The Tinii

It's plural for Tinius, because we said so.

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A Love-Hate Story & A DIY By:Allison

Our little sailboat.

boatWhen we got Romany it was a wreck. Josh bought it, had it shipped, and docked in Chattanooga before I ever saw it. If I had seen it before we would have never owned it. The first night on the boat I cried. I also thought it was going to sink or explode at any moment.

pulling out the fuel tank

This is what I walked into that first night.


This is where I slept.


Old, rotten, and nasty.

allison boat

There were leaks everywhere and it was raining. There were no cushions to sleep on, no working plumbing, and barely functioning electricity. Bit by bit, though, we sanded and cleaned, sewed and ripped out.  I even fiberglassed. There were more tears along the way. We painstakingly repaired everything. I still don’t feel like it’s worthy of being called a yacht though. Romany and I have a love hate relationship. Some days I sort of like it’s old weathered personality. Others, however, I want to rip out that old Atomic 4 engine and sink it to the bottom of the lake.

We keep going back and forth on the name. We want to change it to Willy – like One Eyed Willy from The Goonies. Changing the name requires work though. We’d have to get the old letters off, repaint, and put new ones on. So, we might be sticking with Romany. I’m fine with it. I feel a little inspired by the Romany name.

It all started with Pinterest (dangerous words, folks). I found an image of a “Gypsy Caravan.” This led to a massive pinning session of all things gypsy, boho, and pirate. I have decided that the official style of our boat is “Gypsy Pirate.” Basically all this means is that I have given up on having a cohesive style and have resorted to throwing in anything and everything that I like.

Just so you know it's not too crappy anymore, here's an updated picture.

Just so you know it’s not too crappy anymore, here’s an updated picture.

Know what I like this second? Sugar skulls. That feels gypsy pirate, right? It’s a skull with flowers! So ladies and gents, this leads me to my very first DIY. Taken with pictures from my crap-tastic $20 smart phone. Bear with me. I’ll get better at this I promise.

I wanted a sugar skull pillow, but I didn’t want to pay for one (story of my life). I had an old pillow case from Goodwill that I really liked, so I thought I’d try my hand at screen printing.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fine mesh fabric (think sheer curtains)
  • Quilting or embroidery hoop
  • Screen printing ink (I found some at JoAnn’s)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil

First, find an image you like or draw one. I drew this sugar skull. If your image is detailed like mine was, it’s going to be hard to figure out where the ink needs to go later. So, I took a sharpie and started drawing over my lines. I knew the lines needed to be thick so I clearly knew what needed to be inked and what didn’t. Start with a simple image if this feels confusing.

Put your mesh into the hoop and PULL IT TIGHT.


Lay your image or sketch on a flat surface and lay your hoop with the fabric in it on top.


Now trace the image onto the fabric with your pencil.


Once that’s done flip the hoop over so that the fabric isn’t touching anything. You’ll probably want to put something underneath because things are about to get messy.

So, now you’ll want to get our your mod podge and fill in all the areas that you do not want inked. Because my image was detailed this took some figuring out. This is where the sharpie comes in handy. Having thicker lines makes this step easier.


Let that dry.


Once it’s all dry get out your ink and something like an old gift card. Put down the fabric you want to print on and put something behind it so the ink won’t bleed through (I used wax paper).  Place your screen, still in the hoop, flat against your fabric to be printed.


I weighted mine down with bottles of water to keep it still.

Squeeze on some ink and using the card, squeegee it all over the image making sure to work it down into the mesh and onto the fabric.


Lift up your hoop very carefully and voila!


Let it all dry and follow the instructions on your ink for setting it. Mine required ironing.


Isn’t that the most perfect boho, gypsy, pirate pillow you’ve ever seen?

I’m slowly piecing together fun & practical items for the boat. It’s hard because the space is so small, but it’s also a blessing. It’ll be a fun challenge to live simply and feel at home in the space! I’ll keep you updated on how it’s going.