Vinnie the vintage caravan

I recently acquired a caravan, saw it on marketplace and just had to buy it. Knew it was destined to be mine when the seller said he no longer wanted it and it was heading for the scrapyard. Not on my watch! It’s a 1967 sprite alpine 400, I believe. The plan is to restore it to the best of my abilities( winging it). Before I continue sharing my progress with you all I want to point out that I have never done anything like this before, it’s probably a bit too bigger job for me but I’m determined and I’m strong willed. So here we go…

Vinnie arriving, notice it’s minus a window…

Work has started. I started battening out the insides, spent £75 on batons, got a rivet gun too…yippee. I actually even managed to put the window back in. Really getting into it. Googled what hinges I need to get the door hanging. Feeling very accomplished and giddy for the next stages.

Half a forlorn door 😂

Work is still progressing but at a very slow pace. I finished the batons and then used hardboard which I did struggle to cut such a large board in a curved line. Once I’d completely covered every wall I then wallpapered.

Starting on the outside I painted with a teal blue and a white as I associate those colours with a vintage caravan. I’m currently now wallpapering the outside to add some colour. To make watertight I’m using yacht varnish.

Grief and creativity

Today is my Mum’s Birthday, she would of been 84. Six weeks to the day of her passing My Dad also passed, his light had gone out, his fire had died. Suddenly I was an orphan in my forties. I cried, I got angry and I got creative. It so helped me.

When my parents first set up home after marriage, my Mum went to her local second hand furniture store and purchased what was needed. One of those items was a chest of drawers that she told the shop keeper proudly that she was going to paint. He was horrified and told her so. But she did buy it and she did paint it. It stayed with them until I set up home then I inherited it. I stripped it, it was the 80s and that was the trend. That’s when I learnt the story of My Mum painting it. I kept that chest of drawers till my Boys moved out, then I gave it to them.

I often hear, that up cycling is a trend that won’t last. It’s not, it’s been around forever. Houses would morph into different houses, windows blocked in, turrets built, conservatories and orangeries and the same with furniture. I will sometimes come across a piece of furniture that has been modified at some point in its life. As for fablon (or stickyback plastic as we knew it) and vinyl wrapping your kitchen (and your car) I remember my Mum using it in kitchen cupboards and on a table. We are not pioneers in up cycling we are just followers. We just have better materials to work with now.

But I digress. My Dad was the practical one in their marriage, the one with the tools. He was the one that mended things because you never threw out. My Mum was the one that made things pretty, the icing on the cake. The wallpaper hanger, the furniture painter, the cake decorator. My dad would do the ground work my mum would finish off. They best bit is that the showed me. My first sewing machine, came from the tip, was serviced by my Dad and I was shown how to use it by my Mum. I took my jeans in, I made them drainpipes! I made a furry pencil case.

On clearing out their home, I came across a handwritten knitting pattern for slippers. Ok the pattern stated that you had to use left over wool or wool from a holey jumper. Reusing again. I started to knit, i knitted my way through my grief. I knitted and knitted and knitted. I gave these slippers away, sold them and went to a wool festival where I had a stall. Nobody knew that these little hand knitted slippers were made by me through the worst time in my life. There are hundreds of my little slippers out there, a little bit of me and a little bit of my mum.

Then something else happened…..the chest of drawers came back to me. My Boys were moving on. I paid for delivery (delivery driver horrified when I proclaimed I was going to make it good) as too big to put in my car. It arrived in a terrible state, no back, no drawer handles no drawer base. Apparently, they rolled it down the stairs to smash it to take it to the tip…..I saved it. I set about up cycling. It’s not even recognisable as the same one my mum painted. Then it began I became the rescuer of furniture.

I honestly believe that being creative helped me grieve. It didn’t stop me but it helped me my black days were black days with a flash of colour. A bit of hope. I never forget as the first thing I see when I wake and the last thing I see when I sleep is the chest of drawers.

Happy Birthday Mum.

Lou’s Emporium at Jubilee Farm

November 22nd 2019, my Husband Stu and I purchase Jubilee Barn in Daventry. We got this for my business as it has a separate annexe that could be used as my workshop.

The house had been empty for a number of years and subsequently has been neglected. Ohh we’ve got our work cut out. The plan is to have a comfortable home and busy business all on one site.

Not only do we have to get the house to a reasonable standard but I am also setting up my business. I’d like to share our journey with you. Please stay tuned in for regular updates.

Step through the gateway

5 Ways to increase Facebook likes

To increase “likes” on my Facebook page I engage, I do this by posting photos of furniture that I am working on. I do before and after photos. Sometimes I do a tutorial, explaining the procedure.

Every time someone comments I reply. It’s the interaction that causes the most likes. I made a rule to myself that I would post something everyday, it doesn’t necessarily have to be furniture.

I’m not the expert on gaining Facebook “likes” but this is what has helped me. I was a complete technophobe but found once I started interacting it empowered me to continue. I like to help.

There is something about being creative that people like to watch and follow. There is actual truth in the saying “watching paint dry”. When I’m creating, which can be all hours of the day, I often get visitors and they are mesmerised by watching me paint!

So just to summarise, engage and post and empower.

New Look Shower

My shower is outdated and stuck in the 80s, its working, it doesn’t leak but its dated. I cannot justify spending lots of money on changing the look on a whim.

 

I decided the easiest and cheapest way to change the look is to wallpaper onto the existing tiles. I did this and two months later the wallpaper is still up. I thought I’d pass on the process for all you DIYERS so you too can benefit from a cheaper alternative to retiling.

I chose my wallpaper, a 3D slate effect.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01G56EYJA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I used normal wallpaper paste, using the guide on the wallpaper as to how long paste should soak into paper. This is really important.

 

Remove any rails or anything that could be problematic for cutting around. Don’t bother filling in, just wallpaper over. Once wallpapering is finished, allow to dry  (drying time is also on wallpaper guide along with soaking in time).

Once dry you’ll need to seal it with a waterproof sealer. I chose Sandolin Yacht Varnish. I got this from Homebase. I started at the top and gave the wallpaper an even medium cover using a paintbrush. This varnish is pungent so ventilate the room. It will need at least 2 coats and the drying time is about 12 hours. This is the tedious bit.

 

The yacht varnish is a gloss finish so expect it to be shiny, also in some light you can see the impression of the original tiles but overall I have changed the look of my shower for £24. That to me is a bargain. When I get bored of the look I can just change it again without having to have a big debate with my BH. This process is ideal for people in rented homes, people on budgets, novice decorators or fickle people like me who change the look of their homes regularly.

You will need.

Wallpaper

wallpaper paste

Yacht varnish

craft knife and scissors.

This is not a permanent solution but it is a tried and tested and if it lasts a year it was worth £24.

Happy Decorating.