Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Three Month Anniversary

I started this blog and my etsy page on September 12, 2011. I was nervous and didn't have a clue what I was doing. I wanted to make things to sell, to have my own little business and have a place to show off crafty things for fun. I haven't posted a lot lately but thankfully that's because I've been busily making birthday boards for people. I'm still clueless about a lot of things and the learning curve is pretty big, but I've made progress and it's been SO much fun. Talk about a rewarding experience.

Remember my goal setting post? Well, I'm proud to say I've met two of my three goals. First, I posted a bunch of items to my etsy page (although it's currently bare, that's because I'm done until after the holidays, everyone ordering for Christmas wiped out any and all inventory). And second, I've made enough money to invest in a modest scroll saw. I'm thinking I'll scope out my local classifieds. My photography still needs a bit of work, but other than that 2011 has been a good year and a great start for Wooden Parlor.

I guess what I really want to say is thanks. I read so many other blogs and gathered advice from all over to help me. And I also want to say if you're thinking of starting a business or blog or whatever, I say go for it. It might not turn out like you thought, but then again, it just might.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The last three years I've gone "all out" when making my costume. This year I was a mummy. If you want to be a mummy next year here's what you'll need to do.

Cheesecloth was my choice of wrapping. Gauze is a little expensive and toilet paper is a little too cheap. I ended up using four packs of cheesecloth (totaling around $20).

I found an old long sleeve white shirt and an old pair of long johns (clothes that I wouldn't mind throwing away afterward).

The cheesecloth was stark white. And when I think of mummies I think old and ancient and decayed. I used herbal tea bags to dye both my cheesecloth and my clothing. (I used two full boxes of Celestial Seasonings herbal tea, my preferred color? A mixture of Honey Vanilla Chamomile and Cinnamon Apple Spice)

After dyeing everything I put it in my bathtub for a little while to drain excess liquid then put it in the dryer for about 10 minutes before hanging to dry.

The result was great even if my picture isn't. My husband helped wrap me up and we hot glued the cheesecloth in places to keep everything in place. I used makeup to add touches of "dirt" to the costume as well.

I used black and brown makeup (it shows up a lot darker in the picture) to darken the skin around my eyes and mouth and swished a mixture of food coloring around in my mouth to create a darkened mouth and used teeth paint to paint some of my teeth black.

The result? I won 1st place in the spooky category at work for my decayed mummy costume.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween decor in less than 90 minutes!

Remember those vases I posted about yesterday? Last week I saw this tutorial on Make it and Love it, originally from Martha Stewart. How cute are those pumpkin jars? Well I decided to replicate them but using these bargain vases instead. And the best part? I did this on my lunch break in less than 90 minutes.

I didn't have any newspaper around so I used trash bags to catch any spills (and there will be spills if you're anything like me).

After adding a little water to some orange and yellow paint I poured it in my vases.

Then you swirl the paint around until the inside is completely coated.

Add a little festive ribbon and some free hand cut vinyl and you're done!

Linking up here (Creations by Kara) and here (Handy Man, Crafty Woman) and here (The Thrifty Home) and here (Domestically Speaking) and here (The Idea Room).

Making and Setting Goals

Over at Three's 4 Me it's Small Business Month. I've linked up a couple times and here's another one. The prompt? Make and write goals for your small business. Great idea, huh?

If you don't make goals how will you measure your progress? And since I sometimes need motivation to get started this is the perfect link up for me.

Goals for Wooden Parlor

1. Produce and post 5 new items in my etsy shop by December 1st, 2012. It's a little bare right now.
2. Produce quality product photography. This goal is one that's harder to measure but definitely necessary. And I'm crossing my fingers I can get some help from my family on lighting and staging. What about you? Any tips for someone in a small apartment on staging?
3. Make enough profit to invest in a scroll saw by March 31st, 2012 (to help me in making more fun items).

Just writing these down makes me wish I didn't have a day job and could get started right away! And it makes me think of New Year's resolutions and how we should continually make goals and resolutions throughout the year. What do you think? Do you have any goals you'd like to make and accomplish before January 1st, 2012?

Monday, October 17, 2011

A bargain find!

Thrifting and crafting are two of my favorite things. And when it comes to making home decor pieces that are easy, I'm all about that. The beauties below cost me 50 cents a piece at my local thrift store. Stay tuned to see what they become...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Investing in Your Small Business

Starting a small business can be scary; it has risks and requires commitment in the form of time, energy, and money. Investing these things in your business can be frightening. When I first started this blog and my etsy shop a few weeks ago I was scared. What if people didn't like my products? What if I didn't sell anything? What if I failed?

But if you like what you do there's no reason not to give it a shot. For me, my time and energy have been justified. I haven't sold anything on my etsy shop yet, but attending a local craft fair was a huge confidence booster for me. My creations sold and I got lots of positive feedback. Enough to make me excited and want to continue.

But one of the hardest commitments for me to make was investing money in my business. I'm naturally a money saver. I like bargain shopping and when it comes time to make a big item purchase I like to think about it and mull about it and make sure it's really what I want. It's almost like I'm scared to spend money. Crazy, isn't it?

When I first told my husband about wanting to start Wooden Parlor, he thought it was a great idea, but that I needed to get some better tools. And since he's my Tool Man (he helps cut and router and drill) I decided he had a good point. We decided what we really needed most was a miter saw. I looked around online and found some and was looking for the best bargain. But my Tool Man explained that sometimes the best bargain doesn't equate with the best quality.

In the end, we went with a brand name miter saw which was more expensive but also much better quality and the bargain shopper in me was satisfied because we got the miter saw stand, valued at $300, for FREE and Tool Man said this saw would last forever and he could use it when he builds us a house one day.

But a part of me still thinks, "AHH, I can't believe we spent that money on a miter saw." (Tool Man thinks it's fabulous.)

What do you think? Have you invested money or time in a business? What helps you in making investment decisions?

P.S. I think my next investment is going toward a better vacuum or maybe a workshop would be better...

Friday, September 23, 2011

By Popular Demand...

So far my first craft fair has been a great success! Tomorrow is the last day, so head on over to the "Holy Cow it Moos Be Harvest" boutique in Pleasant Grove if you haven't been yet. And by popular demand I made a black version.

Introducing the Oreo Birthday Board: