Monday, June 29, 2009

A Beautiful Blog to Visit

I just love this pendant, don't you?!

You can have a chance at winning it (me too!!) by visiting Cindy Wimmer's beautiful new blog, Sweet Bead Studio. To celebrate the revamping of her blog, she's offering THREE giveaways; two pieces of her beautiful jewelry, or a special jewelry tool. Check it out and leave a comment to be entered in her giveaway. You'll be glad you did!

Wow, I could spend an entire day just looking a people's beautiful blogs and reading up on what they are all about. I love looking at the artful photos, and seeing how they are marketing themselves out there in our big huge wide world. I never cease to be impressed by you all out there. You inspire me to do better each and every day.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Publication Update + New Horizons to Explore


Yes, the Sisterhood of the Traveling purses will have their 15 minutes of fame. They have been selected to grace pages in the Fall '09 issue of Haute Handbags, a Somerset Publication, on newsstands October 1, 2009. I am very excited about this development, and thrilled with this media vehicle for getting the word out about my handmade, recycled, repurposed and "green" art and crafts.

When the Editor originally told me my Mr. Cabernet Birdie Purse had been selected for publication, she mentioned the other purses would be placed in Altered Couture, another magazine they publish. Well, I quickly sent her pictures of my sweaters, and low and behold, the Traveling Children's Sweaters (Sisterhood and Brotherhood for both girls and boys sweaters!) will have their moment of glory as well. That publication will hit newsstands on November 1st. Just as well, because all the purses ended up going into Haute Handbags.


It's funny how things work out. I remember checking
out Altered Couture the last time we were at the Tattered Cover in Denver. I remember thinking how great it would be to have your artistic clothing featured in such a nice magazine. Well, the moral here is; be careful what you wish for, because it just might be the next thing down the pike for you!

Last, but certainly not least... I will be a part of a new gallery opening up on the corner of 3rd and Herr in Historic District of Midtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The HodgePodgery will be focusing on recycled, repurposed functional arts and crafts. I am thrilled to be involved with such a smart gathering of like minded individuals
dedicated to working with the existing resources we have in the here and now. PLUS, the fact that the gallery is located in a climate that supports the use of wool, NEEDS to wear wool... well that's just great by me!

So, if you are anywhere near Harrisburg, PA, and you are a supporter of things green and repurposed, stop into the HodgePodgery, and tell them that Val sent you! Then, be sure to give ME a report, because... well, I'm just so dang far away! How am I ever going to get to go in and see for myself what The HodgePodgery is all about?! I know it's going to be grand, and that Dawn and her daughter are going to do a marvelous job there. And, one day, I will go to see for myself what they are all about...

Kids Craft Along At Val's Art Studio

Jarret's "OctoSteve" A Big Success
It's summer vacation and that means lots of boys at my house on certain days. Sometimes the boys want to know just WHAT am I doing with the sewing machine, all the scraps of fabric, bits and fluff of roving and yarn about. The high intensity Ott Lights everywhere... what's it all about??? (It's about me being able to SEE what I'm doing with these old eyes!!) Well, Jarret, who's a friend of my 11 year old, Kyle, is quite handy and crafty himself, and was excited to get into the action. Hmmm.... how can I satisfy his curiosity, while still working and keeping my sanity, I wondered to myself.

Remembering a post a while back from Little Birdie Secrets, reminded me that there's a great child's project that can be suitable for nearly any age of child. Why, even adults can get into this. It involves making a drawing of a monster or a creep, or a fairy, whatever! And then cutting it up from felt, and sewing it into a stuffy toy. Well, Jarret drew up his OctoSteve in about 4 minutes. Coloring took another 8. (11 year olds get things done in no time flat!) With my sewing know how, we cut out the felt shapes and I sewed while Jarret stuffed. We finished OctoSteve in about 40 minutes! Jarret learned to sew on buttons, watched me work the sewing machine, and left with the know-how of making a stuffed creature from start to finish. THAT was about the best hour I've spent in a long long time!! Try one with your bored summer vacationer. Believe me, you'll both have a great crafty time!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Muchas Gracias, Mis Amores!

Thank you, Mari! And Happy Birthday to you!!!

Sweet Mari is having a birthday, and is offering a treat from Val's Art Studio as a gift to people who respond on her blog! Go check it out, and give her a response, and maybe you will be the winner of a colorful pincushion giveaway. Be sure to wish her Feliz CumpleaƱos while you are there :o)

I met Mari in "blog land" via Marcia DeCoster's blog page. Mari and I have stayed in touch by way of our love for beading and all things handmade. Blog relationships are so special, and I'm thrilled to cultivate a relationship with you, whether you live next door, or half way around the world. Thank you, Mari, for your warm gift of friendship. And thank you too! For your readership, comments, and heartfelt wishes of goodwill... xo...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Welcome, Alvy!

Look who's come to live at my house! I am so very excited to meet Alvy. He is the most amazing needle felted creation by Jenn Docherty. Jenn is the guru of needle felted friends, and, for me, has been a leader in establishing the worldwide love for needle felted cutie-pies. Her techniques can be found in her book, Sweet Needle Felts.

Well, when Jenn posted that she was listing a few new friends in her ebay shop, I really didn't think one would come to live with me. It was just serendipity that I happened to remember checking out her listings when I thought the auction would be ending. Well, I checked in moments before the end of the auctions, and on a whim, decided to place a last minute bid. Whoa! and behold, the auction ended, and I was the winner of my favorite character, Alvy!!! And then, he arrived at my house this morning, in all his needle felted glory. We are happy, happy, happy that Alvy has a place of honor amongst all the wool and fluff in Val's Art Studio. We are making him feel right at home!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fabric Excitement in The Studio


Sweet cheeks, good golly, oh my,
New fabrics have arrived to try.
A fun frolic here
A color splash there...
They make me so happy, I'll cry!
Okay, so yes, I'm excited about my shipments from Heather Bailey and Scarlet Fig. Some people are thrilled by cupcakes, others by puppies. With me, it's fabric. I've been known to develop quite a secret fabric stash. I like it because fabrics fold flat, and are easy to hide away under a bed or couch. A tidy Virgo like me can actually pretend they don't have a secret fetish about fabric, when it actually is lurking within many nooks and crannies around my house. (Shhh, don't tell Greg!) Then, when you use them, you really get to enjoy them in all their lovely colorful glory.

What's to become of these fun prints, you might wonder. Well, stay tuned, and you will soon see. Do you have a secret stash? Well, do tell! Part of the therapy is just in the talking about it... Have a color-printed day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Happy Camper

Okay, the nightmares I had last night about Kyle at camp and under the water have thankfully been resolved by today's pictures from Camp Surf. All is well, and surfing was one of the orders of the day for Kyle and his fellow campers.

This resident YMCA camp is every kids summer dream come true. Check out Camp Surf, and you will see why. Visit Camp Surf, and you will wonder if you can come and stay for a week! The sleeping huts are straight from my childhood dreams, and look like they belong on a white sandy beach in the heart of Mexico. The activities are so full and varied, a kid never has time for homesickness. Time with friends and learning new skills; priceless. Camp food; tastes yummy to a hungry camper. Even a campwide theme dance come Thursday night... something every 11 year old should experience... dancing with the high school girls; exhilarating! Have fun, fun, FUN at camp Kyle. I'll get my lovie boy back at the end of the week!

Reality Check


I woke up this morning with my head spinning from little sleep due to crazy dreams and nightmares about my youngest son (who's spending a week at Surf Camp), nighttime sleep interruptions, even a rain storm (unheard of in So Cal in June). I felt disconnected and disoriented. Greg's mumbling of 'we're out of coffee' didn't help matters much. These types of mornings just start me out in a doubtful sort of way, a do nothing, go back to bed sort of way. Must... pull... myself... together. Stumble to the computer, and I found this in my inbox:

The most significant thing a woman can do to boost her self-worth is be conscious of her thoughts. Her thoughts inform everything around her. If she believes in herself, the world will too. Our most important job on this planet is to proactively clean up our thoughts.”

~Gabrielle Bernstein, founder of HerFuture

Ah, yes. Hello wake up call. I truly believe these words, and must remember to keep them in the forefront of my being each and every day.

Who is sending me these timely gems? Thank you, Daily Worth. You seem to have picked me right up out of the doldrums, and set me back in the right direction.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Memorable Garden Market

Such a special place for a very special day
Thanks to you all who ventured out to Jane Pollock's incredible Coronado Beach House to visit Marche dans la Jarden last Sunday. It was a venue that I was very excited about, and I was thrilled to be amongst the company of so many beautiful and talented women. The energy that day was pretty amazing. I could feel it all around me in the hearts and souls 
of so many amazing people. All the women Jane has brought 
into her fold to help work the magic for her cause... they are some very special people. I met so many new faces, and wish I was more organized to mention all of you here. Sadly, it's not so. But I'd like to take a moment to give kudus to some who touched my heart...

Allyson Raskin tickled me and told me of her story about being a Survivor. I fell in love with Allyson, and felt we needed many more hours together to get to know each other. Sweetness abounds in her life.

The ladies from Domestic Bliss were a little chilly, having arrived from Mesa, Az, but they sure knew how to set up one charming booth. I loved their style, and had to partake with a cutie top made from old pillow slips. 

Linda from La Maison Rustique had the prettiest display with her vintage furnishings. I think I wanted everything in her "shop" and was dismayed to learn that several choice pieces had already sold before the event really got underway. Vignettes Home Couture, The Vintage Rabbit, Tamerie of A Little of This, That and The Other, (my booth mate- we rocked, Tamerie!), and many other amazing shops... everything was very eclectic and special. I must also mention Dana from Tutu Monkey- don't you just LOVE her shop name?! Makes me want to ditch my totally uncreative shop name and go with something like... 
sheesh! I can't ever come up with anything that goes with Val! 

Lastly, another very special woman and her sister that inspired me so much, makes my head spin. Julie Haymaker Thompson, and her sweet sister Lorrie. Julie did the most amazing pieces of constructivism artwork, kind of 3-D whimsical collages. My golly, those art pieces were something. I coveted, coveted, coveted each and every one of them!

I wish I could name everyone... I can't forget about YOU, who made time in your busy lives to come, see and experience. Thank YOU for helping to make this event happen, and happen in a most *very special* way. :o)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thanks to Jean!

Queen Jean was the one who asked me to try to mesh the needle felting with a painting. This is my first venture, and I think I like it. I have been experimenting with some collage paintings lately, and along with my preoccupation with needle felted birds, I had to figure a way to blend them both. I have added a ribbon trim to the border, which I think helps set the fiber addition onto the painting. 

This painting is called "Loves With Her Whole Heart," and is rather sweet. I have recently been influenced by Kelly Rae Roberts and her collage techniques. Trying to NOT copy her style, and work these wonderful techniques into my own work... it's a process, and one I'm enjoying very much.  Now, all I really need is more time with Jean... she's a great influencing force for me when it comes to painting...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Getting Ready For Sunday's Market!

I'm getting ready for this Sunday's Market In The Garden over here in Val's Art Studio. There are going to be charming Birdie In  My Garden Pillows, made from handmade wool and recycled sweater felt. I have also made a beautiful collection of 
Felt and Lampwork Glass Earrings featuring birds and beach shells. I am debuting some new Collaged Paintings which will be available as originals or prints. If it is a cool day (as they sometimes are on a June day in Coronado), my Children's Recycled Sweaters will certainly be out for a visit and a chat.  

You are invited to come and join us. Bring a friend along, and socialize, snack, shop and support a special cause, Art Takes A Village. This catered event is sure to be extra special. I look forward to seeing you there. Let me 
know if you need more information, or need 
directions to this beautiful Coronado Beach house.

Let me remind you, I've already confessed, so there's no feeling guilty on my part ever again about always being about the birdies and the garden specimens. I did try to switch it up a bit by going with poppies instead of roses, so, see?! I modify!