Alley Finds, part 12

While my husband is the primary fixer in this family, he is starting to rub off on me. It is no secret I have salvaged MANY things from the alleys of Chicago. Things left for trash but found by me and reused or remade. This lamp is one such piece. I saw it atop a dumpster when walking home one night and figured I'd assess what was wrong with it, and then decide if it should be trash or not. I quickly found the wiring was sound, but the shade was falling apart, and the plastic socket had a large chunk broken out of it. This missing piece was where the switch was, and without it there was no rigidity, so any attempt to turn the lamp on would turn the whole socket. That was really the only issue and my wheels started turning when I realized I had a lamp with bad wiring in the basement, (left by the previous owner of our house) but it had an intact, metal socket and a burlap lamp shade I had always thought would work well with our home design theme. Done.

I was so excited I didn't even wait for my husband to get home from work. I've been sleeping with an electrician for a few years (don't worry, my husband knows) and I've learned a thing or two watching him work. Electricity requires a huge amount of respect. (Because, you know, that whole kill you in an instant thing.) But if you respect it and know how to work with it, it's pretty straight forward. So I set about merging the two lamps as one.

How do you like that sexy painted can lamp base? I can only assume it was a school project for one of the kids who used to live here. I didn't really take "how to" pictures as I worked. I was too excited! But here's a good diagram of the lamp "guts" I was working with.
It took an hour or so, a few, "O shoot, this goes before that and should have been here," do overs, but I did it!

My husband has always maintained he does not like lamps. They are impractical in his opinion. But he came home, saw my work (and checked my wiring to be sure I wouldn't kill us in our sleep), and conceded that while he's not crazy about lamps, I had just made a pretty nice one. Now it's one of my favorite pieces in our house, the perfect companion to a book and a cup of tea. And, yes, that's a 1970's classic chair. My brother-in-law gave it to me when I moved to Chicago 10 years ago and it's still one of my favorites.

I told my sister once that when (if?) we have a house warming party, I'd like to have a tag on the pieces in the house that have a story, like the chandelier from our wedding, etc. "But everything would have to have a tag on it," she reasoned. I smiled when I realized she's right.


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