I'm back from CHA!
It was such an amazing time! I got to see so many friends, Bernie, Michael, Carmi, Donna, Christina & Terry, Traci, Kathy, Jennifer, Karen & Linda, Christine, Patricia and so many more!

If I am leaving anyone out I am sorry, it's late and I have been traveling all day. Of course giving the artwork to Martha Stewart is one of the BIG highlights!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to keep me company when I was demoing. I love seeing everyone and I also hate it when I am demoing and no one wants to watch the demo. Mucho appreciated.

I did get to meet in person about 6 different commission clients. It became quite comical because I would recognize the them because I had spent so much time working with their photos. Such fun to get to meet and spend time the people who I created artwork for.
I didn't take many photos because it tends to make the exhibitors nervous, but I did get this one of Bernie and I at the Ranger Ink booth, just before my demo on Sunday morning.

I scoped out the Marriott for next CHA winter, I do not want to stay at that Hilton again, it was yucky and worn plus they never did vacuum the tape off the carpet!!

OK I am off to bed, it's been a long but exciting few days, now it's time to get some sleep and then major catch-up on work tomorrow!


OK here's how it all went down
In the morning I was demoing at the Ranger booth and I was telling them about my plan to give Martha Stewart the artwork. They let me know that Martha was supposed to be walking the floor of the show and that they were on route. They didn't know what time she would be by the booth but it would be sometime between 1-4pm. I knew it would be a way better chance of giving her the artwork than at her keynote speech so I thought "I have to do this! I have to find her!"

I had to go and sign books from 1-2:30pm so I was really worried I would miss her. As soon as I was done with the book signing I rushed back to the Ranger booth and waited. All of a sudden I looked to my right and I saw her!! If I had been looking the other way for one more second I would have missed her. She was walking very quietly with her staff and it would have been easy to miss. But I saw her!

She was about 10 feet away and I turned and I held the artwork out for her staff to see. They gave me a nod and then I approached her and I handed it to her and told her what a fan I am of hers and then I can't remember what I said. I said about 3 sentences and I hope I didn't sound like a crazy person. Then her assistant looks at my name badge and goes "oh you're claudine!" and I go "yeah!" which I think I yelled I was so excited. Wow! That means they had heard of me! How cool is that!!! Then I could tell it was time for them to move on so I said thank you and then I think I ran away!

This morning I woke up and I thought it was all a dream. It happened so fast and it was like a total out of body experience. The Ranger people told me today that they got a photo of Martha holding the artwork while she finished walking the show, so I can't wait to get my hands on that photo! I will post it if I can get it!!

I am just so excited I was able to give it to her. I hope she liked it!! It was such a thrill. I will remember that moment for a long time!


mission accomplished!
I did it! I did it! I gave the artwork to Martha Stewart and she even smiled! yay!
I have to run but will write the details of how it happened later. I am just so thrilled I was able to give it to her! hooray!!!


hopefully luck will be on my side....
With any luck this time tomorrow night when I post, I'll have good news that I was able to give this artwork to Martha Stewart!

I made Martha Stewart the above artwork of her and her dogs, Franchesca and Paw Paw, and I have hopes of giving it to her tomorrow after her keynote speech.

We'll see if I can get past her handlers to be able to give it to her. My hopes are not high but there is still hope. I do know that tomorrow is my only chance. I contacted "her people" through her web site and they said any gift packages mailed to her would be returned or thrown away (gasp!). So I have to give it to her or nothing. We'll see! If it works out great, if not, oh well!

Wish me luck!!


i'm here!
I made it to Anaheim, CA. What a long day!

I got up at 4am, then Paul took me to the airport. At the gate I ran into an old friend from the 6th grade and then also highschool. She was on the same flight as me and it was great to catch up with her!

The flight went well the 5 hours flew by, I was reading a really good book and so I didn't even nap on the flight.

And you'll never guess who else was on the plane! Kurt Russell! He was in first class (of course). I wonder what he was doing in Orlando, I would think he would have more exciting places to travel, but maybe he likes it there! Anyway it was neat seeing him at baggage claim at LAX with all the rest of us waiting for his bags. I think if I were that famous, I would have someone else waiting for my bags! I resisted the urge to ask for an autograph.

My friend Carmi was unable to make it in today. We were supposed to meet at LAX, and share a rental car but her flights were canceled from Toronto, so she's going to try again tomorrow. I hope she can make it in!

Once I got the hotel I met up with Bernie! It's been too long since we've gotten to spend time together so that was a treat! This Hilton that we are staying in leaves a lot to be desired. It's very 80's decor with dingy hallway carpet, not super clean etc. I put a small piece of tape on the floor to see if it gets vacuumed up tomorrow! Definitely in need of a major renovation. I won't even go into the detail about the horrible lunch we had at the hotel restaurant, ick!!! But at least it's very close to the convention center.

PS thank you to everyone who has posted the adjective list for me! You are helping me more than you know! I'll have an update soon what this is all about!


california here i come!
I'm off to CHA at an ungodly hour in the morning, so I'll see you from LA. I am bringing my lap top so I'll post from the convention! bye bye!


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

(click image to enlarge)
When I read the theme, I thought, oh yay! I love red!
This is a piece I created a little while ago, but it's still one of my favs. I am rushing to get ready to leave town, so no time to make a new piece, maybe I can work on one while I am demoing at CHA. If I come up with anything new, I'll post it :)

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i need a favor
My coach asked me to try this, and I think it's a good idea, so here I go!

Would you post in the comments 3 to 5 descriptive words you think of when looking at my artwork?

Need to look at some art to think? Here's a link to my portfolio, and my commission portfolio.

As a bonus for doing this favor for me, you could win FREE STUFF! oh boy!

I will draw out of a hat one winner and send you a signed copy of my 2nd book. Another winner will get a free set of my PoppetĀ® Kitty stamps from Lazar StudioWerx!

I'll do the drawing when I get back from CHA on Thursday February 1st, so you have time to think!

Thanks for your help!

I printed all 120+ posts for the contest, then cut them all up and Paul helped me draw out of a hat. Here are the winners!

Jayna won a copy of my 2nd book!
Lana R won a set of Poppet® Kitty stamps from Lazar StudioWerx!

I will email you both and send out your prizes right away-- Jayna I don't have your email, can you please send it to me?

Thanks to everyone who played. That was fun! I think I'll do another contest soon :)


i'm on craft cast
At the end of last year I was interviewed by Alison Lee of Craft Cast.

Now it's live and you can hear it. Yay!

We talk about the ins and out outs of being on craft TV shows, blogging, getting started in the studio, why I can't make jewelry and more!

Visit the Craft Cast web site and listen!


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avert your eyes!
If this is fashion, I don't want to be fashionable. Please, say it isn't so.


super busy today
I knew today would be busy and it was!

This morning I drove Paul to work at 4:30am, then came home, caught a couple minutes of extra sleep, called the vet, then took Toby to the vet. By the time I get to the vet Toby's red infected eye is no longer red (figures) but Toby did have a fever so we now have him on antibiotics (poor guy!).

Then I rush Toby home, race off to get my hair cut, then head back to pick Paul up from work, rush home and start packing up orders to be shipped off tomorrow.

Whew! What a hectic day! It was if the universe was listening to me and my feeling crazy, because Jennifer Louden's new book arrived on my door step!I've just started it and am loving it!! Highly recommend!

Oh boy! My new greeting card designs are in the new Amber Lotus catalog! I am so excited! I don't know the exact date when the cards will be released, but I'll keep you updated. Here's a scan from the catalog below.

(click to image to enlarge)
Nighty night!

EDITED 2pm WEDNESDAY: thanks for all the sweet comments about the cards! I am so glad you like them! I am also working on making these images and a few others into wood mounted repros for wall hangings. Let me know here in the comments which images are your favs and I will put those on my list! Right now I can tell the cat hair one is already a fav :)

Amber Lotus tells me the cards will be on their web site soon. I will post an update when they are live!


Today was a good day! My speech at the telesummit went well, I can't wait to hear the other speakers later this week.

I managed to get quite a bit of work done too and 3 new commissions started! If you were thinking about ordering a custom artwork for Valentine's day, I'll need your order by Feb 1st to get it done in time.

Here's a commission that I just finished up for this gal and her family! There was a funny story about her kitty climbing up a tree so I made sure she was in the tree in the artwork.

I can tell tomorrow is going to be busy already, I have to drive Paul to work at 4am because his car is in the shop, and I'll need our one remaining car to run errands. It looks like Toby has an eye infection brewing so I'll need to get the vet squeeze us in and then I have a hair appt (gotta get those roots done for CHA!), then back downtown to pick up Paul and hopefully his car will be fixed, it is taking forever!! Whew I am tired already!


what a great movie!
Paul and I saw Pan's Labyrinth last night. OMG!! What an amazing movie!!

I knew I would love it after watching the trailer, but I had no idea how caught up in the movie I would get. I got so emotional at the end I boo-hooed all the way out of the theater and across the parking lot to the car. Then even cried a bit on the way home. Something about it struck such a chord with me. Bring tissues!

During the movie, every so often Paul and I would look at each other and exclaim "Cynthia would LOVE this movie" It's like it was made for her. Cynthia, if you are reading this, drop everything and go see this movie!!

A warning it is very violent and not for children at all!


telesummit starts Monday!
Yesterday I was on an amazing panel discussion phone call with Ariane Goodwin, Aletta de Wal, Geoffrey Gorman, Alyson Stanfield, and Michael Woodward. The amount of information and tips, suggestions and ideas were amazing. I took copious notes and I was on the panel of experts!

Here's the good news!

The smARTist Tele-summit registration has been extended to NOON on Monday! (even if you sign up Monday you'll still get to hear the calls from Thursday and Friday, and Monday morning so you won't miss a thing!)

And a Bonus!! If you'd like to listen to the 90 minute call that was on Thursday, with experts like Joan Stewart of the Publicity Hound
. Click here to listen now (note: this is NOT the call I was on, but I am listening today and taking notes!)

Click here to read more about this amazing week-long event!

PS. If you sign up for the Platinum Program, you'll get a 14 day Stay on Track Program, to help you realize your new goals from the summit. I'll be doing the Stay on Track Program too and I am so excited about the jump start this will give my business this year! yay!!


I am getting ready to head to The Craft and Hobby Association convention a week from tomorrow in LA. I thought I would post my schedule in case any of you will be there! I would love for you to stop by and say hi!!

Sunday January 28th
9am-12 Ranger Booth #4843 - demo
1-2:30pm F+W Publications Booth #1509 - book signing and demo ONE FREE book to each person. LIMITED quantities!
3 -4pm Lazar StudioWERX Booth #3772 - meet the artist - stop by for a fun photo - become a life sized Poppet®!

Monday January 29th
9am - 12 Ranger Booth #4843 - demo
2-4pm Lazar StudioWERX Booth #3772 - meet the artist - stop by for a fun photo - become a life sized Poppet®!

Tuesday January 30th
9am-12 Ranger Booth #4843 - demo
2 -3:30pm Lazar StudioWERX Booth #3772- meet the artist - stop by for a fun photo - become a life sized Poppet®!!
4pm-5pm F+W Publications Booth #1509 -- book signing and demo ONE FREE book to each person. LIMITED quantities!

Hope to see you there!


mabel too
I didn't want Mabel to feel left out for not being in the clip (she was hiding under the bed)
so here are a couple pics I just snapped of her! Gosh look at that belly! She is on a diet I promise!


mini studio visit
Here's a little clip that was filmed for IndieArts DVD Magazine last December of a little tour of my studio. This is only a short clip of what is in the actual issue so you just get to see a teeny bit of my studio, but it's still fun! And even better Stanley is in it too!! Which is of course my favorite part!

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tag! I'm it!
I was tagged by Jennifer Louden to reveal 5 little-known things about me. Last month I did the 6 things, so now to come up with 5 more! OK here goes!

1) I am an only child. Contrary to only child lore, I never wanted a sibling.

2) Before I leave the house I have to check the oven to make sure it's off, sometimes I check twice or three times.

3) I like the smell of gasoline and freshly washed sheets. Strangely both smells remind me of my summers in London

4) Generally, I am a very happy person but I love to read dark and moody books, check my "Books I like" section in my sidebar and you'll see what I mean.

People tell me my laugh is very recognizable, but I never know if they mean in a good way or not

I tag: Carmi, Christina, Nina K.


illustration friday: 80's
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "80's"

(click image to enlarge)
I'm a little late with this piece, usually I like to get the IF's done by Saturday at the latest, but this piece gave me a bit of trouble so I had to wrestle with a little bit. But I think it came out OK in the end.

When I read the IF theme of 80's first I thought, ewww, 1980's but then I thought of a spunky lady in her 80's and what would she do that might surprise people. So I imagined a woman driving her sporty little car in the city with her doggie. Ironically this photo is of my grandma who never learned to drive. So here she is driving now!

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noel's hats
Here's a photo of Noel wearing the hat that my Mom made her! Doesn't she look cute!! To see Noel wearing more of her cute new hats, click here!

If you don't know Noel's story, here's a quick update - Noel is a puppy and she is missing both her ears because of being used as a fighting bait dog by mean horrible people. My good friend, Bernie Berlin runs a grass roots animal rescue and has brou
ght her home and she is on the mend. You can read more about Noel on Bernie's blog.

We thought it would be fun to make her new hats with ears so when she is all healed she can can be one stylish puppy. The hats also serve a function because her inner ear needs to be protected from the cold.

If you would like to try making Noel a hat too, I posted her measurements here. And Vickie Howell made her a super duper awesome hat and posted her pattern on her blog. Thanks Vickie!

Noel is going to need some major surgery (approx $2,000!) to fix all the damage that was caused by being used as a bait dog. If you would like to donate money to Noel's cause you can find a donation link in the side bar of Bernie's blog.

Also, for the month of January I have a 5x7 print available for $20 each at the Pretty Darn Swell galle
ry. $5 from each sale goes to the charity of my choice. My donation will go to Bernie Berlin's A Place to Bark animal rescue which will in turn go to help Noel! Click here to shop at Pretty Darn Swell and help a wonderful cause! This print will only be available for the month of January, get them while you can!


i'm on tv again!
Hi everyone! Just a quick post to let you know that I'll be on Craft Lab again! This time the show is on the DIY Channel (instead of HGTV) and it airs tomorrow at 12noon EST.

I'll be showing a project from my second book, called canvas wall book. I will be making a little book out of un-stretched canvas and then attaching it to a stretched canvas so you can hang the book on a wall. Sounds a tad confusing but turns out really cute.

We filmed this in September 2005 and the taping went by so fast. Now I have no memory of what I said or did or how the filming went! Should be interesting to see!

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is that me?
One of my commission clients sent me an email asking if I had been photographed in a Pet Smart ad that she saw in her paper. A little confused, I told her, no I wasn't in any ad. So she scanned the ad and sent it to me. How funny! This other person really does look like me except taller and a bit more tan. You know how they say everyone has a twin, well I think I just found mine!


Today was all about housework.

I cleaned and vacuumed out my car (I never do this so it was a big feat!) The did the laundry and cleaned the rest of the house and even did the dishes too. I did a really big clean where I got out the big vacuum and not just the little one that I use most weeks. Whew! I am worn out. It's nice to have such a shiny and clean home and car!

Yesterday Paul and I went to mall. Ugh! I attempted to find something to wear to CHA. I did manage to find one shirt, but now I am wondering if I will be cold in it because it's got short sleeves. I do have a jacket I could wear over it I guess. Never know how cold those convention halls will be! Usually I end up in a long sleeve shirt with a scarf and a jacket on because they make it so cold. I think I'll bring a few options so I can change if I am freezing.

I am still working out what I will be demoing at the show and my schedule. I will be at the Ranger booth every day except the 31st from 9am - noon. And we'll have a fun time at the Lazar Studiowerx booth with a carnival type photo area where you can become a life sized Poppet®! Hope to see some of you there!

Tonight we'll be watching Rome. I am excited for the second (and last) season!


learn on the phone!
Today I finished all my class handouts for a tele class I'll be giving later this week. I'll be speaking on becoming a published author as well as how you can begin a career as a workshop instructor. I am excited about my workshop. I found I have lots to share!

The teleclass will be at the smARTist Tele-summit.
I'll be joining a dozen other art career experts, and full time artists, bringing you nitty-gritty presentations to help you get recognized, exhibited and paid for your art.

For those of you who want to turn your art hobby into a full time business or would like to refine your business, this will be a great opportunity to learn in the comfort of your home.

There will be speakers talking about licensing, marketing, galleries, ebay, artist web sites, artist statements and all the things you need to know about managing your art business.

It all kicks off this Thursday, Jan 18th! Click here to register for the tele-classes or to learn more about the program.


travel plans and workshops
I just got done booking my flights for a workshop I will be teaching in Vancouver this March.

I had to make the tough decision to fly through Dallas, TX.

I swore off any connections through Dallas in 2003 when I got stuck on the tarmac on an American Airlines plane for 5 hours because of "weather."

It was a direct flight from Orlando to Dallas that took 8 hours! Ugh, I said never again!

But the flight times and prices were the best so I decided to take my chances. I will hope for the best and that Dallas will redeem itself to me as an acceptable airport to make a connection in. We'll see, it was bad enough in Houston this last October, I might have to swear off Texas all together.

I was looking at my workshop schedule for this year and boy oh boy is it tiny! This will be the least amount that I have taught since I first began teaching. I am excited to have more time to spend working on my art and commissions, and goals for the future.

If you were looking for a workshop for this year, take a peek at my schedule, classes are filling up fast! My Bonita Springs workshop is already sold out, yay! After Bonita Springs, I am only teaching at 2 USA locations + 1 in Canada and then of course Italy too!

P.S. above artwork is a Christmas commission I did, of a husband and wife and their newly adopted son -- what a sweet family!!


i'm on hgtv tomorrow
Just a quick reminder that I'll be on HGTV's Craft Lab tomorrow, Thursday Jan 11th, at 10am EST.

This is an episode that I just taped this September, I'll be demonstrating how to make your own Victorian Cone puppet out of a plastic oil funnel.

Watch for this funny part to see if I look like a dummy head -- at the beginning of the episode I show the crafters and Jen how to remove the tab from the funnel, so I say "it's really easy to remove the tab from the funnel" and then I struggle with it for like 5 minutes before it comes off!

In my defense I did have to hold my hand at a weird angle so the camera could see -- which made it hard to get a nice cut with the utility knife. When I do it at home or in class the tabs normally pop right off! I wonder if they will leave in that part or edit it out. I hope they edit it out. It makes me sweaty to even think about it. I think I'll watch with one hand over my eyes.

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brrr! it's cold!
It got really cold and chilly today. Tonight it's supposed to get down to 40! I just got back from covering our pentas outside. I don't want them to die and those plants do not like cold weather.

The good news it that this is perfect weather for our new roof. The guys aren't too hot working up there and it's nice and dry. Today they arrived at 8am and starting scraping off all the old roof. It was loud!

Mabel ! She was so upset, she ran under the bed and didn't come out until they left. Then she ran straight to her food bowl crying. Poor girly!

Stanley and Toby weren't bothered at all by all the noise Toby slept through most of it, snoring loudly, and Stan was as frisky as ever. It looks like the roofers will be here tomorrow and then probably finish up Thursday. It will be nice to have a brand new roof well before hurricane season!


Tonight Paul and I are going over to our neighbors house to watch the UF-OSU game. I am not a fan of football but it should be fun to hang out with a bunch of people and eat snacks. It was on my 2007 list to be more social so here I go! Paul and his twin will be the only Buckeye fans the rest of us are all rooting for the Gators. Go Gators!


good books and more
Yesterday I spent the afternoon updating my web site, putting all new artwork in the portfolio, it was time for an update! Then Paul and I went out with our neighbors bowling. I am not a good bowler, my highest score was a whopping 30. Oh well, I didn't mind, it was still lots of fun!

I read on this gal's blog today about Library Thing. What fun! You can add books you like and then it starts to suggest more. I made up a short list and added the widget to the sidebar of my blog. It's hard to remember all the books I've read and I've loved, so I'll have to go back and add more later. Right now I don't have any arty books in the list except my own, maybe I'll add all my fav arty books as a sep widget or just lump them all together.

A big huge thank you to Vickie Howell!!! She read about little doggie Noel's plight and made her a set of "ears" and posted a super cute pattern on her blog. Much appreciated!! I know Noel will love her new ears!

I am off to get an early night, we are getting a new roof and the roofers will be here bright and early tomorrow. I hope Stanley, Mabel and Toby don't get too upset about all the noise!


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

(click image to enlarge)

When I first read the theme I thought immediately of gossip and what better place to gossip than the beauty parlor!

P.S. there's that turquoise paint again!

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silly kitties
Paul used a photo of Stan to illustrate a story for his blog at work. Click here to see our Stanley and read about a cat (not Stan) that got his own credit card - true story!

And just so Mabel doesn't feel left out, here's a photo of her relaxing on our dining room rug. Look at that belly!


it's thursday!
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. She picked out a pile of my Poppet® sketches and also a few 3-d collages as well. Yay!

Other than that I worked on commissions, and some other projects that needed tending to. Here's a canvas commission that I just sent out of this super cute little girl playing dress up ballerina. What a sweetie! For some reason this image looks blurry until you click on it to enlarge.Usually the thumbnail doesn't do that but tonight I can't get it to stop.

I can't believe tomorrow is Friday! What happened to this week, it just flew by!


painty paws
Ut oh. Someone jumped into my acrylic paint when it was still wet.....


oh boy! more tv!
Just a quick note to let you know that Craft Lab now has episodes on HGTV and they will be airing an episode that I taped in September. This one will air on Thursday Jan.11th at 10am. I'll be demonstrating how to make your own Victorian Cone puppet! This episode isn't on the HGTV web site yet -- so no link for now.

Also an episode of DIY's Craft Lab that I taped in 2005 will air Jan 16th and February 26th on the DIY Channel! I'll be showing the Canvas Wall Book project from my second book. Exciting!

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pretty darn swell
For the month of January I have a 5x7 print available for $20 each at the Pretty Darn Swell gallery.

Here's the great news!

$5 from each sale goes to the charity of my choice. My donation will go to Bernie Berlin's A Place to Bark animal rescue. Click here to shop at Pretty Darn Swell and help a wonderful cause! This print will only be available for the month of January, get them while you can!

On the topic of Bernie's rescue, my mom and I created a prototype for Noel's hat. If you don't know Noel's story, here's a quick update - Noel is missing both her ears because of being used as a bait dog by mean horrible people. Bernie has brou
ght her to her rescue and she is on the mend. You can read more about Noel on Bernie's blog. We thought it would be fun to make her new hats with ears so when she is all healed she can can be one stylish puppy.

Mom finished a prototype headband
today, this one has little cat ears in case Noel feels catty one day. We're going to send it to Bernie to see if it fits Noel, and if it does then we can make others. Thanks to Jolene for the headband idea!

If you'd like to try making Noel a hat too, here are her measurements:
10 inches from the top of her head around her head back to under her chin
if making a headband type hat as we did make it about 3 inches wide to cover where her ears used to be
if making a round type hat her head is 15.25 inches in circumference.
To mail the hat, Bernie's address is on her blog in the right sidebar.
EDITED: I uploaded a very rudimentary diagram of the headband we made. Download it as a PDF here.

Of course after making the hat we couldn't resist putting it on our critters....

Here's Stan wearing the hat Mom ma
de for Noel, as you can see he's not thrilled to be a hat model (Stan came from Bernie's rescue and we love him so much!)

And Toby .. I woke him from a nap, so he's not a happy camper either!!


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