Top Ten Things I’ve Learned in 2012~ #1

As the year comes to an end, I thought it would be fun to let you in on the top ten things I’ve learned since I started my own business, blogging, and painting furniture this past August.

FOLK Magazine thought it would be a great idea too… so I’m going to follow their blogging agenda…


Here we go…

1.  Milk Paint is not as easy to use as Chalk Paint….

 …especially if you are not mathematically inclined like me.

I was so excited to paint this tea cart with my first package of milk paint!  I quickly scanned the directions… 1 part paint powder to 2 parts water (or something like that).  I did some quick blond math and there I had it… WATER paint.  So I added some powder and then I had COLORED, WATER paint.  No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get it right.  In the end, I had the whole package of powder mixed in water… ruined!  So, that brings me to…

2.  Chalk Paint Fixes EVERYTHING…

I cannot tell you how many things I’ve painted, hated, and then painted again… or painted, waxed, hated it, and painted again.  I LOVE Chalk Paint!!!

3.  Furniture Wax…

When I first started using furniture wax, I would layer it on thick.

I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get it to buff and why it remained forever tacky.

This headboard bench was a result of WAY too much furniture wax!  It started out with clear wax, followed by dark wax, and another layer of clear wax.  No matter how much I buffed, I just couldn’t get the dark wax to look like I wanted it.

Note… a little wax goes a LONG way!

4.  Link it Up Baby!

When I first started blogging, I just assumed people would find my little blog on their own.

I was pretty sad that after a month of blogging I only had two followers… my mom and my husband.

I had NO idea there was such a thing as “Linky Parties”.  I loved these linky parties so much, that I started my own… Creatively Tuesdays!  It is quite possibly one of my favorite things about blogging.  I LOVE seeing what other bloggers are up to!

5.  Don’t be Afraid to Jump…

I started my little business off at craft shows…

I really didn’t know HOW to start… I just did.

I loved doing craft shows, but it was really hard to load up all of my furniture and accessories, unload it at the show, and then load and unload it at the end of the day.


As I shopped at little stores around town, I began to talk to EVERY store owner I could!  Now, I wouldn’t seek them out, but if we started talking somehow, I wanted to know.. how did they get started?  What did they do first?  What computer program do they use?  How do they keep track of inventory?  Who made your logo?  On and on… everyone I met was so helpful!!  As I asked all these questions one day, I was beyond shocked when the owner asked me to bring my furniture to their cute little store in Fredericksburg.

I was so excited!!!  This store sells my furniture on consignment… which means, they get 30% and I get 70%.

Then, I jumped again…

…and got my own booth at a shop in Boerne.  For this one, I pay a monthly fee, work 2 days a month, and they get 10%.  To me, this one feels more like owning your own store.  I have to enter inventory, keep my booth looking nice and updated, and I get to decorate how I want!

Both stores are in two very “touristy” locations.  Next year, I will most likely have more advice on which one I prefer, but for now, I’m enjoying both locations!

6.  It’s OK if you don’t sell much at a Craft Show… 

My first craft show was pretty successful…

… so I loved every minute of it.

At this time, I hadn’t started painting furniture yet.  I mostly just had windows and doors.

My second craft show.. not so much…

I think I sold three things.  BUT… I met the sweetest lady ever who paid me to come to her house and help her decorate.  She is now a friend!  I also met another sweet girl who bought that chalkboard door above, and has since bought several other things!  She’s a new friend too!

Soooo… in the end, I actually sold more FROM that show than the first, and I made two new friends!!

7.  Be YOU..

When you first start blogging, it’s a little overwhelming.  From the whole process of getting started, to trying to find where you fit in, to not being jealous of those who have made it big in the blogging world.

When I first came across Miss Mustard Seed, Funky Junk Interiors, Shanty 2 Chic, and Thistlewood Farm, just to name a few, I began to doubt what I had to offer.

What I soon realized, is that these ladies started out exactly where I am.  Not only that, but they are all so helpful and real, and each one of them has something completely different to offer.

I think it is only natural to compare yourself to others, but it is so important to be YOU!

8.  It’s all Staged…

What many don’t know about the blogging world, and ultimately Pinterest, is those perfect pictures you see have been taken with a nice camera, staged and photo shopped.  Trying to get the perfect picture of something you’ve spent hours on, sometimes takes just as long!

Here is one of the very first pictures I took…

See me in the picture?  Love the glare from outside?  This picture was not photo shopped.  I didn’t even know to put my name on my pictures at this point.
Here is a recent picture… different camera, staged, and photo shopped…

I still have a lot more to learn, but what a difference!!!

9.  Other people love what I don’t…

There have been a few projects I’ve done that I am not especially fond of…

That I thought would never sell…

…but these two were the first to sell at my shows.

 So, just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean other people won’t love it!

10.  God is Good…

Of course I already knew this, but this year felt like such a blessing from God.  From our move back to San Antonio, to starting my own business (a dream I’ve had for years)… I have learned that God truly knows the desires of my heart and that when I am obedient, he pours out his blessings.

As I move into 2013, I hope to give more, love more, and be a blessing to others.  I hope that you’ll be along for the ride!

Looking forward to 2013 and all it has in store.

Happy New Year!!!

Linking Up:
2013 Journaling/Blogging Prompts



My name is Claire and I am behind the blog... The Rustic Pig. I am a wife, a mother to 2 boys, and I just might be addicted to Craigslist. I love to buy antiques, paint them, and give them a chance to be loved again! Please feel free to pull up a chair and stay for a while. If you ask a question or leave a comment, I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!


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Texas gal, wife, mother to 2 boys, author behind the blog The Rustic Pig, business owner, antique lover, and Christ follower!

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  1. Happy New Year Claire, you know I love your work, good luck for 2013

    Marina from Spain

  2. I love your blog! Your projects are inspiring and creative. I agree with your tips that you’ve suggested. I just started blogging a year ago and have learned a ton. 🙂 Megan

  3. Thanks for the Inspiring blog post! I am in envy that you have 2 places to sell on consignment! I am looking in my area for someone to do this same thing. I want to repurpose big furniture pieces also, but need a place to sell them. I know that God will give me the answer, I just have to be patient. I am so looking forward to what 2013 will hold!


  4. And I found YOU through the link on the Folk blog about journal/blogging…and love what I’ve seen here. This is an excellent post by the way — great thoughts and good reminders to all of us!

  5. So as I sit and read your entry, I gasp at the shows you’ve had the nerve to be a part of. WOW! You’re much braver than me, so make sure you put bravery on your list too! Lovely work!

    And thanks so much for the mention! 🙂

  6. I have never used milk paint. Thanks for your insight. I am getting ready to re-purpose my grandmother’s dresser. Chalk paint it is! 🙂

    Thanks for participating in our community blogging project. I am looking forward to your posts throughout the year. Glad to have ‘met’ you and looking forward to getting to know you via our entries.

    Hillary Lewis
    FOLK Magazine

  7. “God truly knows the desires of my heart and that when I am obedient, he pours out his blessings.”
    And, pretty much, that sums up life! God’s blessings on you, yours and the work of your hands and heart.

  8. Hi Claire, I just found you thru Folk and love your website. I also love doing things with vintage furniture and bits. Good for you accomplishing so much and learning so much over last year. I hope you will have the most fantastic 2013; I’m sure you will. 🙂

  9. I LOVE your designs! I found your post through the FOLK link up and will now be following! Hope to see you one day at a market somewhere!

    Happy new year!

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