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PAT'S EQUIPALE CHAIR IN A DOME

This little scene was a Christmas gift for my friend Pat several years ago.

A weekend at Pat's is like luxuriating at the best B & B. I love to spend a restful visit in her newly-redecorated guestroom. Her home has a Southwest theme, and although the previous room was pretty, she felt it still looked too much like her daughter's childhood room. With new furniture, lamps, window treatment, etc., it now looks more like the rest of her house.

The bed's gorgeous comforter and shams, etc., have as a motif the ancient Indian flute player symbol Kokopelli. So, when it came time to think of her Christmas gift, I wanted to make something that would go well in that lovely guestroom.

I didn't want anything as large as a roombox, or anything that would require hanging, so this little dome, which measures about three inches across and maybe eight inches high, seemed about right.

A while back, miniaturists were excited at the Raine Take-A-Seat chairs that had become available at Tuesday Morning stores all over the country. I bought at least one of every style available in El Paso (sometimes two) and my husband suggested we go up to Las Cruces NM (where Pat lives) to see if any different ones were available at the Tuesday Morning there. Sure enough, we picked up a few more. Among them were two chairs like this one.

This is an example of Mexican barrel-shaped chairs known as equipales, from an ancient Aztec word that means seat. It is said that even Cortez reserved equipales for important guests. These handcrafted chairs are still widely seen in the Southwest and are made from hardwood strips and stretched pigskin, bound with leather strips (some, I read, were bound with bindweed, considered a pesky weed in the US).

Here is the scene from the back. This chair, as all the Raine Take-A-Seat chairs, is made of resin, and is a wee bit less than one-twelfth scale, which makes it ideal for a very small setting like this one. A regular one-twelfth chair would not have permitted much of anything else in this small dome.

I once purchased a box that had several pieces of inexpensive furnituture in that too-slick-too-shiny finish. There were two sets of these little tables and I have sanded and roughed them up a bit to get rid of the shine. They are plain enough that they fit in almost any kind of environment. If you have visited Miss Minnie's house, this little end table may look familiar. She has two just like it at both ends of her small sofa!

Luckily, one of these little tables fit on my base, so that I could slip the dome over without tilting something out of whack, although I really had to do some finagling to fit things in.

The Kokopelli figure was with scrapbooking materials, I think. He is super glued to one of those flat sided marbles you find near flower arranging stuff. I received a figure like this in a swap and thought it was such a terrific idea that I have duplicated it with various charms and other small figures.

The agaves are made from various materials, and the cactus is a painted seed pod.

A couple of turquoise colored beads (color doesn't look quite right here) were used as trim on both sides of the jade plant pot. It was contrived from something in my stash of dried and artificial plants.

You can't tell too much about it here, but the rug is made from a piece of cotton fabric with fringe glued on ends. I received this one in a southwest swap.

This pillow I made from a print that had many different small Southwest flavored designs. I actually intended to make a Kokopelli pillow from a separate print, but ran out of time - and this one was already made and fit the chair and the color scheme, so ....

You can see where I have used several motifs from that print fabric in other southwest scenes, including my daughter's dome scene and the gift for my friend Raul.

And would you believe Pat didn't put this scene in the guestroom with the other Kokopellis after all? It now resides in a wall niche that separates the living room from her kitchen "where I can see it all the time," she says.

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NOTE in 2010: Pat has since moved into an apartment and I am not sure where she displays it now.

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