Monday, February 22, 2010

My New Shabbified Chandelier: Part One

Come across the creek with me for some fun in the studio!

My newly 'crystallized' chandelier!
The same chandelier 'before'....

I bought this chandelier in August for $15 at a yard sale in Delhi, NY. It’s probably from the 1960s, constructed of a resin plated in brass. It didn’t have a single crystal prism on it, but I knew I could find some antique ones and supply the rest from Gallery 84.

I dismantled it and put all the pieces I wanted holes for the crystal prism wires in a vise and drilled holes with my drill and a 3/16” bit rated for metal.   It’s important to wear eye protection because little bits of metal go flying.   This is why I cheer when Fifi O’Neill writes, “A girl’s best friends are power tools!”   How easy the process is, and how free I am from paying or begging some man to do it for me.   Sorry I don’t have pictures of this step, it was before I started blogging!   I reassembled it and spray painted the whole thing white with Rustoleum.

In September I found a large number of crystal prisms at Brimfield in a booth from a man named Steven Wheeler of One Stop Antiques in Ohio in the $5 parking field across from Heart of the Mart.   I didn’t expect to get everything I needed, but I did luck out and score nearly 20 ‘French’ pendants and a nice variety of other things that came to $100.   The rest of the prisms are from Gallery 84, bought without connectors when possible because a) it costs less, and b) I like using wire that’s already ‘shabby’. Even then, it was nearly $200!

I’m having a terrible time getting the lacquer off the brass on the beaded chain by soaking it in acetone. I detest the newness of the chain, so I’m going to have to paint the links with Triangle Craft’s ‘Sophisticated Finish’ in Blackened Bronze from Michael’s, a tedious process that doesn’t make it all that wonderful in the end but it’s better than that tacky gold.

Old brass wire is the best wire!
I’m using 22 gauge wire, which is too thick but it’s all I’ve got.   I have a pair of jewelry making wire cutters with round, pointy ends that make the little circles of wire I love.   The butterfly clasps are a lot faster and easier to use, and I ended up using some I had because it took hours to wire up the u-drop prisms with their top bead and by 1 a.m. I wanted to go to bed!

Nice, old brass wire and my attempt with round/pointy ended jewerly pliers.

This is the 'first draft' of the prism 'structure'.   I know I want a lot hanging down to balance out the chandelier.  One of my favorite web sites to go for inspiration is My Paris Flea Market, a store in San Diego that Fifi shot for Romantic Country.   She sells a mind-boggling number of European antiques at any given time.   The prices are equally mind-boggling for little ‘ole fiscal administrative assistant me, ranging from $3,000 - $5,000.    She finds those fabulous Italian tole chandeliers with the macaroni beads.

Photo by My Paris Flea Market

Another new place to look for the real thing is Disegno Karina Gentinetta, a lovely woman who has a New Orleans and Etsy shop that’ll stop your heart it’s so so so beautiful.   You won’t believe she’s a former lawyer that lost everything in Katrina-- it looks as if she’s been in interior design for a lifetime.

Photo courtesy of Disegno Karina Gentinetta

I love chandeliers so much I have three in my studio that’s about the size of my senior dorm room in college only with a sleeping loft and a front porch!   I don’t think you could have enough ‘chandys’.   I want a pair of girandoles or table chandeliers for the mantel, and a sconce for over the love seat, too.   So I pray to the Garage Sale Gods to bestow something on me this summer.

I’ll post updates on my chandelier as soon I have another chance to work on it.

Until then, stay shabby!

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Paula said...


I adore your blog...I adore your shabby little studio...I adore everything you have in it! Wow! For a couple of years, I have loooooonged for a little studio of my own away from the main traffic areas of our house, away from the noise of every day life...away from everything. We just started a remodeling job today on a portion of our house that will include a little studio space...but now I want a shabby little studio, too! :-) You've inspired me! You've done a terrific job with it. I could gaze at the photos forever!

So happy to have found your blog.

Best wishes,

BellaRosa said...

Absolutely beautiful is your blog! I found your gorgeous blog through Cindy of My Romantic Home, and I am so glad she shared you with us, I had to become a follower because I look forward to going thru more of lovely posts. Besos, Rose

tina, theoldfrenchdoors... said...

Hello sandy, wow im in love with your studio. I just became your newest follower, so i will be back to check out your gorgeous blog. the chandelier loooks amazing. I have so many old ones that need fizing up you've inspired me to get them done.

Enchanted Rose Studio said...

Hi Sandy! Welcome to bloggerville! I found you via Cindy @ My Romantic Home. Isn't her blog so charming!?

I had a hard time finding how to leave you a comment. I finally figured out that if I click on the post itself, the comment box appears. Learn something new everyday! ha!

Your studio is dreamy! Your chandelier makeover is beautiful. I wish I could find one for $15.00! Great find!

Love the cabinet and your mirror over the mantel is perfection!

I am a new follower! I'll be back for more eye candy! Stop by for a visit if you get the chance!


someplace in thyme said...

Oh, I think it's gorgeous and well worth all your hard work. I can't believe the time that you must have put into the chain, wow!!! Char

Kimberly said...

I want to come to your studio!! its so beautiful!!!

Sylvia (at) Lily's Pad and Petals said...

I love Gallery 84 and have bought many a chandlier and crystals there.
Love you pictures.

My Vintage Treasures said...

Your studio is DARLING!!!
The chandelier is beautiful, your hard work paid off!!!

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Oh my goodness, I love it! Came here from Cindy's blog too, the best part for me is that you're an animal lover. Wish I had room for four dogs, I'd do it in an instant. Glad to have found you.

Norma said...

I am totally in love with your little studio cottage! Since I found your blog a few hours ago I've had a conversation with myself that goes like this: "You know that's the perfect miniature project" ... "Oh yes I know but I've just started a couple of big projects, and still have the 1:16 house to finish, and university starts again next week ... it's madness to think about starting yet another project!" ... "I know, pure madness - bit it's just so perfect! ..."

Oh dear, I know it's just a matter of time.....

Best regards, Norma

Sandi said...

Your blog is amazing! Your home is lovely and welcoming. Sooo glad I found you! Thank you so much for everything you've shared so far, can't wait to see what is next!!

Beach House Living said...

I would love to have studio even if was the size of a dorm room. To decorate it as calming as yours is really dreaming. Should I ever get one a chandelier or two is already on my list.

holly said...

Can I come over and play? It's so dreamy!

Licho_Nie_Spi said...

When I'm reading about thing you bought and ridiculous prices you paid I'm so jealous! In my country every, single, little, old-style thing is much more expensive...
I'm lucky, first, my uncle and then my ex-boyfriend's father gave me many old, 19th century bottles. They was digging the ground before building new hotel or something else...
People in that century isolated floor from the ground by lying layer of bottles and sand...then they built up the floor and rest of home, or barn etc...So, a lot of beautiful bottles...I have...and still in the ground, undiscovered...
Hugs, Licho

Anonymous said...

I admire your creativity and practicality. You were able to transform a simple chandelier into a dazzling work of art by placing some crystal gems on it. There is a sense of fulfillment in looking at your own stunning masterpiece hanging on your ceiling. You placed your chandelier on a perfect spot. Placing it in front of the mirror does make it even more dazzling!
Santiago Mills


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