Category: Cabinets

Before and After

Before and After

Camper christening day!Camper on a cake.Sometimes you keep plodding along on a project and don’t quite see how epic it is until you look back to the beginning to compare the “before” and the “after”. Hang on, this is a philosophical post!

We had a tiny “christening” party for the camper this last weekend. I decided to put together a video and some “before and after” collages so folks could see the scope of work that this project entailed. I didn’t expect the images to have such an emotional impact on me, but because they represent everything we’ve been through in the last couple of years, I got a wee bit verklempt looking through the photos. The project was a repairing and renewing in so many ways. Taking endings and making them into beginnings……

(Here’s a video of before/after shots and the christening! Full screen is best viewing; if you want to read the text on the collages, just scoll down this page to see the collages.)

BEFORE/AFTER collages:

Front of camper. Camper, aft. Camper, starboard side.

vintage camper, port side camper kitchen yellowstone dinette

rear bed in the camper interior of vintage camper what's in the camper cupboards?

My art is about “before and after”, too. The journeys to find the pieces to paint, how they are prepped for painting, and what they become as they are painted. But their story doesn’t end there. The “after” also includes the future and the energy that they bring into their new homes! I’ve also had “afters” come to me years later in the form of notes from long-ago clients, which are such an unexpected and delightful blessing! Below: A “before” of my bowls and two of the pieces I finished last week. “Blue Eye” (hamsa hand) and “Yucca” (dot painting) are now in my etsy shop.

Vintage bowls to sand and paint!  Blue Eye Hamsa bowl  "Yucca" painted bowl with lots of dots.
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It’s the same thing with the camper, and in LIFE! The “after” of any project, any experience, doesn’t end in a single moment — the “after” continues on, weaving itself into new beginnings and new “before’s”. Life is really a circle, not a beginning and ending.
New beginnings for old items: (below) Vintage tins from my dear friend, Tracy, now reside in the camper cupboard. The portable mini bar that I made was embellished with items from my Gran (earring), John’s mom (red felt interior), and John (a pull from his long-ago cabinet shop). The vintage Thermos was my Granny’s (and brings back funny memories of fishing with her), the trivet is a cherished gift (also from Tracy, who loves vintage as much as I do), and the SOB cup was from one of our long trips to GA/FL. All of these things, which had their “ending” somewhere else…now have new beginnings with us. That makes my heart smile.

Mini bar made of found items.  Vintage tins in the cupboard.  Vintage items on the counter.

Until next time…cherish ALL of your moments…the gritty, dirty, messy “before’s” as well as the joyous, shiny, oh-my-God-we-got-through-it “afters”. They ALL matter. And the “afters” lead to wonderful new beginnings.
Gratitude Attitude,
Eclectic Dawn

WI Trip and Camper Update

WI Trip and Camper Update

We’ve got it covered – literally!Love my vintage camper!
The Aquatomic Lounge cushions are covered, the bed has sheets and covers, the front step is covered, our outdoor table has a now-grommeted covering, the propane tanks are covered, and I’ve got covered dishes for the microwave…but, WAIT…I need to back up a wee bit! The camper build was done a couple weeks ago, but we didn’t haul the camper to our home until after WE got home from a family reunion in Wisconsin.

Schmidt Family Reunion 2015Our first stop on the trip was Mom’s in Iola, then the reunion in Chili, then Dad’s in Menasha. Whew! We had a wonderful time, but, as always, the visit was too short to see everybody and do “all-the-things”. I also did touch-ups on my murals at Little Explorers in Madison, and it was nice to see my Madison people again!

John is furthering his education of “all things Wisconsin” (deep fried curds, Friday perch fry, Spotted Cow, “or what”) and got to meet more of my Schmidt family. He’s passed the pronunciation test of Mukwanago, Menomonie, Shawano, Kaukauna, and Oconomowoc. He knows that the home of the Packers is pSchmidt signronounced Green BAY, not GREEN Bay, like many sportscasters say it. I used to live on Packerland Drive IN Green Bay, so trust me, I know how to say it!

Staying with the “covered” theme, we DID take covered dishes to the party: my famous taco dip, and JohnnyV’s yummy antipasto! Blessed with a beautiful sunny day for the reunion at Jim and Maureen’s homestead, it was great to share stories and catch up with our cousins!
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Iola car show office  Iola Car Show office  JR's, Waupaca
Above: At the Iola Car Show office w/Ms. Schwartz (Iola is the largest car show in the Midwest). Next pic: Iola commemorative cars from each year. Eating perch at JR’s in Waupaca, a local favorite tavern/petting zoo.
My brother, Eric  My brother, Rich.  Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet
My brothers, Eric and Rich, and me. The drink that always says, “You’re in Wisconsin” to me: a BOFS (Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet). No other state knows how to make these – one place in Florida served me a whiskey sour when I asked for an Old Fashioned. The horror! I never found anyone in Florida who knew what it was, unless they were a transplant.
Fun Fact: There are more brandy drinkers in WI than anywhere else. According to an article in regarding WI brandy consumption: “Wisconsin is our number one state,” says Margie Healy, director of public relations for the California-based Korbel. “We export 385,000 cases a year, and 139,000 go directly to Wisconsin. That’s one-third of our total production.”

Bowls to paint!Flamingo PurseArt pic: I brought home a BUNCH of bowls to paint! There are some fantastic shapes in this pile, too! I’ve got a bunch sanded and can’t wait to start painting them this week! If you want to see what I do with them, look in my etsy shop (link opens in a new window). And lastly, my adorable flamingo purse I scored at Cracker Barrel, which go great with the lil’ cow purse from Dad.

The vintage camper update:
The Aquatomic Lounge was towed home from the shop on August 11 (in the pouring rain and threat of hail). She’s almost completely ready inside! We enjoyed an evening of hanging out and sleeping in it last night (August 15th), and it was comfy! Lola approved! We will be having a christening party for her soon.

Hooking up trailer.  1966 Yellowstone vintage camper  card  card interior
Above: bringing it home. A sweet gift from the friends who let us use their shop space for a very long time.

space ducks  Star Trek swoosh noisemaker  potti closet mirror  potti closet mirror, tp holder
Above: TINY space duckies on a TINY vintage shelf above the door. The Star Trek motion-activated door “swoosher” (info on the resources page). I can’t wait to see people’s faces when they come in and hear it. Our potti closet now has a mirror and TP. I just had to show off my “girls just wanna have vintage” shirt I found.

Cushions - finally!  Red vinyl cushions  New cushions.  Step cover
Above: Our new cushions with an old skool look. Our new step cover (listed in camper resources).

Rear bunk.  Works for me!  Lola usurps my bed.  Lola shows off the lights
The rear bed, all made up and ready for a snooze! Lola approved. Check out the star lights in action! The Astro Girl is floating amongst the stars in the last photo – look closely! (Items are listed in camper resources.)

The star light.  concrete in bucket 
Large star light in action above the rear bed (light listed in the camper resources post). Concrete and pvc in a bucket, and now it’s a holder for mega-pinwheel!
Propane tank cozies!  Propane Tank Covers
I finished the propane tank “cozies” yesterday – too funny! (Fabric listed in camper resources.)

That was a LOT to do and a LOT to get done in two weeks! Now that we’ve covered “all that”, I need to go cover some bowls with paint! Until next time, we’ll get it covered!
Eclectic Dawn
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