Friday, August 7, 2015

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY LENNON!

A few weeks ago we celebrated Lennon's first birthday along with our two of our niece's birthdays! Isla turned 4 and Brynn turned 6! We had the party at our home and it was a blast!  I am pretty sure our entire neighborhood could hear our family when the kids were hitting the pinata in the garage. To say our family is loud might be the understatement of the year! :) Here are a few pictures of the day!


PARTY PREP!

All ready for the big party!














SO BIG!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

SPACEBALLS THE MOTORHOME: CUSTOM DINETTE CUSHIONS

I am beyond thrilled with our dinette cushions for our camper. They turned out far better than I had ever imagined.
I actually almost cried when I saw them. No, I’m not kidding.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know I rarely shy to the challenge of a good DIY project. This entire camper is one GIANT ball of DIY projects with a new disaster challenge at every turn. The further we get into it, the more lovely DIY projects present themselves. The camper cushions, much like the sealing of the windows, was just a job we were not about to take on. I can handle the curtains, but I decided to leave the cushions to the professionals and I am so happy I did.

I chose to work with Cindy’s Custom Interiors out of McFarland, WI. These days stellar customer service is hard to come by and the quality of goods just seem to decline (we all know things aren’t made like they used to be.) It is so rare to find a business like Cindy’s. She sells high quality, beautifully crafted, custom window fashions, upholstery, and slip covers.

Cindy’s level of customer service is top notch. When I first walked into her shop, I had no idea what to expect. She took the time to explain why the cushions needed to be made a certain way (her knowledge is invaluable), she let me show her my many Pinterest boards, her interior decorator, Toni, took the time to look through (what seemed like hundreds) of fabric swatches until we landed on the perfect one, and she even took me into her workshop where we marked off how thick I wanted the white stripe down the center of my cushions to be and a few other specifics of the job. Basically, she took the time to listen to me, ask questions, and make sure she knew exactly what I wanted. As I was looking through fabric swatches with Toni, I watched as customers came in with their different projects and how genuinely excited Cindy she seemed about every single one. She treated each one of her customers just as she had treated me. I could tell she loved what she did for a living and that I love.

I have such admiration and respect for female business owners. So naturally, I asked Cindy a bazillion questions while I was there. As I was leaving she asked me if I wanted to come back and watch her make one of my cushions and I, of course, jumped at the chance.

When I arrived back at her shop a few weeks later, she had everything done except one cushion. I sat with her in her shop for about an hour as she put together my last cushion and told me all about her business. She told me how she started her business in 1986 in an old shed with $500, a borrowed air compressor, a sewing machine on credit and a whole lot of hope. She told me how her business grew, went through ups and downs, and her plans for the future. I listened and watched as she effortlessly put together my last cushion like she could do it in her sleep.

I met Cindy’s father who they all call ‘Dad’ or ‘Too Tall’ – the nickname he got years ago while working at the Green Lantern Restaurant and Bar in McFarland. He stands at an impressive 6’4” tall and had to always duck under the potato chip rack that hung overhead. His real name is Richard and he helps Cindy around the shop. Cindy told me “every small business needs a retired Dad” and I couldn’t agree more.

At one point or another, I met all of Cindy’s employees - most of which are family and the others who might as well be family. Everyone was delightful, even the shop dog, Hunter, who welcomes everyone with kisses and his half inflated soccer ball.

If you are thinking of giving new life to an old piece of furniture or getting custom window treatments, I would highly recommend visiting Cindy and her wonderful employees in her adorable little shop. They are hard working people who know their business inside and out.

The old olive green cushions

The beautiful new retro cushions
Gluing a layer of batting onto our original foam. It was still in excellent condition, so we reused it!
Hunter, the shop dog
Cindy's Dad - aka 'Too Tall'
Laying out the cushion pieces and starting to sew together

Working on chairs for HotelRED in Madison

Putting it all together!

Cindy has a beautiful show room that is spacious and well lit.

*This is not a sponsored post - these opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SPACEBALLS THE MOTORHOME: GUTTING, PAINTING & NEW SUBFLOOR

Hi guys! Sorry it has been a while since our last Spaceballs update, but we are so busy in the summer that it leaves little time to work on the motorhome or post about it. We are actually home this weekend, so we are excited about getting some more work done on it!



There are a few things you have to consider when renovating a camper that are different than renovating a home.

#1 - Weight - it matters. The motor is designed to pull a certain weight, so we cannot just load it full of whatever we want. The heavier it is, the lower our gas mileage.

#2 - Temperature - it gets real cold in Wisconsin. The motorhome will be stored in a shed throughout our sub-zero Wisconsin winters. We have to take this into consideration when choosing things like paint, sealer, flooring, etc.

#3 - Movement - it rides like a bus. This thing is not a smooth ride. It rides just like a school bus. That means there is lots of movement. We have to keep this in mind when rebuilding cabinet space and picking flooring that isn't too rigid.



The key came with a 'B' on it. I guess it was destined to be ours!


Here is where we are at so far:

- Had all windows professionally resealed. Still looking into getting one rear window and one windshield window replaced at some point due to moisture between the laminate and glass. More on that HERE.

- Pulled up and removed not one, but TWO layers of shag carpet. A lovely lime green and a gross brown color. The green was the original, of course. Seriously, who puts carpet in a camper??? 

- Pulled all staples (two layers of carpet worth) from the floor that held the carpet in place. This might be the most awful job I have ever had to do. That is why I put in maybe an hour and a half and Logan put in probably 8+ hours. Thank God that part is over. We were happy to find that the subfloor was in good shape with minimal water damage! We are pretty sure this camper was stored indoors most of it's life and that is why it is in such good condition for being 43 years old.

- Removed everything we possibly could. We were able to remove both dinette benches, the table, all drawers, doors, cabinets, kitchen sink, backsplash panel behind the sink, and the accordion door that closes off the back half of the camper. We were not able to remove the unit that holds all the kitchen drawers and sink. The screws are pretty tight in place. 

- Coated the entire floor in Kilz from Home Depot. Kilz is a water-based interior primer, sealer, and stain and odor blocker. You can read more about it HERE.





- Lightly sanded and painted all of the cabinets white. At first we were unsure of what type of paint to use so we talked to the paint specialists at Home Depot. Let's take a minute to talk about the super-helpful employees at Home Depot. They are just that - super helpful. They know their products inside and out and are more than happy to help. They suggested we use Behr Marquee outdoor paint in semi-gloss because the the camper will be stored in sub-zero temps. See #2 above. We decided on the color Looking Glass and a semi-gloss finish that would make it easier to clean when our kids put their little sticky s'mores hands all over them! 

- Picked out and ordered flooring and carpet. Man was this was a decision! I spent way more time than I would like to admit researching the perfect flooring. More on this in another post. Our flooring order should be in this week. I cannot wait to get it in!

- Removed old curtains, seam ripped the tracking off of them, and measured them to buy fabric to make new curtains. I will make another post just on the curtain refashion. I haven't gotten there quite yet. :)


- Cut and laid down a new subfloor over the old subfloor that has been coated with Kilz. We used Luan board from Home Depot. We cannot glue and staple down the subfloor until we have patched a part of the fiberglass floor that exposed after ripping out the front step. More on this in another post.

Our goal is to have the camper sleep-ready by the end of July. We have a neighborhood camping trip planned and we would really love to use it! There is no way it will be completely done by then, but hopefully done enough to sleep in. I honestly do not know if it will be though. Renovating an RV has proven to be an extremely long process that requires a lot of hard work.



Watch for a post soon on all of the resources we have found that have helped us find parts and seek advice on renovating our camper. We even tracked down the owners manual!