Old to New: Vintage Chair Re-do

**I am NOWHERE near being skilled in this area, I’m just sharing what I’ve learned :)**

So, let me start by saying I just REALLY love my chair.  I happened upon it after making friends with a guy at an estate sale.  He appreciated a listening ear and I was happy to be that listener.  He had just lost his mother and was hesitant to release his physical memories of her in the form of her heirloom furniture pieces.  I connected with him because I like to find pieces which have a story and appreciate them for it.  The style is the 1940s era “Waterfall” Art Deco furniture which is just full of craftsmanship and fun design.  Plus, the coloring of this era of wood is lovely…at least to me.  I purchased a full bedroom set, including this chair last year (2010) and am LOVING them.  I’m sure I’ll show more pictures of the full set eventually.  The pieces were original to this family and had been trekked all over the world through Navy moves.  Considering that, they are in awesome shape.  They must have had awesome military movers back then, unlike now.  I’ve heard too many bad stories which is why for each one of our re-locations, we moved ourselves.

The guy had recently had the chairs (yes, there’s a vanity chair, too) recovered in this creme fabric.  It wasn’t a bad fabric, by any means, but it wasn’t my style.

Changing the fabric on your chair can be just as easy, so stick with me.  This is a very simple project which takes less than 10 minutes.

You only need fabric, a screwdriver, and a staple gun with staples.

I was torn between this yellow/lime fabric I’ve had stashed for a while and the other blue menswear fabric which has been striking my fancy of late.

Some chairs are nailed into their frames.  Some are glued because of urgency or just cost.  Most modern chair seats are screwed in and are super easy to re-cover.  If you are looking to re-cover vintage and don’t want to invest crazy amount of time learning to do it, just look for chair covers that unscrew.  I have found many lovely (and cheap!) vintage chairs which would require a professional level of skill.  For me, I love to learn new things but I am trying to scale it back a bit.

My little buddy was ready and willing to assist with any unscrewing or screwing in needs.

 Staples guns can be purchase for a minimum of $10 at Lowes/Home Depot.  Trust me, you will feel cool and confident with this purchase. I do.  mine is a nail/staple combo and it is wonderful.

Because I had 10 minutes before I had to leave for my daughter’s ballet class, I simply covered over what was there.
For the corners, I played around with a few techniques and stapled the north side and then immediately south.  After, I went for the East side and then the west.  I was careful to start the stapling in the middle of each side and then work towards the ends.  I have NO idea if this is correct, I just tend to go with what seems natural.  I stop a few inches towards each side.  Now, I gather the corners in a way that made the least amount of creases or pleats where I didn’t want them.  You can see in the pictures 2 little bumps at the tops that i eventually eliminated.

Basically, I see 3 options here:

1. make a corner like you fold a bed sheet under as a nurse (thanks you nursing school for having this technique always in my mind).

2. force the pleating to the center, for a small gathered pleat.

3. spend 20 minutes making super tiny gathers, as a professional would do to create zero pleats.

**Homeschooling Mother of 3 chose #2 which works for the chair which is mostly used near the piano for the 2nd person in a duet.**

My helper screwing the seat in.  I found that this table position is great for the pressure needed for a sturdy installation.

Overall, I’m happy because what can you expect out of less than 10 minutes?  I can see the fabric peeking out but you could very easily remove your fabric and cover over the padding, assuming it’s in good condition.

Baseball Guy


Travel: Cibbets Flat Campground


I love camping for its ability to slow down a person’s life.  There are no clocks, phone calls, Facebook, or TV to distract a person from the people or lovely things around them.  I love eating food only when you’re hungry and putting the kids to sleep right when the sun goes down.   The best part of camping, however, is the campfire.  No, not the fire itself.  If you’ve ever been camping with my husband when he builds a fire, you’ll know why I don’t love the fire.  Maybe I just don’t like a forest fire.  In any case, the time around a fire with friends is awesome.  You get to have chats and ask real life questions of each other.  Community is a necessary thing for all people and camping brings it even closer.  We “do the bonding” (“The Wedding Planner” reference if you didn’t catch that).

I didn’t get to spend tons of time with my kids one-on-one, but they had fun so I’m happy.  Between fire ant bites, stinging nettle, and a chef’s knife that was constantly present from our camping friends, trouble was always present.  I fell much wiser now than in the past and was able to just look in my kids faces and know if they were having fun, it was all good.

This little cutie was all about walking on the tent as it was going up.

This is her element.

I should have brought bathing suits but a load of laundry later, it seems to have worked out ok :).

Little D had an encounter with stinging nettle, but thanks to some hydro-cortisone creme and a tough spirit, everything was fine.

I’ve missed having babies around…have I mentioned that?

My ever-faithful TOMS.

I love finding a random flower in the middle of the desert-scape.

Nothin’ like a good shirtless game of uno and a corn cob to make it fell like camping.  Thanks for the Uno, Mrs. Bicker :)

These Target camping chairs have been awesome.

“Pig on a stick”  She doesn’t look amused here but she loved it.

Roasted Brie with Figs and Honey

We were blessed with many figs this year.  I LOVE the texture of fresh figs.  The very thing that I love most, the seeds, is often what people don’t like about them.  I had already made drunken fig jam last year and some regular fig jam as well, so I wanted to make something where you could have the texture and fresh flavor, but add some richness too.  Enter: melting cheese.

I was thrilled to find these ceramic dishes at Anthro this last spring. They are perfect for displaying picked fruit from the yard.

All you need is some brie, figs, and honey.  I used a goat brie from Trader Joe’s because that’s what I had, but any will do.  I used some honey that we got from the Napa Valley where we visited a few months ago.  I’ve bought it a few times before and it’s some of the best.  Check out “Branches” honey from Katz and Company.  Then, just roast at 400 until it melts into awesomeness.  Drizzle with honey and sit down for a few minutes to enjoy.   San Diego had a few random drops of rain today, so it was nice to enjoy this while watching “Fantasia” (the 1940’s version) with my family.

Travel: Del Mar Racetrack

Horses are just such magnificent creatures.

A few weekends ago, I decided to drag take the kids to the food truck festival in Del Mar I had been hearing so much about.   I expected it to be pretty crazy since we haven’t had one this big in San Diego yet.  I had just left my parent’s house that morning and said I wasn’t going to go after all.  I started driving home and thought I REEEALLY wanted to go somewhere because my husband had been gone that whole week.  Not cabin fever exactly, because I don’t stay at home constantly, just wanting to mix it up a little.  Soooo….it was pretty crazy.  I’m so glad there were races to watch, because the kiddos only had enough patience for one truck.  To be quite honest, didn’t really want to stand in the sun either.

I had already eaten at a few of the 75:

Crepes Bonaparte
Brats Berlin
Longboard’s Ice Cream
Slap Yo Mama
Nom Nom
Fresh Fries
Corner Cupcakes
Food Farm SD
The Gathering Spot
SD Street EATS
The Sweets Truck
Super Q’s
MIHO GastroTruck
Tabe BBQ
Buttermilk Truck

I wanted to eat at The Lime Truck, The Lobsta’ truck, and the Ludo(bites) truck.  I could only pick one so I picked the one with the shortest line (even then, a short line is a relative term when it come to food trucks).  Ludo! (It was my first choice anyway :))

This sweet girl has the horse bug…doesn’t that happen at like age 9-10 or something?  She picked horses for her mammal study this term so I told her I would let her take a ride when she was done.  Oh man, I hope this is a good idea.  Horses are an expensive hobby.


Our attempt at a group photo.  The lady really tried but I told her I kind of like having a few pictures with the kids that show the true emotion of the moment.


We waved at the Noms’ as we passed.


Ah, yes…Ludo.  I’ve followed Ludo Lefebvre for some time.  If you don’t know his name, you know his concept of food.  This chef is basically the founder of  the “pop-up” restaurant.  What, you say?  I tried to explain this to a few people after I went to it, with little success.  Basically, the chef and crew travel around to different parts of a city or even the country and open a restaurant.  After a time, they pack it up again and “pop-up” somewhere else.  It’s pretty cool especially to mix it up for the Chef so things don’t get boring.  I really respect this chef because after working in high-end dining for years, he decided he wanted to make food that anyone could afford.  Not necessary for him to do that, but I still think it speaks to his desire to care for every kind of person, regardless of their bank account numbers.

I love to give my camera to my kids and see what they see as interesting.

Photos by My baby girl:




Photos by my little buddy:

I actually like this one.



This was his feeling about the setting in general.

Back to mine again…

We ate delicious chicken pepittes, which are prepared over three days.  They are boneless chicken balls, infused with rosemary and fried.  You can choose from many house-made sauces, including béarnaise.  I ordered a few of the lavender biscuits with honey.  MMM.


Little Bean preferred the BBQ sauce…only.


Filled to the brim with people!


The only reason we snagged a  great seat is because we were willing to rough it on the hard ground with no blanket.  It wasn’t too hot, so it worked fine for us.

He saw them setting up.

Great day…despite the crying, $3 bottles of water, lack of hands to hold a beer, walking a mile from the far far far parking lot and no extra hands to  help.  I would still do again :)  Maybe I’ll plan ahead next time and invite someone!


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