May 30, 2016 by Terry
Let me tell you about Christina…
Christina is one of my favourite long time customers. She has been a huge supporter of my work and has always lifted me high with her trust and admiration for the work I do.
She has had me do projects for her where she has said “whatever you do to this I will love!” … and she really does! There is no higher compliment than when someone says I love your taste and do whatever you like with this. It is also a lot of pressure. I always want to please. NEVER has she given me anything but praise for the work I’ve done for her and she is always un phased by the price I quote her as well. She is a true supporter and I so appreciate her!
Last week I learned that Christina’s husband has been transferred back to NewBrunswick and that they would be moving very soon. Ugh! I was saddened by this news. Her friend had called and asked me if I had anything that she could purchase to give her as a going away gift. At the time all I had were large pieces that obviously wouldn’t be easy to move across the country. This friend had previously purchased a coat rack I had created and knew that Christina loved it so she decided that she would part with it and give it to her as a gift. What a great friend she is to her!
A bit of a backstory…
Last week a good friend of mine took me on a shopping trip to Calgary for the day. She took me to so many inspiring places and I had so many new ideas now running through my mind.
One of the pieces I had seen that spoke to me was this little chair with burlap. It had a unique shaped seat and was filled with character.
I knew I had chairs at home that I could apply at least part of this look to and I could hardly wait to get started on creating my own take on it.
Then it hit me … THIS could be Christina’s Chair! I called her friend and let her know that I had found something she could give her but it was too late, she had already given her the coat rack. I have to admit I felt a little deflated as this little chair all done up really said ‘Christina’. …. then came the thought that it didn’t mean she still couldn’t have it.
It would be my gift of appreciation for all that she has contributed to helping me grow my small business.
This is how the chair looked before:
Pretty as it was in it’s tattered state, it wasn’t a ‘sitable’ chair.
(Sorry I don’t have photos of this part)
I started by cutting out all the broken reed. Next I placed some newspaper on the seat and traced the shape to make a pattern for the new support I needed to create. I placed my pattern on a piece of leftover MDF and traced it onto it. Next I took my jig saw and cut it out. I went back and retro fitted the MDF on the chair and retraced the seat from underneath with a sharpie to get the exact shape and then cut again. It ended up perfect!
I added 1 inch foam to the top and cut to fit that as well. I covered that with some batting to smooth the edges of the foam and MDF. Next I upholstered the new seat with some natural coloured burlap and finished it with some herringbone hemp and upholstery tacks. I measured out the tacks to being 1 inch apart. I love this detail!
For the frame of the chair I started out by doing the usual prep work … sanding and a thorough wipe down. Next I decided that I wanted that weathered, layered look but I wanted it to look calm and neutral. I have recently discovered an new line of paint that has fast become a favourite to work with. It is called FAT PAINT (I am not being compensated in any way for this post, I just really like this paint and want to share) and I am enjoying experimenting with all the products! Let me say, it is soooo worth the drive to get it ;)
For the first layer I chose Parchment and applied 2 thin uneven coats not worrying about being perfect. When the second coat of parchment was almost completely dry I went over it with some watered down (only to thin it out a little) Bitter Chocolate. I didn’t load the brush too heavily with the chocolate colour though as I was only randomly brushing over the parchment colour and blending it in with some of the places that still had a little wet parchment. What a beautiful effect this created.
Finally, I sanded it down and gave it a generous coat of the FAT PAINT Bees wax. This is glorious stuff! It goes on like a dream and buffs to a beautiful shine afterwards with a butter smooth finish.
I also decided that I would like to place a little personal touch on the underside of this chair to make it a little special. Instead of using the usual dust cover for the underside, I decided to use burlap again but place a transfer image of a crown on it with this message…
“On the darkest days when I feel inadequate and unworthy, I remember whose daughter I am and I straighten my crown”
It’s just a small reminder for her that she is treasured.
The end result? … absolutely lovely! Simple and not overstated!
Wishing Christina all the best in this new chapter of her life!
Sharing this special chair at:
My Sweet Things