Been Beading... Been thinking...

Yes, it's true, I've been beading. Beading, and thinking... (- a natural outcome of the beading). I was prodded by Beth, of Somerset Publication's Jewelry Affaire, to keep with the jewelry making. Truthfully, I loved being in the first issue of JA, so it was a no-brainer to try for issue #2, and come up with a new design that hopefully will be accepted...

My felt earrings with the beaded bezel are SO scrumptious, if I say so myself! I'm really sad that I finished them at the zero hour, with not even a moment to spare to wear them to even the post office, with all their dangle and sparkle glory! They are two sided, with different colors on each side. Wearing them means they shift and swirl into a riot of fantastic sparkling color. They are big in scale for me, but nice and light (that fantastic WOOL!), so you can shake your BOOTY and not feel like your ear lobes are going to crack off your body and die!

Of course, the beaded elegance is, in part, due to none other than my fabulous beading guru inspiration, Marcia DeCoster, friend and bead supplier, and, when I want it; bead critique-er! I swear, being- should say BEADING with Marcia is like being with a crack cocaine dealer. All you need to do is mention over lunch that you might be wanting these particular beads. Soon, (likely that afternoon) you will find yourself driving all the way to Marcia's in order to fulfill your most decadent bead wishes. When you pay the bill, and cart away your tiny stash, you will truly feel like you have just made THE drug deal! (Ok, Marcia, sorry! Your prices are more than fair) Just kidding, really. Marcia has a bead shop better than the local store, and can get you about anything your heart desires. Even if you're not sure whether or not you need it, you will buy it, the beads are just THAT GOOD!

So, anyway, about the thinking... for now, I think I've made my decision to stay the course with Val's Art Studio. Things are just going so well right now... (knock wood) We are going to focus on renting out our house until things turn around with the economy. Believe me, I am SO HAPPY with this decision! Besides, I doubt anyone would hire me for the kind of money that our house could make in a month *LOL*

I Don't Want To Say "Have A Nice Day" Like A Robot

... I don't ever want that to be my style. I want to appreciate every day for what it is, to be able to "be" in each moment I can, to reach out to people with my whole heart. I want to look forward to tomorrow, I want to see the brightest light in the darkest day. Most importantly, I want to feel like each day matters as the days of my life pass me by. I want to die one day, knowing that I tried to make a difference each and every day that I've been graced with life on this beautiful earth. (sorry, I'm weepie today. I think it's nearly my time of the month... :*o\

Mary Chapin Carpenter
Well, today I'm inspired by Mary Chapin Carpenter, and her story of The Learning Curve of Gratitude, which she wrote as an essay for NPR. Recovering from a life threatening pulmonary embolism, she found it challenging to deal with the fear and depression that followed during her recovery. If you are interested, I highly recommend you listen to the podcast, which you can access by clicking here. I also highly recommend her beautiful music. It always touches the inner quiet spaces in my heart, the places that need gentle touching, and I find it so satisfying. If you click here, you can listen to a live recording of "I Have A Need For Solitude". It's just lovely. I'm downloading her album right now. I just can't help myself. Must be my need for solitude... just needing a moment of peace after a busy day filled with kids, work, noise. Just needing a little quiet touch in the inner place in my heart.

Whoo Loves You?!

Me! That's whoo!

Here's the finally-finished version of the sweetie-pie Owlie dress, skirt and purse. As always, photos don't do the outfit justice. It's so, so cute.

I think it's neat how I am so much in love with any just finished creation. Does that happen to you too? It used to be that I wanted to have it, hold it, and keep it close forever. But, now I can take a photo and then let them go. Fly away Owlies, to make another one happy. Lord knows, I've had many happy moments with you so far :o)

Speaking of the flying away... golly, it's hard for me to even say this! No, I'm not flying away, but I did just actually apply for a job . It was a job posted on Craig's List, so those are jobs you can just apply to by email. A quick introduction letter, attach the resume, hit send, and off it goes. I did this with a heavy heart, because there's nothing I want to do more in this world than create my cuteness over here and make other's happy with it. But, the economy has been so rough lately, and my husband's company has no work. So, the decision is to rent out our house , or for me to get a job , or for Greg to do something else. He's as bad as me as far as wanting to stick with his chosen profession (he's a designer too, like me). So, I'm trying to do my part for my family, and if that means trying to find a job to supplement my income, well then, that's what I will need to do. I'll keep you posted...

Welcome Spring + Summer!

Our warmer temperatures have turned my studio into a garden of summer flowers around here! Glorious colors and whimsy abound. As my husband has been whipping our garden into shape, I find myself turning everything in the studio into a garden of delights too. Take a look...

This needle felted scarf is a riot of flowers and delicious color. Isn't it lovely?!

Here are a few of the summer dresses I've been working on. I'm trying to integrate wool into summer wear. In case you don't know, I live on the Southern California coast, where we always enjoy a cool breeze, and sometimes overcast days in the 60s feel like the dead of winter! So, wool is always a welcome addition to my clothing line, and I do sell woolie lovelies in my Coronado shop all year round.

Lastly, here is (in my opinion) the possibly cutest item I've ever made! It's Owlie! A sweet little purse for a girl, or a cell phone holder for girls like me! The top on the right is nearly finished. It still needs it's needle felting finish, and I haven't yet photographed the owlie skirt that goes with it. The skirt fabric was my inspiration for the little purse. I have decided to list the purse in my etsy shop so I can see if I should go into production on this sweet accessory. I know it's going to sell the minute I put it at Austin's. It will head there tomorrow.

Thanks for the visit. Now go have yourself a happy Spring sort of day!

Kick Yourself In The Pants

Are you an artist wanna-be, or a Frustrated Artist who knows there can be more, oh-so-much-more to an artful life? It might be worthwhile for you to head over to Amy's Pikaland blog to check out her brand new Pika Bootcamp. There are two course offerings, the first is called Making Your Mark, and is about helping the reluctant artist (you?) to express yourself through art. The second course is called How to Survive and Thrive as an Artist Online. (That pretty much says it all!)

I think Amy is pretty awesome when it comes to helping artists get where they want to be. If you need further proof, check out her Pika Good To Know Project, with her series of Good To Know zines. (I'm a featured artist in Issue #6). She put together an offering of advice and inspiration on several topics important to artists and designers. It's very timely to any artsy fool (like me!) making their way through this sometimes-less-than-art-loving world. In other words, helps to get that darn negativity out of your head... something that all artists struggle with. So, give Pika Land a visit, and check things out over there. You'll be glad you did!

Do You Know About...

Cookus Interruptus? Well, if not, you should! Not only are the videos fun and entertaining, but the recipes are wonderful, and healthy. Here's my favorite video of all time... (The Mango Salsa video is another memorable one :o) Enjoy!

Winner of the Miss Popularity Contest

Well, I am always having a secret contest in my shop to see which handmade lovely wins the prize for "Miss Popularity". Hands down, this beautiful handpainted silk needle felted scarf is the big winner. Of course, it helps that it all about ... yep, the birdies. :o)

I have created about 6 or 8 of these scarves so far, and they don't stay in my shop for even a few days. They sell right away. Hmmm, perhaps I've priced them too low-?

This one is extra special because of the bird house! How cute is that?!

These scarves are what I refer to as "Wearable Art". Drape it around your shoulders when you are heading out, and you've transformed the plainest nothing outfit into the most exquisite, glorious ensemble ever! Plus, NO ONE will be wearing anything like it, and EVERYONE will admire your beautiful Wearable Art creation! When you see them in real life, they take your breath away. They are so amazingly beautiful.

They are glorious around the neckline. I use my new needle felting machine to get the exquisite felt pattern, which helps to give the scarf that special billowy quilted look.

These scarves take me 4 hours to create, followed by a trip to my chiropractor... I can only create one every week or so. They really take a lot out of me.

They make a beautiful table runner when not in use as a scarf!

Let me know if you'd like to be notified when I make the next Birdie scarf. I'll email you a few photos so you can get first dibs before I place them in my shop. Shucks, they don't last there for more than a few minutes!

Art Star Craft Bazaar this Weekend in PA!

If I were in PA, I'd be heading to Penn's Landing this weekend, May 15 +16, where the Art Star Craft Bazaar will be happening. Val's Art Studio will be there, represented by Hello Bluebird. Just to tempt you, I thought I'd share a few of the friendly items that are currently winging their way to PA right now as I speak (write)...

Plenty of Toast plush friends, with a couple of newbies... Sushi!

I couldn't resist sharing this new crop of Woolie Friendlies. Most are cashmere and are oh- sooo-soft and especially huggable!

A few new clothing items, including this adorable recycled wool vest. The Friendlies have taken over the vest, too, as you can see. Just so there's no confusion, the back of the vest says it all...

So, if you're near Philly, go check out Art Star Craft Bazaar this weekend, and look for all the Friendly karma at the Hello Bluebird booth! If not, well... Have yourself a Friendly sort of day :o)

Happy Mother's Day to all the awesome Moms!

Whether you are a Mom of babies, kids or adults, dogs, cats or birds, or chickens, or bunnies, or even snakes, I wish you the happiest Mother's Day today. I hope you get the chance to sit for a bit, and eat some cake (or whatever your heart desires!)

Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Hey! I'm in San Diego Home and Garden Magazine!

Well, heck, I'm so excited about this! The May 2010 issue, out now! I know, I'm not Home, and I'm not Garden, so how does this angle work out?

The good thing is, the magazine has a "Fashion" section, thanks to Senior Editor, Phyllis Van Doren, and her love for color and fashion. I have been doing many fashion events lately, and met Phyllis at a recent show. Phyllis was kind enough to invite me to submit photos, and now look. I have a whole page in the Fashion section. Wow...
Thank you, Phyllis!

So, go out and buy your May issue, on newstands now, and have a look for me. I'm all over page 91! :o) By the way, look for Jeffrey on page 90. He's a friend of mine via The Grove Girls (my knitting friends). We were in The Style Awards Fashion show together. I guess we are just meant to be together! He has a great shop, called Junq in North Park, just south of Juniper on 30th Street. Go check him out. Oh, and Junq too. You'll be glad you did...