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I Have Triumphed! (Also Happy Valentines Day)

Vintage Valentines Day GarlandSo everyone says the key to a successful blogging relationship is consistency.

Blog regularly. Post on a set schedule.  Always post on the same day.

……Happy Friday everyone!

OK, when last we met I was experiencing some….let’s call them minor hiccups on my road to sliding-drawer kitchen organization nirvana.

I had this.

I wanted this.

But I was thwarted by measuring (not an unusual thwarting for me), math (also not an unusual thwarting vehicle) and, of course, that old cliche – Evil Drawer Slide Manufacturers!

I kept working but somewhere around the middle of last week the drawer and I decided it would be best to see other people for a while and I focused on some other projects.

I put together some new, Classic Hollywood coaster sets for the good folks at Sweet!

I love these vintage Homes of the Stars graphics and I thought they might be fun for all those TCM lovers (they are also available on Etsy and Amazon)Homes of the Stars Vintage Hollywood Drink Coaster SetOld Hollywood Drink Coaster Set

I also got sidetracked by a random Valentine’s Day project (more on that in a sec)

But, I’m happy to say that the drawer and I worked out our differences and the aforementioned Nirvana is now mine!

Oddly sized spacers were glued and screwed together

20 inch sidemount drawer slides were installed and now……DIY Kitchen Organization Drawer

Pretty!Maximize Kitchen Storage

Who can get to his pasta pot in a heartbeat?

This guy!

Who should probably eat less pasta?

This guy!  (OK, my plan may have a flaw….)Kitchen Storage Solution

(As an extra side-bonus, upon viewing my last blog post my friend and dutiful blog reader Suzanne informed me that my pans were dirty and she was coming over to show me how to clean them.   Which she did!  You’d best believe I Tom Sawyered the crap out of that situation!)

So, in the midst of drawer-wars I realized it was almost Valentines Day and got one of those goofy-but-its-fun-to-do-something-different ideas that I just feel compelled to make for no real justifiable reason.

Why not make some hearts out of scrap wood?

I have all this beadboard that I bought a while ago – before I realized it was too heavy for what I wanted to do with it because, as we know, “advance planning” the Cheltenham Road byword.

So cut out some heart shapes using my scroll saw and painted them in shades of red and pink using Folk Art Milk Paint that Plaid provided me as part of their Ambassador Program.

I liked them but thought they needed a little text so I flipped one over and painted the smooth backside

And after a bit of sanding (for that “distressed heart” look….which, now that I type it sounds like an unfortunate medical condition) I used my Folk Art Stencils  to create a “Be Mine” message.Vintage Valentines Day

To be honest, I wasn’t totally sure what to do with them once I finished (a giant charm bracelet?) so I drilled some holes and strung them together.Vintage Valentines Day Banner

I like how, on the bead board side, the paint stayed in the grooves but sanded off the front leaving some great texture on the face.

So, as I said, a bit of a goofy idea but I had fun making it.Scrap Wood Valentines Day Banner

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some extremely convenient pasta to make!

Kitchen Organization (First Attempt)

I have several alternate titles for this blog post

  • Why did I do that?
  • My house is annoying.
  • Is this really a good use of time?
  • Biting off more than you can chew.  The Danger of Tiny Mouth Syndrome.

As you may have surmised, I have encountered some set-backs on the road to today’s (planned) tutorial.

You see, this was supposed to be a blog post/tutorial wherein I would share my clever idea and show how you too might execute this clever, space saving innovation.

OK – here’s how things have gone down.

Several years ago I remodeled (or rather, had others remodel) my kitchen.  I learned a lot, made some good choices and some bad choices and ended up, in the long run, with a much better kitchen.Before and after Kitchen remodel

One of the “good” decisions was that I wanted drawers rather than base cupboards.Kitchen makeover happiness.  Pull out drawers rather than cupboards

They have been awesome!  One of those “why wasn’t this always the norm?” kinda things.  I highly recommend them.

However, there was one hold out.  Not quite sure what happened but it’s been bugging me for years.  The cabinet next to the fridge is just that, a large, deep, not-very-user-friendly cupboard.

I hate fumbling around trying to get out the frying pan or the pasta pot etc.

Now, I have successfully (in my opinion) designed and made other “pull-out-easy-access-space-saving” projects.

In another cabinet I organized other pans and things.Convenient, space saving pull out drawer for pots and pans

In the Laundry Room Makeover I made a pull out utility wall that I love to this dayEasy, space saving, utility wall for the laundry room

And a roll out shelf for shoes.clutter busting, space saving pull out shoe drawer for mud room

So, I’m down with roll outs.  I work well with drawer glides.  Therefore why not (finally!) make a pull out drawer for that last remaining cabinet?

Why not?

Because life is short.

It should have been easy.  Just, basically, a box attached to glides.

After careful measuring I determined that the best way to get the most out of the space was to use “undermount” rather than side-mount drawer glides.  I would use two of them (for balance and due to the weight of the drawer).  Perfect!


Three (possibly four?) trips to Lowes later I had experienced the following progression of realizations:

  • The Lowes website lies about where things are
  • All manufacturers hate me. My cabinet can accommodate, at most, a 22” undermount drawer glide.  How big do they make them?  Well, they go: 16”, 18”, 20″ and……..  22 5/8ths.  Why!??!!!!  5/8ths?!!!!  What possible purpose could the 5/8ths  serve?  And why don’t people who have 18” drawers need 5/8ths  more to live out their dreams of organization and easy utensil access?*
  • Oh wait! They make 20” ones!  Yay, that will work!
  • Wait. The 20” one doesn’t actually extend any further than the 16” one?  So my drawer would only “extend” about 8 inches outside the cabinet?
  • Oh, and you only have one anyway and it’s in the wrong bin so I had to look through all of the dreaded 22 5/8ths ones come to this realization?  Thanks!

OK, side-mount drawer glides it is.

Which means reducing the size of the drawer….which means it holds a bit less…..

OK, fine, I’ll redesign.  I can find somewhere else for that one lid.  No prob.

Oh, but side-mount also means I need to get past the face frame on the cabinet.

Oh good – the frame depth is some weird, inbetween-actual-numbers number, like 1″ and 15/93rds  to second power or something?  OK, I can figure that out….

Oh, and it’s a different depth on either side?  Well that’s just terrif!  Challenges – so satisfying!

…….Perhaps I need to rethink exactly how annoying it was to dig around to get to the frying pan.

Maybe, rather than a loud, clanging exercise in crouching down, it was a character-building, mini workout that made cooking a growth experience……

Tune in next week when I either, in very small type, admit defeat or, in very large type, crow endlessly over my amazing prowess at overcoming tremendous obstacles  (like returning things to Lowes without a receipt…….I KNOW I have them…..somewhere……)


*rhetorical question  – I’m not looking for answers, I’m ranting.  I’m not proud of this fact but it is, nonetheless, a fact.



My New Must-Have Craft Room Tool

I confess to being a bit of slob when working and one of my vows for this year is to spend a lot less time cleaning up.

So, while I solemnly swear to put things away when I’m done with them and not drag new things out before I’m done with old things – I can’t do all that much about the mess I make when I’m making.

I’ve tried putting various things on the work table to help keep it neat – towels, inexpensive place mats, drop cloths etc. All of them worked fine up to a point but became unusable after a few rounds of Mod Podge drips and glue splots and such.

Then, while poking around at Rockler Woodworking I came across this Silicone Project Mat:

(don’t worry, this isn’t a paid commercial – no one at Rockler slipped me cash to talk about this – I just happened to buy one and think it’s tops).

Now, they aren’t exactly giving them away but the price is OK for something that will last.

It’s generously sized and the perfect solution to my problem.

So, it starts out like this:

And then, after a round of coaster making it looks like this:

But, here is the beauty part.

Once it all dries:

You can just peel off the big chunks:

And rinse away the smaller ones.

I did a quickie rinse for this pic and the results are great:

It rolls up for easy storage and rolls out totally flat again the next time you use it.


I kinda want to cover every surface in my home with one.

Actually, I should probably put one under me when I eat…..

And I have another confession.

It’s still Christmas at my house.

You see I’ve  vowed to NEVER have another holiday season as stressful  as 2017.    I had so many projects and ideas I wanted to get to but didn’t have the time.  So I’m doing them now and stockpiling for December.

This will be great in two ways.  I’ll be much more pleasant to know AND when I post the pictures in December you will no doubt say:

“David, the projects are great and you look YEAR younger!  What’s your secret?”

And I will smile and  lie and tell you it’s all about good genes, an excellent diet and staying hydrated.

Here’s  small preview.

I’ve been working on a hot cocoa sign for next years hot chocolate bar

and Christmas tray that uses some leftover holiday napkins

And a bunch of others  that are coming along nicely.

So you see I HAD to leave my decorations up so that I would be able to photograph the projects.  It has nothing to do with laziness despite what you may have heard!




Vintage Disneyland E Ticket Wall Art Tutorial

Before I get rolling here I just wanted to say thank you all for your wonderful, kind and supportive words about my dad.  It meant the world to my sisters and myself to read what you wrote.  We love sharing out dad’s story and it means so much that it resonates with you (we also showed them with mom who doesn’t do computers or blogs and she loved it!).  Thank you all so much!

OK, there is no smooth segue from that but here we go! – onto Disney and our E Ticket Ride.
Living in Southern California I’m surrounded by folks who are crazy about Disney and its various Lands and Worlds.

I do not actually share this obsession.

In truth I’m a bit bitter toward Disney.

You see, when I was 11 my parent told me we were moving from Ohio to California for my dad’s job.

I was overjoyed!   It was clear this was the first step in my life-long Master Plan!

  • Step 1: move to California.
  • Step 2: Become a Mousketeer!
  • Step 3: Enjoy everlasting fame and unlimited Disneyland access.

My parents had played right into my hand!!!!

The fact that the show was no longer in production and that we were moving to Northern California, several hundred miles from Disney was not made clear to me.

I acknowledge blaming Disney for this is not exactly fair. However, the only other option is to blame my lack of research and questionable grasp of geography and I think we all know that that won’t be happening.

So.  Everlasting bitterness!

Despite my (justified!) feelings I do like to make other people happy and I thought this fun, super easy project would be perfect for the die-hard Disney fan.

If you went to Disneyland prior to 1982 you bought a ticket book to get on the rides.

You can find these vintage books on ebay and I thought it would look cool to have some over-sized versions as wall-art.

It’s pretty straighforward.

I used:

  • Matte Mod Podge (shocking!)
  • 1/2″ MDF panels
  • black paint
  • aaaaand…that’s about it.

After doing a high resolution scan of the tickets I blew them up to 10.5×16.5 and had Staples print them out for me on plain 11×17 paper for about $2 a print (Staples can also do the scanning and blowing up for you if that’s not your scene).

I cut my 1/2″ MDF into 11×17 panels and painted them black.  The painting isn’t strictly necessary – I just wanted to have a nice border around the tickets.

After spreading a good amount of Mod Podge onto the MDF panel

I laid my graphic down smoothing out wrinkles and guaranteeing a good adhesion by using a combo of my hands and a brayer.

A little drying time, a couple of coats of Matte Mod Podge so seal them and they were ready to go.

They can be hung with picture wire and hooks or you can use 3M Command Strips.  With the Command Strips so you don’t have to put a hole in the wall and they are easy to reposition if needed.  Four strips on each panel should to the trick.

I did this with Disney tickets but it would work with pretty much any image you wanted to use: Concert tickets, family letters, etc etc.

As always, let me know if you have any questions and please if you take this idea and run with it send pics!  I love to see what people do!

Disclaimer: The tickets are Trademarked and Copyright protected material which is why I’m not providing downloads of the graphics.  This project is shared for personal use and inspiration only.    


The New Year

Hi and Happy New Year everyone!

I hope the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 has treated you well.

My apologies again for the looooong pause in blogging.  This Fall was not quite what I had expected.

I’m very sorry to report that, at the very end of October my dad passed away.

Now, when speaking of a 95 year old one can never, with a straight face, say that this was a “total surprise” but it did catch me a bit off guard.  When both of your parents, like energizer bunnies, just keep going and going one can get a bit complacent I suppose.

In any case, we, as a family, had the best possible version of this scenario that anyone can hope for.

We all got to be with him for many days.  He was, although weak, very, very present – making his own decisions (and jokes) the entire time.  We laughed a lot.  He got to say very nice things to us and we, in turn got to truly express how much we loved and appreciated him.

But somehow, despite all the positives, it stopped me cold in my blog-tracks.  Dad really enjoyed the blog – and especially reading all of your comments – and I somehow couldn’t quite figure out what to say…..but I think I have now.

As you all know my dad was an excellent craftsman.  All the pictures I’m sharing here today are of his work.

Handmade Lazy Susan’s by Edgar Cheaney

When my folks moved to their retirement community he immediately established a woodworking shop on the premises.

Dad’s workshop. Yes it was always this clean.

He did projects for himself, took on repair work for other residents and built things for the community.  So all of what you are seeing is work done by a man in his 80s and 90s.

Display case by Edgar Cheaney

And that seems to me to be the ongoing lesson my dad was quietly teaching all of us.

Lectern made from reclaimed wood by Edgar Cheaney

Dad was the definition of a life-long learner-the kid who took the radio apart to see how it worked, built model airplanes and, later in life took apart his computer and put it back together again.

Model Airplane Display by Edger Cheaney

He (and my mom) enrolled in Life-Long-Learner classes on everything from The History of Film to Biblical Studies.  He was a voracious reader and the only male member of the local book club.  When he took on the role of Community Accountant for the retirement community he taught himself, in his 80s, how to use Quickbooks.

Cherry Wood Display Cabinet by Edgar Cheaney

Conversations with him were always fascinating and the subjects wide-ranging.  He listened just as well as he talked, was open to new ideas and even when his views differed greatly he treated everyone with respect.

Shadow Boxes made to go outside the rooms of the Assisted Living patients in the hospital wing

As is often the case in these situations, you learn a lot from the stories other people tell.

At his memorial service the minister related how she’d visited him in hospice and, in the course of their conversation she had asked him how he felt about this coming transition.

My dad paused, thinking for a moment, and then simply said:


I think that one answer sums up him and the many valuable lessons he taught all of us over the years.  Be curious.  Keep trying.  Have an active mind.  Always be engaged.

I’m going to try my best to live up to his example.

Edgar S Cheaney


Happy Holidays!


So….it’s been a while.

Sorry for the pause.

I just wanted to pop in (up?) and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

I hope you all have had a wonderful Holiday Season!

I’ll be back with projects (and explanations) in 2018.

Haunted Halloween Lamp

I know, I know.  Halloween is OVER and we’re all supposed to have moved on to Christmas.

But, as I’ve shown on several other occasions, I am nothing if not seasonally out of synch.

And I had this idea for a quickie Halloween decoration idea and just didn’t want to wait another year.

It came together fast (it had to, the sun was setting and I had about an hour to get it made, staged and photographed).

So, apparently, Halloween, to means “things that light up” and, more specifically Victorian people with glowing eyes (Cheltenham Road – We have one idea and we’re sticking with it!!!!)

For this I used:

  • Thrift Store Lamp
  • Pictures printed on my laser printer
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam Brush
  • Flat black spray paint
  • Craft knife

I’d picked up this lamp from a thrift store for $6

I removed the shade and did a quickly spray paint job on the base (flat black)

I had all my gloomy Victorians from my Glowing Eyes Candle Jar project so I put together a couple of quick collages and printed them out on my laser printer (you can find links to get some of the pictures in the Glowing Eye Candle Jar tutorial)

I use Photoshop for this sort of thing just to be able to move quickly but the same could be done with individual print outs of the pictures

The shade was 10” high so I just worked in sections and printed out on legal sized paper.

After cutting out their eyes (it’s what I do!),

I spread Mod Podge on the shade and smoothed the paper into place – continuing around until the shade was covered.

It happened to be 102 degrees in LA so everything dried alarmingly quickly.  If you live in a part of the country with non hell-like temperatures in October your drying times may vary.

I added a little bit of ribbon trim around the top and bottom of the shade to finish it up.*

After putting it all back together (and crossing my fingers that the thrift store lamp actually worked….something I had neglected to check)  I was done.

Glowing eyes 2017!

OK!  On to Flag Day!  I have some awesome ideas for glowing flags…..

*just to be honest, the ribbon is just taped in place.  A glue gun would be perfect for this task but I may or may not have thrown mine away after one too many unfortunate encounters with really hot glue.

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