Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shady Ladies: (Mostly) Vintage Lamps and Shades Unite!

Good morning. Sister Tina here. I decided to share some of my "marriages" of lamp shades and lamp bases that I have found though the years. I have a few that are my very favorites, some I like a lot, and a couple that aren't really that great but turned out cute and useful, so I will share them all and see what you think of them.

One of the joys of my life is collecting "stuff". These lamps are some of the "stuff". I find it hard to ignore a poor lonely light fixture sitting by itself in a thrift store, a rummage sale or garage sale, wherever it has been abandoned without its shade. Or perhaps it has its shade, but the poor shade has seen better days. (They do tend to get a bit beat up over the years, don't you know?)

When I was younger, and in 4-H, I had a great 60-'s metal lamp for my desk. (Heidi has mentioned my desk in this blog before - I wish I knew how to link like she does - and I sit at it right this minute as I type.) I painted the lamp green, like my desk, and painted flowers all over the shade. I don't know where this lamp ended up after its reign over my homework and magazines, but I wish I still had it, if only to see my old art work. It is the first lamp I remember getting close to, and putting my mark on. But not the last...
This isn't a very clear photo, but this is a darling glass lamp found at a yard sale in Sonora, California, which I went to with Heidi. I remember a most wonderful view looking West out toward Sonora. This little beauty lights up two ways. The bulb under the shade lights up separately and the owl lights up as a night lite. It is very vintage and in great shape. The metal stand is a bit worn but you don't even notice it. It had no shade, but for me that is never a problem, I find lots of shades without lamps too.
I tried to show you a close up of the green glass area, there are tulips carved into it. Sorry it didn't turn out too well.
I have had the shade for a long time, and finally found a match for it (for now anyway). The shade seems to be some kind of hard coated paper, with weaving of plastic around the edges. I think the triangle design fits in with the shape of the lamp. It probably isn't going to be a match forever, if I ever find a shade with tulips on it, I might switch it out, but for now it works. Also the bulb in the lamp when I found it was a blue bulb, and it still is, so the color fits in fine.
This is one of a pair of lamps from probably the 1960's, which I found at a yard sale in Garden Valley, California. They had these incredibly tacky plastic shades. (not the lovely, vintage, rainbow colored hard plastic of the 40's, the thin, soft, what-were-they-thinking plastic of the 60's). The shades were trashed and dirty and they went bye-bye fast.
Fortunately not long after I bought the lamps I found two shades on ebay which were covered in the same begonia barkcloth pattern as my drapes. I still plan to add bead trim around the edges, and have found enough for one shade, but haven't attached it yet. Also in this photo you might notice the glass nob on the top where you attach the shade. Each lamp has one, one is clear and one is pink. These lamps are really classy, except for the plastic shades.
I use these lamps in the living room, and they work great. I do have a bit of a problem sometimes turning one of them on and off, so I guess I will have to get out the screwdriver one of these days and see what I can do. (I'll unplug it first...)
Two pictures, one of each lamp. I know, you can't tell them apart.
This is the one that is hard to turn on and off. In the background is another lamp you will see again later.
This is a lovely white glass hobnail lamp that I found along with two others which haven't found shades yet. This patchwork shade is from Anthropologie, a store I just love, but I found the shade at a huge yard sale which is held twice a year at Auburn Lake Trails in Cool, California. I fell in love with the shade (can you blame me?) although I had no idea what lamp it would end up with. Each section of the six-sided shade is a different fabric, and the lovely plastic beads compliment the many colors.
This pretty little blue plastic and glass lamp was purchased from ebay, and so, separately, was the lamp shade, which is part of my extensive collection of nasturtium items.
This shade and the shade on the next lamp are also part of a collection of nasturtium items with checks on them, which I will do a post on at a later date.
I should have turned the light on for this photo! This is a red plastic and glass lamp and the other nasturtium check lampshade. Both were also purchased on ebay separately. The color is a lovely cherry red. I consider the red and blue lamps a pair although they are different colors. They are both about the same size and are made of the same materials.
This pair of lamps each sits on one side of a desk/liquor/china cabinet my dining room. They cast a nice low light when dining in the evening.
Okay, I guess I got a bit carried away with my photos a bit, but I wanted you to see the color.
This little metal and plastic art deco wall lamp is one that I have had for many years. It took me until about two months ago to finally find a shade I liked for it, though. For a long time I had a gold shade on it which you will see later on my last lamp in this post.
I found this pretty little paper hand-painted shade on ebay just before the holidays last year. It features nasturtiums, which I have already mentioned I collect. I also am really fond of original art work, so it was a given that I buy it. It fits this little lamp perfectly, and is now in a place of honor in my guest room. Finally, a marriage made in heaven!
Wall lamps are a great find. I have another one that might make it to a post someday.
This little lamp is also in my guest room. The purple base is glass and looks like a basket weave, and came from a garage sale, and the lamp shade was purchased at a small shop because it has nasturtiums as part of the decoration. They go together well.
Sometimes a shade seems perfect for a lamp base, but the size isn't right. It has to hit just right and not hide the base, yet cover the bulb well enough so that it doesn't blind you. Also, sometimes the attachments are the kind that screw into the top, and sometimes they are the little metal hoops that go onto the bulb to hold it on. So it takes a lot of trial and error sometimes to find the right match.
This glass and wood lamp is in my husband's study. I found the base at a garage sale, and the shade at a thrift store. It isn't anything special, but makes for a sturdy, useful light where needed. And isn't that what a lamp is all about?
Finally a Shady Lady! This lovely art deco pottery lady lamp base was found at a garage sale in Placerville which I went to with Lori a few years ago. She was one of two art deco lamp bases I found at the same sale. I haven't found a shade for the other one yet. See how well this shade compliments her without hiding her too much?
I found the barkcloth shade on ebay, and they were a perfect match. I was glad they looked good together, however, I had about four lamp bases to choose from, so I couldn't go wrong.
Notice how her hair flows down her neck to where she would have shoulders if she had any. She's very classy, and very vintage.
Lovely shady lady, indeed!
This is the gold lamp shade that used to grace the art deco metal wall lamp I showed you earlier.
It has grapes, pears, and also oak acorns, one of my favorite adornments. The gold compliments my final lamp, and the lamp I have had the longest, my other shady, and naked, lady. I have had this lamp so long I can't remember where I got her. I loved her from the moment I saw her.
She sits on a wooden base, and I believe she might be from the 1920s or 30s. She appears to be a "cheap" imitation of a lamp or figurine that would cost much more if made out of a better metal. But she is lovely, and mine, all mine. Foxy lady.
She is hot! I mean that literally. You have to watch out when you go to turn her off. You could get burned. I don't turn her on very often, because of that. I think my husband is afraid of her.
I am cutting this short. I already lost half this post when my Internet connection went out and so I am playing catch-up really fast, since I may lose power too. My power went off yesterday for seven hours, during the day, and luckily I like to read, because that's what I did all day, by a big east-facing window. Normally I read by lamplight. But it's hard to choose which one, I have so many, and I love them all.


Heidi Ann said...

You KNOW I am a lamp-lover myself, and I love yours, too. I hadn't seen that grey ceramic bust one yet - I am TOTALLY in love with that one! Great post, Tina!

yosemite faith said...

so many lamps - so many shades! for the first time i live in a house with no lamps. it was kind of by plan since we had lost so many during our many moves. so when john was remodeling my gramps birthplace - i made sure they were lots of inset lights in the ceiling. i don't miss the dusting/cleaning of them but i do miss the look!