Monday, September 24, 2012

Casbah Lampshade

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I was listening to world music on NPR yesterday, and was influenced by something Moroccan.   I had only turned on the radio to try and purge an insidious Culture Club earworm, and the lampshade I intended, along the lines of this, became slightly more opulent. 

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This is the basement stairwell, leading to the gloomy lair that is my laundry room, and it is finally getting it’s turn with the paint.  We moved here over twenty years ago, and this poor, shabby corner of the house kept getting bumped to the bottom of the list.  I’m so glad it finally came due, because the unpainted cinderblocks and orange-stained wood cladding, and especially the bare bulb that hung here, were creeping me out.  Wow, paint is wonderful, isn’t it?  [FYI, This is Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore.]

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I started with a thrifted lampshade, measuring its height and circumference—this lampshade is mostly barrel-shaped, which makes this process pretty easy.  It is 9” tall and 41” in circumference [math!  I hate it!] at the bottom edge, which meant I would need to start with five 8” squares—five times eight is forty, and they needed to stretch a little, to spread out and show the pattern, and also to stay on.  Using fingering weight cotton (Tahki Cotton Lite, and Berocco Pima Cotton) and a US F crochet hook, I made five squares (Edwardian Fancy, from this excellent book) and blocked them.  When they were dry, I sewed them together and tried them on for fit.  It was nice and snug, good, so I began adding more rows at the top and bottom edge, trying to continue the pattern as given in the blocks and swapping colors in and out as I pleased.  Because the circumference at the top edge of the lampshade is slightly smaller than the bottom, I decreased a little bit in the rows at the top edge, always trying it on to make sure I was on the right track.  When it was tall enough, I added a row of simple shells at the bottom. 

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The hardware inside the lampshade was designed to fit over a harp, with a hole at the top for the finial to fit through (so, not the sort of lampshade that clips right to the bulb.)  We snipped out the ring at the center, leaving the four branching rods sort of poking out loosely; those rods are what tuck between the existing ceramic fixture and the ceiling, like this:

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They’re not attached to anything, they’re just tucked under there.  Clever!   A couple of them got a little wobbly, fixed with some hot glue. 

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So much better.  Doesn’t it look like it leads somewhere a lot more exciting than the laundry room?  It has a secret, beckoning quality, like it leads to something dark and mysterious and wonderful.  It’s an intriguing lampshade.  I like that a whole lot. 

28 comments:

  1. Looks really good - I love the colours...

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  2. You are so clever, what a fantastic idea. You made the light beautiful. I bet when the light is on the colors look wonderful against your newly painted wall.
    Have a great day,
    Meredith

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  3. Kristen this looks awesome! I imagine you have now inspired hundreds to yarn bomb the lampshades in their homes. I like the way you got it to hang up too, some things just work out so well don't they?

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  4. ...does it leads to a Moroccan cafe'???? Splendid!!!
    xxxx Alessandra

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  5. kristen it's awesome!! amazing! you are so clever your beyond clever. the lampshade looks perfect and i think it's great you were listening to that radio station. enjoy!

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  6. Fabulous idea! Colours are lovely!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  7. Looks great Kristen,what a good idea - love the colours and design - hopefully make doing the laundry more fun!

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  8. Oh wow, I love this! Awesome job Kristen!!

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  9. I love it!!! This is exactly what my basement stairs need. Unfortunately, I'm just a beginning crocheter and need a complete pattern to be able to make anything. But someday...

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  10. Fabulous lampshade, love how you've done it and what a transformation for a dark area.

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  11. It really does have a Moroccan feel to it. I am always happy when I get things from my family in Morocco. The colors are always fun.

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  12. WOW!! It certainly makes the tugging of dirty/clean laundry more palatable, I bet! The colours together are flawless... and I love the pattern. I don't always love the colours and patterns others choose, everyone having their own palette, but this is a show-stopper!

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  13. Makes you want to go do the laundry!

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  14. Oh I really like this. So much I want it for my craft room, he he. For some reason it makes me think of Morroco. Great colours and something to brighten your spirts before tackling the laundry. Have a lovely week.

    Ali x

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  15. I really love the lampshade! This has inpsired me to dust of the crochet hook and get creative!

    Jennifer

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  16. Wow, I'm totally thrilled!! That lampshade is fantastic, really great job :-))

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  17. The amazing power of paint, hot glue, and one very imaginative and creative mind. Love the lampshade. Your creations are always inspiring.

    blessings, jill
    ps. I so understand the creepy basement part. I had a few of those in my past;-)

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  18. I love it!!! It's bringing back memories of the pink crochet lightshade my parents had in their room when I was a kid. Now they are all back in fashion and I want one myself!!

    Have a fab week hon.
    Leah
    x

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  19. It wasn't Karma,Karma,Karma Chameeel-i-yon was it??That was very irritating at the best of times!
    I LOVE your lampshade...perfect where it is. How did you prepare the orange cladding? I have some which I desperately need to cover up.

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  20. Fabulous, Kristen. Bet it makes you skip down those stairs to do your laundry?!!

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  21. This is awesome! I love the pattern and the colors you chose; it is so creative! :)

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  22. I got to your blog through Pinterest I think, I am not really sure now. Anyhow, I love your projects! As I was looking back through your archives I was drawn in by a picture of something you said you thrifted. I took a second look and then read the post more carefully, then went straight to your profile. i then said Ah Ha! that was a craft Bits 'n Pieces sticker! Seeing as how I was there loading up Friday I knew that must be where you were talking about. :D Love that place! I also love your lampshade! I am a new follower for sure!
    kirkwood0419(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  23. What a terrific idea! Granny squares can do such amazing things when given a chance. I love that giving that area of the house new life included yarn art as a focal point.
    Also love your new header picture!

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  24. I absolutely see the inspiration in this piece. Looks great!

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