Category Archives: Notes from Andrea

Studio director and workshop facilitator

Moving the Studio/Store to 176 Race Street


Most of you know already because you follow us on Facebook or get our weekly newsletters but sometimes with an over-filled feed and mailbox news slips by and you miss out on vital information.  In the interest of NOT letting that happen I’m posting here as well.

A Work of Heart Studio has been at 2196 Lincoln Avenue(San Jose) for 10 years now.  We have had a wonderful time making art and friends in this location.  If you have been a part of this process in any way, thank you!  It is because of you that we are now looking to move on to the next 10 years in a larger space.  Less than 3 miles away the “perfect” space became available just at the right time.

You can see a short video of the interior of the new space here

The best part is that parking will no longer be an issue.  There is an entire parking lot behind the building and plenty of street parking.

Today (June 16) after I signed the contract my new landlord took the “for lease” sign down.  It was a monumental moment.

Leaving Lincoln Avenue is bitter sweet to be sure.  Wonderful memories have been formed within these green walls.  I am very much looking forward to what is in store for the next 10 years at 176 Race Street (San Jose, California).

Mark your calendars for July 30, 2017 from 3-7pm and come to our Open House.


In for Another Ten… Here is WHY


“A Work of Heart exists to inspire your creativity” has been a tag line on the website for some time now but what does that mean?

Last month I was introduced to Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” Ted Talk.  The message resonated with me deeply.

Amidst the very busy packing and purging process for the studio re-location my mind has been mulling over our WHY statement.  In order to be really clear about the direction for the next 10 years I’ve reflected on the past 10 and tried to identify “why A Work of Heart?” I think it is important to state that while I never set out to be a creative entrepreneur I can not imagine a different life.  While some days I long for someone else to just tell me what to do, I really love seeing what this little business has grown into from all the interaction I’ve had with you, my creative friends, over the years.


One thing that makes the studio special is that here we “gather” in a like-minded creative community to share an experience.  There are so many ways you can learn these days for little or no expense, however, there is immeasurable value in gathering together with a group to create.

Here you are surrounded by “your people.”

We gather to share ideas and resources as we encourage each other as lifelong learners.

We witness firsthand the amazing way a group of individuals can receive the same instructions and each come up with unique results.

It is in this gathering that we nurture a creative spirit.

Watch for part 2 when I talk about the Connecting that happens here.

While you wait, here is an opportunity to pay it forward.

Gathering should not be an exclusive opportunity.  There are many who can not afford the luxury of paying for a workshop or class.  I am inspired to create a scholarship fund to open the studio up to many more who could benefit from our gathering and subsequent nurturing.

If you would like to contribute to this fund in a financial way you can send a check to A Work of Heart at 176 Race Street and mark “scholarship” in the memo section.  I am working on a way to make this easy to do online.  A little testing shows that a donation button using paypal gives paypal 33% of the donation (not cool!)

Alternatively, you can simply send money through paypal as a friend to and add a message that it should be applied to the scholarship fund.

If you are interested in applying to utilize some of these funds you can email andrea(at)aworkofheart(dot)com to inquire about availability.


My first Zentangle Pattern


“The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.

Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle Method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.

We believe that life is an art form and that our Zentangle Method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.” –


Last year I traveled to Providence, Rhode Island (took my girls with me) and became one of the 2100 “Certified Zentangle Instructors” across the world (class #21).  My main motivation for doing this is that I enjoy teaching this art form and it was (in my opinion) the ethical thing to do if I wanted to call what I was doing “Zentangle”


Over the past year I’ve enjoyed being part of this teaching community and love to see all the patterns that other CZT’s develop and share.  I tried my hand at it this summer when I was unplugged for a bit of time on a family vacation.  Here is what I came up with.



Here it is on the side of my Hydroflask.  As the name suggests…the pattern was inspired by the pattern on the Kirkland brand paper towels…just goes to prove, inspiration is everywhere!  Hope you give the pattern a try and join me in the studio for a Zentangle Workshop soon!  Click here to sign up for the next session.


18 years 1 month



So, LinkedIn keeps sending me alerts that I normally ignore..however…a few people have been wishing me happy anniversary.  Apparently it has been 18 years since I started A Work of Heart.  So many memories and such a journey seems just a bit cliche’

I’d love to say I was organized enough to have all the photos captured to present a lovely blog post with images to coincide with all the stages of this business…I have a few but not nearly as many as one would expect knowing my business started out focused on Scrapbooking!

Here is a timeline for those who are interested:

August 1998 – SO into SCRAPBOOKING…seriously..Didn’t want to go the way of many with Creative Memories.  Joined my friend Michele von Richter and started “Scrabooking…a work of heart”  We designed a logo and had it embroidered on apparel like denim shirts, sweatshirts and t-shirts.  We also (my favorite part) started buying scrapbook supplies and hosting crops for our friends.

1999 – Michele went back to work as a classroom teacher and I continued the business of A Work of Heart mostly focusing on selling supplies online (back in the age of free e-commerce web stores)  I picked up a gig via my good friend Anne Stubblefield where I started creating custom scrapbooks for one of Anne’s previous employers when she was a nanny.

2000-2002 – Taught scrapbooking classes at both Pocketful of Memories on Bascom Avenue and Scrapbook Mania on Camden Avenue in San Jose.  Continued to work for one major client but started taking on other custom jobs.

July 2002 – Husband completed construction on my dream scrapbook room in our garage..a dreamy 12’x12′ space dedicated to my passion and business


December 2002 – The scope of the projects from my one client were so large and time consuming I started sub-contracting out the work to friends.  I no longer had space to spread out as I needed in my home studio.  Opened the first commercial space of what you now know as A Work of Heart Studio at 1998 The Alameda in San Jose.  Spent 18 months there.


June 2004 – The trek across town got to be a bit tiresome for my family.  Moved to a space at 1060 Willow Street in the lovely neighborhood of Willow Glen.  Sublet part of a business where my co-tenant ran a high-tech business out of the back office and taught martial arts classes in the large adjacent room a couple nights a week.

April/May 2007 – Said co-tenant moved back east and the landlord didn’t let me take over the lease since I really had too much traffic flow with the birthday parties and classes I had started hosting.  This was also the year that a customer came in with a copy of “Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine” and my life passion took a serious turn.


June 2007 – Found my current 2196 Lincoln Avenue location and started construction with a potential partner (9 weeks later things didn’t work out) Continued with the plans and brought in ScrapLovers to run the retail side of things.  Christina Olson moved her online business headquarters here for 2 years and I continued to offer classes and parties with a gradual shift in focus toward more mixed media and jewelry making.

August 2009 – Christina/ScrapLovers moved out.  I continued to expand A Work of Heart’s teaching and retail offerings until it has grown to what it is today.


August 2016 – I celebrate 18 years in a business that allows me to share a place for creativity through teaching classes and collaborating with national and international art instructors.  While I’ve certainly experienced all the normal ups and downs of business ownership, I really would not have chosen a different path.  I look forward to what is next.  I have 10 months left on this lease (yes, I signed a 10 year lease!) and have started looking for a new location. We have simply grown out of our 1800sf.  Looking for more like 3000 to give everyone a bit more space to be creative and move around!


Thanks for showing up!  A Work of Heart Studio would NOT be what it is today without the faithful loyal customers who have become friends.  You know who you are!  Thank YOU!!


Latest Art Journal pages

Latest Art Journal pages

It has been a while since I’ve simply posted art for the sake of posting.

Pinterest pinged me this morning saying that my Art Journaling Board followers haven’t seen anything new from me lately 😉  Thanks pinterest…yet another thing to add to my ever growing to-do list.


I do love to feature words on my art journal pages.  More so than imagery…


I love to create a big “mess” then mask out words by laying chipboard letters over top and spraying..This will “calm” the background down a bit.


Most of these pages are ready for some finishing touches..maybe a little more journaling or doodles in black/white


The pages above are the demo pages for my Art Journaling 101 class.

And the latest book club selection “Intuitive Painting Workshop” by Alena Hennessy has been a stretch for me..definitely trying new things and learning in this one.  Painting “intuitively” is still really hard for me.  My number one take away from the first two lessons is to keep moving and doing…don’t sit and think about it too long…just keep going!

Here is last night’s painting


Periscope Anyone?

Periscope Anyone?

I’m just getting my feet wet with Periscope.  Don’t know what that is?


well, I’ll tell you what it is not…”an apparatus consisting of a tube attached to a set of mirrors or prisms, by which an observer (typically in a submerged submarine or behind a high obstacle) can see things that are otherwise out of sight.”

(that was the first thing that came up when I googled “what is periscope?”)

This is what it is: Simply put, Periscope enables you to “go live” via your mobile device anytime and anywhere. The app enables you to become your own “on the go” broadcasting station, streaming video and audio to any viewers who join your broadcast.

Lots of my artist friends are jumping in and using it.  What I like most about it is that it is raw, unedited video..what you see is what you get.   It is also somewhat temporary.  The broadcast is available for replay for 24 hours.

This morning in the Painted Blossoms Book Club I started a broadcast and was tickled when one of my student’s phones gave the alert that a broadcast was starting.

I plan to do more broadcasts in the new year following my “Artful Life Calendar Journal” progress but until then I try to “scope” here and there to work out all the kinks.  Follow me by searching for Andrea Chebeleu or Aworkofheart.  Julie Valentine (my co-facilitator of the Juicy Soul Retreat) is also on Periscope as @thereddragonfly

We will be periodically broadcasting live this Sunday as we lead the final 2015 Juicy Soul Retreat (from 11am-5pm PST)

Interested in joining us in person for this full day Art Journaling immersion?  Space is limited to 12 and there is (as of Tuesday night) still room available.

10/04/2015 $120
Juicy Soul Retreat
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM