Friday, 20 July 2012

Let There Be Light

When Steph and I moved in to our apartment two years ago, we despaired a bit at the huge expanses of white walls, and the fact that all our furniture was white and cream. We never really did manage to decorate much, and the apartment's nice but not really very homely. When Jade moved in a month or two ago she somehow managed to make her room this giant burst of colour, and one of the bits of it I envied the most was a lovely pretty lamp that she has. I'm a terrible copycat - when I see something I like, I'm pretty shameless and just copy it - so I've been on the hunt for a new lamp since she moved in.

At my recent trip to the Finders Keeper's market, I came across the Two Layers of Cells stall, where they were selling these awesome lamps that were made up of a tube of plastic with a light bulb and stand inside. The lamps looked great but they were mostly monochrome and a bit expensive. Just before I moved on, their DIY lamp kits caught my eye, and it seemed perfect - you got a lamp and a packet of markers, and you could decorate it however you wanted. Ignoring the fact that most of their marketing for it was aimed at kids I brought one home with me.

I was pretty excited, and started working on it that night. My initial idea was to have blocks of colour with a simple line drawing over them, so I started colouring sections in. I definitely did feel like I was in primary school again - I plonked down on the floor with my markers and started colouring - but it was fun. I also realised very quickly that using a ruler made it look much nicer than doing it freehand. It's not a very big lamp, so it only took an hour or two, but the lampshade was made out of shiny plastic so the markers made my hands all smudgy with colour and I had to leave it overnight to dry.

The colours looked very different once they were dry. They faded a bit so they looked pastel, and the green turned bluish and strangely enough the orange turned pink, but it still looked quite pretty.

A little while later, I was at the Etsy Success Sydney event, and being amongst so many creative people and ideas made me feel like sketching. During one of the talks I sat at the back and just started drawing, and came up with this:

It seemed pretty cute, so I figured it could be the drawing on my lamp. I realised, though, that drawing on top of the colours could end up with a somewhat confusing mess of colours and lines, and that if I ever wanted to change the drawing and wash it off, I'd have to do all the colour blocks again. So I decided to draw it on the inside with the idea that when the light turned on you'd be able to see the picture.

I'm not overly confident in my freehand drawing skills, so I drew the little girl and the boy on paper first then cut them out so I could trace them on to the inside of the lamp.

It turned out even better than I could've hoped for! This is what it looks like off:

And when you turn it on, surprise! A picture:

I really really like it :) It was a fun change of pace to do something creative that wasn't knitting or sewing, and its made a really nice addition to my bedroom.

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