Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Cover for the Caravel

In answer to your question, Lisa, we have tried to seal all the leaks in the trailer, but there always seem to be some we missed - Airstreams have a LOT of seams! And hey, it’s 45 years old this year (and it’s our 10th year with it, so obviously it’s a keeper) and we want it to last many more years, so we splurged and bought a nice carport for it.

Today a crew came out and assembled it in 2 hours flat. No problems. It is awesome!


The cover is a little taller than I expected, but for years we’ve been parking the trailer under a vinyl carport that it barely fit under, and the frame of the carport would bump the vents on top of the trailer if it wasn’t perfectly centered. This gives us plenty of room to maneuver.

Note the mud tracks – we had a terrible downpour while it was being installed, and Dave kept getting the van with it’s stupid one-wheel-drive stuck in the mud trying to put the trailer back. Why do they even bother to build a truck that doesn’t at least have limited slip? Anyway, we finally got it back there. We would have liked to set it further back, but this will do for now.



Feels good to have the last big project done. The trailer is part of the family, and I’m not completely happy unless it’s safe and secure like the rest of us.


New fence


When we lived on our little farm, we built all the fences we needed. We built rail fences out of treated wood, built our own gates, put up field fences with pound-in posts, cemented in more gateposts than I care to count - did all that stuff ourselves. But now that we are in a neighborhood, I wanted our backyard fence to be done fast, and look good, and that meant someone who knew what they were doing should do it!

We had two reasons for putting up a fence. First of all, our neighbors across the street have pit bulls, and I do not trust them to keep them in their own yard, and I didn’t feel safe with our four foot gate on each end of the backyard. I wanted to make sure my dogs stay IN the backyard, and their dogs stay OUT.

Second of all, and probably most important, our view of the neighbor’s backyard really dominated our yard. No matter what we did, we were looking at this:


Woodpiles, old bird cages, stacks of tires, and blue tarps. Lovely.

So we called a few companies and chose one, Fenceman, with a reasonable price, and they seemed competent when Dave talked to them and had them out. They have a technique using metal posts, which is supposed to make the fence last longer, since wood posts rot out. We walked around the neighborhood looking at other fences they had installed, and they all looked nice and solid.

So two weeks ago they came out and put in the posts, set in concrete. This week they came and finished it. Ta-dah!


Wow! What a difference! Now the only garbage we need to worry about is our own!



We only had the sides of the yard fenced, and left the back alone – it already has a 6ft chain link fence between us and the water tower park, so we can enjoy the view. This makes the backyard feel so much more private!



They also put in a nice 60/40 gate in front of the trailer, so we can open it up all the way to get it out. Next project: Today guys are delivering our new aluminum carport for the trailer. It has leaks so it needs to be under cover to keep it dry inside. I’ve been running a heater in there all winter to drive out the dampness so it wouldn’t mildew from the leaks.

So overall I couldn’t be happier. They did a super nice job on the new fence, the backyard is private and secure for the dogs, and the trailer is barely visible from the street now. We like the new fence so much, I think we’ll have them back to do a nice picket fence around the front yard sometime in the future. Once we’ve recovered from paying for this one!



Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rancho Fantastico!

More fun at the antique stores!

Earlier this week I saw a lovely yellow/gold couch and loveseat set on Craigslist, at one of our favorite antique stores, priced very reasonably. We zipped over there after work and checked them out, found them to be in like-new condition (thank goodness for little old ladies who kept their furniture covered back in the day) and decided to buy them. We loaded them up in the van.

Photo: Just in.. Vintage 1960's brocade sofa $sold
Vintage brocade love seat  $sold

Our new couches on display at St Johns Vintage

Unfortunately Dave had spent the day before working out in the yard getting ready for the new fence, and tweaked his back, so loading them up in the van was about all he had left. We left them in the van for a few days, taking them on a tour around town as I did my errands. This weekend we finally got up the umph to go for it, and haul out the old couches. Unfortunately they had to go to the dump because nobody wants a used couch – at least not if it has any cat scratches on the ends. Seems like such a waste! But none of the thrift stores we tried would take them, so to the dump they went. In went the new couches. Then we headed off to the antique stores to look for some end tables and find something for the dogs to sit up on and look out the windows.

We not only found a nice end table, but we found a lamp we liked at the same store as the sofas, and then were browsing the ads at Modern Pink, and spotted another identical lamp in the background of on of their pictures! So off we went to snatch that lamp up. Now we had a set of lamps! It’s really tricky to find a pair of matching vintage lamps! And the wood on them matches the wood on the swag lamp we already have.

Then we went on a tour of Hawthorn antique stores and swung by Vintage Pink (Modern Pink’s sister store), and found a little sofa/chair thing, which probably used to be the corner piece in a sectional, but it’s close to the same color as our new sofas, and the perfect size for the dogs to jump up on and sit to look out the window.

Then we swung by a thrift store in Oregon City for one more goodie we saw in a CL ad, and picked up a console stereo with the same 60’s lines we were collecting in the rest of the house. It’s perfect for our cable box and XBox to sit on, and hides the mess of cords behind them. We got it home and tested it out, and it even worked!



Put it all together…



Love it! And the total cost – less than a single new couch from a furniture store! Now the room feels really open. It seems bigger without the oversized modern couches. We also got rid of the coffee table, so the room is open for the dogs to play and wrestle.



Since we were on such a roll, we also picked up this little corner table up off of CL. A little more storage in the kitchen, and room for the microwave (sorry dogs, no more watching the microwave go round and round).


We had to angle the table fit the new corner table.

We have been having so much fun finding goodies for the house, and it has been so inexpensive! It’s fantastic to be able to fill the house and spend so little money overall. We love the style of the 60s, since it’s what we grew up with. I feel like it has made our home feel so ‘homey’ in a hurry.

When we were at one of the antique stores, the guy said it was great my husband and I had the same taste in furniture, we were just having a blast picking stuff out. He said we would not believe the bickering he listens to sometimes when folks can’t agree! Luckily we haven’t had that problem - yet - anyway! Mostly we’re just having a blast picking out stuff to make our home look the way we want it to look, with a specific style, instead of the mish-mash of hand-me-downs and put-together furniture we’ve always had.


Sunday, February 03, 2013

Our master bedroom - now with nightstands!

I finally scored a set of nightstands that will fit into our vintage bedroom. Turns out finding sets of nightstands from the 60s is harder than you'd think, because we were told having a set of nightstands wasn't popular back then like it is now. So we've been searching for a couple months without any luck.

Yesterday I went to a consignment shop in downtown Vancouver on my way home from rehearsal. I wasn't expecting much, but I was on the lookout for nightstands and a couch. As I wandered through, I spotted a couple little nightstands, dark wood, little legs - perfect. The couple ahead of me looked at them first as I hung back.

'I think they're sold,' the wife said. 'They're over here with all the other sold stuff.'

Indeed they were in the sold area, but they didn't have any stickers on them one way or the other, so I went straight to the first employee I could find and asked about them.

'Oh yeah, they just came in, we haven't priced them yet. The person who prices them will be in on Wednesday.' I'm sure I gave her a look of desperation that said that was much too long to wait! 'Let me go ask..' she offered.

I hung around waiting, until she came back - '$40 each.' Oh yeah! I'll take them. I called Dave to bring the van down immediately! We had considered paying more than that for nightstands that weren't nearly as close to what we wanted in style, or needed to be refinished.

I think they go very well with the headboard. Now we're talking about painting the wall behind the bed an accent color, and finding a piece of wall art for it. We're still looking for a perfect bedspread too.

A week or so ago we got our special order pull down shade for the window, and got a nice heavy curtain to go over it with a fun vintage-looking pattern. That helps keep it dark so we can sleep in on the weekends, and keeps it warmer by insulating the window. My guitar is hanging in the bedroom too. I like having the guitar hanging up because it keeps it safe from dogs, but makes it really convenient to just grab off the wall and play.

And I've shown off our pretty vintage dressers before, but I don't think I've shared the cool vintage painting we picked up of Canadian Geese landing on a lake. I really like it, and it has an interesting style that matches up with the rest of the room.

Overall I'm really happy with how the bedroom has turned out. So much nicer than our previous style of looking like we still lived in a dorm room with mismatched furniture! For once we've actually purchased furniture on purpose, and tried to match things up. I feel like such a grown-up!