Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1964 Cardinal 10 Foot Travel Trailer

Here she is; the 1964 Cardinal Deluxe 10 foot travel trailer. In need of work... but when has a little work ever scared us away from anything?

In need of a paint job, and better patches. We'll keep the original "wings", but brighten up the yellow and silver a bit along with a brand new white paint job on the rest.

The appliances all work, though the ice box does not keep things as cool as hoped. Perhaps a block of ice instead of those blue ice packs will help. The cabinets need sanded down and refinished, as the old finish is flaking off. We hope to match the paint on the icebox so we can repaint it, and perhaps fill a few dents.
The eating area, complete with cowboy themed curtains and a "rustic" branded table. You can just see the bunk bed over the table; as three of the four inhabitants of the trailer this weekend hit their heads on this bunk (and we see no need for the additional storage), it will be removed and stored in our garage. It isn't original to the trailer; a cot was there. The carpet is likely original, and is very worn. I'd like to replace it with some of those commercial tiles in a checkerboard pattern.
The benches and table folded down into a bed. A very comfortable bed, I might add, with more than enough room for two people and one dog. (Our other dog sleeps in a crate on the floor for her own security). You can see waterdamage on the edges and under the window. The trailer does not currently leak, but we may have to rebuild some of the frame if the waterdamage is too severe.

A little floorplan of the trailer; just perfect for us!

Lots to do to restore it... but I promised I'd finish the house first. So... let's get this Tiny Old House finished up! (Or at least at point where there are no half finished projects!)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Our First Trip in the Cardinal

We just returned from our first overnight trip in the 1964 Cardinal travel trailer. We drove into the mountains northwest of town. It was just overnight, due to classes and work... but just enough to want more!


Easy to pull, even for our 2.2L Subaru wagon. We cleared the mountains just fine, albeit rather slowly. Here's to the travel trailer! Detailed pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's HERE!


It's a 10 foot 1964 Cardinal Deluxe travel trailer. The perfect tiny trailer to go with the tiny old house! It needs work, just like the tiny old house, but is usable as is. Lots of birch paneling, cabinets, etc, and the original ORANGE appliances. Off to go camping! More pics when we get back.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Exciting New TINIER Addition to Tiny Old House

Coming soon... the newest addition to Tiny Old House. It's MUCH smaller, but not nearly as old. I'll post pictures and more as soon as it arrives; we're think Saturday will be the "day"!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Look at Our Bathroom NOW!

Our bathroom is finally not an embarrassing room! Here is the bathroom after installing the new trim:



We used Valspar Faux Venetian Plaster in Olive on the walls, Minwax Red Mahongany water based wood stain on the pine 1x6 trim, and Minwax Tung Oil finish on the trim.

There is more to be done; the water heater closet needs a door, and the doors need trim around them. Plus, I would LOVE to replace the flimsy stand alone cabinets on either side of the vanity with one or two true built ins. And, finally, the popcorn ceiling NEEDS to go. However, it looks finished enough now!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stained the Bathroom Trim Today

We used Minwax Red Mahogany stain on our pine bathroom moldings. I decided to NOT use the wood conditioner as recommended for staining pine, as it seems to have a very mixed record for preventing blotches. For those who want to know, gel stain is recommended for the most even results on pine... a fact that I didn't learn until after I had opened and tried out the liquid stain we bought.


We are hoping to match the mahogany bathroom door...
... a pretty close match! Most of our replacement doors (for the hollow core monstrosities) are mahogany; we are planning on staining pine trim to "match." I'm glad to see that it is going to be fairly easy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Little Black Paint Makeover

Our mailbox has been living on a front porch chair for over a year... ever since we removed the asbestos siding. I don't like our mailbox, and I was hesitant to drill holes into the brick for a box that wouldn't stay long.

Here's the old mailbox:

I removed the stick on numbers, lightly sanded it with 22o sandpaper, and spraypainted it with a can of black paint we had lying around in the garage:

I then realized that the stick on numbers were the only numbers visible from the street...
... the other house numbers had been painted white. Even though we intend on replacing the posts soon, we can't have the house unidentifiable! They were too delicate and paint encrusted to remove for stripping or proper painting, so I used a paint brush to paint the numbers black.

Here's what the mailbox and numbers look like on our house:

Much better than an ugly white mailbox sitting on the green chair! If it wears well, I may not even need to buy a new mailbox. Here's to a little paint.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Glean of the Week

We'd been planning on a lake trip this past weekend, so when we saw a windsurfer lying on the side of the road with a "Free! Works fine, we just don't use it" sign on it we couldn't resist. It was quite chilly at the lake this time; we were quite happy we own wetsuits!




Plus, a few cute puppy pictures! The skinny black pup is ours; the other three (the cockapoo, lab/rottie mix, and German Shorthaired Pointer) belong to friends and family.



They fetched, chased, sniffed, ran, and rolled until they dropped for three days! Our pup Kirby is STILL sleeping.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bathroom Trim

At the last minute we changed ideas on bathroom trim. We had been planning on using slate tiles cut in half (the same as on the floor) to create a baseboard, but after cutting a few and propping them up we found we didn't care for the look.

Instead, we went and bought a few pine boards to create a nice, simple baseboard. Here's a picture of the (cut, but unstained) baseboard running from the sink to the tub tile:
If you look closely, you will notice that the tub tile and edge only stick out about 3/8 inch. To create a more natural transition between the baseboard and the tile, we cut a 45ยบ angle with our miter chop saw.
We have the wood measured, cut, and dry fit. Now we need to stain it mahogany (the same color as the door in the bathroom) and nail it up. We will likely go with a very similar simple baseboard for the whole house if this turns out well!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Hate Venetian Plaster

It's pretty hard to work with, and not intuitive at all. Oh... and the directions aren't any better. Also, if you are hoping to use it to disguise poor walls, think again. Skim coating with drywall and painting will be MUCH easier (and what we will probably do with the rest of the house. However, despite all of the problems, the walls look MUCH better than when we started last year:
Here's where we are today:

Oh... and the new patch from running the doorknob through the freshly plastered wall:
It still needs a couple coats of plaster. Mental note to NOT run door knobs into freshly plastered walls.

A Few Notes:
* Apply it paper thin. It cracks VERY easily if it is applied too thick!
* If it cracks, sand gently, and apply another thin layer of the paint.
* It takes a LONG time. Plus, it needs several coats.
* The first layer will leave you feeling that you wasted $50 and 2 hours. It DOES get better.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Finishing the Bathroom- FINALLY

We've been remodeling our bathroom for about 18 months now. We don't think the appraiser will like our hand scraped walls, lack of trim, lack of water heater closet door, or trial paint splotches, however. There is nothing like an appraisal to give you a little "kick" in the rear to finish projects up.

It rained yesterday... the perfect time to start (or finish) an inside project. We decided to use Venetian Plaster to finish up the walls, as there quite a few drywall patches and a VERY heavy texture. We could have skim coated with drywall compound and painted to save some money, but decided that time was of the essence and that we needed to get it done fast.

After perusing the samples at Lowe's, we decided on an Olive green. Here is the first coat, wet. It looks like a green pepper instead of an olive... but the first dry spots are about 5 shades lighter and much more olive.


It doesn't look that great yet, since the first coat is put on messy. We're planning to finish it up tomorrow... and then add trim. Let's hope it turns out well!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Clearcutting the Jungle

We've spent the last few days working in the yard. The first job, of course, was to remove all excessive vegetation...
... which is no easy task!

We used a combination of a very sturdy lawnmower, a hedge trimmer, hand clippers, a rake, and a weedeater/edger to reduce the backyard to THIS:

It only took 2 truckloads (and counting) to haul the debris away to the recycling center, where it will be industrially composted.

Of course, we DID have to move all of that stone before we could cut the weeds... here is where it ended up:

The rubble stone (rough, rectangular chunks of rock) is going to be used for raised veggie beds and possibly a paved area and path edging. The curved pieces are going to finish out the flower beds. The balusters (the turned columns) are slated for a special project all of their own... we're pretty excited about it, too! The only hint I'll give is that they are NOT staying in the back yard.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Always the Last to the Party...

and permanently sitting on the fence. That's us! To celebrate that, we've FINALLY decided to refinance. A few days late, of course... but better late than never.

To recap, we have a 5/1 ARM that adjusts in August. We had been fence sitting, as the ARM has a relatively low cap on interest rates (10%, with a possible adjustment of 2% a year), and we plan to be selling in 2 or 3 years.

It's been a tough decision, but we decided that worst case scenario is that we lose a couple thousand dollars (the closing costs). We're going with a 15 year mortgage to hedge our bets and decrease the payoff period.

Is there anyone else who's been fence sitting on this refinancing thing for as long as we have?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Our First Iris!

Found this beauty in our garden the other day. It's the first bloom on our iris plants from 2 years ago.
Iris are one of my favorite flowers... and so easy to grow, even in a quasi desert! Almost half of the plants have blooms now... most are some variation of purple. I can't wait until they need dividing again!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Best Laid Plans... (Backyard Plans)

Here are our two sketched backyard plans. They aren't completely to scale... we realized that the backyard is considerably shorter in the second plan. The width is right, as is the garage, and general size and location of the patio. The trees are marked with "A" (Ash), "S" (Spruce), "A" (Apple), "E" (Elm), "T" (Tree). North is at the top of the page, as standard, the house is at the bottom of the page. Right now, all of the stone has moved to the area inside the curved line along the fence on the west. Constants between the two plans are likely permanent, or already constructed features.

Here is the FIRST plan:

Here is our SECOND plan:

Plan Two didn't have as much care put into drawing or labeling. Pity the second child.

We are leaning towards plan TWO, as in retrospect I feel the veggie gardens (VG) will do better on the eastern side of the yard. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Jungle...

This is our jungle:
I fully believe there are tigers, monkeys, and elephants out there. Or, at least, killer grass seeds and garter snakes.

Under all of that vegetation lies a couple tons of rock. Rock carefully stacked, ready for used. Rock directly in the way of a good mowing. Rock that now must be moved AGAIN, 40 lb stone by 40 lb stone, for the FOURTH time. I'm feeling a little like Sisyphus.

THIS time, though, we aren't moving it to build a fence, or to cut tree branches. THIS time we have a plan. We are moving all of the rocks into the partially constructed flowerbed on the west side, to await further instructions. It's hot, it's heavy... but someone has to do it!