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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Halloween Inspiration Quest Continues

OK, it’s still, like, 90 degrees outside which does not make my mind wander to thoughts of Pumpkin Spice Lattes nor fill me with a desire to carve pumpkins.

However, the Halloween mantle must be created! (well, actually the Halloween store display must be created for one of my favorite shops and shop owners – Marci at Co0p 28 in Los Feliz)

You may recall that I came up with my Halloween subway sign as I was just about to sign off for a nap.

Clearly I’m good under pressure.

So, naturally when Marci called to say she wanted the full display sooner I immediately felt like lying down.

But there was no time!  It was Thursday afternoon and she wanted it by Friday.  I guess other non-weather-dependent people were already in the Halloween mood and had asked for products.

So I applied sunscreen and wandered to the garage and to try to come up with a  plan.

I cut some of my spare ¾” plywood down to 9.5×9.5 squares, waxed the edges and painted them black.  And after it dried I sanded the edges and added some support strips

(You may be noticing  a distinct lack of new creative ideas  a unique, personal style developing in my Halloween decorations.)

Back at the computer I blew up the images from my Halloween Coaster Sets to 8″ squares and, using Mod Podge applied them to some thin Masonite boards that I’d cut to size.

I went to attach the mounted, dried, graphics to the sanded backer boards and had a dilemma.

Once you put the graphic boards over the support strips you can’t SEE the support strips to nail into them.


So I slid extra support strips above and below them and, viola, a guide!

Genius!…..except when I accidentally nailed the guide in place and couldn’t get it out……

Anyway, a quick coat of spray sealer and it was off to the CoOp

I love it when a plan comes together!

They were very simple to make and Marci wants more.

I got some candle blocks in there.

And my Halloween Magnets

More ideas to come!  After a brief siesta…..and a dip in a pool.

PS: These were, obviously, pretty simple to make and you could easily use images from the Graphics Fairy or any other clip art that caught your fancy.


The Danger of Thrifting While Traveling

I’m just back from a quick trip up to Tacoma WA to visit my sister Sally.

It is truly beautiful up there and I had a great time but I also experienced the danger of thrifting while traveling.

It turns out that very near my sister is a HUGE antique mall filled with amazing things at incredible prices!  Big things!  Will-not-fit-in-the-overhead-bin things.  Why do I only find these places far away from my home?  Ohio also seems to be populated exclusively by people who posses astonishingly cool vintage items that they are happy to sell very cheaply.

I restrained myself to paper items that were easy to pack but I’m developing a dream that revolves around a truck, the open road and low gas prices.

But for now I’m back home and happy to report that my latest project is up over at Mod Podge Rocks.

This one manages to combine my wonderful grandmother’s love of donuts, my wonderful mother’s ability to make delicious donuts* and my need to clean out the garage.  A Trifecta!

I was inspired by the mind-bogglingly (not a word) cool recipe wall that KariAnne did over at Thistlwood farm.  But I needed to work on a smaller scale.

I took some  of my grandmother’s old kitchen tools (can you tell I was going through some boxes recently), a blown up copy of my mom’s recipe for donuts and an old shadow box to create this:You can read all the details over at MPR but it’s pretty dang easy.Aaaand now I’m going to go make some donuts!

*yes, I grew up eating home made donuts.  Even I’d be jealous of me if I weren’t, conveniently, already me.


Serioulsy? Halloween? Already?

DIY Halloween Sign for MantelOne of the aspects of this career path that I didn’t count on was the whole “get ready for a holiday four months before the holiday.”  I still can’t quite master thinking about Christmas in June.

Hence my shock when people started rolling out their completed FALL MANTLES! this week.

I don’t really have a mantle (there is a big TV there) which I thought got me out of the Fall Mantle requirement.

I was wrong.

One of my stores asked me for Fall Mantle decorations.  And, double whammy, Halloween Fall Mantle decorations.

I’m not much of a Halloween guy.  Once people stopped giving me free candy I kind of lost interest in the whole event.

But, I have had good success with my snarky, literary Halloween coasters (warning: if you click on them you’ll end up in my Etsy shop)

And my vintage Halloween candle blocks

But, frankly I was a little stuck.  My brain just wasn’t ready for Halloween thoughts.

And then this afternoon, juuuuuust as I was convincing myself that a nap was totally justified an idea hit.

Perhaps a variation on my subway signs with a Halloween theme?

I had all the parts so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

I took a ¾” pine board, painted it black, added some support strips, waxed the edges with a candle and then gave it a coat of Rustoleum’s Orange Spray Paint.

In the meantime after some  after some quick brainstorming with The Muse who is a whiz and both literature and being clever we came up with the text (text?! In a CheltenhamRoad craft project?!  Well, I never!)

and I printed it out of 8.5×14” paper.

and mod podged it onto my precut slats of wood (3 x 13.5”)…..that I really should have dusted before photographing them.

By that time the orange paint had dried and I gave it a quick power sanding and got that rustic/antiquey look I likeI attached the wood slats to the backing board and

I have a Halloween Mantle!

Welcome Fall!

OK, it’s not really a mantle it’s the top of a bookcase.I’d like some candy now please

PS: the full tutorial for these Subway Signs appeared originally on Mod Podge Rocks

My Second Rose Bowl Swan Song

I know I keep saying “this is my last time at the Rose Bowl” but, like Cher on a farewell tour, I just can’t help coming  back.

As I mentioned last week, Sunday was my triumphant return thanks to my friend Nicki.

Nicki is a Rose Bowl Selling Champ and I’ve talked about her (and our complicated relationship) before.  So, although I didn’t think I could like Nicki more I discovered I could when she offered to share her prime Rose Bowl real estate with me!

As a vendor you can’t get into the Rose Bowl without a ticket so Nicki mailed me mine.

But she mailed it to the wrong address.  

Surprisingly, this made me like her more because it seemed like the sort of thing I would do.

However, she then informed me that I would need to meet her at 5AM (!) on the day of the Bowl to do the hand off……  which made me like her less.

But the hand-off went smoothly and set up was a breeze (pardon the camera phone pics)

I got my little corner of the world all arranged

Craft booth set up cheltenham roadI’d even managed to put together a few of my magnetic chalkboards

while Nicki got out her hand stenciled boxes

her converted teapot lamps

cool little bottles

and a ton of beautiful furniture, silver, signs and other things

Unfortunately, set up was the only breezy thing because it was incredibly hot.

Gross hot.

Surface of the sun hot.

And then, just to shake things up a bit it got muggy!*

But I was pleasantly surprised.  Despite the heat people were shopping.  My sales were, if not overwhelming, certainly steady, and MUCH better than at my previous Rose Bowl outing.  Nicki kept telling people she was here “with her friend David” – which made me like her more.

So I was feeling good!  That is until I realized that while I had sold a good number of things Nicki had managed to sell, like, everything she brought with her (including some poor woman who made the mistake of standing still too long and ended up going, for a very reasonable price, to a nice family from Pacoima who said she was “exactly what they were looking for!”)

This realization, of course, made me like Nicki less.

But, as we were packing up, we bonded over admiration of old movies (A Face in the Crowd, To Have and Have Not) and quality furniture.  And when we both, almost simultaneously, quoted our favorite episode of WKRP in Cincinnati (“as God is my witness I thought turkeys could fly!”) I discovered that it would be almost impossible to like anyone more.


*I have officially become a wimpy Californian.  Despite growing up in Ohio and living in NYC for 14 years I find now that even a little bit of humidity SAPS MY WILL TO LIVE!  

A wee bit random

OK, this post is a wee bit random.

First up, this isn’t a food blog and I don’t usually take pictures of my food but…….

S’MORES!!!!!!Super easy S’more cups!

I saw the recipe on Pinterest which lead me to the Texas Cottage  blog (the link will bring you to the recipe) and was overcome by a desire to have them.  And, in one of those “remember-this-moment-because-it-will-never-happen-again” I had all the ingredients on hand! (well, honestly, I seem to always have the ingredients for some kind of dessert but almost never for anything else.  Odd isn’t it?)

SO.  VERY. GOOD! and very easy.

Next up in my tour of random – you may recall that I did a show recently at the very posh, very exclusive SoHo House.  Well the official SoHo House photographer snapped a picture of my set up and I think it’s the best picture of my stuff I’ve ever hadAnd finally, I’m back at the Rose Bowl this Sunday!  As you know I don’t have a regular spot anymore but my good friend Nicki very kindly offered me half her booth space for this weekend.  I said “yes!” just for the chance to hang with her for a while.  So, if you’re local please do come on by.
Have a great weekend everyone.

A Plethora of Rolling Pins and No Pie in Sight

The Great Garage Clean up lead to the “use it or lose it” decision process.

Years ago – when I was first started down my reluctant crafting path – I bought all the wood-handled rolling pins I could find.

What? …. No, I honestly have no idea why.  Please don’t ask questions like that.

I gathered quite a few and experimented with painting the handles in that old red and white style.

It was fun!

And then….I didn’t know what to do with them.  So they sat in a box being secretly decorative.

When I re-discovered them I almost tossed them but then had an idea.

Could I make them into a rack?

And if I could, should I? (a regular debate with me)

Well, there were a lot of them so I thought “why not?”  I had an old board with nice routed edges to use as the backer.

I had one un-finished one with a cool handle so I painted it white and then taped off where I wanted the stripes

A quick top coat with Rust-Oleum  Colonial Red and I was set.

The goal was to have the rolling pin show so I marked where I wanted to cut it (and wrapped it in painters tape for a clean cut)How to Make an apron rack using vintage rolling pins

After clamping it in place I set my miter saw at 45 degrees and cut away.  I repeated the steps for two other pins.

Next, I drilled pilot holes in my backer board

and screwed the rolling pins into place from the back side.



I don’t know, it was fine and it was what I pictured but it  just seemed to lack something.

So I decided to add a little text!

(I know, I’m like the McDonald’s employee of crafters: “would you like text with that”)

I just downloaded a definition of Pie (yay pie!) and futzed with the font and such until I got what I wanted

I used Mod Podge to attach it to the base and then re-attached the rolling pins.

Much better!Wall Hanger made with vintage rolling pins

Why is the clock crooked?

And why have I never noticed that before?

Ah well.

Housekeeping – not my strong suit

I am, if nothing else, easily confused and a bit lazy.

It’s an awesome combination particularly when it comes to trying to figure out the programming of my blog.  I tend to start, become frustrated and that quickly leads to napping.

Hence, my blog has been woefully out of date and not particularly user friendly.

So, I spent a portion of my weekend trying to do a little house cleaning.

At some point I want to call in a pro and really do an overhaul but for the moment it’s just me taking baby steps (between naps)

First up – I had to revise my Blog Roll.  I have come across, interacted with and been inspired by so many terrific bloggers over the last year or so and it’s criminal that I haven’t added them to my list.

From Susan at Maple and Magnolia – who never fails to inspire (or at least make me extremely jealous… it can go either way…..seriously, how big is that house?!) to Julie at Follow Your Heart Woodworking who creates beautiful pieces always makes me want to be a better, more patient wood worker (this will never happen) to KariAnne at Thistlewood Farm who never fails to crack me up while simultaneously making me wonder what her neighbors think.

And there are lots more all worth checking out if you haven’t already.

I have also been fortunate to be featured in several places and though I always had the featured page it was in need of a refresh as well as I am so appreciative of those folks who have liked my work.

Speaking of my work I’ve also added a page for my Etsy shop because…..I can’t get the dang widget to work that’s supposed to show that in my sidebar.retro style coasters and gift ideas from Cheltenham Road

And finally, because I’m bad with the tags and didn’t really think it through before I started this endeavor – I’ve added a Tutorial page so, if you’d like, you can find all the various tutorials I’ve done all in one place.

I hope everyone has a terrific Labor Day.

I will now go nap………

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