Saturday, March 4, 2017

Restoring Furniture



Restoring Furniture
by Cynthia J. Cordell

     Neil masked off the flower graphics that was on the chair (with masking tape), that he was painting. The flowers were sunflowers and he was painting the chair a light blue color. He stopped to look at his watch, because he wanted to go get some more paint before the paint depot closed. His watch showed 2 pm, so he had plenty of time left. His girlfriend had left some snacks for him in the refrigerator. He was getting famished. He really couldn’t stop too early in his work schedule because he had three other painting projects. Each piece of furniture that he was refurbishing was going to be sold at a furniture and art fair the following week, so he was diligently working to have all the pieces ready by then.

     After masking off the flowers, he worked at sanding down the rest of the chair. The reason that his girlfriend Ginny had stocked the refrigerator with all sorts of food, was so that he wouldn’t have to leave the house to get any.

     This particular chair that he was working on, had belonged to a young couple on the opposite part of town.  It had been given to them by the wife’s parents. When the couple started having children, one of the kids drew on the chair.  The chair had been one of those unfinished, natural wood chairs, with sunflowers painted across the back rest. The chair was sold to Neil and Ginny for a moderate price and now, after Neil’s renovation on it, it will sell for a profit.

     Neil worked into the night and managed to paint the chair light blue and would let the chair dry, before re-doing the sunflowers graphic.

     The next day, Ginny dropped by to see if she could re-stock the refrigerator and to chit chat a little bit with Neil. It turns out that she had made some chicken salad sandwiches at her studio apartment and had brought them over, in case he got hungry later. She also brought over potato chips and lots of fruit juices and water bottles.

     Neil’s next restoration project was a wooden rocking horse. He and Ginny had bought this gem of a piece from a day care center and thought that Neil could do it justice by painting it an ecru color. The horse’s features would be masked off. Those features were still in good condition and did not need new paint.

     Neil and Ginny didn’t live together because they each enjoyed living close to their jobs. Ginny drew sketches for a fashion house and Neil was a mechanic who had a Business degree under his belt. They enjoyed cooking for each other and communicating through email and a personal live chat rapport through one of the Internet sites.

     Neil was also interning at a video game company. His first assignment was to track a red dot on one of the games. The dot was a placeholder for one of the characters that his co-workers were designing. Neil gave them the coordinates of the red dot in no time. He basically imported each video frame into one of his art applications and all he had to do was drag the mouse cursor over the red dot and its numeric coordinates showed up on the lower part of the screen.

     This particular video game was a who done it? The game is based on a true story. In the neighboring town, there had been a crime scene. A college girl had been killed. In the game, members of the town were asked to come into the precinct and tell the sergeant where they had been at the time that the crime had been committed.

     Basically, the butcher, the baker, the hair stylist, everyone had been called in. The victim had an ex-boyfriend and he was the prime suspect. In this video game, the designers tell the gamers where the citizens of the town were at the time that the murder occurred.

     There is also a science fiction side to this. A group of beings from the planet Cyberon supplied the murder vehicle that the victim was ran over with. The creators of the game don’t tell the gamers that anyone could have been the killer, even those who were already in jail. In fact, that is what the designers told Neil when he signed on to the job. They said that no one would think to accuse someone who was already in jail and incarcerated.

     That actually was the default answer to solving the crime. They trucked out someone from prison to kill the young girl and then they trucked him back into jail. It was a tricky video game because it provided different elaborate scenarios as to who could have been the killer.

     After working on the game for a little bit, Neil finished up the rocking chair in no time. His next painting project was an end table that we wanted to paint a light brown. This particular end table was a find from a nearby garage sale. After this particular project, he only had a book shelf left to go. Both the end table and book shelf were from the same garage sale, one that was sponsored by the local church.

     The end table had a painting of the sun at the center of it. Neil masked of this picture of the sun before sanding down the rest of the table. The story behind this end table was that a couple had brought it in to the church as a donation. This same couple had moved into their house and the previous owners had left all of their original furnishings intact before they left. This new couple already had some furnishings and though they appreciated all that they were left with, things just began to get overcrowded. So, they donated both the end table and the book shelf to the church.

     Ginny came by after work and watered Neil’s potted plants, did a little light vacuuming and cooked his dinner while she was there. Neil continued to work on the end table. He only had a day or so left before he had to go back to work at the auto garage.

     The picture of the sun on the end table was in good shape, so Neil left it as it was. He moved on to the book shelf the next day. The book shelf was going to be done in a navy blue and he was going to mask of some wide lines on the sides of it, to sort of give it racing stripes and those stripes, he was going to paint pink. He finished off the end table way into the night (the previous day) and this book shelf was now going to be the final project.

     Just like the night before, Ginny came by after work and cooked dinner. That night she cooked lasagna and tossed a Caesar’s salad. Neil took a quick break to eat with her and then back to work he went. All four of their projects were all just about finished. Neil finished the rest of the pieces sometime midweek and he went to work at the auto garage the rest of the work week. Friday afternoon, he and Ginny took all four pieces to the fair grounds and positioned the furniture pieces at their corner booth.

     The next day, they had a great showing of the pieces. A family from a neighboring town was interested in the whole set, (meaning all four pieces). Ginny and Neil negotiated a fair price for all four furniture pieces and then, sold them off!

     Beating all of the deadlines and giving each other support during the preparation time, before the furniture sale really worked out for Neil and Ginny!

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