Starting new with something old

UntitledHappy Saturday! As the fall rolls in, I love to take time and reflect back on everything I have done over the summer(or simply figure out where the time went!) This was the first summer that I was an adult (aka I was working full time). No more were the days of  deciding which friends pool I was going to lounge by or figuring out whose pegs I would ride on en route to said pool. For those who don’t get the “peg” reference, please don’t judge my following story.

Back in the glory days, young 8th graders would ride their BMX bikes around neighborhoods coral-ing their friends to be audience members. Then they preformed for us with some sub-par wheelies and peg stands. Pegs refers to small, metal attachments that can be put onto the tire frame. I believe they were meant to grind rails and do tricks-I saw them as my free mode of transportation for the summer.

My first adult summer consisted of more mature adventures: work, antiquing, work, fun weekend getaways, work, and more antiquing. Antiquing takes on many different types of meanings for myself and my roadies (aka family). It can range from the classic Saturday yard sales to the huge antique barns that litter the back roads of Maine.

For those readers outside of Massachusetts, there are two distinctions between where people spend their summers. You are either a “Cape Cod person” or a “Maine person”. The classic beach or camping debacle. For me- its Maine all the way!

This brings me to my favorite and easiest DIY project: my milk glass lamp. Before I do, here are some basics that brought me to the discovery of this wonderful lamp.

Antique-ing101Be open-As you can see from that image, antique stores are often a jumbled mess. If it is not-your in the wrong place. Take in the cluttered landscape and look for what stands out.

Trust your gut. Just like men and other life decision, your gut can be the keeper of truth or at least the keeper of your taste. If something stays on your mind, then it was meant to be.

Get creative. I like to think there is beauty in everything. Sometimes it will take some paint, a new set of wires, or even some love to make it beautiful.

The moment I saw my lamp I knew….it would take some work. As a rookie, I neglected to take a “before” picture, but I will paint the image for you with my words. At first, it was a lamp with very undistiquishable look. To me it was dirty and rusty-with little appeal. After seeing the price tag, I instantly fell in love. I fell in love with the idea of negotiation-not the lamp it self. To back up-my mom and I (more my mother), love to see how little we can pay for something. To be fair it is always things we want and they are often over priced for their condition. I was determined to use my keen negotiating skills to get this lamp for a price worth it’s sad condition. With some elbow grease and a little help from mom, I was able to walk away with this lamp for half the price! Win!

The biggest challenge with this project was re-wiring. Getting over the intimidation of rewiring was harder than the actual task. Though being a product of an electrician, I had some idea what to do. Here was my process:

  1. Disassemble-Unscrew each part of the lamp and discard all of the electrical mechanisms and wires. Luckily for me, they were all connected!
  2. Clean- Like most things found during an antiquing expedition, this lamp had mounds of dust and dirt caked onto it. I used warm water and dish soap to wash the glass and metal components. Depending on the level of rust and dirt, a stronger solution might work better.
  3. Rewire- I used a kit purchased at a local hardware store. Here is an example from Home Depot! The instructions are excellent and very easy to use. They give you a ton of stuff- you don’t have to use all of it.
  4. Voila!  Here is the final product!

Untitled design

Jess (2)

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