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Custom Wedding Coasters, Family…..and PIE!!!!

Just back from a quick trip back home to Ohio to celebrate my nephew’s wedding.  It was a beautiful event.  The “new” couple are both truly terrific people and  they planned and executed a top-notch wedding weekend for everyone.

It was also that oh-so-rare and wondeful occasion when I and all my sisters are all in the same place at the same time.  Stories were shared, books recommended and, of course, crafty type ideas were proposed (more on that later).

The newlyweds had asked me to make a few things for the nuptials and I was pleased to say yes.

The wedding was in Granville Ohio (bride’s hometown) but they live in Columbus and wanted to give everyone wedding favors that both reflected the place and included the date so we came up with these coasters.Custom Wedding Coaster by Cheltenham Road

For the Columbus coaster I just (sorta) matched the font and color of the other text and added in the wedding date.

For the Granville coaster we took an old pic of the downtown and added a custom postage stamp.custom wedding coaster by cheltenham road

To create the custom stamp I just followed the steps outlined in a great tutorial at Fuzzimo (which is also a terrific resource for a lot of Photoshop tutorials and free downloads).

They also had me create one (two actually) of my custom signs for their folks celebrating everyone’s weddings!Custom Wedding Sign by Cheltenham Road

I was, as I am every time I visit, re-impressed with Columbus.  So much going on! Art, culture, architecture and……Dough Mama Restaurant Columbus OhioSaying I have a weakness for pie is an understatement and if you follow me on instagram you know that last time I was there I discovered:Just Pies Columbus Ohio

I know some of you may be thinking “ok David, that’s fine but what do they sell?  What is the product that this business promotes?”

I’m happy to report the name is true!  Pies!  Just Pies!  Really good pies!!!!!

Awesome!

But this time around I was introduced to: Dough Mama restaurant Columbus Ohio

How could you not love a place named Dough Mama!?

Savory pies!  Sweet pies!  I was in pie heaven!

If you are ever in Columbus I encourage a full out pie-tour (my newly married nephew will lead you – he’s like the PIEd Piper)

But now I’m back in LA…..home of…….smog, traffic, drought DONUTS!!!!! Seriously, there is a donut shop on every corner in this town (my diet may not work out as well as I’d hoped).

Happy Mothers Day Donuts!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mom types out there!

And particularly to my mom!momMom is doing great and, I was informed, will be spending her morning with my nephew Jordan teaching him how to make her famous donuts! (smart kind knows what traditions to make sure carry on)mom and jordan donut making

(note her mixer: I believe that’s the same one she got as a wedding gift!)

My mom’s donuts were one of my favorite things she made when I was a kid.  When I moved out on my own I requested the recipe and even found a “vintage” donut maker just like hers.donut maker

I’ve actually used the recipe card for her donuts in projects.Vintage Kitchen Tools Shadow Box

Vintage Kitchen Rolling Pin BookendsSo, in honor of my mom I decided to make the ultimate sacrifice and make myself a batch of donuts.

I know!  I am a very good son.

So, while, sadly, I can’t be near my mom on this day there is a giant upside.

Unlike my nephew, I don’t have to pretend that sharing donuts with my dad sounds like a good idea!

I Win!mom's best donuts

Happy Mother’s day Mom (and all the other moms!)

Children’s Chair Makeover Tutorial and a huge THANK YOU!

First of all a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who went out and pinned (and favorited which was very kind as well) stuff from Etsy.

Etsy is going through a bunch of behind-the-scenes changes and it’s sort of messing with my views on there but I just have to show you something.

These were my stats for Saturday – which were crazy low:CR Stats March 19

And these were my shop stats after you all got to work!CR Stats March 20And the ripple has continued so, truly, THANK YOU!

In other news.

My hinted at furniture project for Mod Podge Rocks is up and ready for review.Ikea chair makeover by Cheltenham Road

So, some background.

I come from a family of readers.

My grandfather had a full-fledged library in his basement complete with a card catalogue.

As a kid our pre-dinner ritual was to gather around the table and read a book aloud (this devolved eventually into just snacking and drinking martinis* which is an equally valuable use of time).

Some of my fondest memories are of my dad reading to me at bedtime and I still have the abridged Classic Tales books he used. (Of course, being a petulant and not particularly bright child, when I was mad at him I would REFUSE TO ALLOW HIM TO READ TO ME! and I’m sure he was like, “son, you’re an idiot. Go to bed”)

I was also one of those children whose mom had to say “I’m taking your book away and you are going outdoors!” on a semi-regular basis.

Anyway.  Books.  Good!

So, when I saw this little chair at the thrift store I had one of those moments when you know EXACTLY what you’re going to do and you take it home and do EXACTLY what you had in mind.Child Chair Makeover with Mod Podge Ikea Hack Tutorial

I love those moments.

Rare as they are……

As a bonus it was crazy easychair makeover tutorial by Cheltenham Road

and didn’t take very long – most of the time was spent waiting for things to dry.Easy chair makeover idea by Cheltenham Road

I hope you enjoy the full tutorial and thanks so much again for all the support!

*just to be clear I was not allowed to drink martinis as a child.  HOWEVER, as a child I thought I loved olives.  But once, when offered one outside my loving home, I didn’t like it.  So, in actuality, I didn’t love olives….I loved gin – namely the gin-soaked olives I would beg from my parents.  This realization has helped explain a lot.

Continuing to Experiment and a Christmas Gift Update

Thanks so much for the feedback about the HOME sign keyholder . Truly appreciated!  I’ve “gone back to the drawing board” to incorporate some of your ideas and few of my own.  And I think it has real possibilities.

I’m continuing to experiment with new ideas while simultaneously attempting to use all those craft supplies that stack up due to the “Oh this has so many cool possibilities! I must purchase it!” thinking that plagues me.

Sometimes playing around leads to great things. Sometimes it leads nowhere.

Let’s start with nowhere first shall we?

One of my vows for this year is to actually USE the Silhouette machine I bought on impulse a loooooong time ago.

I had also bought (a while ago……OK, to save time you can just fill in the phrase “a while ago” every time I mention purchasing something in this post), bought several little glass milk bottles. I also wanted to try Armor Etch glass etching cream.

In addition I received some Mod Podge Tints that I wanted to experiment with.

Each on it’s own was fine. Together…..I kinda made a mess.

First up using the Etching Cream.

The Silhouette worked perfectly in creating the stencil.Milk Bottle Etch

The Etching Cream worked fine – not quite as dramatic a difference between the etched and non-etched glass.

So I thought why not use the tint! It will make the dark part darker and the clear part different.

Not so much.Cream Bottles Tinted

Not horrible (and it hadn’t completely dried yet) – all the products worked just as advertised – they just didn’t work together very well.

……..also…..blue milk bottles.  IT WAS A PHASE!  I WAS EXPERIMENTING!!!!!

Anyway.

Not really knowing when to let a mediocre idea go I thought I’d try again!

I grabbed a vase and, in a real stroke of creative genius etched the word “VASE” on it.Etched VaseNo more confusing glassware in my house, no sir!

Then I taped off the etched part and tinted the outside of the glass.Etched and Tinted Vase

Interesting.Tinted Etched VaseNot awful. Not great. Interesting.

So.  Things were learned, supplies explored, I didn’t injure myself so….good….I guess.

Up next, and with better results, I tried out a new way of using Mod Podge and paper napkins.

I sanded and stained some scrap wood and grabbed some cheap napkins from the dollar store.Mod Podge with Napkins(I may do a tutorial on this at some point if I decide I like it so forgive a few skipped steps here.)

Basically you pull the napkins apart, Mod Podge them into place and then use an orbital sander so distress them and bring out some texture.

I really like the resultsNapkins and Mod Podge

You can see how the sander lets the wood sorta show through the super thin napkin.  And the wrinkles that are inevitable when working with thin paper just become a part of the look.Distress Board with Napkins and Mod PodgeI really like it!

I’m not totally sure what I want to do with this new-found skill but I like it.

I mean, you could make trays I guess or coat racks but I’m trying to think of something new to do.

Thoughts?

And finally:

A CHRISTMAS GIFT UPDATE

I got together with some friends before going to a movie recently and the occasion allowed me to say what I’ve been longing to say since my father’s Christmas gift arrived:

RELEASE THE CRACKERRACK!!!

Happy to report that although I swapped in some non-compliant edibles the rack performed beautifully and was much admired.The Infamous CrackerRack by ES Cheaney

Also, my mother informed me that it was her idea that I would use the toast rack as a bill sorter. If she says that the proper use of a 300 year old piece of valuable, handmade, silver is to hold my Ikea bill who am I to argue?

Christmas in January: Classy and Organized

I wasn’t totally sure what to blog about this week.

I’m a bit in-between on projects and spending time attempting to clean out and clean up my horribly messy work-spaces.

Not very interesting blog material.

But  my parents have rescued me!

A package arrived just yesterday from my folks.  Christmas! a bit late but perfectly timed.

For those of you who are new here my parents are the engine of all my creativity.  Mom and Dad are in their 90s and going strong. Mom does amazing embroidery and other needlework and spends a fair amount of time (year round) hand-making charming Christmas ornaments for the Church BazaarMom's Santa Ornament Of late, she is focusing a bit more on her passion for miniatures (she and my dad are building a doll house).

My father is and Engineer and a life-long craftsman who still works in his wood shop – fixing furniture and planning projects like his lazy susans.ES Cheaney Lazy Susan DesignsHis creations are always beautiful and very precise.  His workshop is always clean and well organized (I may be adopted)

So – back to presents.

Mom decided to give us all pieces of her mother’s fairly extensive antique silver collection.

I am now the owner of a silver toast holder.Antique Hester Bateman Silver Toast HolderBut it’s no ordinary silver toast holder.  It was made by Hester Bateman one of the only, if not the only, female silversmiths. She lived and produced her work in the 1700s taking over the business after her husband died. Her work is beautiful and you can find samples of it in the Smithsonian.

It’s kind of amazing and I’m proud to have it.

I’m not quite sure where to display it (near the bread?) but it does make me feel like I should dress better and perhaps be a bit more imperious with the staff.

Up next was my father’s handmade gift. Kracker Holder

You may be thinking, as I was when I opened it, “lovely!  What exactly is it?”

Fortunately, it came with an official User Manual – that made everything very, very clear.KrackerRack User Manual(OK, maybe I’m not adopted)

So now I’m all set.

I have something to eat toast from while watching Downton Abbey and my snacks will always be perfectly organized (as long as I don’t go wild and purchase off-brand crackers or indulge in the notoriously asymmetric and dreaded tortilla chip.)

Back to cleaning and organizing.

 

Clutter Cover Up Idea! My Sister is a Genius!

I made a quick trip to Ohio recently to see the family.  My sister Phebe – sober voice of reason/organizer extraordinaire has a new house and she had come up with what I thought was a genius solution to hiding the clutter of all those DVD cases.  I asked if she would mind doing a tutorial on it and she has agreed. Clutter Cover Up Tutorial Cheltenham Road

So, I’ll turn it over to my sister (with some editorial notes from me perhaps).

So our cashe of DVDs grew throughout the 90s and onward…movies as gifts & gags, or rare old friends to be enjoyed once a year…and, even though they are in alphabetical order (Ed Note: she’s serious.  Her spices are too), the shelves look, well…disordered! Phebe's Bookshelf Makeover - DVD Hiding Coverup

My kids say, “just download, Mom, throw out the actual discs–they are a thing of the past!” I know I am dating myself–but I experienced record albums & cassettes, movies that stayed in theaters for 6-8 MONTHS, only 3 channels on our TV, 8-tracks (for pity’s sake!), VHS tapes (in two different case sizes—thanks, Disney)…and finally the DVDs. I’m ready to stop now! Stand still! Keep the dang things and use them as is! (Ed Note: and get off my lawn!)

But they are a bit ugly. I want them near enough to the TV to easily feed a rainy day whim, but how to cover them up? I came up with these  DVD shelf covers.Materials for Bookcase Makeover

It’s pretty easy to see what I did. They are basically a 3-sided box made from foam display board. I cut strips the height of each shelf (they were all different heights!) I needed the width of the shelf plus 12 inches (6 inches per side to accommodate the depth of the DVDs).

I made a vertical slice (not all the way through—just enough to fold back to make a 90 degree corner on each end) about 6 inches in from each side, making sure that left me with a front panel that fit the width of the shelf exactly. I had to adjust and re-cut the first one because I forgot to accommodate for the depth of the foam board once the corner was made (hoorah for duct tape!), so play around with these measurements carefully to fit your particular shelves. In the center, I cut a hole for the grommet about 1.5 inches down from the top edge.

At this point, I got crazy with duct tape and used it to reinforce the corners…holding them at 90 degree angles as I smoothed the tape around both inside and outside each corner. This will help keep the foam board from tearing where I cut it partway through (I hope!).

Next I cut a fabric strip wide enough to cover all three sides with no seams and tall enough to fold over to the inside of the foam board with several inches to spare. I used spray glue (do this outside—very sticky!) and smoothed the fabric on and around the edge to the inside. I didn’t use the spray at the inside corners, I painted glue on those places and really worked the fabric deep into the corners. I even stitched down the folded miters of fabric at the ends on the inside to ensure that they would stay put and be smooth.DVD Collection Cover-Up Tutorial I cut open the hole for the grommetCreate a Hole for the Grommet and folded and glued the fabric to the inside. Last, I glued in one half of the grommet (the foam board is too thick to use both halves) to make an easy finger grip.Front View Grommet Installed

I did put small, flat bookends to hold the DVDs upright so that the sides of my covers slide right in next to the end DVD on each shelf. I have pushed the covers snug to leave a shelf to throw my keys on…a simple pull on the finger hole gets me access to the discs! My “tidy” gene is satisfied! Hey, did my brother get one of those? (Ed Note:  Yes! He did but lacks the willpower and skills to actually make things tidy…..please visit)

The Big Sister Party

Every year my sisters Paula and Phebe and my mom throw a party that you really want to be invited to.

I am not invited.

To be fair, it’s a party for their ANG Chapter (American Needlepoint Guild) and since A) I’ve never picked up a needle and thread and B) I live in California and they live in Ohio I’ll let it slide.

I happened to be visiting home just before the party this year (still not invited) so I helped with the prep.

Here’s the deal. They truly plan this party for a year or more in advance. All guests get a full meal and a stitching project kit.

First a container for the project kit must be found and my sisters scour the dollar bins until they land on the perfect container – and they need a lot of them. One year the container was a plastic butter box. Phebe was questing in Toledo! Paula was questing in Ohio! They cleaned out several Targets but always, juuust ahead of them was their nemesis: The Butter Box Bitch. Never seen to this day the BBB was apparently also on a quest and somehow managed to be one step ahead of them – in both cities simultaneously- decimating the butter box supplies in every store.

Next, a theme is chosen for color and style. One year everything was black and white – napkins, table clothes everything goes. You get the picture.

This year’s combo was Burlap and Lace and the container was a soap box. Napkins and plates that supported the theme were acquired, projects were made, menus were planned and invitations went out. NO ONE turns down the invitation (no one that’s invited that is, which some of us are not). People who never come to the meetings come to this meeting.

So the project (all the thread, pattern, instructions and other supplies) went in the cream cheese box (you can see the finished project sitting on top of the boxes).The project and the boxPaula, Phebe and mom made 30+ unique burlap lace and button flowers so everyone could “pick” their own.burlap and lace flowersburlap lace and button flowersEach flower was attached to a hand-stitched burlap bag and the box with the project went in the bag so everyone got their own, unique container.Kits ready to go

Even the chandelier gets with the themelamp shades

The table was laid.  TheTableAnd stitching, eating and chatting commenced!Stitching and Chatting

the spreadBut check out this dessert spread.dessert table

Individual brownies, personal cheesecakes and….and! ……and little, individual ice cream floats! floatsThey found all the glasses, dropped a scoop of ice cream in each one and then popped them in the freezer overnight. When party time came they set them out in a tray of ice, along with a range of sodas so everyone could make their own float!  I will be stealing that idea for my next party (I might even invite my sisters)

Everything was, of course, a hit. My dad (not invited) dropped my mom off and my brother-in-law vacated the premises.

Projects were stitched!  Desserts were consumed and everyone had a great time!

And the sisters have already begun the planning and the quest for next year’s shindig.

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