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Category Archives: Tips and Resources

Once Every 100 Years

I’ve begun to think of Cheltenham Road as the Brigadoon of blogs.* It will pop up every now and again and if you’re lucky (or Gene Kelly) you’ll see it!

* (If you’re not up on your 1950s musical references, Brigadoon is a show about a magical Scottish village that, due to a curse, only appears for one day every 100 years.  There is a movie version with Gene Kelly.  In my formative, childhood years, there was only one music-playing device in our house and it was located in the living room.  My family loved musical theatre so while other kids were blasting, I don’t know, AC-DC, I was becoming fully conversant in The Music Man, The King and I, Camelot and an odd one called Tenderloin about prostitutes in turn-of-the-century San Francisco.  I and my sisters happily sang along even though we really didn’t understand what the lyric “hitting the streets again” implied till much later). soundtrack-brigadoon

 Of course, Brigadooning (it’s a word!) the blog isn’t my goal at all but I’ve been waylaid by both my own issues and computer issues.

 On the “I did it to myself” front I thought Jan/Feb would be slow so I totally tore apart the garage…you know, where I do all my work.  But I was wrong and it has been crazy busy with store orders and the garage has remained in the “worse before it gets better” phase for longer than I anticipated and I CANT FIND ANYTHING!!!!

 But, on the plus side, I also bought the world’s most expensive table saw.Saw Stop Table Saw

The Saw Stop has really astounding technology that will stop the blade if it senses, perhaps, your finger is about to be cut off.  Here’s a demo if you’re intrigued – it really is amazing.

It does cost a lot but I decided that, since I work by myself most of the time and am dealing with my own, um, uncoordinatedeness (it’s a word!) in combination with the potential of Zen: Cat Assassin popping up it was a very good investment.  As a bonus it would also relieve my father’s concerns about me ending up lying dead on the driveway.  So Win-Win.  But it has taken me a week to put it together.

its a pallet

image from Heritage Pallets.com

 Bonus!  It came on a pallet so I can make some pallety sort of thing……someday….as soon as I make the saw work……

 On the “not my fault” side my computer is toast. 

Not totally toast yet, more like really warm bread.  But, bottom line it ain’t gonna recover and I have to get a new one.  So, in the meantime it takes about 5 minutes to save a document or make a change and my internet connection is excitingly random.  The computer also refuses to “live in the moment” and keeps reverting to thinking it is August of 1994 which means it can’t connect with websites because, and this is the actual text from the Failure Screen, they “exist in the future.”  Which is kind of cool in a time-travel sort of way but also really annoying. 

So that’s me.  Look for a post tomorrow (internet connection willing) about my latest mod-podge-rocks project which will look familiar to you regular readers….familiar yet more mod-podgy.

Thanks for your patience.

I am not being compensated by Saw Stop for this post.  However, I’m REALLY open to the idea.

Garage Organization: Use Mason Jars for Leftover Paint (with Free Printable Label)

Use Mason Jars to Store Leftover Paint Cheltenham RoadThe great garage clean up continues (and continues and continues).

So journey with me, won’t you, to the dank recesses of the Blair Witch Room and a lot of leftover paint

(For readers only recently joining us my house is a 1940s fixer-upper.  We’re not quite sure what the original owner was up to but built off the back of the garage is a mysterious room that, due to its dark, cobwebby, dirty and generally creepy state of decrepitude was immediately dubbed The Blair Witch Room when I first toured the house).

I think most homeowners end up with a stash of random paint cans.  But I am no average home owner.  No, I seem to collect paint like other people collect baseball cards.  Some of it is for my house-of-many-colors and a lot of it is/was for my business.

Bottom line – I have a lot of paint.Store Leftover Paint in Mason Jars

And it’s taking up a lot of disorganized, messy room.

I don’t want to get rid of all of it but I do want to get it reduced, organized and accessible.

Mason Jars seemed like the perfect solution (I’ve seen similar projects while cruising the web).  They seal tightly.  You can see what is in them.  They cost less per jar than the paint cans sold at Home Depot.  So I picked up a couple of different sizes and got to work.Mason Jar Paint Storage ProjectI don’t know if this qualifies as a “tutorial” since the instructions would basically be “pour stuff from one container into another” but I do have some tips based on my expert experience.  Here is how I did it:

  •  Step 1: Gather a lot of paint stirrers
  • Step 2: To save yourself some stirring time shake the can really well before you open it.
  • Step 3: Check to make sure the can is thoroughly sealed shut before you shake it.
  • Step 4: Clean up the mess and change your clothes.
  • Step 5: Reverse Steps 2 and 3 and proceed.

You will, actually, need a fair number of paint stirrers.  If your paint has been sitting around it will have separated and you want to thoroughly mix it before you transfer it to the mason jars.

So, after a lot of shaking, stirring and pouring I went from this:Store Leftover Paint in Mason JarsTo This:Mason Jar Project - Store Old PaintMuch better.  Kinda pretty actually.  Makes the Blair Witch room seem a little less witchy.Mason Jars for Paint StorageAt first I just intended to note color etc on the top of the jars but I decided to kick it up a notch by making some labels that I could fill out to make everything all neat and orderly.Mason Jar Paint Label Free PrintableI just printed mine onto a sheet of 8.5×11″ label paper but I designed them (or tried to) to fit on Avery Round Labels (Avery Number 22830).  I don’t have any of the Avery labels on hand but I used the official Avery template so it should work if you’re so inclinedMason Jar Labels for Paint Storage by Cheltenham RoadClick below to download the full sized graphics

Mason Jar Paint Labels By Cheltenham Road

Free Printable Mason Jar Labels for Paint Storage by Cheltenham RoadAnd now I’m onto the next task – creating a useable, enclosed spray booth.

As Lovely As My Sisters

Umm…..not my best January.  First I get food poisoning and go down for the count and then my computer gets….well,….ebola I believe.

It went into the shop last Tuesday.  I got it back on Saturday and……..not so much better really.  I seem to have a somewhat whimsical connection to the internet.   Sometimes I do.  Sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes I do and don’t almost at the same time (and always right in the middle of whatever I’m doing.)

It’s awesome!

So I’ve been spending my time continuing to clean and organize the garage.  A job I thought would take a couple of days and is stretching into weeks.  But I’m determined to get it done and get it done right.

Fortunately, my lovely sisters have not dropped the internet ball (partially because they’ve been snowed in) and have been searching high and low for cool ideas.

Mamie Jane  (of mamiejane’s blogspot) saw a cutting board/ipad holder in the Pottery Barn catalog and made her own using a scrabble tile holder and a child’s block (and a cutting board of course).  And saved herself about $40Pottery Barn Inspired Ipad Holder by mamiejanes And, OK, I couldn’t love these bookends more.  I so wish I had an eye that could put things together like this. Found Object Book Ends(The bookends themselves seem to have sold but you can find plenty of veeeery cool things at their creator’s new Etsy shop )

And check out this very clever and beautifully simple shelf organizer, again via Etsy (they have tons of other creative and useful listings as well)Wall Hanging Organizer by Moonlitterra

And how genius is it to simply turn a tool box on it’s side and attach it to the wall (via Design Sponge)! Wall Organizer via Design Sponge

And finally, Paula knows about my big garage clean out/makeover so she found this truly inspiring project from Shanty 2 Chic.Garage Lumber Organizer

Thank you sisters!

OK, my computer goes back to the repair shop this week.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Tutorial: Drill Bit Storage and Gauge

Tutorial: Drill Bit Storage and Gauge

Drill Bit Storage and Gauge Tutorial Cheltenham RoadI am not good with numbers.  Really not good.

Anytime numbers come into play some part of my brain checks out.  It can be prices, measurements of weight, inventory numbers…addresses……birthdays….I will die one day because I’ve forgotten some key pin code I’m sure of it.

You get the picture.

I’ve muddled through but I meet my match when it comes to carpentry.

All the fractions just leave me in the dust.  I keep thinking if I just concentrated I could remember that 7/32nds was smaller than 15/64ths.  But those numbers just don’t mean anything to me.  I mean, it makes sense but I just short circuit when I look at them.

So, among other things, I’m always struggling with drill bits (mostly trying to find them as I tend to leave them scattered throughout the garage).  Figuring out which one is the best size for whatever screw I’m drilling or dowel I’m trying to use is always kind of a tedious guessing game.

So, when I saw this picture of a drill bit gauge and storage block  – ie, a way to both store your drill bits AND easily gauge which screws would go with what bits I had to make it for myself.  (the text at the link above doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the picture btw)

It is incredibly easy of course but also really useful whether you spend a lot of time drilling things like me or just want an easy way to save a little time when you work on smaller household projects.

I’m sure there is a commercially available version of this but honestly, it’s just scrap wood and the most time consuming part is switching out the drill bits.

Here is how I made mine.

Supplies1)      Scrap 2×4

2)      Drill bits

3)      Cordless drill

4)      Pencil

5)   Carpenters Square (if you want to be neat)

I started out by dividing my 2×4 into sections (just to make it easier to line up the bits)Mark the 2x4Then using the appropriate drill bit I put a hole in the topDrill Holes in the TopAnd a corresponding hole in the frontDrill the Holes in the FrontI kept going until I’d made spots for all the bits in my case.Easy Drill Bit StorageNow when I have a screw to use I can just keep trying it in the different sized holes until I find a good match.How to match a screw to a drill bitThe same with dowels or anything else.Drill Bit Guide and StorageIt’s already proven to be a big time and stress saver.

Now if I can just discipline myself to put the drill bits back in the proper place each time my plans for world domination will be back on course!

That’s A Lot of Mod Podge

That’s A Lot of Mod Podge

I never call…..I never write……

I’m not a particularly chatty person.  I suck at parties actually because my small-talk skills are, um…..lacking.    I seem to have the same problem with blogging.  Although I talk to all of you pretty much all the time in my head (yay!  I’m back to having “imaginary” friends!!!  I told you they were real mom!)  unless I have something specific to report or share I get a bit blog-tied.

I’ve been toiling away on some new Christmassy and other sundry projects that I’ll share in the coming weeks.  And a lot of those projects will include Mod Podge because………

The other day I was emailing with Amy (Grand Poobah of Mod Podge Rocks) about some project ideas I wanted to do for her site.  Amy is great – always encouraging and positive and up for new ideas.  In the course of the conversation I volunteered that I was going to try to incorporate some of the newer  Mod Podge products into my tutorials.  (They’ve introduced a bunch of new stuff but I’ve been kind of sticking with my “mod podge stuff to wood”  style.)  I figured I’d just head to Michaels and pick up a couple of things.

A few days later this arrived.Its a Mod Podge Bonanza

It’s a Mod Podge bonanza!  Seriously – it’s like everything they make.

Every kind of Mod PodgeEvery kind of Mod Podge ProductApplicatorsMod Podge Applicators(That package on the bottom right is called a “Spouncer Set”…I seriously  have no idea what that is.)

Scrap book paperMod Podge Scrapbook Paper

Things to make, I think, charms out of?Mod Podge Products(if I start making charms AND flower holders I really won’t know who I am anymore)

Things that you melt!

It’s like the Creepy Crawlies of my childhood only I don’t think these will scare my sisters. (or given how some of my projects turn out maybe they will!)Mod Podge Melts

I actually couldn’t wait to explore some of it and immediately used some of them (not the Spouncers) for this Thanksgiving sign.  Festive Sign for ThanksgivingAmy will post the full tutorial shortly.

Meanwhile I’ll be over here talking to you all in my head.

 

 

Last Minute Halloween Decor – Free Printable Door Hanger

I’m just back from a quick trip to Ohio to visit the family.  It was beautiful in the Midwest – really reminded me of what fall is supposed to feel like!  I had a great time and will have some pictures of new projects from my dad and mom……just as soon as I get them off my phone…..

In the meantime, although I try not to do “reruns,” I thought this post from last year about and easy Halloween door-hanger project might be useful for last-minute Halloween decorating.

I used some scrap wood,  free images from the endlessly useful Graphics Fairy along with some free fonts from DaFont.com to create this door hanger.

You will need:

  • Scrap wood cut to size (any thickness will do, mine happened to be ¾”)
  • A candle
  • Flat black paint
  • A sander or just plain sand paper
  • Mod Podge (I used both Matte Mod Podge and Outdoor Modpodge for this project.)
  • Eye hooks
  • Wire
  • Printables

I came up with these designs using graphics from the aforementioned Graphics Fairy and a couple of free clip art images.

Here are all the graphics along with the two backgrounds in case you wanted to do your own thing.  If I’ve done it right you should be able to click on them and then save them as a JPEG to print out.

I cut my scrap wood down to 10.5” by 3” strips

….and let’s say it all together shall we?….” rubbed my candle along the edges!” (Cheltenham Road: where good ideas go to be beaten into the ground!) and then painted over it with flat black latex paint.

(The candle lays down a barrier between the raw wood and the top coat of paint and the paint won’t stick to the candle wax.  So, when you sand the edges in the next step you reveal the wood beneath and end up with an antiqued/aged look. You can see a full tutorial and explanation in this post I did on making chippy wood letters)

After the paint had dried a quick sanding gave me that slightly antiqued edge.

I then Mod Podged the graphics into place and, after they dried, trimmed and sanded the edges slightly and sealed them with a coat of Outdoor Mod Podge.

After that I put a mark 1″ in from each corner and drilled pilot holes (pilot holes are particularly important if you’re dealing with old, scrap wood – it prevents the wood from splitting).

I wired them together and my front door immediately took on a festive, fall Halloween vibe.

Now, if I can manage to look welcoming while keeping most of the candy for myself…………

Further thoughts:

I’m not crazy about the wire hanger.  I think a black rope or something would be better and painting the eye screws black would be cool too.

I wanted to use hooks and eyes (rather than wire) which I thought would be easy to come by.  However, by thinking that I, of course, immediately invoked the David Law whereby things that you’ve seen before and seem quite common and attainable suddenly cease to exist.  This happens regularly.  I don’t mean to be egocentric but I’m pretty sure that, at some point in my childhood I uttered the phrase “Oh, I’ll go pick you up a Unicorn – they’re everywhere” which lead to their immediate disappearance from the planet.

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).

 

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