Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mermaid's Mercantile This Sunday

Do you know about Mermaid's Mercantile? It's a one day, outdoor, beach inspired event that looks like it's going to be lots of fun! This will be my first time selling at Mermaid's Mercantile, but I have some friends who just love selling their hand made wares there, and being a part of this very creative environment. This event happens just once a month at Out of The Blue on Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach, the last Sunday of every month. If you're in the area, stop by and see what all the commotion is about! (I have some new items that I think are just plain irresistible. I'm going to take some photos, and will post them before Sunday to entice you to COME!) -x

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Meet The New Kid on the Block, Jewelry Affaire

Somerset Publications and Beth Livesay have done it again! Another fine magazine is set to hit the newstands on April 1st, which will surely inspire the creative genius in all of us. It already has set my creative mojo in action! You'll be able to see my felted earrings in this, the premier issue. You'll be looking for them in the "Artistic Affaire" section. I'm so excited to be a part of this publication. Now, don't ask me why, for I promised myself I wasn't going to become a jewelry artist. A felt and fiber artist yes, but definitely not a jewelry artist. I guess the problem cropped up with needing something fantastically felted to wear with those fun felted sweaters and scarves. So, yes, I admit, the jewelry bug grabbed ahold of me, and I had one of those late night flings with beads and felt, rather an "affair" of sorts! Here, take a sneak peek, and let me know what you think! And be on the lookout for Jewelry Affaire on newstands in April...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hail to Heather

Uh, no, it's not the little ice balls that fall from the sky sort of "Hail". Heather did nothing, I repeat; NOTHING wrong. No, this is the "I love you" sort of hail. Or, maybe if that's too strong, it's the "You're the Greatest!" sort of hail. Yep, Heather did everything fantastically right!

So, who is Heather? Well, we haven't actually met. We are friends in blogland. Heather asked me to help her with pattern making for the nuno felted panels she creates. Heather just needed a little push and some coaching, which I provided. In thanks, Heather created some lovely scarves for me out of her carded and dyed roving. Here's how she did it, click here to see. One scarf was, she warned, a bit scratchy, so she said I mightn't want to wear it as a scarf. She assured me I could do with it what I want. Well, I hope I didn't go too far, for here's what became of that lovely scarf:

It's made a "nest" around this beautiful bird on his flowering branch. It is so dang pretty that I can't stand it! When I received the scarves from Heather, I had just finished making several pillow fronts, and was struggling with what finishing technique this particular pillow needed. Well, there sat those newly unwrapped scarves, one with a warning attached. Well, the color couldn't have been more perfect. So, one thing led to another, and now it's as perfect as it can possibly be. Don't you agree? And don't you agree that Heather is the top dog in the nuno felting scarf border fabric arena? I wonder how she feels about this honor. And, um, Heather... how do you feel about making up some more of these for me? Isn't it about time you need more help with that pattern?!!! Heather?... :o) You're the best!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I was looking at some of the photos we took while we were on our trip in DC. I keep coming back to these two photos, and marveling at how uncannily similar they are. The photo on the left is from a Portrait Competition held by the National Portrait Gallery. This image was painted by one of the finalists, Laura Chasman. It's titled Nicholas. I can only assume it might be Laura's son. I'm pretty sure he's 13. It's so typical... see what I mean?

On the right is my 13 year old son, Drew. When Drew saw the photo of the portrait (what? You're surprised he didn't tour the Portrait Gallery with me? Ummm, that would be a No!), Drew asked if that was a picture of himself. The similarity just drives me crazy! This picture of Drew was taken outside Mt. Vernon. Guess you can see how he felt about visiting Mt. Vernon.
- Um, ok, not fair. This is pretty much a 13 year old boy's response to just about everything...

And, yeah, Drew and Kyle were busy at the Spy Museum with their dad while I was touring the Folk Art Show at the American Art Museum, and sneaking a brisk walk through the Portrait Gallery. Believe me, gallery tours were way better without the boys huge sighs following our every move. I did miss having my art buddy, Greg, with me though. Oh well, next time!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New News

And it's all so exciting!

First of all, I have been invited to be a fashion participant in the Style Awards, Night of Stars 2010 Fashion Show. Okay, the word "participant" means that I have been invited to provide four children's outfits for THE FASHION SHOW. Yes, I will have four of my children's outfits walking on young sweet models down the runway!

You may not know what this means to me, but just let me tell you! It has been my life long dream (whoop!). Remember how I told you I would work all day at my job, and then stay up all night sewing at my little old Singer sewing machine during my non-boyfriend days in my 20's? What was going through my head in the wee hours of those mornings? Yep, you guessed it! "One day my fashions will be featured on the runway", and "My name up in lights; 'Val, Fashionista Extraordinaire!' ", and "Just this side of Vogue; Val!" Hey..., a girl can dream, right?! So, yeah. This girl's dream is coming true. I am so thrilled, I can hardlystoptalkingandthinkingaboutit, and, Ican'tsleepatnight, andI'msooooexcitedddddd!

Okay, shush! Onto other exciting news now.

I'm joining the goodness at Art n Soul on 101, up in Encinitas, CA! Yea! I have been wanting to become affiliated with a gallery up in North County in San Diego. Cindy Blumkin saw my booth at Artisan's Alley, the holiday craft fair in Coronado, and she has been wooing me to her shop in Encinitas ever since we met! She really won't take no for an answer, and she's very engaging, and her shop is all about doing for very good causes... so I couldn't say no!

This means that each and every purchase from Val's Art Studio at Art n Soul on 101 will include a donation which benefits a local charity. Also, this gallery speaks the language of supporting refashioning and using recycled materials, which, of course, I am ALL ABOUT! Though this gallery is a little offbeat (their words, not mine), it's offbeat in a good way, with good hearts, support, giving, and sincerity, and those things are right in line with what I believe in. So, Cindy, I'm coming on Tuesday, with my first shipment of handmade goodness, and I know we will be successful together. It's all about Art 'n Soul, isn't it?

PS. Thanks to JudiPatudi for helping me get involved with the Style Awards Show. I am forever grateful to you, Judy, for your friendship, and confidence in my fashion abilities. I will be ready to Wow! ;o)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Needle Felting Classes Galore!

Are you ready to learn to needle felt?! Well, I sure hope so, because I have a bunch of upcoming classes, and there's bound to be one that's just right for you! We have lots of fun during class, make a few new friends, and hopefully everyone stays injury free - those needles are dang sharp... I promise I'll remember band aids next time!

Making Birdie Brooches last weekend at Paper Tales!

You can always visit my website at to see a current list of classes. Look for the News section, and then click on Classes. That page will give you all the necessary information you need to know!

Upcoming classes include:
** This Saturday, Feb. 13 from 1-3 pm: Needle felt a lovely Silk Scarf. Held at The Grove in North Park, this is a great class for the novice and seasoned needle felter alike. You will buy a kit of the most glorious hand dyed roving, and we will artfully needle felt it onto gorgeous silk. Call over to The Grove to sign up, and get directions; 619-284-7684

**Sat, Feb 20th from 3-6 pm: Felted Book Cover Class at Paper Tales in Pt. Loma. This was an incredibly popular class the first time I taught it, and it will be just as good the 2nd time around. You will learn all the tools of my trade, no secrets left unturned! Lots of needle felting and embroidery, with a lovely covered book to take home. All that's left is to fill up the inner pages with whatever your heart desires. Call over to Paper Tales to enroll, 619-222-2510.

**Sat, Feb 27th from 2-4 pm: Stuffed Toast Pillows at Paper Tales in Pt. Loma. Hooray for Mr. Toasty! He's so cute and cuddly, you won't want to leave him be! We will be making a fun stuffed Toast, with a needle felted face. You will learn some sewing skills in this class, and have lots of fun and frivolity bringing your Toast to life. Call Paper Tales to get signed up, 619-222-2510. Note, the class price has been lowered to $28.00.

As always, you will have the opportunity to purchase supplies and extra kits on the day of the class, just in case you are so inspired you want to go home and needle felt up a storm! Please remember to make these Val's Art Studio designs for your own personal use, and not sell them for profit. I really appreciate that. Also, be prepared to model your creation at the end of the class. Here's last week's models with their fantastic Birdie Brooches.... so cute! I'm looking forward to seeing you at an upcoming class soon!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hello Bluebird... My Favorite Shop

... though I've never actually set foot in the store! But who can resist a shop with a cute name like that?
For me, it's Hello, did you see that shop? Hang on while I go and check it out!

Well, Hello Bluebird is where I perch my east coast presence. You can read about it here. Alex has been a most gracious host to my felted wool creations. I (we) are hoping that peeps in PA fall as in love with my needle felted recycled wool as peeps here in So Cal. Since they've had a mighty snowy start to the year, lots of little peeps are sure to need some extra cute needle felted warmy goodness. Ahem, that's warm-y, not worm-y, okay?!

So, if you are anywhere near West Reading, PA., stop in and give Alex a shout, (she'd probably prefer a smile and a hello), and -please- tell her I send you. I think you'll love her shop's wonderful product mix, including my wooly goodness.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Crochet A Heart For Your Valentine!

What a sweet and simple tutorial from Little Birdie Secrets! It's so fast and easy to follow, that even I think I can now go and crochet a sweet heart. I promise, I'm going to try. I am really a very resistant crochet-er, because it messes with my knitting brain. I swear, after a simple chain of crochet, I totally forget how to knit. I am seriously not kidding. But these hearts are so cute, that I just have to try it out. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Fur Skirt!

I have finally located the photo of the now infamous fur skirt, and am posting on my blog for all to see! If you didn't read the original post telling the story of the fur skirt creation (gasp), you can read it here. Gosh, it would be so great to find a picture of that Vogue article so you could see the comparison. You will also note that my hair is terribly curly in this picture. Well, this was taken in the late 80's/early 90's when perms were quite the rage. Needless to say, I later found out that Greg DOES NOT like perms, so that was the last perm my hair has had to endure, thank God!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Big Case of Indecision

It's going something like this... Lost or American Idol? And, if I record them both, then will I ever have time to watch them later? If I watch one and fast forward through all the commercials, will I still be able to stay awake to watch the other? Grrrh! Why can't I just decide?

I know it's because I'm suffering from the effects of putting together a very large order for Hello Bluebird. It was like pulling teeth trying to decide what was going to stay and what was going to go. Let me tell you, once I put the goods into the box, and taped it up, it was like I was a freed slave once I shipped it off. I hope I can say that. Freed slave...

Now, I all the sudden find I'm right back where I started from... sigh.
- "She" wants me to give her a piece for a presentation, and wants me to choose between this and that.
- "They" both want me to show and sell in their gallery, but I must select different things for both places. And, are these galleries places I want to be?
- "That" would be perfect, but I must choose which one will be the better "perfect" for the project.

Okay, I'm going crazy here... I guess it's time to go and see if I can just get through those TV shows like I originally planned. Now... which knitting project to work on while I sit in front of the TV?