Friday, October 24, 2008

Feeling Papa Maxish

My maternal grandfather, Max Kameny (shown here with my grandmother in a photo from the mid-1970s), was a wonderful man, playful and generous, smart and opinionated, and always sure he was right. He also loved to fix things himself. Sometimes he was more successful than other times, but he always tried his best and had the best of intentions.

So today, when I finally got around to yet another home improvement project I've been meaning to accomplish, I thought of my Papa Max. I think he would be proud, not only of my efforts but of the fact that I didn't have to buy anything in order to complete it!

We've had our dining room set (purchased at Scandinavian Design or some such place) for about 19 years. As you can see, the chair seats were not only showing their age, they were in the process of spilling their guts and dying a painful, highly visible death (the dining area can be seen from our living room, so trying to feed guests from the coffee table wouldn't have helped avoid the shame and embarrassment).

After spending a great deal of time thinking about buying fabric to recover the chairs, consulting friends and relatives about the appropriate place to locate such cloth, and agonizing over the fact that I had not yet actually acquired anything, I finally decided to see whether the fabric I bought for a large-scale cross stitching project about 10 years ago (possibly more) might not fit the bill. It did, and it didn't. I feel (and luckily for me, Avi agrees) that this fabric is perfect, and I wouldn't have found anything better had I indeed gone shopping. However, I only had enough cloth to cover the seats of four chairs (of a set of eight). Once again luckily for me, only four chairs were in a state that absolutely demanded instant action.

Avi is so pleased with the results, he has asked me to go back to the same store (my lucky streak continues, because I remember exactly where I got this fabric) and get enough to cover the remaining seats, plus all the chair backs (they don't actually need it, but like me he is a proponent of the old matchy-matchy). I rather doubt my luck will extend to the store having the identical fabric in stock after all this time, but that's out of my hands.

That's not all I did today! I knitted a bit, worked in the garden, translated yet another article for the basketball team's website, changed all the sheets and did laundry. Right now I'm relaxing in front of the computer with a lovely glass of Shiraz Cabernet, and hoping all of you are having a fun and productive day, too.


Tama said...

Hey, congrats on your great redo! Hope you do find the rest of the fabric - you never know!

Joansie said...

I love seeing older pictures of your relatives. It must be that "genealogy" thing, right?

The chair looks terrific...very professional!

You are a woman of many talents!1

Anonymous said...

Wow. It looks beautiful. I admit that my husband tried for years to talk me into redoing some kitchen chairs we'd been given by his mom, and I had no intention. I had no idea how to do it, and I didn't want to anyway. If they'd been nicer chairs than they are I still would have been intimidated by the idea.

Your chair is absolutely beautiful, both the chair and the re-covering. You did it! To say I'm impressed doesn't begin to state it. Well done.

LizzieK8 said...

"I think he would be proud, not only of my efforts but of the fact that I didn't have to buy anything in order to complete it!"

I think this is the concept that most appeals to me when I "do it myself."

Great job on the chairs. It's really easy, isn't it? I had chairs that I redid once. It looks so complicated, but it's not! However it's very self satisfying!

Bobbisox said...

You did good; my hubby recovered our chairs with some oriental fabrics and it is still fun to look at them and know he did that for us. It seemed easy for him, but he was like your grandfather Max, always fixing things. You sure have a lot of projects you get into. Hey, Shiraz is great and I love cabs, so a Shiraz Cab would be awesome I think.