Archive for June 2018

Kickstarter: Trivets   9 comments

Have you become a backer of my Kickstarter campaign yet? Need more details?

All of the information is on my Kickstarter page, here.

Backers that pledge $35 or more can receive a pair of Trivets to protect their table or counters.

If you know people with hot stuff, then they need Trivets.

The Kickstarter campaign is running through the end of July … and my goal of $5,000 must be reached or exceeded by that date. If I don’t make the goal, then nothing happens. If the goal is met however, then all of the backers that have selected Trivets to be their reward will get to choose from these color & wood combinations:

1. Light Colors

2. Dark Colors

3. Red Tones

4. Brown Tones

5. Colorful, Stripey

All boards have unique coloring and grain patterns. Therefore, every piece I create is unique. I will do my best to match your requests for wood and color to the pieces that I create.

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My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

 

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards   6 comments

These Handled Cutting Boards are available to backers of my Kickstarter campaign that pledge $75 or more.

All of the details are on my Kickstarter page, here.

These boards are made to be mobile in your kitchen. They can hang from the hole in their handle, so they’re easy to grab when you need to chop an onion or prep some vegetables. Do your knife work, and then carry the board directly to the stove to deliver your work for cooking.

Backers that select these Handled Cutting Boards – AKA Sous Chef Boards – as their reward will get to choose the colors/woods that I use to create the boards. Here are the options:

1. Light Colors

2. Dark Colors

3. Red Tones

4. Brown Tones

5. Colorful, Stripey

Please note that the color and grain patterns in wood vary with every board. I’ll do my best to match your requests for color and wood with the piece that I make for you.

More

My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

 

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards   6 comments

End grain cutting boards are the king of cutting boards. They are the Best Cutting Boards.

Backers of my Kickstarter campaign (details are here) that pledge $275 or more can receive one of these end grain cutting boards. Pledge $300, and you can receive a Groovy Cutting Board, with a Juice Groove.

All of these cutting boards and heirloom quality, and making them is one of my greatest pleasures in the shop.

Backers that select the Best Cutting Boards as their reward will receive 3 custom designs from me that use the colors/woods that they select. To start the conversation, here are some examples in the various colors shown.

1. Light Colors

2. Dark Colors

3. Red Tones

4. Brown Tones

5. Colorful, (but not so) Stripey

The end grain cutting boards here are a mix of colors. All can have juice grooves that are 3/4″ wide x 3/8″ deep: much larger and much more useful than a typical juice groove found in generic, commercial cutting boards.

All wood has unique colors and grain patterns. I will do my best to match your requests to the pieces that I create.

More

My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces   6 comments

If you become a backer of my Kickstarter campaign (details are here), then you will get to choose your reward.

One possible reward for backers that pledge $85 or more are these Large Serving Pieces.

They have been called large surfboards. They have been called Cheese & Cracker Servers. Get one, and you can call it what you want. For now, though, I’m calling these Large Serving Pieces.

The Cheese & Cracker Server, in action.

 

Choose this reward, and you’ll get to choose the woods that I use for your piece. Here are the options:

1. Light Colors

2. Dark Colors

3. Red Tones

4. Brown Tones

5. Colorful, Stripey

Please note that all pieces of wood are different. Color and grain patterns can very widely. I will do my very best to match your requests to the piece that I make for you.

More

My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

 

Kickstarter: Coasters   6 comments

These coasters – and coaster sets – are available to backers of my Kickstarter campaign.

Haven’t heard of Kickstarter? All of the details are on my campaign page, here.

But, briefly, if you become a backer of my campaign, and my campaign goal is reached by July 31, then backers that select these individual or sets of coasters will get to choose the colors of their coasters. Here are the options:

1. Light Colors

2. Dark Colors

3. Red Tones

4. Brown Tones

5. Colorful, Stripey

Please note that wood varies in color from board to board, and therefore all pieces that I create are unique works of art. I will do my best to match your wood and color requests to the pieces I create.

More

My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

 

 

My Kickstarter Campaign   Leave a comment

I have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help expand the Woodshop. You have the opportunity to become a backer of my campaign, and as a reward you’ll get one or more of the things I produce in the shop.

You get to choose.

All of the details, complete with a video I shot in the garage woodshop, is on my Kickstarter campaign page, which is here.

Some days in the shop are worse than others … but I need more space!

Go ahead & check it out. I’ll wait.

My hope, however, is that not only will you consider becoming a backer, but that you will, most importantly, forward a link to my campaign to your friends that might want to support this woodworker’s expansion efforts.

If you know people that eat, then you know people that might want an heirloom quality cutting board.

If you know people that drink, then you know people that might want a coaster set to protect their furniture.

And, of course, there are several other options as well. Don’t dally, though: the campaign ends at midnight on July 31, no matter what.

The clock is ticking.

So, please, share my campaign widely and help me reach my goal of $5,000 in pledges. If I don’t make that goal, then nothing happens. No funds are collected, no boards get made … it’s as if the campaign never was.

However, if you help me surpass the goal of $5,000, then the magic can happen, and I’ll be making and shipping cutting boards & serving pieces & such right up to December 1.

I promise.

Will you help me, please?

Here are examples of the rewards that are offered to my backers.

 

More

My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

 

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards   6 comments

When I started Mr M’s Woodshop, I started making Cheese Boards. It was the first thing I sold, actually.

Today, Cheese Boards are, of course, one of the rewards for Backers of my Kickstarter campaign that pledge $40 or more. If you haven’t read about my campaign yet, then all of those details are here.

If you are one of those Backers (thank you!), then here are the wood/color options that you have to choose from for your Cheese Board:

1. Light Colors

2. Dark Colors

3. Red Tones

4. Brown Tones

5. Colorful, Stripey

All boards are unique. All grain patterns are unique. Therefore, I’ll do my best to match your color/wood requests with the pieces that I make. But, as I love to say, “I take what the wood gives me.”

More

My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

 

The Board Chronicles: Ojai Lavender Festival 2018   Leave a comment

The Board Chronicles is an ongoing series of articles about the adventures of Mrs M’s Handmade as a vendor at community festivals & craft fairs. Mrs M’s subsidiary, Mr M’s Woodshop, has been approved to create this chronicle for the good of vendorkind.

Ojai is a community in the mountains above Ventura. It is a little over an hour west of my home, but I’ve never been there.

Their annual Lavender Festival has been on our radar for a while (this is the 15th edition), but Mrs M has always opted out since her products are temperature sensitive and … well, it’s summer. It’s hot out there. Or, can be. Might be.

No matter.

I have a more robust product, so summer heat doesn’t scare me. Time to leave Mrs M at home and get to it. I wonder what Ojai will have for me?

New Ideas

  • I got a single booth, which is unusual these days. I’m driving in the Jeep with my hitch carrier, so no trailer. No rolling cart. Just me and what I can fit in the Jeep.

Observations

  • This is our 15th event of the year. It’s my 5th solo event and the 3rd one-day event that I’ve done. I’m not sure I can say not doing one day events is a rule if 20% of the events have been one day only. Hmmmm.
  • I so overpacked for this event. I barely fit into the Jeep. I had to leave the 16×20 photographs at home: no room. I thought I brought the smaller photos & signs, but that container got left behind (sigh). Limited signs in the booth, unfortunately.
  • Lavender Lemonade. It’s a thing, apparently, and was all the rave at this event.
  • The setting is really great. It’s a city park, filled with large oak trees. I was in the shade all day. There’s a gazebo; they had live music throughout. I really enjoyed the bluegrass … but then they went to local folk artists and the music went dark. Take the bad with the good, apparently.
  • The day started very well; the first transaction was for a large custom order. It all ended, though, when an immigration protest took over Main Street. I didn’t sell another item after 1pm. Other vendors had sales, but several reported down sales from prior years. The protest took the life out of this event.
  • The reality is I paid money to be a vendor at this event, and the protest interfered with my small commercial opportunity in Ojai. I am dead certain that I paid money to be there, and the protestors did not.
  • Free speech has a cost, and on this day I was made to pay it out of my pocket. It’s hard for me to feel good about that.
  • Good news, though: my Kickstarter campaign had a good day, and is now 41% funded. On my way!
  • Requests were for a cribbage board, boxes, a cook book stand and a board with bread hooks.

The Food

  • Best Meal: Lunch was a ham sandwich from home. High living in Ojai.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 103
  • Booth cost: $185
  • Food cost: $0
  • Travel cost: $54
  • Total sales: $640
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $401
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: none
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: none
  • Saturday alarm: 5a
  • # transactions: 7
  • # soap & lotion vendors: several, but no Mrs M
  • # woodworking vendors: I know there was another cutting board maker as well as a toy maker. I didn’t see the whole event, though; there may have been others.
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 9:1
  • Returning next year? Maybe

Boards sold: 10

2x Cheese Boards

2x Trivets

1x Custom Order

1x Medium Surfboard

1x Lazy Susan

1x CNC Plaque

1x Small Board

1x Clipboard

Half Of The Litter   1 comment

My love/hate relationship with the Pig Business is well chronicled.

I’ve raised pigs. Didn’t take to it.

I do find a certain joy in delivering a smile when people see my wooden pigs, however. Some use them as cutting boards, some as charcuterie or cheese & cracker boards, and some use them as wall art.

Which just goes to show that my Pig Business today has little to do with my business of, uh, 50+ years ago.

Thank goodness.

Here are a half dozen Pigs that have made it to the finish line. Another half dozen are on the way … some day soon, I believe.

The Board Chronicles: Lompoc Flower Festival 2018   Leave a comment

The Board Chronicles is an ongoing series of articles about the adventures of Mrs M’s Handmade as a vendor at community festivals & craft fairs. Mrs M’s subsidiary, Mr M’s Woodshop, has been approved to create this chronicle for the good of vendorkind.

We went to the 2016 edition of the Lompoc Flower Festival and loved it. At the time, that Flower Festival our 3rd best event ever, with sales over $3,000.

Lompoc was good to us … except for that first night restaurant. But, I digress.

We definitely wanted to return to Lompoc when it fit into the calendar, and 2 years later, we’re returning for the 66th Annual Lompoc Flower Festival.

It’s a classic event in a city park. It’s truly a community get-together, with many high school reunions keyed to the event. Once you get there, it’s a paid gate (increased this year from $3 to $5), live music throughout, and a beer garden. Food booths are for local charities. It was a good time in 2016 …

New Ideas

  • This event sells booths that are 10′ wide x 20′ deep. We bought our typical double booth … so we had our first ever quadruple booth, 20′ x 20′. We brought 2 pop-up canopies and the Trimline 10′ x 20′ canopy. 4x mesh walls. We were stylin’.
  • We got there Friday morning for set-up, and asked the organizer if she knew of any teenagers that might want to help us. Her 2 teenagers just happened to be nearby….

Observations

  • We had low expectations for Friday; 2 years ago sales were only $245. No worries … but sales this year were only $119. Board sales were $0. Yuck.
  • We had family in town, and Aunt Sis (maker of Aunt Sis’ Exfoliers) and Dr H (author of the Harbstreit method of routing fingerholds on an end grain board) came to visit us in Lompoc. We had a great couple of days with them … the event, not so much.
  • Saturday started slow, as expected: no one comes to the park until after the parade is over. Once it’s done, the people flood into the park to set up their lawn chairs, see their friends, and enjoy the music.
  • Oh, and shop. We hope.
  • Unfortunately, Saturday stayed slow. Sales were less than half of 2016.
  • This has never happened to us before. Sales down more than half? Well, there’s Sunday. We hope.
  • Nope.
  • Sunday sales totaled $200. Total sales were 40% of 2016. Our neighbor reported their sales were 42% of prior year. 2018 was just way, way off.
  • Vendors always talk about how it used to be better. Nostalgia is always a positive thing, right? People always enjoy talking about the “good old days.” At this event, we heard some of that … but we heard it from the customers, as well. We were told that the Flower Festival used to have many local artists vending at the park: good, handmade artists like Mrs M. Multiple customers told us this. They also told us that in the last few years, the purveyors of cheap imported merchandise have seemed to crowd out the good vendors.
  • Yup.
  • In the artist community, there’s a lot of chatter about how “non-artist vendors will always ruin an art event.” When the likes of solar power companies, LulaRoe & vendors with cheap imported merchandise are allowed into an event, the crowd-sourced wisdom goes, then the quality of the art will always decline. Perhaps that’s what happened in Lompoc. I don’t know – though I will say that their vendors of cheap imported merchandise are hardly the equal of credible multi-level marketing companies like Pampered Chef or Origami Owl.
  • In the end, it doesn’t matter. This was a lost weekend.
  • Requests were for a backgammon board (sigh), anything with a dog on it, a Word Block I didn’t have in stock and both larger and smaller Lazy Susans (sigh, sigh).

The Food

  • Best Meal: Mrs M loved her Pork Belly Tacos at the Solvang Brewing Company.
  • Worst Meal: A treat we looked forward to was La Botte in Lompoc, a wonderful Italian restaurant we enjoyed in 2016. We made a reservation for 8p, and arrived to find the wait staff was ‘whelmed. We were barely acknowledged for 10 minutes, and then the busboy (who was funny) became our waiter because the real wait staff was still ‘whelmed. Food was pretty good, but the service was truly insulting.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 268
  • Booth cost: $394
  • Food cost: $151
  • Travel cost: $789
  • Total sales: $1,249
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): -$85. We lose money for the first time ever.
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: several
  • Saturday alarm: nope
  • Sunday alarm: nope
  • # transactions: 59
  • # soap & lotion vendors: There was one other … making medical claims. Did you know soap could cure hair loss? I sure hope the FDA catches wind of these snake oil sellers.
  • # woodworking vendors: There was one turner, and a couple of vendors of import, uh, crap.
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 23:1
  • Returning next year? Nope.

Boards sold: 24

Trivets: 7

Word Blocks: 3

Hearts: 3

Cheese Boards: 3

Small Boards: 2

CNC Signs: 1

Lazy Susan: 1

Coaster: 1

Soap Deck: 1

Clipboard: 1

Medium Surfboard: 1

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