Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Just say no."

This week started out crazy. On Sunday morning a friend told me that she had a project for me. She wanted me to make scrubs in a size 6x for a family member of hers, and she wanted them by Monday morning at 6 AM. I said yes. As soon as I hung up I felt like an idiot, but I really have a problem saying now. I always wonder how much one will hate me etc. etc. Bear in mind that I'm at church from 10 AM til a little after noon, and then go on to another church from 3-5 PM. She said she would drop it off at 6 PM. She brought supplies:

  • A pattern in size 3X for me to revise up to 6X
  • Measurements for the bust and hips (I don't know what happened to the waist either so don't ask me.)
  • Fabric
Judge me if you'd like, but I'm still new at revising patterns when I've never seen the person, and well, period! Sooo it took me from 7 PM Sunday (with a few short, well-deserved breaks) all the way to 5:30 AM on Monday. No sleep. My room looked like someone broke in and left things instead of took them. I undercharged by a major amount, I felt horrible most of Monday, I didn't get my money when I was supposed to, and I had to do alterations today. Soooo dear internet people, whether you know me or not, I need you to help me say no. I have now come up with several lessons I learned:

  1. Never work with friends.  Don't automatically say yes just because someone is a friend. 
  2. For custom orders (especially the more expensive and time-consuming ones) take partial or full payment before starting. 
  3. Make up a pricing sheet with the lowest price you'll charge on any given item so that people can't catch you off guard.
  4. Just because people try to get you to do projects for less doesn't mean that you're actually worth a pittance. People do NOT walk in stores and take out an item to pay later, so no more letting people get a product without paying before it passes from your hand to theirs.
A friend of mine told me to just say no :-) and although I shall take that into advisement (that would mean no money ever lol) it is necessary to have some backbone and charge what feels right. Do you have any advice to add?

Elisabeth Arona

Friday, July 23, 2010


Tay and I went to a bead shop call The Bead Shoppe :-) I liked all the pretties I saw. I'm going back soon...be super jealous that if you don't live in GA, because you can't go to her brick and mortar shop. Don't worry, after sharing my pics I'll post the link for her online store.
Y'know the best thing? She sells vintage AND buttons!! You all know I LOVE buttons! All of these are beads pictures because I was there for Taylor and her bead addiction, not my button addiction.

I even bought a few beads (because I couldn't resist.) 
Wanna check her out online? You can find her at  Bauble Bangle Beads on Etsy!

Her brick and mortar shop is here in Georgia: 
Avondale Estates, GA, 30030

Elisabeth Arona

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How to live a healthy life without killing yourself...

Okay...Let's start at the beginning. I am trying to go vegetarian for a few weeks. If you knew how much I need to eat meat, you would understand, but you don't so you don't :-( Today I had flatbread, so I decided to make a pizza with the things I had in the house. I think the pictures are self-explanatory so just go with it and have fun!
I didn't have tomato paste, but what good is a challenge if it's not challenging?

Ripe tomatoes straight from the garden my dad tends diligently like his own children :-)

Mmmm, the finished product after popping it in the oven to cook. It was actually really good! What have you made when your kitchen was mostly empty?

Elisabeth Arona

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I won I won!!

I won a giveaway! I'm the type of person that enters giveaways just because, not really expecting to win. This particular giveaway was special because you have to give a prayer request and may get picked to be sent a gift so basically you get two gifts...prayer and a treat :-)

When I received my package I almost didn't have to rip it open because the envelope was torn up so badly, and it was taped alllll over which I thought was funny. I had to make up a story about it's journey from farfar away. Who knows what the poor thing went through at the post office! Let me explain my treats. These are sticky notes (which I love,) mounted on cardboard with pattern-y paper!! The lil flower covers a magnetic clip for the refrigerator. As for the sticky note, I have some already, but they get lost, so I'm glad this one is posted on something colorful; it's less likely to run away. The magnetic thingy is on my dresser because I'm afraid to take it downstairs to the fridge, I don't want anyone touching it! Selfish me...

If you want to buy some treats, or perhaps win some, go where I went Elgiftsandcards blog!

Elisabeth Arona

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fun stuff that's FREE!

Tomorrow will be the fourth (and second to the last) day of vacation bible school. I am a teacher and a helper (Friday I teach my lesson.) You really do need a lot of sleep when you're dealing with children you're not used to, so remember, you heard it here first. I have a headache that won't go away, and I worked most of the day, but I actually had fun! We made octopuses (you can also say octopi for more than one, which I actually like saying more because it makes me sound intelligent lol) from yarn and Styrofoam balls. I feel a tutorial coming on-maybe. The kids loved watching us make their crafts, I have to say that today's craft was a bit ambitious for their ages.

Okay, so I love seeing the words "giveaway", "free", and "swap", so I'm gonna share some that I found on blogs I follow AS WELL as a link for those who have etsy shops to check out :-) Hey. I'm just trying to do unto others as I would have them do unto me!! (Btw I'm currently waiting for a package from a giveaway I won, and an accessory from an accessory exchange I participated in.)

Remember this blog post I did about a recipe I changed around and made and LOVED?? Well, the lady blogger I follow here is having a recipe exchange! I'm gonna definitely do it, but you can too! I don't really make desserts much, but I'll find a recipe from somewhere lol. Even if you don't want to participate in the exchange you should check out her blog anyway. If you don't believe me, let me just tell you that the picture below is from her page, she made it and although I haven't tried any of her recipes yet I'm definitely going to.
Yeah, I know, it's distracting you already--so check out the recipe exchange HERE :-) 

That's not it though!!!
This blogger (and artist) caught my eye first because she's my age, but second because she's really good and I love to follow interesting blogs. If you wanna get in on a really neat giveaway (yeah I said that word) and follow a cool chica on her artistic journey please stop by there. You could win....

Whew...I'm running out of steam, but one more thing. If you're looking to make your shop "shopper-worthy" check out this link. I would wax eloquent here, but like I said, no more steam. Speaking of steam, I refuse to iron as a general rule, and especially refuse when I have to wake up early for vbs. I really think you should love me for that since I'm minimizing my carbon footprint, and whatever else, while saving energy to teach the future generations about God and being better citizens...Yeahyeah...so I'm obviously sleepy (I think that ironing statement was unrelated, hmmm) and I'm going to bed! Let me know if you loved any of the links that I gave you here because I sure felt like I had hit the jackpot when I found them!

Elisabeth Arona

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cyber friends!

I learned some lessons. Be talkative when you have something nice to say. Comment. Reply. Convo. Interact. 
Do you ever talk to the person in line in front of you, or the person shopping beside you? I do. Sometimes they look at me crazy, but other times they talk right back. I was told that this was my "woo" talent (the ability to win people over) or my communication talent. I think calling those talents is half the story, they're only talents when used correctly and I really have a hard time pulling that off. Okay, back to my point. Sometimes just "bothering" to answer someone when they ask a question, or giving you two cents is good; maybe all someone needed was two cents! 
Sooo...here are my stories from the last month of how smiley faces came bouncing back to me by accident! 
One person told me on the CAST forum that they enjoyed my blog. I didn't even know the person who posted it, but I went to check out her etsy shop and was thrilled with what I saw. She sewed! Not only did she sew, but pretty stuff! I emailed/convoed her and she emailed me back! For some reason I love getting convos especially when I think I'm gonna get fussed at and really it's someone sending me a happy note.

Another lady commented on here. She'd found me from another blog I commented on! That made me happy (hope you're reading this.) Best of all, she's in my city, so maybe we can even help each other find resources and places to shop! I already know a great fabric store that I send people to--it's cheap with better fabrics that some of the chain fabric stores.

I wrote a blog about working at home...I got 7 comments on it (to me that's a big deal.) I thought that was so great. Artsy people understand other artsy people, so sometimes when no one else understands me, I can come online and find people who are frustrated about not selling, or eagerly finishing up a project that will completely "get it."

Thank you to all who comment and convo and email and all those things...You made my day.

Elisabeth Arona

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I don't have a job...but I work!!

Today I will be clearing up some common myths and misconceptions. I'll start with a little story of my own:
I was downstairs curling my mom's hair in preparation to leave for an overnight trip with my parents and a couple friends. My two other sisters weren't traveling with us, or going at all because their jobs interfered. My sister asked how long we were staying. Now mind you, I didn't even want to go, let alone stay overnight so I was a little grouchy. I told her we were coming back the next day "after lunch." "It started out being we'd leave in the morning, and then turned to we'll leave after lunch." I complained. "Just wait, pretty soon we'll get back home in time for a midnight snack!" My sister, instead of being understanding says "Why does it matter? You don't have a job anyway." Time Stopped. My mom stiffened. *Impending Clouds of Doom* I won't tell you what happened here except that I got on her case about my life revolving around other people's schedules because of that fact, and that no, I didn't have a job, but I had things to do because I wasn't dead.

All of this could have been avoided if she had known a few things:

1. Creativity never sleeps. I like to think that I'm not weird in this case, and it's a thing most creative people have to deal with. While people who work leave work at work, I couldn't even if all my sewing things weren't in my bedroom. If I am not up until 2 AM sewing (which in this case I was--pictures of that skirt coming soon) I would generally be dreaming about a new design just because I didn't do anything right before bed and even my subconscious is unhappy with that.
2. People don't forget they don't have jobs. I cannot say how many times people have reminded me that I don't have a job. I don't know about all of the other people out there, but I know one thing, I don't forget I don't have a job. For one thing I feel that if I had a job I would have more money. I also feel like if I had a job I'd come home with a frowny face like most people with jobs-at least around here. I feel like I would have a boss to complain about under my breath rather than everyone who disturbs me while I'm sketching or sewing.
3. People generally dislike having what they do undermined. Some people don't have jobs because they can't get a job, some people don't have jobs because they can't get a job they feel like won't smother them, some people don't have jobs because they choose not to have a job. I don't have a job because those few that have wanted to hire me either just didn't (there's a shocker) or I couldn't handle the job and create too. I do work hard at home though. I clean, watch after my little sisters, and create...I even go out with friends sometimes even though it's generally craft related. I think me going up to someone and telling them how bad their job is would be SO rude, but for some reason it's okay to make a person feel bad about not having a job when they are trying to work from home.
4. Those who work from home are growing in number. Pretty soon, those of us who stay home and make money (or try) will be seen more and more often, even now the number of in-home workers (especially crafters) is growing. This is a good thing, small businesses care more about individual people than larger businesses just because they have the time to.
5. We love it. I love art. I love sewing, hot gluing, sketching...I love creating everything I list to sell. I work hard at it and take pride in what I do. When people want something special, something one-of-a-kind, or just something quality they come to those who don't have "jobs" but work from home (usually longer hours than those who don't.)

Elisabeth Arona

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth dress-up

This fourth of July I went all out. Ordinarily I don't do a great deal, but this time my sisters and I got together and painted our nails, toenails, and were basically red, white, and blue from head to toe! :-) 
Our fingernails. Mine are the red tipped with blue :-D

Sarah, Julia, and I. My blue skirt nor blue and white polka dot hair adornment showed though.

Here I am on the way to church...Check out my nifty polka dot flower in my hair. I made it right before church and attached it to a hairpin and just stuck it in my hair.

AND LAST-possibly least...

My toenails :-)

Let me know how you looked for this fourth of July!

Elisabeth Arona

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fourth of July picks

Hey U.S. of A! It's the fourth of July! Time for burgers, fireworks, and red, white, and blue! I found some clothing and accessories that will have you and yours looking fashionable this fourth, and any of those extra patriotic days you may have.

Let's start off with a nice tank to keep you cool and casual, made by me! :


Next, check out this adorable pendant that you can wear ANY day of the week by Donna of DHelegance :

Looking for something for your pet? Check out this outfit from Sue of MySavior

These earrings by Taylor of TayMaree

Does your little darling want to be patriotic too? Look at this onesie by Milburn Mercantile: