Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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...


anita said...

Don't you just LOVE it when nice people come to your rescue!
You'll be in lamp heaven in short order. Can't wait to see them gracing your home!

Belly said...

Oh my gosh- EXACT same problem here! Going to find a nice lady who will offer to solve it too:)

Dina @ Honey + Fitz said...

OMG, this is fantastic!! So excited for you and I can't wait to see the final product.

life, in small chunks said...

That's great news! Can't wait to see all your "new" lamps! Karin

Camila@effortless-style said...

Yay Ben to the rescue! Can't wait to see all of the shades!

Jenn from Much to My Delight said...

Did you ask, "Cuanto questo?" (I know that's not Portuguese, but maybe the Spanish phrase is similar). I have that problem with the shades fitting my retro style lamps, and I live in the states, so I really empathize with your problem. Hope your lamps see the light soon!

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

Oh my gosh it will feel so good once this is done!!

I have so many little projects like this. Right now I have two food dog lamps and I can't seem to find the perfect shade. So annoying!

Nessa said...

hooray for a lovely lamp lady to help a desperate woman out!!

Eileen said...

Don't you hate it when a simple project turns into a never-ending, do-it-yourself existential nighmare? That blue lamp with the gold edging on the shade is a stunner.

emily @ the happy home said...

i'm lusting over that blue antique lamp! i'll take her off your hands should you desire. wink wink.

Carla@DesignintheWoods said...

There is nothing like a great lamp shop in any country! I just bought a 50's vintage chrome eyeball lamp on e-bay. When I took it out of the box the light bulb and socket fell out, attached by the corroded cord. Lighting Treasures in Houston rewired it in one day for me! Love them.

Having lived overseas myself, that lamp/sheets/anything electrical/metric measure/etc. stuff is a constant little frustration, isn't it!