because it was there …
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on gratitude last week. Such moving and thoughtful words – I feel not only encouraged to count my blessings, but to remember that we all approach the world with such unique eyes and hearts.
Well … not really :-) Just *being* on the footpath is not enough to make me stop. But this gorgeous piece … oh my! There I was, on the way to collect Abby from school, already running a wee bit late, on the phone to my Mum, venting about the really crappy enrolment issues I’m having with my university, when I spied it. Perched on the very edge of the footpath, about to topple into the gutter.
I couldn’t stop – I was in mid-rant and would be dreadfully late for Abby if I tried wrangling it into the car by myself. So, I crossed my fingers that it would still be there on our homeward bound journey. If it was still there, I was meant to have it. If not … well so be it.
It was still there. We were still chatting to Mum, but as soon as I chucked a u-turn and pulled up in front of it, Abby knew what to do. Out she jumped, cleared the boot, and surveyed the territory. What a girl!
She looks for defects, my girl, and yes this has a few obvious ones, but nothing that can’t be easily fixed.
“It has graffiti Mum!” Pah! Bit of metho and that will come off in a twinkle.
“Ahem … the springs are poking out!” Yes but look what perfect condition they are in – no rust and not distorted – all it needs is new webbing and those springs will stitch right back into place.
“Its kind of missing part of its top here.” Hmmm … that will be the hardest thing to fix – I’ll try to find something at the traditional timber products store up the road or maybe I’ll find me a woodturner who can make me a new one. Small price.
And as for the damaged rattan – that’s where my Mum comes in :-) She’s an expert at that, having restored several of those lovely antique American dining chairs that always have seats made out of it. I don’t think she’s ever found one with the seat still intact, but after a quick lesson from the lady selling the supplies, Mum is now a whizz at cutting the rattan, wetting it to press it perfectly into place, then wetting the cane “piping”, and shaping it into its snug groove, followed up with some subtle tacking. There you go Mum – you’ll need to pay a visit soon :-)
I think this armchair must be quite old – definitely pre-war. The techniques used were very traditional and there was nary a staple to be seen – all lovely sturdy old blued tacks, with a beautiful hand stitched hessian roll at the front. Unlike modern tacks, these ones even came out whole (the heads break off the modern ones as soon as you whisper to them, very annoying). The fabric is kind of cute – but completely had it. And we didn’t rescue the cushions – they were atrocious – definitely peed on … definitely!
So after three very satisfying hours work – in which I channelled all my university angst into ripping those tacks out – the old upholstery is all off. Apart from those tacks you can see at the front, all the rest are out. And I’ve scrubbed down the closest arm.
It’s lovely English oak – see Abby! All the graffiti came off! I must say, those rounded melon things at the front are a bit tedious to scrub. But they’ll be worth it :-) And I’m definitely taking the funny little castor wheels off – they detract, most ridiculously, from the lovely heaviness of the clawed feet.
It really is the prettiest chair! I’ve yet to decide on new fabric – I think something simple. Maybe a stripe? Or a check? I’ll have a bit of an explore and see what I can see.
Tomorrow – why a bit more scrubbing! Nothing like a good dirty project to focus and occupy the mind. And when it’s nestled into a corner of Bootville, with one of us all comfy and snug in it, we will giggle and reminisce about how we go it home. Hee! hee! hee!