book giveaway winner!
Announcing the winner of the book giveaway for Lesley Riley's new book, Fabulous Fabric Art!!

Lori Vilegen you are the winner!! Please email me your address and we'll get this right out to you! Thank you to everyone who entered! Next week I'll have a give away of Ann Baldwin's new book. Stay tuned!!!


toby update
Well it wasn't a good day today. I took Toby in for his final cancer vaccine and we discovered that the cancer has grown back in his mouth in a whole new place. Two weeks ago when the Oncologist checked him it nothing was there and now it is the size of a large grape.

Toby in the car

In just two weeks! And he was doing so well, I thought he for sure he was going to be a poster child for this vaccine. So we took chest x rays to make sure the cancer hasn't spread yet and then they didn't give him the last vaccine. Now we have to decide if we do surgery to cut the new cancer out which would only buy us maybe a couple weeks more, or do we just let things take their course.

Paul and I are adamant that we want Toby to have as much quality of life as possible and enjoy every minute, so right now we are leaning toward not getting the surgery. Because of where the cancer is, they can't cut it all out and it would just come right back and then he would have had surgery and pain and stress and be at the same place we are at now. I would rather that he have happy weeks left with us with less visits to the vet for him. He gets so stressed out every time we go.

But another part of me wants to shout, WAIT!!! no!! this can't be happening. I will do anything to keep him longer!! I feel like if I could do a deal with someone, anyone, please give us more time. I want more time!! But as my friend Carmi said, it will NEVER be enough time. If I get another year, I will need another year after that, I would take eternity if I could. That would be wonderful. But that's not how it works.

Right now we know where this road is leading, but we don't know how long the road is. We could have weeks. We could have 2-3 months. But we DO have tonight and we have tomorrow and next week so right now I am concentrating on that.

It is so hard for me to live in the present, I always live in the future, but this will be a life lesson for me, because I am going to try to be present every minute for Toby so I can enjoy every last second I have with him.

Everyday is precious!


pet updates!
Exciting news! Tomorrow I take Toby in for his last cancer treatment!


Yay! I am thrilled! This has been a round of 4 cancer vaccines then after this they will give him a booster vaccine every 6 months with rechecks to make sure the cancer hasn't come back every 2-3 months.

I will be so glad once he has his treatment tomorrow he will be at maximum resistance to the melanoma and even though the vet doesn't like to be too optimistic - I am hoping for a full remission and many many more years with our Little T!


And now for the Stanley update! Thank you for all your sweet emails and Tweets and Facebook messages about Stan so we can't leave him out! Stanley has been taking his beta blockers twice a day since December and he goes back to the cardiologist in March/April for anther echo cardiogram. When he gets this echo we will be able to tell if the beta blockers are slowing down or stopping the heart disease. That will be a nerve wracking appointment! I asked the vet if we could bring him earlier to check but she said that we have to wait 4 months because otherwise we won't be able to tell. So we are still waiting and hoping!


And Mabel -- is our "healthy" pet except she is hugely fat. But knock on wood, she is our healthy girl and our hearts and bank accounts are so thankful for that!


printed sticky back canvas dress
Here's a peek of one of the projects we made in my online class last week with Scrap in Style TV.


You can print onto the Claudine Hellmuth Studio Sticky Back Canvas in your inkjet printer (laser printing not recommended). Here I cut it into a dress shape, made two sides and stuffed it with batting to create dimension.

I used one of my favorite photos of my Mom in her 20's when she was working for The Sunday Express in Johannesburg. She's sitting on the shoulders of Mr Universe! Love it!


let's have another giveaway
This weekend I was reading Lesley Riley's new book, Fabulous Fabric Art and I thought, let's have a giveaway!!

This is a super book with great projects you can use on Lutadur (the focus surface of the book) or on other surfaces too.

One of my artworks is in this book too!

I am giving away an extra copy so you can enjoy Lesley's book! Just post a comment below and I will pick a winner on Friday night at 6pm EST using the random number generator at Don't forget to include a way for me to get in touch with you when you post your comment!

Thanks for playing!

**** EDITED FRIDAY AT 5:15PM *****
I will draw the winner for the book tomorrow (Saturday) at lunchtime. Sorry for the delay. This has been a crazy week. the good news is - more time to enter!

You can view the winner here! thanks everyone for playing. More giveaways coming up!!


book signing Saturday!
Just a quick reminder to let everyone know, tomorrow I am teaching a class at Angela's Happy Stamper in Reston VA from 10am - 12noon - class is sold out!

But please stop by for my book signing from 2-4pm! I will be at the store signing my new book The Scrapbooker's Creativity Kit.
The book signings are open to anyone who would like to come, so stop on by and say hi!!

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 (class full) and in April - spaces still available for the April class!

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


sticky back canvas purse project
This is my last post from my latest sewing adventures using my Claudine Hellmuth Studio products!


Even though I had only just started sewing, I was determined to make some sort of purse using the Sticky Back Canvas, and I am really excited with how it came out. Because the canvas is sticky I just stuck the lining fabric directly to the back of the canvas before I sewed it all together and then I had instant lining!

I had a lot of really great purse designs in my sketchbook but my skill level isn't there yet. I can imagine that if someone really knew how to sew you could make something really REALLY amazing! I was excited to see that the machine sewed very nicely even through 3 layers of Sticky Back canvas.

While working on the strap for the purse I got an idea to make a belt! Wouldn't that be CUTE! I will be trying that next!


quick and easy altered pillow
For day two of my sewing projects, I wanted to show you this pillow that I made using fabric, Claudine Hellmuth Studio Acrylic Paints and Sticky Back Canvas!


Just like with the embellished t-shirt, I created a pillow design by sewing pieces of painted Sticky Back Canvas to a pillow cover. I made an attempt to create this pillow cover from scratch but you could easily take an existing pillowcase and alter it up by adding Sticky Back embellishments!

Tomorrow I will show you my attempt to make a Sticky Back Canvas purse!

Anyone watching the Top Chef season finale tonight? Paul and I are rooting for Carla!!!


sticky back canvas embellished t-shirt
Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook know that a few weeks ago I was struggling with using a sewing machine for the first time - it took me a whole day just to thread the bobbin! Over the next couple days I'll share with you my experiments!


This first one is a Sticky Back Canvas T shirt project! I bought a T-shirt from Target - my favorite place to shop! And embellished using my Claudine Hellmuth Studio Acrylic paints Sticky Back canvas. You can sew it, and it holds up in the washer. Just turn it inside out and put it in a mesh bag to protect it in the machine, then lay flat to dry! you can iron lightly once dry to smooth out anything that need to be flattened again. I washed this shirt with my regular laundry, jeans etc and it was fine!


Here's a detail of the sewing! Remember this was my first time sewing, so it's not perfect, but I wanted you to see that you can easily sew the Sticky Back Canvas, and it doesn't even gum up the needle.

Sticky Back Canvas embellishments must be sewn on to last through the washer. Oh! And the Sticky Back canvas was painted using Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paints and the paints also held up well wish washing.

I made this one before I discovered that I could even go backwards on the sewing machine, I can't wait to make more now that I am learning more about sewing! If you make any Sticky Back embellished T's let me know and I'll link to them. Maybe we need to do a Sticky Back Canvas fashion show!!


sticky back canvas tote bag, cards, buttons & more!
Lots of exciting linky shout outs and a big THANK YOU to everyone who used the Claudine Hellmuth Studio products on their blogs this week! We have some great projects that you don't want to miss!

  • You have got to see these cute CUTE cute (did I say cute!?) totes that Martha Bonneau posted to her blog. She printed onto Claudine Hellmuth Studio Sticky Back canvas and then appliqued to simple tote bags. The photo posted to the right are her bags. Posted with her permission of course! love it!
  • I Heart Art created a super cute card design using Sticky Back canvas. Love the pink houndstooth design. Take a look here!
  • Julie Fei-Fan Balzer has an online tutorial using various Ranger products and Claudine Hellmuth Studio Landscape Green paints. You don't want to miss this project! Check it out here!
  • The fabulous Crafty Chica made decorative candle holders using Claudine Hellmuth Studio Sticky Back Canvas and then wrote a little article about it for The Arizona Republic. Take a look!
  • And this you have to see! Stickyback Canvas buttons! Davine printed buttons from a digital scrapbooking kit, and then stuck them to bazzill chipboard pieces. What a great way to bring digital and "real" scrapbooking together! Here's a closeup photo. And don't forget to visit Davine's blog here to see the whole layout!
  • Want a new wall hanging? Kerri Posson has created a metal wall hanging project using Sticky Back Canvas. This is beautiful. check it out on her blog here!
If you make a project and post it to your blog using any of my Studio Line products, let me know and I'll list it when I do another linky post! Also for the instructors out there: send me an email if you are teaching a class using my product line and I'll mention it too!

A quick mention of my online class I am teaching in just a couple days! It starts Wednesday and is only $15!! AND if you are a Facebook Fan of Scrap in Style TV you get $2 off. Click here for the code!

Class starts Wedneday so sign up soon!! More workshop details here!!

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don't forget our furry friends this Valentine's day!
Those of you who follow my blog know that my close friend Bernie Berlin runs A Place to Bark animal rescue. She runs this rescue all by herself with a little help from just a couple faithful volunteers --- and she is in dire need of help for the animals. With the not-so-great economy donations are down and we all know how expensive it is for vet bills! Paul and I know that full well as I can't even mention how much money we have spent in the last 2 months on Stanley and Toby's treatments!

If it weren't for Bernie we never would have our Stanley (pictured at right!) Bernie got Stanley from animal control when he was just two weeks old. Because he and his litter mates needed to be bottle fed he would have been put down by animal control. But Bernie whisked him and his siblings away and bottle fed them every 2 hours until they got big and strong!! And now he's our baby! Thank you Bernie for our Stanley!!

Maybe instead of chocolates or flowers this Valentine's Day you'll think of the animals at A Place to Bark and make a small donation. I know that's what Paul and I will be doing! Even $5 or $10 will help! And here's the great news!! The Zoline Foundation has offered up a matching grant for 2009, If we can get to $10,000 they will match that amount! WOW!!!

You can donate via the new 6 degrees badge for A Place to Bark, below. If you have one of the old badges on your blog, please don't forget to update it with this new badge:

There are so many expenses that go into running an animal rescue. Bernie goes through 50lbs of dog food just in ONE day!! The medical expenses pile up so quickly. Just one puppy with parvo can cost $500 to save it's little life. Multiply that by a few hundred dogs and you can see how the expenses add up. Through Bernie's efforts, she saved over 500 dogs in 2008 from certain death at animal control. She needs our help so she can keep helping the animals!

Here's a video from Bernie that shows you a little more about A Place to Bark. All the doggies in this video will be available for adoption when they go to Chicago on the 17th of Feb!

There are also free ways that you can help A Place to Bark! We have them listed here on her web site!

The more followers a Place to Bark gets the more attention she can get from grants and companies who might be able to help. It's Free and you can help!

Follow A Place to Bark on Twitter - click here!
Follow A Place to Brk on Facebook - click here
Subscribe to A Place to Bark videos on YouTube - click here!

Artist Leigh Jackson is doing a Faces of Love fundraiser for A Place to Bark. She will paint a portrait of your doggy with no obligation to buy! I have seen Leigh's dog portraits and they are wonderful!! Click here to find out more!


sneak peeks of my online class
The registration for my new online class is open now! Click here to register ! You can take a preview/tour of the "classroom" by clicking here!


Here's a little preview of the projects we'll be making in class. Each project has a technique that goes with it and there will be in depth photos and instructions that you can download so that you create at your leisure!

I will show you how I use my new book, The Scrapbooker's Creativity Kit as an idea starter for projects. I will create a new artwork for each day of the class and will show you step outs of each project so that you can follow along at home. I will talk in depth about my thought process for each project and how I use the Scrapbooker's Creativity Kit to arrive at each new idea. As part of each new project, you will learn new a new technique, with a one hour online chat with me on Thursday Feb 19th at 9pm EST.

I will be checking into the class each day to answer questions and there will be an hour long chat on Feb 19th. A complete PDF will be ready to download at the end of class so you can play along on your own schedule.

I saw some questions in my last blog post about the class and via email so I will answer them here!
  • Is this class open to International students? - YES! That's what is so great about online classes no matter where you are you can take it!
  • Do I have to buy all Claudine Hellmuth Studio products to take the class? No you don't. You can take the class, see what we are making and then decide which products you would like to buy or if you want to make the projects using items you already have at home. It is up to you!
  • Do you have to have the book to take the class? No you don't. I hope after you take the class you will want it because you will see what a great tool it is! :)
  • Do I have to be "present" each day to take the class? no you don't! you can check in each evening or just on the last day of the class on the 20th and download the full PDF to create at your leisure!
  • When does the class start? Wednesday Feb 18th. Next week!
  • What does the classroom look like? Click here to preview it!
  • How much is the class? Only $15!!! WOW!!
If you have any other questions just post them in the comments and I will answer!

Ready to sign up!? Class starts next week so sign up soon! Click here to register now. Or get the class + my new book The Scrapbooker's Creativity Kit as one package by clicking here!


Creativity Kick Start online class + a giveaway!
I am excited to announce that I have a new online class with It starts Wed Feb 18th - 20th. That is next week!!!

A little info about online classes with -- It's a 3 day class, but don't worry - you do not have have to be "present" each day to take the class. You can sign up and visit the classroom each night when you are done with work. Or visit the classroom on Friday the 20th and download all the class information.

There will be an online chat with me on the evening of Thursday the 19th, so that I can answer questions about the techniques and projects that we are making in the class! I will also be checking in to help answer questions through out the day.

Interested in hearing more? Here is the class description:


Learn to dig deeper into your scrapbooking and journaling, or just discover new ideas for projects! In this 3 day online class, Claudine will you how she uses her new book, The Scrapbooker's Creativity Kit as an idea starter for her artworks and projects. Claudine will create a new artwork for each day of the class and will show you step outs of each project so that you can follow along at home. She will talk in depth about her thought process for and how she used the Scrapbooker's Creativity Kit to arrive at each new idea. In addition to a new project each day, you will learn new a new technique, with a one hour online chat with Claudine on Thursday Feb 19th. Claudine will be available to answer your questions through out the class and a complete PDF will be ready to download at the end of class so you can play along at your leisure.

All this for only $15!!!

Ready to sign up!
Just click here to register now. Or get the class + my new book The Scrapbooker's Creativity Kit as one package by clicking here!

BUT wait! There's more! is donating this class to one lucky winner! All you have to do is post a comment below to be entered! I will do the drawing on Thursday Feb 12th at 8pmEST.

Using the random number generator at it selected #23 which is ZQuilts!! ZQuilts send me your email address and I will send it to the Scrap and Style TV staff and they will get you set up to take the class!

Thank you so much to all who played along for the Free Class! I will show some sneak peeks of the class in my next blog post tonight and also answer some of your questions!! thank you for playing!!

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easy watermark resist technique
A quick video of a new resist technique (love those resist techniques!) using the Claudine Hellmuth Studio Products and the Ranger Watermark Resist pad! This was filmed at the CHA Show in Anaheim.


a giveaway!
Hop on over to ScrapScene where you can enter to win a pack of Claudine Hellmuth Studio Sticky Back Canvas.

All you have to do is leave a comment on ScrapScene to enter to win. Easy!! Click here to enter.


new Sticky Back Canvas video
A big thanks to who made an amazing video using the Claudine Hellmuth Studio Sticky Back Canvas. Watch them make super cute Sticky Back covered binders and see how they react to using Sticky Back for the first time - surprisingly sticky, yet not too sticky! Really great video ladies! - sticky-back canvas in the studio from Illustrating Stories on Vimeo.

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new from the studio
Now that the holidays are long gone, I can finally post some of the custom artwork orders that I created as Christmas presents for clients. I never like to post until I know it won't ruin the surprise!


This was such a fun piece to work on. She loves cooking, he loves her cooking and the doggie likes to help! Too cute!


indie biz chicks podcast
A big thanks to Crissy at Indie Biz Chicks for including me in one of her podcasts. Crissy and I chatted away about how to expand your business by giving workshops, balancing business time with art time and other fun "business-y" things!

Hop on over to the Indie Biz Chicks blog to listen!


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


  • Artist and instructor Mary Beth Shaw will be teaching a a Geometric Claybord Book class using the Claudine Hellmuth Studio paints next weekend at Rock Paper Scissors in St. Charles, MO.
  • I will be teaching a one day Collage Discovery Workshop class at The Queen's Ink on March 14th. Spaces are limited!
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! Also for the instructors out there: send me an email if you are teaching a class using my product line and I'll mention it too!


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