baby blue chandelier


So I took a class. Encouraged by my Mom and Husband in the form of a birthday present.  Once upon a time I knew how to weld, but I definitely needed a refresher.  Despite the anxiety of once again entering a school I persevered, poor me I know. If you are new to reading my blog then you need to know I have a lamp obsession. An obsession that depends on using only found and recycled materials, however this is difficult sometimes when there is a specific request for size.  The armature required to build lamps is hard to find in a thrift store. Even though tearing apart ugly lampshades is kind of rewarding, I don’t like to be limited in size.  I bend my rules and learn to bend some metal.



I constructed three squares of metal for a three-tiered square chandelier (I was getting tired of circles)

My chosen material for the shade which has been in the back of my car for at least a month for fear of delving questions; is baby blue venetian blinds.  I have been hunting these down for a while, but I can’t even begin to explain why.


I am not sure if they were ever used, but they were at The Habitat Home Store. If you have ever been to one of these they don’t sell anything unless priced. My beautiful baby blues were not price marked, but apparently marked as “no one will ever want these” and I scooted out the door only having spent 1 buck.  I bring them into the house and leave them on the kitchen table for at least a day. When I sit down with my tin snips and my ruler nobody pays me any attention at all.


me- snip snip snip

The Teenager- Hi Mom.

me- Hello Love.

The Associate- walks by with nary a glance.

we sit down to dinner as I sweep my blinds aside, nothing. We finish dinner and I sweep my blinds back onto the table. nothing.

me-You know what I love?

Family- ??

me- not a single one of you thought it was at all strange that I was cutting up a set of old blinds on our kitchen table. I have finally reached the status of “we know it will be something cool” YES FINALLY.

The Teenager – but mom we don’t need anymore lamps.

me- too bad.

my next step after cutting them is to figure out how to punch holes in the very thin metal. A drill is overkill and hammer and nail is too loud, ah thumb tack!  Unfortunately for The Associate she broke a cardinal rule and left something in my studio (she does all the time) and her new calendar was put to use.


I marked some lines and went to town poking holes.  I then rigged up the smallest square and started winding 18 gauge metal wire around the frame and sort of sewed on the blinds.


After all three layers are done I attached the to smaller squares to the largest with metal clips and more wire, trying to make it all even takes some time, but I think I have it.


It isn’t quite done because I have to find a place to hang it before I wire it, but I think it will be cool. I even have enough metal to spare to make another. Sorry Family. xo



my reel lamp.

While whiling around the dungeon I discovered a half lamp. As my disorders dictate this is a normal occurrence at my house.  The gray skies that drove me down here in the first place had not yet dispersed and the organizing was not going well, so I finished the lamp.  I have nowhere to put it, but it is done.  It all began with a film canister.


1. drill a hole the size of threaded rod in the canister. slowly…… It gets really hot.

2. widen the hole on the film reel with the same drill bit.

3. glue the canister sides back to back. This makes a space on the bottom to add weight and run the cord, and creates a dish for change or jewelry or whatever.



4. add weights, I reused weights (which are basically heavy pieces of metal) from another lamp and secured them with washer and a nut to the threaded rod.

5. This is the trickiest things about making lamps, everything has to come together so when you put on the socket at the top it all fits together tightly.  In order for my second story to stay up I supported it from the top and bottom with aluminum camping pole scraps. I cut them to the appropriate size using a tube cutter. I really need a new blade.


6. now that everything is on the rod, screw on the bottom half of the socket and make sure it is all going to be happy together.

7. run the cord from the bottom up and attach it to the socket.

8. pull the excess cord down and snap the socket all into place with the sleeve.

9. test the connections by plugging the lamp into wall and using a light bulb, of course.

10. put your lamp shade on and Voila` (that is for you Nicky:)

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Now I guess I’ll put it back in the basement.

elephantiasis of the lamps.

I just spent a glorious three days in Las Vegas.  I know I know, I don’t seem like the Vegas type. I’m not, but you go somewhere with awesome friends it doesn’t really matter where you go. When I was invited to share my pictures with everybody I was not surprised that most of them were of the gargantuan lamps from Mandalay Bay. I was literally dwarfed by their size, and their decadence.  Sooo I guess I’ll have to rely on my memory of all the other escapades, and I am really glad those ridiculous lamps will stay in Vegas.

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I have obviously had a lamp issue for some time.

I have three places I spent my youths, yes that is plural. The first one was an idyllic setting in Cleveland Ohio where we played kick the can till dark and walked to school. The second was the first 5 years I lived in New York City. The subsequent 3 years were spent trying to leave, but it is soooo hard to leave NYC. The third is where I ended up after I gave up the struggle, Wilmington NC. Imagine a city whose warmth surrounds you. The people I met here when I was 27 and lost took me for just exactly who I was and stuck around like a nasty rash for the last 10 plus years. I got a lot packed into my four years there until I had to move on.
My brood and I have been visiting wilmington for a week already destroying homes and good habits of the people we love.
Our first stop on our tour was the lovely, inviting home of Wendy and David, avid collectors and all around awesome people. First thing I did was re wire some lamps they inherited. I attempted to clean the lampshades but failed miserably. After prying ourselves from their comfortable cocoon. We mozzied over to The Jackson’s. We have been here for a whole five days now. Children, adults and dogs having a ball before I recognized a lampshade I made 12 years ago and they still love. Maybe lamps are my thing?


sad lamp, now happy

I found this lamp in pieces on a tree lawn and I thought it deserved another chance.



I took it apart and cleaned it thoroughly then checked the wiring which was remarkably intact.

I then gave the metal pieces a light sand to take down the glossy finish so paint would be able to stick to it.

choosing the colors on hand in my paint arsenal, two Krylon and one Rustoleum.


Luckily I had the the colors that match the new pillows I made for the porch (update pictures to come later)

and put it back together, now it is happy again.


My children are over lamps

Mom ( that’s me)- hey girls how was school? Don’t you love the new lamp?
Kids (ingrates)- every day we come home there is a new lamp.
Mom- trying not to be offended moves on; just on the porch renovation anyway. I have a bit of an obsession with making custom lamps.
So, here is the new side table to match the lamp from an earlier post. ( ill add an image for your convenience.)





Room fit for a teen

ruby1When I am doing a room in my own house I am only allowed to use what I already have.  I enjoy redecorating the room for sure,  but the challenge of pulling all the elements and supplies from the bottomless basement or from another room is like a life-size puzzle.  I LOVE PUZZLES.  My 13 year old daughter’s room needed a makeover.  Her budding interests and complete obsession with earrings, Pez dispensers, little monsters and being able to dance in her room were the main obstacles.  So, I went digging.  I found the wood in the garage and cut it to size using a table saw so they shelves were uniform length . I created 3 boxes using discarded drawers I found for the sides.  I bored holes through the boxes so they could be staggered on the wall to utilize the most space.  The boxes vary in height because I wanted to work in some pez and monster storage.  Glue, clamped, painted and nailed, I threaded aluminum camping poles through and mounted the whole piece on the wall. (those camping poles were  loved by my family, obviously I had to keep them for 20 years and use them) I wired green lamp, graciously given to me by a friend right through the pole to save space, and added the 5 light (also graciously given to me by a friend at least 10 years ago.) The desk is a half of bi-fold door mounted on the wall with a camp pole leg for support.  I addressed most of her issues, she loves it and has plenty of room to dance. Oh and now I have more room in the bottomless pit to fill YAY!