CLAUDINE HELLMUTH
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Sunday, September 30, 2007
busy weekend
I had a busy weekend getting all my stuff together for Art & Soul. I don't leave to teach until Friday but I discovered that some of the supplies I ordered (weeks ago!) to be delivered never made it there! Yipes! The company that I ordered them from is unresponsive (emails get returned and no phone) but they did manage to charge my credit card, so now I have to go about seeing if I can get the charges reversed! ugh!!

Luckily I discovered the undelivered items NOW instead of when I got to Portland. Whew! So then this weekend I was rushing round to buy the same items again and get them ready to ship out myself. I can't bring them in my checked luggage so I have to ship.

So stressful! That is one of the things that stresses me out so much about teaching workshops, is making sure everything gets there so everyone who attends my classes will have enough supplies. Not having enough supplies is one of my worst teaching nightmares. So far it's never happened to me (knock wood!), but each time I set off to teach a workshop I stress that my packages hadn't made it. At least I found out about this one early enough and I can resend stuff! So that is a good thing!

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Friday, September 28, 2007
illustration friday: the blues
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "the blues"


(click image to enlarge)
This is a piece I created for a 2009 calendar of my work by TeNeues .

I think it works with this quote:
"All Milly needed was a little gardening to chase away the blues....."

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Thursday, September 27, 2007
bath time for toby
Just got done giving Toby a bath and he is not happy about it at all. He does not appreciate bath time!

To make matters worse, Stanley kept jumping in and out of the bathtub while Toby was in there and it made Toby so mad! hee hee. Stan was naughty and was taunting him!

This time next week, I will be getting ready to head to Portland for my last teaching event of the year. There are still a couple spaces in one of my classes so if you are local to Portland check out the Art and Soul web site if you would like to join me! Also don't forget to stop by for vendor night which will be Saturday October 6th.

I also have all my classes listed on my web site for 2008, I will only be teaching at the locations listed (only 4!) so if you are near any of these locations sign up now before classes are filled!

Today was filled with lots of work, so I am off to relax for a little bit in front of the TV! See you tomorrow!

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stan says hi!
Stanely says hi from his new favorite sleeping place!

stanley_sink

He's a silly boy! He just started this sink sleeping habit a couple months ago. His favorite sleeping sink is in our Master bath where we have two sinks and he only sleeps in Paul's, not mine. hee hee! I was going to send this pic into Cats In Sinks but it appears as though the site is down, hope it's not gone forever! oh no!

EDITED: Cat's In Sinks web site is working now! I sent in Stans pic. yay!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
good news!
Yay! my internet is back! It wasn't without a fight. The Bright House tech guy comes today for our appt. Then when he realizes it is a neighborhood outage he says "oh that's another service call, I have to call it in and it will be another 72 hours before we can fix it"

72 hours!!!

My head about exploded. They knew it was a neighborhood outage yesterday and they sent this guy to stand in our house for 15 seconds and tell us it would be another 72 hours! Paul got on the phone with them and got it worked out and it was fixed an hour or so later. Yay! He's the neighborhood hero!

I am now connected to the world again. I felt so lost without my internet!

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Monday, September 24, 2007
internet... grrr!
My internet access has been down all day which is making me crazy. I am at my parent's right now checking email. Bright House Cable came out today because our whole neighborood has been down with TV and Internet (if you had a cable phone those were down too)

The guy fixed the TV connections and then left. The internet is not fixed. My neighboor who has the cable phone says that is still not fixed either.

So I called them back to let them know it wasn't fixed. They said this counted as a second call and they said the earliest they could come would be tomorrow afternoon.

Considering the whole neighborhood is without internet (or phone) you'd think they could have come back sooner.

Now I am really glad I never switched over the cable phone, my neighbor says she is without her phone connection more than it works and she wants to switch back to a regular phone line. She also said when the phone does actually work that sometimes when when she picks up the phone the TV sound comes through the telephone! LOL!

The good news is I have been getting lots of other work done while I haven't had emails to suck up my day. Also good news is that the TV is working so I won't miss The War or Heroes tonight.

The bad news is I feel so disconnected and I hate not being able to respond to people right away. So bear with me, I should have email tomorrow, I hope!

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Sunday, September 23, 2007
rainy sunday
It's been raining almost all day here, it's making me really sleepy. I have had a headache all weekend and I am completely wiped out. I feel a big nap with a cold compress on my head in my very near future. I think that all the adrenaline from the last crazy couple of weeks is gone and I have no energy left. The rain and this headache aren't helping either.

Haven't done too much work this weekend, which is a nice change! I got a ton of work done last week so that was good, I can rest somewhat guilt free this weekend.

I did make it to Super Target earlier today -- I got new contacts ordered + groceries. I found these cute jack-o-lantern baby bibs in the dollar spot. So I got one for Toby and one for my neighbor's shih-tzu, Gizmo. I thought they could be simple and cheap Halloween costumes for small doggies when worn backwards. I already tried Toby's on and it looks very cute!

Paul starts his new work schedule this week. He'll now be working from noon-10pm which will be a drastic change. He has worked the past nine years from 5am-3pm so this will be a total shock. We will both be on the same work/sleep schedules for once!

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Friday, September 21, 2007
illustration friday: juggle
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "juggle"

(click image to enlarge)
There's no time to create a new work this week, but here's one I created about 2 years ago, I think it fits the theme! Have a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, September 20, 2007
all about the eyes
When Paul got home from work today we ventured off to get our annual eye exams over with.

I spent all of this week worrying about that darn glaucoma test that they do. I hate, hate, hate that puff of air machine. It makes me crazy. I break out in a sweat just thinking about it.

Whenever I try to do the test, my eyes start blinking really fast in anticipation. Which then it makes the technician really mad because she has to do the test 3 or 4 times just to get it right. So this year I got smart. I asked for the old fashioned eye drop glaucoma test rather than the puff of air. Those drops sting, but they are much better in my book. I would rather have my eyes feel like they got soap in them any day over that horrible puff of air machine!

Paul and I had fun trying on really nerdy eye glasses while we waited. We found this horrible pair that was $150! Which of course we tried on right away. We laughed so hard we made quite the
spectacle out of ourselves. A good time was had by all at the LensCrafters in Kissimmee!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007
busy, busy
Lots going on around here! Today I worked on a couple custom artwork orders. These are for a client who is on vacation down here from Canada. She arranged to have them ready so I can deliver to her hotel and then she can carry them back home. Smart gal!

I found out what was happening to the missing emails, they were going into my client's spam folder. Whew! I was worried, I don't like people to think that I am not responding to their orders right away. I added a note to my order confirmation page letting my customers know to check their spam folders. Hopefully that will alert people to the problem of any potential missing emails. I know we all hate spam, but I tend to think some of these spam filters are just a tad too aggressive. One time I accidentally had mine turned to high and 99% of my emails went directly into the spam folder!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007
how I got on the martha stewart show!
As promised, here is the blog post about how I ended up on The Martha Stewart Show!

The actual story of how I got on the show is quite short, it's not how I thought or planned it would happen. Don't you love how life sometimes works out that way?

There's how I got to be a guest on the Martha Stewart Show:
The wonderful and amazing
Holly Becker at the decor8 blog found my blog and did an interview and write up about my artwork. Let me say here just how much this blog has helped my business! And if it weren't for blogging, Holly wouldn't have found me! Holly was so generous that when the Martha Stewart producers called and asked her for references she gave them my name so they could contact me! Then once they contacted me, I put together a big box of stuff and sent it to them. I waited 2.5 months and then heard back I had 10 days to prepare to be on the show! Super duper thanks to Holly, without her I wouldn't have gotten on the show!

Here's how I thought it would happen but it didn't:
When I went to CHA last Jan. I created a piece of art to give to Martha Stewart. I knew she would be a keynote speaker and my plan was to find her and present her with the art. I did give it to her and it was very exciting! Read about it here. I was hoping at the very least Martha would like my artwork and maybe want more custom pieces for her friends, and at the most want me to be on her show!

My best guess is that the Magazine producers and not the TV Show producers were with her at CHA because when I was contacted by the Martha TV producers no one knew about the artwork , or my crazy shenanigans
to give it to her. Probably just as well or else they might have thought I was a crazy stalker/fan! I never did find out what happened to the artwork. I like to think that it is in Martha's office along with the pet donkeys I made for her!

So that's my story of how I got on the show. I love how sometimes you plan/hope something will happen and you think you know how it might work out. But then life has a different plan in store for you to achieve the same result.

Gotta love that! It's a good reminder for me to focus on the end result of my dreams and not the practical side of HOW they might happen. And that's my last Martha Stewart Show post unless anything else really exciting happens. I promise not to keep writing about this forever! LOL!

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email woes
I just got an email from a client that I have emailed twice in the last week to keep touch with her and she let me know she hadn't received any of my emails. Nightmare!! I always email people right back and it is my worst nightmare for someone to think I am not emailing them. I stayed up until 2am the night of the Martha show emailing every single person back. akkkk!! So please know I am emailing you and if you are one of my clients and haven't heard from me please email me again. I don't know what is happening, 99.9% of people seem to be getting my emails but I always stress about the one person who might not and then thinks I am being lazy!
Monday, September 17, 2007
get inspired!
Just a heads up that registration for Donna Downey's Inspired. Artist Workshop event has started! I will be teaching along with other teachers, looks like it will be super fun! Click the link for all the details. oh boy!

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back to real life
I'm back home again (got in super late Friday night)!

I promised my biz coach and family that I would rest this weekend but did I? Of course not! I ended up catching up on email and getting packing and shipping done + a bunch of other stuff that needed tending. Today, I have an illustration to do for Florida Realtor Magazine and custom artwork orders to work on, phone calls to return etc etc.

Later I'll write about how I got to be a guest on The Martha Stewart Show. So many people have asked me I thought it was a blog worthy post! See you later!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Martha Stewart segment is now online!
Oh boy! My Martha Stewart Segment is now on her web site. Yay! Click here to watch the video online. I finally got to see it and now I know what I said! Yay! It is so weird how I remembered all most none of it but then after watching it, I was thinking oh! I remember that and I remember that too!

Lots of people have asked me if Martha knew about the donkeys that I gave her at the end of the segment. Those were a surprise that the producer Lenore cooked up and I think it was a hit. Martha seemed genuinely delighted and after the segment Martha told her assistant to put them in her office. yay! I wish I could have seen the real donkeys, they looked so cute in the photos they sent me.

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Disclaimer: Just a quick note that this project is for adults only. Because I am using metal, I want to stress that the only place where children should be come involved is if you are using photos of them as the subjects. Seems a couple viewers thought that since we talked about how much kids would love seeing them that we were endorsing crafting this project with kids. Please do not do this project with children and as always use common sense when using sharp objects like metal and scissors and if you are accident prone , please wear gloves
;)
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Paul called me tonight to let me know that he is totally addicted to The Martha Stewart Show now, he told me he is watching other episodes and totally enjoying them now that he has been behind the scenes! He already gets Everyday Food Magazine, looks like Paul is a Martha fan too!

Tomorrow I am still here all day in meetings in NJ and then I fly home late, late tomorrow night, I will land in Orlando about 1am. See you later once I recover this weekend!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Martha Stewart show!
The Martha Stewart show went by without a hitch (or so I am told - I have almost no memory of it). Paul tells me I did a great job and I can not wait to see it so I can see what I said! Photo to the right is of my Mom's office TV.

Thank you everyone who posted comments to me today I was so tickled to read them all!! I think all your good vibes helped me because I wasn't nervous once the segment started. As soon as I started talking the nerves went a
way.

I was thrilled to see I was on t
he show with Marc Morrone the pet guy. I am so sad to hear his baby parrots that got stolen, what nasty people! grrr! But it was a thrill to see him and his other pets on the set. You all know how much I love animals. It was torture that I couldn't snuggle them! There was that sweet pug and those kittens! oh my!

I love how much Martha loves animals. Paul was sitting in the audience and he told me that before Martha filmed the segment with Marc she climbed right in there with all the animals snuggling the parrots and the critters not worrying at all about her outfit. Love that!

I only got to meet Martha right before my se
gment and then said a couple words afterwards to her because she was off to finish the last segment of the show. But I loved getting to spend time in her space and had a super time. I do remember having a great time. I do not remember much about what I said or did. I do recall them holding up the cue card for me to wrap it up and for a moment I thought, oh no I have to hurry, but then next thing it was over!

Paul managed to take a few pics while we were practicing before the show, for some reason these are a touch blurry I think our camera is dying!

my dressing room (Paul's reflection in the mirror)

Marc Morrone setting up all his pets!

On the set at practice time, holding my notes,
I am trying to remember everything and worrying I will forget a crucial step!

The Martha Stewart Craft Room set, some of my artworks are in place for the segment!

Thanks to the gals who let me know that if you missed the show today you can catch it (Thursday at 8pm EST or Friday at Noon EST) on the Fine Living Network. Also the Martha Stewart Web Site should post video soon. I will let you know when it is up!

Ok I am off to bed! what an incredible day this was!!!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007
tomorrow is show time!
Today was practice day at the Martha Stewart TV offices!

Paul helped me get my luggage to the office and then once I was settled he left me there to concentrate. Everyone there is super nice, and we went over all the steps and how things will work. There is a lot to remember and I am nervous about forgetting something. At the beginning Martha and I will be standing over by one table then we have to walk over the crafting table. I hope I don't fall down! I don't know why but I am so worried about that!

The producer let me know that there will be cue cards letting me know if I need to hurry up or if we are running out of time. I hope I can pace everything without talking to fast, too loud or not making sense. Part of me is so crazy excited and the other part wants to hide in my bed under the covers! Paul keeps reminding me that I have done TV shows a few times before so at least I have those experiences to reference.

I feel like I did when I was little about to dive off the diving board into the pool. It is so scary at first and you don't want to do it but then afterwards it's like "that was super fun! let's do it again!" I am sure I will feel the same way this time tomorrow!

I start early at 8am tomorrow and the show is being filmed at 10am EST here so some markets will see it live and others will see the live-to-tape version aired later! Here I go!!

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Monday, September 10, 2007
Martha Stewart show preview!
We just made it in to NYC. All the luggage made it too! yay! So now I don't have to worry. A few of my samples got just a teeny weeny bit smushed despite my careful packing but nothing I can't fix quickly.

There was a car waiting for us to whisk us to the hotel. Such a nice luxury!

I noticed The Martha Stewart Web site has the preview online now! yay! If you click here and then click on the "Wednesday September 12th" tab you can catch a quick peek at the project I will be doing on the show.


Tomorrow we meet at 11am to practice and go over everything. Should be exciting! I'll take photos and let you know how it goes!

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Sunday, September 09, 2007
ready or not... here i go!
Well I am ready as I will ever be for the Martha Stewart Show!

All my samples and step-outs are made for the show. I made so many pieces that on Saturday I started getting blisters! oh no! So I quickly moved to
"phase two" of TV hand preparation which means I am now slathering on moisturizer and sleeping with socks on my hands. Seems to be working!

Everything important is packed in my carry on, which means all my clothes are in my check-in case. I think it would be easier to buy new clothes than to make more step-outs! I am not sure exactly what I will end up wearing, tonight I started in a frenzy of trying on different shirts, I just hope one of them will be OK. I was concentrating more on the artwork than what I will wear and of course now last minute I wish I had taken a spare minute to at least look at the mall. Oh well. It will be fine!

Toby has been dropped off at my mom and dad's and our new cat sitter will be coming twice a day, so we are all set. All I have to do is clean the house in morning and I'll be ready to head off on this exciting adventure!

We're bringing the camera and the lap top and will blog from the road. I won't be back until Saturday. After the Martha Show I have a business meeting in NJ. More on that in a few weeks!

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Saturday, September 08, 2007
it's a stan-aversary!
Exactly one year ago on our 5th wedding anniversary, Paul and I drove up to get Stanley! Here he is just days after we brought him home, testing the patience of our other rescue kitty, Mabel! Love this photo!!

stan_mabel2_lr

Stan came from an animal rescue called A Place to Bark which is run solely by Bernie Berlin (she's also one of my closest friends). Bernie's rescue is in Tennessee so she had him transported to Atlanta where he waited a day or two for us to arrive at my friend Andra's house!

He was such a little baby (he had to be bottle fed for a few weeks before we could adopt him) and has brought so much joy to our lives! He would not be alive if it weren't for Bernie. She truly amazes me -- every day she is saving wonderful pets like Stanley from certain death at animal control. This month alone she has saved 90 little lives! All these wonderful creatures have found new homes because of her. She is so amazing!

Thank you Bernie for the wonderful gift of life you give to these animals, and we thank you for Stanely. He is such a joy!!

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happy anniversary paul!
Happy 6th wedding anniversary to my wonderful and amazing husband Paul!

italy-001

I can't believe it has been six years already! Thank you for being such a patient, incredible husband and friend. Thank you for taking such good care of me every single day! Without you, I would be living on microwave popcorn and cereal ;)
Thursday, September 06, 2007
thursday!
Believe it or not, I am still getting custom artwork orders done amongst all the Martha Stewart Show preparations!

Here are three Sitting Pretty PoppetsĀ® that I just finished up of these cute kids and their pup! As you can see, he likes baseball and she plays the violin and the doggie is a total diva!

Today I was interviewed by Hal Boedeker, the TV critic at the Orlando Sentinel about my Martha appearance. That was fun!

He let me know that The Martha Show air times are changing in a lot of areas starting with the new season on Monday. Check your TV listings for the new air times. It used to show here at 11am but will be moving to 2pm starting Monday. Good thing I know now! I wouldn't want to miss taping it!

I still have lots left to do and only a few days to get it done! I am starting to get really excited!

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007
work, work, work
I've still barely come up for air getting everything ready for the Martha Stewart Show and finishing other work I had scheduled for this week too.

Today I sent off a big box to the Martha Stewart offices. The gal at the Pak Mail Store was very patient with me when I asked to touch the Fed Ex label to make sure it was secure, not once but twice. I told her I had to touch it to make sure it was stuck on, otherwise I would go home and imagine it falling off. Maybe other people ask her the same thing because it didn't seem to phase her one bit. She let me rub on that little Fed Ex label until my heart was content!

Later in the day I met with our new pet sitter for a first visit/interview. Our old sitter moved away so we had to find a new one (we miss you Laura!). This gal is super nice and I am sure Stan and Mabel will love visiting with her while Paul and I are in NYC. (Toby will be at my Mom and Dad's)

Good news is that Paul will be coming with me! We are so glad Paul could get off of work! Thank you Paul's Office for letting Paul come with me! I will need him for moral support!

I keep having nightmares that my segment on Martha will end up on The Soup or Best Week Ever. That would be a nightmare! Really hope that doesn't happen. Here's to an uneventful TV appearance!

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007
toby says....
..... if you get stressed out take a nap!

toby_sleepy2

No time for nappies for me right now, but this photo puts a big smile on my face. Can't be stressed out for too long with such a cute munchkin sleeping in my studio!!

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Monday, September 03, 2007
getting ready!
Since Friday I have been in a whirlwind getting ready for the Martha Stewart Show. I just about have all the step outs created and have to get a few more things ready. Don't worry if you are one of my custom artwork clients, your artworks are still on schedule. I worked nearly 24/7 this weekend so I wouldn't miss a beat this week with my custom artwork orders!

Even though I am ahead of schedule there is still a lot of work to do, especially because I want to make sure everything is perfect. I have no idea if I'll be able to get to the store to try to find a new shirt or two. Thankfully sweet Megan at Harrilu has come to my rescue, she is shipping to me a few of her super cute shirts so I will have them to bring with me! thank you Megan!

I am slathering Skin MD natural shielding lotion on my hands every couple of hours. Hopefully this will whip my hands into shape so they won't look so horrible on the show. Normally my hands are always covered in paint and gel medium so they get really dry and sad looking!

I am off to bed - another busy day tomorrow!

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