Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Being Frugal, Clothes, and Friends

Recession hit at our house about 2 years ago. I fell at work and it's been a spiral downward ever since. However, I have learned a few things.

One, I'm not alone and I have made friends who are having to be frugal for one reason or another. I can't tell you what having friends who can swap stories with me has done for me through this recession time at our house. I was mistaken with the belief that as a teacher that my job was pretty well recession-proof - didn't take into account that a really serious injury would occur. Oops. So, to all my lady friends out there who have become my friends through my selling on Etsy, getting on Facebook, getting on Twitter, and blogging - well, I love you guys. You brighten my days. So, to those reading, whether it's me or someone else, engage with others through your blog, tweeting, commenting on Facebook, joining Twitter Moms - no matter how you do it, making those connections will enrich your life, believe me.

Two, I've learned a lot more about Ebay and buying the wee ones clothes this way since I fell. It has been a fantastic experience (the buying his clothes - not the fall). I must say that he now wears more designer clothes than ever, but at garage sale to Walmart prices. So, in effect, he dresses better than ever for less money than ever and I don't even have to drive aka I don't have to spend gas.

Also, I'm quite spoiled as there is an Outlet Mall in Vicksburg with some great children's stores from: The Gap, Carters, Gymboree, Children's Place, and Osh Kosh. Plus, there's the Bass store and the Reebok store for buying his shoes. I'm so spoiled rotten and my wee one dresses very well. I already didn't feel the force of having to pay full retail - those who know me best know I don't do full retail. My wedding dress was even on sale at like 75% off, and it was even the one I wanted.

Then, I subscribe to many many stores' emails. So, from the Outlet stores' emails that sometimes have coupons to various retail stores around the country that have online stores, I am set up very well in taking care of my wee one without ever leaving the house, well no farther than walking to the mailbox or an occasional trip to the Outlet Mall. I don't necessarily open every single email, RU kidding?? I get a good 100 emails a day, I scan titles and open emails when it is relevant. Some I don't delete and don't read and then open them before making a trip to Vicksburg. For instance, this past weekend we had to make a vitamin run to the Outlet Mall's natural vitamin store, so I scanned my emails for the Vitamin Store's email checking for coupons. Sure enough, I got $10 off my vitamins and supplements, because I took the time to check my emails. Hubs has to dress nice for work, so guess where we stop when we make a run to the outlet mall?? Van Heusen of course. His dress pants, shirts, and ties are all Van Heusen. Why go to a regular mall and pay full retail for Van Heusen quality when we can go to the Outlet Mall. Hubs picked up a new long sleeve button up for work for $14 while I was getting my vitamins. That $14 price was lower than the regular everyday low price at Van Heusen - they were having a sale. I'll have to share some of my favorite online shops' links another day.

Three, for the time being, while I am at home searching for a job and continuing to get stronger, I am good to go in a pair jeans and a good T.

Four, there's plenty to do that doesn't require a bunch of money. I remember spending many countless hours at my grandparents' homes as a child - making mudpies, riding bikes, and finding cool rocks with fossils in the driveway could keep me amused time after time. So, as much as I would love to have my wee one's world full of museums and such right now, just being at home is ok. We tie dyed shirts on the
4th of July and he had a blast. We changed from staying at a resort for our vacation to pulling out the ole tent and packing some tomatoes for tomato sandwiches. I don't foresee us going back to just staying at the resort once a year. As long as we have an air mattress, electricity to run the fan and camping lights, and plenty of bug spray for spraying the campsite and then plenty of bug repellant to spray us, then I see us camping plenty more over the years, just not when its 100 degrees outside.

We've made some alterations to the way we do things, but even after the recession at our house is over, I'll keep doing these new frugal things that we now do. I even freeze leftovers when there's only enough for one or two people. Freeze leftovers from several meals and you have enough for a whole family's meal. A deep freezer is on the 'get asap' list. We fish and freeze the fish. When we went camping, instead of going out to eat at our typical fancy restaurants, we caught fish from the gulf to bring home. I find it absolutely fantastic to catch fresh fish from the ocean to bring home. Here's the cool part, with a little fishing gear, and a saltwater fish book, then you can have numerous fun family outings while camping for very little money. Our son already has fish stories that he won't ever forget and so do we and it's only the first summer that we've camped at the coast. We have more seashells than we know what to do with - beachcombing, yet another fun family thing to do that is free.

I think there will come a time when I've recovered from my injury, have a job again, and can look back on this time............well, perhaps one day I will be able to look back and smile knowing God taught me how to stretch a dollar to new amazing lengths of stretching. In the meantime, I am asking for prayers for those of you who pray....I need to continue to get better, hurt less, and find a job very soon - whether I get to work online from home or drive somewhere - I'm open to what God's plan may be. I know I would love to work from home, but I'm open to God's plan. I keep praying and doing my best to listen.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Snowy Winter's Evening Set

This is what I've been up to lately...... ;) The original was a present for the hubs last Christmas. The back of each card has a surprise mini picture of the front along with painting title, artist, copyright, and website. It looks pretty cool - will have to redo the photo shoot for the back shot though. :)

Snowy Winter's Evening Limited Edition Print Signed Greeting Card Set of 4

(5.5 x 8.5 inches)

Snowy Winter's Evening is based upon actual memories and photographs from years that it did snow here. We had hoped it would snow this past winter.....maybe next year. Either way, hubs can count on another painting for Christmas as this one was his present for Christmas 2008.

Each card is a signed limited edition print of Mignon's (that's me) larger original acrylic painting that was painted on heavy grade acrylics paper. The grainy digital photo you are viewing is not the quality of the print you will receive nor will there be a watermark on your print. Please remember different monitors do have color variances.

These cards with a 'matte' surface were printed on heavyweight textured cardstock half-fold cards using high quality HP Vivera Ink.

All copyrights are reserved by the artist.

I'm working on having a variety of print sizes for the numerous paintings I have ready for photo shoots. So, if you like a painting, but want a different size print, then ask. :)


Marketing 101

This is a great little document that may be off assistance when looking into copyrights.

tried linking it, but wouldn't link right now, so click the title and you'll be taken right to the source or cut and paste - you choose.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Follow Friday and Why :>)

If you give my blog a moment to load you will find the list of blogs I follow down on the left - way down. I just added 11 blogs I follow from my dashboard. I always forget to update that. I just changed the view of the folks I follow, so now you can see a snippet of their latest post. I'm playing around with it to see if I like it better this way.

I will make no guarantees, but a follow friday on here would be nice and then tell why. Give the name of the blog that tagged you so to speak aka you are officially tagged when you read this. :) And if you follow one of the blogs I list, then tell 'em Mignon sent you. :)

I randomly chose two blogs to suggest following this week. Why 2? Well, obviously I like the blogs I follow, but being reasonable, giving 2 per week is sufficient.

So, who tagged me?? I tagged myself by starting this. :)


The Mincing Mocking Bird

Why??? He has unusually dry wit that amuses me immensely and to top it all off, besides being a fellow Etsian, he is fantastic artist.


Ginabee's Creations and Musings

Well, we just hit it off right away and one of these days I'm going to get down to her neck of the woods and see her. She has fantastic jewelry and if I didn't design jewelry myself, well, I'd be her best customer. Since, I can't be her best customer, then I'll have to settle for Etsy blogging buddy. :)

The link option wouldn't work for me at 2 A.M., but scroll down the side and you will find a working link to both blogs. They're both fellow Etsians with great blogs.

Happy Friday Folks!


Christmas in July Sale :)

There's a Christmas in July Sale going on over at my Jewelry shop. :)

Click on the 'Christmas in July' icon on the right side of the shop's homepage and the 27 items originally in the sale will appear. I may even add a few more items, I'm random like that. ;)

I put some girl's polymer earrings and sets in the sale. It would be a great way to get a start on Christmas. :)

Aww, I love Christmas. I'm one of those people who wants a tree in every room. I've been wanting to try my figgy pudding recipe for several years. Maybe this year will be the year I undertake such work for what I am guessing to be an amazing treat.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Marketing Your Shop 101 Continued



Click it and you will see why. This blog has definite potential use.

Also, my friend, Ginabee - a great blog I follow - gave the following site for another marketing angle. I'm still trying to figure out the XML error and perhaps I am to save the program instead of run it, will let you know when I get it right.

Of course the cool part about naming all of these in the marketing category is that it makes them easy to find and easy to use and easy for me to remember where on earth they are.

Mignon :)

Marketing Your Online Shop 101

Class is now in session.

I've come across some great sites that one of the folks I follow on Twitter shared with me, I believe. I filter so much information these days that I lose track of the source sometimes.

So, I haven't had time to pursue them farther than knowing they are useful at this point, but what I will do is share them with you for free. :) (I also just purchased a creating facebook fan club set of instructions from this person on his Etsy homepage).

You ought to see the website I accidentally 'X'ed off and can't find it in my history bar. ARGH.

Let me know what you think and feel totally free and welcome to share good info. in return. The best way we artisans and crafters can make it is to support each other in our endeavors. Even though we are all over we still have a community within our group.

I'll share when I get something good. :)


Saturday, July 4, 2009

What a Day!


On the agenda when I get a job is to finish the fence so our cats will be safe and then some or most can go back outside. The McDaniel homeless shelter is over capacity. Tigger - well he's stuck inside. He's allergic to wasps. He won't give me much of a moments peace when I sit down at the computer. He has decided that is officially get in Momma's lap time and when she's not sitting down there, then he is the self proclaimed seat warmer.

Blizzard, the kitten, the lastest homeless shelter addition likes to ummmmmm, nice word - yeah, anger the other cats on purpose just to make them growl and hiss. He'll give them about 30 seconds and then do it again. Mouse has claimed the top of the fridge. So, the only things that have made it up there to stay are the fire extinguishers as she hasn't figured out how to knock them over. Sapphire. Well heck, she's our football player - linebacker at that. So, having her is like having a bull in china cabinet, but she doesn't knock things off the fridge on purpose.

Sylvester. Well, he needs therapy. Lots of therapy. He's a couple years old or more and he continues to like to climb the backdoor ( a french paned door). He climbs the curtain and hangs from the rod randomly.

Oh did I mention Sapphire will go in the toilet for a drink if the toilet seat is forgotten........

Luckily Wilbur and Jasmine are outside. They have no inclination to be inside and luckily have enough street smarts thus far to be safe from the dogs. Garfield and Patches come in to visit and were coming in every night back when most of the dog pack was still coming around. We're down to a couple dogs in the pack now. So, everybody has a bit better chance of making it.

Did I mention we live in the country and have no redlights on about 3 acres and most folks around here on our street have that or more - lots of woods around here.

More to come.

Happy 4th Everyone!

2 B continued.......

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Art By Mignon Grand Opening

I am officially open over at

:) Many thanks to my stepmom for her encouragement and many many thanks to Knotaway! The dear sweet artist over at - Well I couldn't have gotten this off the ground so easily without her to be sure. So, she doesn't know it yet, but when she bought a strand of my temporarily strung amber beads from my 'SundryShopByMignon', I enclosed a 5x7 with the mini print and she officially gets the #1 of the 25 prints that have been professionally printed on that size. :) I thought it only fitting that the person who directed me to where to get acid-free archival clear envelopes and where to turn for professionally printed prints get a #1 of one of these sets of prints. I would still be a fish out of water flopping and flipping on the sand trying to find home if it weren't for her guidance. :)

My Knotaway artist friend also does tatting....Don't ask me what tatting is exactly, but she's planning on using some of those genuine amber beads in her stitches. YOU can go over to her shop and ask her what tatting is. :) She also does these fantastic prints like Walter Anderson did with the cut linoleum. Very awesome! I'm so glad to see the artform is still being used as I was rather worried that it was a lost art form before I met my friend. :)

Jewelry Giveaway is Coming :)

What you ask might I be choosing to give away???????????????

I dunno. That's why it is coming and isn't already here. I was considering some hammered, hand-forged, torch-fired, machine-polished sterling silver hoops..........rather debating with myself. I'm not sure who's winning, it's an even match between me, myself, and I.

Thinking, Thinking............will think later.

Mignon :)

Going Green, Right?


I go through double A batteries for my digital camera like a human needs air. I upgraded to lithium batteries and they do indeed last 'longer'. I thought I was without a single double A in the house this morning, so I meandered my way to the pharmacy to buy more lithiums, seeing no point in regular batteries. Then, I see the rechargeable batteries and think, well that would be frugal in the long run, right?? Luckily, I changed my mind and bought the rechargeable port thing and the two rechargeable batteries that came with it as I had originally thought I would buy just a pack of rechargeables. I was feeling quite good about myself, being frugal and saving the environment all in one swipe of my debit card.

I get home and now I'm all ready to do my photo shoot, got the good lamp going, the easel set up, and I'm ready, right? Snort. Those delightful rechargeable batteries??? Hah, they have to be charged in charged for anywhere from 8 to 12.5 hours. Didn't read the fine print on that one. I rather figured it would make sense to have your batteries charged up when you buy them, right? So, I plugged in my new frugal gone green for the environment batteries and sometime around 5 A.M. ish or earlier if I'm lucky, then my batteries will be charged. I was rather thinking on sleeping at that time and a sleepyhead doth not good pictures take. I plundered around the house and found one pair of lithiums in my beach bag and they don't need a charge. :) Here's the catcher, by the time my lithiums go out, my chargeable batteries will need recharging as they don't apparently according to the fine print keep their charge for long periods of time without use. What is a long period of time?? I don't know. So, when my lithiums go out and I'm needing more batteries, then I better be ready to wait 8 to 12.5 hours.

So, if I plan on using rechargeable batteries on my next vacation or family outing or anytime I want to shoot some photos, then I will need 2 or 3 sets of rechargeables that have been charged ahead of time for 8 to 12.5 hours each because I won't know ahead of time how long a charge runs particularly.

Seriously folks, I did not know what I was getting into. Sometimes going green feels more like going red from frustration and complication. Oh my stars!

I'm off to use my digital camera with my favorite batteries that don't need to hang on the wall in a charging port til the wee hours.

Seriously, batteries are not supposed to give you headaches unless perhaps you eat one and then you have much more serious problems than a headache.

Sighing and blowing off steam.

Later Gators,