Look at this amazing purple beast! The final result from my beginner’s stab at upholstery.
Here’s the shabby, dishevelled item it used to be – some transformation, eh!
Before, it was hidden away under a blanket, too tatty to see the light of day. Now, I drag people off the street to admire it, and every morning take my lovely new velvet brush and perform the satisfying ritual of pile-alignment .
My only problem is that people, and cats, are drawn to it like a magnet – they want to sit on it, for heaven’s sake!
Happy with my creative project, I did learn that I am not a born upholsterer. Tools and I don’t really get on. Tacks and nails fall out or go in on the wonk. I’m too scared to cut. The best bits were anything to do with fabric, smoothing on wadding, stitching a horsehair lumbar support with string.
None of that mattered though, because I was so well taught by Libby at Bungay upholsterers Perkins & Gibbs. That woman has the glorious knack of the born teacher of enthusing, demonstrating and quietly helping (a lot!) so that any hapless student who has bitten off far more than she can chew still ends up full of a sense of achievement.
The real joy, has been in working with others around, all of them are grappling with their own projects.
Even more fun than the process of bringing my weary old chair back to life has been the pleasure of being in the studio amid the quiet buzz of talk and banter, with the interesting people who go there, the dogs who wander in and out, the swags of fabric hanging up, the air of creativity, the sense of connection that Libby and Tam create.
That studio’s a life-enhancing place and I quite fancy upholstering my entire house now, just so I can go back there every couple of weeks for another dose.
It’s great to take on long-neglected creative projects now that there’s a bit more time in life, and some can even be tackled alone. But what I learned this time round is how much more enjoyable it is to go and share the whole thing with a bunch of people who, just at the moments when I was thinking anxiously, this is very purple, had a knack of saying – gorgeous colour.
Do you get a tingle of desire at the thought of making something? Got a project you want to start? Where does the joy lie in creativity for you? Do comment in the box below. And if you enjoy exploring the ins and outs of life beyond 60 with us, enter your email in the box up at the top of the page and you won’t miss a thing.