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July, when everyone’s thoughts turn to…..Halloween?

July is always an interesting month.

I’ve been working on a lot of custom orders for stores.

Just finished up some fun subway art products for a great little shop called The Red Stable in the German Village section of downtown Columbus

But I always feel like “it’s summer!  I should chill!”

In reality, however, July and August have to be the staging ground for all things fall.

Year after year I find this hard to get my head around – particularly when it’s over 100 degrees outside.

But facts are facts so won’t you join me in getting ready for Halloween,,,,, in July.

Particualrly motivating is my participation in the upcoming Mid-Summer Scream Festival in Long Beach.

It’s a huge, two-day show at the convention center and a great motivator for getting my act together.

I’m trying to come up with some new stuff (ideas have been percolating for a year so, by all means, wait until two weeks before the show David…sigh….)

I’ve been re-thinking, re-designing and rephotographing my vintage Halloween coastersVintage Halloween Drink Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

They are currently on Etsy as a set of six but I’m thinking of changing them to my more standard set of four.  But which four?! It’s always hard to choose.

And my Dollar Store Glowing Eye Candle Holders (click the link for a tutorial) were a hit last year so I plan to make more Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham Road

But I don’t want to offer exactly the same thing so I’m looking for ways to change them up a bit

WARNING: EVIL CLOWNS AHEAD

I’m experimenting with painting the inside of the holder itself – to add brightness and make the eyes even more disturbingly glowy

And I enjoyed the results last Halloween when I used the Folk Art Painted Finishes to create the mossy effect on a dollar store skull. so I thought I’d see what I thought of it here

I like that it gives it all a greenish glow.  And you can see a bit more of the detail of the “moss” effect in this picture

But my jury is a bit out actually.

The product works great I’m just not sure it’s quite what I’m going for.

Or maybe it just doesn’t go with clowns but will look awesome with creepy, old Victorians?Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham Road

I was also thinking about wrapping the top in some sort of funereal black ribbon or cloth.

What do you think?

All I know for sure is that I really need to crank the AC cause there is nothing Halloweeny about sweating……unless you’re wearing a Wookie costume I guess……

 

 

 

 

Oh The Horror! Halloween in August!

Framed Halloween 31 sign by Cheltenham Road Hi, I’m David.  You may remember me from such lies as:

I’ve totally got this under control!

and

I’m on top of things now and will blog regularly!

Well, two back-to-back, two-day Halloween shows pretty much put the kabosh on that sense of togetherness.

I went into crazy manufacturing overdrive to have enough stock on hand and I still ended up running out of a few things (good problems!)

These Halloween shows are always a lot of fun and the creativity displayed by both the vendors and the attendees is always amazing and pretty inspiring.

I opted for doing just table set ups this time around and though it got a bit crowded it seemed to work.Cheltenham Road Table Set up for Scare LA 2016

There was a mix  of my old standards like the Glowing Eye candle holders (you can see the tutorial for how to do them here)Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham Road

along with a slightly revised subway sign design and potion signsHandmade Original Design Halloween Signs by Cheltenham Road

I came up with the idea for these new, slatted “31” slatted signs at the very last minute (cause that’s how my mind works).

I did three variations and they sold out pretty quickly (there’s a fourth version of the same idea you can see in the basket of the picture above with the Trick or Treat cat)

Framed Halloween 31 sign by Cheltenham Road

I did, however, mange for once to think far enough ahead and sized them to fit in a USPS box (my creativity is only limited by box size I’ve discovered since I keep making things that are too much of a hassle to ship) so they will soon be available on EtsyHalloween Collage Original Sign by Cheltenham Road

And, of course, I needed a few, themed wine charm sets  for all those Halloween party throwers.

I only had time to grab some quick pics before the first show but you’ll see the idea.

I designed some covers for classic, Gothic horror novels

Gothic Novel Wine Charm Set for Halloween by Cheltenham Road(with, of course one for the poor, sober Designated Driver).Classic Horror Novel Halloween Drink Tag set by Cheltenham Road on Etsy

People actually requested coaster version of these which I ended up making for the second of the two shows.

There was a set for the the Lucretia Borgia crowd featuring classic poison labelsChoose Your Poison Halloween Wine Charm Set by Cheltenham Road

And finally a set for all those folks who love the vintage Halloween graphics.Vintage Halloween Wine Charm Set by Cheltenham Road

I’d been toying with the idea of making T-shirts out of my funny, Gothic ad coaster designs but it just didn’t seem to be viable cost-wise.  So I had some tote bags made featuring three of the designs and they seemed to go over well Halloween Tote Bags by Cheltenham Road(although they might have gone over better if the second show hadn’t handed out free tote bags to EVERY.  SINGLE. ATTENDEE…..argh!)

All in all it was an exhausting but great couple of weeks.  And I’m very happy to, for the first time, have Halloween stuff designed and ready to go well in advance (I even have a few more ideas I want to try out).  Now if Starbucks would just get that Pumpkin Spice Latte going I’d be all set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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