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Done!…. Done?…. Sorta Done?…. Done-ish? How Do You Know?

Do you ever find that it’s hard to know when you’re actually done with a project?

Is it “done” because the deadline arrived (often the case with me)? Is it done because your totally satisfied (never the case with me)?

The minute I finish something my mind instantly starts coming up with ways that it should be changed or improved.

And I really, really, sincerely, want to change or improve it but there are always other shiny new projects to start (and, I guess, finish and then want to improve) and it’s hard to make the time for the do-over.

But sometimes it bugs me juuuust enough that I must do it! And such was the case with my LA Subway art.

You’ve seen these before.

I’d done the design initially for the knobs of the LA version of my NY Subway Coat Rack and I really the look.Vintage New York Subway Art Wall Shelf

So I’d tried them as candle blocksRetro Subway Art Candle Holders

And coastersSubway Art Coaster Set by Cheltenham RoadThey sold acceptably well at the local stores

(I mean, I do realize this is the nichiest of niche products – people who actually LIVE in Los Angeles have no idea we have a subway system so the number of citizens who want commemorative home decor based on it is…

But the design needed something more done to it and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until it dawned on me (at 3AM – thanks creative brain- do you think you could, I don’t know, function during normal, waking hours occasionally!?)

Red!Subway Art Coaster Set

That particular subway is called the Red Line and, for me, it always conjures up images of the famed Red Car trolley lines that used to criss-cross LA.  So red seems perfect!Subway Art Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

And I think I’m done!Vintage Subway Art Style Coaster Set

Done Done


But now – it’s on to a loooong time coming re-think.

Coaster packaging.

I get a lot of compliments (or at least no complaints) on the wrappers I designed for my coasters:Book Club Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Clean.  Simple.  But there are some, um, flaws….like, perhaps, the packaging doesn’t say with the product is!?!?  Or who made it?  Or how it was made?

So I’m toying around with this design.Vintage Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

I think I like it (for now.  I’m sure I’ll think of better options later – perhaps 2:30AM or maybe a late-blooming idea at 5?)

Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

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.

20 responses »

  1. I’ve always liked the old coaster packaging…but the new one is GREAT! Love it! And good idea to say what it is and use the “vintage” word! Also think the new red color excells!

  2. chris aka monkey

    this is pretty cool, no this is way cool, awesome even don’t change a thing it is done lol xx

  3. Packaging looks great!!

  4. Great stuff . . . as always. So, David, when you have these 2:00 a.m. ideas, you don’t actually get up and work on them, do ya? My preferred options 1. Rollover and go back to sleep; 2. Turn on the light and write it down; or my absolute favorite 3. No lights, just mumble into my mini recorder and go back to sleep when done. Course, I can’t always guarantee I’ll be able to interpret the message in the morning!
    Wishes to all for a fun weekend.

    • I like the recorder idea. I’m afraid though that mostly I get up because when it happens I am immediately wide awake. The flip side? The pleasure of working from home means that, if needed, I can grab a make-up nap later.

  5. I love every single one of them – clearly your brain works best at 3am! Mine used to, but as I get older, the only thing I accomplish at 3am is peeing! 🙂

  6. Your stuff is always so cool and original. Do you say where your product is made on the label? I think you should. Everything seems to be Made in China, so if you say Made in L.A. or even Made in U.S.A. I think people will buy more! (Or even better “Handmade in _.”)

  7. If you say: “Made with care in Valley Village, California” that will add that whole Santa’s workshop feel to it.

  8. And while you’re adding info to the back/sides, what about contact info such as your storefront website?

  9. I love the original labels, but I have to bow to the masses and agree with the more info, the better (especially for those coaster challenged folks out there that may require a bit more of a description). And I whole-heartedly agree about placing, “handmade in the USA” or something to that effect on your label someplace. I know you want to keep the graphics clean and not cluttered looking, but I think all the suggestions are great. And as for writing down creative ideas at O-dark thirty. I gave that up when I woke up one morning to find a hastily written note I have left for myself in the middle of the night. The earth shattering, change the world message read, “Don’t forget — Godzilla armpits! Great idea!” I now no longer keep any notepad or pencils anywhere near my nightstand.

  10. I liked the black & white, but the red really makes the look so much more vintage. I really like the new labels. Why not add your Etsy shop website address? Also, how about Handcrafted rather than Handmade? I think that sells better back here in Ohio, but maybe not so much for California.?…anyway, the new look is great! Keep those middle of the night ideas coming!

  11. I love the new packaging! It looks amazing! Great job as always David 😀

  12. Popped over from Knick of Time’s Facebook post on your subway art. I absolutely adore your signs, coasters, etc! They are totally my style. I also live in SFV. Care to meet up and share ideas?

  13. I love every single thing in this post!

  14. I’m a bit late to the party but…I like the red coasters over the black for sure. I like both the old and new packaging–there’s something quaint and throwback about a label that doesn’t have a lot of info on it…just reinforces the homespun nature of the product, in my opinion. You don’t want to go looking all corporate-y, right? 🙂

  15. L❤ve the red and LOVE the new wrappers!!!


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