When I’m having a particularly wonderful travel experience, I crave pieces of the place to keep and preserve to savor later.
More often than not it’s a piece of fabric (note the large stacks of textiles crammed on my office shelves), or a condiment (honey, mustard, canned fish, squeezable tubes of anything). Sometimes the items I fall in love with are not so easy to transport, so I take inspiration from them to recreate at home (See Sit for a Spell and A Bench for All Seasons).
Six years ago while having a particularly wonderful July in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I saw a gorgeous sunburst yellow Acapulco chair at a roadside workshop. “Whoa Nelly!” I hollered. My husband Jim looked at me like, “Really?”. In I went, giddy with excitement over the wonderful, candy colored vinyl strapped tables and chairs.
I had to have one of these chairs, probably two of them. So a few days later we returned to pick up a gorgeous, lemon yellow sunburst chair and it’s brand new twin, made for us by the owner of the shop. Much hand wringing and calling followed to find a way to get the chairs home to California for something we could afford. Fees paid ($300 for both chairs, ouch, boxed and shipped), I crossed my fingers that I’d someday see my beloved new chairs again. Hopefully not just in my mind’s eye.
They did arrive, six months later after I’d nearly given up on them. They were gorgeous! And a piece of San Miguel had arrived to transform our back terrace. They are pretty to behold year round through our large glass sliders (that make our back yard visually part of our kitchen and sitting room). They are truly comfortable. And best of all, they remind me of the relaxed, creative, carefree vibe of our time in San Miguel.
But after six years of sun and weather, the strapping on the chairs began to crack and uncoil. Even if I could find new strapping for them, could I re-string them myself? After a bit of searching, I found new strapping (in a snappy red shade) here: InnitDesigns and some basic video inspiration here: How it’s Made: The Acapulco Chair.
A few dedicated hours of pulling, stretching and securing ends later….Voila! I’m still amazed how easy this was, and how awesome it looks. A real lesson here on the possibility of restoring things you love. I have a new-old chair, the satisfaction of a successful rescue, and a renewed memory of those warm, mellow days in San Miguel, brighter and better than ever…