Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Happy Wooly-days!

Things are always so busy this time of year that the days just *poof* disappear faster than a swirl of blowing snow! I hope you are enjoying these magical days, and for you, they are filled with delight. I offer you up a holiday wish filled with some wooly love during this season, today, and always!

I have finished up my show season for 2013. Now it's time to buckle down and complete those holiday orders. Oh man, I have to stay focused! Many dog pillows, but a couple of bird pillows too. Now those will be easy!

With love,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Winter class (Finally!)

I will admit it, I'm always a bit late to the party…  We "Crafter People", (ie ME), are supposed to get those holiday project ideas knocked out in, say, May. I will admit here and now that my mind does not do Christmas in May! It doesn't even do Christmas in September OR October. Apparently, my crafter brain doesn't really get into the Christmas swing until mid-November. Sheesh...

Snow Happy Hoop Art by Val's Art Studio

Well, I finally get a bright idea, then put it in motion, and when it's all done, it's obviously time to re-evaluate. This snowman hoop (above) as a class project will take any novice oh... about 16 hours to complete. So, it's back to the drawing board. How about plan B? I think we can manage this one in about a 2-3 hour window:
Snowfriends Hoop Art by Val's Art Studio
This fun Holiday Snow Happy Hoop class will be offered at Paper Tales on Dec 15 from 2-5pm. Call over to sign up... 619-222-2510

x, Val

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Queen Bee Wrapup

Red-Necked Tanager Needlefelt by Val's Art Studio
Woodland Owl Needlefelt by Val's Art Studio
I do love doing shows. It gives me a break from work, work, working away in my studio. It gets me out into the light of day, and it gets me talking to people. Wow, think of that! Even though it was always a dream of mine to do what I now do, meaning being a working artist, it does make for rather quiet, solitary days. I don't mind that a bit. But the break is always nice!

The other thing I like about the shows is when people ask me for something specific. My sweet bird hoops (look here too) were a popular item at this past weekend's market. But then there's always the rogue question: "Do you have these with owls on them?" And my mind quickly goes to 'now, why didn't I think of that?!' So, now I will be doing a few owls, And a few holiday appropriate themed hoops too. I'm thinking about snowmen. Snowmen with birds… snowmen on scooters. Kooky snowmen, oh heck! Stay tuned…

And my next show is coming up in just a few weeks. Talmadge is on Sunday, Nov 24. Mark your calendars!

x, Val

PS. You can find my newest hoops in my Etsy shop (along with some super cute snowmen hoops too) by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Become a Queen for a day!

Believe me, you will feel like a Queen Bee at this fantastic show! And it's this coming Friday and Saturday Now, let me warn you, take your "pocket book", and prepare to shop. And even if there's nothing you need, well, there are plenty of things you will find that you just can't live without!

And don't tell me I didn't warn you!

See you at the Market!!!

x, Val

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

To the birds

            ... What else is new???

Hope your week is going along well. I am taking MATS 1B, so I will be going under for a bit... take care, and until then, get your bird on!! (Sorry, I admit I'm a bit batty. Yikes!)
x, Val

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hoop Happy

Needle Felted Birds in Embroidery Hoops by Val's Art Studio

This weekend is the Coronado Art Walk. I should warn you that I've been rather "hoop happy" as of late, and unless all my bird hoop pieces have sold out of Austin's Gallery, I should have several for sale. Each is one of a kind, and they have been quite popular. So, if someone is interested in a bird hoop, I do suggest they arrive rather early ;o)

x, Val

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Here it is! Val's Art Studio Needle Felting Video: Process and Perception

Yay! Here it is! Enjoy :o)

xx, Val

Completion of the stop motion video!!!

When one is in the middle of making a 5 minute stop motion video, one must get used to the hijacked nature of their computer. That is, after an additional 3000+ photos and 30+ videos invade the computer's normally calm conditions. Yep, one view of that stupid spinning ball, and the curses starts flying! Or, get used to finding batches of crazy photos taking over the iPhoto library. Do not, do NOT think that once they photos are in iMovie you can trash them. Oh no... they must stay put until the video is in final cut version! Here's a small sample of what I found today in my iPhoto library, before I began moving everything - all 3000/30 of them - they are on their way to the beloved external hard drive!

And then there are the endless shots of a single item in many different settings, situations, and experimental backgrounds. There are lighting dilemmas to review, shadow problems, and things that just don't "look right". Two critical artists with a bit of OCD will rework things until the cows come home...

Or, until the bunnies finally fall asleep :o)

Today, the video is done! As I write this, it is in the process up being uploaded to YouTube, and I hope to be able to share it with you later today! (Pssssst, you can see the video here. Enjoy!)

Now, I will get back to freeing up my computer's compacted memory. Hopefully that spinning ball goes away for good!!

x, Val

Monday, July 29, 2013

MATS1 and the GTS (Global Talent Search)

My submission for the Global Talent Search, a Journal cover for Paperchase

Taking online art and business classes have been a way for me to broaden my art world over the last few years in more ways than one. Undoubtably, I have been learning the subject matter at hand, but of equal importance, I have been broadening my reach into the creative cosmos in the form of connectivity to an art population that is much greater than I could ever hope to gain by taking art classes in my community. I'm talking about a worldwide art community!

To date, I have taken several classes from these amazingly talented people:

Kelly Rae Roberts' Flying Lessons:

From Do What You Love, by Kelly Rae Roberts and Beth Kempton: 

Also from Do What You Love: Lilla Roger's Make Art That Sells

Needless to say, my art brain is growing, stretching, and becoming so many more in ways I could have never imagined! I really recommend these fantastic classes for anyone interested in growing their art business.

And now for a sweet peek at a sweater made with one of those cute bunnies featured in my GTS submission... Awww! 

"Busy Letter B" by Val Hebert

Have a busy artsy day!
x, Val

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Studio move!

Lola and I have LOVED our studio at the Point Loma house, but it's now time to move on. We are now moving to ... "da da da DAAA":

REAL, Official OFFICE Space!

It's going to be a very big change, but we are ready! Maybe you are asking why, and I will tell you...
  1. Our restoration work at the Pt Loma house is complete. Last week, it went on the market, and it went into escrow that very same day! Wow. I'm telling you, this house has undergone a magical transformation. The couple that buys the house is going to LOVE living here!
  2. I have outgrown my small 150 square foot space, and am going to be moving into a larger 256 sq.ft. space! That's nearly double the size I'm in now!!!
  3. Greg and I have found the perfect historic office cottage perched at the top of a canyon, located behind a design studio. We will be working alongside a whole design community of artists, interior designers, architects, and more. It couldn't be more perfect! 
  4. We are putting our good juju out there, and plan that Greg's business will grow into the whole cottage space. Then, there is another separate cottage I can move into.
  5. We will be moving the end of the month, Hooray!
Our new office space is located in Banker's Hill area of San Diego.

For some reason, there has been a great deal of confusion about where Greg and I actually live, so I want to clear that question up too. (Really, I had no idea that so many people read my blog, and pay attention to our goings on... I am truly floored, feel a tiny bit stalked, but mostly, I am flattered!) We have been living in Coronado since Spring of 2011, but just not in our home. With our son needing specialized help for his traumatic brain damage, we had to put our financial resources into his care and rehabilitation, which meant we needed to rent out our house, and move into my mom's back house. We have had periods of hanging out at the Pt Loma house, but always knew that house would be sold, and was simply a place to store our belongings, and use for office location during the house's restoration. 

It hasn't been easy to move into my mom's house, and rely on her so much, but we just had to do what we had to do. Difficult times call for creative measures...

Now that the Pt Loma house will not be able to store our goods, we will have to put our belongings into storage until we can get back into the Coronado house. Hopefully, soon, but as we are just taking things one day at a time, not buying into the trap of "future worrying" and reassessing what is important to our family, we are staying true to the moment at hand. We are getting ready to bring our son back home, after 18 months away, and life will be taking another bend in the road ... once again. 

Praying for strength as we continue our journey... and sending creative goodness out into the universe....

x, Val

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Revamping my logo all by myself...

Thanks to Lilla Rogers, and all her incredible teaching talent in the MATS class, I am reminded of my strengths... I am a traditional artist. I am just not a digital artist. I have resisted going down the digital path all these years. But as our collective world becomes more deeply enmeshed with the ease and beauty of working digitally, I fear I must succumb.

I began with one of my favorite images of a (what else?) bird. *rolling eyes*. I uploaded it to PicMonkey, my favorite photo editing software, and so easy to use! I put a mask over the photo (above), see the clouds at the top?

 Then I put that photo into a collage, and added a decorative pattern screen from PicMonkey's database. 

After that, I added text, and made sure it read properly when I reduced the size to 200px square. I also changed my tag line from "Felt Art With Flair" to "Illustrations With Flair"... Lilla has got me thinking again. "felt art" might limit what other's think I am capable of creating... (Thank you, Lilla!)

Lastly, I added a sweet craft paper border, and colored it blue to match the colors in my piece. 

This is just SO ME, and makes be bubble up with happiness!

So, this "old dog" is learning a few new tricks, and NOT keeping them hidden :o) I have already put this as my email signature, and am going to incorporate it everywhere else I can. Yay!

x, Val

PS. Further updates ... I am so hooked!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Me: One Busy Buzzing Bee!

Detail, "Found My Root" by Val Hebert, acrylic and collage on board
Oh my holy heck, we are finishing up week 4 of MATS 1, (aka Make Art That Sells), taught by the amazingly creative artsy icon, Lilla Rogers. To us, she is known as the "fairy artmother"! What a whirlwind ride it's been!

This week's assignment was Wall Art, which was as varied and creative as any class assignment I've received. The best part for me in all of this is feeling like I'm back in art school. Of course, it's pure stress when you are in school, and this is not too different. The assignments are well designed and thought out, the perfect amount of challenging, and enough to get your pulse racing! It also doesn't help that the classroom is filled with 500 incredibly talented artists. Let me tell you, it is daunting to post the assignments in the classroom every Sunday at 2pm (my time).

This week's submission is an abstract collage. Of course, mine includes birds. I've learned birds are a valuable icon I use in my work. Honestly, I can paint, needle felt, stitch, collage, ... whatever... a bird every day, and remain completely happy.

"Found My Root" Val Hebert, 24 x 24" collage and acrylic on board
Ok, now that this week's assignment is finished *ahead of schedule* I might add , I will be off to spend some time with my family... and rest up for next week's class. Week 5 is the Gift market, another one right up my alley!!!!

x, Val

PS. Please feel free to click here to visit my Flickr page and see some of my most favorite projects that are coming out of this class. Week 1 was Bolt Fabric, week 2, Plate design, week 3, Children's Book design, and 4, Wall Art. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Art bird hoops

Do you ever get like this? S-t-u-c-k on something like it's nobody's business?

"Green Bee Eater" by Val's Art Studio, 5"

I have been stuck on art birds for two weeks now. And I seem to get stuck on art birds about ....oh, once a month. 

"Rufous Hummingbird" by Val's Art Studio, 4"
Here are my birdie creations from the past two days. I will be flying them over to Austin's Gallery tomorrow morning. They will take the place from my last several Art Birds hoops, which all flew out the door (aka: bought up) over the weekend!

"Blue Bellied Roller" by Val's Art Studio, 8"

They are simply adorable perched on a shelf, or hung on the wall in just the right spot. I find them irresistible. But, that's just me :o)

Some shelf action in my studio :o)

I will be taking a break from the birds ... erm, rather, forcing myself to get back to the orders piling up around me... and, will be spending time in the classroom. I'm busy taking Lilla Rogers online class called "Make Art That Sells" It's very exciting (find out more by clicking here). 

See you soon!
x, Val

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Art birds

My studio has them flocking all over the place!

Contemplating silly drawn folk art style birds, and working them over with fiber and color, fabric bits and bobs. I like how they are turning out...

Somehow this one put on a few lbs between concept and completion. Lol. He will need a bit more work!

I think the finished pieces are magical :o) They can be found in my etsy shop in the felted pillow section by clicking here.

x, Val

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My love affair with Historic Homes

"Let History Matter"2010, Mixed media and oil on collage base by Valerie Hebert
I am so in love with old homes. I love their character, the stories they hold within their quiet walls, and the beauty they bring to a neighborhood, especially when they are dearly loved and cared for.

"History Speaks" 2010, mixed media and oil on collage base by Valerie Hebert. 
For the past many years, I have been invited to "Plein Air Paint" at our town's Historic Home Tour, which always takes place on Mother's Day. It is a wildly popular event, and a wonderful way to spend the day with your mom. 

"Hughes Home" 2011, mixed media and oil on collage base by Valerie Hebert

My paintings are well received, and many Coronado historic home owners now have my original paintings - of their homes! - hanging inside their beautiful homes. People will often commission me to paint their homes when they see my work during the tour. This touches my heart deeply. 

"Past Perfect", 2012, mixed media and oil on collage base by Valerie Hebert. This is my home! 
Last year, my beloved Coronado home (in the painting above) was on the tour. Of course, this painting is very special to me. It is near and dear to my heart, and I will treasure this painting always. We thought last year we would need to sell our home, but we didn't have to after all. What a gift this is, to know we will once again be able to return to our beloved home, and reside there, a place where my heart finds peace and care. (thank you, God)

If you would like to know more about the Historic Home Tour in Coronado, please visit this link. Look for me outside one of the homes. I will be the one in the garden with the easel and the paint, and doing what makes my heart so happy... painting those beloved historic homes :o)

x, Val

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Butter and Eggs Parade and a Birthday Today!

We are wishing a very Big Happy Birthday to my sweet son, Drew, who is 17 years old today!!! He is still up in beautiful Petaluma, where we will travel this weekend to see him and celebrate this momentous day, his 17th anniversary. Wow... 

In 2 weeks, my son Kyle will turn 15... he was my Mother's Day gift the year he was born, and has been each year since. I love the men in my life, but these three are the most special, and make my heart so happy. We are all doing so amazingly well. God is so good to us. (For a recent update on Drew, please click here, and Kyle, here)

"Begin" by me, Valerie Hebert. Also called "Cheeky Chickens in a White Fenced Farm" :o)

And, in an extra exciting celebration, this weekend is the Butter and Egg Days and Parade and Festival in Petaluma, CA! All the men in my family are actually O.K. with going to this parade! I understand there will be lots and lots of chickens, lamas, cows, sheep. It is right up my alley! I promise LOTS of pictures!

Happiness to you and yours...
x, Val

Monday, April 8, 2013

Swim, Walk, Grow...

My new paintings all have words <suggesting action> incorporated into the body of the work...

Swimming to find our way through the murky places in life...

Walking the path that God calls us to...

Growing even though we may resist, and realizing it's the right and true choice...

I love what I'm seeing in my work now, and the renewed energy that Flora Bowley's Bloom True class has brought to my paintings. I highly recommend this class. It's a way to approach your art and your life with new vitality, and energy. I think it has truly changed me...

x, Val

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Simplifying 101

Back in January, I told myself and the world that I would be simplifying my life after the first of the year, and after what always seems to be the busiest holiday season yet. Even though it's been difficult to do so, I have said "no" to several shows and events. I have allowed all the Mother's Day show deadlines to come and go... I didn't bat an eye at saying "not this time", though did feel a wee pang in my heart.

This is kinda how I feel right now... and, indeed, little quiet bunnies are all I have been able to make as of late. I am a quiet bunny right now as I wait the fate of something big, and celebrate many workings of things great, yet small. Life is funny that way, isn't it?

This sweet quiet bunny will be offered as a class at Paper Tales on May 18 from 2-5 pm. I hope you will hop on over and join me as we enjoy the quiet, meditative task of needle felting, sewing and stuffing full of fiber. It will be worth every quiet minute. :o)

And, a needle felted bear class is on the schedule for May 5th too... you can find info on that right here.

x, Val

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Springtime Class at Paper Tales!

I sent this photo to Michelle at Paper Tales, and she called me right away, "Oh MY God!!! This has got to be the cutest thing you have EVER made!" Oh my golly, how I do agree! Yep... most people send their kids to school with a lunch box. Mine? I send them with a 4 page court order to "Stay Put". Ummm, it's a long story, but the message is clear: the more difficult my life, the cuter the needle felted creations become...

So, the class date is St. Patties Day, March 17, from 12-5 pm. I promise I will serve green cookies, and will allow a break for lunch... That is if you really want to take a break, Lol! Most times, those 5 hours fly by in a flash, and we are left wondering where the time went. It is all together too much fun! And if you need a break from fun, sweet springtime bunnies, and magic, then I will bring you back down to real life, and explain just what a "Stay Put" order is all about. Wow, I'm learning more than I ever thought I would about the undercurrent of the school system, and how things are really done there...

So, give Paper Tales a call to sign up. And remember to bring your needle felting tools! This class only requires the foam mat, a set of Fine needle felting needles by Clover, a pair of sharp scissors, and the "pink pen" style needle holder (optional). And just one more thing... The roving I used on the bunny is all used up, so we will be using something different. Have no fear, your bunny will be every bit as adorable as this one... I promise!

See you on St. Patties Day!
xx, Val

Monday, February 11, 2013

One Hot Mess

Rather, I should say 5 of them... Five big hot messy canvases staring me down whenever I walk into my studio. I just thought I'd take a moment to document the ones I am actually comfortable sharing with you. The others are even crazier and zanier than these are!

The canvases above and below are the same. The photo below shows the image, whatever the heck it is - some sort of floral and leaf arrangement- after adding white and black, and some electric translucent colors...

And then this one. Words just escape me at this point....

I should mention I am a very good direction-follower, and am trying to go through Flora's prompts as she takes us. Um, so that's what it is all about over here...

Ok, back to the hot mess. Wish me luck.