Small Projects

Big projects are making me sweat. Lately I’m just not in the mood to mess up and so I find myself fitting in small projects here and there to try to build my confidence.

Two years ago I picked up a chair at a neighbor’s yard sale. It was pretty perfect except the seat needed to be refinished. The rough, green fabric had faded to yellow and stains from someone other than me graced curious locations. Frankly I was a little too grossed out by it to even touch the cushion to take it apart.

Then I had to sit in it a few days ago and realized I really needed to take care of it.

I used layers of batting, tightly stretched across the wooden seat base and topped the layers by stapling a piece of taut upholstery fabric* — a fabric I’ve carried with me from move to move over the past 10 years. It was a simple one man project, even though I did depend on Regan to help me screw the seat back on. An hour after I started, I had a finished product. Then I wondered why it had taken me so long to even think about getting around to accomplishing this little task.

Are there small tasks you find yourself doing to either avoid larger projects or to build confidence in your ability to tackle these larger projects?

* Side note on the upholstery fabric: My friends have always known my love for all fabrics. One day in college I was working some event at the IU Auditorium while my friends were off enjoying yard sales, as they were known to do. Midway into my shift my friends came running into the Auditorium telling tales of bolts of fabric for sale somewhere in the Bloomington countryside. So one friend took over my shift at the window (this is why co-worker friends are so swell) and the other carted me off to the most magical yard sale ever. I scooped up bolts of upholstery fabric for 25 cents each and loaded up my friend’s car with fabric I had high hopes for. As time went by and I moved from apartment to apartment, I whittled down my collection, reserving only those fabrics with colors and patterns I realized I might actually use some day.

I’m glad I finally got around to using one of these fabrics that I picked up so many years ago. Thanks, Erin and Julia, for always keeping your eyes open for fabric for me. I appreciate your good looking out, even if it takes me years to take advantage of your remarkable finds.






3 responses to “Small Projects”

  1. amanita80 Avatar

    You’re welcome! I still remember how excited we were to come back and tell you about that garage sale. And I’m really excited you’re still using the fabric. Can you believe that was like…nine years ago? That is insane to me.

  2. maryannk Avatar

    I love your fabric story. 🙂 Sounds fabulous.

    The problem with many of my small projects is Frank. (Or that’s my excuse anyway.) Anything involving painting or decorating has to be done the “right” way, i.e. stripping, filling, sanding, priming… and I’m more keen just to slap it up and get it done. It’s just paint, for heaven’s sake. You’ll cover it in a year or two anyway. Sheesh. So yeah, it’s his fault I don’t do the small projects. 🙂

  3. Michelle Avatar

    Claire, thank you for that insanely nice comment on my blog 🙂

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