Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Martha Within

If you know me, you know my Domestic Diva is buried deep, deep within. I was beginning to doubt her existence, but every few years she makes an unexpected appearance and surprises us all. Last sighting: Hmmm... cross-stitching during college comes to mind, circa 1996. I'm not sure what summons this elusive genie from her bottle normally, but this time it was sheer embarrassment.

Let me explain that we use our "breakfast" table for every meal. Even when we have visitors, I've found that it's easier to squeeze everyone around the breakfast table than venture into the dining room. I'd stir up so much dust trying to get that room ready to eat in, we'd all be in respiratory distress. Plus the chairs are big so it's hard to squeeze extras in. (Our next house is going to have one gigantic eating area and THAT'S IT!)

It turns out being used daily with small children and also for guests is not an easy combination. Our fabric-covered chairs had become quite faded and suffered massive spill-related trauma. The funny thing is that they were almost all equally disgusting, even though Will uses some much more often than others. So he may be the scapegoat for all of us messy eaters.

I've sat down to numerous meals with guests on these, each time wincing in embarrassment when I pulled out my chair and hoping no one else would notice how gross they were. But last weekend I finally reached my breaking point and went to JoAnn's Etc to pick out new fabric.

Naturally I picked out $35/yard fabric. This was more expensive than most special-order fabric, and if it had been special order, it would in fact have been 50% off. But because they had it in stock, I was forced to wait and beg, steal or borrow a coupon. (See previous post re: free couches. You can guess that I do not pay $35/yard for fabric!) Thanks to Mom F.'s expedient mailing, today (8/24) I went to JoAnn's with 40% off coupon in hand and walked out with said fabric.

I still felt like it was awfully expensive, but as I was wandering through the store, people kept looking in my buggy. I'm pretty used to this, as everyone compliments me on Sophie, asks how old she is, how I ended up with a baby supermodel, etc. However, this time they surprised me by complimenting me on the fabric (Um, guys, I didn't make this stuff. It's on a rack at the back of the store.). One lady was so excited about it she wanted to know all about what I was going to do with it! All of this contributed to me feeling pretty OK about this unusually expensive purchase.

This afternoon I spent about three hours recovering all seven breakfast chairs (we have an extra at the "kitchen desk"). And here you see the before and afters (yes, for further self-humiliation, I am showing you just how nasty these were):

P. S. I have enough fabric left over for a valance for the windows in the pictures. I'll have to post a picture of it once it's done, too.


Dan and Kate plus Nate said...

Very Nice! I love the fabric. Nice job with the rapid turn around rate too. Normally I buy stuff and I am all motivated and then I get home and it sits for weeks! It was time for those chairs to be recovered!

Doug, Shelly, Ava and Liam said...

I absolutely LOVE it! You are quite crafty, Martha! Very cool fabric, too.


Candice said...

If your inner Martha is still showing herself, I'd be more than happy to let "her" recover my chairs!! The were a hand-me-down from my grandmother. Hence, they are a light pink almost velvet-like material. Not the best choice of color since my kitchen walls are deep red. I've been meaning to recover them. This may be my motivation!

Amy said...

I love the fabric. It would go with my color scheme around here. Well, I used to have a color scheme. Now there's just Luke's stuff everywhere.

Anonymous said...

WOW! They look GREAT!!

Hmmmmmmmm...a valance, too??!?!? When Martha appears, she apparently goes all out!!! ;)

Unknown said...

Impressive! I feel like such a pitiful excuse for a housewife now because I haven't made/fixed/re-covered anything for my house really. I like everyone else's decorating ability so much better than my own. I feel like my house looks like a college dorm room in decor. :(

vergne said...

Good job! The chairs look great! I'm sure you feel proud to have that job done. I really like the fabric.


Anonymous said...

Hey Kathy, Those chairs look great. Can't wait to see them. I need A Martha around my house.S.H.

Carris Family said...

Looks like you need to rub the lamp a little more often and let your inner martha genie out! The chairs look great!

I would save your left over fabric for extra replacement of Will's chair - I bet this fabric hides the food traumas a lot better and you will be wishing for a little bit extra later on!

I am really impressed! Great job! Molly