Lampshade Story, Part Deux

Back to the lovely little lampshade shop in Small Town, Vermont, summer of 2001. I bought a lampshade, and I absolutely LOVE it! An antique French fabric with a sweet little bird for a finial.

But if you read part one, you know that it wasn't all about the beautiful fabrics and fabulous lampshades. It was her story that inspired me most. Since I was the only one in the shop that day (imagine that!), I had to ask: "How in the world did you get into this? Did you just love lampshades your whole life?"

Nope. It wasn't about the lampshades at all. It was about her love of flea markets and fabric. She grew up going to flea markets and fell in love with vintage fabrics. And you know how it is when you fall in love with something: you buy it again, and again, and again with no idea what you're going to do with it all!

Sure she made some crafty things over the years with all the crazy amounts of fabric she had collected, but lampshades? Who could have imagined?!?! It was an idea that came about in an unexpected way (a gift from her husband inspired her) and at an unexpected time (after years and years of collecting vintage fabrics). That's what inspiration is: an unexpected gift at an unexpected time!

So why do I share this story above all others at the start of my new blog? Because I walked away that day with a burning question: "What is my lampshade in life?" It took a few years to find the answer, but when I found it, I just KNEW. My business found me just the way lampshades found Judy Lake. A lifelong love coupled with a few God-given gifts equals a business that I love.

So my question for you today: What is your lampshade in life? If you haven't discovered it, what do you love? I'd love to hear from you, so leave a comment!


  1. i am on a seemingly endless search for my lampshade!
    between baking, gardening, drawing, and FOOD...i know i'll find it eventually.
    i would love to own a bakery-slash-garden shop, where i could bake key lime pies and design container gardens full of herbs and flowers and unusual succulents...
    i LOVED this post linsey--thank you!

  2. I'd buy a beautiful container filled with fresh herbs any day...and you know key lime pies are mom mom's favorite!

    I'm glad you were inspired by the lampshade story. What struck me most was that she had NO idea she would become a lampshade lady, but at the right time, all of her passions came together. It's like all of her past loves suddenly made sense.

    One thing to keep in mind: our lampshade doesn't always come to us at a time of our own choosing. Yes, we have to keep pursuing our passions and learn new things related to our passions, but sometimes it doesn't all come together perfectly until later than expected. I actually wanted to start a card business about three years sooner than I actually did, but little did I know, a few more lessons had to come my way before I would be the card designer I wanted to be (a stint in a photography studio, a Photoshop class, finding the lampshade lady and hearing her story).

    Sometimes I found myself asking God, "What did you design me to do for you? When will I use the gifts and passions you've given me?" Eventually, He answered. And you know it's the answer when you do it and find joy even in the hardest parts.

    That's practically a second post! :) Have a great day!

  3. Though I am very familiar with your story and am so grateful to have occasionaly been a part of it, I love "hearing" you tell it. You are a clever, dedicated, disciplined girl, and I couldn't be more proud of you.

  4. Hi Linsey,

    I have goosebumps from reading your lovely description of my shop and business.. Thank you, that was one of the nicest things I have read. Hope you'll be back in Vermont soon.

    I've just had a book released, The Lampshade Lady's Guide to Lighting up Your Life. It was another tale of figuring out how the heck to make a book, but had lots of great help along the road.

    Hopefully we all find our lampshade... when I graduated from art school I had no clue, but it's 23 years later of making lampshades and I still have lots to learn and new creations to be made.
    thanks for blogging about me.
    judy lake

  5. Judy, I am HONORED that you would leave a comment! I should have contacted you right away to let you know of my new blog (I planned to but got a little busy!). Glad you found it!

    It's funny that a card designer in Houston would start out her blog with a lampshade story, but the day I wandered into your shop was truly inspiring. It made me feel like I would one day know what to do with the seemingly "random" gifts God has given me.

    We plan to visit the cabin at Lake St. Catherine this summer, so I will come and find your shop again for sure...and give you a big, Texas-sized hug!

    Congratulations on your new book! I can't wait to see it!


  6. I'm still trying to find my 'lampshade' in life, but thanks to my blog and new bloggy friends like you I'm getting closer and closer, I can just feel it!

  7. Linsey- I cannot believe that you wrote this in 2009 and that it speaks to me today on many levels. Wow the power of blogging!! One....I am a new empty nester and wondering what my next chapter is. Love your lampshade story! I am more determined than ever to figure it out!! Just found your blog today and funny i have no idea the trail of how I found you. Anyway looking forward to following your blog. I wish you much happiness in your new home and good for you for following your heart!

    1. I love that one of my first posts would "speak" to someone even now. Oh, the unexpected beauty of blogging! I'm happy you found your way here and hope you find great joy when you stumble onto your "lampshade" in life!


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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