Happy new year!! I always love to look back on the previous year on new year’s day.
It’s SO hard to pick just one photo from each month, especially those summer months! But here are just a few highlights…
Window painting – My little covid pivot has really paid off this year, as I took on 4 brand new clients and got repeat work from my existing clients. Dunkin’ is definitely my biggest window client, and their locations grew from 4 to 6 stores this year, which now gives me about 24 painting jobs every year just from them! This year I did interior paint jobs, exterior, and vinyl!
The Glitter Glamper – The Glamper had a huge year!!! In May was our first year participating in the MN State Fair’s “Kickoff to Summer” over Memorial Day weekend. We were slammed for 5 days, and I believe this was the Glamper trailer’s foot in the door to landing our new fair location, as shortly after I was offered a huge, new space to park the trailer in August at the MN State Fair! In between the two, the Glamper set up camp at Interlachen Country Club (our 2nd year with the Glamper there) for the 4th of July, and we also set up at the Carver County Fair for 5 days in early August. This was the year I really got to see my Photoshopped renderings of this Glitter Glamper concept turn to reality!
Private Sessions – I love painting for private sessions! I don’t do a lot of them but when I do they are SO much fun. This year I got to paint Rachel’s belly for the 2nd time, this time with a super cute “Up” theme! I also had the opportunity to paint Diane to complete her jester costume for Halloween!
County Fair – This year’s Carver County fair was like no other! I was able to bring in the Glamper and set it up right outside the building where my face painting booth has always been, and bringing in some of my amazing team of artists to help, I was able to juggle two booths at once! I had SO much fun having friends with me (normally I work alone here), and my boys got a chance to run the cash registers too!
MY AMAZING TEAM! – In looking back at my year’s worth of hundreds of photos, my favorites are always those of the amazing artists and family members without who’s help I would most certainly NOT be able to pull ANY of this off! Thank you all for doing such amazing work in sometimes very challenging scenarios, but always with smiles on your faces! You all make my job SO much fun and I am SO INCREDIBLY thankful for each and every one of you! Here’s to many more adventures in 2023!
Christmas time is the perfect time of year to do messy, glittery projects around the house. You can always blame the lingering glitter on your aunt who sent you that glittery card, or whoever wrapped their gifts in glitter paper, haha!
It seems we all have just a little more time on our hands this year, thanks to Covid, so why not spend some time reducing holiday waste and making something sparkly out of all those holiday cards? I remember my mom making these decorative balls out of old Christmas cards, and had one of hers in my decorations, so I thought I’d deconstruct it and make a couple of my own with an old stack of cards from previous years! My soon-to-be teenager Sam even helped me out with cutting, scoring, folding and gluing. This is a great project to do with your kids at any age. Little ones can help cut or tear the fronts of the cards off and recycle the backs. They can also help with the tracing of the patterns, and if they’re good with scissors, cutting out circles! Here’s how to make them!
Tools & Supplies Needed:
Template (see next step!)
Pile of holiday cards – You’ll need to make 20 circles to create one ball.
Cardboard – any thick stock will do. You can even use a holiday card back, or a cereal box from your recycle bin!
Ballpoint pen or nail – for scoring the cards to create crisp folds
Glue – Any ol’ white school glue works, though thicker tacky glue will drip less
Cut out the circle and the triangle, lay it on your piece of cardboard, and use them to trace a pattern on the cardboard. Cut those out so you have a cardboard circle and triangle, as shown in the photo above. This is scaled to create about a 7″ diameter ball. If you like, you can scale these up or down to change the size of your ball!
2.Cut circles out of holiday cards
Next, lay your cardboard circles on the front of your cards, trace them, and cut them out. You’ll need 20 circles to make one ball. This is a great place to involve kids. You can have them start by tearing the cards in half and saving the fronts. Photo cards don’t work well because of their glossy surface, so we only use the paper greeting cards for these!
3. Score the triangular folds
Take one of your card circles and flip it upside down. Now take your triangle template and position it so that all 3 points are touching the edge of the circle. Here’s where you’ll use the nail…but it doesn’t have to be a nail. A ballpoint pen works, a letter opener, a toothpick, a fork, whatever…just something strong and relatively pointy. What we’re doing here is scoring the card, so that you’ll get perfectly straight, crisp folds. Press and run your nail or whatever tool along the three edges of the triangle. Put a piece of cardboard or paper underneath so you don’t scratch or write on the table! This is my son doing this part…
Now, flip your circle back over and fold towards the printed sides. Notice how nice it folds after you’ve scored it!
5. Glue 5 Circles together to form the top.
Put some craft glue on one of the flaps.
Glue together 5 pieces to create a domed, round top for your ball. Clothespins or chip clips work great to hold the together while they dry! Before you totally glue them all together, loop a piece of string, yarn or ribbon through the center point to hang it with. You can tie a knot here to hold it in, or just use some glue and/or tape inside to hold your string.
6. Repeat to create the bottom, and make a strip for the middle.
Now that you have the top made, do the same thing again to create the bottom. You should have two domed pieces made of 5 cards each. Next, glue 10 more together in a straight row, as shown above. This will be the middle of your ball.
7. Assemble the Ball
Take your strip of 10 cards, shape it into a ring and glue as shown above. As you can see here, I am impatient so I used a little tape on the inside to hold these together while they dry!
Now, glue on your top (above) and your bottom (below)!
8. Add Glitter!
And now for the BEST PART….the GLITTER!! When I’m using loose glitter like this, I work over a folded piece of paper, poster board, etc. This project is small enough that a file folder worked great! That way, you can catch all the loose glitter in the folder or paper, and use the crease to dump it neatly back into your glitter jar, leaving not a speck to be found. Hehe…
Doing one seam at a time, apply glue to the edge. Here’s where a thicker tacky glue might be helpful as it will be less drippy. But, you’ll want to get your glue on, and then quickly pour glitter on it before it drips away on you, which is why I apply glue and then glitter to one “rib” at a time…
This part may require some breaks to let the glue dry. I start with the top ribs, then go around to the side strip. Then, I let it sit and dry before turning it over and doing the bottom ones.
Notice my orange file folder catching every single speck of glitter?! Amazing, huh? We don’t have ANY loose glitter specks around our house…nope, not a one! 😉
Once they dry, hang them wherever you wish! These are pretty and simple, a fun way to get your kids into recycling, and a great way to honor all those friends and family who have taken the time to send you cards. If you can find glue that will work well, you can even try making these with photo cards, and have all your friends and family’s faces on them! And, like I said, you can even shrink down the template to create smaller ornaments, which would also enable you to get several circles out of one card.
As soon as I first set foot in the Glamper I knew that the furnace would end up having to come out. The doors on these vintage trailers are very small to begin with, and the original placement of this huge, old furnace impedes the entryway even more. Not to mention the safety issues…these furnaces are not as safe as what you might see in modern campers, as was evident by the burnt paneling I discovered upon it’s removal!
There were 3 big parts of this project:
Removing the furnace, fan and thermostat pieces from inside the camper
Removing the chimney through the roof and patching up the hole it left, and
Turning the ugly hole in the wall into something functional and finished.
Removing the Furnace Inside
Here are some photos of the furnace before, during and after removal. This furnace is HEAVY, and it’s important to remember these things as keeping the weight evenly distributed is important in a trailer. However, I believe that some of the cabinetry I’ll be adding later as a work station will help replace the weight I removed here. As I’ve noted in earlier posts, I did hang on to this original furnace, should someone later want to return the trailer to all original. But for my purposes it needed to go. I plan to put in a new furnace at a later date…one that takes up less space and doesn’t have to vent out the roof. If we can ever avoid openings on the roof, that is a good thing! Openings are recipes for water damage!
Removing the Chimney and Patching the Roof
Getting the furnace out of the camper was probably the easiest part. Next up was removing the metal shaft that goes up through the ceiling, removing the chimney from the roof, and then patching up the hole to prevent any leaks. It made me a little sad to remove the cute chimney from the roof, but it was probably a good call as leaving an open hole in the roof that doesn’t need to be there just leaves it vulnerable to future water damage. Again, I saved all of the original parts if we ever want them back!
In order to remove the whole metal lining of the shaft that goes up through the roof (sorry I have no clue the technical terms for this stuff, haha!), I had to pull it up and out through the roof. But before I could do that, I had to scrape and chisel off all the rubbery sealant the previous owners had covered the seams with.
The previous owners did a great job keeping the roof very well sealed up, and this is one of those spots you want to seal well! It was a lot of work to get the old stuff off and expose the screws. I figured I’d have to drill the screws out, but luckily I was able to scrape them clean enough to back all of them out with a screwdriver. Once that was done, I was able to slide the whole works up and out!
Okay, now that everything was out, it was time to seal up the gaping hole in the roof and the holes in the floor. Needless to say, this is a job to be done on a nice, dry day! Here are a few photos looking down, through the roof and the holes in the floor where gas and I believe condensation may have dripped out…
The holes in the floor were pretty quick to patch up so I did that on the same day. Next I worked on the roof. We already had a roll of tin on hand, which would work to cover the hole. However, it was pretty big and I wanted to give it a little more structure under the tin. After all, if a branch is going to fall on this roof, Murphy’s law dictates that it would likely land right on this weak spot! I cut a piece of subfloor just for something rigid, applied some caulking around the hole, and smooshed the wood over it. Then I screwed the wood panel into the roof, and added more caulking around the edges of the wood, and where the edges of the tin patch would go. (photo below, left) Next, I laid on a piece of tin, smooshed it into the caulking, and screwed it in as well (below, center). Then I added yet another layer of caulking around the edges of the tin. Caulking is your friend!! Fill ALL THE HOLES!!
I let all this caulking dry for as long as it needed…I can’t recall if this next step was later that evening or the next day. but, you want to make sure something like this is allowed to dry well, before adding anything else that will block the air flow to it. Funny how I’m talking as if I’ve EVER done anything like this before or as if I have any clue what I’m doing…I’ll just add here that I’m really winging it with most of this stuff, haha! Anyway, back to filling alllll the holes….
Once all the caulking was super dry, I coated the whole works with some Flex Paste. I’m guessing this is the same or similar to whatever was already spread around the chimney that I removed to get to the screws (only white instead of black)…I went all out and just slathered the entire tin panel with the stuff. No water will be gettin’ in here! I’ll probably paint over this again at some point, but for now, you can’t see it at all from the ground, and the roof is water tight again!
Cleaning Up the Ugly Hole
Now that the roof was all good and sealed, it was time to go back inside and figure out what to do with the giant hole I just created in the cabinet where the furnace sat. My husband really wanted a solid grab bar to help get OUT of the Glamper, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to add that. With there being a hole now, I could set the grab bar back into the cabinet at an angle, so that it wouldn’t catch on people’s clothes or shrink the doorway like the furnace did. So, I decided to build a little shallow shelf cubby and incorporate the grab bar there.
I started by cutting out some of the edges of the paneling with my jigsaw, so I’d have a clean, rectangular opening. I’m really just wingin’ it as I go here…
Then I played around with the handle and figured out how I’d really make it solid, and at an angle so it wouldn’t protrude out into the doorway. Next, I cut out and removed the back panel that sat behind the furnace, opening it up to the cabinet behind. I still wanted to keep the storage cabinet, yet I wanted my grab bar to be inset, so I basically re-built the same size cavity in here…just made it look nicer and have more function. I cut a piece of 1/4″ birch plywood, and after installing a few smaller strips in the back to support it, I attached a new back to the shelf cubby.
Next I added the shelves (above). I cut strips to cover the inner right side of the cubby, leaving spaces to catch the shelves between them so I wouldn’t need any hardware showing. I’ve really never built any kind of shelf before, and like I said, I made this up as I went along…but it turned out pretty good. Better than a burnt, jagged hole I guess, haha! Next I made the left side panel which was a bit more tricky. I had to bevel the back edges so it would sit tight with the back panel at an angle, and then had to cut out slots for the shelves. Overall I think it worked okay. You can see in the right photo above, I put tape on the door trim and marked with a sharpie where my supports were, so I’d know right where to screw in the grab bar.
The grab bar is something I picked up years ago in a little antique shop, just because I thought it was cool. I had no idea where it came from originally, or where I’d use it, but it turned out to be PERFECT for this! I then removed it so I could stain everything.
Next I stained everything. I learned that the sample swatches in the hardware store look NOTHING like the actual stain. Grr. I should have tested it on a piece of scrap first like the can says to do, but I’m not great at following instructions, haha! So, you can kinda tell the base boards here are a tad too dark. That’s where I started and said “nope!” At that point I ran back to the hardware store and bought a color called “traditional pecan.” That was a better match, so I finished off the inside of the cubby.
A few days later I made it back out to get some trim to finish it off. Yeah, it probably would have made more sense to do all this staining at once but I was figuring it out as I went, and didn’t know what I wanted to do…so after the cubby was all stained and clear coated, I cut the outer trim pieces, stained and clear coated them, and then added those.
I think it looks pretty good! Better than a hole for sure! I’m no furniture maker but I’m happy with how it turned out. Of course, with all things in a vintage trailer, the project is never really done… I realize that I can’t drive down the road with stuff on these shelves. I’m still thinking about what I want to do for some type of rail. Maybe clear plexi, maybe a wood rod stained to match, maybe something fancier…I’ll think about that. In the meantime it looks nice. When I do new floor tiles, that’ll fill in the gap on the bottom shelf as well. I also just have a hole up through the top for now…partly because I know we’re going to re-do all the electrical and it’ll make it easier to reach those switches. But I am also thinking about adding a light up in there. We shall see. If nothing else I’ll close that up with another piece of wood after we’re done with electrical stuff.
So there’s one of my big projects from the past month or so! More things are in the works, but with the temps dropping I probably won’t be able to do the flooring until spring. I want to make sure I have ideal temps for my adhesive to work. But I also know that I’m going to really miss the Glitter Glamper when I go park it for the winter in our friends’ barn, so you may see me pop in this winter with some other small projects! 😉
It’s time to show you some more progress on the Glitter Glamper!
As I mentioned in my previous Glamper renovation posts, my goal with the Glamper is to make it what I need it to be, yet still preserve the original birch paneling inside. The birch inside the Glamper is in amazing vintage condition, however, it just makes for too dark of an environment for me to work in, which is the purpose of the glamper!
I special ordered some tin ceiling tiles from Menards, which took a few weeks to get. I didn’t want the cheaper glue-up tile, because I don’t want to damage the wood with a bunch of glue or foam tape. So, I went with real tin. I also couldn’t use your standard tin ceiling tile nails, because they would be too long, and likely could poke through the roof of the camper, which would be disastrous!! I also felt that shorter nails still probably wouldn’t cut it, being that this is a MOBILE ceiling that will be riding down the freeway, bumping as it goes, and I didn’t want the nails to work their way out. So, I decided on some small screws, just 1/4″ long, enough to catch the wood. If I ever want to go back to the original birch, I’ll have some small holes to putty, but that’s a lot better than paint!
The first thing you have to do with a ceiling like this is find the center of the trailer, and start from there. I measured the ceiling and marked the center with a piece of tape. My son helped me hold the first tile against the ceiling while I drilled tiny pilot holes through the tin and attached. From there I was able to complete the rest by myself.
I used my ruler, sharpie and tin snips to cut around cabinetry where needed. I highly recommend wearing gloves…I did not take my own advice and got quite a few cuts on my hands, but hey, no pain no gain, right? This spot shown above left with the exhaust fan/window and sink light fixture was the toughest for sure! I had to take apart the fan and the light partially, and cut around two cabinets, all in one piece. But, it turned out great!
To keep the feel of the canned ham shape, I wanted the ceiling tiles to continue down the front and rear curves to the floor.
In the rear of the camper, however, there is a curve that is just too tight for these tin tiles to bend. Even if I could get them to flex that much, the paint would chip off really bad. I found some plastic material that would make the curve to fill in that space, and while the pattern isn’t an exact match, I think it looks much better to continue the white field down to the floor. I might eventually do the same thing to line the tiny bathroom!
I still had a couple trim pieces cutting across the white above, so I covered that up with some adhesive backed silver glitter vinyl.