Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lighting My Way

So I finished the lamp. (Cue fireworks.) 

A lamp seems like a little thing but it was almost too much for me. 

I've been writing about my fears (debt), my reality (being a step-mom), and my hopes (the daily triumphs I'm achieving as an AUTHOR--let's say that again--as an AUTHOR). Everything in my life is about making this dream come true. Yet, my projects share a similar issue--a dream that keeps on being a dream. 

Now that Strong Enough is out there and I've accepted this author thang (I AM AN AUTHOR--I have to insert that regularly), dreams equal reality.

Welcome to the first completed project in my Office Renovation: a wee little lampy.

I posted here my expectations as well as a few trials and tribulations from the very beginning. This was not a weekend project. Not for me. But it was a creative escape that nurtured my inner artist and fostered new energy.

Starting with an object I loved but wasn't working in my writer space was key. After a false start, I began again with primer. I rock at primer.

Loving the white, I went with a white gloss and then met my Waterloo: DRIPS

I proceeded to have a meltdown:   
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Once I sanded off most of the drips and reapplied white gloss, I placed the lamp on my desk and put off doing the lamp shade. 

  • Fact, I was busy writing. 
  • Fact, I was scared to death of the lamp shade.

The original shade was red and awful. Just awful. My first solution was to find a pure drum at a flea market or garage sale (in Ellen parlance, pure drum means the top and bottom rings are the same size). 

I don't have the patience for this strategy. I bought a lamp for $2 at the very first flea market, my husband and I both sick of looking at stuff. It had the correct attachment (harp), but was red and not a pure drum. Not even close. SCORE! Because the top ring was a good size, I reasoned I could buy another ring the same circumfrance, a little styrene, and I'd make my own damn shade.

And then I waited for the lamp fairies to come and finish my project.

Strangely, that plan didn't work so I bought a self-adhesive lamp shade designed to use the fabric of your choice. It comes with a pattern and a sticky surface you roll your fabric around. Presto! Instant shade!

The shape I found wasn't a pure drum but there's only 1" difference so it's hard for the naked eye to see. Good enough for me! I cut my fabric with the pattern and began the next phase of my vision: painting with typeset letters.
Very first stamp painting
I already had the typeset pieces--I bought them years ago. After carefully painting each letter, I stamped out i:Novelist! over and over and over. And over and over and over and over.

After a few sets, I wrapped the fabric around the shade and looked for holes.Then I stamped some more. And more and more and more.

Once I was satisfied, my husband helped me roll the fabric onto the shade. It was super easy. THANK DOOCE! 

I used scissors to trim the burlap as close to the edge of the lamp as possible because folding it over the top was never going to work. I bought some bias tape, fabric tape, and voila! 

The transformation is as fantastic as I hoped and already my office feels refreshed. 

I looked around the room and wondered, what will be my next project? The chair? Building a console table? 


I have a ton to do this month on my new novella. 

This month I'll stain my filing cabinet. Ooooo - scary. I admit, it's the easiest of my tasks but before I can start, I must empty it. And that means purging. That's enough to make me cry again.

Here are the final results, the requisite before and after pics:

And for a little treat--the yellow teapot at the top of the rainbow version is now a secret extra: