Saturday, 16 March 2013

Making lamp shades? No sweat!

"Can I help you with anything?" The young girl in the chemist asked, after watching me stare at their range of shampoo for fifteen minutes. "Are you looking for something in particular?"

I straightened up and smiled at her. This was going to be a tad awkward. And certainly wasn't going to aid positive public opinion on Care in the Community.

In an earnest tone which I hoped would imply I needed no help,  knew exactly what I was after, and once I had found and purchased it, would go quietly, without the need to involve the police or mental health workers, I said slowly and reassuringly "No, I'm fine thank you."

Though in hindsight the next thing I said was probably a mistake. "I'm looking for lamp shades" I told her cheerfully, treating her to another big grin.

Now, any miniaturist worth their salt would understand.

But 17 year-old trainee pharmacy assistants are a whole different kettle of fish.

She went pale behind her blotchy fake tan, glanced nervously at her colleague, who had up until now been extolling the virtues of ear drops to a customer, and eaves dropping on us at the same time, and scuttled behind the counter, putting a safe distance between her and the raving loon who had been muttering to the Head and Shoulders for the past quarter of an hour.

I shrugged and moved on to the toothpaste aisle. My quest was not yet over.

I was on a mission to find something I could use to make replica Mini House bathroom and bedroom lamp shades. Or the "tractor hub caps" as our builders had rudely referred to them, when renovating our house late last year.

I thought they were rather lovely (lamp shades, not the builders), when I spotted them for sale; two large, dark bronze-coloured metal shades, with a rust finish, both weighing a ton, but looking like the dog's doo-dahs* when they were in place.

*Not literally (Please see for further clarification)

And now I needed to replicate them.

I had already done SainburysTesco's, Waitrose and two local DIY stores with no luck. The chemist was my last bastion of hope.

But I guessed there was no point in trying to explain this to the pharmacist who, alerted by his colleagues, was taking charge of the situation and heading my way.
My light bulb moment!

I sauntered round the hair removal section in a bid to shake him off, knocking over a timely Veet display ("Don't let your Easter Bunnies get Furballs!") in the process.

As I trotted towards the exit, past a poster advertising Hemorrhoid Cream, and a rotating display of hair nets, I finally spotted what I was looking for!

Roll-on deodorants! Lots of them. And all with lids that were the perfect shape and size for our lamp shades! Or at least would be, with a little work.

Thinking he had me cornered, the pharmacist gestured to his staff to ring the boys in blue.

I skipped happily past him, clutching the little stubby bottles and paid for my bounty, grinning again at the young assistant to convince her of my sanity. 

As I emerged blinking into the daylight, armed with enough deodorant to dry up the North Sea, I heard Ms Ear Drops on the phone "Yes officer, talking to the shampoo for ages, and she kept baring her teeth at Kelly".

Some people just don't get it, do they?

The "tractor hub cap" lamp shades in No1 Heatherside Corner
The Mini House version attached to globe light bulbs. The only job left to do is to paint the gold parts white.
The main problem was that the lids were really difficult to saw through in a straight line. Was just as well I had
purchased a few bottles as it took a number of attempts. Then they were sanded, painted and drilled before being
glued to the globe bulb fittings.


  1. Lol, great lights and post :D.

  2. Thank you Diane. They look a wee bit better in real life where you can't see all their flaws and defects! I keep reminding myself that when it's finished, the Mini House will be viewed as a whole from a distance, rather than as individual components, through a camera lens.