Everyone I know has been bitten by mosquitoes this year. They are a plague resulting from our long, cold winter, or so I've been told. Even when spray is used, those pests can swarm and drive a person crazy.
I could go on, but I'm not writing about mosquitoes today. I've been bitten by another bug, the craft bug.
Years ago, I tried all kinds of crafts. After seeing the beautiful work done by another person, I wanted to make my own. I've tried pottery, origami, oil painting and paper art. None of those stuck, but painting with watercolors and creating bookmarks with pressed flowers did. For a time, I sold at art shows, but then I set everything aside, well mostly.
This year the craft bug bit me big time. Not only am I painting watercolor pins and pressing flowers again, I found myself doing other things, too.
One project actually began almost 40 years ago. Yes, I said 40 years ago! My mother painted two accent lights for Baby Robby's bedroom. She expected me to add the electrical stuff and shades. After all, Mom had done the hard work by painting the panda and blocks. Making them into lamps was the easy part. Right?
I had good intentions of finishing those two lamps when Robby was little, and then again, when his little sister, Becky, was born. Somehow I never found the time. They remained lightless, only displayed as knickknacks.
Two more babies eventually came, and I had even less time to change Mom's creations into the lamps they should have been. Years passed, grandchildren started to arrive and yet the lamps were never finished.
Finally, when the craft bug bit me this year, those lamps were unearthed. I was determined to finish that long awaited project. I started searching for the wiring setup needed to attach an electric light and shade. My hunt took me to nearby stores. No one had the connections I needed.
Bob started looking around the house. He figured he could rig up something that would work, like an extension cord with a bare light bulb on the end — luckily, nothing he thought up fit.
When we went into Green Bay, we stopped in one of the giant arts and crafts stores. Instead of looking around like Bob wanted to do, I asked the manager for help — he happened to be walking past us when we walked in the door.
"Come with me," he said, and led us a few aisles into the store. The items he expected to find were missing. He called for help. "I'm sorry, but we don't carry lamp kits anymore."
We walked away in search of decoupage goop I needed for another project.
As we crossed the store, we came to a table covered with closeout lamps. We found two matching lamps just the right size. They were $10 each — marked down from $49.99! This included shades, too. (The electrical setup I had been searching for was around $13-14, without the shades.)
We bought the lamps and went home where we began dissecting them.
Bob and I worked together — he knows more about electricity then I do. It took a little careful manipulation of the lamps to get them all apart without breaking anything, but we managed.
Soon we were taking the two decorations my mother had painted all those years ago — her signature is on the bottom — and turning them into real, honest-to-goodness lamps, and they worked, too.
Forty years in the making, this project is finally finished. Good thing too. They were taken to a special family baby shower a week later and now await the time when they will illuminate an infant's room. Thanks, Mom, for the special gift.