A final word about gingham curtains

I’m sure there are plenty of craft blogs out there and I have no intention of turning this into another one. However, at the risk of confusing everyone who arrived at this blog having Googled ‘how to fit campervan cabinets’ (and alienating everyone else) I am going to indulge in one final post about my affiliation with gingham fabric.

A few weeks ago, I bought some beautiful red gingham material, which would be perfect for the quintessential campervan curtain.  Since then, I have been looking, unsuccessfully, for some upholstery fabric to match.  The stripy fabric that Paul’s so keen to use for the seat covers would clash horribly. Plain red fabric would work well with the gingham, but next to all the red cupboards might create an ambience more ‘brothelesque’ than would be desireable.  So I have reluctantly admitted defeat. There will be no gingham in this campervan. We have bought the bright stripy fabric for the seats and I am now on the search for a plainer fabric for the curtains.

So this picture is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it means I finally managed to thread the bobbin on my new sewing machine and produce something resembling a tissue case. Hurrah! On the other hand, it means that my beautiful gingham, which had so much potential, is destined to spend the remainder of its days protecting packs of Kleenex.

So put your orders in now while my bobbin is still in place. I have samples of gingham fabric in red, lilac, navy, black and lime green. How I ever thought lime green curtains would match red cupboards, I’m not sure.

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Another day, another trip to Bunnings

This morning, like most Sunday mornings this year, started with a trip to Bunnings. Indeed, Paul even leapt out of bed saying, ‘Got to get up, got to get to Bunnings’, with the sort of enthusiasm usually reserved for those days when you’re hoping to find an overflowing stocking at the end of your bed.

For people reading this blog overseas, Bunnings Warehouse is a chain of massive DIY stores. They have a sausage sizzle at the entrance and a cheery lady in an apron who welcomes you in. Paul visits at least twice every weekend. And not just because he doesn’t get fed at home (he doesn’t always have a sausage) but because he usually gets sidetracked and forgets something, so has to go back.

Although I probably don’t approach a trip to Bunnings with quite the same vigour, I still tag along every couple of weeks. Last time I spent the time wandering the length of the aisles trying to work out how many products they must stock. A serendipitous visit to their website later revealed the answer – it’s over 45,000. So there you go – it’s very big, and if you’re into DIY, it sells absolutely everything you could want. I am not into DIY, and still usually end up with an armful of treasures I didn’t realise I needed.  The trouble is, Bunnings uses the same technique as Ikea and places all the intriguing and bargainous bits at the end of the aisles. You know this is a cunning marketing trick. You know that you don’t really need another miniature torch for your handbag or any more self-cleaning eco mops, but somehow, they find their way into your basket.

Anyway, there was a point to this post, which is that so far, we have bought almost everything we’ve needed for the campervan from Bunnings. Along with three torches, this has included:

All the cabinets

Laminate flooring and insulation

Bathroom sink

Waste water and fresh water tanks

Panels for bathroom walls (sold as pantry doors)

3,000 jigsaw blades

Initially we thought we’d have to get most bits from independent suppliers and caravan stockists, but they’ve been much cheaper and more readily available from Bunnings. We’ll still have to buy the specific electrical parts from a camping store, as well as things like the water heater, but if anyone is approaching a similar project, try a DIY store first before spending a fortune at other places.

Having spent the morning extolling the virtues of Bunnings, I think I will email them now in case they would like to sponsor my site.

Campervan layout – a feat of architectural design?

Before we started work on the van and it was still an empty shell, it was hard to imagine we’d be able to squeeze in a kitchen, bathroom and living room without it all looking very cramped. Yet somehow, now the furniture is in and the walls are up, it’s like our little minibus was always destined to be a cosy campervan. Everything just fits. It is compact and bijou! Clearly all those Thursday nights we’ve spent watching seven series of Grand Designs have been worth it – Kevin would be proud! (Actually, Kevin would say it could have been even better if we’d employed an architect, but never mind.)


The internal structure is quite defined now, and the walls have gone up between the bathroom and kitchen. Paul bought these as pantry doors and used a cardboard template to cut them to shape around the side of the van. The bathroom door will be a bit trickier. Ideally we’d want a rectangular panel that slides across the gap, but the position of the wheel arches on either side means it could only open half way. So the options are to fit a double door that opens into the bathroom, or hang a few strings of beads. That one’s still on the drawing board.

 

The toilet and bathroom basin are now bolted down, and the back of the toilet is fixed to another panel to facilitate the rear-entry swivel benefits, as shown below.


The seating is coming along, and the next stage will be to construct and fit an extra horizontal panel that will hinge out to form a bed. This has been a more contentious issue than you would probably imagine, and the subject of many robust discussions between Paul and his various campervan advisers. Whichever method he chooses, it’ll be one of the next jobs.

A lot of the work coming up will be less visible and includes the wiring and electrics. My sewing machine has now arrived and I may attempt another place mat before launching into the cushions. Thank you to everyone who has expressed a preference for a particular fabric. Surprisingly, almost everyone chose the same one.

(I suspect a conspiracy.)