Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day to you all. I hope you are spending time with your nearest and dearest today, and will share a few moments of quiet contemplation for those who have fought for our country... 


And ... Hello Summer! Wow, can you believe it's right around the bend??? 

I can't resist posting Stephanie Ackerman's beautiful flag project from her inspirational blog. I just love this, and know I will have to try this patriotic project very soon! So, maybe you have a few uninterrupted hours for doing a bit of creating today, and can whip this project out. hint, hint :o)

Have a lovely day,
x, Val

PS. Check back soon, for I will be offering a GIVEAWAY of a newly released book featuring a few of my needlefelted projects. Yay!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hello, My name is ...


Yesterday, my husband called me that. 

I slightly rolled my eyes at him, but then I looked around at what I had going on. Ok, I noticed I had about 5 projects going, all in a 1/4 - 2/3 finished state. I took a deep breath, and moved on. 

Then, this morning, as I look around at the start of my day, I can count exactly 9 projects that I have begun in the last hour, all by 10:19am.

Of the 9, I have finished 3! I think that counts for something, right?!

So, in trying to figure out if this name is truly indicative of me, which now,  I believe it is... I will leave you, and get back to my other 6 things that are in pending mode. At least, now I can cross one more thing off my list... blog post, Done!

Hope you have a productive day too!

Signing off,

Monday, May 21, 2012

Prickly progressions

Seems to be that kind of day... that kind of week. After returning home from our wonderful visit with Drew in Az last week, things just turned kind of ... well, prickly. Not only for us, but for others close to me too. And my days seem to be caught up in pulling thorns out of my feet so I can walk steady once again...

I have been working towards peacefulness and acceptance of "the stuff" in my life, and amongst the mercies of Pema's writings, have lately returned to a place of compassionate self love. I find it's easier to navigate the challenges life places in our path when we loosen up those deep rooted patterns of attachment, give them a solid look, and then set them free.  It's not easy, but I'm better about it now....

 I just look at the next fear or challenge, size it up, take a deep breath, and walk slowly towards it.

Lynda Watson's dimensional felted cactus brooch. Isn't it beautiful?
Here are some ways that I'm dealing with my "roadblocks" today:
  • We have no way of knowing what we will be faced with tomorrow so we must trust what God hands us today, and know that we are on the right true and correct path, and that tomorrow it may all make sense.
  • When what we are faced with looks ugly and difficult, we can try to break it down into something that feels simple and basic, and that might be an easier way to look at it.
  • If it looks really bad, see if we can find a little bit of "acceptable" in it...
  • Or, perhaps we can look at how it is challenging us, and work on finding the peace in that by stepping into the challenge. 
  • A new twist can mean more work, but if we can just put our head down (like a work horse) and start getting what must be done, done. If we feel like we need a break, take one, and treat ourself with kindness, but then start the task. 
  • If we feel the need to escape, take some time in offering compassion towards ourself, and try to sit quietly with our feelings. 
And the one that seems to be my number one strength and guide: 

Visualize our fears in a bubble, and gently push them away with a feather.

Just hope they don't land on a prickly cactus and the bubble pops! LOL

Hope your week is prickly-free :o)
x, Val

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Moms!

We are enjoying a very special Mother's Day with our son in AZ, and learning all about life on the horse ranch. It's a beautiful healing weekend, and I can't think of any better place I'd want to be today. I hope your day is equally special.
x, Val

Monday, May 7, 2012

Renegade, Here I come!!

Yeeee-haw! I am so excited to learn that I have been accepted to the Renegade LA Craft Fair this coming July! 

Renegade Craft Fair

I applied last year, but was put on the waiting list. So I worked extra hard this year to alter and tweak my product mix, as well as work on my photography skills (PLUS buying a very nice new camera), and it's all paid off! I am V E R Y excited about this show, because I think it fits my "Who", or the people who will feel good about supporting my work. I am just over the moon about this girls, can you tell??!!

Now, for all you Hoppers, I am going to spill the beans about my process on that sweet Birdy Box (more pictures are here)! Get ready...

This piece was inspired by the-most-darling-ever songbird pair that is nesting inside a corncob birdhouse at my mom's house. We have been watching them as they shyly build a nest and spend time inside that darling place. My mom commented, "That birdhouse is so old that it's got to be a mess inside!" and that's all it took for my mind to whir into action... a birdhouse on the front and a skimpy messy place for the nest "inside"....

Sadly, I did not take any photos during the making of the piece, so you will need to get your "visualization glasses" on. Are you ready?! (Remember you can click here to see more photos of the project)

  • First, I bought a 3 x 3" block canvas from Dick Blick Somehow I don't see the 3 x 3 size on their website, but I found it in stock at the store.
  • I gessoed it on all sides and inside the back of the box
  • I used tissue paper and printed it with cursive writing stamps to look like the tissue paper Junelle used in her video. I Mod-Podged the tissue in place 
  • I cut scraps of fabric and glued them down in a pleasing tree arrangement on one side, and made a bird house on the back side.
  • I used Christy's rad pen to outline and define all the fabric scrap shapes
  • I added buttons and leaves I cut out of felt, plus a cute yarn bow on the birdhouse
  • I added some text I cut out of the magazine, or if I couldn't find the right sentiment, I drew it on a piece of paper and cut it out.  I Mod-podged these in place
  • I gathered up a bunch of fabric scraps and using that super duper fun Tim Holtz stapler, I just stapled them all together, then glued the nest into the box
  • Then I needle felted the sweet birdy*,
  • I made a couple of wings out of my trusty fabric scrap bin (isn't it empty YET???!), and stapled them like mad
  • Then sewed those sweet wings in place with some contrast embroidery thread
  • I put the birdy in the box, and just lookit' her! She's ready to hatch a couple of sweet babies. Awwww!
* A note about needle felting... It's rather hard to explain, so I intend to make a short video to show how the bird is made. If you would like "notice" that I posted the video, just leave me a message at the end of this post and I will make sure to get the word to you the video is up so you can come back then and see exactly how needle felting is done, with great instruction and detail. People who take my classes say they learn so much from what I teach :o) I am so happy to share this with you too!

I thank everyone for the sweet comments you left on my blog. What an encouraging group of like minded souls we are. I am so happy to be in your company :o)

x, Val

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's a Bloghop!!!

Ok, girlfriend, I will admit this, and I know you know what I'm talking about: I am addicted to blogs! I love to get that sweet peek into another's life, and if they are artsy, and sprinkle in beautiful photos, and maybe chit-chat philosophically about things that matter to me too, well, I am hooked. Oh, yes, I am. And then... I will stalk you, yes, I will!!! So, don't say I didn't warn you! Lol!

One of the richest blog journeys I have shared started about a year and a half ago when I stumbled upon Junelle's blog; Yes and Amen. I have laughed and cried, while sharing Junelle's sweet stories of life, sheep, farming, growing up boys, a miracle of a girl, and the journey through life a heart takes. 

It has been rich, oh so rich, and it has changed me. Yes, it has. 

Junelle has helped me more than she knows in getting in touch with my heart, and my God, and my art, and helped me return to my compassionate side, and get a firmer foothold in how the things that really matter in life are sometimes the smallest things. 

Yes... those things. 

So, long story short... here I am with all of Junelle's (and Christy's) beloved peeps, from the online class we have shared together, The Art of Wild Abandonment, and we are sharing a Bloghop! 

And, girls, aren't we blessed in this journey?! Even though it's been a journey of art, it's also been a journey of the heart. Or, as I like to refer to it, a heARTfelt moment, and I am so happy to have shared this time with you together, learning, loving, sharing, and Junelle-ing while journaling, hehe! It's been just grand :o)

All in all, I took away some fantastic things from this class: I gained a new freedom within my art, and permission to be playful.

I learned to look at art materials with new fresh eyes, and that's fantastic for the artist in me! Yep, "the one" who has chained herself to traditional art materials and ways of making art. Well, she's gone, and the New Girl is in charge! This New Girl is learning to fly inside her art world in a whole brand-spankin'-new way!

Junelle, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Honestly, going into this I was open to anything, but mostly I wanted to support you in this big new artsy online place. You exceeded my expectations. I loved every minute, every video, every bit of you. Plus, I love my new "art tribe". So glad we shared this time together!!!

xxxxooo, Val

PS. I really meant to talk about my art process, but this post came together differently than I imagined it would. I will write a follow up post that talks about my needlefelting the birdie, with his so cute Tim Holtz stapled wings, and how I decorated my art box. But, girl, you already know how I did this, don't you?! You are so clever!!! x

PPS. If you are following the Art of Wild Abandonment Bloghop, you have probably come here from Becky's blog. After you have read my post, please click here to follow the bloghop over to Valerie Weller's blog. You are in for a treat! If you haven't yet started the bloghop, why not join in the fun by visiting Claire's blog and finding out all about it. Happy hopping!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Planning ahead for a busy weekend!

Two biggie fun events are coming up this weekend, and the first one that is so exciting is a Bloghop from my Art of Wild Abandonment girlfriends! 

We are going to share in each other's art worlds as we hop from blog to blog and see how the creativity has been flowing since being so inspired by Junelle Jacobsen and Christy Tomlinson online class. You can hop along with us by visiting Claire's blog here, the first stop on the tour!

And the second is the Talmadge Art Show, happening this Sunday, May 6, from 10-4. Would you just lOOk at this super cute mailer?! And, in the top left corner... one of my Owl Cuties!! Whoot!! Here's where you can find out more about the Talmadge show, just click here.

I hope to see you one way or another this weekend... Hop by my blog, or come and pay me a visit at Talmadge! Happy Hopping!!

x, Val