pics from my studio
Took some pics from my studio to share.........

studio stuff2
Here's a new updated photo of one corner of my studio. Note my new Ott Lite. This new one has a really long arm which is great because it extends over my table. Perfecto!

studio stuff1

A lovely side by side shot of moisturizer and magnetic paint. Who would have ever thought they would be together?

I added the moisturizer to my line up because I will be slathering it on all night tonight in an effort to make my hands look nice before the local PBS station comes here to do a little filming tomorrow. This stuff is amazing but I do think the name "Gloves in a Bottle" is unfortunate. It makes you think you are coating your hands with something to be removed later. When I first read the label I thought, it would be like a paraffin coating I would peel off when I was done painting. Am I the only person who thought this?? Trust me, this is not the case. This is a good moisturizer that will heal your paint covered hands. Ignore the icky sounding name.

Also in my studio is Magnetic Paint from Krylon! I can't wait to tell you what I have up my sleeve with this. I have to see if it works first!

studio stuff3

And lookie what the mailman brought me! I can't wait to play with my new Xyron machine. I have never had one before and I am too excited! As you can see I have all sorts of ideas involving magnets! Note the magnet insert that I got to go with it ;)

more later!!


sleepy sunday
I am so crazy sleepy today. I can barely keep my eyelids open. This weekend both Paul and I thought we were getting sick (me again! oh no! not AGAIN) We laid low, lots of rest. Airborne and more rest. I am feeling better today other than the exhaustion.


I have to get cracking on a whole pile of work tomorrow so I am going to get an early night after we watch John Adams on HBO. nighty night!


blog tour interview with Alyson Stanfield
Today I’m hosting Alyson B. Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion. Alyson is here as part of the blog tour to help promote the book and is also giving away a free copy!!! More on how to win your free copy at the end of this post!

She’s invited me to ask a question related to the book (which I LOVED!!!), so here goes . . .

Alyson, I have a free email newsletter service that I use through it allows me to collect email addresses and do text only newsletter mailings. I have looked at places like Constant Contact but they cost about $30 a month for their service, which feels like a lot of money a year. Do you think I am doing myself a disservice by having a text only email newsletter?

Claudine, this is a great question and I wish I had a great answer for you. It seems like the Yahoo Group is working for you and I’d hate to rock the boat. However, I guess that’s why I’m here--to rock your boat!
What I’d ask you to do is consider WHY you have a newsletter and WHAT you want the newsletter to do for you. You have a super blog and I imagine it’s a little difficult to create content for both the blog and the newsletter. Perhaps it’s time to rethink what your newsletter is all about and what it can be. You have a huge following. You truly need a Claudine Hellmuth Fan Club. I’ll be your first member!

Is a newsletter something you could charge for that would offset the cost of the $30/month? Your subscribers (fans) could pay, say, $10 a year and get something special just for them each month. Of course, if you say it’s monthly, you have to do it monthly.

With a “pretty” newsletter (one with pictures), you are more likely to sell. What could you sell that would make up for the cost?

With a “pretty” newsletter, you’re more likely to have the content forwarded and shared with others--expanding exponentially the Claudine Hellmuth Fan Club.

I wouldn’t recommend these tactics to every artist. But you have a loyal following. It seems like a natural outgrowth and might unify your Web site, blog, and newsletter.
What do you think?

You have so many good ideas! And you have a great point that the added images to the newsletter might boost sales of my artworks and custom works enough where it more than pays for the added cost.
But I'm not sure I would feel comfortable charging for a newsletter. If I did charge wouldn't that put people off signing up for my newsletter? And isn't the idea to get as many people on your newsletter list as possible?

Yes! The point is to get more sign-ups. So, let’s assume that’s your goal: to collect names and email addresses. Great. Fine. All good. But you have to use it or it’s not of much value. I get the feeling that you don’t use your list very often. And you have more than 2000 people on it! Two-thousand+ people dying to hear from you.

I do worry when I send the newsletter that I am bugging people so I put it off and I put it off. I feel that the blog is more passive so when people want to read about me they do it on their terms rather than me jumping into their email box.

Claudine, you need to get over this fear. You have more than 2000 people who want to know what you’re up to! They signed up because they want to hear from you. Have you ever considered the opposite: that you’re being selfish by not sharing the information? Okay, that’s a stretch, but think about it for a minute. Keeping the information to yourself isn’t giving your subscribers what they want.

Here’s what I’m going to suggest: Create a plan that incorporates your newsletter, blog, and Web site. How will they work together? How will each be different and have its own purpose? And, yes, use your images as much as possible. That’s why you have such a following. Sure, you have a terrific, warm personality, but we love the art. We want to see more of it! Keeping it to yourself bums out the rest of us?

Thanks, Alyson! I am excited to come up with a plan. Your book is full of motivating ideas all to help artists get more work and maximize their marketing efforts. I love love love this book!

Now for the book giveaway!!
For anyone interested in winning a free copy of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion, visit this site, read the instructions, and enter. Your odds are good as she’s giving away a free copy on most of the blog tour stops. You can increase your odds by visiting the other blog tour stops and entering on those sites as well.

EDITED 4/7/08:
Mary Catherine you are the contest winner of Alyson's book! I will contact you so I can send you out your copy! yay!


we're home!
I'm home! Came home to a mountain of email and a broken air conditioner. But we are here. Pets are well and happy. A/C man is coming first thing in the morning. yay. More later!
key west!
As promised we went to Key West today and I headed straight to the Earnest Hemingway house. I was not there to see the house but to see the famous 6 toed Hemingway cats! I barely spent 5 minutes in the house, all I wanted to do was to see if I could find and cuddle as many of the kitties as possible. Some of them were very snuggly and some of them just wanted to sun bathe, so I didn't bother them. I talked to another tourist who also said she was there just to see the cats too! They are quite the attraction!


Here's Charlie Chaplin, he's the most photographed kitty of all of the 60 Hemingway cats. Not all of the cats at the Hemingway house have the famous 6 toes. But more than 1/2 of them do! Charlie does. The orange cat is Pablo Picasso in the background.


Here's an extreme close up of the toes. So cute!

We did get a few more photos, but I'll download those later. There are also more on the Hemingway House web site!


And a Key West rooster..... they are all over the island and very loud!!! I love them. I want one. I don't think my homeowners assn would approve.

I'm off to bed! Apparently the guys are snorkeling tomorrow. I will not be. I have a terrible fear of fish. Like deathly afraid. I think I was eaten by a fish in another life. I might go kayaking though. We'll see how adventurous I feel.


relaxing is harder than I thought
Even though I said I wouldn't - I checked my email at least 12 times times today. Leaving work behind and relaxing has been harder than I thought it would be. Tomorrow I will be away from the hotel so I will be forced to be away from email -- we are going to Key West and I can see Hemingway's 6-toed cats. I can hardly wait! night night.


we're going to the beach!
It's family vacation time! I can't believe it but I have not been on a 100% non business trip since our honeymoon in 2001. I have taken parts of business trips and added a little vacation time but not a whole entire trip dedicated only to vacation. wow! That's 7 years! Paul put his foot down and and said it's time for me to take some time off. So here I go!

We're headed to the Florida Keys along with Paul's 3 brothers + their wives and children. For a total of 8 adults (including us) and 5 children!

I am almost just about all better, so I should be in good shape. I bought Keri Smith's Tear up This Book so I can do crafts with the kids at night. I am looking forward to that!

The house is clean. My ipod is loaded up with This American Life episodes to listen to on the 7 hour drive down there. Toby is ready to go to Mom and Dad's and the cat sitter is all set to come here. I think we are ready! I'll be bringing my laptop and hope to have time to blog from the road, but I did promise to keep any work/email stuff to a minimum. It's family time!


real simple magazine + 100 etsy artists
Two super exciting things happened today! I was mentioned on the Real Simple Magazine blog, in their Affordable Art for Kids round up. Click here to see. Scroll and scroll and scroll and you'll see me!! yay! Thank you Holly from Decor8 for the mention.

Also I was mentioned on Thing of Beauty's blog in her list of 100 Etsy artists. Super Exciting. You will want to read this list. I am honored to be in such amazing company.


it's almost Easter and that means the peeps are out! here's a fun little peep video for those of us who are both peep and project runway enthusiasts! Enjoy!


almost better!
Lots and lots of rest and I am almost human again. I felt horrible most of today, but tonight things look like they are turning around! I can breathe again!! Yay!


Here's a pic of Mabel doing her favorite thing, napping! She never feels guilty about sleeping or eating for that matter. Look at how her belly flops over her leg. Oh my! I swear she is on a diet but it doesn't seem to be working.

I think tomorrow I might actually be able to get a decent amount of work done, today I could only work in 1 hour increments and then back to bed!

Sorry the Ranger Transfer Technique Demo video doesn't seem to be working. It must be a hiccup on YouTube, hopefully it will start to work again soon!

night night!

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metallic paint dabber transfer technique
At CHA I demoed a new transfer technique that I discovered using the Ranger Adirondack Acrylic Paint dabbers in metallic colors. The video demo was just uploaded to YouTube so now you can see! here you go!

Products used in demo:
Adirondack Acrylic Paint dabbers
Craft Scraper
Mini Mister

Thank you to Robin for the video editing!


another day!
Still not feeling good. At all. I had to cancel the local PBS station filming and move it to a couple weeks' from now. And I was also supposed to go to Tampa on Thursday, had to cancel that too. I hate, hate, hate canceling any commitment, but I can't be making everyone else sick! I need to keep my germs to myself. I did make it to the Dr and got loaded down with antibiotics so hopefully will be on the mend soon!

Here's a custom artwork that I packed up and is all ready to go to it's new home tomorrow! I'm heading back to bed, for more rest, rest, rest.

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a place to bark raffle winners
It has finally happened! Last night I selected at random with this handy random number generator 42 winners for our A Place to Bark Network For Good fund raiser gifts. Here are our lucky winners out of over 2,400 donations! Each artist has been notified of their winner(s) and they will be getting in touch with you to send you your gift(s)! Thank you again for support of A Place to Bark we couldn't have done it without your generous support!!!!

winner- Joan McGrady-Beach

winner - Lee Brown

winners - Donna Hart, Vicky Martindale, Sharee Chapman, Patricia Dusman, Martha Rich

winner - Jody Green

Penny Dittmer, Bonnie Towles, Christine Rose Elle, david o'connell, Ethel Burnham

winner - Kelly Snelling

winners - jennifer boykin ,Sue Verner, Norma Amador, Jacek Menel, Laura Turner

winners - Catherine Dunphy, catherine davol , Denni A Bloom , Kim McCullough , Anita Van Hal, Marie Prescott , Maurice Nowell, Cheryl Hayden, jill smith ragan, Leigh Armstrong

winner - Suzy Hay

two signed books by Margot Potter and a handmade dog collar
winners - Janet Cregar , Gary Rattner , Jon and Denise Luce

winner - Christine Hazelton

winner - Jayne Bramley

winners - Lyn Klauzer, Roberta Powell

winner - Michelle Curran

winners - Christine Crabtree, Ann Kirschner

winners - Molly Simmons , Danielle Muller


i'm not a happy camper
I am now even sicker than I was over the weekend! How did that happen.???

Yesterday I thought "oh yay I'm getting better!" And then today I wake up and I am a mess with a bright red nose and carrying tissues with me from room to room. I think tomorrow I might have to go to the Dr. -- my sinuses are so messed up that that my teeth are throbbing.

On Wednesday I am supposed to do a segment for our local PBS station for their show called The Arts Connection. If I am not a lot better by tomorrow lunchtime I will have to see if they can reschedule because I don't want to gross out their viewers!! This is not good!

I am heading back to bed. nighty night!


i'm on style dash!
A big thank you to Mallory Whitefield for interviewing me for! Click here to read the interview.


still sick
Today I feel even worse! ugh! I am giving up trying to get any work done and just going to sleep and rest. I do not make my best art when I feel feverish so it will just have to wait and I will have to try and not feel guilty!

This morning by pure coincidence I had an appointment with a new Dr. I am so excited because I really like her - she actually listened to me and sat with me for 15 minutes while I talked. Incredible! I am used to my old Dr who would run in and out of the room so fast you barely had time to blurt out why you were there.

She is going to have me try taking Topamax to hopefully prevent my migraines. I haven't filled the prescription yet but can't wait to get started. It would be amazing if it works! My other Dr always poo-pooed the option of trying it so it is a relief to find someone who wants to help me. Unfortunately there isn't anything she can do about my nasty cold!

So last night I didn't watch Monsoon Wedding, I am saving that and going to watch it now. But I did catch up on old episodes of Lost. I actually like the "pop-up" Lost episodes better than the normal episodes. But what does it say about the writing when it needs a pop-up bubble to help explain the show to viewers? hmmmm!


Darn it! I am getting sick. I woke up this morning feeling shivery and gross and sore throat. I am beyond annoyed. This weekend has lots of really fun events, there is the Winter Park Art Festival and then Lynn and John are having a big party tomorrow night. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will wake up in the morning and feel better! I have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time!

I have been trying to work all day but it has been hard because I feel so yucky. I think I am going to call it a day, drink some more Airborne, try not to feel guilty about not working and watch Monsoon Wedding that just arrived from Netflix.


it's wednesday
I started today off feeling like I was getting sick. I have that feeling where you think it's the beginning of a cold but you aren't sure. Maybe it's allergies I keep thinking! hopefully. I guess I'll find out tomorrow if I feel worse then I will know it's a cold! ugh!

Here's something that gave me a giggle .... Ann Adamus took Mabel's picture and arted it up in photoshop. HILARIOUS! Take a took here! Love it!

Top Chef is on tonight, I am taping it on DVR so Paul and I can watch it when he gets home from work. If I am still up. Paul's new schedule gets him in most nights close to 2am. I am a night owl but now we are major night owls. I always tell people not to call here before noon because I won't be up yet!

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tuesday's over!
Today just sped by! It's actually Wednesday (1am) but it still feels like Tuesday to me!

Here's a custom sketch order that I shipped out and it arrived at it's new home this week! These ladies all look so cute together!

Today I went and met with our accountant and got our 2007 taxes all done and I didn't even get a headache. Amazing! Usually I leave with such a headache but today it was smooth sailing.

Then I ran some errands, mailed packages, checked email, did some product testing, worked on custom artwork orders, then email, more email, walked Toby a bunch, talked to Carmi, got updates from my Mom about their new cat, and that's about it.

I still haven't eaten dinner, I got so caught up in my artwork I didn't even realize until now. So I am off to have something to eat while I wait for Paul to get home from work! See you later!

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big news!!
I have big news that I can finally share! It has been killing me keeping this a secret! Ok here goes!

I am super excited to announce that I am going to have a product line with Ranger Industries.

The line will be called Claudine Hellmuth Studio and will be unveiled this summer at the CHA Summer Show in Chicago! That's all I can reveal at this point so I'll have to keep you in suspense a little longer what it is all about.

It is incredibly thrilling to be working side by side with Ranger's chemists to create the products just how I want them to be! I can't wait to share more with you as it gets closer to the CHA Summer Show!!


springing forward!
Here's a little picture from our front garden for all of you that are up north and under a foot or more of snow!


Think warm thoughts!


illustration friday: garden
Here's my submission for this weeks' Illustration Friday theme of "garden"

(click image to enlarge)

I have posted this image before, but it was just used as cover art for Strut Magazine for Women so I thought that warranted another post! Here are some scans of the Strut Magazine cover art + artist bio they printed. Thanks to Cheryl for the scans!
I am finishing up book #3 this weekend so no time for new art. boo! See you later!!

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weekend here we come!
Here's a custom artwork that I just finished up of this cute gal and her three sweet yorkies! They like to ride in her car all around San Francisco! I wonder if they have car seats like Toby does?

I can't believe tomorrow is Friday already! I'll be heading down to Tampa for the day to visit the Ott Lite offices. I'm looking forward to it! Did I tell you how much I heart my Ott Lite? Well I do!!

So today of course was getting the car oil changed, then grocery shopping, running errands, then working on stuff. It's raining like crazy out right now and I hope it dries up for tomorrow or it will be a very long drive!


stringing for a cure
My friend, Andrew Thornton is currently auctioning off some beautiful necklaces for a great cause, to help his friend Rachel reach her goal of participating in the 3 Day Journey benefiting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust.

He has donated four necklaces featured in Stringing Magazineto be auctioned off. check it out!


project runway
Tonight is the big finale and I can hardly stand the suspense! Who will it be!!! I am off to Lynn and John's for our final Project Runway party. All my work is done for today, I have a bottle of wine and a batch of peanut butter cookies so I am ready to go! See you tomorrow!

I am really excited that Christian won! At first I really wanted Rami to win, but after seeing all the collections live on the show, I really think Christian deserved it. And I was glad to see him act a little more "real" and less diva there towards the end, made me really root for him in the final moments of the show! yay!!

Now it's so sad, no more project runway for a long time. I'll have to watch Top Chef, I like that one too but Project Runway is my favorite!!

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things that made my day!
Getting a Google Alert that CRAFT Zine had posted my Dry Erase Doodle Man project on the CRAFT Zine blog:

Then after the Martha Stewart Episode re-aired today I checked out to see what my book rankings were. I was so excited to see that my books are #1 and #2 Bestsellers in the Crafts/Papercrafts category and #2 in Bestsellers for General Crafts. Tomorrow that will all change as the rankings change minute by minute, but still that's a BIG Yay!!!

That makes for a good day! Now if I can get rid of this migraine, I will be set!

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busy busy!
I've been super busy here the last couple days, working on custom artwork orders and also finishing up book #3! The deadline is here so I am working away dotting all my i's and crossing my t's.

Is everyone ready for the Project Runway finale!? Who do you think it will be? I think Christian will win, but I would love it if Rami won!

More later!


martha stewart episode re-airing on tuesday!
I just got word that the episode that I taped in September on The Martha Stewart Show will re-air this Tuesday March 4th. Check your local listings for air times! If you miss the show you can always watch it online, here is a link to it.

The Martha Stewart web site now allows comments and video ratings! Good ratings are always appreciated and maybe if I get enough I'll be able to go back and tape another show (fingers crossed)!!

have a great weekend!!!

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