You can’t keep them all…..

I think that there’s a very real risk that one of these days you’re going to see me on a programme called ‘Super Hoarders’. They say that we’re a nation of collectors and I’m absolutely no exception to that rule – once something is in my possession, I have to think very hard about whether I’m prepared to give it up.

Normally this isn’t a problem (my Partner, Darren may disagree!) but when it comes to upholstery it’s become clear that I’m going to have to make some tough decisions. Let’s face facts, I’m not making greetings cards or collecting thimbles – these are big lumps of furniture and I’m running out of space.

This came to a head last week when I was given the opportunity to buy a couple of mid-century Ercol pieces from my now friends, Joe and Ben of Hopper and Space fame. They’re leaving their Yorkshire base and moving to ‘that London’ – and in the process unearthed a job lot of Ercol awaiting restoration. Buoyed by the success of my 50’s chair, the prospect of taking a couple of these pieces off their hands was too exciting….. and so it came to pass that a 2 seater Windsor sofa and matching armchair were mine.

A very tempting stock pile!
A very tempting stock pile!

It was at this point that I had to have a little word with myself, largely before anybody else did. As you know, my journey into the world of upholstery is all a part of my grand plan to move out of a corporate role and into something much more creative. You’ll also know that this blog was always here to help me chart that journey, not just in terms of the skills I’m learning but also the thought process behind my approach. This is year 3, and progress has been good – I’ve done more work for other people in the first half of this year than in the whole of the previous 2 years, and that feels really rewarding. Anyway, the point is that I’d set myself a goal for 2013, and that was for The Cantin’ Patch to be self-funding.

After 2 years of this small venture costing me money, I’m very pleased to report that I am currently ‘cost neutral’! The client pieces for this year have enabled me to create a small stock pile of materials and complete a week’s tuition – things that my day job has funded in the past. To know that you have created a little bit of income all by yourself feels great. I think it’s a little milestone in my journey for sure.

That said, there’s still 6 months of 2013 left so I’ve not opened the bag of party poppers just yet. If I’m going to realise my goal then I have to be a bit more ruthless in freeing up space and funds and that means I can’t keep everything – no matter how nice it is to look at! So for that reason, the ’10 please Fred’ chair is up for sale. I made sure I completed all of the little finishing off bits last week and gave the legs a good clean and wax. I think it looks rather smart! What was that? You’d like to buy it? Really?

It's time to say goodbye
It’s time to say goodbye

The other thing I need to do is finish this one off – my little Parker Knoll style chair. I’ve moved it into the bedroom so that each and every morning it says ‘Finish me! Finish me!’ as I get up. I’ve promised myself that I won’t start the Ercol pieces until this one is done.

Finish me! Finish me!
Finish me! Finish me!

Now all I have to do is find a way of justifying why I should keep the completed Ercol Sofa……..