Saturday, August 20, 2011

A New Light - An Easy Thrift Store Lamp Revision

At this point in my life, I pretty much know what I like. One of the nice things that comes with age is that we no longer need to buy trendy items to feel like we fit in.

Some of the things in my home (and wardrobe, for that matter) are quite old things. Some things I've had since I was a child, (No, not the clothing!). Others I've had since my first apartment in college. I've continued collecting items that interest me. (I plan to post photos of some of my favorite things later this week.)

Though I still like and will keep the old things I love, it's fun to freshen things up! Earlier this year, I devised a plan to revamp my home. My plan involves fresh paint on the walls, moving furniture and objects to different rooms and redoing my color palettes. (More on that later as well.)

I LOVE color, but I also love the absence of color. My personal style is sort of an eclectic mix of old objects with patina, tarnish and a variety of textures. I also like "real" art. (On my budget - much of it is from thrift stores.) I love mirrors, candlesticks, old books, boxes, small tables, old linens, rusty metal, tarnished silver, old keys, interesting lamps and the list goes on.

My focus the past month has happened to be on lamps. I think the new versions of drum shades can really freshen up a room without making a lot of other changes. I began looking for new lamps for my rooms, as well as new shades for some of my favorite lamps. I also Googled "how to make drum shades" several ways, but didn't find much out there. I'm working on some now, and if they work, I'll post them next week!

The first project I'd like to share with you is a lamp - the kind you see all the time at Goodwill. Sometimes, you'll even see pairs of them! I purchased this lamp for $1.91 and set it aside while I looked for a shade.

One Friday evening a couple of weeks ago, I was shopping at Ross. I decided to see what they had in the way of lampshades, and to my delight, found a lovely feminine drum shade for only $6.99! Today, I married the two. The makeover team included Krylon Spray paint, Scotch Blue painter's tape, Reynold's Wrap and a drop cloth. See below for the results:

This is the before photo. See - she has good bones!

Here comes the makeover team!

Prep work - using the Reynold's Wrap and the painter's tape 
and cover anything you don't want painted.

Spray the lamp, following the directions on the can. Hold the can 6 inches away, and spray several light coats to cover instead of trying to get full coverage in one coat. When spray paint is too heavy, it drips. If this happens, let it dry and sand it a bit, then repaint using lighter coats.

Be sure to get all the nooks and crannies - underneath the turnings. Take time to let the paint dry between coats.

Meanwhile, unwrap that adorable bargain lamp shade!

Here she is, revised and feeling like a brand new girl!

Ah, what a little makeup and a new hairstyle can do! 

Word of the Day:
Matthew 5:14-16

You are the light of the world. 
A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. 
Instead they put it on its stand, and 
it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, 
that they may see your good deeds 
and glorify your Father in heaven.

Shine on!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Doing a New Thing

A few months ago, I was clueless about blogs. I knew they existed - and I knew lots of people did them. I guess I thought they were a venue to express thoughts, insights and lofty ideas. I suppose I'm not that lofty. I just went about my daily business without a clue about blogs.

Then, one day in spring 2011, my daughter, who had recently decided to move from a furnished apartment into an unfurnished house, sent me a few links. She'd found a number of blogs that had examples of the "look" she wanted to achieve in her future house.

I loved seeing photos of lovely rooms, how-to tutorials, and photos of items that had once been in sad condition, but were transformed into objects of beauty! I was delighted, and I was also hooked.

I began to visit links listed on my favorite blogs. I found comfort in the knowledge that there were plenty of other women like me out there! I loved knowing there were homes full of lovely objects and furnishings that exuded creativity, respected history and embraced the patina of age.

I live in a home like that. I am surrounded by unusual things with questionable pedigrees. A great uncle once told me (and he meant it as a compliment!) "You have a very unique home. You could sell tickets!" Lovely rooms with everything new and matching are nice, but they do not excite my sensibilities in the same way a quirky piece of furniture or a found-object with a rusty patina does.

And I would be slacking if I didn't mention the faith component. I LOVE to see tangible metaphors of how He picks us up out of our messy places, spends time and elbow grease fixing us up and turns us into shiny, valuable treasures. We are repurposed. We have value to the creator and to others.

 My hope is that this blog will be a source of practical information, creative inspiration, beauty and comfort to others. I am beginning today without knowing where this first step will lead, but I know it will be enjoyable.  I trust in the one who is shining a light on the path in front of me.

Word of the Day:
Isaiah 43:19 

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.