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Vintage Signs! Trays! A Jackalope Report and How the Dog is Gaslighting Me

I think Pi is trying to gaslight me.

Friends come to meet him and he’s the ultimate tail-waggy, cute, well behaved dream dog. When I describe his Cujo like other side they all look at me like “really David?”

“But it’s true!!!!!”  I cry.  “I’ll show you” and I leave the room.  And he wags his tail, curls up and takes a nap.

But once the friends leave, if I even look like I’m going to, oh I don’t know, go to the bathroom alone, it’s Stephen King time.

This has led to a sort of Dog Supervised House-Arrest situation which has yielded both good and bad results

Upside of Being Under Dog House Arrest:

  • I’m getting lots of filing done
  • I have time to do the research for new designs
  • When I do make it “over the wall” so-to-speak and get to the garage I execute my chores with a breath taking, military-like precision and efficiency that would make my father proud
  • Facing an upsetting lack of tortilla chips and a glorious abundance of pretzels I invented Pretzel Nachos!


  • I invented Pretzel Nachos. I was not actually in need of yet ANOTHER salt/fat delivery system…but they are delicious.
  • Getting ready for the big Jackalope show last weekend was challenging.

I couldn’t really plan out my booth the way I usually do so I just chucked a lot of stuff in the car and hoped for the best.

It came out OK

I did forgot my banner that says “Cheltenham Road” and I neglected to bring my business cards but other than that I was, you know, “Captain of Industry” all the way baby!

Product-wise I had to focus on things that I could (mostly) make indoors.

This restriction somehow, to all my Spite Crafting signs morphing into something a bit less spiteful and a lot of fun.

So, in addition to my Camera Shop Sign (click here for a tutorial on the image transfer technique I used)

there was a vintage bicycle sign (graphic courtesy of the The Old Design Shop):and my favorite one that I made with an old typewriter advertisement

They were fun, easy to make and, best of all, sold!

I also worked on some more trays and gave my Bathing Beauties another go

And worked out a new subway sign featuring our great National Parks

Now, of course, I had to bring Pi with me or face the consequences.

I was nervous about how he’d do in public but he did great (gaslighting!)….with a tiny exception.

I gave him one job.  ONE JOB!

He was to sit up, look adorably puppy-like and lure unsuspecting customers into my booth.  They would squeal over the cuteness of my pet and then feel compelled to purchase coasters (it’s a well known cause-effect pattern).

Pi, instead, did this:


All day!

Both days!!!!

He just laid there behind or under a table.


His pay will be docked accordingly.

So my job now is to continue to try to train him to chill-out (he’s actually been doing better the last couple of days) while I make a bunch of pretzel nachos coasters that are due at the stores.

Wish me luck!

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.

16 responses »

  1. So…….I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Pi but I’m on his side. Clearly you are maligning him. There’s not a Stephen King bone in his body and his concerns regarding your use of the “facilities” stems from the fact he knows this is the location of most home accidents and he wants to oversee the klutz who has adopted him. He only wants to protect you from harm. A selfless companion is hard to find. (Leaving the house is overrated).

  2. Jo Ann Bastanjoo

    David, you are too, TOO funny! I check your site every day for a new post. Pi did very well at your booth, considering he could have been a “wild child,” distracting everyone. Just continue to work patiently with him, and extend your time in the garage, followed by great praise when you come back inside. Looks like you are both doing great!!!

    • Thanks Jo Ann! (just to save you some time – I’m trying to post just once a week on Sunday’s rather than my somewhat random approach of the past – I just got a bit behind this last week cause of the show). It’s true, of the problems he could have caused “excessive napping” is pretty terrific and I count myself lucky.

  3. Welcome to parenthood. Our kids rarely behave the way we wish, so why should Pi be any different? Even though he didn’t use his charm, his relaxed state PROVES that he is a mellow, good dog that just has to learn that Dad has a life and it doesn’t always revolve around Pi. He has seperation issues and when he is with you…happy dog. So, now he just has to learn that Dad has stuff to do, sorry. You love him, but he is a dog and has to adapt and when he does, he will be happier and not stressed. Remember, you are his teacher and some day, he will appreciate what a find job you did smoothing out his few imperfections.
    Reminds me of when I was ready to mail my son anywhere and I went to a P/T conference and found out he was so delightful. His wise teacher remarked that he did know how to act, he was testing the people who loved him the most, his family. And guess what? She was totally right, so trust your gut and realize anything worth having, like a super dog, requires work, which you really know in your heart.
    Hang in there, S.B.

  4. Chris (formerly MN but now in AZ for the winter and back to MN for the summer)

    What a cutie! (You, the dog, or both). Why can’t Pi be in a kennel or a small pen in the garage while you are working? Not underfoot but still with you. My German Shorthair, Samantha, has separation issues, too. If I try to leave her alone in the RV she will tear the place apart and cry. If I leave her in my truck, which has a dog bed in the rear seat, she will be a good girl for hours. Go figure.

    • Thanks!
      I would love to have him with me and he’d probably behave quite well (he’s OK with his kennel as long as you don’t actually close the door). However, I wear a air-filtering mask when I work out there because there is so much sawdust, paint particles etc floating through the air and I just don’t want to subject his little self to that.

  5. That’s funny that Pi passed out at the show. 🙂

    I like your National Parks subway sign. That would also be cool to do for locally famous bodies of water (for GA: Lake Lanier, Chattahoochee, Lake Oconee, Tallulah Falls, Lake Sinclair, etc.)…People around here would just eat that up.

  6. Aw, love Pi! Would it help to crate him to get him used to being alone–even when you’re at home. Not all the time. Just bits and pieces. And leave the door of it open when he’s loose–he may learn to like it as a “safe zone.”

    Love the artwork.


  7. Pi looks so adorable laying there by your booth. I really think you need to crate him and close the door and leave him for one minute. Then go back and don’t make a big fuss and give him a treat. Do it again and again… more time away. Sometimes give a treat and sometimes not. He will learn to love his crate and not worry about you being away.

  8. Having met Pi, the docile, cuddly creature who slept most of my visit, I am beginning to question your perception of reality.

    Sure he goes into a frenzy every time you leave, David.
    We all do. Now, have a nice snack and lie down for a bit.

  9. Great setup once again David, minus the “important” things such as the business cards. I have done that myself quite a few times. Get everything packed, double check, get to the show and realize I’m missing a quarter of my stuff. Or some type of display. I’m finally possibly getting some of my stuff into gift shops. Thank you for a funny and inspirational blog to keep me upbeat when I’ve wanted to quit making my stuff quite a few times. Would it be okay if I “borrowed” the idea of the national park subway signs? They look really great by the way.

  10. Having (mostly) survived a dog with separation issues- two things really helped.
    There are devices that release dog pheromones (yes, I was an unbeliever) and calm them when you leave. The second thing we did was leave a treat in a Kong that took a while to chew. She came to look forward to my leaving because she always gets a treat and forgets that I left. Enjoy being loved SO much!


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