Friday, August 16, 2013

Storing the trailer

We had a little bit of a conundrum about where to store the trailer.  Our HOA is pretty strict about putting an old trailer in your driveway for an extended period of time, so we knew we had to do something.  (Funny, though - the guy down the street NEVER mows his lawn and it's half dead and there are huge weeds growing up through the cracks of his driveway.  Whatever.)

Anywho, we decided to rebuild the little fence between the house and the garage so that a section could be lifted out and the trailer pulled through.  To conceal the trailer once it was in the backyard, we hung flags on a lattice and hung that from the breezeway.  It has worked so far - no nasty letters from the HOA!  My favorite part is the "Come and Take It" flag.  A little Texas patriotism along with a little Chutzpah! 

Screen Door

A quick entry - Marc built a new screen door a while back and I forgot to mention it.  Here it is!  The old one was nasty and rotten.  Doesn't this look nice? 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

More Glamping!

I found a wonderful seamstress to make some pillows for Sparky - thanks, Nikki!  Since I'm going for a vintage Texas cowboy theme, I thought Davy Crockett pillows might be appropriate.  As far as I know, my ancestors didn't know Davy personally, but they did know Sam Houston, and even hosted him at their Red River area home in Clarksville as he made his way to Texas.  Huzzah!

My seamstress made a quilt from all the leftover scraps from the curtains and pillows. 
Isn't it beautiful?


Why Sparky?

I have thought for a long time about what to call my trailer.  I settled on Sparky the Siesta because my maiden name is Sparks and my Sparks ancestors truly were Texas cowboys.  The Sparkses came to Texas right after the Texas Revolution and have been raising hell ever since :)

Here's the real Sparky - my great uncle Leslie "Sparky" Sparks.  Like many of my more recent Sparks ancestors, he worked the early oil fields in Texas.  I even have an ancestor who was at Spindletop! I remember my great uncle Sparky as a kind, gentle soul - a really sweet man.  I wish I could have known him better. 

 Here are some of my other Sparks ancestors.
Edward and Worthy "Word" Sparks

Sparky's grandpa, William Milam Sparks
Cattle driver (and sometime rustler!)

James Christian Sparks and Joseph Madison Sparks

Milam Sparks and boys

Sparky's parents
Arthur Worthy and Maggie Sparks

Saturday, August 3, 2013


The day before Easter, Marc fell down the stairs and broke his ankle so badly that he had to have surgery. 
While he was recuperating, I trailerscaped.

Decorating fun

Some of my decorating...not done...just starting.

I changed the bottom ruffle on these curtains to a darker green.  This color was just too bright for me.

Some setbacks


Well, somehow we left the door to the trailer open long enough to allow one of our cats in and he clawed our newly reupholstered seats a little.  I was NOT a happy camper.  We haven't even camped in it yet!  Worse yet, we had a blowing, raining storm and we had not sealed up the back very well.  (We were waiting to put on the new J-Rail until we finished up the front,) The back leaked and we had to tear out the wood and rebuild it all over again.  At this point, I was feeling really low and ready to throw in the towel.  But I got over it and we pressed on!  I have no pictures to document the rebuild as we were both too pissed off to take any :)

Check out the trailer shoes my student made for me!

Adventures at the DMV

We started thinking that it might be a good idea to get the ball rolling on transferring the title. We knew it might be tricky because 1) The title says it's a homemade trailer 2) The owner we bought the trailer from had never transferred the title to his name and 3) The trailer had two VIN #'s.  Apparently, the PO couldn't find the one on the tongue of the trailer, so he had the state of Colorado issue a new one, which we found on a plaque on the tongue.   

A rubbing of the real (original) VIN
The Colorado "Assigned" VIN

Luckily, the transfer went smoothly,  We decided to leave it as a homemade trailer and deal with that later.  Let's not tempt fate!  Remember Sheldon at the DMV? 
"Look at that sign up there. Does it say I give a damn?" 

Reupholstering the dinette seats

I was not brave enough to try and reupholster the seats myself, so I had it done.  I wanted to save the original vinyl because it had longhorns and cattle brands embossed on it, but I was only able to save some pieces to incorporate into the new seats.  We removed the dinette table to install new laminate.  Marc decided to rebuild the table.  Didn't he do a nice job? We picked a light yellow laminate to go with the floor.  I would have liked boomerang or some really cool retro stuff, but it was expensive.  The yellow laminate we picked has a little "wave" pattern, so that's cool.  While he was at it, he did the kitchen counter as well.  It looks GREAT!

Choosing fabrics

I took some time away from the grunt work to pick out some fabrics for the trailer.  I know the western theme is so popular it's almost cliche, but I like it.  I'm a 7th generation Texan, and my ancestors really were cattle drivers, so I went with a vintage-y 1940's cowboy theme.  I found a nice old western bedspread, some barkcloth and other cowboy linens to coordinate.  I don't really want a red/white/blue Texas Lone Star theme - I like the tans, greens and a touch of red.  We'll see if that color scheme works out.

Tearing out the front rot

Once Marc got the back end together, we reluctantly started on the front.  We knew there was probably a bunch of rot, and we were right!  When we first started replacing wood on the back end, we didn't realize how hard it would be to get flat wood to become round on this very round canned ham, so we weren't looking forward to this part. The front end of the trailer doesn't have as sharp of a curve, so it actually turned out to be quite a bit easier than the back.

Pretty, huh?

Moo moo the cat approves!  His approval was appreciated until he decided to mess up some of our hard work.  See a later entry for details :(
The original skin on the front end was BAD - lots of pock marks from rocks and stuff, so we got Arcs and Sparks to make new metal skin for the front.  I was very pleased with the result!

Installing the A/C

While we were redoing the inside, we decided to go ahead and add an under-the-bed A/C.  We also ordered a 3/4 mattress off 

We modified a little pan to put under the A/C.  It vents out the baggage door.

This setup is convenient, but after installing it, I find that it's not as efficient as putting it in the closet or somewhere up high.  After testing it, our feet are REALLY cold!  Our heads - not so much.  It's okay, but not as great as I had hoped.

Sanding (and Sanding and Sanding) and Shellacking

I sanded and re-shellacked the interior wood while Marc continued putting the back end back together.  May I say, I HATE shellac.  It just doesn't want to work in this Texas heat and humidity, but I did it anyway.