It’s February 2015 and after being cancelled once I finally managed to book onto a weekend upholstery course. It was to be my very first experience of this craft. I’d done loose covers and soft furnishings but never anything using hammer, nails, staples etc so I was hoping that this would satisfy my tool wielding desire. My mum had offered up an old chair that she had tucked away in the Wendy house (the Wendy house was once our play house but is now a musty storage area for items that Mum tries, from time to time to pass onto my sister or I). It used to be in my bedroom and I had forgotten all about it until seeing it again.
I got it all stripped off which took ages. That’s one of the things about learning upholstery (or indeed anything I expect) when you’ve got small children running around 24/7. Everything you try to do takes at least 10 times longer than it should. Every so often, I am lucky enough to get a couple of hours to myself and it is simply unbelievable what I can achieve in such a short amount of time.
The big day arrived and I was excited for two reasons. Firstly, it was the first step in my upholstery journey and secondly, I was going to spend two whole days (TWO WHOLE DAYS!) doing something for myself. At this point in my career as a stay at home mum, there hadn’t been much of this so it really was rather exciting.
The whole experience actually turned out to be rather surreal. The venue was fine, my fellow newbie upholsterers were all lovely but our tutor turned out to speak virtually no English whatsoever. Which wasn’t very convenient. We all struggled through our projects, united by our bemusement, but we all left feeling like we’d been diddled and hadn’t learned very much.
On the upside (I like to try to find the upside in everything) I walked away with a chair that looked pretty good, despite the fact that what lay beneath the show fabric was cowboy upholstery at best. Also, I happened to meet someone who would later go on to teach me how to do upholstery the proper way, and she spoke English too!
Every cloud has a silver lining!