Candlesticks from Repurposed Lamp Parts

I have one board on Pinterest for ideas for items created from lamp parts. It has hundreds!

One of my personal favorites is candlesticks (maybe “candlestands” because I don’t limit myself to posts or “sticks”)

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For example, this pair of Art Deco-style light shades make great candle holders and would look fabulous on a dinner table dressed to create a certain sleek look like a New Year’s Eve Buffet

This rustic-looking candlestick came from a lamp I bought at a Thrift Store for the shade. The stand was a hideous (IMHO) colour so I grabbed a cloth I had used to wipe up a paint spill and invented a new (to me, at least) paint technique – the swipe.

I got distracted when I went to get a clean paint brush and when I got back it had dried like this. A kind of self-distressed thing. I liked it.

And since I’ve started this candlestick pairing thing (whole new line of interior décor), I would use this when serving hearty Irish Stew and rustic, whole grain loaf.

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The oldest  and my favorite of these candlesticks is this gorgeous metal pillar. I bought the lamp for $8 at a thrift store with this result in mind. It was the first time I single-handedly dismantled anything electric and it took a long time.

But you learn with experience – and in addition to still having parts available to use on other projects, I have used this candlestick on indoor and outdoor tables and in the garden (and it doubles beautifully as support for a fruit basket or cutting board with cloche). But most of the time it lives on my bedroom nightstand.

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And, of course, to really appreciate a candlestand, the candles should be lit, right?

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Altered Card Canada’s Parliament Building

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I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to use this gold maple leaf lapel pin that I got at an estate sale.

An old friend I lost touch with – crazily because it is someone who was precious to me – just got a major career promotion within the Canadian government.

As AiJ readers may know, I love making altered cards. But I’m nervous about sending this one. Not everyone shares the same artistic taste.

My favorite feature is the piece of rust I used as a harvest moon behind the corrugated cardboard hand torn silhouette of the center block of Canada’s Parliament Buildings.

Would you feel really special if someone sent you a hunk of rust and fabric fragments?

Fingers crossed!

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For the first time I also altered the envelope. The base of the card was fabric from a pillow sham that came with a Movie blanket (one I bought specifically for the sofa) and never had use for the pillow sham. I cut a piece of the edging and attached it to the envelope with a vintage button.

It can’t go in the mail like this: Canada Post sorting machines rip embellished envelopes. But I will be sending this expedited mail, so Canada Post will put it into one of their expedited mail cardboard envelopes.

Graniteware Garden

A few months ago I got a phone call from my antique auctioneer uncle. A friend of his was moving from a house to an apartment and wanted to consign some items to his auction. When he arrived at her house to discuss the consignment he saw a large pile of items destined for the dump.

He asked her if she would be willing to give the items away instead of sending them to the dump, then called me as soon as he got her approval.  That represents a bit of a shift for him. While I learned my love of primitive antiques from him, I think he frequently despairs that my appetites have gone a bit far.

But this load goes straight to the heart of why I created Adventures in Junking: reducing landfill contributions through creative reuse or repurpose.

I suspect my fellow junkers will see it as a great score!

The graniteware canning pot is full of smaller graniteware items, and these were the inspiration for a Graniteware Garden.

People who follow Adventures in Junking may remember these wicker chairs were a roadside rescue from last summer, as were the graniteware bundt pan and it’s support (which was the base of a coatstand). But the lovely little graniteware pot stuffed with spring blossoms is part of the haul from Herda.

The lid for the canning pot gets in on the act, repurposed as a welcome with the help of a piece of chalk.

The choice to use the canning pot in the garden instead of the kitchen is made for me.

My lovely antique Red Rose tin had already been rusted through when I rescued it. I had no reservations about using it as a cover or sleeve for plant pots, but its condition limits its function (and value!)

 

 

Even though my pots and tins are rusty and rustic, I want them to last.

So I put plant pots inside the decorative tins or pots and pull the plant pots out for watering and put them back after they have stopped dripping.

A lovely rusted antique milk pitcher houses a hosta

 

Hard to believe someone was going to throw away this lovely old bread basket

The brass mid-century ashtray was another curbside rescue.  I immediately saw a good prospective repurpose, but was surprised to find it. There are many  collectors – hobbyists and professionals – who drive up and down streets looking for scrap metal .. And brass brings a good price.  Recently at one of his antique auctions a brass bed that wasn’t very attractive sold for $50 to a fellow who turned around and sold it to a metal recycler for $150.

From an environmental perspective, seeing antique or vintage brass go to a metal recycler is certainly preferable than seeing it end up in a landfill, the antique lover in me worries that the strong price of scrap metal will greatly diminish the amount of metal antiques we leave future generations.

I am also a container gardener, and as I said, I immediately saw a repurpose in the ashtray. The little ashtray comes off for emptying. I took out  a metal bundt pan that I hung from a tree as a bird feeder last year and popped it onto the ashtray stand, then replaced the ashtray to hold the bundt pan in place.

I filled it with seed and added a metal jar lid filled with water

A little friend shares my love of critters.

 

A little seed in antique graniteware bowl which will hopefully keep the squirrels away from the feeder intended for birds.

 

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Thanksgiving Sign from Repurposed Antique Mirror

  I bought this antique mirror from a neighbour’s moving sale. The frame is quite badly damaged. That was great. I would have no regrets about painting it.

 I wanted to make a sign, so I painted the whole thing, not just the frame. I used white homemade chalk paint. The Plaster of Paris helps the paint adhere well even to the glass. Two coats did the job.

  I used this paper on a birdhouse I refinished and loved the result. And since I have so much of it, I hauled it again.

 I tore off strips of the paper and modge podged them onto the sign, both glass and frame.

  I distressed the sign (did I mention that I lettered onto the glass the words Give thanks). I distressed the paper heavily using coarse sand paper.  Frequently sanding right through the paper, giving the look age would produce.

Thanksgiving Sign

Thanksgiving Sign from Antique Mirror

Thanksgiving Sign from Antique Mirror

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Junk Gardening 2015

Canada Post is quickly moving away from home delivery of mail and toward group mailboxes that people go to to get their mail. Mailboxes  - both on houses and rural roadside - will soon be icons of a bygone time. Fortunately, both kinds make charming planters.

Canada Post is quickly moving away from home delivery of mail and toward group mailboxes that people go to to get their mail. Mailboxes – both on houses and rural roadside – will soon be icons of a bygone time. Fortunately, both kinds make charming planters.

 

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I love my perennials, like the day lilies, dianthus, lavender - but mixing in annuals like the petunias and pansies ensures there is always something in bloom.

I love my perennials, like the day lilies, dianthus, lavender – but mixing in annuals like the petunias and pansies ensures there is always something in bloom.

Mailbox on garden bench

Container Gardening

Everyone of these planters was a roadside rescue.

Everyone of these planters was a roadside rescue.

Wonderfully rusty old rural mailbox planter

My uncle is one of BC’s most prominent antique dealers. I was a passenger in his vehicle when we drove past this mailbox that was almost covered with roadside weeds and was full of rotting newspapers. But I come by my love of rustic honestly, so when I pleaded with him to turn around and drive back so I could rescue it he didn’t hesitate for a second.

About 17 years ago I went to a local antique auction to deliver some papers for my uncle. As I walked in the door a pair of these lovely cottage kitchen chairs were going up for bid.  10 minutes later I was paying for them.  The family friend I delivered the papers to later told my uncle

About 17 years ago I went to a local antique auction to deliver some papers for my uncle. As I walked in the door a pair of these lovely cottage kitchen chairs were going up for bid. 10 minutes later I was paying for them. The family friend I delivered the papers to later told my uncle “there were only 2 real antiques at the auction and she bought them.” They were solid black – not from paint, but most likely from soot from sitting in front of the wood stove or fireplace. Sadly, this one was broken by horrible movers a couple of years ago, so it’s new home is in the garden.

I like variety in a garden - even a container garden.  Different colours, shapes, textures - and height.  This birdcage isn't old. I bought it last year at a local supermarket, of all things, but it was well built and a good reproduction. And it gives a nice bit of height variety.

I like variety in a garden – even a container garden. Different colours, shapes, textures – and height. This birdcage isn’t old. I bought it last year at a local supermarket, of all things, but it was well built and a good reproduction. And it gives a nice bit of height variety.

I have wanted a trumpet planter for some time, but it had to be an instrument that was beyond repair - and didn't cost a fortune. I had all but given up when I found this little sweetie in my local thrift shop - just $20 bucks.

I have wanted a trumpet planter for some time, but it had to be an instrument that was beyond repair – and didn’t cost a fortune. I had all but given up when I found this little sweetie in my local thrift shop – just $20 bucks.

Antique chair planter