July 13, 2014

Going Coastal

I’m not the kind of homeowner who regularly rearranges her furniture. In fact, most of what’s in the house is in exactly the same place it was when the movers plopped it on the floor 20+ years ago. Sometimes, however, I’m come all over with a burning desire to redo my bedroom as I was a while ago when I decided to change my boudoir from cozy earth-tones to lighter, breezier coastal/nautical/Cape Cod/Nantucket. Don’t ask me why; this just…happens.

I also don’t believe in paying more if you can get the same thing for less. For the redesign (way too strong of a word for something that primarily involved buying a new set of bed linens), I desperately wanted these lamps from Pottery Barn but, at $99 a pop, they were too rich for my blood so I opted for some similar but much cheaper lamps at a discount home-decorating store. The only drawback was that they came with severely straight-sided, Puritanically white shades.


No problemo, I thought. I’ve seen what those crafters on Pinterest do; all I need to do is wrap the lampshades with rope/sisal/twine. Easy peasy.

Surprise #1: The glue in hot-glue guns is…hot. Really hot. Who knew? The last of the blisters on my thumb has only just recently healed.

Surprise #2: Who knew that, when buying rope/sisal/twine you have to be as concerned about dye lots as you do when buying yarn? Not that the sisal (which is what I ended up using) is dyed, per se, and not that they even have dye lots but different balls can have different colors. Here is the first shade:


Note the lighter rope at the top, darker rope in the middle, and lighter rope again at the bottom. This is more pronounced in real life and looks truly dorky.

Surprise #3: Sisal—at least this brand—smells somewhere between strong cat pee and a decaying corpse. Add the heat from a light bulb and add to that the fact that the lampshade, being on my nightstand, was no more than a foot or two away from my nose and you can understand why the remaining sisal found a new home through Freecycle, the lampshades are now the property of my local Goodwill, and I have rededicated myself to knitting as my one and only crafting hobby.

Posted by Ryan at July 13, 2014 03:24 AM

I. am. DYING with laughter over here. Thanks for this.

I've missed your voice. How are you and the kittehs doing?

Posted by: anj on July 14, 2014 06:39 AM

What a great surprise to wake up this morning to a new post! I have also missed your voice. Good to hear from you!

Posted by: Nancy on July 14, 2014 07:21 AM

How about knitting new covers for the lamp shades?

Posted by: Diana on July 14, 2014 02:42 PM

I once received 4 moving boxes of my father's slides. A million years of family shots, pretty flowers and weird crap. I thought I would make a lampshade of (a small fraction of) them. Yeah, Pinterest has a lot to answer for. It is still unfinished some years later. At least I didn't burn my fingers, though!

Posted by: SquareMary on July 14, 2014 05:58 PM

How nice to see you online.

I would have put the lampshades out in the sun for a while. The sun may have bleached the colors more even and allowed the cat pee smell to air out. And you would have something to show for your poor, burned digits.

Posted by: Janknitz on July 15, 2014 05:43 PM

I don't know if you are still interested, but check Pinterest for knitted lampshade/lampshade covers. Combine your favorite crafty hobby with your newly-found love of decorating!

Posted by: kmkat on July 16, 2014 11:25 AM

You are a braver woman than I am. I am pretty impressed that you got that rope on there straight. And yes, jute/twine/sisal all smell like cat pee. It's a "design element".

Posted by: Kris on July 16, 2014 12:47 PM

Shoot, it LOOKED cute. It looks like it might have also done an effective job of blocking out the light too though.

Lightshades are tricky. So many are so ugly and they are expensive! I say it was at least worth a try.

Posted by: Laurie on July 16, 2014 02:35 PM

Love the lamps! Would you be insulted or flattered if I copied them? (minus the rope/cat pee part or course)

Posted by: Diana on July 18, 2014 04:38 PM
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