So often, when faced with a big project, I freeze, completely overwhelmed, unable to move forward. This especially applies with something that is new to me, such as painting and reupholstering my dining room chairs. Though I admire those who possess crafting skills, I do not have those skills myself. I tiptoe into art stores like an anthropologist, waiting to be rebuffed by the natives. But with my house, I inherited six sturdy chairs that were perfectly usable and hideous. I hated them.
Off and on I shopped for a new dining room set, but other home projects always took precedence. Then one day a few months ago, I saw a photo in a magazine of a chair very similar to mine, transformed into something I loved. It had never occurred to me that these same chairs, painted, with new cushions, could be beautiful. In a fit of optimism, I ripped the page out of the magazine.
Shyly, I showed the picture to a craftsy friend. Not only did she love the idea, she offered to help me. The next week, she drove me down to 4th Street in Philly, where there is apparently a fabric district. (Who knew?) With a vague notion that I wanted a large tropical print, we scoured various shops until Shelley spotted a gorgeous sky-blue fabric imprinted with green, yellow, pink, white. I adored it. I brought it home, unsure I could really complete this project, but determined nonetheless.
A week later, I took my next small step, walking to the hardware store. I brought the fabric, the picture from the magazine, and asked for guidance. The salesman/paint guru steered me away from spray paint, picked out brushes, clothes, and primer, and agreed with the reddish/fuschia paint color I wanted, making a custom mix for me.
As often happens, once I started moving, momentum carried me along. Home from the hardware store, I spent hours that weekend sanding, cleaning, priming, and painting. With just one coat and no cushion, my vision began to appear - chairs that I would love.
Encouraged by my progress, I made a trip to another mysterious store - Joann's - where I obtained foam and batting for the cushions, without the faintest idea of how to assemble them. Enter another craftsy friend, Elizabeth, who laid out all the materials, fearlessly cut into the fabric, showed me how to trace a pattern, assemble a cushion, wrap it in fabric and staple it together. Then she watched as I did the second cushion (myself!)
What is your home is begging to be transformed? What is your first small step?