Bringing our Trailer to Oregon

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This is Mr. T.  Short for Mr. Trailer.  (I think my uncle came up with the nicknames).  It is a vintage 1964 Golden Gate trailer according to my mom.

***Side note- if anyone knows anything about this trailer brand/model I would love to know more.  I’ve been researching and haven’t found anything about this company.  I don’t even know if this is in fact a Golden Gate-that is just what I was told!

It’s been living at my mom’s house in Dayton, NV for a few years now.  It was part of an estate sale and they bought for their pawn shop but my grandma fell in love with it so it’s been used as yard art in the backyard.

My mom and Gary gave us the trailer because they found this great piece of property in Idaho and were moving in about a month and a half.  They didn’t want to take everything with them so they’ve been either selling or giving stuff away.  When my mom told me she was giving this to Oz and I as a present I was beyond excited.  I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a small camping trailer to take on adventures and use as a little guest house when friends come to visit.

By the time Oz and I figured out our schedules and who was going to go pick up the trailer we only had a week’s window of opportunity before he started class and would be unavailable until next spring.

So, in that short week before he left for Nevada we had LOTS to get done.  I honestly didn’t think we could accomplish as much as we did.  We had to:

  • purchase a hitch and wait for delivery
  • install the hitch
  • install the wiring
  • get the tires checked/replaced
  • find the title
  • apply for a temporary towing permit with the Nevada DMV

 

It was a stressful week and we had a lot of setbacks.  But we managed to get all the important things done by the time the trip came around.

Here we are at Gary’s Automotive in Corvallis, OR getting the hitch installed.

aBefore Mr. T was road ready he had his tires inspected and wheel bearings greased in Dayton, NV.

Once in Nevada, Oz still had to install wiring for the lights on both the 4Runner and the trailer.  We would have done this before his trip but the wiring pieces were either not the right ones or not in stock.  He picked up the correct wiring in Carson City and learned how to install them himself.

Oz, with the help of my cousin Jordan, had all the wiring and lights installed with a few hours of daylight to spare before he headed home the next morning at 4:30am.

Oz’s trip home was very uneventful and was back home by midafternoon. We celebrated his return with Mr. T with a mini bottle of champagne!

Now that Mr. T is safely parked in our driveway, it’s time to assess the extent of the leaks, rotting wood and other issues we are unaware of and figure out a plan of attack of how to get it in camping condition.

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Introducing Our New Travel Trailer!

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Meet “Mr. T” our new travel trailer that we just picked up from my mom in Nevada.  He needs a lot of work, I mean a LOT of work.  More work than we originally thought but we are very excited to take on this renovation project.

As we get started on our renovation progress I will continue to post more of photos and DIY discovers as we figure out how the heck we are going to basically rebuild this thing!

Stay tuned!

-Jessica

 

New Sofa Day!

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Happy President’s Day!

It’s been a year since I ordered my new sofa from Apt2B and I still LOVE this sofa! .  It’s the Logan sofa by designer Kyle Schuneman.

http://www.apt2b.com/collections/sofas/products/the-logan-sofa-from-kyle-schuneman-choice-of-fabrics

I think it the first brand new, never been used piece of furniture I have in the entire house that I didn’t make myself.  I bought this sofa when we were still in our old place.  I had been looking for a new sofa for months, maybe even a full year and didn’t find anything I loved or even really liked until I found this one.  Not only do I love the way it looks but it is also made in the USA (California) and since I bought it during last year’s President’s Day sale I got 10% off and free delivery all the way to Oregon!

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Before we moved I insisted none of us sit on the sofa because I wanted it to still have that brand new feeling when we moved.  We gave ourselves just 5 minutes to sit on the sofa and enjoy the newness of it before we had to get off.  After our 5 minutes we waited until we moved in May to sit on it again.  I know Charlotte snuck in several “5 minutes” through the two months before we moved. Little stinker.

 

Our sofa is mainly used as Charlotte’s neighborhood watch post.  She takes her job very seriously.

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It’s second main use is her sun napping spot!

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And of course we use it too, to like, study and stuff…

Anyways, I seriously recommend checking out Apt2B if you are looking for new furniture.  Its well made and really comfortable & stylish.  I love the way ours compliments the room.

~RK

 

Ikea IVAR Bookcase Hack

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been 9 months since we moved last May.  I’ve been wanting to post photos of all the house projects I’ve been up to but 2015 was far busier than I could have imagined and I just didn’t have the time.

Now that the weather is starting to warm up and all the spring bulbs are about ready to open I’m getting that creative itch that makes me want to clean and bring out my spring decor.  So today, on Valentine’s Day, I spent the majority of the afternoon cleaning and dusting the living room (how romantic).  Since I had the sofa and chairs pulled out of the way I took the opportunity to snap some photos that I never had time for last May and post them on the blog.

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This is what the living room looked like right before we moved in. Even without furniture this room is gorgeous.  My favorite part is the fireplace.  The house was built in the late 1940’s and has that mid-century modern look that I love.  I knew right away that this space needed bookcases on both sides of the fireplace.  However, moving is expensive and I was not going to spend $$$ on bookcases.  Which ended up being fine anyways because after I measured the space I realized no standard size bookcase would fit.  Each side of the fireplace is about 42″.  Bookcases run about 32″ wide.  So putting just one on each side would leave an awkward gap between the bookcase and the wall.  The wall also wasn’t quit long enough to put to two bookcases side by side.  I looked everywhere online and couldn’t come up with something that would fit this space.

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My solution?  Ikea IVAR System to the rescue!  The IVAR system is great because you can buy each piece individually or as a unit. So you can follow Ikea’s set up or come up with your own indiviual layout for a totally custom project.

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I already had parts to the IVAR storage unit from a leftover tv stand at the old house.  This house did not have the same wall space as before so I didn’t have need of the storage unit.

If you buy the whole kit from Ikea, the bookcases would still only be 36″ long.  I wanted them to be as close to 42″ as possible to fill the whole wall space.  What I did was only use the two vertical pieces from Ikea and then I cut my own selving to fit.

First, I needed to stabilize the bookcases so I cut and screwed in a brace for both the top and bottom of the shelves.

Then I cut the corners of each shelf so that they fit snuggly in each position. The other part of the IVAR system that I really like is the predrilled holes in the vertical beams so you can put your shelves at any level.  (See the two previous photos).  I bought a pack of wooden dowels at Home Depot to hold up my shelves.

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This is the bookcase with all the shelves in place.  After I snapped this shot I took the shelves back off so I could paint.  It was important to me that the bookcases look like they belonged with the space.  I didn’t want them clashing with the rest of the decor.  The biggest key to make these look like built ins was to mimic the appearence of the fireplace of a white frame and a dark wood stain on the top.

I put two coats of white paint/primer combo on the bookcases.  Since I just wanted a pure white paint I just bought the paint base without tinting it.

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For the tops of the boards I wanted a stain to match the fireplace mantel.  From Home Depot I bought American Walnut stain and used a clean rag to put two coats on.  (Hint: Wipe up any excess stain immidately if you don’t want drip marks to appear).  Once the coats were dry I added two coats of a polyurethane to protect it from water and other stains.

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Here is Oz, “helping” put the bookcases in place.  I’m not sure what he was doing with that hammer…

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Tada!  I love the way they look in place with all my favorite books and decor. They turned out even better than what I was hoping for. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Soon I will add more photos of how to style a bookcase. Stay tuned!

 

We’ve Moved!

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After a long….long…hiatus from the blogging world I have returned with great new projects to share!  I took some time away from blogging to gain some well needed balance in my life.  The last few years have brought many changes and I am happy to say have turned out for good of our family.  Most recent of these life changes is a new address!

We only moved about 10 blocks down from our old house but it feels like a completely new town.  After 6 wonderful years in our first place together, Oz and I have upgraded into a 3 bedroom house with a garage and carport.  I finally feel like a grown up!  I loved our first home but we definitely outgrew it several years ago.  It is wonderful having more space for all our furniture and living in a quiet neighborhood away from the campus late night noise it a big step up for us.

We still rent but this house had a great layout and lots of character I love in older houses.  We’ve been here about two months now. During those months I worked many late nights finishing many projects to make this house feel like home.  I still have plenty of projects to keep me busy for the rest of the year but I’m ready to take a break and enjoy summer!

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy all the new projects that will be appearing on my blog very soon!

~RK

DIY Tribal Succulent Container

 

Today I took advantage of the little bit of sunshine we had and potted up some succulent & cactus friends for my cute little ceramic sugar skull my friend B, brought back from a recent trip to Forth Worth, TX.

This was a very simple project that took me less than 10 minutes to put together and only cost about $12 for two finished potted plants.

 

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Supplies:

  • Your choice of succulents/cactus- I used a Jade plant and a Balloon cactus ($4 each)
  • 1 small bag of colored aquarium gravel ($2 at Walmart)
  • 2 small water glasses from Goodwill ($1 each)
  • Cactus or general potting soil

Before you start potting, check to see if your plants have been watered recently.  If they look  dry give them a quick watering.  They will be much happier transplanted if they are moist.  I watered mine the day before while I was watering my other houseplants, but watering about an hour before planting works too.

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The next prep work I did was wash off my gravel.  Rinsing before you plant will wash off any powdery residue and keep your jars from getting murky when you water your plants.

cactus 3After I washed off the gravel, I filled each jar a little less than 1/2 full with rocks.  (I had my supervisor approve of how much gravel I added before adding soil).

Then I filled my jars with a tiny bit of soil.  I recommend using cactus mix because it is lighter and closer to what they prefer in nature.  Or if you don’t want to buy a $5 bag of soil you will never use again you can use regular potting soil.  I had some leftover from planting some plants in the yard.  Sometimes if you ask really nicely at your local garden center they will give you a small amount for free if you explain you only need a small handful for your plants.

If your plants don’t quite fit in your containers, go ahead and break apart the soil attached to the roots of your plants.  This is actually good for them and helps them spread out their roots in their new homes.  I also  recommend using leather gloves while transplanting the cactus to save you from some needles puncturing your skin.

Fill the area around your plants with some more soil to keep them in place.  Also keep a little bit of room up at the top of the jar so the water doesn’t run right out when you water.  Water only when the soil gets dry and enjoy!

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****Cactus and succlulents like bright light but not direct sunlight…they also get sun burnt.  Keep them in a bright and sunny room and they will love you!****

 

 

 

Quilting Progress

IMG_1928When the weather forecast was predicting rain all of last week I spent my days off finishing up the top layer of my quilt.  I chose a quilt pattern that was simple and didn’t take too long to cut and piece together.  This was key in choosing a quilt pattern since I am not the greatest at matching up seems and making my lines straight.  It is also a very large quilt so I didn’t want to be slaving over my sewing machine for weeks.  When I am finished it will end up being 80″x 80″. Large enough to cover a queen sized bed.  I only have a full sized bed in the extra room but someday I might trade it out for a larger mattress.

IMG_1926I am really excited about my fabric selection.  I love the greys and all the turquoise colors.  And the red just gives it an extra pop of color. The red will also tie in the reds from my dresser and desk.

The only thing in retrospect that I might have done differently was make the squares larger.  From far away it looks a bit overwhelming with all the patterns mixed together.  But I really like the way it looks close up.  And I think it will look great when it is folded at the end of the bed.

Ucreate Easy Strip Block quilt

This is the pattern I based my design on.  You can find the tutorial here http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2010/08/new-easy-quilt-tutorial.html.  I won’t even bother trying to describe how to make this.  Even though it is a simple pattern, quilting is not my forte and I didn’t want to butcher a perfectly good pattern.

I will say that I made a quilt of 64- 10″ finished squares.   I chose 12 different patterns fabrics.  I bought 1/2 yard of each which ended up being the perfect amount.  I didn’t have any leftovers. But I also didn’t have any room for errors. I might buy a little extra to make some matching pillows later on.

The most time-consuming aspect of this quilt was coming up with a pattern.  The best way to go about it is to make a grid on a piece of paper and map out where you want your groups of colors.  For example I used grays, turquoise, greens, reds and whites.  Once I laid out where my color groups were in relation to each other I went back through and then assigned a pattern to each of the 5 color groups.  This was a huge time saver being able to know how many of each squares of each pattern I needed and in what direction they would be facing.

 My biggest tip if you decide to try this design is to  make sure you know what direction to make your cuts.  I accidentally started cutting the first fabric and then realized that I needed some going horizontally and vertically.  So now I have some squares in the wrong direction, oops.

Anyways, I am happy with how it is turning out so far.  Next week I plan on buying my supplies I need to finish the back.  Gotta wait for my next pay check!  I will be excited to get all the layers attached and being able to cuddle up in my new hand-made quilt!

Covered Bridges of Oregon Tour

IMG_6979Did you know there are 50 covered bridges in Oregon?  Most of them can be found around the Willamette Valley and the coast.  This past fall Oz and I decided that we would make it our goal to visit all 50 covered bridges.  The idea started one day while I was still in real estate and we had a visitor from the Albany Visitors Center.  He had lots of great handouts of things to do and see in Albany and the Willamette Valley.  Among his handouts was a map and list of the covered bridges of Oregon.

So far it has been a great bonding experience for us and Charlotte. We listen to good music in the car, tell silly stories and take time to enjoy our wonderful state. Its also been great for an inexpensive date ideas.  (just gas money, some lunch and maybe a hot chocolate for the road).  Its a great activity for both the sunny and rainy days. I kind of prefer going on rainy days since most of the time we are driving.  We’ve also included a lot of hiking and side activities in our touring that has been half the fun of the whole experience.

#1 Irish Bend

 We started out our tour in our own backyard so to speak.  There is a covered bridge on the OSU campus right along the bike path and the Llama herds.

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We took some great family photos in October when the leaves were turning orange and red.  It made for a really great back drop.

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I spotted these great mushrooms along a path while we were walking.  They were so amazing!

#2 Hayden

Just outside of Alsea was the Hayden covered bridge.  This one we visited in November as part of my “birthday” date.

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 Charlotte and I make a point of walking/driving through every bridge we visitIMG_1211

Just behind the Hayden bridge was a Christmas tree farm and an old barn.  Oz found this old, weathered chair in the middle of an over grown grassy patch in front of the barn.

#3 Harris

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The Harris covered bridge is just outside Kings Valley.  There was a cute little winery just in front of the bridge that I would love to check out when the weather gets warmer.

#4 Fisher School

For Charlotte’s birthday in February we took a trip to the coast and visited 3 covered bridges along the way.

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The Fisher School covered bridge was a little ways off the beaten path.  It is also known as the Five Rivers Bridge because it was built where 5 small rivers come together.

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Happy 2nd Birdthday Charlotte!

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On our way to the second bridge as part of Charlotte’s birthday tour we saw a couple of free roaming cows on the road.  Right after this we also spotted about 6 elk in a field near the car.

#5 North Fork Yachats

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The back roads lead us to the 2nd bridge we saw on Charlotte’s birthday.  The North Fork Yachats bridge is located close to the coast and Cape Perpetua view-point.

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After the North Fork Yachats bridge we kept heading to the coast.  The GPS lead us on the back roads mostly only used by the Forestry Dept.  The roads were muddy and unpaved, we were all glad we made it to the other side without getting stuck. This is at the top of the mountains just before reaching the coast.  It was a very foggy day.

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Along the coast we stopped and did some hiking around the tide pools near Yachats.

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Charlotte lead the way down to the Spouting Horn along the ocean front.

#6 Chitwood

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After Cape Perpetua we headed to Newport, ate lunch and played on the beach.  Then when it was time to head home we stopped at the Chitwood covered bridge along Hwy 20.  It was nice to be back on a major road and not have to worry about getting stuck in the mud.

#7 Stayton-Jordan

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On a lovely day in spring we headed up to Mount Angel area for a birthday party.  On our way there we took a detour in Stayton to visit the Stayton-Jordan covered bridge.

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It is located in a cute little park with lots of walking/biking paths.  If we had more time it would have been a great spot to have a picnic.

#8 Gallon House

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From Stayton we drove through Silverton and drove through the Gallon House covered bridge.  We were running late to the birthday party so we didn’t stay very long at this one.

Well, that’s it for now.  8 down, 42 more to go.  Next I think we will check out the ones located in Linn County.  Since it is close to home they will be easy to see multiple in one trip. I think I will also try to add fun activities to each stop like having a picnic, going fishing, playing a game of cards, to make each stop even more memorable.  If you have any ideas for this please let me know!

If you would like to know more about the covered bridges in Oregon there is a great website by the Covered Bridge Society of Oregon. http://www.covered-bridges.org/  I will be adding on the this list as we visit more bridges.  Stay tuned!

Quilting Project

So, while I have been working on getting my room/craft room organized I have been having a difficult time finding a new duvet cover for my bed that will tie in the turquoise hues and the geometric patterns I have throughout the space.

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I found this gorgeous bedding and bed frame online…can’t remember the name at the moment…but the coverlet alone was $400.  WAY over my budget.  But it gave me some great ideas of how I want my bed to look: a solid bed frame (possibly upholstered), a solid coverlet (I can use my existing one) and a patterned quilt or duvet to throw over the end of the bed in the same colors as the rest of my room.

IMG_1780I wasn’t able to find a premade duvet cover to fit by needs so I thought I might try making my own.  Amazingly when I was just about to give up my quest of the perfect colors of blue and green I stumbled upon this great collection of fabric at the craft store.  Not only do the colors work for my room, but there are little owls on one of the fabrics to coordinate with the ceramic owls on my craft shelf.

Ucreate Easy Strip Block quiltAfter I found my fabric I had to find a pattern that was modern, hip and simple to put together.  I’ve only attempted one quilt before and lets just say I didn’t have the best of luck.  I done have the patience to make sure all my corners are perfectly square and lined up exactly.  I’m a “looks close enough” type of creator.  It’s probably not the best habit to have when quilting but we’ll see what happens.  I did find this great quilt tutorial from Diary of a Quilter http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2011/06/simple-stripes-quilt-tutorial.html.  I think the best tip she had was to select different variations of colors and patterns so your quilt doesn’t end up look too flat.

I’m currently about 1/4 of the way done with the my quilt top.  Its looking really great.  I do have some crooked pieces already but hey, at least it “looks close enough!”

I’ll be sure to post more photos as my quilting progresses.