10 Quotes to Encourage

I’m in the midst of prepping for my “Fanciful Flowers” workshop taking place tomorrow evening.
It’s part of a special event being offered to the women at my church.
I don’t know a single one of the 10 women signed up for my class.
I’m guessing they are on the adventurous side since my blurb for the class described using a myriad of mixed media to create their own vase of fanciful flowers.
I’m hoping everyone can enjoy our two hours to just cut loose and be creative.

To set the mood,
I’m going to kick off our session with 10 quotes.
I intend for these to act as both ice breaker and encouragement.
These quotes resonated so strongly with me,
that I just had to pause a moment to share them with you.
(Aside:  I’m 99% confident I’ve correctly credited quotes, but apologies now if I messed anything up).
Without further ado:

Quote #1
Creativity takes courage
– Henri Matisse

Quote #2
Practicing art,
no matter how well or how badly,
is a way to make your soul grow.
-Kurt Vonnegut

Quote #3
Go and make mistakes.
Make amazing mistakes.
Make glorious and fantastic mistakes.
Don’t freeze, don’t stop,
don’t worry it’s not good enough or isn’t perfect.
– Neil Gaiman

Quote #4
When I haven’t any blue,
I use red.
– Pablo Picasso

Quote #5
When we stop fearing failure,
We start being artists.
– Ann Voskamp

Quote #6
It doesn’t matter how the paint is put on,
as long as something is said.
– Jackson Pollock

Quote #7
I don’t think about art when I’m working.
I try to think about life.
– Jean-Michel Basquiat

Quote #8
If you’re always trying to be normal,
you’ll never know how amazing you can be.
– Maya Angelou

Quote #9
I paint flowers so they will not die.
– Frida Kahlo

Quote #10
Creativity is contagious,
pass it on.
– Albert Einstein

All 10 quotes speak so strongly to me.
Hope you get something from them as well.
And now back to class prep…
Wish me luck tomorrow night!

Macrame on My Mind

Macrame on My Mind

I’ve got macrame on my mind.
I also have sample knots all over my studio tables,
multiple works in progress hooked to various surfaces,
and plans for lots more macrame projects in the pipeline.

Blame it on my buddies at Modern Craft Collective.
(In a good way, of course)
One of our conversations started with my bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t attend their February shibori workshop, and ended with us deciding I would partner with them to teach a few workshops myself.
Specifically, macrame workshops.
How cool is that?


  Now I’m experimenting with knots & thinking about the best way to teach them.
Square knots.
Half hitch & clove hitch knots.
Lark knots.
Wrap knots.
Barrel knots.
The list goes on.

I’m also thinking about thickness and types of rope.
Deciding when and where to use beads.
Figuring out what combinations are aesthetically pleasing to the “modern” eye.
I don’t know about you,
but personally,
I was never into that ubiquitous 1970’s beaded hemp plant hanger…
(Sorry Momsy.  I know you were proud of the one you made…)

Bottom line?
Macrame rocks!
I can’t wait to make more and share more.
I’ll be posting works in progress on instagram (@valz_corner),
knotting in my studio at C3 Lab
and 
coming out with workshops with Modern Craft Collective later this spring.
Stay tuned!

Crocheted Valentines

Crocheted Valentines

I am hosting a Valentine’s exchange with my craft group tomorrow.
All mediums are fair game.

Initially, I intended to give out lavender heart sachets.
I sewed a dozen+ little hearts.
Stuffed them full of lavender.
Hand stitched them all closed…
Then decided they were not the right thing for our craft exchange.
I passed the sachets out to another group of friends.
And started afresh for the Valentine’s exchange.

I decided to crochet stuffed hearts instead.
I followed this pattern I came across on Pinterest.
The pattern is straight forward, so I won’t add to the instructions.
Since I wanted the fabric of my hearts to feel stiff,
I used a 4 mm crochet hook with a double strand of wool yarn.
(I.e., relatively small hook with relatively thick yarn)

My yarn was a gift from a friend.
It’s a gorgeous multi-shaded pink and red pure new wool made by Wool Pak Yarns NZ.
It was only after I finished all the hearts that I learned this yarn is no longer available for sale.


The crocheted hearts are lovely enough to stand alone.
But I wanted to add a little extra “bling.”
This ended up being an “arrow” shot through each heart.

Each arrow is made from an orphan metal knitting needle, three wood beads, a strip of leather tied to the needle to keep the beads from sliding, and a washi tape arrowhead.

I’m ready to play Valentine’s craft exchange.
I hope my friends enjoy these hearts.
…And I can’t wait to see what lands in my Valentine’s box tomorrow!!
Happy Valentine’s.

Bowl of Blue

Bowl of Blue

Remember the panic I was in during my last post?
I’d agreed to a solo exhibit in the art gallery at my church.
But I had less than three weeks to put everything together.
It was madness.
But amazingly,
I did it.
I’ll tell you more about it soon,
but tonight,
I’m too darn tired to talk.
So let me just share these process pics with you.
“Bowl of Blue” was my final painting I created for this exhibit.
I hadn’t intended to paint this one at all.
But after hanging all the other pieces in the gallery,
I decided I need just one more to balance the space out.
So in true obsessive-compulsive fashion,
I ran home and painted just one more.


“Bowl of Blue” (Acrylic on 12×12 inch canvas)