cha day two
Today was super busy at the show but was also a ton of fun too! It went by so fast, one minute it was morning and the next it was time for dinner.

I got a big crowd at the F+W booth for my second book, that was really exciting and lots of people seem to be noticing the new PoppetTM scrapbooking collection! We trimmed the head off of one of the PoppetTM cutouts so that way people could have their photos taken and become real-life PoppetTM people. Here's a photo of me and Amy Pilkington from Lasting Impressions, she makes a perfect PoppetTM girl don't you think?

Tonight we saw KA, which was totally amazing, I am still trying to absorb the show, such a visual feast!

Tomorrow will be crazy busy, I'll be demoing all day and then teaching a workshop at night. The good news is our hotel has Bravo, so I don't have to miss Project Runway! I know, I'm in Vegas so I should be out living it up, but for me after all this activity at the show - staying in and watching TV sounds like bliss!
viva las vegas
We arrived in to Vegas yestereday after 6 + hours of flying. Just made into CHA before it closed and headed straight for the Lazar StudioWERX booth to see my new PoppetTM scrapbooking collection that we are launching at the show. Christina had printed up life size PoppetTM people -- here's Paul and I posing with one. It was so funny to see my creations in life-size!

We had dinner at the Paris hotel buffet - super yummy! We took lots of photos and will post more later. The Internet connection is kind of spotty here.
almost packed and ready to go
As I suspected, packing for CHA turned into an all day event.

Figuring out what supplies to bring for the demos and what I want to demo was the longest part. I am so used to packing for teaching workshops, that this required a whole different mind set, since this time *I* will be the one making the artwork - with people watching me no less -yipes!

Whenever I am packing it always makes me think of things I feel need to get done around the house. Like, oh I should clean my make-up brushes, I need to hem my jeans, I should fill the bird feeders. Why this always happens, I have no idea. Maybe I feel like I need to get everything "just so" in order to leave.

Tomorrow will be crazy.

I'll finish up packing and some errands, then clean the house (I am a nut about cleaning the house before we leave on trip) then we'll take Little T over to my mom and dad's house. Then get all the instructions ready for the cat sitter, then collapse and get ready to leave the house at 4am on Monday morning. Whew I am tired already.

We'll try and post some photos Monday night! See you soon!
countdown to take off
Still finishing up Valentine Poppet TM commissions. Here's one I finished of a family who loves to travel!

I should start packing for CHA, I know that is going to be an all day task plus I should pack for my workshops at Art & Soul at the same time because I'll only be home from CHA two days before I leave to teach there. I am worried that all the stuff I need to bring won't fit in the suitcases, I didn't ship anything ahead for this workshop. I guess I'll find out when I start packing!

I just started watching Terminal on HBO. An appropriate travel themed movie. I didn't think I'd like it so I thought "i'll just watch a couple minutes" now I can think I'll be up past my bedtime watching it. At least I can staple class workbooks while I watch!
stop by and say hi!
I am a busy bee wrapping up Valentine's orders before I leave for CHA at 4am on Monday ( I hate those early flights). Here's a commission that I just finished of this super cute little family. Don't you love the cat with the devil horns?

I don't know how many people who read this are going to CHA, but I thought I'd post my schedule so if you are going you can stop by and say hi to me!

Tuesday January 31st
9am - 10:30am - Ranger Ink booth # 914 - wax collage demonstration 11am - 12:30pm - F+W Publications booth #3211 - book signing & demo. Stop by for a FREE copy of Claudine's new book!
1pm - 2:30pm - Faber Castell booth #4845 - using pen and ink demo
2:45 - 4pm - Lazar StudioWERX booth # 868 - "meet the artist" debuting Claudine's new PoppetTM scrapbooking products
4pm - F+W Publications - author reception FREE wine & cheese - stop by!!!!

Wednesday Feb 1st
9am - 12pm - Lazar StudioWERX booth # 868 - "meet the artist" debuting Claudine's new PoppetTM scrapbooking products
1pm - 2:30pm - F+W Publications booth #3211 - book signing & demo.Stop by for a FREE copy of Claudine's new book!
3pm - 4pm - Tara Art Materials booth #5122 - collage demonstration & FREE PoppetTM stamp giveaway to the first 50 customers.
6 - 8pm - "Collage with Claudine" at CHA Workshop class #082

OK back to work for me! Nighty night!
project runway
I was surprised, I thought Kara would be out this show because her dress was so literal. I am glad she wasn't, because I like her. I felt bad for Nick when Zulema took his model, but I am glad he got his act together and didn't have a total meltdown.

I thought Andre's dress looked like it was derived from his inspiration photo the most, and that he should have won, but Daniel's was very original too. I have a new theory, I think Daniel is going to end up in the final three. He reminds me of the quiet person on Survivor who comes up out of nowhere and surprises everyone.

I giggled with delight when Jay compared Santio's dress to Austin's design from last season! Wow, they did look alike, except Austin's was better made. That was hilarious.

Next week I'll be in Vegas for CHA, I doubt our hotel will have Bravo so I'll have to make-do with catching Tim's podcast and waiting until we get home to catch up! The torture!!
i said I wouldn't, but i did
I wasn't going to watch American Idol at all this season, but I couldn't help myself tonight.

I love watching all the people who are horrible singers embarrass themselves, it's like watching a train wreck. Do these people not hear how bad they sound? Not like I should talk - I can't sing at all, but I am also not trying out for a national competition. I probably won't watch the actual season but those bad auditions are priceless.

Other than watching bad TV, I have been working on
commissions and getting sample packets ready for CHA.
quick collage podcast #2
The "quick collage podcast" is art challenge in which I make a collage in 20 minutes around a theme that Paul reveals to me moments before we start the clock. The theme for this episode is "taste."

Ready to listen? Click here now!
Or use the player below:

powered by ODEO
After you've listened to the podcast, click here to see the finished artwork.

We thought it would fun to invite other artists to join in to see how many variations on the same theme could be created. Click here to see a Flickr photo set of their submissions. Thank you to all who participated this time, it was so much fun to see what you made! If you'd like to play along in the next podcast, stay tuned to my blog, we'll post directions here.

Click here to learn how subscribe and you'll get updates when new podcasts come along.
Today I had to drop off my car early in the AM for a check-up so Paul and I took ourselves to the mall. The mission was simple - acquire a couple new shirts so I can look nice at CHA. Should have been easy enough, but I am not like my PoppetTM girls, I do not love shopping.

I couldn't find any shirts I liked (why is everything so 80's now!?) but I did manage to replace the bras that Maggie ate a few months ago, and then got a pair of shoes and a new purse (caramel color bag from DSW).

I lasted about an hour and a half which constitutes a really lengthy shopping trip for me. The mall sucks all the energy out of me, and I am not capable of making all these shopping type decisions like size, color, style etc. It's just all so overwhelming. I wish Clinton & Stacey could help me.

It managed to give me another migraine, or maybe it was still left over from last night. Now that I have recovered, we're wrapping up the new podcast that we hope to upload tonight... stay tuned!
my head hurts
I ended up with a big old migraine tonight so feeling too icky for a decent post. Here's a little sneak peek at a new product that I'm really excited about debuting at CHA.
time for a new bag
I am forever on a quest for the perfect purse. One that's not too big but also not too small. Something that can hold all my goodies, but also doesn't look like I am lugging around a suitcase. I am feeling the new-purse-urge and wanted to see if you guys have any good suggestions? My last purse was from here, and I love the size of it, not too big, not too small, but looking for a new style. Any ideas?
off to the vet again
This morning I looked at Toby and could tell right away he had an eye infection brewing.

We have to give him artificial tears 5 times a day because his eyes don't make enough naturally. Every so often he'll get a little infection in an eye despite our best efforts to keep them hydrated for him. So off to the vet we went. It seemed like everything was going so well and I had been two whole months without taking any pets to the vet and now two visits in one week!

They were squeezing us in between appointments, so I brought a book because I knew it might be a little while. I am really enjoying this book, it is right up my alley - a memoir and she goes to Italy - even better! I am looking forward to going back to Italy to teach another workshop there in 2007. Reading all her descriptions of the food just made me drool. That Italian food is amazing.
busy, busy
Finished up a new commission today, what a sweet family this is! I have been thinking about advertising my commissions in a magazine or two. Maybe Martha Stewart Kids or Mary Engelbreit Home Companion. Also thinking of maybe a pet magazine like Bark or Best Friend's Magazine. I know it would be expensive but might be worth it! Any suggestions on other possibilities?

Paul and I also taped the new podcast it was so much fun to work with the new theme and I think this episode is going to be even better than the last one.

If you'd like to try your hand at creating an artwork in 20 minutes, the theme for this podcast is "taste" then send your artwork to us by this Sunday evening and we'll post it on Monday when we post the new podcast. Don't worry about creating a masterpiece, the idea is focus on the creativity and having fun!

We got some submissions already and it is exciting to see all the variations.
new animated ecard
I finished up creating a love themed ecard for Valentine's day.

It debuts Toby and Maggie on a boat ride with the "Love Boat" theme music playing in the background. I think it came out totally cute, but maybe I am biased because they are my babies.
Click here to see it!
runway time
Ok where to start! First, if you live on the West coast and haven't seen tonight's Project Runway , don't read any further!

I think the fact that Emmett was the one who was "out" this episode proves that the producers have a hand in keeping Santio on simply for ratings -- which makes me so frustrated and angry. Emmett's skating dress wasn't the most original, but I certainly didn't think it was vulgar as that one judge lady said. Where did she get that idea?? How does she define vulgar? I guess she must think Disney Land is vulgar.

Santio did everything to get "out" and still didn't get out. He didn't listen to the client, he went over the top with his design and it wasn't functional. I don't know what more you have to do to get kicked off. In Tim Gunn's podcast, he said that Santio has "design arrogance." His podcast is juicy but I could do without the last episode recap that he does, I fast forward through all that.

I thought Nick should have won the challenge but Zulema's design was a good second choice.

Next week should be good with Jay from last season as one of the judges.
time for a check up
Today was Maggie's annual exam and she was not a happy camper. I think one thing comes to a cat's mind when going to the vet and that is shots! Poor little Maggie was shaking like a leaf and complaining the whole way there. Our vet is the nicest person, so Maggie really had nothing to be afraid of. Mabel also got a quick visit to check her weight. She has lost 4 lbs since August, so now she is at a normal weight. Hooray! I guess that means we have to stop calling her "fatty."

On the drive home from the vet I noticed many of our neighbors still have their holiday decorations up. I personally think all decorations must be down by Jan 6th at the latest. My mom always said it was bad luck to have them up after, but maybe that's just an English superstition.

Other than all the kitty cat dramatics, just got some work done, and booked my flights to teach in WA state in March. Got a good deal. Which proves my theory that flights are more pricey on weekends because I searched the same flights on Friday and they were $100 more than today.
the view from the boat
Paul and Martha and I drove out to Blue Spring State Park today to visit the manatees. They are at the spring this time of year because the water is warm so the manatees travel up there to stay nice and snuggly. They are so cute! I wish I could give one a hug!

After we ohhed and ahhed at the cuteness of the manatees, we took
a guided boat tour down the St. John's river -- which was fabulous! The guide told us all about the animals and the eco system of the area.

It was a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky and in the mid 60's. A wonderful day off - now back to work tomorrow!

Here are some photos from our day if you'd like to a take a peek!
workshop pics
I taught my Waxing Poetic workshop in Daytona Beach, FL today and had a great time! Thank you to everyone who came out for the class. Paul posted some photos from the day to my Flickr account. Click here to take a look.

getting out the hat and scarf
Brrrr! It got so cold here today! I just got back from covering up the plants outside to keep them warm tonight. I don't know how you people up north do it, I just can't stand the cold. Tonight we are supposed to have a windchill in the low 30's and the TV news anchors are acting like mommies telling us great tips like "to stay warm try wearing a hat and scarf!"

Tomorrow I teach my waxing poetic bees' wax collage workshop in Daytona Beach, so I spent most of today getting ready for that, making sure I have all the workbooks, supplies and mapquest of directions to the store etc. I'll try to take some photos and post them up so you can see!
decisions, decisions
Lots of work to do today, picking out classes to submit for workshops later in the year. It is always so hard to choose, do I do one day or two classes? What if I pick one no one wants to sign up for? It is always just a gamble, I never know which are the right classes to pick so I end up getting really stressed out and today I managed to work myself up into a migraine over it!

Also worked on commissions, getting them ready for Valentine's Day gifts. Here's one I just finished up of a cute couple and their 5 kitties!

Paul and I are excited, we got lots of you wanting to play along with our next "quick collage" podcast. Yay! I can't wait to tape the next episode, we had so much fun with the first one.
come play along
I am thrilled everyone has enjoyed the quick collage podcast!

For future episodes we'd like you to be able to play along too. Email Paul and he'll tell you the theme (so this way I don't know it) and then you can create an artwork around that theme too. Email a JPG of your finished piece to Paul by Sunday Jan. 22nd and we'll post them up the day we air the podcast.

See if you can do it in 20 minutes - if it takes you longer we'll never know!
runway time!
When they said at the beginning of Project Runway that both team members were going to be voted off I knew it was going to be a good episode!

I felt sorry for Nick getting stuck with Santio as his partner and I was glad he didn't get kicked off the show. I wasn't impressed with the whole kimono outfit that they came up with. Could you imagine being at the office all day and typing on the computer in something like that? The challenge was work to play and I think they forgot about the "work" part to their outfit.

It wasn't a surprise that Diana and Marla got voted off, they were both the weakest designers so I figured it had to be them. I actually kind of liked the outfit they made. Poor Diana was always trying to make her clothes so space-agey with removable parts.

I felt really bad for Kara with her crying jag. I think if I were on the show I would be crying like that ALL the time. I know I couldn't take the pressure.

I loved, LOVED the whole window decoration part of the challenge, my fav was Chloe and Emmet's.

Thanks to Andrea for suggesting last week to check out the podcasts by Tim Gunn, he really tells it all and you get to find out what really went on. I can't wait to hear what he says about tonight's episode because it looked like Santio really argued with Michael Coors but they cut it out. Ohh juicy!
back to normal
Things felt more normal around here today, the web site is working (knock on wood) so I was able to fully concentrate on work. Got ready for a workshop I'm going to teach in Daytona Beach, FL this Sunday (There's still spaces if you'd like to join us. You'll find all the details to register on my workshop page). I also finished up a few commissions which are now ready to mail off. Here's one of a super cute couple and their 2 kitties.

Tonight I worked on a form for my coach planning out goals and dreams for 2006. That is harder than it sounds. I always have lots of ideas of what my goals are running in a constant stream through my head, but when you start writing them out, it's tricky. Goals for 2006: get new work licensing my PoppetTM artworks, achieve a steady stream of commissions, get my artwork into a fine craft gallery, and begin to pursue children's book illustration. I'll be interested to see what Sheri thinks of all that when I have my session with her tomorrow, she always puts things into such good perspective.

Don't forget! Project Runway is on tomorrow night!
there's nothing like a good friend
The AOL situation has finally been fixed! Thank goodness for Andi Golden, who is a friend of mine who works for AOL. She really helped push the issue through to get the AOL people to unblock my web site. Thank you Andi! You are the greatest!

AOL apparently has nasty little bots that chew up web sites while scanning for viruses in order to protect their customers... sometimes they chew up innocent sites along the way.

I am glad it is over and I hope it doesn't happen again! That was stressful!

On a happy note, my mom has started a "pet photo club"
on her blog, send in a photo of your critter and a little story and she'll post it! You don't have to be local to Orlando to participate!
quick collage podcast #1
Paul and I dreamed up a new concept for my podcast, inspired by Project Runway. What I enjoy so much about watching that show is seeing the creative process in action.

This podcast is a tiny window into the thought process I go through when creating. It's an art challenge in which I make a collage in 20 minutes around a theme that Paul reveals to me moments before we start the clock.

Ready to listen? Click here now!
Or use the player below:

powered by ODEO

After you've listened to the podcast,
click here to see the finished artwork.

What sort of artwork could you make around the theme in this episode? I would love to see! Post a link to it in the comments below!

Click here to learn how subscribe and you'll get updates when new podcasts come along.
i need a drink
Today, there has been some forward motion with the AOL situation , but I am still really edgy and worried about it.

Thankfully I remembered one of my students (who is also a friend) works for AOL and I got in contact with her and she has been a HUGE help in by-passing the dummy head tech support people and getting the ball rolling. It feels so good to finally have someone who believes me and is taking this seriously. Thanks Andi, you are the greatest! So I am hopeful that maybe next week AOL members will be able to access my web site. Here's keeping my fingers crossed.

Other than dealing with all that, just been working on commissions and other work that needs to get done and trying remember to BREATHE it will all be OK.
steaming mad
Dealing with AOL is like dealing with a brick wall. They can't seem to understand that the problem lies not on my computer but ANYONE with an AOL connection can not access my web site. Somehow AOL has blocked it and it seems no one knows how to unblock it. AOL tech support is useless and my web site host can not help me because the problem lies with AOL. So I don't know what to do.

I asked my
yahoo group members if they could email me which ISP they use and if they can see my web site, so far the only people having trouble are AOL users and one Roadrunner user. Roadrunner is owned by Time Warner (which also owns AOL) and from what I understand they use the same server backbone (whatever that is!) so they are essentially the same thing.

I am trying not to totally have a meltdown about it but since my
web site is the way I make my living, imagining that a whole audience of AOL users can not access it - is freaking me out. I can only pray not many people use AOL anymore and have moved on to other better and nicer ISPs.

For some comic relief I listened to a
This American Life episode about one of their staffers who was also caught in a tech support hell for 10 months. Hilarious story I could totally relate to. Click here to listen to it. Scooch the timeline along to 34min 15sec to get to that part of the show. Very funny. Now if only I could get Ira Glass to help me too!
major frustration
Another great episode of Project Runway.

I almost missed it because of dealing with AOL tech support. I was on the phone in various levels of tech support hell, from 5pm-10pm, it appears that AOL has blocked my
web site so that any visitor using an AOL connection will not be able to access it. Yesterday it was working fine - today it's not. It's not my web site hosting service, it's AOL.

Because AOL was not taking my problem seriously, I did a 3-way phone call with my web hosting service (thanks Steve!) to AOL and seemed to finally make some headway, then AOL sent me to another person and another and another and another and I was back at square one. AOL denies there is a problem. Well all I can say is, if the entire rest of the internet can access my site but anyone using an AOL connection can't -- it seems to me that AOL is the problem. It is making me crazy.

But I refused to miss Project Runway, I wasn't going to let them spoil my good TV night.

I felt really sad for Marla when she said "as a designer I don't trust my own creative voice" how horrible would that be? I know as artists we all doubt our
creativity now and then (I know I do!) but somewhere deep inside there needs to be that level of trust with yourself as a creative person.

I feel sad for Marla but I still think she should have been voted off. At least Guadalupe designed something original. Maybe it wasn't the prettiest but at least it was her design, I felt like based on the judge's usual criteria that Marla should have been the one to go because she just about copied an existing dress that Nikki already owned and didn't come up with something new. She was warned that it looked derivative and she should have made more changes. To me that should have been a bigger no-no with the judges than what Guadalupe did.

Always a good show! You never know who they will vote off next. Ok I'm going to try and sleep now and not fret about my web site, maybe it will magically get fixed while I sleep. I am sure I'll have tech support nightmares all night!

back to work
Today turned out to be a really busy day working on commissions, also looking for flights to a workshop I'll be teaching in WA state in March (there's still room in the class if you want to join us) along with other assorted things that need to get done.

Here's a scan of a commission I created as a Christmas gift for this clients' parents. On Christmas day, I was thinking about all the people opening up the commissions and I sent out a little thought hoping that they liked what I created for them.

Paul and I also worked on a new podcast today, we're changing it to have a theme, which will be revealed shortly (here's a hint, it was inspired by a combo of Project Runway and Craft Corner Deathmatch).... speaking of Project Runway.... don't forget a new episode is on tomorrow night! I'll be posting thoughts about the show up here. I can hardly wait.

nice day to be outside
It was such a great day today (sunny and 74) it was too good to be inside. Paul and I went to play putt-putt. We met up with Paul's twin and his wife and daughter and played a round of 18 holes. Ahhh this is why we live in Florida - miniature golf in January. Never mind the hurricanes.

I uploaded the photos of the studio cleaning frenzy -- here's the link. I don't know if they fully show the mess that it was "before" but you'll get the idea.

Now it's back to work for me, I have lots of artwork to get done but it's been good taking this short break, I feel more refreshed and now that the studio is clean I feel like I can work even better than before.
an ocean of paperwork
Did my taxes today. Since I file every quarter, I find it easier to get it over and done with on Jan 1st.... actually I kind of like doing my taxes, it's fun to see how much I have had made each quarter, knowing it's all earned from my hard work. I was thrilled to see I reached my income goal for 2005 so Paul and I went out to dinner to celebrate and then relaxed and watched March of the Penguins. Love those Pengiun chicks, the cuteness is almost unbearable.

The cleaning frenzy has now overflowed to the office, I watched an episode of Clean Sweep and that was all the motivation that I need to keep going. Now I really feel like I can start the new year with a clean slate. Whew, I think I am officially done!

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