My lampshade design skills are jealous of my love affair with the atmosphere…

Author Archives: kimmartucci

TURN YOUR PICTURES, POSTCARDS, VACATION MEMORIES, COMPANY LOGO, VINTAGE EPHEMERA INTO CUSTOM LAMPSHADES! THIS LINK WILL TAKE YOU TO MY SHOP:-)

WWW.WEATHERKIM.COM

 

Do you have a stack of family photos lying around that you would love to look at more often but you’re tired of the photo books, or worse yet, the stack of dusty pictures piling up on the corner of your desk? There is a GREAT solution for that! Have them turned into a truly custom drum style lampshade!


ORPHAN QUILT BLOCKS

Repurposing materials to create something else is not only “green” but nourishes my creative soul. So, whenever I make a lampshade, it brings a smile to my face when I can take a vintage textile, long forgotten about, and turn it into a stylish lighting accent in a home.

Whenever I come across orphan quilt blocks at antique shows, it makes me a little sad. As a quilter, I know the loving work that goes into each block. I often think about the woman who made them and what her life must have been like. Why didn’t she ever complete her quilt? Many of the blocks I find are often from the 1930s and are hand sewn. They are truly beautiful, and when you think about the time when they were created, when fabric was so expensive (not that it is all that cheap today), it makes each quilt block that I find even that much more special.

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Here are the orphan quilt blocks that I found at the Brimfield Antique Show. They are from the Double Wedding Ring pattern. They are all hand sewn with vintage fabrics.

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Here is the lampshade that I created from those orphan quilt blocks. This shade has pastel tones during the day, but when illuminated, the colors become saturated. I love how it’s like having 2 different lampshades depending on the time of day.

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When these pieced quilt block shades are illuminated, they remind me of stained glass windows. Look how vibrant the colors become when lit 🙂

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The side view looks like a door.

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Here is the back of the shade.

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A birds eye view of the shade. The inside clip that attaches to the light bulb is a “torpedo” style clip for those light bulbs that are pointy shaped.

You’ll find a selection of handmade lamp shades created from both vintage textiles and modern fabrics in my Etsy Shop. I am happy to work with your fabric stash for a truly one-of-a-kind lampshade for you. Get in touch Kim@WeatherKim.com


COUPON CODE TIME!

I have been busy, making by hand, one-of-a-kind lamp shades to stock up my inventory for holiday shopping. I thought I would make it easy for you to get an early start in your shopping by offering a 20% off coupon code which is valid all October long. Just use the code SAVE20 in my Etsy shop!

Save money on handmade lampshades lamp shades light shades

Use this code to save 20% off all my handmade lampshades in my Etsy Shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/WeatherKim?ref=hdr_shop_menu

 

Vintage mid century textiles for handmade lampshade design

My vintage textiles security guard!

A WORD ABOUT MY LAMPSHADE PRICING

I make two kinds of lampshades, all by hand. The first kind are “hard backed shades”. Here is an example of one of my hard backed shades. These shades tend to be square, rectangular and may or may not have a flared base. They have “styrene” as a main component to them. Styrene is the hard material to which the fabric is adhered and no lining fabric is necessary in a “hard backed shade.” They do take time to create, however, they are not as time consuming as “soft backed shades”.

Soft backed shades are the second kind of shades that I make, and you can see one here. These shades are just that – soft. They do not have styrene in them (the stiff stuff in some shades). These kinds of shades are great in that there is no limit in the kind of wire frame you can use – curvy or straight. Because of this, however, I cannot use the stiff styrene in a curvy shade and have to hand sew not only the fabric onto the wire frame, but the lining too. Bottom line? It is a very TIME CONSUMING process and why my soft backed shades are considerably more expensive than my styrene shades. Soft backed shades take up to 10 – 18 hours longer for me to make. That said, they are truly one-of-a-kind and a work of art.

My favorite part of lamp shade design is sourcing vintage textiles. This summer, I went up to the Brimfield Antiques Fair in Brimfield, MA. I got turned onto Brimfield when I used to forecast the weather for Fox25 News in Boston.

Kim Martucci WFXT FOX Boston Weather Forecaster meteorologist

Here’s a look at my WFXT Fox25 News forecasting days…keep it moving!

Boy was I sad when I relocated out of Mass! But this summer was an absolute joy heading back to Brimfield. I love the selection of vintage textiles in the rows and rows of booths that line the fields of historic route 20. Here are some of the pics from my Brimfield July 2016 trip – from textiles to furniture – to church pews!

Vintage Seedsacks seed sacks seedsack seed sack

I found one booth that had nothing but vintage seed sacks!

Industrial metal storage drawers found at Brimfield

A vintage metal industrial storage cabinet with drawers. Imagine all the uses!

Vintage European Grain Sacks Grainsacks 19th century

Vintage european grain sacks hold up so well over time. Their unique texture tells a unique story when turned into lampshades.

Industrial muffin tins at the Brimfield Antiques Show

I’m no baker, that’s for sure. But, my mind immediately turns to all the crafty uses for these industrial muffin tins. What a unique way to store your beads if you’re a jewelry maker.

Antique Vintage church pew

Take me to church!

Vintage Singer Featherweight Sewing maching centennial model

Vintage Centennial Singer Featherweight Sewing machine. These are not only beautiful, but even today, my friends use the heck out of them in their sewing projects.

Vintage Wood and Glass paned door at the Brimfield Antiques Show

Gorgage vintage wood and glass paned door at the Brimfield Antiques show.

Sometimes it is just SO DIFFICULT to stay focused when I am on a textile sourcing trip! I want to come home with all the furniture! But, somehow, I get it together and blow all my cash on textiles and vintage lighting. Then the real fun begins when I get home – making the shades 🙂 Below are some of the different style shades I create, from the more modern “drum shades”, to the vintage feedsack shades. The best kind are when I mix vintage and modern textiles. Please drop me a comment and tell me what kind of styles YOU like best. I would love to hear from you 🙂

Vintage up cycled tablecloth lampshade

I took a vintage red and cream embroidered tablecloth and up cycled it to create this beautiful lampshade.

Pink and white lampshade with victorian style fringe

This is a vintage style frame with modern Cotton + Steel fabric. I am seriously crushing on pink and white right now.

Handmade Pink and white tigers lampshade

Any little girl’s room or baby nursery would love this petite pink and white lampshade featuring tigers.

Modern drum style nursery lamp shades in pink.

Fabric designer Lizzy House’s fabric adorns these modern drum style shades in pink.

Rifle Paper Co handmade lampshade

The Rifle Paper Company released fabric for the firs time and I gobbled it all up! I love this lampshade – definitely a favorite 🙂


Several years ago, when I had the fabric designing bug, I created a fun fabric and posted it to Spoonflower. If you have never heard of Spoonflower, it is a cool website where creatives can post their digital design files and turn them into fabric, wallpaper or wrapping paper. This is the website, in fact, that I used to produce the fabric I needed for my bridesmaids dresses for my summer 2009 wedding in Bar Harbor Maine (!)

 

WeatherKim Wedding Bridesmaids Dresses Candy Stripes

Here are my affectionately known Bar Harbor “Candy Stripes” Bridesmaids! I created the fabric at Spoonflower and you can even buy it if you want.

Subsequently, I have created other fabric. Sadly, after I had it printed and shipped to me in northern Virginia, I never used it (!) There it sat for years. Finally, while down in Florida visiting my folks, I cut into one of my favorite prints called Pink Grapefruit Puffs. If I could imagine a grapefruit turned into flowers, well, this is the design in my head and brought to life. I enjoyed pairing this fabric with a black, white, and gray check fabric to make my sweet Eden an Antalya dress.

Pink Grapefruit Puffs Fabric by WeatherKim at Spoonflower

Sweet Eden modeling her Antalya dress made with my Pink Grapefruit Puffs fabric produced by Spoonflower.

 

Pink Grapefruit Puffs fabric by Kim Martucci on Spoonflower

Here’s the back dropped waist of the Antalya Dress in my Pink Grapefruit Puffs fabric.

Antalya Dress Button Loops in Pink Grapefruit Puffs Fabric

The back of the Antalya dress with the button looped closure.

Pink Grapefruit Puffs fabric by WeatherKim Kim Martucci for Spoonflower

The twirl test! The Pink Grapefruit Puffs pass the test.


When I was pregnant with my daughter, Eden, something overwhelming hit me: I NEEDED TO SEW MY BABY GIRL A WARDROBE FULL OF DRESSES! Little girl dresses 🙂 And thus began my obsession. Dress pattern after dress pattern, there I chugged away on my Pfaff. But my favorite pattern to date is the the Tinny Dress Pattern by Straight Grain Patterns. Here is the reason why I love this pattern: TONS OF VERSATILITY!

Tinny Dress Little Girl Dress pattern

Eden strikes a pose with her Teagan White Birch Organics Tinny Dress!

In Kids fashion, it is super important that I stretch my dollar. I really appreciate that this pattern is like getting 2o patterns in one. An, the creator-in-chief over at Straight Grain, has made sure to really pack a ton of options in this dress pattern. For me, right now, Eden is all about the “twirl factor”. I call her my “Twirl Girl” Look at her spin!

My favorite Little Girl Dress Pattern

This flying arrows Cotton + Steel fabric on the circle skirt really is perfect for the twirl – it looks like arrows flying through the air!

This pattern not only offers a skirt that twirls (Circle Skirt) but there are two other skirt options as well. In fact, there are 8 collar options, 2 bow options, 3 sleeve options, and 2 bodice options! And, can we please just talk about what every sewist wants in a pattern? It is being able to print just the size you need. And that is just the way I like it. With any luck, I’ll have Eden twirling for eight more years to go.

 

 

Asymmetric collar Little Girl Dress

Can’t go wrong with an Asymmetric collar on this Picnic Style Tinny Dress!

The Tinny Dress for Easter

Here’s what Eden wore for Easter this year. A Tinny with bunnies and a Tomoka collar.

Have you made a Tinny? What’s your favorite combo? Do you have a little girl dress pattern that you are ga-ga over? Tell me about it! Leave me a comment below. Please follow me on Instagram @WeatherKim to see what I make – would love to connect.


About a week and a half ago, my girlfriend @AmyLouWhoSews (on instagram) asked me to tag along with her to the talented Laura Gunn’s house. Laura’s soon-to-be-released fabric collection called “Vignette” for Michael Miller Fabrics, had arrived and she was busily getting projects sewn up with the fresh stash for promotional uses. So, I grabbed some wire lampshade frames and headed over! Before you knew it, Amy and I were knee-deep in pretty and starting our next challenges using Laura’s array of textiles. It is fascinating to know that all her work starts out as paintings. Here are AmyLouWhoSews and I below in Laura’s living room.

Hanging out in Laura Gunn's living room cutting into her fresh new fabric line called Vignette.

Hanging out in Laura Gunn’s living room cutting into her fresh new fabric line called Vignette.

Once I got home I had my pretty fabrics (“Bouquet Stripe” and “Scattered Posies”) all ready to go and a vintage shade begging to be clothed in them!

They always look so naked when they start off.

They always look so naked when they start off.

Normally I put all the lining fabric on first, but this time I couldn't wait and had to put some of the "headline" fabric on.

Normally I put all the lining fabric on first, but this time I couldn’t wait and had to put some of the “headline” fabric on.

I get the biggest rush seeing my shades lit from behind for the first time. The fabric takes on a whole new dimension.

I get the biggest rush seeing my shades lit from behind for the first time. The fabric takes on a whole new dimension.

As I make the shades I am constantly looking ahead and imagining what kind of trim would work with it.

As I make the shades I am constantly looking ahead and imagining what kind of trim would work with it.

The trim, for me, was rather tough this time. I wanted the fabric to be the star of the show and not look too outline-y. G-Stree Fabrics left me little to pick from and Jo-Anns was closed. It's amazing what you can think of by watching a little Project Runway!

The trim, for me, was rather tough this time. I wanted the fabric to be the star of the show and not look too outline-y. G-Stree Fabrics left me little to pick from and Jo-Anns was closed. It’s amazing what you can think of by watching a little Project Runway! Above is a clearance Infinity Scarf for $4.97.

I fell in love with some blouses at Target. I hated the idea of paying full price for something I was going to cut up. But, I had to have the shirt on the right. Haven't used it yet, though!

I fell in love with some blouses at Target. I hated the idea of paying full price for something I was going to cut up. But, I had to have the shirt on the right. Haven’t used it yet, though!

Originally I wanted to trim it with pompoms. My neighbor let me have what she had, but it was only enough to do the corners. Ultimately, I took them out and went in a different direction.

Originally I wanted to trim it with pompoms. My neighbor let me have what she had, but it was only enough to do the corners. Ultimately, I took them out and went in a different direction.

After another trip to JoAnn's I found this box pleated trim that looked nice with the bottles on the fabric in the crisp white. I also like the "weight" it lends to the base of the shade.

After another trip to JoAnn’s I found this box pleated trim that looked nice with the bottles on the fabric in the crisp white. I also like the “weight” it lends to the base of the shade.

Every maker needs their own label, right?

Every maker needs their own label, right?

Ta-da! Doesn't every lampshade maker drag their dry sink out into the snow with their spring time fabric to do a photo shoot against the snowy landscape???

Ta-da! Doesn’t every lampshade maker drag their dry sink out into the snow with their spring time fabric to do a photo shoot against the snowy landscape???

This shade actually looks great in my daughter, Eden's, room. I ended up trimming out the rest of the shade with a jute-like twine that blends with the green of the fabric. This allows the fabric to be the main show.

This shade actually looks great in my daughter, Eden’s, room. I ended up trimming out the rest of the shade with a jute-like twine that blends with the green of the fabric. This allows the fabric to be the main show.

And here is the AH-mazing Laura Gunn chilling on AmyLouWhoSew's couch with just a few of the projects that were made with her Vignette fabric. She is so nice and encouraging. Just love her!

And here is the AH-mazing Laura Gunn chilling on AmyLouWhoSew’s couch with just a few of the projects that were made with her Vignette fabric. She is so nice and encouraging. Just love her!

What do you think? I can’t seem to stop making these shades. If you want to follow my process, just follow me on Instagram (I’m @WeatherKim). I like to post pics of what I am up to every step of the way (and often ask for advice!)

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Modern Vintage Lampshades by WeatherKim Weather Kim Martucci

WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE THESE LAMPSHADES?

WANT TO SAVE 10% OFF SUPPLIES?

Read on and I’ll tell you how you can WIN A BEGINNER DVD and where to SOURCE THE SUPPLIES.

A little over ten years ago I was trolling the acres of Brimfield, in Massachusetts looking for my usual diamonds in the rough. Think of Brimfield as endless farmland with countless antique estate sale finds, just begging to hop in your car to be taken home. I came across something unusual, though – beautifully hand-sewn lampshades. They weren’t grimy or tattered, but rather over-the-top AH-mazing! I purchased one from the artist selling them and over the following year, commissioned her to make several more for me.

Here’s a look at the shade that got me hooked:

Shade Giveaway 2

Shade Collection

 

I studied them closely and tried making my own. I got the hang of it, but I had a problem: other than stumbling across vintage-style wire frames at garage sales and other “picks” across the northeast, I didn’t know where to source the wire frames. Luckily for me, I came across Mary Maxwell and her website: Victorian Lampshade Supply.

Mary has been sewing truly beautiful victorian style lampshades for 38 years and has mastered her craft. Not only does she offer the wire frames for purchase on her website, she also carries the other materials needed for the lining, seams, fabric, trim, beads, and even the lamp bases themselves! But here is the BEST PART: she has created DVD’s to help you learn how to make these one-of-a-kind shades yourself!

Here are just **some** of the lampshades Mary has made. The frames are available for purchase on her website:

Mary Maxwell's beautiful Victorian Shade Mary Maxwell's beautiful Victorian lampshade

I am a sewer who likes to make garments for my baby girl and the occasional quilt. But LAMPSHADES? I can’t stop! If you come from a quilting background, making lampshades are perfect for BUSTING into all those FAT QUARTERS you’ve been hoarding:-) If you start small (with a boudoir style lamp shade), they really don’t require that much fabric. I **do** recommend always sewing the lining fabric in (as boring as it may get) because if you don’t, you are liable to see the lightbulb outline directly through your outer fabric. The lining truly makes the light more diffuse and stops from having an ugly lightbulb appearing through your darling outer fabric.

Here are some “before” and “after” shots of the shades I made over the last 3 weeks.

Kim Martucci lampshade before

Kim Martucci cotton + steel modern vintage lampshade

Kim Martucci WeatherKim Weather Kim lampshade illuminated

WeatherKim Mini Texas O frame BEFORE

WeatherKim Martucci AFTER boudoir shade using Teagan White and Sarah Watts fabrics

The larger shade took me about 2 weeks to sew together (a few hours each night after the kiddos went to bed and 2 weekend days). The smaller shade took me about 2 days (16 hours.) I would like to point out that this process would probably go a little faster if I wasn’t a stickler for sewing on the trim. As you will see in Mary’s DVD’s (if you get one) she uses glue for that part and it looks like it saves a lot of time 🙂

So, did I provide enough eye candy for you? Are you ready to get started sewing? I HEAR YOU!! Mary is so cool. She has graciously agreed to let readers of my blog save 10% off their purchase in her store now through March 1st 2015. All you have to do at the checkout is leave “WeatherKimShades” in the comments section of the checkout and she’ll apply it to your purchase (this excludes shipping.) I encourage you to check out this link HERE and HERE and consider purchasing one of Mary’s two beginner lampshade KITS & DVD combos. The kit/dvd combo is awesome because she provides everything you need to make the shade featured in that kit for one low price. Below are the 2 kit/beginner dvd combos available:

Flower Tulip Lampshade Kit & Beginner DVD Victorian Beauty Lampshade Kit & Beginner DVD

Additionally, she has a ton of wire frames, lining fabric, trim, seem binding and other materials to help you on your way. All is located in her online shop HERE.

To top it off, Mary has graciously agreed to give one lucky winner a FREE COPY of her beginner DVD🙂 !! Not to worry, though, if you go ahead and purchase the dvd and end up winning it. She said she’ll give the winner copies of her other 2 DVDs featuring advanced techniques should you have already purchased the beginner one 🙂

HOW TO WIN A COPY of “HOW TO MAKE VICTORIAN STYLE LAMPSHADES” dvd:

  • Follow @weatherkim on Instagram (that’s me!)
  • You must follow me on Instagram to win AND you must tag 2 friends on Instagram in the comments section of the picture of my Instagram feed featuring this give away.

That picture looks like this:

WeatherKim Shades Giveaway 

  • Another way you can win is by following @WeatherKim on Instagram AND re-gramming my picture featuring the give-away with the hashtag #WeatherKimShadesGiveaway on your feed. You decide.

I’ll announce the winner on my Instagram feed sometime Monday evening February 9th. Until then, let your fingers do the walking right on over to Mary’s website and bust out that fabric stash – we’ve got some lampshades to make!

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