CLAUDINE HELLMUTH
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Monday, July 31, 2006
recent additions to my household




Two shirts from here. And this shirt from here. This super cute coloring book!! And a wonderful artwork from this artist!

I bought and read
this book, all in one night. Tons and tons of useful info about the manufacturing side of an art/gift business. FYI, if you order it -- she sends it in an email with just the subject line of "book" and I thought it was spam because there was no message in the email. So I kept deleting it and then emailing her to ask where my book was. ooops!!

PS. Thanks to Indie Quarter for the wonderful write up on their blog today!
Sunday, July 30, 2006
weekend sailed by
It's been a busy weekend! Yesterday I finished up work and then went to the mall with Paul to get him some more work clothes. I looked for myself, but everything is so horrible and 80's. ick ick ick. See my previous post about all that!

Then we rented
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, great movie. We really enjoyed it. Tommy Lee Jones is incredible.

Today I cleaned the house, then I worked on packing up as many supplies as I could to ship ahead to
my workshops in Arizona. There's still room in the Phoenix classes if you'd like to attend! So far I have about 25lbs. of stuff to ship. I need to get as much sent ahead as possible to avoid luggage fees from the airline. I'll be flying America West and they charge $80 if your bag is over 50lbs. Crazy! Most airlines charge $25, but $80, that's a lot!

I also packed up some
commissions to send off too. So now I am tired from all the packing! Whew!

Now, Paul and I are off to my Mom and Dad's for a little visit. We'll be bringing Toby who loves a trip to their house. My mom feeds him freshly cooked chicken and he goes crazy!

Friday, July 28, 2006
illustration friday: clean
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "clean". I knew what I wanted to create right away when I read the theme. I love retro housewives. I tried to change my palette a little bit and use fresh colors to underscore the theme.



(click image to enlarge)
I did also want to come up with an irreverent housewifey quote to go with this piece, but I ran out of steam. If you think of something post it for me in the comments! Thanks for taking a look at my illo. Happy Illustration Friday!

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Thursday, July 27, 2006
new poppet® sketches for sale
Art Stream Studios (a gallery in NH) has 15 of my original Poppet® sketches available for sale online. They just opened their store! I am excited! Click here to see what's available. If you're local to the gallery, stop by to see my work in real life. oh boy!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
project runway
First of all, I loved the dogs in this episode! I was a little worried at first about them, whose dogs were these, and weren't they scared to be away from their "parents"?

Our Toby would have a total freak out if Tim Gunn was walking him in Central Park without us. Never mind the fact that Toby would never allow an outfit to be designed for him, I almost lost a hand when I was measuring him for last years Halloween costume.

Big demerits in my book for
Laura saying she didn't want to touch that cute Pomeranian. How could you not snuggle that pup!? Now I don't like her just based on that.

Angela's poufy skirt!!! ewwww! That's all I can say. I am so mad that Angela is still in with that horrible, horrible outfit. And sweet Katherine is out, I really liked her design, I would have totally worn that, and I loved the dog hoodie. I don't know what the judges are thinking, they must be keeping Angela in for controversy, that's the only reason I can think of.

Looks like next week we finally find out who gets kicked off. I can hardly stand the suspense!

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006
a rant about shopping and fashion...
Today I open the new Victoria Secret Catalog and I gasped. What did I see?

I saw THIS!

Yes, my friends, horror of horrors -- stirrup pants have come back!


I can not even believe it. Immediately my 5th grade year flashed before my eyes where I wore stirrup pants and long striped shirts belted at the waist - almost every day.

Then I thought, maybe it's the VS catalog, they have been known to have some tacky clothes now and then. So I open the newest issue of Time and
they have a spot on how leggings are back. yipes.

I think I'll have to get myself to the mall ASAP to stock up on boot cut jeans before all that is left are the skinny legs of stirrup pants and leggings, which might look flattering on super models but not on the every day person.

Maybe, just maybe, it won't catch on. Maybe everyone else will be as horrified as I am about the stirrup pant. We'll see!
Monday, July 24, 2006
tv time!
Today I worked on more commissions, caught up with email, looked for plane reservations to my workshops in Portland, etc. It was a nice quiet day.

If you're in the mood to watch TV at 9:30 am tomorrow...

I checked the HGTV web site and I noticed that, my first Carol Duvall Show episode will be on again tomorrow at 9:30 am. This is the one where I show how to create a collage with bees wax techniques from my first book.

It feels like that was filmed that an eternity ago!

It was March 2004 and I remember I was super sick, so I double dosed on over the counter decongestants and then it made me dizzy and woozy. Still, I managed to stand up straight and film the segment in one take and sound coherent (I think). woo hoo!

Also, a big thanks to the indie shopping blog for the amazing write up about my commissions. Thank you!

PS. I have now been 7 weeks without drinking diet coke. A miracle!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
weekend chores and more
The weekend just flew by!

Yesterday I worked on
commissions most of the day and then went to Sam Flax to pick up more canvas and more PITT pens. Then Paul and I went to Jason's Deli for dinner. I love the Tomato Basil soup there. Super yummy, even if it was 98 degrees outside.

Today just did a little more work. I had to write up all the step outs for the segments I'll be doing on
Craft Lab. It takes awhile to figure out all the steps that you need to make one item. But that's nothing compared to making all the step outs, I dread that part. Still it's worth all the work to be on the show.

After all that we cleaned the house and did all the weekend chores.

Then we went over to my niece's house to celebrate her 6th birthday. We got her
this toy but then we were dummy heads and forgot to bring batteries so it was a little anticlimactic. These toys need to come with batteries, I think it should be the law.
Friday, July 21, 2006
illustration friday: opposites
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "opposites". At first, I had a little bit of a hard time with this weeks theme. Thanks to my wonderful husband for the idea of the "split screen canvas."






(click image to enlarge)

I tried to include as many opposites as I could: man/woman, cowboy/city girl, rain/sunshine, night/day. After my initial freak-out of not knowing what to do with this topic, I ended up having a great time with it. Thank you Illo-Friday for making me push myself, it was fun!

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Thursday, July 20, 2006
deep breaths
I had a busy day finishing up commissions. Here's a Poppet® Sketch commission that I sent out on Wednesday.

I got a call from
DIY's Craft Lab and they accepted my submissions to tape on their second season. Yay! I was in the first season (which will start airing in Sept) so I am glad to get to go out there again. Then I started to get a migraine thinking about fitting everything in as the taping dates are right before I go to Portland to teach at Art and Soul and tape my third DVD. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

Yesterday I had
a great session with my coach. She was talking to me about the possibility of hiring an assistant.

I probably need some help but, I am one of those people who just finds it easier to do it themselves rather than to explain to someone else how to do something.

Plus I am a teeny bit of a control freak, ahem.

But I can see there are things I could get help with which would give me more time to make art. Like packing and shipping the commissions, filing the photos that go with the orders etc. We'll see, right now it makes me all squirmy just thinking about it.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
project runway
oh boy! Runway time again. As soon as I heard it was a "team episode" I knew it would be good!

Angela and Vincent, wow, what a team! The sparks were flying! The dress turned out OK, but I wasn't too sure about those flaps on the shoulders. I was surprised that Miss Universe liked it so much. Especially as it wasn't an earth tone like she asked for. For a minute I thought that they were going to pick it as the winner.

Then I was torn between figuring that they would pick Uli's dress or Kayne's. I thought they might pick Kayne's because it was very pangent-y, so it really wasn't a surprise when they did. It's perfect for Miss USA, that dress had pagent written all over it.

Malan's dress did looked carved out of a log just like Tim said. As soon as he said that I was like OMG yes!!! It does!! Tim hits the nail on the head again! I felt sorry for Malan when they voted him out. I really thought Angela should have gone home. At least Malan designed a dress and worked with his team mate, whereas Angela didn't do any design (not even a sketch to show Miss Universe) AND was difficult to work with. Harumph.

UPDATED 9:20am:
Thanks to this blogger for the juicy tip on who gets booted off PR for cheating. Right now rumor has it that it's Keith, read more here, and decide for yourself.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006
saying good bye to a friend
Today ended up being kind of a weird day. This morning, I finished up a bunch of Poppet® commissions and then packed them up to be shipped off tomorrow. I hate packing and shipping, but it's always rewarding to see all the boxes of commissions piling up!

Here's a Poppet® Sketch
commission that I am sending off tomorrow. What cute sisters! One's an illustrator and the other a photographer, hence the camera and the sketchbook.

Then this afternoon I took
Mabel to the vet, just for a yearly check up (thank goodness!). Maggie's cremains had come in, so I took those home with me along with her empty carrier when I left. That was so depressing.

Bringing out her carrier without her in it somehow made it really hit home that she is not coming back. I still can't believe it. So tonight we said our goodbyes to her. Paul and I wrote good bye letters in sharpie on the outside of her cremain box and pasted on a photo of her, not very pretty but heartfelt.

She's going to be buried at the
Best Friend's Ranch in Utah, along with our other cat Melvis who was buried there last year. It might sound weird that we are sending her all the way to Utah, but we feel connected to Best Friends because of the amazing work that they do to help animals. So it feels right to have her buried there.....needless to say it was a very teary evening.

Hug your fur-babies everyone!

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Monday, July 17, 2006
super duper exciting news!
I have been contacted by HGTV's I Want That - they want to do a segment on my commissions for their show. I am excited to death! Apparently they have over 80,000 people watching that show, so this will be amazing publicity.

Now I have to find something to wear and fast! They want to tape here in my studio in the next week or so.

Can't wear white, or black. I usually wear cap sleeve T's or Tanks with jeans. Anyone know of any cute, arty (non white or black) T's or Tanks I could buy online? Anyone want to come to my house and dress me? Oh please don't make me have to go to the mall!! Any help would be appreciated.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
q&a podcast #1
Paul and I recorded a quick "Q&A" podcast using the questions that were sent in response to this blog post.

Thank you for all the thought provoking questions! It was hard to decide which ones to answer first.

Ready to listen? Click here now!
Or use the player below:

powered by ODEO

Click here to learn how subscribe and you'll get updates when new podcasts come along.

Thanks again to all who helped me come up with questions! That was a huge help! Paul and I will do at least one more Q&A podcast with them, so look for that later.

Enjoy!

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Friday, July 14, 2006
illustration friday: sacrifice
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "sacrifice".
I didn't have time to do a whole finished piece so here's a little quickie.

(click image to enlarge)
I have really been enjoying being a part of IF and I look forward each week to the challenge of a new theme and seeing everyone's submissions. Thanks for stopping by!!

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Thursday, July 13, 2006
regular day
Not a whole lot exciting or new going on. And that's the way I like it! After the last couple of weeks I would like some regular old days. I did get a lot of commission work done so that was great!

Here's a Poppet® Canvas
commission that I just finished up of this family at the zoo. Aren't they sweet!? They live in Germany so the artwork is on it's way via Global Priority mail, to make it in time for their anniversary.

Speaking of zoos and crazy animals.... Bernie posted some
photos of her kittens at her rescue! I am in love with the orange babies. It's too soon for a new addition right now, but when the time is right, we'll be calling Bernie!

Tomorrow we have a guy coming over to help us with our wireless router. Oh, I hope he can do it. He's coming at some point between noon and 5pm. Which means I'll be hoping up and down waiting for him to arrive. I never can relax when I know someone is coming to the house.

P.S. Thank you to all who have sent sympathy cards about Maggie. I checked my PO Box and was so touched by your letters and cards. Thank you!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
back on the runway
Oh boy! I am so excited that Project Runway is back! It's like being reunited with an old friend. I was worried if this season would be as good as the other two but I think it will be. It's easy to see already that there are a lot of personalities that will clash, and that makes for great TV.

I felt sad for their apartments when they were ripping them apart to get materials. I gasped out loud when that one girl cut up the leather chaise! Poor little chaise, it didn't do anything wrong! I felt a little glad that the show didn't put everything back for them. I wonder if they'll have to live sans furniture all season?

I was a little surprised that they didn't send home Vincent with his gaudy basket hat and all. But I could understand why Stacey went home, because they don't like it if you don't use unusual materials in those design innovation challenges, and she did just use only fabric.

Isn't Malan totally odd? I think he'll be very interesting to watch. I could understand why Keith won, very nice dress and great design, I am glad he left off that placemat! I feel like Laura might become season three's Wendy Pepper, but we'll have to wait and see!

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006
this and that
I had a good day in the studio and managed to get a bunch of work done. Whew! It felt good!

Here's a Poppet® Canvas
commission that I just finished up of the client and her sister. Her sister used to grow daffodils at her house so this is my version of daffodils. I sure hope they read like daffodils.

Toby gave us a little scare yesterday. He started holding his back right leg in the air and wouldn't walk on it. Of course after the last couple of weeks' events I freaked out. Felt all over his leg and couldn't find anything. I took him to the vet where they did discover that he had a small infection starting on his back near where his sutures were, so we got lots of antibiotics to clear it up. We never did figure out why he was lifting his back leg, but he seems better today. I don't need anymore sick pets!!

OK is everyone ready for
Project Runway tomorrow night!!?? I am so excited! I can hardly wait! All you West coasters who don't want any spoilers should wait to read my blog until Thursday morning, because I'll be blogging about it right after the show. I see they are having a special casting episode at 10pm tonight. yay!

Thanks to
this great gal and this one too, for super wonderful blog mentions!
Monday, July 10, 2006
video demo
Paul wanted to play around with our video editing software, so we filmed this demo of me creating a Poppet® Sketch. This was recorded on our Kodak Digital Camera in movie clip mode. (it's approx. 9 minutes long)


See if you can see Mabel walking around in the background!

Here's the finished artwork:
Sunday, July 09, 2006
radio interview
The interview on Martha Stewart Sirius Satellite Radio went really great today. It was so much fun talking to Jennifer!

Paul taped the interview and with permission from them, I am posting a portion of it here for you to listen.

We only got the first 22 minutes before we had computer problems, but it's enough for you to get a feel for the interview.

Click here to listen (22 minutes)

Thanks to all who helped me come up with questions! That was a huge help!
Paul and I will do a couple Q&A podcasts with them, so look for that later.

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Saturday, July 08, 2006
a little bit under the weather
I've been in little bit of a blue mood all day. Just feeling out of sorts, and sad, missing Maggie.

I have learned there are a few things NOT to do when you are blue:

1) watch a
moody movie (great movie, and just as good as the book! It didn't help my funky mood though)
2) look at your recent
Amazon book reviews
3) try to install the wireless router AGAIN. (poor Paul worked so hard on it and it still won't work - arrugh!)
4) shave your dog (I did not do a very good job -
poor Toby looks a little funny)

I think it's time for me to go to bed so I can wake up bright and cheery for
the big interview tomorrow! After all tomorrow is another day!
Friday, July 07, 2006
illustration friday: skyline
When I saw the theme of "skyline" for IF, I thought immediately of this commission that I did a few months ago.

(click image to enlarge)
This was a piece created for a family that likes to travel a lot. They have a wonderful sense of adventure so I wanted to depict them on a travel adventure together!

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Thursday, July 06, 2006
baby steps
I did a little better in the studio today. So that was good. Baby steps forward. Mabel even came and layed on my desk, which was funny because she only does that if there is food. There wasn't any food, so I took that as if she was saying, "I know you are lonely so here I am."

Here's a Poppet® canvas
commission that I just finished up. This sweet little girl likes to ride her tricycle in her tu-tu and loves to look at birds who go "tweet tweet." I had a lot of fun working on this piece!

Just a quick reminder about the interview Sunday on Sirius radio. Here's how to listen even if you don't have a Sirius radio. Thanks to
this great gal who told me about how to do this!

OK you can sign up for a free three-day trial to listen to Sirius on the Internet. Just go to the
Sirius web site, and click on "Listen Online". It will ask you for a username and password. You need to sign up for the free trial through this window. It doesn't have all the channels included, but the Martha Stewart channel is included in the free trial.

The interview I will be doing is this Sunday, July 9th, on the
Jennifer Louden radio show called Louden Clear on the Martha Stewart Channel at 11am EST

Thanks so much for your help with the questions! I have sent them in. Any ones that I don't talk about on the show we'll do in a podcast or two!

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006
back to work ... again
Today was the day that I decided I had to get back to work, but I had a little bit of a slow start. I was having a hard time, but then I had a session with my coach and it was just what I needed to get back in there.

Here's a Poppet® sketch
commission that I finished up today. It's for my client's pet sitter and as you can see they have lots of pets of their own - eight total!

We had a good July 4th holiday. Lots of family came over and it was nice to get some happy energy back into the house. Paul made all kinds of delicious food - stuffed tomatoes, strawberry buckle, peanut broccoli pasta salad - yum! All from the
Everyday Food Magazine, they have some great recipes in there! We even had our own fireworks show in the street, just with the baby fireworks from the grocery store - nothing too crazy.

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Monday, July 03, 2006
happier post
I was excited to find out I was mentioned on 2 super cool design blogs: That's Hot and Decor8.
Thanks for the amazingly great write ups!

OK blog readers! I need a favor:
I am going to be interviewed by Jennifer Louden on Sunday for her radio show on Sirius Martha Stewart Radio. I am excited about that, but I was asked to submit questions to her. My brain is mush right now and I can't even think of one thing. If you have a question you'd like me to answer can you post it in the comments for me? It would be much appreciated!

UPDATED: 6:30pm
Thanks guys! These are all awesome questions! keep them coming! Any ones I don't talk about in the interview Paul and I will do a Q&A podcast or maybe two Q&A podcasts! Oh! And the interview will be live on Sunday at 11am EST with call in for questions 1-866-675-6675. even if you don't have Sirius, when you call, you can hear the show over the phone so you'll feel plugged in and you can ask your question live on the show! I'll post all the info again as we get closer. Thanks again for your help!

Thank you once again for all your wonderful comments and emails about our little Maggie. You have all touched me at a time when I really needed it. Thank you!

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Saturday, July 01, 2006
thank you!
Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments and emails. It really does help to hear from everyone. We are still so grief stricken. I have literally ruined a pair of contacts from crying so much.

Being at home is the hardest part. Our whole house was decorated and organized to be Maggie-proofed because she was always getting into messes! She loved to cause trouble and was truly Maggie the messmaker!

The reminders of her little sweet self are everywhere and almost too much to bear. I have so many happy memories of her: climbing in the boxes every time I was packing up artwork to send out. To her "helping" me gesso a canvas. I still have her painty paw prints in my studio! She loved climbing on our desk when I was on the computer -- she would block the monitor so I couldn't see, sometimes pawing at the mouse cursor. Always a kitten at heart!

I know in time we will heal and the pain will lessen. Thank you again for all your many wonderful comments of support. It really helps!
xxxox

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