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Category Archives: Craft and Handmade Shows

Christmas Kicked my Butt 2015! Now with Extra Butt Kickiness!

It’s that time of year when most blogs are doing their “Top 10 Posts of 2015!”

Here at Cheltenham Road the tradition is to review how Christmas kicked my butt.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

In truth, this year I had a pretty great holiday season (sorry).

I didn’t even injure myself in any serious way!

There were juuuuust a few hiccups however, and the major one wasn’t really my fault!

I’ll start with the minor hiccups.

I arrived at the Long Beach Patchwork show without……tables! I had managed to remember everything else, down to tiny slips of paper but forgot the tables that everything was supposed to go on.

OK, fine.  Got through that.

All looked good for the Santa Ana Patchwork show Thanksgiving weekend.

I had a new booth set up that opened on both ends.

So one side could attract customers with Christmas stuff and coastersPatchwork Santa Ana Booth 2015

and the other had Patent signs, Wine Charms and knobs.Santa Ana Patchwork 2015 Patent Sign Display

In the middle there were trays!

Isn’t that kind of a fun way to display them?  Tied to that grid?Patchwork Santa Ana Tray Display 2015

You know what would have been more fun?

If I had remembered to bring the metal shelves that hook onto that grid.senility

The very next weekend was Unique LA. I had big plans! A whole new booth set up. New products! And, of course, four days to make all the restock of things that had sold in Santa Ana along with filling various store orders.

No prob!!!!

One prob!!!!

You see, in an attempt to be professional and relieve some stress I had hired someone to make the blanks for my HOME signs and candle blocks.

I was very grown-up about it. I did interviews and had the candidates make samples so I could check out their work.

One gentleman stood out. He was into the idea, his work was really good AND he looked a bit like Santa Claus. Awesome!

My first sort of “sample” order with him went really well. So I reordered and explained this was for the big holiday rush – my busiest time. He said he understood, took my deposit and all was good!

I took orders, planned and launched on new ideas and generally felt like the Crafting Magnate that I knew I could be.

On delivery day (shortly before Thanksgiving) he texted to ask if he could deliver the next day. I said “fine.”

The next day, around 11AM I texted to see when he was coming.

He texted: “the blocks are all done.”

I said “and the 24 HOME signs?” (that were due in stores in the next couple of days)…..

…..and that was the last I heard from him. He never again responded to texts, emails or phone calls and never delivered anything.

This created a bit of Dominos of Disaster effect. Suddenly, rather than doing what I’d planned to do I was scrambling to make 100 blocks and HOME signs.

Some of the stores got shorted on their orders.

New things that I wanted to roll out for Christmas just plain didn’t get made.

My new and improved booth plan for Unique LA got a bit watered down and I began a very long journey of three straight weeks of 18 hour days (and also a running inner monologue of yelling at my faux Santa Claus) .

But!

The store owners were awesome (I really am lucky to be working with these people).

Unique LA went well and my booth, although not quite what I’d imagined, looked pretty good.

I created a center table and a little cash desk and a new display wall across the back.  Sales were solid and people seemed happy.Unique LA booth Xmas 2015Craft Show Display Cheltenham Road Unique LA 2015

I got all my Etsy orders out in time!Christmas Delivery

And collapsed on Christmas Eve.

And what have I learned?checklist

I do want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you for hanging in there with me on my sporadic blogging journey and for all the awesome notes, comments and suggestions. Unless you blog you have no idea just how much all that means to a guy and I am so very appreciative.

Happy New Year to all of you!

David

Boo! Halloween in August

Cheltenham Road Scare LA BoothWhew!

Made it through Scare LA and had a great weekend (except for, um…. breaking my toe. Because I think we can all agree I needed a new extremity to smack into things. Bashing one’s head is sooooo 2014).

And now, NOW I’m totally psyched for Halloween!…

In August…..

Which seems a bit early frankly.

I have several project I want to share but….

Would you look at them and think, “interesting but I’m not ready to think Halloween yet David?”

I wouldn’t blame you.

I wasn’t ready either. The show forced me.

I very much appreciated all your insights about the Glowing Eyes Candle holders (I get it! No glitter! What can I say? I was going through an experimental phase!”) – thank you very much!

And after some more toying around (paper, paint technique and color) they really worked out well.

They look suitably Victorian and grim in regular lightHaunted Halloween Candle Holders by Cheltenham Roadand suitably creepy in dim light!Glowing Eyes Candle Holder for HalloweenI can so see these in rows along a mantle or clustered on a table at some really cool Halloween party.Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham RoadOne of my customers said she was going to leave it in her bathroom to freak out her guests. Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham RoadAnd, best of all, they sold out at the show!

Happily, I took pics along the way for a tutorial but…..too early?

I also worked up some new displays.

The tea light holders got a new little cubbyhole display.Halloween Candle Blocks by Cheltenham Road

OK there are a few finishing touches for it that I ran out of time to complete such as, you know, a back……but I’ll get it done!

And this… whatever it is….mail sorter? from MichaelsGalvanized Metal and Wood Mail sorter

was easy to change over into a display for my magnets and labels with a little paint and some hinges.Magnet and Label Display Rack by Cheltenham Road

So it’s all “on deck” so- to- speak. And my brain is stuck in Halloween mode and new ideas are coming.

But it’s August!

DIY Magnetic Memo Board and…….Halloween?

I, David,  the man who has recently managed to goof up what day he has a big craft show will now speak of organization techniques.

Stop laughing.

Seriously.  It’s one of my (many) summer goals:

  •   Get organized (or re-organized ’cause I was, at one point, pretty well organized)
  •   Get work-flow streamlined, and
  • FIND A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING (desk-piles will no longer be acceptable).

The first stop on that last item is a real-life Pinterest board.

Pinterest has been great but sometimes,  I need to pin actual, tangible, things and have them readily available.

Did you know you could do that?

Now, technically this could qualify as Use What You’ve Got Project 7 but it’s a double agent functioning as my latest Mod Podge Rocks project as well.DIY Magnetic Memo BoardYou can check out the pleasantly simple tutorial over at MPR.

I like the fact that this works magnetically but also serves as a place to jot down notes.Magentic Bulletin Board Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadIt was easy to put together and while I was “using what I had” the same thing could be created with any number of different pieces-parts that you might have around – picture frames, pallet wood scraps etc etc.

Speaking of being organized and getting things planned, did you know that Halloween is coming?

OK, well not super-soon but even before the actual day there is Scare LA!

I did Scare LA last year and really didn’t know what to expect and was completely blown away.  The crowd was large and enthusiastic but, even more importantly, it was a beautifully put together event.  There were speakers and panels, demonstrations and craft areas – truly something for everyone.  And the costumes!!!!  It was pretty awesome.

It’s coming around again this year (August 8th and 9th) to an even bigger venue in Pasadena and I am happy to be participating.

All that was the lead up to say that, if you are a Halloween connoisseur you might want to put it on your calendar (organized!) and, for a while you can get a discount on tickets using the code: SCARECHELT – just click on the pic below to be taken to their siteSCARE LAWhich reminds me, I need to get going….here in June….on Halloween projects!

I also need to clean up these piles on my desk…and make a couple more magnetic boards.  I’m thinking a small one could go right next to my monitor here (in place of the picture) Turn a closet into a desk areathat way I could jot down ideas and keep track of “to-do lists – quickly……because “stop losing your to-do list” should also  be on my To-Do list.

 

Father’s Day Project Tutorial and Calendar Challenges

Simple Father's Day Project Tutorial Cheltenham RoadDid you all know that the Patchwork Long Beach Festival that I had signed up for was, in fact, NOT on June 14th but rather on June 7th?

You did?

How funny that you didn’t mention that.

I myself did not realize that fun fact until Monday.  The 1st.  Monday the 1st is when it suddenly became clear to me that I did not have two weeks but rather had five days to restock what had sold at the Santa Ana show.

I, of course, approached this crisis with a Zen-like calm and poise.

My week was filled with with stressed out panic chamomile tea and brunching with chums.

In the midst of brunching and chatting I got this idea for a Father’s Day Project and, as we know, when I get one of these ideas I feel overwhelmingly compelled to make it. Luckily it came together very,very fast leaving me time to lounge at the pool consuming bon-bons as I am wont to do.

I started out with the followingSimple DIY Father's Day Project by Cheltenham Road

  • Three 2″ wood blocks from Michaels
  • Two 3/4″ nuts
  • Wood Stain
  • E6000 glue
  • Mod Podge
  • 8 graphic prints (more on that at the end of the post) sized to 1.75 inches square
  • Electric Drill with a good sized bit
  • Sandpaper

I gave the blocks a light sanding just to smooth things out and marked the center of each.

After quickly drilling the hole in the center I stained the blocks, allowed them to dry and applied my graphics.Quick Father's Day DIY Pen Holder Project by Cheltenham Road

The graphics went on three sides of what would be the end blocks and just on the front and back of the center block.  Once they had dried I sealed them with another coat of Mod Podge

A little E6000 got the bolts in their place and I used two books to brace them while the glue dried.Pen Holder Project for Father's Day by Cheltenham Road

Done! Easy and quick.Easy Pen and Pencil Holder Project by Cheltenham Road

I, of course, used patent prints for my images because patent prints are all I can think about these days but there are so many options.DIY Pen Holder Desk Accessory Cheltenham RoadMaybe use scanned family or school pictures?  Perhaps scan and reduce kid’s drawings?

Scans of cool, old stamps would be fun.Pen Holder Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Or, getting away from Father’s day what about fruit crate labels, or tea label graphics (not that dads cant like fruit or tea)?  The blocks could be painted white and scrap book paper applied. It just seems like there are a lot of fun possibilities.

So there you have it.  And now I’m off to lie down for a little while several days because, you know how it is – all that relaxation can be soooo draining.

PS:  The show went great!  I was a bit groggy and the basic math skills required to run a booth did, on occasion elude me, but the weather was perfect, tons of stuff sold and the crowd was awesome (and I had the assistance of my terrific niece Sabrina who charmed pretty much everyone that came along.  I’m a very lucky, if calendar challenged, guy!).

 

Craft Show Display Project

Craft Show Display Idea Cheltenham RoadAs I was getting ready for the Santa Ana Patchwork Show I went a bit into overdrive on my new passion – Patent Graphics.Vintage Patent Prints Cheltenham RoadI’d made large ones but I’d also made some smaller ones that I thought might be appealing.

I wanted some way to display the small ones without having to hang them up on a wall and while I was poking around Michaels I saw this, I don’t know what it is actually…..shelving unit?Michaels Hanging Shelf

It was too small for my needs but it did get my mind going.

So, as I was maniacally trying to finish up all the various coasters, trays, signs and projects for the show I decided that now, YES NOW! was an ideal time to launch into a new display project.

And so, a somewhat unofficial, Use What You’ve Got Project was born  because, you see, there is STILL leftover wood from the dresser.Trash To Treasure Dresser Project Cheltenham RoadThat thing is clearly magical and I’m growing concerned that it was actually a portal to Narnia or something and I’ve totally screwed up.

So I started out with this motley pile.  It’s a piece of the top, one of the supports that held the drawer up, a drawer front and a couple of drawer sides.

Scrap Wood for Craft Show Display Project Cheltenham RoadI used the larger pieces for the base and backer  and I used the rail for the front retaining piece (25″ long). I cut the other piece of wood down to make four dividers.Michaels Display Idea Knock off Cheltenham roadA quick assembly with glue and screws and it was looking OK.  Craft Show Display Project Cheltenham RoadI gave it a quick, light, once-over with some watered down white paint just to cover up the raw wood.  And, since I hate to miss an opportunity to use the Lenk tool these days I decided some text would make it look more official (and cooler).

I just typed out some text, reversed it and attached it to the front and Lenked away!Transfer Text to Wood with the Lenk tool  Cheltenham RoadAnd it worked!  Craft Show Display Idea Project Cheltenham Road It let people flip through their options quickly and because the wood was so old and dried out it is quite light considering its bulk.Image Transfer for Craft Show Display Cheltenham Road Project(Is putting patent images in a Patent Office box a bit too on-the-nose?  I can’t decide.)Craft Show Display Project Cheltenham RoadIt was up front in my booth and the signs got looked over and purchased quickly – mostly sold out by the end of the day.

And now my mind is spinning on a totally new look for my booth in the future.

However, that “future” is soon because up next is the other Patchwork show in Long Beach this coming Sunday!  Lots to do!

Build a Hanging Wall Shelf

I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend!

I spent my Sunday at the Patchwork Festival – more on that later because, in the meantime my latest Mod Podge Rocks project is up and ready for review.

Is anyone in need of a vintage themed shelf for their sewing room?

The Mod Podge Rocks project I teased is up and ready for review today. It was inspired by my mom and sisters and their amazing fiber arts skills.DIY Vintage Sewing Shelf Tutorial Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge Rocks

It’s sort of a continuation of my Use What You’ve Got project -a few pieces of scrap wood (not from the dresser!) and some odds and ends.

The idea started forming when I was home visiting Ohio a few weeks ago. My sisters, (Paula and Phebe, both have these enviably comfy, well stocked, sewing rooms in their homes. I don’t sew at all but even I want to curl up in there and get to work. Anyway, Paula and I had put our heads together for a sewing themed project. If you ever need someone to bounce creative ideas around with ask me for Paula’s number. She’s awesome with this stuff – always up for the creative brainstorming and we have fun doing the “what if?” game.

This one started out with “what if we used old spools as hooks?” and morphed from there. She even provided me with the spools!

And a project was born.

Make a decorative wall shelf Cheltenham Road Tutorial for Mod Podge Rocks

DIY Sewing Room Decor Shelf. Cheltenham Road Tutorial for Mod Podge Rocks

It was a pretty easy project and I think my sister(s) will be pleased with the outcome.Sewing Room Project.  Make a wall shelf.  Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge Rocks

OK, Patchwork.  Firs off thanks very much to all of you for the good wishes. It worked! It was a great day both for weather and sales.

I came up with some new product designs.  These trays were fun to make and pretty easyclassic bathing beauty tray by Cheltenham Roadand continued my obsession with finding new ways to display things.Craft Show Display Idea by Cheltenham Road

I’ll share more pics next time around.  I’m giving myself two days off (I’m an awesome boss!) because although it was great it also kinda wiped me out. The build up was seven days of 5AM -11pm work and although the big day itself was enjoyable it was also long.

As I was hauling the heavy boxes back to the car at the end of the day (seriously, whose dumb idea was it to make everything out of wood!? My next business will be entirely feather based) I kept repeating the manta “I’m not insane I am a creative entrepreneur!!!”…..I almost believed me.

Getting Ready for the Santa Ana Patchwork Festival May 24

I’ve spent the last few days in over-drive mode getting ready for the big, spring Patchwork Festival that is this Sunday in Santa Ana.PATCHWORK FESTIVAL SANTA ANA CALIFORNIA

I’m really looking forward to it. It’s always a great show and in such a cool setting.

I’m also excited to see how some new stuff goes over.Vintage Patent Prints Cheltenham Road

I’ve gone crazy lately for patent images! (you’ll be seeing them in a lot of projects)

So many possibilities

Of course millions of coaster are done…..or at least drying (and dusty…..)Retro Coaster Sets by Cheltenham Road

I grabbed some of the last few pieces of the never-ending dresser and put together a fun (I think) way to display the smaller patent prints.Vintage Style Display for Craft Shows

I snapped that picture before it was done. I’ll give a blow by blow of the final project next week.

And, while all this was going on I also put the finishing touches on my next Mod Podge Rocks project.  A small tribute to my mom and sisters for their crazy awesome fiber arts skills!Chletenham Road Tutorial for Mod Podge Rocks

If you are remotely local please do come to Patchwork. It’s an awesome show with free admission and live music in a totally charming revitalized downtown setting.

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