happy new year!
Just a quick note to wish everyone a happy new year!

Paul and aren't doing much exciting, just going to relax and watch the ball drop on TV and make fun of Ryan Seacrest as he hosts the show.

I got my studio all finished so it feels great to start the new year with a clean studio (will post photos soon!).

So I can mark "be more organized off my resolution list" and good thing I started doing yoga every day in October... always nice to start those resolutions early, then they don't have so much pressure.

The only new resolution that I have come up with is to try and not worry about the future so much and to live more in the moment. Yeah right, that'll last five minutes!

Here's to a great 2006!
still cleaning
I am almost done with the studio. I have never taken this long before to clean it all out, which it partly why it has never been totally organized. After tomorrow it should be all done. I have just about reached my cleaning threshold but I am determined to continue until it's finished. I feel like Frodo making my way to Mt. Doom.

I have been calling charities trying to get rid of this old desk that we just don't have room for in the re-done studio. I never knew charities would be so picky. When I call to ask them if they would collect the desk they ask "...well what kind of desk?" So I describe it "dark wood kind of dated but would look cute if painted white with new hardware" So they all say "hmmm no thanks." Harrumph.

I hate throwing away stuff that will just add to the landfill, so I contacted FreeCycle and found a group in my area, posted up about the desk and already have a taker! yay!
I'm in serious nesting mode with all the reorganizing of the studio I am doing. Paul and I got some shelving units from Target that are super cute and have little fabric drawers that slide in. So far I have thrown out 3 bags of various junk and I'm only half way done. I am feeling really happy with the way it is coming along, I don't think I have ever had a studio this organized, now the trick will be to see if it will STAY that way. I have been taking pictures so I can post before and after photos.

Thanks to Shannon for suggesting the 12x12 paper holders, I ordered 3 and I'll see how they work out!

Ok back to cleaning for me!
maggie the apron eater
While reorganizing my studio today I picked up my painting apron and what do I find? It's been chewed to bits by tiny little teeth!

There's only one creature in my house that could wreak so much havoc and that is little Maggie. There appears to be about 8 inches of the apron tie missing, now I have to wonder did she eat it and swallow it like she's done with so many other things: bra straps, vertical blind strings etc. Or did she chew it off and then play with the missing piece which is now under a bed or a sofa.

I have done my best to get rid of everything that she might possibly chew in the house, but as soon as I think I have gotten rid of everything -- she takes a fancy to something else. Since now she's chewing on plain old fabric I don't know what I'll do!

It would be funny if it weren't so worrying. We are watching her like a hawk for any signs of feeling sick, and I am ready to rush her to the vet at a moment's notice. sheesh.
me on HGTV
I checked the HGTV web site and I see they posted up my second Carol Duvall Show taping. It will be on Feb. 6th at 9am, showing printmaking techniques from my second book. I'll be out of town teaching in CA, so I'll miss it and we taped it so long ago I can't even remember the taping -- I can't wait to see it!
the day after
Christmas is over and now it's time to clean up. We had a great time, I got a new PJ set along with assorted gift certificates and Paul got Sirius radio. Toby had a yummy day eating way too much chicken at Christmas dinner.

Today Paul and I went to go see Syriana, it was good, but I think I need to see it again to fully understand it.

Paul has off work through Wednesday so I think I'll take a few days off too (and try not to feel guilty). I want to use the time to try to organize my studio a little bit better. Do any of you know a file system for 12x12 papers? Do they make folders or cabinets for papers that size?
time to wrap the presents
I saw my friend Martha today. It was so nice to hang out with her and catch up. I got to peek at some of her new work in her van. Yummy!

Now it's time to wrap the presents! I hope to catch Olive the Other Reindeer on the Cartoon Network tomorrow, always a treat! And then of course A Christmas Story which will be playing all day on Sunday -- a classic which Paul and I quote from year round.
puppies & kittens oh my!
Take a look at this site and get ready to go awwww! I really don't things can get any cuter than that bunny with his arms in the air. Don't forget to check out the comments - hilarious.
i am so mad
I am really upset they voted Daniel F. off Project Runway tonight! I was rooting for him to win this season. I thought Santio should have been the one the go -- especially if you consider how nasty and unprofessional he gets when challenged on his designs -- but I am guessing they are keeping him around because he makes for good TV.

I really didn't think that the other Daniel deserved to win, I didn't think his designs were that original. One was just a black bra with matching hot pants, I thought for sure the judges would go after him, but you never know who they will target.

Now I am not sure who I am rooting for, there's no one I'm in love with like Jay from last season. Right now my money is on Chloe.

P.S. Paul can do the perfect impression of Tim Gunn, cracks me up every time!
maggie's up a tree!
Maggie has the Christmas tree on her brain. We can not stop her from climbing it. Usually she only climbs it when it's not decorated, but this year she's up it all the time. No sooner do we get her down and she's back climbing her way up. I snapped a photo of her when she was on one of her climbing expeditions, and my mom posted it on her blog. Needless to say, our tree is looking a bit ragged with all this extra curricular activity.

I got a copy of Artist's Sketchbook Magazine in the mail, I am in one of the articles.
Here's a link.

P.S. Here's a link to photos of Toby and his stroller
all I want to do is watch TV
It's so nasty and gray and cold here all I want to do is lay around, watch TV, eat snacks and read my new books. I am almost done with The Year of Magical Thinking and just love it, what a great book.

There's still work for me to finish that I should be doing, but first I have to watch Waking the Dead on BBC America.
We just got back from taking Toby to see Santa. I always love taking him. Everyone ohh's and ahh's over him telling us how cute he is. I'm such a proud mommy, you'd think I gave birth to him myself! Here's a photo of us with Santa.

The Birthday was great!! Paul got me the
doggie stroller for Toby that I wanted. I already took him for a ride in it and he seemed to like it. I don't know who got a bigger kick out of it -- me or the neighbors, who were laughing so hard they were crying. I promise to post photos, it's been rainy and nasty so maybe tomorrow.

I did manage to pick up some books to read, I bought
The Year of Magical Thinking, My Sister's Keeper and A Million Little Pieces. Now I can't wait to snuggle down and read!
happy birthday to me
Today I am 31.

I didn't make to the book to store to find a new book to read all day. Did I mention how much I hate shopping?I hope to go tonight on the way back from
dinner so then maybe I can read all day tomorrow before we take Toby to see Santa.

My sister in-law, Maria's, birthday is tomorrow and she and her husband (my husband's identical twin) will also be going to the same place for dinner tonight. Totally by coincidence. I think they are going after we'll be there.

Should make for some interesting talk amongst the wait-staff because Paul (my husband) and Patrick look so much alike. I can see them now -- "wait a minute wasn't that guy just here with a blonde girl (me) and now he's here with a pregnant brunette (Maria)!" Should be funny!

runway time

I loved last night's episode of Project Runway. What a cool idea to have them design outfits for Barbie. I am a Barbie nut, I had one of every kind when I was little -- complete with the dream house, car, and even Barbie Mc Donalds.

I was totally rooting for someone to win other than Santino, he's just a little bit too sure of himself and feels he is going to win every challenge. I was so glad when Nick won, he did the perfect Barbie outfit. Did you see the look on Santino's face? hee hee!

I wish we had a show like this for visual arts. How fun would it be to do an art challenge show. Speaking of which, is Craft Corner Deathmatch ever coming back?
where does the day go?

Another day eaten up by errands.

We had to take Paul's car back to the shop, then went to the grocery store etc. I hate going grocery shopping. Actually I hate shopping of any kind. I like having the new items just don't like going and getting them and all the decision making that's involved. I am so thankful for the internet, I can shop at home!

So the day flew by with not a whole lot accomplished and I tried not to feel guilty about it, but managed to feel guilty anyway and now have a migraine. I did get to have a great session with my business coach and it was wonderful as usual. She always has a way of helping me look at things with a new perspective.

Here's a detail of a commission that I just finished up. OK, I'm off to get some work done before Project Runway! I can't wait!
i think i can, i think i can
Almost done with the commissions for the holidays. Sent a bunch out today so they are on their way and just have to add a couple finishing touches here and there. Here's one of a little boy and his choo-choo train that I just finished up.

If you're looking for a great holiday gift, I still have a couple PoppetTM Sketches left, get them while you can!

I got my new issue of Art & Life today by Teesha Moore, It is amazing as usual. I know I'll be staying up late reading it!

Don't forget Project Runway is on tomorrow night!

just one of those days
Today was one of those days where time just seems to slip through your fingers. One minute it's morning, the next it's dinner time and nothing is accomplished! Where does the time go?

We had to pick Paul's car up at the shop (it has been there for 6 weeks getting fixed after an accident) it took forever of course! Then had to visit the dreaded Michael's craft store because I had run out of watercolor paper, which also took way too long. Why does it always take a really long time to check out at the register at that store? It seems every time I shop there, the line is a mile long and only one cashier is working. It doesn't matter which Michael's I go to - always the same. Go figure. If we had a real art supply on this side of town I would go there but instead I am a slave to Michael's.

Other than annoying errands, I managed to pack up a few PoppetTM commissions to send out. Here's one that I just finished.
cat up a tree
Last night we put up the Christmas tree and as usual the cats were all excited. Maggie started climbing the tree before Paul even got all the parts put together. Mabel wanted to chew the branches, just what we need for her to eat part of the artifical tree. Looks like we'll have to get some bitter apple spray to keep her away from it.

Today was a nasty rainy day and I am still feeling kind of out of it, so we decided to postpone Toby's trip to Santa until next Sunday.

Other than that, just getting more work done, wrote up and sent out all my holidays cards. So another thing off the list! I need to have all the holiday commissions done by the end of this week to get them out in time. I'm right on schedule so that is good news!


sleepy friday

I'm feeling kind of out of it today, like I might be getting sick, but then I think maybe it's just allergies. Been taking Airborne "just incase." I hope I'm not getting sick! We're taking Toby to see Santa on Sunday and I want to be well for that.

Worked on more PoppetTM commissions today. Here's a scan of a PoppetTM sketch commission that I finished, aren't they a cute little family?

Tonight Paul and I ran errands and now home and really tired, so it's off to bed for me. I might not even have to take Tylenol PM to get to sleep tonight which is a miracle, normally my brain won't shut up and let me sleep without it.

Thanks for all the book suggestions! I will check them out!!
what I really want

I have decided that what I really want for my birthday is a super good book to read.

I want to lay in bed all day and read it while drinking hot chocolate. I want it to be a book that is so absorbing that I can't stop reading. The problem is, I read so much, I am having a hard time finding books I like, plus I am picky about what books I'll read. I like them to be in first person, memoir or at least sound like a memoir. Alice Hoffman is the only author that I like who writes in the third person.

Here's a few books I have really liked, any suggestions to help me find the perfect birthday reading? Time Traveler's Wife, Running with Scissors, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, Memoirs of a Geisha , The Dogs of Babel, anything by David Sedaris or Alice Hoffman.

What I also want for my Birthday: a makeover from Clinton and Stacey (but only if I don't have to cut my hair), I want my studio to be re-done by magical little elves so that I can wake up and have it all organized and perfect, I want to have an on/off button for my inner nag so I can shut her up and allow me to relax now and then, I want to hug that panda cub, I want my future self to come visit me and tell me how it all works out so I can stop worrying about the future, I want a doggie stroller for Toby.

I realize some of these might be easier to achieve than others. Oh and I want to find that perfect book so I can stay in bed and read all day when I turn 31 on Dec 17th.
great TV tonight
Project Runway starts it's second season at 10pm on Bravo.

Last season it was such a great show. The closest thing to a visual arts reality show as I think we'll get. It was so much fun to watch the creative processes (and egos) of the contestants.

I can hardly wait.
fatty wants food

Our kitty Mabel (aka fatty) has been on a diet for the past few months. She went from being a 3lb. stray (when I found her over a year ago) to ballooning to 18lbs. She's been on a very strict wet food only diet of Wellness which is also helping to control her urinary crystals and keep her PH "just so".

We keep Maggie's food on a counter which is too high for Mabel to reach, but Maggie can get there just fine so that way she can enjoy free feeding anytime she wants.

Tonight we hear a terrible crash come from the kitchen. Paul and I run in thinking that something horrible has happened. When I turn on the light I see Mabel has managed to knock the bowl down from Maggie's counter (probably in an attempt to get up there) and she's eating Maggie's dry food as fast she can. Even I as vacuum up the dry food, Mabel (who is normally very afraid of the vacuum) is trying to gobble up as much food as she can.

Poor fatty -- being on a diet is so hard!


great for kids too
I just got probably the best compliment ever, that a 5 year old enjoys my DVDs. There is no harder audience to please than children so I am very proud.

Here is what her mommy wrote to me:

"You probably remember that I have a daughter,she'll be 5 in January. Anyway, I got both of your DVD's and she absolutely loves watching them with me. She takes them very seriously and is starting talk "Claudine."

The other day she was attempting to make her version of a PoppetTM and she said "Everyone needs a pocket" You say that in one of your projects on the DVDs. She is now doing "techniques" when she paints and she likes the brown color she painted because it looks "old with layers of paint". She LOVES to blot!

When we watched it the other day she would not let me skip over the peeling paper technique and when it got to the caulking transfer she said "Oh yeah, this is the one where she pours water on it to find the picture" By the way, she hasonly seen it two or three times. The funniest thing is that I think she thinks it is live because she always asks what you'll be wearing inthe DVD and if you are wearing that today at your house."
fun night out
Tonight, Paul and I met up with my friend Cynthia and her husband and brother. She's in town for a bead show, I was so excited to see her again.

We had dinner and then went to the McRae Art Studios opening. We stopped and talked to Lynn Whipple, John Whipple, Donne Bittner, and Dina Mack. It was fun to see everybody!

Whenever I go to the show at McRae, I always think "hmmm it would be so nice to have a REAL studio here with other artists." But then I know I need my livingroom/ studio in my house so I can work in my PJs.

My real dream is to live where I can have a cute little house in back of our "real" house that can be my studio house. So then I could work near my home but also not have to put everything away in sealed containers so that it doesn't get chewed or pee-peed on by a certain kitty cat who shall remain nameless. ahhh, maybe someday.
birthday countdown
Now that's is December it's officially birthday countdown time! 16 days to go. I am well past the age where I should even get the least bit excited by being another year older, but I still get a little tickle of excitment. Like maybe I'll get a really good present that I didn't even know I wanted. This probably comes from being an only child where my birthday was almost a week-long event each year.

Today I just did more work and then went to my class with Donne Bitner. I had to force myself to leave and stop working and actually go out for "play time" but I was so glad I did it! It was a ton of fun.

Thanks to Naughty Secretary Club owner, Jennifer Perkins, for mentioning me on her blog.

Oh, I am still watching the Panda Cam, only now Paul found a different one with audio and it is so cute. Last night I heard him squeek. I wish I could have a baby panda for my birthday!

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