Merry Christmas - I hope everyone has a safe holiday and are able to connect with your family and friends to the degree that is comfortable and safe (FaceTime, phone, some in-person). The weather outside IS frightful... Besides COVID Omicron, we have heavy snow now and extreme cold (for this area anyways) coming this week. Working in the shop on the van is unpleasant - super cold on my hands. I discovered that if I take out our little 350W electric radiant heater, it makes things much more pleasant. I work right in front of the heater dish and things are good - it's just a pain having to move the plug and heater from place to place.
Very exciting this past week. We took our fabric, zippers, mattress covers, foam, and Redford over to our friends Evelina and Ray's place to make our cushion covers. Evelina is a terrific seamstress and while we helped a little bit with layout and a bit of cutting, she put in 99% of the work! They turned out great and the van looks nice inside with the cushions in place. The mattress covers were necessary as our mattresses are made from poly foam (3") and latex foam (2"). The latex foam is very soft and not very durable - lots of bits coming off when it rubs against other items. So to protect it we bought mattress covers from Walmart and Evelina modified them to zip over the foam prior to putting them in the finished covers. We almost had a fabric disaster. After Evelina had worked on the covers for 11 hours Ray let us know that we were really close to needing more fabric - they would let us know the next morning... I looked at the Ikea website (we were using drapes for most of the cover material) and saw on the website there was only ONE package remaining at each of the local stores. Yup - when they made the final cuts we needed one more panel of fabric. I went out to Ikea for opening and managed to grab the very last pack on the shelf. I think that fabric and drape is now discontinued so we were very fortunate!
Now that we had extra fabric remaining from the new package, we had material to make a drape for behind the driving cabin and a cover for the large cargo door window. I had to study up on how to use the sewing machine! Everything has turned out quite well. I discovered that even though neodymium magnets are very strong, because the fabric is slippery against the van metal, you need lots of magnets to hold up the cargo door window panel (12 of them weren't enough!)
Calvin here - after spending almost 33 years in education as a high school teacher, elementary teacher, and elementary administrator, it was time to retire! I did so happily and with no regrets; it was a terrific and fulfilling career. I do enjoy building projects as the design and building process is very therapeutic and you see a completed functional product in the end. Now to combine the build with another of Angela's and my passions - travel - is something we're really looking forward to.