"There was a showgirl, her name was Lola...."
This is an exciting moment, my first blog post on my new website (courtesy of my stellar tech guru, husband Dave). I hope to share with you some of the pieces that I have re.designed and the process that goes into the re.creation.
I've been thinking about where to start for quite some time and I've decided that "Lola" would be a great first example of what I do and why.
She was abandoned curbside and her curves caught my eye as I drove past (hence the name) so I screeched to a halt to check her out.
Of course, there are occasions when curbside finds cannot, or should not, be claimed with glee.
I do have some rules:
I always check for funky smells and structural issues before allowing my mind to re.imagine what could be done to transform this ugly duckling.
The lines or design have to be really good, there's no point in re.inventing the unwanted or abandoned into a piece that still, no one wants. No amount of refinishing, paint or fantastic fabric can compensate for bad design.
I cannot have 'more like that at home' - each piece or occasionally pairs of chairs need to be unique and full of potential, and not something you see everywhere.
As you can see, Lola was in a bad way, but I could tell from the construction & finish that in her day, she had been an expensive and classy piece of furniture. So, into the back of car she went alongside my bemused but ever patient Wheaten Terrier, Daisy (we were on our way to the beach for a walk!). I already knew that I had the perfect fabric to give Lola a major re-invention - a block printed linen fabric from Katie Kidder, that had come from SCRAP here in San Francisco (see Resources).
I spent a day tearing Lola down to remove the old fabric (kept for patterning new fabric pieces), padding, webbing and burlap before assessing what needed to be done. Next I sanded the frame and custom mixed a paint color to complement the fabric using General Finishes white paint and yellow and green acrylics. After two coats of paint and a clear flat top coat I started on the upholstery.
It took me several days to re.build the chair using the original springs adding new foam, cotton batting & muslin before adding the new fabric.
The large pattern repeat was an added challenge when it came to pattern placement, and as I had a limited amount of the elephant fabric to work with I found a linen the same color as the custom mixed paint , to finish the back of the chair.
Lola was sold at her first public appearance at the Treasure Island Craft and Flea Market to a lovely young family with a second baby on the way. A perfect addition to their nursery - just wide enough for a parent & toddler to sit and read together. A very happy ending!