Sunday, August 26, 2012

It only took a decade...

It's sweet how a simple object can hold so much emotion. Many years ago my mom had this brown chair when we lived in San Francisco. She loved it, had it for years, but when our little family of my brother at 16 months, us twins at 2 months, & cat moved across the country in my mom's red mustang, the chair sadly did not make the cut. We settled in Providence so my dad could complete his MFA at Rhode Island School of Design. 
Mamma & The Boy
The Original Chair
It must have been destiny because my Grammy found a similar chair, had it reupholstered & gave it to my mom as a present, remembering how much she loved that chair. 

Kara or me? I have no idea
The New Chair (a few decades ago)

Luckily, the next several times we moved, my mom was able to keep the chair. This simple object has some of my fondest memories. My mom read to us every night, often sitting in that chair. One book just for my brother, another for Kara & me. She read us novels from that chair, we would sit at her feet, climb up over the back, hang off the arms or nestle in her lap. 

There was another fateful move from New Mexico back to New Hampshire & a decision had to be made, keep the chair or let it go. The springs were poking out, the fabric worn thin, it was a hot, miserable day of packing up the truck & emotions were running high. I couldn't bare to see it go, I quickly said "MINE" before any further decisions could be made. In order to make it fit, I took out the screws, removed the arms, did whatever I had to in order to make it into the truck. 

The chair remained in that condition for years, made it from New Hampshire to Arizona with me, sat in my room for another few years, unusable, but I was so consumed with school I didn't have the time to fix it. I brought the chair with me when I moved to Oregon where it sat idly for yet another few years. One fateful day, I stumbled upon the perfect fabric & the chair's new destiny started to emerge. Granted it took another year of finding supplies, figuring out how to reupholster and many, many curse words, our beloved chair has new life.

The process...

Sorry state of affairs
Unfortunately I have no idea how to upholster a chair. My parents raised us to be creative and we were always creating things so I enjoy taking on new projects. I do it all incorrectly and most of it is rigged at best, but it's mine and I love it.

Found the basic supplies (I think) for the foundation of the upholstery project

I stripped everything off 

The base of the chair is complete, new springs, burlap and arms are secured back on

Finished Project
New stuffing, a ridiculous amount of staples, cursing & wine...but it's done

Back Detail
I glued on a trim fabric to cover the staples at the back and add contrast around the edges of the chair
The brown chair has a new life. 

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