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Category Archives: Craft and Handmade Shows

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!

Downside:

  • 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.

Useless.

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!

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Life of (with) Pi

We’ve traced the barks.  They’re coming from inside the house!!!!

This is not going to become a blog about a dog but I feel I must explain.

I really lucked out with Pi (somehow it auto-corrected last time – his real name is Pi).

The shelter said he was untrained but either they were wrong or he’s the most considerate animal ever.  He doesn’t beg for food, he doesn’t eat stuff off the floor, he doesn’t chew on furniture.  He just crawls in your lap and curls up in a little ball and naps.

In short, he’s kind of a dream.

There is just one small problem.

Poor little guy has some very understandable abandonment and separation anxieties.  And he wants to be near me all the time.

ALL THE TIME.

It’s like having a small, adorable stalker (who snores)

He follows me everywhere:

At my desk right now

Doing laundry

Any bathroom activity, including showering – he just pushes the door open and waits.

(which  I guess is only fair  since I watch him when he does his business)

And if I stand still too long when doing photos for this blog post?

This is fine.  I’m totally down with being unquestioningly adored (it just feels right!).

But I can’t leave the house.

If I leave the house (or even the room and he can’t follow) my sweet, placid, trouble free dog goes full blown Glenn Close at her bunny boiling, I-WILL-NOT-BE-IGNORED-DAVID!!!!!! Fatal Attraction peak.

It’s heartbreaking, a little scary and VERY limiting.

So, since I can’t even go to the garage for more than a few minutes I don’t have anything very detailed to share this week.

I did get a few “almost-done” things “totally-done.”

Finished up my biggest sign yet. It’s for a local teacher’s classroom.

This sucker is one foot high and about 4 ft long when laid out.

I’m also gearing up for the one of my favorite shows -the Jackalope Artisan Fair is in Pasadena next weekend.  I want to have some new trays and since I liked the how the Camera Shop sign came out I thought I’d try it in tray form.  I did the same process as before and  just used a bunch of cut-to-fit, painted pieces of thin scrap wood.

I put together a vintage bicycle tray that I thought might be a fun gift for someone.

And finished up my latest HOME sign for a customer in Fort Worth Texas

I’m hopeful that, this week, I’ll be able to convince Ms. Close that it will all be all right and that I guarantee I will return every time (we actually are making progress).

Until then it’s build up for Jackalope and, possibly some very scratched up doors.

annual christmas butt kicking

Hi!

I just popped in to say:argh

Yes, welcome to the annual Christmas is Kicking My Butt post.

Now, as you may recall I rocked Halloween.

OK, admittedly the bar was set pretty low so by “rocked” what I mean is I had some new products ready to go in advance, I felt moderately prepared and I didn’t smack my head into any solid objects like doors, car trunks or the chandelier in the dining room.  So, you know…ROCKED IT!!!!!

And then, as I was basking in the glow of Halloween-rocking suddenly everyone was all “Halloween is so last month.  I’m all about Christmas now!” and I, having over-basked, was left behind.

So it has been my usual holiday scramble of coaster making mania of late.  Etsy, Amazon and the retail stores that so kindly carry my work have put my little factory in overdrive.

I did manage to come up with a few new coaster designs that seem to be going over well.

A quick revision of my vintage Coffee Label setvintage-coffee-label-coasters-by-cheltenham-road

vintage-coffee-label-coasters-by-cheltenham-road-etsy-shopAnd a new set that features the great WPA art done for the National Parks.national-park-coaster-set

And did a quick update of one of my favorite (but slow selling) sets that feature old Dance Card tickets.vintage-dance-tickets-coaster-set-by-cheltenham-road

dance-ticket-coaster-set-by-cheltenham-roadAnd then there were the shows.  They ended up being almost back to back.  Jackalope went well but it was crazy hot one day, then it rained on the Patchwork show (but shoppers turned out!) and last weekend was my last one – the big Unique LA show.

It all went well with one small hiccup.

So, I set up my little area and all was good.cheltenham-road-table-unique-la

I was positioned on a corner spot and next to me they were giving away Luna Bars (awesome)20161204_142316 and they had set up a little lounge (super awesome – people chatting, snacking – all good).20161204_114113

Catty-corner to me was a booth that was selling, very cool, playing cards (their sign fell down – it says Art of Play).20161204_102709

That’s fine.  They were cool cards and they seemed like nice people.

However, mid-day on Saturday I suddenly realized the lounge area was occupied not by happy, Luna Bar munching, target-demo shoppers, but by a gang of teenage, card-playing hooligans who appeared to have set up a high stakes poker game.

Now, as we all know, Craft Show Hooligans are the very worst strain of hooligan so I was, naturally, hesitant to approach them.  But they were kinda blocking by products….

But, just as I was about to either shoo them away or perhaps call their moms, apparently one of them had the “most awesome hand ever” cleaned out the pot and they dispersed of their own accord.

I breathed a sigh of relief and went back to peddling my nostalgic wares.

And now, tonight (because, really, who wants a break?) is my big annual Holiday Dessert Party!

I’ve been working on new recipes (Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars, Chocolate Cookie Dough Shooters, Molasses Spice Cookies with Egg Nog Buttercream etc) and upping the presentation.  I think these black and white cheesecakes will go over well.black-and-white-mini-cheesecakes

And now I must get back to basking (rats!) baking  and cleaning, and….. mailing coasters

 

 

 

Be Prepared! And, if at first……

So, I was ready for Halloween.  Designs done well in advance!

And I basked in the glory of my preparedness and patted myself on the back for finally getting on top of this moving bullet train of a business.

And then, suddenly, Halloween was over.  And apparently it was already Christmas?!!

Did I mention that I was totally ready for Halloween?

Yeah, apparently being ready for Halloween in July is awesome but only means that you needed to be ready for Christmas in May.

In short.  Life has been a bit of a scramble.

And part of that scramble was my first Christmas project, while not actually going down in flames, went down in a cascade of failed glue joints and ill-considered engineering (and some vintage wrapping paper).

Ah well, you know what they say: If at first you don’t succeed swear a lot, curse the heavens, vow to quit, chuck it all and eat ice cream try, try again!

And I will!  But first I had some new, custom, customer orders and a show to get ready for.

Presenting my latest HOME sign: Buffalo!buffalo-new-york-home-sign-by-cheltenham-road

I got to work, re-working my vintage Circus poster coaster (which I enjoy saying) setantique-circus-coaster-set-by-cheltenham-road

circus-posters-coasters-by-cheltenham-roadAnd continued my love of all things old Hollywood with a new coaster setold-hollywood-postcard-vintage-coaster-set-by-cheltenham-road

glamorous-vintage-hollywood-coasters-by-cheltenham-roadAfter that it was time for this weekend’s Jackalope Arts Fair in Pasadena so, of course they got their own HOME signs, coasters and Subway signs.pasadena-california-home-sign-by-cheltenham-road

pasadena-california-vintage-coaster-set-by-cheltenham-roadSubway Art Sign Pasadena CA by Cheltenham RoadI’m back there today from 10-5 so please do stop by if that’s your part of town!

I’ll be back shortly with my stupid Christmas idea.

And did I mention I was totally ready for Halloween!?

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!

and

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.

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