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Category Archives: New Products

Travel! The Abbot Kinney Festival and New Stuff!

I just recently returned from a trip to Ohio to visit the family and recharge a bit.  Not only does my family’s creativity always get me revved up but, in general, central Ohio is overflowing with terrific ideas and resources.  It was also much cooler (weatherwise I mean) that hot, hot, hot LA so I got to get a taste of what fall is actually like!

I returned with just a few days to get ready for the big Abbot Kinney Festival (yes, I continue to be just awesome at planning!).  This was my second year (and their 30th!) at this huge one-day festival.  They close down a mile long stretch of Abbot Kinney Blvd in the famed Venice Beach area of LA.  It looks like thisAbbot Kinney BlvdI was actually kind of concerned about leaving the booth in case I would just get swept away and never make my way back.

I had come up with some new designs and I was eager to see how they would go over.

I’ve been hording pictures of vintage luggage tags and working on a set of my own vintage-inspired graphics.  I put them together package of coasters I’m referring to as The Jet SetThe Jet Set Vintage Luggage Tag coaster set Cheltenham Road

Paris Vintage Luggage Tag Coaster Cheltenham RoadNew York Vintage Luggage Tag Coaster Cheltenham RoadOf course there was a candle block to go along with it.Vintage Luggage Tag Candle Block Cheltenham RoadI’ve also been digging vintage bicycle ads.  So with the help of the always invaluable Graphics Fairy I put a set together as well (along with a tray).Vintage Bicycle Tray and Coaster Set Cheltenham Raod

vintage Bicycle Candle Tealight Holder Cheltenham RoadAnd finally I set up a section of the booth and named it “Local Love” and featured some new coasters and blocks that use vintage maps of the LA area (of course I found the maps in Ohio.  Classic!)Local Love Los Angeles Map Coaster Set Cheltenham Road

Local Love Candle Block Map Cheltenham RoadAll the new stuff went over well and I’m happy to have (most of) it up in the Etsy store now too.

And now it’s on to Halloween!   I’m doing the window for the CoOp and I actually have a bunch of Halloween ideas for projects.  Wish me luck on getting them all done…..this is going to require a lot of coffee.

Happy Fall everyone……it’s supposed to be 100 degrees here today…..I’ll take my pumpkin spice latte iced please.


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!


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


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


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.

All I Really Needed to Know…..

Do you remember that little book called “All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?”

Over the weekend I realized that I may have taken that too much to heart.

I was talking to a woman at a party who turned out to be an elementary school teacher. She was very excited about her career and what she was doing with the kids. It was infectious and I was carried along with her enthusiasm until she mentioned what she planned to have them do this week.

And that’s when it hit me.   My entire business model:

Glue stuff to wood!

was pretty much her lesson plan for Tuesday.

At first I found it a bit depressing. But then I realized that perhaps I’ve merely come full circle. Maybe I’m one of those people who found their true calling at a very young age but just didn’t realize it.

And then I felt even better when I realized those stupid first graders are doing it for free!

So I spent the rest of the weekend photographing new stuff I’d glued to wood.

You see my wildly creative mind has exactly two modes: Panic! and Nap.

New ideas only seem to come to me when I have almost no time to execute them. My panicked build up for Unique LA earlier this month was the perfect time for my brain to suddenly burst forth with fresh thoughts.

I found these truly awesome graphics on vintage Los Angeles Rail Road tickets from the 30s and 40s and a new coaster set/candle block was formed.Coaster Set Vintage Los Angeles Cheltenham Road

Vintage Los Angeles Coaster Pack Cheltenham RoadVintage LA Graphic Tea Light Holders Cheltenham RoadThen, thanks to my brother-in-law, who has an amazing knack for finding incredible web site resources, I found these awesome, funny, vintage romance comic books.Retro Comic Book Romance Coaster Set Cheltenham Road They totally cracked me up and I thought they’d make fun gifts.Comic Book Coaster Set Cheltenham Road

Comic Drama Coaster Set Cheltenham RoadRetro Romance Comic Book Tea Light Holder Cheltenham RoadAnd finally (and this it truly thanks to a customer who requested it) a framed version of the HOME signs that I think I may start making on a regular basis as I like how it looks.Los Angeles framed HOME sign Cheltenham Road

OK, I’m gonna go swing by the school and see what the competition kids are up to.

When Worlds Collide

In my performing life I have had plenty of Actor Nightmares where you suddenly discover you are onstage and have no idea what play you’re in or what your lines are.

Last night my acting life and my crafting life combined and I had an Actor/Crafter Nightmare.

In my dream I was at the first read through of a brand new series for Fox.  Except I had no idea what part I was playing and the page numbers on my script didn’t match the page numbers on everyone else’s scripts.  I couldn’t ask or I’d look like a total amateur fool.  But WORSE THAN THAT just next to my chair was a huge stack of candle blocks that I had made for some official Fox function and as I looked down the paper was peeling off of them.  So I spent the whole dream panicking about what role I was playing while alternatley trying to figure out if I could get the blocks home and fix them in time  without anyone noticing.

The only positive aspect of the whole affair was that the new show apparently starred John Hamm.  So at least I was about to be fired from a quality project. 

So I didn’t get a lot of sleep but did wake up raring to go (allbeit at 3AM).

I finished up some projects I’ve been working on.

A new coaster set that riffs on vintage Roller Skating Rink graphics

Vintage Roller Skate coaster Sets via Etsy

Vintage Roller Skate coaster Sets via Etsy

I don’t know if these will have wide appeal but I love the look of them.Etsy Coaster Set Vintage Roller RinkVintage Roller Skating Rink Coaster Set Cheltenham Road  Also, I’ve found that people often shop not for the graphics but for whatever city happens to be shown.  So, if any of you are from Columbus Nebraska have I got the coaster set for you!

I also made some revisions and refinings on my Detroit HOME sign.Detroit Wooden HOME sign Cheltenham Road

Vintage Detroit HOME sign Cheltenham RoadOK, I gotta take a nap.

Have a great weekend everyone.

I’ll Be at the Library

Reading was my thing when I was a child.

Sure, other kids could play sports, join cub scouts or just go outside and play but me I could totally read!  I read fast and I read a lot.

I know!  Weird that I was sooooo incredibly popular and totally beloved by all the other children  and yet found time to spend hours and hours….and hours….and hours totally alone reading.

I read so much that my parents had to impose rules about when I had to go outside and, more importantly, turn off the light and go to bed.

I defeated their evil plan by using a flashlight under the sheet.

They retaliated by taking away my flashlight.

So I began leaving the light in the hall on and my door cracked open just enough to let a shaft of light in that I could read by if I moved the book up and down.

They unscrewed the light bulb.

Finally (and really what other option did I have?) I began defiantly using the goose-necked lamp that was on my bedside table.

The downside of the lamp was that it made an fully audible “click” when hastily turned off.  So, I began listening closely for my parents approach and I would simply douse the light by tipping it into my pillow until they passed.


Well, genius until they paused outside my door for too long one night and I set my pillow on fire.

But it wasn’t totally my fault.  My family are crazy readers.  My grandfather had a full library (complete with card catalog and Dewey Decimal labeled books) in his basement.  My grandmother read so many murder mysteries we were sure she was planning to off someone.  My dad is (or was until recently) the only male member of his senior community’s book club.  And my sister Sally is a librarian!

So, when I was casting around for new product ideas my memory went to all my fond memories of libraries and reading (but not pillow pyrotechnics).

Library Card Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Set of four coasters based on vintage library due date cards

library card coaster set

perfect for the book lover in your life! A coaster set based on vintage library cards

I kind of miss the ritual of getting your book card stamped and I thought it might ring a nostalgic bell with others too.   I’m hopoing these will make fun, unique gifts for literature lovers or a great gift for a book club hostess.Vintage Library Ephemera Wood Coaster Set

Sadly, I’ve developed adult-onset-sleep-reflex (ie, open a book-fall asleep immediately) so my reading has slowed.  I’m good at starting books though!  There are about four on my bedside table and several more in my ipad.vintage library card coaster setWhat are you reading these days?



I begin this blog post with an apology.

I’m sorry that I called all of you imaginary in my previous post.  I regret my phrasing and apologize to those of you who were put out by this categorization.  But having been educated by you about the matter I will from now on use the more politically correct term, “differently visible.”

So you know how you make something and you get all excited and you go into full production and people like it and buy it and say nice things about it so you sit back, revel in your success  and immediately  think “wait! I have a better idea!”?

I seem to do that a lot and thus it is with my flower holders…  Simple Block Bud Vase Cheltenham RoadYou may recall I made them for the CoOp and they went over great.

But I’ve been toying with the idea of making  a different, larger version.  I wasn’t sure I was going to go for it till the good folks at Angelo HOME suggested the same thing.

And at about the same time Marci from the CoOp asked if I could make some that were a little more girly.

And I thought, “really? more girly?”  I wasn’t aware that my work could actually get more girly.

I didn’t know if I could do it.

I wasn’t  sure.

But I gave it a shot and discovered that


Yes I can.Retro Dress Pattern Bud Vase by Cheltenham RoadApparently, if you want girly you’ve come to the right man.Retro Fashion Dress Pattern Flower Holder by Cheltenham RoadVintage Dress Pattern Flower Holder Cheltenham RoadFashion Flower Holder by Chetlenham Road

I really like the new look of these.

I made a collage using some vintage dress pattern images and used a thicker piece of wood that I think  gives them a little more presence .

I also made friends with my router (we have a complicated relationship) and am hoping the routed edge detail will make them look less like, well, a chunky piece of wood.Edge Detail Vintage Fashion Bud Vase Flower Holder Cheltenham Road

I may need to replace the word Vogue.  Vintage Style Bud Vase by Cheltenham RoadAny brainstormy ideas about a term to take its place?

I balanced things out by making some black and white ones (had to do the beach girls of course).Retro Style Black and White Bud Vases by Cheltenham Road

The really awesome thing is that I accidentally designed them to fit in USPS Flat Rate shipping box!!!!  I never do that.  I’m always making things and then discovering that I can’t actually mail them affordably.

So this new one may even end up in my Etsy shop (as soon as I can figure out how to pack a really heavy piece of wood and some really delicate, glass test tubes in one box.

In the meantime I’ll keep you posted on how they go over at the stores.


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