Sunday, August 21, 2011

Learning How To Mend A Broken Heart (Shaped Chair)

One of the chairs Mom left behind. Dad's jumper cables and Mom's Raleigh bike are in the background.  I saved those too!

My sister and I were getting ready for our giant garage sale a year ago, and I saw this gnarly looking chair in the garage--one of dozens of chairs our mother found on trash heaps and junk sales and had "planned to rehab" but never "got around to it."

"Put that horrible thing out in the driveway," I said to my sis. "I'm not going to be recovering that old thing."

She agreed and out it went.

Then, about an hour later as the sale was about ready to begin, my sister was poking around our extensive chair department, looking for display space, and she said: "Oh, look, the chair has a piece hanging down the back."

She put it in place and the chair looked like this:

And we all said, "Awww."  "It is a heart-shaped chair!" And I--being the biggest sucker in the family and also the youngest so the stuff all flows downhill and hits me on the head--said; "We should save that.  Maybe I will recover it.  It is so cute."

It isn't as if I myself have a shortage of chairs: as I'm sure you know if you've read these columns. I had my own collection before I inherited the ghastly-looking seating my mother had stowed away against future chair shortages in America.

I have my "tea cup chair," for which I created the needlepoint seat cover:

My cozy wing chair, which I've had recovered about three times since I bought it in Washington D.C.

There is the genuine Thonet chair (made in Poland with the original label still under the seat, which is supposed to make it priceless as Thonet invented "bentwood" and the factory was lost in the Holocaust) for which I created the Robin needlepoint seat cushion.

There is that set of four folding chairs with the musical theme I found at the Winter Park junque store and which I cover with different fabric remnants to suit my mood.

And the little vanity bench, which I bought for some reason I cannot now remember, but which I covered with African violets and a snail needlepoint I found which is supposed to be folded up to cover a door stopper.

Among others. Anyway, I've also covered (from Mother's collection) the Ecclesiastical chair, the Baroque Love Seat, the Little Carved Victorian chair, as well as the big Baroque Carved Chair. All these you can find elsewhere in these pages.

And now, several hundreds of dollars later, the (Broken) Heart Shaped Chair has finally come home.

And it is a beauty. It is what is known as a "slipper chair" so it seemed to me it had to go into a bedroom.  I covered it in a tiny pink-checked silk, and put it in the room with the big pink checked drapes.

The man at the upholstery shop said the fabric would be fine as long as I don't "spill anything on it." Does he imagine I have a horde of liquid-slopping people in the bedroom with the pink checks? I think not.

Anyway, my mother's imagination, of which she had wheelbarrow loads, has again been realized by her action-oriented daughter--still, one might speculate, trying to please. 

But this time, the pleasure is all mine. 

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Devon C. said...

It turned out so cute.

Robin Chapman said...

Thank you. Glad you like it, my niece. I think you'll inherit the collection upon my demise!

linda said...

i love what you did to the chair. i also love the music note chairs you found in winter park. i'll admit i chuckled outloud when i read you bought them in a WP junk shop. aren't the terms mutually exclusive? lol

Robin Chapman said...

Well, when I first moved there, things weren't quite so exclusive and the store in which I bought those chairs had a sort of junk-ish flavor. I don't think I paid much for them as their seats were covered in old spotted oil cloth.

linda said...

looking at what you have done with your chairs, i do believe you have another talent, robin!!

Robin Chapman said...

Chair restoration expert! Eh gad!

D said...

It is darling Robin!

Robin Chapman said...

Thank you D. It will be at the estate sale you and your sisters organize when I've gone to my great reward!