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I need fewer outlets and more creativity

I wasn’t prepared for the photography.

You see beautiful pictures in magazines or on blogs (I’m lookin’ at you Miss Mustard Seed) and they seem  so natural and easy.  Just snuggle your piece of furniture up against a wall, add some stuff and viola – awesome picture.

Not so much.

I spent my morning trying to figure out where I could photograph this blue table I finished this weekend.

So I wandered from room to room wondering, among other things, why  there is never an electrical outlet where I need one but there is ALWAYS one where I want to take a picture?!  There is always either an electrical outlet or a vent.  And to add insult to injury the vents don’t even work anymore – a vestige of an old system.

I also speculated on why I am driven to paint things colors that don’t go with any of my walls or props.  Or the flowers that grow in the yard.

That was my morning.

Long story short.  I failed.  No blue props.  No wall that looked right.  But I haven’t given up!  So we can all look forward SOMEDAY to a charming picture of a blue table and its best friends the electrical outlet and the vent.  If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.

In the meantime I’m going to show off a desk and a couple of chairs I worked on that are black and, therefore, go with the green wall in my sunroom.  I need to remember this lesson.

This desk arrived in pieces (well, actually I bought it in pieces so I really can’t pretend to be shocked.  But, bottom line.  Pieces).  It wasn’t the most elegant of things – one of those functional,  Ikea-ish numbers but it was solid pine and the price was right ($25!).

I’d also, fairly recently bought a family of chairs that were down on their luck.

So I got to work.

I have this thing about taking the backs off of desks and making some pattern back there.  It’s not the most practical of decorations – I mean, if you use the desk how often do you see the back of it?  Seldom.  But, I don’t know – perhaps it’s a nice little surprise when you clean it and say “oh, I’d forgotten there was that pretty pattern back there.”  Kind of your cleaning reward.

So, a little sanding, a little patterning, some minor upholstery work and……..

OK, now I’m off to find blue props….and a blue wall….. and the manual for my camera.


Shall we link?

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.

8 responses »

  1. Oh how I know what you mean…if it doesn’t go with red or aqua, I’m you-know -what! Thanks for the laughs…end of the day, blurry eyed but needed the smiles! Love the desk and the fun idea for the cleaning lady!

  2. Jenniffer Dorsett

    Have you thought about hanging a sheet the color you need behind the piece you need to photograph?

  3. An excellent idea Jennifer! I do that with my coasters and stuff but it hadn’t really occurred to me to do it with the furniture. Thank you – I will give that a shot.

  4. I always think your pieces look perfectly placed… I was wondering if they were all taken at your house! Looks professional to me!! 🙂 Good luck on the blue piece… can’t wait to see it.

  5. You crack me up!! I lost the manual for MY camera the day after I bought it…thank God for “auto focus!” Your desk re-do is FABULOUS mister!! And those CHAIRS too! Be still my heart! Now, be a good sport and share what paint you used for these beauties…NOT NICE to keep that a secret!!

  6. I’m a quilter and I devised an easy Design Wall on which to create, change & view my quilts while designing them. A large piece of foam core, approx 4′ x 7′ (available from office supply or art supply stores) is the base . You can pin or drape large pieces of fabric to it to make it any color you like to serve as your background/wall. I sewed large flannel “pillowcases” to cover mine and thus fabric just sticks to it, so I can move my quilt pieces around to view them. You can just prop it up against the wall, or put loopes on top and hang it from a closet rod that is set on L hooks attached to the wall. Or make holes in the top of the flannel “pillowcase” and hang it from cup hooks attached to the wall. You are really just giving it some support. And, the wonderful thing is, it is easy to move and store and quite inexpensive.

  7. Your photos are really good!!!! Believe me, I like to browse around Etsy and I’m always surprised at what people will post to try to sell things……blurry, bright flashes, busy backgrounds……sometimes all three……. But you always make your pics look like they are for a magazine! Anything you do from here is going to be fun to see as I already think you are very good!! 🙂

  8. Hello again, On Saturday September 17th I will be participating in a great show called The Little French Flea Market in Tarzana and after seeing how wonderful and unique your items are I thought you’d be a good “fit”. If you think this might be something you’d be interested in please contact me for the details.


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