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Airstream Remodel Update: Part 2…3…or is it 4?!

bench in airstream trailer I’m one of those people that sometimes has trouble seeing the final product. Are you ever that way? Before we did all this remodeling it was hard for me to see past the blue carpet and smell past the funk.

But the Airstream is finally getting to the point of where I can imagine myself (happily) living in it. I get a little excited feeling in the pit of my stomach just thinking about it. Or maybe I just need an afternoon snack.

In the picture above you can see that George built us a bench! I painted it and my next job is to make a comfortable cushion and lots of pillows for the bench. I love pillows. (Or as I pronounce it pell-ows. It’s a southern thing?)

Taking out oven in Airstream

Here you can see where we took out the old oven. We also found our friend, Stewart Little‘s home in here. We’ve found more creatures in this thing than I care to mention. Let’s hope they don’t like our new oven setup.

love and excitement,
melanie

 

Airstream Update: Bed Buildout Tips

before6Humble brag time! In the past week, we’ve accomplished so much on the Airstream that I have to break up this update into two posts!

Above you can see a before shot of the bed area. Below you can see the bed build progress shots.

Bed Build Progress In this photo, you can see that George first built the initial frame. It fits a queen size bed! He built the bed by taking measurements of our current mattress and our new “bedroom.” Then, he built a box to house the mattress. He made it easier on himself by building a rectangular frame for the bed, then cutting rounded side pieces to fill in the curved areas.

For extra sturdiness the bed is attached to the wall. This will be helpful in case we want to haul our home on our next adventure!

Wooden Bed Build Elevated Bed Painted with Storage George also built a really great front cover for the bed. This will allow us to hide junk under the bed. (Speaking of junk, please excuse all the mess! It’s hard working in a small space!)

I asked George if he could give any tips for building a bed in an Airstream and he jokingly said, “Just buy one!” It was a difficult and frustrating process. But in all seriousness, his tips were:

1.  Measure carefully
2. Be prepared to cut the curved boards more than once
3. Realize that it will never be perfect. Working with curved walls is difficult.

I am so proud of the hard work he put into building this bed. I’m also proud of myself for the paint job!

I can’t wait to eventually sleep in here!

Have you ever built furniture? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

A Faster Progression: Airstream Update

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How long does it take to get paint out of one’s hair? I still have paint in my hair from two weeks ago and I’m doubtful that it will ever come out. It took way more coats of paint to cover the walls than we expected. We had to use a primer, two base coats and a top coat to cover the icky, dated walls. But at least now the airstream now has a floor and painting is complete. We also installed a “real” toilet. No creepy camper potties for us! (TMI?) Anyway, what I’m trying to say is “we made some serious headway, people.”

If anyone is curious, we ended up using Kilz Premium as the primer, Valspar Contractor Finishes 2000 in Ultra White as the base coat and Valspar Paint and Primer in Ultra White as the top coat. We also put a coat of Kilz on the floor before we laid it to ensure the floor was sealed. If you can’t tell, I want the Airstream’s interior to be as bright white as possible.

Bed Build Progress Our budget is getting a little tight as we are progressing through this project. Flooring is expensive! We chose laminate flooring to keep the cost down and keep the airstream light in case we ever wanted to tow it. And again, we had to buy much more paint than I ever imagined. It can be cheap, fast or good, but it can’t be all three– is that how the saying goes? Le sigh.

bathroom in airstream We’ll definitely be reusing old lumber from previous projects and trolling Craigslist for free stuff. My friend already found us a 3/4 size fridge for $75 bucks on Craigslist and I’m hoping to score a few more steals! (Gabby, you are awesome!)

Does anyone have any tips for acquiring free fabric or lumber? I need both! Let’s hear them in the comments!

love,
melanie

Airstream Inspiration

I feel guilty about not being “productive” this weekend. Do you ever feel that way? Learning to relax is definitely something I need to work on.

Tropical Storm Andrea put a damper on our Airstream progress. This past weekend, we had planned to install the floor, but it rained crazy-hard. And when it wasn’t raining, it was a humid, unbearable 95 degrees. Gotta love living in the south!

But instead of staring longingly out of the window at the airstream, I decided to make myself at least feel productive by looking for inspiration for the Airstream’s interior.

A few of my favorites are below.

For the source, just click on the picture!

Airstream Kitchen

This is my ultimate inspiration. I love the clean lines and the bright white in this airstream.

Kristiana Spaulding.DCR010

I adore this desk! It folds down for more space.  Gorgeous and genius. It’s the Natalie Portman of desks.

babmi ii bed silvertrailer The storage under the bed in this Bambi airstream is so clever. And I just want to climb in that bed!

maine-home-linekin-bay-3

Although it isn’t an airstream, I really admire the woodwork that went into this bus. I also love the pattern mixing in the textiles. Custom woodwork and pattern mixing are two aspects I want to incorporate into our own design.

For more of my airstream inspiration, follow my board on Pinterest!

love,
melanie

How to Make Money at Flea Markets

flea marketOne of the best ways to unload a large amount of junk and make a few extra bucks is to sell your wares at a local flea market (or as some call it, a swap meet). In my experience, we’ve had much more success at a flea markets than at yard sales. Yard sales require the customers to drive to your house. Yard sales don’t have as many vendors, so they don’t attract as many customers. And people also seem to want you to offer you .10 cents for everything at a yard sale.

Over the past couple of years, George and I have sold a large chunk of our earthly wares at the Raleigh Flea Market. During this time, we’ve also acquired an array of tips and tricks to the flea market game. Here’s what we’ve learned:

1. If your flea market is outside, check the weather report! People will not shop if it is raining, super cold or very windy. It is also a total bummer to sit outside in harsh elements all morning. Bad weather can also ruin your stuff. For example, if you sell books, even a little bit of rain will completely ruin your stuff.  Bring tarps or a large tent even if the weather report is in your favor.

2. If your flea market takes reservations, call early in the week to book a good spot. Scope out the best spots the week before and ask for those specific spots. Look for spots near a bathroom or an entrance. These areas are higher traffic, therefore, your items are more likely to be seen.

3. Know your competition. Visit the flea market a couple of times before selling to scope out the competition. What is everyone else selling? Are their prices high or low? What can you offer that other booths may not?

4. Know your market. In the beginning, it is hard to figure out what sells, but by bringing a variety of items, you’ll be able to quickly narrow down your scope. For example, we’ve found out that vintage clothing does not sell at our flea market, but I’ve been to huge flea markets, such as the Rose Bowl, where vintage clothing sells like hotcakes.

5. You’ll want to narrow down your scope a bit, so you don’t have to haul your entire house to the flea market, but keep things diverse. We’ve had weekends where only our furniture had sold and we’ve had weekends where only small knick-nacks sold.

6. Create an appealing booth. Put your best items at the front of the booth to draw in customers. Spread items out and display them in a shop-like way. Go to the mall to get inspiration! No one likes to get on the ground to sort through junk. Put your items on tables, display clothing on racks and play music that reflects your style. Check out the picture below of our last set-up. We put our most eye-catching items towards the front of the booth. The painting of the pig drew in so many customers!

flea market set up

7. Price your items slightly higher than you the amount you would take. Some people at the flea market like to negotiate. Some don’t. If you see someone is hovering over an item or you can tell they may be a bit shy, let them know your low price.

8. With that being said, don’t take a price that is less than you feel comfortable with. People will always try to get something for nothing. Someone else will come along and you’ll sell that item eventually. Don’t worry too much.

9. Don’t take it personally when someone balks about the price. You know what the item is worth to you. Some people don’t see the value in it and never will. Ignore those people. When we bring George’s art out to the flea market people balk about the price and try to offer us less. The pieces are original and often take hours, if not days, to complete. We price it fairly. The end.

10. Have fun, talk to people, put on sunblock, dress in layers, bring a chair, lots of snacks and relax! Selling your old junk is easy money.

Have you ever sold at a flea market? Got any tips? Leave ’em in the comments!

love,
melanie

Maple and Rum Horchatas

horchata1I like my milk heavy on the coffee. Is that how that saying goes? No? What I’m trying to say is a big glass of plain, dairy milk makes me cringe.

The first time I encountered horchatas was when I lived in L.A. I was scared to try them because I thought they were a big ol’ glass of watery milk. But we ordered one anyway and boy was I was wrong! Horchatas are refreshing, delicious and made from rice water and almond milk– which I actually enjoy. I also enjoy a little refreshing nip of rum–if you know what I’m saying.

Here’s my recipe for the perfect adult horchata.

Ingredients

  • 1  cup of uncooked long grain rice
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 4 shots of your favorite rum (We used Sailor Jerry’s for the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors.)

horchata2

Pour the rice and water into a  blender.  Blend the rice until it breaks up, but isn’t total mush– about 1 minute. Let rice and water stand at room temperature overnight.

The next day, strain the rice water into a pitcher. Discard the leftover rice. Whisk the almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup and rum into the rice water. Serve over ice.

So much more refreshing and relaxing than a glass of milk!

What is your favorite summer drink?

love,
melanie

Airstream Renovations: A Slow Progression

The past few weekends have been a whirlwind of work. I’m not complaining but, man, I could use a nap… or two… or five. Here’s the progress we’ve made on the airstream.

lights before and afterThis picture accurately describes the first weekend we worked on the airstream. The lights at the bottom of the picture are indicative of how dirty everything was. The lights at the top were thoroughly cleaned by moi! We had no clue that the inside of the airstream was covered in mildew and mold. I guess it was hard to look past the ugly blue carpet!

I scrubbed every square inch of the trailer with a bleach mixture while George demoed. I even used a toothbrush to get in the cracks! A perfectionist’s dream! We had no idea the extent of the mildew, so we ended up demoing a lot more of the inside than we had imagined to just get everything clean. More demo means more building we will have to do, but at least I’ll sleep safely knowing we won’t be living in a petri dish.

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after priming George cleaning out an old bee nest!

The weekend after the deep clean/demo, we primed! I think it already looks better with just a coat of primer on everything. What do you think?

Next weekend, we’re planning on painting the entire place a bright white. With such a small space, I think too much color on the walls would be overwhelming. And after seeing all that mold, I definitely want the place to look and be clean and bright.

There’s been a few obstacles, ahem, Mildew McMilderson, and our to-do list is a mile long, but we’re making progress. We won’t be moved in before I start my new job next week, but we’re figuring it out.

Living positive and living small,
love,
melanie