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Category Archives: Craft and Handmade Shows

Abbot Kinney Festival and a Rapacious Grab for Coaster Dominance

Tomorrow is the big, annual Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice.Abbot Kinney Festival 2016

I’ve been looking forward to this – its’ one of my favorite shows each year.

Unfortunately “looking forward” doesn’t always translate into “getting ready for” as much as it should so the last few weeks I’ve been in Mad-Maker Mode because the crowds  look like this:image

You know, just a couple people milling around……no biggie

I’ve put together some new beachy  themed itemsVenice Beach Collage Sign by Cheltenham Road

I hope people get that “VB” means Venice Beach and don’t think I’m advertising some new strain of social disease.  I’ll keep you posted.

And my plethora of beach and beach-centric images have translated themselves to coaster setsSanta Monica Drink Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

and candle holders.Venice California Candle Holders by Cheltenham Road

So, while I’ve been working on getting ready I’ve also had an influx of order because something kind of exciting happened.

A very kind (and remarkably patient) woman named Caryn is now repping me and my “line”

(OK, I have to confess that every time she says “your line” I kind of laugh.  Target has  a “line” of products.”  Calvin Klein has a new “fall line” hitting stores.  I have “stuff that I made in the garage.”  But I can understand why Caryn probably doesn’t choose to present it that way)

She’s been doing an amazing job and I’m so happy to report that several new stores are carrying my coasters.

First up is the Big Sugar Bake Shop

big-sugar-bakeshop--studio-cityTotally charming place with amazingly good cupcakes, muffins and cakes.  It’s nearby and I’ve been a customer for several years.  Now if I can just figure out how to barter coasters for cupcakes I’ll be all set.

Then there is Trinkets and Treasures – a great gift shop in Studio CityTrinkets and Treasures Studio City

The Brentwood General Store caters to a classy crowd – and I’m honored to be there.Brentwood General Store

And there are several more shops coming soon!

Add those to my long time local supporters like Bar Keeper, Mindful Nest and CoOp 28 and a few new ones in Ohio, Arizona, Seattle and New York and I think we can say:city silhouette sunset

We can also say that it’s been a coaster making frenzy around here.

I must confess, I’m very happy but I do gaze wistfully at all the craft supplies and jotted down “project” ideas that I. Just. Can’t. Seem. To. Get To.

Soon, soon.

In the meanwhile, on to the beach!

If you are local please swing on by the booth at Abbott Kinney!

Oh The Horror! Halloween in August!

Framed Halloween 31 sign by Cheltenham Road Hi, I’m David.  You may remember me from such lies as:

I’ve totally got this under control!


I’m on top of things now and will blog regularly!

Well, two back-to-back, two-day Halloween shows pretty much put the kabosh on that sense of togetherness.

I went into crazy manufacturing overdrive to have enough stock on hand and I still ended up running out of a few things (good problems!)

These Halloween shows are always a lot of fun and the creativity displayed by both the vendors and the attendees is always amazing and pretty inspiring.

I opted for doing just table set ups this time around and though it got a bit crowded it seemed to work.Cheltenham Road Table Set up for Scare LA 2016

There was a mix  of my old standards like the Glowing Eye candle holders (you can see the tutorial for how to do them here)Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham Road

along with a slightly revised subway sign design and potion signsHandmade Original Design Halloween Signs by Cheltenham Road

I came up with the idea for these new, slatted “31” slatted signs at the very last minute (cause that’s how my mind works).

I did three variations and they sold out pretty quickly (there’s a fourth version of the same idea you can see in the basket of the picture above with the Trick or Treat cat)

Framed Halloween 31 sign by Cheltenham Road

I did, however, mange for once to think far enough ahead and sized them to fit in a USPS box (my creativity is only limited by box size I’ve discovered since I keep making things that are too much of a hassle to ship) so they will soon be available on EtsyHalloween Collage Original Sign by Cheltenham Road

And, of course, I needed a few, themed wine charm sets  for all those Halloween party throwers.

I only had time to grab some quick pics before the first show but you’ll see the idea.

I designed some covers for classic, Gothic horror novels

Gothic Novel Wine Charm Set for Halloween by Cheltenham Road(with, of course one for the poor, sober Designated Driver).Classic Horror Novel Halloween Drink Tag set by Cheltenham Road on Etsy

People actually requested coaster version of these which I ended up making for the second of the two shows.

There was a set for the the Lucretia Borgia crowd featuring classic poison labelsChoose Your Poison Halloween Wine Charm Set by Cheltenham Road

And finally a set for all those folks who love the vintage Halloween graphics.Vintage Halloween Wine Charm Set by Cheltenham Road

I’d been toying with the idea of making T-shirts out of my funny, Gothic ad coaster designs but it just didn’t seem to be viable cost-wise.  So I had some tote bags made featuring three of the designs and they seemed to go over well Halloween Tote Bags by Cheltenham Road(although they might have gone over better if the second show hadn’t handed out free tote bags to EVERY.  SINGLE. ATTENDEE…..argh!)

All in all it was an exhausting but great couple of weeks.  And I’m very happy to, for the first time, have Halloween stuff designed and ready to go well in advance (I even have a few more ideas I want to try out).  Now if Starbucks would just get that Pumpkin Spice Latte going I’d be all set.







Tray Chic. DIY Vintage Style Trays

I’ve been on a tray kick of late.

Trays are the closest thing to working on furniture that I can do right now.

I get to find a beat up old tray at a thrift store, patch and paint it and change it up into something (hopefully) cooler.

Since I had a back log of un-spruced up trays (because as we all know it’s way more fun to find/hoard the thing than it is to actually buckle down and do the makeover) heading into the Patchwork show this last weekend I got busy.

Oh, did I mention I’m also on a slat kick?  Long time readers may feel this is more of an addiction than a kick….but I digress.

It’s just that  I have tons of random bits of scrap wood and I’m always looking for ways to use it up.  I’ve discovered that I can do fun things by turning them into slats for signs and such so I thought – why not combine my kicks (I’m the Rockettes of DIY)

I had a little, beat up black tray that I thought had potential so after cutting the slats to length and painting them white I flipped them over and taped them together on the backside. DIY vintage style tray by Cheltenham Road

Then, on the painted side – using my bathing beauty friends

Panorama Vintage Bathing Beauties and some text – got to work with my Wall Lenk tool. (for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about you can find a full tutorial about how to do image transfer with a Wall Lenk tool HERE and you can see how I do my trays HERE)Image transfer using the Lenk tool by Cheltenham Road

Once I was satisfied with the design I just glued the slats to the bottom of the tray, sealed the image and poured the Envirotex.Vintage Bathing Beauty Tray by Cheltenham Road

Up next I changed gears and made a collage with my wealth of dairy label graphics (along with some help from Angie at  Knick of Time and her generous  free downloads.  While you’re perusing her site be sure to check out her awesome stencils too – great designs).Vintage Dairy Label Tray Original Designs by Cheltenham Road

Vintage Milk Bottle Label Collage Tray by Cheltenham RoadAnd then it was back to slats and a slightly altered Cabins for Rent coat hanger graphic combined with a bit of a forest graphic from an old postcard.Rustic Serving Tray by Cheltenham Road

(Yes, in retrospect it occurs to me that maybe, just maybe I should have taken a little more time with design and, I don’t know……found a graphic of a CABIN!!!! perhaps?  Details, details……)

Anyway, the Lenk tool did a great job,  almost too great  actually as I was hoping for a bit more distress (the text is a bit too crisp) but it still looks pretty good and took very little time.Image transfer to wooden tray by Cheltenham Road

Everything looked good at the show and I had an terrific corner spot.  I made a couple more of my giant vintage baseball tickets and I was ready for business.Cheltenham Road Booth for Spring 2016 Patchwork

Unfortunately the customers weren’t quite as ready.  I did an extremely solid business in compliments……nooooooot so much in sales.  Sold a little bit of everything but not a lot of anything – you know what I mean?  It was fine, profit was made and possible future customers acquired.  It’s just more fun to be crazy-busy all day, sell out and have nothing left to pack up at the end.  Ah well.

And now?

Well, to be honest, it’s on to Halloween!?!  Weird I know but my next two shows in July (back to back- this should be interesting) are both Halloween themed so I must turn my thoughts to pumpkins and ghosts.

Super Simple Craft Show Display Stand

Simple Craft Show DisplayI know some of you long-time readers saw the title of this post and said to yourselves “OK,  nutjob, that’s it.  It’s time to stage an intervention.”

And while it’s true that I’m sort of addicted to making craft show displays I can totally justify this one (and I can stop anytime I want to!).

See, here’s the deal.

I’ve tried a bunch of different ways to display my candle blocks:Candle Block DisplayHalloween Candle Blocks by Cheltenham RoadDIY Product Display Towers for Cheltenham Road Unique LA Craft BoothEach has worked out just fine at the shows and I’ve used and re-used them.

However each has also posed a transport and storage problem.

As you know due to the size of my car (Honda Fit) all my stuff needs to be as compact as possible.  My goal is to have everything fit neatly into boxes so that loading/unloading the car is simple.   I needed (see! it was a NEED!!!) a new display that was compact to transport, sturdy, versatile and easy to set up.

I’ve seen great, beautifully made, collapsible display  stands on Etsy but I just couldn’t afford them.

I was getting ready for the Jackalope Show when I had a brainstorm for a simple, compact, pack-able option.

It came together very quickly, it’s sort of embarrassingly simple (I hesitated to post about it because it’s so…..basic) but I think it will serve me well and variations of it would serve others well too.

I used:

  • 4×4 pine post lumber
  • 1×4 pine strips
  • Tite Bond Wood Glue (and clamps)
  • White paint
  • Teacher’s Tape

I cut my 4×4  lumber down into two  4×4 blocks and two 4×8 blocks.Easy DIY Craft Show DisplayTo make the base gs sturdy I just glued the blocks together (using clamps to hold them in place as the glue dried) and then I painted them white (not very well I’ll admit – I was in a hurry and “rustic” was kind of what I was going for).DIY Craft Show Display StandAnd with two more more 1x4s cut to length and then paintedSuper Easy Craft Show Display Stand

I was, essentially, done.Easy to make DIY Display for Craft Shows by Cheltenham Road

I wanted it to be easy to set up and take down but I also wanted to make sure it didn’t come apart if a customer jostled it or something.

Have you heard of Teacher’s Tape?  0012670_removable-teachers-tape-roll-of-2000It’s my big craft-show lifesaver – I never do a show without a big supply on hand.  It’s inexpensive and super strong but also easily removable.  It’s great for sticking up signs or, as as I did here, just adding that little extra grip that will prevent the stand from coming apart until I’m ready to pack it up.  To pieces on the bottom of each end of the the shelves and that sucker isn’t going anywhere.Simple Display Stand for Craft Shows by Cheltenham Road

The display worked out greatEasy to make, portable, Craft Show Display Stand tutorial by Cheltenham RoadIt only takes seconds to set it up and it’s sturdy.   Easy, Portable, Versatile Craft Show Display Project by Cheltenham Road

It’s versatile enough that if I need it to be longer someday I can just cut some longer.

And, best of all, the whole thing breaks down and fits neatly in a box for transport and storage.

I’m looking forward to using it again at the upcoming Patchwork Show in Long BeachPatchwork Long Beach Craft Show

If you’re local please do come out and see me (and see my display in action!).

Post-Jackalope and a Mini Tray Makeover Tutorial

The Jackalope show was awesome!   Beautiful weather, great crowds and lots of sales – you couldn’t ask for better.  And thank you all for your good wishes and positive thoughts – they totally paid off.

Jenni requested a closer look at the ashtrays (seriously people?!) terra-cotta coasters I had in the booth.  I snapped a quick  pic Sunday morning and I was glad I did because by Sunday evening they were gone.Ceramic Coasters by Cheltenham RoadI’m really digging these.  They open up a whole new world of possibilities.  For this round I supplemented the soda pop ones I shared previously some of my much loved vintage dairy labels and, going for the man-cave crowd, vintage oil can graphics (question: can man caves have coasters?  Seems kind of antithetical).

In my crazy lead-up-to-Jackalope week I also had a major thrift store score.  Rummaging around I found, in their manufacturer’s package, these nesting traysDIY Wood Tray Makeover by Cheltenham RoadThe cost?  $4.50!

I had been toying around with a tray idea for a few weeks and this seemed perfect.  I had planned to do a full-on tutorial but, um, I sold it before I could get the beauty shot.  So, herewith is a mini version.

I first, sanded, primed and painted one of the smaller trays.

I cut some thin wood (pressboard really) down into slats that were wide enough to fill the bottom of the tray but just leave little space between each strip.  I also printed out an enlarged version of one of my favorite vintage Los Angeles postcards and cut it into strips.wooden tray tutorial by Cheltenham RoadI attached the graphics to the pressboard using mod podge and painted the bottom of the tray black.thrift store tray makeoverAfter gluing the strips in place and sealing them with another coat of Mod Podge I poured in a good layer of Envirotex Lite.Thirft store tray makeover by Cheltenham RoadI used a couple of the other trays in the group as well – using my other vintage postcard collage but I have a couple left and I think I want to make more like this.

Also, during my crazy week, I finished up my latest Mod Podge Rocks project.  It’s a very easy to make coat rack that uses plaques from Michaels, Mod Podge Transfer Medium  and some of my favorite vintage luggage tag graphics.Easy Coat Rack Tutorial by Cheltenham Road(side note: if you want to see a super cool, totally charming coat rack visit my friend Julie’s blog Follow Your Heart Woodworking and check out her latest work.  I think they are awesome!)

In slightly more unsettling news….whatever critter that had died in the Blair Witch room is, um, gone.  On Monday when I steeled myself to open the garage door there was nothing, no smell, nuthin’.  I feel like I’m in a Hitchcock film.  “I SWEAR the body was here a second ago!” * I’ve now pulled everything out and haven’t found a thing.  And while I guess that’s good it’s also a bit creepy.

So, Jackalope went well!  Dead Animal Disappeared!  Garage is now clean and organized (almost)!  What is there to complain about?  Well, I’m afraid I have to reset the board:0 DAYS

stupid, low, door frame……


*does this scenario make me Cary Grant?! I’m totally down with that then!


Jackalope Show Pasadena, New Products, New Booth Set Up and an Unpleasant Search

Yesterday was the first day of the big Jackalope Fair in downtown Pasadena.

Now, you may think that since I did a big build up for the show in Santa Monica but sold almost nothing that I would just cruise into the prep for this one.

And if you think that, then…..

You must be new here!

Welcome to Cheltenham Road – thanks for dropping by.

Nope, I went into full Captain Crazy Pants mode and made a bunch of new stuff!

I had a brainstorm for a new set of Wine Charms – The Femme Fatales of pulp fiction booksPulp Fiction Wine Charm Set

And, of course, there is one for the Designated DriverWine Charm Set by Cheltenham Road

I also thought it would be good to work up some Local Love coasters, for the Pasadena CrowdPasadena CA Coaster set by Cheltenham Road

And a Pasadena themed Subway Art SignSubway Art Sign Pasadena CA by Cheltenham Road

I continued to work on those terra cotta coasters and found some new designs using oil can graphics and, of course, dairy labels (more on those in a second).

And then I geeked out on booth set up – you can skip this part if it isn’t your thing.

I have to confess I’m a bit embarrassed that I keep doing this.  I mean, of course, you have to make adjustments as you go but at this point I really should have maybe two standard booth layouts that I just trot out.  But I keep getting new ideas – or refining old ideas and I just can’t keep from tinkering.

This time I wanted to play with an arrangement of tables that would give maximum surface space but take up minimum room.

I worked on a dummy version in the drivewayTiered Table Arrangement for Cheltenham Road Craft Booth

The different table heights let me fit a bit more product on there but keep the footprint small.

I was pretty happy with the real thing yesterday (sorry – this is A: not quite totally done and B: a phone photo – but you get the idea).Cheltenham Road Craft Booth

And it seemed to work well (I even remembered my banner! which I had made about two years ago but have forgotten to bring pretty much every time).

I mean, it’s a bit busy -one day my booth is going to trigger a seizure in some poor, unsuspecting customer- but it’s closer to what I want.

Also, due to technical difficulties I had to re-order how I usually set up the coaster and HOME sign boards but I like it a lot.Craft booth set up for Cheltenham Road It’s usually the two coaster boards next to each other and then the HOME Board.  The coasters always catch people’s eyes but this set up makes them see the HOME signs too and pulls them into the booth a bit more.

As you can see in this pic I had the ceramic coasters up front and A LOT of people exclaimed “ash trays!” which had never crossed my mind.  Talk about retro!  Of course, I could probably totally corner that market since I don’t think anyone makes ashtrays anymore…….

So, I’m happy to report that the first day of Jackalope was great.  Weather was perfect, crowds were good and I’m looking forward to going back this morning for Day 2!

After that I will take a long – long nap on Monday and then pull everything out of the garage because….something has died in there. Unfortunately that’s not a euphemism for my disorganization.  Some small critter has actually expired and I can’t find it.  It’s either in a wall or underneath and behind some pile of boxes.  Ugh!

I’ll share pictures when I find it!!!!! (just kidding)

Ah the fun of living out in the country in the heart of a city.

Triumphing Over Childhood Trauma! And a craft show. And a Birthday!

Well, it had to happen.  I’m just glad it waited until now.

I’ve been very lucky over the years.  I have had great success at craft shows.

Pouring rain?  Made a profit!  Only a few customers?  Made a profit!  Windstorm blows half my stuff onto the ground?  Made a profit!

Last weekend in Santa Monica?

Not so much.

I don’t know what happened.  Not a big turnout but those who came just, were not there to buy stuff.  Or even take business cards.  It happened to all the vendors and it was weird.


The event was held outside the very cool Museum of Flying at the Santa Monica airport.15776516228_7067342873_oAnd since I……..had some time on my hands….. I checked it out and ended up facing and defeating a demon from my childhood!

“Tell us more, David” I can hear you murmur.


My dad is an aviation nut and always has been.  He builds model planes.  He learned to be a pilot and flew Cessna’s.  His second career was running the Airline Safety Reporting System.


So it was appropriate that, when I was six we took a family vacation to Dayton, Ohio and the Air Force Museum there. (yes, we lived large when I was a kid!).

I was good with this plan. I was a little boy.  I like planes, cars trucks and stuff.

Well, I was good with it until I saw this:

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk in the Air Power Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

This is  a Curtis-40 War Hawk.

And Mr. Aren’t-Planes-Awesome decided he wanted a picture of his only son standing in front of it.

Well, I may have been six but I was not an idiot and I WAS NOT GOING TO TURN MY BACK ON THAT THING!!!

Was he crazy?  Was he trying to kill me?!  Whatever.  It was not happening!

But it did happen.

So, there is a famous-in-my-family photo of me screaming crying in front of this plane.

But I can now put that shame behind me.

Because at the Santa Monica Museum they had thisAirplane

Yeah.  I took that picture.   I stared down that monster and triumphed!  I even got close enough to read the sign! (it is a North American Navion)

Modern kids?….no common sense.trusting foolsAnd, feeling flush with pride, I wandered over and checked out the reproduction of the Wright Brothers PlaneWright Brothers Plane and I was reminded of this great quote:Wilber Wright Quote

Nailed it!!!!!!! (OK, my dad may have had some dubious photo opportunity ideas but, otherwise, great guy!)

And also, today is Dad’s 94th Birthday!!dad(this picture was taken a few years ago)

Still going strong!  Still all about planes (although he was in the Navy – go figure) and woodworking, and book club, and taking continuing education classes and generally making me feel fairly lazy.

So, that was Santa Monica and now –


This next weekend is the big Jackalope Show in Pasadena.3f6dde38-e134-4175-903d-746c5a8520f8I am very excited about the show (I love Pasadena) and I had, um,  a lot of time last weekend to ruminate on new ideas that I’ll be sharing them this week.

Back soon!


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