Thursday, October 4, 2018

Painted n' Polished

I've been a busy girl this week. I've completed the sign for my neighbours. Today I applied the top coat rain protection stuff over the letters and all I have to do now is wait for it to dry and we're good to go!

These look much greener in person.

I did the lettering differently this time. Rather than cutting out the letters and using them as stencils I used pencil on the back of the print out and traced it like carbon paper (if that makes sense) and then free handed the lettering.

My neighbours on the other side would like a Harry Potter themed sign. There are two sites there, owned by one family, so my idea was to create one sign for them both and put it in the center. For their sign I wanted to do something joined, but it still had to be HP themed. First I thought of a brilliant idea - Harry's glasses - but when I drew it out it wound up just looking like boobs. Then I thought of a Yin-Yang to represent the joining of the two sites, but it is not really HP themed. Then I googled HP things and came up with the oracle from Professor Trelawney's class. 

This is what I came up with ... sort of an oracle combined with the yin-yang, but with the tails pointing towards the sites. I like it. I hope they do too.

The lady from site M2 messaged me today. She wants Narnia. It is going to be a harder one for me, because while I have watched the movies and read the first book I'm not as familiar with it as I am with other adventurous fairy tales. She doesn't need her sign until the Spring so I have all winter to design in. M5 and M6 are only getting their site #'s right now. The rest will be done over winter after I get a chance to talk to them about the cost.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

All Cut Up

Yesterday I had a day off work, so I decided to be productive. I went to Service Ontario, where last week when I got a temp sticker for the truck (because we had intended on selling it) they told me I did not need an emissions test this year, but (run-on-sentence much) apparently the status has changed (now that I decided to keep the truck) and it needs an emissions test before I can get a new plate sticker. So I got another temp, and Michael has some running around to do.

After that I went to the Home Depot and bought some supplies for my neighbour's sign ...

When I got home I drew the signs onto the wood, printed the lettering to size (I will have to cut these out in order to use them as stencils later) and got to chopping. 

I am extra proud of myself for this part because for my sign I had Michael do all the cutting. I watched him to see how he did it though, and this time was able to get it all done on my own.

Once the cutting and sanding was done it was time for stain. I chose a colour called Sagebrush Green to compliment their trailer colours and because the Lord of the Rings has a lot of beautiful green scenery. It's also an antique-y kind of colour to compliment the type of sign it is as well as to match, but not exactly, my sign. Supplies cost me around $82. I am not charging them for my time, because they've been so helpful with a lot for us, but if anyone else wants a sign like this (or with whatever theme) I will charge a flat rate of $150-$175 depending on what is involved.

L to R
Isengard, Rivendell, Mordor, The Shire, Middle Earth, M3, Gondor

Next week I will cut out the lettering and get it painted on. We're putting the post in the ground today, but the signs won't be ready until next weekend (hopefully). Michelle (from M3) has no idea what it is going to look like. She only knows she chose the theme. I can't wait to see the look on her face. I showed her husband, Tim, and he said she's going to be thrilled. :)

PS. I'm going to stamp the back, somehow (suggestions!) with "Sign Designs by Samantha Rogers" ... maybe I've started a new career. ;)

Monday, September 24, 2018

I'm Famous!

Okay, so I'm not really famous, but my trailer sign has sparked quite the buzz in the trailer park. People pull up to it and take pictures, they stop and chat to me about it. I've been walking by people and heard them talking about "that lamp post with all the signs on it" on Main Street (that's my road).

My next door neighbours, at M3, are fantastic. Tim, he works at the park in the summer, has been a great help to us getting set up, etc.. Michelle, his wife, and I hit it off right away. They have a little daughter named Sammy, she is 8. She's cute. She and Ethan, while there is a bit of an age gap, get along well. The other night they went to Chocolate Bar Bingo together and then Michelle gave Ethan (and Sammy) a ride around the park in their golf cart. That made his day. :)

So anyway ... Michelle fell in love with my sign and, two weekends ago, asked if I would make her one ("I will pay for everything!!") in a Lord of the Rings theme. Last weekend (Fri the 21st) I met the lady from M2. She, too, requested a sign, in a Narnia theme. Tim said to them "she just got here, give her a chance to settle in" ... LOL. Michelle wasn't there when M2 asked for a sign (I can't remember her name right now, starts with a J) but the next day Tim told her. She came over to me and asked me how much it would cost because she wanted to pay me up front right then and there. I said "not to worry, you're first on my list" ...

THEN the next nights my neighbours at M5/M6 (it's two trailers owned by the same family) requested a Harry Potter themed sign. We are the first trailers people see when they turn into our section of the park, so it would be nice if we all kind of had a theme. I also kind of like being in control of the signs. My OCD really loves that they're all going to match. :D

I am definitely making one for Michelle. I've already started planning it. The other two will have to wait for Spring. I'm not going to stain the sign for M3 the same colour as mine. I'm thinking it will be good in a antique mossy green or something like that. Maybe even do a dark espresso wood colour. Thoughts?

Preliminary drawing stage. Still needs a little tweaking.

I got my squirrel feeder up!! We planted cedar bushes around it, so it isn't just sitting in the middle of nowhere ...

I planted a rose of sharon tree and brought my little flamingos from home to protect it. A little friend decided to hang out for a bit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Parked and Marked

After what seemed like eons we finally got our trailer parked into our permanent spot, and our sign is up. YAY! I can't wait to spend more time there. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Little Helper

I've been knitting again (it feels like forever since I picked up the needles) but I can't show you what it is because Marlin is such a good little helper.

I'm knitting a bunch of items to (hopefully) sell at the trailer park. Lots of people sell hand-made crafty things there and a couple times a season they have craft sales, where people set up tables and sell their stuff. I don't know how much I'll sell, but it gives me something to knit. The orange blob under the orange blob is a baby sweater. The green is just what I used to hold the sleeves. I'm about 1/2 way done.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Back to the Drawing Board

Last night when I got home from work Michael had played Tetris with my boxes again. He had it set up differently than what I had left it.

Marlin is very helpful.
And then he got fancy ...

And now the family cannot decide what configuration to make it. It wouldn't matter so much if I wasn't planning to screw the boxes together in their final form for stability (and so the dogs don't knock them over).

I think I'm going to stain 3 aqua and 3 grey and go from there, playing with the design ... though Marlin seems to like the first one best.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Here I Go Again ...

The number one problem with trailer life is storage space and keeping things neat and tidy (with a family of five, plus five pets). My biggest storage pet peeve is footwear and bike helmets outside the trailer door. Shoes get kicked off at random, helmets get tossed down, creating a mess and a tripping hazard.

This is my solution:

Once I got the boxes home we played a game of Tetris with them trying to decide on a configuration. These were the three options.

After much debate and a family vote, the staircase stack won out. 

But wait! I'm not finished yet! I have more! I'm going to stain the boxes (and label one for each family member -- the top one is for dog leashes) ... I just have to choose a stain pattern. Keeping in mind the deck will be a dark wood colour similar to this (though the deck style won't look like this one), which pattern do you like the best? (Colour spread sheet idea stolen from Valerie).

I will be using the leftover stain from the signs (aged grey) and the squirrel feeder (antique aqua). I also plan to put a plant on the top of each stack. 

Michael isn't sick of my projects yet, but I'm thinking once I start giving him the ones on the list he needs to help with that will change ...

Monday, August 13, 2018

Pets in the Wilderness

Anyone who knows me at all - even in the slightest - knows I love squirrels. Red squirrels, black squirrels, grey squirrels, big fat fluffy squirrels. They are adorable. Their antics are hilarious. If I could hug them and pet them all I would.

At home I sprinkle peanuts under the bird feeder and on the front porch; I put out bits of fruit for them as well. At the trailer, however, we don't want to encourage them to come too near the trailer, so to my dismay, Michael put his foot down and said we will not be inviting them into our area.

We were at the local Farmer's Market on Saturday, shopping at my favourite turkey shoppe (they are amazing and have turkey sausage that cater to my allergies). Right by the exit, for as long as I can remember, there has been a man who does wood working. He builds bird feeders and houses and other cutesy garden things. On this day, we spotted something new, something different, something exciting ... a squirrel feeder!

To my absolute joy Michael decided right then and there that I needed to have this for at the trailer. We'll put it on a post a little ways off the deck, but I'll be able to watch them eat.

You see, they climb up the pole and into the jar and sit and eat. The woodworking man lives out in the country and tests each and every one of his designs. I imagine his property is covered with adorable little feeders, houses and whimsies! He assured me the squirrels do not get stuck. He did say, however, it can take a few days for them to realise what this is and how they get their food from it. It's okay though, I have patience.

There is a lid currently on the jar, that comes off.
The plain wood colour is nice for some people, but not for me. I wanted something a little prettier and a little more campy, so today I made my way to the Home Depot and picked out some stain.

Once it dries I will put the jar back in and take a better picture. I did wear gloves for the staining process, but I always manage to make a mess of myself.

At least it matches my nails ...

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Art and Going Fast

When we decided to park the trailer at a permanent site rather than towing everywhere we toyed with the idea of not getting another truck -- in the weeks prior we had test drove several. Well, as soon as we park our trailer at site M4 we are putting our beloved Tahoe (Eleanor) up for sale. I will probably cry when she sells. I love her. She's just too old and is now costing us more money than we want to spend on maintenance.

On Monday, Michael bought himself a "new" car. It's older, but he bought it from the original owners and it is (literally) in mint condition (even my dad approves and he has always been hyper critical of the vehicles we buy). I won't ever be driving it, because it has a manual transmission. He hasn't named it yet. He's considering Hector or Janet. I'll let you know ...

In other news:

Today was a super productive day for my trailer sign. I cut out all the lettering with my handy dandy exacto pen.

While I sliced and diced, Lily got her paint on. She is such a talented artist. She really sees things. How they should be, how they could be. She has the artists touch and the artists eye, so I entrusted her with the painting.

She did a fantastic job with my stencils and requested she be able to add her own "touch" to some of the signs so I left her to do her thing. I am absolutely floored and in love with the final product.

All we need to do now is add a clear coat, get them mounted to the post and put it in the ground on the trailer site. I'm over the moon with how this is turning out. :)

Monday, July 30, 2018

Signs in Progress

Yesterday, with the help of my husband, all of my signs got cut out. He did all the cutting because he's more skilled. I can work the jig saw, but I would have had to redraw at least some of the signs had it been my lesser skill level cutting them out.

Once he was done his part of the project I took over again with the sanding and staining. Next is putting on the lettering, but that won't be until next weekend, likely. The final two steps will bring Michael back into the picture, as I will need his help mounting them to their post and, in September, putting it in the ground where we will be parking our trailer. :)

The arrows are not pointing in the directions they'll be in when they're mounted to their pole, but they are in the correct order. From left to right is from top to bottom ... Tatooine, M4, Hogwarts, Hill Valley, Narnia, OZ, Wonderland.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Sign Me Up

I don't know if you have ever been to a trailer park, but if you have been you'll know that everyone has some sort of cute or quirky sign that reflects their personality, or their family's personality (as a whole). I grew up in a trailer park (visiting) every summer and I loved walking around looking at and reading signs and laughing (or when I was quite young not understanding the humour, but realising as I got older how funny they actually were).

When we bought our first trailer a decade ago I started dreaming of having our own quirky family sign, but since we always traveled with our trailer and didn't have a permanent home for it, a sign never came into fruition.

Well now, as my excitement bubbles, my creativity flows. I have designed our family the perfect sign for our trailer sight.

Here's my sketch (this is the final sketch of about 15) and though it was my favourite there have been some changes made once I started putting pencil to wood.

While I'm sure you recognize most of the destinations on most of the directional arrows, I'm not sure (maybe I mentioned it) if you will recognize what destination "M4" is. Well, that's our trailer lot number. The arrows won't all be flat on the front of the post, they'll be pointing this-a-way and that-a-way. It's whimsical, nerdy, and in my ever so bias opinion, really freaking cool.

Tatooine points up because, well, Tatooine is in space. Wonderland points down, because Alice falls in a hole and tumbles into the Earth to get there.

I tried to make each of my arrows reflective of the character of the book or movie. The fonts will be done in official book/movie fonts for each of them as well.

You can't see it but under all those papers I have sketched out my arrows. On Sunday we (Michael and I) are going to cut them out and then I'll get to sanding to make them look a little more rustic than fresh cut wood. After that it will be time for staining and then paint for the lettering; the latter of which will be the most difficult I'm sure.

Monday, July 23, 2018


On July seventeenth I turned forty years old. What is it like to be forty? The same as any other age. It's just a bigger number. I've never been bothered by age. Maybe that will change in a decade, or maybe two, but somehow I don't think so. It's a mindset. You're only as old as you believe ... or as old as your body tells you you are, and that varies day by day.

On the occasion of my fortieth birthday I was gifted with a wonderfully splendid and thoughtful -- best gift ever -- present from my very best friend Valerie over at Wandering Cat.

I don't know if you saw it over on her blog, but she gave me the Superstar quilt she made. I have used it a lot already; at home and in the trailer.

Here is a shot of Ezra enjoying it in the trailer.

On my bed at home.

Thank you, Valerie, from the bottom of my heart. It truly is my most favourite gift to date. It'll be hard to top it next year. ;) LYLAS.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

It's a Trailer Life for Me

We have been towing our (various) trailers to many different locations for about a decade. Last week we went to a little local park for the week and within 24 hours we were in love with it. The park itself is gorgeous, the beach and water are clean, the people are friendly and welcoming to new people, but respectful of privacy too. It is close to the county bike path so if we wanted to leave the park to bike we could, or even bike to the park (about 45 minutes) from home. If I run around the lake 3 times it's about 5 kilometers. It is far enough away we can leave the city behind us, but close enough to home (it's 15-20 minutes away) we would get a lot of use of it, we could even drive to work. This park has everything we want ... so we bought a seasonal site for 2019.

We take possession of our site (M4) on September 4, 2018. The park is open until the end of October, so we will have two months to use it this year. Then next year it is open from May 1st to October 31st.

Me on my new site!
I can't wait to share all my trailer-ey crafts and pictures of our site as we make it our home away from home. We are trying to come up with a witty name for it ... like some people have it "So and So's Cozy Corner" or something like that. We'd like to come up with something original that reflects our family. BUT we also don't want it to be trashy. Though I do want THIS sign ...

So true.
We are all super geared up for our new adventure at the RV park. We told the kids we are taking down, and selling, the pool, since they barely use it now and they'll be able to swim at the park (and they all like the lake better anyway) so if you know anyone who wants it ...

Here are a few more pictures from last week.
Our trailer

There is fishing in the lake, but just not at that spot.