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My House. What Were They Thinking? Bathroom Edition.

First off, welcome to the new folks who have traveled over from Thistlewood Farm!

KariAnne, mistress of Thistlewood, very kindly featured my rolling pin bookends last Friday.  If any of you are ever featured on Thistlewood Farm I have the following advice:

Beware the Power of the The Farm.
If you are on the West Coast and you are lucky enough to be featured in Thistlekeeping please follow this advice.
Do not go to bed and leave your ipad on your bedside table if it is set to “ding” when new emails and notifications arrive.
If you do not heed this advice you will be awakened at 5AM by incessant dinging noises.  In your groggy state you will try to turn off your alarm clock but will fail because it is not, in fact, your alarm clock.  It is your previously very, very quiet ipad merrily telling you that more people have visited and subscribed to your blog between the hours of 5AM and 6AM than have ever visited or subscribed to your blog in the history of your blog.
While this will provide a glorious start to your day you will need to schedule some serious nap-time later.

Also, thanks to all of you for your kind words (and patience) about my erratic blogging style.  I truly appreciated it!

OK, on to today’s topic.

The time has come to attack the last untouched room in my house.

To back up.

After watching waaaay too much HGTV I, years ago, bought a true fixer-upper.

To my dismay I have discovered that home transformations take more than a half an hour and the costs shown on TV seem to have nothing to do with the the real world.  While the people on TV transform entire landscapes for a few pennies and some really fun looking labor I can’t seem to get the smallest thing done without an opening bid of $3,000.

Bottom line: Progress has been a bit slow.

I’ve painted and shored up.  Major work has been done on the kitchen and main bathroom

Bathroom Before and After Cheltenham Road Kitchen Before and AfterAnd now only one room remains untouched.

The dreaded guest bathroom.

My house was remodeled at some point in its past and I can’t tell if this bathroom was original.  In any case, it was clearly designed exclusively for Keebler Elves.

Depressed Keebler Elves.

It’s tiny, drab and poorly done.

The Elf Bathroom is between the front bedroom (my office) and the recently redone Laundry Room of a Million Doors

Here is the view looking from my office to the EB. Welcome

Just open that door a little more and……..It's Another Door

THERE’S ANOTHER DOOR!!!!!!!

That’s two (TWO!) doors in about four feet!

To your left we have a sink the style of which is seldom seen outside the worlds finest gas station restrooms.Worlds Dumbest BathroomTo your right (behind the door!) is a shower with the iffiest tile work I’ve ever seen!  It’s almost sculptural in its unevenness.  Almost.Stunning Tile Job - Worlds Dumbest BathroomAnd capping (or bottoming) it all off is this festive floor covering!Ugly Flooring in Worlds Dumbest BathroomIt looks like confetti from the world’s saddest ticker-tape parade.

I wish I could say I had adjusted these photos to make it look draber (more drab?  drabbier?) but I have not.

For reasons that I think don’t need explaining I’ve basically been using it as a closet.

But the time has come!  I’ve been saving money and my sisters have promised to visit in the fall.

Demo begins in just a few hours…and shortly after that  plan will form (yeah, that’s not the right way to do things I know but we have to see what’s behind the walls and under the floor before we can get specific).

Wish me luck!  I’ll keep you posted!

 

 

 

 

Vintage Rolling Pin Bookends Tutorial

Rolling Pin Bookend TutorialIt’s me! Random Blogging Man!

I have a new tutorial over at Mod Podge Rocks that I wanted to share as well as a bit of rumination on the future of this blog.

But first the tutorial.

I’d been toying with this idea for a while as a way to make further use of all those wooden rolling pins I’d collected long ago.Vintage Rolling Pin Bookends Tutorial Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksI’m wondering if it might be a viable product for the Cheltenham Road empire. They are fun and easy to make and the colors could be suited to pretty much any kitchen.Vintage Kitchen Rolling Pin Bookends Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksAnyway, head on over to Mod Podge Rocks for the full tutorial if you’re so inclined.

And now on to ruminations.

I seem to have hit a blog-wall of late. I want to write because I thoroughly enjoy the little community that we have all created here but…..I don’ t have anything to say. Or at least I don’t think I have anything interesting to say.

You see, I like to make things and I like figuring out how to make things.  And I like sharing how I figured out how to make things.  When I go to stores and see something I like I seldom think “oh I want that.” I tend to think “I want to make that!”

When I started this business and this blog I had a great time coming up with new things to make, new pieces of furniture to attack etc. As the business moved more toward the coasters, blocks and signs I ended up spending all of my time making and remaking coasters, blocks and signs. It’s satisfying work and I’m very grateful for it but I get stuck in factory mode a lot and my “creative time” gets curbed…along with my enthusiasm.

But! Happiness is just on the horizon!

For the summer I have employed my home-from-college (Berkeley! thankyouverymuch) niece Olivia who has been terrific. I’m slowly finding myself able to turn some of the “factory” operation over to her and my mind is able to focus on some new ideas (and I seem to be an OK boss from all reports).

Also I just finished my last show for the season. As always the folks that run Patchwork did an amazing job of pulling it all together. My spot was ideal and the weather was beyond perfect. Patchwork Handmade Festival Santa AnaThe only flaw in the plan was that it took place last Sunday. Father’s Day. Oddly, it seems that a fair number of fathers when asked “what do you want to do on your special day?” did not respond “Go to a craft fair!!!!” so attendance as a little reduced from years past.

But that was my last one a for a bit and now I’m eager to get to new ideas and projects.  So bear with me please.  I will get back up to speed!

DavidHome Stories tutorials-tips-buttonThat-DIY-Party-link-party-button

Father’s Day Picture Display

Make a Father's Day Photo DisplayMy latest project is up for viewing at Mod Podge Rocks.

I wandered the aisles of Home Depot knowing that I wanted to make something using those galvanized pipes and fittings and I wanted it to be suitable for Father’s Day.

Oh, and needed to be super affordable.

I ended up with a random collection of bits and pieces – popes, fittings,  outlet covers, flanges (fun word!)Supplies

 

that when put together with a bit of Mod Podge, ended up being a kind of cool, sculptural photo display.  And less than $20!  (the pic of the guy with the child on the tricycle is something I found at a flea market but “fishing boy” is me and the other picture shows me, my sister Phebe and my mom at Christmas from oh-so-long-ago)Desk Top Photo DisplayMod Podge Industrial Photo Display

I think there are a bunch of potential variations on this one.  You could use picture frames rather than the Outlet Blanks.  You could use different fittings (there are a ton of options) to make a family tree sort of deal etc etc.

 

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.

Got Paint?

Mason Jars for Paint StorageThis isn’t so much a real blog post as much as it’s a Head’s Up!

As you all know I love paint.  Paint makes me happy.

My friend Valerie knows this.  She also knows a lot about being happy as she, quite literally, wrote the book on it.  Happiness as a Second Language is a terrific read and a great, do-able, down-to-earth approach to finding more happiness in your every day life.  I urge you to check it out (and no, I was not compensated for these statements although I may get a brownie out of it!…..just a suggestion).happiness as a Second Language

 

But, back to the real reason for this post-ette.

Paint makes me happy and free paint makes me super happy!

Valerie has alerted me that True Value is giving away free quarts of paint on Saturday (the 17th).  You can download the coupon here.  Head over early as it does say supplies are limited (they say they have about 40 quarts per store).

Happy Painting!

Build a Cocktail Table

With Father’s Day approaching I thought I’d revisit a project I did originally for Mod Podge Rocks.   I came up with this idea for a little side table that, though this one is baseball themed, would work for any room or style. Build a Cocktail Table Cheltenham Road

I used to get frustrated with those people who were always doing projects made with “this old piece of wallpaper/wood/farbric/etc I had lying around.”

I never had an old piece of anything lying around but now I have become one of those people – Some would call it a late developing Hording Syndrome I prefer to think of it as being committed recycler.

Anyway, I had this idea making a little side table that would be affordable and adaptable so I thought I’d share.

It’s made from bits I had sort of lurking in the corners of my garage (with the spiders – seriously, it’s like a science fiction movie in there) but I assure you can do it with some very affordable parts from any big box hardware store.

You will need:DIY Cocktail Table Tutorial Supplies

 

  •  One table leg – mine was from the Habitat for Humanity ReSale Store (a great resource) but they come in all shapes and sizes at big box retailers.
  • Four (4) 7 inch wooden shelf brackets
  •  A shallow shadow box picture frame – you could also use a wooden tray or anything else that appealed
  • Five feet of shoe molding
  • 1 piece of ¼ inch wood cut square and just a little smaller than your picture frame
  • 1 piece of ½ or ¾ inch wood cut square and 2-3 inches smaller than your picture frame
  • Glue (I used Gorilla Glue)
  • Brad Nails (optional)
  • wood screws
  • Sand paper
  • Spray paint
  •  Mod Podge (I know! Suprising!)
  • Envirotex Lite (available at Michaels)

Tools:

Drill, saw (hand saw, miter saw, whatever you’ve got), hammer, foam brush

First off I cut the Table Leg to the height I needed.  They will do this for you at the hardware store if you ask nicely.

Next I cut the shoe molding into eight (8) seven-inch long strips and took the flimsy back out of the picture frame.

Now I was ready to attach the shoe molding to the Table Leg.

DIY Cocktail Table Leg Assembly Cheltenham RoadI centered a Shelf Bracket on base of the Table Leg and drew a line on either side.

Then I attached shoe molding on either side of the line creating a groove. I repeated that on all four sides.

I nailed the shoe molding in place after gluing but if you just wanted to glue them simply wrap rubber bands around the top and bottom to hold them in place while they dry.

Next I just glued the shelf brackets into the slots I’d created and wiped away any glue that squeezed out and set the whole thing aside to dry.

After it dried I painted everything (leg, the edge and one side of both pieces of wood and the picture frame) with a quick coat of spray primer followed by a top coat of black.

Now it was time for Mod Podging.

I placed the frame on the ¼ inch board and traced the inside edge so I’d know how much of the board to cover with my images and got busy.

Man Cave Table Tutorial Cheltenham Road

 

Baseball Theme Table Tutorial Cheltenham RoadThe graphics I used can be found via the Library of Congress’ online catalog (which is a tremendous resource for any project)

Once the decoupage dried I attached my Mod-Podged board to the picture frame with some glue and nails. My ¼ inch board had warped a little so I rested a heavy can on it to counter the warp.

Vintage Baseball Mod Podge Table Cheltenham Road

To bring it all together I now needed to attache the leg assembly to the 1/2 board and the 1/2 board to the picture frame.

I found the center of the 1/2 board by drawing lines from corner to corner. After that all I had to do was drill a pilot hole and attach my the board to the leg assembly.    Make sure the wood screw is flush with the surface of the board or just a little below it.Build a Side Table Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Attaching the leg to the picture frame was easy. I just flipped everything upside down and glued the top of the ½ board to the bottom of the picture frame.Mod Podge Baseball Table Tutorial Cheltenham Road

I brought back my handy paint can to hold it in place and seal the deal.

After that dried I flipped it back over and applied a sealer coat of Mod Podge over the collage surface.

Once that had dried thoroughly it was time for the Envirotex.  I’ve worked with this stuff a lot and always had good results.  Just be sure to follow the directions on the box exactly.

Once the Envirotex had thoroughly cured it was time for a beer!Man Cave Vintage Baseball Table Cheltenham Road

 

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).

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