Thursday, September 30, 2010

Needle Felting Lesson Love

Leah came for a private lesson on Sunday in order to finally satisfy her passion to learn to needle felt. (remember? I told you these things actually happen!) Many people want to learn to do 3-D needle felting, so they can make all the fantastic things they see in the needle felting books. I love teaching 3-D needle felting, but I always forewarn people these tiny characters take many hours to create. But, it's a great way to figure out how the barbed needles work, and how the fluff actually comes together and turns into an actual object.

We were set to make a bird on a nest, but as we began the lesson, and perused a few needle felting books, decided to change things up a bit. (One - ok, that would be me - One can only make so many birds on nests, before you are ready for that project to fly the coop!) We decided on Russian dolls. Leah did a marvelous job with her very first needle felting effort (the doll on the left, below). Wow, I was very impressed. These dolls measured about 2.5-3" high, and this picture was taken after we'd worked on the dolls for over 3 1/2 hours!

Needless to say, I haven't been able to stop working on Russian Dolls. I now have a "nested" set, and I love them! I have been posing them all over my house this morning, to my great delight....

Oh my golly! We are having an actual thunderstorm! (VERY unusual in San Diego) My lights just flickered, so I am posting this before the electricity goes out and I lose it for good. Happy needle felting :o)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kelly Rae Helps Make My Day :o)

I'd been thinking about taking Kelly Rae Robert's e-course ever since she offered it. I actually wanted to sign up for the online course when she was promoting it in the Spring, but things were just too hectic for me then. Good thing she developed the e-course. I put it down for the very top spot on my New Years resolution list for 2011. I knew it would be right up my alley for giving me just the right sort of a push in making the right decisions in growing my business. Well, somehow, one thing lead to another, (um-hum, a one push, and a shove kind of thing) and I just couldn't wait. I bought the e-course, and have already started in on it... So, I guess I'm getting a head start on my 2011 resolutions..., right! Way to be proactive, Val!!!

Lots and LOTS of great tips and tricks are ready for the unveiling in this course. I've only read the first chapter, and my inspiration is spilling out all over the place! I did the exercises, and listed my goals, and have been like a teakettle ready to boil over!! In fact, I have already had a great piece of news, that has to be immediately added to my goal list... I have just been invited to be a part of a special vendor exhibit/sale at the new San Diego Children's Museum on November 27th! Of course, I'm attributing this to my positive energy flow, my chi, my visualizations, ... heck! My Kelly Rae energy is overflowing (thank you, world...) I do feel blessed.

Well, busy, busy, busy... I'm working to finish up some commissions in my studio, and then I will have to pack things up, as we are MOVING HOUSES... then a quick reset of my studio, get Michelle back to work... and resume making up like mad, for now I have 3 big events within a 2 week period. Just wondering if I can really do it all... (ok, world, I'm looking for guidance now...)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Big Art Walk Thank You!

Thank you!

Thank you for coming out for a day on the bay... you walked my way... brought a dog or two, or four or more! You stopped to say Hi! and even purchased a guy... A Friendly or two. A coin purse Monster, or four. Your comments I heard, each and every word. They enriched my life, they're reason to keep my hands in the deep pit of my wool, my oh-so-lovely wool...

I didn't take my camera... :o( I don't have good pictures to share. I was too busy in my booth world to stop and enjoy the view from the lovely space by the Bay where we perched. Thankfully Michelle was there on Sunday and took some pictures, and she captured the dog in his chariot that made us laugh out loud. She took a picture from our booth showing off our beautiful view... (I could only get it to come out teeny tiny!)

I met so many wonderful new people, like the girls who are in a sewing group, I loved meeting you three! I've met new people online too, and am touched by your compliments and words that make me feel like what I'm doing is real and relevant. (ok, I know it is, but it's always nice to hear it)

And, I owe the biggest hand-slap of thanks to my fan-tab-ulous booth helpers, Mollie on Saturday and Michelle on Sunday... you both totally rock! Ditto to my husband, Greg, who made all the hauling and booth set up a breeze. And my two boys, Drew and Kyle... part helpers, part cheer-up-ers, part go-getters. You guys are awesome :o)

My knitting girls came by and were my paparazzi, snapping photos of me on Sunday, sporting my fantastic vest which I now call the "Bee Vest". It looks a bit like a bumble bee, and even has one on the back. I have to say I think I look like a bumble bee in this shot... several woman tried on this vest and I think it looked so much better on them. It's a wonderful piece.

I sold many of my woman's pieces. Two I sold right "off my back"! I am planning to make more for the Talmadge Art Show... coming November 21st...
In the meantime, stay tuned for more news exciting from Val's Art Studio!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

How To Find Val's Art Studio at the Coronado Art Walk

Did I tell you that I am a Featured Vendor at this weekend's Coronado Art Walk?! Oh, I did? Ok... Well, you WON"T believe my SPOT at this fantastic venue! Let's say you are taking the Ferry across the bay, which I'm telling you, is a glorious way to visit Coronado. You walk down the pier after disembarking from the Ferry... you see all the excitement going on, all the white canopies... and once you get to the end of the dock.... You see ME!! I am the first booth! Ok, if you come from the other direction, (yes, I know, you will have a small hike to find me) but just go to the pier and there I am! Oh, and you can look for my wonderful NEW signage... what do you think?!

Ok, the picture really doesn't do all it's cuteness justice....

Speaking of cute, Look at my newly finished "Car Top". Ok, I know, it's a bad name.

This car inspired top was a very last minute inspiration, and went together in a zip, well, nearly. It's got a small dose of my very fav: Enchino Ni-co fabric, a large dose of recycled wool sweater action, finished up with a lovely dotty lining. What you cannot see is the pe-ace-de-resistance.... the bird. Okay, you will have to come and see it in all it's glory at Art Walk. I tried to photograph the bird, but it didn't come out. As you can see, I'm typing to you madly here instead of trying to get a better photo, so that's just how it goes. I actually made this vest so it's a tad bit big for me. Which means that it will probably fit YOU! (ok, do you remember the post after last Artisan's Alley when the girls accused me of having a RIB taken out?! Heck, I was born small on top. Just wish my bottom was the same ;o)

Ok... Can't wait to see you... tomorrow... on the Coronado Bay... it will be a lovely day (wear sunscreen!)
-x, Val

Mr. Sewing Machine, Pleeease Don't Quit Me Now!

Ugggh, I had an evening of sewing machine trouble last night, and as a result, did NOT sleep well due to "sewing machine worry". Have you ever experienced that? It's really not pretty. The words that come out of my mouth... the tension that builds in my shoulders as I struggle with the tension on the machine. Well, the good news is that I walked away from the machine, and went back this morning with (somewhat) fresh eyes, a brisk cleaning brush, and my handy sewing machine oil bottle. After a fairly quick One-Two, we are seemingly back in action.
We've Got! to! be!, because I have 1 Backpack Scooter bag to finish up today, a couple of Bird Scarves that have to be stitched, and a wonderful Car-Top to finish sewing. Okay... back to work over here!!!These photos aren't great (sorry), because I snapped them quickly with my phone, but I will actually have THREE (3!) glorious finished bird scarves for sale! So come to Art Walk early, and don't be shy to ask me about them. I'm going to try to parcel them out one at a time... It's part of my dilemma on how to show/display my items for this 2 day event. Does everything come out at once, or some things on Day 1, saving others for Day 2??? Oh, what to do?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

For Art Walk: 100% Handmade + Personality Plus!

I have a confession... Sometimes I develop obsessions about 1 or 2 of the things I make. I've got that going on right now. It's the guy that's 2nd from the left. Don't ask me how, what, or why, because I just can't answer that.

So, come to Art Walk, but be prepared to either see a "SOLD" sign on 1 or 2 pieces. Or, a really high price. Yeah, you get it.... it's part of my obsession...

Um humm, my obsession....

The Coronado Art Walk is THIS WEEKEND, Sept 18+19, from 10-5 both days. I will be in Booth 45, by the Ferry Pier. I am a FEATURED ARTIST at this fair, so there will be special signage by my booth! Look for me and come say Hello! See and enjoy my 100% Handmade Goodness, Recycled Woolies and all my Newest Creations. I can't wait to see YOU too :o)

Monday, September 13, 2010

How to Knit a Ton When You're Supposed To Be Prepping For a 2 Day Craft Show...

... Ok, there's a recipe for THIS too! And here it is:

Recipe for Knitting When You Have No Time To Knit
  1. Take one 12 year old boy (ok, my son, Kyle)
  2. Add one Rip-Stick scooter, the kind with movable type feet, where you have to really have your balance under control
  3. Add the fact that Kyle doesn't know how to use the Rip Stick
  4. Mix in Max, Kyle's friend who was teaching Kyle how to use the Rip Stick
  5. Take a second scooter, one with a very sharp edge, that Max was riding, right behind Kyle...
  6. Throw in a good backwards fall
  7. Mix it all together.....
  8. And, you will end up with a trip to 2 ERs (the first one thought there could be some torn tendon action, and sent us to Children's Hospital)
So, yep, 4 hours of knitting. But at least there was no torn tendon, and only one layer of skin had to be stitched up. The 2 doctors remarked how calm Kyle and I were... I reported we'd been through this before. Yes, a couple of years ago, Kyle tore open the front of his shin, about 6" long. (sorry if I'm grossing you out) There were 2 layers of stitches to fix that bad boy. The doctor gave me a big lecture on how to prevent scars. Kyle and I just rolled our eyes... Scars and 12 year old boys? Heck, they go together!!! Kyle's decided he's going to be Frankenstein for Halloween. Sounds about right. He's got a great head start!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Recycled Sari Silk Infusion

Ummm... sounds like I'm still all about cooking and recipes, doesn't it? Well, okay, in a way, I am! I'm just cooking up things that don't necessarily have to do with food. The outcome is yummy. Plus, no calories are involved, and this will help you to look your best!

Sari Silk Infusion
Take one silk scarf and dip it in the yummiest batch of color dye you can imagine...

Add texture with a needle felting pen or embellisher machine...

Take a needle and thread and add a mix of sewing stitches.
Needle felt in a few swirls of color...

Finish with some Recycled Sari Silk ribbon, and felt it throughout the piece...

Voila! The tastiest infusion of silk and fibers ever!

Suitable for wearing out on the fanciest of occasions...
An outing with the girls...
When not being worn, It makes for a fabulous table runner...
Or, drape over your favorite chair...

It's lovely!

Come and see all my glorious new recipes at Art Walk in Coronado the weekend of Sept 18+19. The air surrounding my booth will be filled with sights and delights, a wonderful feast for your eyes. Yes, you will be able to take home one of these glorious scarves. And plenty of other beautiful things too!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Recipe For A Scooter Backpack Bag

Though it's not completely finished, I couldn't resist posting
my recipe for making up the Scooter Backpack that's been haunting my head for the past 8 months.... (Remember the Scooter Skirt? Well, here's the backpack... who knows what'll become of this fabric next?!) I wonder if this is what happens to chefs-? Do they dream and fixate on food pairings until they can actually make them up to see if it all comes together properly? Well, in any case, that's how it works for me. Here's the recipe:

Scooter Backpack Bag
Step 1. Take some fabric that you are obsessed about. It must be fabric that you can't get out of your head, no matter how hard you try. (I learned this from Susan, who taught me how to knit. She told me that if you really love the yarn, you'll stay with the project until it's done. Believe me, this is how it needs to be done with knitting, for projects can take MONTHS!) I chose my fabulous Echino Ni-co Scooter fabric, which I love so much that I've ordered it in all the colorways, except pink. Yes, I know; I'm obsessed. Wait, I should say that the fabric chose ME...

Step 2. Take your drawing, to guide how you will design the project. Cut out your fabric to reflect how it goes together with your drawing. It helps to draw up a pattern as you go, so if your project is successful, you'll be able to make it again.

Step 3. Pull a few felted sweaters from your stash, and add them into the fabric mix. Plan carefully and cut ONCE (hopefully)

Step 4. It will help if you know how to sew at this point :o) Okay, sew it up. (This step has taken me THREE DAYS. I'm not even done yet...)

Step 5. Take time to admire and photograph... and post it to your blog. Yes, you are a proud parent of this one!

Step 6. Continue admiration. I just can't wait 'til it's DONE!

Step 7. Since you are STILL so in love with it, it will be easy to stay focused to finish the dang thing! Check back soon for the finished Scooter Bag... in all it's fantastic glory!

Will I have the Scooter Backpack at Art Walk? Heck yes! Not too sure of how I'll price it just yet. How does one put a price on something that's been 8 months in the thinking stage, and 4 days in the construction phase-???