a weakness for lighting....

When I picked up this lamp at the thrift shop the first thing I noticed was that it didn't have a switch.  Even knowing that I bought it anyway because I can't get enough goose neck lamps like this in my sewing space.  When I plugged it in I was pleasantly surprised to find it had a touch activated dimmer, in essence the entire lamp is a switch.  Nice, I remember when that was a more popular feature.  It's not perfectly suited for sewing since I tend to touch it while moving fabric through the machine, oh well.  I'll use it anyway!

As you can see I use supplemental lighting at all my machines.  I've found that the CFL spot bulbs are the best because you can knock them over and they don't burn out.  They also don't get as hot so you're less likely to burn the back of your hand as you sew.  Yes I know...  there are special little LED lights made for this purpose.  I think those are great, just a lot more expensive when you consider I want four or five.

Feeling impulsive I also picked up a new plate.  The size plus my favorite colors made it irresistible.  I'm also partial to this speckled look for some reason.
On the free side of life:
Trash service here where I live in Massachusetts is an intriguing business.  Other areas I've lived have the standard trash plus recycle cans, you put those out and that's what they pick up. 
You're only allowed to put "bulk" trash items out a few times a year.  Well it seems here they'll pick up whatever they find on the curb come trash day.  Furniture, sofas, mattresses, tube tvs, it's all good to go.  In Alabama I tried to throw away a few 2x4s that stuck out the top of the can and they refused to take the trash for the week.  Go figure.  

To my delight what this trash system creates is a weekly scavenge hunt!  Or if you prefer a citywide collection of little ongoing yard sales where everything is free.
I was on my way home from work on Friday and scanning the curbs saw this great and ugly little table.  I pulled right over and snatched it up.  There was also a dish rack and some other household items that I left for the next taker.  I've been looking for a lamp table to replace the tv tray style table I had this freecycle lamp on and this fit my needs perfectly.  The paint is horrific, there's a cigarette burn in the top but it's strong enough to dance on and the ugly button tin seems to belong underneath it since they both have flower motifs.
Besides the happiness scavenging brings me, something that is disturbing is the sheer volume of junk this place produces.  I have a feeling if they were a little more restrictive about picking up these larger items people would be more inclined to find other homes for their large "trash".  However I'm not the only one who plays the game which gives me a little hope.  On Sunday evenings (trash day is Monday for my area) guys drive up and down the streets on more organized scavenging expeditions.  Today while riding my bike back from the grocery store I saw a love seat being transported upside down ON TOP of a Prius.  A strange sight to be sure.  I also saw an old lady loading up a dining set into her sedan.

Bringing this posting full circle I have a strange discovery.  I was looking for a light bulb to put in my new lamp..... and in borrowing one from the overhead fixtures in this house I'm renting I came across these oddities.  I'd say it was a fluke but it turns out I have a LOT of these.  I'm sure someone will have a very logical explanation for this but I have never seen bulbs with such oddball wattages.  Have you?  

11 comments :: a weakness for lighting....

  1. When I lived in Sydney, my house had a back lane where the garbage trucks came. I used to have this theory that everything in the back lane was recyclable. I scavenged from the back lane and if I had something I didn't want, I returned it to the back lane. Items placed in the back lane rarely lasted overnight. It was a system that worked well. I scavenged some items of furniture and building materials like windows and doors that were either used in renovation or are still in my house some 15 years later. You've gathered some lovely items already. The great thing about doing it this way is that you end up with things you would never otherwise have had. I scavenged a small chest of drawers painted a flat, drab gray. My intention was to give it a quick sand, paint it black gloss and put some funky silver handles on and use it in my sewing room. When I started to work on in the paint just lifted off, revealing a gorgeous soft honey wood underneath. It turned out to be solid hoop pine (a lovely native Australian tree with pale blonde wood). It now is my bedside chest, has been lovingly stripped and waxed and boasts a set of interesting 60's knobs that I happened to have leftover from something else and set it off perfectly. Your little table adds an interesting element to what is proving to be a quirky and eclectic living space.

  2. Isn't scavenging fun! The best thing about Mass. is that the rules are: anything put out on the sidewalk for trash pick-up is considered abandoned property and is therefore free for the taking! There are slightly different rules about what's in the recycling bin, however.

    Just yesterday, I suggested to a tenant who was moving, that he put his no-longer-loved, 3-foot-high beer bottle light on the sidewalk. This building is on a busy street. You guessed it - this light was gone within 20 minutes. No need to post on Craigs List if you live on a busy street.

    No ideas on the light bulbs, though. Very odd wattage indeed.

  3. Such a timely post. I had to quit sewing when the sun started setting. I seriously need better lighting in my little flat!

  4. Brian I am like you when it comes to lighting. I use two OTT lights that I absolutely love. I want more! I'm not much on scavenging. You've seen my car...not enough room. The looks I get when going into the Goodwill or Salvation Army are sometimes too funny. I'm sure they wonder why am I driving a Cadillac and shopping at thrift stores. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that the money I save allows me to try the Caddy! LOL

  5. Often I find higher quality items when I don't buy new. A combination of materials that withstood the test of time and less mass produced times of the past.

    I think the stigma of shopping the "charity shops" has changed a lot over the years. Although I still meet people all the time who have yet to catch on. That's fine, less competition for the rest of us!

  6. If you think Sunday nights are good, wait until May when all the college students move out of their apartments and dorms....you'll get all sorts of stuff for free. There are so many colleges and universities in the Boston area that you can drive all around greater Boston (Arlington, Somerville, Medford, Allston, Cambridge, Watertown, etc) and just pick stuff up every few hundred yards the day after graduation (and I mean YAHDS, not yards with an "R").

    Welcome to Massachusetts. I think the Boston area is unique place to live. I was down there on Saturday to meet some friends for a bike ride, we were riding from Arlington and ended up going out through Lexington and Concord and saw some Revolutionary war reenactments in Lexington center. That is like a completely normal activity on a weekend in this area - "let's go dress up like British red coats and colonialists and shoot some muskets!".

    The other thing that I love about New England is that because we have this shit-ass winters, when we finally have the first "nice" day, everyone goes outside and either starts exercising (walk/jog/run/bike) or starts doing yardwork. It's like we've all been in hibernation for 6 months and we suddenly become groundhogs and all come out of our holes when the sun shines and temps go above 50. It's weekends like this past one that make me appreciate living here and putting up with the winter. Although, I have to warn you - we had an extremely mild winter this year. Rarely do we go this long without snow.

  7. It really was a beautiful weekend, I must have ridden my bike 20 miles total between Friday and Sunday. Sunday was the best, EVERYONE was outside in the streets. I liked it a lot.

  8. Good deal on the scavenging hunting. Hope you find some more "treasures" in the future. BTW, nice line-up of sewing machines:)

  9. You know, you can buy those little on/off switches @ the big box home centers. You know the kind I mean? Those switches that you roll the little wheel that turns the lamp on/off? My husband put one on a little bitty light that I keep on the counter in the *guest/hallway* bathroom.


  10. Oh Darn! Also, a very good light source for a sewing room is a track light. You can buy those (too!) @ the big box home improvement stores. I think they come with 3 or 4 little lights & you can buy additional lights that snap into the track. My husband (he's REALLY handy) wired it to an extension cord that I keep plugged into a surge protector/light strip (that way when I turn off the power strip all lights / iron / are off) Screwed it to the wall above my rioning & cutting board. You can direct the lights WHEREEVER you need them most.

    My primary sewing area is in a "bonus room" and I only have one wall I can put anything on. Darn it!


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