The Old Chair

While preparing items for my Etsy shop I happened upon a selection of photographs of an old chair, tucked away in a folder resting on my ‘Might Be Useful One Day’ shelf.

Chair @11

Isn’t it great?

Now before you get all excited and think to yourself ‘My, that girl sure can take a good photo – what has she been wittering on about?’ – or words to that effect …… I must give you the full story.

[And if you are a new reader, the back story is that I do not take good photographs, either side of the camera.]

Once upon a time, in a previous life, I spent a portion of my week in a beautiful Botanic Garden, where I oversaw the training of some young people who were learning how to be successfully employed.  One of my programmes employed them as trainee groundsmen where they learned gardening skills as well as employment skills..

The kids took their ‘smoko’ breaks outside an old tractor shed and one or the other could be found often perched on an elegant old chair that had once been beautiful, but was now tired and battered, neglected and forlorn.

Waiting for my young charges and their supervisor to appear for their weekly debriefing, I used to look at that chair and wish I had found it earlier, before it was past saving.  I imagined it reupholstered and painted in a shabby chic style – I imagined it sitting proudly in a corner of my room – and then my hurly-burly loud and grubby gardeners would hurtle around the corner.

“‘Sup, Pauline” they would greet me and one or the other would flop into the old chair and my attention would shift.

One sunny morning I was waiting for my boys.  It was quiet, the sun was making patterns on the concrete retaining wall and in the light the chair was looking determinedly colourful and cheerful. Someone had left a bucket filled with  geranium cuttings on a potting bench beside the shed door and the looped hose was dripping water onto the gravel beside the table.

I lifted the bucket of cuttings down to the ground, beside the old chair and stood back, looking at.  I moved the chair straighter against the wall and tidied up the hose.

I made a phone call to my friend and colleague up in her office, high above the old shed.

I moved the bucket again, turning it until I had the best of the geraniums showing.

As I finished my friend arrived huffing and puffing around the corner, camera in hand.

She was, and is, an enthusiastic and naturally talented photographer who always had her camera by her side.  I waved my hand at the chair and the bucket.

“Really?” she said

Then she looked again “Oh” she said and put the camera to her eye and clicked a few shots in rapid succession, just as the boys came hurtling round the corner.

“‘Sup Pauline” they chorused. “‘Sup Barbara” and the chair and the bucket of geraniums disappeared behind their large and energetic frames.

Later that day my email bore a couple of shots of the old chair.

At the time I was doing a course in Photoshop and spent a happy hour with my instructor playing with the photos to get different effects.  He did most of the work, and I couldn’t tell you where to start now, it has all been forgotten.

But I still have the Old Chair saved in my photograph file and the existing printed copies have now been made into cards for my Etsy shop.

From an original photograph, styled by the Contented Crafter   🙂

Chair@BG 2

Chair @ BG3crpped

There are more versions, but you’ll have to visit the shop.

It opens on Thursday, I hope to see you there!

Don’t forget the giveaway, leave a comment on the previous post if you want to enter, it closes on the 14th.

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did  🙂

25 thoughts on “The Old Chair

  1. Pingback: Oh, Frabjous Day!! Callooh! Callay! | A Random Harvest

  2. I agree with Born to Organize (Alys) that there is something about old chairs in particular that is interesting….but don’t ask me what it is! lol All of our chairs, since we downsized 7 years ago, are unique, old and full of memories. Each of them has a story…and each should have such a lovely tribute as this one. Bravo! Your store is such a great idea.


    • Thanks Christi – I agree too. How great to have a well loved collection of unique chairs – the very thing that makes a house into a characterful home in my humble opinion….. I love anything that is old – especially old houses….. if those walls could talk the stories they would tell 🙂

      I’m so excited about my little venture and having such fun organising all kinds of goodies to put in it – I feel a bit like Father Christmas, without the beard 🙂


  3. Incredibly gorgeous! I think I would have rescued ( ok, ‘stolen’) that chair myself. 😉 Just the sort of thing I love! Thanks so much for sharing that unforgettable image. ~ Linne


    • Thanks Linne! I know – I didn’t mention in my story that part of what prompted me to get the photo taken was that i was watching this chair disintegrate faster and faster – it was out in all weathers and had been for some time… about 6 weeks later it finally and fatally collapsed under the weight of a young man who sat down too quickly ………..

      So this is really an ‘In Memorium’ photo.


  4. Love that story, felt like I was part of the garden crew 😀 Sounds like a cool job. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pondered the same thing over some toss away on the curb.

    As you know I quite fancy old beat up old stuff. I like to wonder about who owned them and their existence in their shiny past. This forlorn old chair probably has a few stories to tell and of course you’ve made it a star in it’s ‘golden’ years. Glad you were able to capture the moment, I like what you did in Photoshop. I’ve taken a class too, but it’s something you really have to work at to know well. I had visions of making fabulous digital Scrapbook pages and did a few, but I need to update my version to use many of the digital kit’s I downloaded.

    We are remembering the fallen who’ve fought for our freedoms today, do you have a veterans day?


    • Thanks again Boomdee for your wonderful comments and encouragement. Re Photoshop – I decided a while back that it’s because I’m so tactile and need to feel something in my hands that I don’t relate that much to the camera and related doings – give me a pencil, a crayon, a paintbrush and I’m off…. give me a needle and thread or a ball of wool and needles of the knitting or crochet type and I’m happy…. give me a lens and a button – just doesn’t work the same for me! Strange huh?

      We have ANZAC day here, which is the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – the name by which our soldiers were known in the first and second wars. It falls on April 25th. Like all ‘Memorial’ days it has dawn parades, remembrance services and the odd gathering giving thanks to those who sacrificed their lives so we might all live in ‘freedon’. While I am pleased that in my life time I have seen the shift from glorifying war to a more honest stance on the horrors of it, I think the day should be marked with peace marches and demands to world leaders to give up supporting the companies that earn their trillions by supplying arms to either and both sides – then I would take part.

      That’s todays soap box! 🙂


      • Bravo Pauline, not a soap box at all but very good points. Since my hubbies dad served in the Canadian Forces, we do like to attend the salute at the Legislative grounds (weather permitted) to honour his memory. We think about him and the many who did not make it home to their families and not the raging wars by world leaders that are making some corporations billions. It’s a cup half full thing. We certainly can’t change the past, and it’s unlikely those corporations will ever be morally accountable for their profits, but hopefully young people participating in these events will affect the future in a positive way.


        • You make a good point Boomdee. It was not my intention to dismiss those who fought, who suffered, who lived and died, they do indeed deserve all honour. And free medical expenses for the rest of their lives – but that’s another soap box….


          • No doubt, there are so many mis-managed veteran affairs in Canada, I could just spit. Unthinkable Government cut backs and unappreciative treatment of those returning from duty even today. All we can do is make it known to our local government representatives that they ARE NOT doing a job Canadians are proud of by NOT re-electing those who disappoint. Like you say, another soapbox for another day.


  5. What a great story, Pauline. You have so many to tell. Good thing you started a blog. 🙂

    There is something about chairs that beg refinishing or refurbishing. I can see this one is tired, but clearly shined in it’s day. Now it’s to become a card in your shop. The stories continue.

    I’m off to bed (it’s near midnight here). I’m so glad I saw this before I go. xox


    • You are/were up late Alys – bless you for taking the time to pop in before retiring! I hope you had a good sleep 🙂

      I love this photo – for me it’s all about things that are done, finished, past their use-by date – yet still retain beauty. It’s such a mystery! There’s hope for us all 🙂


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