Friday, October 31, 2008

Lamp It Up

I know I've been a terrible blogger. The seasons have changed and it seems I can't get out of bed before noon. The floors are cold, but the duvet is so warm. And I've been lazy, lazy, lazy.

But my lamp project is complete. After scouring the city for suitable shades, I came to realize that no one sells them. Even a store focused entirely on lamps didn't sell shades. So, it came time for my annual trek to Restoration Hardware. I avoid this store, as it makes me want nothing more than a palatial home in Forest Hill and a summer spot in Connecticut. I want overpriced soap and fourteen Christmas trees with coordinating baubles on every branch. I want to put brushed nickel knobs on everything, just because they're so pretty.

Each fall they have their annual lighting sale. Up to 30% off on all their fixtures, lamps and shades. Although I was hoping for something very dramatic (like eggplant or glossy black) I had to settle on the Silver Sage Drum Shade. At a reasonable $35 each, they are beautifully made and very elegant. I ordered them online and they arrived in just seven days. Colour me impressed!

Because I had hoped for total drama with the shades, I knew I'd need to jazz them up somehow. I searched the internet endlessly for some cloisonné finials (like this one, which wouldn't ship to Canada!) but stumbled upon these little brass monkeys which were perfect. I'm pretty pleased with the whole outfit - It's just the hit of glamour our living room needed, with the right bit of quirk in those little monkeys.

(click the photo to enlarge)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Night at the Oprah

I was raised on television. Not by television, but, rather, it was a big part of my life. I watched a lot, everything from Saved by the Bell to National Geographic to hours of the Home Shopping Channel. I credit television with most of the general knowledge I have in my brain. From world politics to stain removal, the corners of my mind are stuffed with needless information. Jeff always marvels at the range of topics I'm able to discuss. I don't strive to remember that John Tesh eats his Corn Flakes with water instead of milk, I just happen to. But Jeff didn't grow up watching television, so he thinks it's all useless. I, on the other hand, think that a discerning viewer can learn a lot.

It should come as no surprise that I'm an Oprah fan. I've been watching for nearly as long as she's been on the air. As a kid I'd come home from school, get a snack together, and saddle-up to the television, a borderline religious ritual that has remained to this day. I get that she's bat-shit-crazy, but I just love her. Almost as often as I daydream about accepting my Oscar®, I fantasize about appearing on her show, chatting like old friends. I'll ask about Stedman and we'll laugh and laugh.

I know what you're thinking: Oh god, but she's ridiculous! She's so self-righteous and preachy, so annoying and self-satisfied! I know. And I too cringe at her foibles, her near-sociopathic ability to interrupt others and that bellowing! But, like any good demi-God, she draws me in and makes me feel warm inside. Pimping authenticity to the masses, her do-gooding is undeniable. Dr. Phil and singing her own theme song notwithstanding, she's played a clean game, the O brand nearly spotless.

A Chicago blogger, Robyn Okrant, is ten months into a year-long project where she lives every one of Oprah's whims. When Oprah says jump, she says in which $400 pair of shoes. When she recommends (read: implores) that you "must have" ergonomically-correct gardening tools, Robyn fetches a set right away. She's documenting the entire thing on her blog, Living Oprah, a clever social experiment about the price we pay our icons, literally and figuratively. She wonders if she'll truly find happiness if she commits to Oprah's "Live your Best Life" ideals. So far she's spent 600 hours and over $3000 trying. Take a read, it's awfully interesting.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Real Slim Shady

I've got a new project. Yesterday we went to Stouffville to pack up some more stuff. Jeff's brother and his wife are moving into the house, so most of the contents are receiving the old "keep, toss, donate" treatment. We got a set of silverware (lovely and old school with some family history) some pots, and these two gorgeous marble lamps.

The shades that were on them previously were quickly added to the "toss" pile. Now we need to find something that works. I'm thinking shiny, satin gunmetal grey. Perhaps a rectangular shade, or a tall, narrow drum. Or perhaps black. Something dramatic and a bit glamorous. I've put a call out to the folks at Apartment Therapy for reader-insights, so I'll keep you posted!