Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fun In The Fall

September rolled around and it was time to join Sisters On The Fly once again for a little Fun In The Fall.  Tennessee Sharon, Sister #508 , organized a small gathering in Bluff City, TN.  This was an area I had never visited, so I was looking forward to some exploration and playing tourist.  We camped at Lakeview RV Resort and I enjoyed a prime spot on the lake. 

There were only 17 of us in attendance, but I loved that because I got to meet and really get to know everyone there.  I came away from Tybee Island realizing I had met or spoken to not even half of the Sisters there!  Furthermore, several of the folks I did know from Tybee were coming here and two of them were bringing some really special trailers with them...Rebecca's Bookmobile and Sharon's Gypsy Road Wagon.  And if that weren't enough, they were parked on either side of me!

Sharon didn't have a jam-packed schedule for us, so that meant we had lots of time to be spontaneous and hang out together.  So what did we do?

On Friday morning we boarded two pontoon boats and cruised around Holston Lake looking at the houses and spotting wildlife along the way.

We piled into a couple of cars and headed to the Bluff City Diner for lunch.  Starting on the left, that's Sue, then Karen, Betsy, Irene and Rebecca.  It was some mighty fine down-home eats and the Pink Lady Pie for dessert was divine!

We spent the afternoon junkin' over in Jonesborough.  I searched for items for The Coffee Cup, but didn't find any bargains.  I did stop for a cup of coffee in a funky place and got a couple business cards to use for a project.

Saturday morning, many of us went to the big flea market across the street.  It was mostly junk in my opinion, but Betsy scored an incredible pair of chairs and a matching table for her little Traveling Hostess Scotty!  I think she bought a microwave too!

I enjoyed an afternoon of poking my nose in the girl's trailers, taking photos and getting ideas for The Coffee Cup and of course, VISITING!

Sue led the way to the Carter Family Fold that evening where we heard some toe-tapping bluegrass music.  It didn't take too much persuasion before a bunch of the Sisters were on the dance floor! It was a great evening with friends.

Sadly, my second camping trip with the Sisters came to an end on Sunday.  Before heading home, Rebecca cooked a big Southern breakfast for us beside the Bookmobile.  That was a perfect ending to a fabulous weekend of vintage trailers, evening campfires, potluck suppers, sharing the news of my Coffee Cup, and getting to know some of the fabulous women who are a part of this organization!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Let The Decorating Begin!

With the hard decisions behind me, it was time to start making the fun decisions...decorating!  

I had tossed around several ideas for themes....Native American, using ideas from my travels out west....Kokopelli, using my flutes for, playing off my obsession with java....crows and stars, taken from my love of primitive country.  Each of these scenarios would have made for a very cool camper.  They would have fit in well with my color scheme of earthy tones.  It was just a matter of choosing.  I kept coming back around to coffee and that's how The Coffee Cup came to be!

Here's some of the fun I've had....

I bought a pillow case made with these three fabrics when I was in Tybee Island.  The Sister that was selling it had only one, but I bought it anyway.  I didn't get it to actually put on a pillow, I got it because I loved the colors, the coffee beans and java cups, and it planted the seed for the future Coffee Cup.  I'll use it for curtains and pillows.

On Tuesday when Becky and I were in Jackson meeting with Tony, he sent several books with us that contained vinyl fabrics.  After much deliberation and help from Becky, I chose these two vinyl colors.  The one of the left is called cashew and the one on the right is called saddle.  This fabric will go on the two dinette seats.  The lighter cashew will be featured in a V on the back cushions and will also be used for piping on everything.

It wasn't long until I started seeing retro tin signs with coffee themes.  These are not vintage, so they are very affordable and I plan to use them on the cabinet doors as insets.  I'm finding them on eBay, in gift shops, and antique malls.  There are dozens of sizes and colors.  I did an internet search and have a pretty good idea of what's available.  That's made it easy to pick the ones I really, really want.  These are the ones I have gotten so far and I'll probably pick up a couple more along the way.

I have really debated about what kind of decal or drawing I will have on the side of The Coffee Cup.  I've found many, many coffee cliparts and designs, but I kept coming back to this one.

I love the heart shape made by the steam coming out of the cup.  And the two coffee bean wheels are precious.  

All in all, it think it's a great design, the colors are perfect, and it will fit nicely to the left of the door.  I'm also snitching an idea from Sister Rebecca and her Bookmobile and having this saying put over the front window....

"Coffee and Camping....Life Is Good"

I've collected oodles and oodles of other stuff, and  currently have a bunch of artsy-fartsy Coffee Cup Projects in progress...a bed tray with business cards and menus on top....a little table lamp with C-O-F-F-E-E spelled out using children's blocks....three train cases to alter....a 1940's wooden tabletop radio that I'm retro-fitting with speakers and my iPod.

Thanks to friends who have saved and collected coffee items for me, I've got lots to do over the winter months before The Coffee Cup comes home to North Carolina in the spring!  Am I having java fun or what!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Handshake And A Dream

I spent two days with Tony at Y-Not Camper Restorations...asking questions, snapping photos, taking measurements and jotting down notes on my wish list.  Becky and Tony indulged my obsessiveness for those two days and that allowed me to take all the time I needed.  On Wednesday afternoon, I handed Tony my wish list, we shook hands to seal the deal, and Becky and I headed south towards North Carolina.

Piece by piece, my Coffee Cup daydream was falling into place.  Next would come a long three-month wait to get Tony's estimate for re-framing the Scotty.   At that point I would have to make the ultimate decision to go ahead with this project or start the search again.

I spent the entire trip home bouncing ideas off of Bec.  We discussed every detail, every decision to be made.  And as she drove, I continued to scribble notes.  This most excellent Java Journey was getting closer and closer to reality!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Such Pleasing Lines

Even though this Scotty Sportsman is quite small, I immediately loved her lines ... simple gentle curves both inside and out.

Two graceful curves on the dinette benches compliment the table itself, as well as the hidden storage behind the cushion.

Each cabinet door was trimmed with a width of plastic that I hope to paint black.  I think it will set the doors off and it plays well into my decorating scheme.

I particularly love the little door hinges and latches that have an art deco vibe to them.  Once cleaned and polished, I think they will look exceptional.

The storage nooks above the rear gaucho couch are simple and functional also.  I like the front edge that will hold things in place like my train case.  I also love the fact that they are on both sides of the Scotty.

Outside, there are just as many pleasing lines ... the traditional Scotty curve at the wheel well,  the arrowhead light covers, the jalousie windows that open and close with a turn of the handle.

There are so many linear features of this little Coffee Cup that I find pleasing.  It's going to be so exciting to see them restored and be able to run my hands over them!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Take A Peek Inside

The inside of my potential Coffee Cup was in pretty good shape.  Her floor was solid as I walked from front to back, sat on the gaucho couch in back and at the table up front, and stood at the kitchen counter.

I loved all the light coming in through the five windows.  Beside the door was a floor to ceiling cabinet housing the heater and full of storage possibilities above.

With her retro light, little cubbies above the gaucho couch, compact galley kitchen, and a surprising amount of storage possibilities, it was love at first sight!

I took oodles of pictures, measured everything that could be measured and even made some drawings of the Scotty's interior.  Next step?  Start the wishlist...colors, fabrics, appliances, flooring etc.!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Michigan Bound

On Monday, June 28th, Becky and I took off on a road trip to Michigan...Jackson, MI to be exact.  The only two objectives for this jaunt were:  1) meet Tony at Y-Not Camper Restoration and 2) pick out a little camper.  Two decisions had already been made:  1) I would choose either a Shasta Compact or a Serro Scotty Sportsman  2) I would have Tony do a re-frame instead of a repair or restoration.

My excitement level was kinda off the chart and Becky will tell you I was experiencing a small anxiety attack on the drive north.  It's funny now, but it was so real and actually kinda frightening then! 

What in the world was I doing?  Going to Michigan?  Picking out a vintage trailer from a perfect stranger? Trusting him to bring it back to life while I was hundreds of miles away?  OMG...can you say CRAZY LADY?

When we drove up to Tony's place, we saw dozens of campers sitting both inside and outside his lot.  It didn't take very long for me to go into total overload!  I proceeded to spend the next three or four hours looking at them all, but zeroing in on the Shastas and Scotties.  At one point, Both Tony and Becky went back inside to leave me to my madness!

When it was all said and done, I picked out a 13' 1973, Scotty Gaucho.  She was wedged tightly in between another Scotty and a Shasta, but we were able to push and pull them around enough to let me inside.  I measured...I drew pictures...I took notes...I jotted down ideas.  

When we finally took off, I was loaded down with books of fabric and vinyl samples to look at and hopefully make some decisions about with Becky's help that evening at the motel.  I had all my measurements and drawings, notes and day dreams and I needed to translate them into something that I could leave with Tony on Wednesday.  What a day!  I was yet another step closer to the realization of my Coffee Cup Dream!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Spring Fling At The Holler

Time for another chapter in this quest to find my very own vintage trailer!  After talking to Tony in Michigan and learning he had quite a few Shastas and Scottys on his lot, I was desperate to see some in person.  I was starting to narrow my focus and pretty much had decided by mid-May that I would concentrate on these two trailer brands.

On one of my nightly searches online, I ran across the USA Vintage Trailer Network and seeing that they had chapters in every state, I immediately clicked on the NC button.  Up popped a link to the Yahoo Group Forum for the Club North Carolina.

Their current postings were talking about a gathering at Raccoon Holler Campground over the May 20th weekend.  So I requested to join the group and after being approved, I found out there were still a few sites available for the gathering.  I made a quick decision to attend, called the campground and got a reservation.  To be perfectly honest, I had no interest in the teardrops, I only wanted to see the Shastas and Scottys and talk to their owners.

Raccoon Holler Campground is only an hour from home and sits within yards of the Blue Ridge Parkway, so I knew it would be a fun weekend even if I didn't know a soul I was camping with.  Murphy the Camper Dog was going along with me for company, so all would be well.

There was a Shasta Airflyte, a Shasta Compact and one Scotty Sportsman there.  Other than a Yellowstone and a Sunspot, all the other participants were in homemade or factory-produced teardrops.  Although they were cute, there was no way I was taking that vintage route!

I met the owners of the Shastas and Scotty, chatted with them about their trailers and then took pictures.  I guess you could say I was doing research, and sadly, I don't even recall their names, just their campers.

Of the three, I was most drawn to the little 13' Scotty (the second one pictured).   I had a nice weekend and folks were certainly friendly, but in no way did it even compare to camping with the Sisters or my T@Bbin' buddies.  Murphy the Camper Dog and I had a fun little camping weekend and my quest to find the perfect trailer was getting clearer and clearer, closer and closer!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Search Begins

Obsession.  That's the best and actually, only word to describe my frame of mind after returning home from Tybee Island and those bodacious Sisters on the Fly.  Every evening with Mac on lap, I was searching for websites and blogs about vintage trailers and their restoration.  I was taking names!

Here's what I knew to be true:
  • I was going to locate a vintage trailer, somehow, someway!
  • the ones for sale on the East Coast seemed to be far and few between
  • I didn't have the skills or tools or space to do the work myself
  • I didn't have a clue about choosing a trailer and what to look for
  • I needed to find someone to do the work for me
  • I had to choose which route to, restoration, re-frame

In the back of the Sisters on the Fly book was a list called "Fixin' It Up" and it seemed to me to be the logical place to start.  And so the research began.  After weighing in on all the possibilities, I chose to contact Y-Not Camper Restoration.  On Saturday morning, May 14th, I made a phone call to Jackson, Michigan and talked to Tony Secreto.   For 45 minutes I asked questions and Tony answered.  And as the story goes, the rest is history.

From the beginning of our conversation, it felt right.  Call it good vibes, camping karma, or serendipity, I knew I had found the right fellow to make my dream of owning a vintage trailer come true.  I had taken the next step in my Java Journey and it was exciting!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Totally Hooked In Tybee

After reading the SOTF book, collecting all the magazine articles I could get my hands on, and bookmarking umpty-ump blogs about vintage trailers, I was totally hooked in Tybee after seeing them in person!  It's one thing to see these vintage gems in print, but in person, all I could say was, "OMG!"

I had seen this beauty at the Country Living Fair, but wasn't able to actually go inside to see the details.  Red is not a color in my decorating palate, but I have to admit that this Lady Bug motif was off the charts!

Beth's tropical theme was darling both inside and out.  I felt like I was parked right on Tybee Beach!

I loved so many things about Rebecca's "Bookmobile"...the size, the interior layout, the birchwood interior, the simplicity of her decorating.  

As I moved from trailer to trailer, taking pictures and making mental notes, I was starting to realize what I was truly attracted to...a trailer around the size of my SplashT@B, late 60's or early 70's, a Scotty Sportsman or Shasta Compact, earthy colors, comfy looking and feeling inside.  While I appreciated the cowgirl, western theme, that wasn't for me.  While I loved the wild, bold colors, I knew I wouldn't head in that direction either.  No comic strip characters, no animals, no fru-fru-lacy-girly stuff either. 

So I spent the entire weekend looking at the outsides, peeking in the insides, gathering ideas and getting totally hooked on the idea of owning my own vintage trailer!