Monday, September 28, 2009

My FIRST Publication!

Guess what?! It's out, and I'm in it!! Haute Handbags,
that is. I can't tell you how excited I am about this; the very first ever publication of my handmade creations.

I just feel like things are taking a new path now. Kind of like I've been following along a straight and strong road with juts and potholes here and there. Now, all the sudden, a paved road has appeared, and I'm on it! It's filled with rolling hills and curves, there's lovely landscaping and scenery now, and it's definitely taking me towards a new direction. How exciting!

The other truly wonderful thing is that Deb Hodge's beautiful purses are on the cover of the magazine. Deb is a friend and the mom of my older son's best friend. I knew Deb's son for a year before I ever met Deb. I used to ask my son what his friend's parents did, and he'd reply "She's just like you, she makes stuff" Hmmm, I thought. What kid has a mom like me, who sits at home and sews and crafts the day away? Well, he sure did, and now I'm friends with this amazing and talented woman. We have SO much in common! So, Deb, you rock! And I couldn't be happier sharing my accomplishment with anyone other than YOU! :ox (kisses to Deb)

I will sell the magazines at Austin's Gallery, so you can find them locally if you live in Coronado. I know they will be for sale at Paper Tales over in Pt. Loma too. You can order them directly off the Stampington & Company's website, or by calling their toll free number; 877-782-6737. You won't be disappointed by this wonderful issue. It's filled with creativity, wonderful ideas, love, and especially, Deb's and my purses.

**Notes worth noting:
~ Those cutest ever pillows will be posted next. The publication excitement overrode the posting of the pillows... sorry!
~ I only write novels here because I try to fill up the space around the pictures. It's my Virgo need for order and feelings of symmetry... sorry!
~ Stay tuned for the launching of my NEW website. It's the biggest deal in the history of Val's Art Studio. This is going to be BIG, I tell you. BIG!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Some Days Are Duckier Than Others

...And some days we need to hold on and go along for the ride. Other days we are at the front of the group, ready to tow the line. (Just don't lose anyone in the process!)

I've had my share of busy days lately where I've have been TOWING THE LINE- big time, and they are not looking to ease up anytime soon. Probably not until... oh, say, around Jan 1 of 2010. Best not think about it, as I'm liable to let go of the line and coast (and daydream) for a bit. One thing about this business of being in business for myself is that the more things get going, and the more people are buying, the crazy busier I get. How does that happen, when
I thought I was already plenty busy yesterday?

Well, Judy of JudiPatudi and I had our vendor show and sale on Saturday, and we did not sell ONE thing! Can you believe it?! We quickly figured out it wasn't the right venue, and the buyers were bargain shoppers who didn't seem to want to pay the 'big' bucks for handmade. (Believe me, for the work we do, we hardly make more than pennies!) I swear, people even asked me if the items were "made in Peru"! I didn't know whether to laugh out loud or stare at them with my mouth wide open. But no, I didn't do either. I calmly explained that these special one of a kind sweaters were handmade by Judy and myself, from the finest recycled sweaters one can find, with artistic needle felting, ending up with a completely unique piece of wearable art. The explanation was good, but it didn't help get us any sales!

So, I hauled everything back to Austin's Gallery, and my display area looked better than it ever has. New sweaters, new friends (like Duckies!), new skirts... everything all fresh and happy. Then, today, a shopper buys two entire outfits, plus accessories, and is coming back on Thursday to maybe buy more. What say? Huh? Those shows... are they even worth it?? Well, I guess I'm figuring that out, right?

Along that line, I have signed on with one more craft fair. I'm promising you, me, my mother, my chiropractor, massage therapist, and swearing on a Bible that this is the last "add-on" for the fall/winter. This craft fair is in Mission Hills, at Mission Hills Preschool on West Lewis Street. The fair is in it's "infancy", just the second year they've held this show. Since they cater to the wee ones, I thought it might be a good one to try out. Also, I'm interested in branching out from Coronado a bit. And, frankly, if it's not Pennsylvania, Mission Hills will suite me just fine! This show will be on October 17th, and I'll be sure to remind you to stop by when the time creeps closer.

Okay, the cat's out of the bag now about Pennsylvania! You may or may not know that I signed on with The HodgePodgery when they opened up in July. Since their store was new, and they weren't sure of their direction, I gave it a try there over the summer, but made the decision to have them return my sweaters when I saw the direction they were taking the store. It's a fine direction for them, just not a great match for ME! Well, about that time, I heard from another gallery I'd contacted last spring, and she is very interested in showing and hopefully selling my work. This shop is called Hello Bluebird, and is a much better match for me. So, I am packing up a box of whimsy and will ship it off ASAP. Also, get this: The HodgePodgery and Hello Bluebird are only about an hour apart from each other, and the owners know each other. Now, how crazy are them apples?! Here, I throw fishing lines out into the universe, and I get bites from two folks who know each other...

Okay, I'm signing off now, but I want to you to check back soon because I made three pillows today, and they are the CUTEST THINGS I HAVE EVER MADE IN MY LIFE. I am going to take pictures of them tomorrow and will post the pic here so you can see them too. Oooh, did you hear me? The cutest things ever!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Best Model

Um, that would be me. Yep; Me, Myself, and I. But, as my mom so generously put it last week, "Well, Val, most women aren't as 'hippy' as you are, and most women are a little bigger 'up top.'" Uh, yeah, thanks Mom, I know. (See that look on my face? that's the 'thanks, I know' look)

So, I'm needing to buy myself a dummy. One of those dressmaker's dummies. One that's more a 'regular' woman's shape. I think I'm going to need one that's adjustable, so I can make up size 6s and size 10s and size 12s. I just think my friends are getting tired of me measuring them in all the private places, boob wise and all. The biggest dilemma is where to store such a dummy. When one works out of their dining room in their small beachside house, it's awfully hard to disguise an adjustable dummy. When one also lives in a house of boys, it's even tougher still. I can hear it now; "Mommm, don't even think of putting that thing in HERE." *sigh*

So, speaking of dressmaking, that's what I've been up to. Not exactly dresses though. More like vests. They are slow and pretty painful at this point. One, because I don't have the dang dummy. And two, because I'm designing them as I go. No patterns, just images out of my head. I love how they are turning out though, so that's a good omen. These vests are my answer to the dilemma of felted sweaters for women. Women of many sizes, because the vests are adjustable, and can be sized like this: "One size fits many". That works, doesn't it? I like the sounds of that!

So, one day finished, the next day, gone. Cause that's what's going on tomorrow. Beth from Somerset Publications wants to meet me and my vests in person. So, off we go to Laguna Niguel, and we are presenting ourselves, and hopefully will make a positive impression on the people of Somerset. They are keeping my vests for a spring publication, BUT they only get them for one month. Then the vests are going into the Chargers Fashion
Show that's happening in November. But more about this later...

These vests are a combination of felted wool or cashmere, fashion fabric that I haven't been able to resist by the likes of Heather Bailey or Tina Givens, and needle felted irresistibles by yours truly. (Uh, that would be me.) The true art is definitely in the needle felting, but also in the craftsmanship, and especially the sewing. I take a huge amount of pride in my sewing skills, stemming from learning from my mom at aged 7, to spending babysitting money on patterns and fabric in my teens, to being a poor fashion-aholic in my 20s, and learning to copy fashions (sans patterns) from Vogue Magazine. Needless to say, these vests are beautifully made, top to bottom.

So, take a gander, as I am. I need to look at them, photograph them, touch them (so soft!), and talk about
them. I've put alot into them, and so I will miss them. Things like this are normal for me. Probably by next week, I'll be over them and onto the next item. In fact, a new birdy painting came to me today. Can't wait to get the sweaters and fluff off the dining room table so the painting and stitching can begin! It's pretty much a whirlwind around here, don't you know it!!

Lastly, this weekend (Sunday) is my Felted Book Cover Class at Paper Tales. The class is limited to 10 people, and last I checked, 6 people had signed up. Call over to Paper Tales 619-222-2510 to get yourself signed right UP so you can make yourself that cutie pie book cover!

And, very much, the final item, this Saturday is the Strut For Sobriety Fashion Show, a Jeff and Jer event! I have been invited to participate as a vendor along with my friend Judy Thacker of JudiPatudi. We will be showing a myriad of items, but mostly our sweet recycled lines of needle felted children's clothing. So, if you're there, stop by and say Hi!

Now, do I have time to get to that birdy painting?...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pattern Perfected

**Update: Here is the link to be able to purchase this pattern: click here. I couldn't figure out how to rework the link on my Ravelry page, so I'm sorry but you will just have to keep clicking links. I promise, you are almost there!

The pattern for Cathy's Chemo Cap has been reworked and I am excited that it is now good to go! I like this version much better than the first one. This cap is so lovely that I will be making one for me to wear when I'm having a bad hair day. It's comfortable, cool, easily adjustable with the cotton tie band, fashionable, and well, I think it's quite pretty too!

The other thing that I was considering is if you do not knit. The band could be modified, and made from any stretchy fabric. You could buy two stretchy headbands, and sew them together, or you could buy a knit fabric from the fabric store, and make it using that.

In any case, this pattern is now available for purchase in my etsy shop for a very affordable price of $8.00, and will come as an immediate download once you purchase the pattern. The link is here: pattern  The pattern is for sale, but if anyone wants the pattern for free because they can't afford buying the pattern to make for themselves, then I will give it to them (or you) for free. ***PLEASE NOTE: The free pattern offer is available ONLY for a single use option, for the person suffering from hair loss. Requests for multiple use/making the pattern for groups, etc. does not qualify for a free pattern request. Please leave me a message here, or email me at Though I'd like to be paid for my efforts to design this pattern, it's important to me to help people in need. To especially help anyone who is faced with all that goes along with cancer treatments, and the angst of loosing one's hair. I am here to help in whatever manner I can. Thanks to you, too, for caring

Please note: this pattern is intended for one time use, meaning I ask you make it for yourself and/or a friend, but you do not make it to sell or intend to distribute. The pattern is copyrighted, and all rights remain with Val's Art Studio. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Time For A Cup of Cute

Pretty soon the weather will be cool enough for a cup of tea, so for now, a cup of cute will have to do.About the cutest thing I've seen. Studio Violet made these sweet porcelain pieces, but it appears that they have already all sold out. Seems that lots of people are smitten by "cutes". That's good :o)This Tea and Owl print by MarmeeCraft can be purchased in her etsy shop. What lovely and imaginative illustrations. I fell in love with her beautiful felted owls as well. Click on the link and take a lOOk. Woot!
I couldn't resist adding a sweet birdy in his cozy cup of a nest... Enjoy your day!