Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Port-a-Potty Painting and Other Things

Even though I have a ton of work staring me in the face, I'm still dreaming of my camper ... isn't that odd? When it's sitting outside all I can think about is how much work is ahead of me and then I keep stalking craigslist and ebay trying to find another one that is fully completed so I don't have to do all the work. Then when she's gone, I miss her. Kind of like being pregnant I guess. Anyway, after hashing and rehashing, I decided to pass on the finished camper that I thought was adorable and keep plugging away at my old girl. (I am playing camper matchmaker though with another "sister" so maybe she'll give that darling little compact a home!)

I decided to test out the Sherwin Williams Blonde rather than judging by a small little 2 x 2 square so I decided to paint the box the port-a-potty sits in. Brilliant huh? In my camper, next to the back bed, there's a little cabinet on the floor. When you open the door, you slide out a box and there's a toilet seat mounted on it with a chamber pot and lid underneath. Not sure if the box is original but it's a brilliant idea whoever thought of it. It's a horrendous beige-pink color so I thought I'd give it a fresh coat of paint and kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Well just to show you how girly I am ... I can't get the paint open!! It's in a little quart size plastic jug with a turn lid and the Sherwin Williams lady made it too tight for my small hands to open. So the box now has a fresh coat of primer and I'll have to paint tomorrow after my hubby opens the paint can tonight. Yikes ... I need to buff up!! I thought it was pretty funny in any case.

I'm also still exploring curtain fabric options. I think I'm going to take all the fabric back to where I got it (not the upholstery fabric, that's not an option) and just wait until I put the actual cushions in the camper to see what it's asking for. I'm not sure if it's the fabric I don't like or just that I'm not "seeing" something in the 4 x 6 square of sample I have. I must have liked it when I bought it because there was a ton of other fabric on clearance at the same time and this called to me. Would I pick it today? Probably not but I'll work around it even though the designers say that's not a good idea. Phooey on them! I can't wait to get her back and work on the inside again ... now that I've decided to give her a chance that is. Sometimes that's all any of us needs, just a chance to show our true colors and shine!

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Decorating Dilemma!

Well now that the camper isn't here staring me in the face, I'm questioning the wisdom of what I've done. I'm not happy with what I've got at the moment and don't know how to fix what needs to be done. The avocado appliances don't bother me. The cushion fabric I chose bothers me a lot. Here's the dilemma:

I want to go from here:

to here (this is Amy's Vintage Cottage's trailer and I love it!!):

Any suggestions?

We have picked a neutral beige for the walls rather than optimistic yellow from Sherwin Williams. This is "blonde":

So far we've primered all the junky 60s paneling so we're obligated to paint and I thought a neutral would be more toned down with the avocado green on the 3 appliances (icebox, stove and heater cover). I'd rather work with them than against them and I've heard painting them isn't a great idea because the propane will bubble the paint eventually.

I'm not a great decorator ... I could copy something from a magazine if I started from scratch but when I'm working around elements that are in existance, I tend to just leave it as it is and hate it. I'm also not a "thematic" decorator ... I know lots of the Sisters on the Fly are into themes, especially western, but I'm more of a minimalist.

In my own home, I have neutral colors except for my office and my bedroom and I'm working on decluttering because I'd love to have a minimalistic home. Thus, a camper is a perfect space for me because it forces me to be minimalistic and uncluttered (or so I hope).

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd appreciate them! I don't sew well so slipcovering is probably not a good option. Hubby said I should just have them redo the cushions but since they're just being done now, that's kind of a waste of money in my opinion.

So I'll ponder and pout and agonize until I come up with a solution. Thus is life!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A New Bed and a Short Farewell for Maintenance

Well hubby finally finished the new platform for the bed (the old one was cracked and peeling). Got it put in today so now I'm just waiting for the cushions and my screen door to get fixed.

Tomorrow she's off to Sioux City to be worked on so it's farewell to the Shasta for a while. Gives me time to concentrate on other things I guess. Hopefully it won't take them too long to fix what needs to be fixed so I can get back to priming and painting.

After looking at vintage trailer blogs, I'm really loving the "romantic" cottage look that I'm seeing so I plan on looking in SC tomorrow for some material that would match and I might be rethinking the color scheme. I'm having some regrets about the fabric I chose for the cushions but I can always work around them. I shouldn't even have second thoughts when I consider it was only $2 a yard on clearance. *lol*

I just have to find some nice floral fabric to coordinate with the colors which I haven't been able to find ... haven't found any nice floral fabric anywhere actually so might have to resign myself to looking online but without having a calibrated monitor, it's kind of hit or miss looking at a 2" square.

I also plan on doing some thrifting tomorrow ... I took stock of my tupperware picnic set and realized I've been hoarding those dining trays (rectangular lunch try sort of things) and I even picked up 3 more at Goodwill today. At 50 cents a piece though, I can't complain. I really don't need any more of those but I'm sure they'll come in handy one of these days. I'd like to find a nice set of melmac or even those square tupperware plates, something non-breakable. I also found a cute red and white 3-piece tupperware craft container that will make a perfect first aid kit.

Note: Can't seem to get pictures to upload yet again ... will try again later!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Color, Color and More Color!

Well after much debate, I've decided to paint the interior of the camper. It's paneled in this white-washed 60s paneling that I'll never be able to match so rather than have the inside look patchworky in the spots where I need to replace some, I've decided to just paint.

I'm using Bulls-Eye primer and it's a huge task ... who'd have thought a 12 foot trailer would be more annoying to paint than a big old room? It's all the little spots and spaces and I've only gotten the closet done so far.

I took my color scheme inspiration from April 2003 cover of Country Living Magazine.

Since the appliances are avocado green, I'm going to paint the interior "Optimistic Yellow" by Sherwin Williams which is a nice warm yellow and coordinates nicely with the avocado appliances.

The fabric for the curtains is a little wacky but I wanted something bright and fun and can always change them if they get too annoying. I did have second thoughts on the fabric since I really like this Michael Miller vintage trailer fabric but it's a lot more expensive ($9 per yard) and I can't find it locally to see it in person. I did go back to Hobby Lobby to look at other options for fabric but when I put them all on the counter with the cushion fabric, it just didn't work as well as the goofy bug fabric. A couple other people agreed so instead of being a soothing cottage kind of retreat, it's going to be a sunny yellow fun kind of camper. Here's the curtain fabric.

I'm now going to be scouting around for vintage Corelle, green/yellow enamelware and a bunch of other fun stuff to tie this thing together.

Saturday morning she goes off to Sioux City to have some work done ... propane lines checked/replaced, electric brake fixed and bearings packed plus I'm going to get an estimate on how much it's going to cost to paint her exterior. I'm thinking of either doing her in white/yellow, white/darker avocado green or yellow/green. I'm still debating though.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thrifting & Cleaning Like a Mother ...

Well whoever said "Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish" works is sure right!!! That stuff shines aluminum like crazy! I decided to get cracking on the wings today ... figures the day I have a light workload it's hot as a you-know-what so wanted an indoor project. This stuff is great ... polishes up dull aluminum wonderfully (but stinks and turns the towels black ... be forewarned!).

Took a break after scrubbing the cargo area floor and went thrifting looking for some cool camper stuff. Didn't find much of anything but I did find a vintage 60s Samsonite round train case in that off white marble for $3.99. I left the regular suitcase but would love to find more of these to take with me because they're just so cute and retro. Here's a picture of one just like it that's currently on Etsy.

I also found a Rolodex for my office for $1.59 and a set of 2 wire shelves that stack together for $1. I'm still looking for corelle dishes but might end up buying them at Walmart. They did have some Melmac at Salvation Army but they wanted $10.99 for it and it was pretty crappy looking and it was missing the bowls. Makes me kind of upset that I sold a bunch at a yard sale for $5 this past weekend but the colors were ugly.

I also found some adorable Alexander Henry fabric called "This Land is Your Land" that has states and symbols all over it ... might go with a travel theme which again makes me peeved that I sold a bunch of those tacky state plates at my yard sale this past weekend too. Ugh. Oh well, there's always ebay!

Tonight I tackled the kitchen area. I used lysol spray cleaner on the backsplash and the formica and when I took down the range hood, I found 40 years of dried out dead flies ... blech! I also shined up the propane lantern and cleaned the heck out of the range hood and filter. I'll replace that tomorrow after it's had enough time to dry completely.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Name, A Theme & A Bath!

Well finally she has a name ... introducing "The Buzz Kill" (see new name below)*lol* Not sure where that name came from but I was in Hobby Lobby looking at fabric for inspiration and found some adorable bug themed fabric. Trekked over to Walmart to see if anything else caught my eye and there were polkadots and stripes and all kinds of semi-cute stuff but nothing as cute as this fabric. So I bought all that they had and was trying to come up with a cute buggy name when all of a sudden I had a 70s flashback from when people used to tell me I was a "buzz kill" because I didn't drink. Voila ... double meaning and totally weird at the same time. Not sure if I 100% like it but it works ... plus I can do her up in bugs and it will be kind of cute.

(UPDATE: I might not like the bugs so much so she might have a change of name. I plan on hitting Joann's and Hancock Fabrics in Omaha this weekend armed with a piece of the cushion fabric to find "the perfect" curtain fabric. Wish me luck!)

(2nd UPDATE: Well Joann's and Hancock were a total wash. I'm sticking with the bugs (even though I'm madly in love with this vintage trailer fabric I found online.) Went to Hobby Lobby today and found some possible alternate fabric but when I put it on the counter with the bug fabric and my swatch from the cushion fabric, the fabric lady and a random shopping lady both said "THE BUGS! GO WITH THE BUGS!" ... so I'm going with the bugs. *lol* However, the camper's "official" Sisters on the Fly name is .... Mary's Midlife Crisis ... that one is courtesy of my hubby who's exasperated with my flip flopping on colors, fabrics, themes, etc.

I'm still trying to find the perfect color to have her painted though. Found a guy who will do it for about 1/2 of the price of the auto body shops (he has one at his home and it's a hobby more than a business which is why the price was reasonable). I'm thinking yellow and white or maybe lime green but still not quite sure.

Today was bath day and testing out the electric day. Hooked her up and all the sockets and lights work. Yay! Vacuumed her out, scrubbed all the window screens and will work on the windows and window sills this week. I also started scrubbing the fiberglass rock guard/awning at the front windows. It's yellow! Boy what a difference getting rid of umpteen years of grime will do!

We also put on new tires/rims and purchased MDF for the new bed base and paneling for the small section in the back that needs to be replaced. It's not an exact match but for such a small area, it will work for now until I decide to re-panel the whole thing (if I ever do). I also purchased new curtain rods for all the windows since my daughter ran over the existing ones while they were in the garage. Luckily they're cheap at Walmart.

Expenses so far:

$150 - tires/rims (2)
$ 26 - curtain fabric
$ 25 - curtain rods
$ 30 - paneling and new wood for the bed plus paneling nails


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Various Estimates

Hubby called today and had a guy come by to look at the camper for a painting estimate. If I went with a whole body paint, it would be more than I paid for it and apparently hail dings show up more when the paint is new. However, if I was to just change the stripe color from boring beige to something else, I'm only looking at about $200-$300.

First step will be to scrub her down with camper wash to see if that perks her up some. I'm still not thrilled with the beige but can live with it for a while anyway until I decide on the perfect color. I'm still thinking turquoise but not quite sure.

For the inside, we went to Menards yesterday and looked at paneling. A single sheet runs about $14 and it's not the exact color but since the area I need to fix will be covered by curtains and bed/couch cushions, I don't think anyone is really going to notice. The majority of the paneling is in good condition and only needs a cleaning so I don't intend to replace all of it.

For the bed area, a sheet of MDF is about $30 and hubby thinks that would work better than plywood due to the separation factor. I do see where some of the plywood is separating so that's probably why the pull out sticks.

Pangs of envy did hit me yesterday when my daughter's friend told me her parents GAVE AWAY a camper back in April. Ugh, if only I had known but what's done is done.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Houston We Have Air!

Well, at least a breeze. I was able to open all the windows today with my daughter's help. Seems the stuck ones were simply being turned the wrong way. One would think that all the windows would crank open in the same direction but I guess someone had a little bit of fun at the camper factory but in any case, all the windows open and all the glass is intact. Dirty but intact.

With the cushions gone, I was able to inspect the interior a bit more. We're going to need to replace the plywood bed board because the slide out board sticks and there's some warpage to the main board. It's not anything that is necessary but might as well do it while the cushions are off being remade.

I found the water tank today (under the dinette seat on the driver's side) and will fill it with water and Clorox bleach and on hubby's suggestion, tow the camper around to slosh the water around in the tank. We'll probably do that when we tow her in to get a painting estimate. I don't plan on drinking water from the tap so will bring bottled water along but it will be nice to kill any lurking germs.

There are a lot of cobwebs that need to be vacuumed up out of little corners and some rectangular things that I think might be mouse bait. When it cools down (hopefully next week) I'll get in there and give her a good cleaning. Today was just a day to get the windows open so I can air her out and to check her out inside again.

The plywood shouldn't cost all that much and if I can find some whitewashed paneling I plan on replacing the sections under the window that have warped and then dried out. If not, I'll come up with another solution since it's not the main paneling, just simply about a 6-inch wide section of a "shelf" under the window. I'm also still trying to figure out how to put an air conditioner in there but haven't hit upon the perfect solution yet.

I also joined some yahoo groups for vintage Shasta camper trailers so I plan on making good use of the resources available.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Progress Begins

I still haven't been able to give her a good cleaning due to the high temperatures we've been having but I was able to get some of the windows unstuck so a cross breeze can blow through. WD-40 and a good coaxing should help the rest of them.

I found a lady nearby who does upholstery so the cushions have been removed and are awaiting their new covers. I still haven't decided on a theme (or a name) and am eagerly awaiting my official Sisters on the Fly number. Maybe then she'll tell me what she wants to be named.

I've decided to have her painted all white and then have the beige stripes repainted turquoise. The wings will remain their silver color though.

Water lines and propane lines need to be checked and replaced if needed and I might have to find a camper place to do that.

Running total so far:

Camper: $900
Material for cushions: $35


Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Beginning of a Dream

Since 2002 when I saw an article in Country Living magazine, I've wanted to own a vintage trailer and join Sisters on the Fly. After passing up a trailer at Goodwill years ago and kicking myself ever since, I decided to renew the quest. I stalked them on ebay and on craiglist, I trampled through a muddy field looking at old trailers that were abandoned to the elements and came complete with built in friends in the form of wasps that had made a home in the ceiling vents. Finally, the search paid off and I became the owner of a 1967 Shasta LoFlyte camper with wings!

This little darling is in amazing shape with intact whitewashed paneling and cabinets and other than some expected dust and mild dirt, is amazingly clean. No stink of mildew and no critters roaming around. My husband and I hooked her up to the truck and towed her home coming almost full circle since her very first owner lived about an hour from here.

She has yet to be christened with a name and needs new tires but she's been bug bombed and is ready for a pine-sol bath as soon as the weather cools off a little bit.

The cushions need new covers and as luck would have it, Walmart has most of their fabric on clearance so I was able to purchase some wonderful colorful semi-retro looking fabric for the seat cushions and have already found someone to make them for me. Let the restoration journey begin!