Archives for the month of: July, 2015

I found the perfect sized plastic storage boxes — roughly shoe box size — to fit under the kitchen sink. One has my first aid and toiletries, one has emergency candles, batteries, matches, etc — and in that pile of stuff I found three of those dollar-tree, aluminum-foil-looking emergency blankets, still in their little wallet-sized packages.

I put one in the box and set two aside. Later, I found an old flat sheet nobody uses (we are duvet people) and laid out the emergency blanket on top of it. I rolled up all four sides in a makeshift hem and used staples (friend Joe calls them “Man stitches”) to “sew” the hems. I rolled the whole thing up and put a rubber band around it, and will see if it is a suitable replacement for the popular but expensive reflective covers sold to top the bed-end canvas roofs on a pop up.  http://www.popupgizmos.com/bunkcoverpage.htmIMG_0547[1] IMG_0548[1]

Updates when I camp in an unshaded spot. They are supposed to lower the inside temp by a considerable amount. I thought about sewing them together in crosswise strips like a quilt but I suspect the thin reflective stuff would tear. So we’ll see.

What should I put in that hollow bottom slot? cutting boards? some kind of cover?

What should I put in that hollow bottom slot? cutting boards? some kind of cover?

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Mouse hole cut tidy, ready to stitch.

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Mouse hole patch secured on the outside (temporarily) with painter’s tape so I can sew

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This mess was the ancient bungee cord that ran through the bottom edge of the canvas and secured the canvas ends under the slide-outs. Replaced it with nice new black stretchy cording.

I primered and painted the top to see how it would look... then went back and primered and painted the base as well.

I primered and painted the top to see how it would look… then went back and primered and painted the base as well.

Time flies. I got my morning coffee and was going to get a few things done on the pop up in the morning — and when I looked up, Jeff was coming home from work and it was dinnertime.

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This base piece and the one under the other bench were problematic crumbly mdf bard. I hid them under maps. They don't look perfect but they were awful before so it's a net improvement.

This base piece and the one under the other bench were problematic crumbly mdf bard. I hid them under maps. They don’t look perfect but they were awful before so it’s a net improvement.

The cupboard and drawer fronts were in good shape but particle board sections like under the bench seats are showing their age. I filled crumbled corners with plastic wood and then mod podged maps over the whole surface, using the podge (furniture finish kind) to seal the unseen bottoms and edges.

When I put the cupboard doors and drawers back in, I added little felt sticky pads in the corner so they wouldn't BANG when they closed on  the spring loaded hinges.

When I put the cupboard doors and drawers back in, I added little felt sticky pads in the corner so they wouldn’t BANG when they closed on the spring loaded hinges.

OK so it’s midnight and it’s possible that I am obsessing a little, but I just finished all the maps and primered the part of the pop-up I intend to paint. How lucky is it that the falling-apart Rand McNally atlas pages Jeff gave me are the EXACT SIZE of the inset on some of the cupboard doors? I lined them up so at least the bottom edge and one side got the ABC-123 grid numbers for a border. On a couple of wider ones I used a full page and then a strip of “city detail inset” maps to fill the gap. The smaller ones were easily cut down.

I was going to pick places we’ve lived, places I have traveled, but in the end I chose for a nice mix of colors and patterns. If I needed more greens I went to Canada, more blues, the Great Lakes… a little yellow in the deserts…

I need to go to bed and stop for a while. I hope the fabric patch arrives tomorrow. IMG_0447

The pop up isn’t as bad as some — it’s pretty 1990 but not in a hunting-camp, earth-toney way. I had seen adorable camper mods on pinterest that went all 50s, black and white checkerboard tiles and vintage kitchen curtains, linoleum countertops and a felix-the-cat clock.. but mine isn’t a retro vintage metal camper, it’s a tent trailer, and so not 50s. If it were truly just me and I would never family-camp in it again. I might go all gypsy caravan with India batiks and pillows and fringe. But mostly I want to make it peaceful and quiet and bright.

So this morning (Sunday) after packing the teen girl child off to scout camp, I made a color decision. I had been thinking of saffron-yellow curtains, since the light wakes you in the morning and it’s a cheery color — and since the three-cycled curtains I am using are off white and a little grubby looking. I thought maybe teal, maybe one of the blues like on watery parts of a map or the globe — then HEY! Why not mod-podge actual maps to the cupboard doors, and then choose colors based on the maps? Some of my kitchen cupboards have maps and old book texts on them, and I once did our whole bathroom wallpaper in National Geographic maps. It’s a thing with me.

So I painted trim in a mappy blue on the primered doors. Then I started podging maps. IMG_0441[1] IMG_0442[1]

A blogger on the interwebs recommended a TSP type cleaner (I got phosphate free) and Zinnser primer. I got both. I used rubber gloves and a sponge to wash down the cupboard and drawer fronts, and the empty supports inside the pop uptact paper on metal.  (a mix of laminate on particle board, laminate on plywood, and contact paper on metal.. The can of primer just barely made it but I managed to spray all the cupboards and drawers on Saturday, and left them overnight to dry. IMG_0432[1] IMG_0433[1]

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Friday night: I took down the musty curtains, dragged the mattresses out into the sun, emptied cupboards and drawers and then took the doors off and drawers out. The whole thing needs a good wipedown and the canvas needs a salt-water-lemon-juice sponging to stop any mildewy smells… the windows are all open, and it’s just a matter of finding time for the next steps. I put my art fair EZ-up out on the lawn and stored all the cushions and parts underneath it, in case of rain.

My 1990 Coleman Sequoia is my favorite toy. I bought it second hand for a song, to avoid paying hotel and restaurant rates when I traveled with hubby and three kids, or went out of town for a pottery workshop or street fair. It’s like a portable treehouse, a secret clubhouse in a rolling box that tags along behind my van on adventures. It’s a tent that isn’t miserable in rain and mud, with big screened sides but a coffee pot and real mattress for my middle aged back after a day on my feet (and in my bodice) hawking my wares at renfaire.   It backs like a dream, into tent sites far fro the RVS with their AC units and satellite dishes — so  it still feels like camping. And as a mom and studio manager with a lot of people in my face from day to day, I don’t hate having it all to myself when those renfaire weekends roll around — especially with a cell phone at my side to keep me from worrying about what’s going on with my peeps.

This year, though, when I opened it up I discovered the mice had invaded my club house over the winter. They chewed two big holes in the canvas bed-ends. I guess I should be grateful… I had been pinning ideas to my “camper mod” pinterest board for a long time but never felt motivated to do much beyond changing the curtains. But now, it’s ON. IMG_0339[1]