Friday, December 10, 2010

Finishing old projects and starting new ones.

The other major effort (besides embracing levity) I'm working on at the moment is finishing up old projects before I start even more new ones. I tend to start more projects than is really advisable and it makes me feel overwhelmed and less creative even though it's generally my creativity that comes up with all these projects in the first place.

A big one, that I haven't been good about, is actually explaining and showing off about the dining room overhaul. It was a big deal and it hasn't gotten the credit it deserves. Until now.

I give you the chandelier is all it's holiday glory.

This glorious piece has a bit of a story behind it. I originally found it at the ReStore in Wichita, one of my favorite home shopping spots. It has great stuff for insane prices. Things usually need a little love, but I've got tons of that so it works out.

When I originally purchased it for $12.99, it looked like this.

One of the bulb sockets was broken and it clearly needed a little help. I replaced the bulb socket (really not that big a deal, just unhook the wires from the old one and hook up a new one). It was a $2.97 fix. It put me at a 16ish dollar total. I also invested in some several coats of spray paint to get the look I wanted (three to be exact: copper, leather brown, and an antique brass which I lightly sanded to give it an authentic antique brushed brass finish).

Then I took down the ceiling fan (I have a whole sermon about the wrongness of ceiling fans over dining room tables. I mean seriously, I don't want wind blowing on my food), cut the plug off the cord (you can do that), and put up the chandelier with a ceiling mount I picked up for $4.97 bringing the total up to 25ish, give or take some spray paint. I know, it's getting to be a seriously expensive 13 dollar chandelier.

Still, it looked great and I was quite satisfied with myself.


Then, a couple minutes later sparks flew out of the ceiling and the lights went out. Not good.

Turns out I blew the dimmer switch in the wall. Don't ask how that results in sparks from the ceiling. I'm not sure, but apparently it does. An electrician was coming to the house to deal with another issue so I had him take a look. He agreed with how I wired it up and figured the dimmer switch was just old and happened to go out. He put it a new one and all was well.

A couple minutes later the sparks repeated and the new dimmer switch was burnt out too. It smelled like smoke and everything. Cool, but not good. We determined it must be something in the wiring of the chandelier itself and I figured I had spent enough on his time dealing with my 13 dollar chandelier that I should figure that out on my own or I might as well have bought the $219 one I was faking.

I was so frustrated at that point I didn't even look at it until my parents got here. My daddy made it work and all was well. We reinstalled it and put in yet another new dimmer switch. No sparks and its been weeks. I think it's good this time.

I haven't gotten a bill yet from the electrician so God knows how much this thing actually cost me. Lets hope I saved a buck or two.

The new project is this hat.

I saw it in an antique store and had to own it. It spoke to my soul. I had no idea what I would do with it, but that didn't really matter. It fit the "I absolutely love it" category and thus was purchased (for $7 in case you're curious). I was sure I would find some great thing to do with it.

I did. It will be embellished with my wedding veil as well as some flowers and displayed in it's full glory in my room.

The room is coming along quite well by the way. I'll post about that some day, but I have projects to work on and I've been typing for too long as it is.

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