DIY Painted Poem Wood Sign

Check out my first YouTube ‘How To’ video! It was really fun video taping the whole process of doing a project and making a video out of it. I’m hoping to do more in the future. I’ve learned so much by watching other ‘How To’ videos, I thought it would be nice to contribute to the YouTube universe on some of the things I have learned to do.

This was a gift I made for a friends Anniversary. She had a specific poem she wanted painted on a wood sign. I recorded the whole process, made a simple video and even made my own music for the soundtrack. (Don’t laugh, it was my first attempt at writing an instrumental song). Ok you can laugh! I certainly did! So I won’t be quitting my day job and become a musician any time soon… or for that matter a professional YouTuber. But it was super fun doing it and I’m sure I will get better as I do more.

Custom Octopus Apron


Custom Octopus Apron by Athena Mariah LaRue

My friend gave me a blank canvas apron and requested an octopus to be put on it. I was really excited for this custom art request. Of course the day I had scheduled to start the project I happened to be on day 3 of what turned out to be a 6 day migraine. Ew!! But it is no joke that “Art is Therapy”. So although, the medicine I took that day mildly dulled my headache, I decided to go on with the project. I had just the perfect colors in my acrylic art box to paint her with. After the 6 day migraine passed I realized, “Oh no! I just painted on an apron with non washable acrylic paint!”. I guess next time I will have to wait to have a clear head to start a project! I totally could have gotten washable fabric paint or fabric pens. That was the original plan! Total brain dead move! Oh, well! When I finished the octopus I sprayed it over, and over about eight times with a acrylic spray sealant. So she will be able to wipe if off with a damp wash cloth if it gets dirty, but unfortunately I don’t think it would hold up in a washing machine. Lesson learned. But over all she was VERY happy with the finished product and promised not to cook spaghetti while wearing it.


Kickstarter Fundraising April 2016

Visit My Kickstarter Project Page! http://kck/st/1qc7cuE

Visit My Etsy Store To Order My Greeting Cards!

What is Kickstarter?

  • Kickstarter is a company that helps you get financial backing for a project by means of a fundraiser.
  • For me, I used it to help raise enough money for my Greeting Card Project. My goal was to cover the cost of printing and shipping material.
  • You must set a goal time frame, and a goal amount. If you don’t get enough pledges to reach the goal amount within the time frame you do not get any funding, nor do the pledgers get charged.
  • With each pledge your customers get to pick a reward that you send to them.


Does Kickstarter Cost Money?

  • It doesn’t cost anything to start an account or project. If your project meets it’s goal then Kickstarter will charge a percentage for each pledge.
  • When you set up a project, you must choose a goal amount. Since this was my first time ever doing a project like this, I was really nervous to set the full amount of $600 that I needed to cover all my cost. I checked out other Kickstarter projects that were similar to mine to get an idea of their goal amounts and success rates. After reviewing all of this, I decided to set my goal to $300. The way Kickstarter works, if you don’t reach your goal, you don’t get any of the money, nor do your pledgers get charged. There are no fees if you don’t meet your goal. You basically just lose! Boo! I didn’t want that!!
  • Since I set my goal for $300, but I really needed $600. I wrote down different tiers that I would like to reach, to help my audience see what my goals were and what they would pay for.


Preparation is Key!

  • Kickstarter has a wonderful source of information to help you get started. I also checked out as many blogs as I could before I started my project.
  • Before launching it is really important to have a video, some project images and a community or network to reach out to.
  •  Click here to see my video


Your Community or Network of Fans

  • For me promotion is the hardest thing about running a business. I loath tooting my own horn to get attention to my products. Blowing up social media with a constant barrage of self promotion is annoying to your friends and time consuming. But, I had to face the fact that it was the only way to get myself out there. I tried keeping my post to a minimum of two a week per media outlet.
  • The majority of my donations came from my friends and family. The only way they knew to help me with my fundraising is by the post I made on the various social media. It was very consistent, with every post I did, I got at least one donation. So although it was burdensome, it was effective.


Ruthless Self Promotion

  • I tried being creative with the social media post I did. Here are various post I did…
  • Once a week I would post a picture of one of the Greeting Cards I wanted to get printed. I would write a description of the card and why I was inspired to make it.
  • A couple times throughout the month I posted a picture of a thermometer showing where I was percentage wise in relation to my goal.
  • I made a ridiculous video of me dancing like MC Hammer! Showing how happy I was to get support from my family.
  • One the last day we also made another ridiculous video lip syncing to ‘The Final Count Down’.


I Reached My Goal! Now What??

  • I was so thankful and overwhelmed with love to have reached my goal.
  • On my last day I had all my rewards ready to ship I was so excited to check my bank balance and have it all done and over with… then the email, Congratulations! Now you have to wait 2 more weeks for us to process the funds. Blah!
  • Now the question, do I send my rewards on the faith that all the transactions are going to go through? Do I make my pledgers wait another 2 weeks for Kickstarter to process the funds? I decided to send out my rewards right away on good faith that Kickstarter would deposit the funds as promised.


  • Kickstarter said it would take 2 weeks to deposit funds. Reality: it took 17 days.
  • Kickstarter said they would take a Kickstarter’s 5% fee, and payment processing fees (between 3% and 5%). Reality total taken was 8.588%.





Pop Up Shop

Saturday April 23, 2016

It was a beautiful sunny day for my first Pop Up Shop experience. I had such a lovely time sharing my artsy goods along with a great community of fellow small businesses. We had a fantastic turn out with a steady stream of customers all day. The sporadic gust of wind kept us all busy frantically taping and weighing things down. I’m so thankful to our hostess from Modest Appeal for letting me be apart of this special event.

Also thankful for my special helpers… These boys are the best (and cutest) salesmen!

The day wouldn’t have been a success if it weren’t for our wonderful community! Check out our lovely and talented fellow DIYers…

▪️Modest Appeal! ~ Modest Clothing for a Modest Price

▪️Jo’s Bright Lights ~ Lights in a Bottle

▪️Glambella Sweet Boutique ~ Cupcakes & more

▪️Herbalife ~

▪️Paris Style! ~ Jewelry & Make-up

▪️Jodi’s Custom Cups ~ Customized Coffee & Togo Cup.

▪️Artifacts By Janie ~ Hand Crafted Jewelry & Accessories made from recycled leather & findings….

▪️BeYouTiful ~ Waxing & Facial Bar

▪️Shiny Things ~ Gluten-Free Cookies

▪️Diddle Dumplings Kids ~ Kids Clothing & Accessories

▪️Abella’s Closet ~ Vintage Inspired Children’s Clothing.

▪️Sugar Body Essenials ~

▪️Peper Ruse’ ~ Upcycled Scarves & Necklaces made of T-Shirts
▪️I ❤️ Salsa ~ Homemade Salsa

▪️Night Owl Soy Lotion Candles ~ Soy Bath Candles

▪️Sostre Boutique ~ One of a kind artwork, Up-cycled handicrafts

▪️Mary Kay ~ Makeup ~ ~

▪️Aries Little Treasures ~ Teething Accessories

▪️Simple Style ~ Upcycled Necklaces & Scarves, Organic raw body balm

▪️Bamber Botanicals ~

▪️Younique ~ Make-up

#popupshop #diy #smallbusiness #girlpower