Hi! I'm Kimberly Vallance.
I look forward to sparking your creativity and adding fun to your arting and crafting!
My art and craft adventures started with sewing. My mother made my clothes and I wanted to be just like her. I still remember a bright blue with white polka dot jumper dress she made for me with a matching and opposite shirt. I loved that outfit. When I was 4 years old, she walked in just in time to save my fingers! She taught me how to sew starting that day, and I haven’t stopped. I've made lots of clothes and other items.
I learned knitting from my mother, too, while sitting on a footstool across from her so it was left-handed to her right-handed. I made lots of afghans and sweaters even though we lived in Texas! I learned to crochet watching someone across the room while at daycare. I couldn’t figure out how to turn for years though (before the internet), and I was too scared to ask anyone then. So I had lots and lots of single-chain rope. It was years later that I finally asked someone, and now crochet is my go-to craft when I need to do something but don’t have the brain power or energy to really focus on anything.
When it was too hot for yarn crafting, I worked on cross stitch and plastic canvas projects that I gave to my teachers, friends and even strangers. I learned quilting when I was about 15 when a cloak I made for Halloween was too plain and needed… something. I had just watched a Sewing With Nancy episode about quilting on PBS and thought that would be perfect. I found I LOVED quilting and buying clothes was a whole lot easier than making my own! I have dabbled in painting for… my whole life, thanks first to finger paints, then to Bob Ross and his show on PBS. (I still love Bob Ross and classes of any kind on PBS.)
I worked for JOANN Fabric & Craft as a manager during college. I greatly enjoyed discussing patterns, fabric, beads, paint, notions, and embroidery thread with every customer that wanted help or to talk about their project. I found a group that made crazy quilts from scraps gathered from garage sales and through ads in the newspaper. With that group, I also learned how to weave chain maille - which left me wanting to weave everything!
Shortly after getting my business degree in Finance and Economics, I moved to Michigan where I worked part-time as a manager for Michaels Stores - Art Supplies, Crafts & Framing.
While at Michaels, I found jewelry making with all the lovely beads was great fun, too! I proceeded to make several pieces and even sold some at my hairstylist’s salon and craft fairs.
I learned how to make my own beads from clay after discussing a problem a customer had and what solutions Michaels might have, and enjoyed the entire process! I liked how I could make any design or color or size I wanted. I also discovered I enjoyed turning cardstock and scrapbook paper into greeting cards and journals.
I rediscovered painting when I took a class during my off time. I also took a cake decorating class which led to a discovery that baking was a creative outlet, too! (Everyone at work enjoyed the results!) I volunteered several times at the Maker Faire at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, where I taught cross stitch, crochet or knitting to anyone wanting to learn.
I joined the Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild from 2015 through 2018, and I served on the board as Secretary in 2017. I attended nearly every sew-in or class they had. I also attended meetings of Quilters of Farmington at the Farmington Community Library. Their semi-annual sew-in activities were fun, too.
I found a group at my job who knit during lunch and joined them nearly every day for a craft session. Whether I was working on cross stitch, plastic canvas, knit or crochet, it was the camaraderie I enjoyed!
I have taught most of my friends one craft or another, from sewing zippers to quilting to making 3D cards. I most enjoy helping people learn an art or craft. Or figuring out how to start a project by picking out colors or supplies. Or fixing a “mistake” by turning it into a design element.
I want to teach more of the arts and crafts I find so rewarding, take classes in the ones I’m still learning, and help turn a failed half-done project into a successfully completed proud-to-display project. But I couldn’t find anywhere that offered what I was looking for. I decided the world needs more creativity, less stress, more fun, and more camaraderie around arting and crafting... so I am creating Life In The Craft Room.
Is there a project that is twisted in a knot, crumpled on the floor, or stuck in a corner? Is there a technique or class you’d like to know more about?
Let me know! Send a message below. I’d love to help you unknot and iron out those crafting headaches into completed projects you’ll be proud to use and display!