Last week my daughter and I saw a chandelier in Anthropologie (Retail: only $4800!!), the really hip clothing, homegoods, “lifestyle” store. The light fixture, which looked like it was the result of an explosion in a recycling factory, consisted of mismatched beads, flowers made out of pop bottles, bottle tops and various unidentifiable flotsam and jetsam. ‘That looks like the kind of stuff you make,’ observed my daughter “I could do that!” – the thought which preceeds so many craft fails, crossed my mind. So last weekend I took the shade off an old lamp, stripped off all the material, hung the top halo on a floor lamp, strung beads randomly on florist wire and connected the two hoops of the shade with the beaded wire. Then I made plastic flowers out of Crystal Light mini-tubs by cutting petals, folding them inside out, painting with acrylic and hot-gluing them onto the top and bottom rims of the shade. Then I hot-glued the little metallic pinwheels from cocktail picks onto the inside of the “flowers.” Then I raided the Xmas boxes in the basement for some broken bead strings and Xmas bulbs and glued them on. Those little cocktail umbrellas called out to be included (no, I was not drinking the cocktails at the time – never drink while armed with a hot glue gun; that’s just asking for trouble) and stuck those on too. Pretty soon, almost every random shiny bauble and bit of broken jewelry in the house plus a few crystal pendants were added to the creation, and voila! Chandelier Fail!
After Googling “chandeliers Anthropologie” I found that President Obama purchased a similar one from a collective called Magpie in South Africa. How bad could this thing be if the President and I have similar tastes in home furnishing? or maybe it’s the First Lady who found the Magpie chandelier. Either way, I feel validated, but my redone shade just wasn’t quite as nice as the one in the store, so I took another lampshade, stripped it down and tried again. Here are the results. They were fun to make, but my son’s reaction was not encouraging, “weird, Mom, what is it?” It’s what you do while you are waiting for trick of treaters to ring the doorbell, I answered.