Saturday, June 4, 2011

Obsessive Compulsive Chair Disorder Update

Hold on; I'll get to this garage piece in a moment. (Oh, tell Dad those are his jumper cables in the background.  I still have the set he gave me when I first left home, in the back of my car. Natch!)

Dear Mom:

Hard to believe it has been almost a year and a half since you went to your Great Reward. Time Flies When You're Having Fun! Oops, sorry. Just kidding! I don't blame you even a teensy bit for making me feel as if I've been living in the House o' Chairs ever since your abrupt departure. Not a teensy bit. Okay. Maybe a tad.

I'm not even going to ask you what you had planned for them all, when you "got around to it." The fact that there were no comfortable chairs to actually sit in in the entirety of our lovely family home--when you took your leave of it--is rather more here than there. Not your problem now, is it! Nil nisi bonum etc etc.

There certainly were a lot of "projects" to contemplate. Every time Sis and I cleaned a new part of the garage/house/shed/closets we found ten or fifteen more chairs! Too late for a therapist! Meanwhile: I have had some success in getting a few things in hand with the best of the lot. So here's my update:

I had that pretty little Lady's Side Chair with the gorgeous patina the Keno brothers would exclaim over, upholstered in a William Morris-like fabric. Fabric cost a fortune--but thanks to you I could afford it!  Oh sorry. Anyhoo: I think it looks gorgeous. One of the prettiest you had stashed among the cobwebs and the plastic bag collection. Good show.

I was a bit luckier price-wise on that carved Late Baroque number.  It came out just as lovely as the little chair, only I spent a lot less on the fabric.  I found a whole bolt of it at a huge discount at Calico Corners, and took the lot. Never know when you'll have to cover another chair around here!  The fabric is called "Blenheim" so I'm imagining that Winston Churchill and the Duke of Marlborough would recognize it right off--the fabric that is. Don't think you got the chair at a Blenheim Garage Sale--but anything is possible!

Then, just to keep that coppery-peachy theme flowing like the Thames to the sea, I covered that Mediterranean Revival chair of my own (this disease is contagious I'm afraid) in a similar motif. Looks absolutely smashing even though it was not from your OCCD collection but mine own. You don't have to say anything. Thanks.

Finally, I'm about ready to take that darling Gothic monstrosity we hauled back to California in the trunk of the Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight decades ago to the local upholsterers for it's update.  "Quite a statement, that chair," said the grumpy man at the upholstery place, looking at the photo.  It has to be velvet: but I haven't chosen the color.

At least we know the Pope will have good seating if he ever comes to visit.  (I'm not leaving it in the breezeway, Your Holiness, just polishing it prior to its transformation.)  It has a nice detail on the back, by the way, that I never noticed before.

We could put a hinge on it back there and use it as a place to hide the zucchetto and the mitre! Oh dear, I'm at it again. Forgive me.

Now Mom,  grab your throne for a mo' and hold on: because I didn't preserve all the chairs in the traditional sense of the meaning of the word "preserve."

A few of them have discovered their inner plant stand. Aren't they fab! Saves on upholstery bills!

Let's see, oh, there were those pieces of chairs you had stored up above the old Buick.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out what good they were and then--ta da!--I put in the summer garden and bingo, they found a home.

House o' Chairs is proud to call them a garden wall.

Some of the pieces didn't even have seats or anything. So I took a hammer to them--Mom, it was so healthy for me!--and put them up as "architectural antiques." They sell this stuff for a fortune in those catalogues. And ours aren't even made in China, so they're nicer.

This chair was just a back and had no seat!  What could I do? I "used it" as they say in Drama.

This piece came from a set of two chairs much too awful to show here.  They weren't even carved!  It was all pasted together!  I had a great deal of fun smashing them with my little hammer and  then put this piece somewhere too far up for most people to examine in much detail ...

... It has a certain je ne sais quoi, and who's looking into the quoi? Plus, when the Big Earthquake comes, I'll be warned to jump out of bed by the crashing sound that faux wood carving makes when it hits the floor.

So there you are: I'm just as crazy as you are and thus, I'm having a ball with all your junk!  I hope you don't hate it too much, but then, luckily for both of us, you are beyond that sort of thing.  I still remember the day when you were still with us in body that Sis and I tried to move one of your couches (the really bad-looking one in the kitchen.) Quelle horreur! Anyway, I know you've let all that anger float away with the mortal coil! I do hope.

BTW--I still have that romantic boudoir chair to glue back together. It's the one that a person can't really see at first--until she puts up that back piece that is always falling down.
With the back in place it is an absolute valentine of a piece.  "A real statement, that chair."

I have that whole bolt of "Blenheim."  I wonder how that little heart-shaped-number would look in Churchillian guise?  Well, cheer-o.  Gotta go.  First things first and all that. I'm off to the upholsterers with the Pope chair. I'm pretty sure I'm the first one in my neighborhood to have one of those. And it has only taken us--and I mean that in the nicest way--what, half a century to make it suitable for seating? 

Definitely your daughter,

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Anonymous said...

You are right: De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

Robin Chapman said...

Such a sense of humor! Ha Ha ha!

peretzklein said...

Coming from a nice Lutheran family like you do, Robin, I'm sure that your mother would actually be tickled pink if His Holiness showed up, and sat in one of her chairs. ;)

Robin Chapman said...

He insists I put red velvet on the thing, before he agrees to grace our door with his Guccis. I'm thinking.

Don Meuler said...

I have a weakness for chairs too, but more the padded, loungy kind. Running out of rooms, unless you think the master bath would be an acceptable location...

Robin Chapman said...

Don't forget each chair has an inner plant stand!

Don Meuler said...

I'm usually the inner plant, I'm afraid...