Let there be light

Finding the right lights for the shabby chic/garden theme conservatory has not been easy. Too modern. Too twee. More than I want to spend.  For a girl who, according to her seven year old nephew, ‘can make anything’ (I’m told he’s been heard to say ‘Auntie IWOM can do that’)  it was time to take matters into her own hands.

I got two of these lanterns at Ikea when I was there with Auntie B before Christmas. I removed the back glass panel,

acquired two simple brackets to paint with the second of the pale greens I mixed for the conservatory and

and put smaller, lower watt bulbs in the basic light fitting that came with the conservatory. I was glad to take out the proper 100w bulbs since you can’t get those anywhere now and I can use them in other lights in the house. Actually, Auntie B told me there is a place in Glasgow that carries them so I must investigate further. I can’t bear those energy efficient bulbs. I tried some in our bathrooms and they are decidedly icky. 

I thought I might have the right sort of paper to use on the glass panels: the only sort I had which would cover both lanterns was the banana paper I used on last year’s authentic reproduction Viking lantern (and who of us hasn’t made at least one of those at some point). It was too dark and brownish so I’ll see what I can see when I am in the city tomorrow or in the old stomping grounds over the weekend. The old stomping grounds in THIS time zone.

On to something else I’ve been thinking about for a while:

Every Christmas and birthday I get money from my in-laws. I think it is kind of insulting to give straight cash with the preponderance of gift cards out there (and, not to put too fine a point on it, to a girl whose husband makes a pretty good living for us and has done for some time now). Don’t know which card to get? Ask said husband which would be most suitable at this particular juncture in my life. With me you can’t go wrong with large DIY chains or bookstores. We’d best leave that for today.

I needed new counter sink drill bits and fancied a heavy duty staple gun so that’s where some of the Christmas money has gone. I still have oodles of the 44 inch or so spacers in the garage in two stacks: garden use only and better quality for inside jobs.

I picked up this lovely brown silk in a remnant bin ages ago when I was working on decorating the guest room after the return from Hong Kong. It has a really large repeat so it needed a really large use. I’d envisioned it as a throw or perhaps a wide runner to put along the foot of the bed.

This idea for temporarily covering up a wall when you don’t have a real piece of art has been in my house design ideas notebook for ages. I wasn’t sure about how much to leave for turning and stapling — next time I will cut it closer.

It certainly wasn’t the hardest home dec project anybody has ever done/will ever do. I put a staple in the middle of each side to get the fabric on straight and tight, then stapled to within six inches of each corner. I folded those in more or less present-wrapping style. If it had been heavier fabric I suppose I’d have trimmed the corner point off first to reduce the bulk. You do as you like. You can always take out a wayward staple and try again.

Had the print been a little smaller I would have seriously considered a triptych. This puppy is about 38 inches square, hence the two extra bits added for stability. I am dithering over adding a further cross piece just in the centre section.

Despite having power tools and a very competent skill set, I do love playing The Housewife and The Handyman with Himself. I need him to hold this up at the foot go the guest room bed while I lie on to figure out how high it should be hung.

Now to tackle that HUGE bucket of wine corks and caps….


About iwom

American by birth, Irish by heritage, Scottish by marriage. Housewife.
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