The Sequel to the Lamp Story (Vintage Swag Lamp)

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via

I know I haven’t given you the whole story yet, but July was pretty rotten. I usually try to keep it positive around here because this is my “happy place” but there’s just no way to sugarcoat it. July SUCKED. Both of my parents spent time in the ER at differnt times, one of them in the hospital for a week. I spent most of the rest of the month caregiving for my parents and then passing a stomach bug back and forth between the members of my immediate family. So. Not. Fun.

But, there’s a bright side to all of this. Apparently I paid my dues in July, because August started out with a huge bonanza of a bang in the form of a treasure trove of finds from garage sales and salvage. July was so awful, and all the treasures so lovely, that I hope you’ll indulge me in sharing them one at a time.

First up is my new dining room lamp. Do you remember last summer when the hand-painted glass shade of my beloved dining room chandelier met it’s untimely demise? It had looked like this:

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via

And part of why I loved it so much was that the pink and yellow roses on it reminded me of my very most favorite colors of roses:

Mixed Cabbage Rose Bouquet via

Well, all this time I’ve been trying to find a replacement. Not easy. Mr. Magpie did find a small, milk-glass hobnail shade, but it’s much smaller than the old one. I mean, I am not complaining, it was fine. But I still missed the old one.

Last week, I finally found something to replace it. Please welcome my new dining room chandelier:

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via

I looooove it. It has the pretty flowers on the shade:

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via

But it also has chandelier crystals!!! I had thought by choosing this style of lamp I couldn’t have any pretty crystals, but here you go, I’ve got both in one.

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via

I found it at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, my favorite local salvage place. It was not at all expensive, and I’m so happy. I am going to darken the finish just a wee bit with Rub-N-Buff and then I might actually add a tiny bit of that yellow and pink color to the shade. I just have to figure out how to do that. Any ideas? I want something that will just add some color on some of the flowers but not block out the original. Like a water color, but for glass, right?

I wasn’t sure what to do with my original lamp at first, but then I realized it would look perfect in the window in the family room. You can just barely see the existing chandelier in the top right corner of this picture. (There’s a ton more pictures in my post about how I had painted the chippy green hutches in the family room.) I have always been a little worried about that little chandy because it’s so close to the curtains. By moving the dining lamp in there I’ll be able to swag it over and stop worrying.

Family Room with Chippy Green Painted Hutches via

Now I just have to wrangle Mr. Magpie long enough to install it. Them. Both. Hee hee.

What about you? How is your summer going?

~Angela :-)

A Fridgey Fable (My Vintage Swag Lamp)

Handpainted Glass Lamp Shade

Butter and Apricot Cabbage Roses

Once upon a time, there was a woman whose kitchen was the ugliest in the kingdom.

Every day, when she walked by the kitchen, she said to herself, “Oh, I surely wish I had some way to make my kitchen more beautiful.” But she had no money, and so the kitchen stayed just as it was.

And she was sad.

You could hardly blame her, can you, dear reader? Her kitchen was full of things from the 1980’s, and that’s enough to make anyone sad, don’t you think? All that brown, brown, brown cabinetry in the middle of the cottage.

Plus the huge stainless steel fridge that dominated everything that she just had to have when she moved into her cottage, was a constant reminder of how silly she had been, spending money that she should have been saving for the dark times ahead.

It was dark.

It was depressing.

And so the woman was depressed, too.

Ugly Kitchen

But this woman wasn’t the type to let a bad kitchen get her down forever. She started to fix the things in the dining room nearby, to make a light space to be in. She covered the rough stone with bright plaster, painted her treasured old door a pretty blue, and found some great chairs to sit in that were comfortable even for long nights of dining and chatting with friends.

Dining Room With Old Salvaged Door

And it was better.

One day, she found a lamp. A beautiful old lamp from times of yore. It was hanging in the corner of a junk shop, dusty and unloved for it had fallen out of fashion. But the woman saw the handpainted flowers and thought it was beautiful. So she brought it home with her, and hung it over her dining room table.

Vintage Hanging Swag Lamp with Handpainted Glass Shade

At night, when the lamp was on, the flowers would glow with a soft, warm light and reminded her of her favorite flowers, cabbage roses in all shades of pink and butter and apricot.

Butter and Apricot Cabbage Roses

And it made her very, very happy.

Shored up from this little bit of happiness, glowing from the middle of her cottage, the woman decided (with the help of a great many friends), to tackle her pantry, also near the kitchen. She thought, maybe should could make it looks something like this amazing pantry from One Perfect Room:

Beautiful Cottage-Style Pantry via

The woman and her husband, inspired by the pretty pantry, began to have ideas, great ideas. They realized that they could divide the overly-large-and-not-very-comfortable family room in twain, making room for a laundry and mudroom. The pantry would then be free to store all of their food for the winter. The woman and her husband also decided to move the fridge into the pantry, making the kitchen much more roomy and keeping all the food in one place.

The woman was giddy with delight at these plans, but she was worried about a fridge making her soon-to-be-adorable pantry look, well, just not very adorable. But then she saw this kitchen on Southern Living:

Pretty White Kitchen and Wood Fridge via

(Because even luddites who live in cottages and read way too much fantasy fiction still go on the Internet. Doesn’t everyone?)

More importantly, she saw the fridge in the picture. Do you see it? It’s that wooden thing in the back corner that looks like an icebox.


So the woman decided that she was going to figure out how her fridge would look like this too. But then she remembered.

Ugly Kitchen

Her fridge was the wrong shape. It’s doors were rounded and would be impossible to apply wood to. Or at least, very very hard, and the woman was no carpenter.
If only, she thought. If only she could somehow find a free fridge that was just a plain, simple fridge. Just a plain door and a plain freezer on top (or bottom) that she could turn into an icebox, that was free but was also relatively new and an Energy Star model.

(Because even luddites who live in cottages and read way way too much fantasy fiction like to be kind to the environment.)

And then, something miraculous happened.

The woman was on Facebook, on a group of parents from her local community, and someone was giving away a fridge. Exactly the kind of fridge that she needed. The woman told her story and said she would happily give up her giant hulk of a stainless steel fridge in order to have a small, simple, plain, ordinary fridge that she could turn into an icebox. And the community agreed!

The next day, a kind young woodsman, and his wee wife (who must have been from the faerie folk) came to the woman’s house with a new fridge. The woman had no wagon, so they brought it for her. They brought it to her house. Then, they brought it inside, AND packed up her old fridge, carried it out to their wagon, loaded it in and took it away. And smiled the whole time, and said they were grateful.

As was the woman, too! She was grateful and happy beyond measure, and she gave them four kinds of daylilies and a chunk of a plant of mint because they were new to their cottage and had nothing growing around it.

But in the midst of all this joy, there was one sorrow.

Vintage Hanging Swag Lamp with Handpainted Glass Shade

When the kind strong woodsman was backing out of the kitchen with her old stainless steel fridge, she could see that her precious lamp was in the way. So she reached up, folly of follies, and tilted it up and to the side.

But oh, dear reader, the hand-painted glass shade was not attached. Even as the woman reached to try and catch it from falling out of the lamp, it came crashing to the floor, crashing into a million pieces, and the woman watched it breaking like her heart.

She wanted so very much to cry, but she knew her tears would be ungrateful for the incredible feat of the woodsman and his wee wife (who must have been from the faerie folk), so she choked back her tears and smiled instead.

The woman loved her new, free, perfect for the project fridge. But she knew that she would always miss the lamp that, when it glowed, reminded her so much of pink and butter and apricot roses.

Butter and Apricot Cabbage Roses

Unfortunately, there is no photo of this new, plain, humble, ordinary fridge that the woman loves so much, because she spent so much time unpacking and repacking fridges (and reading way way way too much fantasy fiction), that she didn’t do her dishes.

But trust me, dear reader, it’s perfect.

The end.

~Angela :-)

How to Make Halloween Chandelier Shades (Tutorial)

Halloween Chandelier Shades

Add a fun Halloween touch to your chandelier with these easy-to-make decorated mini-shades for your chandelier or wall sconces.

Supplies for Halloween Chandelier Shades

You Will Need

  • White or off-white chandelier shades sized for your chandelier
  • 2 yards black eyelash or fringe trim
  • 4 yards black ric-rac
  • Black fabric paint pen or permanent marker
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Scratch paper and pencil

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, you’re ready to begin. Simply follow these simple steps:

Halloween Chandelier Shade Patterns

Cut out a strip of scratch paper about the size of your shade, and long enough to wrap most of the way around. This will be your template pattern. Don’t worry about making an exact fit, your goal is just to get a general idea of the space on the shade for drawing your pattern.

More Halloween Chandelier Shade Patterns

Using one or more paper strips, experiment with ideas for your design. I tried ideas of a row of pumpkins, a haunted house and a graveyard scene before settling on spiderwebs.

Don’t be afraid to try several options. I tried several spiderweb styles before settling on the final design of clustered smaller spiderwebs with spaces in between.

Halloween Chandelier Shade Patterns

Once you’ve worked out your design, you will want to ink the design onto the shades, using either a permanent marker or a fabric paint pen. I chose to work directly in pen, but you could also use a pencil to sketch the design on the shade first.

Inking Halloween Chandelier Shade

Start my marking a large “y” shape on one side of the shade.

Inking Halloween Chandelier Shade

Next, add in some additional spines for your first spiderweb. Make sure the spines are at an angle, so they will dead-end at the edge of the shade somewhere around the back.

Begin adding the arcs of the webs. Start at the intersection of the first “y” (fig. 1) then radiate outward, adding spines as needed (figs. 2-3). When a spine is near an edge, add arcs of web to connect to the edge (fig. 4). Also include webs that appear to go off the edge (figs. 5-6).

Inking Halloween Chandelier Shade

Continue adding spines and arcs, working around the shade one way, and then the other, until the entire shade is filled.

Feel free to add little surprises here and there, tiny spiders peeking out from the webs, or hanging in the open spaces. Most of all, have fun!

Now that your shades have been inked with your spooky pattern, you need to finish the edges with ric-rac and embellish the edge with fringe.

Halloween Chandelier Shade Gluing

Start by running a bead of hot glue along the upper edge of the shade, then pressing in the ric-rac, working two to three inches at a time. Start at a seam on the shade to help hide the raw edges of the ric-rac.

Halloween Chandelier Shade Ric-Rac

Finish the top edge, trimming the ric-rac to butt up to the beginning edge, then use the same technique to complete the bottom edge.

Use hot glue to attach the bottom fringe as well, trimming it to length and butting the ends. Make sure you glue the trim to the bottom edge of the shade, pointing sideways, rather than inside the shade, pointing down. This makes the fringe fluff out properly. You can also glue the trim flat on the outside of the shade, and forgo the ric-rac on the bottom edge.

Halloween Chandelier Shade Fringe Trim

Halloween Chandelier Shade Fringe

Once the fringe is securely glued on, you can pull the protective thread out, freeing the fringe edge to be fluffed.

Halloween Chandelier Shade Fringe

Vigorously rub the fringe with your fingertips to break up the clumps and fluff it up, and your shade is ready to go. Repeat Steps 1-4 for all the shades you need, and then you’re ready to go on to the next step.

Halloween Chandelier Shade

After making the number of Halloween shades you need for your chandelier, hang them up and see how they look. You can check for any needed touch-ups or blank spaces.

If you don’t already have one, you might also consider installing a dimmer switch on your chandelier. The low, orange glow will add that spooky atmosphere Halloween events need.

I hope you’ve enjoyed making these chandelier shades as much a I did!

While you’re here, check out our Pumpkin Carving Design Ideas.

Thanks for visiting,

~Angela :-)