in my etsy store! I feel like this is all coming together. I also tried to buy a cooperative advertising slot through etsy. I don't know how I ever thought I'd be able to get one of only 30 slots. Of course I didn't get in. I think the advertising slots sold out in all of .21 seconds. Well, on to plan B. (What that is I'm not sure. I'll certainly fill you in when I have it figured out!) Advertising is key, though. If you have any bright ideas, please clue me in. I'd greatly appreciate any and all suggestions.

Well, after a long session at the computer, I'm off to bed. I'll get Plan B figured out tonight in my dreams. Happy deliberating!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Pugs, here they are!

Pugs, As Promised!
The camera has returned home, and with it, the pictures of the pugs. Here they are for your viewing enjoyment. These two fine fellows have already gone home with a pug loving lady. They will, no doubt, be keeping her company every waking moment of her day. I've decided I'd better go into pug production until I can get myself fixed upon another breed of dog. In the meantime I have more pugs in the works; a light brown Sniff, a medium brown Wag, and a black Woof! They will be up for sale on my Etsy site early next week. So please look for them there,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Slow news day

A slow news day in Coronado
This is what happens when you live in a small town. From time to time there's not too much going on. As on this past Valentine's Day. In the local newspaper, there was the front page story about the sweet local couple who found each other late in life, and the story about the Coronado Hospital Foundation Gala dance, then the token story about local propositions and voting results. The other front page story, titled, "Jewelry Maker's Precocious Pins Are Precious Keepsakes", was about me and my fun creature pins! Wow... I am honored that The Coronado Eagle & Journal felt I am story-worthy enough for the front page! Even if we do live in a small town... To read the article, go to.... (no luck with the link, I'll get back to you on how you can see the article online. In the meantime, I can mail you the article if you are really serious about seeing it :o)

So the outcome of the newspaper article is that my pins have had a little resurgence. Also, a customer at Zazen, a store on First Street that sells my pins, ordered a custom design; a pug. Two pugs actually, one brown and one black. Oh my gosh, I think these are now my favorite pins! I'd better get busy and make more. What do you think of these guys? Too cute! (picture coming once Greg brings the camera back home - sorry! Check back very soon!)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

For your romantic enjoyment, here's a picture of a statue we saw over the weekend on a ferry trip to San Diego. Kyle dubbed the statue, "Kissing Giants". We all laughed at his description of the statue as we walked up to it; "Oh great, here are some giants making out!" As you can see, the giants are truly huge. One doesn't want to accidentally get "under foot" around here!

Ahh, the day for love! Hearts and posies, singing birdies, sweetness and smiles, and of course, felted hearts. Do I feel the love in the air? ...Uh, unfortunately, no. I do not. What I do feel has more to do with hacking coughs, fevered heads, and a flu-sick kid. (sigh) What's a mom to do? I suppose the planning for a romantic Valentine evening might just have to be put off until, well, perhaps next year! I do hope your Valentine's Day is a bit brighter than what's going on around here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Here we go!

Well, hello!
Okay, I'll admit that this all seems a bit intimidating, 
having a blog and all. But since I so enjoy reading other people's blogs, I've decided to just go ahead and march right into the world of blogging... So this is my attempt, my say so, and please, let me know if you think I'm on the right track!

Pincushions seem to run my life right now. Who knew 
pincushions had such a major life force inside those charming little bodies?! I find myself looking at pincushions, looking for pincushions, blissfully using my pincushions, cursing too small pincushions, and wondering if people will want to bring an ice cream cone pincushion into their humble abodes...? 

Speaking of which, the ice cream cone pincushion has reared it's creamy, swirled and decorated head, and is reigning supreme upon my household. In navigating away from other pincushion designs (which will remain nameless for certain unspoken reasons), I have happily hit upon a pincushion design that I am proud to feature on my website. The ultimate judge upon the final design being my completely unbiased, ice cream loving son, whose eyes lit up the moment I finished my first prototype model. With lip smacking certainty, I think this sweet design has the right amount of lusciousness written all over it!

Bored boy, and how it relates to a Creature Pin

The bored look of the pre-teen... ("Jeez, Mommmmm, just take the picture"). Many people have asked about my pins. "Where do I get the inspiration? What's it supposed to be? How do I get the eyes to look that way?" So, here are some answers; Look into the eyes of a pre-teen boy, and you will get so many ideas, so much inspiration! It's so easy; capitalize on your pre-teen's expressions, observe their boredom, listen to the sighing. This is what I've done, this is what has influenced what I've made, and this is what gets people talking and asking questions about my handiwork!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my Art Studio blog. Please drop me a note and let me know what you think!