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Family History and an Easy Gift!

 My family used to refer to me as “the caboose.”  I was totally into model trains at the time so I thought that was cool.  Only later did I realize that “caboose” was just a polite way of saying “total accident.”

However, my end-of-the-train, perspective has given me an appreciation of my family’s history.  I loved stories about my mom’s life growing up on a farm inKansas. And I was seriously jealous of my sister’s tales of sledding in the backyard of the house they lived in before I was born. 

 I wanted to create a handmade gift I could give eveone and thought I could combine my love of making coasters and my family’s history. 

 The original idea was just that I’d make a coaster depicting the floor plan of the Cheltenham Road house.  But then I thought it would be fun to do all of our former homes –  and for that I realized I needed to call in backup. 

 So my parents were roped into the idea and spent months diligently arguing racking their brains to re-create buildings that I had never set foot in and they hadn’t seen for years.

 Eventually they sent me some sketches like this:


And I got busy in Photoshop (but you could do the exact same thing in MSWord or any drawing program you have handy – you could even draw them by hand and then scan them into your computer). 




I used Mod Podge to attach the floor plans to shower tiles from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore (a terrific resource for pretty much everything).  I sealed them with multiple coats of polycrylic to make them waterproof, added some cork to the back and viola – gifts for all!



 Working on these brought up terrific memories for me (and my folks).

 And they were a hit! 

 When the gifts were opened my sister cried!  As a little brother you know you’ve done well when you make your sister cry and you haven’t kicked her or read her diary.

About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

5 responses »

  1. Jenniffer Dorsett

    What a great idea!

    I noticed the coaster with the address1505 Park Place, Wichita, KS. I live in Wichita and actually know that house, I have friends that used to live on that street. What a small world!

  2. Jennifer the world is, indeed, tiny! That’s my maternal grandparent’s home which, I believe, they built. I haven’t seen it since I was 11 – hope the current owners are taking care of it. I have great memories of Wichita!

  3. David,

    I just found you through Mod Podge Rocks. I too grew up in Columbus (1965-1983)- in two houses- one on Woodstock Rd. and one on Kioka Avenue. Did you go to UA? I also lived in LA for a bit (1983-1988). Small world!


  4. What a wonderful gift, David. I would cry too if my brother gave me such a treasure. I particularly like the slightly worn graph paper background. Are you willing to share a few tips about how you got that look?

    I found your blog through Mod Podge Rocks, and am glad I did!


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