cute cottage coach lamps

On one of my multiple visits to the natural Everglades feeling of Lake Okeechobee during June,  I decided to install some purely decorative lanterns on the front of the Cottage Camper.

My neighbor was cleaning outLanternshis garage and found some perfectly sized patio light fixtures he donated to my little project.  They had individual panes of glass that I removed because
–  the glass would probably break from road wear and
–  the lanterns are mostly for “cute factor”
–  the glass has no aesthetic value to add,  and
–  I don’t want to add any extra weight, even tiny glass panes.

I removed the light bulb,  its socket,  solar lanterns charging upand the wiring each came with.
I spray painted them white to match my little camper.
I invested $1.97 in each of the 3 lanterns by purchasing stick-style solar landscape light fixtures at Wally World.
I removed the solar collector,  battery,  and tiny LED bulb off each new fixture.  I covered the solar collector with a piece of tape &
then I spray painted their casing to match:   white.
Then I glued the solar portion to the top of the lantern,
lined up the LED to shine through the top hole where the wiring used to be, IMG_1036and then mounted them to the front panels of the Cottage Camper about one hand’s width down from the trim.

They are adorable in the daytime and they have the tiniest white glow at night.
And the charge lasts til morning! LOL.


I’ve also been working on curtain (sm)sewing some window curtains &
custom upholstering the dinette cushions.  But I think I overworked the sewing machine because it jammed and I had to stop until my son could take it apart & fix what I jammed.




IMG_1039It’s all ready now for my next adventure… I think I’ll go to Orlando area in a couple of weeks to listen to a bluegrass concert by one of my favorite groups.

Tiny Living vs. Stuff (thoughts)

????    WHY do we want to live tiny   ????

When I sat down to ponder this concept,  I found myself
thinking back to some times when I felt mentally free,
not buried under stuff,   piles of stuff.

The best times are when we’re on vacation.
At my in-laws = they were always generous in spirit & deed.
I never had to worry about STUFF.
I like the freedom of having one suitcase to choose out of,
makes it so simple:  Do I wear this?   or this?    That’s it,
Pick one &   Put it on.    Period.

Also when we visited some minimalist family members …
there was a noticeable absence of clutter.
They had only a few items of clothing each
becuz they chose their favorites & loved them
which means the laundry CAN’T pile up.
There was space in their cupboards,
room in their rooms.
And they only kept the NICE things.
and they USED the things they had.
Put it away  — or —  throw it away.
They let the crap go!    What a concept.
Just keep the nice stuff.
It’s like giving yourself permission to upgrade.
Just keep the stuff you like.  Get rid of the rest.

Another mentally liberating experience is going to our time share.
I liked walking into a “clean slate” environment
(hotel suite  or  town home style space.)
Set it up for a one-week stay.
You really don’t need much, on a daily basis.
Go in,  set up the coffee maker  &  the computer,
fold down the bed, & hide the suitcase in the closet.
I like that feeling.  “Hotel suite”  feeling or “vacation home” feeling.
I can then admire the fine woodwork of the coffee table or mantle, (which I notice becuz it’s not covered with STUFF like at home!)
Just the necessities are showing, put the rest out of sight or
better yet, put it out of the house.
Let’s face it, the REASON for being there is
not to take care of,  clean,  rearrange  &  store      STUFF!
You are then free to go explore the area.   Walk to the pool.  Look at the pretty landscaping. Listen to the birds chirp. …

Then I realized that the “vacation” feeling is why I’ve always liked to look through interior decorators magazines for so many years! It’s the quest for mental freedom from stuff I seek!

Imagine looking around and NOT seeing
“things to do” or
“projects to finish” or
“needs repair”.
Imagine instead,
“Ok, that looks nice.
Now what do I want to do today?”

So now I’m motivated. I just need to spread that vacation-thinking to each one of the rooms in my house and toss out the rest!

Interior Walls !


The interior walls and ceiling are paneled with wood! Interior end view port sideInterior starboard wall 1









Next I need to attach some shelves & cubbies for all the loose stuff that has no place yet. After that I’ll wire up & mount the interior lights.


Interior table


I did purchase another plastic white tower of drawers, (The photo above shows one as my “pantry”,  one for  odds & ends).   The new tower is also on wheels and it will be  the base for my dining/work table


Once the “stuff” is organized & put away, it won’t look like a gypsy wagon inside any more…  One major obstacle/miracle at a time…
I stopped into Ikea in Orlando on my way home from a bluegrass festival, but even THAT store was out of stock of the 5″ thick mattress I’ve chosen.  Interior Bed 3Online it says they are expected to be in this week (ya, I’ve heard THAT before!) But after the mattress is here, I can cut it into the 3 bench pieces & center table piece and then upholster them in a puppy-proof vinyl, and then I’ll be able to access the under-bed storage compartments which are currently so inconvenient becuz the bed is always in “sleep mode”.


I also put a fabric mat under the sink stand so I can easily slide the sink to Interior sink standanother section of the floor for layout flexibility.

Those white   drawer-towers are lightweight &  on wheels, so sweeping is much easier now, not to mention how convenient the flexibility makes it to maneuver thru the tight quarters throughout the cottage.

I still have to attach a flexible hose to the sink drain so it will never miss the bucket, but after I get “power” I’ll use my little 12v water pump and my “kitchen” will come to life. So I’ll work on getting some shelving in & then soon enough I’ll be able to purchase the batteries & get charged up.

Hope to get the “interior” video posted to my YouTube account soon!

What I did last weekend (April 10-12)

I was at the Dixieland RV park in Waldo, FL for the bluegrass festival that Ernie & Debbie Evans put on just this past weekend.  I drove 6 hours up & 7 hours to get home Sunday.  Ouch. Verrrrry tired at work today. I especially enjoyed hearing the 2 bands: Dry Branch Fire Squad and Remington Ryde.  They are both excellent bands, Remington Ryde has a VERY good fiddle player (he’s jolly & round and adds some great facial expressions to his fiddlin’.  He was excellent. I talked to the banjo player & lead singer from Remington before their Saturday night closing show. The banjo player is a preacher & so I couldn’t help myself to ask him if he used the REAL bible (the King James)  We talked for about 20 minutes & he said he “enjoyed being challenged” about his faith.  I had requested they play “Orange Blossom Special” but he said they had done it Friday before I arrived. But during the show that night, with me in the 2nd row, they pointed me out and said, “This one’s for you, Barb”  (Yay!) They did the last rip of it as their closing.  I was honored.

Also during the weekend, Ernie’s band, Florida State Bluegrass Band filled in for one of the schedule changes and they had their banjo player’s  2 twin 7-year-old sons come out with their guitars and they totally stole the show. It was a hoot!

Sunday morning there were only a handful of folks come out to give praise to the Lord, but it was nice.  (Heck, where 2 or more are gathered, so is Jesus in their midst) Marilee Martinson and Jan Ladd — who I had met from sitting behind them the previous night at the show — were singing gospel.  They heard me singing from my chair and asked me if I’d like to come up up sing one in the microphone. Ha! I am NOT a singer! LOL. So I politely declined, but they insisted, and in my ever-so-shy personality, I figured, what the heck, there were only a handful of people there (12 I think) so I sang Amazing Grace and it was fun!  I could hear how shaky my voice was, but I got thru it ok.  And made a few new friends.

Later Sunday as I was packing up the cottage camper, a car stopped at my site and I recognized the 2 little boys in the back seat = it was the banjo player Josh’s 2 twin boys.  The grandmom asked me if they could come see my camper & of course, I loved giving the “50 cent tour.” They were polite & even raised their hand when they had a question. It was adorable. Anyway, I think they’ll remember me too “next time” and hopefully I’ll have more finished on it to show them.

Well, last week before hitting Waldo I tacked up the last piece of my walls & ceiling panels on the interior.  It looks beautiful, if I do say so!  I am in the process of editing a few video clips together to post it up to my growing youtube channel (I have 137 subscribers now, woohoo!)  — Are you one yet?

It’s my goal this week to put that video up — it really makes a difference inside without all the ugly insulation exposed! And all the loose wiring is hidden inside the walls now.  And my roof isn’t leaking! YAY.


Welcome to . . . . . . . . Cottage Camper

Glad you stopped by to see our progress!
This is the story of my DIY homemade trailer I lovingly call
~~  The Cottage Camper  ~~

You can see ALL the updates at our video channel on YouTube.
Please subscribe to YouTube: Tiny Living channel.

Cottage Camper low roof
Rear view before the renovation


Here’s the way it looked about a year ago. It was only 4 feet tall and I used it only as a cargo trailer (naked interior).





Then I decided to convert it into a camper so I lifted off the roof and bumped it up to a 6 ft peak. I added upper windows and painted the roof white to reflect some of the Florida sun.


Cottage Camper at bluegrass festival

Just back from another bluegrass festival in Arcadia, Florida.  Gorgeous weather & a nice shady spot under the live Oaks with whispy spanish moss dangling in the breeze. “The Boys” really enjoyed sitting on our “porch” and listening to all the great music.  MANY people stopped to take the tour of our little cottage in progress! We were the highlight of the weekend!

Go check out our youtube channel & subscribe for updates on the build progress & tours of the interior.

Thanks for coming!


Too cute to stay home !