May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Monday, April 8, 2013

Need Help Picking Out New Lampshade

Hola darlings!

I'm being a bad girl today, playing hookey from work.  It's yucky cold raining cats and dogs out there and when I rolled over this morning a few minutes before the clock radio clicked on I groaned and pulled the quilt over my head.  I knew I was not going anywhere today :)

As you may know, I've been procrastinating like the dickens in the redo of my family room, which was started last year and has pretty much stalled as far as major progress -- meaning, the wallpaper has not been stripped, drywall patched where it came off with the stubborn paper, walls have not been primed nor painted.  I get tired just thinking about it, yikes

Well, I am shilly-shallying -- here's the thing.  I could not get that old teal lamp out of my head, it's been mouldering away in the basement forever and some months ago I pulled it upstairs when I did a blog post about how some folks are doing wonderful things with lampshade redos.  I inherited the lamp from one of my sisters ages ago, in the 1970s after she went in a new decorating direction and didn't want it anymore.  I've always loved the deep color (but never decorated with anything remotely close, so the lamp was usually banished), but was not a fan of the shiny aluminum-colored base and neck:

Over the past few months, that silvery color has - not exactly grown on me (I'm a brass and gold gal) - but what I have come to appreciate is the design of this lamp.  Even though it is nearly 40 years old, it could comfortably fit into today's decors and it's color is spot on trend right now.  I love its shape, the shine, and the color, and it has great proportions, although perhaps the harp is too tall for it's size (it's about 9" tall) and today's styles.  So, going in the new direction that I intend for this back part of the house - celadon - and my celadon turning instead into an adventure of tints and tones of turquoise and varying shades of blue-green (I'll write about that some day), I resurrected the lamp from the basement last weekend and plopped it on the black laquer console table which I no long want but cannot afford to get rid of, LOL!  And I - liked it!

It's difficult to get a photo of the precise color of that lamp base!  It changes, depending upon the light of the day, and the camera settings:

The top photo is closer to what I see as the lamp's true color, which is a deep teal; in the second photo, the lamp appears more blue than it does to my eye.  The second photo does show you the "mottling" of the finish, and the glaze has a crackled finish.  I don't remember now if it was always that way, or it has just crackled over time...

In the third photo, you can see the crackled glaze as I was trying to get a close-up view of the mottled finish.  It's a shiny lamp, not matte.  It really has grown on me :)  The color about mid photo is pretty close to what I see when I'm looking at the lamp (like now).

Get this - I still have the original lamp shade!

The shade in the first two photos I borrowed from the tall cream-colored lamp that was on the table before; I've had a pair of those lamps from the late 1990's I think (Penney's) in this room.  One is now in the basement in storage and the second one has been moved to my much-neglected study/den upstairs. And notice how in this photo the lamp base appears to be yet another color than in the first three photos!  This photo was taken a little while ago, during the day, with natural light pouring in through the window overlooking my backyard, despite it being a dark rainy day, and using the normal setting on my camera.  The base looks almost royal blue, but that is not its color at all!  The color at the top of the lamp, where the light is shining, that is much closer to its true color. 

I like the shape of the borrowed shade but the size just does not seem right, and that shade suffers from the plastic under-shade's interior turning an icky yellow, which I hate.  Still, I found it an improvement over the original shade (photo above), which just doesn't seem to "go" with the style of the lamp.  I can't put my finger on what it is that bothers me about this shade.  The color maybe?  The proportions?  It just reads "grandma" to me.  And the shade has some issues; it has accumulated dust/grime from all these years and I don't know if it can be safely cleaned some other way if vacuuming doesn't work; there are some crimps (dents) here and there in those pleats as well, where the shade was pressed against something or other all it's years being stashed in one closet or another.  In a few places, the material has "delaminated" away from the plastic shade.  The worst part, though, is the color the inside of the plastic shade has turned - a dingy yellow, like it's been inside a smoker's house for 40 years!  Not true! 

I figure the easiest thing to do is just get a new shade, if I can find one I like that is a good match for the base.

And therein lies my dilemma, because I just can't figure out what might look good.  I can recall only one occasion when I purchased a shade separately from a lamp base, and that didn't turn out well.  I've ALWAYS bought lamps with shades already on them.  So I'm totally clueless when it comes to trying to pick out a new shade.  EEK!  It probably would just be easier to buy an entirely new lamp.  For instance, here's one from Penney's (my go-to place for lamps):

This "light turquoise double gourd" lamp plus textured-looking (linen) shade is a mere $35.  Geez, I could easily pay that alone for a new shade, maybe even more -- and so then what would be the point, I ask you!  This lamp's dimensions:  13x13x25" H. Cotton/polyester shade is 10"H with 13" bottom diameter and 11" top diameter (semi-drum shape).

Eh, I should give some dimensions.  MY lamp is about 16" tall from base to the base of where the harp starts, and the harp is about 9" tall, so altogether, around 25" tall.  The original shade measures 8 1/4" top diameter, is about 13" H and about 18" bottom diameter; the borrowed shade is 7" top diameter, about 12.5" H and about 20" bottom.

Is a drum shade the direction I need to go?  I just LOVE the shade on this lamp - it's sexy, and am thinking something this shape would look great on my lamp:

I found the lamp (above) at Bed Bath & Beyond, but it's a pricey $211.  That's half the cost of my upcoming trip to Las Vegas, people.  No way will I pay that for a lamp on my income!  The full dimensions of the shade aren't given, only that the shade is evidently 17" diameter, and it's appears to be the same diameter top and bottom. 

I seem to recall reading at one time or other that the height of the shade should be about 1/3 the total height of the lamp; with my lamp being about 16" tall from base to the top of the neck, I think that would mean a shade no taller than 8" or 9", but beats me how I came up with that figure -- it just "feels" right.  LOL!  I long ago forgot all of my Euclidean geometry from high school :)  How do you get a third out of taking one-half of 16" (does not include the 9" tall harp)?  Half of 16 is 8, and 8 plus 16 equals 24, and 8 is one-third of 24.  Got that?  Okay, Einstein I'm not!

I like the idea of exposing my lamp's sleep neck with a shorter shade and the look would definitely be more contemporary, but the height of the neck is only about 2 1/2", so the shade would have to be at least 9" tall to cover the harp.  Or I could replace the harp with a shorter one, a small but additional expense.  That $35 lamp at Penney's is sitting there laughing at me right now...

Because I do not like the yellowing that occurs with plastic hard-backed shades, perhaps a shade made entirely out of fabric wrapped around a frame?  Proportions would be an issue.  What shape, and what size???

Arrrgh, I'm getting a headache! 

I like the idea of a square - pagoda (?) style shade, to contrast with the curvy shape of the lamp itself.  something like this:

This shade is from Bed Bath & Beyond and measures  Measures 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" on top, 14" x 14" on bottom and 11 3/4" high, with a recommended harp height of 9 1/2".  It's ivory colored but the description doesn't say what kind of materials, or whether it is a soft shade or hard-backed!  The cost is $25 ($24.99).  The size is right for my lamp but would it look good?  Would hate to buy something like this only to have it not work out!  And the cost -- yep, that Penney's lamp is definitely laughing at me right now...

I also quickly tried out one of the soft back circularbell-shaped shades from a lamp in my front room.  It fit very well.  I like the soft glow the soft-back fabric shades give at night. That circular bell-shaped shade is similar in size and shape to this one, also from Bed Bath & Beyond, but it is ridiculously priced at $30:

Its dimensions are 8" on top, 17" on bottom and 12 1/2" high, not all that different from the size of the lamp's original shade, although the shape is different! 

I don't know what style or size to choose. 

And let's not even start about color!  White or off-white just looks blah to me, but that is what most shade colors are because, let's face it, those tones go with the most decors.  And a white or off-white would probably look great against my future-painted dark taupe walls.  But I've got this naggy little voice going on in my ear, driving me nuts, let me tell you!  It's saying that white or off-white (or varying shades thereof) just do not GO with that shiny silver metal base and neck.  Clash terribly, I think. 

I'm not even going to consider attempting to paint the lamp and/or the base, that option is OUT.  The lamp is beautiful in its own right.  But my options are severely limited here.  If I get a shade to "go" with the lamp colors, what color do I choose?  something in silver (not a fan)?  Grey?  A more pale version of the teal color?  A color-dyed match -- har!  -- good luck trying that, Jan. 

Well, now I'm thinking I just may banish this lamp back to the basement, and buy a new lamp, but it has to be the right color, and turquoise ain't what I'm looking for! 

About now, banging my head against the back of my chair.  It's time for a nap.  The rain has stopped (finally) and it's brightening up outside.  And then - I have to at least START my income tax returns...


  1. Jan,
    This is a fabulous lamp. I think I would try to find either a white or beige/linen shade but it would look so great with a lot of bright colors too. I find lamp shades for great prices at Homegoods. I can picture it with a tall narrow shade. As a matter of fact I'm going to be picturing this lamp for a long time because I love it so much!
    Thank you very much for the thoughtful comment on my kitchen remodel. I am new to blogging and spent a long time creating that post so it meant a lot to have someone take the time to respond to it in such a way. I really appreciate it.
    I'll let you know if I see the perfect shade for the lamp,

    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Kate. I was so impressed with how you transformed your kitchen while keeping the same footprint and the same cabinets. I'm with you on that one -- I just cannot imagine junking perfectly good cabinets just because I don't like their color! And please do let me know if you come across a lampshade you think would look good on my teal lamp. I will be focusing on that crusade when I get back from Las Vegas later this month. Can't come soon enough, we've been through a week of cold, wind and rain and it starts AGAIN tomorrow through Thursday. Geez!

  2. I found a picture of a shade that I was trying to describe! I'm going to try to email it to you. The lamp body is sort of similar to yours too. Makes me think a linen color rather than white. Enjoy your trip. I know how you feel about the cold weather still hanging around.

    1. Hi Kate,

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate your input, you have excellent taste (as I've seen in your kitchen redo). You can paste the link in a reply here if you have it, and I'll go look at the shade. If the link is just to a general site, if you can give me a product number, I should be able to find it. Woke up to SNOW on the ground this morning, AWFUL! Fortunately, once the temperature rose above freezing again, it melted away. Tonight, more rain is forecast -- hasn't started yet, hoping it won't be raining tomorrow when I have to hike to the bus stop to go back to the office!

  3. Well I love the lamp. Teal is my favorite color. I think a linen shade like the one in the first picture would look nice. If you're feeling crafty, you could buy a cheap shade at Target and stencil a design on it. Just a thought.

    1. Hi Taunnie!

      I have really come to appreciate the lamp too. It's taken a long time to get to this point. Interestingly, my sister from whom I got the lamp moved into a more traditional direction, where I pretty much have been my entire life. Through the years I have gradually moved to a bit more eclectic taste, and during the past couple of years, as I have discovered the incredible world of decorating and D-I-Y blogs, I have begun considering other points of view and thinking about things that I would never have considered before.

      Stencilling a design/designs is definitely an intriguing idea. I have not tried to stencil anything other than a border around the top of the family room years ago, and it was badly done. I knew how to do it correctly, but I was impatient and used runny paint instead of the very dried out pounded-on-with-brush style and I had drips and runs all over the place, not to mention blurry designs instead of the crisp stylized pattern I had envisioned. But I have been thinking that if I could find the right shade, I would love to try spray painting it with a lace pattern, so easy, just lay some lace over the shade and then spray a light coat of paint over it and see how it turns out. But that would mean potentially sacrificing a brand new lamp shade, since none of the junky shades I have around the house are suitable for a stencil and/or spray painted lace job. For now, I am continuing to use the old hard-backed "Chinese hat" pleated shade, I like it better than the original shade the lamp came with.