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Category Archives: New Products

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.

Halloween? Srsly?

I got an email yesterday.  Starbucks was happily announcing the return of the pumpkin spice latte.

I checked my Etsy stats and Halloween was the most commonly searched term in my shop.

Apparently it’s fall.

However, it’s like 100 degrees in LA and I’m just not feeling very…..pumpkiny

But the internet cannot be argued with!  So I put on my Halloween Hat and got to work.Halloween Coaster Collection Cheltenham RoadI’ve  long wanted to redo the photos for my Gothic Victorian Halloween Coasters so I gave it a shot.

(a request: if you want to Pin these I’d really appreciate if you pinned from my Etsy shop.  Clicking on the pics will take you there)

I came up with these a while ago – a collaboration with The Muse actually  – brainstorming all the businesses our favorite classic Halloween characters would start after their literary adventures.W Wolfs Barber Shop Gothic Halloween Coaster Set Cheltenham Road

 The Wolfman’s Barber ShopDracula's Count Me Inn Gothic Halloween Coaster

 Dracula’s B&BJekyll and Hyde Razor Blade Gothic Halloween CoasterJekyl and Hyde razor blade businessSleepy Hollow Cough Cure Gothic Coaster Set Cheltenham RoadEdgar Allen Poe Raven's Cure Gothic Halloween CoasterSleepy Hollow Cough Cure Gothic Coaster Set Cheltenham Road

And I recently stumbled across the idea of a Spook Party.  Have you ever heard of these?  Apparently they were very big up through about the 60s.  They sound like a hoot and they had great graphics.Mel Roy Spook Party Coaster

 Spook Party Coaster Horrors of the OrientI mean who wouldn’t want to see a “living zombie” (though I think there is an inherent contradiction in that phrase)Ghost Show Coaster
And quality entertainment pretty much always means ladies need a male escort, no?

 And finally,  last year I’d worked up a Halloween themed subway sign for a display but I keep getting asked about it so I made a version for sale on Etsy.Halloween Decor Subway Art

So welcome fall!  You’ll forgive me if I hold off on enjoying hot pumpkin spiced beverages until the temperature plunges to the mid 80s.

(that’s three this week! …but whose counting)

Busy Bee

You know what’s sad?

What’s sad is that my stated goal is to blog three times a week.  Just three.  I don’t think I’ve hit that goal in about 6 months.  (and we will not be discussing my gym-going goals……)

Thank you all for hanging in there with me through my sporadic-ness (is that a word?).  And thank you for all your comments and messages – I can’t tell you how much I enjoy them!

My latest excuse for sporadic-ness (it’s a word!) is that it has been good but busy here of late.

As I mentioned in a previous post, CoOp 28 expanded and asked for new designs.  So I came up with my Bathing Beauty Bud Vases along with the Writer’s Block Pencil/Pen holders.Writer's Block and Bud Vase Display

I got them all set up at the CoOp and…..

They sold out in the first weekend!


But I wasn’t quite expecting that so the scramble began to make more and come up with some more varieties.

So, keeping with the theme I played around and madeMusic themed pencil holderThe Music Writers BlockRecipe Block Cheltenham RoadThe Recipe Writers BlockScript Writer's Block by Cheltenham RoadThe Script Writers Block

And a few more.Bud Vases and Writers Blocks at CoOp 28 Los FelizAlso someone suggested that since the bud vases were actually test tubes I should have a science themed flower holder so behold the Periodic Table Flower Holder for the decorative-minded scientist (possibly an niche market, no?)Periodic Bud Vase Holder Cheltenham RoadAnd my initial idea for these was that the sides might look like the big, painted, faded signs on the sides of buildings.  I saw these cool, vintage signs for flour on Breida with A B’s blog (fun blog by the way).Vintage Flour SignAnd tried my own version.  It’s a good first attempt but I want to play around some more.Bud Vase Vintage Flour Sign

Vintage Sign Bud Vase Flower Holder Cheltenham RoadOnce again I got the table set up and……..Cheltenham Road at CoOp 28 DisplayAlmost everything sold out!

I think I may be on to something.

I also think I need to find a faster way to make these.

Happy Labor Day everyone! (I have the worst boss in the world.  Totally making me work).



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

Houston HOME Sign and New August

Houston HOME Sign and New August

Summers slip by faster and faster and, to be honest “Back to School” ads still make my stomach kind of do flip-flops.

So I hate to rush it by saying this because, technically, it isn’t August yet but I’ve decided August will be my month of NEW.  New designs, new ideas, new approaches, (re)new(ed) vows to keep the garage organized….and blog less…….randomly. 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

The Knobs have (at Last) Arrived!

(I was going to title this “Knobs Landing” after the great 80s soap opera but thought the reference might be too obscure)

You may recall I got all excited about making my own knobs a while ago when I made this little project for Angelo HOME.Vintage New York Subway Art Wall Shelf Read the rest of this entry


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