Category Archives: lighting

Eco-Thrifty Lamp

When I first decided to blog about our wedding I titled my blog Eco-Thrifty Bride. Lately I’ve been despairing about why it is so hard to find products, services, and vendors that can accomplish both. Just like “wedding”; “eco”, “organic”, and “green” are words that, once mentioned, throw up a red flag that signals a substantial price increase is impending, whether it is warranted or not. These price increases stem from a classist, elitist sentiment that “eco” products are desired by and produced for the wealthy. An assumption that self-perpetuates when such products are priced at a premium, thus denying a vast segment of the population access to products and services that healthy for both people and planet.

Well let me tell you a secret hive. You don’t have to be rich to be green. You just need to be a little creative.

Case in point: lighting for our venue.

What I was after was unique and beautiful lighting option. I found Eco (at a cost of $379 NZD) and Thrifty (made of plastic and shipped many miles).

Eco v. Thrifty

And then I thought to myself. “Veggie. You have a lot of time. You know creative people. Let’s see what you can come up with”. And I gathered some amigos and got to work.

I looked at a picture of the David Truebridge design I most admired and made a template for one of the pieces. The trickiest part of this was knowing how big to make it. I guessed 16cm, about 6 inches. Why? I dont know. It just seemed to look pretty good. The next trickiest part was knowing how many to cut. We thought it looked like it was made up of two halves, each comprised of one central flower, surrounded by five other flowers. After careful deliberation we decided on 60, 12 flowers of 5 petals each.

Teresa looks happy, but really she is grinning in the sheer agony of the hand cramps that ensue after cutting 30 flower petals out of corrugated cardboard.

It was a lot of tracing and a lot of cutting. Which brings me to another point. The Truebridge lamps are made of wood, but not possessing the skills to cut wood, nor an eco-friendly supply, we chose to work with a slightly more availble and maleable material, cardboard.

Dang. That was a lot of cutting. I hope 60 was enough.

After we had cut all of our pieces, we assembled them into 12 flowers, and sat and looked at the picture again.

Juan is an engineer. Even he was confused. Mr. Veggie is laughing because we got him to say “cinco”. Don’t know why that’s funny? Ask a friend from Spain to tell you the rhyme they say when someone says “cinco”.

We persisted and eventually the globe started to take shape.

Here we are celebrating the realization that 60 was in fact enough petals, and we don’t have to cut any more. Mr. Veggie is not as excited as we were. He obviously was not involved in the cutting of the petals.

And then we were done.

Hooray! Que Guay!

Here is our final product in action:
From CFL to OMG.

I love how our prototype turned out. There are a few things that I might do differently in the next edition, but overall this project was a win! Total cost was $10 NZD for a package of brads (those gold little attachment thingies) and about 3 hours of our time. Eco thrifty success.

You may have gone too far if…

…after searching the internet for hours for pictures that sum up how you want your tables and lighting to look, you decide that none can accurately express your vision and you sit down with your trusty MS Word and create something like this:

Umm, yeah. I’ve clearly fallen over the edge of the bridal abyss. Time to come back to reality.

(On the other hand. I’m getting really excited about how the tables will look. Grey things= mason jars from FMIL Veggie’s barn. Blue things= vintage bottles that my sisters and I dug up in our backyard when we were little. Cylinders= Canned Veggies. Globes= Home made lanterns. Strung lights= Cafe lights if I can miraculously find them for free, or christmas lights.)

When did you know you had gone too far?

Questions Answered. Questions Formed.

Mamma Veggie came through big time this week. You see, we are about 4 months (yikes! 3 months) away from wedding day and I still hadn’t seen actual pictures of the inside of our venue. There are numerous reasons for this. Because of the whole double booking debacle, we were in a bit of a rush to book a new venue. Which meant booking based on website pics only. Granted this picture is gorgeous, but it leaves a lot to the imagination… namely the entire interior.

I’ve been asking for interior pics, but the camp director’s wife just had a baby and so he’s been a little out of the loop lately. Which is totally understandable. Oh yeah, and then there’s the fact that we are planning from approximately 8 billion miles away and so there’s no way that we could actually go visit the venue ourselves.

I was starting to freak out a little.

How could I plan lighting like this without knowing what ugly fluorescent monsters we might be dealing with?

How do I know how many poufs I need to make to make this dream come true, without knowing what the ceiling is like?

But, true to form, Mamma Veggie pulled through. Thanks to her driving what I am guessing was about 2 hours out of her way on a recent trip, I now can put to rest some of the nightmares running through my head.

Here is the interior of the dining hall.
Looks great! Dinner on one floor and dancing on the other. I think my DIY lampshade idea will work perfectly with their existing globe lights and my poufs might just work along the slanted roof of the lower level. Ugly Chairs. Hmph.

But wait. What’s this? Pics of our rainy-day ceremony backup location, the Play House.

Photos by Mamma Veggie.

And some new questions have emerged. The biggest of all being, “Can I let a beautiful room like this go to waste, or should we move our reception here?”. Of course it would be easier to have it in the dining hall where there is a kitchen, and tables, and chairs, and cutlery… and a parking lot. But its just so pretty. It makes me think of my original idea of having our reception in a barn.

Convenience or beauty? I’m torn.

I Love Lamp

I have been in love with this lampshade ever since it enticed me to enter my favorite store when we moved to Raglan about 2 years ago. It has been sitting there in the window teasing me ever since.


But wait, it has cousin. A beautiful cousin. A cousin that I must have.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can… do these myself. Or something like them. I’m thinking cardboard instead of wood veneer would make these beauties a bit more affordable, easy, and recycled.

I certainly don’t want to take away any business from the amazingly talented kiwi who created these masterpieces, so please, someone who can afford one of these, buy one, or several. I’m sure they are much prettier and better constructed than my cardboard counterparts will be.

I’ll keep you updated.