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Monthly Archives: October 2012

You all really made me laugh!

Thank you all so much for weighing in on the photos!  I loved your responses and you manged to both totally crack me up and really help with the decision.

It was pretty clear that Option A – I’m a Lawyer made everyone, understandably, mistrust me.  Option B got several good votes and Option C – scruffy but responsible and perhaps a bit dimwitted seemed the most appropriate.

However, the general sense I got (and I was feeling that way too – hence the post) was that all of them were a bit too somber for the tone of the blog.  I don’t know why I was sooooo serious the day.  I swear I really am capable of more than one facial expression.

So, I think I’m going to hold off until I get a happy David photo that I like.

Option A did, however land me an audition yesterday.  I don’t talk much about auditions because they are usually not very interesting but sometimes there is a fun benefit.

This one happened to be on the CBS Studio Lot which has a long history beginning with the Keystone Cops.  Tons of shows were filmed there: Wild Wild West, Gunsmoke, Mary Tyler Moore, Gilligans Island etc etc.

The cool thing about studio lots is that they use every nook and cranny.  Every building is a potential set and every set is a potential office.  CBS has several backlot “streets” that you’d recognize and my audition took place in this “house”Anybody recognize it?

It’s the My Three Son’s house!

Behind the facade it’s just a kind of dull, generic office complex but just walking up to and through the door was totally fun.

The audition went fine (actor code speak for “I didn’t get it”) but I’m such a geek for this stuff I just love being there!

OK this post was actually supposed to be about other things so tune in next time for new projects, a guest post from my talented niece, and the status on my nutso holiday schedule.

But before I go: To my eastern or easternish readers I’m sending all good thoughts that the promised Monster Storm turns out to be a lot of hype and not a lot of storm.

Up Close and Personal – New Pictures

In my mid-twenties I was in a terrific production of George Bernard Shaw’s comic play Misalliance.  We played to large, enthusiastic crowds in a nice but not huge theatre (700 seats).

It’s set around 1918 and I played “Joey” a British aviator.  It was a great, funny part – I got the girl in the end and got to deploy my British accent.  Other than the accent it required no further alterations – I wore basic make-up – just enough so I didn’t wash out under the lights.  No fake mustaches, no wigs, nothing special.

One day after the show I, along with several other members of the cast, now in street clothes, were outside chatting when an audience member came up gushing about how much she loved the show.  She turned to each actor and complimented them specifically (even the guy who wore old-man make-up, a wig and fake beard but was now in jeans).

At last she turned to me and I prepared myself for the wave of praise that was coming my way.

She looked at me and said -

“Were you in the play?”

Um, yes, I played Joey, the aviator.

“Oh?” …she looked at me closely and I saw it all connect in her eyes and I again, prepped myself for praise.

“Oh!  You’re much better looking from far away.”

In the ensuing years I’ve come up with several responses to that statement but in that moment I had none.

So when my agent recently requested new photos I thought “I wonder how far away from the camera I could get?”

OK, actually I wondered if I could get a two-fer.  Some shots for acting and one to use here that would make my blog feel more personal and welcoming.

Now, actor headshots are supposed to make you look like potential characters (lawyer, doctor, guy next door) without locking you into anything too specific.  So they aren’t totally ideal for this dual purpose but I’m wondering if you folks think one of these could serve here too.

We have Option A which I call “Trust me, I’m a lawyer”Option B which I call “Trust me I’m a lawyer heading to my yacht”or Option C which I call “I just rolled out of bed and why are you looking at me like that?”What do you think?  Do any of these also say “listen to me!  I know about Mod Podge!”

Feeling Clingy – Terrific Tip for Painting Small Items

As many of you know from his lazy susan projects my father is a skilled woodworker.

A couple of years ago he gave me a gift subscription to Wood Magazine which is filled with fine craftsman making beautiful pieces.

I imagine he hoped that this would help me stop hacking away like some kind of crazed, wood serial killer and develop the patience, finesse and skills to become a true craftsman.

He is wrong of course.

But!  I totally appreciate his aspirational view of me and thoroughly enjoy the magazine.  I read it from cover to cover, admire the amazing things people make and fantasize about, one day, making a gate legged table from scratch (which my father actually  did a couple of years ago….  Showoff…).

So, when the recent  issue arrived I settled in for my monthly journey of admiration, jealousy and inadequateness when suddenly I was confronted with a genius tip that even I can do!

In my work I do a fair amount of painting using either my sprayer or just spray paint.  Often though, the pieces are small and light and it’s a challenge to hold them in place against the air flow of the spray.

But check this out!

You can use Glad Press -n – Seal to hold those tiny pieces in place!

Even though I don’t have a current project to do this with I had to check it out.

Happily I have a seldom-used box of Press’n Seal  that someone left behind at a party (which I realize makes it sound like a very strange party but I assure you it was just a regular, pot-luck affair)So I laid out a piece and gathered some random, small, objects – two wood rosettes, a very delicate piece of trim, one of those plugs you use to cover up screw holes and one tiny piece of very light balsa wood (which didn’t make the picture) – and pressing lightly,  stuck them down.

I’m happy to say that they didn’t move at all when blasted with spray paint

And, best of all, the Press-n-Seal leaves no residue when you peel them away from it!

This is going to make life much easier.

So thanks Dad! and thanks Wood Magazine! And thanks random, forgetful, party guest!

I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Catch Up!

Life is getting crazy busy and I feel like the guy in the movie who, while running away from the monster, falls and shouts to his friends:

“I’ll never make it!  Just keep crafting without me!”

………….OK, they don’t usually say “crafting” but you get the idea.

Every day starts with laying out a “To Do List” and every day ends with me looking at the To Do List and thinking – “how did I manage to work all day and do none of these things?”

So, I’m scrambling to keep up.

I swear my tombstone is going to look like this:

So, I’m a bit behind on all fronts – blogging, manufacturing, exercise, personal grooming (no, really, I meant to grow a beard!)

But I am getting some things done!

I had a request for GIANT version of my HOME signs to spell out a child’s name –16” high with a San Diego/Beach/Sailing theme.   I had to set them on the floor to get a (semi) decent picture of them.

I really love how they came out and wondering if GIANT Home signs might be a good idea.

 And, no, the poor child’s name is not NAART.

 Another custom HOME sign was for the great city of St. Louis

And yet another  for someone in Australia who must have really wanted it because shipping cost almost as much as the sign did.

(you can see I’m still struggling with how to photograph these dang things.  I don’t think I’ll do the mirror version again though)

And I made a delivery to my newest brick and mortar store!

If any of you are avid HGTV watchers you’ll remember Angelo Surmelis who hosted several of the networks shows (Rate My Space, 24 Hour Design etc).

Well he’s got his own line of home furnishings that can be found just about everywhere on the web.  But, clearly bent on decor world domination, he’s just about to open a new store here in downtown LA called, appropriately, Angelo HOME

He and his business partner saw some of my work, dug it and now I’m along for the ride.  I got a brief glimpse inside the store and it is going to be very VERY cool!  (Plus! Across the street there is a restaurant that makes amazing donuts.  So it’s a total WIN/WIN!)

OK, back to work.

Halloween Door Hanger Project and Free Printables

At last it’s chilly here in LA (in the morning at least) and starting to feel Fall-ish….or as Fall-ish as Southern California gets….I’m wearing shorts……

Anyway, it’s helped with my Halloween thinking.  So, with the assistance of the invaluable Graphics Fairy along with some fun fonts from DaFont I threw together a quick, easy, Halloween Door hanger that I thought might be fun if you haven’t done all your decorating already.  And the best part, it cost about $4.00!

You will need:

  • Scrap wood cut to size (any thickness will do, mine happened to be ¾”)
  • A candle
  • Flat black paint
  • A sander or just plain sand paper
  • Mod Podge (I used both Matte Mod Podge and Outdoor Modpodge for this project.)
  • Eye hooks
  • Wire
  • Printables

I came up with these designs using graphics from the aforementioned Graphics Fairy and a couple of free clip art images.

Here are all the graphics along with the two backgrounds in case you wanted to do your own thing.  If I’ve done it right you should be able to click on them and then save them as a JPEG to print out.

I cut my scrap wood down to 10.5” by 3” strips

….and let’s say it all together shall we?….” rubbed my candle along the edges!” (Cheltenham Road: where good ideas go to be beaten into the ground!) and then painted over it with flat black latex paint.

(The candle lays down a barrier between the raw wood and the top coat of paint and the paint won’t stick to the candle wax.  So, when you sand the edges in the next step you reveal the wood beneath and end up with an antiqued/aged look. You can see a full tutorial and explanation in this post I did on making chippy wood letters)

After the paint had dried a quick sanding gave me that slightly antiqued edge.

I then Mod Podged the graphics into place and, after they dried, trimmed and sanded the edges slightly and sealed them with a coat of Outdoor Mod Podge.

After that I put a mark 1″ in from each corner and drilled pilot holes (pilot holes are particularly important if you’re dealing with old, scrap wood – it prevents the wood from splitting).

I wired them together and my front door immediately took on a festive, fall Halloween vibe.

Now, if I can manage to look welcoming while keeping most of the candy for myself…………

Further thoughts:

I’m not crazy about the wire hanger.  I think a black rope or something would be better and painting the eye screws black would be cool too.

I wanted to use hooks and eyes (rather than wire) which I thought would be easy to come by.  However, by thinking that I, of course, immediately invoked the David Law whereby things that you’ve seen before and seem quite common and attainable suddenly cease to exist.  This happens regularly.  I don’t mean to be egocentric but I’m pretty sure that, at some point in my childhood I uttered the phrase “Oh, I’ll go pick you up a Unicorn – they’re everywhere” which lead to their immediate disappearance from the planet.

Trendy

My father is trendy!

My father is way trendier than I am.

You’ve seen all the chevron mania on Etsy and Pinterest, correct?

(click on the pics to take you to the terrific blogs that featured these projects)

I’ve seen it all and thought, “cool” and done nothing.

Now, while I don’t believe for a moment my dad peruses Etsy,  Pinterest or any other known design blog his latest lazy susan is trendy, trendy, trendy!

Check it out

See?  Trendy!

I fully anticipate next time I visit home to find him wearing skinny jeans and tweeting about what the cafeteria served for lunch.

But  I think it’s quite beautiful.

He continues to amaze me (and have a full head of hair).

I, on the other hand am not trendy.

However I am busy.

I finished a new HOME sign featuring Philadelphia:Wood Sign HOME Philadelphia

I did  yet another show at a swanky club – this one benefiting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  They even had an ice sculpture/igloo photo booth!  It was very, very cool.

Aaaaannnnnnddddddd………I just got an order for 500 coasters.  500!!!!  That’s a lot of coasters.

This will lead to very boring blog posts that consist of the repeated phrase: “I made more coasters today.”

Do you remember that old Dunkin’ Donuts commercial with the baker who’s mantra was “time to make the donuts.”  I feel like that.

But I also have cool non-coaster projects lined up from now till Christmas.  Yipee!!!! And…. Ack!!!!!!

Details to follow.

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