Remember the Great Marmoleum Mind Blow? Where I dashed all over town AND all over the internet to agonize over a Skittles rainbow of choices, each seemly more God-awful expensive than the last? We were into the $1,000 plus before installation, and besieged with dire warnings about "Authorized" installers? Worst of all, my fickle heart just did not fall in L-O-V-E with any of the choices. RISKY. 

You see, I kept getting confused by the fancy colors and forgetting that I want neutral. I like to mix things up- and hard coding in a vibrant floor choice does not achieve that. Fabric and throw rugs achieve that. So, I tossed my hands up and went whining to the good people of the Spartan chat board. And, some lovely genius posted a link and a testament to cork flooring. 

And, you know, it instantly made sense to me- visually, design-wise, cost, use. How much more organic can you get than tree bark? And it's much less expensive; about half the cost. Options for both glue down (non-toxic glues) and "click" style. AND... if I don't love it, I think I can even use it as a sub-floor for one day when the Marmoleum of My Dreams shows up, hubba hubba. And there's MORE! It's a sound and thermal insulator. It's "soft" and forgiving on the back. It's "sealed" so it does not require much maintenance and from what anonymous internet reviewers say (what? you don't consider the unwashed masses to be a reliable source of data?) it's not delicate. What could possibly go wrong here??? (Don't even think about telling me anything that can go wrong now that I can finally sleep through the night again.) 

And to my DELIGHT, it turns out that my cork was actually a popular material in the mid-century modern movement and was even the default in Eichler houses. 

Yeah. I know! B-I-N-G-O, we have a winner!!!

While no one is ever going to accuse me of running anything other than my own damn opinion on this blog, I feel compelled to tell you I Did Not Make This Up: 

"Cork was not a highly advertised material during the postwar era, but it was amply used. Builder Joseph Eichler automatically included it in all of his postwar modern tract houses in California, thanks to cork’s functional and aesthetic appeal. ... The natural, resilient material coexists well with modern furniture and accessories, and is easy to install and maintain. It is reminiscent of the look of some linoleums and vinyl flooring styles, and is considered rapidly renewable, therefore makes the greenies’ seal of approval. Cork is offered in a variety of patterns and colors... and is an excellent option in a postwar ranch home... It is less expensive, easier to maintain, sound absorbing, and striking in a modern interior." 

See? Someone else made it up!! How 'bout that fer fancy? Regardless, it's very satisfying to have a decision made. I feel like a detective; and for once I'm glad my project is moving slowly so I can research and agonize on my own timeline. 

What do you think of a cork floor for my Spartan? I'm feeling GOOD about it, guys. 
I can't believe no one caught this and told me!! 

You guys don't tell me anything! Have you ever heard of this place? The Sou'wester Lodge??? Me neither, but now that I have I'm pretty obsessed with it. 

Located in the Pacific Northwest, in Seaview, Washington they are a fabulous old lodge, built in 1892 that has guest cottages circa 1950's and a bevy of vintage trailers you can go stay in. I'll just let you breathe that in. Fantastic, right? 

You can also bring your own sweet vintage trailer, which I gather lots of folks are doing. Looks like they Know Their Market, and host vintage trailer rallies. They just had a Spartan-only Rally! I'm pretty sure I would go into a coolness-induced coma. Yes, yes I would. 

I know it seems like Spartans are popping up like popcorn all over the place lately, but seriously: I have only seen 1 or two others In The Wild. And by "the wild" I still mean "the zoo/ campgrounds that welcome vintage trailers". I have never seen another one on the ROAD. 

And if I can just get to the farthest edge of Washington, a mere 2,472 miles from my current location, I can apparently double my lifetime sightings in one go.
Sorry for the un-cropped image, but I'm too impatient to wait til I get home to fiddle with it. This is another image from the Sou'wester, and I see 4- 4!- Spartans. They even have a 1950- HI!

I'm generally a quality-over-quantity person, but OMG- QUANTITY! A wealth of Spartans! Whew, fanning myself over here. What is the collective noun for spartan trailers??? A gaggle? A herd? A pride? A MURDER, cuz it kills me??!!! No one knows because a group of them has not been spotted in 50 years:(

Has anyone been here? What was it like??? I just know the people who own this place have to be amazing. Indie bands playing, rallies hopping, and alllll that sleek aluminum.

If you live in the PNW- and I know a buncha you who do- expect to be harangued next time I catch up with you. Someone needs to GO CHECK IT OUT!!!! DO IT!!!! We need DETAILS! 

It's about, oh, say, eleven-billionty degrees today in the fine state of Texas. Which makes a young girl's fancy turn to dreaming of cooler days- cooler days Glamping, that is. 

One thing I love about trailer camping is that you get to bring EVERYTHING your heart desires. In my case, that means anything I think might be possibly FUN. Despite the fact that most of camping involves basics- food, lounging, hikes or if yer lucky, swimmin'- I still love to pack up goofy stuff to do. Crafts, books, oddball projects.

From this mindset, we have a morning tradition called eggz-n-tattoos. Kids love it, but frankly, we like everyone to participate. The jist of it is having a broad selection of temporary tattoos. While breakfast is getting made (hopefully at someone's campsite who makes BACON, since my camping posse is largely vegetarian, while I like bacon more than I like pigs) we load everyone up until they look like Bart Simpson on a bender at the crappy tattoo shop. 

We even tattoo people who have lovely real tattoos; the point is to accept some body-sticker hospitality.  The temporary ones sweat and rub off and contribute to the feral, showers-are-optional look that means you are havin fun camping. 

Totally dumb, I know! But it's one of our dorky traditions we look forward to. Do you have any camping traditions? Are they as pointless as this one? Let's hear it! Spill!! 

(I'd like to thank the etsy vendor, whimfactory, for the cool image I have poached here. I notice the artist is from Austin, so yeah baby, bring it on home!!) 

... but another Spartan owner has asked me the plans for the bathroom remodel. 

Crappy question, my friend, bwa ha ha ha ha... Oh God, I'm 12 AND incorrigible. 

The bathroom in the Spartan works. (Well, worked, before we gutted it). Or, I assume it worked. But... we never used it. 

It just seemed too gross, tbh. We went with campground facilities or good ole peein' in the woods. Even growing up, when campgrounds were often more basic, we tended towards a portable potty.  (Which we, ever so classily, might I add, called The Bucket.) My parents were concerned when I left that little bit o joy in the dump pile when I claimed my silver beastie in 2010. And, yet again, they were mostly right. I never woulda peed on a Walmart parking lot curb (don't judge me!) if I'd brought that sucker along. 

Well, now it's my day and I have decided I will put a small rv toilet in the trailer. For nighttime mini-business ONLY. The plan for the camp is to have a bathroom/ bathing house built.  But until then, the toilet may see some action. (Gah-ross! Sorrysorrysorry ISAIDI'MSORRY.)

The bathhouse may feature a compostable toilet, which seems more palatable with more room and nature around it. That's all TBD. For now, yes, 1 conventional RV toilet. 

My friend Alison built an amazing house and lived in a small "cabin" on her property w/o running water while she was under construction for 9 months. At one point had a "medical handicap toilet" positioned discreetly outdoors- with cat litter in it.  She said that while it did not bother her, it freaked the F outta her guests. She ended up getting a traditional porta-pot and there was much rejoicing among those who wanted to hang out with her and are more traditional. (Like me, just theoretically, OF COURSE.) 

What about ya'll? Anyone have a real honey bucket? Or all ya'll pee in the wood-ers, too? Would you use the medical toilet with cat litter??? Be honest!
Alleluia!! It is with enormous relief that I show you that my trailer is a contained, water-tight unit again. 
So, one goat says to another: "Why are we in a Ram truck, anyway?"
Oh hey y'all!! Thanks for stopping by my fabulous imaginary party 60 years ago. Here I am in my divine hostess finery and pearls. Time for a cocktail, yes? (I am, apparently, the inspiration for Paris Hilton's bad posture in the future.)

My last post might have seemed like a non-sequitur- the Spartan trailer and the Apple mouse. As I've been foraging for flooring materials I have been musing about elegance, clean lines and the elusive concepts of Good Design and Good Living. What makes the everyday more beautiful, more functional? 

I will spare you a scholarly side trip down mid-century lane, but suffice to say if you have any interest at all in vintage silver- bullet style trailers, this design aesthetic resonates with you. You get it- on some level, it speaks to you. Could be your rarified taste, could be nostalgia, who cares why, but you LIKE it.  Fair? 

I like it, too. Specifically, I like the idea of indoor/ outdoor living, the warmth of natural materials and open spaces. I like architecture that "floats". 
I've been spending quite a bit of time admiring architecture lately. This guy Eichler, one of the visionaries driving modern design, for everyone (he designed for the middle class) well, he saw a different way of living, of taking up space. This is so different from old-style traditional American homes; it was so much less formal. 

Annnd... back at my imaginary cocktail par-tay... what all of this really speaks to in me is that I want to spend more time with family and friends. I was BORN to talk and eat. I want to look at the natural world and connect with it. As I look at these spaces, what I think is how wonderful they are for filling with people and good conversation. In the photo above, my eye goes to the patio and I yearn to be out there. It looks like twilight, which is the BEST time of day. Work done, relax mode ON, time briefly suspended. 

In the photo below I want to turn the vantage point, to look out the glass walls. I want to throw open the doors. This inspires me when I think of building the Spartan camp. I want to be outdoors-indoors. I want cozy and open. I want to fill it up with people; interesting people I know already, and friends yet to be made. I want YOU all to be there. 

What do you think? Are you coming?? PLEEEEEASE come! I'm saving you a spot;) 
The Apple.... 
... does not fall... 
... far from the tree! 
The legend is that Steve Jobs grew up in an Eichler- style California Mid-Century Modern home.