Monday, June 29, 2015

Well, Maybe Two Weeks

The lamp took a lot longer than I expected. There was a snag nearly every step of the way. The first part was easy. I painted the agitator a pretty dark blue, with the Krylon spray paint that's made for plastic.  Just looking at it while was drying, I realized the well inside it was deeper than I had thought. If I just put the lamp parts in like I originally planned, the bulb was going to sit too low.
inside the agitator
So, I decided to cut a piece of cardboard that would fit inside the rim of the agitator and rest the bulb on that. I cut the cardboard, painted it and let it dry. 
cardboard circle

I was ready to put in the lamp parts. That consisted of running the power cord up through the bottom of the agitator and attaching it to the base for the bulb. First I just ran it up through the cardboard, and then realized it wasn't sturdy enough the support the bulb base, bulb and shade holder. It was going to need more support. Finallly, I settled on a soup can. I drilled a hole in it, and we were back in business.

Well, not quite. You see there was this nut, nipple and cap that needed to screw together and attach to the shade support.  Because there wasn't a normal lamp base, I needed to run it though the cardboard. Only problem was that there wasn't enough threads left on the nipple to attach the shade support. I needed something thinner. I found a plastic coffee can lid and cut it down to the right size. Still wouldn't work. I summoned Ed for his advice. After taking it all apart again, he said that the nipple wasn't big enough for what it was supposed to do, even without the cardboard or plastic. We needed a longer nipple.
nut, cap and shrimpy nipple

threading it through

looking good

uh oh

plastic circle
After a trip to the hardware store, we came back with what we needed. Finallly success. I asked Ed to wire in the bulb holder. He did and then we attached the top of the shade support. The whole thing fell over. It was too heavy for the plastic lid, so we glued the lid down and put some clear stones on top (Katherine calls them dragon tears). Ok. I think we got it.
Now for the shade.

Here is where we truly make do with what we have.

When I was painting the agitator, I was thinking about what to do for a shade, and saw a small metal trash can that Katherine used to have in her room. It was purple, but a coat of blue spray paint solved that problem. The next problem was that it was really too small for the lamp. It needed to be wider. So I cut it around the bottom third of the can. Then I flattened it out. Ok. there is the top of shade. Now what?

cut out bottom and sides
I needed some support for the outside rim, so I had Ed cut a wire hanger and help me bend it.

 I wrapped the outer wires around the hanger.

Then I cut off the top rim of the trash can, cut the remaining wire down the side and stretched it out.
Then using my trusty zip ties, I attached the center wires to the hanger. Now the shade was wide enough but it was still too short.

I remembered that I had a roll of wire that is normally used for parade floats. The wire is attached to a frame and flowers or whatever is being used is attached to the wire. I think I may have got it when I went to the Goodwill outlet store last summer, but I don't remember for sure. Anyway, I cut some of it, and put it inside the circle of trash can wire. I didn't even need zip ties; the wires jsut kind of held each other. I did use zip ties to reattach the top rim of the trashcan.

Ok, now I have a lamp shade frame. How am I going to cover it? I don't even know how I got the idea, and only time will tell if it's a good one. I have a bunch of t-shirts that someday, I plan to turn into a quilt. Ed and I both had this particular shirt, and both wore them out. Since I will have one for the quilt, and the color matched so well, I decided to cut the other one up, and use it to cover the lamp frame. It was done with needle and thread and a lot of under my breath muttering, but here it is.
Full frame with t-shirt piece sewn on top.

Finsihed shade
finished lamp

What do you think?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sorry It's Been So Long....

Wow! I cant believe I haven't posted since January!

 All I can say is that homeschooling consumed a lot of my time. We're just tying up some loose ends now, and are definitley ready for a summer break. I think the year was mostly successful in that my daughter no longer bursts into tears at the mention of math, and she will volunteer to solve real life related math problems in her head. That is an enormous victory in my book!

 I am mostly healed from my accident, except for the collapsing knee. An MRI showed only arthritis, so again, I am looking for holistic solutions. The first one obviously, is to lose some weight.

 Ed went to work for a state agency, but quickly realized that although he has done that kind of work before, he is no longer that person, and just found the work to be emotionally unhealthy for him. So we are back to trusting the Lord for a different direction.

 I have worked on a few repurposing projects in between everything else. This place is a junkers dream! Previous owners have left stuff all over. I even got my internal archaeologist moving one day as I excavated the old burn pile. I have a five gallon bucket for whatever treasures I find.

 Back in January, I made a rag rug. This kind is also known as a toothbrush rug, because people use tooth brushes with holes drilled in them as large needles. I just thought using a safety pin was easier (and more readily available...use what you have!)
This is the second one I did, and it still has some kinks in it. I think I've figured it out though, and have too more lined up to do. This one was made from old bed sheets.

  My most recent project however, was a tin woodsman (and his little dog too!) Since I never did find a good set of directions, putting it all together was a challenge. I think they turned out pretty well. The preacher from our last church asked if I could make one to donate to the Mayors Christmas Tree auction. I told him I would be delighted. Since it's in the fall, I have some time to work out the bugs.
My next project is making a lamp from an old washer agitator. I'm down to working on the shade now. I'll share the results with you next week.

See ya later,

Monday, January 5, 2015

Catch-up Monday: Loose Ends

Happy New Year!

I hope and pray that everyone had a blessed holiday.

I am still healing. I have been told that it could take a very long time to heal because I have deep tissue bruising. There are still some things that I just cannot do without a lot of pain, but there are tiny victories every day. We started visiting a local doctor and she is concerned that my left leg still has some significant swelling and has sent for my old records. In the meanwhile, she ordered the routine battery of yearly tests: You know the ones. For the most part, I am fine, but I have some bone density and triglyceride issues, and I am looking into holistic/natural treatment for both of those. My biggest concern now is that my left knee arbitrarily decides not to support me. I appreciate any and all prayers for my health concerns. I will let you know what I learn.

At the time of my last post, Ed was still working in Independence. He was driving about three hours a day, and the trip was rapidly taking a toll on him and his truck. He found a cooking job closer to home for minimum wage, and took it, while still looking for something else. A few weeks later he was hired at a place walking distance from the house. Awesome! Well, it was, anyway. He was fired a week later for being too slow...I could write for days about that, but I won't.

Well now what? First, we prayed, and then, for the first time in his life, Ed decided to file for unemployment. It was approved, and so here we are. Ed, of course, is still looking for work, but the Lord has graciously took our little bit and made it go farther than we ever thought possible.  Phillipians 4:19 says: "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus". In the last few months, He has proven to us, over and over again, that His word is true.

Anyway, now that I've brought you up to date on all that, I'll show you some of the things I've worked on over the last few months. Remember that road side dresser we found? Well, here it is in Kat's room.

She loves it! I splurged (when Ed was still working) and bought a gallon of latex paint in one of her favorite colors. I painted her bed frame, bookshelf, desk, and this dresser with it. I covered the drawer fronts with scrapbook paper and added the ribbon pulls. There were some tense moments putting the drawers back in, because the dresser sat in the garage for a few weeks. The garage was not as dry as we thought, and the drawers swelled. We managed to get all but one of them back in, and Ed is still working on it.

After two years, I finally finished Ed's beaded hat band. Unfortunately, the hat for which it was originally intended doesn't get worn much anymore. Here it is on his "church hat". 

Before Christmas, I pulled out some projects I started last year, but never finished. Here are snow man necklaces made from old keys Kyle collected when he was little. 

This snow man and angel came from pieces of wood fence that we got last year. Most of it wasn't good for more than fire wood, but I had Ed cut off a few end pieces.  The wings and subsequent angel came about because a board just snapped in half. I stapled the halves on to another board using my staple gun. Yes, I know, my painting leaves a little to be desired, but I had fun with it. Kat says the angel is "creepy".

That's all the news for now.