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Monday, April 25, 2011

Lamp Shade Adventure - Part 2

I had gotten it into my head that I had to have lace on my new lamp shade, so that’s what I went shopping for. And I had been looking for lamp shade tutorials and blog posts to see how others had done it to get some ideas. I found some nice tutorials here and here and here. But those tutorials were to cover a plain shade with fabric or to cover a wire frame with lace, neither of which exactly fit what I was doing. Anyway, back to the fabric. Here’s what I ended up buying at JoAnn’s. Lamp shade fabric and trim
I cut out my blue fabric and my lace fabric using my paper pattern and leaving about an inch all around. Fabric cut out using pattern
I layered the fabric and lace and machine basted around all the edges to hold the two layers together. Sewing layers of fabric together
I turned under the edge of the back seam and pinned it all together on my two wire rings. I should have paid better attention to how it was all fitting together at this time, but I just assumed when I had it all sewn together that things would fit together better and blindly and optimistically went on my merry way. Fabric pinned onto rings
I sewed the bottom seam, as in the photo below, then later trimmed the edge. Sewing the fabric onto the bottom ring
At the top, because of the three wires joining the circle, I cut slits in my fabric, sewed around the ring where I could then sewed the rest down by hand. I sewed the back seam by machine and had to sew the very top and bottom by hand.
Here’s the lamp shade before I added the trim. Second place I should have evaluated and decided whether to keep going. But I really assumed that sheer will power of wanting it to look a certain way would make it so! Lamp shade before trim
And here’s what my back seam looked like. Not bad really! Lamp shade seam
I hot glued the trim around the top and bottom edges. Lamp shade with trim
Here’s the lamp in the bedroom. Finished lamp shade in bedroom
And here’s what I learned.
1. There’s a reason most lamp shades you see are white, off-white, light tan, etc. A blue lamp shade really cuts down on the amount of light the lamp puts out into the room. Do not make a colored lamp shade unless you purposely want to limit the amount of light for the right kind of mood or setting. Stick with the light colors.
2. Without a stiff frame like in the first tutorial link, you really need to use a stiff covering so your shade does not look saggy like mine. If you have a stiff, well defined shade form, I think you have a lot more flexibility in how you cover it.

I do consider this lamp shade more pleasant than the ugly broken shade it replaced, but I am not really happy with it. It will do as a temporary shade. My next attempt will have two important features: 1) Use some sort of stiffener or interfacing so the shade will not be floppy or saggy and 2) do not use blue fabric! I need to finish up some other projects, give myself a little time before I try again and then I will try attempt number two at a new bedroom lamp shade!

If you’ve covered any lamp shades, please leave a comment with a link to a photo. I’d love to see yours! Eventually I will be on a mission to prove that this lamp shade will NOT get the better of me!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lamp Shade Adventure - Part 1

We have had this lamp on the nightstand in our bedroom forever. Old lamp shade
It doesn’t look too bad in this photo with the light on, but here’s what it looked like with the light off. The shade was plastic and over the years it had yellowed and cracked. I don’t know exactly where the pieces went or when they broke off, (A few broke off the last time we moved – 11 years ago! – but I don’t think it looked THIS bad after the move.) but I finally got fed up with this lamp shade. I had thought about buying another one a while back, but it wasn’t a high enough priority to actually do it. And now I am much more into recycling and upcycling, so I decided to make a new lamp shade a couple weeks ago. Old lamp shadeOld lamp shade - closeup
The shade was made of two layers, a flat layer and the pleated outer layer. It would have been nice if it were some material I could remove in one piece and use as a pattern for the new shade, but that was not the case. The first thing I did was remove the pleated part so I would have a flat shade and could draw a pattern. Taking off the crinkled layer
Some pieces came off pretty easily, but others were pretty solidly glued to the under layer so when I removed the pleats, the bottom layer broke into pieces also. Here’s all I had left when I had the pleated layer removed. Crinkled layer removed
Next I drew a pattern on newsprint . I carefully rolled the shade along the paper and drew a line along the top and bottom to create a pattern. This was not terribly easy since there was not much left of the shade.Drawing a pattern
Here is the pattern I ended up with. Finished pattern
I wrapped the pattern around what was left of my old shade to see if it looked like it would fit. From what I could tell, I thought my pattern would be just fine. Holding pattern up to shade
After removing all the old plastic from my shade, here is all I had left! I now was getting closer to realizing exactly what I had gotten myself into! What was left of lamp shade
Come back tomorrow for the end of my story…

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April Featured EtsyBlogger - lindab142

This month's featured EtsyBlogger is lindab142. Linda designs jewelry using a lot of gemstones and she likes bright colors. She also writes and sells how-to guides for using Facebook, blogs and press releases.

is one of my favorite items from Linda's Etsy shop. Of course, I am attracted to the pink items and I love the way the pink and gray shades in this bracelet work together. Take a look at this and the other items in Linda's Etsy shop. Pink Pearl Rhodonite and Quartz Bracelet Linda also has a blog - http://www.linorstorecom.blogspot.com/. In her blog, she does posts about her jewelry, top Etsy finds, Etsy tips, interviews with other Etsy artists...a wide range of interesting items. I found this post to be very interesting on Pet Parent's Day - April 17 - that's today!

Go like Linda's Facebook page here.

And follow her on Twitter here.

Keep up all your great work, Linda! I enjoyed learning more about you through your blog and shop!

Monday, April 11, 2011

More Peeps Wreaths

Where does the time go? A week since my last post! I spent WAY too much time over the weekend making a lamp shade. I finally finished it but it's only marginally better than the old one. I learned a lot about making lamp shades by trying it. I'll probably end up redoing it in the not too distant future. And my lamp shade lessons will be the subject of a future blog post.

But tonight I will show you my two latest Peeps Easter wreaths. I love these! They're so easy and cute. And I found an additional way to attach my Peeps to a grapevine wreath. I used hot glue wherever I could but since Peeps are flat and a grapevine wreath is not, there were gaps between the two. I wanted more places to adhere the Peeps to the wreath, so I took one or two of my 3D foam scrapbook adhesive squares and put them under the Peeps to stick to a piece of grapevine. Better than nothing...

So here are my latest.Yellow Peeps Easter Wreath
Pink Peeps Easter WreathThe pink one is mine. The yellow one will be a gift.

No post tomorrow. It's going to be a late night. Just last week we got tickets to the Rod Stewart - Stevie Nicks concert. They were buy one get one free. Not the best of seats, but I hadn't expected to be going at all. Should be fun!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Peeps Easter Wreath...Completed

It was kind of late last night when I applied my last coat of sealer on my wreath. All I had left to do was let the sealer dry and attach my bow (which I made last night). So I didn't have much to do to finish my wreath tonight. Here is my finished wreath.Finished Peeps Easter wreath
I was going to list it on Etsy but I was going to price it at maybe $10 or so, since it's really kind of an experiment. When I started researching mailing prices, I determined that it would almost cost as much to mail it as for the price of the wreath itself, once I also added in the cost of shipping materials. So no wreath on Etsy this year. Maybe if I start earlier next year, I can figure out a less expensive way to mail this.

But at least my wreath is completed! I'll probably make a couple more this week. And then I'll have to keep an eye on how it holds up until next year. If I do decide to sell them next year, at least I'll know whether it is at least a 2-year wreath!

I've added my wreath to Tip Junkie's Tip Me Tuesday. Take a look at all the great projects.

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Peeps Easter Wreath...In Progress

I've been playing with Peeps this weekend. Ever since I saw the cute Peeps wreath in St. Charles last weekend (see photo in this post), I've been trying to figure out how I want to make one. I've seen tutorials online and they all just use plain Peeps straight from the box. I wanted to find a way to seal mine and hope they will last longer. So I bought some Peeps and started playing. First I tried brushing on polyurethane finish. I didn't like the way that turned out. Too thick in places, took forever to dry and I couldn't get it in between the bunnies with a brush. So I got some Krylon spray matte finish. I gave the Peeps two coats of finish, front and back. I finally decided on a 12-inch grapevine wreath. And tonight I took the big step and glued the Peeps on the wreath. My first attempt is with bunnies. After I glued on the bunnies, I gave them another coat of spray finish. Tomorrow I will add a bow and it will be done! I was hoping to finish a wreath today but with church, a workout at the fitness center, grocery shopping, making a treat to take to work tomorrow for a birthday, it just didn't get finished. Easter Peeps wreath in progressHere's a picture of my wreath in progress. I took this in my darker unfinished basement work area where I wanted to spray on my finish, so it's not the best or lighest of photos. But tune in tomorrow for a picture of my finished wreath!

Jewelry Display

When we were in St. Charles, MO last weekend, we went into an antique shop on Main Street. I bought this cute hand there. I know it's not an antique, since the owner went and found its box to pack it in, but I liked it a lot and thought it would be a great addition to my jewelry display. They also had a red and a royal blue version for sale, and had a couple others in use in a display case. I liked this light aqua color the best. Hand for jewelry displayNow I'll just need to decide what I should display on my new hand. Perhaps bracelets...Hand display with bracelets...or maybe necklaces.Hand display with necklaces
I'll just have to play it by ear and decide what I'll want to display when it's time to set things up. But I like my new hand and know it will come in "handy" when it's time for my next jewelry display!