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Category Archives: Craft and Handmade Shows

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.

BUT!

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.

OK,

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.

Planes!

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 –

Onward.

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!

 

My Own Hollywood Backlot in the Backyard

I’ve been ramping up the factory this past week getting prepped for two, big, new shows.

First up is Rendezvous MarketRendezvous Market Santa Monica

This is a new one (for me and them – first time!) and I’m looking forward to it.

After that comes the Jakalope Festival in lovely Pasadena.3f6dde38-e134-4175-903d-746c5a8520f8

I’ve heard great things about this show and Pasadena is one of my favorite places.

So, of course, this means that my life of late (and going forward) is all about building up inventory so there are….

coasters  coasters everywhereCoasters Coasters Everywhere

Not my favorite look for the dining room but such is life.

In the meantime (because endlessly detailing the fact that I’m making coasters somehow does not make for compelling blog reading) I wanted to share photo set-up that I put together.

So photography is…not my favorite aspect of all of this.  I’m just not very good at it.

I bought a fancy new camera a while ago and a tome of an instruction book that just sits here on my desk….mocking me.

I mean, I’m improving but it’s all a bit beyond me – so many buttons!!!! So many math-like things to adjust!  So many considerations about where the sun is at that particular moment.

Anyway, I was trying to get a picture of that little chair I did for my last Mod Podge Rocks projectIkea chair makeover by Cheltenham Road but I was having a terrible time.

I couldn’t find a good spot in the house, I couldn’t get a good angle on it.  But I was so pleased with the project and I wanted a good shot.

I decided to go outside but then all I got were horrible shadows and more frustration until I noticed a spot up against the back of the house  that was shaded and I had

AN IDEA!

I wanted to make the chair look like it was sitting in a room so I grabbed one of my work tables, some old boards I had that were painted white and a chunk of beadboard leftover from a show display.

I pushed the table up against the back of my house to hold up the beadboard and just laid the wood pieces down like a floor.

And then got fancy adding another piece of wood as a “baseboard” and clamped another across the top as a “chair rail”.

Easy Photo Shoot set up

Once you crop it down to “edit” out the edges it looks sorta like an actual room.Easy chair makeover idea by Cheltenham Road

It’s a bit bright and still a little flat but so much better than what I was getting and so easy to set up.

I even could swap out the back wall by just using any other random piece of board that was large enough

How about white!DSC_4526

Perhaps blue!Decoupage Kids Chair with bok covers by Cheltenham RoadI settled on green.  I always choose green (Kermit is my spirit animal).

I’m so happy because this could be just the ticket for solving a lot of my photo-taking-problems going forward (there is kind of a list).

I just need to create some fake-but-interesting walls to hang HOME signs and Subway signs on!

It’s like my own little Hollywood backlot!

OK, gotta go make more coasters.

And HOME signs

And Magnets

And Knobs

And Candle Blocks

And Subway Signs

And Patent Signs

And coasters

Or perhaps a nap……..

Life is all about options.

 

 

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.

 

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