Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Happy Chair

     I finished renewing the chair this morning. Once it was bare bones and ready to be rebuilt, it was hard to leave it alone. So it has been steadily coming together. This morning I awakened at 5 am with an idea for my next Notes From Toad Hall. I know from experience that ideas fly right out my nighttime window if I don’t write them down immediately, after that I couldn’t go back to sleep. I could hear the chair whispering down in the dining room where my upholstering mess was festering away. I only had a little bit more to do, so armed with a cup of tea and still in my pajamas, I began padding the back of the back and attaching the back piece onto the chair back, thinking I’d be done in no time. When the project is finished, all the inside work should be invisible with none of your tacks or staples showing. There are some tricks to this and my mother has been coaching me over the phone. 

Chair back

Happy Chair
     By 11:45 I was finally done. I guess most meaningful things, including people and God, require more bits of flesh than I plan to give. I hammered my thumb twice and nicked my wrist once with the fabric cutter.

     It’s been worth some cussing and pain. Inspiration for this project came from Shawna Robinson’s website. She refashions old chairs with complete disregard for convention or color and calls them Happy Chairs. She is more than a designer: in a delightful twist of calling and giftedness, she’s also NASCAR race driver. I couldn’t be happier with my Happy Chair. It punches up our living room. Not to everyone’s taste. Denis sent a pic of it to a friend last night who diplomatically replied: “Well, that’s different.”  Which is the same thing as saying I’d rather have a dead chicken hanging around my neck. That same person’s daughter said: I would TOTALLY, immediately buy that if I saw it in a store.


Jill said...

I love it Margie! Good work.. my hubby wanted me to learn this from Gma years ago.. but between the heavy lifting and PATIENCE needed...I knew it wasn't gonna happen. I'm proud of you and love the colors!

Anne Dye said...

I am certainly in the " I would TOTALLY, immediately buy that if I saw it in a store" crowd. It is a VERY happy chair. This is a very HAPPY blog thanks for writing it.

Margie Haack said...

Jill, thank you! I know what you mean. If the job doesn't require sewing, it's easier. We (Anita) now has a heavy upholstery machine that could sew from my finger tip to my shoulder in a trice if I let it. I think a person should do it if it's fun. Well, okay, it can definitely make the cost more reasonable if you diy. All these years Mom has done it because she enjoys it. I like that about her.

Margie Haack said...

Anne, lovely! Don't we love having people like what we like? Thank you!

Peggy said...

Adorable, Margie. Happy is the perfect word.

Dot said...

I just had to contact you. Back in February, I became Denis' fan at the L'Abri conference. Then I started receiving your "Notes...". I believe the first one I read was about Denis & the toothpaste. Need I say more?! I couldn't stop laughing & I saw myself in you.I would have done the same thing.
Anyway, Margie, I was reading "Hospitality Notes" & once again you had me laugh out loud at "the fabric was fiercely wrapped around my arm & stuck to my chest..". Thank you for writing & making me laugh. You see today is our 27th wedding anniversary & I need to see it as a celebration. I haven't been laughing lately but your reply to life is going to help me today to be cheerful & celebrate our life together.

Dot Branson

KareBear said...

oh this chair did immediately make me happy.....LOVE it!