May 05, 2011

The Craftiest Mom I know and my Favorite Chair...

My mom is the most artistic, creative, crafty women I know. So I don't know how it's possible, but I missed out on that gene. My mom can sew anything -custom drapes, fabric dolls with hand painted faces, clothes, quilts, etc. She was painting, antiquing and re-purposing old furniture before it was the thing to do and way before design blogs ever existed. She has amazing artistic vision. She can dream up an idea in her head and make it happen.

I am successful at a project only if I have pictures and step by step instructions. I wish I could dream up ideas on my own, but I didn't get that gene either.

My mom tried to teach me her crafty ways when I was a kid. I had no interest. What was I thinking? It would have been so much easier to learn from her back then, in person. Now we are 600 miles apart and the best I can do is a phone tutorial with her. Explaining sewing to someone over the phone is not an easy task. But my mom is amazingly patient and never gets annoyed with my 8 million phone calls when I'm working on a project.

Oh yeah, I didn't get that patience gene either. Dang!

So on to my favorite chair which, I'm sure you've already figured out, ties right in with my Mom's craftiness.

It all started with this magazine. House & Garden's August 2004 issue.

 I had just graduated college and was home visiting. On page 26 of my mom's H&G I came across this.

Love. At. First. Sight.

I instantly proclaimed that I MUST have a chair covered in that pink, poppy fabric!
I think it's funny that the article is titled "Fabric Obsession" because that's exactly what I had.

Lucky for me they listed the fabric designer in the magazine. My mom called to inquire and unluckily for me, the fabric was $150 per yard. I think I almost fainted. $150 per yard? It's just cotton, people!

I moped around thinking my dream chair would never be realized. And then my mom exclaimed "Don't worry. I can make that fabric." Huh? When did you become a fabric maker, Mom? She proceeded to tell me of her plan - to use white cotton canvas and paint the design right on. "It's a simple design. It will be easy" she said.

Don't be confused by her wording. Easy for my mom and easy for the rest of us normal folks are worlds apart.

And so, in her most-amazing-unselfish-mom way, she spent her free time over the following months doing one of the most beautiful, special things anyone has ever done for me.
I wasn't living at home at the time, but I am sure there were many late nights painting and sewing and probably a few times that she kicked herself for ever starting this project.

Here are the pictures she took during the process. I keep them, along with the original House & Garden magazine, in my bedside table.

She found this old yellow chair at a YMCA yard sale and it was the perfect specimen for the project. She cut the pieces, painted the design on the fabric, added some batting to the cushions and then reupholstered away!

I have had this chair 7 years and I am still in awe when I look at the comparison today! Could she have done a more perfect job?! Could anyone have?! I doubt it!

To top it all off, when she finished she drove 600 miles to my apartment in Birmingham and hand delivered this beauty to me! There I am sitting in my brand new, hand painted chair and loving every minute of it.
Best. Mom. In. The. World.

Today the chair sits in my guest bedroom. I love it just as much as the first day I ever saw it and I still smile and think of my mom every time I see it.

I love you Mom. Happy Mother's Day! :)

Linking up with Miss Mustard Seed!
Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. Awww! You go girl! I love it! And you and your Mama are GORGEOUS!!! :) Come by & sign up for my continual giveaway...this week a $100 giveaway! And a few of my recent posts about furniture and bird cages...and a hilarious story about me! ;) Meme

  2. Fabulous chair! Too adorable! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Hello Alima,

    My name is Jennifer Davenport and I run the website I just found your blog and love your flowered chair makeover! I am writing you to see if you would like to show off some of your work on my website. It is really easy to do, you just upload a few photos, and tell about your project! Once approved and edited it becomes a permanent page! I then will send you a button that will link directly to your featured page.

    I have featured, "Life In Grace", "Home and Harmony", "Savvy Southern Creations", just to name a few. All you have to do is click on the "Your Ideas" page and follow the instructions! It is really easy.

    Have a great day!

    Jennifer Davenport

  4. That is so sweet of your mom! The chair looks amazing...I'd love it you would come over to my blog and link this up at my party

    here is the link
    Simply Creations Link Party

  5. Hi to my Sweet Bean,
    What a beautiful and moving blogpost about us and the chair!
    I am very thankful that you are my daughter and that we can inspire each other :)
    Can't wait to see what your next project is!
    love always,


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