Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lamp Shade Graffiti

I was messing around in the Family Waiting Area at work the other day-- just straightening things up so it would look nice. It's not a fancy little room but it's a good place for families to have some quiet and privacy. Or a quick nap.

Anyway, I was sorting and stacking the magazines on the end tables when I noticed one of the lampshades.

Someone had drawn a design over the entire surface of the shade with a blue ballpoint pen.

I suspect this is where he or she started. The panel to the left of "Love", maybe you can make it out, says "God". The rest of the panels are just the abstract, tribal looking design- all eight sides. I was just incredulous. It's one thing to sit in a public waiting room, bored out of your mind, staring off into space while you have an ill family member up the hall, and you think, "Wouldn't that lampshade look cute with some decorations on it? I bet I could do something clever. Maybe I'll try it when I get home." It's an entirely other thing to actually pick up the ballpoint pen and draw on a lampshade that is not your own. On the most basic of levels, that's vandalism. Thank goodness this person did a really nice job, but I'm still kind of amazed by some people's nerve and audacity. And I'm wondering where the staff was because this room is right across from the nurse's station.

If you look closely at the bottom of the shade-- sure enough our midnight Michelangelo signed his work. Even more nerve!

My next thought was, of course, "I'm going to try that when I get home!"

I bought this buffet lamp years ago when we first moved into our antique house. There was no light over the table area so we used this buffet lamp on the table until the remodeling progressed to the point where we could put a light fixture over the table. Since then it has been on the fireplace mantle, right next to the table, as supplemental lighting. The shade that came with it had a plastic lining and it was developing cracks. I was nursing it along until I could find a nice new shade when I knocked the lamp over one day as I was hurrying through the dusting. End of lampshade. Thankfully, Target had this shade on clearance for $3.00 so that's where things stood until we had to replace the natural gas line with propane, which meant that we had to replace the gas fireplace because .... oh, you can read all the nasty details here.

Anyway, new fireplace mantle means new decorating fun so away went the lamp. Enter hospital graffiti artist and a reason to play around a bit.


Ta-Dum! I used a fine point Sharpie for this and would probably go with the ballpoint pen if I had a do-over. You can see where there is a little "blop" in the places where I lifted the pen to turn the shade, but they aren't huge spots. You can see in the picture below where I started to draw the design with pencil and then abandoned that to just wing it. It's around the back by the seam so it won't ever be noticeable.

So I just sat on the couch, in the sunshine, while our power was out one afternoon, squiggling away. It did occur to me that this is exactly something I would have gotten a lickin' for when I was a kid!! And I probably would have done this too. Like the time in 2nd grade when I was admiring another girl's dress at school (we worn dresses back then) that had pretty lace along the edge so I started snipping along the hem of my dress with my school scissors, hoping to get a similar look. I didn't and got bored so ended up with about 12-inches of snipped hem on my dress. Yes, it was in the front. I can still remember hearing my mom, ironing away at the laundry, "What in the world!" Busted. Thank goodness my mom is the creative type who can appreciate experimentation. Anyway...

Then I added some trios of dots here and there around the shade, just for fun and because no one was going to bust me for doing so.

And I too signed my worked...

So how fun was that? I don't know that I'll ever use it anywhere in the house but it was fun. I even discovered another unused lampshade- I've been sitting here staring at it wondering how I can doodle on it and what sort of embellishments I could add. Rhinestones? Fringe? Oh wait, I have an idea .....!

Hey, thanks for visiting today and please remember- doodling on public property is vandalism so do a good job. Just sayin'.  

1 comment:

  1. I love your very last statement! :) And I also love the kind of Banksy- style vandalism on the lampshade. Nerve, yes, but I love the statement! (not the Love and God thing, but the whole idea)