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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Sweet Lil Fifties Rig, Reborn!

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Hello dearest readers!

 Thank you to everyone who inquires about the health and happiness of my little vintage trailer studio.  A couple years ago she got water damage, poor thing... it was my fault-- I neglected her during a stressful house renovation we were doing.  And then, with new space in our house, I moved my writing studio inside, where it's cooler in summer and warmer in winter, and the desk set-up is more ergonomic for my high-maintenance neck and shoulders. (All the stuff that used to be in the trailer is now inside the studio in my house.)

 

But it pained me to see my sweet little rig sitting out in the driveway abandoned.  So, last year, as a goal for 2014, I wrote that I wanted to get her back in use.  It was quite a process-- everything in the trailer required specialized attention! Last October, I'd serendipitously found April, a vintage trailer specialist, who I wrote about in another post, but she was in high demand, so I had to be patient. 


I found some cool folks at Ace Hardware who were willing to do the unusual re-screening for the door and some windows.  Some more cool folks at Black's Glass custom-made a replacement window for one that was missing.  Some more cool folks at RV Land sealed up all the leaky seams in the aluminum shell and got the brake light wiring in order.  After April repaired the interior wood damage, I repainted the interior (at least the parts that had already been painted-- I left the beautiful birch intact.)


And then my man, Ian, put in new flooring.  He is truly a handy man (he paid his way through college with construction work, tile and linoleum installation work, and "rubber dam bladder" work, but that's another story... oh, and he played with Legos fairly obsessively as a kid, which was a solid foundation for his future handyman endeavors.  We have some of his correspondence with the Lego company, dated 1982, on his office wall, actually.) But I digress! 

So, Ian installed this marmoleum flooring (which is very similar to original, old-fashioned linoleum-- super-soft on your feet, all-natural, made with real linseed oil and natural fibers.) We had scraps left over from our house's kitchen and bathroom flooring-- "relaxing lagoon" is the color's name.  We pieced it together and barely had enough to cover the tiny floor plan, but it worked!  This stuff is notoriously hard to work with, even on straightforward jobs in large spaces in houses.... and Ian was working with this teeny, odd floor plan inside my trailer.  But it turned out incredible!  I love it so much (and Ian so much).


So let's see, then I put some wallpaper swatches on the fridge and pipe (from Spoonflower, which has quirky, artsy, indie designs in wallpaper and fabric).  I sewed some bunting and pillows, and gathered up some old quilts from my grandmother.  I cut curtains from vintage tea towels and tablecloths that I'd collected from flea markets over the years.  I found a couple 1950s and 60s sconce lights on Etsy that we hung on the walls. Ian did some wiring to make them work (and still has a little more wiring to do.) 


 There were already narrow black racking stripe decals on the exterior, but they were peeling off.  We put on a new turquoise stripe on one side, and plan to put one on the other side, too.  I'm going to string those old pink lights on the outside for the holidays and make it look festive. 

 

This side still needs some razzamatazz!

 

 I also have some more decorating things I want to do here and there... which will be an ongoing project.

 

 The trailer's new life is our family's tech-free creative space.  Lil Dude and I read books together on the bed at night, and it is SO INSANELY COZY!  Sometimes we eat family dinners at the trailer table and then for dessert, have marshmallows roasted over the little fire pit in our back yard.  And I'm starting to invite friends over for tea and book-conversing.  (Writer friend Todd Mitchell just came over to my trailer the other day, and we talked about his amazing new work-in-progress.)

We're also going to use it for art projects... we're now on a junk-robot kick, and have just spray-painted 25 Altoid tins (from our stash of, like, 100, in the basement.)  Soon they will be re-birthed as robots (inspired by good wabi-sabi friend Les Sunde, who I wrote about here)... I'll do a post on our robots soon.

And I'm getting ready to go over copy-edits for The Impossible Caravan in here... which is fitting, since English-speakers outside the US usually refer to camper-trailers as "caravans." :-)


Would you like to see some icky before pictures?  Brace yourself!






 If you haven't yet seen pics of the before-before pics, meaning how it looked when it was my full-time writing studio, before the water damage, there's a tour here.  I wrote several of my books in this set-up:  Star in the Forest, The Indigo Notebook, and The Ruby Notebook.  Here's what it used to look like:


I hope you enjoyed seeing these trailer transformations!  In a future post, I'll show you nighttime pics of our bedtime story reading so you can experience the INSANE COZINESS for yourself!  Also, I'm deciding on my sweet lil rig's official name... so once I decide and put the decal on the side, I'll share it with you.

xo,
Laura