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Category Archives: Craft and Handmade Shows

The Cheltenham Road Story?

Floggings will continue

Counted Cross Stitch by Jealous Moon on ETSY

My morale hasn’t been down but I’ve definitely felt it….flagging? I’ve been busy but factory-mode busy.

Etsy has been slow but my wholesale accounts are stocking up for spring.  It has been great (really!) but  it has had me running around re-making what I’ve already made and I’m finding myself keen to get some new stuff going. However, ideas have been few and far between.

But! The there is no time to wait around for inspiration to strike! It’s time to get going and get going I must.

I’ve been accepted to Unique LA again for the spring show.Unique LA Spring Show

Before every show Sonja (the woman who invented Unique LA) has a vendor meeting where she goes over the rules and also manages a bit of inspiration.

This year her inspiration was to think about what your story is and how your booth can tell that story.

So I’m wondering both what Cheltenham Road’s story is and how do I translate that to my booth?

Now, I think we all know “my story” is that I smack my head into things a lot…….but that’s probably not the side I want to present to the general public.

And although my booth design has been improving over the years

Cheltenham Road Unique LA Booth Spring 2013CheltenhamRoad booth display towers for Unique LA Summer Show 2012Cheltenham Road Booth Unique LA

I think the story I’ve been telling with it is “I managed to make it here in one piece and here’s my stuff!”

So, as those of you who follow me on Pinterest have probably noticed, I’ve been pinning booth design ideas like crazy (because that’s so much for fun then actually doing it!).

The goal is to create a cohesive spot that looks like a little store and tells, or at least reflects, the Cheltenham Road Style/Story.

I also need a lot of new product.

I have two weeks.

So join me won’t you!  I’m planning to post projects as I finish them (this will also force me to actually do it rather than daydream about doing it) and I’ve found that all of you have great insights into things.  So please weigh in with thoughts and ideas.  I may not be able to incorporate all of them but anything that sparks an idea will be incredibly valuable!


Trash To…Well Maybe Not a Treasure but Useful!

I’m still not dead!

However, it kind of felt like it as I ushered in 2014 with a case of food poisoning that left me flat on the couch for about a week.


My first big (interrupted) task of the New Year was to do another garage overhaul and renovation.  So it was time for dumpsters and clean out and……..discovering a new project I just had to do!

This is how it works for me – I’m a bit…unfocused.  I get all geared up to do one thing and then something sparkly catches my eye and all bets are off.

Anyway, I was trying to be hard-core about the garage and my rule for cleaning  was “if I don’t know exactly what I want to do with something it has to go.”  So  while digging through and sorting I came across these shutter things.  Spindle ShuttersDoes stuff just magically appear in your garage?  My garage is some kind of time/space vortex.  I have absolutely no idea where, when or how these  came into my possession but they are perfect for a little project I’ve been imagining…. for like a year……

I need a way to set up my craft show booth that is fast, compact and yet  makes use of vertical space and gets the merchandise up and at eye level.  I’ve been making due with a stair-step display I builtCandle Block Display but they aren’t very big and they are really awkward to pack up and transport.

So, I had long planned to build a folding, portable shelving unit that would display a lot but not take up much room while packed.

But kept dragging my feet about buying the wood and doing the math.  And then these shutters popped up!

I had to use my scroll saw to remove the spindles – leaving the frames.

I cut some plywood down to 4′ long by 10″ wide shelves and cut little notches in the corners.

A quick paint job and

Easy, portable, BIG display shelf. Easy DIY Craft Show Display Shelf

Perhaps a bit too big because I didn’t have enough merchandise on hand to actually fill it for the pictures.  But you get the idea.Simple Display Shelf made from Shutters

Here is a close up of the notches on the shelves.  The notches allowed me to have deeper shelves and also provided some stability (I need to touch up that front corner).fitted shelf

And it packs up small and flat which is awesome because real estate in the Fit is tight.Fold Up Display for Craft Shows

(Honesty:  this photo is a bit of a fake as there is one shutter missing….I put the hinges on wrong so you can’t close it….which I will fix)

So there you go.  A year in the imagining and about an hour and a half in the execution cause that’s what efficiency is all about.

Thank you Garage Vortex Gods for making this project possible.

Happy 2014 Everyone! (don’t eat chicken quesadillas at dubious Mexican restaurants)

Christmas Is Kicking My Butt: 2013 Edition

Mine is a close and loving family but not a “chat on the phone” family.  I actually told my sister Phebe if she ever did call I’d probably panic as it could only mean some disaster had occurred.

Last Thursday I received this text:

 “I’m going to call you.  Nothing is wrong.  Love – Phe”

 She was calling because I hadn’t blogged in a long time and she was worried.

The next day my dad called (equally shocking).  Due to my lack of blog posts he had become worried that Zen: Cat Assassin had finally succeeded in making me jump into my table saw and that I had bled out on the driveway unnoticed by neighbors.

So, to my family:  I’m not dead!!! Happy Holidays!!!!

However, Chirstmas is Kicking My Butt!

When I wrote CiKMB last year I didn’t realize I was starting a holiday tradition.  But, apparently, like watching It’s a Wonderful Life or attending The Nutcracker, butt kicking is now part of my holidays.

It started about three weeks ago with the launch of Unique LA.  I had a great show.  I tried out some new designs and my booth locations  was perfect.Cheltenham Road Unique LA HOliday 2013

Custom Trays Cheltenham Road Unique LA 2013 Holiday ShowCandle Display Cheltenham Road Unique LA Booth 2013Now, while I assure you that I think very highly of the folks that run Unique LA  I’m also convinced they have a sign at the entrance that look something like this:The Management

Coasters I had made a ton of sat there while others that are seldom purchased were, apparently, the “Tickle Me Elmo” of the coaster world.


OK, if everyone has a superpower then mine is the dubious ability to misspell words in ways so subtle that the naked eye (or spell check) never notices.  And when I’m under pressure and trying to churn out a lot of product my powers truly kick in.  How else to explain a woman’s custom subway sign detailing her worldly travels and whose last line was to read: “Wanderlust”

The sign went through several drafts back and forth.  It was finally approved and produced and only when she got it from the store did she realize the bottom line read :OOPSWhich, as you can imagine was not, exactly, the inspirational message she was hoping for from her wall decor.

Naturally I took the sign back and fixed it.  I contemplated replacing the last line withALTERNATE 1


But in the end just made the correction.

Good News, Bad News, Good News.

Good News.

I managed to make it through Unique LA without banging my head into anything or cutting off my thumb (again).

Bad News:

You should probably stock up on canned goods because me getting through holiday shows without some self inflicted disaster is a confirmed sign of pending apocalypse.Nostrodamus

Good News:

I did manage to smash my skull into the underside of a kitchen cabinet while emptying a dishwasher a few hours before my big, annual holiday dessert party so I may have bought us all some time!

You’re welcome!


Speaking of the party it went well.

I took horrible pictures as always but mom’s sugar cookies were a hitsanta in a box

along with caramel apple pie pops, mini grasshopper pies, cake pops, layer cookies, brownie shots and red velvet cupcakes in ice cream conesRed velvet cupcakesAnd now, happily, my kicked butt and I shall retire for a bit as I’ve made my last delivery,  sold out of almost everything and have no desire to make another coaster/candle block/sign for quite a while.

Happiest of Holidays to all of you!  And thank you so much for joining me in my adventures this last year.

How to Build a Hanging Display Wall for Craft Shows

Easy Hanging Wall for Craft Show DisplayThere is probably a 12 step program for people who keep making and remaking ways to display the same thing.  And I should find it and join it.

So, as you may recall, last week was the big Abbott Kinney Festival.

Everything went perfectly in keeping with the standard Cheltenham Road Playbook.Cheltenham Road ChecklistThat last one is the one I want to share.

I had previously built this portable wall for Unique LA.  You can see the original tutorial here.Easy To Build Wall Display for Craft ShowIt is 8’ long by 6’ high and it works beautifully.  But it takes a bit to set up and take down and with Abbott Kinney I only had a couple of hours to unload, repark and set up.  And tear down was going to be after nightfall.

So I needed something that was quicker.

I took three of the slats from the original wall (they are inexpensive furring strips from Home Depot) and linked them together with scrap wood and screws creating a 16” high by 8’ long “mini-wall.”Assemble simple Hanging Display WallI added a large hook and eye assembly to the topPortable Craft Show Display Wall and BAM – instant hanging wall.Tutorial for Easy Craft Show Display Hanging Wall Cheltenham Road

 (these pics are not from my actual booth and I apologize for the funky lighting)

 I made two of them – one for the small signs  and one for the large.Hanging Display Wall for Craft Shows

It was perfect because it was up and out of the way but still highly visible and it worked like a dream because all I had to do was stick it up there and I was done!

And then I had another idea!

What if I wanted more of a wall?  Maybe to cover the back of the booth and provide more room for hanging?

So I just added another two sets of hook and eye hardware and linked them together.S Hooks to connect Craft Show Display WallCraft Show Display Hanging Wall Cheltenham Road

 Allow me to present my card:wylie e coyote business card


I think I may make a few more of these – that way I can choose exactly how much “wall” I want for each show (of course, I’m playing by Cheltenham Road rules so I won’t actually make the extra ones until the night before my next show).


New Stuff!

As you may recall CoOp 28 is one of the first stores that carried my wares.  Marci, the owner, has now taken over the space next door and is expanding yet again!   The new wing is really coming together and Marci set aside wall space for a unified display of my HOME signs (I’m making it now pics to follow) and another 6’ table to fill with Cheltenham Road creations.  The trick is she (understandably) wants new creations.

My sister Paula and I brainstormed on some ideas when I went home recently she thought of these bud flower holders.Simple Block Bud Vase Cheltenham Road Read the rest of this entry

Renegade Craft Fair and More Fun with Really Useful Boxes

Renegade Craft Fair and More Fun with Really Useful Boxes

I finished Renegade Craft Fair on Sunday and sorta collapsed.  With Unique LA happening the weekend before that was a lotta craft fair in a short period of time and I was dog-tired. Read the rest of this entry

Unique LA Summer Show and a Valuable Lesson

Unique LA Summer Show and a Valuable Lesson

It was an exhausting week last week.  I was in full court press to get ready for Unique LA’s Summer Show in Santa Monica (yesterday and Saturday)  and for the Renegade show which is this coming weekend.

The Unique LA Summer Show has a special place in my heart. Read the rest of this entry

Easy Dimensional Map Wall Art Tutorial

Vintage Map Wall Art TutorialI had an interesting discussion with a friend the other day about the danger of reading too many Home Blogs like mine.

She confessed that, after a while, she started to feel inadequate.  The authors of the blogs appear to have spotless homes and churn out a seemingly endless number of projects without ever breaking a sweat.

I totally get what she’s saying.  And although I think I’m pretty upfront about  my more bozo-ish moments  I too tend to present the “magazine/fairy tale” version of my life sometimes.

However, at the risk of upsetting her further, I must confess, I did just whip up this project this morning (you know, after the bluebirds finished dressing me but before the dwarfs left for work).  It was so dang easy! Read the rest of this entry

Old Door Becomes a Display Table

Old Door Becomes a Display Table

My  stitches came out yesterday and though my thumb looks pretty bad it’s more functional now.

The return of opposable  thumbs is great because I’m in full-court prep for the big Patchwork Santa Ana show that happens this Sunday!Patchwork Craft Show Santa Ana California

Read the rest of this entry

Portable Wall for Craft Show Display

Portable Wall for Craft Show Display

As I returned home from loading in for Unique LA last Friday I found myself happily thinking “wow – it’s all loaded in!  Booth looks good, most of my work is done AND I haven’t hit my head on anything like I usually do before a big show! Read the rest of this entry


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