12.28.15 - More curtains, and a tool box upgrade!

Ever since we loaded up Stubbs to go to Texas, Christian had insisted we needed to upgrade to a large rolling tool chest. With five separate tool boxes clumsily taking up precious garage space, I agreed. However, we hadn't found one that fit the space in the way we needed it to…until a trip to Home Depot took us by a limited edition Husky tool chest. It was perfect. The shorter height (of the lower half only) would allow us to roll it freely beneath the bed. It was also the perfect depth and width for the space beside the bed that we wanted it to fit in.

I wouldn't let Christian have it until we'd unloaded the motorbikes and started cleaning out the garage to actually accommodate it. Thankfully, with our time dwindling at the tree lot, he made it happen and I came home with it on one of my solo shopping trips.

He was beside himself with excitement over the box. Here he is with one of our favorite lot helpers, Evian, who helped us get the motorbikes unloaded and load the tool chest.

He was beside himself with excitement over the box. Here he is with one of our favorite lot helpers, Evian, who helped us get the motorbikes unloaded and load the tool chest.

I had finished the main "house" curtains and ran out of the patterned duck I'd used, so I ran off to a Hancock Fabrics store to see what I could find. While there, I looked for some more of the insulating fleece layer and found an even better solution that I'd known about before sewing half of the curtains: metalized mylar fleece! It was the same thickness as the stuff I'd already used, but with a special metal interior to help reflect heat.

Luckily, the remaining curtains to be done were the bedroom and the front cab area, so at least the two most important areas to keep insulated would be sewn with it.

The next curtain I set out to tackle was driver's side windows. This included the sliding windows and a triangular window beside it. I opted to do one large panel for the whole thing and add a dowel at the bottom to make rolling it up for driving an easy task.

I was very proud (and nervous) about my first non-rectangular curtain. Lucky me, when I went to fit it into place, it was perfect!

The curtain blocks every bit of light out and is easy to roll up with a dowel in the bottom.

The curtain blocks every bit of light out and is easy to roll up with a dowel in the bottom.

I have plenty more to update about, but for now, I'll leave those for later to try and avoid overwhelming anyone.

Also, for those interested and or if you might know someone who is…we finally got the Craigslist listing up for the Campbulance. It breaks our heart to sell her, but with Stubbs in our lives, having two converted vehicles just isn't all that logical.

Please feel free to pass this link along: http://littlerock.craigslist.org/cto/5376795762.html

12.26.15 Curtains, bookshelf and layout changes.

Christian and I had been a little divided on what to do regarding our planned toilet room. If you remember in the original layout plans (I'll post the photo below), we had intended to do the toilet room in the center beside the living room seat/couch. However, once we lived in the bus for a while, we began to doubt whether splitting up the space that much would work for us, so we went over our other options.

In the end, we decided to move our filing cabinets and switch their spot with the toilet room after realizing the space they were taking up was the perfect size and location for our future toilet.

We took turns sitting in the space to make sure it was a comfortable size.

We took turns sitting in the space to make sure it was a comfortable size.

One of the other top projects we needed to get done for both function and necessity was curtains. Christian had pulled the insulation off of the windows that we were using as our temporary coverings, so the need became urgent and I was sent to Hobby Lobby to procure supplies.

Christian added two layers of foam insulation to the walls before putting OSB over it for some extra insulation. Now that we had a working heater, we realized how much some simple walls and insulation would help our cause.

Christian added two layers of foam insulation to the walls before putting OSB over it for some extra insulation. Now that we had a working heater, we realized how much some simple walls and insulation would help our cause.

Here's a photo of the filing cabinets moved and the toilet room walls beginning to take shape.

Here's a photo of the filing cabinets moved and the toilet room walls beginning to take shape.

I spent a lot of time (and money, to be honest) at Hobby Lobby after hemming and hawing about what fabrics I wanted to us. We wanted thick insulating curtains, so in addition to choosing a nice patterned duck and the heaviest duty blackout fabric in the store, I also got some thick Thermolam to sew between the layers as insulation.

We had sold through our back stock of trees and weren't getting any more shipments, so we took advantage of the shade of the tent to set up our work space. Christian was working on the walls and then a book shelf while I began to tackle the large sewing project before me.

I did a lot of reading before I ever sewed my first seam.

I did a lot of reading before I ever sewed my first seam.

As a sewing technique, I went with a suggestion from my mom, which was to sew everything inside out like a pillow case and then turn it right side out to do the finished seam on the top. I ended up only doing the two sides like this and then sewing a folded over seam on the top and bottom.

As a sewing technique, I went with a suggestion from my mom, which was to sew everything inside out like a pillow case and then turn it right side out to do the finished seam on the top. I ended up only doing the two sides like this and then sewing a folded over seam on the top and bottom.

It took me all day to conquer just one curtain, but I was proudly making progress while Christian continued work on his bookshelf.

I'm extremely proud of Christian's ingenuity with his bookshelf. He had this idea to build a small shelf beneath the foot of the bed to utilize the space there. Because of wanting to be able to access the garage space when moving the motorbikes in and out, he didn't want it to be permanent. Instead, he built it on wheels and even added a spot for Loulou's litterbox that will be hidden once he puts a face on the shelf.

He also built walls for the toilet room and installed them (sorry, no photos of that…I was too busy wrestling with my sewing machine and way too much fabric).

In addition to moving the filing cabinets out, we also shuffled around the hanging space to accommodate some planned changes to the garage space (more on that later). With the filing cabinets out, it still divides the space, but not nearly as much as a walled room would have, so we're pretty happy with our decision. Honestly, we almost nixed the idea of the toilet room at all, but part of our upgrade to the bus was specifically to include a toilet, so we figured we should make it happen.

After finishing one curtain, I was both exhausted and energized. Most of the curtains would cover two windows, so it was a large amount of very thick heavy duty fabric to be working with for someone as inexperienced as I am. I kept running into issues with the machine along the way, so each curtain seemed to take longer and longer. The curtains for the living space are completely done now (I'll have to get a good photo of them later) and I'm still working on the ones for the front windows and the cab space (the odd shapes and sizes are giving me a run for my money).

They make a world of difference for light and insulation, so we're happy I went with such heavy duty materials.