Thursday, April 30, 2009

Profile: Shelagh Duffett

Shelagh Duffett
Shelagh's blog

"All Is Well" can be found on page 16 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Shelagh is an artist and photographer who lives in Nova Scotia. Her cheerful work has found it's way all over the world. From Japan to Alaska and Finland to South Africa, Shelagh's whimsical art makes people everywhere smile. Gracing the walls of a Pediatric Unit in Missouri and beaming from the labels of an established condiment line, her art knows no bounds. Monty the tabby cat is her muse and ever present art critic. Shelagh has written and illustrated her own cook book (oddly enough, I was given her book as a gift several years ago, long before I knew Shelagh). Her cookbook is available here.

Prints of her photos are available at

Prints of "All Is Well" and many other of Shelagh's creations are available at

You can see more of her work here:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Please vote and some more articles

Please vote! Our 2009 Paws for Charity Art Book won last week's challenge to win some free advertising and we are now in Phase 2. We're up against some tough of the other entries has already received 31 votes and we're only at 3 votes:( The winner of this challenge will receive an audio commercial with banner the following week on BHR. Here is the link to vote:
The Paws for Charity Art Book is the last entry on the list. After you vote, send out some emails, twitter and facebook about it too to get your friends voting for us! This would be great (and free!) exposure for our book.

A few more press items...This week we made the front cover story at the EMC Kanata...a weekly paper in Kanata, Ontario (a suburb of Ottawa...Canada's capital). The article features 4 of our artists from the Ottawa area. There is an online version of the article too, and here is the link:

Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes has snagged herself a feature article in her alumni newsletter. An email version went out a few days ago, and there will be an in-depth print article in the fall...perfect timing for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October).

Sabrina Helas got herself an article in her local Tails Inc. magazine. It is scheduled to be printed in the June issue.

And, I'll be interviewing for our local newspaper, the Bridgewater Bulletin (a weekly) on Thursday afternoon. Hopefully I'll get some exposure for our 2 Halifax artists in that article!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Profile: Gary Heller

Gary Heller

Gary is a New York based photographer. He exhibits regularly in galleries around Brooklyn and new York. His works have taken Best in Show, have been used in group exhibit press kits, and have a permanent collection in the N.Y.C. Transit Building in Livingston Plaza. Gary's photographs can also be found in his etsy shop.

Gary's photo "Iki in the box" is featured on page 23 of the 2009 Paws for Charity Art Book.Here is the story of Iki, written by Gary:

I was honored to be one of the artists selected for the book as it gave me an opportunity to use my work for helping other people in some way, shape or form.

Ironically there is a deeper story to my particular work that was selected. My selected piece is a photograph of our kitten "Iki". Iki was discovered in our backyard in June of 2008 by my son Kyle who is autistic and has a special and strong love of animals. Iki was merely a day old when Kyle found him, and pretty much hours away from death. Apparently Iki's mom had removed him from her litter and left him to die. We took him in and nursed him against the veterinarians prediction of a 50/50 chance of survival. He is now a 10 month old kitten in excellent health and spirit. In the selected photo, Iki is two weeks old and very scrawny. His good looks and charm comes across in the photo and has given both him, myself and Kyle the chance to help save another life.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Profile: Emily Wagner

Emily Wagner

"Biggie Smalls" is featured on page 34 of the 2009 Paws for Charity Art Book.

Emily told me I could edit her bio, but how could I leave any of this out? Here it is, in it's entirety.

Emily Wagner grew up on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side. She was a child actress who made her television debut at thirteen in the educational camp series HIGH FEATHER. Even though the show only had a ten episode run, it played repeats for seven years on PBS and by the time Emily got to college she had achieved cult status among the seven people who watched it. Some of whom are still her friends today.

Emily is an actress, writer and artist. She is the co-creator (along with Chelsea Gilmore) of the web series MOTHERHOODLUM. She has written for SOMA magazine, HOTMOMSCLUB.COM, MAMAZINE.COM and the in-flight magazine for an airline that no longer exists. She created, wrote, produced and starred in several short and feature films, some with her brother Andrew (COUNTING, SOUTH MAIN), some with her longtime collaborator Julie Delpy (BLAH, BLAH, BLAH) and some with both of them (Looking For Jimmy, Careful) all of which went on to have impressive festival runs.

As an actress she has appeared in several feature films (SEVEN) and television shows (IN LIVING COLOR, JACK AND JILL, CRIMINAL MINDS). But it is in the role of Doris Pickman, the smart aleck paramedic on ER that she has played for the past thirteen seasons for which she receives the most (and only) fan mail, usually from incarcerated women. Emily received impressive reviews for her starring role in the indie cult hit THE TALENT GIVEN US, directed by her brother Andrew. She has been known to cuddle up in bed with the printouts and read them to herself softly.

Most recently Emily starred in the film CHRONIC TOWN along with Garry Marshall and Paul Dooley which premiered at the Sundance 2008 Film Festival. Last year Emily appeared in STICK IT and MR. WOODCOCK.

She has studied improv, comedy and writing at The Groundlings and acting with Susan Batson of the Actor’s Studio, Ivana Chubbuck, Silvana Gallardo and Ian Tucker. At Vassar when she wasn’t taking drugs and/or sleeping with the few straight men on campus she managed to graduate, only one year late, with a B.A. in Fine Art.

Emily refuses to cut down on Splenda, The Hills, or Ikea. In her first year of single-motherhood Emily has discovered its surprising upsides. Squatting to pick up a tossed sippy cup has been great to her ass, one teething biscuit in only half a Weight Watchers point, and Baby is a great excuse to bail out of plans at the last minute. Her most coveted possession is a toilet plunger.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Please Vote!

We're only ahead by 8 votes!
Our book has been entered into an online challenge, and the winner of the challenge will get some free promotion. If you have a minute, please click on this link and vote for our Paws For Charity Art Book:
Scroll down towards the bottom of the page...we're in the Wildcard category.

This is just Phase I....Phase 2 of the competition starts next week.

Please vote...and pass the word along to get your friends to vote too! We need all the free press we can get....thanks!

Facebook Group & Blog Articles

I don't think I've ever mentioned that there is a Facebook group set up fo the Paws for Charity Art Book. Actually, we seemed to have two groups set up, but I'll remove the one I was trying to look after. Facebook and dial up internet access don't get along too well. Please join the group set up by one of our Art Book participants...Denise Picanco. Here is the link:

There have been a couple more blog posts by some people unconnected to our project. It would be great if you'd drop by and leave them a thank you...

Thursday Sweet Treat


Gotta Love Mom

Tomorrow...another artist profile!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some articles

Our first print article!
An article has been printed about Blenda Tyvoll (page 11, 2009 Paws for Charity Art Book) in the Oregonian...Oregon's largest paper. You can read it online here.

Also, Funky Finds featured our book on their blog yesterday. You can read the feature here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Profile: Dan Felstead

Dan Felstead

Dan has been attached at the hip to a camera - digital and film - since the early 70's. His freelance work has taken him to weddings, portraits, news journalism, and travel. Now he is finally getting to take the photos that mean something to him.

Dan's photo entitled "Lifelong Friends" is on page 6 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book. I selected this photo for the book because I just loved the look in the hound's eye as well as the human connection.Here is the story behind the photo, written by Dan:

While at an outdoor festival, I noticed the basset following his owner. The crowded venue had the basset side stepping human feet at every turn. Huddled close to his owners legs, it was as if he knew that his friend would keep him safe and lead him to a safe spot away from the crowd. Once they reached a safe distance from the noisy bustling horde, his friend reached down with a loving, reassuring hand to signal "it's ok". A dog's voice is in his eyes, ears and tail. All three responded with admiration...eyes fixed on his friend, ears back and tail sweeping the sidewalk clean in a 180 degree semi circle.
During the rest of the day as I walked the festival searching for more images, I looked for another couple who publicly exhibited this bond of natural unconditional love...they were nowhere to be found.

You can purchase Dan's photos at And you really must check out his blog for some fantastic photos and narratives...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Profile: Jennie Huettel

Jennie Huettel

Originally from Chicago, Jennie calls Knoxville, TN home. Happily married with 4 dogs, she has been doing pet photogrpahy since 2005.

Jennie Huettel Photography specializes in modern pet portraits that capture your pet’s unique personality.

“My passion has always been dogs. I have been very active in making Knoxville more pet friendly, including the addition of off-leash dog parks. By combining my passion for pets with my love for photography, I am able to make your photo shoot a one of a kind experience.”-Jennie

Jennie's photo entitled "Ellie Mae" is featured on page 31 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book Project.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Upcoming print articles

Front and Back Covers - photo by Gigi Leonard.

Gigi is one of the 37 participants in our Art Book, and she's also one of the administrators of the Photographers of Etsy blog. She kindly arranged for an article about our book to be posted on the POE blog. You can read the POE blog post here.

I've been busy sending our PR to newspapers and some tv stations that are local to some of our participants. Some of the upcoming articles I know about:

Jennie Huettel will be featured in an article at Shopper News Now.

Blenda Tyvoll was photographed and interviewed yesterday for an upcoming article in The Oregonian - Oregon's largest newspaper.

And four of our participants from Ottawa, Canada will be featured in an article in the EMC:
Miriam Mas, Denise Picanco, Pat Nadarajah, and Natalie Heath (Natalie will be photographed and interviewed tomorrow).

I have been so busy sending out PR that I haven't had time to do many artist profiles on the blog...I'll post one tomorrow. Hmmmm.....who will it be?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Snippets from Blogland

Our 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book is getting some good press on blogland...

Blurb Inc. (the publishing company for our book) has twittered about our Art Book!

A lot of our participants have blogged about our book. I won't mention them all, but I'd like to thank some people who are not involved with the project that have blogged about our book and show a couple of photos.

Mem has posted our recent press release on her Shop N Blog as well as one of her stores - Sophies By Design. (scroll down to the bottom right of the page) I'd encourage all our participants to leave a comment on her blog to thank her. Thanks Mem!
The photo above was taken by Dan Felstead, one of our participants. It's the hard cover, wrap around version. In this photo, you can see Dan's submission "Lifelong Friends" on the left and "Applehead Lit" by Rachel Parker on the right.

Shelagh Duffet posted about our project on and Vox mentioned our book on their Culture Page. Thanks Vox!

And I'll end this post with a photo that Zulayra McKim posted on Facebook:This is Penny, showing off her photo on page 12. Apparently Penny is quite the diva and wants to continue being in the spotlight!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Profile: Kelly Snelling

Kelly Snelling

Kelly Snelling is a Southern girl transpanted in California. She is a self-taught artist who believes she can do anything she sets her mind to, including beating breast cancer.

Her art and words have been published in several magazines and books. She is the co-author of A Charming Exchange.

When she isn't playing tag with her dog and two little boys or dancing with her adorable husband or whispering to her cat, she can be found daydreaming, painting, singing, laughing, making BIG necklaces, and living life loudly with every fiber of her soul.

Kelly's photograph "The Passage" can be found on page 39 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book Project. Kelly has just celebrated a wonderful anniversary...two years of being free from breast cancer. In her own words, "Cancer is an upside down blessing in that I surely have learned to value what I have instead of feeling as if I were missing out on anything...ever."

Kelly is such a talented artist, that I had a tough time choosing from her submissions...she also submitted a cat painting and a dog painting. However, I chose "The Passage" because I think it is a thought provoking photograph. It leads me to wonder what is just around the corner, out of view. Don't we all wonder that about life?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tooting Our Horn

I am very excited to say that our 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book is not only a Staff Pick at it's the number one Best Seller too! What a great way to kick off this project! Thanks to everyone who has bought a book and helped our cause!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What Twittering leads to

Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes (our cover photographer) has been Twittering about our 2009 Art Book Project. The publishing company ( saw Michelle's twitters...and now our book is the #1 Staff Pick on!!

Yay Michelle! Yay Twitter! Yay Staff at Blurb!

You can see it here:

Not sure how long we'll be in the number one spot. Thanks Michelle!

More good news...Sabrina Helas (page 15) sent our news to Dog Art Today and they have posted an article about our book. You can read the article here . might want to leave a comment on the blog. Thanks Sabrina!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our book is ready!

The 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book is now ready for ordering!
37 artists raise fu...

Click on the link pictured above or on our blog's sidebar, or go to to preview and/or order.

Remember, all funds raised from the sale of our books are directly donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade by (the book publisher).

Our photo cover, Sandy Paws, is currently in a contest. Please help out photographer Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes by voting for her photo! Click here to go to vote. (she's currently running a close second so your vote may make the difference!)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Profile: Cameron Graves Hayden

Cameron Graves Hayden

Cameron was born in Greenwich, CT in 1968. In 1990, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, with a major in Art History. In 1991, Cameron moved to Montreal. She received her Diploma in Art Education from McGill University in 1992. While in Montreal, Cameron began to work extensively in open studios with live models, drawing and painting. She moved to Halifax in 1994 and received her Bachelor of Fine Art Degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in June 1997. In 1996 Cameron received the Robert Pope Foundation scholarship for painting and was short-listed for the Prince Edward Award, and in 1997 she received the NSCAD Endowment Fund Scholarship. Cameron has shown her work in numerous exhibitions, both group and solo, locally, as well as in Greenwich, CT, Princeton, NJ, Montreal, PQ, and Guelph, ON. Since graduating from NSCAD Cameron has continued to show extensively in Halifax. In 2000, she performed a painting on stage with musical artist Veda Hille, and in 2003, 2005 and 2007 she volunteered 80 hours of work to paint specialty murals in the Kid's Help Phone Designer Showcase House. In addition, in both 2005 and 2006 Cameron created the set design for Simply the Breast, a Canadian Breast Cancer fundraiser.

Over the past year Cameron has started to paint pet commissions with a very positive response from the pet community. It has been such an enjoyable undertaking that the artist will continue to pursue and build her "pet aesthetic". Her goal is to make great works that consider not only the animal's physical appearance, but also his/her nature. Cameron feels capturing the spirit and personality of the pet is the key to a successful work.

When I asked Cameron if she would like to be involved in the Paws For Charity Art Book Project, I specifically mentioned her painting "Vanessa and Be". I was quite drawn to this painting, and although it doesn't have a dog or cat in the painting I wanted to include it. When I mentioned this painting to Cameron, she told me Vanessa was diagnosed with breast cancer over two years ago. Here is Cameron's painting of Vanessa. You'll find it on page 3 of our book. Underneath the painting, you'll find the story of "Be", written by Vanessa.I have a bear. His name is 'Be'. I received Be when I was first diagnosed with cancer two and a half years ago. Be has provided me with great comfort and strength ever since. I named him Be to represent everything I want to be... be happy, be healthy, be loving, be generous. Whenever I feel upset, angry or sad, I look to Be to remind me of everything positive in the world and everything I want to be; ultimately Be represents love. Be also reminds me to live in the moment, to Be. I don't know how much longer I have in this life but every moment will count and will be cherished. Be is my constant companion. He comes with me to all of my chemo appointments, anytime I am in the hospital and of course to bed with me. If I ever wake up in the middle of the night, his sweet, comforting face is there to greet me. Be also represents the love I have in my heart for those I cherish most. Bears know where their hearts are and will always remind you of where yours is.

Thank you to both Cameron and Vanessa for being involved with the 2009 Art Book Project.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Profile: Sara Harley

Sara Harley (with Cassie and Mulligan)
Editor, 2009 Paws for Charity Art Book

Over the next few months, I'll be profiling all the contributors of the 2009 Paws for Charity Art Book...sharing their stories with you. (approx 2 profiles each week). To kick it off, I'll share my own Q&A about the Art Book Project.

What prompted you to raise money for charity? I am one of the luckiest people around. I was able to "retire" at the age of 47 and now spend my time exploring my new province and home with my husband and life partner John. I wanted to do something to contribute back to society...sounds corny, but it's true.

Why do you use pets to assist in raising funds? We are empty nesters, and my pets are my kids. I think there is a real bond between people and their pets...a connection that only pet owners can understand. There are lots of fund raisers for animal charities. I thought it would be interesting to take the bond we share with our animals and raise funds for a people related charity. My mom died of breast cancer when I was 21, so raising funds for breast cancer charities is a personal choice for me.

You are living in a small, rural community. How did you develop your network of contacts with artists? The internet brings the world together. Even though we live in "the boonies", I have been able to discover artists all over the world and invite them to participate in this project. Having a worldwide range of talented artists creates a synergy that is unlike anything you can achieve at a local level. It's this synergy that I hope will help stir up more interest in our project than I would be able to do on my own.

How did you choose what images to use in your book? That was the toughest part of this project for me...I lost lots of sleep trying to decide what to include! Everyone was so generous in submitting their images for consideration, I really didn't want to turn anyone down. I tried to create a book with a good balance of artwork and photographs...dogs and cats...portraits and scenic images...a wide range of artistic images.

How will you measure success? I think the project is a success already....we have produced a quality book with a wide range of artistic talent. But I'll be very, very happy if we can take the product we've created and raise some funds for charity....the more money we can raise, the better!

What are your next steps for this project? The book will be available to the public next week. I hope all the participants will help in getting the word out so we can generate some sales. I'll be sending out press releases, and will be asking the participants to send me information for publications in their own locations so we can try to get some articles published in their own geographic areas. I'll be focussing on April (which is Daffodil Month - Cancer Awareness) and October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) for some publicity opportunities.

Is this project a one time effort? I've already had people asking if they can be involved next year. I'd like to publish an "Art Book" once each year if there is enough interest. But I'll take it one step at a time and focus on making our first book a success. I am working on a second book project for a more "local" charity...a "Photo Collection" to raise funds for training assistance dogs that will be published in October 2009. Between the two projects, I'll have all I can handle this year!