Sunday, January 5, 2014

Shine a Light (My Christmas Presents)

Somehow, in the midst of the deepest freeze we've seen in two decades, we've been blessed with bright sunny days. It's so strange to see the sun pouring through windows necklaced with frost. I welcome the light.

This new dining room chandelier was inspired by one we saw on the East Coast Creative blog.. I would have been happy with big globe lights like Monica's, but my husband wanted to be innovative.

He spent half a day at the home improvement store, and came home with copper tubing, plastic pvc pipe caps, galvanized pipe, floor flanges, wire nuts, light sockets and socket sleeves. Then he got to work. 

I wasn't sure about the copper (and I was super-nervous about the white plastic). But he promised to distress the copper and paint the plastic, so the light would jive with our vintage/fresh aesthetic.            

Since Junk Bonanza 2012, we've been wondering what to do with this big wire tree basket. I knew it would make a great light fixture, but even Nate couldn't figure out how to make it work. Until this year.    

The light was so bright with 40-watt bulbs, we ended up using mostly 15-watt. The upper four bulbs are still 40-watt.

The chandelier has 12 lights on it.
It's almost finished. It just needs the verdigris aged finish on the copper tubing.   

But that's not all. While he shopped and thought and figured things out at the store, he decided to make a new light over the center island, too.    

He used outdoor cage lights, spray-painted with a hammered-pewter color.
He built the wooden box out of my parents' old fence.   

This photo shows how cool the aged copper looks.  
Nate sprayed the copper with a water'vinegar/salt mixture, then wrapped it in plastic wrap.
It only took a few hours to achieve this verdigris, which is pretty close to what we wanted. 

If you happened to lie down on our center island and look straight up, this is what you would see! 
The vintage-style light bulbs (terribly spendy at about $8 each) take it to the next level.  

Malachi and me in our kitchen.
He is sporting his "Bill Cosby" sweater, which he wears on bitterly cold days.    

The girls, dancing in unison.  

I think my new lights are just about perfect. 
I may not get another gift this good for many, many years.

These are days to hunker down, cuddle with the ones you love, drink something hot, and be thankful for good warm houses, where sunshine pours in and makes things grow.  

(I thought of this poem when we were distressing the copper)  

Pied Beauty
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things--
  For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow,
     For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;
      And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
  Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
     With swift, slow; sweet, sour;  adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                                                        Praise him


  1. Love, love, love, love, love!! Nate is a rock star. Light all around. Thank you for sharing! It's beautiful and inspiring.

    1. Thank you Julie! Oh I am thinking of you on these cold cold days.....stay warm my friend.