Hats for Lamps

“Life is a continuous journey of transformation”
― Sukant Ratnakar, Open the Windows


“Tienes sombreros para  lámparas?” I asked the shopkeepers. (Do you have hats for  lamps?)
“No hay sombreros para lámparas aqui,” they always responded. (There aren’t hats for lamps here.)

Without a doubt, I have learned that life is a continuous journey of transformation while living on a tropical island. If no hats for lamps could be found, then I had to make my own.

Theresa brought her frames from her three old lampshades and I had a frame made for a floor lamp. New Year’s Eve we spent the day covering her lampshade frames with canvas.

We used a hot glue gun to attach the tightly pulled canvas to the frames. Now they are ready to be covered with a white sealer paint to harden the canvas. Then, Theresa will choose a leaf design and acrylic paints to decorate her lampshades.
IMG_6058And her finished lampshade.
lamp shade

Meanwhile, I sewed a canvas slip cover for my floor lamp, and painted the canvas with the white sealer to harden and tighten the canvas. Then, I drew a pattern for a large tropical leaf, traced it onto the canvas, and proceeded to paint the lampshade.
IMG_6060IMG_6064IMG_6065I sprayed a transparent enamel finish over the painted canvas and it’s finished!
IMG_6075Last year, I made a jicaro ( a type of gourd) lampshade.
IMG_1197IMG_1198Yesterday, I cleaned my porch and decided to make a chandelier with a set of icicle lights. I used to have a Chinese lantern hanging in the same place and when I took it down, it had a miniature community of spiders, webs, and other bugs inside.  I found an old hoop from a mosquito net, and now the bugs have no place to hide.
IMG_6077IMG_6078      “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
       ― Maya Angelou

Living on a small island, in the middle of a huge sweet sea, in the middle of Nicaragua, in the middle of Central America has nudged me to become more creative.  The more creativity I use, the more sombreros for lamps I will have.

What have you created that you were unable to buy?

14 thoughts on “Hats for Lamps

  1. I didn’t think I had any “made it because I couldn’t buy it” stories, but then I remembered my cruising days, and how much invention went on then. My favorite? On a passage from Hawaii to Alaska, we suddenly got a hankering for lemon meringue pie. The crust was easy, and the filling doable, but that about that meringue, with no mixer, etc?

    Easy-peasy. Duct tape a whisk to a cordless drill, and get after it!

I'd love to read your ideas and thoughts below....

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