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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.

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!

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.

A Brief Change of Pace

My life last week experienced a pleasant change of pace.

On Wednesday and Thursday I  got up super early in order to do my usual sanding, sealing, mod-podging etc.  Lots of coasters due.  Lots of blocks needed.

Then, after a quick shower and shave I headed off to the studio to spend my afternoon(s) with these lovely ladies.Betty White, Wendie Malick, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves

Through a bit of protracted auditioning and waiting I ended up with a role on Hot in Cleveland.

Although acting has become a bit of a “back-burner” item for me I do still get a huge thrill when I walk on to the studio lot to work.

Hot in Cleveland is filmed at what is now called CBS Radford but the studio has a very long history.  cbs-radfordIt was built in 1928 by Mack Sennett (keystone cops, early Charlie Chaplin etc).  It’s also where Gunsmoke, Gilligans Island, The Wild Wild West, Mary Tyler Moore and hundreds of other iconic shows were filmed.    Backlots, soundstages – these places are little cities unto themselves and it’s totally fun to be there.Hot In Cleveland soundstage

The Hot in Cleveland people couldn’t have been nicer or more welcoming.

Doing little gigs like I do can most closely be described as being a temp in a very, very busy office.  You’re essentially jumping onto a moving train – TV casts and crews have been working together for a while – there is a shorthand and a camaraderie that can be a bit intimidating at times.  My job is to come in- do my thing and not get in the way (which is actually quite hard to do as there are a lot of people and a lot of equipment moving around).  But these folks made it easy.

My dressing room was unusually poshDressing room

(usually they are pleasant but not very comfortable trailers)

But I spent no time there as I wanted to be on set as much as possible just to watch and enjoy.

It was a total honor to meet Betty White who couldn’t have been more charming or more funny.  She made several off-the-cuff jokes over the course of the two days that had everyone rolling.

I had only one problem.

Valerie Bertinelli was my first official crush.  valerie-bertinelli-014As a kid, sure, I’d liked a lot  of other women on TV– they were pretty and seemed very nice – Valerie Bertineilli was the first one that I thought “oh… I think I LIKE her.”

I wanted to tell her as much but was confronted with a dilemma.

If you say “I’ve had a crush on you since I was a child” it probably isn’t going to go over quite the way you’d hoped.

Conversely, if you say “I’ve had a crush  on you since YOU we’re a child” you just sound suuuuper creepy.

In the end I didn’t say anything.  I just contented myself with small talk and the awkwardness (due to camera angles) of having to stand, basically, with my butt in her face for two takes.  She was quite gracious about it.

The next question is “when will it air.”  Honestly, I have no idea.  Also I don’t have my hopes up.  Due to the situation (I’m making a solo speech at the top of a scene rather than interacting with anyone) it is highly likely that you’ll hear my voice and see me for about half a second.

But it was a terrific way to spend a couple of afternoons and a truly lovely break from being covered in sawdust and paint all day long.

I’ve Been Adopted

I’ve been adopted.

I’ve been adopted by the neighbor’s cat.

Truth be told I am a dog person not a cat person.  I need the unconditional, over-the-top adoration that a dog offers.  I need a pet that thinks I am AWESOME just because I returned 10 minutes after leaving.

Actually, come to think of it,  appreciate that quality in everyone……..which might explain my social life…..

Cats just don’t do that (oh, and I’m really allergic to most of them).

But Zen is different.  Zen waits outside the back door for me.  Zen talks…..a lot.  I’ve never encountered such a chatty cat.  And Zen has decided that hanging out with me while I work in the garage is just exactly what he wants to do.

Zen will hop up on the workbench to explore what I’m doing.

Zen will curl up on the corner of the workbench and nap.Cat NapBut there is a downside.

I think Zen is trying to kill me.

I don’t know if it’s totally Zen’s idea or if it’s some plot by my neighbor who thinks the saw make too much noise and has trained Zen to go all Day-of-the-Dolphin on me.

Bottom line – Zen is the most adorable assassin ever.Adorable Assassin

 (OK, in reality he is just yawning after waking up but you get the sense of his darker side)

 You see this has been a crazy week for me of trying to get ahead of the curve.  Tons of sawing.

I have an order for a giant BEACH sign.Patterns for Large Letters  It requires every saw I own.Use a scroll saw to cut out the letters

And I’m trying to get a lot of HOME letter blanks ready to go.Lots of Letter Blanks

See?  Tons of sawing.letters letters lettersZen is not afraid or even momentarily put-off by the deafening roar of the table saw.  (unlike my childhood dog who was terrified of the vacuum cleaner and lived in deathly fear of the noise the ironing board made when you opened it)

Zen actually seems to enjoy chasing sawdust.

Zen also likes to stealthily creep up on me when I’m working.

So imagine you’re happily sawing away.  The machine is making a deafening roar.  You are focused solely on what is right in front of you as you carefully feed the wood into the sharp, spinning blades when suddenly something large and furry wraps itself around your leg or jumps up on the table next to you!

So far I’ve survived his attempts.  But I think I’m going to have to find some tiny body guards or something…….Cat Ninjas

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

Ipad Mini Giveaway via Mod Podge Rocks!

Ipad Mini Giveaway via Mod Podge Rocks!

The amazing and generous Amy of Mod Podge Rocks is giving away an ipad mini! If you haven’t been there already head on over and check it out! Read the rest of this entry

I Think My Parents May Be Trying to Tell Me Something

I have been in full factory mode lately:  sawing sanding and drilling in hopes that this will make it super easy to assemble some coaster, candlebock or subway sign on short notice.

In short what I’m saying is that if you are here looking for some clever new idea or potential Pinterest eye candy this may not be the blog post for you. Read the rest of this entry

Cheltenham Road’s First Window Display

Cheltenham Road’s First Window Display

What a week! Read the rest of this entry

The Stores

The Stores

I’ve been running in a lot of directions of late and feeling a bit frustrated and stressed.   But as I struggled to get some focus today and write a blog post I realized that what I really want to do right now is take a moment to appreciate my good fortune.

I’ve been very lucky to meet and work with some terrific people as I’ve tried to grow this business. Read the rest of this entry


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