Thursday, 27 March 2014

Being tall and caravans

Hello and a happy Thursday to you!

We have been busy with our Globetrotter, we may have even gotten closer to a name for her courtesy of my lovely niece Esme!  "CARLY THE CARAVAN"  Thank you Esme I rather like Carly.

We began putting the furniture back in last weekend and my was I a giddy kipper,!  At last, DB and I sat on (or slumped on) the sofa after a hard weekends graft with cheesy grins on our faces and with a whopping sense of achievement! By eck it does feel good to have eventually got this far, anybody who is or has attempted the same project will know exactly what I am talking about!

So, this week I have mostly been....

Sanding and painting! Yipee!

Some of the original furniture is very dark or damaged and really rather ugly so I have painted some of it white.  I am playing around with the rest as I am quite liking a bit of a miss match of painted and "reclaimed" looking wood.

I also did this to the door!

I am loving this wallpaper! It has so many colours in it, which can only mean one thing,  I can play with fabrics till my heart is content! 

What is that yellow thing at the top?  Did you notice? That brings me to the title of this post.....

  When this little caravan was built, and most others around the 1960's and 70's folk were generally a wee bit smaller don't you think?  My husband is 6 foot tall and he can only stand upright right in the centre of the caravan and being a man of shaved head he has not much protection up top (ahem) so he quite often has the misfortune of getting a nasty graze or worse on the top of his head when stepping in and out (especially out) 
 I am quite sure many of you fellow caravaners will know what I am talking about?  Well anyway, the previous owner must have had the same problem and I don't know if you can buy something like this ready made or if it was a clever DIY  "head softener"?   I think I like DB not grumpy and not with a sore head so this excellent device is definitely staying!

  As you have to seize every opportunity to use vintage fabric when you can  this is what I did and I am sure you could knock one up with a wooden dowel and some wadding!  Here goes;

Obviously I had to remove it from its original home which was simply screwed from the outside in and it came off for a scrub!

A selection of fabrics narrowed down

I am a fan of spray adhesive, no particular brand, I find it useful for all sorts of stuff!  Even sticking the insulation to the roof before the boards went on!  A good craft staple I say.

Two screws back in through the outside, making sure you don't alter the door closing properly so you may have to fiddle about a bit but there you have it, a softer landing for DB's head.

Have a great weekend, how are  your projects coming along?

Sharon xx

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Ace Globetrotter

I know, its shocking!  It has been so long since my last post.  I have started a new post many times over the last few months but never finished them.  Times have changed since I began doing up old caravans and so I thought perhaps I needed to change the way I do things or the way I post?  Owning a vintage caravan has become so popular since Mr George Clarke made a few TV shows about conversions of small spaces!  

I have also noticed over the years that more and more peeps are using them for business purposes, catering, beauty and props are some of the more popular choices and why not as caravans can be quite useful little spaces!

It is becoming harder to find poor neglected souls of late as so many people now see their potential!  Is it possible that this year caravan sites across the land will have an array of colourful vintage ladies (or gents) on their pitches instead of lines of white plastic boxes?  

I would like to share my own caravan with you, I cannot wait to take her on her jollies and am hoping to have her ready for Easter as it will also be my Birthday!

You may remember that she is an Ace Globetrotter and as yet we cannot date her but from the furniture we guess 1960's.  Her front panel and back panel are made of fibreglass and the rest is aluminium.  The way she was put together is probably why she was absolutely sodden when we brought her home, so many joints poorly sealed slowly leaking for the last 40 years!  Perhaps that is why I have never seen another like her?

Anyway... she has had every seam taken off, cleaned and re-sealed, she has had a large part of her frame replaced and all of her walls and ceiling now have to be put back.  Bearing in mind caravan's are built on a "line"  so from the inside out which means getting the furniture out is a bugger!

I have begun painting her exterior and I am excited to be planning her interior furnishings which is THE best part is it not???!!!!

Before I show you some pictures I would like to welcome new followers to the happy caravan, and thank you so much for your continued support and kind comments.  I hope I can continue to inspire and help you with your own projects in the years to come!

I do love some of the stickers on her rear window but I would like to see out of the window!  I have carefully selected a few gooduns that will stay.

I have to finish her exterior but as I hear the weather is set to improve next week.. Bobs your uncle and I am looking forward to it!

The interior of my poor dear was particularly pants!  Her curves were beautiful and little drawers charming, unfortunately we had to take it all out and it was hard work.  Of course the more you remove the more you find!  It was back to basics..

Then DB took the door out!

And the windows!.....

And everything else really.. Somebody did comment "be careful she doesn't blow away in the wind"

But as you can see, he did start to put everything back and a good job he does too!  New frames around the windows and other parts of the frame

Look at that nice new wood, its not black and it smells nice!

We then put in some insulation (I have been doing it too honest) before we have finally been able to start putting the walls back and I am such a giddy kipper as the best part is finally within sight...FABRIC.

Ooops, forgot the ceiling, will remind the very talented DB to do that this weekend while I make him lots of bacon butties and cups of tea!  

Its good to be back, how are you getting on with your caravan?

Love Sharon xxx

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Holly the Christmas Caravan

Hello, are you ready for Christmas?  I wish I was!  I have been trying my best to get my little "Christmas Caravan" ready, perhaps not the first thing on everybody's mind at this time of year but she does have the right name old Holly doesn't she!  She is a small but perfectly formed Lady, when we brought her home she did have her problems, well she is probably about the same age as me and I have my age related "quirks"

If I recap she was owned by a young man who I guess had started to rip out some of her bits, decided it wasn't to be, so I took it  from there!

I don't know of another make of caravan that has this lovely "quilting" on its exterior, it is a bugger to paint though!  Holly's exterior was rather mucky..

Her interior was no different!

The front internal wall has been replaced and the window re-fitted to cure a long term leak!

The wardrobe had been ripped out so we needed to replace that too... Well my Dad and DB did!  The electrics were a little "different"  So that needed sorting too.

I like scrubbing the external lights, they normally have many years worth of green stuff on them but come up like new!

I hope you agree she is looking refreshed with lots of TLC,  there seemed to have been a lot of little jobs to do on Holly, a few big jobs too but the little ones, like replacing doors, handles, window trim etc all seem to take up so much time!  She is worth it though as now she can be used for happy holidays.

Merry Christmas from Holly!

If you are working on your own caravan how about going over to facebook and joining the group "thehappycaravan" HERE All ages and styles of caravan welcome if you love your van and want to show and tell? In the new year we will be talking exterior caravan paints, sharing our experiences with several brands.  Come and say hello.  Best wishes to you for Christmas and I will be back in the New Year, lots of love Sharon xx

Monday, 2 December 2013

Damp in a vintage caravan!

Hello, gosh its December already!  This year is drawing to a close which in some ways I am happy about as it has been a very hard one for me and my family personally.  Caravan related issues have been a different matter!  I haven't managed to save as many caravans this year as I would have liked but then I have found one for Keeps!  I am excited for next year, we hope to have our Ace Globetrotter ready for use in the Spring (well as near as possible)  My Sister and her family have moved into a beautiful new home which is walking distance from a fab little caravan site!  How cool is that, they can wander up for breakfast BBQ and her little ones can run around the campsite!

Back to reality and we are a long way off that just now but we did get to spend some time working in her yesterday.  She has fibreglass to the front and rear which was joined rather roughly to the rest of her aluminium body which meant it has been raining in for some time!  A couple of weeks ago DB Removed all the old seams, cleaned it all up and re-sealed meaning she can now begin to dry out!  So then yesterday we began removing the soggy wood, then some of the soggy wooden frame!!!  Oh dear there isn't much of her left!

Mmmm.... We have managed to save the bunks front and back!  Next job will be to remove the kitchen and wardrobe, at least the middle bit is dry he he.

I am dreaming of William Morris wallpaper..... I think that will be a long way off do you?

Now, this week I hope to get the lovely little Holly ready!  She will be Holly the Christmas Caravan!  

Watch this space!

  How are your caravans coming along? 

Have a great day, love Sharon xxxx