Saturday, December 31, 2011

goodbye control freak, hello faith

As we prepare for the start of a brand new year, I find myself pondering some of the quiet thoughts that were my constant companions over the past year. A few so called "friends" with names like Shame, Blame, and Unreal Expectations. Certain aspects of my past year have been particularly mind-breakingly hard... Do you know that feeling too? We're together in this, girlfriend...

I want to start a brand, spankin' new year off right, yes-siree! I am going to leave my 2011 brain baggage behind, leave it forever slowly spinning on the 2011 carousal. Yep. I will start my year with an open mind, with fresh Hope, fresh Faith, and looking towards new possibilities. I just can't wait!

Before I judge, I will listen (to my heart)
I will work towards speaking softly, and let Faith be my guide
I will smile more, and fret less
I will cheer each day as I awake with Hope in my heart
I will work to sooth away angry words and thoughts
And, I will let Nature be my spiritual healer.

I wish you and yours a wonderful and Happy New Year, and hope the blessings of the season reveal themselves to you, so that you can take the best of yourself into the brave new year!

x, Val

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Pop Up show TOMORROW!

Birds are flying in... It's a flock, I tell you... Not only am I all about the world of birdies, but many of the women who support me are too. Well, birds of a feather flock together, right? Welcome friends, is all I have to say!

Tomorrow is a Pop Up Shop at the home of the Talmadge Show organizers, Sharon Gorevich and Alan Greenberg. You can find out more about it here. The show runs from 10-4. I will be one of 14 artists, and though I am pretty much all holiday needle felted out, I am excited to be included in this wonderful venue. A last big hip-hooray before Christmas. I am praying the weather cooperates. It's supposed to be windy and wintery. A festive Pop Up Shop day! Come out and join the fun, and do your last minute gift shopping! Pop on by :o)

The birdies and I will be there to say "Hi!"
x, Val

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Blog Hop Winners!

Image courtesy of Sea Dream Studio

Hi Blog-hoppers! Thanks for checking back on my blog to see if you won! Here are the three winners of my giveaway. (I just put all the comments in a basket and picked. No method to my madness over here!) The winners have one week to get in touch with me, and if I don't hear from them, I will pick new winners. So, do not fear, you may still win! And don't forget to keep coming back, because I am planning another After Holiday Giveaway with overflow from all my holiday happenings!

Ok, ready? Drum roll, please.....

  1. Rose Red!
  2. Marfa!
  3. Natasha of N's Whims!

Winners, here's what you need to do to claim your prize:

Email me at, and give me your
  • your first and second choice of prize (yes, it's first come, first served!)
  • address where you you want me to mail your item
Remember, if I haven't heard from you in one week's time, then I will choose a new winner to fill your spot. So you have until next Wed, Dec. 21st at midnight to contact me!

Thanks again everyone. I really enjoyed all your comments, and meeting each one of you on Facebook, and the blog. Hope you had fun!
x, Val

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hey, Beautiful Girl!

Today I did something really special. It made me laugh and cry at the same time. It felt full of giving and remorse, but it was beautiful all the same. Do you know what I did? I downloaded a song off iTunes that I used to listen to with reckless abandon in high school... Is that weird? Heck, it made me feel so good, and brought me right back to what I was feeling at that time in my life. Wow... A 50 year old dropping in on her 15 year old life... what a trip!!! I felt like I was a teenager again... all that angst and heartache...sheesh... it's just so good and so bad! Takes me into the world of my teenage sons. Well, maybe just a little bit...

Girl, have you heard about the Brave Girls Club? No? Heck, girl! You need to know about being a brave girl! It will get you moving.... off the couch and downloading your songs from when you were 15! (just kidding- really, I did that before I read today's post.) Being a Brave Girl is about touching your soul with kindness. Sign up for the daily emails. You will be so glad you did!

Today, I honored myself. Wow, I tuned into me. It totally felt so good. Now, please excuse me, cause I'm gonna go listen to that favorite song again. And I'm going to turn it up really loud! That's the way it's gonna be :o)

Live in happiness!
x, Val

Wooly wizardy

How is it possible to turn a ball of wooly fluff into the cutest version of a snowman possible? Wooly snow wizardry, with a small barbed needle, of course! My Smitten Snowman class showed the girls who wanted to learn needle felting how easy and rewarding it can be. With a lot of patience, and a deft eye, you can create beautiful soft sculpture with minimal tools, or experience. Take a look to see how things turned out!

We began with a lesson on needle felting tools, and the dos and don'ts about how to avoid stabbing yourself. Fortunately, we only had one minor stabbing incident, and one major one that happened to me (OUCH!) That is pretty much the number one thing we discuss in class. lol.

After our snowman shapes were created, some of us decided to give ours a cold tea bath, and laughed over jokes involving peeing too much tea (ok, I digress!) Here are the tea bathers sunning themselves dry...

We worked on making the base, and I heard many comments that the base took more work than the snowmen. See, I just knew you would all love the needle felting part so much :o) Everyone's base came out incredibly beautiful They were each a work of art, and I wish I'd photographed the bases before we attached the snowmen.

Here are the finished products, aka Snow Friends! (except for mine. He's the naked one on the left. I guess I was doing too much talking to keep up with everyone else!)
You were an amazing and talented group of crafting girls, and I enjoyed my day so much! Come and take a class from me again soon. I'm thinking up a fun project for Valentines Day...
Happy Holidays to everyone!
x, Val

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I'm on papernstitch!

Hello Blog Hoppers! If you are new here, click this link to go directly to the post that tells you what you need to do to enter my giveaway. If you are back for another visit, welcome back! I will be working on plenty of new and exciting adventures, and hope you will return regularly to see what's going on in my busy studio!

Tomorrow is the Smitten Snowman class, and it's all filled up. If you are interested in taking a class like this from me in the future, please leave me a comment and I will add you to my class email list. (Make sure to give me your email address) That way you will get first notice when I have a brand new needle felting class on the schedule!

In other news, I am in the brand new Papernstitch exhibit that just opened! Click here to see all the wonderful shops in this exclusive online temporary exhibit, or here to go directly to my Papernstitch page. You will see that I am offering a special promotion for all papernstitch shoppers! So many great shopping opportunities. Wow, buy handmade, and you don't even have to leave the comfort of your home! "Shop Small, Not Mall" is my motto this holiday season, and I feel really good doing just so :o)

Have a magical weekend!
x, Val

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Handmade gift giving, an easy Tutorial!

Hi there! If you find this, or another of my
tutorials helpful and would like to make a monetary contribution 
to help me keep my woolie ideas flowing, I would be most grateful.
By clicking the "Buy Now" button below you can 
choose your own price for the tutorial. 
It's completely optional, but so appreciated! 

Hey there! How is the holiday season treating you so far? I hope you are not feeling overwhelmed with it quite yet - it's too soon! I just try to take one day at a time, and do things now, rather than waiting til later. Somehow, most things manage to get done!

I thought I'd offer a quick and very easy tutorial on an easy-to-make handmade gift; kitchen hand towels! Everyone uses them, and everyone is always up for having a few that are especially cute. Plus, they make wonderful hostess gifts, or girl-friend gifts!

As you may know, I am a big lover of Spoonflower, a special online shop where you can upload your designs and make them into fabric. What fun! Well, you can also shop from about a million other fabric designers, and find some fantastic art fabric you'd never find in your local fabric store. Take a look at this fantastic print I stumbled upon... I knew I just had to make something with these fun designs:
Designcrafty's 4 fat quarters pattern can be found here. *Update: Oh no... this pattern is no longer available :o( For an equally fun Spoonflower site, visit DennisTheBadger's page: here, or click here to see a page of kitchen inspired fabrics.
I ordered the yardage in the Linen/Cotton blend, which is a wonderful weight, just right for tea towels. I cut the 4 quarters apart, double folded under each edge, and ironed flat.

I used some of the salvaged edge fabric to make a hanging tab by folding the cut edges into the middle and machine stitching the open edge closed. (*Note: you can also use white Bias Tape for this step, which means no extra folding and ironing... bonus!) I then cut this into 4" long pieces, and pinned them into the backside corners so they would be sewn in once I stitched the towels up.

1-2-3, easy as pie! Well, easier in fact... once I got rolling, I could make a tea towel from start to finish in about 15-20 minutes.

Fold them in a cute way, and tie a sweet ribbon around them, and they are all ready for gift giving. Now, you are free to go visit with your girlfriends and enjoy that cup of tea :o)

Happiest of the holidays to you!

x, Val

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blog Hop Newby

blog hop

Yep, I'm a newby at this! ... Some of you have asked if I'm participating in the Blog Hop, and yes! I am. I'm a wee bit late to the party (sorry!), plus I've been a bit unsure how to proceed. But I'm going to give it my best shot, so, here we go! ....

Here is a list of the amazing and talented group of artists who are participating in this blog hop. You should visit each blog to be entered into each artist's drawing. Hey! There are 7 chances to win, and some artists are choosing a winner everyday!

My plan is to give away two items from my Handmade shop (YEA!), and one selection of sparkle topcoat nail polish so you can have some crazy bling nails, just like this:

I will be giving away one of my most popular prints, Be Strong and Soar, pictured here:

Plus, one of my Mr. Toasty pillows, which is the cutest dang Toast pillow you have ever laid eyes on!

You can enter the giveaway by doing one or more of the following:

- Like me on my Facebook page, to do that go here
- Become a follower of my blog, by clicking on the Follow button on the left sidebar
- leave me a comment on my blog

Each action item will give you one entry into the giveaway. The blog hop lasts for one week (until next Wednesday, Dec 14 at midnight). I will be selecting the three winners from the comments, and I will announce the winners on my blog on Thursday, Dec 15th, so be sure to check back next Thursday to see if you are a winner! Also, if you commented in my last post, you will automatically be entered into the drawing, never fear :o)

**Remember to leave a note in the comments which actions you chose to do, maybe even all three!

Ok, time to get blog-hopping. Good luck!

x, Val

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Hopping + a BIG Thank You!

New Sparkle Santa art pillow by Val- so elegant and fun!

Sounds like something you do at Easter time, but no! This is a Blog Hop, and it's happening during the holidays, and I am really excited to participate :o) I am awaiting all the juicy details, so I can tell you all about it. It involves something we all love; a Giveaway- actually, multiple Giveaways! Plus, some exposure to a few new and creatively inspired blogs. I can't wait to get started! I'll post about it just as soon as I can.

On a different note, I want to thank you all for a great weekend. Both events were a big success, as the Handmade Revolution in my neighborhood continues to grow stronger and thrive. "Buying local", "supporting handmade" and "giving back" were things people repeatedly told me they want to support. And I want to support it too! It's music to my ears, and to all the local talent out there. We depend on your support to thrive. It just doesn't happen unless you help make it happen. You are so awesome!

xx, Val

Friday, December 2, 2011

Artisans' Alley

Guys, it's the honest truth, I'm too dang tired to write a post... so you will have to bear with my ramblings...

Here's a very small sneak preview of what's in store for Artisans' Alley tomorrow. Come and see me in Booth 93 *** I've been moved from where I've been for the past 5 years!*** If you look for me at the old spot, walk two rows west (away from the food area) and turn right, I'm 5 booths down on the right!

This is my newest "larger girls" sweater, made completely of upcycled wool with a gorgeous needle felted bird. Now fitting size Large! Woohoo, I did it! (big helper Mona saved the day with her missy sweater pattern for the larger woman. Thanks Mona!)

And, can't forget about these... be prepared to shield your eyes :o)

Ok, I'm off to bed now. Hope to see you, and say hi tomorrow. It's bound to be an extra fun day!
x, Val