Something I've Always Wanted To Do...

Well, I finally did it. Something I've been wanting to do since I first walked into this house and saw the hanging lights in the dining room. MODERN. Folks, I'm lots of things. But my decor does not befit a modern slant. I'm more farmhouse cottage eclectic. (That was a mouthful.)

I'd love to be one of you gals that just jumps in and starts a change in lighting DIY style. But I'm sorta afraid of electric things. Oh, and definitely gas things. When I was 17 and pregnant with my first daughter, I blew up a gas stove and it picked me up and threw me across the room. 

I was young and stupid. No one had taught me piddly about being in a kitchen. I was living by myself in a tiny duplex. I had to walk about two miles to work, and it was summer, in my second trimester. 

Being the stupid teenager that I was, I decided to have a piece of toast made in the oven because I did not have a toaster. Basically, I did not have a pot to piss in. 

I put the bread in the oven and turned it on. I went to get dressed, came back, looked in the oven, and my bread didn't look the least bit different. And then it came to me. OH YEAH! You're supposed to light something with a match I think. 

I don't need to tell you the rest. But I did go to the ER and we were not hurt. I just went around without eyebrows and such for a good while!

Okay, so back to the lights. On Friday I tried taking the modern glass globes down. I took the vintage mason jar lids outside, sat on the porch steps, and hammered holes all around where I'd traced the size of the whatever-it's-called I was to put the bulb into. 

Oh, and if you decide to do this, remember to put nail holes around the lid for heat build-up to get out unless you take off the bottom of the jar, which I had no earthly idea how to do. 

When I went inside and tried it, the hole was slightly too big, and I knew my vintage mason jar would fall and shatter. Couldn't have that. 

So I took all the relevant little thingies in a ziplock bag to Lowes and asked for help. He was not too accommodating. But finally we managed to figure something out. Grumpy old men. 

I have another story about grumpy old men in big box hardware stores. A week ago I went into Home Depot, and asked if they had chalk or milk paint. The middle-aged guy said: "around the corner on your right." He was helping customers. 

I came back and said, "No, that's chalkboard paint." 

He thought he was pretty funny. "Oh, that silly stuff Pinterest made," he laughed. "Don't have it."

The other customers asked him what it was, and he was more than glad to guffaw about that stupid Pinterest. Furthermore, Pinterest did not make this paint.

I was incensed, because I love Pinterest. And I knew GOOD AND WELL that Home Depot had a vested interest in Pinterest (hm, accidentally made a rhyme) just like many businesses these days. 

So I went to the front and asked if they knew what Pinterest was. No one did. I have news for you, Home Depot and Lowes, explain to your employees what Pinterest is. Because we all know you're using that huge site to sell your wares. And it doesn't seem quite right that no one knows what it is and the ones that do make fun of it.

Did they know what the paint was I was referring to? No. Geez, people. I KNOW you get many bloggers coming into your stores, many DIYers, and they will be asking you such questions and you don't want to be uninformed. 

So I have yet to use any of this paint you guys are so excited about.

Back to my light...

I'm sort of a klutz. So the fact that I got the jars all washed, though they don't look it from all the "vintage scratches," and up there without breaking anything is almost a miracle in itself. 

I did have one glitch. A light bulb broke off inside one of the thingies. Luckily my SIL was coming by to take down the MODERN ugly mirror that I also hated, and that was heavy and literally falling out of the bathroom wall. And he managed to get the rest of the broken bulb out so I could continue with my light project. Thanks, Jeremy! You're the best!

You couldn't tell in the first photo of this colander, but there are kitchen cut out words all around it. Which is why I chose it to be a candle holder. 

And I know you're probably halfway wondering: "Why does she have two tables in there?"

First, I took one from another room and there was nowhere else to put it. And when faced with such a dilemma, I look for ways to make it work for me. I have plans for this little dining room with two tables. And there is something in one of the photos that is a clue... That's all I'm saying. Let's hope I can pull it off.

Country Sampler photo shoot day...12 days and counting. Gotta go!

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  1. I will get on my rant - if the big box stores paid their employees decent wages then they might get more interested in the products they sell and actually be able to help you. We have a little hardware store that has been around for ever and you can go into the store and use words like "thingamabobby" and "doohickey" and they will figure out what you are talking about. At the big box stores, you are lucky if you find a person who works at the store. We recently had a bad experience at Lowe's, but the woman in customer service got us laughing and turned it around. Steve e-mailed them and told them they needed to give Maria Tejeda a raise because she was great with customers.

    1. Point taken. Guess I didn't think of that. But rudeness is not necessary. But I understand what you're saying and I agree.

  2. I really like those mason jar lights. I think I may have to have one soon. I also want to do a galvanized light as well out of those funnel things. Love your blog! Thanks for inspiring me.

  3. OH boy, you have so impressed me. I'm not into doing things electrically either. And I can relate to your gas experience, had that happen once too. The gas stove just decided to blow itself out one day, and it sent my BF sailing! Very scary experience, as you well know. Oh Brenda, wish I could have been a mouse in the store when you went trooping up to the front of the store to ask them about Pinterest. I'm not good at guessing, so will have to wait and see what else you have in store for us in those pictures! Love your lights.

  4. They look wonderful go girl! So excited about your upcoming photo shoot, congrats!!!

  5. Love your mason jar lights! Xx

  6. Great looking lights, Brenda! I admire your resourcefulness! I have had similar experiences with help at Lowes/Home Depot. Seems some of us do this newfangled thing called the internet. Exciting about your magazine shoot!

  7. Hi..I am guessing you are gonna put a Christmas tree display on the table by the window...would be a perfect spot for it!! Love the mason Jar lights! You so totally rock Brenda...will you be featured ina Christmas issue or a January issue? Happy Sunday Brenda! xoxo Carol

  8. Brenda....your lights look great and I have had some dumb "fire starting" moments when I was young, too. Live and learn, right?

  9. I love your new lights, Brenda...perfect in the room! That gas stove experience sounds really scary...

  10. Oh, they are awesome! I love this look and have wanted to try it myself. I confess that I will need help doing it. That's why I haven't already! LOL!

  11. I love the jar lights, Brenda! Great addition!

  12. Brenda,

    You are so brave! Kudos to you for playing with all that wiring and electrical stuff; looks fabulous! Yes, it certainly is frustrating dealing with salespeople who are supposed to be there to help! The right attitude is so important, isn't it? It makes all the difference.

    PS: I'm trying to figure out what you have in store for those tables and I cannot imagine what it might be!!

  13. Well.I LOVE your lights! I am with you- I don't like screwing around with electric at all! UGH. Hmmm...I am thinking that the hint MIGHT be the Bistro sign? xo Diana

  14. ps-Forgot to say- that was awful about that gas stove. We were so young and naive at one time, weren't we?

  15. I am going with Carol on the Christmas tree idea for the second table, Brenda. Congrats on scoring the magazine deal! I am excited for you! I can only imagine the tension in your house during these 12 days leading to the photo shoot but you will have everything ready by then; I have no doubt.
    Remember to stop and take three deep breaths when you get flustered! (That is what my Mom always told me).
    In case ano light bulb breaks and there is just a little nub left in the socket, BE SURE the light switch is in the down position, put tape over it if someone else is with you, and cut a raw potato in half and wedge it into the rest of the light bulb and you will be able to turn it to get it out. How did your SIL get that one out?

  16. They look so great! Oh bigbox stores just are not friendly nor helpful at times!

  17. I'm so sorry you had such a bad Home Depot experience! Ours is so fantastic. I worked at the ad agency for HD years ago and still have friends on the account, maybe I'll send them your post. I'm sure the PR people would be interested to hear this. And would you believe that even my mom, who has worked at Haverty's, Bassett, and now an independent furniture store in Naples FL, has never heard of chalk paint either? She said the same thing, "oh you mean chalkboard paint." Makes me realize how worldly we are here in blogland, heehee! Love love love the lights, you rocked that project! Everything looks beautiful at your house.
    xo, Andrea
    p.s. it's a disaster over here, ugh. Need to get up on the right side of the bed tomorrow.

  18. The mason jar lights look awesome! Great job! I am no electrician and this would have intimidated me but you did an awesome job adding the mason jars. Beautiful!

  19. Love your new light. You did a great job. Now, to the guessing, I guess.............wait, that's not fair because I already know. LOL


  20. I love your new lights! did you make them??

  21. Kudos to you for giving the electrical a try, and coming out on top. The lights look perfect!

    I'm not a huge fan of HD here in NY, although the stores in CT and Mass. are far better. I have a cabinet door that I need to replace and I brought it to HD on Wednesday. The associate couldn't seem to be bothered to look up how much a replacement door would be, so he jotted down the info and said he would call me later that day. Of course, he didn't. I called the next day and learned he lost the info. He wanted to know if he could call me back on Sunday as he was in a hurry to leave. Too much!

    I'm curious about the tables!

  22. Yes! Big happy YES to you saying what probably most of us might think also if we walked into a DIY store and they had no idea about this kind of stuff. Dorky old man is what I would be thinking, get with it! Now you need to write to the head offices of both of those stores, and let them know what you said here. If they are anything like their commercials, and caring about their customers they will educate their staff.

    The street doesn't just go one way, if they are benefiting from Pinterest, then their staff should know what'sgoing on. Good for you to say something, anything, people need to speak up, and stores need feedback. Sometimes it takes writing or calling the head office to make the change, but it works.

    Love the lights, you did a great job!


  23. Kudos to you, Brenda, for tackling the lighting job all by yourself!! I've experienced the same "attitude" from the older male employees at our local Lowe's. I've learned to search for a young employee to help me out. They are much more pleasant and willing to help.

  24. Brenda, I'm so proud of you for tackling the light project. Good for you! I think I've figured out your dining room secret, but my lips are sealed!

  25. Great job, Brenda! I wouldn't be brave enough to try something like that, but I love the results.

    As for chalk paint or milk paint, you'll probably have to go to a dealer. If you Google CeCe Caldwell chalk paints, or the other name brand, you can find store locations for your area. Too bad those grumpy old men weren't in the know.

  26. I bought Milk Paint years ago at Walmart, in their craft isle. You would probably find it at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. As for calling Pinterest names, these people don't know squat, I love that site too and anyone who is a sales person in a store should be more helpful and spend less time trying to be cute. Cute is for babies. Maybe the manager would have been more helpful, after all the customer is the one who has the green in their pockets, and it can either be left at the cash register or walk right out the door to be spent at the next place.
    Susanne :)

  27. I forgot to mention I had a ordeal with a Lowes salesman, I told him I wanted a storm door for my French door and he told me they didn't make them, well I knew they did because we had one years ago for a sliding patio door. He called the door company and they told him they "do" make them. Yeah, this dumb woman wasn't so stupid after all, I'm sure he was thinking that when I insisted I was right.
    Susanne :)

  28. Muy buenas imágenes, un abrazo desde Murcia

  29. oh my goodness the gas stove story!

    And then your funny guy at the store ..though I do not think these people make commission or anything so there is no major incentive.

    These lights look wonderful! And I can't figure out the clue...the only thing that jumps out at me is the bistro sign so I'll have to wait! :)

  30. Precious, precious, precious! Love those lights, and they work so well with your room. The gas stove story was terrifying.... What a close call! Funny, though, that the only thing that happened were eyebrows singed. It was a much easier way to learn the lesson of how to use one. I've had gas stoves that already had a pilot light in them... probably would end up just like you if I had to light the thing every time. The chalk paint incident - grrr! My feathers get ruffled nearly every time I go to Home Depot, for some reason. One of my readers shared their recipe for homemade chalk paint, and I think I'm going to try it! You just take regular Latex Paint in the color of your choice (1 cup), 2 1/2 Tbsp of Plaster of Paris, and 1 1/2 Tbsp of cool water... It will change the consistency to match chalk paint. I haven't tried it, but I've seen several of the lady's furniture pieces, and they are gorgeous. Seems like it would be much cheaper to be homemade, too! Enjoy fluffing your house for the photo shoot! Can't wait to see what you do with that extra table - I know it'll be wonderful!!

  31. Those look great! Good luck with the shoot, Brenda!

    That story about the gas stove was terrifying. I have always been scared of gas. We grew up with gas stoves and those gas wrought iron space heaters. So hearing it blew you across the room makes me shiver. Glad all was okay with you and the baby.

    I can't believe they would make fun of PINTEREST and chalk paint. You should have stepped up and told the people it is the rage and that if Lowe's doesn't have it, other people online do and to google for it. That would have wiped the smirk off his face!



  32. The lights look great and I wish I had the nerve to do a project like that. I also share your frustration on some employees at the big box stores. Congrats on the photo shoot!!

  33. I'm going to guess that you are going to turn your room into a bistro. I love it and cant wait to see what you do!

  34. I was at a Diary Queen having a snow cone when I was about 8 years old. The Diary Queen was next to a little motel. While standing there eating my snow cone the office of the motel blew up! I was only about 30 yards away from it. I watched as debris went flying up in the air. Several people were killed. The blast broke windows all around the neighborhood. It was a gas explosion. Thankfully, the blast went in another direction away from the Diary Queen where myself and several other children were outside. Needless to say, it makes me nervous and I have never had it in any place I have lived in since then.

  35. You are a brave gal! I love, love your new mason jar lights!!

  36. Love the lights..what a great idea...nice look

  37. Hi Brenda, Your new light globes are gorgeous!! I love them and it suits your cottage to a T! I could not see more than one table in your photos, so I'm at a loss as to what you have up your proverbial sleeve. But I'm can be confident of one thing, you will show us why it is!
    It's hard to believe that anybody does not know what Pinterest is! But, if they don't know, they probably should not be laughing at it!!!

  38. ahhh, I am liking your new light fixture...the jars are really cute there.
    Chalk paint isn't sold in most of the well known big stores...some specialty stores sell it...and the internet.
    Daughter bought some small jars at our yearly fair...we haven't used it yet, tho. :)

  39. Very cute! The other day I was in HD getting the paint for our bathroom, and lo and behold, right in there on the very front the paint counter was this cute little mini-chest, kind of like a piece of doll furniture. It was painted very close to ASCP Antibes (bright green) with dark wax all over it. There was a poster board with hand written instructions on how to make chalk paint! It instructed you to mix some plaster of paris in water and stir into some latex paint, then sand and wax, using the dark wax for antiquing. No mention of Pinterest!

  40. I love your lights. Can you use low voltage lights. You are brave. Good thing that you now know better about gas. Jeez, how did we ever survive. I did something similar with gasoline.

  41. Love your new old lights! I do think the problem is how little those jobs pay...but I'm paid even less and I'm always helpful. I give great customer service and people come to our store looking for me. But I'm good because I'm interested in what I am selling...most people that work with me are not interested and don't want to learn about anything around them and they don't want to work either...they get paid the same as perhaps it is I that is the fool rather than them.

    Sometimes I wonder why I put out so much effort when those that put out none are paid the same...but then...I couldn't be any other way. Still I'm convinced they'd see higher profits if they paid more and were more picky about who they hired. I believe they'd see higher profits that would easily make up for the increase in wages.

  42. I love what you did with your light fixtures! So great. They match your décor perfectly.

  43. Hi Brenda! One of your newest followers, here! I love the stories that your wrap up into your posts…storytelling is such an art…one that is not truly appreciated in the world of abbreviated tweets and such! Anyway, your new "vintage" lights are beautiful! Congrats on a job well done…oh, and I totally caught our apartment kitchen on fire when my girlfriends and I moved off campus in college. I was trying to make crab rangoon…w/o a deep fryer! Who knew oil ignited above a certain temp???!!! NOTE to SELF…Fireman are reaaaallllly cute…marry one in the future. And I did. :) Hugs.

  44. I haven't found guys at Lowes or Home Depot to be particularly grumpy with my stupid questions...but I do know that my IQ drops about 80 points when I walk into either one of those stores.

  45. Wow that looks great Brenda! Now I'm going to have to try to make one myself. It completes the look in that room for sure!

  46. Wow I can not believe I missed this post! I am soooo wanting to do this but I just have to work it all out as to how with the place I want it to go. :-) Thanks for sharing.


I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!


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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She majored in professional writing/journalism in college, where she won awards for her feature writing. She loves to decorate, garden, enjoy nature, read and spend time with her Yorkies.


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