CLAUDINE HELLMUTH
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007
tuesday
I dropped the artwork off at City Hall and all went smoothly. I don't get to see it all hung up probably until next week. Maybe Friday, so I'll take photos as soon as I can get there!

My wonderful rep, Jennifer, sent Stan and Mabel the cutest cat tent today! She is such a sweetie! Here are some photos of Stan and Mabel checking it out. It is already a hit!! Thank you so much Jen!!

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first Mabel tries it out....

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then Stanley....

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...Toby wants one too!

I have a big migraine (woke up with it this morning and it won't go away), so off to bed for me!

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Monday, July 30, 2007
city hall show
All 33 of my freshly-framed artworks are packed up and ready to be dropped off tomorrow at City Hall for a show that will run from August 6th - October 18th. All the details are here, on the City of Orlando web site. Unfortunately there isn't an opening due to security at City Hall, but that's OK because then I don't have to stand there while people look at my work. It makes me so uncomfortable be there while people look at my art. I much prefer people seeing it on the internet where I can't see their reaction to it!

I can't believe I got all of them framed, all myself and with no power tools! ha! They look good I think. And it saved me a lot of money, it cost about $100 to frame all of them, not bad!

I got all the wire in the backs so they are ready to hang. I did the last batch of 15 today while I was watching Entourage. Love that show.

I am a little nervous. Will I have enough work? Will people like my work? Will it look good in City Hall? Yipes! I guess I'll find out. I drop everything off at 10am!
Sunday, July 29, 2007
weekend's over
As usual the weekend went by way too fast. We didn't get to see The Simpons Movie, but we plan to do that next weekend when it is hopefully less crowded. This weekend I did a bunch of work, packed and shipped artwork, washed Toby, did some gardening, cleaned the house, went to my niece Maiya's 7th birthday party, and went to the mall (yuck hate going to the mall).

Tonight we had our neighbors over to watch the first Bourne movie to get ready for the Bourne Ultimatum this weekend. We tried to rent the second Bourne movie but it looked like a lot of people had the same idea because it was all out at Blockbuster. Darn it. Then we found the first one was playing on USA so we watched that one for free. Even though we had all seen it already it was so long ago we had forgotten what had happened, so it was like watching a totally new movie. We had pizza and too many brownies. Fun fun fun!

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Friday, July 27, 2007
illustration friday: moon
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "moon"

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These ladies are enjoying come coffee after a night of shopping! This is a piece I created for a boxed note set that will be published in 2008 by TeNeues. Yay!

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Thursday, July 26, 2007
almost the weekend!
Thursday's over and the weekend is almost ready to get started! Here's another custom artwork that I finished up and shipped off today. This one is a birthday surprise for the grandma of these cute kiddos. Hope she likes it!
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Today I managed to get a little work done, then errands sucked up the rest of the day. Went to the vet, to Petsmart, the grocery store, the PO Box, dropped off DHL and post office packages, then went to Pookies Bow Wow bakery to pick up the cat food. whew! I hate, hate, hate running errands so whenever I do, I try to get as many done as I can so I don't have to go again for awhile.

TGIF! I know The Simpsons Movie will be on our list of weekend activities! What are you doing this weekend???

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martha stewart update
A few of you asked if I had heard back from the Martha Stewart producers. They did get all my stuff and everything arrived just fine. whew! They told me I should hear back sometime in Sept. and that they would be in touch then. Feels so long to wait but I know it will be here before I know it! Yipes! Keeping fingers tightly crossed!!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007
this just finished...
Spent the day working on custom artwork orders. Here's one of a sweet family on a picnic that I just finished up and it's all ready to go to its new happy home!


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Other than work , I did exciting things like laundry and cleaning out the clothes dryer exhaust of lint. I saw a show on the DIY channel where they talked about what a big fire hazard lint is. Of course then it made me paranoid so I had to clean ours to shut up my brain from worrying!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007
all done!
I stayed up late last night finishing Harry Potter.

I am sad the series is over but I think JK Rowling did a good job of wrapping it up. A bit schmaltzy at the end but I lapped it up. I didn't mind a little schmaltz, these books are pure entertainment! Now it's over I feel listless.

Paul has to hurry up and read it so then we can discuss. The whole time while he was reading the last book, I kept interrupting him and asking him what part he was at. Drove him nuts!

Back to work for me! see you later!

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Monday, July 23, 2007
last chapters
I got all my work done for today, now it's time to finish up Harry Potter. I have about 100 pages left from last night and I want to read them in one long delicious uninterrupted session. See you later!

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toby's a winner too!
Toby won week 8 of the Lucky Dog photo contest! I am such a proud momma. Lucky Dog biscuits are all natural yummy treats. My pal Kal gave me some to try on Toby when I was in Vancouver and Toby gobbled them all up! Yummy!! Visit the Lucky Dog Blog here!

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Sunday, July 22, 2007
weekend update
This weekend was of course all about Harry Potter for me. Paul got up early on Saturday and went to Barnes & Noble so I could have the book before I even woke up. Love my husband!!

But before I could settle down to enjoy reading, I had to get some work done. I worked on custom artwork orders, email, paperwork and such and THEN had a nice shower and got all ready to snuggle down to read! I read from 3pm-9pm and then Paul and I watched a movie, After the Wedding.
Linda you were right! Lots of eye and mouth close-ups in that movie. But it was good.

Today I cleaned the house a bit, Paul and I met my mom and dad for a nice lunch. Then I did some more work on custom artwork orders and also did some packing and shipping too. I just started reading again and plan to read well into the night! See you tomorrow!!

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Friday, July 20, 2007
Harry Potter!
Tonight's the big night when the final Harry Potter book is released!

I don't plan to go to the midnight release, I'll get my book tomorrow.

Two reasons I am not going tonight: 1) if I get the book at midnight I will stay up all night reading it, 2) I have heard nasty people shout out spoilers when you leave the bookstore.

If you do go tonight, Newsweek magazine suggests wearing headphones and turning the volume up while you wait in line and as you leave the store. So then you can't hear people if they shout of any spoilers. Apparently in the back of the book JK Rowling writes about what happens to everyone later in their lives. So it would be easy to look and then tell people if you wanted to be a meany. I am going to have a REALLY hard time not looking myself. I have been known to race to the back of a book to find out what happens. We'll see how much self control I have!

I found this fun quiz, you can be sorted by the sorting hat and find out which house you are in. I'm a Ravenclaw!

Also my husband worked really hard on this Harry Potter section of the OrlandoSentinel.com. It's even got a flash player where you can catch up on what happened in all the other books! Handy!! Quizzes too if you are bored at work!

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Thursday, July 19, 2007
my aching head
I have a really nasty migraine tonight. ugh! More tomorrow!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
this and that
Nothing new to report since the exciting snake incident earlier today. Just working on stuff and getting things done. I got the last 3 of my artworks for City Hall framed. Now I have to put all the wire and the screw eyes on the backs. I got all set to do that when I discovered that our drill battery charger died. The drill is fine, so is the battery, but can't charge the battery with out the charger working. Ugh! Apparently you can not just buy a new charger replacement you have to buy a whole NEW drill. Seriously.

Last night I stayed up way too late again. I was up until 3am, thinking about things. I have a couple business things on my plate that are stressing me out a tad. Not even 3 Tylenol PMs could get my brain to quiet down. So tonight I am off to bed earlier so I can get on a better schedule. Maybe in bed by midnight instead of 3 or 4am! nighty night!

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any snake experts out there?
I just found a baby snake on our porch!! yipes! It was about 12" long and Stanley was playing with it!!! Akkkk! I put a towel over it and took it outside shrieking all the way while I did it.

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Only once I put him outside did I think to get a photo because I am worried it was a poisonous snake. So I ran in the house grabbed the camera and ran back out before he could slide away. Above is my blurry photo of him.

Anyone know what type of snake this is?? I looked on Florida Snakes, but they are no help. I hope I put him far enough away from the house so he doesn't come back!!

EDITED 8:30PM: Ok! I *think* I figured out what snake it was! It's an Eastern Hognose. On the Florida Snakes web site it says the babies are blue/grey with brown spots and they do this thing where they play dead when a predator is nearby. That's exactly what I found him doing when I found Stanley messing with him. I think this guy is it! whew! Glad I met him when he was a baby the adults can be 30" long! ick!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
it's tuesday!
Exciting news! Mabel won the Sleeping Pet Photo Contest. I have a hunch the dachshund got disqualified for ballot stuffing. Last I checked the dachshund had 13000 votes or something to Mabel's 300 votes. But Mabel's were REAL votes so she WON! Thank you for voting for her. I am a proud momma. Check her out in the Winner's Circle here.

Images from my day:

Stan found my ribbon tub without the lid on. Busted!

A super duper package came from Scrap in Style TV. It's their August kit and it's so yummy. Lime green and red with polka dots!! I can hardly contain myself.

In other Tuesday news.... I finished sprucing up my custom artwork area of my web site. I think it is even more user friendly, at least I hope so. Also worked on some custom artworks in the studio and framed 3 more pieces for the city hall show. Only 3 more to frame! whew!!

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sitting pretty poppets®!
I stayed up WAY too late tonight working on my new custom artwork section of my web site for the Sitting Pretty PoppetsĀ®. It's not done yet and not linked from anywhere else on my web site, but I thought I'd give you a sneak peek!

Here's a screen shot above, and click here to see the real thing. Keep in mind this is still a work in progress, but it's 2am and time for me to go to bed! Paul gets up to go to work in 2 hours! LOL!

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Sunday, July 15, 2007
weekend news
It was an exciting weekend. Started off on Friday finding out that my new book proposal got accepted (yay! super yay!)

Paul got accepted into Harvard Extension School for a distance learning program (yay! Paul!!)

I found a set of teal luggage at Bed Bath and Beyond. My old teal luggage died (darn zippers are always the first part of the luggage to get ruined). I was excited to find a new set, now I just have to polka dot it with acrylic paint and it will look perfect!

Watched How to Draw a Bunny thanks to Netflix. Man that Ray Johnson was an oddball. I loved watching Christo and Rosenquist try to describe him. Very interesting. Do you think dropping footlong hot dogs from a helicopter is art???.... hmmmm. Brings back the days of art school.

Also this weekend, we found a new Thai restaurant near us and had Thai Doughnuts for dessert. Yum, yum yum! Then we saw the new Harry Potter movie, now I'm all revved up for the new book coming this Saturday! Can't wait!

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Friday, July 13, 2007
illustration friday: discovery
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "discovery"

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"Fran was angry to discover she had been left to tend the neighborhood garage sale by herself."

Also I discovered JacketFlap this week thanks to Astrid for telling me about it!

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i'm on Urban Baby
Big thanks to Urban Baby for the amazing write up about my custom artworks! That was a nice Friday surprise! Read the Urban Baby article here.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007
time for bed!
Stanley says it's time for bed!

I stayed up too late messing with web site stuff. No time for a good post, see you tomorrow!

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netflix movie suggestions
Our NetFlix queue is getting low. It takes so much time researching new movies to add.

So I thought I'd ask you guys if you have any suggestions of must-see movies we should add to our list?

I just read about After the Wedding in Newsweek, so I added that one! It looks pretty good. Anyone seen it?

We love foreign, documentary, etc. etc... We have pretty eclectic tastes.

Any suggestions appreciated!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007
this is what I did today
  • Updated my web site with an event in Michigan and an event in North Carolina for 2008. There's still room in my Portland OR classes this fall which is my last class for 2007.
  • Painted 6 frames for the show at City Hall. Only 12 more to go.
  • Heard from a blog reader who emailed me about a teeny weeny miter saw at Harbor Freight (for doll houses or something!). Sounds perfect for me. Then I discovered we have a Harbor Freight in Orlando - I didn't know that! I think I have to check it out this weekend!
  • Learned that my new book proposal will be before the review committee this Friday (fingers crossed it gets accepted)
  • Answered lots of emails and filled one Etsy order
  • Worked on custom artworks
  • Talked to my coach. Main part of our discussion was my "summer blahs" and my guilt about feeling really sleepy this week.

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auction for a good cause
I just learned about an art auction fund raiser called Angels for Brianna. Brianna was the beloved daughter of folk artist, Iva Wilcox. Tragically, Brianna was only seventeen when she passed away recently from a sudden, cancer-related illness. To support the family's efforts to set up a memorial for their daughter, please visit the auction link and bid on the beautiful pieces from so many talented, nationally known artists.
i've been busy....
Adding new items to my Etsy Shop. I just finished these little ladies.....

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I am now calling them Sitting Pretty PoppetsĀ®, ("metal sitting people" just didn't roll of the tongue nicely). Thanks to the gals at The Switchboards for helping me come up with the new name! That message board is a lifesaver!

I also added a few of my cigar box collages to the Etsy Shop too. Click here to check it out.

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Monday, July 09, 2007
custom note cards now online
I posted a few weeks ago about my partnership with Anna Bella Stationery to create custom note cards from my commissioned artworks.

Well I was finally able to get it up on my web site. Hooray! Here are the details below, and you can view the page on my web site here.

HOW IT WORKS:
Commission me to create a custom artwork. Then, after it's finished you can go to Anna Bella Stationery to place your custom note card order. Anna Bella Stationery will coordinate with me to receive a high resolution digital file of your artwork. Then Anna Bella Stationery will send you several online proofs to view. Once approved, your cards will be printed on their signature linen stock with rounded corners and matching linen envelopes.

If you've already worked with me on a custom artwork and would like note cards created from that image, click here to get things started!

Click here to see the full details on my web site!

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vote for mabel!
I entered this photo of Mabel (below) in a "My Pet Loves Sleep" photo contest sponsored by the Sleep Institute. I would love for her to win! If you have a minute please click here to vote for her!! To vote you have to scroll a little bit to see the photos . Here's to Mabel's 15 minutes of fame!

You can also enter in your pet photos too because a new contest takes place every week!
PS you can keeping voting until this Sunday night! :)

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Sunday, July 08, 2007
Toby doesn't feel well...
At the end of last week I got test results from Toby's urinalysis and to my dismay we discovered he has oxalate crystals forming. This is not a good thing and if left unchecked can turn into a dangerous situation where bladder stones are formed.

So this weekend I spent a lot of time on PH watch. Without getting too lengthy --- oxalate crystals tend to form in a urine PH of below 6.5 so I need Toby's PH to get up to around 7.0-7.5.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I am used to all this because I am intimately familiar with crystals and urine PH because we are always battling crystals with Mabel. So I spent much of the weekend with my PH strips and a soup ladle making sure Toby's diet adjustments were making his urine PH where it should be.

Quite a glamorous picture isn't it!!

If I am able to keep Toby's PH up the theory is that it will prevent new crystals from forming and that the remaining ones will wash away and then they won't have a chance to form into stones. I am so grateful that my vet is working with me and letting me try natural PH adjusters first before putting Toby on a medical diet. I am adverse to Science Diet brand foods and will only put Toby on that as a last resort. I prefer pet foods with human quality meats (no byproduct) and natural ingredients.

Other than that I got a lot of work done, I framed up 16 artworks for the city hall show, they still have to be sanded spackled and painted but at least the wood is cut! Let me mention here how much I love spackle. It hides a multitude of sins :)

Oh I almost forgot! Paul and I went to lunch with my Mom today and we saw Shaquille O'Neal at the restaurant. He was hard to miss!

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Friday, July 06, 2007
illustration friday: geeky
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "geeky"

I created this image for IF a year ago for the theme of dance, but this guy is so nerdy and geeky that I have to use it again. Love him rockin' out in his bedroom ah la Napoleon Dynamite.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007
Atlanta Gift Show
If you're near Atlanta or going to the Atlanta Gift Show (July 13-17th) stop by The Greeting Place Booth to check out my new line of 26 greeting cards titled "Go Girl Sweet & Sassy"!

The Greeting Place will have their booth in Building 2 (the Gift Mart with the permanent showrooms) booth #1735.

I won't be able to attend but at least my cards will be there!

If you do end up going, take a photo and email me so I can see!!

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007
perfect beach day
It started out gloomy today but ended up being perfect beach weather. Slightly overcast so it wasn't too hot. We had a great time at the beach and stayed a couple hours, enjoyed the people watching and got our toes nice and sandy.

Here's my requisite "foot photo". My mom asked why I was taking photos of my feet so I told her all the bloggers do it, so I wanted to take a foot photo too!

My Target bikini lasted just long enough for the beach trip. The closure on the top snapped off. Good thing I had a shirt on over it when it did that! Darn cheap bathing suit. I think I can fix it and sew on a new clasp. It was pretty cute even if it was cheap. And I'll need a bathing suit if Paul and I decide to swim with the dolphins for our wedding anniversary in Sept.

Later this afternoon Paul, the pets and I had nice naps all snuggled down with thunderstorms outside - perfect napping weather. I had the weirdest dream that I was acting in a new Jurassic Park film and was being chased by an anamotronic dinosaur. It was very scary even though in the dream I knew I shouldn't be scared!. Totally weird and left me feeling unsettled even after I woke up.

Then tonight Paul and I watched Volver thanks to Netflix. Great movie. I really loved it!

Back to work tomorrow!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007
great day for a BBQ
Happy 4th to all the Americans out there! It's the perfect day to relax, BBQ and enjoy a mini vacation in the middle of the week!

Today was a major errand running day and as usual with errands, they left me exhausted. I went to Home Depot to reurn a nail gun I bought on Saturday. It jammed every time I tried to use it. My old one I had for 7 years and never a jam until one day (last week) it broke. So I knew it wasn't a good sign to be jamming as soon as I got it out of the box! Too bad I hadn't read your comments from yesterday's post before I went to Home Depot. Maybe I would have had enough courage to buy an electric miter saw! Maybe this weekend. I'll see how brave I feel. I guess then I would also have get some sort of work table to put the miter saw on so I could use it. It gets more and more complicated. LOL! I don't know, maybe I'll stick to handsawing all that wood.

Also went to the bank, the drug store and to the vet(surprise! I am always at the vet).

Then I went to Office Depot and bought a scanner/fax/printer. I got so flustered figuring out which one to buy. I hope I got a good one. The thing sounds like the space shuttle taking off when it prints a page! But it does make great prints. And at least I finally have a fax. I always felt bad when people asked me to fax something and I would have to admit I did not have a fax.

Paul and I are going to the beach tomorrow with my Mom. We're going to Jetty Park, I haven't been there and hopefully the weather will be nice. Paul's twin and his family might meet us up too. We'll see!

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Monday, July 02, 2007
this is going to be a slow week
I can tell already that this week is going to be slow for business, as holiday weeks usually are. Still I did try to get as much done today as I could.

I framed up 5 artworks for the City Hall show. And I cut the wood for 7 more (only 20 more to go!). I am back to cutting by hand, but it's not so bad. It took me about 20 minutes to cut the wood for 7 artworks. Maybe I will get brave and buy a table saw. I don't know. I was all set to buy one on Saturday and then this weekend in the paper they had a story about home improvement nightmares where people sawed off arms and stuff and then I got scared again.

I also worked on a submission for a Lark Books book, here's a sneak peek at a part of one of the images above. I had fun working on it with the new kit papers from Scrap in Style, love them!

In other exciting news, I bought a bathing suit this weekend from Target and Paul and I are going to the beach on July 4th. I am slathering the self-tanning cream on so my legs won't be so frightening. Let me tell you, they are really, really white.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007
weekend update
I had a delicious weekend without much work for once! I only checked email a few times and worked just a tiny bit. What a treat! I am off to enjoy the last few hours of weekend! See you tomorrow!

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