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Thursday, April 25, 2013

What Stuff Do You Fulltime RV With?

http://boyinks4adventure.com/our-travels/what-stuff-do-you-fulltime-rv-with/

A fun link from a different family telling what they think are family fulltiming essentials. There are a few things I can do without, but pretty much the rest are really good ideas. There are quite a few things I've already incorporated myself, and a few more things to go.

On another note, we're moving into "Hope" (that's what the eldest named her, cuz she gives us Hope that we'll all 4 be together soon!) in only 2 days!

I gotta fill one of my propane tanks and get the furnace fired up. I also was gonna ask the neighbor if he could help me get her a lil more level via leveling chocks. We'll see. Lots to do!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Duct Tape & Miscellaneous

It was decided that, I had to bring back the wooden bunkbed the RV came with, and reassemble it. It was also decided that, the wood of said bunkbed was treacherous with it splintering all over the place. My Mom decided that, she and I needed to duct tape the entire thing in order to best protect the girls.

I wanted to avoid that by stapling or hot gluing fabric around the wood, but my Mom decided those were both bad ideas.

We ended up wrapping every square inch of wood in white hvac grade heavy duty duct tape...at least on all the exposed wood. I didn't do the stuff facing the wall, cuz it was unreachable by them. That is, until I realized the bunkbed & desk weren't going to allow my daughter thru to climb up, lol! I used every bit of tape up, then I had to move the bed against the other wall leaving more wood that needed to be taped. Humph!

So that is that. They now have their space-saving bed back, allowing me more storage options under it. It's a win-win.

Now, I've also done a couple other things...the stands for the dollhouses are done and look perfect. I primed, painted and installed them and they are a perfect fit and match. However, with the L-shaped stand installed, I discovered the desk goes 4" past the door. This is a problem. So, yesterday, Pip and I were going to cut off the square on the right of that L-shaped stand, but we ran out of time. This will allow me to move the desk down about 6", thereby not blocking the rear exit door.

I, also, put up my eldest daughter's two super-long homeschooling shelves, a fee days ago. One along each wall. These will end up holding several books, bins, compartments & containers for all her homeschooling needs. I am not willing to sacrifice her educational needs to save space. That is of the utmost importance.

I was unsure as to how long it would be until we got the trim back up in there so, I went ahead and painted the walls all the way to the ceiling. This was a good thing, because 2 days ago, Pip and I started brainstorming on the trim. He's pretty sure it can be done inexpensively, but we definitely will not be pricing the super fancy crown moulding, I originally had priced.  Yesterday, we took down all relevant measurements and went to price the trim that is probably only an inch...maybe and a half...wide (the right angle corner trim) and flat trim for where each of the panels join up. We ended up getting all the trim minus the hallway door & floor trim for $70. Not too shabby.

I've been getting a lot of stuff moved into the RV. For the record, before anything goes into it, the items get weighed and documented on an excel spreadsheet. I made that to keep track of not only our theoretical weight, but also a rough inventory of our belongings. Once everything is moved in, we'll have loaded about 1500lbs so far. I have not taken into account my Husband's tools or his other (quite heavy) belongings. Although, he's not wanting to store his tools onboard, I guess. (Good, cuz there's no room). We have a GVWR of 10,000lbs about and our dry weight is roughly 6,000. Fluids run about 1,000lbs when topped off.

Yesterday, Pip stained and did the first coat of poly on the desk I sanded for me. I cannot wait to see it all finished. It's going to be gorgeous!

Today, I took over our "dressers" & mounted them for safety, made the top bunk up with some foam as a temporary mattress, mounted the curtain rods & measured for the curtains. I have to alter them a bit longer. I put away the rest of my stuff & dokie of my husband's.

P.S. My Husband and I would like to specially thank Jedi, the Viking Barbarian & Pip for moving our stuff to storage Sunday for us. You guys are the greatest of friends and we appreciate all your help!

P.P.S. As soon as I have real internet (blogger from my phone kinda sucks) I'll put the pix in the correct order. For now, you'll just have to guess. ;)

Monday, April 15, 2013

For The Dollhouses

On Sunday, Dad (my father-in-law) helped me out, while my Mom organized things up front in the RV & Ma (my mother-in-law) watched our girls. I drew up some blueprints for my Monster High girls' 2 dollhouses. I have to make 2 table-like stands to elevate them off the floor, flush with the top of the wheel well on her side of the room. If I hadn't have done that, there would be nowhere to put them. Although I'm pretty good with a sander, I've yet to learn the inner workings of a table & miter (mider sp?) saw. I enlisted the help of Dad, & with Pip's table saw, we were able to get all the boards cut to precision.

Yesterday, I drilled all the holes to assemble them.

Hopefully this weekend, i'm going to sand, prime & paint them. The paint will be that of their walls, so as to blend in with the wheel wells.

I set them up, set the dollhouse on top & they are a perfect fit! I'm leaving them open underneath for added storage. My MHG loves them already!

On a side note, I need to get the paint off the lino. It isn't latex, it is enamel, but it IS water-based so I'm pretty sure mineral spirits will do the trick?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Marathon Sewing Session

Today, in between Homeschooling my Monster High Girl (my eldest-"MHG") and chasing around Cindy (my youngest-Cinderella) I was able to squeeze in a marathon sewing session, which ran into late this evening (about 11pm). It was boring, tedious and redundant work, but it had to be done.


I had to sew the white curtains. These used to be up in our windows so outside all you could see was white...you couldn't see our pretty purple or pink or gold curtains. They are plain Jane, but, they are the room darkening and cold/hot blocking energy saver kinds. I butchered all of them and turned them into the curtain backs that I will be putting on the ACTUAL curtains I will make...hopefully later this week. *Fingers crossed.


They all took forever, as I had to make 5 sets of 2 each, then I had to sew the velcro back on the inside so they can be sealed shut nicely when closed.


P.S. I sold my kitchen table...and I actually have NO table or anything to use as a sewing station. I was sewing all day on the floor hunched over my machine. I DO NOT advise this. My back is killing me now.


P.P.S. Here are "Before" pics of the interior upholstery. Hideous. It's like Tan and Maroon...and the cornices (those stupid wooden things that go over the doors and some windows) are even worse with their "plaid" look they've got goin' on.


I'm not feelin' the whole maroon/tan/green scheme. Check back in later this week to *hopefully* see the after pics. I'll definitely have the curtains changed...but I have to acquire a few different sized staples/staple guns for the reupholstering...and I'm not sure funds will allow that just yet. But, at the very least, I can improve those ugly curtains. (Seriously, they don't even match the cornices!)








Sunday, April 7, 2013

My RVing Bucket List

This is a day of packing up the apartment and sorting stuff. Between the RV, storage unit, stuff to donate and stuff to throw away or recycle, there's still a few things left to go through. My toddler, I will call her Cindy (short for Cinderella because she's always losing a shoe) on my blog, is napping currently. Because she is napping, I cannot go through my bathroom which is my current area of interest to pack.

While taking a break, I started daydreaming. Many opportunities are going to stem from our future lifestyle...opportunities we would never have had, had we decided to stay put.  This got me thinking...once we hitch up and head out to my Husband's next job location, what will we get to see along the way? I have no idea where the next job lies, but here is my list of places I'd love to see, if given the opportunity:

1. The Redwood Giants: Massive trees in Northern California


2. The Grand Canyon


3. The 4-Corners: Where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico & Arizona intersect (I wanna do a backbend-Wheel Pose with a different limb in each state!)


4. Niagara Falls


5. Yellowstone National Park: I wanna see all the different colored water ponds & Old Faithful


6. The Pacific Ocean (I've already seen the Atlantic...which was wicked cool!) I'd really like to see it while visiting Oregon


7. The Appalachian trees during the Fall


8. San Francisco: The shopping, the Golden Gate Bridge, the house where "Charmed" was filmed...I dunno, it just seems like my kind of place


9. Seattle: I'd love to go whale watching, shop at some used books stores, and check out the Space Needle


10. I've told my Darling Husband that we should get into Geocaching as well...sounds like something fun we could do with the girls on the weekend


Well, this list is by no means complete. There are a billion other things I would like to see and do. This is just what came to my mind immediately.

If you were in our shoes, where would you want to go and what would you want to see? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Have I Ever Mentioned How Much I Hate Sanding?

I vowed to never sand again, after sanding the girls' entire room, in the rv. Well, I lied. My Mom acquired a desk that fits our specs perfectly. You see, the drawers are "false". They are just the faces of the drawers, and the faces are glued shut. The mounting brackets and all the hoopla that was originally holding the drawers in before, are now gone. The back of the desk where the drawers had originally been, is now gone. The area that once housed drawers, is now going to house our litter box. In the girls' room, there is a wall. Yea, yea, "obviously" you say. Well, the same wall that houses our second RV entrance door, also has a secret outdoor access point. You can't see it right now because, when they converted our RV Toyhauler to a non-toy hauling RV, they walled over the access point. We are going to line the opened up back of the desk with the outdoor access point, cut through the wall to reopen it up again and Voila!, a super easy way to change the litter box from the outside. We're just going to have to cut in a Kitty door on the inside wall of the desk, to the left of where you sit under it, and they'll be able to go in and do their business.

Anyways, enough about our boys' call of nature. It is a perfect desk, but to be entirely honest with you, when I was originally given it, it was beat to "you know what". The top of it was all scratched up...or carved up...i'd rather use the latter term. The sides, leg spindles and base of it were all banged up as well. I got the bright idea to bust out the vibe hand-sander and go to town on the "easy access" parts, i.e. the top, drawer fronts...basically anything long and flat. I sanded with the hand-sander for about 3 1/2 hours yesterday afternoon until my in-laws tore me away from the desk to shower and eat, lol. Today, however, was a completely different sanding story.

After I ran out of places to sand with the electric sander, I had to continue forth sanding by hand...this time with no awesome power tool to help me out. THAT took another good 7 hours. It is incredibly difficult to sand spindles by the way!!! 5 of those 7 hours were spent just sanding in every crack and curve of those stupid freaking legs!

The last two hours, I pulled my eldest out to help me. I told her she'd appreciate her new desk a LOT more if she actually put in some work on it as well. She busted her butt and I gotta say, that for a 7 year old, she did a REALLY good job! She took quite a few breaks, but just for 2 minutes, then came right back and sanded some more. My Mom showed up about an hour before I finished and sanded a few edges for me and between the 3 of us, we had it done pretty quickly. I uber appreciated their help! Thanks you two! Also, thanks Ma, for watching my li'l booger, yet again, for me today...and yesterday, too! Without such an incredible support system, all this work would never have happened.

Anyways, my eldest loves her new desk, she can't wait to Homeschool on it for the rest of First grade, and I think the Kitties (my boys) will appreciate it too. It was a major pain to sand that whole thing, but it was worth it in the end.

I need to Tack towel it this weekend...sometime...and find out from my Hubby if I have to sand it with a finer grit i.e.220? before I apply the stain. I should mention here that I sanded it with 100-grit sandpaper.

It ended up a super light color wood(and yes, it's solid wood, no particle board anywhere in that bad boy), so any time you see a DARK brown, that was the original stain color of the entire desk. I never took a before pic because I was on a roll sanding, and it honestly didn't even cross my mind til this morning. Duh!  By then, I was finished with all the big sanding and only had the spindles, cracks and crevices left. Anyways, enough talking. Here's the pics.

 Here's the back of the desk with the back knocked out.

The whole desk was the dark brown color...only super beaten up.

 Here I am sanding off the ugly dark brown color.

 Here's the middle of the spindle done.

 Here's one whole spindle done, and it only took 2 1/2 hours to finish it! Thank goodness there are only 2!

 Here's my oldest kiddo gettin' her hands roughed up and workin' really hard! She's always been a Tomboy.

Here's my youngest kiddo sneakin' in the pic, she tried sanding earlier today, lol. I have an awesome sunburn now, by the way. Stocking up on sunblock tomorrow!

 TADA! All finished and lookin' mighty fine...if I don't mind sayin' so myself!

P.S. My oldest picked out some new knobs and drawer pulls that have flowers and leaves on them to go with her whole forest theme. Now, we just need to argue over what color to stain it?

P.P.S. If you know a faster way to accomplish the sanding that took me 10 1/2 hours to achieve, I don't wanna hear it. Please. I might just implode at the sound of such news.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ceiling: Round 2 and Walls

I googled how to fade paint...gradient style...and I was not disappointed. I found numerous websites and after practicing on paper last night, I attempted it today on the ceiling. I was quite pleased...impressed with my skills, actually. I took pics, once finished, but keep in mind that the paint is still wet.

I used Behr Premium Plus Semi-Gloss paint in the same two colors I used the first time. Those were flat though. I started by painting a stripe with my "Best" (option from Home Depot) roller. Then, I added a smidge of the Azurite, mixed together and painted the next stripe with the same roller. I took a chip brush, and spastically went back and forth over the line where they intersected. Once that was finished, I went length-wise down the blended line to make it look nice. I proceeded to do that with the rest of the ceiling. With every new stripe, I added a bit more Azurite to darken the paint. It turned out awesome. Unfortunately, the pictures do no do it any justice, whatsoever.





Here's a pic of ceiling standing at the back of the room looking toward the front.


Once the ceiling was finished, I painted the walls with Behr Premium Plus Semi-Gloss paint in Martha Stewart's "Frost" color. It really is white, but after I got done in there and stepped into the hallway, it looked more blue than white. I'm pretty sure that's cuz of the ceiling reflecting off of it? I don't mind, and I think it'll tone down a lot once the room is packed full of everything...bed, tree, toys, desk, books, etc.



 

Once the paint is dry, I'm going to go over the darker part of the ceiling in an incredibly sheer paint that has gold glitter in it. It'll give it a "mystical" look I think. Once that's all dry, then the glow-in-the-dark stars go up and I'm finished.

Well, i'll really be finished once the crown moulding, trim and carpet goes in, and the furniture, stuff and kids...but who's keepin' track?