Tag Archives: DIY

Catch up on our vintage trailer.

Alright. Alright. Alright ( in my best Matthew McConaughey voice)

Its been a while, I know, and I have a lot to catch up on. My computer died on me and until recently didn’t have a computer to keep update on our trailer. So much has happened since last summer and we are SO close to getting it finished. IT WILL BE ON THE ROAD THIS SUMMER.


OK. lets rewind back to the end of last summer….


IMG_2567 IMG_2568

Most of summer of 2014 was spent getting all the paint off the trailer to get it ready for a new coat of paint. MAN! What a job! It took F.O.R.E.V.E.R

We ended getting off about 90% of the paint, which I call an accomplishment. Sanded and washed it down. Then, began with the primer.


One side without primer. The other side with. You can see the huge difference even just the primer made. Looks a million times better.

IMG_2579 IMG_2580 IMG_2581

While we were in the process of getting the paint off and prime the camper, I pulled off the gutters above all the windows and door. Some needed to be straightened out and cleaned. To make them all match and give them a little bit of shine, I primed and painted them as well with a metallic spray paint.



We made a summer trip back east to Indiana and Michigan to visit some family. My sisters’ sister in law does some metal work and made this really sweet sign for our camper. We plan to post at our campsite when we go camping, if you see us, swing over and say “hi” . 🙂 Oh, and if you want one made for yourself, I am sure I could get you connected with the right person. Now I just need to get the handsome husband to weld a post onto the sign. Just one more thing to add to his ” honey do” list.



Ok, so the camper is all primed and has received its new coat of off white paint, which is to be the main color. I believe we used rust-oleum in glossy almond. I did thin down the paint at the recommendation of others with vintage camper blogs to get a smoother finish. I thinned my paint to about 1/3 cup of mineral spirits per quart of paint.


IMG_2818 IMG_2822

Now our little camper is starting to look like the one in our dreams! Once we got most of the almond color on, I started taping off for the bottom half. As far as chosing the color for the bottom half, we( by ” we” , I mean ” I”) went back and forth. What can I say, we are an indecisive couple. Heck! we are still trying to make up our minds on the backsplash for the kitchenette. First it was RED. Like a dark retro red. Then I thought, maybe that would be too much, so I turned my sights on hunter green. While I thought that would be a good choice and look nice, I got to thinking about my favorite color in all the world – navy blue. Finding the RIGHT navy blue was a bit of a hunt, because a lot of oil based enamel colors come pre mixed and not a HUGE selection of color. sigh. I soon prevailed at my local Ace Hardware store. YAY for Ace! The blue of my dreams is called ” international blue”.


IMG_2851 IMG_2852

Upon buying the trailer, we found an old Livingston MT felt pendent in the camper and displayed it proudly in the trailer ( far left cabinet door). The handsome husband found a Seattle’s Worlds Fair one at an antique store and scooped it up ( far right cabinet) and then…….he found a Great Falls MT pendent for me to find a spot for in our trailer! Keep them coming, honey! 🙂



IMG_2853 IMG_2854

Lately, my children have been using the camper as their own personal play house. I keep saying, ” its not a camper, its just an expensive playhouse for the kids.”

In the mean time, the hubby decided the table for the dinette needed to be altered. Because it was a rectangle shape, it made it somewhat difficult to squeeze into the bench seat closest to the stove( unless you are an ultra skinny super model). So, as you can see from the pics above, he removed the table and it was under construction…

IMG_2869 IMG_2870  IMG_2868

And….. here we go! the new paint job revealed! Now I must confess – at this point ( sometime in Sept. 2014) I only had three sides of the trailer painted. This early spring when the weather started getting nice, I thought, ” I really want to get on the road. We could TOTALLY drive it and go camping somewhere with only three sides painted, right?”

Then, I got ” the look” from the husband. He said we are not driving that thing down the road till all four sides are painted. Fast forward to April 2015. The weather was nice for a straight week. I went and bought some more paint and finished up the fourth side. 🙂

Oh! by the way. A list of the paint that was used on the camper:

*For the gutters and doorstop, I used rust-oleum metallic brilliant metal finish.

*For the trailer primer, Rust-oleum Gray Primer latex aluminum primer. For trailer color, rust-oleum protective enamel in gloss almond, thinned with mineral spirits. Along with, Ace machine & implement rust stop oil based enamel in gloss International Blue, again, thinned with mineral spirits.

* For the tires-primed with rust-oleum automobile primer spray, and rust-oleum gloss protective enamel spray in black.



IMG_2871 IMG_3487

With the exterior paint done, I put the gutters back on the windows, and resealed them with a gray putty like substance(purchased at a camper supply store) so that the outside elements don’t find their way in and around my windows. Out of all the gutters, we only had to completely replace one on the front window.

Alright. On to the tires! At first, we thought we were going to have to get new tires for the camper, but after pulling them off and really looking them over, there is still some life in them, so we just cleaned them up a bit. Sanded off as much old paint as we could, primed and painted. Mr Handy Man also cleaned and repacked the wheel bearings. What a great guy! 🙂


IMG_3488 IMG_3489 IMG_3490 IMG_3493IMG_3494  IMG_3495

IMG_3491 IMG_3492

With some left over paint, we put it to good use. The tongue in the front of the trailer didn’t look bad, but it didn’t look great either. Out came the sander and the rest of the spray primer and paint. Details matter, people!

IMG_3498 IMG_3572 IMG_3574

As we come to a close on updating everyone one on the progress of our camper, the new altered dinette table gets back in the with corner taken off and a new coat of paint across the top to match the kitchen cabinet doors. With all this painting going on, I just couldn’t stop myself, I repainted/updated my boys’ bedroom as well and took their stuffed ram’s head. I felt it would be more at home in the camper. What do you think?

In the last picture, I tried to show you one of my DIY projects I came up with. One of the curtains in the back over the bed – I took a plain white curtain, found an image on the internet that I felt fit the feel of our camper. It’s a vintage picture of an old cowboy sitting on his mule, overlooking the Grand Canyon. A sense of adventure!

And there you have it! Honestly, all that’s left to do to just get this sucker on the road is some current tabs and a little extra wiring so that the lights can be hooked up to the truck. We will get him on the road this summer ( fingers crossed)

Until next time… happy trailers…. I mean, trails. 🙂

Grand Canyon National Park (3)






With the warm weather upon us, time to tackle the outside of Floyd. It was time to strip him down!

And give him a fresh coat of paint. 🙂

2014-05-27 13.21.28

The Handy Husband made a trip to our local Home depot and picked up a jug of paint stripper.

Ok, I’m going to be honest with you…..I have never stripped anything before..:/ this was a first for me and not knowing the type of paint on the trailer, we started with test spots on the trailer to see how easy or hard the paint would come off.

2014-05-27 13.22.01

In the mean time, while we were waiting for the chemicals to do their dirty work. Handy Husband broke out the sander and got some paint and rust off the tongue.

2014-05-27 13.33.49

Lucky for us the paint stripper is doing its job and at this point and coming off easily. Most of the parts are coming off in big chunks. YAY ( for now)

2014-05-28 09.42.06Then……I spoke too soon…. We started to realize the bottom half of the trailer had at least three different colors/coats on it, whereas the top half had just the single layer of white. When the paint was scrapped off, the top white layer came off with the greatest of ease ( for the most part). The bottom half was a different story. Because of the layer upon layer, and one of the layers being red, it wanted to smear. Well…  that’s not what we wanted. I was expecting it to come off in one giant piece, like peeling the skin back. HA! who was I kidding?!

floyd the camper3

Day two: That’s right, I said, “day two” of scrapping and pulling off paint, we discovered that on the bottom half ( remember the layers of paint), if we let the paint stripper sit and dry the thicker layer of paint could be pulled off in BIG OLE chunks. YAY! VICTORY!

Unfortunately, that method did not work on the top half ( thinner single layer), so……. back to scrapping. (sigh)

floyd the camper2

floyd the camper

By the end of day three, and the last day my handy man had off to help me, we have gotten most of the paint off. In the last hour, I experimented some more and found a hair dryer also works well to heat up the paint and peel it off.

So this is where we are at, and honestly, I think to myself, ” not too shabby.”



floyd the camper2




FUTURE (sort of) 🙂

__ATA.cmd.push(function() { __ATA.initVideoSlot('atatags-370373-5b4d0efdbb7bd', { sectionId: '370373', format: 'inread' }); });

…And So Work On Floyd The Camper Resumes.



Oh Floyd, how I have missed you!



Its been awhile, but the weather is starting to warm up in our little corner of the world. Good Ole Washington!

Time to get back to working on Floyd and HOPEFULLY ( fingers crossed) get to take him some where….ANYWHERE this summer.

As you can see from the pic above, the back window could use some work. It came with a crack running from top to bottom and electrical tape was used over the winter to keep as much moisture out as possible. More on that in a minute.



While most of the of the inside is done, there is still is the matter of the backsplash……(sigh)This has been the GREAT DEBATE lately. Ok, so originally, we had wanted to do the quilted diamond pattern in copper for the kitchenette backsplash. When I ordered the sample I noticed a copper hammered look, liked it and thought, ” What the heck, we’ll see what that looks likes too.”

Both samples were ordered and came in. I feverishly ripped open the cardboard box and ran out to the trailer




Once out in the trailer, the Handy Hubby, who was totally on board with the diamond pattern, instantly loved the hammered look. And while I liked both, the diamond look, seemed cleaner looking to me…

Then I got to thinking, the hammered look might be easier to install ( no seams) Thus, my problem was born.

Alright, back to the windows….

camper6 camper7

Taking a break from backsplash…. I need time to mull it over, we turned our attentions to the two busted windows. On the first ” warm” day, we got to work pulling out the two windows with my youngest supervising. 🙂




camper9 camper10






Complete side note: I am still trying to figure where my little guy came from, cause when we bought him, he didn’t have many identifying marks. We found this logo of a fish on the front and back with the word “RAINBOW” underneath and something about California….. any vintage trailer buffs out there that want to take a stab at it, I would love any info. 🙂




Back to the task at hand…. While waiting on our windows, it got warm. It got REAL warm and the boys favorite hangout out was, you guessed it…. the trailer. We opened all the windows. Well, the ones we still had. The Handy Hubby kicked back on the pull out bed and took a siesta while the other two read books and played UNO under the table. My kinda way to spend a lazy afternoon. 🙂



SOOO….. The windows are back and look GREAT! A big THANK YOU to Meridian Glass in Puyallup WA for taking on the challenge. Now time to get these bad boys back in the trailer.

Until next time. ;0)

Trim Your Tree for Cheap : Felt Garland

photo (15)

Last Christmas , I posted a few ways to decorate your tree on a budget, and this year I came across another idea. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. So simple its genius! Lately, I have been on a felt ” kick”. Making anything and everything out of felt. The other day, I saw an ad in the newspaper and the decorated tree in the ad had a chain link garland made out of none other than FELT.

I made a bee line for my nearest craft store and stocked up on the color theme I wanted to do this year. Rounded up my crafting supplies and got to work.

What you’ll need:

Felt sheets  in your choice of colors.

note: we have a six-foot tree this year and I used 12 sheets of felt. To give you some idea of how much felt you need.

cutting mat and rotary blade

hot glue gun and glue sticks

What to do:

photo (12)

Using a cutting mat and rotary blade, cut felt sheets into strips. I was doing two sheets at a time cutting 1 inch strips from top to bottom. You should get twelve strips per sheet. Note: if you don’t have these tools, scissors and a ruler should work just fine too. 🙂

photo (13)

Once you have your pile of strips, whip out that glue gun and heat it up. When your gun is ready to go, start gluing links together to form a chain…..

photo (14)

…Keep gluing and gluing and gluing until you have used up all your felt strips. 🙂

Then drape it onto your holiday masterpiece.

I think the total cost for the chain garland was 3 or 4 bucks? Not to bad. I think, I might make another next year and change-up the color theme.

photo (15)

More DIY ornament ideas:




In the Garden: Fall Clean Up


Its Fall in the garden and time to the put the beds to bed for the season. I don’t normally mulch my planting beds in the fall, but the chicken coop needed to be cleaned out, so what the heck, might as well use one thing for two purposes. I don’t know what other urban chicken farmes use, but lately, we have been using straw to bed the hen-house and roosting boxes.

I ended up pulling out all the old straw and hen turds and threw them into the garden beds. My thought…straw will help keep weeds down and existing plants warm till next spring, while the girls’ little surprises add nutrients. Genius. I know.




Almost all cleaned out. 🙂


I still have some cabbage in the garden, so I just placed the straw around  the plants still above the soil. Notice the bitty rosemary at the bottom of the pic. I am really quite proud. I threw down some rosemary seeds last spring/summer and then realized I was supposed to start them indoors(oops)…. well, to my surprise a few of my seeds popped up! I really hope they make it through the winter. Pretty, pretty please! I have not had good luck with rosemary in the past….



Now, that I’ve got all the old stuff out, the new must go in…..



gardenIV And I’ve got my littlest helper with me, although, me thinks he thinks the coop could use a little deodorizer. 🙂



Alright, the fresh straw is down and ready for some eggs!

My hope is that, throughout the winter as I clean the coop, I’ll add more old straw and droppings to the rest of the beds, and by next spring I’ll have a most awesomest soil my plants every did see! ;D So…. we’ll see….





Thrifty Halloween: Creating a Kids Play Wardrobe

kids play clothes



If you have young’ns you might be able to relate.

Kids LOVE to play dress up, at least, I know mine do. 🙂 And one of the thrifty ways to build a little closet of play clothes for them to dress up in is to shop the thrift stores around Halloween. That’s right, HALLOWEEN. Betcha didn’t think of that, did ya? 🙂

I know, I know, I am genius!

Ok maybe not a GENIUS….. it hit me a few years ago when I saw the cost of play clothes online or at toy stores. HOLY MOLY! Then after my two sons first Halloween dressing up, I noticed they continued to dress up and run around the house in their Batman and  Robin get up after Halloween.


2011-10-31 21.06.38

The following year I it hit up my local Goodwill Thrift Store two months before Halloween, when they start putting the Halloween costumes and decorations out. Wanted to make sure I got to the good pickings before they were gone. 🙂

2012-10-31 17.37.39  2012-10-30 17.34.54

Scanned through the racks and picked up a few more costumes(and when I say ” a few more” I mean, like five of six) for just a few bucks each. Over the last two years I have built up their play closet to more than  just Batman and Robin. Now, they can be Spiderman, Hulk, pirate, Peter Pan, solider, construction man, Darth Vader, storm trooper, knight, and vampire. 🙂





photo (6)

A Mushroom Adventure

I think, I might have just found a new hobby! mushroom hunting. This last Saturday I made the 2 hr trip to visit a friend in Port Angeles and discovered the thrill of mushroom picking. My girlfriend said if I came up to visit her, she would take me mushroom picking for Chanterelles. What are these Chanterelles she speaks of????

Now I know nothing about mushrooms, so I had to rely on her to show me which ones where the right ones. Once I got started I couldn’t stop, and it really wasn’t that hard. After I got back home though, I made a beeline for the computer to find out as much as I could about these little guys


This site here has some good info about Chanterelles, just in case you are interested. 😉

tac to PA

My route in the purple. 🙂 from Tacoma to Port Angeles


Just so happened that, that day we had the RAINYEST day we have had the WHOLE year! Good thing I brought my snowboarding jacket that afternoon. Seriously, I think we got a few inches in a few hours, it just DUMPED on us. That’s not the best part though…. while in the middle of the woods picking shrooms  I hear a call.

“Christina! Did you here that?”

“Um, no…”

A few minutes later, I hear this call from a mysterious animal again.

“Did you hear it that time!”

“yeah! That is a BIG bull elk.”

“um. WHAT?!”

Didn’t know where this guy was coming at, but I didn’t want to be around if he came charging out of the woods….

Nine pounds of mushrooms and a little faster heart beat later we came out of the woods unscathed, but heavy with our treasures. We needed a little warming up and drying out, so we stopped at the hungry bear cafĂ© right on hwy 101. Had hot coffee and slice of rhubarb strawberry pie al la mode and watched the rain outside. Such a refreshing afternoon with time just for me and my girl. 🙂


Since I really had no place to be, my mushroom picking partner asked if I have ever been to Rialto beach. I have been to quite a few beaches on the coast but never made it over to Rialto. So, the drive continued westward toward the coast. As we rounded the corner on the highway, just off to the left in a field we spotted all these guys. coincidence? I think not! 🙂

photo (2)



OK, here is my disclaimer, I did not have my phone with me to take pics, but I tried to find some that showed the beauty of the beach and what the weather was like when I was there.

photo (5)

After a loooooong day, I had all to myself (thank you to the handy husband to for watching the boys) I made my way back home to unload my treasures and start drying them out.

photo (4)

photo (3)

Two and a half days later and I am STILL drying mushrooms…. I hope to be finished by tomorrow. The house has a very earthy/woodsy smell right now. It’s just GREAT!

Until next time…..;)