I bought a small lathe from Harbor Freight, And I am very happy with it. It came with a faceplate and a drive center and live tailstock center. Extras are a face shield, a 1/2" chuck (for drilling) and of course tool chisels. I then added a 4 jaw chuck to the mix. There are of course pen making kits that can be another option. You can turn mushrooms from small branches as decorations easily on a benchtop lathe. I say "go for it Barb". They are just as messy as a router is (by the way).
Woodworking is like wetting myself...Only I know that warm feeling!