how to remove acrylic paint from your clothes
A question I get asked over an over again is "how do you remove acrylic paint from your clothes?"

All acrylic paints can be tricky to remove from your clothes once dry, but I have a little method that I'll share with you. While it's not foolproof - it works about 99% of the time. You can always give it a try! Hey your shirt already has paint on it, what's the worst that can happen!?

Here's a jacket sleeve that I got a little bit of purple paint on. This purple is from my Claudine Hellmuth Studio line of paints. These paints were designed to be extra waterproof when dry so you can use them to paint fabrics. Good for painting fabrics. Not good when you get them on something you would rather not have paint on. I was wearing this jacket at the CHA convention and it was in my suitcase a couple of days before I realized I had paint on it. Oops!

Not to worry! Rubbing Alcohol to the rescue! You'll want just regular Rubbing Alcohol that you can get from your drugstore or grocery store.

Using a paper towel completely soak the area with the dried on paint. Use A LOT of Rubbing Alcohol and get the area 100% saturated. The resins in the paint will be broken down by the rubbing alcohol.

With your fingernail (or here I am using a coffee stirrer), scratch at the area gently going with and against the grain of the fabric. Keep applying more Rubbing Alcohol to lift off the stain.

At a certain point you get as far as you can with the stain. Here I can still see it a little bit, but it's much better than what I started off with! Throw it in the wash right away and usually even more of the stain will be removed in the wash cycle.

Here it is after it's been through the wash and dried. Very hard to tell where the stain was and one of my favorite jackets is now ready to wear again!

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back from CHA
I am back from the CHA Show! What a fun and exhausting show it was! I compare CHA to summer camp. You get to see old friends, make new ones and there's never enough time to do it all.

Here are some of the highlights:

My product display at the Ranger booth

My product display at the Ranger booth.

Purse I made with Sticky Back Canvas

Purse I made using my Sticky Back Canvas.

My demo table @ the Ranger booth

My demo table at the Ranger booth - the little blue bag is my collapsible water bucket!

Me and my friend Carmi. She kept me sane and on schedule during the whole trip! She has lots of CHA updates on her blog. Don't miss them!

Here's me doing my Make N Take bracelets on the first day of the show.

..... and some videos taken by the sweet Kim Jackson at the Creating Keepsakes blog:

Easy transfer technique using Sticky Back Canvas

How to stamp using clear Stamps and my new Extra Time product

For more CHA Show photos than you can imagine, you have to visit Suze's blog and see her CHA round up posts.

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california here i come!
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!

If you are the show, stop by the Ranger booth (#2063) on Sunday from 10am - 5pm and make one of these cute Sticky Back Canvas bracelets with me!

Here's my complete schedule for all 4 days of the show.
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! See you next week!

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new custom artwork
Here's a 16x20 custom canvas artwork order that I just finished up!


I was asked to create an artwork of these sweet kiddos who love to swim in the pool. It was fun to work with the Summer theme while it's still chilly here in DC. Thinking of warmer days ahead!


ice skating at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden
Saturday Paul and I treated ourselves to a day of ice skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. In the winter they turn the large fountain in the middle into an ice rink. We missed it last year so this year we were determined to go.

When we got there, we discovered everyone else must have had the same idea. There was a long line with about a 30 to 45 minute wait to get your skates and get on the ice. A guy with his date saw the length of the line then promptly went to the front, gave the guy a tip and got right in. I'm sure his date was impressed but we were not.

The staff at the ice rink are hilariously grumpy, sternly shouting out rules and orders over the loudspeaker every 5 minutes, exasperated if you needed to change your skate size or ask any additional questions. You got the feeling they really didn't like their jobs, or maybe they weren't getting enough tips.

Still it was super fun and we skated around for about 2 hours, we didn't even fall once! It was a beautiful setting to skate in amongst the sculpture garden artworks and we got hot chocolate to warm up at the pavilion. Already looking forward to going back again!


craft and hobby association convention
I am getting ready to head to The Craft and Hobby Association convention January 22nd 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!!

Saturday January 23rd:
3 - 5pm - teaching CHA/Ranger workshop "Studio Time"

Sunday January 24th:
10am - 12 noon - Make N Take at the Ranger booth - stop by to make a cute bracelet with me!
2:00 - 5:00pm - more Make N Take at the Ranger booth.

Monday January 25th:
9am - 12:00pm - demoing at the Ranger booth
3:00 - 5:30pm - More demos of my Claudine Hellmuth Studio product line at the Ranger booth

Tuesday January 26th:
12noon - 4pm -
demoing at the Ranger booth

Wednesday January 27th:
12noon - 3pm - demoing at the Ranger booth

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take a class!
Ready to be more creative in 2010? Why not take a class with me!! Here's a quick preview of some of my classes this year. Complete listings here!

February 6th - beeswax collage workshop in Alexandria VA
A one day Beeswax Collage Workshop class at The Artistic Artifacts Studio in Alexandria VA. For more details and to register: Click here. Spaces are limited so sign up soon! spaces still available!

February 18th & 19th - workshops in North Yorkshire England
A full day of Collage Discovery Workshop followed by a 1/2 day Adventures in Color class. Sign up here! spaces still available in Color class only!

March 20th & 21st - 2 days of Mixed media classes in Lincoln NE
Two days of classes at Southest Community College in Lincoln NE! One day of Waxing Poetic Beeswax class and another day of The Frayed Edge: exploring fabric collage. Stay for both days or just one! Whatever suits your schedule! To register contact Nancy Holman at 1.800.828.0072 spaces still available!

April 29th - May 2nd - 2 classes in St. Louis MO
Two classes at The Mary Engelbreit Home Companion Workshop event! I'll be teaching Sitting Pretty Photo Sculptures and Poppet Puppets! Click here for all the details and to register!! spaces still available!


looking ahead
Every year I get a new kitchen calendar, I take down the old calendar and copy over birthdays and reminders into the new one.

As I go through each month seeing my old appointments, notes, trips it is like a year in review. When I read Dentist, Dr and hair appointments, I see between the lines of what on the surface seem like pretty generic calendar entries and they remind me of what happened in the last year. A vet appointment with Toby doesn't need to say much more than "Toby vet" for a flood of memories to come back.

2009 wasn't my favorite year. While it wasn't without happy moments it was a year in which change happened for better and for worse. I spent most of 2009 getting used to living in DC (after moving here from Orlando) and enjoying the city, the snow, making new friends.

Then just as we were feeling settled we learned Paul's company is closing their DC office and the renter of our home in Florida moved out. Everything is up on the air. Suddenly the future is uncertain. This time next year when I take down our kitchen calendar what will I see? A move to another state? Back to FL? Or will we be staying in DC?

Tonight, as I fill out my 2010 calendar with birthdays and reminders, I feel as if I am trying to see ahead into the future. I turn to the month of April and think "this should all be figured out by then" ... fingers crossed!


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