A Labor of Love

Or the goal of someone who should seriously have her head examined... I will let you be the judge.  A long, long time ago, Mr. Hughes bought a lot of chairs.  And since then, each and every chair has been made over and eventually went to new and lovely homes.  All except for 2 (well, 3... I have one in my entry.) These chairs have been swooned over and then forgotten.  Mr. Hughes started on them awhile ago, but then abandoned them.  Then, the other day, he looked at me lovingly over piles of stuff and said... you really need to get those chairs finished.  Sure, I said.  I will start on them this week.  I can't wait!! They will look awesome!  These chairs have what we call "good bones."  They are incredible and lovely and just need a little love.

Look at that vintage goodness!  I knew that I would have to remove those nails.... I wasn't going to recover over those.  And I have a tack puller... no problem.  I can do this! Now... take a closer look...

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you... those are nails covered by nails.  Now, it is my estimation that there were easily a gazillion nails initially.  And then there were a gazillion more under that.  And I have 2 chairs.... so, what is that... well, if my math is correct, that is 4 gazillion nails!!!  So I dug right in and pulled and pulled (I will mention here that Mr. Hughes had already warned me of this fact and had pulled a quarter of a gazillion nails himself before throwing in the towel.)  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Mr. Ancient Furniture Upholsterer has actually pulled some of the nails under the striped fabric.  I can only imagine what he was thinking when he was doing this... and the phone call that he made (if they even had phones when this was recovered!)

Mr. A F U:  Hello.... ma'am.... I have some concerns about the chairs that I picked up from you yesterday that you want recovered.  Are you sure this pink striped with gold leaf is a good combination?  Don't you think that you could possibly live with the sapphire blue velvet?

Lady of the House: No sir, that blue will not match the china.  What seems to be the problem?

Mr. A F U: Well, ma'am there are a gazillion nails to pull before I can recover them.  I pulled a few already, but I am sure I can replace them and you can have the chairs back just the same... no charge.

Lady of the House: No sir, that won't work.  Just cover them up with a gazillion more nails.  I am 100% positive that I love that pinky stripy satiny fabric.  It is timeless and no one will ever want to recover them.

So, I pulled all 10 gazillion nails over 2 days.  They are all gone.  My hand hurts.  I think I have a blister on top of a bruise.  I am saying "chairs" like it is an expletive.  Don't ask me about them for awhile, okay?  I did think it was so interesting to take something this old apart... what these chairs are filled with is... well, I am pretty sure it is grass clippings *wink*  But they are down to their bare beautiful bones and pretty soon I will paint them.  Not now though... we need our space.

Check out all the looks they have had.  Right to left... the first is what used to be a lovely light aqua silk. Then they had this sapphire blue floral velvet.  And then the pink striped satin.  Why didn't they stop at that silk... stained and all... it was lovely.  At one point, they were silver leafed rather than the gold leaf.  Beautiful I am sure!  I would love to leave the gilded look, but the finish is quite scarred from the 15 gazillion nails that I pulled.  By hand.  By myself (almost.) So they will be painted and recovered. Right now, I am planning on taking them to the barn show or one of the booths.  But, who knows... once we are on speaking terms again, they may find their forever home right here.

And, on a much more serious note, my mother is having another surgery tomorrow for her back.  This one is a big one.  So, please, keep her in your thoughts and prayers that she has a speedy recovery and that this greatly improves her life.  

bye for now!


  1. I literally LOL when I saw that 2nd pic with the 2nd row of nails! Too funny as I sit back and am NOT the one having to do that, lol! ;) The wood part though is gonna be beautimous when it's all done. I will stay tuned.

  2. Can't wait to see the finished chairs!

    Sending good vibes to your mom!


  3. I love those chairs. They sell well in the shop too!

  4. That is awesome! I have a tendency to take on too much as well. Your shop is so fun!

    I have a fun rosette headband giveaway going on right now--you should enter! http://sweetestpetunia.blogspot.com/2011/07/discount-giveaway-seek-first.html

  5. You poor thing! Totally worth it though. I bet the sapphire velvet looked AMAZING against the silver leaf!

  6. That's absolutely a lovely chair, isn't it? I think with quite a few re-modelling, it would be a queen again! Seems like that chair has been in life during the Medieval times, looks wonderful.

  7. Where do you find the time you crazy girl?? I am sure it will look amazing as always. Good luck to your Mum.

  8. I have a couple of chairs to redo myself, and the task definitely seems daunting! Mine don't have nearly as many nails, though. :) I'm sure they'll be beautiful when they're done!


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