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Category Archives: Craft and Handmade Shows

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.

Make a Rotating Display for Craft Shows

Tutorial for Rotating Display Cheltenham RoadI must confess I spent last week kind of recovering from Unique LA (which mostly involved trying to figure out where to put all the things I’d built).

I thought I’d do a quick tutorial on how I made my rotating display towers. I honestly don’t know if any of you are interested in making something like this but, you know, just in case.

I had wanted a more efficient way to display the candle blocks that got them up at eye level and also made a good use of space.

I saw these in the hardware storePlywood Rounds for Rotating Craft Show Display

and suddenly the whole display popped into my head!

Of course, how I was going to make the display did not pop into my head but I decided to go for it anyway and figure it out as I went.  (This approach usually ends in tears but hope sprang eternal.)

I knew I needed something to separate the layers, it needed to be strong but I wanted also to keep things kind of on the lighter side. I also needed it to come apart easily for transport. I considered and dismissed wood posts but, while trolling the aisle at Lowes spotted 4″ PVC pipe and suddenly it all made sense.

So, here are the basic supplies:Supplies for Rotating Display

 

  • Graduated sized wooden circles – I’ve seen them at most big box retailers.
  • a length of 4″ PVC Pipe (in my case cut into three 7″ lengths) (( also see  “note” below about using smaller versions)
  • 4 (four) 4″ PVC flat-bottomed pipe caps
  • 1 (one) lazy susan base (usually found by the drawer slides at Lowes or elsewhere)
  • A chunk of scrap wood for the base
  • Screws, drill, paint etc

The first step, determining the center of the circle, was the second most challenging part of this project. I tried to do the math but eventually ended up just eyeballing it and it came out ok.

Once I had calculated eyeballed the center of the largest circle, I used three screws to attach one of the 4″ caps upside down.Make a rotating display stand

I did the same with the medium circle – attaching the caps to both the top and bottom.

And finally, I attached a cap to the underside of the smallest circle.

After that it was just a matter of attaching the PVC pipes and I had my tower.DIY Rotating Display Stand Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Turntable Display Chelteham Road Unique LAOK, here is the trickiest part.

Apparently everyone but me was born with the knowledge of how to install a lazy susan base because the package comes with no instructions. NONE. ZERO. NADA.

It turns out to be fairly logical and quite do-able once it’s explained to you.  However, I am not the person to do that . This video (by a woman whose last name is Chaney so she must be cool) helped me understand.Cheltenham Road Booth for Unique LA Spring 2014

Tips and post-project realizations:

If they’ll do it, have the hardware store cut the PVC pipe for you to length. I did it on my chop saw and though it was easy, it was messy and (don’t tell my dad) I had to resort to semi-unsafe saw usage to make it happen.

Don’t paint the PVC pipe. Or at least don’t paint the parts where the cap and the pipe come together. I did a very light coating with spray paint and just that was enough to make them stick together REALLY REALLY snugly. I can still get them apart but it’s a lot of work.

For the second tower I made I went down to a smaller size of PVC.  It was a little bit cheaper and seems just as strong – it just depends on the weight of whatever you’re displaying.

So there you go.  Rotating, easy transport towers.  And no tears!!!!! (well, ok, there were some minor tears when I couldn’t figure out the lazy susan base and felt really dumb but it passed).

Unique LA and Booth Design….and swearing

scattered marblesOh those marbles? they’re mine. I recently lost them.

I, um…. went a little crazy (even for me) in the build up to Unique LA.

But first,  I so appreciate all the comments and feedback about what Cheltenham Road is/means. I’m not sure I totally succeeded in transferring all that to the look of the booth but they really got my mind going and I do think it helped me step things up a notch.

As you know I wanted to make my space a like a little shop.  Now the thing with the Unique space is the floor is dotted (randomly it seems) with pillars. Pillars are important since they, you know, hold the building up but they are a total pain! Each time I’ve been messed up by random, unexpected pillar placement.

But this time I got smart! And sneaky!   I snuck into the building (ok, not “snuck” exactly… I walked in the front door and took the elevator up and got lucky cause the floor was open and no one was there but I felt very James Bondy).

The place wasn’t totally laid out but I knew exactly where my booth was. I had an awesome corner spot and, low and behold, there was a pillar! The booth would look like this:Booth Layout

So I measured and planned and came up with a design:The Plan

Tons of display space. Clear site lines.  Lots of  room to move around.  Smart use of pillar! Yay me!

On move in day I loaded up, got to the building, unloaded and proceeded to my spot to discover…..The Reality

What the hell?!  Who puts up walls to make a pillar be two feet in from the front and a foot and half away from the side?!!!!!

All my open air/lots of space plans kinda went out the window but it turned out OK (happily I’d brought supplies for auxiliary plans)Cheltenham Road Booth for Unique LA Spring 2014

Stupid PillarCraft Booth Display Cheltenham Road Unique LA 2014I had some good ideas that worked out – like using an Ikea closet system to create freestanding shelves:Cheltenham Road Tray Display Unique LA 2014

and some good ideas that….didn’t. Actually the whole build up was like some kind of Russian Nesting Doll of FAIL! I kept buying things and screwing it up and buying more things.

I’ll share the details later (Cheltenham Road where I make mistakes so you don’t have to!)Home Sign Display Cheltenham Road Unique LA

I was, however, really happy with these rotating display towers for my candle blocks. They were easy to make (lazy susan base, PVC pipes and plywood) and they come apart for easy transport.Turntable Display Chelteham Road Unique LA

DIY Product Display Towers for Cheltenham Road Unique LA Craft BoothSo, I’ll leave you with a picture my good friend Valerie took of me and my domain!Cheltenham Road Unique LA Spring Show

 

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.

Ugh.

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)

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