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January 20, 2018

Amaryllis and a Pedestal Rocker

Finally it’s blooming!  I feel like singing the song from Neil Diamond "Hello"  with part of the lyrics being- Hello, my friend hello...  

Growing the amaryllis each year feels like an old friend...you can't wait to see them again.

I moved the planter over near the window daily to capture some sun.  It was in the kitchen window but proved to be too cold so they needed a different location.

The contrast of pretty flowers growing indoors plays nicely against the winter white background.

Now what does an Amaryllis and a Pedestal Rocker have to do with each other?
I do try to incorporate something to do with gardening on my blog frequently so that's all I have to say about that!
This is a very old Spindle Pedestal Rocker that my Mom and Dad salvaged after the war when they were getting their life going.  My Dad worked briefly at a bus garage in Detroit and there was a pile of old leather that had been stripped from seats on the bus heading to the garbage bin so he grabbed some of it to use to reupholstered the rocker.

I won't kid you I have always thought it was a bit of an ugly duckling and not all that long ago claimed my dislike for it.   

I saw this picture on Facebook that I was admiring but my eyes stopped when I noticed the rocker.

Now this is a far more attractive version of a pedestal rocker but what intrigued me was seeing the pretty fabric and the nicely padded seat and back.  I also learned a bit about these rockers and apparently this kind is a Hunzinger Platform Rocker.  The flat spring mechanism in the center is how you can tell the brand.  The one we have is likely an Eastlake.

I ran across several pictures while doing some research and this one was incredibly close to the one above.  These types of platform rockers seem to be considered from the Victorian age and likely from the late 1800's to early 1900's.

I am guessing that our chair had the nail heads and that my Dad reused them like this chair shows.  

I was looking for examples of similar chairs and to see if anyone else has upholstered them.  Though this is a different style rocker and I wouldn't pick such a modern fabric I saved it for future ideas.  

I won't ever paint it and I feel a tad bit sentimental knowing my Dad had reupholstered this, but I can't help wonder how it would look with a little updating and a softer look.  I don't think anyone else wants it and as we draw near the end of life at home as we knew it I feel compelled to start thinking about things like this.

This is my Mom this past Christmas.  I sent her that lantern and one of my sister's snapped a picture for me.  She's 95 now and sleeps most of her days away.  

Mom and Dad 1941
My Dad dressed for their wedding and a random picture of my Mom in Wilmington Delaware where she lived near the air force base where my Dad was stationed.  They just got married and he was going to be drafted so he enlisted in the Air (Corps) Force.  Once he went overseas she went back to Detroit to live with her parents until he returned.

So the chair has some history...do I spend money to update or not? 

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  1. Oh Liz what a beautiful piece of family history this rocker is. I love that your dad re upholstered the back and seat with the old leather from the city buses. I love that you have the history and memories to hang onto but I too would be wanting I think to re upholster the back and seat. I know your dad would love that you are re loving it to your taste and to keep in your family. This is a hard one. What ever you do whether leave it alone or re do it I think it is a beautiful piece to have.

  2. I love your amaryllis. So pretty! Mine is still in bulb stage but it grew last year. Might have to wait for it to sprout. I enjoyed reading the history of your rocker, too. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What lovely family memories, Liz! As much as you have an itch to update your Dad's rocker, I wouldn't do it. My dad was what they called a "Jack of All Trades" never really mastering one thing. He was a carpenter, a real estate broker and builder. He actually built the home we grew up in. I inherited the family home and eventually sold it because it became too much in upkeep, etc. Now, I wish I had something personal I can say he made - only wonderful memories.

  4. Liz, your amaryllis is giving you lovely color this January! What a beautiful red and white.
    The chair from your parents has a memorable history. If you reupholster it I know you will find a special spot for it. It looks like the Victorians had a lazy boy chair. What sweet photos of your parents, Liz. I know you treasure them and the chair. ♥

  5. I need to grow that flower, it is a show stopper!

  6. I fully understand your feelings on the rocker. I currently have my great grandmothers rocker covered up in the garage. It needs to be restored and even though my home is large I have nowhere to put it. But yet, I cannot bring myself to part with it. Love that flower!

  7. Oh, Liz, what a treasure to have, if only for the sentimental value. Have you considered making or having made a type of a padded cover so that you can leave your father's handiwork intact but still use a pretty fabric more to your liking? I was thinking a padded backrest pillow with ties on the corners. Your chair, with those bars would be perfect for tying in place a slightly larger backrest and a matching or coordinating seat cushion. You could have matching covers for the armrests as well. The picture with the bow window and the Easter lily looks like it might have a cushion on the seat?

  8. Think of it this way. Your father recovered an old chair that he felt was worth salvaging. You inherited the chair and his talents. You should recover an old chair that is now an antique. Both of you realized that the chair has beauty and value and should be used, appreciated and admired. Great minds think alike.

  9. Liz, the amaryllis is definitely showing out...so pretty! I used to have a similar rocker with no family history and I eventually sold it! What a treasure you have! I would change out the upholstery and enjoy all the memories this rocker holds!

  10. Liz, you're too cute! That chair is special and I love your Amaryllis. I didn't get one planted this year, but my paper whites started blooming today. I waited and planted them after Christmas for a change.
    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  11. Liz, love the amaryllis and that rocker is a true treasure..I wouldn't change anything about it either!!!


Thank you for your comments! I don’t always get a chance to reply but I do read them!


Welcome to Home and Gardening With Liz. I have combined my previous blogs “Infuse With Liz” and “Sit With Me In My Garden” into this new blog. I love interior decorating and gardening. I enjoy redefining interior spaces by moving things around and reusing decorative items already found in the home. I also enjoy creating tablescapes and an occasional crafting project. I'm so pleased you've stopped by. I invite you to follow me and I do hope you will keep coming back! Liz
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