June 2015...and MORE chairs!

June 2015 will go down as an eventual month for me. 

For the first time in 34 years, I have no minor children. Katie turned 18 this week and it is official...ALL my children are old enough to vote, be drafted and be sentenced to an adult correctional facility.

We finally had to put our wonderful lab, Ginger, to sleep. She was 13. It was time but that didn't make it any easier. This is the second precious pet we have lost this year. Heart breaking.

Ginger and Cleo....Christmas 2014

And for the first time in years I really felt the sting of Father's Day. My dad has been gone for 20 years but this year was, for some reason, tougher than normal. He died exactly one week before Father's Day so this time of the year is always kind of a "double whammy."

Then there is the accidental "new member" of the family....and may explain some weird typos in my posts. 

I keep a trailer at my apartments for abandoned furniture. A mama cat set up household in the furniture with her 4 babies. A few weeks ago, we THOUGHT we made sure all the kitties were off the trailer before we took it to the dump....only to find two of them still on the trailer when we got there. I managed to grab one and throw it in the truck, but the other ran under the truck. We spent 30 minutes crawling around on the nasty red clay/garbage ground trying to get that stupid kitten, only to have it bolt. Gone. I was heart broken. But to make matters worse, I could not find the other kitten ANYWHERE in my truck. Both Matt and Katie helped me darn near dismantle the interior of the truck...it was not there. I left the windows down the entire day and even put out some food just in case. 

THREE VERY HOT DAYS LATER I went to the truck in the evening...and there was that silly kitten sitting on the back of the seat. It had been in a hot truck, with no food or water, for THREE DAYS! I couldn't believe it survived and neither could the vet.

Soooooo....we have a new "miracle kitty." And being the softy that I am, I can't bring myself to take it to the shelter. Especially with all the guilt I feel for losing her sibling and in spite of my puffy, itchy eyes.

Yes, she is a she. About 8 weeks, according  to the vet, but if that is the case, she is a tiny kitty.

Cleo thinks it is hers and tries desperately to carry it around in her mouth...which means the poor kitten is constantly soaked in dog slobber. It is pathetic, but she tolerates it for some reason. And typing on the computer is like a game to her...hence the typos. She's a funny kitty! 

We haven't named her yet...I keep hoping someone will want her and take her so I will quit itching and sneezing. Why bother...if the three other cats haven't killed me by now, this little half pint won't either! I like Mimi...Katie does not. Mitchell suggested Kitty, but we have a Ms. Kitty because she was another "rescue" that was only suppose to be here until I had time to take her to the shelter...around 9 years ago. So he suggested Little Kitty...so maybe "Litty."

ANYWHO!!!!! When I am having "emotional turmoil" my tolerance for some things is darn near nil. So when I went up to my booth last week, I was annoyed by a few things that have been sitting in there for MONTHS...specifically two chairs. So I threw them in the back of the truck, brought them home and gave them a quick makeover! 

The first is a little folding chair I chalk painted eons ago...I had two and sold one, but this one has hung around far too long. I gave it a little KSTP (Kilz/sand/tack/paint) treatment with white spray paint...then I covered the seat with some leftover fabric from this chair makeover!

The other is a walnut mid-century chair. It is really difficult for me to paint over walnut...but the chair has been in my booth for months as is, and if I am going to sell it, I have to give it a little "pow treatment." Again, a KSTP treatment and new upholstery...someone is going to love it!

I know I make these little chair makeovers sound easy. And usually they are! Chairs are one of the easiest pieces of furniture to "update"...especially ones that just need a little paint and fabric on the seat.

But OCCASIONALLY I bring home a real kicker. One I KNOW is going to take a LOT of time and attention! This chair is a prime example!

I know...it is a HOT MESS!!! I have NO doubt that several people at the auction where thinking "What the heck?" (Including Brian...but again, I think he now trusts my judgment!) But I was so excited I couldn't stand it! 

I was pretty sure, from a quick inspection on a broken piece (that was there, thank God!), that it was most likely mahogany. At this point, after just a tiny bit of research, I THINK it is a Victorian Eastlake arm chair. But I honestly don't know because so far I haven't found anything just like it...only similar. Castors on the front legs and not on the back and hand carvings and stamps on the wood.

And of course the BILLIONS of little nails that were used for the upholstery! ALL of which had to be removed!

I knew the finish was masking some beautiful wood so I couldn't wait to start stripping it! In this picture you can see where I applied the stripper (used in this tutorial) on the left....

Here is the "before" and "after" of the side...

The intricate carvings require some real work, but as I have said before, the very best tool for stripping old finish out of carvings and corners is a good ole' toothbrush! I still have a lot of stripping and scrubbing to do but after two afternoons, I have all 100,398,365,003 nails out and a tiny bit of the frame stripped! 

The fabric is in such bad shape, I honestly don't know what it is...and I wonder if it didn't originally have another fabric on it since there are SOOO many nail holes. Many of the Victorian chairs I have seen have a velvet fabric....what to do, what to do!

My point...not all chairs are easy...some require a little more time and attention. I am going to take my time with this one and there is a good chance I won't sell it. At least not until the next little treasure comes along!