faux batik technique on sticky back canvas
I'm not even back from CHA yet but a video of one of my demos is already online! This was filmed by The Pink Donut on the last day of the show.

Check out The Pink Donut Web site here!


headed to Anaheim!
Tomorrow morning very early I'll be on a plane to LAX and then headed to the CHA show in Anaheim. It's going to be a busy show! Here's my schedule, if you are attending please stop by and say hi!

Sunday January 25th:
7am - 9am - CHA Mixed Media Madness Workshop for Ranger
10am - 12noon - FREE Make N Take with me at the Ranger booth. Stop by and make something!
2pm-5:30pm Make N Take continues!

Monday January 26th:
9am - 12 noon - demoing at the Ranger booth
2:30 - 5:30 - more demos at the Ranger booth

Tuesday January 27th:
9am -2:30pm - demoing at Ranger booth
3:00 - 4:30pm author signing and demo at the F+W booth - Free book giveaway - very limited supply!

Wednesday January 28th:
8:30 - 9:30am - filming a webisode for When Creativity Knocks
10 - 11am - demoing at the Stampington/Somerset Studio booth
11am - 1pm - demoing at the Ranger booth

AND!! For those of you NOT coming to the show I'll be at The Scrap N Yap store at 7pm on Wednesday Jan 28th for a meet-n-greet! Call the store for details! Phone: 626.35.SCRAP

Because the show is so busy, it's sometimes hard to find a spare minute to blog. But I'll be Twittering! Follow me on Twitter to get the latest updates!

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inauguration day!
Yesterday was inauguration day and I cannot believe I was there! My friend Martha was in town staying with us just for the event. We all got up early at 6:45am to get ready to head down to the mall to be as close to the inauguration as possible! Paul came with us for a little bit before he had to work at 11am. I was so glad he could come down to at least see all the excitement and help us navigate the crowds!

As we left our apartment on U street people were already crowding the streets even though we were a good mile from the Mall. Everyone was excited and stopping to take photos. Even some of the National Guardsmen were being nice and taking group shots of people!


Our original plan was to head straight down 12th and end up on the Mall near the American History Museum, but the parade security was situated so that it funneled us all the way to the other end of the Mall near the Lincoln Memorial. As we walked, the streets were so filled with people that we could not stay on the sidewalks. The police kept trying to get people to stay on the sidewalks but everyone would spill over and end up in the middle of the street anyway. It was impossible to walk quickly you had to give into the crowd and go at their pace.


When we finally got to the Mall we found a nice place at the WW2 memorial where we had a wonderful view of 3 jumbotrons, the Washington Monument, the Capitol, and the Jefferson Memorial on our left. Behind us was the Lincoln Memorial, so we felt like we were in the perfect spot to view history in the making! This part of the Mall was much less crowded than the other parts but it was still packed with people.



By the time we got there it was about 9:30am and we settled in to wait for 2 more hours before the Inauguration Ceremony would begin. We were behind a small wall at the Memorial which people were not allowed to climb on. People would come along, notice the empty wall, hop up and then the police would yell at them to get down. This would happen over and over again every couple of minutes. Each new group of people thinking it was their original idea to hop up there and then being shocked when the police told them to get down. It was very entertaining and really helped pass the time in the freezing weather! Eventually the police gave up and let people climb on the wall of the Memorial which I thought was kind of sad. It is a WW2 Memorial after all and should be respected.


When Barack Obama was sworn in everyone cheered, some people cried, lots of people high-fived. You could have heard a pin drop during his speech as everyone hung onto every word he was saying. Then it was time to head out and start the long walk away from the Mall and the crowds. We ended up getting back to our apartment around 3pm, so it was a long day in 30 degree weather but so worth it!

Vendors were selling all kinds of things. My favorite was the "Yes We can" Opener which I just had to buy.

"yes we can" opener

Other items for sale that we thought were funny: Obama Butter (moisturizer), The Audacity of Soap, Obama Snowglobes, and restaurants even had Obama Burgers.


Our neighbor even bought handwarmers by the case and sold them and made a bunch of money. Wishing I had thought of that!

The rest of the day was still filled with excitement, we could hear bands playing on U street, we watched the parade on TV and from a local Sports Bar on the big screen TV there. I couldn't get enough of it! We kept watching long after we were exhausted from the day!

It was such a thrill to be there and we couldn't have picked a better time to live in DC!


Obama's inaugural concert
Today we went to the Obama inaugural concert held in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Here are some photos!

The crowd went all the way from the Lincoln Memorial to past the Washington Monument.

The president's helicopter, Marine 1, flies past the Washington Monument

We managed to find a standing spot waaaaaay in the back near the World War II memorial

Michelle and Barack Obama wave to the crowd as they take their seats for the big show

U2 played two songs! We took a very short video too! See video below!

Paul and I!

Paul wrote notes on this Facebook page, and I am posting them here for you to read!

We headed out from the condo about 12:00 p.m. and took the green line on the Metro to Archives/Navy Memorial. Surprisingly, the crowds were light in the subway as well as the way to the show. We encountered a few protesters as we approached Constitution Avenue.

As we got closer to the entrance, the crowds got more intense. Instead of waiting in the massive line to enter the reflecting pool area, we stayed behind the World War II memorial. The crowd wasn't too bad but the mall quickly filled up.

While waiting for the show to start, the Jumbotron close to us kept blacking out. When the video re-launched, we realized the source of the problem: they were using Windows XP for the operating system! ha! Go MAC! There were several short clips shown before the concert started including a sing-along with Elmo, a dancing segment with Ellen and a few stories of everyday Americans.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m., the Bidens walked on stage followed by the Obama family. Finally, the concert started! Denzel Washington kicked it off with an inspirational reading followed by Bruce Springsteen. He played 'Rising' with a beautiful choir backing him. That was pretty much the pattern for the entire show. Reading & song, reading & song, etc., etc. I can't remember the order of the performances so I'll just list the highlights and lowlights of the concert.

Reading highlights: Denzel Washington's intro, Tiger Woods' speech thanking the military and his father, a tribute to Lincoln by Tom Hanks, Queen Latifah's speech about how Eleanor Roosevelt stood up for Marian Anderson and let her sing at FDR's inauguration, George Lopez and Kal Penn, Jamie Foxx's impression of Obama while Steve Carrell looked on, Jack Black and Rosario Dawkin's appreciation of conservation efforts by Teddy Roosevelt, Samuel L Jackson's discussion of MLK and how he inspired the world, including four Irish lads who form the band U2 and Obama's closing remarks, of course!

Reading lowlights: There was some awkwardness before the speech when two bald eagles got tangled up on the arms of their handlers. We felt bad for the eagles as they really wanted to fly away.

Music highlights: U2 playing 'Pride' and 'City of Blinding Lights,' Stevie Wonder, Usher and Shakira performed 'Higher Ground,' and Sheryl Crow's rendition of 'One Love,' John Mellencamp's 'Little Pink Houses' and Garth Brooks and a choir's performance of 'American Pie' and 'Shout' (which made us feel like we were at a wedding reception!)

It was an amazing event despite the insanity of trying to exit the mall. I loved how they tied in the stories of past presidents, the struggle of the civil rights movement, the wars we fought and the work our forefathers did to make this country great. I think everybody swelled with American pride afterward even though or toes were cold!
heart ornaments, pin cushions and more!
It's linky time! I have scoured the internet and here are projects I found this week using Claudine Hellmuth Studio products. They are super cute! I know you're going to love these!

  • Ellen Huston makes a beautiful pin cushion pillow using Sticky back Canvas, Multi Medium and Claudine Hellmuth Studio paints. She has a full tutorial with photos here!
  • Becky Olsen made amazing sewn cards using the Claudine Hellmuth Sticky Back Canvas, Gesso and paints. Check it out here!
  • On the ScrapFriends blog they created two beautiful headbands, a wall tattoo and a scrap layout all using the Claudine Hellmuth Studio Sticky Back Canvas, Multi Medium and paints. WOW! Take a look here! Thanks also to ScrapFriends for the reviews of my product line. Read the reviews here!

And last we have a how-to video. The super creative gals at Somerset Studio made the cutest how-to video featuring my products and I love LOVE these little heart ornaments! Easy to make and perfect for Valentine's Day!

Also don't forget to check out the Memory Makers blog to see the things they are doing with my book! And you can enter to win a free copy!

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toby update
Just a quick update on Toby. thank you so much to everyone who has sent me tweets, emails and posts on my facebook page. So appreciated!

I got an appt with a veterinary oncologist today. I called this morning and was at the office by Noon with the biopsy results faxed over from our vet. She examined Toby and did Xrays to make sure that the cancer hasn't spread.


Then she went over all the options to treat his cancer. Oral cancers are usually very aggressive and the life expectancy from diagnosis is normally only about 3-5 months. However we did catch it early and he's a good candidate for an oral melanoma cancer vaccine. The vaccine is a series of 4 shots two weeks apart, and is a gene therapy that actually works with his DNA to help attack the cancer. Pretty amazing stuff. There are no side effects and all he has to get is a series of shots. So we decided to go this route. I don't want to put him through the trauma of radiation and the Dr didn't think it would give us any extra time with Toby.

The good news is that the life expectancy with the vaccine is about a year to 18 months, longer if we are extremely, extremely lucky. It doesn't cure the cancer, but it helps stave it off and will give us longer with Toby while he has good quality of life. 80% of the dogs who take the vaccine respond well. It's not cheap at all but how can we put a price on hope!

So there is a little glimmer of hope right now. We are doing our best to try to focus on the now. We have him with us today. He is feeling good and playing and perky today. For now that will have to be good enough because we don't know how many more tomorrows we have. We just have today! Hug all your pets!!!!


An Interview with Jill Badonsky
Author, artist and creativity coach, Jill Badonsky is doing a blog tour to promote her new book the Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder and I am excited to be the January 14th stop on her tour!

I got her book last week and I have to say how much I love it! It's made up of little tips and idea starters that you can do each day to get the creative wheels turning. It is on my bedside table and I have really enjoyed reading each days' prompts each morning.

I have posted a page from January 14th of the
Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder at the bottom of this post with her permission. Click to enlarge to view the page!

Here's a little interview I did with Jill:

Your new book is about being creative every day. Do you feel that doing daily writings in a journal is a necessary step to a creative life?
Yes, absolutely. One can be creative without writing in a journal, but there are so many advantages to it I'm not sure why any of us wouldn't want to do it. Just 2 minutes writing a day can make a difference. Journal writing not only accesses our creativity it also helps develop neural pathways that act as water-slides for new ideas. Talking to ourselves on the page frees us, allows us to play, opens the pathways for making mistakes in our writing or art that lead to discoveries we hadn't considered, helps us stumble into new perspectives, elevates the very awareness we need to flourish, reminds us of our uniqueness and enhances our self-confidence which is fuel for creative progress. The Awe-manac has at least one journal writing prompt for every day of the year to help journal writers with some fresh new journal approaches

What is the number one thing that seems to block people's creativity? For me it's when I compare my work to the work by other people’s -- that can really bring out my inner critic!
Comparison is toxic in the creative process. It's a natural and normal impulse to compare but once you find yourself doing it, it's important to derail it before it derails you. When I find myself comparing I do a "Frank" named after Frank Sinatra and his song .. "I'll do it my way." I say to myself, "That's great what they're doing, but I'll do it my way." Or my default mantras are "So what, I'll do it anyway," "I can't wait to get started."

Comparison comes from the fear of not being good enough or of falling behind. The many faces of fear are what block people the most. Perfectionism, which is another form of fear, stops people from starting or causes them to quit too soon. Fear of giving up a comfortable routine, of wasting time and money, of success, of exposure – all these fears surface when we approach this delicate and beautiful process called creativity. We become stronger in life in general when we figure out ways to proceed despite the fear. Fear is not triggered when we lower our expectations and break things waaaaaay down into tiny steps like working for 2 minutes at a time, setting up our work space for 5 minutes, day dreaming for 45 seconds about our creative intention.

I love that your new book focuses on being creative in little ways as well as big ones, that art doesn't have to be "serious". What is your favorite prompt or exercise from your book?
It's hard to pick just one favorite prompt but I would have to say that my favorite type of prompts are the ones that make me laugh – sometimes that's enough. When I'm stuck in my writing, I find that the "word pools" easiest because they make writing easy since a group of words and phrases are already provided so I don't have to start from scratch. Repeated completions also make starting easier and our mind loves repetition so it's fun to see what it volunteers as we get going in the process.

Bio for Jill Badonsky:
Jill is a corporate drop-out, an artist, poet and founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching: A radically different way of coaching that involves play, intuition, small steps, audacity, goofing off and compassion. Jill is a columnist for Creativity Portal and author of the book The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard): 10 Guides to Creative Inspiration and the recently released The Awe-manac: A Dose of Wonder. Jill believes in miraculous healing properties of the creative process. She lives in San Diego with two cats and a bougainvillea.


worried about our little T
Toby had his teeth cleaned while we were in FL and they had found a growth. They tested it for cancer just in case and today we got news that we did not want to hear. They called today with the lab results and they are positive for malignant melanoma. Of course Paul and I are devastated!

We are going to find out what the treatment options are from the oncologist and trying to keep our spirits up. We don't believe in doing any crazy treatments that might make him miserable and not help in the long run. We want him to be comfortable and if we can help extend his life in a non-traumatic way then we'll do it.


If there is ever a case for not putting off your pets' teeth cleaning I think this is it. We actually had his teeth cleaned earlier than we needed to and I am so glad we did it. Otherwise who knows when they would have found this. We caught it early and that's what we keep saying to ourselves over and over again. Early is good. Early is good. Early is good.

PS that phone number on his collar is no longer active :) thanks to those of you who emailed me worried about it!


free book giveaway!
I love a giveaway! The Memory Makers Magazine blog is giving away a free copy of my new book The Scrapbooker's Creativity Kit!

Hop on over to The Memory Makers blog to enter to win! Contest goes until Friday!

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workshop update!
Just a quick note about my 2009 workshops!

I have a new workshop coming up on Feb 21st at Angela's Happy Stamper in Reston VA. It will be a 1/2 day morning class with a book signing in the afternoon. Lesley Riley will be teaching an afternoon class with her book signing in the morning. A double feature! All the info is on Angela's Happy Stamper web site here!

I will also be at The Queen's Ink in Maryland in March. Details to be announced soon.

Other workshops I'll be teaching in 2009 are in Bonita Springs FL, Hampton VA, Nova Scotia and Daytona Beach, FL! Complete listings on my web site here!


Craft and Hobby Association Convention
I am getting ready to head to The Craft and Hobby Association convention January 24th in Anaheim CA. 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 25th:
7am - 9am - CHA Mixed Media Madness Workshop for Ranger
10am - 12noon - FREE Make N Take with me at the Ranger booth. Stop by and make something!
2pm-5:30pm Make N Take continues!

Monday January 26th:
9am - 12 noon - demoing at the Ranger booth
2:30 - 5:30 - more demos at the Ranger booth

Tuesday January 27th:
9am -2:30pm - demoing at Ranger booth
3:00 - 4:30pm author signing and demo at the F+W booth - Free book giveaway - very limited supply!

Wednesday January 28th:
8:30 - 9:30am - filming a webisode for When Creativity Knocks
10 - 11am - demoing at the Stampington/Somerset Studio booth
11am - 1pm - demoing at the Ranger booth

AND!! For those of you NOT coming to the show I'll be at The Scrap N Yap store at 7pm on Wednesday Jan 28th for a meet-n-greet! Call the store for details! Phone: 626.35.SCRAP
how to glue with gel medium!
I posted this tutorial on the Scrap In Style TV blog last year but I recently received a few questions about gluing using gel medium so I thought now would be a good time to post it again!

I often get asked how to glue papers with gel medium and not get bubbles. There is a little trick to it and I'll show you my technique! Using gel medium to glue your layouts or artwork is a great way to protect your work, you'll create a smooth, waterproof and archival surface which will stand the test of time.

First let's talk about what gel medium is. Gel medium is essentially acrylic paint without the pigment, so it dries clear. It is used to seal surfaces as a type of varnish, you can mix it with your acrylic paint to make the paint into glazes. And because it is archival and non-yellowing many people like to use it as their glue.I have used gel medium as my glue for 19 years and I can't even think about using anything else!

Many different companies make gel medium and some are thicker or thinner than others, some come in a matte finish, semi-gloss or gloss, you'll find the one that works right for you.

I am so excited because I got to create my own DREAM gel medium with Ranger that has all the elements needed to make it perfect for mixed media use! I'll be using my Multi-Medium in Matte from the Claudine Hellmuth Studio product line for this demo.

To get started here are the supplies that I am using. A small canvas, a dictionary page, gift wrap, a few small buttons (I'll show you how to glue small objects too!), paint brushes and Multi-Medium from my Claudine Hellmuth Studio Line with Ranger.

The first step to gluing without air bubbles is to coat your surface with a nice thick layer of Multi-Medium. You want to make sure to go back and forth and that there are no areas without medium. If you have any gaps in medium you will create an air bubble. So take your time and get good coverage.

Then lay your paper down on top of the wet Multi-Medium. Don't press down at first. Then take your brush with more Multi-Medium and spread it on top of the paper starting in the middle and spreading from the center out. This will force out any air to the outer edges of the paper and off your artwork.

The larger the size of paper you are gluing the trickier it can be to not have any air bubbles. If you are working on a large size piece of paper you need to work fast to make sure the medium doesn't dry before you have the chance to press the bubbles out.

Sometimes I like to take my finger and smoosh around on the paper to really make sure those air bubbles are out. if I see any I can take my finger and gently coax them away to the edge. This only works while the medium is still wet on top. It acts a lubricant so that way I don't tear the top layer of paper.

Here I repeated the process again with a layer of wrapping paper on top of the dictionary page. You can layer as many layers of paper as you like using this method.

You can also glue objects using Multi-Medium! (that's why we called it "MULTI-medium"! Because you can do so many things with it, transfers, gluing, glazes etc)

Here's how to glue a button. Add a glob of Multi-Medium to the back of your button.

Press down to your surface.

Then take a clean brush and clean up the excess. Wait to dry and viola! It will be glued on there forever and because of the flexible nature of the medium, you will never have to worry about it falling off!

Here's an extreme closeup of the finished gluing demo so you can see how smooth the surface is. Now I have created a nice waterproof and archival surface that will stand the test of time!

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linky tuesday
A few more linky shout-outs to bloggers who have used the Claudine Hellmuth Studio products to make projects:

Big thanks to the Memory Makers Blog for the wonderful posts about my new book The Scrapbooker's Creativity Kit! And thanks also to Lisa Harper for the mention on her blog too!

If you make a project post it to your blog using my Studio Line products. Let me know and I'll list it when I do another linky post!

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hello 2009
Hello 2009! How did you get here so fast? I was just getting used to 2008 too!

Have you come up with your New Year's Resolutions yet? I am still working on mine! In the spirit of the new year, I listened to a Get Your Year in Gear seminar. If you haven't heard it, check it out. Some good tips and things I want to try too!


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