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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Everyone Knows It’s Windy

That was one of my favorite songs when I was little.

Whose trippin down the streets of the city

Smilin’ at everybody she sees.

Whose reaching out to capture a moment?

Everyone knows it’s Windy

My feelings about wind have changed.

I prepped for the Long Beach Patchwork Show and I was ready in time! (me being ready in time and not panicking is, by the way, a confirmed sign on the Apocalypse.  You should all begin packing and hoarding appropriately).

Everything fit in the Fit!

I arrived on time!  I didn’t get lost! I only got a little lost! – I unpacked at my leisure and I was pretty pleased with the booth lay out (me being pleased with something is, of course, another sign of the Apocalypse….you really should be packing).

I had trays

And Magnets

Blocks and Coasters

And my coaster Tower (of terror) was on the outside of the tent for maximum exposure!

The crowds began to arrive.

And then the wind arrived.

OK, you can’t see it in this picture but, trust me, it’s there….lurking.

Not just light ocean breezes but something out of Twister!

My day went from being a charming host to the kind folks visiting my space to being a slightly “cranky guy in the corner” holding the booth on ground.

In truth the customers were great and sales were steady and satisfying.  And I’m happy to report that, thanks to advance warning, I was prepared for wind and, despite it’s best attempts, it didn’t manage to send anything I had flying.

And now, I’m busy packing for my trip to Ohio for my dad’s 90th birthday celebration.

OH! and my sister informs me there is an ICE CREAM FESTIVAL this weekend!!!!!!  A festival!!!! of Ice Cream!!!!!  I love Ohio (but I hate wind).


Opposite Day – Picture Frame Makeover Tutorial

I am not  a “beach person.”  In all honesty I’m not sure I’ve been to the beach since I moved to LA.  I mean, I’ve walked by it, sure but I haven’t actually tossed a towel down or made a sand castle or anything – it’s just not my scene.

But apparently the Patchwork show tomorrow in Long Beach has put me in a fully beach state of mind and has lead to Opposite Day.

So, I was rummaging around in the thrift store looking for frames to use for my magnetic chalkboards when I came across this frame

It’s a nice frame but the minute I saw it I knew exactly what I wanted to do and it involved the beach – which seemed odd but who am I to argue with sudden flashes of vision?  And, of course, being me I had to do this project RIGHT NOW!!!

I have this habit of rummaging around at flea markets and coming home with random black and white photos.  I have no idea what I want to do with them but they capture my imagination.  Over the years I’ve developed certain “themes” in my collecting and one of them is vintage beach scenes.  I found this young lady years ago and something about her – the way she’s standing maybe – always caught my imagination.And I finally knew what I wanted to do with her.

Now usually my task is to find something old and beaten down at the thrift store and make it look better but this time around I’m taking something that’s in fine shape and making it look old and beaten down.

So I set about sanding the edges of my frame down to bare wood Then I grabbed my trusty candle and rubbed the wax along those sanded edges and top coated the whole thing with Rustoleum’s Heirloom White.  The paint won’t stick to the wax so, after the rest of it had dried I sanded away and ended up with thisPicture frame distressed


And now it was time for the details.

I did a little Google search for vintage beach bathing beauty magazine covers and downloaded a random selection and then re sized them in MSWord and made little strips the same width as the frame I Mod Podged my little collages into place and blew up my vintage photo to fit the frame.Picture Frame MakeoverI think it suits her.

OK, now I’m off to the beach myself.  Wish me luck and, if anyone is in that area please do stop by!

….and then the dog peed in front of my booth.

“do you want to pet the puppy?!!”

 But lets back up a bit


I was tired from a few too many late nights of finishing up projects but feeling pretty good.

My Unique LA booth was all set up and looking great. I’d scored a perfect spot right on the corner and the traffic was excellent.  I had lots of repeat customers and even met the lovely Jenny of Please Note who was visiting with her mom.

And then

 “Do you want to pet the puppy?”

Both the toddler and the puppy in question looked dubious about this plan but with adequate adult encouragement they warily set about making contact with one another.  They were just in front of my table and a little to the left.  Much tail wagging and toddler-giggling ensued and I, along with everyone else nearby were totally caught up in the general adorableness of the whole scenario.

After a little petting both dog and toddler went their separate ways to pursue their separate shopping needs and I went back to standing behind my table.

And that’s when the woman from across the way came over and said:

“you know the dog peed right in front there, right?”

I did not know that.

I also did not know what to do.  This was an indoor event on concrete floors.  It wasn’t something you could just let slide really.

I had numerous supplies with me for (I thought) all of my needs: extra pens? Check! Granola bars? Check! Masking tape, tape measure, glue, notebook?  Check, check, check and check!

Stuff to clean up dog pee…..not so much.

So I asked my neighbor to watch my space and high-tailed it to the powers-that-be to tell them of my plight.  They were sympathetic!  They called janitorial services!  I went back to my spot and every subsequent conversation went like this:

Prospective Customer: I LOVE your stuff!

Me: Thanks!  Watch out for the dog pee

Prospective Customer: Ewwwww!!!!!!!

 And that distraction usually proved just enough to send them on their way.

But, eventually the Spot’s spot was removed and all-in-all it was a great but exhausting weekend.

Sales were terrific at Unique LA and the fun atmosphere they create there is really a pleasure.

Sale were OK for my Rose Bowl swan song.  But I think I’m glad to be done with it.  Some guy offered $50 for my Shakespeare Table and seemed offended when I didn’t leap at the chance.   But remind me not to try to do two shows on the same day.

Bottom line I couldn’t have done it at all without the invaluable help of a bunch of people.

First there is Suzanne who dutifully took on the boring job of cutting strips of bubble wrap so that I could get things in the mail quickly.

Then the amazing Alec took over the entire Rose Bowl operation when I  had to leave (this included standing there all day, then reloading the truck, unloading the truck and returning the truck).

Speaking of the truck there is Karla who spent part of her week cutting coaster paper, and then part of her weekend helping me pick up the truck then helping Alec unload and return the truck.

And last but not least Geralyn who, although she had never been behind the counter opened the Unique LA booth on her own on Sunday and stayed until I could get there (and even managed to re-arrange the displays to much better advantage!).

I should probably stop professing my amazement at how great the people around me are and just learn to accept it but, what can I say, they continue to blow me away.

OK, now it’s a week of restocking and rethinking because this Sunday is my firt Patchwork Show in Long Beach.  If anyone is local to that part of SoCal please do stop on by!Patchwork Indie Craft Fair Long Beach


Unique LA!… And I think I may have created something I like by accident

This weekend is Unique LA!  If anyone within the sound of my voice (meaning LA) is around this weekend please do come and check it out and stop by and say “Hi!”  It would be great to meet some of you and the Unique Shows are always a lot of fun.  Pie!  Crafts! Handmade Items!  Pie! Jewelry, Pie!  (serioulsy, there are three (THREE!!!!) pie places selling their wares!)

Plus Caine and his Arcade will be there.  If you haven’t heard about Cain or seen the video please do yourself a favor and watch it.  It is one of the most touching, soul affirming things I’ve seen in quite a while.

But enough about awesome children on to ME!

So, as you may know I make these tealight holders using the  vintage images that I love so muchFrench ABC blocks tea light holdersWood Typography Votive HoldersWood Tea Light Holders Vintage Bingo CardsWell, the other day, as I am want to do, I totally screwed up on one of them.  Rather than pitching it I decided to just sand off the image and start all over again.  But, it wasn’t as easy to sand the image off as I thought and about midway through I looked at it and thought “hey, that’s kinda cool looking.”

It wasn’t very useful as an image anymore (I sanded off a woman’s face which isn’t very nice) but my brain started percolating.

I probably should have been a graphic designer – I get really into coming up with designs for the paper I use on my lettersVintage Wallpaper Wood LettersSo, I thought, why not use some of that paper on the blocks and then sand it down a little.  I gave it a shot and I think I really dig it.Wood Votive Holders Shabby Chic

Vintage Wallpaper Tea Light holdersWhat do you all think?  I figure they could come in any number of colors and styles of paper.

OK, must dash to go set up Unique LA. I’m excited about the weekend and hope to see some of you there.

Life’s a Beach

Well, that was quite a pause.  Sorry about that.

I’ve made myself a bit nuts by being a bit dim witted.  It’s how I roll.

Here’s what happened.

The Spring Unique LA show conflicted with the May Rose Bowl.  So I didn’t apply for a spot at Unique.

Then I lost my Rose Bowl space (boo!).

But then my neighbors sold me their spot for this month (yay!).

But then, for some reason, I asked the Unique Folks if they ever had cancellations (assuming they never did).  And they did (yay!)

And I said I’d take it (yay!)

…….And then I realized that Unique LA and the Rose bowl were (and I’m sure you’ve put this together already) ON THE SAME DAY (ack!)  which, of course, I knew earlier in this story but had somehow forgotten because I am a certified genius (yay!)

Sooooooo, that’s two spaces to fill and two places to be on the same day.  No prob!

I’ve been busy working away and trying to come up with new things.

I’ve long planned a Beach sign similar to my HOME signs.Vintage San Francisco Wood Home SignHandmade Wood HOME sign featuring Columbus Ohiovintage Chicago Wood HOME sign Do you folks ever make something, really like it and then find that you just can’t get a good picture of it?

I’ve always been pretty challenged to take a good picture of the HOME signs but I didn’t know “challenge” until I added two more letters.

I tried just a plain white background for that classic feelHandmade Wood Sign: Beach


I tried props for that vintagy, beachy, vacation feelBeach Sign

 I’m sorry, what does that spell?  And exactly how dirty is your “charming” prop suitcase?


 I tried it against a blue wall – for that blue sky/beach feel


 I tried it against a beige wall – you know, for that beachy feel


 Finally, I tried it near a door for that, “on your way to the next room think about the beach” feel


I think next I’ll try for that “on your way to take a class in how to do photography” feel.

But for the moment one of these will have to do because I have a lot of work to get done in the next few days (and that cloning experiment to undertake – please keep your fingers crossed).

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