Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Warm Tidings

Becky & Maurrie from my Sisters on the Fly group sent this little postcard for Christmas. How cool is that! I had seen Paige Bridges' paintings before - showing off all the wonderful vintage trailers. They are quaint and cheerful renditions of vintage trailers in peaceful nostalgic scenery settings. What's not to love about those little travel trailers?

So far I have not purchased any of the prints of her paintings. I've been tempted several times, but plan to wait till I actually get my own trailer before I begin to stock up on things to put inside of it. I know I'll want to put one of her darling images on the wall of my trailer when the time comes.

When I heard Paige's paintings were licensed on some products I thought it would be cool to get some of them. So far I haven't sent away for any. I'm tempted to get the 2010 calendar next time I order some checks. Needless to say, it was fun to find this little postcard in my mailbox. I was thrilled. Of course it's always great to get fun mail. What could be better than to go to the box and then find a smile on your face when seeing fun correspondence? I'll hang onto this and use it to 'glam' up my trailer.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Imagine a Pumpkin Travel Trailer

Humorous Travel Trailer takes the form of a pumpkin carriage.I was browsing around the internet and ran across this pumpkin carriage machine embroidery design. All of a sudden it hit me - wouldn't this make a cool little travel trailer! LOL! I just had to chuckle at this idea. The pumpkin carriage as travel trailer idea could be a funny and eye-catching means of travel. You could decorate in a princess theme and bling it out really cute! Ha! Ha!

Okay, just kidding.

But it would be funny!

Can you see it? Maybe have the trailer painted orange as a pumpkin . . . filled with princess themed decor or painted with a cowgirl princess and a westernized pumpkin carriage. Possibilities are endless.

I've been checking in to the Sisters On The Fly website from time-to-time. Although I don't have a vintage trailer yet, I look forward to the day when that becomes a reality. Meanwhile I'm biding my time. I figure there's nothing stopping me from starting to collect some stuff . . . some bling . . . for my future trailer. I think I just might make up a little pillow with this pumpkin carriage design for my future trailer.

By the way, this is a free download right now at ABC Embroidery Designs. Download a copy while you can. It looks really cute.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Boating, Fishing and Dreaming

A scenic view in one of the channels at New John's Lake.On Saturday my dh and I went fishing. This was some 'together time' for us since he's been busy playing a lot of tennis. Those tennis tournaments broadcast on tv, like the US Open the past two weeks, inspired him to get out and play more. Meanwhile I've been busy sewing or working on the computer for most of my waking hours lately. It had been a while since we actually got out and did something together besides sit in the living room with a show on television. So . . . we had a day outdoors, on the lake, in his fishing boat.

Lots of flora and fauna in and about the lake as attested to by these cattails.I actually forgot to bring my camera on Saturday. These are photos from another fishing trip we took some time ago to this same lake, New John's Lake northeast of Wilton. We spent several hours floating along, letting the breeze and the current drift us across the lake as we fished. Sometimes we used the trolling motor or the bigger gas motor to adjust our position. It was a nice quiet day at the lake for an end of summer weekend.

It seemed we were the only ones on the lake when we first arrived. There were no other trucks or boat trailers lined up near the boat ramp. And it seemed so quiet with no one else in sight. It felt as if we were the only ones out there - and that helped to make it a great day! It turned out to be partly cloudy - hot while the sun was shining directly on us and the breeze died down, but also cool when the clouds moved in overhead and the wind picked up. I spent the afternoon either putting my light-weight jacket on or taking it off - LOL!

Once we got out on the lake we could see there were a few campers parked at various spots around the lake. So there were obviously other people there. We only saw one other boat with two fishermen and their dog pass by us. There was one little camper that is the kind I would like to get. It was parked off in a private area with a truck and another vehicle there at the campsite. We were too far away to really see anyone at their campsite. I commented to my husband about how nice it would be if I already had my little vintage trailer and what fun it would be to pull it out to the lake. We could have set up camp and stayed there the whole weekend - relaxing - and enjoying the last days of summer. As it was, we only stayed around 4-5 hours with fishing.

Watching the waves and the water movement from the boat motor on the way back to the dock.Since we only caught one sun fish and put it in the live-well we considered releasing it back into the lake before we left. It was in good shape and swimming around in the live-well. We decided about midway through the day that if we didn't catch another fish we would release it if it still looked healthy. One sunfish really isn't too big a meal for two people. In the end it turned out to be in good condition and lively so we released it. We had lots of nibbles and bites. Lots of fish were jumping all around us, but no others would take that bite and let themselves be caught on our hooks. We tried various bait from live night crawlers, live minnows, assorted jigs, rapallas, and even a fake crayfish that was in the tackle-box. It would have been great to catch one of those big fish that was jumping. My dh said they were northerns or muskies.

I feel the day was just fine even though we didn't bring home any fish. We stopped and picked up one of those take-n-bake pizzas once we got back into town. The day was a good day. We had our bonding/togetherness time, got to enjoy some beautiful outdoor weather while it's still nice out, relaxed and got some sun. Yeah, me - who always burns. It was nice enough to give me a robust outdoor glow without being the burned, peeling kind of disaster.

Overall it was a wonderful afternoon. We got to do some boating, some fishing, and I got to do some dreaming of a future day when I'll have my own little blinged out vintage trailer.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Test Sewing My Trailer Design

The completed trailer design stitched out.I wanted to go ahead and get this design sewn out at least once as a test-sew before heading off to bed tonight. Here it's already (a) very late at night or (b) very early in the morning. Take your pick. That's like one of those glass is half full/empty conundrums. Depends on how you look at it.

A view while the machine was stitching the design.As I suspected when digitizing the design, it has way too many stitches for this size of a design. It needs to be made less dense so it stitches out faster. If I'm doing these or something like them in any kind of production mode they definitely have to be faster stitching. I'm also going to eliminate most of the underlay. The preferences for underlay was set to 'low' on the automatic settings, but still too many stitches underneath the design. That will shave some seconds off the total stitching time.

Here you can see the needle is just a blur. The machine sews out fairly fast, but this size design should be done with less stitches so it finishes up faster. I also noticed there doesn't seem to be a space between the words Trailer and Lover. I'll increase the gap on the words so the space is more distinct. I don't really like the white fabric showing through around the gray areas and the black on the wheels and the trailer stripe. I'll make sure that is changed when I digitize it over.

This machine is a Pfaff Creative Vision.I like the overall image of the design, but feel I should go back and manually digitize the piece to achieve a better result. I think it will be faster to redo it manually than to try to go back and tweak this design that was generated in the automatic functionality of the program. The computer almost always picks a round-about way of sequencing the stitches and it threw in too many stitches overall.

A slightly different view of the Creative Vision where the screen shows all the pertinent information.I recently had my machine in for the new update. It has been sewing a lot better than prior to the update.

A view of the design in the hoop after it was done stitching.And here is the final view right before I cut the basting stitches and removed the fabric from the hoop. A little bit of clean up with some stitches that didn't trim automatically, then tear away the stabilizer and press flat with the iron and a bit of spray starch. This one will get used for a product, even though I plan on re-working the design. I may make it up into something tomorrow afternoon.

Enough for now. It's late and I'm heading off to bed. G'nite!

Mmmn! -- Cupcakes and Little Trailers

drawing of a cupcakeJust a quick note to share with you a website I just ran across tonight. This company, Enjoy Cupcakes, is a specialty cupcake business that does their catering out of a cool little vintage trailer. How cool is that?! I found this company through the blog Notes From a Cottage Industry. Makes me wonder how they got started with this idea. Sounds like a great idea for catering to parties and events.

Heads-Up WARNING! If you take a look through their menu and photos I'm sure you're going to come away with a craving for a cupcake afterwards. Just saying . . .

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled program . . .

Digitizing Camper Embroidery Designs

I digitized this pull-behind camper from clip-art.I decided I better get a move on making some items to sell to start saving money towards my own little vintage trailer. So I took a look through the clip-art images that came with my Viking 4D Professional Embroidery Software. I wanted to check if there just might be something appropriate to use among those images. Under their vehicle (transportation?) section I found this cute little cartoon image. Thankfully I found something. Considering there are thousands of images that come with the program it took awhile to browse through just this section. I think I'll have to get busy with sketching a few of my own images for these pillows to make them more 'mine' and more wholly unique. I used my paint program to go into the .emf file and remove some portions from the original image I didn't want. It made the image too pixelated and choppy. I decided to leave it that way and see how the digitizing turned out. I have yet to actually stitch these designs out. That will be something to try later today.

Here I added some lettering to the camper image.I used the automated features of the program to do a quick digitizing job of this image, then went in and eliminated some areas from the .can file. Later when I had it digitized I went into the file and moved some stitches around and added stitches to alter the design even more. Once I stitch it out I'll see if there are areas that need more stitch manipulation. This second image you can see I used the program to add lettering below the image. Once I do some test sewing of the design I will likely tweak the wording more. I wanted some words that expressed a short and catchy saying related to camping or vintage trailers. Here my brain wasn't kicked into gear so good. This is okay, but seems kind of blah. Anyone want to leave a comment with a catching saying I could embroider instead? If I use it I'll make up a free pillow to send to you!

By the way, the extra lines showing between the letters and in some places on the image are actually jump stitches where the embroidery machine ties off the thread and jumps to another area of the design to start sewing again. They won't show up in the final product since they will either be trimmed by hand or trimmed by the embroidery machine. I have an option to choose automatic trimming if I want with my Pfaff Creative Vision machine. Sometimes this makes the design stitch out a bit slower, but saves time later since there's no hand trimming of threads. Pretty cool, huh? I love those extra options. Lots of times I have that feature turned off so it just stitches through the design faster and I'll trim threads later while watching TV or relaxing.

More lettering and musical notes added to embelish the camper image.Here is the design embellished even further. What do you think of this idea? Once the test sewing is done and I make up some little pillows I'll either sell them directly or through Etsy or Ebay. If anyone wants one of these little embroidered pillows just let me know. I'll post more about them next time - stuff like measurements, fabric content, price and number available.

I'm also thinking I might make these up as small tote bags or zippered pouches for storing small things. All proceeds will be going to my 'Vintage Trailer Fund' so I can purchase one of these little pull-behind beauties and hit the road for some fun. I so want to get started with traveling to some of the Sisters On The Fly events and even just taking my trailer out to the lake for a weekend. It would be so fun to meet up with some of the Sisters. After all, as their slogan says, "We have more fun than anyone!" I actually hate the idea of missing the White Buffalo Round Up II in Mountain Home, Arkansas on September 24-27th this year. My folks live fairly close to this area and if would have been so fun to go to the round-up then on a bit further to visit with them. Oh well, maybe next year . . . First things first - got to get a cool little trailer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Little Reminders

Whenever I drive south from my house towards the downtown area of town I pass several houses with small travel trailers. These aren't the older, vintage trailers, but rather newer, more modern looking ones. I always think about and look forward to the day I can get my own trailer. It's not something I think about every day where it is constantly on my mind. But whenever I see little reminders around town, or even on television, I dream about 'the day' . . . the day I finally get a trailer of my own.

In the meantime, I've got yearly dues to pay to stay active in my Sisters on the Fly on-line group. I need to get that sent sometime this week. They are due in August each year.

At the present time we are occupied with some remodelling in our house so I don't have the funds to even think about a vintage travel trailer at this time. We have put off re-doing the kitchen for so long now - it desperately needs some TLC. We picked up the tile for the kitchen floor on Monday. We are working on some mudding and taping to repair some wall issues in what will be our new guest room now that the boys are out of the house and it is just us two again. And we've got company scheduled to come visit the middle of next month so we are on a dead-line to get the guest room completed. Once the guest room is finished we'll move on to work on the kitchen.

It will seem odd when we start tearing the old worn out kitchen cabinets out of there. I'm still rolling some ideas around in my head on how to progress with it for now. I'm pretty set on what I want - the new configuration of cabinets and the new floorplan. We've still got time before we start so I'm tweaking ideas in my mind.

Meanwhile, little reminders come to me at times that lead me to dream . . . to dream of a day to come when I get my own little vintage trailer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Girl Can Dream

I dream of owning a vintage trailer.Isn't it so dreamy? I would love a little vintage trailer similar to this one that I saw on-line. It would be so fun to have one now and take it out to the lake when we go fishing. We could camp out for the entire weekend and have a great time. Something this size would be extremely easy to pull and manipulate on the backroads and highways.

We recently had the pleasure of meeting up with some neighbors from years ago when the kids were little. Their son and our sons were great friends. I came to find out about a week or so too late that they had access to a little vintage trailer that used to be theirs. The current owners were looking to sell it - and I missed it! And to hear it was in good condition with no leaks and was going for only $450. Ouch! I am so disapointed I missed out on it. That would have been even better to have a story behind the history of the trailer passed down from someone I know. Oooh, that's just terrible. I could just kick myself that I didn't find out just a little bit earlier.

Needless to say I am still looking for my trailer. I know one day I will find it . . . or it will find me. It would be fun to do so soon. Meanwhile a girl can dream . . . of little vintage trailers, buttercup yellow, fun little traveling cottages, all blinged out and ready to go glamping.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Want a Vintage Travel Trailer

I joined up with the Sisters On The Fly awhile ago, but have not been able to attend any of their camping events yet. I am Sister #1129. Wow, more than a thousand of us out there! And I understand they're growing more every day. That's lots of Sisters to meet online and on the road.

One major drawback for me is that I don't have a travel trailer yet. That has become one of my goals to accomplish. I want to get a travel trailer and go glamping (glamour camping as described at Mary Jane's Farm) in a fun, blinged out trailer and spend some time in the great outdoors. Most of the Sisters have acquired vintage trailers from the 50's, 60's and early 70's that they refurbish into cute little cottages on wheels. I'm looking forward to joining in on the fun - but firt things first. Gotta get the trailer.

Originally I was thinking I could find an older trailer and do the refurbishing myself. I have been looking on ebay, craig's list and various on-line sites. So far the ones I've seen seem to be many states away. At this time that is too far a distance to travel. Another major issue is the fact we do not have a garage where I can work on this baby. It is possible to do it in our driveway, but may be an huge problem if this runs into the fall and winter season. Living in the northern plains we experience such a short summer season.

I have located a source in Montana where I can purchase a trailer that has already been remodeled and ready for tweaking with my own personal touches. I think this is the way to go. Now to come up with the money to do so.

I plan to finance this operation through sales of a variety of products produced through my own small business efforts. These products will be presented for sale through notification at this blog, my etsy site, and ebay auctions. Once I get production up I hope to reach out to some other venues as well. I'll keep updating info as it comes along. And I'll publish photos and info as I go.

Feel free to leave comments and encouragement.