Category Archives: Lampshades

Happy New Year!

I know it’s a little late, but Happy New Year! Sorry for being so quite over the last month or so….. things got rather sketchy towards the end of last year and I’m just going to come right out and say it….. it ended on an all time low and a bipolar diagnosis. I am heading out the other side now and its all being managed with the right medication, some common sense, and a huge amount of support from the Worcestershire NHS Mental Health Team who are fantastic, along with a huge amount of support from my friends.

So, there you go – that’s why I have been a bit quiet.

I’m slowly getting back into work and have so many great plans for this year. I am signing up to do the monthly market at The Fold in Bransford, fourth Sunday of every month 10am until 2pm – come down and say hello! I have also just finished my first lampshade of the year….. do you like? I’ve gone with a Valentines theme… not a huge fan of the day myself, but if you are, and would like to order a lampshade like this, please do get in touch.

heart shade 1 heart shade 2 heart shade 3 heart shade 4


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Bird & Leaf Lampshade

You may have seen the beginnings of this lampshade on Facebook last week – I am pleased to say it was finished on Friday, and had an outing to a fair on Saturday! Here is the story….

OK, so, first off, I made a start on some paper cutting for a series of Christmas cards. I have to say, I should have perhaps put away the other project I was working on first as I seem to have muddled up in my head which design I was working on and I was thinking about Buddleia when I should have been thinking about baubles, and for some random reason my brain desided to override both, but sticking with the latter B, and so I cut a little birdie, which was rather sweet. And it got me thinking about a design that has been at the back of my mind, slowly taking shape, for a few weeks now. My thoughts had been for a lampshade with birds and grass and so on, thought it would be nice and summery. And I had a piece of yellow fabric in mind for it.

So, whilst I was looking for some green card for the cutting, I came across a papercut I did ages ago, just a sort of foliage type pattern – here is a picture of it….

Does it look familiar? Well if you follow me on twitter (@mrsmcindoe) then you may have spotted that it is my wallpaper. And if you look closely at this blog, you will see there is a grey version of it as my background (is it wallpaper or background? Not really sure!)

And so, I thought I could use that style/pattern/whatever along with the birds, and then perhaps some vines or something to link them together.

So these pictures show the early stages of the design. You might have already seen this over on my Facebook page (mrsmcindoe).

As you can see, I don’t drawer it out first. From the feedback I get from people, this often comes as a surprise – how can you cut without a pattern or a line to follow, how do you know where to cut. Well, look at it this way – the knife is my pen…. or pencil….. when you drawer a picture, you don’t have a line or pattern there already for you to follow (or maybe you do, but in my book that’s cheating!) Anyhoo – I do sometimes think, maybe I should draw a bit out – and so this time, I tried drawing in a bit of the trailing vines…….nope…..didn;t work….I just got all confused and nearly made a  big mistake! So totally freehand it is from now on! I suppose I should add (because if I don;t I will feel like I have mislead you) that the original bird I cut out I used to line up where I wanted the birds on the lampshades, andso I did use a template in some way – but I did’t cut strictly round it! Honest! I am not sure why this is so important to me, but it really is!

And so here it is….the finished shade. What do you think? I am rather pleased!

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As I mentioned, the shade had its first public airing at The Guildhall in Worcester on Saturday. A friend was having a shoe sample sale there (hundreds of amazing Italian and Spanish shoes), and in return for help with setting up and packing away, she let me have a little side-show of my shades and other work. Gottta love working with other local small businesses! By they way, if you want to go onto the mailing list for the next shoe sale (once a quarter at The Guildhall) let me know and I will pass your details on.

Anyway, the lampshade – it had lots of admiring glances, and one lady who has gone home to measure her lamp base and see if it will fit!

Overall I am very happy with the design. I didn’t manage to get any grass in there as originally planned, but I did fit in vines – win some, lose some I guess! The only slight problem is that the green of the cutting does not really show through. I did realise it probably wouldn’t when I started as the paper is quite thick, but I carried on regardless – hey, who likes perfect anyway!


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War on Lampshades

War on lampshades – the title says it all really, well, kinda. This is the first in s a new series, the tile of which is ‘camouflage’.

I have had this idea rolling around inside my skull for some time now. Then a few weeks ago I got an itchy scalpel finger and did the cutting. The major problem then was finding some camouflage material. You have no idea how hard it is to find! I went to my usual fabric lady, who did have some but it was the wrong weight, far too heavy, and the light just would not come through. I tried several other fabric shops, but nobody had anything. Then I hit upon my grand plan – try the outdoors shops and see if I could find a cheap ground sheet or cagoule that I could cut up. You wouldn’t believe how many of these shops Worcester has on offer (think I went to about 6) but nothing anywhere. Then one drizzly June day I was driving up to the printers and spotted an army surplus store – I had never noticed it before. All sorts of camouflage!!! Most of it was too heavy, but I did manage to find some murky green knitty-netty type stuff plus a tarpaulin and a large t-shirt in camouflage. And so I was in business. Luckily the t-shirt was just the right size for the papercut. And here you have it – the first in the series…. check out the slide show at the bottom (sorry, I couldn’t work out how to put two slide shows on the same post!)

And there is a second shade in the series already. I found some lovely snuggly lightweight furry fabric and thought it would be fun to use. I spent ages thinking about the right word for this  camouflage lampshade. I wanted something fun, something fitting, and something not to……well…., the ones I thought of and discounted were ‘love to love you baby’ but the writing had to be big enough for it not to get blocked by the pattern so it wouldn’t work. Then I thought of ‘sexy beast’ and ‘wild thing’ but they were too brash for my personal taste (but I might do them at some point!) I hope I have managed to strike the right balance between cute and saucy by going for ‘Kitten’. I’ll let you be the judge…..

One last thing before you look at the pictures, I am thinking of some kind of competition for the ‘camouflage kitten’ lampshade, so if you ar interested in winning it, watch out for more blog posts over the next couple of weeks!

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Lampshades as Wedding Presents

Seems to be a popular choice, at least for some, fortunately! Would you consider a custom-made lampshade a suitable wedding present? It is certainly unique, and perfect for that enviable couple who already seem to have pretty much everything they could possibly need or want.

I have done a few commissions for weddings now, and I have to say, there is something very special about it, knowing that I am playing in a role in conveying how much love and understand one friend has for another, to commission such a personal item for such a personal occasion. I have to say that it is also rather daunting – I mean, who wants to be stuck with a naff wedding present that they hate and have to display for  years because a good friend gave it to them?! For those of you that are married, you know what I am talking about, right?! Don’t deny it! You know as well as I do that there is something you would like to get rid of but can’t!!!

Anyway, back to lampshades. Below is the most recent wedding lampshade. The couple had written a poem which was at the top of their wedding invite, so that is what I cut. I cut all the letters freehand, which may sound a bit crazy, but I find if I write them out first before cutting they lose some of their natural flow and just don’t look right. I did draw lines fo the text to sit on so that it wouldn’t wonder up or down a the ends. So, here you go….


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Seeing Stars

Stars – all I can see is stars – I seem to have been staring at them for days. It started off with an innocent enough little bit of cutting one evening, and then two days later we have a lovely paper cut and two lampshades – that’s just how it goes sometimes! Well, I had a little time on my hands, waiting for the right sized ring set to turn up to make a commission, and so I was able to play around and cut whatever I felt like, and I have been mostly feeling like stars, so there you have it.

Take a look at the photos – I would be interested to know which you like best – the plain stars one, or the one with the text. The text says ‘star light, star bright, first start I see tonight’ – I remember it from a Madonna song in the 80’s, but I think it is originally early 19th century American (if my googling is correct!). I may do the full verse on a larger lampshade at some point (the end is ‘I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight).

Anyway, here are the pics…

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Wedding Presents & Commissions Part 2


We are now back home after our half of half term break (as in we went away for just half of the holiday). We had a great time away, and it was very relaxing not doing any work – I think it’s the first time that has properly happened since I started out in January. We spent our time visiting great friends and wonderful relatives in south Somerset and North Devon and did a few touristy things at the same time – fish and chips in the car overlooking the sea at Minehead (it was raining) and a steam train trip from Bishops Lydeard to Watchet and back again, stopping of course for the obligatory cream tea!

Anyway, am rambling on about our little holiday when what I really wanted to do was show you some pictures of these lampshades I made for the wedding commission. I am pleased as punch to be able to tell you that they were well received – a huge relief for me, as there is always a niggling doubt at the back of my mind, wondering if I did the right thing.

The design brief for the lampshades was that the main form of inspiration should be the wedding invitation, and incorporated into that should be the couples initials (N & N),  and also some reference to trees – he is a tree surgeon. See if you can spot the Ns and the trees – I tired to do it so they would be clear within the design without dominating it. I mocked up several options which I then e-mailed to the two clients and we agreed between the three of us as to the best way forward, modifying the design slightly along the way.

And so here they are – what do you think?




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my new lampshade needs a name!

So yesterday I spent all my snatched moments and then half my evening making a new lampshade. I have been thinking about this new style for a while now, and thought it would be perfect for summer, and as the sun has been out for the last few days, it all seems to have come together nicely.

The problem is that I don;t know what to call it – I am torn between two names, as the inspiration from the design has come from two places.

Firstly, since having children, I seem to spend rather a lot of time blowing bubbles. I usually keep at least one pot of bubbles in the bottom of the pushchair for emergencies, and we have hundreds of pots at home, an dpossibly a few in the car! I have to admit, it will be a rather sad day when the smallest one tells me he is too small big for bubbles. Can you get away with blowing bubbles just for grown-ups?!

The second place of inspiration is a great love of mine – pebbles. The best pebbles are to be found on the big long stretch of beach between Aberdovey and Tywyn. We try to get down there at least twice a year, and I always take a pebble home, much to my husbands dismay! Alternatively, if you are down south, the next best beach is at Littlehampton, by the fab restaurant that looks like a big dog poo (according to small daughter) – the East Beach Cafe – but it does serve the most wonderful food.

And so…. I thought I would leave it up to you to decide if this shade should be called ‘pebbles’ or ‘bubbles’. Take a look and let me know what you think….


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Well, here it is, the helicopter lampshade, finished, and fully approved of by my happy client (client? customer?!).

What do you think? I must say, I am rather pleased with it! It was all a bit tense during one of the stages of assembly, where the plastic backing is attached to the papercut – at this stage, if you get it wrong, you have to start the whole thing again – several hours worth of cutting would have to be started again, from scratch. So yes, pleased that it worked!

In fact, I am so pleased, I may even do another one. Not yet though, I have several other commissions that need finishing first – more news on them another time.

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Latest Commissions

Commissions is what it is all about for me at the moment – I have three lampshade commissions that I am currently working on. One is top-secret, so I can;t tell you about that! But the other two I can.

Firstly, I am preparing a lampshade for a dog lover – now, I had kittens (ha) at the thought of having to cut dogs into a lampshade – I just couldn’t get any inspiration, and every dog I tried to cut looked either really naff or like a 5-year-old had done it. I kept looking at the invitation over and over….nothing. Then it hit me – there was a lovely four line poem at the top of the invitation (nothing to do with dogs!) so I thought maybe ask the client about using the verse. Turns out she thought this was a fantastic idea, and so much cutting later, and here we are…. well on our way…..

Once it is finished, I will post some pictures.

The second commission I have been really excited about as it is for a fantastic lad called Ed, who is a big fan of helicopters. His Mum and I are hoping this will be grown up enough for him to enjoy for many years, as it is suitable for helicopter loving boys of ALL ages!

I am really looking forward to getting this one finished – its such a great project – it always makes it special when you know your work is going to someone who will really appreciate it (at least, I hope he will!).


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Mangojuice Gallery

Mangojuice Gallery have today taken delivery of a range of lampshades made by me! (I still find it a bit odd that I can make lampshades – from scratch!) So if you are in Worcester you can pop in and see them ‘in the flesh’ – so much better than on a computer screen.

The gallery is a great showcase for UK based artists, including several local ones. What I am particularly liking in the gallery at the moment is the work of another Worcester artist, Victoria Waits – she has made some amazing stuff from sea treasure!

Anyway, back to me and my lampshades! These are all now available at Mangojuice Gallery…. and I can breath a massive sigh of relief that my first two lampshade deliveries have been completed without anything getting damaged by the awful rain!


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