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Tiny Bathroom. Tiny Progress. UPDATE

It has been three weeks. THREE WEEKS! And, no, it’s not time for the big reveal.

I know, I know, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  But I’m quite sure that by WEEK THREE they had pretty much wrapped it up. Sure they were maybe waiting on a couple of statues and had an orgy or two to organize but, by and large, they were finished.

Not so much with the smallest bathroom in the world.

Oh, progress has been made.

Look MA! no pipes!no pipes

I mean, yes, a big hole in wall but….no pipes!

And a real floor! OK, not the “real” floor but a floor –  which is more floor than there was before.look ma' there's a floorAnd the pipes that are supposed to be there are now there! and the walls are patched.pipes are in place(and don’t worry that I’m being cheated by some conniving contractor. My man Dennis is the best! First off, he looks almost exactly like William H. Macy and he is totally a character William H. Macy would play.  But more importantly , you really couldn’t ask for someone who is more dedicated to doing a job right.  But “right” doesn’t mean “fast.”)

And the shower?!

The shower….well, the shower….not so much.shower still looks scaryBut the guys did the hot mopping yesterday and it seems to be holding the water. And the tile guy comes on Monday (Monday? don’t hold me to that – plans are a bit vague).

In the meanwhile I’ve found something that I want my sisters to make for me from an Etsy store called Threadlineo days without sarcasm

 

Scare LA Report

I may have to reconsider Halloween.

I kind of gave up on the holiday once people stopped giving me free candy and my mom stopped making my costumes (it also didn’t help that, being an actor, putting on unusual clothes and parading around pretending to be someone else didn’t seem like much of a change of pace).

But Scare LA was a hoot!  The crowd seemed to be having a great time and, as a vendor, I can say it was beautifully organized.

Set up on Friday was a breeze.

Kind of my usual deal (along with my usual bad photography….sorry!).

I modified a board for coaster display (since I had a limited number there was no need for the big boards)Halloween Coaster Display Cheltenham RoadSet up my blocks (I made a few of my new Bingo Coasters into blocks as well)Halloween Votive Holders by Cheltenham Road

The Halloween Potion Labels looked good all filled with free candy (note to self: never underestimate the power of free candy) (also, stop eating your own free candy)Halloween Potion Labels at Scare LA Convention - Cheltenham RoadAnd I put out the big version of the coasters just as eye-catchers.Fun Original Halloween Signs by Cheltenham RoadI discovered I had lucked into a great booth-neighbor in Silhouettes By Jordan.  (so sad he has such a confusing name for his business.  Doesn’t he know the real key to success is to name your company after an obscure yet vaguely Englishy sounding road in central Ohio?  Poor boy)Silhouettes by JordanIt was astounding to watch him work with his tiny little scissors.  If you have a moment be sure to check out his Facebook page and see all his fun and terrific designs.

As I mentioned previously I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the crowd.

Would they dig my vintage vibe or would they be all about the blood and guts?

They dug the vintage vibe !!!

The crowd was a great mix of truly elaborate costumesScare LA costumes from LA Weeklyand just plain folk who were into Halloween.

And I’m happy to report I sold out of quite a few things and my stock on the rest is running very, very low.

All in all a great weekend and a great show.

Boo! Halloween Labels

I’m continuing in my unseasonal Halloween mode because today (TODAY!) is the first day of the big Scare LA Convention.

I set up my table yesterday and it looks like it’s going to be quite the event.  I will be curious to see what the crowds are like.

What is great about this is that it has gotten my Halloween imagination going a bit early.

The Muse and I (with invaluable help from the amazing Graphics Fairy!) got to brainstorming on some fun Halloween labels along the lines of my Gothic Halloween Coasters.

My intention is to eventually make these available on Etsy – gotta figure out that digital download thing……..

Halloween Bottle Lables by Cheltenham Road

Mummy BandagesFun Halloween Potion Labels by Cheltenham Road

Vlad’s Virgin Bloody Mary MixDracula Halloween Bottle Label by Cheltenham Road

Hyde’s Transformative TabletsDr Jekyll Halloween Potion Label by Cheltenham Road

Eau Du Salem Witch HazelHalloween Poison Label Cheltenham RoadWe had a great time coming up with these and I’m keen to make some more.

As I mentioned, I plan to make these available on Etsy soon.  That being said, I had a bit of a negative encounter with a woman who had copied, word-for-word (and most of the design) one of my Gothic coasters and was claiming it as her own work and giving it away for free on her site.  So, although I know none of you would do this, please do not copy or reproduce any of these designs.  Thank you very much.

OK, off to finish packing up!  Have a great weekend everyone and if you’re so inclined (and local) come visit me!

David

Getting Ahead of Myself – New Coasters! New Show!

Well, I always hate it when the stores jump the gun on holidays or seasonal changes (my stomach still drops every year when that first “Back to School!” sale is announced).

So, in keeping with that anti-jumping-the-gun policyBingo Card Coaster Set for Halloween by Cheltenham Road

WELCOME TO HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

In my defense, it’s not totally my fault, I’m doing this because I’m participating in a big Halloween show on August 9/10 called Scare LA.

BVS_ScareLA_MailChimp1It sounds like it will be a really fun show.

And it turns out that August 9th is actually the 45th anniversary of the opening of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland so they are having a panel with some of the original designers (I may need to sneak away for that) along with vendors and shows and music and lots of other stuff.

I wanted to come up with some new products for Halloween so this has been a great motivator.

I designed these Halloween Bingo Card Coasters just for fun and really enjoyed the process.

Halloween Skeleton Bingo Card Coaster by Cheltenham Road

However, I do have a bit of anxiety about this show.

I was approached about participating by the powers-that-be because they didn’t have many (or any perhaps?) “vintage” vendors.Halloween Bingo Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

So, that’s cool. I happy with that designation.

Except….. Halloween fans can go in a couple of ways and I’m concerned that these are going to be the blood/horror/gore/violence Halloween fans and I’ll be all, likeRetro Halloween Bingo Card Coaster Sety by Cheltenham Road

“I have cute, vintage pumpkins from the 50s!”

and they’ll be all like,

“we’re going to kill you.”

We shall see.  Wish me luck!

Oh, and if you are in LA and keen on Halloween come on by and when you go to buy a ticket online use the promo code “Cheltscare” for a 20% discount!SCARE LA Discount

David

PS:  I don’t want to talk about the bathroom.  Or the fact that in the midst of bathroom remodel upheaval I decided it would be a perfect time to repaint the interior of the house……more on both fronts to follow.

Mason Jar Herb Garden

Make a Hanging Mason Jar Herb Garden Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksJust a quick note saying that my latest project is up at Mod Podge Rocks.

This one came out of Geralyn’s request for a vertical herb garden similar to one she saw on Pinterest.

Now, entrusting me with plants is never a good choice.   I kill plants.  I’m a plant serial killer actually.  Hundreds lay dead in my wake.   I’m sure, at this point, the plants at Lowes see me coming and picture a grim Silence of the Lambs future for themselves:

It puts the lotion on it’s fronds, or else it gets the hose again.”

But I have great hopes for these victims herbs  (mostly because someone else will be taking care of the them.)Vertical Mas Jar Herb Garden Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge Rocks

I found my vintage seed packet images from the always reliable Dover Publications, The Graphics Fairy and a new (to me) and terrific blog called Old Design Shop.

It was an easy and inexpensive project and, if you’re so inclined, head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for the full tutorial.

The Room is so Tiny! What Could Go Wrong? Bathroom Remodel Update

My small bathroom remodel is………progressing?

Yes, that was a question mark.

As I’ve mentioned I have a fixer upper house. Built in the 40s it boasts some cool details and beautiful floors.

…..and some seriously quirky construction issues.

Each time I tackle a project I can’t escape the feeling that, although the lipstick has been beautifully applied, I’m pretty sure I’m living in a pig.

And my pig eats money.

As I turned my attention to the smallest most depressing bathroom in the world I (foolishly) thought “this will be a snap! The room is so tiny! What could go wrong?”

On the Glass Half Full Side:

Demo cost less than estimated because all those shower tiles that were so haphazardly applied turned out to be REALLY haphazardly applied.Stunning Tile Job - Worlds Dumbest Bathroom Like they used mastic originally and once one was removed the rest, basically, fell off the wall! So…..yay?

Yeah. Yay! we’re going with Yay!

It looks so much better now, yes?Shower remodel in progress

On the Some Jerk Drank Half My Glass side:

The room lacks any form of storage and I decided to be super smart and put a big, recessed shelving unit between the studs in the wall over the toilet.Welcome

Easy!

Perfect!

There is no wiring on that wall. All one needs to do is remove the plaster and pop it in there.  Just like they do on TV!

Except for the giant, random, pipe.

“Pipe?” I asked the contractor. “Why is there a giant pipe in the wall?”Useless PipeIt turns out the giant, random pipe is the vent for the toilet (I didn’t know toilets needed separate vents so….thanks for the information).

It also turns out that that pipe was attached to……nothing! Yes!  nothing.

So I have a giant vent pipe that is both in my way and has been completely useless. And I’m very lucky that there isn’t a large pool of ancient sewage underneath the house so……yay?

“There are also these other pipes”

I’m sorry, was there once an organ here? What’s with all the freakin’ pipes!?

Nope. These pipes are the former pipes for the former hot water heater.

So now pipes have to be removed, pipes have to be re-routed (and, you know, connected this time just as a kicky change of pace). Oh, and roof venting needs to be capped.

…..and the shower controls need to be moved because the previous ones were, mysteriously, not remotely centered on the wall.

Oh, and the room needs a vent in the ceiling.

And the new vanity is smaller so the light above the vanity needs to be moved.Tiny Bathroom remodel in progress…..except that’s right where a stud is so the box needs to be moved and the stud needs to be rejiggered and the previous sink piping needs to be moved and, and………

and…..

My glass now needs to filled, TO-THE-TOP with some kind of powerful alcoholic beverage AND NOBODY BETTER DRINK ANY!!!!

I shall keep you posted.

David

 

 

 

DIY Display Stand Tutorial

I know what you are all thinking.  You are saying to yourselves:

David – didn’t you just finish up a show? Shouldn’t we have gotten a post about some new way you found to display things?”

And you would be right! I did just finish a show and I did find a new way to display things!

And now some of you are thinking

“Great!”

And a lot of you are thinking

“For the love of god man! Shouldn’t you have figured this out by now!? How many different ways can you display the four things you make?”

And you would be right! I really should have it down by now but somehow I don’t and my obsession with finding the right display continues.

So, welcome to another Craft Show Display Post.

A few years ago when The Great Indoors was going out of business I bought several of these display stands.Wood Display Rack

They are great and I’ve kicked myself for not buying more. I use them for everything from displaying trays or holding up signs or pretty much anything.

The only have two downsides.

1) they are kind of expensive unless the store you’re shopping at is going out of business

2) They don’t pack well. They’re a weird shape and they don’t fold flat or anything.

I’ve been stewing for quite some time and looking for substitute versions when it suddenly dawned on me that “wait! I have carpentry skills! And these are really simple! I CAN MAKE THEM!!!!!” (Yeah, I’m slow but I do get there eventually).

My version is very simple to make from scrap wood or purchased pieces. And, best of all, they come apart for easy transport.

SuppliesSupplies for DIY Display Stand

  • 2.5 x 3/4″ wood lengths
  • 1.5 x 3/4″ wood lengths
  • 5/8″ dowels
  • Drill with 5/8″ bit
  • Screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Chop Saw (optional but faster)
  • Paint

The base consists of a center piece and two legs.

I cut the center piece down to 5.5″ long  and I cut the legs to 6″ long.Milled Parts for DIY Craft Show Display

For the dowels I cut two of them at 5 3/4″ and two of them at 3 3/4″

I used my drill and the 5/8″ bit to drill holes for the dowels into the legs on center 1″ from the back and 1.5″ from the front.

A piece of painters tape wrapped around the bit helped me make sure all the holes were the same depth.Tip for Drilling Same Depth Holes Cheltenham Road

Next I drilled pilot holes in the sides of the “legs” and glued and screwed together the base (pilot holes are really key to keep the wood from splitting).

Tip: Make sure, when you screw it together that the dowel holes you have so carefully drilled are facing the same way on both sides…. otherwise you will feel like a total dope (just a warning I, of course, have never experienced this problem)

I decided to paint them but I didn’t want paint on the ends of the dowels where they would go into the holes (the fit was rather snug and the paint would have made it…snugger) so I taped those off ahead of time.Painting Dowels

After some drying time I was good to go (if by “going” I mean setting up a display in my backyard).Easy Display Stand for Craft Shows

I made several of these at once and the whole process took about an hour (not counting drying time for the paint).Tutorial for DIY Craft Show Display StandDIY Display Stands Cheltenham Road Craft Show Display

Best of all the dowels are can be removed so the everything stores flat and the dimensions can be varied to suit whatever it is you want to display.

So thank you Great Indoors for going out of business!  And thank you brain for waiting something like 3 years to get into gear!

Now if I can just figure out how to display the rest of my stuff………

My House. What Were They Thinking? Bathroom Edition.

First off, welcome to the new folks who have traveled over from Thistlewood Farm!

KariAnne, mistress of Thistlewood, very kindly featured my rolling pin bookends last Friday.  If any of you are ever featured on Thistlewood Farm I have the following advice:

Beware the Power of the The Farm.
If you are on the West Coast and you are lucky enough to be featured in Thistlekeeping please follow this advice.
Do not go to bed and leave your ipad on your bedside table if it is set to “ding” when new emails and notifications arrive.
If you do not heed this advice you will be awakened at 5AM by incessant dinging noises.  In your groggy state you will try to turn off your alarm clock but will fail because it is not, in fact, your alarm clock.  It is your previously very, very quiet ipad merrily telling you that more people have visited and subscribed to your blog between the hours of 5AM and 6AM than have ever visited or subscribed to your blog in the history of your blog.
While this will provide a glorious start to your day you will need to schedule some serious nap-time later.

Also, thanks to all of you for your kind words (and patience) about my erratic blogging style.  I truly appreciated it!

OK, on to today’s topic.

The time has come to attack the last untouched room in my house.

To back up.

After watching waaaay too much HGTV I, years ago, bought a true fixer-upper.

To my dismay I have discovered that home transformations take more than a half an hour and the costs shown on TV seem to have nothing to do with the the real world.  While the people on TV transform entire landscapes for a few pennies and some really fun looking labor I can’t seem to get the smallest thing done without an opening bid of $3,000.

Bottom line: Progress has been a bit slow.

I’ve painted and shored up.  Major work has been done on the kitchen and main bathroom

Bathroom Before and After Cheltenham Road Kitchen Before and AfterAnd now only one room remains untouched.

The dreaded guest bathroom.

My house was remodeled at some point in its past and I can’t tell if this bathroom was original.  In any case, it was clearly designed exclusively for Keebler Elves.

Depressed Keebler Elves.

It’s tiny, drab and poorly done.

The Elf Bathroom is between the front bedroom (my office) and the recently redone Laundry Room of a Million Doors

Here is the view looking from my office to the EB. Welcome

Just open that door a little more and……..It's Another Door

THERE’S ANOTHER DOOR!!!!!!!

That’s two (TWO!) doors in about four feet!

To your left we have a sink the style of which is seldom seen outside the worlds finest gas station restrooms.Worlds Dumbest BathroomTo your right (behind the door!) is a shower with the iffiest tile work I’ve ever seen!  It’s almost sculptural in its unevenness.  Almost.Stunning Tile Job - Worlds Dumbest BathroomAnd capping (or bottoming) it all off is this festive floor covering!Ugly Flooring in Worlds Dumbest BathroomIt looks like confetti from the world’s saddest ticker-tape parade.

I wish I could say I had adjusted these photos to make it look draber (more drab?  drabbier?) but I have not.

For reasons that I think don’t need explaining I’ve basically been using it as a closet.

But the time has come!  I’ve been saving money and my sisters have promised to visit in the fall.

Demo begins in just a few hours…and shortly after that  plan will form (yeah, that’s not the right way to do things I know but we have to see what’s behind the walls and under the floor before we can get specific).

Wish me luck!  I’ll keep you posted!

 

 

 

 

Vintage Rolling Pin Bookends Tutorial

Rolling Pin Bookend TutorialIt’s me! Random Blogging Man!

I have a new tutorial over at Mod Podge Rocks that I wanted to share as well as a bit of rumination on the future of this blog.

But first the tutorial.

I’d been toying with this idea for a while as a way to make further use of all those wooden rolling pins I’d collected long ago.Vintage Rolling Pin Bookends Tutorial Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksI’m wondering if it might be a viable product for the Cheltenham Road empire. They are fun and easy to make and the colors could be suited to pretty much any kitchen.Vintage Kitchen Rolling Pin Bookends Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksAnyway, head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for the full tutorial if you’re so inclined.

And now on to ruminations.

I seem to have hit a blog-wall of late. I want to write because I thoroughly enjoy the little community that we have all created here but…..I don’ t have anything to say. Or at least I don’t think I have anything interesting to say.

You see, I like to make things and I like figuring out how to make things.  And I like sharing how I figured out how to make things.  When I go to stores and see something I like I seldom think “oh I want that.” I tend to think “I want to make that!”

When I started this business and this blog I had a great time coming up with new things to make, new pieces of furniture to attack etc. As the business moved more toward the coasters, blocks and signs I ended up spending all of my time making and remaking coasters, blocks and signs. It’s satisfying work and I’m very grateful for it but I get stuck in factory mode a lot and my “creative time” gets curbed…along with my enthusiasm.

But! Happiness is just on the horizon!

For the summer I have employed my home-from-college (Berkeley! thankyouverymuch) niece Olivia who has been terrific. I’m slowly finding myself able to turn some of the “factory” operation over to her and my mind is able to focus on some new ideas (and I seem to be an OK boss from all reports).

Also I just finished my last show for the season. As always the folks that run Patchwork did an amazing job of pulling it all together. My spot was ideal and the weather was beyond perfect. Patchwork Handmade Festival Santa AnaThe only flaw in the plan was that it took place last Sunday. Father’s Day. Oddly, it seems that a fair number of fathers when asked “what do you want to do on your special day?” did not respond “Go to a craft fair!!!!” so attendance as a little reduced from years past.

But that was my last one a for a bit and now I’m eager to get to new ideas and projects.  So bear with me please.  I will get back up to speed!

DavidHome Stories tutorials-tips-buttonThat-DIY-Party-link-party-button

Father’s Day Picture Display

Make a Father's Day Photo DisplayMy latest project is up for viewing at Mod Podge Rocks.

I wandered the aisles of Home Depot knowing that I wanted to make something using those galvanized pipes and fittings and I wanted it to be suitable for Father’s Day.

Oh, and needed to be super affordable.

I ended up with a random collection of bits and pieces – popes, fittings,  outlet covers, flanges (fun word!)Supplies

 

that when put together with a bit of Mod Podge, ended up being a kind of cool, sculptural photo display.  And less than $20!  (the pic of the guy with the child on the tricycle is something I found at a flea market but “fishing boy” is me and the other picture shows me, my sister Phebe and my mom at Christmas from oh-so-long-ago)Desk Top Photo DisplayMod Podge Industrial Photo Display

I think there are a bunch of potential variations on this one.  You could use picture frames rather than the Outlet Blanks.  You could use different fittings (there are a ton of options) to make a family tree sort of deal etc etc.

 

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