RSS Feed

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Go small

So, last week was all about big and this week is all about smaller.

The good thing about this slightly slower time of year is that I have time to play around and experiment (look for Positive Thinking: The Upside of Making No Money by Cheltenham Road – coming to your local Barnes and Noble store)

The Muse came up with a smart idea (for newer readers “The Muse” is an actual person, not a voice in my head or some imaginary conversation I’m having with Olivia Newton John so don’t be alarmed).

She suggested that perhaps I could make smaller HOME signs that would work as key holders.

I really like the idea because I’m a big fan of making practical stuff.  I mean I’m all about decoration but if it can be useful decoration that’s even better.

So I started playing around.

I made 4.5″ HOME lettersHome Sign Keyholder by Cheltenham Road

Attached them to a base boardWood Sign Key Holder by Cheltenham RoadAdded little hooks (there would be more hooks of course – these were the only two I had on hand).Vintage Los Angeles HOME sign keyholder by cheltenham roadI like it!

Well, I sort of like it.  This is where the playing around comes in.

I think perhaps the base board doesn’t need to be as thick. Maybe two strips of wood rather than a big solid backer wold be better?

Some magnets along with the hooks?

I will re-consult with The Muse.

What do you all think?

Happy Super Bowl Sunday to all!

go BIG

It has been a week of big.

I did (and am still doing, honestly) a big clean out of the garage workshop.

It had gotten bad. Real bad.

It’s much better now. I wouldn’t call it clean or showplace but I can move around freely have places to set things down which is a definite step up.

And I’ve made a vow to NEVER have to do this again. Yes, I know I will have to clean regularly and do tidying and such but I never want to reach the point where I just look at the mess and feel like it’s insurmountable. That was how I was feeling. I’d just look at it and think “but I don’t know what to DO with that pile of things/scraps/pieces that’s why it’s a pile!”

The goal here is to get the factory part of Cheltenham Road running smoothly so I have more time for the creative part – ie the fun part.

And speaking of big and fun.

A customer at the CoOp wanted a subway sign but he wanted a BIG subway sign. 6 feet tall big!

I had to borrow a car to get the lumber.

The slats alone took up my entire dining room table.Super Large Custom Subway Graphic Sign by Cheltenham RoadEach slat is 33″ long.
I’ve made large ones but this was the biggest.Extra Large Custom Subway Art Sign by Cheltenham RoadThe customer was pleased and I learned a lot of stuff along the way.*

And then there was the BIG change of pace.

I hope the following wont’ offend anyone and I do apologize if it does.

I don’t swear a lot myself but I do think well chosen swear words can be very, very funny.

So when an Etsy customer asked if I could make her a custom coaster set and then described what she wanted I had to say yes

Because it made me laugh really hard.Coaster SetA bit “off-brand” I will admit and I’m not totally sure I would put them in my house but I appreciate the directness of the command.

And now it’s on to other big things.

New ideas!

New ideas that I can finally get to because I can FIND stuff!

Oh!  And the timer idea is really working.  It’s keeping me much more focused and really helping me make (much needed) separation between work-time and living-time.  When you work from home those things kind of tend to mush up against each other and I think both suffer for it – I wasn’t working as much as I thought I should nor was I relaxing and enjoying myself as much as I needed to.  I’m still working on it but it it definitely moving in the right direction.

*If you wanted to make your own, similar subway artwork I did a tutorial on it a long time ago over at Mod Podge Rocks.

Mini Dresser Vintage Camera Project

Vintage Camera Bureau by Cheltenham RoadRecently a blogger, describing a project that was giving her some difficulty, used the phrase “I enjoy a good challenge.”

That sounded good – character building even – encountering problems and through patience and skill rising above them.

And I suddenly realized something.

I do not, in fact, “enjoy a good challenge.”

No, I prefer to get an idea, know exactly how to do it, execute it quickly and then sit back, eat ice cream and bask in my own cleverness.

(The fact that this never happens is completely beside the point.  It also does not stop me from eating ice cream.)

So, a while ago my sister sent me a picture of a dresser made up to look like an old camera and I was intrigued.

I know what you’re thinking, “old cameras?! David! We never saw this coming! Who knew you liked old cameras?! You have so many layers! You’re just an endlessly mysterious onion of a person”

Any you are correct but you really might have had a just few hints…Vintage Camera CollectionRecycle Pallet Wood Display Shelf Cheltenham Road TutorialVintage Camera Coaster Setvintage camera print gallery wal Cheltenham Roadl

Anyway, the creator of the awesome bureau is very talented (you really should check out her blog) and quite an artist.  She hand-painted the camera graphic which is super cool.

But sounds kinda challenging.

So I had to figure out the easy, cheaty way to make my own version.

I wasn’t totally sure my plan would work so I was pretty happy when I found that Michaels sells little, tiny “starter bureaus.”  Perfect!

I grabbed a vintage camera and got to work.Vintage Camera Dresser Project Cheltenham RoadI snapped a high resolution picture of my camera, resized it to the dimensions of the bureau and printed it out.

I then I cut the little knobs off the bureau.

(I also then lost the little knobs and later had to dig through the trash to find them.  Challenging!)

The only problem was that the drawers had spacers between them and if i just painted them black it would break up the camera graphic too much. So I tried it this way:

I removed the drawers, ran a bead of Mod Podge around all the edges and adhered the photo in place.Michaels mini-burea made into a vintage cameraOnce it had really dried I carefully ran my knife around all the openings so that I had sections that were the size of the drawers. DIY Make a Jewelry Box look like a vintage cameraThen I mod podged those sections into place on the drawer fronts and trimmed away any excess.

Once it was dry I sealed it with more Mod Podge.

After recovering the wayward knobs (and feeling my character build in the process) I “painted” them with a sharpie and stuck them on with some E-6000 glue.

I also painted the sides and back of the bureau black and gave it a light sanding for a slightly distressed look.Little vintage dresser camera projectAnd there you have it.  Not too challenging.  My character remains relatively shallow and I feel that ice-cream is within my grasp!

Bonus:  I have a tiny, little dresser that looks like a camera!Michaels Store Craft - Mini Dresser Vintage Camera Project by Cheltenham Road

So, since that worked now the quest is on for a real-sized piece of furniture to work on.  I don’t know that I want an entire dresser (I also don’t need a new dresser) but perhaps I could replace my sofa end tables?  That would look kinda cool I think.

UPDATE:  I’ve been asked if I could include my picture of the Brownie so that others can make this project.  If you right click on the link below it should give you a high resolution PDF of the front of the camera.  Brownie Camera Graphic

 

(S)Knob Appeal Handmade Knobs and Forgetting Things

As those of you who have patiently followed along for a while know – I keep trying to make knobs.Cheltenham Road

Custom Knobs Tutorial by Cheltenham RoadFinished Knobs Up CloseAnd I’ve succeeded. I just haven’t succeeded in a way that either:

  1.  made me totally happy
  2.  proved to be not a kind of  messy, pain in the neck.oops

But, through patience (OK, not patience exactly, I just got excited, bought a lot of knobs, got frustrated and then ignored the whole thing for a very long time until I finally found a more workable idea.  It’s a genius business strategy that will surely take me straight to the top!), trial and error, and a fair amount of wasted supplies I think I’ve made a product that I’m satisfied with.

There are round ones and square ones – up first – square.

I thought I’d do a little tribute to the mad skills of  my mom and sisters and make some using vintage measuring tape graphics.  Fun for a sewing room perhaps?measuring tape knobsI grabbed some of the vintage postcard graphics I use on my trays and that dresserVintage Postcard Handmade Knobs by Cheltenham Road

And finally, just for a bit of fun, some vintage romance comic book graphicsVintage Romance Comic Handmade Knobs by Cheltenham RoadI rolled them out at the Long Beach Patchwork Show last weekend.

People liked them!

People bought them!

I have to make more!

I’m very tired!

My full wine charm collection also debuted at Patchwork and sold out!….well, sort of debuted……and sorta sold out.Wine Charm Display

I got to the show and realized that I had totally, somehow, not packed the table everything was supposed to go on.  Bit of a stumbling block. Book Club Wine Charm Collection by Cheltenham RoadI was saved by the very kind people who put on Patchwork who gave me a loaner table. French ABC Wine Charm Set by Cheltenham RoadAfter overcoming that hiccup I discovered that, though I had a few Wine Charm Sets with me – I’d set the rest of them on the kitchen counter when I made a last minute dive for much needed coffee.Art Opening Wine Charm Set by Cheltenham RoadSo “sold out” is a little less impressive when one acknowledges that there were only six to begin with.

But, it was good to know that folks responded to them!

All of them will be available on Etsy shortly.

Now I just have to actually  bring them (and a table) with me to the next big show: Patchwork Santa Ana!

 

I’m All About the Bling – Easy DIY Jewelry Holder Tutorial

So, apparently I – a non-jewelry wearer – am nonetheless a jewelry holder maker. Who knew?

You may recall I recently made a jewelry holder for my friend Karla and shared it as my Mod Podge Rocks project.DIY Jewlery HolderThis got the Muse (Geralyn) thinking and she came up with a variation of her own and another jewelry holder was born!

I may actually go into the jewelry holder business as this to was quick and easy to make.

I started withSupplies for DIY Jewelry Holder Cheltenham Road Tutorial

  • A piece of birch plywood – edges routed (you could just buy a plaque at Michaels if you’re not the routing type)
  • Mod Podge Transfer Medium
  • Hard Coat Mod Podge
  • 6 glass knobs
  • old candle
  • Sandpaper
  • Foam Brush
  • Quote – printed in reverse using a laser printer or copier (bottom line ink jet won’t work)
  • painters tape (somewhat optional depending on your confidence)
  • Pink latex paint (not shown)
  • White latex paint (not shown)

Tools

  • aforementioned Router (optional)
  • Electric Drill and bit
  • Forstner Bit (maybe…..see explanation below)
  • better math skills than mine

None of this will be particularly new information to long time readers (my apologies) so you might want to just say to yourself “I got this” and skip to then end (I didn’t hurt myself making it either so you won’t be missing any highlights or anything).

PREPPING THE BOARD

After routing the birch plywood I painted the edges pink and let it dry.how to create distressed paint effect

To create the chipped paint effect I used the old candle and rubbed wax along the edges just where I wanted to the pink to show through and applied the top coat of white paint (the white paint won’t stick to the candle wax).

After letting that thoroughly dry I just sanded along the edges to reveal the underlayer of pink and took a really bad picture of it.make a vintage style jewelry holder

ADDING THE TEXT

Geralyn found this perfect quote from Mark Twain:jewelry holder quote mark twain

I used a font called Forelle (available from Dafont) to create the text, reversed it (key!) and printed it out on plain, legal sized paper, using my laser jet printer.

I applied a good coat of Mod Podge Transfer to the printed side of the paper and then laid it, face down, on the wood smoothing out any bumps or wrinkles – you want good solid contact between the paper and the wood – and left it to dry overnight.Jewelry Holder TutorialIn the morning I used a pretty damp cloth and, after soaking the paper, rubbed it away to reveal the quote.graphic transfer to wood

To drill the holes I laid down a couple of pieces of blue painters tape and marked where I wanted the knobs to go (this is where the patience to do math would serve you well. I kind of eyeballed it and goofed a bit and it came out perfectly!).Jewelry Holder - marking for knobs Cheltenham Road Tutorial

Before installing the knobs I sealed the whole thing with a couple of coats of Hard Coat Mod Podge – just for durability.

KNOB INSTALLATION

This will vary depending on what kind of knobs you’re using. In my case the glass knobs are held in place with nuts. However, I wanted the plaque to hang flush on the wall and with the nuts that wasn’t going to happen. I used a Forstner Bit to drill countersink holes on the back of the plaque. For most knobs you could just use flat head screws to keep them in place and therefore skip this step.Jewlery Holder Cheltenham Road Tutorial

And that was it!  2nd Jewelry holder achieved!Jewlery Holder Tutorial Cheltenham RoadLEGAL DISCLAIMER

This blog does not advocate storing your jewelry on your backyard fence. If your jewelry is lost or stolen due to hanging it on the backyard fence this blog is not responsible.

See, I keep making things that need to be hung on walls. Unfortunately, they don’t tend to be things for me and I’m not keen putting random screws on well-lit walls around my home.

The backyard fence however is totally down with random screwing (difficult to believe but that sentence sounded even weirder in my head) and creates a nice, rustic backdrop don’t you think?Make a Jewelry Holder Easy DIY Tutorial Cheltenham Road

Done!…. Done?…. Sorta Done?…. Done-ish? How Do You Know?

Do you ever find that it’s hard to know when you’re actually done with a project?

Is it “done” because the deadline arrived (often the case with me)? Is it done because your totally satisfied (never the case with me)?

The minute I finish something my mind instantly starts coming up with ways that it should be changed or improved.

And I really, really, sincerely, want to change or improve it but there are always other shiny new projects to start (and, I guess, finish and then want to improve) and it’s hard to make the time for the do-over.

But sometimes it bugs me juuuust enough that I must do it! And such was the case with my LA Subway art.

You’ve seen these before.

I’d done the design initially for the knobs of the LA version of my NY Subway Coat Rack and I really the look.Vintage New York Subway Art Wall Shelf

So I’d tried them as candle blocksRetro Subway Art Candle Holders

And coastersSubway Art Coaster Set by Cheltenham RoadThey sold acceptably well at the local stores

(I mean, I do realize this is the nichiest of niche products – people who actually LIVE in Los Angeles have no idea we have a subway system so the number of citizens who want commemorative home decor based on it is…..limited).

But the design needed something more done to it and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until it dawned on me (at 3AM – thanks creative brain- do you think you could, I don’t know, function during normal, waking hours occasionally!?)

Red!Subway Art Coaster Set

That particular subway is called the Red Line and, for me, it always conjures up images of the famed Red Car trolley lines that used to criss-cross LA.  So red seems perfect!Subway Art Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

And I think I’m done!Vintage Subway Art Style Coaster Set

Done Done

Yay!

But now – it’s on to a loooong time coming re-think.

Coaster packaging.

I get a lot of compliments (or at least no complaints) on the wrappers I designed for my coasters:Book Club Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Clean.  Simple.  But there are some, um, flaws….like, perhaps, the packaging doesn’t say with the product is!?!?  Or who made it?  Or how it was made?

So I’m toying around with this design.Vintage Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

I think I like it (for now.  I’m sure I’ll think of better options later – perhaps 2:30AM or maybe a late-blooming idea at 5?)

Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

Getting the Halloween Party Started

OK, as we know, I’m in Halloween mode and several of you, according to your much appreciated comments, are down with Halloween in August too so -let the games begin!

My tutorial for the Halloween luminaries is coming along.Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham Road

Actually, it worked out perfectly. They had pretty much sold out at Scare LA and while I’d snapped a few pics as I made them I didn’t have full-fledged-tutorial-worthy versions.

But after my last post my sister Sally immediately requested a set!Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham Road

I hadn’t realized Sal was a “glowing eyes of the damned” kind of decorator but, apparently, she has depths of which I was not aware.

Perfect reason to do another round, refine the process and take some better photos (and vandalize some more poor, innocent-but-creepy-looking, Victorians). Win-Win!

Also your feedback lit the fire under me to get my new Halloween Coaster Sets up and rolling on Etsy (clicking on the pics below will take you to the listings in my Etsy shop)

My comical takes on classic literature coasters  and the tea light holders have been good sellers right alongHalloween Decor Coasters by Cheltenham Road

Halloween Tealight Holders by Cheltenham RoadBut it was time to get some new stuff out there.

The Ouija boards were a hit at Scare LA (as many of you suggested I went with full Ouija Boards on each coaster)vintage Ouija Board Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Had to do some Photoshop re-jiggering to make the boards square but it worked out just fine.Classic Ouija Board Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Valerie made me very happy (and she’s good at that cause she, literally, wrote the book on Happiness!) when she came up with an idea that address both full and partial boards.  She suggested  doing a whole board spread across four coasters. Which is all sorts of genius and is totally on my to-do list.

Keeping with the theme I worked up some poison labels.Vintage Poison Labels Halloween Coaster Set

I’ve dug the graphics on these for a long timeHalloween Poison Label Coaster Set

Don’t know why it took me so long to connect with the idea of making them into coasters.

So Halloween in August is truly underway!

Now I have a very, very macabre idea for a centerpiece but I need very inexpensive doll heads (add that to the list of “phrases I never thought I’d utter”). Medium size. Anyone have a clue where to hunt?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,493 other followers

%d bloggers like this: