Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Doing Up Daisy - Second round of works

Daisy 1969 Bluebird Europe Three mk4

When we brought home Daisy, our 1969 Bluebird Caravan, she was full of rot, damp and holes. No working road lights, untested gas and no electrics. 

We used her for a season and started on her second round of works in early 2017.

Am so excited to get her finished and at last she is almost ready to get back out for the 2017 season!

She wasn't perfect and pretty on the outside but we where still very proud of how much we got done around work and three minis in just 8 weeks!!

Back to the drawing board!

Read all about how I have gone back to the drawing board, now we have a bit more time for these next works and had a few supply problems! 

Update on Daisy's roof garden

I did run from Daisy screaming for my husband, but in the end I did it! Daisy's new 1970's skylight.

Daisy's New Coat

There is a lot of sanding to do on Daisy!! How we sanded a retro caravan, removed her rails and painted with Rustolem paint!

One thing I have wanted to do since we brought her, is paint outside. Her paint job was a mess, missing paint, dents, missing trim.... Its a big visual impact, she looks like a shed. Also its about her being water tight too. The awning rail has always scared me, the awning rail is where old vans can leak. Taking it off was a huge and scary job! For the season we where going to use her, having not done this big job I covered it in sealant to protect it. (I would advice, don't do this, do this job first, if you have to come back to this like we did it will add work getting it off!) 


Lights! Daisy does yet have electric or solar. We have been using fairy lights, and that's worked fine. Cooking though, needs a little more light......Using some 1950's shades I built my own lights! They are almost perfect I just need to move them a little. 

We are working on this round of works right now, so make sure you bookmark this page to see what we do next! From build a bunk bed, shelf and making curtains! (Also still have to get that awning rail back on!!)

Doing Up Daisy - First Round of works

Daisy 1969 Bluebird Europe Three mk4

When we brought home Daisy, our 1969 Bluebird Caravan, she was full of rot, damp and holes. No working road lights, untested gas and no electrics. 

 I wanted to show people that, a 47 year old van, doesn't need to be in showroom condition to get you out on adventures! Many people take over a year to do up their caravans, we needed and wanted to get using her. Working outside and around work and minis we managed in just 8 weeks to get her usable. Not pretty or perfect but safe and usable! 

Have a look round Daisy a few days after she arrived home -

Our first video about Daisy, we had started to pull out the rotten wood and removed the bathroom.

Here are all the links to each job we did in those 8 short weeks:

This was a big job, and we had hoped more would be savable!

From damp, to holes, to a lot of rot!!

Getting the light right was holding up all the other works on Daisy, it took a while to get my head around it. Grandpa to the rescue!

Oh easy job, no, I think I had my first ever brake down!!

Going from rotten wood and holes in the floor to painted and so much better!

The big job of replacing the plyboards.

Getting the original 1960's oven working! I use her every time we go away. 

Making the most out of what we already had!

The colours we had picked, fabric and mood-boards.

Getting Daisy ready!

 Fixing a temporary skylight and cleaning up her garden.

Click here for Daisy's new beds! Our ikea trip with two kids and lots of mattresses! I was a bit worried about taking two minis to ikea on my own but it was loads of fun!!

Click here for all about getting her ready to go!  
Getting ready for our first trip away in Daisy.

Here she is all ready to go! 

By using Daisy we worked out a few little other jobs we wanted to do. We have managed to fit in quite a few things around going away and the kids being home for the holidays:

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Building a light for Daisy!

Daisy would have had two gas lights, when we brought her home she had long lost her glass shades. All the gas needed to be overhauled, and thought we may as well take them out. Though I love gas lights, we do have little people who love to play with switches! (The oven as a little off switch hidden away, which stops the gas even if its connected.) 

So after a year of using her, with fairy lights I thought about adding lights back in. There are many options, from gas to 12v. Now we haven't fitted any permanent electric or solar into her yet. I hunted on ebay over a few months, just seeing what came up....

I found a 1950's light fitting...

Fell in love with them and hoped I could make something out of the fitting by cutting the stem shorter. 

When they arrived, they where white and just the shades. I should have read the details more on the ebay post but still I was a little shocked about the colour! So how was I going to attach them? We had no lighting fittings in Daisy. Lots of holes but no fittings. 

My hoarding ways and the local hard-wear shop to the rescue! 

If you can always keep the odd screw and bits you find in your van (I put them in jars and store them.)

A bulb fitting, a few plumbing parts, bit of doweling and some strong glue! 

Getting into the back of that cupboard is hard work! I need to move it down and across a little which I will do when the drill charges! 

Its not perfect but it works! I had brought a camping pull light, but the light from it is really useless! So at the moment there are fairy lights in there. 

Cant wait to use Daisy! 

Monday, 8 May 2017

How to work out the square meter of your caravan!

Your about to paint your caravan, what do you need to do first?!? 

When working out the paint, you need to check what sort of paint you are painting with and what primers that needs. 

Most people have advised me to use Coach Enamel Paint. I called Craftmaster Paints, to see what primers where needed for Coach Enamel. They informed me of the following -

 Etch Primer (on any bare metal, being very careful not to get any on painted areas) 
Thinner (to clean any brushes and thin the primer if need)
Primer (over the Etch and any painted areas)
Undercoat (possibly 2 coats)
Coach Enamel top coat (possibly two coats)

Each coat would need to fully dry. This way has been done for years and years, it gives wonderful results.......

After lots of digging on YouTube, lots of reading and some advice from a friend I have gone for a different product. 

Rust-Oleum Combicolor, this is only needs one coat of primer and 1 to 2 coats of paint. It works out much cheaper, also a lot less time. 

This product is quite new to the UK so only time will tell if I have made the right choice! It is mainly used on cars, often many coats, of thinned paint, each layer being sanded. For the caravan I have picked satin, and not to thin each layer. I know people would tell me off for wanting to save time, as we all know things should be done right in the first place (am fixing/fixed lots of 'quick fixes' on Daisy) but I want to use her!! 

I have only just started to paint with Rust-Oleum Combicolor, so I can not confirm the final finish or how well it holds up!) Please do some digging of your own and make sure you are happy with the product you pick! There are many other products which you maybe able to use apart from the two noted above ;)

Once you have picked your paint, you now need to work out how much paint you need! 

The best way to do this is to work out the square meter of the area which needs paint. (Most paint companies work on square meters.)

Trying to do this in my head did not work so the best way is to draw out your caravan. 

Very basic but you get the idea! 

So get the size top to bottom of the panel and then side to side. (width and length)

width 4.42 meters x length 2.06 meters = 9.11 square meters!

This is the total panel size not taking into account windows (you can get the size of the window and subtract that from your total.)  

I worked out the total for each panel, the total of the whole van and a total for each colour (The middle panel is a different colour so I worked out just that panel.) 

You can see how much more detailed I got with it! 

I worked out the total square meter of the van is 33.85 so if I needed two coats that's 67.7 meters squared! 

This is the calculator I used to work out the square meter!

So for my caravan which is 14.5ft caravan I need 3.5lt of cream and 2.5lt of green! This is for two coats of colour and leaving a little extra over. You have to take into account the different sizes of tins you can get, so you may need less paint but not get a small size tin. Fingers crossed I will only have/needed 2 tins of primer (750ml) as its so thin! 

Hope that helps, work this out before you price up your paint! It is a lot cheaper than spraying it but each tin do add up! 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Lego Birthday Cake

Its become a family tradition that I make all the kids Birthday Cakes! We haven't brought them, so it does mean they are not always perfect! 

Its Bear's 5th birthday and he didn't know it, but we where taking them all to Legoland for it.........So it had to be a Lego cake! 

Here is Bear's VEGAN birthday cake! 

Now you can make some amazing Vegan cakes, this was a little cheat as it was such a crazy busy weekend. Easter and his birthday! You replace the eggs and milk with one can of pop! Ok its a bit of a sugar fest but its a treat they only have at birthdays ;) 

I baked one large thinner cake, and one smaller taller one. 

Then using the bottom of the cake tin, I cut out a small part of the larger cake.

So the smaller one would sit in the larger and become one large cake! 

Another cheat......It is vegan but it does have palm oil in it, so I wouldn't use this alot! 

I didn't have a board to fit them on, so covered a baking tray in tinfoil! 

In order for the Lego to sit on top, the best thing is to pop the iced cake in the fridge. This will will make the icing hard. 

Now for the topper!!! I must say I had fun, building his name out of Lego blocked then adding little Lego people on top! 

I loved how it came out, and not only was it YUMMY and VEGAN but he LOVED IT!!

Am very exited to eat some of the left overs today, yum yum! For the first time ever they had cake for breakfast as this cake was waiting for them downstairs, then we where straight off to LEGOLAND! They had no idea they where going! 

I will be adding my review of Legoland, so bookmark and I will update with a link to the review.