Monday, May 25, 2015

Hello Felt to soon launch!

Hello there, future Felter!

I know you have been waiting on pins and needles to figure out when my online class, Hello Felt, will be ready for signups. 

Well, guess what! The wait is soon over!

I am opening the class for early bird sign ups on June 1, 2015. If you are subscribed to my Hello Felt newsletter (access it here), or on my Val's Art Studio Facebook page (here), or you stay tuned right here.... you will be in the know for getting in on the super generous early bird sign up! ie... discount :o) I DO so love a discount, don't you! 

So, mark your calendars. Early bird sign ups are starting on June 1. All other info can be found on the Hello Felt page here

Can't wait to see you in class!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Wee Dolls

There's nothing quite as charming or fun as wee little dolls. And, when you make them yourself, by hand, start to finish... well, then, they are completely irresistible!

Look at their expressions! And those aprons... the cheeks.... I am completely smitten!!

Our Russian Doll class at Paper Tales was another fun day of crafting :o) I thank each and every one of my amazing classmates, and most especially the very talented Miss Gabi (L) and Miss Maddy (R), who kept our class extra lively!

Do you hate to miss out? Are you too far away from San Diego to come take a class? Well, guess what?! My Hello Felt online class is gearing up to launch on June 1! Check out all the details here, and make sure to sign up for the newsletter so you can take advantage of the early sign up discount!


Friday, May 15, 2015

You know I teach classes, right?

(Man, new things are tough for us, aren't they? I wish we could push a button and we just ... well, we've got it all down...)

I'm getting ready to launch my Online Class, Hello Felt next month. Early sign ups will be open on June 1! (find out more here) Man, this is exciting, but like anything new, I am plain scared to death I'm not going to do it right! (Surely, my fears are baseless because my perfectionism Virgo gene has never let me down. And I know it won't this time either!) 

In an effort to get YOU excited about the class, (and entice you to sign up!) I am going to be writing about needle felting tips, tidbits and tricks right here in this space over the next several weeks. I hope you enjoy it, and if there's something you wish I would cover, please leave me a comment, and I will try to answer it in an upcoming post!

My Needle Felting Q and A for today... 

Q. How do I not break my needle felting needle(s)???

A. These needles are so thin and fine, aren't they? And the DO break really easily. But the good news is that if you learn how to use them properly, and hold them at the right angle when you are working, they will not break. I have needles that have lasted a reeeaallly long time - like a year - and I use my needle nearly every day.

Here is the trick: 
Hold your needles so you are working with them in a straight up and down motion. 
Do not use them like you are writing with a pencil, ie. at an angle. Putting pressure on them in 2 directions - downward and at a slant - will make them snap in half. Hold them straight, and visualize them pushing the roving straight down into the backing wool fabric. You want the roving to go straight into the wool, and bind together strongly. Needle felting the roving in at an angle is not a very secure method, plus, you will need to stop working so you can run to the store and buy more needles...

More tips and tricks on the way to you soon....


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Historic Home Love

Hello there! How have things been going on your end? I have been a busy, busy bee over here. Lately, my life has been all about the Historic Homes in the town I love... Coronado.

This weekend is the Coronado Historic Association's Mother's Day Historic Home Tour. (Whew! That was a mouthful!) The tour makes for a really lovely day. Six beautiful homes are open to tour. Taking the tour with your mom is an extra added attraction. 

In January, the tour organizers asked me to paint all six homes. Each painting will be a gift to the home owner. In the past, home owner gifts have been a photograph of the home. I think a personalized painting is extra special. And, if it's a painting by me... well! What could be better? ;o)

So, here are the lovely six...

"Crown Cottage" is so pretty, isn't it? I painted the painting with a different sky, and hated- H.A.T.E.D. the sky, so I did what any resourceful painter does; I cut it off! And I repainted it, then glued it in place. Can you see where I did my surgery? Follow the roofline of the house out on either side. The new sky works OH! so much better :o)

Crown Cottage is painted in watercolor.

This house is perched on the bay's edge on First Ave. Isn't the view just glorious? The home is a Mid-Century Modern style, and an original Coronado relic. I love that it is so untouched. The backyard has the view everyone will die for- you just don't see such a grand view everyday... well, unless you are these lucky home owners!

 Bay View Home is painted in watercolor.

This sweet home is an original Coronado "Palmer" home. Built in the 1940s, the Palmer built homes were sprinkled all around Coronado. Small and efficient, I lived in a couple of these homes when I was growing up. The one I remember most fondly was located at 353 I Avenue. It's no longer there, but my memory of living in a Palmer will be with me always.

"431 J Ave" is gouache on paper.

"Preservation Matters" is the theme for this oil painting on collaged board. This gorgeous Tudor home was built in 1933. It doesn't actually back up to the beach... we call that "artistic license" :o) It's part of my signature style when painting these oil paintings. 

Here's another oil on collaged board. This house is a 1915 Richard Requa in the Spanish Eclectic style,with the front door designed by Irving Gill. Requa is one of San Diego's master architects. The title of this painting is "A Beautiful History", for certainly, that is what this house has had. 

"520 C Ave", painted in watercolor on paper, follows another of my classic designs, with the patchwork beach at the bottom, signifying the town's close proximity to Coronado beach. I love the classic Craftsman architecture, with it's generous and inviting front porch. Did you know that one could order a Craftsman home from a Sears and Roebuck catelog in the 1920s? It would be shipped by railroad, all materials included, and just needed to be assembled. The cost was just about $2000!

Here's what 520 C Ave looked like when I photographed it just a few weeks before the tour. Imaging my surprise when I delivered the painting, and was told the house colors had been changed... What??? (Urgggh)

Here's the new color scheme. Very handsome, and very Coronado-ish, yes... But it sure would have been nice for the home owners to let somebody know they had plans to paint their house. Really, people?

Fortunately, gouache is a wonderful medium for painting over watercolor with total coverage. I could fix the house without the necessity of repainting the entire painting. Whew.... 

I will have a Limited Edition of 6 historic home cards available for purchase during the tour. One of each, including 520 C Ave in blue. Card packs will be available for purchase at the CHA shop booth during the tour.

Hope to see you there :o)