Saturday, November 24, 2012

Best Lamp Ever

I really don't have much to write about.  I just wanted to show off this lamp I saw at the Goodwill yesterday.
Yes, that is a parrot perched in the middle of a bed of fake plants.  And yes, the entire lamp is made out of white macrame.  What is macrame?  Woven coarse yarn.  A lost 70's crafty art.  A hobby for those with the patience of Job and the dexterity of a concert pianist. You can literally macrame anything.  My grandma proved it.  We had macrame pot holders, plant holders, Christmas decorations, basket covers, dolls...Every Christmas we could count on a macrame'd gift from Grandma.  I seem to remember an owl theme to a lot of the stuff she gave us.  It would probably fun to macrame in the beady eyes.  Who knows. I guess it should really be called MACRO-me.  I am kind of glad it went the way of MICRO-me because the stuff is well, just, flat out TACKY.  (What do I know?!  Maybe you want to revive this "art"? Find out more about macrame here: )

This lamp just arrived at the Goodwill.  The tag said it had only been there a few days.  It stopped me in my tracks with it's garish intricacy and of course, the flowing tropical fauna.  Wow!  Are you kidding me?!  I laughed out loud in astonishment as I stroked the course white weave of the basket with my fingertips.  I wanted to reach inside and pet the bird, but resisted.  There were others around.  In fact, one of the employees looked at me when I was giggling and smiled.  I bet he had seen this reaction quite often from customers.  This lamp was really something to behold.  A relic of the past.  A tribute to the mildly talented and ridiculously patient.  Where WAS this thing before it came here?  Was it actually in someones living room?  Hanging in the front window of Grandma's 1950's ranch house in Pasadena?  Or was it in her son's garage, stuffed in a box and now he had to move it out to make room for the new Harley?  Is that how this family heirloom got here?  Someone actually had the courage to turn in Grandma's macrame masterpiece?  I mean my Mom latch-hooked a Garfield pillow for me when I was ten and I wouldn't dare give that away to the Goodwill.  I don't use it, but still.  I'm afraid that on her deathbed she'll ask me if I still have it and I would hate to have the last words she ever hears from me be: "No, sorry Mom, I donated Garfield."   

I didn't test the lamp to see if it actually lit up.  At first I thought it might just be a plant holder and then I realized, much to my amazement that you could actually TURN THIS THING ON.  I really wish I would have tried to power it up, but it probably needed a bulb anyway, like most lamps at the Goodwill.  How much light would this thing actually give off?  Sure, some light could stream through the macrame leaves at the top, but I imagine you wouldn't want to use a really bright bulb unless your smoke alarms are working. Or maybe you do?  If you could get away with a 75 watter and not set the whole thing aflame you might be able to read beneath, uh, I mean NEXT to it.  Plus, all lit up - WOW, that would really be a conversation piece now wouldn't it?  The conversation beginning of course with the question, "Uh Grandma?  What the heck is that thing?!"   My parents had a similar lamp, about as tall, made from thin, round shells all strung together. They were those transparent shells and they cascaded all the way down the lamp like a fancy dress.  It was definitely a conversation piece.  It hung in their living room between the fireplace and the recliner and when people would come over they could hardly take their eyes off it.  For many years, the lamp bought my Mom extra time to heat the dinner rolls.
This lamp tops my parent's for sure.  You might not be able to tell from the picture, but it is taller than most people.  You could hang this lamp in a castle stairwell and the macrame tassles would tickle people's heads as they walked under it.  Whoever buys this lamp will need a ladder to hang it.  A sturdy one.  This lamp is heavy.  It might be a glorified pile of tangled yarn, but it is fully loaded with a long dangling power cord (wrapped up near the top of the lamp), a large fake plant in full bloom and of course, that darling tropical bird.  Lucky for you, Polly does not want a cracker.  She just wants to be left alone above the plastic flora and fauna.  She wants you to admire her gold crest and beak as she sits, or in this case leans drunkenly on her macrame perch.  Maybe give her a little overhead light now and then. As I moved in yesterday to take a closer look at her, I swear I heard her call out to me from behind the white macrame bars of her cage...
"Help me!" 

I don't remember the price.  $20?  $30? What is a fair price for this much macarme nastalgia?  Is there an official price guide for macrame?  Do you calculate it by the inch?  The color?  The intricacy of the knots?  If there is blood from the knotters finger-tips on it does that make it worth more?  This might be more Vietnam than Victorian era, but this is a rare find.  I don't know if it still at the Goodwill store where I saw it yesterday.  I had to leave it behind.  I was trying to find an ugly Christmas sweater for a holiday party.  No luck. Maybe I could wear this lamp instead?

-H. Horner
Twitter: HopeNote

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