CLAUDINE HELLMUTH
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Friday, August 31, 2007
martha update
The show date is confirmed! I will be on The Martha Show Sept 12th! It will be a LIVE show!! I guess she does some episodes live-to-tape but this one will be LIVE. akkk!!

Back to work for me! I have lots of prep work to do for the projects!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I'm going to be on the Martha Stewart Show!
I just got word that I am going to be a guest on the Martha Stewart show! Taping dates are still unconfirmed but the taping will either be in 10 days (yipes!!!) or on the 18th of September. There is so much to do between and now and then to get the projects and supplies ready my head is spinning!

But I am excited beyond words!

I will let you know more details as soon as I find out!!

HUGE, big, giant thanks to Holly at the decor8 blog for recommending me to the Martha Stewart producers. Without her I wouldn't have this opportunity. I think it's even more exciting that
this fortuitous event has nothing to do with the artwork I gave to Martha Stewart in January!

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stickers and colors!
I found out that moo cards are now offer sticker books. ohhh these look fun! I would love to fill a whole book with stickers of Mabel, Stan and Toby. Check it out here.

And in other inspiration I just found the color lovers web site. Go here for beautiful color combos to get your creative juices flowing!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
opps i did it again!
Here I am at almost 1am on the computer again. My eyes are burnt and raw but emails are taken care of, web site is updated and I found an envelope to use for my custom artwork gift certificates! I want to have the certificates all done well in advance of the holidays.

I am also trying out a new idea of an "on its way" card. This would be for people who ordered their custom work too late for it to be done for the birthday or holiday, they would be able to give this card with a brochure that explains their artwork is being created right now and then it will give an estimated arrival date listed on the card. I am hoping this will help at Christmas time, I will be able to take "on its way" orders right up until Christmas day and the client can get me started on the artwork and then give the card to their recipient. Dawn at Anna Bella is helping me design and print the gift certificates. yay!

This artwork, is part of a round robin self-portrait journal exchange that I am in. I used the new September kit papers from Scrap in Style TV, loved the paper I used for the green dress, so bright and cheery! We have been doing this exchange for almost two years and we are almost done!

Ok off to bed for me!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007
two burnt holes in a blanket
I'm up too late again messing with business/computer stuff. I had every intention of being in bed by now, but it hasn't worked out that way. Emails sucked up my time, then it was messing with my web site , after that I was looking at boxes and containers to offer custom artwork gift certificates in. before I know it, it's past midnight!

I always get caught up in computer work late into the night, then I regret it in the morning when I am trying to wake up.

I am bleary-eyed and as my mom would say "my eyes feel like two burnt holes in a blanket" so that means it's bed time! See you tomorrow!

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Sunday, August 26, 2007
weekend's over
The weekend has been and gone and I don't know where it went! Friday night Paul and I watched Zodiac. Good movie! Saturday we spent time with family. Today I worked and now Sunday's almost over. I feel cheated! Off to enjoy the last few hours of my Sunday. See you tomorrow!

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Saturday, August 25, 2007
illustration friday: visitors
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "visitors"


(click to enlarge)

Betty Sue always made cupcakes when she knew visitors would be stopping by

This is actually one of a few pieces I have been working on for a 2009 calendar titled Crafty Girls. This gal is all about cooking! I had a great time working on this one! fun fun fun! The last piece I worked on earlier this week gave me such a hard time, but this one came together quickly. Don't you love that when that happens? A rare but delicious treat!

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Thursday, August 23, 2007
long to-do list
My to-do list has gotten really long all of a sudden! It's one of those things where one day you have just enough work to keep you comfortably busy, then the next day you are really busy!

Right now I am working on illustrations for a 2009 calendar under the title of Crafty Girls, there will be images of ladies doing all things crafty! Yesterday and today I worked on a knitting piece between doing custom artwork orders. Almost have the kitting piece done. It gave me a really hard time. Yesterday I hated it and I wanted to throw it across the room, but today is a new day and things seem to be coming together.

I met with my friend Dawn this morning for a hot chocolate at Panera. Always a treat to chat with her! As we were leaving we noticed that someone had left their dog in their car with the windows shut. Leaving your dog in your car is against the law in Florida (not to mention cruel and dangerous), in the summer heat they can suffer heat stroke and die in as little as 10 minutes. So we got all up in arms about it. I had the manager at Panera quizzing everyone if it was their car and Dawn called the police, yay Dawn! About 5 minutes later a college guy comes out of Planet Smoothie with an ice cream cone. Well you can bet we yelled at him! I hope we shamed him into never doing that again. I was ready to take his dog away from him! grrr!

On my way home, I called Bernie to chat about what a stupid guy that kid was and how dangerous it was. Bernie sees way worse at her animal rescue every day, I was almost in tears over this little doggie and this wasn't anything like she sees on a daily basis.
I don't know how she does it!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007
today went like this....
Work, work, work, run errands, chat on a conference call, more work, walk Toby, talk to Bernie, work, work, work. Decide I don't like anything I just worked on, so re-work, re-work, re-work, then collapse. See you tomorrow!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007
busy day
Super busy today and now I have a migraine coming on... ugh! see you tomorrow!
Monday, August 20, 2007
monday, monday
Monday has been and gone already! Today was one of those days that got eaten up by paper work and phone calls, with not enough time spent in the studio. Hate that! However, I did have a lovely long phone call with my friend Carmi and it was such a treat to catch up!! And I got a lot of the prep work done for the rest of the week so if all goes well, I should get a lot of studio time in from here on out.

In other good news my package was delivered! whew! I haven't heard from my client yet but the USPS web site says it was delivered and I am so relieved! Hooray! I would have hated for that artwork to be lost. That would have made me crazy!

mabelLR

Here's a little picture of Mabel asleep on my art desk. I love the way her back legs stick out and look like little turkey legs! Hee hee!!

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Sunday, August 19, 2007
sunday = yard work
Today was all about yard work. Paul and I spent 5 hours in the hot blazing sun weeding, planting and trimming. We just did a big weeding session a couple of weeks ago but since it's summer everything grows so fast, it's out of control! It was hard work, but it looks really good now, I can't wait for the new plants I got today to fill in. I like really crowded flower beds with flowers everywhere!

Good news about the wayward package! I checked the USPS web site on the off chance there was a tracking update and it says it's in WA at the main facility. Hooray! It will be delivered tomorrow (I hope). At least it is not lost. Whew!!

I never in a million years thought it would take that long for a priority mail package to get from FL to WA. I sent a priority mail package to my rep in San Francisco a couple weeks ago and I sent it on a Monday and she had it on Wednesday. Go figure! I also need to have a little talk with my local Post Office. Seems they do not scan in my click-n-ship packages as "received" which is annoying for my customers because when they go to look at tracking it says something to the effect of "the label has been created but we can't confirm its been sent" which I do not like at all. grrr!

I may just switch all my shipping to DHL which I use for my big artworks anyway. The only bad thing is it's more expensive and I'd miss those free USPS boxes .... but after this scare, might be worth it!

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Saturday, August 18, 2007
saturday
Today I went to help my Mom with a speech she was giving at the library on Princess Diana and the Royal Family. I did the power point presentation and was in charge of changing the slides. There were 65 people there. Impressive number for a Saturday afternoon.

Then I come home to find out that a client hasn't received her custom artwork order that I sent out Tuesday. It was this artwork, and she should have gotten it by now. She is all the way in Washington State but still, it should have been there latest Friday. akkk! I am freaking out! To make matters worse today was the special day that she ordered it for as a gift for her husband and it's not there. I am so sad. And of course now it's all I can think about even though there is nothing I can do to make it better. It was insured USPS Priority mail and I handed it directly to the mailman. Now all I can do is hope it makes it there Monday. ugh!

To try to get my mind off the wayward package, Paul and I watched The Life David Gale. Nothing like a good death penalty movie to get your mind off trivial troubles! LOL! Good twist for the ending! I gave it 3 stars on my Netflix rating.

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illustration friday: captain
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "captain"


(click to enlarge)
I created this piece today just for Illustration Friday. It's been awhile since I made a piece on a Friday for IF and it felt so good to play with the theme and see what I came up with.

I started off thinking of a pirate type captain, which then led me to think of a ship captain like for a cruise ship, then I started thinking airline captains, and after that I couldn't stop thinking about retro flight attendants. So this piece ended up being a slight stretch but I think fits the theme with the following quote:

"Everyone knew Ruthie had a thing for Captain Rick"

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Friday, August 17, 2007
up too late
I stayed up too late messing with my web site. See you tomorrow (well later today actually)!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007
this just finished ...
Spent today working on custom artwork orders and also self-promo mailers and such. Here's a 9x12 custom piece that I just finished up of this cute couple and their dog Vegas. They like to take their great dane to the coffee shop with them. Love it!!

(click image to enlarge)
See you tomorrow!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007
city hall show
Yesterday I went with my friend Martha to take a look at my show at City Hall. I hadn't seen everything hung up so it was exciting! I was nervous how everything would look, but it looked good! yay!

My artwork is on the 3rd floor Mayor's Gallery and also in a hallway on the 2nd floor too 35 artworks total. I took a few photos, here they are! (click to enlarge images)



outside city hall...

Mayor's Gallery 3rd floor

more Mayor's Gallery 3rd floor

wearing my City Hall visitors pass

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Monday, August 13, 2007
stormy weather
I must be on a broken machine/appliance streak. Last night we had a big storm and it blew out our phone lines and alarm system.

Got the alarm system taken care of fairly easily.

Then the phone guy comes and takes a look at our phone lines. It appears that the actual line is OK but every single phone that was hooked up at the time of the strike was blown out including my new fax machine! ugh! So now the printer/scanner/fax machine is just a printer/scanner. At least it's not completely broken and it still scans and prints which is all I really need it for anyway. I barely ever even send faxes.

But still, it's very annoying!

I even had that phone line hooked up through a super duper surge protector, CyberPower UPS thingy. I know those have insurance coverage for surges but I think the model we have is so old I don't know if it is covered. I also bought the extra Office Depot warranty for the printer/fax so we'll see. I will make a phone call tomorrow and see what it all entails but from what I gather for the first year it's under the manufacturer's warranty then after that Office Depot covers it. So in a year I can return it and get a new one. I am not about to send this 30 lb machine back to HP only to find out they don't cover it.

Paul just got back from buying all new phones for our house. Now we have fancy new ones! yay!

So broken car last week, broken phones + fax this week. I guess since these things come in threes something else is on the agenda to brake. I just hope it's nothing expensive!

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Sunday, August 12, 2007
artfully inspired interview
Thanks to Debi and Jenny for the great interview on Artfully Inspired. Check it out here!

artfully inspired interview
Thanks to Debi and Jenny for the great interview on Artfully Inspired. Check it out here!

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Friday, August 10, 2007
yay!
My car is back from the shop! The AC only needed freon so thankfully it was not the compressor.

hooray!

It is so nice to have my little car back home, I missed it even though I never drive it anywhere. It is my new vow to drive it a little bit more. I got lectured at the dealer that it needs to get out more to keep things running correctly. Usually I sequester myself at home so I can get work done, so I can easily go a full week or more without driving it. And if it weren't for Toby and walking him a few times a day I am sure I could end up spending a full week inside the house!

Speaking of work..... here are two custom Sitting Pretty PoppetĀ® figures that I just finished up tonight of a brother and sister. Aren't these kids cute? Eating popsicles too, yummy. Perfect for summer! (click image to enlarge)

Just got done watching American Splendor thanks to Netflix. Paul didn't want to watch it with me, but I convinced him to and he ended up enjoying it. Good movie!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, August 09, 2007
i should sit down
Bad car news today.

At first the news was good, my car was fixed! So Paul and I went down to get it.

Then when I am there picking it up the guy says to me. Have you had trouble with your AC? I say no, it was working (like everything else!) on Thursday. He says take a look at this, so we sit in the car for 10 minutes waiting for the AC to work. no AC. ugh!!! Is this bad luck or what!?

Maybe it will be covered under my warranty, but for every new thing they fix under the warranty, there is a new $250 deductible. So far I am at about $750 in deductibles. Still A LOT cheaper than paying full price but this is quickly becoming an expensive week!

So I ended up getting a free loaner from the VW place and drove that home. It's a new Passat and it doesn't have a key, you plug this cartridge thing into a socket and then the car starts. I really do not like that. I like to feel like I am turning a key. This car is the complete opposite of my car, it has power everything. Even the parking brake is a button instead of a lever. My Beetle is just about all manual. All the windows etc all have to be rolled down by hand. So this Passat feels totally foreign. It's fun to drive it around for a little bit, but I wouldn't trade my Yellow Beetle for anything even if it has cost me a bundle this week!

Here's a silly photo of Mabel that I snapped. The look on her face echoes mine when I was at the dealer and he tells me yet another thing is wrong with my car! LOL!

NOTE: I have heard all the VW Beetle horror stories. I know they tend to break down a lot. But I have had my beetle for 7 years and this is the first time it has had anything wrong with it. However, it does only have 28,000 miles on it because it doesn't go anywhere!

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007
new artwork on etsy
I added 5 new Sitting Pretty PoppetsĀ® and 4 new Sketches to my Etsy shop! Preview below!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade
claudinehellmuth.etsy.com

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007
good listening
I have mentioned here before what a HUGE fan I am of This American Life with Ira Glass.

This weeks' episode was all about art!! Loved, loved, loved this episode! Go here to listen and click on the orange "full episode" link to listen for free on your computer.

In this episode there is a thought provoking segment about a Balloon Artist who is shunned by his fellow artist friends for becoming "too commercial".

You also hear from David Sedaris, one of my all time fav authors talking about his experience with performance art. Hilarious! This essay is from his book Me Talk Pretty One Day and listening to him read it is priceless. If you need a laugh today, listen to this segment!

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i'm on DIY on thursday!
I just discovered they are replaying the Canvas Wall Book episode of Craft Lab that I filmed in 2005. This episode uses techniques from my second book, Collage Discovery Workshop: Beyond the Unexpected.

It will be on the DIY channel this Thursday, August 9th at 12noon EST. Set your Tivos!

There is still one more episode of Craft Lab that I filmed in 2006 that hasn't aired yet, so it's odd they are airing this one again instead of a new one. Maybe they are saving some new episodes for the Fall. hmmmm.....

PS. Also just noticed that my 3-D Collage Box episode that we filmed in 2005 re-airs August 15th @ noon EST as well!

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Monday, August 06, 2007
exhausting day
toby_sleepyI am so worn out after today. Started off super early this morning at 7am getting my car towed to the VW dealer. It went fine and of course I left a million notes all around it so they would know whose it was when it got there.

Then later I hear back from them and it's not just the battery, the Ignition Switch and the ECM (the car's computer) are ALSO broken. Ugh! the guy tells me it would be about $2,000 to fix it! Yipes! Then I remembered that I had bought a Geico extra warranty, when I purchased the car. So I called them and luckily it hadn't run out yet, it was for 8 years and my car is 7 years old. So yay! Now all I have to pay is the deductible and the battery. Still expensive but much cheaper than paying for the whole thing! yay!!

After all that, I started on my journey of getting this homeowners insurance thing sorted out. I still don't understand how a company can just start a policy without your consent or needing to sign something. You'd think you'd have to sign something! When I got our insurance with Tower Hill after Allstate dropped us, Paul and I had to sign so many papers you'd have thought we were getting a mortgage! So it seems so weird that Allstate can auto-enroll us with Royal Palm without us needing to sign forms to consent.

I called Allstate and they tell me to call Royal Palm, then I call Royal Palm and they tell me to call Allstate! arrrrugh!! Finally I called my lender and told them if Royal Palm tries to get added to my escrow to deny them. Hopefully that might work. I will try again tomorrow, this is a phone call nightmare, I wonder if I will ever get it sorted out.

My parents had the same thing with Royal Palm when Allstate dropped them, but since they don't escrow their insurance, it was easier to resolve. Not as easy for us since they have all our lender information. What a nightmare! Tomorrow I will do battle again!

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Saturday, August 04, 2007
weekend update!
I started off the weekend yesterday with a huge 24 hour migraine. I had an important business phone call with lawyers and the whole nine yards and it gave me a major headache. I can't tell you what is going on just yet, but hopefully soon (it will be exciting if it all works out)! I took an imitrex and tried ignoring the migraine, and went to see The Simpons with Paul (fun movie!) then tried over medicating but not even two imitrex (max dosage for 24 hours) could get rid of it so I gave in and just rested in the dark, it finally went around 11am this morning.

Then discovered that my car has a dead battery. Thank goodness it died in the garage and not while I was out running errands! I called AAA to come and install a new battery but they won't do it for VW Beetles. But they came and checked the battery and pronounced it dead, so dead in fact that they told me it was not safe to drive it the 12 miles to the dealer. So now on Monday I need to have it towed.

Just now opened the mail and discovered that the homeowners insurance( Allstate) that dropped us automatically enrolled us into another insurance company (Royal Palm) without our consent. We had signed on with a different insurance company (Tower Hill) after we got the drop notice. So now I have to make a bunch of calls on Monday to sort that out and make sure we aren't being billed for two policies. These sneaky insurance companies!

Looks like Monday will be a busy day already and it's not even here yet!

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Thursday, August 02, 2007
rainy thursday
It was gloomy and rainy all day today. Makes me so sleepy!

Today, I ran errands, went to the vet, made phone calls and worked on custom artwork orders. I filled a few orders from my Etsy store too. It's time to stock up on more artwork for my Etsy store, I'll have to try to add some more this weekend! Yay!

I talked to my rep Jen for a long time on the phone. To the right is a mini set of Sitting Pretty PoppetsĀ® that I made of her & her hubby and their 2 three-legged kitties Wilbur and Napoleon. (click image to enlarge).

I was telling her all about how much I love This American Life and now they have a podcast version of their show. I can listen to it while I walk Toby (which takes forever because he is very slow and pokey). She had never heard the show before so I talked endlessly about how much I love it and that she needs to try it out and listen to the episode "The Super" first. One of my favs. Paul and I listened to that episode on our flight to Italy and we were cracking up so much people actually turned around to look at us. Ooops!

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007
baby book
Today the UPS man brought me a book that I submitted a project to forever ago. I had completely forgotten about it! 101 Ways to Tees Your Tot is all about altered baby clothes, I did an altered onsie.
(click to enlarge)
The didn't quite spell my last name right. They left off an "L" in Hellmuth. It's H-E-L-L like heaven and hell as my mom always says!

But hey, close enough!

And they got my web site correct which is the really important part! At least they didn't call me Christine like I got called on a magazine cover once, or Hellmouth, like the telemarketers call me. LOL!

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