Oma Sue's Blog
Hi – I’m Sue Reyzlik. I recently realized my life-long dream of building a writing hut in the backyard. The writing hut serves as a creative space and home office for Oma Publishing. This blog will be intermingled with family history, varied experiences and insights on being a Grandma (Oma), creating my special backyard space, as well as, my “retirement” career as a self-publisher of children’s stories. And perhaps a little bit on the 32 years I served as Executive Director for Keep Fremont Beautiful and the wonderful people who are sharing this adventure.
I ran an extension cord out of the garage, along the deck and then under the deck, up the trunk of the tree, around a branch and over to the chandelier. I plugged in the string of Christmas lights and TA DA… the chandelier was beautiful!
The chandelier gave off a warm glow with just enough light to keep you from falling over flower pots and other garden obstacles. The light wasn’t so bright as to attract bugs, so guests could sit and visit into the night without bother.
I plugged in the chandelier on special occasions – only when we were planning on sitting on the deck. The chandelier had a rather long and happy life. Eventually the strand of light went dark. Then the task of untangling the lights and beads began. I have to admit that making the chandelier was more fun than taking it apart.
Since that first chandelier, I have made several more. I have used and re-used the beads from the beaded curtains and lately I have utilized old strands of Christmas beads. I buy the wire hanging baskets, use them one year and then throw away the liner and turn it into a chandelier the next year.
I now have three chandeliers hanging in the trees by the deck in the backyard. I sort of ran out of things to repurpose so I buy glass Christmas bangles, dangles and beaded decorations after Christmas or during the pre-Christmas sales. I have a stash of pretties in my closet that I can pull out when the “New Chandelier” urge strikes.
My niece Darci has admired my chandeliers and has asked me to make her one. I don’t do that! But I did invite her to come over and make one for herself. I found an old wire basket in the garage and retrieved the stash of baubles from the closet.
I’ve been doing this chandelier thing for many years now. Assembling, enjoying, disassembling and repeat. I’m not going to claim I’m an expert at making garden chandeliers… but I have designed a rather clever chandelier work station. The work station isn’t elaborate - just a hook in the ceiling and a hanger.
The hook hangs over the couch in the living room. The wire coat hanger hangs from the hook. The wire basket hangs from the end of the hanger. All of my supplies such as scissors, wire cutters, wire, zip ties, Christmas lights, baubles, bangles, dangles and beads are lined up on the couch.
I can easily reach most parts of the hanging basket. I do keep a little step stool handy for those instances when I need to attach lights, beads or baubles at the very tip top - where the three basket chains meet at the hook.
So anyway, I prepped the chandelier making station, filling it with assorted bling and necessary equipment. When Darci arrived, the basket was hung and awaiting her creativity. I did give her a few directions and showed her how I start. First the beads and lights – then the baubles.
Unfortunately, or fortunately – depending on how you look at it – Darci doesn’t have an outside outlet at her house, so she ordered a strand of solar lights – which she added to the chandelier later. And I must say, when she sent me a picture of the finished product, the lights looked lovely. So – if you don’t have an outside outlet, not to worry – solar lights look fantastic and work great.
Oma Sue loves her chandeliers. Oma loves chandeliers here! Oma loves chandeliers there! Oma loves chandeliers everywhere… in the garden, by the deck, in front of the shed, what the heck! Hanging from the trees, by the back door, under the eaves, even shining through the leaves, Oma Loves Chandeliers if you please… hmmph… must have been having an Oma “Seuss” moment there.
If you have read this far, please don’t throw your old wire basket or beaded curtain away! I will gladly take those items off your hands and reuse them to make another chandelier. You just can’t have enough garden chandeliers!