Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Calliope, Part VI.2: We Do Even More Stuff

The construction continues, sometimes delayed until we manage to scrounge up funds for the next wave of necessary supplies. We are funneling every spare cent and minute into the project. It's become our Baby. Or perhaps we've become obsessed?
Naaaahh. Just dedicated!

The front porch is built with recycled decking material, and Dore builds a toolbox on the other end of the trailer, which also houses the battery that powers the electrical system. When we're parked, a solar panel set on the roof charges the battery. He cleverly rigs the toolbox with a little light that comes on when the lid is opened, just like in the refrigerator!
We spend the Lowe’s gift certificate my Mom gave us for our anniversary on expensive, iridescent glass tile for kitchen area backsplash. It’s like we’re building and decorating our dream home, but on a teeny-tiny scale. I learn that installing tile is kind of a pain in the ass, especially when you’re working in a tiny sweatbox in 90 degree heat.
Dore builds a nifty medicine cabinet into the wall with a mirrored door and vanity light and hooks to hang up my jewelry. He installs a row of switches that control the various lights and ventilation fan. He modifies the pair of $12 votive candle lanterns I find at Home Goods to LED lamps that plug into the electrical system but can be taken down for travel. They look really cool.
The roof is constructed of wood topped with resin-soaked fiberglass fabric and spray painted with heat-reflecting silver. Dore installs a ventilation hatch and fan. I get the idea of having an ornate Victorian pressed-tin ceiling, but discover its way too expensive and heavy. Then I find some embossed wallpaper ($7 a roll!) that has a similar pattern. We spend a challenging (and rather comical) couple of hours wrestling soggy, drooping, slimy wallpaper onto the ceiling. This involves lots of climbing around each other and dipping and stretching and spreading and twisting and rubbing and sweating and cursing. Dore paints it with hammered silver spray paint and it turns out awesome.
The futon mattress salvaged from the original camper is manhandled into place. Sliding doors under the bed are adorned and installed. We get a cheap frosted glass ceiling lampshade from Home Depot and I decorate it with Sharpie marker and glue acrylic jewels to it.
Dore builds a round-topped door and we put in a church window frame that used to be some weird thing my Mom gave me years ago that was wrapped in fake ivy with a candleholder attached. I paint some more faux stained-glass to drop in behind it and paint the door with a design that incorporates the name “Calliope” mirrored in an elaborate decorative font.

To give the exterior some cohesion (as well as a whimsical old-fashioned look), I envision the lower half of the walls swathed in multi-colored shingles all the way around. We spend 3 days doing nothing but cutting and painting strips of faux shingles out of Luan. We nail them on in overlapping layers and finish them with a strip of decorative molding.
I design ornate “wings” to flank the porch. Dore somehow uses a combination of power and hand tools to shape these curving, swooping shapes that frame the porch. We top the porch posts with “crystal” balls stolen from the ends of our bedroom curtain rods.
Dore rigs up the brake lights and mounts the license plate on the back. We are road ready.

(Concluded in Part VII…)

1 comment:

  1. It has became your baby, just as I've mentioned in previous posts! The sweat, blood, all adds up! Lol


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