Hannah’s 1960s grape cluster swag light kit & a peek inside her mid century modest house

1960s-swag-light-kit-grape-clustersHannah scored big time on ebay recently with this New Old Stock swag light kit — 42 little glass balls combine to create a dazzling grape cluster light. Just imagine the thrill.  Hannah, who paid $54 for this treasure, writes:
Hi Pam,
I’m sorta excited about you showcasing my grape lamp kit!  My 15 minutes of fame finally rolled around (unless you count that time I was pulled over for being Patty Hearst in the early 70s while she was on the lamb with the SLA)   🙂
graphics and box for grape cluster swag light kit
I also ask Hannah to tell me what’s going on in her house. She says:
hannahs-1950s-houseThis house was a foreclosure.  I originally signed in October 2010.  We didn’t close until April 8, 2011.
Long wait and lived among boxes for many, many months.  All my MCM goodness packed away!  In that time however, I did find my Heywood-Wakefield set, two Lane end tables (mint), and a Lane blanket chest that just happened to match the end tables! Now, I didn’t plan for the living room to turn out ‘tiki’ style.  But it certainly did.  It’s what’s been coming my way at reasonable prices so I’ve been going with that flow.
complete NOS kit to create a vintage grape cluster lampThe kitchen cabinets will be painted out aqua (walls will be something called Pot of Cream), I’m addicted to orange so have to balance that.  We hope to put up some faux aluminum behind the fridge and stove (saw the tiles on Amazon for a great price and equally great reviews).J ust a half wall.  Found some peel and stick ones on Amazon that have great reviews, and people say you can’t tell they’re not real stainless.  Plus, they’re reasonably priced.  They come in copper too, which I’m very fond of, and I’m thinking the copper would warm up the kitchen more, and tie in with the orange living room set, just a tad.


Not much to tell at the moment regarding renovations.  I think I mentioned that my kitchen won’t get painted out until Mr. Wonderful’s busy season is over (painting) and that should be fall or after.  Frammit!  It’s all so monotone now, as the beige color tile we picked is all to close to what the countertop and cabinets currrently are.  The ‘clutter’ of vintage canisters, salt and pepper shakers, crocks, vases, and mod trivets at least give it some color for now.

wood branch for DIY grape cluster swag light kit

I want to change out the kitchen countertop also, but we’re not even ‘going there’ yet!  I’ve been googling retro formica countertops for a year now, and seems the patterns are limited to boomerang or the marble effect.  I’d really like to find one with the gold (or silver?) flecks instead.  Haven’t run across any such animal thus far.
1950s yellow tile bathroomThe bathroom is still a WIP.  The flooring in there was really, REALLY bad fake wood vinyl peel & stick tiles.  That’s been torn up and replaced with black carpet.  Since the tile surround is original to the house (yellow) I couldn’t figure out anything but a black/yellow combo as that was popular back then.  The original tiles are in great condition in the tub, but someone tried to add a half wall of a different color yellow with speckles and that looks awful and some of those tiles are broken.  Those are coming OFF.  We do eventually want to tile the floor, and I wish to GAWD that I lived near that World of Tile you posted about !  OMG!  I’d go nuts. Oh, off topic – ever since I read on your site that you won’t allow pictures with open toilets “bad feng shui” – lol – I keep mine closed.  Tried to anyway, but that statement hit home for some reason.
vintage grape light kit
My love of MCM is a very sentimental one.  My Mom, Dad and brother have all passed in the last 14 years, and I found myself being drawn to it when I’d see things at swap meets, flea markets or on random eBay searches.  Wow!  WE had that!  Surrounding myself with MCM reminds me of better days, younger days, good times, the parents cocktail parties….
I just wish there were more of it available in Maine.  There’s a dealer in Rockland, ME – who’s got a whole warehouse of furniture, but most of his prices are outrageous.
Anyway, thanks for asking!
Thank you, Hannah, you have a lovely house and surely are doing your memories proud. A few thoughts: (1) Even if wiring is intact on NOS or vintage lighting, I am told the professionals always rewire it. Do the right thing – get informed, consult with a professional. (2) No, no… No speckled gold laminate countertops available currently. And (3) Good girl, you’re keeping your toilet seat closed! This is one of the things you can do to try and keep your money energy from flowing down the drain. Now I will up the ante: Keep bathroom doors closed, especially if they are en-suite. Mal odors coming into a living area are… mal!
Good luck with your updates/backdates. It sounds like you have some work today but that you are starting from a good base and that you’re taking it all in stride. Send me a pic when you make the grape cluster light and get it in place.  Yowza, that will be rockin’!

  1. Alan says:

    I have been searching the web for one or these. I never did see them in kit form. I grew up in Anaheim Ca. in the 60’s We would shop for craft supplies at Hobby City http://ochistorical.blogspot.com/2010/05/hobby-city-before-after-part-i.html My Mom used to make them by mixing and coloring the resin and pouring it into molds. She would insert a piece of florist wire with a loop twisted in the end into the resin before it set up. The “stem” would be branches we would find on hikes in the mountains. Mom would bake the branches in the oven to dry them out and kill any critters that might be in there. She would pull them out of the oven and brush on clear laquer while they were hot. The result would be a high gloss that would bring out the beauty of the wood. Next, she would break the glass molds, much like you do with hard boiled eggs, and the resin balls would be ready to attach to the stem. Mom drilled a few holes in the wood, and attached the balls using the wires that were inserted in them earlier. Add a chain and a cord and socket, and it was ready to hang. They looked so cool back in the day, but became dated in the years to follow….But now, they seem to be “in” again.

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