Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Class: On Pins + Needles

Ever feel like you're on pins and needles? Heck, I do ALL the time. (Probably doesn't help that I'm generally stepping on the pins I drop all over the floor!) So, that's the inspiration for my newest Embroidery Hoop Art class, "On Pins + Needles".

I'll be teaching Pins + Needles at The Grove later this month, April 18th, to be exact, from 1-4pm. Call over to the Grove (619-284-7684) to reserve yourself a place. We'll be needle felting, learning about piecing wool together with hand sewing techniques, and all kinds of embroidery patterns. It's a great class, and you'll have a finished piece of art framed up in a 6" embroidery hoop to tote home, sassy bird and all! I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Scene 7 of the Style Awards Fashion Show-The Kids!

It's pretty boring to see nothing but a black screen at the start of that last post, so I'll put the Scene 7 video of the kids on the runway at the end of this post...

Well, to say the least, Friday night at the Style Awards Fashion Show 2010 was definitely one of the best nights of my life! I really thought I was going to start crying when the kids came out on the catwalk! My clothes were "on" first, followed by Heather Haas and her sister Kit's line from Five Loaves Two Fish. I enjoyed every single moment of the entire event, from the fancy sophisticates and their "arrivals", the models being coiffed and groomed according to the designers fancy (my models too!), to being photographed by several magazines, to showing off the beautiful showroom setup to my husband, mom and friends who came... up until about 11:30 when I was desperate to remove those dang high heels!! But, my friend Judy warned me NOT to change into flats, she said my only recourse was to walk out barefoot. Believe me, it took all of my will to not do just that! I'm finally feeling a bit more normal today, and the feeling is beginning to return in the middle toe in my left foot. Yikes, those shoes were killers!

Here's my favorite picture of the night; the four kids who modeled my creations backstage
just before "Scene 7", the section of the show called Stand Up For Kids. Sabrina B. is on the left, then Sundra, then Sabrina D, and her brother Michael. Don't they look incredible?!

I really worked hard to
bring my entire line together with colors, patterns and texture. The fabric I found for the skirt and pants (Michael's and Sabrina's outfits) is a wonderful Japanese linen fabric, with a lovely weight and drape. Judy ofJudipatudi Fabrics is looking into carrying that lovely line in her fabric shop at The Grove.

The other tricky factor was in finding
wool and cashmere sweaters in the color groups I wanted. Let me tell you, this was no easy feat! There are about a million different turquoises, greens and peaches, and there's no guarantee the ones I find at my local thrift store, or the one's my sweater shoppers find at their local thrift stores, will match each other. So, consequentially, I have lots and lots of orange and teal sweaters right now! The ones I used for the show have been hacked up into the smallest tiny bits, and are all used up!

Well, all in all it was a hugely rewarding experience, and one I won't forget anytime soon. As far as the top I
created for myself, I was very proud to wear it, but feel it needs a few modifications. I'm going to make another one based on my experience with the first one. Who knows, I might actually create a pattern, and maybe I'll blog about it too. It's a great example of how things come together in my mind on the pattern making and creation process using recycled wool. I have a big event in Rancho Santa Fe in two weeks, so that gives me the perfect amount of time to perfect this lovely pattern. Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement in my standing up in my two tall towers!

Last, but not least... that video... Well, I've been working on this post on and off for the last two hours, and that video has been loading this whole time! I'm going to give it a bit longer to see if it will finish up. Sheesh. The video isn't THAT long. If I can't get it to load, I'll have to reduce the size and try to reload, or load it to YouTube, and link it here... Ok, I'm tired of waiting... **UPDATE** Video is now loaded. Click here to view.

Val's Moment of Fashion Fame

I'm not sure if I did this right, so I'm loading the short video first, the one of me walking the catwalk. If this posts okay, I'll load the longer video with the kids. Just click on the video to watch. Please let me know if you have a problem, so I can get one of my kids to help me fix it!

I"m off now to teach the Honey Bunny class, back later to post the photos and the rest!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Please God, Don't Let Me Fall Off These 5" Heels!

Dear God, I really need your help tonight when I dress up for my very big fashion show. I bought these special shoes for my big night so I can look very sophisticated and fancy. There is just one small problem. I never, ever wear high heels. I am the queen of flats, and am quite happy about that. But, tonight being what it is, I thought I'd go out of a limb with something extra special.

God, I've been really good about prepping myself for walking around in these shoes. For the past two days, I've been wearing them with some thick socks around the house. I'm getting pretty good in these two tall towers! I have been trying to do all my normal activities while wearing these shoes. Since my normal activities lately involve sewing, sewing and more sewing, I have even tried doing that too.

It's been challenging trying to push the pedal while sewing, so generally that one shoe has to come off. But I put it right back on, because there's no walking around with one shoe off and one shoe on in these babies!

God, I was doing fine with all this shoe prep until I got the call from Gretchen at 9 pm last night. The organizers of the show thought it would be special to have the designers come up on stage to be honored after their line is shown. God, she said I will be walking up stairs and onto the catwalk stage in front of everybody and their mother (well, practically). God, I wasn't trying to be rude when I was silent for a full minute. I was just picturing me doing a full body flip in front of the crowd in these now-oh-too-fancy-shoes.

So God, I really need your help here. Please, please, please do NOT let me crash and burn in my big moment. Please let me navigate the stairs successfully. God, let me look graceful, and not like an Amazon since I'll be about 6'1" tall in those shoes. God, please let it all be good, and go well. Thank you, God, for I know so well that if I ask, I will receive, and for that, I am eternally grateful!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Breakneck Speed

Yes, that's about what my neck is doing right about now... breaking. But, please don't tell my head about it, I just don't want to give myself any unwanted ideas, or a reason for a problem! Lord only knows, I do not need a repeat of what happened 4 days before Artisans' Alley; door slammed by a car when riding my bike. I am being extra careful, giving myself a wide berth around any cars, and attempting to stop and stretch my neck and shoulders throughout the day. I think it's working, and I'm keeping myself on track body-wise, at least so far.

So, with 4 days to go until the Style Awards Fashion Show, I have managed to complete the four main outfits, tops, bottoms, socks, and only still have to worry about accessories. I have one more boys vest to make, and my special top. But, I have found some glorious super high heeled shoes (I NEVER wear these, but this is a special occasion, right?!). I have to loose a tiny bit of weight to fit into my skinniest green pants, and Marcia finished my Under the Mast necklace for me so I can wear it on Friday night, hooray!!! I am getting SOOO excited! Yep, bleary eyed and near exhaustion, but so excited. :o) Stay tuned, photos of my creations are coming very soon!

Well, just in time for a little break, my long awaited copy of Poetry in Stitches arrived today in the mail. I preordered this lovely book about 6 or 7 months ago, and it finally came. This is truly the type of knitting and designing I'm meant to do. I must have been Scandinavian in my last life, because I cannot resist this lovely way of working wool. This book is sure to be an inspiration to me for months and years to come. I can't wait until I have a bit of free time, and less on my knitting needles awaiting my attention, so I can begin one of these lovelies.

The designer's inspirations are glorious, and I love how they are photographed and paired with the most beautiful and creative of sweater creations. One is more lovely than the next.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Busy, continued

Nine days and counting, yes, 9. Out of the ten sewn garments I need to have finished by the Style Awards Fashion Show... yes, 10... I am currently on number 6 right now, it's about 40% completed. #7 is nearly designed, and should go together fairly easily. Numbers 8 and 9 are the outfit for the 10 year old girl, still pretty much undesigned... just a bunch of sketches at this stage. Then, there's #10 - the piece de resistance (pee-ace day ree-sis-taunce, say it slowly). It's what I am going to wear :o) I am most excited about this one, but am most unsure about it's construction at this stage of the production. Things always manage to come together somehow. It's still just a sketch in my head, sweaters on the floor, and miscellaneous silk scarves floating about in a confusion of colors. I can't wait to get this one finished and post it so you can see it!!!

Okay, I'm keeping the kids outfits secret until the show, when I will show them off all at once, so you can see the entire line. Yes, I said "line"! I'm so excited I'm making a whole line of clothing for the show, I can't stand it!!

So, I should be sewing, but I'm taking a little blog break, in order to show you a little of the other things that have been going on in the studio. Here goes...

Meet Michelle!!! She's my awesome new helper. Michelle worked for/with me at Artrageous, but had to be let go when the Del Mar store closed due to the economy. We thought she was leaving town, but come to find out she's still here, and looking for a job. So, I told her I'd keep her employed at my home office for as long as I can afford to/she wants to work/learn what I do, etc! Here Michelle was working hard trying to duplicate the essence of Toast, and I think she got it just right, don't you?! Welcome, Michelle!

Meet my new Needle Felting machine, the
infamous BabyLock Embellisher! Woo hoo! I am sooo excited about this addition to my studio, and how it brings a measure of relief to my poor, aching shoulders.

Next, something in the jewelry department, my newest needle felted earring design. I've stumbled upon a new bead design that I really like. I call these "From the Outer Galaxy". Don't they look like something that would be worn by an extra pretty automaton woman?! I'm thinking on the order of Outer Limits. Okay, maybe not that severe. How about on the lines of what Judy Jetson would wear? That's more like it!! Humm, I think you can see these details more in real life than in the picture. I'm talking about the pink earrings, in any case...

Now, this next photo on the right is one of my sculpted felt necklaces that can also be worn as a brooch. I'm a little bit on the fence about the pink flower color, 'cause I think the pink is too strong... or maybe takes too much attention from the lovely green leaves... I don't know what it is. But, it's an "in progress" piece, and will probably be changed up to suit itself just right later on today. I am hoping to have one or two of these lovely creations completed by this weekend, and the art opening at Art n' Soul. Don't forget, it's this Saturday night in Encinitas!

Last but not least, here's how things were coming together on my cutting station of the table. I glanced up and saw that the Pirate toast pillow had gotten wedged under sweater fabric I was about to cut. With the turtleneck, and the sleeves pointing up, as if to say "Oh My!" I nearly stopped and declared the piece to be a dress, for a pirate girl no less! But, no time for wayward designs right now. Best get back to the cutting table, and turn that "dress" into the vest it's intended to become.

Stay tuned for more excitement and busyness, continued yet again! Thanks for checking in, and for sharing my excitement about Val's Art Studio in the Style Awards Show!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You're Invited To An Art Opening!

... at Art N' Soul on 101, in Encinitas. There will be 4 featured artists, and one will be ME!

When? Next Saturday, March 20th, 5:30-8:30

Where? 633 South Coast Hwy. 101 in downtown Encinitas

Phone? 858-442-8666

Extras? YES! Live music, door prizes, Hors D'Oeuvres, and Good Vibes!!

The following nearby restaurants are offering 5% off the cost of dinner:
Ogata: Japanese Cuisine
Vigillucci's: Italian Cuisine
Jamrock: Jamaican Cuisine

Come and join in the fun, and see what's new in Encinitas. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Knit Happy

My brother's girlfriend, Shannon, just returned from Barcelona, and she brought me this... a fantastic photo with the best sentiment ever;
all you knit is love.
How true is that?! Guess it's time for me to quit being so selfish by only knitting for myself, and knit a few things for other people, like Greg!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Relaxation Day

It's definitely good to have a "forced" relaxation day thrown into the mix every so often, like today. Heck, things have been pretty frantic lately at Val's Art Studio, with this upcoming fashion show and all the preparations. See, this is how things normally look over here when I start a new project...

One thing or another happens, (like a phone call, or I turn my back), and generally this is the next thing that happens. (She is hypo-allergenic)

The organizing of the felted sweaters into color groupings, felted finishes, and pattern possibilities is the first step of many. I have finished one outfit, and am starting on outfits 2 and 3, and have all the others designed and planned out. Just wait til you see them. The whole line is going to be ultra fantabulous!!! Just knowing that gives me... peace...

And now, today, after all my bodywork... (chiropractic care and massage therapy)... I'm feeling as peaceful as this...

Have yourself a peaceful day...

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's Been A Good Day, A Really Good Day

I can't help myself, I just want to shout out! I'm feel as jumpy as a playful lambie. Then, the next minute I feel like I'm a kettle ready to boil over, tooting my horn all over the place. Good things are abounding all around me. I feel so thankful, um humm.

I am gearing up for what seems to be the biggest event of my life, the Style Awards Fashion Show on March 26th. Today, I found out who the models are that will be wearing my creations. They are perfect, and I'm so excited to work out my designs! Yea! I will have a sweet brother and sister team, ages 5 and 7, with golden curly hair. Then, two girls who look like sisters, tall and dark, olive complected, ages 8 and 10; perfect! I've been offered two additional boys to outfit. You know what? I'm going to try to fit everybody in. It's not a crowd, it's a party!

So, that goodness was actually preceded by the following fantastic happenings;
- I have been invited to be a featured artist at Art N' Soul's open house on March 20th. Yea!
- I finally ordered my needle felting machine today, a Babylock Emellisher. Oh my golly!
- I hired a real life true assistant today, Michelle. Michelle worked for me at Artrageous, and she is amazing, really truly amazing. I feel so lucky that she's available to come and help me at the busiest time of my life. She starts on Monday, hooray!
- I learned my lovely sculpted needle felted floral necklace on the Shibori silk ribbon is being featured in Belle Armoire, a high end Stampington publication. Wow, wow.

I think that's enough for one day. Really, it's about all I can handle. I am so thankful. I am so happy. I am honored to be able to create, and that you peeps out there like my creations and recognize what I'm doing to be special and worthy of appreciation. And, I am so happy that I now have a HELPER!!!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Honey Bunny, Honey Bunny, Huuu-ney Bunny!

All the sudden I'm all about Embroidery Hoop Art. It has to be small, very cute, and must incorporate stitched writing. If there's attitude included, that's an extra bonus. Please don't ask me to explain this any further. It's just a particular phase I'm going through, and I'm sure it will pass. But for now, it's all the rage in my brain, and I'm just going with it...

The girl in the orange shirt is "cheeky". That says it all. Soon to follow will be more along the lines of "peaceful". I have plans for "calm", "tranquil" and "quietude". Then, there's this one; "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto". Um-humm, see, that's how my mind works!

By the way, there will be CLASSES for these Embroidery Hoop Needle Felted Art pieces. Paper Tales has scheduled Honey Bunny for March 28, 1-4. The Grove will have a different piece, which will be scheduled in April. Stay tuned for a sneak peek of the Hoop Art for the Grove, and a sign up date!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Needle Felting Class This Sunday, March 7th!

Learn to needle felt this sweet Birdie Brooch on Sunday, March 7th from 3-5pm. I'm teaching this fun and informative class at The Grove in North Park. You can give them a call at 619-284-7684 to sign up. Now, they are closed on Mondays, so make yourself a note to call them at 11:00 on Tuesday, right when they open up! Soon you'll be able to wear a sweet cheekie birdie just like this one, and show off how much you love the cutest things in life. By the way, you'll have the option of making this brooch in either a turquoise combination, or pinkie/purply/reds! Doesn't he make you feel so happy?!

Oh, and by the way (again), if you want the pin, but not the class, you can have that too! Just click on over to my shop, where you'll find a listing for several color ways of this sweet pin. Click here.