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.
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.