Knowing that I am a big fan of the writer, a very dear friend of mine gave me a bottle of Dorothy Parker gin. The gin is the sort of alcohol-rich distillation that would make the average sailor wince, but the bottle was wonderful with a picture of Mrs Parker printed on the inside and a little biography on the back:
It was too good to throw away, and so I decided to make it into a lamp. I bought the stick-in bulb fitting and more or less forgot about it, as it took us so long to get through the ‘navy strength’ gin. When the bottle was finally empty, I started to think about a shade. For some reason I decided that a lampshade with some of Mrs Parker’s quotes would be just the thing, so I bought a kit which promised to be very easy to make up, and found some cream fabric which had an almost imperceptible pile and took sharpie markers reasonably well. I made some preliminary sketches and a list of some of her best-known wisecracks:
and then I transferred it all to the fabric. I took a deep breath and opened up the various kits:
Personally, I am terrified when I see anything described as ‘easy’, but this kit did come with accompanying You Tube video which was very useful. Most of the job was really easy, and, as the woman in the video kept on assuring me would happen, the results were professional. The only tricky bit was pushing the excess fabric down behind the wire rings to give a smooth, and, yes, professional finish:
They are terribly keen in the packaging and on the video to encourage you to start a lampshade making business, which is a bit premature, I think. Apparently these make great gifts, so look out.
In the end, I think the shade is out of proportion with the bottle base, but as it was just for fun and did allow me to keep the bottle and express my appreciation of Mrs Parker, probably that does not matter. I also got to use a very old iron I found in a recent clear-out, and a very new, very small table top ironing board from IKEA:
Very useful in a craft room.