My DIY Agate Lamps

I'm dipping my toe back into the blogging waters with this little project I've been wanting to share for some time.  I'm sure I'm not alone in obsessing over the gorgeous lamps we've all seen made of semi-precious stone, agates and geodes.  Bad News:  those things are crazy expensive.  Good News:  The area of Brazil where we live is geode mecca - where dozens of quarries and mines are found.

 I found some lamp-making kits through this seller on Ebay, knowing that with some awesome rocks, I could make my own glamazon lamps.  On our last day trip to a little mining town, I snagged two, large (about 5 lbs each) amethysts for a really reasonable price.  
I gilded the base of the rock with paint, and painted the lamp base red per Ben's suggestion.  I had planned to go boring-black on the base, but am so glad I went with my hubster's opinion, as I love how the purple-red-gold color combo amps up the glam factor.  Dontcha hate it when spouse's are right? ;)
As you can see, the rock sits in front of the lamp pole, which isn't quite the perfect-professional look I'd like to have, but it makes for a very simple project, and overall, gives the look I was going for.  The lampshade still needs a little zhushing, too.

Yes, my bedside table needs some serious styling help, but you get the idea.  A+ for effort, right?

The Design Scene in Brazil

I dragged the Fam out this weekend in search of these ikat rugs I saw advertised in a local design mag. Not that I could come within an inch of affording one, but still, my eyes needed to witness this greatness in person.

Bummer. Turns out only the São Paulo location has them in stock. But, while we were at it, I figured I'd catch up on some Brazilian design.

Loved, loved, LOVED this grouping of theater-style pendants. I'd use them together like this as a type of light/art installation, or as singles to direct attention to other great pieces.


Classic, pre-worn Chesterfield yumminess. This one would set you back about eight grand. Ugh.


If you prefer vessel sinks and fantastic fixtures, then you would love it down here.


A painting I definitely could love in my home.


Mini Panton chairs. Nearly irresistible.


These bamboo garden seats were at a patio furniture store, but I wouldn't hesitate to use them indoors to bring in a natural element.


One trend I picked up on was large, LARGE lamps. You'd certainly need to know what you're doing to work with the scale on some of these, but oh, wouldn't it be fun?!




Yes, they used an entire tree trunk for this one.


And, last but not least, a table full of Buddhas....


I think it's the store's way of telling their customers, "Hey, you just dropped a butt-load of cash, but it's all gooooood."

See any eye candy yourselves this weekend?

First Lamp Update

That was quick, right? (Lamp gods are smiling on me this week)
So, we went from this...
To this...Ben said the shade isn't quite long enough - he was promptly asked to leave the room.

A little hasty, and probably not permanent styling. (Little paws abound at Casa G)
Injection of color and tad of drama with height of lamp = goodness
Terrible lighting for impromptu photo session = arrggghhhh

Next up on this vignette: cooler fabric for that slipper chair.

In my world, this is huge (and so is this post)

Over the last few months, I've been on a lamp-buying binge. So many of the lamps in our casa have a serious case of the sads because they're either just plain ugly, or suffered some form of abuse during our overseas move. In most cases, they have punctured, warped or faded shades that I try to strategically turn so as to maximize their one, small "good spot."

The problem with buying lamps that I then ship to Brazil, is that they sit forever, shadeless.

I bought these brass lamps while we were in Texas over the holidays.
They're intended as replacements for the vine candelabras on our dining room buffet.
I found this pair of white ginger jar lamps after searching (in vain) for weeks for a vintage set that didn't cost my arm and two toes.
They'll replace my "do-I-have-to-look-at-these-again, today?" candlestick lamps on a desk we use as a sofa console. Lampshades, not included.
THEN, I found this single, vintage lovely from a vendor in Palm Beach (Ebay), and had to have her. I'm not quite sure where she's going to live, but, it doesn't matter, she'll have her own glorified nook. Again, though, sans shade.
See, here's my problemo - I can't just go buy a lampshade down here because all lamps in Brazil (that I've seen) have Uno fitters (you know, like Ikea lamps), and all my lamps have harps for spider fitters. It's just one of those you're not in Kansas, anymore kind of things you deal with when you live in a foreign country.

I've tried ordering shades from the States, but all the packing required to get them here in one piece makes shipping impossible.
I've also tried ordering a harp-to-uno conversion kit - no dice.
My frustration is tangible.

This weekend, my sweet hubster, tired of hearing me piss and moan about never being able to finish a project, offered to look for lamp parts in order to convert the lamps to fit Brazilian shades.
We made two trips to the closest thing we have to a Home Depot, and after much engineering, Ben succeeded in converting the bulb socket on the vintage lamp.

Yesterday, with excitement building, I carted Vintage to the one lampshade store I know. I quickly spied a suitable black drum shade on the shelf (heartrate increasing), went to try it out on the lamp (sweaty palms) and BLAM-O - the socket we used is too big - the damn uno ring wouldn't fit over it!
I was so close, and even a tad desperate, so I tried to convey to the shop owner in my pathetic Portuguese,"meu esposo tem máquina "Dremel", não problema." But, she, oh wise woman of the lamps, suggested they replace the socket (really? Smiles.) And, when I said I have many lamps, she offered that all could be converted (Big, Goofy Grins), and that if they don't have shades I like, I could have them made to the shape, size, and color of my desire. (Nearly unconscious with glee)

This is epic.
I sense lamp bliss coming on.
Stay tuned...

Take your pick!

I spied these candy-colored lamps during a recent Ebay search. I like how the cheery colors lighten up their traditional lines. They're petite little dudes (15"), but absolutely perfect for pulling in an accent color on bookshelves or another small niche. My only problem - deciding which color is my favorite!