The next leg of the journey…
My sweet Teardrop Trailer, Sally, has been living in my carport for years now. With her cute silver racing stripes and her cozy interior, she makes me smile every day.
The sad part is, she doesn’t get out much.
Her most frequent use is as a naptime getaway: I love to snuggle into this quiet private space to take a little afternoon snooze.
I have taken her camping a number of times, but although she’s perfectly comfortable for me to nap in by myself, sleeping two adults (which includes a very tall Jim) is not as fun as it sounds.
So, to regain a heck of a lot of carport space, I decided to let her go. I’ve started getting ready to sell the old girl, hoping to find her a loving home. I’m sure going to miss her, so I’d like to honor her here by telling her story, or at least the chapter that I have been a part of.
I first discovered this little red trailer parked at the bottom of the hill in my neighborhood, back in 2010. I kept an eye on her for years, admiring her from afar. This was around the time I started making pillows out of vintage handkerchiefs, and the teardrop trailer inspired the name of my pillow business: Teardrop Hankys. I dreamed of adopting the little trailer, fixing it up, and traveling to trunk shows to sell my pillows. Eventually I found out who the owner was, and I contacted him to see if he could part with the trailer. After some back-and-forth we agreed on a price, and in August of 2014, the teardrop was mine!
Then began the hard work of renovation, reconstruction, redecorating, and revitalizing this little gem of a trailer, making her into the adorable thing she is today.
The owner sold it to me with everything that was inside, which included a lot of very old camping gear (he used it primarily to go up in the hills and pan for gold! I still wonder if there could be a lost nugget rolling around in her walls…)
The original wood was in bad shape. We cut out the worst of the damage, and patched the smaller areas. All the wood was original from 1946, and the red paint was the original color. The owner told me that this trailer was originally built from a kit, by a retired Arizona State Trooper. You can still buy Teardrop Trailers today, both prebuilt and as kits to assemble yourself.
I covered the repaired wood exterior with aluminum sheeting for protection from the elements, and replaced the existing aluminum roof.
The end of the trailer opens up to a fully functional galley, with a propane stove and space for a small cooler, a coffee pot, and everything else you need. The iconic curved galley door had to be completely rebuilt.
For the decorating and color scheme, I took my inspiration from a set of coordinating floor cushions, which I decided to use as Sally's floor padding.
I found a tablecloth from the same collection, and made it into the curtains for the doors.
I searched online for wallpaper that matched, and found this perfect leaf pattern for the interior.
I rebuilt the interior shelving and found these baskets that fit perfectly! Some things were just meant to be.
A wallpaper border inspired the exterior stripes.
The rack attached to the front was repurposed from a metal table and powder-coated to match.
Sally’s Galley, completely redone and outfitted with a cook stove and a row of tiny oil paintings inspired by Sally herself.
After going through the process of sprucing up Sally to get her ready to sell, and rolling down this memory lane with her, I felt way too sad at the prospect of parting.
After I transitioned from making hanky pillows, to painting vintage furniture, to assemblage art, the trunk show pillow shop never fully materialized. I feel like I didn’t fully achieve my original vision for Sally.
She’s gorgeous and I am very proud of the work I put into her, but she still has not fulfilled her true purpose.
So, after all that, I have decided… I’m not selling her!
Our journey together is not over yet.
I’m not sure what lies ahead, but I’ve got a few ideas.
Wouldn’t it be great to go on Art Camping retreats, or gathering with other vintage trailer lovers? Ot both? I’m sure there is a community of people out there who like the same things I do, and if there isn’t one already, maybe it’s my job to create it.
Next week, I’ll share more about the endless art that Sally has inspired in my life, and we will continue to ponder what the future holds for us.
Join me here for Sally's Story, part 2.