stan + mabel video
Another example of Mabel's patience with Stanley!

OK See you from the road. I'll try to post updates from the trip!


all packed and ready to go
I am all packed and ready to leave tomorrow at 4:30am EST. It took me all day, and that was just checking everything that I had packed last week! I will be gone 10 days. First filming my third DVD (beeswax collage) and then teaching at Art and Soul. It is really hard for me to leave on this trip. I want to stay at home and snuggle the babies. I am sure I will be so busy the time will fly by!

As promised, here's a photo of Mabel and Stan together. I love the look on her face! She is so tollerant of Stanley's antics. But she really does seem to be enjoying him, even washing and grooming him. awww! More photos here.


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cast your vote!
Stan's eyes are starting to change color. Bernie says they will probably be either green or gold. Vote what you think they will turn out to be! Here's a closeup photo from today so you can make your decision!

What do you think Stanley's eye color will be?
What do you think Stanley's adult eye color will be?
Create Free Polls


project runway
So it's a final four instead of a final three! I figured as much from the preview last week. But it was still a great episode. I felt for Uli and Michael having creative blocks. Sometimes it can be much harder to have full creative freedom than to have limitations to work in. Jeffery tried to go outside his box, which is admirable but it didn't really work out super great.

I was glad Uli won, I thought her dress looked very "her" but not the same as all her others. I am worried about Michael now. I read an article in the NY Times that said his outfits in Fashion Week ended up looking hoochy. I really want him to win, so now I am in suspense. The same article also said that all of Laura's designs looked all the same. I can't remember what it said about Jeffery or Uli, I guess I'll have to wait and see!

Next week I'll be teaching
Art and Soul in Portland so I won't have Bravo. Maybe I'll pay the $10 for highspeed internet one day so I can download the next episode on iTunes. I hate it when hotels charge so much for highspeed. And then cheapo hotels like Fairfield Inn offer it free, weird. But I don't want to miss the episode where they get everyone together to rehash the season. There is sure to be drama!


Today has been full of household chores.

I have: done the laundry including the bedding, groomed Toby, vacuumed the floors (twice! once before shaving Toby and then again after), washed out all the litter boxes and replaced with new litter AND cleaned the shower. whew!

It was just one of those days where I decided I wanted to get all of these little chores out of the way so I was like a speed demon racing around the house to do it all. Now I feel like I got everything accomplished. yay!

I even had time to work on more
commissions. I am within reach of my goal of work to have done before I leave. That will be great! There is always more work to do, but if I can get to a nice stopping point I can leave without worry.

OK time for me to snuggle Stanley and watch
stan's first shots
Stanley had his first vaccinations today. He was such a brave little boy -- didn't cry a bit when he got his shot. But he howled bloody murder when he got his nails trimmed. He got a good health report and is on his way to becoming a big boy. He's already two pounds! wow!

We are so relieved that Mabel is getting along with little Stanley. She is even washing him when he lets her. Right now he's so playful he won't sit still for very long and he keeps swatting at her tail, but she's been very patient. I have to try to get a photo of them together!

After taking him to the vet, I worked on commissions, then ran errands and collected supplies for my classes in Portland next week. I started packing my suitcases for the workshop a little bit, I am so glad I sent 60lbs of stuff ahead because there is no way I could bring everything with me. I am making of lists of what I can buy when I arrive in Portland so I don't have to try to haul it there. Sometimes it's just easier to buy it when you get there. I wonder if there is a Home Depot near the hotel. I will have to find out!


still busy!
I am still super busy getting everything together before I leave on Saturday.

I am working like crazy on my commissions -- I want to get them all to a good stopping point, so that way I can leave to teach in Portland with peace of mind. I'll be gone 10 days so I'll lose a lot of studio time in there. Here's a Poppet® sketch commission that I just finished up of this sweet family!

Today I finally got caught up on all my email from when I was
away last week. Ahhh! So nice to see the inbox empty, even if it's just for a little bit!

OK back to work for me.
I have 3 commissions that I want to pack up to ship off tomorrow (one to Australia!).

My goal is to be all finished for the night in time for the Amazing Race so I can relax and enjoy it!
crazy busy!
I'm in headless chicken mode, getting home from the trip and getting prepared to leave a week on Saturday for another DVD filming and also workshops in Portland-- all in one trip. I am already having a mental temper tantrum at the thought of having to leave home. It is so great to be back here with Stan and the other fur kids (and of course Paul too!). I think Stan even grew when I was gone, only 3 days but he looks bigger to me! Here's another photo of Stanley because I can't resist!

Today I worked on getting caught up from my trip to CA. Even being gone just 3 days has put me a little behind. I still have quite a few emails to work my way through but I am getting there.

I think that one of the Carol Duvall Show epsiodes that I taped in 2004 must have aired because I have a bunch of emailed questions in my inbox! I went and checked the HGTV web site and sure enough it aired again on Tuesday. Opps I missed it. Oh well I have seen it already and I think it's embarrassing to watch it. I always watch these things with one hand over my face partially hiding my eyes.

OK night night! I am going to get to bed to I can hit the ground running tomorrow!
craft lab filming day
The Craft Lab filming went great! Everyone there was super nice and it was so exciting to tape the show again with Jennifer. Thank you to Brian and Pirooz, my producers, for making everything go so smoothly! This was my second time being on the show and my fourth episode. The first two episodes that I filmed last year should be showing in a few weeks. I am watching the DIY web site to find out when they will air.

I tried to be really good and take photos while it was going on so I would have some to post here! Here's a photo of me and Jennifer Perkins, the host of the show.

I headed over this morning to get there by 7am. Then there was a little time to hang out and wait to get started. I had a mild panic when I was told that two of the three shirts that I had brought with me, I couldn't wear because sleeveless shirts weren't allowed. I had ordered some cute shirts to wear on the show but they didn't arrive in time, so I had to make do and bring what I had. Thankfully the wardrobe people lent me a little jacket and so all was OK. whew! Here's a photo of everyone on the set getting things ready.

The first episode we made Victorian Cone puppets (I am teaching this in Portland in a couple weeks) and that was a lot of fun especially because I was able to use photos of Toby! So I felt a little bit at home having Toby with me on the set! I was surprised there were a couple people there that also had pekingese. One of the camera guys had two and the wardrobe lady had one too! The second episode we made a few Poppet® dolls of Jennifer, her husband and her pets - a cute little family portrait in 3-d!

This season is filmed a little differently, less steps outs and more showing of the action which they will edit and speed up later. That was really nice because you didn't have to worry so much about the amount of time it takes to explain or cut or glue something.

There are also crafters on the set making the project in the background, it was a ton of fun to see what they made and their variations on the projects! The crafters who were on the same shows as me were Monica and Laura. Here's a photo of us together (from Left to Right: Laura, Monica, Jennifer and me!)

After we were done for the day, Jennifer and I went out to dinner with Susan who will be a guest on the show tomorrow. I don't know how Jennifer tapes every day for 5 weeks, I am exhausted after one day today!

I have an early flight in the morning so I am going to get to bed early. I can hardly wait to get home!

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california day two
Today was rehearsal for the Craft Lab taping tomorrow. It went much faster than I thought it would, and I was all done at noon. I had put all the step outs in ziploc baggies with the step number and description taped to the front, it took forever to do at home, but it made set up speedy today!

I got to see the new set design. It is very cool. Much more industrial and arty than the set for the first season (which starts Sept 25th -- still trying to figure out when my espisodes will air). I especially liked the sink covered in paint splatter, looks like my sink at home!

After rehearsal I came back to the hotel, ordered room service for lunch and had a little nap. In a little bit I'll be going out to dinner with my friend Carrie and then have an early night. Tomorrow morning I have to be at the studio ready to go at 7am.


I'm in California!
I'm here in Burbank! I made it in about 6pm, rented the car, checked into the hotel and then went out to a yummy Thai dinner with Jennifer. It was so great to see her and I am excited to film the show with her on Tuesday!

She filled me in on the new set and the new filming style. It sounds really great!

It was so hard to leave home today. Leaving Paul and the pets and especially sweet little Stanley and his snuggly self, but I am sure I'll be so busy the next couple days that Wednesday will be here soon and I'll be back home before I know it!

Tomorrow is rehearsal and set up so I'd better get to bed. I am exhausted!


illustration friday: change
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "change."

(click image to enlarge)
This is a piece that I had already created -- no time to make a new piece with a new kitten and travel this weekend. I was thinking of how when men are watching TV they tend to change the channel all the time. So I think it works for the theme even if it's a little stretch!

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working down the to-do list
I am all in a flurry getting ready to leave Sunday for the Craft Lab taping. It is going to be so hard to leave with sweet little Stan here! I have to tear myself away from home under normal circumstances, but now that Stan is here it will be even harder. Oh well. This trip is a short one I'll be back on Wednesday, then ten whole days before I leave on my last trip of the year to Portland to teach at Art and Soul (there's still room in my classes if you want to come and play!)

So far Mabel seems to be accepting of little Stanley, so there is good progress there! yay! As soon as I can, I'll get a photo of the two of them. We're still on "orange alert" when they are together so it makes it hard to take pictures. But so far not much hissing so that is great!

This morning I met with a private art consultant, Katherine Gibson of ArtHouse3 (no web site). She works with clients that are looking for artwork for their homes and businesses. That was exciting! She will be having a show in Feb. and is interested in my work for that.

After that I worked on commissions and also on Poppet® Sketches to sell when I go to Portland to teach. I managed to get enough prepped so that way I can take them to Burbank with me and finish them up on the plane or in the hotel. I also have some Poppet® Sketches available from ArtStream Studios in NH.

Thank you to Artful Wisdom for the super great mention on their blog!
project runway
What an interesting episode!

I couldn't believe my eyes when they brought Vincent and Angela back! That was a good twist. I was worried they would make it to the next round. But they didn't. Thankfully, Vincent didn't say his famous "it gets me off" quote so now I can safely know I won't have to hear that anymore!

I was surprised Laura's dress won. It was very nice, but to me, it looked like her other clothes, I really didn't see what was different about it. I like Michael's the best. Uli is walking on thin ice doing the same type of look every week. Did you catch Michael Kors impression of her? Poor Uli, I like her, but she needs to mix it up. The Judges hate it when you are predictable. I hated Jeffery's outfit, those leggings, ick. Seemed like Angela cheated a little by stuffing the purse full of the extra fabric. And Vincent's dress was way too short, but not horrible.

I was sad to see Kayne go. boo hoo! I really liked him.

Anyone know when the finale will be? Paul and I want to have a Project Runway finale party and we were trying to figure out when the date is from the web site. It's hard to tell.


photo time!
Another busy day around here, getting work and errands done before I leave on Sunday for the Craft Labtaping. But I did manage to take some new photos of Stan and get lots of cuddle time in. I promised Jen I would take more photos so here they are :)

This is one of me and Stanley

Paul and Stanley

Stan kissing Paul

I love this pic of Stan kissing Paul. He spent about 5 minutes licking Paul's face all over -- it was the cutest!

And here's a last one of Stan asleep after a big play session. Awww!


resisting temptation
I have actually managed to get work done today. Not a small feat with a cute little cuddly kitten just begging to be played with! I was very proud of myself that I actually got work done!

I got my 3rd quarter taxes all done, yay! I also worked on
commissions, here's a scan of a Poppet® Canvas commission that I just finished. I love the romantic feel of this piece. What a cute couple and their kitties too!

I also got 60lbs of stuff packed up and ready to send off to Portland for my workshops at the
Art and Soul convention in a couple weeks (still room in my classes if you want to come and play!)

Between all that, I took
Stanley to the vet for his first visit with our vet. He was such a brave boy! So far everything looks good with him. He does have some swelling on his little privates from when he was an orphan, before Bernie got him in her care, his sisters were suckling on him where they shouldn't be. Bernie did warn me about that, and we are on top of it. He's on anti inflammatory meds and it should go down in a couple days. Poor little guy!

OK time for me to play with Stanley again. It's been two hours and I can't wait a minute longer!


we're back!
toby_carWhat an exciting trip to go and get our baby Kitty Stanley! Thank you again to Andra for baby sitting him until we could get to Atlanta. And thank you to Bernie for letting us adopt him! We love him already!

Our drive up to Atlanta went well, we didn't get to the hotel until late, but Toby didn't seem to mind the drive! He sat in his car seat, a little bored, but he really enjoyed all the good smells at the rest stops. Here's a photo of him riding in his car seat!

hotel was really very nice, especially for a pet friendly hotel, and it was so much fun to travel with Toby and have him sleep with us and be with us for the trip. Toby even had his first elevator ride, which was so cute to see. We didn't see any other dogs at the hotel, but that's just as well as Toby doesn't like them anyway! The hotel pillows all say "curl up" on them and I snapped this photo with Toby taking a morning nap on the bed. awwww!

Then we went off to pick up Stanley from
Andra's.Thank you again Andra for baby sitting him! We stayed and chatted and met her family (cute , cute daughter!!) and then took the long ride home to Orlando.

stan_asleepWe got in last night about 7:45pm and then started to get everyone settled.
Mabel isn't too happy yet about Stanely's arrival, but she'll come around. He's staying in the guest bathroom right now and they are getting supervised visits with lots of treats for Mabel for positive reinforcement! Here's a photo of Stanley from last night. He had a big play session and then passed out, fast asleep!

OK I am off to catch up on work, maybe even have a nap myself! I don't know how
Bernie does it with all of her animals that she cares for. I feel run ragged with one tiny kitten!!


getting ready for stanley
Another busy day getting everything ready for our trip tomorrow! Stanely arrived safely at Andra's house and she is looking after him for me! Thank you so much Andra! I have also been getting lots of work done, so I can leave and enjoy the weekend and won't feel guilty.

Here's another photo of Stanely. Aww what a cutie. I can't wait to snuggle him!!

We'll leave tomorrow as soon as Paul get's home from work so we probably won't get to Atlanta until 10pm but that should be OK. Then we can have a nice sleep and get Stanley on Saturday morning!

Toby had a bath tonight so he is all sweet smelling for our road trip! Oh great news, Toby does not have Cushing's Disease. Thank goodness. And he really enjoyed the visit to the Complementary Therapy Vet. I was shocked he seemed to like the acupuncture! He actually dozed off at one point and usually he's like a rabid beast at the vet. I have never tried acupuncture myself, but after his visit I want to try it to see if it helps with my migraines. We are also starting him on some supplements to see if that helps his hair growth.

I have everything ready for our
pet sitter, Laura, to come and take care of Mabel. I hope Mabel will take Stanley under her wing or at the very least be nice to him. I am used to introducing cats, so I know the drill. Very slow introductions are key. I am hoping since he is a baby she won't feel threatened, maybe she'll even like him right away. I can hope!!

Tonight my niece Maiya came over so we could watch her while my brother and sister in-law went to the parent/teacher night at her school. It was fun to have her over and she is really looking forward to meeting Stanely!

I'll try to post Saturday night when I get back! If not, see you Sunday!!

P.S. Happy 5th Aniiversary to my wonderful and amazing husband, Paul. I love you!!


vote for poppets®!
Creating Keepsakes magazine is holding their annual 'Readers Choice' Awards ballot.

I just found out that my product line with LazarStudioWERX,Poppets® by Claudine Hellmuth, has made it into several categories. YAY!

Will you please vote for me along with your other favorites?

If you get a chance and want to support the Poppets®, please check out the ballot and vote. My Poppet® Scrabooking Line is listed as LazarStudioWERX Poppets® by Claudine Hellmuth in the following categories:

  • Best New Product of 2006
  • Page Enhancements
  • Paper, Patterned
  • Paper, Themed
  • Rubber Stamps
Here is the link to the Ballot.
Thank you!!

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project runway
Yay! let's rejoice! Vincent is gone!!! Project Runway is finally free of him!

It goes without saying he should have been out a long, long, long time ago. Why they kept him on is beyond me. I am SO relieved I will never have to hear him say "that gets me off" again about his creations. Every single time he said that I shuddered. I think I will have nightmares about him saying that. Well that and him in his tank tops. *shudder*

I love how Laura called him a legend in his own mind. Another great quote was at the beginning when Tim walks into the Paris studio and goes "how thrilling!" Paul and I think we're going to add that to our Tim-isms along with "make it work" and "carry on."

Laura's dress was less than wonderful. But not everyone can be great all the time. It looked a little like a mime costume to me. Uli's dress was very nice. I was worried when she said she wasn't going to use her trademark patterns but I think it came out great. Michael's dress was lovely, especially when they made the adjustment to the top on the judging runway. I really liked Kayne's dress too, even though everyone made such a fuss about it. I thought Jeffery's dress was fun but I didn't think it was as new and fresh as Heidi and everyone thought. I swear that plaid ball gowns were very big at some point, I don't think I am imagining that. Like in early 90's Vogue?

I can't stand waiting to see who the final three are. Now I'm thinking Uli, Michael and Jeffery. My money's still on Michael to win it. Yay Michael!!


getting lots of work done
What a busy day! It's a whirlwind here in my studio. I am trying to get all my loose ends tied up and projects done so I can enjoy this weekend with our trip to Atlanta and not feel guilty. Or at least have very little to feel guilty about.

I finished up all my Craft Lab step outs so I am ready for the taping on Sept 19th. That is a lot of work getting those step outs ready. I also worked on my commissions so things are moving along there! Here's a Poppet® Sketch commission that I created a little while ago. Talk about a lot of pets. Look at all those fur babies! What fun!

Baby kitten Stanely got his vet checkup today and he has his health certificate so he is good to go tomorrow. A big thank you to Andra who is going to baby sit him until we can get there on Saturday morning. Thank you!!! Bernie had arranged transport to Atlanta but could only get him there on Wednesday so we needed someone to baby sit him for a couple of days. It's like a little kitty cat underground railroad!

We have decided to stay at
Hotel Indigo which accepts pets, looks nice and isn't too expensive. We want to try this little trip with Toby because then if it works out, we'll take him on vacation with us more! He'll either love or hate going on a road trip ... I guess we'll find out!

kitten fever
Ok It's official. I have kitten fever and I have it bad. I have been obsessing all weekend about one of Bernie's kittens and I must have him now! It's almost all I can think about.

After our
sweet baby Maggie died I had a dream that I rescued an orange kitty and that his name was Stan. Bernie has a kitten (pictured right) that arrived at her rescue a couple of weeks ago and through the Internet, I have fallen in love with him. He's been bottle fed since he was a baby and I must have him to snuggle and cuddle. I need Stan!

Bernie and I are trying to work a way to get him from Tennessee to Atlanta where Paul and I can drive up this weekend and get him. (Atlanta's about a 6 hour drive from Orlando). We are still figuring out the logistics to get him to Atlanta and I hope it works out!

Anyone know of any pet friendly hotels or cute dog friendly B&B's in Atlanta? We are thinking of bringing Toby with us for the adventure!

I have to say what a wonderful and amazing husband I have. This Friday is our 5th wedding anniversary and the fact he is willing to spend it driving to Atlanta to get a kitten, makes him the best husband ever. I love you Paul!

Speaking of Bernie's rescue, she is doing a
Call for Art for an art auction to be held in November. If you are an artist please think about donating your art to this wonderful cause. If you are not an artist, stay tuned to Bernie's blog to bid on some amazing artworks!


craft sanity interview
I was interviewed by Jennifer at for her super cool podcast. It's now live so you can take a listen! And guess what! You can enter a drawing to win a FREE copy of one of my books!

Here's how to enter:

CraftSanity Giveaway:

This week I'm going to bribe you to get crafty. The folks at North Light Books have kindly donated copies of both Claudine's fabulous books for a CraftSanity giveaway, so don't miss your chance to win one of four prizes. Bust out your craft supplies and take Claudine's 20-minute quick challenge. Make a piece of art in the medium of your choice (collage, knit, felt, sew, crochet, quilt, sculpt, whatever... ) inspired by the word "SWEET" and e-mail it to Jennifer along with your name, address and anything you'd like to say about your entry. (Tune in to this week's episode for more info.) Abby, a.k.a. CraftSanity's 2-year-old, vice president of fun, will randomly select four lucky winners. Entries will not be judged but celebrated in a gallery posting on the craft sanity website. The deadline is 12 p.m. EST, Monday, September 11, so get to it! Have fun and good luck!

click here to visit and listen to the podcast!

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