Map Lampshade for the lighting-less


This. Coupled with my holy-grail search for more lighting in my living room, I knew this was a D-I-Y project in wait. My family room never seems to be lit well enough, with the lack of ceiling lights and all.

I had a couple of these Ikea lampshades on hand, so I thought I’d try my hand at making it, as the shade is the same shape.


But instead of using it on a lamp, I decided to make it into a pendant lamp using

these                                                           and these

hemma       dimma

Seriously, how did I not know about Dimma? In all my years of shopping Ikea and buying their switchless Hemma Cord, how did I not know that they sold a (cleverly named) Dimma dimmer cord to go with it? I could’ve saved myself the agony of figuring out exactly where to wire a switch to the Hemma cord all this time. What’s really cool about the Dimma switch is that no special bulb is required. You control the brightness of the light with this device.

Anyway, the first thing I did was to get to work on making my map lampshade. I got an atlas from the thrift store for about 50cents and took out the middle sheets. My original idea was to mod-podge the heck out of the shade. Once the mod podge dried to my satisfaction, I proceeded to fold the LOBBO lampshade into shape…at which point the mod-podged map peeled clean off. I thought my project was dead in the water for a few days, until google taught me that hot glue is the adhesive of choice.

For the unfamiliar, the Lobbo Lampshade (like just about everything else in Ikea) comes flat-packed. What you get is a long flat piece of whit plastic shrink-wrapped onto a long flat piece of cardboard. The shade folds up into the circle you see above and clicks together with the die-cut tabs on the ends. You then place the 3 prong piece of metal into the pre-drilled holes to connect your light bulb and cord. Clear as mud? good. It is both stupid and ingenious at the same time. Gotta love those swedes.

Attaching the map was simple really. Kind of like wrapping a present, except you just wrap one side of it. Sorry for the lack of process pictures, but I’m sure you all are smart enough to get the idea. I folded the paper onto the inside of the lampshade, creased it, then applied a thin bead of glue around the rim to secure the paper map. Good to know: the plastic lampshade comes with a protective plastic film on the shiny side, so be sure to peel that off.  Here is the finished shade:

lampshademap1  lampshademap2   

lampshademap3   lampshademap5  

It’s also a good idea to cover your cord with cord covers like these cordmate cord covers:



New Project: Built-In to Standalone desk

Remember when I posted last time about my family/crafting room? Guess what? It’s changed again! I’m starting to think that my favorite craft is rearranging my home.  I do more of that than any of my other crafts! My poor family has grown to not only get used to it, but expect it. These are the confessions of a serial rearranger/redecorator.

I must say, without having gone through those other rearranges, I never would have arrived at this perfect solution. With each move, I have added a new solution that opened up the possibilities for the next one. With this new arrangement, I actually stopped to think of how I want to use the space, instead of just trying to make it look like my inspiration photos. I love this current incarnation so much, I think it might actually stick. (The Mister rolls his eyes like ‘yeah right.’ )

Anywhoo, Here’s my recently rearranged living room turn craft room:

this side is my ‘everything fabric & textiles’ side. This is where my printing and sewing will take place.

doorway with milk glass collection.


here’s the other side for everything else, including my ‘office’ equipment.


Now that I look at it, I may put some legs on those storage units…

This latest rearrange came about as a result of me doing something I’ve wanted to do for a reeeaaallly long time.
See that 8foot long behemoth of a desk right here?


This used to be a built-in in my family room, complete with the lovely doo-doo brown peeling formica top. You can kind of see part of it here on the right hand side of this picture:

and here:

There were several problems with where it was located before.

1. It was very awkwardly positioned under a window and butted right up against the built in bookshelf. This made it hard to reach the window.

2. The sheer size of the desk and its location meant that the rest of the furniture in the  room was awkward to arrange because we had to leave so much walking space between the desk and the furniture. Combined with the massive fireplace on the other side of the room, that made for a really awkward arrangement.

3. The desk was meant to be a home office of sorts, but it was built circa 1970s before home computers and the millions of cords that come with them.  When we had a desk-top pc, all the cords ended up in a messy pile on-top of the table.  When we went to laptops for (almost) everyone, it dawned on me that this would be the perfect fabric printing/sewing table. The shelving underneath it perfectly stores my screens and other printing paraphernalia, while the drawers are perfect for scissors, needles and other sewing tools.


Where it was built in however, was not ideal. I would not have the room to maneuver around the table, which is important.

So, I spent last weekend pulling it out of the wall, yay me!  Did I mention that I sprained my wrist moving the behemoth from the old location to the new? Yes I did. Because I. am. impatient.  I did not wait for the Mister to get home from work before moving it myself. But I succeeded in moving it, with the help of my daughter! Can you say Girlpower!? Then I had to convince The Mister that yes, we have do have room for an 8 foot long table in the (very rarely used) front room. So my new (for the 4the time?) craft room is born!

Now that the table is all moved and all, there are quite a few projects in its wake. Like the part of the wall where it came from that needs to be patched and painted. Also the table needs to be finished.


To be done:

1. Sand down, finish or paint the top where I removed the formica. It’s amazing how easily 30 year old formica removes.

2. Put backing on the rest of the back where the desk used to be attached to the wall. For this I plan to put pegboard on the inside (for wrapping paper and big rolls of paper) and the same type of hard board (that is on one side of the table) on the outside back.

3. Prime and paint the whole thing. Maybe a juicy color? I dunno yet.

So, this is what I’ve been up to. Got suggestions? I’d love to hear them.

Democratizing Creativity Part IV: I can do that too-itis,

dreamstimefree_2396935I absolutely love Etsy. I adore Etsy. I wonder how we ever sold our handiworks pre-Etsy. There are some really innovative and talented artists/designers/crafters/makers on Etsy. They make me want to step up my game.

BUT.  There are also lots and lots of copykitties.

I will scream directly in the face of whomever is unlucky enough to be standing next to me the next time I see one more permutation of “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Ugh. 

Just try being a jewelry maker on Etsy. Like a needle in a needle-stack.

I have often struggled with what to sell on Etsy, because it SEEMS that just about any product idea already has a million and one variations. (But then every once in a while I am pleasantly surprised to find a twist on a  common product. Then I’m mad I didn’t think of it, lol. )

The low cost of entry into such venues is a double edged sword. It is wonderful that you can get your shop up and running relatively quickly and start earning income on your own terms. On the other hand, there are a lot of shops that don’t appear to take the time and effort to hone their skills and craft before setting up shop.

While I am of the belief that the cream will always rise to the top, I have a nagging concern.

I want you, dear readers, to be aware that I express this concern with great hesitation, because far be it for me suggest that someone’s else’s creation is crap. I struggle with this concern as a hardcore diy-er and maker extraordinaire.

I wonder about the clutter impact of all our making stuff.  Are we really being more environmentally conscious, are we just creating more things that will end up in our landfills one day? Does the world really need yet another tote bag? Is the world really a much better place because of our handmade doo-dads?  Does anyone absolutely need a cozy of any sort?

What about all the products created and sold purely for zeitgeist, i.e, Moustache-themed anything.  When I look at some handicrafts, I can’t help thinking how much more complicated packing up and moving would be if I was a collector of stuff. I guess that’s why I’m always purging.

I can’t help thinking that I don’t want to contribute to the clutter in the world. These concerns are probably why my Etsy shop never get filled up past 15 items (which I hear is bad for sales).

I blame this nagging concern on having been raised in a no-frills culture during a no-frills period in time. Nigeria in the 80’s wasn’t exactly a buffet of choices, though it was (and still is) a haven of creative handicraft.  As hard as I fight against it, that no-frills sensibility still informs what I do.  I want to make unique, beautiful useful things, not trendy throwaway items for a quick buck.

Like a previous commenter mentioned, just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should.

Am I being cynical, harsh, or a hater? Do I need a nice tall glass of STFU? Bring it!


It’s still amazes me what people will throw away. Or get rid of. I wanna say I don’t understand, but then again, I’ve done the same thing. Gotten rid of something that might make people question my sanity. One woman’s trash really is another woman’s treasure.

Take for instance these blinds I got from my favorite thrift store. They were BRAND NEW, unopened, in box. Mind you, my favorite thrift is where stuff goes to die. It is literally the last stop before the landfill. It’s amazing to me that no one scooped these up before I did. Oh well. I am not complaining. That’s the great conundrum isn’t it? If people don’t get rid of their ‘trash,’ I don’t get my treasure. So trash on folks, trash on!


Here’s what I had before finding these shades (as you can see, my boys got to it)


It’s sooo hard to get a good window shot, especially on a gorgeous sunny day like today, but here:


The grand total for all three (brand new in box) shades: $4! You can’t beat that!

Okay, now onto the dilemma.

I have this gorgeous picture window in my dining room. It’s just under 6ft wide (about 68”) and same height…basically a square.
I love my picture window but the view is not the best (thanks neighbor). I need suggestions for what to do. I want to emphasize the window, but I don’t really want to cover it up. I don’t like to look at my neighbors unkempt yard, nor do I want people looking at us at night when it’s dark and we can’t see them.

Here is a picture of it with some blinds on it (once again, sorry for the pics, it’s really hard to take pics of a sunny window).


Ok, now what? Please give me some ideas!

The First Thrifty Tuesday–with change or two

So, remember last week I said I would do Thrift Store Tuesday and Work It Out Wednesday?

Well, scratch that.  I decided to combine the two into just “Thrifty Tuesdays.”  After thinking it over, I decided that there is really no reason to make you wait until Wednesday for the big reveal. It’s like when you watch a makeover show and they drag out the reveal over commercials and hemming and hawing. I hate that! Get to the point already…

Plus I just can’t wait a whole day to brag 🙂

With no further ado, I present to you the first Thrifty Tuesday!

Here is a lamp I found at my favorite thrift store. 


It’s not totally hideous. It’s actually kind of charming, but I’m not crazy about the blue eyeliner.

And here it is, refabbed and recrafted, with a new (also recrafted, more on that later) lampshade:



What I did:

1. Wipe down the lamp with rubbing alcohol to remove dirt.
2. Tape up all parts that will not be painted. Roll up the cord and tape that up as well.
3. Spray (outdoors) with Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2x in Gloss Colonial Red.

Easy Peasy.

The lampshade? That’s a tute for another day only because I didn’t document it when I made this one. You guys are a clever bunch so you might be able to figure it out from the basic gist. It involves metallic spray paint and strips of adhesive vinyl. As soon as I can hightail it over to Ikea to get another shade I will do another one.

By the way, my favorite thrift store is about to get even better! Imagine my delight when I saw a brand-spankin’ new Goodwill Outlet building just a couple of miles down from the current one. I briefly thought we were getting a second one, but I knew that would be too good to be true. The fact that it’s moving to a new building means that it’s going to be around for a really long time, yay!

Got a Suggestion for a future project? Please let me know below!

p.s… I’m looking for a new look for my blog. I will be experimenting with different looks shortly, so if it changes periodically, that’s why. If you have ideas for me, let me know!


Thank you, bbcreations for including my red clutch in your treasury! There I am in the bottom right corner…

‘Cutie Christmas Gifts’ by bbcreations

Really cute Christmas gift ideas!!

Red and White Strip…



RED hood scarf cow…


Christmas Tree Suga…


Little Candy Canes …




Christmas holiday e…


SOAP… Handcrafted…


Christmas Stackable…


Green Scalloped Pea…


Christmas Peppermin…


Vintage Christmas S…




Christmas Mix – Gli…


Christmas Ornament …


Red Vinyl Zippered …


Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

Help Me Decide! Poll time…

I have been seriously considering opening an AfroMartha Store on Etsy. This store will hold my housewares and home goods line. It will have items I currently have in my JesPlayin store, such as the Pillow Covers and other things that I have in the works. It will also hold some de-stash items like excess fabrics and things. I feel like my current JesPlayin store is kind of a mish-mash, and I’d like to streamline by separating HomeGoods and Personal Accessories. What do you think?

VOTE! ————————————————————————————>

Treasury time!

Thank you, Wondrousstrange for including my pillow sham in your gorgeous treasury! It’s always a great feeling to know that someone enjoys your work!

There’s my pillow sham on the 3rd row last column on right, yay!

‘Vibrant Life…’ by wondrousstrange

Zulu style FIBER PENDAN…


Luscious Dangles


sister moon doll—fert…


BOGO SALE – Waiting To …


Wildflowers, Arches Nat…


Mr. Stripes Rooster – O…


South Indian Amber Gold…


Sonnet for a Lady – Cel…




Tangled and Tattered Co…


Hydrangeas-Pale metalli…


Rust Red Pillow Sham w…


Rustic Carnelian Neckla…


Chunks of Carnelian Nec…


Burnt Orange Felt Flowe…


Slice of Carnelian Agat…


Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

And the Winner is…

Michelle! Congratulations, It looks like you will have some tips to help you prepare for that major life change after all.  Step forth and claim your prize. Shoot me an email through the ‘Got Questions?’ page so I can set up your subscription.  Good luck to ya!

Thank you to everyone who entered. If you didn’t win this time, there’s always next time.  Stay tuned…