RSS Feed

Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Sudden Vacation

As my Instagram followers know I actually left the house recently!

Friends somewhat randomly scored a suite in Las Vegas and it was an invitation I couldn’t refuse.

I did almost refuse it though because, well, here’s the deal.

I don’t like Vegas.

I’ve been there three times and pretty much hated it each time.

It’s not really a mystery why Vegas and I don’t get along.  I’m insanely cheap pretty frugal.

When a friend asked me if I planned to gamble I had to be honest and say:

“I don’t even like to spend money when I’m guaranteed to receive an actual product at the end of the transaction. “

So it’s not really Vegas’ fault.

But this time I did Vegas on my terms!  And I had a blast.

What are my terms you may ask?

Let’s just say my favorite part was the Neon Museum.

They’ve gathered all the old, discarded neon signs from all the casino’s and resorts. Las Vegas Neon Museum They’ve restored some and plan to restore moreNeon Museum Boneyard Las VegasYou can take a tour of the “Bone Yard” which, as you can see, is a giant, vintagey, chippy paint, letter lovers PARADISE!!!The Neon Museum Las Vegas Nevada

(I highly recommend the tour  – just don’t do it in the summer.  It was 114 degrees that day…..)

Also, in a town full of fake (fake New York, fake Paris, fake Rome, fake Egypt) I found an authentic, from the 50s, greasy spoon diner with a terrific staff and great(ish) – it IS a greasy spoon after all -food.  Vicki’s Diner is a hot pink, retro throwback.Vickis Diner Las Vegas

And I discovered an unexpectedly huge antique mall that was full to overflowing with cool stuff.  (I didn’t really peg flashy Vegas as a resource for vintage but I was wrong).charleston-antique-mall

And I couldn’t pass up the Mob Museum!Mob Museum Las Vegas

Housed in the old Post Office it also offered huge banks of these awesome old PO boxes.Las Vegas Mob Museum  I want a wall of these in my house.  You know, for storage….

So, I managed to go to Vegas and neither gamble nor drink.

Because that’s the kind of crazy hedonist I am!

But now I’m back home and working on Halloween!Vintage Halloween Decor by Cheltenham Road

Getting ready for the first of two big shows.

Up first Midsummer Scream in Long Beach!  It’s a huge show and the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday July 30 and 31st.MidsummerScream Long Beach

And up next?  My first Craft Ambassador project.

Yardstick Tray and an Easy Image Transfer Tutorial

Easy Image Transfer on WoodOK, I realize, this project sorta falls under the  “yes you CAN do that but..why?” category.

And I wouldn’t argue too much with that.

BUT!

I have my reasons.

OK, to start at the beginning.

My sister who was either trying to inspire me or make me insane pinned  this terrific project from Betsy at My Salvaged Treasures  to our shared Pinterest board.tray tutorial from My Salvaged TrasuresLike all of her stuff it’s super cool and very creative.  And, of course, I immediately HAD to make one.

Stumbling block?  Not enough yardsticks.

And unfortunately, I live in an area where anything remotely inexpensive, cool and popular instantly goes from affordable to crazy.  So old, beat up yardsticks in LA cost $12 each which sorta takes the fun out of it.

BUT!

I had just learned a new image transfer technique via The Oracle at Delphi The Graphics Fairy.  It’s quick, easy, pretty affordable and GREATLY lessens the chance of me burning down my house!

I’d tried it on my new, stained, candle holders and it worked greatTea Light Holder by Cheltenham Roadand I wanted to try it out on a painted surface so why not make my own yardsticks?

Here is what I used

  • 5″ Poplar craft wood from Lowes 2 pieces 16″ long and two pices 11.5″ long
  • 1/4″ MDF for the base A piece of 1/4″ MDF cut to 16×11
  • a section of metal roof flashing (also from Lowes)
  • E6000 Glue
  • Red craft paint
  • Wood stain
  • A scan of a yardstick
  • Polycrylic
  • Wood glue
  • Metal shears
  • Pin Nailer (not absolutely necessary)

I painted the craft wood with some slightly watered down red craft paint and then, when it dried, I went over it lightly with a bit of wood stain just to give it an aged look.  Here is the before and after.Painted Slats for DIY Ruler Tray

A light sanding blended the two even better.

I then cut my roof flashing to size and, using the E6000 glued it to my MDF base.Image Transfer and a Rustic Ruler Tray by Cheltenham Road

I scanned the yardstick that I had and, using Photoshop removed everything but the numbers.  Then, for fun, I added my own text.  RULER NO BACKGROUND 4TH STREET MASTER

Here is the blank version if you’re keen on doing something similar.  Just right-click to download the high res version

ruler no background appliances

I reversed it and printed it out on legal sized paper using my laser printer

Now the new transfer technique.

It’s the same as all the other ones except you use PolycrylicPolycrylic

You simply brush on the PolycrylicImage Transfer Technique Using Polycrylic by Cheltenham Road

Lay your image downEasy image transfer to wood technique by Cheltenham Road

Use a roller or an old credit card or whatever to smooth out and get a good seal between the paper and the wood, and set it aside to dry.

It’s sunny and hot here so I just left it outside for 3 hours.

Then you just use a damp towel and rub away the paper to reveal the image (I forgot to take a picture of that part.  Trust me.  It’s just like all the other wet paper rubbing I’ve done.  Like this)Image Transfer using Wall Lenk Tool

After that  I just glued and pin-nailed my sides into place around the base and gave the “yardstick” a sealing coat of Polycrylic and I was done.DIY Yardstick Tray by Cheltenham Road

So, I know what you’re thinking.

“You just went through all that to make….a yarrstick?  I mean, it looks exactly like a yardstick.  You just made something you can buy.  Your sister has succeeded.  You’re insane”Image Transfer Yardstick Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

And you are correct.

BUT!

This told me that the transfer technique works great on painted surfaces.

AND I am no longer subject to the tyranny of the Yardstick Pickers of Los Angeles.  HA!!! I can make my own yardsticks and I can make them say whatever I want them to say and I  can make them whatever color suits me!Image Transfer Technique Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

See?  Victory!

Actually, I just like that I have another easy  technique in my arsenal for image transfer.   Polycrylic is readily available and pretty affordable (you don’t use much) and it really allows the wood to show through.  This could be used for any kind of graphic transfer and, trust me, I have a lot more ideas coming down the line with this technique.

 

Vintage Sign Coat Rack Version 2.0

DIY Vintage Sign by Cheltenham RoadI hope everyone had a fun, safe 4th of July.

The ball is rolling on Plaid Ambassador projects but in the meantime a few other ideas are coming down the pike.

However, I do apologize.

You may experience a bit of deja vu as we go along.  For instance this is yet another:

  1. vintagy sign
  2.  coat hanger
  3.  project involving slats
  4. project involving diy knobs
  5. Lenk tool graphic transfer

OK, here’s the deal.

I need some new products -both for my own sanity (possibly too late) and to keep the shops that sell my wares interested.

New products are kinda tricky to develop because whatever they are they need to be: unique,  easy to replicate, in keeping with what I already make, affordable (both for me, the shops and the final customer) and….not a nightmare to put together.

Oh, and people have to love it.

Easy!

So, over the next few weeks I want to zero in on some options, refine the ideas and figure out better techniques.

Won’t you join me?!

Thanks!

Up first is Coat Rack 2.0.

Folks responded well to that Santa Monica sign I madeDIY Vintage Sign by Cheltenham Road but I need a version that is a bit more affordable.

So I’ve played around with this smaller version to see what I could do.

The actual sign-making process was the same as the Santa Monica sign (click HERE for the full tutorial and image transfer instructions).

The size is a bit smaller (14×12)

The new(ish) thing here are the knobs so I thought I’d share how I did them this time around.

I found these little spools at Michaels and thought they had possibilities.DIY Wood Hangers

I added a piece of of 1/4 dowel in the bottom of each one.DIY Knobs by Cheltenham Road

I then glued a wood disc to the front (I made the disc by using my chop saw to cut slices off a dowel I had but they also sell just plain wood discs)Inexpensive DIY Knobs by Cheltenham RoadI pained them out with white craft paint and sanded/distressed the edges.

I used the  Lenk tool to transfer the graphics (I was going for the signs on a pool that tell you depth of the water).

And they are sealed with polycrylic for durability.Handmade Knobs by Cheltenham Road

To assemble it I pre-drilled holes for both the shelf and the knobsVintage Sign Coat Rack Cheltenham Road Tutorial

And then simply drilled the shelf into place from the back

And glued the knobs in place.Image Transfer Vintage Sign

I’m happy with the design and ease of assembly.  The knobs are easy to make and looking pretty good.Handmade Knobs by Cheltenham RoadThere are some minor tweeks to make (the knobs need to be a bit lower, I need to stain the MDF slats before I paint them.Coat Rack by Cheltenham Road

My brain is already whirring on different design ideas.

Maybe a typewriter graphic with typewriter key knobs?

Or a dairy (sorry) graphic with milk label (sorry) knobs?

Baseball with baseball knobs?

Soda with soda pop knobs

etc etc.

More to come.  And thanks for bearing with me during this.  I assure you I will  mix in new stuff with the reruns!

 

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).

It’s a Sign! Take 2 – A More Detailed Tutorial

Image Transfer TutorialI feel that I owe you an apology.

I was so happy with that Santa Monica Beach Sign that I rushed a bit getting the post up and created, I think, a pretty un-useful “tutorial.

So please allow me to revisit it with a slightly more detailed approach.

This will also give me a chance to provide a more in-depth explanation of the Lenk tool and how (and why) I use it.

Warning: This is gonna be a pretty lengthy and detailed post/tutorial so if you never plan to do a transfer using a Lenk tool you might want to sit this one out.

Here is what I used for this project:

Lumber:

  • 1/2 Inch Plywood measuring 18×18 inches for the backer
  • Five (5) strips of MDF wood 18″ x 2.75″
  • 1/2 inch plywood 18″ x 4″ for the shelf

Paint:

  • White, flat-finish, latex paint
  • Blue, flat-finish, latex paint
  • White spray paint
  • wood stain
  • Spray-on Polycrylic

Tools and Sundries:

  • wax (just an old candle)
  • Lenk tool
  • 3 coat hooks
  • wood glue
  • wood screws
  • sandpaper/sander
  • jig-saw (for rounding the corners of the shelf)
  • hangers

Painting and Aging (the title of my yet-to-be-released, scandalous autobiography)How to Distress Wood

To age the scrap MDF here is what I did:

1) stained the edges with gel stain.

2) After the stain dried I rubbed a chunk of wax along the edges

3) painted the slat with flat, white latex paint  and let it dry.

4) went back in and sanded the edges.  The paint won’t stick to the wax so you end up with a nice, distressed, edge.

I repeated this process with the remaining strips painting them alternating blue and white.distressed wood techniqueFor the plywood shelf I used a jigsaw to round off the corners, sanded the whole thing and used the same wax/paint/sand process on the edges for an authentic, worn look.

I also painted the backer board blue and sanded it’s edges.

When everything was dry I glued all the strips into place (I didn’t attach the shelf till the very, very end).

Wall Lenk Tool Process:Lenk Craft ToolOK, as you know, I’m loving the Wall Lenk Tool.  But it does come with pros and cons

Pros:

  • I think it produces results very much on par with the various transfer mediums I’ve tried.
  • It’s quicker (you don’t have to let it dry overnight or anything).
  • It gives a very authentic “aged” appearance.
  • Because only the graphic is transferred you don’t have to cut out the image right along it’s edges nor do you end up with any lingering edges or visible outlines where the paper ended.
  • It’s pretty inexpensive (I got mine from Amazon) and, of course, if you do a lot of transferring, you’ll only have to buy it once.

Cons:

  • It takes some trial and error to get the hang of it.
  • The results are a bit unpredictable but really no more so than using any other method (and I’ve found that it’s easy, as I did on this sign, to go back in and re-transfer if needed).
  • It has no heat-control mechanism so I will inevitably set something on fire one of these days.

Tips:

I’ve found it’s very important, if you your using the Lenk with a painted surface,  to let the paint cure as much as possible.  If I can, I let it dry for 48 hours – even longer is better (although for this project I think I over-did it waiting 6 months).

Flat paint works better than satin or semi-gloss and if I want a shiny finished product then I just use a glossy sealer at the end.

I also like to give the painted surface a light sanding with a 220 grit sandpaper before I begin.

OK, the Actual Image Transfer Process

(I’m mixing and matching new and old photos here so don’t be thrown by the lettering changing colors)

For this sign I gathered my graphics (the woman is just an image isolated from an old matchbook) and printed them, in reverse using plain, legal size copy paper on my laser printer (I don’t know if ink jet prints will work) Reversed Graphics

I let the tool heat up for 8 minutes as the manufacturer instructs.

It actually gets a bit too hot initially and if pressed into the paper right then it will just burn it.Wall Lenk Tool TutorialSo, I  “burn off” some of the heat by pressing it to a wood block.  There is no set time or amount of heat or any way to check the temperature so I just do it until the wood quits smoking.

I then rub the lenk over the graphic.  Image Transfer TutorialAgain there is no “set” amount of time for this.  The more you rub the more image will transfer so it depends on how “aged” you want it to look. I went over this line of text for about 4 minutes and then paused to let the Lenk heat up again a bit (it loses heat as you go) and then rubbed for another 4 minutes.

I just go back and forth sort of slowly, keeping the tool in motion.  If you stay in one spot too long you risk either burning the paper or getting paint so heated up that it bubbles and melts (not good).

This is the real “learning-curve” part.  There is no way to tell how well the transfer has worked at this stage.  I’ve taken to peeling away just a little bit of the corner of the paper just to get a sense of how it’s going and to determine if I should go over it a few more times or not.

Once I’m satisfied I let the paper cool thoroughly and then go back in with a fairly damp cloth and rub away.Image Transfer using Wall Lenk ToolThe paper comes off fairly easily under light-to-moderate rubbing.

I find that I have to do this process a few times.  I’ll do it once, it will look awesome but then it dries and there is a light, white, film of left-over paper visible, so I just go back in with the damp cloth and give it another round.

I’ve also found that it’s pretty easy, if I decide the transfer wasn’t good enough, to go back in and do it again.  I wasn’t thrilled with my first go on this sign so I just reprinted and tried again.  Here is the “A” in Santa Monica image transfer technique(I’ve got to be honest, I’m a bit stunned that it’s possible to successfully line the images to re-do them but I’ve done it with graphics large and small and had no problem.)

Once I’m satisfied with the results I seal it with a spray on polycrylic

Finishing Steps:

After marking where the shelf was to go I drilled pilot holes and then glued the shelf in place and screwed it in from the back.Attach Shelf

I had spray painted the coat hangers and screwed them into place as well and added hangers to the back of the board.DIY Vintage Beach Sign

I hope this helps with any questions about the tool or how to use it.  But feel free to fire away if I’ve left out some step or been vague about some process.

Happy image-transferring!

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!

 

Salted Caramel Nutella S’Mores and Inappropriate Use of Shop Equipment

In my defenseDid you know that Costco sells giant, two packs of Nutella?nutella twopack

This is knowledge I probably shouldn’t have been made privy to.

I mean, how could you NOT buy that!?  Even if you don’t like Nutella someone else you know might! (such as, just brainstorming here,  perhaps a blogger whose work you admire or your mom.  One of those.  Probably the former.  Your mom told me she would prefer to buy her own.)

So my giant, two pack of Nutella was just, you know, THERE.  In the pantry.

And then it rained today.

And s’mores sounded like a really good thing to do.

*Important confession.  It occurred to me to do this as a blog post as I was contemplating s’moredom.  And, while I was truly looking forward to sharing it with you all I was not about to delay the time it took to actually consume the s’mores by setting up pretty pictures of the process.    I mean, you are all totally awesome and worth it but.  S’mores.

So I grabbed graham crackers, aforementioned Nutella, Jet Puff Marshmallow stuff and salted caramel sauce.

I plopped some nutella on one side of the graham crackers.Salted Caramel Nutella S'mores

Added some caramel sauce and  a little extra sea salt (for some reason I never quite get the “salt” in the salted caramel stuff I buy so I add more).salted Caramel S'mores

Jet Puff Marshmellow stuff went on the other sideSalted Caramel and Nutella S'mores

and then……

OK, so I work with Envirotex Epoxy Resin a lot.  I mean A LOTEnvirotex Lite Projects by Cheltenham RoadIf you’ve tried it you know it’s a terrific product but it does produce bubbles as it cures and the only way pop them is to blow on them.  So I spent a lot of time blowing on the bubbles through a straw.  This works great until you are momentarily distracted, forget what your doing but remember there is a straw in your mouth and accidentally inhale rather than exhale and epoxy your tongue.

So

I purchased this little mini blow torch gadget.mini blow torch

It works amazingly well and saves all sorts of time (and your tongue)

AND

whattyaknow! it works on s’mores too!Nutella Salted Caramel S'mores

Question: Is it wrong to claim the blow torch as a business expense if I also used it for s’mores?  I SWEAR it’s only this one time……..

Pro-tip: do not try to take pictures of yourself using a blow torch on marshmallows.  You will note that the corner of that upper-right graham cracker is, perhaps, a bit….redder then they usually are…….1330993075_Fire_Bad_

Moving on!

One good smoosh and.Salted Caramel Nutella S'mores

SALTED CARAMEL NUTELLA S’MORES!!!!!!Rainy Day Snack S'mores Salted Caramel and Nutella

The perfect rainy afternoon diet busting, guilt inducing, tax compromising treat!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,507 other followers

%d bloggers like this: