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Category Archives: Craft and Handmade Shows

Simple Farmhouse Style Tray Tutorial

Got a bit distracted over the past few weeks but I’m……”back on track?” …. well, that kind of implies there was a track to begin with which might be overstating things….. let’s just go with “I’m continuing to continue.”

So the next couple of weeks will be all about preparations for the upcoming, April 28-29th Jackalope Pasadena Art Fair.

It’s a great show.  I’m excited about it  and determined to

  1. come up with some new coaster designs,
  2. have enough coasters on hand, and
  3. really make use of all that scrap wood for some one-of-a-kind projects.

I have a million ideas – I just need to do the “hard” work of turning them from ideas into actual, physical things.

Oh, and I also need a new booth set up.

Bottom line – it’s going to be a super relaxing couple of weeks filled with bon-bon consumption and channel surfing……

Up first is a tray for the proud citizens of South Pasadena.

It’s pretty easy to do but I thought I’d outline the steps in case anyone out there might like to give it a go.

Here is what I used

  • Tray
  • Wood stain
  • Some thin strips of scrap wood cut to size
  • Wood stain/antiquing glaze
  • Paint (Folk Art Milk Paint in my case)
  • E6000 glue
  • Polycrylic
  • Roller
  • Rag

After staining the tray I cut my scrap wood to size (2.5″ by 16″) and went to my Plaid supply box and pulled out Folk Art Milk Paint (Petticoat color) and Folk Art Antique Wax. After painting the slats with Petticoat I went back in and “aged” the edges with the antiquing wax.

I glued the strips in place using the trusty E6000 glue and left it to dry overnight.

After working out the South Pasadena design I reversed it and printed it on my laser printer using plain old, Staples brand, legal paper

I used my Polycrylic transfer technique (you can see details here) and, after letting it dry overnight, rubbed away the paper with a wet rag (you can be pretty aggressive).

*I have found one refinement for this process.

The technique works perfectly but you do sometimes end up being able to see a slight demarcation where edge of the paper was.  I found that if I spread the poly carefully so as to avoid sealing down the very edges it minimizes this effect.

I seal all my trays with Envirotex Lite.

It’s easy to use (as long as you follow the directions to the letter) but you do have to prep the surface.  I seal everything with a coat or two of Matte Mod Podge taking particular care to run a bead of MP around the inside of the tray to seal up any gaps. 

What could happen if one skips this step?

Hypothetically …… One might return to check on one’s project and think “Gee, it seems like there is a lot less Envirotex in that tray than before.”

One then might find the missing Envirotex all over the kitchen table and dripping onto floor.

One might then panic and instinctively touch the insanely sticky, spilled Envorotex WITH BOTH HANDS.

One then (finally using one’s brain) might go to get paper towels and discover one is out of paper towels.

One might then try to open the pantry door with insanely sticky hands and then attempt to tear open the plastic wrapper with one’s insanely sticky hands and then return to the now even bigger mess on the kitchen table with one’s hands covered in plastic and paper towel bits.

Hypothetically……

Once it was all dry the tray was ready to go.

One down!  So many more ideas to work on!

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Seasonally Challenged

Remember back in July when I was all about Halloween?

And we laughed about how it was way too early for Halloween?

Welcome to October!  Now we can finally talk about surfing.

Surfing?!

I know.

I am seriously seasonally challenged.

But here’s the deal.

I had the big Abott Kinney Festival (in Venice Beach) a weekend or so ago and I had to change gears radically to get stuff ready for the beach crowd.

Coasters are always my biggest sellers and I wanted some new ones.  So I upped my “beach game” by playing with some new colors for my Subway Art coasters:

And worked up some new vintage surf shop coasters as well

So far so good.

I wanted to add some other stuff to the mix and, as you may recall, I bought a bunch of metal trays a while ago and have been trying out various designs on them.

I liked one of my Surfing Coaster images a lot and had an idea about how to transfer it to one of the metal trays but wasn’t sure if it would work.

Spoiler: It did!

I painted the bottom of the tray using Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint – Ivory, blew up my graphic and printed it out in reverse on my laser printer.

I used my favorite transfer technique.

I simply lay down a decent coat of Minwax Polycrylic, place the image face down on the Poly, smooth it into place using my hands and a roller and let it dry for several hours in the sun (or overnight if you don’t live in hot, dry southern California).

Tip:  I’m always trying to improve a bit.  The only downside of this method is that you can end up with a faint outline of the edges of the paper.  I found that if you only put the Poly where you image is and only smooth down that area it cuts down on the “edge” problem a bit.  You can see in the picture above that the edges of the paper are not stuck down.

Once it’s dry I soak a rag in water, lay it over the image and let get good and damp

and begin rubbing away the paper.

until the image is totally revealed.

My concern was that the process would rub off the paint but it wasn’t a problem at all.

I actually had to go back in with some sandpaper and “distress” the letter a bit more (I kinda overdid it with “A” in California)

I really liked how it came out and the tray sold almost before I opened shop.

I plan to try it with a few fall-like designs as well.  Or, what the heck, it’s October, let’s talk Easter decor!!!!

(you may wonder what I’ve been up to since the Festival and now…..well, my faithful computer Blue-Screen-of-Deathed me just afterwards and I’ve been dealing with the hassle of buying a new one and getting up and rolling again.  Fortunately, most of my work was backed up but between passwords, fonts, bookmarks etc it’s been a slow slog to get my act back together)

 

 

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!

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!

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