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Mid Century Chair Makeover

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We picked up these beauties at the best garage sale of the year this past winter.  They were rough.  They were broken. They were two dollars each. They were meant to be mine.

  

       I loved the classic style, and the solid wood frame.  Two of the three are going to go in my guest shed.  The third is going to The Southern Belle.  She will have a project on her hands.

I like mid century style, but my partner in crime, life and projects- Mr. Math, doesn’t.  He has given me free reign in our soon to be guest house.  The colors are going to be vibrant and the style is definitely modern mid century.  I cannot wait to get started on this project.  I stand and stare at the guest shed every time we go over to the place we are buying.  

  
These chairs were a serious upper body workout to make over.  After the glueing, clamping, and weighting down to fix warps in the wood from hanging out in a barn for oh- fourty years or so, I moved on to stripping, then sanding.  It took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Sanding such a simple wooden frame should not have been so hard but the spindles, the curves and the crevices all had to be hand sanded.  I’m not whining.  I promise.  I love these chairs and even when I was in the middle of getting them sanded, I knew it would be worth it.

When the natural wood- walnut- was revealed I knew that bringing these back to life was the right choice.  The wood grain is interesting, especially on the arms.

One thing I regret for this project was using gel stain.  I should have gone with traditional stain on the chairs because the gel tended to goop up in the had to reach areas.  I had to use paint thinner to get the dark spots out.  Live and learn.  I went with walnut stain because I wanted to return the chairs to their original look as much as possible.

  
I polyurethaned the frames with an exterior poly because the guest shed is going to have a window air conditioner so the climate won’t always be controlled.  Everything that goes in has to be able to stand up to heat, humidity, and cold.

The seats originally had leather strapping.  One of the chairs still had the strapping in place when we got them and it was gross.  The humidity in the barn and time had turned the leather to a sticky but weirdly brittle mess.  After removing the old nails, we used hemp upholstery webbing to replace the leather.  Mr. Math did this for me using an air nailer to secure it.  I really do like him being off in summer!

  
 The cushions were a happy surprise from Mr. Math.  He ordered them online for me.  The bottom cushion needs to be altered, but I love the outdoor fabric, the bright turquoise color and the clean lines.  They look like they could have been original to the chairs.  He snagged them at Target when they were on sale 40% off plus using the 5% off Red card meant they were about $30.00 each.  Way to be a good shopper, Mr. Math!  

  

All in we have just over fourty dollars a chair so they were not cheap but in my opinion they are so very worth the effort and money.

The chairs turned out even better than I hoped.

  
      

The chairs are so comfortable and beautiful.  We were lucky to have found them.

Blessings,

Karen

Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic

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I am always amazed at what I find at garage sales.  At the time I was at my latest garage sale, our house was being inspected so I wasn’t sure if the house would pass.  I had already told myself we were killing time, not buying.  I did pretty well… except for two milk glass mugs and a wooden bowl until I spied something I had never seen before.  It looked like a desk, and I could tell it was old, but what  clinched it for me was the fact that it expanded to become a six foot long table.  What in the world?  The leaves were missing but I had to have it for my long hoped for my craft/ Murphy bed room I am planning at our new spot.  When the bed is set up the table can collapse to be a bench.  

   
  

   

  

  

The price on the desk thing was $25.00, and I couldn’t resist. 

When I got home I started checking online to see what I had.  It took some searching but I finally found it.  Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic.  It was probably from the late 40’s or early 50’s. They changed the name to Expandway later but I love the older name.

They were made for New York apartments and were sold up until the 60’s.  The top drawer is lined  and divided to hold silverware.  Apparently the morning mini home market has made these cool again and these puppies are selling for $600.00 complete.

  
Mine is going to get stainable leaves.  The top and leaves will be dark walnut..  The base is going to be painted teal.  I already have the perfect chair for it when it is a desk.

  
Here are some shots from Etsy.  All I could find were sold. 

   
I wish I had those leaves but we should be able to do something that looks nice.

  

  

Mine only expands 6 feet.

 

I also am changing jobs so the suitcase wall will be moving into the craft room along with the sewing cabinet.  As soon as the leaves are done and the Murphy bed built, the room will be done.  This may be the easiest room to put together at the house.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Blessings,

Karen

My Plans for the Guest Shed

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I am HATING and I do mean HATING having the Garagemahal shut down while the near the lake house is on the market.  It has been an unusually cold, wet winter in southeast Texas and I have been at loose ends.  It is too cold and or dark in the evenings when I come in to work on projects at home during the week and it is all about decluttering, cleaning, and moving stuff to storage on the weekends.  Oh how I hope this is all over soon.

One of the things that I can do right now is plan and dream.  After my big winfall at the clean out the barn sale, I am really thinking about the Guest Shed.  According to the tax rolls it is a little over 400 square feet.

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I know you are probably not impressed with it, but it is cool. It has a wood burning stove, hardwood floors reclaimed from a high school gym and already has plumbing. Currently it is a wood shop but it wouldn’t work for me. The enclosed space wouldn’t accommodate moving furniture in and out. There is a better space on the property already.

 Have you ever tried Olioboard?  It is fun to use.

OB-guest shed 

If you have a room you are thinking about redoing it is a great way to envision the space. I have super cool mid century chairs instead of the ones pictured, we will be building a Murphy bed that will look like a cabinet. The space will have a bathroom with a shower, a kitchenette with my farmhouse sink find in it a and cabinets already in the space.

The one room guest house is going to have bright white walls, a whitewashed turquoise wall, bright curtains. (I am thinking orange print for the curtains.) I love the site Spoonflower for fabrics. Right now these are my favorites:

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I am leaning toward the wood grain as a nod to the woods surrounding the shed.

I plan on getting a modern vinyl fouton that can double as an added bed. I think the artwork is going to be mid century-ish fish as another reminder of the lake nearby. ( I also think they are really cool.)

I found these cool images on Etsy.







 This Good Housekeeping 1959 photo is my inspiration with a more modern twist.

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I collected some colors while out yesterday and I found the cushions for the lounge chair at Lowes. They are a green print.



Now if only our lake house would sell quickly.  Fingers crossed.

I hope you all have a dry, warm, productive day.

Blessings,

Karen

Painted Fabric Wingback Chair

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Unless you are a junker, like me, you might not appreciate the presents I get from my friends. Recently I got a load of treasures from a friend that included this fleshy colored velvet wingback chair.

The chair was solid, there were no tears in the fabric and it wasn’t even too worn.  I knew it would work for a project I had in the back of my mind for a while.  I saw this amazing pink couch a while back.  The company ( Faux Real Design Company) rents the couch out for showers, photo shoots, etc.  I could not believe it when I learned the couch had been painted.

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I have been thinking about painting furniture ever since I saw this over the top couch.  I would never in a million years want it in my house full time but what a fun piece for a photo shoot or a shower.  Ashley at Faux Real did not use the same paint I did, and her couch is frankly much softer, but after a lot of searching online I did discover you can paint fabric with latex paint and something called fabric medium.

I knew when I saw this beauty that teal would be the only thing that would make me happy.

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Teal Chair

I chose Behr Real Teal.  I bought the fabric medium at Hobby Lobby.  It is mixed one part medium to one part paint.  I bought three bottles using my 40% coupon  three times.

You mix the fabric medium to paint 1:1 and spray down the fabric  with water between each coat of pant.  I got a cheap water

I will admit that the chair looked terrible after one coat of paint.  I was a little terrified.

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The photo above is of the chair all sprayed down with water.

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The paint goes on very thin and looks very transparent on the first round. (I was more than a little worried at this point.)

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It dries more opaque, but as you can see above,  the first coat was splotchy.

It took three coats of paint to get the solid look I wanted.  I decided to go wild with the legs.  Lime green.  the guest room can handle the color because it makes sense there.

lime green legs

I also added at lime stencil to the back of the chair.

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Here is the chair in the room.

teal painted fabric

 

I wouldn’t say that the finished fabric is soft, but it is no rougher than burlap of canvas.  I definitely does not feel like velvet any longer.

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See?  In this room a teal chair with lime legs doesn’t look crazy.  Right?

This is some art work in the room.

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Do you see the colors?

This year our fall dance theme was glow in the dark.  The kids designed the photo booth space and I knew exactly what it needed to add some fun…

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Yes, you can paint fabric.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

Opposites Attract- My Husband’s Style

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I am a lucky girl. I am married to my best friend. He is more than just my husband, he is a good man.  He loves me, works hard, can build just about anything, and is tolerant of my quirky, off kilter style of vintage junk. While he is tolerant, my style is not his particular style.

I love mid-century modern, I am not afraid of color and experimentation, I think 1970’s funk is cool, I want junk barn doors on the wall, I don’t want to paint over worn, chippy paint and I LOVE painted furniture.  Bright colors are fun.

Mr. Math, my hubby, likes neutral colors. He likes natural wood.  His style is conventional, traditional, classic and full of history.  He is the sentimental one of us.  He is the one to keep things that make him remember moments in his life and ours.

I totally gave Mr. Math our den to do as he chose. No input from me. No color suggestions, and no throw pillows with one exception.  I did veto the barley twist table he wanted to put by his chair.  It would not have survived the drinks left to sweat on the waxed wood.  I substituted a neutral painted side table.   It is the perfect room for him. No windows ( he hates light when watching football), cozy, and quiet. Everything in the room was selected by him.

Here is his space. It makes him happy.  What can I say?  I am glad he still loves me, color and all.

the den

The den from the door.  The four doors lead to the two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a closet.

television mounted

 

It was my suggestion that he mount the television.  He is borrowing this serpentine dresser from our daughter in law for the next year.  He has surround sound.  In a ten foot by twelve foot room.

love seat and chest

Sorry about the Lumi photo bomb.  The chest was purchased 20 years ago and holds our wedding photos, baby pictures, and momentos.  Note the lack of “decoration” on top.   The love seat is throw pillow free.

football central

This corner is football/golf central.  (Nap central)

 

 

 

view of the barn door

I wanted you to see the amazing barn door from inside the room.

 

looking into the den

Looking into the den from the hallway.  Love that door.

 

 

family shelf

 

The shelf has Mr. Math’s dad’s flag, photo and a clock my parents gave us when we were newly weds.  More than 30 years ago.

windberg print

 

The art work is traditional art from a Texas artist, Dalhart Windberg.  This print looks like where Mr. Math grew up.

When Pinterest Finds My Old Stuff

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This week two of my posts were “found” on Pinterest this week. It was fun to see so many people find something that I loved doing and saving it to pages like this:
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Craft Party Ideas

Or; Tryna Do It, or My House

I love the names people give their boards. I am so very boring!

Chair Painting Party

It was such a fun day. I hope that one day you can hold your own party.

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Sewing Cabinet Into Drink Station

This one has been pinned over 200 times this month. Wow. Thank you to those of you who are going to attempt our version of a beverage station! I am humbled that anyone wants to do something that I have done. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send pictures when you actually do this.

Feel free to look at or follow my Pinterest Page.

I use my name on Pinterst: Karen Smithson.

I hope you are having a wonderful day!

A Chair With History

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I for sure, one hundred percent get my junking tendencies from them.  Both my parents are the use it up, make it last, only throw it away as a last resort type. They were green before it was trendy.  My mom reuses her zip lock bags because using them only once would be wasteful.   My dad also tends to be a junk collector like me.  Recently I have been able to use a few of his finds.  I now have this awesome work table under the porch at the Garagemahal because he found the resturant table legs.  I have this amazing buffet table because he picked this wood up out of the trash, and now I have a reading chair in my bedroom.

Of course she has a story.  It involves a scary old house, a copperhead snake, and a cane.

My dad purchased some property a while back with a house on it that is literally falling down.  I have been the recipient of this amazing window from there.

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The house has not been lived in for 50 years.  While looking around the house from the outside dad saw a chair that had been abandoned.  He asked me if I wanted it.  Heck yeah.  I didn’t even have to ask any more.  A chair that was junk 50 years ago and still is around today was at least worth looking at.  My mom and dad climbed up in the old house to get the chair.  Quite a feat since my dad had recently had back surgery and was on a cane.  As they walked across the room of the house toward the chair a copperhead stuck its head up between the boards, according to my dad,  my mom took off and left my dad to fend it off with his cane.  We have a history with copperheads at our house

.  My Hubby almost died from a bite at Star Hill a few years ago so we have great respect… and a score to settle.

English: Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix mok...
English: Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen at Louisville Zoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dad made short order of the snake and managed to bring home the chair.  The chair wasn’t much  to look at.  Okay, she was a total wreck.  But I liked her low slung style.  She is definitely from the 1940’s.  The total opposite of the sleek modern style of the 50’s.  Thick and chunky and close to the ground.  She was broken on the back but nothing a little Gorilla glue and screws and Hubby couldn’t correct.  This piece has really for real worm holes.  You know how they try to replicate the tiny pin holes in furniture?  This old lady got hers the hard way.  My brother brought the chair to us and she looked even worse than I remembered.  You could literally take pieces of it off with your hands because the pegs holding the chair together had shrunk to the point they weren’t holding.  Hubby had to put it back together like a Tinker Toy set.

See the dots on the arm below?  Those are the for real wood worm holes that people try to replicate.

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I found a cushion that fit perfectly in Target’s patio clearance section.  $7.00 for this all in.   It was originally much more expensive.  I have no idea why it was marked down so much. I love that.  Perfect color for the room with the updated lamps, and my newly built bench.  The cushion fit the chair upside down.  The part that should be the back is the seat.

I am just going to stick in some pictures of the process here, but I am sure it would put you to sleep to see how many weeks this old girl was in the process of gluing, clamping drilling etc.

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I stained the arms dark walnut and I painted the body of the chair Behr Powdered Snow with a brown glaze.

Didn’t she turn out pretty?  I am going to love sitting in the chair by the window reading.  It is a real curl up in chair.

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chair for bedroom

How to Find Treasures at Garage Sales

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I hear from friends all the time that they don’t find anything at garage sales so they have stopped going. REALLY? Here are a few of the finds I have made at garage sales over the last year.

Ornate side table

Giant Mirror

chalkboard frames

yellow chairs

Going to garage sales is a lot like fishing. You have to know what you are doing to be successful. Sure, there are people who have walked into a garage sale first time and scored a $20,000 painting for a buck. I see them on Antiques Roadshow too. There have also been cases of kids catching a shark on a cane pole with a hook and minnow, but that is the exception…not the rule.

Here are the basics of garage sale shopping.

Get on websites that let you know garage sales are happening.
http://gsalr.com/ is a great site.

Get the local paper and check the classified section. There is usually a garage sale section.

Get up early and go the first day of the sale. I do not waste my time on Saturday morning going to a Friday-Saturday garage sale. If I go early and the person is not willing to bargain, I may go back a couple of hours later to ask if the prices are still firm. More time than not, they are ready to sell.

Bring cash. Small bills and at least a dollar in quarters. Cash is all that most garage sales will take…smart folks.

My personal favorites are the days that a whole neighborhood holds a garage sale on one day.

At the sale, look  past the ugly paint job, the finish or even the dirt. Is the shape good? Is the item solid? Is it something you could work with?

This past Saturday morning I went “free styling” on my way into town up in the country. That means that I just stopped at any sign that said garage sale. It was 8:00 am and I had a little time to kill on the way to Huntsville, Texas. Even though I was just stopping as I found the sales, I had a list in my head.

Tall candlesticks, 2 night stands/side tables, shelf brackets, stuff for fall mantle, sewing machine cabinets, curio cabinet or fun shelving for milk glass.

When you stop, walk quickly around the whole thing. Does it look like there is anything you are interested in looking at? Does the place give you the creeps? (NEVER GO INSIDE A HOME IF YOU ARE SHOPPING ALONE AND THE ONLY SHOPPER THERE!)

If it seems like you might find treasures there, take time to look around. Things are not generally very organized, so be patient.

Ask questions. ” I am looking for sewing machine cabinets, you wouldn’t happen to have one would you.” You will be surprised from time to time. Look at these beauties I got for $25.00 each when I asked. They were under a tarp at the back of the garage. Not what I was looking for, but wow.

Make decisions quickly. If it is good it will be gone before you know it.

Don’t act too excited. You will not be able to bargain if the seller knows you are excited.

Be willing to walk away. I do all the time. If it is too much money or you are not sure about your ability to fix the piece…leave it.

Open drawers, look underneath, wiggle it. I get in trouble for skipping this step from time to time. (Two Dollar Chair)

Here is what I found this past Saturday:

Tall brass candlestick $1.50

brass candle stick
Two treadle sewing machines $50.00

treadle sewing machine

singer treadle sewing machine
Two pairs of binoculars-one set for the boat and a vintage set with a leather case for the top of the pie safe décor $3.00

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1960’s faux bamboo small shelving unit- $1.00

ornate curio

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Plaque- here it is painted for the front guest room .50

painted wooden plaque
Two small plates that will go on either side of the single dinner plate in the large single frame on the wall in the front bedroom .20

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Four brown snuff jars $2.00, They are going to look great on the fall mantle.

snuff bottles

Not too bad a haul for a thirty minute run through three garage sales.

Hooray for Chair Painting Day

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I am still learning to use a hotspot, so I missed uploading a few photos. I will upload them as soon as I reach civilization. Enjoy.
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The long anticipated chair painting day has come and gone. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to show off the before and after photos. Sweet Amanda and Baby Boy have an amazing group of friends who are united in their love of The Lord, the lost, and college ministry. It is tough for them to connect as often as they would like because they are working on college campuses around the state, The United States and the world. The girls who came to this event I believe all lived in “The Tree House” with Sweet Amanda while in college or were members of her small group. Lauren has been her buddy since birth. I have another blog post in the works about these girls, but today it is all about the chairs.

As the girls arrived there was lots of hugging, squealing and general mayhem.
All the girls signed in on a chalkboard and this determined the chair that they would be painting then taking home. Beth was not going to be able to make the event so we signed her in and The Social Planner, Tanis, worked on a chair for her with help picking color and fabric from the ladies who know her well.

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Here are the lovely chairs before we got busy. I did not pay more than $5.00 a chair from Goodwill, Craigslist and resale shops. Every chair, except one had some structural issue. They had missing rungs, needed regluing, had need badly repaired… the list goes on and on. Hubby spent several days getting them all up to Baby Boy’s wiggle standard. He literally sat on them and wiggled around to see if they were sturdy. Remember that these chairs are going to live in homes that will have college students visiting often.


I numbered each chair with a post-it note so that the girls would know when they got up the hill what they would be working on.

Look at how nice and clean the ladies all looked in this photo! This was after inspecting chairs, but before the paint clothes went on and the work began. They really are stunning young ladies.

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Each of the girls inspected their chair, looked at the paint choices, chose something, then got busy. Some of the girls checked out their fabric options before jumping in, but not everyone!

It was fun to watch the girls working, side by side, each on a different project, laughing, catching up, teasing and commenting on each other’s work.
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Tanis brought her yard chairs for an update too.
As they finished the painting, the upholstery began on the chairs that had padded seats. A big thank you to my friend, Kandy for donating all this amazing fabric.

Here are the finished chairs-before and after.

Sweet Amanda
Behr Sailboat Blue with yellow chevron fabric. This chair originally had caning in the seat so hubby built a new top to go on it that is padded. It can be removed and re-caned if they ever choose to do so.

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Tara
Behr Rapids blue with burlap fabric. She is going to monogram the back panel. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

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Yliana

Behr Coral. Oops. I forgot the Mod Podge for this project chair. The seat is going to have a map of Colorado- where she will be moving in July to join her new husband in his ministry to University of Colorado. She roughed out the edges and took the map with her, so I cannot wait to see how it looks complete. Sorry Yliana.

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Lauren
Behr Cinnamon Cake and flowered fabric. This is my favorite off white, brown toned paint. She really classed up this 1970’s charmer. I love the distressing.

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Molly
Valspar Elephant Hide with some fun, funky fabric. This chair gave Hubby fits and I think he was ready to throw in the towel, but at the end of the day it turned out so cute. The piping was in the fabric we got, already done and was plenty big for this little padded poof. It is going with Molly’s craft table that is painted the bright teal you see in the fabric. Yay for having a craft table.

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Beth
Coral that Molly brought so not sure the color. Fabric was teal upholstery fabric. I used the darker coral on the chair back to create an ombré effect. Darkest at top then diluted the color the paint with the cinnamon cake as I went down. I like the effect. Beth surprised us by making it at the end of the day, and we surprised her with a chair!

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chairs from an angle

Here are the lovely ladies with their finished projects all together at Star Hill.
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DIY Show Off

Fabric for the Chair Day

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This past week my friend, Kandy, sent me a message that she had some fabric for me that she thought would work on our upcoming chair day. Yippee, the chair event is going to be CHEAP! When it is all said and done I will have $25.00 in chairs, batting, and fabric for 6 chairs. It is going to be a fun day with every girl having something to take home that will remind her that each of these women are joined together by the fact that they all have a seat at The Master’s Table. When I picked up the basket from Kandy, I almost flipped out! She was an amazing teacher until she retired last year but I always told her that she missed her calling as an interior decorator. She just has that touch. She makes every space look “finished” when she decorates. I have already started begging her to come over and help me fluff up my home. Here is the basket of fabric she gave me.
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Sweet Amanda just happened to come over Saturday night and went through the basket. She gravitated toward the chevron fabric. I am glad that there is enough for more than one chair if someone else wants it.
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I like this wild paisley too.
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BUT.. here is the fabric I am most excited about:
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The fabric is some brown pleather that looks like tooled leather and som faux cow hide.

I can already see them put together on a piece of furniture at Star Hill. I am so excited! I may have to work on that piece next weekend.

I am looking forward to seeing The Treehouse Girls soon.

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