Friday, October 8, 2010

Owl Lamp: Do You See The Potential?

Up in North Carolina, when we come down from the mountain house, we have to take our garbage to the dump. Or the "recycle center," as we call it.  Some things that are left there, like bottles and cans, do indeed go on to be recycled into other useful objects.  And some things that are left there get recycled into something that lives in my basement.

Owl Lamp

Owl Lamp

A trip down to the recycle center is a happy time because the recycle center is home to the Swap Hut.  The Swap Hut is, yes, a hut, made out of corrugated metal with a big open doorway and a little sign that says, "Swap Hut."  People leave stuff in there, stuff you can take FOR FREE. O Hut of wonders! When we drive through the gates of the recycle center, my eyes sweep greedily over the shadowy doorway of the Swap Hut, looking, perhaps, for some discarded Thonet chairs, a Dansk teak ice bucket, or other premium junk.  Could happen.

(My love for the Swap Hut has become a family joke.  What's not funny is that one time Matt wouldn't let me cram a distressed wicker rocking chair into the back of our van, just because the chair's seat was busted out and it had a lot of spiderwebs on it. I still mourn.)

Now, the owl lamp. What do you think?  Imagine it spray painted ivory satin?  Obviously it needs to be rewired, but I have a kit for it.  And it needs a new shade, maybe a squatty drum shade in white? Or linen colored?

Over at Copy Cat Chic, Reichel just did a post about owl lamps that reminded me of this baby.  It is huge--too big for any of the furniture in our living room--but I was thinking maybe it would go on top of Hank's chest of drawers.  I guess I would mask the eyes when I paint it and leave them orange? OR, I could just clean the lamp off, rewire it, and leave it as is. I like the pretty way their eyes are outlined in black paint, even though the whole thing is somewhat dinged up.  But it reminds me of the Mama Owl and Baby Bill in Owl Babies"I want my mama," said Bill! Love that book.

So do you see potential here?  Or is it all wrong?  Too 2009?  Too 1974?  Or is it so, so right?

And oh, I just remembered!  This owl lamp wasn't even in the Swap Hut.  It was actually in a dumpster.  One of those walk-in dumpsters that people carry big things into.  So I guess it wasn't an according-to-Hoyle swap, but just something someone was throwing away.  Shame!

Lemme know.
I love you,
B

25 comments:

Jenni said...

Like, how big is that bad boy? I think it has potential. I love that you are a dumpster diver.

Amy said...

Jenni, let me tell you, it is BIG. Like, 2 feet tall maybe? Or do I exaggerate, Beck?

Okay, so I have scoffed at the owl. But I will go record saying that I think it could be cute sprayed white. But the eyes are what creep me out. All orange and glowy. Do you think Hank would want it in his room? Eek! Maybe you could put it in the picture window in the dining room, like the Dad in Christmas Story does with the leg lamp. "It's a MAJOR AWARD!"

I can't wait to see what happens with this one! You've found some good stuff at the Swap Hut--remember that big wooden Santa figure?

kylydia said...

The eyes totally creep me out and I'm three states away from it. If I were Hank, I'd have nightmares about those owls being in my room!

Kelly said...

Hahaha...I like it! I can't imagine it spray painted but I think it looks great just like it is.

Michelle said...

The baby owl looks like he could totally shank someone. Those eyes! Mama looks like a sweetie, tho.

Despite Angry Baby Owl, I could see this in a kids room, if you could find the right shade to top it off.

delaine said...

Ya know, it actually looks pretty good as is. With a shade like you pictured it might dress up just fine! I'm thinking on the end table in the sun room where that little pottery lamp is now. It is a "statement piece" and needs to be prominently displayed. Or maybe celadon or pale blue. But it's growing on me to leave it alone. Buy and try the shade first then we'll talk..

Dave said...

If you spray paint them, you change the species!

Common Household Mom said...

This lamp is truly excellent. I agree with kylydia. If you spray paint it ivory and leave the eyes alone it will be even more wonderfully scary than it is now. Put it outside, in a sturdy tree.

Bex said...

I LOVE it! Color me green with envy.

janimal said...

Ooooh, I see lots of potential in these owls. Good eye.

(Just found your blog and I must say, you are awfully cool.)

Keely said...

Not a fan. Spraying it white would greatly improve it's standing in my estimation, but you'd have to include the eyes. They're just too creepy, especially for Hank's room.

thedirtyknitter said...

OH so right!

jillbert said...

I think it's cool, primarily due to the baby owl. Would it be scary to wake up and see that in the middle of the night though?

Meghan said...

I probably watch too much Antiques Road Show, but I'd leave it as it is. Mainly cause I like it that way. Also, I feel like white would just look ghostly and flat. It would also ruin what will undoubtedly be an enormous value in the antiquing world years from now. ;) You can just hear the expert saying "if only the owner had left the original finish!"

Kerry said...

Um at first I was like...Whhhyyy? Then I read your "paint it white with a round linen shade" idea and oh. my. I wish I could look at something and picture something else. That is one of my genie in a bottle wishes truly. But don't leave the eyes (even though you like'em). Should be ALL white and then it will look modern I think! I wanna see the finished result after you decide!

Mrs. Smith said...

I am so coveting this owl lamp! I vote for spray painted and topped with linen shade. Please show us when you are finished. I love the 70's-nish of the owl in general and have quite a collection I bring out in October.

Elizabeth said...

I had an extensive collection of owl figurines collected in the late seventies, at the height of my own personal nerddom and middle school. I even hooked an owl rug and hung it on my wall. So, I say if you don't keep that owl lamp, even the orange eyes, please, please send it to me.

M said...

The hardware store where my teenage son works sells giant plastic owls to plant in your yard to discourage ferocious herbivores and scare the hell out of small neighbor children.

I am going to suggest they market these suckers with cans of white spray paint and lamp wiring kits. Historically, they have not reached out to their sub mat demographic. Clearly this must change.

Mary

gretchen said...

Wow. See, I'm probably not the best person to ask about this. Because I just LOVE it! But I have lots of...mmm...odd things in my home. I have a penchant for "conversation pieces". A friend once described my decorating style as "Parisian fleamarket", which I have chosen to believe. I think you should keep him just the way he is (except for the wiring thing). Actually, it's probably a her, right? Kind of a mother and child thing. Sweet.

Crystal said...

I would definitely paint in ivory, actually love that idea. And a nice drum shade would finish it's look. Per my taste, I would not leave it as is.

Heidibide said...

I have been thinking about this all weekend! I think you must spraypaint white, and then I am going to haunt thrift shops until I find something so-ugly-it's-cute to spraypaint into monochromatic coolness myself.

Kate said...

we left Ashe county today and stopped at the dump/recycling center and saw NO SUCH treasure. Just toothless men sitting around in chairs watching the sights. And boy did I have a lot of wine bottles to recycle!

MommyNamedApril said...

oh, i ADORE THIS!!!

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Hmm. I think if you sprayed it white and gave it new eyes, it just might work.

(And I mourn every piece of lost or forgone wicker, too)

Dee Morton said...

I have one just like it, my Mom had t for years and I got it when she passed away. I would like to have another one to go with the one I have. I left it as it was, I don't have any plans to paint it. But the fact the eyes light up really creeps my granddaughters out.