Sunday, November 2, 2014


Many noticed I was a bit AWOL this Summer. 
I'd like to introduce you to why. 
The newest love of my life and current design project obsession....
She's a riveted, vintage, 
Airstream beauty.

Stella is a 1976 Airstream Argosy 28 Model. (bottom right)

(I wish this was a current pricing list!) 

Terry and I spent the majority of the Summer 
searching for our perfect "vintage Tincan project".
We drove countless miles, met the shadiest of the shady travel-trailer-hustlers, 
smelled every level and form of mold, must and mildew imaginable. 
We even said "I do"...twice. 

We started out in May on this fun, exciting adventure. 
By the end of July it was more like smelly, sticky, time-sucking torture. 
Terry would find 3-4 hits for the day. 
We'd make appts, drive, (often keep right on driving), meet, smell, repeat. 
We said "yes",  to this cute little 
Vintage Shasta... 
...only to have her sold out from under us. ("I do" #1). 

We also said yes to this....
(not vintage)
...thankfully, the title was sketchy 
(meth-head who was selling wasn't owner on title & title came up "salvaged") 
so, (obviously) we walked away ("I do" #2).
 I can't believe we really even considered this one...
delirious & desperate in Boring, OR. 

We didn't have anything remotely close to an "I Do" for quite awhile after that.
Just a lot more driving and smelling.

In late July we looked at another cute vintage Shasta. 
We made an offer, but the guy was lame firm on his price, 
Terry loves the barter. 
We hadn't completely crossed this one off the list but 
Terry REALLY wanted this guy to bend a little 
(isn't that a Craigslist prerequisite??) 

while we were mulling this one over.... we met...Stella...

Early on a Friday morning Terry announces he's found a new lead to check out.
I'm so done with this process. 
But it's just over in SE, and he (wisely) mentions Podnah's, so I'm in. 
(a vintage Airstream and interest peaked.) 

Sadly reminiscent of a visit to the Humane Society.
Rescue her, give her a new forever home and a happy lease on life...
she needs us!
(Now from the start of our search I dreamed of an Airstream. 
Rarely, if ever, did one come up under our criteria 
and I honestly thought Terry thought I was nuts...
but here she was...THE ONE, in all her neglected, vintage loveliness!!)

The negotiation process was an arduous, mind-numbing affair.
The rambling, pre-Alzheimer's, miserly hoarder and his hypochondriac, mask wearing, shut-in bride, were our captors host and hostess for nearly 5 hours. 
Another 2 hours to clear the way, fix the broken hitch 
and negotiate the 6" clearance...
she was OURS
Hooked up and on the road to better days. 

Here she is at home, getting her first bath. 

This is where the fun (obsession) begins.
Hours scouring 

There's so much to do, and I just want to do it all RIGHT NOW.
BUT...there is so much that I CANT do. 
Stuff I have to WAIT for Terry to do. 
plumbing, heating, electrical (boy stuff).

The ultimate challenge in fighting my struggles with artistic perfectionism 
right smack in my lap(driveway), 
taunting me daily...
paint me, embellish me, decorate me...but not just yet. ugh.

A before gallery.....

My inspiration gallery....

So Summer has turned to Fall, 
and with the drawn out search process and then 
finding a bit more of a "project" then initially planned...
our renovations will continue through the Fall and Winter. 
We're forecasting our maiden voyage for mid Spring. 

We have made great progress

we have:
Removed, cleaned, painted window frames (still rescreening)
Cleaned, de-rusted and painted window hardware
Cleaned, scrubbed, disinfected all surfaces
Removed- toilet, kitchen (sink, counter, fridge, pantry)
Removed front gaucho
Replaced plumbing
Found Airstream mattresses & bedding
Primed and Painted interior surfaces
Replaced and repaired sub-flooring 
Found wood plank vinyl flooring (front area floored)
Wallpapered back bunk
Repaired shower walls
Caulked & waterproofed exterior (hopefully)
Wallpapered front wall

many major tasks/purchases to go:
Register & license 
Water heater
Kitchen Sink
Kitchen counter/cabinet install
Bath sink 
Bath faucet 
Bath counter/cabinet
Complete bathroom
Electrical check
Truck brake
Paint exterior
Air conditioner unit
Interior furnishings
And more....
....this is just what I can think of off the top of my head

So, there's the story of Stella, so far. 
Can hardly wait for all the adventures (and designing and decorating) to come! 



  1. I absolutely loved your Stella story It reminded me of my parents when I was a little girl, some 40 plus years ago...when they bought this white and turquoise trailer that I'm sure was pre- air-stream generation. LOL...I named her Zelda..and I remember all the fun it was to help my parents do a complete overhaul on this funny looking trailer. I am sure we have pic somewhere in all the old family pics. But your story is great. I shared it with my husband as he is looking for a travel trailer so we have something for camping and their hunting trips. I refuse to sleep on the ground in a tent anymore. LOL. He enjoyed reading this also. Take care, have fun with the rest of the re-model.

    1. Zelda!! love that name!
      Thank you for sharing your memories...what a fun family experience.
      I'm struggling with exterior paint choices...I LOVE the white & turqoise (maybe like your Zelda!), but the black & white (like the one in my inspiration gallery) will match our truck. (and when I retire Stella into a shop or guest room I'd prefer b&w). :)
      Best of luck in your trailer search, and again, thanks for sharing your trailer memories...goodtimes!!
      all the best, Denise

  2. Stella is stellar!!! You are sooo lucky to have found her and with so little rot. That is not normal in a trailer of such vintage. You are doing what I dream of doing. I would love to have a wee trailer, would love to, but not too many around Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island. You have to go south and that could be a big issue, also the all might $ is an issue as well. lol I so look forward to another post of your journey with her and the before and after in design that you choose. I love the second photo of the kitchen area in another trailer, totally vintage and would suit Stella too. Once people find an Airstream, they usually keep them. :) Great job and thanks again for sharing.

    1. Hi Sue,
      I think Stella's first owners took very good care of her, and luckily the 2nd owner's half hearted attempts at overhauling didn't cause too much damage and they kept her dry! (now if only we can!! it's been pouring buckets for days here!!)

      BtW...Once she's ready we'll be traveling up your way, so beautiful up there!

      Take care, Denise

  3. Stella is wonderful. Just think how great you will feel and proud when you are finished and take her on the road. I would not have the energy to tackle such a project but I love seeing what you have done. she will be spectacular!!

    1. Thanks Annette,
      I can hardly wait for that day...taking her on the road!!
      She is such a fun project and I hope for her to be spectacular soon! :)