Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Introducing Kaa

I’d like to introduce Kaa to all of you who have not met him yet, the charming and quite oblivious passenger to The Waki Way of life. He is a Californian Corn Snake approx. 12 years old, (named after the Jungle Book character) and almost 5ft in length though trust me that makes him sound bigger than he really is! Sorry Kaa! He’s been a bit of an ambassador for snakes throughout his life and converted many ‘haters’ to admirers with his charm and hypnotising ways and I'm sure he will continue to do so on our travels.

He’s such a cutie and very friendly, and yes of course reptiles can be cute – look at him! He started life at the Japanese Koi centre near Henlow and was the ‘resident’ snake that they would bring out to show prospective customers so when I got him he was already around 4 feet and about a year old. I think all of the handling he got there is what has made him so relaxed around people, and he’s even been to visit the cadets at our St John Ambulance headquarters who were equally charmed!

He is still settling into his new vivarium in the house for the time being but will be transferred to the motorhome when the cupboard/sideboard area is built for him. I don’t want him to get stressed out by us building things next to him as well as being in a new vivarium with odd smells etc so we’re trying to get him gradually acclimatised to all of the changes.

Kaa’s new vivarium is a flat packed one by Vivexotic I bought it from a company called Seapets for a very reasonable price which arrived in good time and condition too, I actually wish I'd found them before I hand built his last viv as it probably cost me double the price in materials alone! They do seem to be the cheapest around for a great many pet supplies so I’ll definitely keep them bookmarked for our future requirements.

It went together well and actually comes with surprisingly strong good quality fixings, though it is only a chipboard unit so needs careful handling. I ran a seal of silicone over all of the internal joins to stop the damp getting through to the chipboard itself and also had to glue the back vents into place as Kaa would have been out of those it a heartbeat if left just pushed into place!

He actually managed to escape my homemade viv by pushing the glass and its runners apart and squeezing between the panes – luckily we were still sleeping in the house at that point and was just getting into bed when I heard him slithering across the bedroom floor! The runners on this viv are moulded from the same piece of plastic so can’t be forced apart, although the glass itself moves a little too freely along the runners for my liking so I’ll install a lock to stop him opening the doors. He is really inquisitive and surprisingly strong and likes digging, climbing and poking his nose into anything that's not his business so for now the doors just have a tab of tape of each end to stop him making another break for it!

Thursday, 13 September 2012


We now have something else to plan for in our Waki Way of life since Ryan proposed to me on Monday on our 11 year anniversary (no 11 is not as typo – I’ve been waiting a while!). 

He lured me into the motorhome to ask since it’s such an important part of our life together now! As September is our anniversary month we’ve decided to keep the wedding to the same time next year so watch this space… 

and a massive thank you to those who have already filled our Facebook pages with warm wishes! xxx

Friday, 7 September 2012

Amazing - Eco-fi Fabric

We recently recovered the fabric ceiling of the cab as it was very grotty, and also decided to recover the curved edging covers on which the original fabric had begun to rot away! To keep it light and bright we went with cream felt for the ceiling, bought from Milton Keynes market, which took a massive amount of spray adhesive and awkward pushing and pulling to get into all of the dips and bumps. 

The light colour is a risk with Ryan around and his dirty mechanic hands but it really does lift the space so is a risk worth taking!

We wanted to keep to the brown colour for the edging but couldn't find the right shade at the market so went back to trusty e-bay. I came across some well priced felt material called Eco-fi, which also happens to be made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles made by a company in America! See below pdf about how it's made it really is amazing! I know, simple things...

I've been showing it to everybody and no-one else can believe its plastic either so we have some good eco-karma in the project already without a compromise which is a rare thing!

I had to do some cutting and sewing to get it to fit the internal angles which I done by hand as I never have liked using a sewing machine, and it's a good way to practice my needlework. 
I intend on doing a lot more fabric craft work in the future and we don't have room for a machine anyway. The Waki Way is about doing things the simplest way possible, although we do joke that it's possibly about being the most awkward and inconvenient way possible which is how it's felt with the multitude of obstacles we've encountered so far but we persevere for a simpler way of life!

I can’t bring myself to throw away any fabric offcuts, especially with all of the crafty things that could be made with them so I needed a way to store them. I could just leave them in a plastic bag in a cupboard somewhere or I could have them to hand in a nice attractive bag so decided to make a cushion cover out of the ecofi fabric to hold it, and of course added a few embellishments that would complement our decor. 

I must own up to the fact that it wasn’t my original idea, I was actually inspired by someone on a YouTube video who uses her pillows for storing fabric! 

Click on the link below to view her video, she really is an amazing woman who in a similar situation to us decided to buy a trailer chassis and literally built herself a tiny house on top of it from recycled and salvaged materials!