Dec 2, 2009

Free-lancing Doesn't Mean Working for Free...


I hope this posting finds you all well. I have been receiving emails and questions regarding my column, Ta Da! in Romantic Homes magazine, or rather, my lack of articles for my column, and I wasn't sure how to broach the subject until this timely letter to the editor appeared in the current issue of Romantic Home's Jan 2010 issue. A reader wrote stating that she visited the St. Louis area, looking for my store and was disappointed to find that I had closed it and wanted to know how to get in touch with me. (Thank you Roseanne Lange of Eldon, MO for the lovely letter to the editor.) The editors of the magazine were kind of enough to print the letter as well as my blog address for the readers to find me so they can keep up with my adventures. The editors also mentioned that I have an upcoming article in a future issue...

...which leads me to the reason of this posting. I have always tried to be open and honest with you with all my writings whether it was with a design project, Shop Talk, a fashion foible, or a personal issue I was experiencing - divorce, marriage, car wrecks, you name it, I always tried to be true. So in keeping with my mode of operation, I will explain how it came to be that I am no longer a contributing editor for Romantic Homes.

Jan 2010 Issue

For those of you who may not be familiar with the publishing world, let me explain that just about any Christmas article you may be reading in any current magazine today was photographed and written at least six to seven months ago, but even more likely it was written a year ago. Articles, especially seasonal ones, are usually completed six months to a year in advance for publication. So, last summer the editor of Romantic Homes contacted me wanting me to come up with a list of suggested features and ideas for my next year's (2010) articles for my column, Ta Da!.

I was very excited (and flattered) to be asked again to write for them another year. The first issue I appeared in was their November 2005 issue. Geesh!  I can't believe it has been fours years that I have been working with them in one capacity or another. I so enjoy the creative process of creating a feature. It is such a joy to be given such creative license to come up with a list of story ideas and basically just go out and do them...

But that is the problem. I just don't "just go out and do them..."  Doing a feature is a lot of work and a lot of time. Over the years of writing for RH, my average feature is anywhere from 6 to 12 pages. That is a huge article by industry standards and it takes a lot of work to fill those pages. Also, for those of you who aren't part of the publishing world, there are several different jobs in creating a feature in the industry that are usually held by different professionals in which I combined into one. Usually there is a person who is paid to scout out a story, then a photographer is paid, and then a stylist is on the shoot to help the photographer, then a writer is given some pics so she can formulate the story and call up the designer or home owner to ask questions to complete the story. Those four positions (scouting, stylist, photographer, writer) were all done by me in addition to my creating the rooms themselves (designer) and coming up with the idea in the first place. Please don't misunderstand me, I absolutely love the creative process, and I do mean that very much. But...

...I was going to do a post for my blog sometime down the road about my photo shoots and what is done behind the scenes, and I was saving these photos for that article, but I will share some with you now to better explain you what goes into a shoot. This particular shoot (see below) took three days. I actually spent the night at the home owner's home because it was over an hour drive and the work day was so long. Below are some photos of a shoot that I will share with you in the next posting. It was an article I did last year that I think is worth repeating for new readers about taking a tiny space and making it special for New Years. I will include a lot of photos that weren't in the magazine and also some tips that weren't included as well. Below are some photos to just give you an idea of the set up that is involved in a photo shoot:

I love Randy's old truck - everyone needs an old truck that you can count on to haul your goodies. Plus, don't you just love the color? But, I you can see by the weather and isn't no where near winter or looking like it will snow. But yet, this is a shoot for Christmas and New Years. The truck is loaded with props that I gathered, found, shopped, and loaded up and now have to unload and get into the home without breaking them or scratching the walls in the process.

All this mess is just props, materials, and stuff to get the room ready for the shoot. All the stuff you see below are things I brought in. Believe it or not, it is all used. It takes a lot of planning to get it done right and not have to drive back an hour to Target to get more candles or napkins or whatever you need. Once you are out in the country, you don't have time to go back.

Below are some French chairs that I own that I brought in to "re-do" on the spot with some burlap. I spent the evening putting burlap over the upholstery for the shoot. As you can see by the window, it is late into the evening.

This is a little table that I am fixing up for two. The above is when I just started and below is the finished product with all the goodies. Just getting it all set out took a day. Now I have to shoot it and I use only natural light, so my daylight is running out and I must rush.

Above and below is the mantel before and after. It takes a lot of time to tie up wire and books and place out a dozen or so clocks and candles...more detail photos on my next posting...and yes, that is my faux finishing technique on the wall... more on that in my next posting :-)

I could show you a lot more "in the process" photos, but you get the idea. What a lot of people don't realize is the stuff you don't see. Like hauling in the tool box, the ladders, the material, staple gun, wire, and all the shopping I did at all the stores to get just the right stuff I needed for the story. Then I had to go through my inventory for antiques or go to antique malls or flea-markets to find the perfect whatever to make the story really interesting or special for my readers. Once I find all those goodies (and it can take days), buy them, and load them in the truck. I now get to drive over an hour and unload them all again. As I work, I am formulating the story in my head, even though I have a good idea about it already, I am writing it in my head as I work into the night.

Once the "set" is done, I now must shoot it and style it. I must make sure that no camera bag is left in the background (I do it all the time!!) and all extension cords are hidden and price tags are taken off. That is why having a stylist is so nice to have on a shoot. I need to make sure all my batteries are charged and I have both my tripods. I must wipe off all the glass because dust is a pain to photo shop out and to make sure my reflection of myself behind the camera isn't in the window, mirror, shiny dish, or glass. I must check and recheck all the photos to make sure all is well because once I tear down the set, and I leave, that is it. And I am on a deadline, no second chances. I go about and probably shoot about 350 photos. Wide shots, and detail shots. My back is aching from a long night and from bending over so much with the camera. I squat on my knees a lot because I am determined to get certain angles. I work quickly with the natural light....the sun is now setting.

I then pack up the props, load the truck, put the house back in order, and head home, unpack the truck and down load all 350 photos onto my computer. I crop, correct and work on them until they are ready to download to a disk. This can take an entire day or even two. I then ship it off to RH and write my story and edit it many times before I email the story out to them as well. So there you have it. As you can see, I really just don't "go out and just do" my photo shoots. I put a lot of thought, care and love into them and I always keep the reader in mind and what I think you would want to know and see in an article. I don't have control over what actually goes into the magazine, but I always put the readers first when it comes to my writing articles. 

Below is the end result that landed in the Romantic Homes January 2008 Issue:

So, back to my original reason for writing this post. When the editor asked me to come up with a list of story ideas for next year's issues, while excited, I knew I could no longer continue to do all the work it requires at the pay rate I was receiving. After all the features I have produced over the years, I had never asked for a raise and I really had to come to terms with how much I valued my time, effort and experience. So, with great thought, and with a heavy heart, I politely (and gratefully) expressed my gratitude to the RH editor for the opportunity to write and produce for them, and I expressed my desire to continue to do so, but I could not continue without a raise. Unfortunately, RH stated they did not have the budget and that was that. I sort of felt like not much consideration was given in trying find other budget options in keeping me on board, but business is business and magazines are closing up left and right, so I shouldn't take it personal.

I offered the option of my writing fewer articles to meet their budget requirements, but my offer has not been taken. I knew in my heart that when I wrote my email requesting a rate increase, I was basically writing my resignation. If a raise had not been offered to me by now, after all the articles I have produced, I knew that realistically, a raise would not be coming my way and that my email would be my resignation in a way. I was hoping otherwise, but unfortunately I was right. See, it isn't always good to be right.  :-)

Basically, I had to ask myself some hard questions. The same tough questions I ask my readers that read my Shop Talk blog. I had to ask myself how much do I value my talent? I can only be taken advantage of (or feel as though) if I allow it. And even though I was passionate about those photo shoots and my producing them, at what point do I decide that my passion is worth more to me than just basically praise? When do I decide that I have "paid my dues" and now I am due for some real pay? Obviously my passion was worth something to the RH editors and least worthy enough to print on paper and distribute. But if I don't value myself, or value my experience, or what I bring to the table, then who will? I had to remind myself it was the magazine who called me, not the other way around. But sometimes it is hard to feel valuable when I feel like I am only "fabulous" when I am "free." 

I know there are so many others out there who would love to be in my shoes and do what I do with the magazine...I would love to be in my shoes too (as long as they match....see prior posting). But my shoes weren't feeling so good this last year, having worked so hard to produce articles like the New Year's Eve article or my Kitchen make-over and not be fairly compensated within the publishing shoes felt pretty tight...they just weren't feeling good anymore, even with a lot of praise about my work. But it is my fault if I don't speak up, because if I don't, then I can't complain. So I spoke up. And I didn't get the answer I hoped for. But as much as I will miss writing my features, and even with some doubts in wondering if I did the right thing, I know in my heart I did do the right thing because you know, my shoes are feeling a little better already. They ain't so darn uncomfortable because I know I will go further without the hindrance of uncomfortable shoes holding me back. You know how after walking all day in really uncomfortable shoes you begin to slow your pace and after a while your gait is even off a bit? That can happen professionally when one side of the equation is feeling shorted - the gait is off - and that doesn't feel good. With better fitting shoes, the pace is better, the stride is cleaner, and the gait is even, as it should be. 

I offered RH my services should they need special feature and they were more than happy to keep that option open, which I appreciate. I have a feature coming out in the future, not sure which month. I believe it will be my bathroom from my apartment from over my store which features a baptismal font as a sink. That will be my last feature for them, unless they decide they want to hire me again for another story. I am so happy to have had the experience and opportunity to have worked with them. I learned a lot and challenged myself. The editors gave me a lot of freedom with my articles and they were always so excited when they received my disk of photos. Magazines are very expensive to produce and budgets are slashed. And I, like millions of others in America, can now say that the recession has now hit home with me. Until now, I have been very lucky and have not been too affected by it. 

In the words of the late Paul Harvey, "Now you know the rest of the story."  Should you feel the need to politely let the editor know how much you will miss my articles, feel free to let her know that you will miss my Ta Da! column and RH should reconsider their budget!  :-) But seriously, please know that I am very grateful for the experience I received and I would welcome the opportunity to work with them again should it arise. They are a quality magazine that I was proud to be a part of for four years.

So, I am officially a free-agent...a free-lance writer...there seems to be a lot of "free" in those titles. Maybe that is the problem? How about the terms "Money-seeking Agent" or "Cash-Advance Writer"?  I think those terms better define the reality of the situation anyway. :-) Any editors out there needing a feature writer? I produce great work for great pay....that seems fair, now doesn't it?

I hope by sharing my experiences with you it helps shed some light and answer some questions. I love to style, write, design and so on...but I think I paid my dues and it is time to earn a real living in the publishing world. So many other people earn a good living at it, why not me as well? And that is what you can ask yourself when you are feeling like your talent or passion is "just a hobby" or you feel like you are always "doing favors" but not getting paid for your talent. If someone is asking you for something...then you have something of worth. And if you don't put a price on it, then they will. And sometimes, just to get a foot in the door, we may have to pay our dues. But once both feet are firmly inside, and we have proven ourselves, unless we step out and speak up, then the price we pay will be much bigger than we bargained for: our sense of self-worth. And that, my dear readers, is priceless. 

I will close with these quotes that I feel sum it all up nicely:

"The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself." Mark Twain

"I think somehow we learn who we really are and then live with that decision." Eleanor Roosevelt

And my favorite:
"Always remember to stand up for yourself because nobody will if you don't." Alfred Maxson 

(My late loving father said that to me when I was only 10 years old when he tucked me into bed one night after I got into an argument with my mother. He wanted me to apologize to her, but said he was proud of me for standing up to her for what I believed in...I just needed to do it more respectfully...but he wanted me to remember to always stand up for myself. I will never forget that.)

From my house to your house,


Unknown said...

I did see the letter in RH and was kind of excited to see there will be another article of yours. I also remember the New Years article and I think that is when I fell in love with burlap and silver. I always liked silver, but it kind of had a different appeal to me after that. You do affect peoples lives, influence them, become their mentors. There is nothing in Syracuse that comes close to your 'style' in shops or even stores. I find some things on ebay and estate sales...but not much.
So now, all I can do is hope that you're planning to post a let me get my virtual 'Elizabeth House' fix. I have a feeling, that if circumstances were different and we lived closer, we could be pretty good friends. :-) Have a wonderful evening, Tami E.

Claudia said...

Wonderful post, Elizabeth. How hard it must have been for you to deal with all that. I freelance, too, and continually stress over fees and what I feel my work is worth. It is very tricky.

Good for you. You did the right thing.

Claudia said...

When I started following your blog and found out that you were a contributing editor for Romantic Homes I went out and bought the magazine and renewed my subscription. When my magazine would arrive I would look for your article. Since your last...Tah Dah..article I didn't see anymore articles by you. So I looked at the front to see if your name was listed. After awhile your name wasn't there. As bad as this is I was so afraid that your health was bad. I am so thankful that you and Randy are happy and healthy. I am so sorry that RH treated you so unfairly but it is their great loss and they will soon see that. I know your Dad would be proud of you for standing up for yourself. It shows that he instilled Godly character and values in you. Hey if you don't go back to great would it be for you and Debbie to start your own magazine! Now that would be a winner! Jenny Danna

*The Beautiful Life* said...

Oh...Elizabeth... Do you know that you are speaking words to so many women out there who even now as they read this post, are being empowered to do the world's most monumental task for women... no, not childbirth -- but the task of knowing when to say "no, thank you..."

You had to wrestle with some major business decisions but for many who read your words, their "biggie" is going to be shoring up the strength to say "No" to volunteering in the nursery at church (when they already care for their own 4 kids at home all week) or saying "No" to whatever it is in THEIR lives that is, for them, as taxing as all that you were under.

We're all women, first and foremost, and on that one level we can ALL relate to this wonderful article.

We can see you as not "super woman" (though that is hard) but as just one of the girls - who gets really, really tired out at the end of each day. Just like us.

Thank you -- you've just bestowed a great gift to all who will not only read your experience here but then go from here and hold that lesson in our hearts and refer back to it when we're standing before someone who has "the best idea/opportunity for us!" To which we hopefully will have the collective guts to say..... drumroll...
"No thank you."



Sweet Old Vintage said...

Elizabeth.... I truly have enjoyed your talent and appreciate every moment you have placed into everything I have viewed and had the pleasure of reading of yours... Success is yours ...... There is a satisfaction of having time to relax and enjoy little things .... makes the bigger things not so important as I have found through life and especially the last few years.... I hope to be enjoying many more photos and writtings from you in the future... your way......

The Feathered Nest said...

Hi sweet Elizabeth ~ I'm so proud for you!!! Proud that you stood up for what you believe in and that you stuck by your beliefs....but now, if you have a little free time, PLEASE start writing your book because I will be one of the first in line to buy it!!!!! And I know TONS of others that will be right behind me ~ The beauty of you writing your own book is that you can shoot your own photographs in that wonderful way that you do. A paperback would be wonderful as they are so affordable but really, I've been waiting for a few years now....and maybe you could call it "Elizabeth Style"!! Just kidding :) ~ hugs and love, Dawn (remember, from The Plum Tree Antiques?) said...

I certainly understand your concerns about pay from articles! That is one reason why I just did a few here and there "for fun" because the pay barely covered my expenses, let alone my time. But I really, really enjoyed them and considered it a hobby, not a job.

A hard hobby! And I didn't have to do the photos, just the styling and the prep work.

I'll miss your articles and I'll also miss seeing you at Miss Frenchie's this weekend.

Donna Reyne' said...

Hi Elizabeth!
I have long admired your work and am always so thankful when you share with us "the rest of the story"
I will keep you in my prayers...but I too am very proud of you for standing up for your yourself, your incredible talent and creative gift.
I look forward to "whatever" it is you fill led to pursue.
God Bless you Elizabeth...donna

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Everyone

I just got back from my Wed night bible study and clicked on the computer "real quick" before watching a little TV with my Randy and what a nice, nice heart-warming surprise to have so many thoughtful and caring comments waiting for me!

I appreciate all your thoughts and concerns and mostly your appreciation for my articles! :-) It really warms my heart to know that you loved my articles as much as I enjoyed creating them. I have several things "in the works" that I am happily working on and will share with you when the time is right - but I am happy with my decision and hope to find another publishing outlet for my creative work....we'll see!

Thank you again for your support and love,


Mindy said...

I cannot tell you just how much I find your words both wise and comforting. As my business grows, I actually use a few of your "maxims". My favorite is "that's not how I run my business". Thank you for giving us the "in" on things, both personal and professional. I use your experiences to grow, though they are not my own. ~Mindy

Tamra said...

Elizabeth you will be sorely missed! I am writing my comments to RH immediately to let them know what a disservice they have done to their readers.

Best of luck to you!

cathypentonatelier said...

hey honey
I now you have struggled a little with writing this but as always your writing and explanation is as always amazing...Many more wonderful things ahead for you my friend...Love cxx

Grandma Jan said...

I just read you won't be set up at Miss Frenchie's this week. I was so looking forward to seeing your display etc. I even drove to St Louis to see your shop a couple years however you had closed already.
I will see you in your blog writings , which we all love. I still read your New York trip one.

Singer Sewing Room said...

I just love your stamina. You are an inspiration to me and my workroom. You always have fresh, creative ideas and they so say "Elizabeth". Your honesty is an admirable character trait that I appreciate when working with you. Thanks for your genuine heart of gold. (wrapped in burlap). You are a gift.
Maureen S.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you for such lovely comments...I really appreciate them! I have had several comments about my not attending the Miss Frenchie show this weekend as a vendor. I will be attending - as a shopper! But late last spring, early summer I had a health issue that I didn't know which way it would go and I also knew I had a lot of traveling coming up so I decided to let Debbie (Curious Sofa) know ahead of time so she could make plans that I will be passing this time. I hope to take photos while there and I will post about it and explain more during that post. But thank you so much for asking about me :-)

Much love

trash talk said...

First, thanks for stopping and having a chuckle over my bathing beauty. The doll heads...either ya get it or ya don't...right?
Second, thanks for taking the time to post this piece. You are my go to when I'm not sure how to proceed. I've been approached about doing some writing (nothing on the level you've been working at, but a first for me) and was unsure on how to handle things. You've given me several things that will help in my decision making and whether or not I should seek compensation.
I always loved your "Ta Da" and I'm going to miss it in the magazine. It was one of the main reasons I read RH. I also remember your bath from an article in HC. Loved the baptismal font then and I'm sure I will now.
Anyway, I just want to say thank you for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us.
BTW...When are you going to get to come back to Texas and play?

the paris apartment said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I completely understand! Every shoot, every detail, the candles, the cords, the truck, the late nights! All just to take it apart in the morning and hope you weren't a nuisance to the homeowner :)
Maybe it's time for your book instead of articles?!

Mrs. Limestone said...

You are totally right - if you don't value your time, who will? Im sure its was painful not to get the response you wanted but its their readers loss.

Cindy Logan said...

I am so sorry to hear that your work will not be seen in RH magazine anymore. It is actually because of your work that I became interested in the magazine again. I had quit reading it when I tired of the Victoran overdone look that they always seemed to have. You have such talent and I would think that you would be worth what ever fees you request. I think you did the right thing.
I hope your health is improving. Everytime I check your blog and see no new posts I always think that you are having health problems. How quickly our lives can change can't they? So I have been thrilled to see your latest blog posts. I loved the couture story!! I'll bet you still looked adorable.
I am with everyone else I would love to see a book published. I need more Elizabeth fixes.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do. And by the way, I love it that you share your real life with us. Gives us a chance to say a prayer for you or rejoice in an accomplishment!
Cindy Logan

Brenda said...

I subscribed to RH because of you. I'm sorry that I will no longer see your features; it's a huge loss for the magazine.

I will wait for your book to come out, but hurry; we're all longing for more of your style!

Arletta Rue said...

I am one of many who will miss your style in the magazine.. but know too well how much work something can be and to not get paid enough for it.. or get paid anything!!! Thank you for sharing what you do and how you do it.. it is amazing and so fun to be ' in the know' just a tiny bit.. Arletta French

Anne Lorys said...

"Why not you as well", indeed!
Elizabeth, I feel as though you are living my life, only about 5 years ahead of me.

Everything you have done is something I have dreamed of doing (the writing, the shop, the design), but have only recently begun to tackle.
I so appreciate the fact that you never, ever sugarcoat anything, and are never afraid to let us peek behind the curtain to see what a fabulous blogger /writer /shop owner REALLY has to deal with on a daily basis.

RH has lost a real treasure, I hope they realize that. In fact, I plan on telling them just that, as soon as I wrap it up here.

As I said in my blog post about you (thank you so much for your comment!), you continue to be my muse and go-to gal when I need either inspiration or to "get real".

Love ya!
Your biggest fan,

Rebecca said...

Hi Elizabeth
Well, it sounds like you have been busy! A lot of changes in your world and I wish you the best. It will be exciting to hear what comes next for you. Things always work out for the best even though sometimes the process is much different than you would have chosen it to be. I am well and thank you for asking- this Christmas season is a much happier one for me as I lost my dad last year at this time. The shop is doing ok but always fun at this time - even though all the bones in my body ache right now ;) All in all this year has been good, I have an article in Where Women Create coming up this year and that might help things along. I had a feature years ago in RH.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas season and I will be writing RH

Nancy said...

I, like so many other women, admire and appreciate you. Sometimes life only offers tough options. Sorry that you had to choose from being pay inadequately or not contributing to RH. I am so glad that you have this blog - cause, baby, I'm right here loving it. Thanks for sharing your incredible ability to make all things beautiful! Nancy N.

lindaharre said...

Elizabeth......sorry to hear of your situation, but completely understand. I have had articles in many of the Stampington magazines and understand that there is not much compensation for the effort put into them:( I will miss your wonderful photos and meaty articles:( I wish you would again open something here in St. Louis!!!!! We need your inspiration! Please think of it.....but making sure it is worth the effort:D hugs, Linda

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of your work and can't wait to see where you land next. whoever gets you next will know your worth. I loved the New Years article by the way...wishing the best this holiday season...


Brenda Pruitt said...

Hello, I just happened to click on your link from Karla's Cottage, and read your beautiful article. I do love Romantic Homes, but am so sorry for how you've been treated. I have a Professional Writing degree in Journalism myself. In fact, I just got through posting about a feature I wrote many years ago, that is still affecting me to this day. So I feel like a kindred spirit on this day. Hope your shoes remain comfortable and your pockets lined more reasonably in the future! So happy to have found your wonderful blog!

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

Elizabeth, well said!! You should be paid for your hard work, most definately. Your attention to detail is spectacular and the way you design and display things for articles is a true talent. I really appreciate and needed this bit of advise as I too have been doing several things for free (setting up blogs, decorating, etc.) and feel that I should be compensated as well for my time. Blessings to you in all that you do!

Curious Sofa said...

Good for you and don't I understand! I too stopped working for 'free'. The local Kansas City Star asked me to write an article which I did- six of them for one year and then I said, "No more without pay". They were shocked but I too feel I have paid my dues. My customers and readers were shocked to learn I wasn't getting paid. It is a hard stand to take when you are an 'artistic type' and not a scholar. It is still our talent all the same and takes our time and soul!

Sammy Girl said...

Hello, Elizabeth -
Just a quick note to say "thank you" for your willingness to be transparent. Such an important character trait that seems to be vanishing in this day and age.
Hugs and wishing you "comfortable shoes" to climb the next mountains and hike to the next fabulous adventure!
Betty :)

Anonymous said...

Greetings Elizabeth,
I understand your at a point in your life where this situation had to change. You left on a very high note. Your work is a treat to the eyes. In fact the magazines I've saved are the ones you worked on. You'll surely be missed. I guess you can say you know you've ARRIVED when your able to say I have to make a tough decision here but go forward with courage.
Thank goodness you have your lovely blog! We can still take a peak at your creative mind!
I'm sure your feeling more at peace now.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Everyone!

I just want to say how grateful and appreciative I am of your supportive words and encouragement. I also have received numerous emails and even though I knew I wasn't alone, I had no idea that so many were working for so little (or for nothing at all) in their field of expertise - which seems to be always in the creative field. Like I stated earlier, paying your dues is one thing, volunteering, or even offering your talent is another thing...but I am grateful to know that so many of you recognize that a job is a job, work is work, and fair pay is fair pay. It is unfortunate, that we creative types are so passionate about what we do, that we forget that what we do has true, real value....and it is nice to know that out "there" in the creative world there are so many wonderful, caring, SMART women who will remind each other of that fact. Thank you for being so loving and so good to me. I am very honored to have you read my blog and will continue to express my talent in many ways in many avenues and you will be the first to know what they may be! :-)

From my house to your house,

debi lynn mattingly said...

Hey sweetie!

Glad to see you are back posting! I am SO PROUD of you!!!! I only ever bought that mag because of your beautiful articles. Remember, that is how I found you! :) (and if you remember me showing you my scrap book and your picture of the fireplace was in it....and I didn't even realize it was yours? LOL

Hope all is going well...and you need to give me a buzz--got lots of news and Ryan wanted me to let you know about his "film debuts"!

Give my love to Randy...xo..deb

Pansy Cottage Girl said...

Oh my goodness! I read that letter to the editor and thought about you (not knowing you at the time)and thought to myself oh no another little shop is gone! Here in a lot of the little shops are having a hard time hanging on in this economy and I'm always so sad to see them go. Well, I wish you the best in your new ventures and I'm quite confident that you will continue to follow your passions and reinvent yourself however you choose! Hugs xo

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Pansy Cottage (Sharon)

Thank you for the sweet comment. I appreciate your concern, but no worries. What the letter in the magazine didn't explain is that I closed my shop in May 2007 on my own accord to pursue other professional opportunities. In fact, I was lucky to have done so as it was only a year later did the economy really start to affect the little retail shops in our area. But I appreciate your well wishes all the same! :-)


Daisy's Mercantile said...

I once was responsible to set up a corner of a decorator showcase house for a picture for a magazine. It is physically and mentally grueling work. The camera sees much more than the naked eye.

If Steve Jobs get paid for his creative genius so should you.

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