Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Few Baubles for Tilley

While Pat was performing his manly and practical alterations to Tilley, and other than the practical (and beautiful) painting of the wheels, there were some lovely adornments bought for Tilley that have now been added to her interior.

Some more practical than others, we purchased a few kitchen items to make cooking more enjoyable and our table arrangements more beautiful.
The serving dish and green pitcher in the back are unbreakable, the spoon is bamboo, the pan is by Kitchenaide (one of my favourite brands).  The goblets have green stems for a very special reason...
When we were first married, I found these antique green stem liqueur glasses (only one in the photo but we have 6 in total) and fell in love with them.  They were one of our first major, decorative purchases as a couple. The unbreakable goblets were bought as an ode to these little beauties.  We also purchased tumblers in the same green.

We enjoy lovely cutlery and so a new set was purchased just for Tilley.
If you look closely you can see that the handles are shaped like inverted hearts. Tilley is, after all, our Anniversary gift to each other.

Another wee piece we purchased to make Tilley just a little more posh was this lovely brass foot from one of our favourite shops, Lee Valley Tools. It has been added to cover the rubber tip on the table leg.  Much nicer than rubber.
We were finally able to add in a lovely lamp/candle holder we purchased a while back.  It is from Lee Valley Tools as well and is a Victorian reproduction. One good thing about the lamp/candle holder is that it comes in two parts
The first part attaches to the surface of your choice.  We have chosen to attach it to the side of the kitchen area cupboards.  This is wonderful, because when traveling, we can remove the heaviest part of the holder and store it away.  When put together...
...We have a lovely piece of artwork on its own and a practical holder for lamps and small candles (in the photo there is a porcelain dish and a flameless candle.  The other lovely thing about this holder is that it swivels and so can be moved out of the way for guests sitting on the couch below.

Finally, I have saved the best for last. 
"What?!" you say, "strips of velcro, how is that decorative, artistic or even worthy of the title 'bauble'?".  Well, it is the first part of an art installation.  When one is traveling with a trailer, everything must be stored securely so as not to be jostled and broken.  We bought some lovely original art for Tilley and this way we can have them away and safe when moving her and then displayed when we are set and still.
And here they are, attached to the velcro.  They actually came with velcro already attached on their backs, which gave us the idea on how to hang them in Tilley.
They are done by a wonderful artist named Daniel Martelock.  He is a local Ottawa artist and his steampunk works are fabulous.  Here is a close up of his wonderful art that we will be proudly displaying in Tilley.
Trust me, there is more to come.  I have more luxurious plans for Tilley.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wheel Pain

When we bought Tilley it was decided to store her in the garage.  What we found is that she is 2" too high and so each time we would go to park her Pat would have to take quite a bit of air out of her tires and then we would have to pull her in on flat tires.  Of course the opposite would happen every time we needed to take her out again.  Not good for Pat or the tires.

So Pat found a brilliant solution online, which we will talk about a little later. First he would have to remove Tilley's original tires.  Suddenly there was a problem.  There was a wheel lock on each tire.  A wheel lock that needed a key.  A key we did not have. Pat was optimistic that there would be no issues since the locks on the spare tire came off easily without the key.  But of course that never happens in real life.

This was the state of the tires -  flat and locked on.

Pat worked hard on removing the wheel locks all Saturday and some of Sunday as well. He ran out of removal options.  He even bent the pliers. He ended up pounding them off with a cold chisel and hammer.  Finally he was victorious!
 Pat looking tired but with a sense of great accomplishment after having defeated the evil wheel lock.

The wheel lock did not come out looking so good.... (sorry about the blurring)

Now that they were finally off, we decided we might as well spruce them up.  I like to spruce things up, so I took on the job of making them spiffy.

Before sprucing up - they were dirty and basic white - they really needed a new look.

After cleaning all three tires and prepping them, I got down to the business of painting them.  I used the same paint and technique that I used on the stove top to make them look antique and worn.
Here is after a primer coat and the first gold coat of paint and then after a few layers of gold and charcoal coats of paint for the final distressed and antique finish.  Much better than glaring white!

Now that the original tires were off (and spiffy) Pat could do the impressive and creative part of the wheel saga.  Pat found online what were described as "storage wheels".  They are wooden wheels, made smaller than the original wheels in order to store one's trailer indoors more easily.

Step 1 - Lay up a panel of recycled 2 x 4s.  They are glued and pinned with dowels.

Step 2 - Measure, draw and cut the wheel disk.

Step 3 - Ta Da - circles of wood...

Step 4 - Cut the hole for the hub. Drill the holes for the bolts. Route away excess wood and test fit.

And the grand finale - Add a couple of reinforcing strips a la Asterix!  And once again.... Ta Da!

The new wheels give Tilley the right height so it will now save Pat's time and the life of the regular wheels, but Pat accidentally found that they also roll a lot more easily on concrete than the regular wheels - beware of unintentional movement and be sure to use chocks.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Odds & Ends

In just one week since having Tilley home we have been very busy.

Last weekend we took her out for her first sleepover.  We have friends with land and they invited everyone for a weekend there.  It's currently quite rough camping, but they were kind enough to hack out some flat land for us to park Tilley near the entrance...and so we did.

It was wonderful spending time with our friends in the great outdoors, and even better sleeping inside Tilley on our new feather mattress.  It was wonderful!

This weekend Pat and I (but mostly Pat) added a few odds and ends to Tilley. First off, to add some extra comfort for future trips, I used some recycled stuffing, some second hand and dollar store purchases and a little sewing and voila...

Decorative and comfortable pillows.  I will be adding a few more as the right materials come together. As the look we are going for is gentlemen's club,steampunk, posh,'s that for can rest assured that there will be no frills or lace involved.

Pat used his birthday money (gift card from Lee Valley) to purchase a number of bits and decoration pieces.  One such piece we have dubbed moustachio.  One of the finest looking of all time....
It is cherry wood. This is before staining.
And after staining....

....and in its destined place of honour.

I have saved the best for last.  Pat bought some very important pieces that are lovely and practical as well.

First a puzzle....

Why would anyone put a hole in the center of a cupboard door???

Pat working hard on his secret project....

Teaser of instrument in cupboard door....and finally....

The cupboard doors with instruments installed.  There is a hygrometer, a clock and a barometer.  All very practical when in the great outdoors.  Every explorer should have them.

There is more to come, but still in the planning stages.  There is work to do on the electrics and also the propane cooker.  As well, our refrigerator may not actually work so we will need to decide on whether to fix it, replace it, or use it to store our clothes.

....Until next time.