Friday, November 14, 2014

A Thank You and Some Painted Pumpkins!

Thanks to everyone for all of the encouragement. I am sorry if any of you were misled by the last blog post.  While my trip down south to meet with a prominent publisher initially seemed promising, we never came close to any kind of agreement.  My business was built on being a stylist and photographer as a profession,and the way magazines have changed means that much of the content must be "for free."  I was asked to provide free content in exchange for putting an "issue" on the newsstands.  Because this is my livelihood, that is impossible to do.  Once I made that clear, there was no other counter-offer or idea as to how we might work together. It has been a sad time for me, as they had asked me to "dream big," and believe me, my thoughts and ideas have no limits.  Apparently they were not thinking as big as I was.

Over the last few months we have been downsizing our business.  Cutting hours for my assistant, shrinking our warehouse, selling off our props, and cutting costs.  We are trying to rent the second floor of our home and have cut out things like cable and internet costs. This winter means lots of energy-proofing and holding on to as much of our heat as possible.  Like I said, I've become a master of the grocery bill and found lots of ways to cut out expenses that we just don't need.

So what am I working on?  I just completed the December cover image for Better Homes and Gardens, created several outlines for new book projects, and worked on our sale that we had at the Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee.  Next week, we are taking on a decorating client, and selling more of my collections off to dealers.  I was on a drive today, all alone on the highway, and for the first time in a long time I felt freedom in the road that stretched out before me... perhaps an inkling of something new and fresh to come. I've got an interesting new client ready to make a commitment to me in 2015 and a new magazine publisher that just might have found a way for me to...???

Check out Jenny and me and our Wagner Fall Painting Project:

Stay tuned for a step by step blog post on  painting your own beautiful pumpkins for Thanksgiving!


  1. Life changes are so challenging...but when you arrive on the other side, oh my...the lessons learned along the way.

    At the start of the Great Recession, we decided to buy a farm on a whim. An 1857 farm that needed a fair amount of TLC (no one would even insure it!). I convinced my husband to jump off this cliff with me, one more time - he did! 7 months later we moved in, left everything behind....even our jobs. Today, we both have found rewarding work in our new community....have had our farm insured for 5 times what we originally paid for her, and have enjoyed running Barn Sales from our 100+ year old hayloft. We now have a small herd of goats & large herd of barn cats. We are happy! If someone would have asked me 10 years ago what I would be doing now, none of this would have even been on my radar,

    Life happens...and we brave folks carry on! You will & are doing that, Matthew & Jenny...and good things are coming! Trust the journey.


  2. I admire your work and I wish you the best. Free content is an insult, especially when you have made such a name for yourself, and you were right to say no. Creative people have a hard enough time as it is without giving their work away.

  3. Matthew and Jennifer...Prayers and good fortune sent to the both of you...I just know in my heart everything will work out beautifully...heart hugs!!!

  4. Sorry to hear about your disappointment. I have struggled with my business since day one but I keep going because I am doing what I love and that is what matters most. I have learned that things don't always work out the way we hope in business and in life but what's most important is to stay true to yourself and follow your heart. Everything happens for a reason. Your pumpkins are adorable!

  5. Wished things had gone better but I know 2015 is sure to be a good one!


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