Chandelier in Black and White

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Hello! I haven’t updated this blog in quite a while because we have been going through a major renovation of our city house since December and I’ve barely had time for anything. Talk about stressful!  This place has been a nuthouse for over three months and I actually ended up in the emergency room with a severe case of combined gastritis and colitis caused by the strain of having a houseful of construction workers making as much noise and mess as is humanly possible. The doctor wasn’t really very encouraging and he sagely informed me that my symptoms would dissapear once the remodeling was done. Well, I have to admit that he was actually right. Even though there are a few things that still need to be finished up (I’m still waiting on the new granite counter tops to be delivered) and I am still washing the dishes in the laundry room, most of the remodeling is done, the workers are gone and I’m feeling much better. I had begun to despair that they’d never leave!  Anyone who has ever had any remodeling work done in Costa Rica knows that if they tell you they can do it in a month, you can count on it being at least three months. That’s if you’re lucky.  Now that things have settled down a bit,  I finally had time to finish up a few projects that I had left on stand-by including this black and white chandelier that I’d started to work on last year. I bought it at a garage sale where it sat forlornly in an old cardboard box gathering dust under a table of books. It started life out as an insipid beige and brass thing.

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It was quite ugly but it had good bones. The plastic bobeches were beyond hideous and I had originally planned to replace them with sparkly lead crystal bobeches. Upon removing them however, I discovered that the center hole was unusually tiny and I realized that I would be unable to find crystal bobeches with such a small diameter hole. I had no choice but to recycle them. I stripped the lamp bare, removing the bobeches, the crystals and the bulbs with their sleeves.

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The crystals needed a good scrubbing with soap and water.

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They sparkled like new.

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Then the chandelier got three coats of black spray paint.

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So did the plastic bobeches.

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But even after I spray painted them they were still about as plain and uninteresting as they had been when they were beige. Since I was unable to replace them with lead crystal bobeches, I decided to make them as sparkly as possible so I covered them in aurora borealis swarovsky rhinestone chain.

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Then I hung the large clear crystal prisms back on.

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I also added black octagon crystal chain and large black teardrop crystals. The old rusted nuts and bolts that held the bobeches in place were replaced with shiny new ones.

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Handmade fimo clay roses topped each strand of crystal chain and I also hot glued some roses on to the center part of the lamp.

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I usually don’t decorate in black and white because I prefer brighter colors, but I have to admit that I really like how this chandy turned out. Maybe it’s the sparkle factor that makes me like it so much. I hung it in my bedroom right over my bed so that it’s the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning, and the last thing I see when I close them at night.

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Joining Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Joining Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Floor Lamp Make-over

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While checking through Craigslist last week I spied an ad for a moving sale. The family was leaving the country and heading back to the U.S. so they were selling all their household items. They had some really beautiful furniture and mirrors, knick-knacks and rugs (I might go back for the rugs hehehe) as well as several lamps, among them two floor lamps that I really liked so I bought them. One of them was a brass Art Deco Egyptian Revival style lamp (more about that in a future post) and the other was a somber looking thin brown lamp with a wooden base and a beige shade. I have to say that out of every color that exists, beige has to be my least favorite. So I’d barely gotten the lamp out of the car and up the stairs when my head was already buzzing with ideas about how I might revamp it and make it more colorful. Continue reading

DIY Magnetic Chandelier Crystals

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A couple of years ago I bought two identical lamps that had been marked down considerably in price.  They were in perfect condition but were actually nothing more than bare lamp  bases that only had a few dusty glass teardrop pendants hanging from them. All the embellishments were missing which was the reason they were on sale. They were marked down to about 15 or 20 dollars each and that was really a bargain. I decided to hang them in my bedroom because it’s a long narrow room with high ceilings and I could fit both of them in there quite nicely.  I wanted to use good quality lead crystal on these two lamps because I was aiming for maximum sparkle, so I used Swarovski 24% lead crystal octagon chain as well as 2 inch Asfour 30% lead crystal teardrops. Continue reading

Crystal Blue Persuasion

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This little blue chandelier started life out as a very tacky wrought iron lamp with an equally tacky green and black verdigris finish that was quite dreadful. It was one of  two identical hanging lamps that I bought at the Chinese store last year. I bought them both only because they were on sale and seemed to be screaming out for a makeover. And everyone knows that you should never separate twins. Neither of the lamps had any crystals on them and they were missing all the lightbulbs as well, but they had potential. And I had a box of  lamp crystals lurking in a drawer.  And have I ever mentioned how obsessed I am with chandeliers? Continue reading

Opulent Candelabra

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I am absolutely in love with those candelabras I’ve seen online, the really romantic looking four and five branched ones that are dripping with crystals and look like the ones that Liberace used to set on his piano.  But I’m not in love with the price. They can run anywhere from $100 dollars to over $300 a piece!  I figured I could probably make my own for a fraction of that cost if I could only find an adequate unadorned candelabra to start with. I wasn’t able to find any here in my area so I checked on Ebay and sure enough there were tons of  brass candelabras starting at about 8 or 9 dollars plus shipping.  I ordered a really pretty one that only set me back about 20 dollars shipping included. Continue reading

Pearl Chandy

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My addiction to chandeliers recently lead me to experiment with decorations other than crystals. I bought two identical hanging lamp fames on sale at a local discount store and I ended up giving each one a completely different look. When I brought these home, the only thing I was sure of was that I’d hang one in each of the two downstairs bedrooms. But the funny shape of the lamps had me stumped for a while and I didn’t quite know what to do with them. I had almost begun to regret the purchase!  But then I rememered that I had tons of pearls in my bead box and I thought they might look interesting hung on one of the lamps. It certainly couldn’t look any worse than when I bought them. I’d seen pictures of pearl chandeliers before and I loved the romantic look they had. Sort of like  a woman wearing dozens of pearl necklaces. Continue reading

Bathroom Chandelier

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Not too long ago I was at the Chinese store just browsing through the aisles and looking at the cool knick knacks, when I spied a little black and gold  ceiling lamp  with a SALE sign on it. It was marked down to 20 dollars and if I paid in cash they told me they’d reduce it even further to 15 dollars.  I handed over the bills and  took it home, silently praying that white spray paint would completely cover and hide the original and unattractive  color of the lamp. I had recently purchased a box of 100 “crystal” teardrops on Ebay as well as 10 yards of crystal octagon chandelier chain so I was set to go and anxious to use them.  To my relief, the off-white spray paint covered the dark colors of the lamp quite effectively and soon I had a creamy white chandelier base ready to have crystals strung on it. Continue reading

LAMP REVAMP

I don’t know what it is about lamps that fascinates me. I don’t mean the plain uninteresting severe lamps with the boring shades. I mean the ones that are dripping in different shaped crystal prisms and crystal chains. The way they refract light and then project it onto the surrounding walls is mesmerizing. I recently discovered that Swarovski is not the only top quality name brand of lead crystal out there. Egypt has a very well kept secret. No, not the secret passageway inside the great pyramid. Continue reading