Tag Archives: diy

The Trailer Project is here.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-5-19-05-pm

Walking down my street toward the Milagro Allegro Community Garden, behind the Historic Highland Theatre, I saw a friend passing by and had an idea (a good one, I might add!)

She is a well-respected artist that has been a consistently active part of Los Angeles art culture for the past 30 years. She crafts one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry from the studio built on her exotic property amid the urban neighborhood. To see her art click here.

I had passed by the old trailer in her yard for the better part of two years. My roommates were physicists (yeah…I know) in their final year of their doctoral programs at CalTech in Pasadena, and I knew it would be crunch time for them study-wise. (Or maybe rent was just going up…I can’t remember—moving on!) Either way, I was on the prowl for a cool space.

So I asked with nothing really to lose.  If she thought I was crazy, I could just say I was joking—if she said yes, uh,  then I was just going to figure out what to do  from there?

I asked if I could move into the 1969 19′Silver Streak “Jet” I had seen so many times before, parked right there in her front yard. Silver Streaks are made by the same people who make ‘Airstreams’, but the Silver Streak is entirely insulated (and maybe a little cooler?)

Welp, I’m guessing from the title of the post, you guessed that she said “yes’, and you’re right.

Being a self proclaimed minimalist, the move was really just across the street, my belongings were inside the trailer (whose insides hadn’t really seen the light of day in years) in about an hour and a half. When that was done and the deal was made, I laid the idea of completely renovating the trailer on the table, and again, to my surprise, she was completely on board.

Wasn’t expecting that…

Nothing I couldn’t handle! There were a lot more cabinets and weird wooden fixtures on inside than I had expected. I learned later it had been used as a mobile office for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power during the 60s and 70s.

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

I’d recently acquired a lot of tools and some quality lumber and figured since I had time off from work, it was clearly an sign that I should take on this sort of project. I was excited about it, and ready for it.

There was probably an easier way to go about gutting the inside, but I took a sledgehammer and sort of let it do its thing. When that led to a flurry of splinters and small episodes of heat exhaustion, I broke down and just unscrewed the stupid cabinets like I was supposed to in the first place…

From then, it was actually pretty streamlined!

There were some original components of the trailer that I wanted to keep, so I set them aside, treated and replaced them later.

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

To assist in making it possible to work in the grueling heat, a friend and I were able to insert air vents in the top of the trailer.

I knew some pieces were going to be essential and had to be addressed first; a bed, a desk, closet space, and some air circulation—in the winter? Well, some heat!

After clearing the insides and scrubbing down years of grime from the walls and repainting them with a few coats of stark white paint, it was pretty easy to envision where I wanted to go from there.

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

Sure, it might not look like much…but this soon became the most important art project of mine. Most of my free time went into the trailer. I realized these sorts of projects were probably never really “finished”, and that’s okay. Slowly but surely, she started to really feel like home.

I scored some solid hardwood cherry floors, and that made a HUGE difference.

After using some of the lumber I got from a carpenter/artist pal of mine up in the San Francisco area (he also owns BayAreaCustomFurniture and is one of my favorite painters), it was time to move things in.

At this phase, the trailer really started to reflect my personality more. Because of the tiny-home living situation aka, little to no space, it caused me to really shed possessions that I didn’t use or didn’t need anymore. A fresh start!

I got some cool vintage pieces, and started collecting pictures and art that I organized to hang on my salon style wall. I painted the inside of the door yellow, got some awesome indoor plants, hung up some lanterns for light, and kicked back back to revel in what it had become. The sounds of angry drivers peeling around corners, crying babies,  and helicopters flying overhead during the night, shining their lights into my little trailer, became my tropical breeze. Home, sweet home. It really is where you park it!

This all sounds like it might have happened in a day, but it was really more of a two month, or so, long process. Plus, I never seize to add little details here and there, or continue going back and finishing odds and ends that were overlooked before.

Feeling like a proud parent, and loving my neighborhood more than ever, I posted a couple blog pieces on The Whirling Girlish, showcasing how far we’d come as well as the beautiful and unique surrounding neighborhood that the trailer and myself call “home”!

You can go back and check out the articles here.

trailer update 2

andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

*Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

*I should note that the bed situation is WAY more comfortable than it looks.

Even though I was pleased with the interior transformation, and of course loved her for what she was already (I accepted her!), I couldn’t help but wish I had a more clear idea of what I wanted to do on the outside. There was the beautiful deck that I was using all the time, which really is a social space. Having people over at the trailer gets sort of crammed inside.

Like many things that are overthought, nothing really progressed after a while. I added some plants or pieces that were “works in progress”, but there’s no doubt there were alterations I wanted to make. It really just came down to a matter of “when and how?”.

And just like so many things that are overthought, so many things are also rushed. I decided to let the exterior of the trailer happen organically to give myself time to really get things done completely.

andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california

andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-5-57-01-pm

She had just pitched and successfully sold a show concept for EllenTube called Grand Design.

Here’s how it would go down;

A pair of contractors/TV personalities, originally from HGTV referred to as The Cousins, would come in with a team and re-design the outside deck—all within 24 hours, and all for under $1,000.

Was this real? Did I say “yes”?! Of course! They didn’t have to ask me twice. I was on board, they were excited about the project, and they would be at the gate, hammer in hand, at the end of the month.

Woah, man. What had I done right recently?

True to their word, it all happened, and it was an amazing experience in time. I met the cousins, saw that they were in love with the property, neighborhood, and most importantly, the trailer. They were excited about the project and it relieved any apprehension I had experienced leading up to the moment.

The anticipation about killed me…but it was worth it. The experience and end result are beyond what I had fathomed.

See for yourself. 

9

Uh, yeah I was stoked.

But it wasn’t just me. Thousands of other people thought the transformation was amazing too! What a cool show. Something I had wanted to do for so long, completed in a day. Amazing. Not to mention it was EXACTLY what I wanted. I wouldn’t (and haven’t) changed a thing.

 

10

IMG_7545.JPG

 

She’s pretty dreamy looking at night time too.

 

28

25

26

Want to see the episode? Click HERE! Enjoy! 

 

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-6-15-08-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-6-32-28-pm

Home is where you park it! : Tiny living in my freshly renovated vintage Silver Streak trailer in Highland Park! (I did it under $1500)

Original post here: Home is where you park it! : Tiny living in my freshly renovated vintage Silver Streak trailer in Highland Park! (I did it under $1500)

trailer update 2

andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california
andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

Whirling Girlish walk in the (Highland) Park!

andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaI’ve wanted to do this for so long, so I finally did! I have always loved the historic architecture around the neighborhood, especially the unique signs. It gives the area a lil somethin’, somethin’ ya know? These are all candid shots taken in motion with my iPhone 6 (and they are unfiltered too!)

Above is my Eden, the Milagro Allegro Community Garden located behind the Historic Highland Theater, and it’s lined with recycled water jugs as we wait for our upcoming drip water system! andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaThe ever-changing walls of graffiti around the neighborhood always makes for strolls around town that are short of boring. I always like checking out what’s happening inside Sun Beam Vintage (creating a mental inventory of things that I wouldn’t mind owning in the future). They’ve had truckloads of stuff coming in lately it seems.  I always come across something new ie: this random door. Good thing too, because you have to remember not to always stare at the ground! There are some renovations happening in the upper levels of lots of the buildings along Figueroa, so I’m interested to see what becomes of them. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california This is getting to where it seems like the cool cats like to hang out. I can never tell if the stores are open or not, but the tiny cafe, The Kitchen Mouse, is always hoppin’ and seems to be a place for the young and hip to congregate and agree with whatever the other person is saying. There are a lot of denim jackets and ironic t-shirts involved (not that I’m not guilty of those things myself, I’m just saying…)andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaIt wasn’t until this specific stroll that I realized there are a ton of options shop-wise to go to get beautified. Salons, barber shops, nail places etc. I guess Highland Park wants you to be pretty. In case you couldn’t tell, this place wanted to make sure you know they are open. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california

My favorite place to get beer! At “The Coldest Beer in Town”. The folks that work there are awesome, they have a good selection and are, well, Brasilian, which gives them automatic kudos in my book (sue me!). Birds of a feather!

There’s also an ever-so-present theme of classic cars. Why does everyone have them? Also, when they have time to restore them? How do they do it? Isn’t that expensive? I feel like I moan every time I have to just get an oil change. IMG_5188andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california The people watching can’t be beat. I’m always wondering where bystanders and commuters are going. Sometimes you see some heartfelt stuff…other times not so much, but I try to keep it positive. I like the interactions I have. The other day I saw a man watching hard-core porn on the public computers at the library and that was interesting. It was uncomfortable, but even the librarians and I agreed that there was something to be admired about his gives-zero-shits approach to doing what he felt like doing. You never know what you’ll come across! andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaAh, yes, La Estrella. This place has saved me once or twice at 2:00 am after and evening at La Cuevita Bar (the home of Sunday Service, my favorite LA queer night!) God love ’em. Like I said, there are no shortage of barbers in these here parts. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Another gem of a wall that has been here longer than me! andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california I love this, because it makes me wonder if I have ever consciously been talking to a millionaire and then knew I was learning something from them. Have you? Just a reminder that you might be craving a breakfast biscuit, and maybe a little bit of Jesus on the side. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california The Highland Park recreation Center. Great lawn, better people watching (and you get the wi-fi from the library next door). So, you can’t really lose here. This food truck is the jam, and the people who run it are cool. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Note the hair studio. We are now approaching York Blvd. (there will be more York pics in a later post)  I also associate mattresses with Highland Park. Like, they might be on the side of the road, or they might just be stacked sky-high in the bed of a pick-up truck. Either way, people got them some beds to choose from around here .andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california It could be weird, but I think documenting gas prices is always a good testament of time. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california There’s no shortage of this rubbish littering the sidewalks! Real estate agents up the wazoo trying to get everyone to sell their houses. (Don’t worry, I picked it up and threw it away along with about 30 other miscellaneous property-related flyers along the walk).  Your dog is a mini-poodle, my friend. But sure, I’ll beware! andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california There’s also an emergence of cool gates. Could it be competitive? It never stops! Now we gotta try and have the coolest gate. Let’s just take down all the gates. Unless I get the coolest gate, then we can all have gates. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Along with the multitude of mattresses, I always find some bed frames that are looking for a new home. And behold! Yet another classic car as the backdrop. Oh wait, and a barbershop in the back ground. We are some bed loving, vintage car driving, style fiends around here. I wonder if this used to be someone’s home, or even what kind of business it was before. Either way, it’s pretty cute. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Loving the houses turned pop-up restaurant. There is a lady on my street that sells these amazing pupusas once a week and she just sets up tables in her front yard. There’s always a LINE. But it’s worth it. Find your currency, then use it, ya know?andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california This place has unassuming looking margaritas that you should a) go and enjoy and b) beware and have your Uber app ready. Trust me. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california This store rules! And the prices aren’t too crazy. If nothing else, it’s good for creating that mental inventory I talked about before. Sometimes it’s fun to do it in person rather than just on Etsy or Amazon. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california It took everything I had to not go in (I want answers, damnit!), plus there’s nothing more convenient than having my future told to me while getting my latest lower back tattoo. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california When I want to remember Florida, I come here. The aggressive tension of the waiters is remniscent of the geriatric bullies outside of a Cracker Barrel on a Sunday morning. Some people take their giant checkers games seriously. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california This museum has some rad stuff including but not limited to some real artifacts from some crazy chases and happenings that took place during the infamous LA Riots!  Sort of like the gas thing, but it’s always fun to document these and use them as visual time capsules. Plus, from an architectural standpoint, they have a cool history that I will delve into in a future (very upcoming) post! andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Jesus and classic cars. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Something about these always intrigues me.  There’s Daisy, making sure we dress to the nines again. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaAm I the only one who worries when I notice someone hasn’t checked the mail in a while?  andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Clean up your fake bamboo tiki fence and talk to your neighbors, dude. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaWe all do!  Note the “More Art for LA” banner swaying ever so gallantly in the forefront of McDonalds. Hey, who says you can’t have both?andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california This lady was not amused and wanted to make sure that I “don’t end up like her” and I asked in what way, to which she responded, “Oh, shit, it’s already too late….just keep going.” I was concerned. But I pressed forward. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california There’s always some character to these liquor stores (characters on the inside) and a personality of their own on the outside. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california This place is a picture/experience treasure trove and the people that work there are gems in themselves. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Again with the hair.  Also, the hair. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Also, do you need a haircut? andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california I really dig these benches but have yet to pass by this place and it ever be open. Color me intrigued.  I’m going to do a future Whirling Girlish posts dedicated to all the Lavandarias around the neighborhood and I’ll be stoked to do so. Stay tuned! andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Look at that open sign! Open for business and open to diversity is how I see it! Who knows.  Thank goodness there is somewhere to get my hair done. I do like that logo though. I always said if I had a bar of my own I would call it the “Scissor” and the logo would kind of look just like that. Way to be on the same wave length, peeps! andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Why can’t I ever say “no” to fruit…why?andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california     andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california  andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Shopclass offers, well, classes, for those of your that want to get your wood-working on! andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california This is where we used to bring (Tesla, the xolo, who now lives in Florida with her confidante, Lucy the labrador). andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california  andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california

andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaCool guy, working on some deals. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california  andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california  andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california   andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california  andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california   andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california “That’s what she told me!”, said no one ever.  andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california Cafe de Leche rules and the management is second to none (she’s a good friend of mine). Grab a cup!  andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california IMG_5449andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california   andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaThe Monte Vista projects (on arguably the most historic stretch of buildings in Highland Park!) andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california  andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaIMG_5484IMG_5485IMG_5486IMG_5487IMG_5488IMG_5489IMG_5490IMG_5491IMG_5492IMG_5493IMG_5499IMG_5500IMG_5501 IMG_5502  andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california  andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california This is Dr. Moore. He taught at Pepperdine for 33 years and walks around the neighborhood with his African Gray Parrot on his shoulder as to ensure that she doesn’t “get restless”. She poops on him constantly, and he genuinely doesn’t care, and I hope to adopt his mentality one day. andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_california andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaIMG_5557IMG_5546IMG_5552Couldn’t resist throwing in a trailer pic! Love the light this time of day. But I still need to figure out how to hide my power cables! andrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaandrea_jackson_whirling_girlish_highland_park_los_angeles_californiaPS I cannot WAIT to go to this event, it’s going to be awesome/interesting and there will be lots of “YAHS” hollers (on my part) I’m imagining.

Home is where you park it! : Tiny living in my freshly renovated vintage Silver Streak trailer in Highland Park! (I did it under $1500)

This dream of a project consisted of A LOT of power tools, sorting of scraps, recouping after random El Nino storms, and organizing what seemed like an endless to-do list. But persistence (and mild OCD) got us to where we wanted to be!

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

I’ve always been pretty into the idea of living with as few material possessions as possible. Since living like a true Semana isn’t a viable reality for me, I at least try to stick to the essentials (or at very least quality goods that mean something to me).

I had an amazing living situation in Highland Park with two of my best friends that are getting their doctorates from CalTech in physics (intense!) But alas, when I was introduced to my knock-out artist/feminist/rock star of a neighbor, Stormie Art (of Roseark Jewelry), my Sagittarius instinct kicked in (classic) and I convinced her to let me live in and renovate the vintage Silver Streak “Jet” trailer instead of turning it into her mobile boutique (she’d been toying with the idea for a while). 19′ and she’s all mine.

She was down (what, really?!), and I was surprised about it. Luckily, the move wasn’t a long and/or strenuous one (I’m across the street), and it only took one car load to move my belongings. So begins the journey of the budget-minded (and epic) Highland Park Silver Streak renovation!

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

She needed some work. I saw the potential and never doubted her! We got started right away clearing out the insides of what used to be a mobile office for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

And with the help of some tiny laborers, we chiseled away at the project day-by-day. Luckily, I had just acquired amazing lumber from the San Franciscan Bay area from a dear friend (and my favorite artist), Kyle, who owns Bay Area Custom Furniture as well as creates work that can be seen here.

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

After scraping away at a few decades of dirt and grime from the walls and coating her with some new stark white matte paint, she was beginning to feel the new life breathed into her. I used some of my lumber to create some accents throughout the trailer included the Douglas fir, boiled linseed oil varnished, entrance wall.

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

We got lucky on the floor and found a lad in the area with a limited supply of hardwood cherrywood (a step up from the most cost-efficient option of linoleum wood flooring). Generally, the floor planks are staggered, but I chose the quality of the wood over the standard design because we had to be as efficient with the planks as possible.

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

I had purchased the small dresser drawers from a pretty great store in Ventura, California called Rotations. I need to be as space efficient as possible, so I just sawed an inch or so off of each leg and applied little sliders to the bottom of each foot to eliminate scratches on the hardwood floor.

While I do have power to the trailer, it helped saved space and electricity utilizing a couple of fans (for summer) and a small portable space heater (for winter) as well as some pretty great value camping lanterns that I think add to the authentic aesthetic of the trailer.

The large print on the wall is one o the original layout prints for the community garden (Milagro Allegro), so I framed it and it’s just one more element of my tiny home that means a lot to me!

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

The most labor intensive part of the project was replacing and reinstalling light/air ventilation units in the top of the trailer. We had to take out the old units, replace them, seal the air holes, and tar the surfaces to protect against water damage. In the end, they allow for pretty impressive air circulation and natural light.

The tire cover box is a multi-functional sitting surface as well as a sort of display area where I used a soft throw and some big throw pillows to add some more texture in the room. If you look closely, you can see my issue of the latest Tom Tom magazine sitting on it!

I purchased two air plants from Echo Garden  on York Blvd. in Highland Park, and the other finer details sort of popped up organically. The two antique table lights are compliments of antique-junkie/entry level hoarder, Stormie. The genuine leather (bad ass) vintage barber chair was purchased from the buyer for a local store, Sunbeam Vintage (okay, okay, it was my splurge).

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

The yellow rolling chair (one of my favorite pieces) was also found at a thrift store in Ventura. On the bottom of it there is actually an etched “property of” tag, tracing it back to a hospital office in the late 70s!  The filing units under the desk were original from the previous office set up. They had been painted and after scrubbing away with some steel wool, I was able to reach the layer of cool sea foam green, then seal it off with some anti-rust spray.

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

The avocado table is an original piece created by yours truly! I wrote an article about it in 2014 which can be read here, and I am so excited that it (and it’s counter part, the side table/ stump next to the bed) have found a home where I think they really vibe.

The books on top of the table are a gift from a good friend. They are graphic novels by artist Jaime Hernandez and part of a series called Love and Rockets (and I recommend you get your hands on a copy whenever you get the chance). There’s also some good read on the shelf that I’ve collected through the years and even some recent purchases from one of my favorite places, The Last Bookstore, in Downtown Los Angeles, where I sift through the $1 book section for hours.

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

Homey touches are along the walls, where I printed some old pictures of my family and stacked some of my favorite art prints on the empty light canisters (original to the trailer). I also have some original prints hanging (you can see them in the “Drawings” section of The Whirling Girlish) as well as a piece from Highland Park artist, Bleys Lieuallen, and one of my favorite prints by artist Tom Lamb, who does hand drawn maps of different L.A. neighborhoods.

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

Not shown above are the 100+ year old tiles that are from the original house on the main property that was built in 1906 and rest on one acre of land (even amidst the burgeoning nature of the neighborhood). I still need to wipe away the excess grout! Eek! The only caveat is that the internet connection in the trailer is a little less than desirable, so I had to improvise.

Sidenote: (Shout out to the bowl of packaged seeds from the Amaranth harvest we had at the Milagro Allegro Community Garden for the seed library!). I manage the garden and we do some pretty cool stuff. Another perk? It’s right up the street from me, located by my daily spot, Kinship Yoga who partners with us at the garden for various projects, and also the Historic Highland Theatre off of Figueroa.

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

I attached a simple curtain to the closet area not only to take away from the business of my wardrobe, but also to add a bit of texture to the space. I also did this by adding some different printed wool blankets from Pendleton (via eBay), and adding some large throw pillows to the day bed (also what I like to refer to as, you know, “my bed”). Most of that I just got from some of my favorite Goodwill stores (Glassell Park, Santa Barbara, Redondo Beach).

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

(There have since been multiple succulents and other such wonderful living things moved onto the deck using recycled containers and water!)

Another one of the my favorite elements is the bright yellow door….my spirit color! When it’s shut and you are on the interior of the trailer, it adds a pretty awesome pop against the white walls and ties together different yellow access around the space ie: the rolling desk chair. The outdoor deck ain’t too shabby either. I’m using a lot of the old drawer units and remaining filing cabinets as planters for different plants and succulents I have growing about.

trailer update .jpg

Now there are more pictures on the walls and texture added by the combination of fleece and wool blankets. It would also be a good opportunity to add some sort of sheep skin, or maybe a cow hyde (artificial if you are sensitive about real furs!). Instead of bulky curtains, I opted for a crochet scarf I found at the Bearded Beagle in Highland Park. It allows for sunlight to stream through and still gives me privacy without the inconvenience of bulky drapery or shutter blinds.

trailer update 2 .jpg

There are some awesome left over pieces of lumber and I was able to make this bike table (created from a vintage movie-prop bike that had been rusting away in my neighbor’s yard for years, and some of the refurbished Douglas fir panels!)

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

Next to come? An outdoor brick bread oven. Then the holiday trailer/oven parties will be a go-go! She’s going to be a work in progress for as long I live there, and I am looking forward to every minute of it!

Andrea-Kainuma-Jackson-Whirling-Girlish-Highland-Park-Los-Angeles-California-Vinatge-Silver-Streak-Trailer-Renovation-2015

Proof it can be done! Use your resources (do you know anyone that might have the materials you’re looking for?), try to keep it local (it’ll mean more if you do), and say “yes” when the opportunity comes up! Is it conventional? I mean, not really.

But if nothing else it does make for a good ice breaker at parties.

I made a thing! Handcrafted reclaimed avocado wood goodies!

Hello readers!

Just a full little side note of what I have been filling some of my free time with!

When we moved into our house, the yard behind it had the two biggest avocado trees that I have ever seen! The biggest a lot of people have ever seen. It made the biggest fruit. Seriously. It impressed people.

But the developer that owned the lot cut down the trees because he wants to build apartments (so horrible!). People protested, and they had the hardest time finding a company that would agree to cut them down….
But finally they did, and when they showed up, I ran into one of the guys hired for the job. Like everyone else…he was totally bummed! But the bills weren’t going to pay themselves. So I asked him if he could cut the tree in such a way that parts of it would be salvageable for woodworking projects!
They were really excited about that idea, and complied the best they could, trying to cut the slabs flat. After two days, the beautiful trees were gone, and in their places, just two large stumps and big piles of lumber.
So stump by stump, I started gathering pieces that I thought would make beautiful furniture, cutting boards etc. After about two days of rolling and lugging, we had a nice collection of genuine Ventura, California Avocado wood in our backyard!

There was one stump in particular that I knew would make the best side table! But the wood was really wet and still alive. I would have to wait a month at least for it to dry out. But in the meantime, I bought some chisels and hammered the bark off of the pieces I wanted to use! After a couple of weeks, the stump looked something like this…

And with some more chiseling and A LOT of sanding…it started looking like this…
and after it was sanded and smooth, I started added layers of boiled linseed oil to seal it from water and serve as a protective coating!
It is still unfinished (it still needs some coats), but so far this is what the top looks like…

And there was a slab section I knew I wanted to use as a coffee table. My favorite piece. It was cut from one of the main stumps. After a couple of months it warped a bit but I was able to saw it in half, and sand it down so that it was level! It was a lot of sanding. A lot.
But all worth it!
Today I applied the first coat of boiled linseed oil just this afternoon, and so far this is what it looks like…

And here is a side view. Right now it is just resting on another unfinished stump. Eventually I will add metal hairpin legs, and it will be a mid-century modern style avocado coffee table! Here’s a side view…There are definitely some knicks and nooks, but I kind of think it adds some character.

It still needs about a weeks’ worth more of varnish/oil, and then I need to attach the legs…but so far so good!
There are other stumps like the one below that have had no work done yet, and I plan on sectioning them off into cool cutting boards!