Saturday, January 22, 2011


Stormy, snowy winter days are a perfect time to make a few changes around the house.   And my changes started out when I decided to give a name to our upstairs kitchen. 

Then I came up with an idea to convert one of my glass insulators into a shade to replace a pendant light that I had grown tired off.  I just had the local glass shop drill a hole in the top, and then Henri masterfully replaced it for me using the same hardware from our previous fixture.  If you would like to do this too, I found out the hard way that only a very small and very low watt bulb (15W) will work.  My use of a larger 40W bulb heated up the glass too much and caused my previously perfect insulator to sprout a sudden small crack, complete with sound effects, right before my eyes!  Fortunately the light switch was handy enough for me to react quickly to stop the damage. So now the fixture has a bit more character on one side than I had planned, and that's okay with me too!

Oh, and here is the reason I named the kitchen Starbird. Our Simon who is 38 years old.  The kitchen is where he spends most of his day. 

I also decided to dress up his cage with some sea shells that I added to some frayed tie-top curtains I made. 

He hangs out on the top of his cage during the day.  The only time he actually goes into his cage is at night.   Also, I did the ceiling in that embossed paper that is supposed to make it look like tin.  I have not yet painted it though.  I may just leave it white. 

Across from his cage he has a friendly tin seahorse to keep him company. 

See his reflection in the porthole mirror right there? 

I also added touches of gold leaf to my previously distressed cabinet doors that I painted black. 

Here's a close up of the gold leaf on a shell embellishment that I found at the hardware store. 

I should also mention that the color of my new light fixture, along with the name I gave the kitchen, might just be a nod to a common navigational sign you may be familiar with.   

In a previous post I confessed a little trick of how I always remember my left from my right, navigational-ly speaking, that is. 

Red for Port.  Green for Starboard {Starbird}.  Just a little visual in case you need help to remember that too! 


Piecefulafternoon said...

Great post - I love the light fixture. Can you get one of those new low heat lights to put in there? But then Henri might have to rewire again. Your kitchen is so clever - so many interesting things in there.

Neat way to remember port and starboard (starbird) - and here I just remembered it by, port is left (both four letters) and starboard is right (both longer words) - I like your way better and I'll never think of starboard again with out thinking of Starbird.

jojo said...

What a clever idea! My hubs collects the insulators and I never thought of making one into a lamp...I love it!
You have been busy my friend, you need to come visit me for awhile! take care...j

Polly said...

Clever Lili! That is a fantastic idea to convert the insulator into a pendant light! The blue of the glass is stunning!

Your bird is 38? Wow!! I don't know much about birds and how long they live. How long have you had him?

All your decorative touches are lovely! I'm glad you have been keeping busy during these cold winter months! Sometimes it's fun to stay in an hibernate a bit!!

Take care,



Anonymous said...

That's a great and beautiful use for the insulator. I have a couple of small ones but will have to see if I can one day find a large one that would be workable. Love it!


Julie said...

I LOVE your kitchen. Your touches and colors are awesome. Love the cabinets and gold accents. Love the porthole round mirror, love the seahorse. It just makes me ENVISION a house in Maine. It fits with where it is resting. Love your little kitchen eating nook with the benches and pillows. reminds me of a cozy booth in a seaside restaurant. I have insulators from my grandmother's farm They are all piled up together in a wire basket. I adore the blue and green colors of them. (have a couple of clears too) The idea of a light fixture in ingenious and "ain't it great!?" to have a man who can do those things for us!!!!?? You gotta love em. Not only are they wonderful supporting and protecting friends in life, they can be VERY handy! Rah!And Simon must be tickled pink to have his wonderful new beachy shell curtain. It's lovely! What a fashionable bird. He is just getting ready to enter mid-life, lol, and he probably was looking for some change... And thank you for the right left visuals. I will be able to remember now! Simon I will think of as your "right-hand man", and thus remind me of starboard.Hugs to you Lili! Have a great ending weekend. **sorry so long. you had so many fantastic things in your post to comment about!!

Lisa T. said...

Your kitchen looks awesome! You should be in a magazine... And wow Simon is 38, have you had him the whole time? Lovely post, thank you...


jennyfreckles said...

How creative you are - the glass light must give off a lovely mysterious green colour when lit.

SprinkleBakes said...

I love your style! You have a wonderful gift for re-purposing unique items...I bet your home is a treasure trove! Thanks for sharing. :)

~ Lisa ~ said...

I had not visited your blog for awhile, today I took some time to visit my favorites. I love your light fixture and may have to borrow that idea. Your bird is beautiful. Will be back to visit again soon.

~ Lisa from Indiana ~

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

I was wondering that too... has Simon been with you guys all his life??!! The gold shells are a wonderful idea!!

Neil and Susan said...

What a great idea for a light! The green is beautiful. I vote for leaving the tin ceiling white. I think Simon is a lucky bird. You are certainly keeping busy during all these storms we are all having. Great post Lili! xo

Country Girl said...

Oh, this is rich! Love this, Lili.

Low Tide High Style said...

Hehe Lili, I love the navigational aide you use! And I love the changes you've made. Simon is such a handsome fellow and he looks pleased with the new changes to his cage. Glad you were on hand when your new light fixture had a hiccup too...who would have thought?!

Kat :)

Lee said...

The kitchen turned out great!! Love the right-left visual aid!!

seanymph said...

I could never remember which was which when we went sailing. Finally I realized........four letters in left........four letters in Port. That settled it for me :)

Shellbelle said...

I stopped by via Low Tide High Style and ran across this post. I have two glass insulators that were for the house my great-grandparents built in 1904. The house was destroyed by a tornado in 2002 and found them in the rubble. I just adore them and use them as paperweights or put them in the kitchen window. NOW thanks to you, I know just what I want to do with them.

Thanks for such a great idea!

vicki said...

Oh Lili - how have Imissed all these wonderful posts - I need to get out of the yarn room more!!

I love your kitchen - the new touches are fabulous - that Simon has such a nice Mommy and Daddy to give him such a comfy and beautiful place to live!

Love the name Starbird - and love all the extra special touches you give to your home!