Sunday, January 23, 2011

Going Mobile

Wishing I had the vintage car to go with the camper!

After the store closed I spent four days in Atlanta at the Gift & Home Furnishings Show. From Christmas to Spring and many fabulous non-seasonal items in-between, I look forward to the new merchandise coming in and I will feature those items on this blog and on Facebook in the months to come. It seems the closing of Curious Sofa was all the buzz at market among some vendors and retailers; from the airport in Atlanta to the baggage claim in Kansas City, I relived, rehashed and retold my reasoning for closing over and over again.

This week I will finally be moved out of the shop. When we had our final day at 75% off there was very little left, which is good! The small pile of miscellaneous I have for the Goodwill will literally fit in the trunk of a car. I still cannot believe how customers cleaned us out, down to our coffee maker, but that was always my plan. Tomorrow I bring my office to my home as well as boxes and boxes of online merchandise to shoot and shelves of paperwork to store. If it were not 20 degrees here with 10" of snow, I would be really excited but the weather will make the process a little tougher to enjoy. I have the spare bedroom empty and ready, the garage swept and edited and the basement cleaned for isles of shelving. This is the third time I have moved in January and now I think there is something serendipitous about it. It only makes sense to make major changes the first of the year.

For months now I have been searching for the perfect vintage camper to take me into the next stage of my life. From eBay to Craig's List and every trailer site on the web, I have bookmarked and shopped until I am dizzy with possibilities. Some are down right hysterical, some are a little too utilitarian, and some as much as I love them, will look downright silly being pulled by my 2007 soccer mom minivan.

When I say vintage camper everyone pictures me in the Airstream's Bambi:

Airstream Bambi

but that is not my style (too kitsch, too retro). I want something more like these shown below. A canned ham or something from the 70's. Some are in really rough shape and some are for sale as far away as Idaho (not sure I want to drive all that way just to look). I have my eye on one in Omaha and when it warms up, I will make a day trip there.

I hope to find one really cheap ($500 and under); all white or silver (of course it has to be neutral). I may paint a stripe or two to match my van.

And of course I plan to fix up the inside and make it photo worthy! Matthew Mead wrote me to "think Spring" so maybe this will be my contribution to his next magazine. I have checked campgrounds from Round Top to Santa Fe and so far I have a great little file made to prepare me to hit the road. Stay tuned!

Taking faux-finishing to a whole new level, the log cabin trailer.


  1. I love it! I like the look of the older, less chrome models as well. An old man down the road from us has one, sitting idle in his driveway. I tell my husband, every time we pass it, that when a "for sale" sign is posted in it's window, I will be all over it like a fat kid on cake.

    I often stay in camp sites while in the States, and I have to say, ever single one we've been to is gorgeous. They're always in pristine condition and we always have a fabulous time (which could partially be due to the fact that your wine is also much, much cheaper!).

  2. This is exactley what I want! My neighbor has the Bambi and I'm not impressed at all. Good luck!

  3. I love the one with the red stripe! But, that's not so neutral! Can't wait to see what you're up to next.

  4. Just want to say, My heart goes out to you, I closed my consignment shop just last January and this last year has been spent in renewing my lost loves, improving family relations and finding new dreams. I'll be praying for you and your new dreams.

  5. I think I've moved every month but January, but I agree - nice fresh start.

    I love, love, love all the canned hams and have dreams of towing one to flea markets one day too :)

  6. Gotta say, I love the Airstream the best! Probably because I spent most of my growing up years seeing the country and Canada in a 34 foot Airstream, so for me, it is very personal and nostalgic. Very silver bullet-ish! Good luck in your pursuit of the perfect little can of ham to fix up. I think it would be fun. Kind of like a Gypsy Wagon!


  7. I can't wait to see what you've found to sell and the campers are awful cute!

  8. LOVE the campers. About 8 years back I remodeled an early 70's trailer. It was so much fun and so easy and affordable too. We replaced the vinyl on the floor and painted the 70's paneling, pulled out the olive green stove and painted with appliance spray paint, recovered the cushions with decorator fabrics, added a small microwave, etc.....

    I can't believe how great it ended up looking and easy and cheap it was to do. But it was because you are basically working on a minature scale so the materials were usually remnants or left over. I can't wait to see what you do...I know it will be so fabulous. Also....I can't believe how cheap those old trailers can be picked up for! You have the vision so few really have. Good for you and your new adventure!

  9. I can't wait to see what you do with your camper! We have one that I am planning on cute-ing up and having in our yard in a semi-permanent site to use as a guest cottage. And a play house for me too.

  10. I can not believe whoever wrote the stupid comment I wish I could say something to them....what an ass..............I hope your well and getting some r&r.

  11. Debbie, you will love the vintage camping life. We have both the canned ham 50's trailer that we restored as well as an airstream. They are both wonderful, and we have logged many miles in both. Depending on what kind of camping and roads that you will be on, it does make a difference. the airstream is much more comfortable and dependable, and the canned hams are so cute and cozy! Trailering has been the best decision that we have made. Good Luck and happy glamping!

  12. This is so good to hear! I am not going to rough it much I am using the camper as a free hotel more than anything when I go to antique shows and will probably stay at KOA's here and there, so hopefully it will be easier to manage.

  13. OMG! LOVE this idea!
    You HAVE to check out

    Your blog reminded me of a magazine article of vintage campers just like this dressed up by a group of camping women. I couldn't find the article or the photos online, but I think this group was the one featured. Even if group camping's not your thing, the photos will surely provide inspiration (and these ladies love fishing too)!
    -Julie G in Iowa

  14. Hi Debi, it has been a long time since I've visited your blog and am sorry to hear about your store closing. I have had my store going on 12 years now and came real close this last year to closing down.The ironic thing is I bought my first vintage trailer last May and got totally consumed, lost all interest in the store until I realized where I live glamping really isn't possible in the winter time, so decided to keep my day job! I have 5 right now and sure wish you lived closer to Washington I would love to sell you my 64aladdin white with silver stripe even! I tell you NOTHING not even my own vintage store has made me happier than these little trailers have and someday maybe we will cross paths in our little canned hams and share a story of a gentler ,kinder life in a trailer! Happy trails my friend!

  15. Hey....I was gasping all the way over here in Pennsylvania! Your anonymous" commenter needs to know that a lot of people are truly interested in the information this blog provides. You are doing what a lot of us just dream about. I like the size of your ego just fine!

  16. YES! Sisters on the Fly is what started this current obsession! And I love to fish too! I am sure I will be in a caravan with them sometime in my future...

  17. gosh better leave room for all those fun finds we are waiting to see.
    I can just see you running down the HWY looking like the Clampets..
    Keep us posted love the Updates..

  18. I literally gasped when I read the nasty comment from Anonymous. Of course they're anonymous....anyone who would write a hateful venom-filled comment like that would be too cowardly to own up to it.

    Please don't let anonymous "rent space in your head"....remember the huge legion of fans who think you pretty much have everything together, with the perfect blend of humility and generosity combined with unlimited talent.

    Anonymous can kiss my left hip pocket, if you get my drift.

  19. Thanks MzV, Criticisms always break our hearts don't they? But I need to remember the many fans who would beat those people to a pulp! Thank you for the comment. It made my day.

  20. I had just read about your store in a couple of magazines this winter and had planned on going to it when I attend my niece's graduation in Lawrence this May. Even though I consider myself a tactile shopper, and am sad that I won't get to see your talents of juxtaposition and style in your brick and mortar location, I am adding you to my favorites list and look forward to stopping by online. I will place an order today.
    After a large corporation bought out the company where I had worked for nine years, I was let go last June.
    It has been the best thing, ever! I hope you enjoy your new ventures and that the priorities in your life unfold as they should. Change is good.
    P.S. Folks who post anonymous rude comments are completely lame. I am so glad that you called them on it!

  21. Exactly what I'm looking for too! There are a bunch of them in yards across Montana - I'm thinking if I just go knock on someone's door and offer them a few hundred bucks they'll be glad to let it go! A few years ago the Sisters on the Fly came through Bozeman (MT). They were camped at the local KOA and I went out to visit and take photos! I was absolutely hooked on having a vintage trailer and I won't stop until I get one! I have a few ideas for a 'traveling studio'. Can't wait to see what you get! Jamie V


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