Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion Workshops
The information for the Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion Workshops is now available online here! I'll be teaching two classes which are offered on the Friday and repeated again Saturday. I am so looking forward to this incredible event!

Registration starts tomorrow Sept 1st at noon CST!!!

In addition to the workshops, other exciting events include:
  • A welcome reception on Thursday night. Enter to win original ME art!
  • A tour of Mary Engelbreit’s studio
  • A panel of super stars—Amy Butler, Dena Fishbein, Marcia Ceppos and Mary Engelbreit—discuss “The Future of Handmade”
  • Giveaways and raffles. Join us for lunch on Saturday before the panel discussion and get your thank you goodie bag.
  • Your choice of 2 seminars led by industry specialists, will give you insight on everything from licensing to exhibiting your work at craft fairs!
Get ready!! Registration starts tomorrow Sept 1st @ noon CST!!!


illustration friday: magnify
Here's my entry for this weeks' Illustration Friday theme of "magnify"


"Rose was suddenly re-thinking her decision to buy a magnifying mirror."

When I first read the theme I thought of those magnifying make-up mirrors. And how at first it seems like a good idea to get "up close" to do your make-up, but then after looking in one, your flaws are instantly magnified and you have to remind yourself that normally people do not see you this close up!

Have a great weekend everyone!


stationery featuring YOU!
I'm super excited to announce a collaboration between myself and Feterie - modern stationery and bespoken lovelies.

We just launched an exclusive tailored stationery collection designed to pair with my custom artworks!!! The collection of paper goodies includes personalized notecards, stationery, holiday greeting and a whole lot more!

Here's how it works! Commission me to create a custom artwork (sketch or canvas orders only). After the artwork is finished, go to the Feterie web site to place your order. Feterie will coordinate with me to receive the digital file of your artwork, and you'll work with Feterie for your stationery order!

You choose from notecards,bookplates, holiday greetings and more! Shop the stationery on Feterie here or contact me for your own commissioned work of art!

If I've created a custom artwork for you in the past, and you would like cards made from it, just go to
the Feterie web site, place your order and we'll take it from there.

Interested in Christmas or Holiday cards for this holiday season? Get started now and your artwork and cards will completed in plenty of time to send them out!


online biz classes and calls
On Tuesday Sept 1st @ 9pm (this coming Tuesday!) I'll be on a call with Crissy from as part of her Summer Biz Sessions. Only $14.95 and you can register to hear all the calls with great ladies like Jennifer Perkins, Jenny Heart and Laura Allen of the 15 second pitch!

Then mark your calendars for Sept 7th! I am also part of Laura Bray's Multiple Streams of Income Workshop. I can't wait to be a part of this one. She's covering all the bases, children's book illustration, art licensing, selling your art online and more!


friends and cupcakes!
Today was Hello Cupcake's 1st year anniversary so they were giving away free cupcakes! I couldn't miss out on this so my friend Lorraine and I met there and enjoyed our delicious cupcakes which tasted even better because they were FREE!! I read on the Hello Cupcake web site they gave away 2,500 cupcakes! That's a lot of yummy goodness!!

Free cupcake day @ Hello Cupcake

After cupcakes Lorraine and I walked over and stopped by the Textile Museum. Hard to resist the goodies in the gift shop! Fun fun fun!

Lorraine is one of my favorite people in DC. She is so much fun just being around her makes me happy! She wore a cupcake necklace to the event and brought me one to wear while were there too :)

I have posted this photo of her amazing garden at her house over by the Cathedral to my Twitter but I have to show you here again:

My friend Lorraine's garden

I have dreams of having a garden like this one day! It is like a magical fairy garden! And of course there is a GREAT story about how her neighbors did not approve of her purple painted shed! How could you not love that shed!?

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kitty updates!
Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook are probably sick of hearing about my pets, but this weekend I received a few emails asking about Stan and Mabel since I hadn't posted about them in a long time... so I thought a pet update blog post was due!

Trying to do yoga around these two

Here's Stan and Mabel on my yoga mat in the morning!

Actually I had purposely not posted about Mabel because we've had a little medical drama with her the last 6 weeks. It seemed as if every time I posted about one of our pets with a medical issue then my very next post would end up being about some dire prognosis that they had received. So I got a little superstitious and decided not to blog about Mabel. Seems she's on the mend now so (knock on wood) she'll be fine!

Mabel cat taking a nappy nap

Here's Mabel showing off her belly after her recent ultrasound. She had to have her liver looked at with ultrasound when her liver levels in her blood skyrocketed to insane levels. After consulting with various internal medicine specialists and numerous tests, we still haven't quite figured out what was going on, but things seem to be heading in the right direction, her last tests have been *almost* normal. Whew! Fingers crossed!


Then if that wasn't enough visits to the vet it was time for Stanley's quarterly echo-cardiogram. Stan has juvenile onset heart disease (HCM) + asthma. So at only 3 years old we have to check on his heart every few months. His last check up was great and there had been improvement in his heart, so I was naively expecting them to tell me that he was "cured" when I brought him in this time. Not quite. His heart has shown some worsening of the disease so I was really sad about that, but we are helping him along with meds he gets Enalapril and Altenol + baby aspirin for his heart. And Flovent + Albuterol for his asthma. He is so spunky and energetic that you would never know there was anything going on!

Paul giving Stanley his asthma meds using the areoKat+ flovent

Here's a photo of Stan taking his asthma meds at night!

So that's the update on the kitties! We're still missing Toby doggie so much. It still feels like he's on vacation and will be coming back at any minute! I can't shake that feeling that it didn't really happen and he'll be back. It's been 4 months, but we're just not used to it. My good friend Bernie from A Place to Bark has been tempting me with photos of her beautiful doggies at her shelter. We're aiming for the spring to bring in a new family member to the household. Have to make sure that Stan and Mabel are OK with the idea first!


free your creativity
Last summer, I had found a great article on the HOW Magazine web site about Freeing Your Creativity and did a little post about it, here's the post again with some additions and new thoughts!

Now that I think about it -- whenever I feel creatively flat I think it really can fall into one of the categories that is outlined in this article by Todd Henry. Once you identify how you are torturing yourself you can stop!

He talks about 3 sources of creativity killers:

1. Our Heroes - Comparing yourself or your work to another artist you admire is a sure way to to feel inferior. I agree! Sometimes if I spend too much time hopping around Etsy or various blogs, I start to feel down about my own work. Seeing all these juicy blogs makes me start to compare my work and then quickly leads down a dark road to feeling bad about my work.

2. Our Own Work - Another great point in this article is one I didn't even really think about. When you create a "pinnacle" work that you feel is above all your other works and then you compare everything else that you create to that one piece. I do this sometimes and now that I think about it, it is a creativity crusher. I am on the road to a creative block if I keep thinking to myself "if only I could make another piece as good as THAT one" oh boy!

3. Others Expectations - Imagining what others will say about a work that I am creating is a direct route to stopping the creative process. This can be a real challenge for me especially when I am making art for custom artwork orders. It's hard to push those thoughts of "will they like this?" aside and just go with the process while keeping the clients needs in mind at the same time.

The article also mentions this book - Free Play, which I did get and enjoyed although not as much as I thought I would when I first wrote about it. It was a good book. Just very cerebral. I would recommend Orbiting the Giant Hairball as a good book to feel a creative jumpstart. it's one of my favs. Also Bird by Bird. I have this one by my bed and read it again and again!

Anyone think of any other Creativity Killers to add to this list?
september workshop update
Just a note to let you know we only have a handful of spaces left in my workshop this Sept in Portland Maine! yay! If you've been waiting to sign up, now's the time! Here are the details!

South Portland Maine - September 25th-27th
Inspired Claudine's books, Collage Discovery Workshop & Collage Discovery Workshop Beyond the Unexpected, this two 1/2 day, intensive collage workshop will focus on mixed media techniques, color, and composition. You will learn a combination of painterly techniques to enhance the surface of your collage artwork, experiment with image transfer methods and more. Claudine will share with you all of her tricks of the trade! Even if you have never collaged or painted before you'll leave this workshop feeling like a pro! To register, visit the Artascope Studios Web site. Supply list also available on the Artascope Studios Web site here!


illustration friday: wrapped
Here's my entry for this week's illustration friday theme of "wrapped"


I had this piece already about 1/2 way done so when I saw the theme I thought it would be the perfect incentive to finish it up!

This artwork is dedicated to my friend Kim Cochran who's having her 30th birthday tomorrow!! Happy birthday Kim!!

Happy Friday everyone!


new from my studio!
This is a 16x20 custom artwork that I created as a wedding Ketubah for this cute couple (and their cats too)!


The bride provided the Ketubah text in English and Hebrew and then I combined it into the artwork.

When I shipped the artwork I sent along the same pen that I used in the line drawing so they can sign it at the wedding ceremony. (some text in the Ketubah has been blurred for privacy)

It was huge (HUGE!) honor to create such an important piece for this lovely new family!


somerset studio magazine + a giveaway!
I was excited to see the new issue of Somerset Studio Magazine! At CHA Winter 2009 the Ranger booth did a house project designer challenge where each participant received a box full of Claudine Hellmuth Studio paints, mediums + sticky-back canvas and a paper mache rectangle + one piece of chipboard. We were instructed to make something "house shaped."

Here's a quick snap of most of the houses at the Ranger booth at the CHA Winter show.... after the show we sent all the houses to Somerset Studio Magazine for the article!

Here's a little preview of the article with my Circus "big top" house and you can see a peek of Tim Holtz's beachy house. To read the whole article you'll have to get the magazine!

-- contest is over! Winner has been chosen. Scroll down to see if you won!

I have one copy of the magazine to give away!!

Just post a comment below and you'll be entered to win the Sept/Oct 2009 issue of Somerset Studio. I'll choose a winner at random on Friday evening at 5pm EST!

EDITED 5:15PM EST 8-14-09


A winner has been selected using the random number generator and it's #104 which is Apple!!
Apple send me your snail mail address and I will send you the magazine. Thanks for playing everyone!!

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meet me in St. Louis!
Mary Engelbreit, Barbara Martin and the Home Companion are hosting a spring weekend workshop in St. Louis. I'll be there teaching two classes at the event! (Complete workshop details to come soon)

The event will take place in this vintage luxury hotel overlooking Forest Park in the Central West End, a block from Mary's studio (which will be open for student tours - I can't wait to see it!), The event is JAM packed with Mary Engelbreit Home Companion goodness - artist talks, workshops, vendor night all with juicy twists and details which I am bursting to tell you and will link to as soon as everything is up on the web site.

>Mark your calendar and save these dates: First, registration starts Sept. 1st 2009 and the big event is April 29-May 2nd 2010 in St. Louis! Click here for more info. It's going to be an exciting event!!

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easy acrylic paint transfer technique
Here's a really quick and simple transfer technique filmed at CHA Summer 2009 using Claudine Hellmuth Studio paints as your transfer medium!

Where to buy:
AT A STORE NEAR YOU: Check your local crafts/scrapbook or arts supply store for availability. In stock (sticky-back canvas only) at *select* Michael's and AC Moore Stores.

BUY ONLINE: Claudine Hellmuth Studio Products are for sale online at these locations: Somerset Shoppe, ScrapLovers, Joggles Online, Schmooze with Suze. And MANY more! Google "Claudine Hellmuth Studio" for complete results!

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illustration friday: impatience
Here's my submission for this weeks' illustration friday theme of "impatience"


This was a fun piece to work on! Have a great weekend everyone!

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Claudine Hellmuth Studio product giveaway!
Jessica Turner from the blog The Mom Creative Blog is giving away a huge prize pack of Claudine Hellmuth Studio products! Click here to enter! Hurry! Contest ends Sunday!


help A Place To bark win $10k!
Please help "A Place To Bark" win $10,000 by nominating them, as your favorite charity!

The Christie Cookie Company is giving away $25,000 total to 12 charities. It only takes a few seconds, and will help A Place to Bark in their final phases of finishing the shelter to continue helping animals in need.

You will need the following info to vote:

Charity Name: A Place to Bark

Charity City: Portland

Charity State: TN

Charity Contact Name: Bernie Berlin

Your Name & Your Email

Spread the word and share with all your animal loving friends!!! Please re-post this message to your blogs, twitter and facebook so we can get as many people as possible to vote!

I can not stress enough how expensive caring for these animals is. I know just from myself with our own 2 cats how quickly we can burn through money. Now imagine that times 500 dogs + kitties per year. Just feeding them alone costs a fortune!

Just take one minute of your time, click this link, fill out the form and you will be doing your part to help the animals! It is not an exaggeration to say that these animals would not be alive if it weren't for A Place to Bark! Thank you so much!!

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fall workshops + classes
I only have a couple 2009 workshops left on my calendar!

South Portland Maine - September 25th-27th
In September I'll be heading to S. Portland ME to teach a Collage Discovery Intensive class! I'll be there September 25th-27th. Here's the class description:

Inspired Claudine's books, Collage Discovery Workshop & Collage Discovery Workshop Beyond the Unexpected, this two 1/2 day, intensive collage workshop will focus on mixed media techniques, color, and composition. You will learn a combination of painterly techniques to enhance the surface of your collage artwork, experiment with image transfer methods and more. Claudine will share with you all of her tricks of the trade! Even if you have never collaged or painted before you'll leave this workshop feeling like a pro! To register, visit the Artascope Studios Web site. Supply list also available on the Artascope Studios Web site here!

Alexandria VA - October 24th

A one day Magazine Alterology Workshop in Alexandria VA Just added to my calendar!! Workshop will be at the Artistic Artifacts studio. Learn exciting techniques to create amazing images and background papers with used magazines and various household products! we'll be creating Polaroid-transfer looking images with household materials and old magazines. We'll alter magazine pages to create backgrounds for collages, make incredible images to collage with and more! Class details and sign up information are on the Artistic Artifacts Web site. Spaces are limited so sign up soon!

Daytona Beach FL - November 14th
On November 14th I'll be teaching a one day Beeswax collage at the Art League of Daytona Beach. Contact the Art League at (386) 258-3856 to register.

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easy watermark resist painting technique
Here's a video fresh from CHA summer! Scrapbook Oasis filmed me during my demos of my watermark resist technique using the Claudine Hellmuth Studio paints and the Ranger Watermark resist pad.

You can see in the video the new craft/water bucket by Ranger. It folds down for travel. Perfect! More on CHA later!

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