Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I reupholstered. I have a new sewing chair, and I am happy.

Let me get the unpleasant stuff out of the way first. My best buddy Loki is sick. Very sick. He's going to be okay, but it's been awful. He has the same thing Rowan had a couple of months ago, which is "hemmoragic gastroenteritis". That's fancy vet-speak for vomiting and shooting a jet of blood out of your behind. Profusely. My Mom woke me up at 5:30am to clean up a mess in the backyard. I had opened my door connected to the backyard in the middle of the night last night so Loki could throw up, and left it open so he could come and go if he needed to. Good call, because it was quite a mess. No details, I promise. You can use your imagination if you really want to, but I highly doubt you'll want to. Eeeeeyoooooo. Anywho, his condition quickly deteriorated and I eagerly counted the minutes until the vet's office opened. After weighing him (last August he was 64 lbs, today he was about 53. WTF?), the wonderful vet Dr. Ryan of Estrella Veterinary Hospital (plug plug plug...I can't say enough about this office. Top quality care, and really awesome people) checked Loki over, took him back to do some x-rays and inject some fluids into him. I waited in the front waiting room, talking with some nice dog owners. A few minutes later, Dr. Ryan poked his head around the corner and beckoned me over. "Umm....Loki's had a bit of a....blowout. I'd really like to run a fecal test since we have a sample". Do it, I said. Whatever it takes. He's my best friend in the whole world and I want him well. X-Rays, full blood panel, fecal test.
     Dr. Ryan was comfortable with sending Loki home with me, and letting him rest and allow the meds to kick in. He'd been given two injections to settle his GI tract, some fluids to rehydrate him, and some antibiotics for the inflammation. Oh, and some gentle-on-the-tummy dog food. While checking out at the front counter, he had another "blowout", and I felt TERRIBLE about it. The other owners in the waiting room didn't look disgusted though, they looked shocked and sympathetic. I suppose if you had just witnessed a big stream of blood comin' out the ol' chute, you'd be pretty shocked too. At home, he rested for a bit, had another "problem" out back, and rested some more. He was really lethargic and unhappy. I hated to leave for work, but there was no choice in the matter. My Dad watched over him, but it was only about an hour before I got a call. There was more bloody mess in the backyard. Awesome. I called the vet between clients, and they wanted him back in right away. My sister (thank you Julia!) was cool enough to take him in, and they got him hooked up on an IV. I later talked to the vet between clients, and Loki was resting comfortably, and hadn't had any more "accidents". Thank. Goodness. They want to keep him until tomorrow evening, and now I'm sitting here with Rowan curled up on the bed next to me, feeling a bit sad and lonely.  

On that note, on to the good stuff to distract me!

Here's my new sewing chair: (As always, click pics for bigger photos)
Right? RIGHT?! I KNOW!!
It didn't start life this adorable. If the above is as cute as Amy Adams, then its previous incarnation is more like Jeff Bridges. *I* think Jeff Bridges is still pretty damn hot, despite a few extra years and a bit of grey around the edges. 
See what I mean? Still not a bad lookin' chair!













This was a Craigslist find for $20. Its frame was still solid, the upholstery was even in decent condition. A couple of little holes, but it could have been usable even in this state. But noooooooooo. Because I'm me, I have to mess with it. So I took it all apart!


Lots and lots of nails and tacks. I have a blister on my palm from prying them all up with the tool.

EEK! Naked chair! Does that make it chair porn?
Lemme tell ya, this is one solid piece of furniture. Nice hardwood, seat springs totally intact, stuffed with the old-fashioned birds-nest-stuff that was still in great shape.
Suddenly, I felt kinda bad for taking this chair apart. This was obviously a nice chair. That remorse lasted all of about ten seconds. Then:
TAPE THE SHIT OUT OF IT AND PAINT IT WHITE!
Oh, in the process of stripping the chair naked, I found this:
B.L Marble Chair Co. Bedford, Ohio
There was that tiny twinge of remorse for messing with the chair again... So I did some research. If you're curious, you can read about this company HERE. I found out this chair was made at least before 1965. That's so cool. Gen-u-wine 1960's (or 50's) Naugahyde! Yeehaw! Next step was to let the paint dry and pick out the fabrics and cut the squares. I decided on 6 inches x 6 inches. 
There are 4 or 6 of each square. I wound up having leftovers. Can you say pillow?
I took the naugahyde pieces and laid them out, arranging the squares and guestimating the general shape.  I could cut more detailed shapes later. Since I was using regular quilting cotton fabric, I decided to iron some fusible fleece onto the back to give it more strength and structure. It was a very, very good call. I LOVE it with the batting on the back. It makes it even more comfy. Once it was all ironed, I cut a more detailed shape around the naugahyde, which wasn't easy. The naugahyde had been in that shape for about 50 years, so getting it to lay flat enough to generalize a shape was a challenge. I used that wonderful, modern contraption known as a staple gun to STAPLE THE CRAP OUT OF IT! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!! *kachink kachink kachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachinkkachink* Repeat about a million times. Man, that wood had to be oak. Hard, hard oak. Whew. 

Next, I foraged around in my  (3) ribbon boxes, and found a collection of vintage ribbon that my parents picked up for a song at a garage sale. I first glued the ribbon around the edges to get it to lie nice and flat, then used a rubber mallet to pound in the shiny silver studs I picked up at JoAnn's. (Thank you, JoAnn's for having a memorial day sale!!).

As always, click for full size photo
Actually, the wood was SO hard that I wound up ruining a bunch of the tacks trying to get them in. Thanks to one of my Dad's power drills and a tiny bit, I was able to drill starter holes and get the tacks in. I just wish I'd thought of that before I ruined about 20 tacks. *sigh* It's my first upholstering job, okay?! Sheesh. 

There's my super duper long essay, and I hope I didn't bore you too much. Here's some glamor shots! (The weird coloring is because the lighting in my room sucks, and the sun had gone down.)
Oh yeah, show that backside!

Nice tidy edges, if I do say so myself!

Tucked in nice and tight. I'm so damn proud.

I had rescued the cardboard strip that keeps the bottom back nice and tidy. So glad I did!

I love you chair, I love you so much. I will never leave you.
Not bad for $20, huh?




13 comments:

  1. I love this chair! The colours and silver tacks are lovely,
    I am so sorry about Loki, but at least he'll be okay.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog.

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  2. Thank you Jaclyn! I'm so glad you stopped by, and perusing your blog was definitely my pleasure. I loved your post about passive-aggressive man. LOL, and so true! Thankfully, Loki will be coming home this afternoon, though I'm going to have to try very hard not to cry at the bill. Whatever it takes to get my bubbas well, right? Yup.

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  3. Totally cool chair and good news about the boy dog. I stopped looking at vet bills after the vet saved my tortoise to the tune of about 3 grand. Worth every penny. Cheers from Dollysmaid.

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  4. Hooooly shmoly!! Was that for Ziggy? He's a special tortoist indeed, but wow.... Was that from when he fell and cracked his shell? I think I remembered you saying something about that....

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  5. Lmfao! That's pretty damn impressive for a first time upholstery job! I'm sorry to hear about your little pal, hope he's better quickly. Meanwhile you can always stroke your chair in admiration!
    No, not like that, it's not furniture porn!

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  6. Jenna, you crack me up. Furniture porn, indeed! What was that unofficial "law"? Something like "if you can think it up, it probably already exists on the internet"? I'm sure my friend Monica would remember. But yeah, let's not go there. ROFL!

    Loki's doing much better. Still a little bit subdued, but he's got a healthy appetite and seems to be doing okay. Fingers crossed, let's not have this happen again. To either Rowan or Loki. Rowan's was pretty terrifying too.

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  7. Hello! Stumbled upon your blog through Craftster! Hope your puppy is okay, I've been there. I love your chair though! It's fabulous! And how brave of you to take on a project like this! I recovered a computer chair that I bought for 5 bucks recently and your chair puts mine to shame! HAHA. lol. Anywho! Keep on craftin'!

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  8. Hi Andrea! Welcome! Loki is doing much better, thank goodness. He's still on antibiotics, and I'm keeping an eye on him. He seems to be back to his old self though (he's actually lying on my legs and feet as I type in bed), and it's hard to believe he was in such bad shape just a week ago. Dogs bounce back fast, don't they?

    As for being brave to take on the project, I think it was more of a "meh, what's the worst that could happen? I waste $20 on a chair from craigslist? Tear it up!" I'd love to see the chair you recovered! Is it on craftster?

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  9. wow! you are my new role model! and i too have two huskies (one red & white and one black & white) i stumbled onto your blog and have been stuck here for well over two hours! LOVE it! you are so talented and inspiring!

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  10. Hi Veve! Welcome! You just made my day with your sweet comments. Thank you so much! You have two huskies too? I wanna see! How old are they? You're a crafter too? Thank you again, you motivate me to keep writing! :)

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  11. Aww! That makes me happy! Yes, please keep writing! Comet is +/- 10 or 11 and Rusty is +/- 2; they both were rescues! Here's my Flickr which i uploaded pics to (dogs and crafts - I'm still a newbie and I just started knitting like last week)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36437070@N00/

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  12. WOW! just WOW! thats a damn amazing chair!

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  13. Hi, I found your blog through your Craftsy post of this chair ... sooo cute! You're a good writer too, which made it all the more fun to read your blog. (I hope Loki pulled through OK ... I'm aware that I'm reading this more than a year later.) I'm inspired to try your fun technique on one of my chairs, so thanks!

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