Sunday, August 29, 2010

Three Weeks and Counting...

... until the Coronado ArtWalk! Golly, it seems to be creeping up so quickly. I know the next three weeks will go by in a big blur as I work like a dog to complete as much as I can on my "to-do" board. I wonder how much I can get done? So far I've only been able to complete three cloud tasks, but I do have several more items in progress that are nearly finished.

The birdie pins are about ready to fly the coop as they get their final touches. Aren't they just too cute, all together like that?!

Toast pillows are coming together too. So far, I have a whole loaf of Toasties!

Since this event takes place in Coronado, I'm going to make sure to have several items featuring "Local Flavor", like my favorite Coronado beach pillows. They are made from recycled sweater wool, with needle felting and embroidery. I love these!

And, last, but not least...

A sneak peek to something totally new and extra FUN!...

Monster coin purses!!!

(How can you resist?!)

Stay tuned for more sneak peeks as I dash towards the ArtWalk finish line. There are many more new items to tell you about. I've very excited for my next reveal! ....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Super Little Woman

... That would be Alissa. Well, she's demure in size, but has a big, bright personality! Alissa came to one of my summer sales, and fell in love with the scooter skirt, which I had made for the Style Awards Fashion Show. The crazy thing was that the skirt I made was for an 8 year old girl! And she actually fit into it! It was just a tiny bit tight at the waist (which fit her HIP!), so she commissioned me to make a custom skirt for her with a slightly bigger waist/hip. As always, the second item is so much easier to make, and it goes so much quicker. I couldn't resist snapping a picture of her in this adorable skirt when she came to pick it up. It's just so darn CUTE on her!

Sadly, this fantastic Japanese import fabric has been discontinued. I have exactly enough of this beautiful colorway to make one more skirt, hint hint. I'd love to make one for myself, but this wouldn't look nearly as good on me as it does on Alissa. So, instead of a skirt, I have a backpack in mind. Oh, I just can't wait to finally get this backpack out of my head, and created in fabric! It's been on that back burner in my mind for a very long time. Maybe I can get it created in time for one or two of my upcoming Fall shows. Stay tuned, my first Fall Craft sale is coming up very soon!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Heart Speaks Volumns

Yes, it does, it says it all. In fact, I think I have crossed over to my heart ruling my every thought, word and deed. I'm not sure this is a good thing, but I think it is...

Let me give you an example. Do you remember the post when I announced I would "Up & Quit" Val's Art Studio in favor for getting a job? A real job, working for someone else? Well,the suggestions came in. Yep, they did. Job suggestions for fantastic positions. So, what happened, you might be wondering? Well, my heart stepped in. It stepped right up to the plate, and made a demand on me. My heart took my face, and looked me square in the eyes, and asked me what the heck I thought I was doing. Here's exactly what my heart said: "Look, you. You have a gift, and you are FINALLY using it. And, it's working. You are HAPPY, you are CREATING, you are MAKING A DIFFERENCE. You are doing just what you were meant to do, so you need to stick with it. Even though you don't know where the path will lead, and even though you are unsure of what's next, you need to STAY the course, DON"T rock the boat, BE persistent."

So, ...okay, I listened. Yes, I committed. I am staying the course with Val's Art Studio, and, believe me, I am so happy about this. Yes, this decision makes my heart sing! Nothing has ever felt so right (well, since I decided to marry my amazing husband :o). So, I rented out our house. Um-humm, much to the dismay of our family, we are moving out, because our house can make more $ per month than I can. (So far!) My heart tells me this is the right thing to do. Our family will regroup, and refocus, and recommit too, during this time. My heart tells me it's time for this to happen.

I'm listening, I'm going with the flow, I'm sooo hoping I'm doing the right thing... Hey! Heart? Can you hear me?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another Day, Another Give-Away!

Emily Burger, over at BurgerArts is offering an awesome Give-away; 4 fat quarters of her fantastic "Pink Forest" fabric! Ooh, I want to win this fabric sooo badly! Another thing you may not know about me is that I have a very, VERY serious obsession with fabric, and especially fabric of the CUTE variety! I am always lusting after all of Emily's fabric, for she's big on birdies and cutie pie bears, and raccoons, and heck! It's all so cute. So, go here and enter, and even though it's, yet again, more competition for me, well, it's all good. Right?!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Give-Away of a Different Sort; Yes and Amen

Yep, you know I'm a sucker for cutie pie little lambies, and cutie pie chickies, and anything barnish or farmish. What??! You didn't know about that? Well, don't say I didn't tell you! Yep, if I could live on a farm, I'd be the happiest girl this side of Mars. My dad used to live near Petaluma, Ca, and warned me I'd not enjoy the "less fragrant" side of farm life, but I'd already decided by then that Petaluma was to be my retirement destination. With a few goats, sheep, chickens, and even a cow or two. Just the thought makes my heart go pitty-pat.

So, yesterday, I came upon a new blog that I am totally in love with, Yes and Amen. BTW, that's the name of the blog, not a description of how I'm feeling. Yes and Amen is written by a fabulous photographer named Junelle, and she blogs about blessed barnyard stories. I haven't enjoyed a read like this in a very long time. Well,ok... the stories, and the over-the-top-fantastic photography. I think I like the lambs the best. What about you? So, yep, there's my extra special give-away of the day, a visit to the Blessed Barnyard of Yes and Amen. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hey! A Tutu Monkey Give-Away!

I'd sure be "Living Happy" if I won this beautiful necklace from my girlfriend Dana, over at Tutu Monkey! In fact, I'm really desperate to win it, so I'm posting about it on my blog. THAT will get me one extra entry. You can enter too, just head over to her blog and leave a comment. Of course, if you do, that means more competition for me winning this necklace... Oh well, have a fun visit at Tutu Monkey, where everything's just a ... well, a Barrel of Monkeys!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Self Publishing Made Simple

The truth of the matter is that I'd love a book publisher to come to me and ask to include my work in a specialty book on needle felting. That did actually happen, but I didn't make the final cut. I figured at the time that I just wasn't ready for that step yet, and I've been working on the getting-ready-for-the-next-opportunity ever since (hint hint, universe!)

I recently stumbled on a way to have the next best thing, so I thought I'd share it with you today. So, here it is: self publishing using photo books. You know those wonderful photo book companies like PhotoWorks and Shutterfly? (You can also self publish using your Mac computer in the iPhoto program.) Well, I've made some beautiful photo books with photos of our family vacations. But, what about making a book featuring my work? (thanks Gail Z!) So, that's what I did. And it came out great. I've even received compliments on getting myself published. And no, I didn't admit I'm self published, because the book really looks that good!

I figured out how to post my photobook here, so you can see each and every page. Take a look, if you'd like, and gather a few ideas so you can self publish your work too. I think it's a great idea, and a very good thing to have. I'm thinking craft shows, potential artist interviews, custom client meetings, etc...

Click here to view this photo book larger

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Belle Armoire

I haven't seen the magazine yet, but found out my feature in Belle Armoire is NOW OUT or at least it will be very soon! Yep, I'm in the Salon section, just like they said I'd be! And yep, it's a pretty fine place for me to be. (If you didn't read my previous post about BA Salon, you can catch up here). Lovely photography, and a close up of my beaded felt leaf work, no less. It looks fantastic, wonderfully lovely.
There's just one small, wee discrepancy, and it has to do with the spelling of my name... my Last name, to be exact. Something about a letter inserted where it shouldn't be... Now, you already know how I feel about that, so I'm not going to let it drag me down. I'm going to pretend that it's not even there. Heck, the type is so small when I view it on the computer that I can't even see my misspelled name. So, that will be the end of it. Heck, will you just LOOK at that piece? And the photography?! It's really outstanding, isn't it :o)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pet Peeve

Do you have one? Something that makes your blood bfrustrationoil whenever it happens? Well, I do, and for me it's pretty big. It's a stupid, simple thing, but I really hate it when people get my last name wrong. My last name is Hebert, pronounced Hee-bert, or, the correct French pronunciation, which sounds like "A-bear". I'm okay fine with people calling me a bear... But I actually turn into one when people call me "Herbert", as in HER-BERT. Yep, I do. I hate it.

(at the bank) "Good afternoon, Mrs. HeRbert, how are you today?" Me; "It's HE-bert, I'm fine, thanks"
(at the grocery) "You saved $21.04 today, Mrs. HeRbert!" Me; "It's HE-bert, and thank you"
(at the doctor's office, when it's my turn) "VALERIE HERBERT" Me, "HE-BERT, It's Valerie HEBERT!!!"

My husband warned me about this when I married him, and he's learned to roll with it over the years... well, his entire lifetime. We've been married nearly 20 years, and it STILL affects me when people get my name wrong. Yeah, I know, my annoyance gene goes into overdrive with this. I can't help it. I think it's... well, I won't name what I think it is. I'm going to let my polite gene override me about now.

Well, my pet peeve was roiled mighty big today, and I can't even talk about it to you yet, I'm still boiling inside... but I'll spill the beans tomorrow, when I've cooled down a wee bit... (calming, mellow, big, deep breath...)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Heart You

Photo courtesy of Follow My Bliss. Thanks Barb!

I'm sending this very special and magical heart out to my special girls, who enrich my life with love, laughter and friendship. With you I search for new vistas, I touch my deepest emotions, I crave for that above what I can attain on my own. I hear your voices, they resonate with my own, I struggle to grasp meaning, to feel cherished, to surround myself in the love you bring to me. I love you, and wouldn't be what I am today without you in my life. For that, I am eternally grateful.... xxxo

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sailing the Beer Can Races

Yesterday, we were invited to sail the "beer can races" with our neighbor, Fred, on his beautiful 44 ft. racing sail boat. Since Drew and Kyle have been focused on learning to sail this summer, we thought it would be a great opportunity to have some sailing fun, and see if there might be a forthcoming invitation for them to "crew" on Fred's boat.... hint hint!

The beer can races are not true races at the Coronado Yacht Club, as they might be at other yacht clubs. Mostly, it's a weekly opportunity for sailors to get their boats out and enjoy camaraderie and boating fun. I didn't think to take a photo of all the huge sailboats circling up and getting ready for the start of the race. There was actually a crash, where three jostling sailboats (each in the 40-50 ft range) crashed together! Heck, that'd about send me through the roof... er, deck to be involved in that!

We started in last place, as Fred was smart to hang back from the circling crowds! Fred explained his special racing sails, and how they help to make the boat extra fast, as we quickly sprinted past most of the other boats. By the time we sailed under the Coronado Bridge, we'd eclipsed most all of the 30-some boats.

Rounding the bay towards downtown San Diego, the only sounds being the racing wind in your ears, sails clatter and snapping in the breeze, the rushing of the water as you are bent low enough to reach out and touch it...

The boys weren't expected to do much on their maiden voyage, but were warned they'd be pressed into service on their next trip!

It took 3 men to crew this fine vessel, though Fred said he often takes the boat out on his own. We had a fine time sailing the beer can races on the Coronado Bay. I hope you are having yourself a fine summer too. Drop me a line and let me know what YOU'VE been up to!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Home Is Where My Heart Is

Literally! I can't wait to go back to our home, for we are returning this weekend. Things have worked out very well staying in the back-house at my mom's, but I really can't wait to get back to my wonderful, peaceful and creative HOME!

And, speaking of Home... you can find my fantastic needle felted pillows created from felted recycled wool in the very latest
Stampington Home issue, hitting newstands NOW! Wow, would you take a look at that COVER?! How cute is that?!!! Well, you know me, I'm a one trick pony when it comes to the birds. I just can't wait to see this issue, and am so proud to add this lovely magazine to my growing list of publications.

Now, speaking of covers... I'm happy to report that I'm sharing this magazine with many talented artists and designers, and one of them is my very sweet friend, Tamerie, of the famed blog, A Little of This, That and the Other! Tamerie has some fantastic folding chair slipcovers featured. You will want to take a look at these, for they seem like they'd be the simplest and most elegant way to dress up any room, from a simple breakfast nook, to an elegant outdoor wedding. Tamerie's feature can be viewed on her blog too.

So, go out and look for the newest issue of Stampington Home, found at your local Barnes and Nobel, or any fine magazine or crafting store near you. Or, send me a message and you can order the magazine straight from me. I'm sure it'll be worth every cent, for there are sure to be loads of ideas to shape up your lovely Home too!