Ken gave me this gorgeous (but needing work) rocking chair a couple of birthdays ago...
It's not labeled or marked, but if anyone out there is an arts & crafts furniture aficionado, this looks like the same chair as show in American Bungalow, No. 48, Winter 2005, on p. 2 and on p. 78 - if anyone knows the designer/craftsman, I'd love to hear more.
Now, everyone LOVES the chair (guests go right to it automatically, and I recently found out Eddy sleeps in it all day. It was pretty funny, he forgot I was here with the sore back and I totally surprised him when I started giggling watching him clamber up into it). I love the leather seat, but it's pretty badly torn, and eventually when I get the chair redone, I'll get new leather - but not yet. And, the chair really needed a footstool for maximum comfort. So, I found this fairly ugly stool to go with the chair...
So now you're asking, why would one get this particular stool? It is pretty tacky looking, what with the fuzzy fabric and tassels and all. Well, there were at least 3 things I like about it: first, it's the right size & shape & style. Second, it has a stretcher partway down the legs, which I like the look of (so did Stickley) and which makes it sturdy. Third, it has a very charming inscription underneath, written on what look like parts of an old wooden crate that was used as the base for the upholstery:
You'll note a couple of cool things about the signature. It's dated Dec. 24, 1921. So that was XMas eve - so this was probably a Christmas gift, which of course makes it a bit magical. Second, the builders initials were GWB. Ahem, who else's initials are GWB? The guy who'll be out of office in less than a year? Couldn't resist that little tongue-in-cheek bit of humor. And finally, it seems to say "Age 14" under the initials - how cool is it that a 14-year-old made this on XMas eve in 1921? How many 14 year olds know how to make a mortise and tenon nowadays? Sold, for a bargain price even.
Off to get some fabric (one of the very few ventures out this week besides the chiropractor). It took way too long. How come when you're not looking for fabric, you see hundreds of awesome ones, but when you are there to buy, none are quite right? I wanted something with some more brown, but no dice. Since it was all half off, and since this is a temporary fix until I someday get both pieces redone in leather (mmm, leather...supple leather), I picked one with the right colors and that wouldn't stand out too much in the room. It was hard to tear myself away from a vivid red Morris-style huge print, but that would have been too much.
Pulled out all the tacks and tassels (looking better already, though the top is too low for the uprights)...
Side note: Isn't it amazing how much good you can do just by REMOVING CRAP? It's like in the movie The Birdcage: Don't add, just subtract. Good advice, and our general approach with the whole house.
And then I added a layer of foam to fix the somewhat out-of-proportion height of the top. Then cut the fabric & stapled it on. Et voila! Better than it was, that's for sure. I hope GWB digs it.
I wasn't planning on doing the chair but I had exactly enough fabric left to do it, so what the heck. I really love the leather - I think that phrase has been a key part of my vocab that since the 80s - but the two pieces really should be a bit more unified, especially since they have different finishes on the wood parts. Here they are together, lookin' fine for a $12 makeover: