Monthly Archives: November 2013



We met at Starbuck Safeway for coffee, walked to the farmers market, more pineapple guavas, parsnip, potatoes, a nice gourd for an instrument, Raven got beets, carrots, something else. Next stop Shelton’s market as Raven needs herbs, I picked up some O green beans, mushrooms and a hubbard squash.  Home, we picked coriander seeds from the garden for the potion she’s making, plus star anise and nutmeg nut from my cabinet.

Raven wanted to see the stencil sun I cut after hours at work, wanting a wood round for the back arch center, I found the piece we cut for the vent, perfect, though she found a moon sun almost the same she prefers, modified and still needs some silver paint. She also painted the aluminum roofing edge partly black, liking the brushed effect antiqued.


Meanwhile I cooked up a batch of organic beef meatball stew with the potatoes, a carrot, cremini mushrooms, parsnip, green beans, pearl onions (tricky to peel) and home made organic beef meatballs with herbs from the garden.  A huge batch, lots of leftovers and so good.

After lunch Raven and I pulled out the P bench as she wants to stain it darker. I went looking for something in the garage and came across the original stencil sketches, score! as Rave wants an arched pattern for the end arches. It will need some modifying to fit, I got out a piece of card stock and drew the arch rafter line, then laid out the pattern in pencil. I found the Xacto knife and cut the pattern using a piece of plywood to back the cuts.


I cut another 3 inch round with the hole saw for the front which Raven painted, then studied the under sink. I’m thinking to get some lag screw to threaded stock at the hardware store, drill the sink counter uprights through , then drill and lag the bolts to the studs. I’ll get knobs or thumb nuts to secure the counter to the wall. That way we can meet the code that says the sinks need to be removable for cleaning and still secure for road worthy.  It’s late already, picture time. Here’s the bench looking great.


And a shot of the arch sun moon, bleached by the late low sun.


Another fine vardo day with perfect weather.



Once again we started at Bucky’s for coffee and off to the farmers market. More guavas for me, green beans for lunch and some beets for Raven. Next stop Shelton’s for O noodles  and half and half in a fancy short milk bottle Raven likes, everything is organic at Shelton’s.  Raven wants to check the Salvation Army super store for boots, no luck on that but I scored in the bins with several plastic paint color by number strips and a roll of really nice narrow wall paper the right color for the vardo, all for 50 cents.  When we got home we checked the length of the wall paper, dang, four feet short of the two wall lengths, maybe if we skip the windows. Pretty stuff for a quarter.


Raven cooked up lunch from a recipe she wanted to try, a chicken noodle casserole with those green beans, as I worked on fitting the vent system together. Trying from the inside didn’t work, I finally punched out the outer vent cover to try again as lunch was ready.


Wow, this stuff is good, broiled chicken, small cuts of fresh green beans (instead of frozen peas), flat egg noodles, fresh garden thyme, garlic, bread crumbs, half and half, everything organic, yum, served in the back yard dining room with a view. I need to get a picture of that but it’s dark now as I write.

After lunch Raven resumed working on detailing the windows in gold as I worked on the vent system and cover. This didn’t work out well as I was rocking the vardo as Rave was trying to paint.  “Ten more minutes and I’ll be done.” I drilled and screwed the 3/4″ frame to the wall, countersinking the holes to prevent further splitting (oops), that worked. I cut a piece of paneling to match the lines and fit with the band saw outside, jig saw inside over the vent frame, so the paneling flushed the vent frame allowing the aluminum louvered cover to fit flush after punching screw holes. Finding the right length screws took trying, but it worked out.

vent cover

Raven was relieved her canvas stopped rocking and finished the details around the windows, it looks great.

window detail fin2

The front window above.

window detail finished

And the side window details in gold. While she was working on that I fired up the sewing machine and finished assembling the last inner cover to the cushions. We stuffed the cushion into it together. They all need the last edge hand sewn, but we have cushions preliminary covered. Raven said her seamstress friend said we need to reduce the outer cover size so they don’t shift. My question, how much reduction in fraction of inches, to be asked.  Here’s a pic of the last cushion inner cover.

the last cushion cover

A plain picture, but a big step in comfort, and that sewing machine is working well.

An excellent days work.



We met in town at Safeway, Raven reading the magazines, I went for coffee, mushrooms and cream. Off to the farmer’s market, more guavas for me, beets, squash and a yellow pepper for Raven.  Shenton’s then home.

I checked the mail box, the new black 3″ vents arrived, excellent, and they fit the outside hole cut perfectly. I cut down the inside fan vent last evening at work in the model shop.


I still need to punch the screw holes and attach it all, but Raven wants to paint more details, needs doing and the vardo will pitch with me inside. We’ll sew instead.

Raven and I went over the sewing machine operations, stitching 3 small draw string bags, then she sewed a small sample  cover.


Time to cook lunch, an organic garden tarragon chicken, O carrots, onions, mushrooms, even O noodles with wine and heavy cream sauce, served at the back yard table with a view. Very tasty.

After lunch I sewed a new cover for the larger 20″ cushion, calling Raven too often to show her the details of turning corners with the needle down and the foot up, then you have to put your foot down (she liked that) to resume stitching. All while she painted more details meticulously in gold.

window details

Here’s the mostly finished (needs hand sewing shut) big cover pic.


The new “Ender’s Game” movie just came out, I want to see that as Orson Scott Card is a great author. We headed for it in separate vehicles as we’ll be departing from there. Excellent movie, true to the book, I’ll watch that one again in reruns, wow, such a good story.

A very productive day as Raven now re-knows how the sewing machine works and stuff got done.




An eventful weekend. Raven spent 2 nights in the vardo, so work got done days. Saturday morning we went to the farmers market for pineapple guavas, they’re so good and in season. She worked on the gold detailing above the door and back upper corners. You need to understand it takes a long time with a small brush filling the penciled in pattern, tedious.



I worked on making a frame around the fan and sewing the first muslin inner cover for the 14″ cushion. Here is a pic of the frame:


For lunch I made a really good batch of spaghetti sauce using the leftover frozen basil burgers from last week, a whole jar of the tomato sauce I’ve been cooking down, garden herbs and onion from the farmers market. That and whole wheat spaghetti, grated Parmesan, baked garlic rolls, so good. Served in the back yard dining room with a view .

Raven had to leave early for some event in Oakland, while I needed to get some things done in town. While there I stopped at Restore for a switch plate, found a nice metal fan grill that will need modifications at work and a good deal on 50 cent hinges I couldn’t pass up. A stop at the art store for more acrylic paint, paid rent (the real reason), and stopped at Home Depot looking for an outside 3″ vent, they didn’t have one, bummer, bought a cheap drain cover to try, too big. I’ll figure something out.

Late getting up today as Raven didn’t get in until 2am, I watched movies. Super windy outside, not a good day for outside work. As I found a working “Li’l Smoker” out back  in the trash pile I plugged it in, strung some marinated thin cut steak with some mesquite chips for jerky to try it out, not bad.

Raven worked inside the vardo painting the window frames black, a couple pics:




Later she dealt with the wind and penciled in some more stencil patterns around the outside upper corners.

Gary’s computer died, it’s been acting up, I brought up my old one, slower, loaded Google chrome, it works and I’m online again to write this.  I worked on the sewing machine, it messed up, kept jamming, tying knots in the lower section. Reloading the bobbin fixed it. I sewed Raven a few catnip pouches to dial it in, then finished out the other 14″ muslin cover. Raven and I fit it to the cushion, much easier with two people. They still need to be hand sewn shut, but they fit well.

Cushion covers

Daylight savings fall back and Raven’s late last night we quit early, but we got quite a bit done.