Curious Lola

Make a Votive Candle Luminary Out of Skeleton Leaves – Video

When Spring isn’t quite shining her light…. make your own with this diy votive candle luminary.

This Skeleton Leaf Votive will bring a fun and effortless touch to your parties– or your fairy shrine, it depends on what you’re doing I suppose! This lovely little votive is our last feature from our spring Moth Fairy photoshoot and in case you’ve missed it, we’ve had three other DIY projects from this shoot; a floral centerpiece, a floral frame, and a branch chandelier!

After waiting far too long for Spring to show up, our fairy’s guest finally arrives and better yet– with some sunshine and blooming flowers.

This project requires:

-leaf skeletons
-mod podge
-tall vase
-small balloons
-foam brush
-spray oil
-saran wrap
-spray dye or spray paint

Now its your turn to make some votives! Jump over to our Youtube Channel  for the full tutorial! Don’t forget to show us your creations!

Make a Floral Centerpiece with a Vine Foliage Cage

Spring is just around the corner and seriously, who doesn’t love having some flowers to brighten up the house? Learn this quick and eco-friendly way to create a beautiful floral arrangement with a vine foliage cage. You know we don’t use flower foam so it’s our go-to, tried and true way of keeping stems in place. Reference our video version of this tutorial if you’re wanting some more tips on creating this!

If this is your first time making a centerpiece, fear not! We have another video that covers our common-sense method on flower placement. It’s right here: centerpiece demonstration It goes a bit more in depth.

Supplies needed:

  • vase
  • floral tape
  • chicken wire
  • bind wire, cut into 1″ pieces
  • floral clippers
  • wire cutters
  • water
  • flowers, of course! We go to our local wholesale floral market, but you can find some goodies at your local store or garden.

First, use your wire cutters to snip a piece of chicken wire from the roll. For this size of pot, I cut a piece about 6 inches wide. Bend the chicken wire into a ball shape and tie the ends around one another to secure it. Then, place it in your vase.

Tear off strips of floral tape and place them like a grid over your ball. This will ensure the chicken wire won’t fall out. Once it feels sturdy, add the water.

Strip the bottom of your vines of leaves and little sprouts. Begin weaving them through the wire structure.

Once you have a few stems in the base, choose two vines and attach them with a piece of bind wire in a place they might naturally grow together. Continue to add in vines and sprigs of Jasmine until your foliage cage feels full and strong.

Just let it get wild…

Now it’s just about full enough to support some flowers. Add in them flowers!

Taa-daa! You have made a glorious, foam-free floral arrangement! Snap a picture and show off, be sure to tag us so we can enjoy your work too!

We’ll be featuring this arrangement and others in a moody photoshoot we did about a Subterranean Moth-Fairy who is waiting in her underground den for spring to come. Oh and she’s a hoarder… Ha! To hear more about our hoarder fairy and the next DIYs from that shoot. You’ll want to SUBSCRIBE!

 

Here’s a sneak peak:)

Ugh. I just love those moody blooms.

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Things I Wish I Knew When I Began My Event Business, Part 3: Support

because we give a hootYou are starting your own creative business. That’s awesome!
You don’t know what you are doing, but you probably have an idea of what kind of business support systems you will need.
But before you add yet another thing to your to do list, I’d like to review some of the systems and networks that are help and those that do not.
Some things look like a worth time and money investment but actually end up helping somebody ELSE with what they need.
We are in about the middle of our “10 Things I Wish I Knew Series”. Links to the other pieces are at the bottom!

Here is a list of the kind of support you will NOT need:

I know that you’ll probably want to try a few of these out anyway. Hopefully, this list will at least make you aware of when something might not be working out and needs to be purged from your attention.


 

NO: A Group Of Like-Minded Individuals Also Just Starting Out

While this can help you feel safe and calm your fears, it is far better to gain that information from people who already passed through your stage in business.

Networking with established business is scarier but trust me: most of them remember being where you are, and will tell you what you want and need to know.

The event industry relies on each other within our own disciplines and across other disciplines.You know you will need the kind of emotional support that will allow you to keep moving forward even when your motives start looking a little blurry. You need someone to remind you that the trade-offs you are making in your personal life are worthwhile to gain a wildly satisfying living.

In the beginning, there is a lot of struggle.

This often leads to looking at the success of others as a reminder that you aren’t succeeding. While it may feel good to know that you are not alone by surrounding yourself with others who are in a similar position, it’s not helping you progress–it’s helping you feel safe where you are now. The catch is: You don’t want to feel safe where you are! Assuming you’re not planning on staying in that struggling, beginning stage for very long, you want to use that discomfort as a motivator for moving forward.

Onward.

YES: A Group Of Seasoned Business Owners…

…even if they’ve been in the biz only a little while.

They don’t even have to be in your exact industry. In John C. Maxwell’s book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, he writes that the environment in which you choose to place yourself should have the following characteristics:

Others are ahead of me.

I am continually Challenged,

My focus is forward

The atmosphere is Affirming

I am often out of my Comfort Zone.

 


NO: A Group Of The Wrong Kind Of People

I was a group junkie when I first started out.

I thought there might be a group of people who could help me grow faster and give me the answers I needed. I thought that I could cross promote my business through other businesses. I’ve checked out mastermind groups, the kind of groups where other people are required to refer your work and you are required to refer theirs regardless of whether or not you actually think they are the best at what they do, industry groups, and women business owner groups.

It turns out that in my specific creative business of event design, there are only a few people at very specific times who are ready to make the decision to hire me. Cross promoting with businesses who don’t serve this laser focused person is a waste of resources.

If the group you are in is not a challenge, if it wastes too much time, if it’s filled with people who cannot get you the kind of work you want, people who are not stretching themselves and reaching, people who do not understand the necessity of finding your ideal customer, then it’s not the right group of folks for you.

YES: Tangential Interest Groups

Try groups where you can causally network and show them what you do.

That may not be business owners–this may be places where your clients hang out.

Maybe you are a floral designer and you are hired by wedding planners–join their planning group.

Maybe you do non-profit fundraisers–join a fundraiser’s education group.

Perhaps you want to target restaurant owners or hotels–join a chamber of commerce.

Maybe you need to access wealthy women who entertain regularly. Heck, join their local yoga studio. Win win.

The point is, go to the people who likely have a problem you can solve. Then stay connected.

 


NO: Financial Support In The Form Of Debt

The beginning of a business is a little experimental and can feel frantic. It’s easy to get caught up in feeling like you cannot begin unless you have the right tool/ training/ mentor/ webpage, etc.

There are so many people trying to sell you something with great stories about why their ad, their whatever will help you sell more.

Before you have figured out what makes you special and who wants to buy your kind of special, you are better off saving your money.

You may find that what seemed like a great tool at the beginning, is actually not necessary. You may find you don’t want to offer a service that you thought you would offer, you may in a month, discover a totally different message than the one you spent money on.

Give it some time. Get your hands dirty first.

When I first began I had visions of an event design firm that worked side by side with a landscape design and build company. I would, of course, do both. I soon realized that these two services required directing my attention to two totally different markets.

My attention and effort would be split and that could not be good if I needed to be profitable within a year. After about 3 months, I had to revise my website, and get new business cards.

Save yourself the agony, and figure out what your business is, who it serves, and why customers should buy from your instead of all the other choices in the marketplace before you spend money on the next major money-printing widget.

YES: Creative Means Of Covering Your Needs

Will you need some sort of financial safety net? Yes.

And most people I know do not have a sugar daddy/ mama or their own nest egg.

I’ve met business owners that moved into their parent’s basement when they first started. People have become nannies. Maybe you could do it just by growing more slowly than I did and implementing the systems I will talk about later. Maybe you could quit your full-time job and get a part-time job.

What you can do by not taking on more debt, you should do.

 


NO: Misguided Friends And Family

Your friends miss you. They miss going out to restaurants and spending your paychecks on food and that botanical infused locally made gin cocktail of the day. They miss going on vacations with you in the summer. They miss you not being stressed out. The miss griping about their jobs with you.

To this group of risk averse friends, this thing you are doing just looks like something that is making you LESS financially secure and more stressed out.

You will hear things like…. “what’s the good of money if you can’t enjoy it.”

And “We never see you anymore” and “You’ve just got to relax, I’m worried about you.”

This is brain noise you don’t need.

You already have your work cut out for you with quieting your inner critic. Be clear with them on your intentions, or just nod your head and let it wash past you.

YES: Be On The Lookout For New Go-Getting Hustlers Like Yourself Who Are Inspired By Working Hard On A Risky Venture That Could Pay Off Big-Time.

Seek them out and surround yourself with them. They will help move you forward, and will be a source of energy when it feels like your well of spirit and hustle is running dry.

As for the friends who can’t help themselves from pulling you down? If they cannot let up, it’s time to get some new friends.

You don’t need to necessarily toss out the old ones, just improve your relationship with the ones that can be excited about your path, and who will point out for you all the ways you are progressing while you’re slogging through your startup swamp.

 


NO: Service And Professional Support  

If your financial resources are sparse, know that you don’t need much in the way of professional help. The IRS is likely not interested in a business as small as yours and when starting out, you won’t need to pay taxes until the end of the year.

Don’t stress about an accountant. So depending on when you start, you’ve got some time. Bookkeeping, labor, graphic design, web development,  these are all things you can do yourself with inexpensive or free apps or by friend-sourcing.

YES: Find Free Or Cheap Ways To Get What You Need.

I’ve found that an invoicing system was necessary to prevent mistakes.

  • Freshbooks has a starter version that is reasonably priced.
  • Canva will help you create images for free to help you look pulled together.
  • Upwork or Fiverr can help you source graphic help or any tech help online from people all over the world eager to work with you.
  • Google docs in lieu of Microsoft Office.
  • Cute PDF Writer in lieu of Acrobat.

The point is, it may take a while for you to see financial promise–it took me three years. It took another two years to see that it could be sustainable at the level that I felt we were all being taken care of properly.

I’d like you to feel secure in your company sooner.

You are an observant person and you’ll gain knowledge from any experience in which you place yourself. My job here is to help you get the most useful stuff faster in order to raise you to that comfy place.

Sign up to our mailing list to ensure you don’t miss any of the next posts on “10 Things I Wish I Knew”. If you’ve missed the last ones, find them here:

Part Three:  Creating Systems

Part Two: The Expert

Part One: Marketing

The Problem with Creativity/ 7 ways to tackle your block

Creativity paint mess

The problem with creativity is… it’s messy. Not in the tripping over boxes, duct tape stuck to my sneaker, branch in the eye type of messy (that’s the type I can tolerate), but messy in terms of delivering something tangible from a bunch of buzzing farts of ideas. You have a deadline, a bunch of half-baked thoughts, some doodles, and dang it, you are hungry. Maybe you just need a little snack and then you’ll be ready to go. Uh- oh.  Below is a mish mash of problems I face, and things my inner #girlboss tells my whiney, playful, and sleepy parts to get my act together.

1. I have too many ideas. If you are like me, your thought process is not a straight line. It’s not even a circle. It’s like a suckering shrub with tangents sprouting off to produce their own family of ideas. Sometimes it’s difficult even to figure out where it all began. At some point, I have to tell myself to stop. From the suckering idea shrub, I connect the lichen growing on one branch over here to the sprig over here to the root over here and, BAM, a thing/ idea. It’s an overwhelming thing to begin but it is my process.

My best lesson was taught to me by the creative director at the first firm I ever worked at. I was designing a courtyard for a condo. He told me I had four hours to have an initial concept over to my new client, my eyeballs nearly fell out. After four hours I was still drawing like mad and grumbling that I needed more time. My director ripped the drawing from my hand, scanned it, and emailed it directly to my client, incomplete. I needed that lesson in order to learn how to give myself limits. At some point, it’s time to stop and move forward with the material in front of us.

2. I need better tools.  I find myself using this excuse a lot. The fact is, I can probably use what I’ve got and the restriction may even produce something even better than I had imagined. Needing more or better tools won’t solve my procrastination problem, but if may create a money problem.

Caren-Morris-photography-UW-26

3. It’s so big, I can’t begin (enter procrastination). This is halfway correct. It is big. So, I must begin. My favorite quote is this: “It’s such a big dream, I can’t see it all.” by Edward S. Curtis- Seattle pioneer and photography adventurer. I know from experience that I always come up with something. And I can count on one hand the number of times I knew how it would end when looked at from the starting line. So… GO! If you are having trouble figuring out how, maybe this video will help you. I mean, if George the Poet can do it, you can too.

4. I have so many things to do. Multitasking is an illusion. Great multitaskers are just those people who can break focus, focus on something else, and then swap over to a new task. It’s not that they are doing many things at the same time, they are just doing many different singular things in a small amount of time. But at any one time, they are doing only one thing. When I am doing too many things at once, I am most likely doing them poorly and more slowly. Practice juggling.

5. My client/ boss’ control problem is stifling my creativity. Oy. Well first, the real problem to first apply your creativity to is the client’s project problem, so try shutting out any of the human drama.  Apply your creativity within their constraints without the ‘don’t tread on me’ feelings. Then have a conversation or find a new boss or client to explain how you best work.  Employers want their people to do their best and need to know when they are holding things back. For clients, at some point you’ll be able to build clients that trust you. For me, my best work comes when I can follow a thread of an idea and just see where it leads. Instead of madly trying to come up with interesting combinations of ideas under duress, the process is more exploratory. This is when it becomes really fun for me and my best clients know they will get way more than they paid for.

6. I’m stuck. Ya, it happens. Probably your brain needs to work on something else. I know I make the best connections while driving or after a nap. Maybe your brain needs a bit of time and a change of activity in order to organize your thoughts into genius. If I haven’t even started, a trip to the art museum or a coffee and copy of bomb or elle decor will usually give my brain a new direction and unanticipated focus.

7. No really, I’m stuck. My desk collapsed on me and I can’t get up.
Oh dang! Sorry buddy, that’s all you. Do you have any of those tools we discussed handy?

 

 

 

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