You may not remember this chair.
But if you’ve been reading this blog for the past 6 months, you probably remember the moment when I first saw it and how I fell in love with it.
It mysteriously appeared in my grandmother’s nursing home room one day and my cute 12-year old niece Camryn happened to be sitting in it the moment I realized, “OMG, that chair is fabulous!”
My mom surprised me.
I thought she could see the beauty in it, but she couldn’t!
How could she not see the amazing swirly details?!
I asked my mom to find out if the nursing home would be willing to swap me chairs: I take that one and replace it with one in my “stash.” After multiple tries, I simply never heard anything back; no updates.
I actually kind of forgot about it.
Until my grandmother was on her deathbed.
My grandmother’s health was going downhill and my mom had texted me to say that I should come to my hometown the following day.
I knew this would be the last time I saw her.
While there, I saw the chair and knew that if I didn’t get the chair, I’d never have the opportunity to get it again.
I know that seems…cold.
After all…my grandmother was lying there in her last moments, and there I was–trying to track down the nurse manager to get the green light to take this chair.
Thankfully, the nurse manager allowed me to take it!
And I snapped these pictures that very day before loading it into my van to take it 70 miles home to my garage, in its sad state, knowing it’s the last thing I was able to claim before she passed.
A Gift For My Mom
Losing her mom was hard for my mom, especially after having been her caregiver for so long.
So I had decided that I would make over the chair and give it to her as a special gift.
Yeah…I know it didn’t belong to my grandmother. Heck–I don’t think my grandmother even used it.
But for some reason, it feels like “Nanny’s chair.”
It feels like a memento from the room of which my mom visited daily–probably the place where my family sat countless times visiting Nanny. Regardless of whether it belonged to Nanny, it sure feels like a salvaged belonging of my grandmother’s.
And what better gift for my mom to have than a beautiful chair that feels like she’s getting a piece of her mom back, perhaps.
I’m also working on turning my garage into a pretty little workshop (ahem–cough, tougher than I imagined).
In order to do that, I have to get these projects out of my garage!
What better project to start on than getting this chair to my mom sooner rather than later? It doesn’t deserve to sit in my garage for 3 years like most of my other projects. (EEK, did I just admit that out loud??).
This is what it looked like just a few days before.
This is where I need your help, my friends!
So…..I had no idea what in the heck wormwood was. Or that it’s actually a desireable feature in wood. That shows how little I know about antiques and furniture design (which I’ve never claimed to be knowledgeable! LOL).
But here’s what happened:
I was out in the garage working on this chair makeover and I was recording bits and pieces of the project on Snapchat (we should follow each other because I show a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff as you’ll see in the video, even me with no makeup–OMG……It’s an awesome app for daily vlogging!).
I uploaded the video to YouTube and had some people comment that those holes I was trying to seal with wood filler were actually–GASP!–wormwood holes!! (Start at 3:08 min)
See the holes there on the arm?
I could have sworn that some brat 40 years ago got ahold of the chair and shoves nails in the chair while his mom wasn’t looking. HA!
If you look on the front and back below, you can see even more holes.
And I started freaking out a little bit.
I know nothing about wormwood, which is apparently an easy-to-treat infestation of beetle larvae that bore holes in wood.
Someone said you have to treat it if it’s “active” by the beetles…and how in the world do I tell if it’s active? Didn’t look like fresh wood dust or anything like that.
Just looked like nail holes.
So before I even realized what I was working with here, I simply filled them with woodfiller! (Thank God for my YouTube subscribers!). But even though they clued me in to woodworm, they didn’t give me any more info than that.
I filled as many of them as I could, actually, totally oblivious.
And now here’s where I ask you, my fellow furniture lovers, because you likely know more about this than me.
From the pictures (and video), does this look like wormwood?
And if so, does it look like something that should be treated?
From the pics, it looks like this is something that was an old infestation that was likely treated. Maybe even prior to the chair being constructed.In fact, it looks like the old brown stain and top coat was applied
In fact, it looks like the old brown stain and top coat was applied over the holes, because they don’t look like holes that were bore into the stain and sealant.
What do you guys think??
I’ve love to finish this chair and give it to my mom! But you know I can’t be giving her some chair with beetle larvae in it! HA! 🙂
Have you ever heard of wormwood? What should I do?