I'm on web site bakery
Big thanks to Website Bakery for the mention! If you haven't checked out this super cute site, you must visit immediately.

So many fun links and so little time. Here's the article on me! And here's the home page to see more fun goodies!

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paperlife podcast
I'm on The Paperlife Podcast this week! Paperlife podcast is by Amy Coon about all things paper and creating. In this interview she asks some great questions about my product line with Ranger, and we have fun sharing tips and ideas. Don't miss it! Here's a link to listen!

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sticky back canvas flowered belt tutorial
Don't miss this amazing flowered belt tutorial by artist Alisa Burke using Claudine Hellmuth Studio Sticky Back canvas!

here's a little preview:

Learn how to make this on Alisa's blog! Beautiful! I want to try a variation as a scarf to add to my ever growing scarf collection!

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illustration friday: rescue
Here's my submission for this week's illustration friday theme of "rescue"


Mabel is our huge fatty beast of a cat who I found in 2005 wandering the street outside our home in Florida. She was so skinny you could see every rib - hard to imagine now! Mabel's actual photo of her face was used for the cat in the illustration above :)

When we first took her in, we had never had a cat that you couldn't just"free feed" so we put the bowl down and let her eat as much as she wanted. The vet told us she would regulate her eating. After a little while she was getting bigger and bigger and the vet said "you can stop feeding her so much" so we went to a feeding time only regimen and no more free feeding. Our other cat had to eat on top of the fridge so Mabel couldn't get to it.

But Mabel is smart! She would trick us. She's an academy award winning actress, telling Paul in the morning that I hadn't fed her yet and vice versa. So we were both feeding her and before we knew it she was huge! That was in 2005 and we never have gotten the the weight off despite numerous attempts with the vet and various diets. She's our pudgy girl!

And just because I can't resist, here are a few photos of Mabel showing how the rescued life is treating her!

Mabel cat loves naps

Mabel cat loves naps. She does what I call "back surfing" where she sleeps on her back with all her feet in the air.

Mabel cat ready for movie watching time

Mabel cat loves watching TV and sits like Al Bundy

Mabel posing for Stuff on My Cat

Mabel cat loves all her toys and doesn't mind when we pile them on her big belly!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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back home!
I'm back home from teaching in Nebraska and I am now home for a whole month! Yay! Lots of time to catch up on work and snuggle with the kitties.

My next class is in Fredricksburg VA on April 10th but I can drive there in a day and back. Class details and sign up information are on the The Scrapboodles blog.

Then after that I'm onto the The Mary Engelbreit Home Companion Workshop event! You don't want to miss this one! Click here for all the details and to register!!

I've been hard at work on my online summer class for Big Picture Scrapbooking. More details on this one when registration opens! This is going to be an amazing 12 week class loaded with ideas and techniques!!

And just for fun, here's a photo of Mabel cat that I snapped yesterday!

Mabel relaxing in her favorite spot

I can never get enough photos of her. She is too funny. We love you Mabel!!

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Lincoln Nebraska here I come!
Tomorrow I'll be headed to Lincoln Nebraska! I'm looking forward to teaching and having a great time! It looks like the weather is still cold there so I am making sure to bring my hat and coat.

I've added a bunch of classes to my workshop schedule for 2010 so make sure to visit my web site for my newly updated class schedule :)

I'll be Twittering from the road and back in town Monday night! See you next week!

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new custom artwork
I just finished up this fun pirate themed 16x20 custom piece for a client of her 3 boys and their 3 cats and dog too!


It arrived at her house today and here's what she had to say:

"I have to tell you how much I love my artwork!!!! It's just what I wanted! So colorful and whimsical. I can't wait to show it to everyone I know!!! I love it so much! You're the best! And thank you for the key chain, what a nice surprise!! Thanks again, I'm sure I'll be contacting you in the future for more fun artwork." - Jenney H.

Yay! this was a fun piece to work on and Jenney was a super fun client too!

Don't forget! Mother's Day is around the corner! A custom artwork will make the perfect Mother's Day gift!


lots of new classes
I've got a few new *just added* classes to my schedule. Looks like I've got a busy few months ahead!!

April 10th - mixed media class in Fredricksburg VA

Join Ranger's signature designer Claudine Hellmuth as she shares her vibrant talents and colorful creativity and discover over 18 fun-filled techniques using her Studio line of products. In this all day class we'll be creating a Maya Road chipboard mini idea book brimming with color, texture, paint and transfers. Class details and sign up information are on the The Scrapboodles blog. Spaces are limited so sign up soon!
spaces still available!

May 16th - Mixed media collage workshop in Mesa AZ

A full day of my my most popular collage class - Collage Discovery Workshop at the Mystic Paper store in Historic Downton Mesa! Call the store at 480-834-0286 to register!
spaces still available!

May 22nd - mixed media class in Reston VA
Love adding new techniques to your repertoire? Join Claudine Hellmuth and discover over 14 fun-filled methods using the Claudine Hellmuth Studio product line. In this 5 hour class we'll be creating a swatch tag reference book brimming with color,texture,paint and various transfer techniques. Class details and sign up information are on the The Angela's Happy Stamper web site. Spaces are limited so sign up soon! class full - get on the waiting list and maybe we'll add another class!

Don't miss out on 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!!

For my complete class schedule visit my web site here

I'm back in town for a few days from Ranger U in New Jersey before I head to Lincoln Nebraska to teach. Ranger U was a lot of fun of course! Suze, always with her camera ready, was the default photojournalist during my workshop and did a wonderful blog post about my day of teaching which you can check out here!

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New Jersey here I come!
Tomorrow I'll be heading up to the Ranger offices for a weekend of art with Tim Holtz, Suze Weinberg and yours truly at Ranger University! I'll be driving this trip (Ranger offices are only 4.5 hours drive from DC!) and I am ecstatic about not having to go to the airport.

This is a short trip with little spare time, so I am not even taking my lap top. I'll be checking in via phone on Twitter and Facebook. Have a great weekend!


easy faux peeled paint technique
I thought I'd share with you a new technique that I discovered! I'll show you how to create a faux peeled paint look using Ranger's Perfect Medium (or you can also use the Ranger Watermark Resist pad) and Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paints.

Before I started I've painted a Maya Road chipboard house with Claudine Hellmuth Studio Modern Red. You could do this on any non-porous surface, painted papers, painted cigarbox, chipboard, painted canvas etc. In order for the technique to work you'll need to paint your surface first either with colored acrylic paint or Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi-Medium.

Using the corner of the Perfect Medium Pad, (or Ranger Watermark Resist pad) wipe over the house shape in a few places to create a streaky look.

It should look like this. With a few streaks of Perfect Medium around the house shape. Make sure not to put it everywhere.

Paint over the entire house shape Here I used Claudine Hellmuth Studio in Painterly Pink You will notice that the paint resists and makes a peeled paint look.

It's an easy and quick way to create an aged effect! Hope you enjoy experimenting with this technique!

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breaking into freelance illustration
I am excited that I am in Holly DeWolf's new book "Breaking into Freelance Illustration" It's a good read for anyone in the illustration business or wanting to try it out! Right now it's on my night stand and I am really enjoying it!

Listen to a great interview with Holly on the Escape from Illustration Island podcast!


things are looking up
Great news around here at the Hellmuth/Lester household.

Paul started work this week as an editor/writer for the Energy Empowers web site. Hooray! And we found renters for our house in Florida too.

Thanks 2010! So far so good!

Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion Workshops
The information for the Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion Workshops is now available online here! I am so looking forward to this incredible event!

I'll be teaching two classes which are offered on the Friday and repeated again Saturday.
The workshops I am teaching are:

Poppet Puppets:

In this exciting and fun 3 hour class, you’ll create hilarious puppets from your family photos in a new twist on the Victorian cone puppet! Amaze your friends and neighbors with the incredible moving action of the puppet! Inspired by Claudine’s collages—now brought to life with your own photos!

Sitting Pretties:

Join Claudine to make “Sitting Pretty” photo sculptures! In this fun and whimsical 3 hour class, we’ll begin by exploring techniques to make your own fabric patterns using painterly techniques on Claudine’s Sticky-Back canvas. Then we’ll create photo sculptures from your family photos that can sit on a mantel, your computer or a bookshelf

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!
Don't miss it! Register online here!


England trip!
A long planned post about Stitches and my trip to England is finally here! I had been meaning to post as soon as I got back but wound up with a last minute illustration job for the Saturday Evening Post that I needed to get on almost as soon as my plane touched the ground. Then jet lag kicked in and now finally I am blogging!

I had an amazing trip to England and even got to see one of my cousins for a super dinner in Birmingham. Hi James!!

I started off flying into Manchester then the hilarious and amazing Dyan whisked me away with her daughter Emmi to Harrogate so I could set up to teach in Dyan's store Art from the Heart. We had a blast at her store! And I loved getting to spend time with Ben, Emmi and Jay as well.

Setting up for class at Art From the Heart.

Me and Dyan at her store!

I stayed at a sweet B&B in Harrogate called The Alexa House. I can't wait to come back. It was so cozy! Immediately upon arriving I had a hot chocolate and shortbread cookies in my room. I love English hotels and B&Bs because all have tea kettles in the rooms so I can make hot chocolate.

I taught Thursday and Friday and then Friday evening we darted off to Birmingham to meet up with the Ranger gang at the Bulls Head in Meriden.

The Bulls Head has a fun kooky atmosphere and as you can see here low beams in the rooms give it lots of character. I was sure it was haunted so I slept with my light on - I watch too much Haunted Travels on the Travel Channel.

Then it was a whirlwind of teaching and demoing at the Stitches show!

Tim, Suze and me ready to teach at Stitches!

Here I am demoing at the Personal Impressions booth.

We had a fun dinner at a Chinese place called Wing Wa and they told the staff it was my birthday (which it wasn't) and so they brought out this crazy flaming swan ice sculpture. It has become a Ranger tradition at Wing Wa.... every year it is another person's "Birthday".

And on Monday evening we were off to London to get ready for QVC UK. I was on for a short segment right after Suze. Tim was on every hour for almost a full 24 hours. I don't know how he was still standing at the end!

On the set of QVC UK with host Dawn Bibby

Getting ready for air time on QVC UK!

It was a great trip and fun to be back in England again! Thanks to Tim & Mario and Suze's blog and Dyan's blog for the photos!!

PS I must have one of these Henry Hoover vacuum cleaners. I was told they also make them for US electricity. It's officially on my wish list.

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