CLAUDINE HELLMUTH
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Monday, June 30, 2008
what a weekend!
I knew this whole moving thing would be emotional. But I was totally unprepared for just how emotional!

Last weekend was probably one of the most stressful two days that I can remember.

We raced all around with a Realtor and also by ourselves. We quickly discovered that what they call a den in DC is about the size of our master bedroom closet here in Florida. We thought we could get a one bed + den and I could put my studio in the den and boy were we wrong!! Never ever could I get any work done in that "den", maybe one table could fit in there but not all my other art stuff.

Then we found a place that we liked in a row house in Kalorama and the person wouldn't rent to us because of our 2 cats and one dog. Which seemed ridiculous to me because the person who rented the other unit had a Cujo-esque German Sheppard barking all the time. Cats are very quiet even if there are two of them. And Toby, we practically carry him from room to room. Can't get much more quiet than Toby. We started to get worried we wouldn't find anywhere who would take us and our pets! I had a major meltdown when this place rejected us because of our furry family members!

In the end we ended up renting a place that a friend of Paul's lives in and they need to move back to Orlando. They literally just discovered they are moving back to Orlando and it seemed to be fate that it worked out. They need someone to rent their condo and we needed a place to rent. perfect! They don't mind about our pets and even better it's two bedrooms. It's on U street , (which when I lived there before you didn't set foot in that area) but now 11 years later it's very trendy with jazz clubs and cake and coffee shops. I even found the organic pet food store which made me feel at home just knowing I can get the pet food near by. And it's 3/4 of a block to the metro. yay! And it has garage parking and 24 hour security. Double yay!

Because we are moving from our house which is 1700sq feet to the new place that is 800 sq feet, we have to get rid of more than 1/2 our furniture to fit in the place. I keep telling myself "it's just furniture" still I am so attached to it. Which then makes me mad at myself for being so attached to objects. Letting go of all this stuff is really a lot harder than I thought it would be. A lot harder.

My mom and dad are trying to work as much of our furniture into their home as possible which is so sweet of them. We don't know how long we'll want to live in the city so we'd love to hang onto as much of it as possible for at least a year or two to see if we end up moving to the suburbs for more space.

Now praying that someone will come and rent our house!

So that was our weekend!! whew!!

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Friday, June 27, 2008
DC here we come!
Tomorrow at 5am we'll be heading to DC to do our mad dash to find a place to live. I am trying to visualize us finding the perfect place, it will happen, it has to happen THIS WEEKEND.

Tomorrow we have a Realtor helping us, Sunday we are on our own. I hope to find a place Saturday so we can do paperwork on Sunday. The big question will be, do we spend more money than we are comfortable with and get a bigger place so I can have more room to work. Or do we squeeze into a smaller place. Do we want a high rise building, or one of those cute little row houses. Last time I lived there I lived in a high rise and the only thing I didn't like about it was I felt like I lived in a hotel. The advantages were the security and also they would accept packages for me, which considering the amount of packages I get is no small feat!

We'll have to see. I am hoping we'll know when we walk into the places. The just right place is out there.

Today the property management company came by to get us set up to manage our house as a rental. That was a reality check! If we are lucky and someone wants to rent our house out soon, we might have to be out by the beginning of August. I guess that would be a lucky problem to have!

OK back to working on things and then have to take Toby over to my parents, they will be pet sitting him this weekend.

I'll be Twittering from the road, you can follow my apartment hunting Twitters here or in the sidebar of my blog!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008
hoping to sleep tonight
All this excitement and stress over the move is really getting in the way of my usual 10 hours of sleep at night. Now I lay in bed with my mind racing. Will we find a place to live in DC this weekend? Will we be able to find someone to rent our house? Is it hard to get on COBRA? Don't forget to pressure wash the house and re-caulk the showers. Plus all the things I have to get done before CHA. My brain will not shut up!

mabelresting

As you can see here Mabel seems to have no problem at all sleeping. I love how her belly hangs over her leg. So chubby! Nothing puts a smile on my face like looking at Mabel and her snuggly belly.

OK! I am going to get a little work done tonight and then I am going to try and get some sleep too.

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Monday, June 23, 2008
big news
Paul has accepted a job offer in Washington D.C. He'll be a Web News Editor for the Guardian America, in their D.C. office.

We are so excited about this amazing opportunity but also sad because we'll be leaving friends and family. :(

The good news is since The Guardian is a British company, Paul will get 6 weeks of vacation so we'll be able to come down a lot! And we'll get to go London too! I used to spend every summer in London with my Mom and Grandma so it feels like a second home-town to me.

It's going to be a whirlwind the next few weeks. We have to get Paul up there to start work by July 28th. Then I'll follow by the end of August if I can get everything wrapped up here in Orlando.

This weekend we are going up to do a mad dash to find an apartment. I have been looking on Craigslist like a crazy person. I pray we find something. At least I know the area from living there before. But still, it's nerve wracking. Wondering how I will fit all my art supplies into a tiny apartment -- Then we have to figure out how to rent out our house here in Florida. If anyone is interested in renting a cute 3 bedroom home in Orlando, email me!!

On top of all this I have so much to do to get ready for CHA and also Martha Stewart show submissions are due, and custom artwork orders and other deadlines. My brain feels like it is about to explode. I am trying to take things one at a time, but my mind is whirling. We only found out about this late last week, so it's been insane with me out of town at Ranger U and trying to make all these arrangements!

So that's my big news!! Akkkk!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008
hello from ranger U!
Day two of Ranger U is over. We're having a great time but I am missing home, so it's extra nice to be here with my good friend Bernie!

At Ranger U

Here's a pic from outside the Ranger offices. In the photo from the left: Terri Ventura, then me!, Suze Weinberg, Bernie Berlin, and Tim Holtz.

Bernie's Hands

Here's a pic of Bernie's hands after making stuff all day! My hands didn't look nearly as arty, but they were messy too.

We've got one more day then I head home Monday! See you soon!

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Thursday, June 19, 2008
Ranger U time!!
All the prep work has been done for my CHA class and for Ranger U. Tim was working super hard this week and had us all organized, we are good to go!

Bernie's here too so that is super fun to get to spend time with her. Tomorrow morning Suze Weinberg will be teaching and then my segment is in the afternoon (attendees get a sneak peek of my new product line and some fun techniques!) and then the rest of the weekend Tim will show us all kinds of cool stuff with Ranger products!

Bernie let me know she is having a giveaway on her blog and there are some fun prizes! Here's the link!

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Monday, June 16, 2008
i'm on the Real Simple Magazine blog!
So thrilled to discover today that the wonderful Holly Becker from Decor8 mentioned me on the Real Simple Magazine blog. So exciting!! Here's a link!


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Sunday, June 15, 2008
on my way to NJ!
Just a quick update! I'm headed off to NJ to the Ranger offices where I'll be working on my new product line, getting things ready for CHA and then teaching at Ranger U next weekend along with Tim Holtz and Suze Weinberg! I'll be gone until next Monday night. A whole week!

I'll try to blog when I can but I'll also
I'll be twittering from the road! Follow my twitters in my blog side bar or go here to read my updates! It's going to be an exciting week!

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I made Martha Stewart's top ten list of TV Crafts!
The segment that I did on the Martha Stewart Show last September is now listed on her web site in her Top Ten list of TV crafts!!
Click here to see. AND it's the first one on the list!! yay! So excited. I am working hard on my proposal to see if I can get on the show for this season as well. Keeping fingers crossed they like my new ideas!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008
getting ready for ranger-U
I've been crazy busy this week getting ready for RangerU next week and also getting samples ready for CHA. I'll be leaving for NJ on Monday so lots to do! More tomorrow! Nighty night!

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so tie tie
I am WORN OUT and I still have more work to do. I can barely keep my eyes open so I am going to call it a night and start fresh tomorrow!

stanley2

Here's a pic of Stanley fast asleep in my studio. He always likes to sleep on my piles of paper. Note Mabel's head peeking in checking on him. Too cute. Now I am off to snuggle with the pets and get some rest!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Hero Arts Contest prizes!
Just a note to the winners of my Hero Arts Giveaway marathon on May 29th -- I wanted to let you know that your prizes were shipped yesterday. All were sent via first class mail - wow is postage expensive or what!? It took me a little while to find boxes for all 6 winners and then get them packed up along with getting all my work done. Sorry for the delay! Enjoy the prizes and thanks to everyone for playing!!

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paw lux pet photo contest
The site PawLux.com is having a pet photo contest. Toby's in it of course. You can vote for him by commenting under his photo. Here's the link to see all the doggie pix!

There are some really funny dog photos on there. Toby's probably isn't the funniest but he sure is the cutest (at least I think so!)

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Monday, June 09, 2008
new interview
The Dabbling Mum interviewed me and posted up on her blog. Take a look here!
Sunday, June 08, 2008
lookie! my new book!
This weekend I was browsing around on Amazon and I saw that my new book is now on there for preorder! I wonder how long it's been up there and I didn't even know! Just goes to show you, it's good to search around Amazon once in awhile!

Here's a link to the book on Amazon.com It's a little different from my other books. It's not even really a book in the usual way one thinks of a book. It's more of an idea jump starting kit with a card deck and a matching little book. It does not have techniques in it, but will be full of inspiration and exercises to get your ideas flowing, whether for scrapbooking, journaling or whatever project you are working on.

I am extra excited because it has LOADS of contributors! Donna Downey, Kal Barteski, Christina Lazar Schuler, Ashley Calder, Gen Simmonds, myself of course! and TWENTY SIX others! I can't wait for it to come out and I hope everyone will enjoy it!

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Friday, June 06, 2008
happy birthday paul!!
Happy 34th birthday to my wonderful husband Paul!

italy-001

I love you so much!!

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Thursday, June 05, 2008
easy background technique with adriondack inks
Here's a quick video I filmed using Ranger products showing my peeled paper background from my first book. For this tutorial I substituted Adirondack Inks for acrylic paint.



It was my first time using the MacBook and iMovie but I think it worked out pretty good! Enjoy!

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late late late
It's getting crazy late and I am editing a youtube video that I filmed today on Paul's new MacBook. It's a little tutorial of a background technique using Ranger products. Off to finishing editing! Will post it here when it's done!

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008
it's tuesday but it feels like monday!
Paul and I are back from our weekend away in DC. It was totally fun! I got to see my old neighborhood, my old apartment building too.

We were passing by my old building on 18th & Q and I saw an "open house" sign for one of the condos. I said to Paul, "let's go in so I can see the old lobby and stuff!" So we went in and the open house was my friend's old condo #113!!! The guy who bought it from her was now selling it so I got to see her old condo. I spent so much time in that condo it was as good as getting to see my own and brought back so many memories, of late nights and hot chocolate's on her couch.

I walked past where I used to work on Dupont Circle at Super Crown Books, which is now Books-a-Million. I remembered all my late Saturday nights working and all the kooky people that would come into the bookstore. I was never at a loss for stories when I was working there!!

The rest of the weekend we went and met up with friends. We got to see Lesley and her husband and her cute house. We had Thai in Bethesda. Bethesda is really hopping now, lots of neat stuff to do.

Then we met up with one of Paul's friends and his wife had brunch at Kramer Books & Cafe and then we saw the new Indiana Jones film (we thought it was just OK) at the Verizon Center in China Town. That was not even there when I lived in DC and it's really great. Very nice movie theater. I remember when I lived in DC before we had to watch movies at the Dupont Circle theater and one of the rooms had a giant pole down the middle of it so if you sat near it you couldn't see anything!

Monday I bought some clothes at the H+M near Metro Center. Then walked around past the White House and then walk
ed my old route home from the Corcoran Museum where I went to college. It was very nostalgic. I really miss being in college, it was so wonderful all that time to focus on yourself and just learn, learn learn. But when I was IN college I was so stressed out about what I would do to make a living afterwards that I didn't really enjoy my senior year. If only someone had told me it would all work out.

The Tabard Inn hotel that we stayed in actually turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. Last time we stayed there in 1998 they lost our reservations, never apologized even though I was crying all over the place, then we did get a room it was a room right next to construction that started at 6am, where the guys on the ladders were eye level with our room window and you couldn't even change without fear of them peeping in. It was hot, the window AC unit didn't work very well, there was no TV, no free breakfast, and the bathroom had one of those louvered doors on it like a saloon which did not give ANY privacy.

Well THIS time we stayed at the Tabard Inn, we got a lovely room with a view of the garden cafe and a bathroom with a real door on it, free breakfast and a teeny TV but it was a TV!! We did have to borrow the iron and hairdryer from the front desk which was a little weird for a room you are paying almost $200 a night for. You'd think they could put a hairdryer in the rooms, even Motel 6 has in-room hair dryers. But it is an eclectic and artsy hotel it's really fun to stay there rather than the generic chain hotel. If you do stay there, just make sure you get a room with a private bath, they do have rooms with SHARED bathrooms. Shudder. Also I would recommend calling and confirming your reservations maybe a couple times before your trip.

I have to admit I do get a little freaked out staying B&Bs because if you watch Weird Travels on the Travel Channel, it's always the B&Bs that are haunted and never the Embassy Suites. I warned Paul that we might have to sleep with the light on, but the first night I managed to sleep with it off and we were good to go. I did make Paul check the closet and close the door tight before we could turn the light off.

On the flight home Paul and I were cracking up laughing with tears rolling down our cheeks. We were watching this man across the aisle feverishly working his way through In Touch Magazine. He had a pen in hand and was blacking out teeth and adding mustaches to all the famous women. It was hysterically funny and creepy all at the same time. We could barely contain ourselves laughing! yay! What a fun trip!

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