It’s the most wonderful time of the year

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year,  With the kids jingle belling,  With the kids trick or treating!.

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The Jack Witch hat I made last year

 

Yep my most favorite time of the year is just around the corner, Halloween.Middle of August is when the planning phase for the theme of this year’s Halloween begins. Hey, it takes time to create and organize some of this stuff. I always coordinate the dress up theme for our department at work and for home. So I start building early.

This year the office is doing Alice in Wonderland, and the house is going more traditional  with a new reaper and floating ghost build on the to do schedule. Just wanted to post a quick project that took me about 30 mins actual build time that is easy and something anyone could do. It is also a little less “dark” than the next couple of builds on my schedule.

Pallet Pumpkins. I took some cheap thin wood, and traced the pattern of my pumpkins. Then wood glued and screwed pallets to the back of the wood. No clamps on hand so we just laid heavy objects on it until the wood glue dried.

 

IMG_1061 IMG_1066After letting the glue dry overnight, the next day flip the boards over. Use a Jig saw to cut the pumpkin shape, using the plywood as a guide. Then decided if you are going to stain. I used a variety of stains and non stains to give it different looks on the on the pumpkins.  Then attach them to a piece of wood to set on and decorate.

 

Pumpkins for the porch Ready to go!

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Tall skinny one

Tall skinny one

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Homemade headboard……….$6

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The bunk area of the camper is a place that I knew my daughter would be spending a lot of time hanging out in. Needed it to feel like home and display her spunky personality. I knew exactly what it needed a headboard of types. A tufted headboard we have made before, but I wanted something that was less permanent and not so heavy.

I remember in one of my sessions of scouring Pinterest I had seen someone who made a headboard from cardboard. So I sat out to recreate my own version. I had pieces of Coreboard in my workshop that were just the right size. So I cut a nifty pattern on it, and covered with a piece of foam and batting to make edges soft.

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The Coreboard is stronger than regular card board and it also allows us to have something to staple into when we wrap it with fabric. We chose a bright elephant pattern that fits Alyssa’s personality. So now all I have to do I wrap with fabric and we are ready to go. Pull tight around the edges, and cut the access fabric as you go.

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Finished, it took me about 20 mins, and cost about $6 for the fabric. To install on the way we used a heavy duty two sided tape made by Gorilla Glue. Here it is installed!

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The Grand Finale!

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The grand finale, the final curtain call, the fat lady is singing somewhere in the background. After many hours of works, sweat, and tears ( lots of tears), she is done. I think I probably have about 200 hours into her. It honestly was one of the more rewarding projects that I have done. We were able to take a camper that was so stuck in the 1980s and make her fabulous again. It really shows that anything can be brought forth , redone and made useable and awesome again. We reused most items that we already had on hand. Left over paint, cabinet handles, bedding, curtains, fabric we are put back to use in our awesome camper, and helped us keep this project redo under $500 for the whole camper. Mind you we still have to do the floors, that should only run us about $180.

The only thing that is really left to do is fix the water heater from leaking and that part is on the way. Honesty the funniest thing is, when you look at the camper from the outside, it certainly looks like the Clampits live there !. So here she is, hope you like.

 

Its me!

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It’s me, and other information you want to know, and some I am sure you didn’t. I have been married to my husband Mick since 1998, given today’s track records I am pretty proud of that. We have two teenage children, Alyssa and Dalton. Family mottos: “If it weren’t for bad luck, we would have no luck at all” and ” When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, you will.” We are  basketball NUTS, who love to motivate youth in both basketball and their lives. We run a program called Shock Sports, insert shameless plug: more information can be found at http://www.athenscoutnyshock.com. We are crazy busy and would not have it any other way.

I am at a constant personal battle with who I am. Wow, that kinda sounded like a therapy statement. I battle with the person who loves stats, ROI and leading, and the other  who loves to create, build, and DIY. I imagine the battle between my two selves in my head looks something like  Darth Vader in an epic battle against Martha Stewart. This epic battle occurs everyday.  I also have champagne taste on a beer budget, always have, as my father will tell you. Very early I figured out that I could recreate, tear down and copy just about any look for half the money, also insert dragging along my father in most of these  “projects”.  I have never seen something that I didn’t think,” umm, yeah I can do that”. Once I take on a project it encompasses my life and all thoughts until complete. God love my husband for understanding this little OCD part of me.

This blog is about my camper project, my other projects and a little peek into my life. It will hopefully inspire all to take on these projects and maybe give a little laugh along the way.

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The watercloset, privy, latrine, you can’t possibly call that a bathroom?

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The bathroom, well it needed a lot of work. It’s hard for me to call the original one a bathroom per say, think the word latrine or privy was closer to what it really was like. Again the all the sinks, tub, and toilet are a weird off white ( yellowed) color. oh-e-vey!

Bought a new faucet, pleased to find out from my friends at rvforum.net, that I could just use regular bathroom faucets. We were on vacation in Florida at the time, so off we set to the nearest Home Depo. People do that on vacation right? Shop for their DIY projects in Florida that are sitting in Ohio. Any how off we headed to find something not too fancy, just a plain chrome with some nice shaped handles. 30 mins later, after getting several nasty looks from the sales people, apparently only in Ohio do teenagers insist on sitting on every tractor, and trying out every shower enclosure, we left with a faucet and scored it for $22.

Back in Ohio, I primed everything with Zinsser and sat out of a color scheme. All of the other cabinets were white, didn’t want to continue that into the bathroom. Decided to use a grey color on the cabinets ( sorry custom blend of mixing and looking) and the walls were going to Sherwin Williams Embellished Blue SW 6749 in flat. Best part of having super small bathroom….a paint sample can was enough to do it, and I still have plenty left over. Cabinet handles since we only needed three I grabbed a chunky bar type, they were $3.50 each, but I only needed 3 so, good splurge I think.

Now on to the biggest change that needed to happen, the toilet and sink area. The toilet ( outside, not the inside bowl part) and the sink got a good scrub and then lightly sanded and then scrubbed again. I spray painted them white. I know, let the nay sayers start. I used Kryon spray paint for plastic. Yes I spray painted the inside of the sink. Thoughts, we aren’t going to be shaving and holding water in there, it should last, and if it doesn’t what do I have to lose? It took four coats, but it came out perfect and I love it. I AM A GENIUS! Well at least for now.

The mirror just screamed cheap camper mirror, and that we just could not have. Always had a vision of a nice big round mirror for the space. The trick was figuring out how to hang it safely on the wall. Hmmm. I turned to my trusted buddies in the maintenance department at my work,they had just the thing. Brackets that we use at work to anchor paintings to the wall to stop theft. It worked great, this baby is not coming down, also helps it is plastic, just looks like a heavy wood!

I think it is safe to call it a bathroom now. Like it for sure, and the pop of Melon really makes it new and fresh.

 

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And the paint must go on

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I left you last with priming, painting, and bears oh my, sorry reverted back to Wizard of Oz, one of my all time favorite movies. Anyhow Alyssa and I are deep into the painting and priming of cabinets and walls. Here is where I would like to address the camper makers, as I am sure that they are reading this.

Dear Camper Makers, I think you need to hire some women or at least some men with design taste. See you are actually building campers for two different sections of the population. The ones who want to be rugged, and have a hunting man cave, and those who want the look of their house on wheels. I would like to be the spoke person for the second group. The 70s have called and they want their bad fake dark wood, paneling, and terrible fabrics back, and while we are talking please stop using any type of bisque or off white toilets, tubs and sinks. These are terrible, terrible. Um on second thought, continue as it will give me loads of business when it comes to redoing all of your mistakes, but if you want to expand your customer base, I would be more than happy to help, for a small fee or a brand new camper!

Ok so here is my camper progress update: Cabinets painted. The completed project ends up taking two coats of Zinsser primer, the three coats of Sherwin Williams high gloss white in Pro Classic. Really think they should start paying me for all these product drops. Keep in mind when using Zinsser, if you want it to be durable, you have to let it cure for 3/7 days before paint. We also put wood putty in the original handle holes, so we could start with a blank canvas. We went with cup pulls for the drawers. The ones shown here are left over from my kitchen redo from about 8 years ago. Score, love reusing items, and it means $0.00 to the budget. For the doors we went with classic circle stainless pulls. Notice the white rectangle on the cabinet doors? Those are left over from the original pulls. Campers have special cabinet hardware that keep the doors closed when traveling. We had to keep them for the doors to stay closed, so we improvised and just spray painted them white. They blend in well I think, and overall look I wanted was still able to be achieved.

I want to talk about the stove. Remember my rant above about bisque color being used. Well the same was with the stove.  The color could not stay, everything else in the camper was going white and light. Armed with tape and spray paint we fixed it. I took it apart and sprayed with Rust-Oleum High Heat in White. The dark pieces were brown and rusty, so we sanded those down, and sprayed with same spray paint product in black. The handle was tricky. I didn’t want to paint all of it, so we just wrapped in jute twine for now, and spray the end of the handles with white Plastic grade Spray paint.

 

 

Although this work was done last month, just writing about it has been exhausting! Check back soon for the continued journey. Feel free to shoot me questions, or comments! Would love to hear from you, and you too camper makers.

Journey, no not the band

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The journey begins of our little camper rehab. Oh, sorry if you thought it was a band review, however, please feel free to sing, “Don’t stop believing at anytime.” Trust me I have had to sing that to myself a couple of times during this project.

So last we left you with the delivery of the camper. Again, I had to get over the TERRIBLE DECOR, and remember its solid other wise…right? How does one purchase a solid camper when they know nothing about them? Please allow me to introduce you to a couple of my friends that have answered all of these “umm what is this, can I take this out?” questions. Kail and Amy Knapp took lots of phone calls and pictures to diagnosis without laughing at me too much, and a forum of wonderful helpful people at http://www.rvforum.net pitched in as well. As the song goes “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Camper delivered on a Friday night, oh yeah forgot to mention that we do not own a truck, so the nice person we purchased it from delivered it to our house! Love nice people! Saturday morning at 8am my sidekick helper Alyssa and I set out for DEMO DAY! Geesh is that a lot of paneling or what!!! Holy Panel!

So the game plan had hatched! Anything and everything  with paneling in the main camper area was being painted flat Grey Clouds, Sherwin Williams, Emerald ( left over from bathroom redo) and all cabinets were going gloss white ( 17 of them to be exact). Here is where I tell you I am a paint snob, won’t paint with anything but Sherwin Williams. Needless to say, that store LOVES ME!  So in the photos above we took everything down and got down to business of priming with Zesinger primer. Wow that was a lot of primer !!! Every thing was dark panel or wood or nasty wall paper!

All was well in the world until we attempted to remove the bunk mattresses. While wrangling the mattress out,  I put my hand clear through the paneling…..um what, previous owner said no water damage…..insert string of curse words that I won’t post here, but anyone who knows me, knows what that rant sounded like in person.

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Pick up the phone and text Amy and Kail my discovery, then my father, and then the previous owner. I am in a panic, we are having a 911 camper crises!  After reassuring from the Knaps it was not expensive to repair and the previous owner assuring us he had no idea, and giving us some money back ( again yea for nice and honest people). We decided to press on with the rest and deal with the “but end” disaster later.

So the journey has begun, and at this point have had to sing, don’t stop believing a couple of times… Whoa!