Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What the hell? (and Solar Chandeliers)

I have no idea what happened around here that kept me from blogging for a whole week and some change. 

All I know is that MerryMerry sent me the new Dan Brown thriller (The Lost Symbol), and I found a John Irving book (Until I Find You) at a garage sale, and FinnigantheCurious is reading with gusto these days (might I allow myself to believe that another bookworm is blossoming into this family? please, please, please.) so, I suppose a sort of reading spell was cast upon my home. 

That and Jackdaddy was gone to Rome (poor, poor thing) and took the camera. 

Oh, and most of the windows were installed but needed to be caulked and painted. 

Oh, and it rained some more. 

Whatever the cause(s), I did not blog nor did I do much in the way of home and gardening (other than keep everyone alive and hold down the fort). 

Fortunately, my dear friend, neighbor, and fellow wabi-sabier, Kat, did!  

She made a damned solar chandelier

Now, anyone who spends any time at all hanging around ( pun!) in their yard at night has wished for an outdoor chandelier. 

These very same folks have run through the options: candles - uh, wind, rain, melting, cost; electrical - ugly cord, rain issue, safety issue; solar - too damn hard and too damn expensive. 

Kat rose to the challenge and made herself a damn solar chandelier

May I just say that again?  

She. made. a. solar. chandelier. 

Since I've been doing nada but lolling around the house reading novels I'm going to let Kat, in her own words and pictures, tell you all about it. 

It's really, really cool, y'all.

It started with another great freebie from Craigslist. A huge, heavy, metal chandelier with ornate leaf patters all over and six lighted candles. I then broke off much of the extra leaf work. I also flattened out the curled-up leaves and painted it with chocolate brown and gold spray paint. I painted the cups all gold to reflect the light. The center space fits a solar candle jar perfectly. It changes colors! I first tried Velcro, but it did not secure well. I next tried magnets, which also didn't give a strong enough hold. Lots of glues were tried too. Ick. After much mess and frustration I had one last idea, but needed some extra tools and help. These are really the kind of lights you stick in the ground along a walkway, but I'm only using the top portion. My dad drilled a hole in the center of each plastic shell, then I super-glued a large round washer and bolt to the inside to give additional stability. The 2 inch bolts are almost, but not quite, the same width as the opening of the hollow metal tube in the cup. This is where the wired lights used to mounted to, but I sawed off the top portion down to the nut. Then I used a green rubber hose washer to the solar lights stability as the bolt was set down into the center of the metal tube. The light fixture will be stable as they sit there in the gold cups which will allow me to replace the solar lights as needed. It's hung in my big iron gazebo, also a fabulous Craigslist find. Not free, however, but a great bargain and I totally love it. The chandelier is large and hangs down a few inches about my head so, anyone taller will have to watch their noggin. It's been a trial with the various mounting projects, but it's finally done and the weather is cooperating again, so here it is. It's cool, crafty and a little funky. Thanks to everyone for making it possible.

Isn't that just so wabi-sabi of her? 

Not to mention clever and resourceful

I just adore it and am plotting and planning to have Jack make one make one of my own. 

Now that Jackdaddy is home I'm gonna take my almost-finished books over to Kat's house and sit in that gazebo and read by the light of the silvery solar.  



  1. Rock on...that is awesome! I've been looking around for some night time lighting...the problem is that where I want some solar light, is in the shade during the day...not sure how much actual sunlight you need to charge 'em up.

  2. I have the exact same issue. I'll ask her and let you know.

  3. If they can get at least 4 hours of direct sun, they'll charge up fine. They hold their charge about 5 or 6 hours. They are not as bright on cloudy days, but on a full day of sunshine they do quite well.

  4. Oh Ms. Sabi !! I love solar things. We have a water fountain and the birds love it. I've seen one sitting right on top having a little bidet thing going on.

  5. Repurposed gadgets make my heart zing. This project is perfection! Thanks for sharing.

  6. My whole way of thinking has been changed since I started reading wabi sabi. It ia true that one man's trash is anothers treasure.

  7. Kudos to Kat -- that's brilliant! I'm now looking at my shade sails wondering how in the world I can get them to support a solar chandelier. At the very least, we'll be hanging up year-round Christmas lights as soon as we get the box down from the attic.

  8. So glad you love the chandelier. I just discovered solar powered fountains/bird baths. I'm already pondering how to rig up my current bird bath into a little solar fountain. Hmmm...so many projects...so little time. ;-)

  9. This is fantastic! I'm also finding all sorts of uses for those solar lights!

  10. Didn't she do a wonderful job? I know...it's got me thinking about these little solar lights and where I can put them.


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