I searched on line and at a couple of thrift stores for something to replace it at a price I can afford right now ($25 or less!) but didn't find anything. One morning, while waiting for a friend to get ready so that we could go somewhere, it occurred to me that paint had transformed this simple chandelier once before and maybe it could one more time. Bingo, out came the craft paints and a paint brush and it was quickly painted black. Back from my outing, I remembered something I'd seen on the Internet, an "electric" candle decorated by wrapping old music around it, so I dug out a cookbook I'd accidentally left outdoors with the recipes interestingly hand-printed, and began cutting it up. I wrapped each candle in part of a recipe.
Now the lampshades were too bright white, so I really thinned down some brown craft paint with water and brushed it on for a tea-stain effect. It took two "coats" but did the trick. The crystals didn't look quite right with it now so I did a lot of thinking, went to a local shop specializing in wonderful country French decor items (the Urban Barn) and thought some more. I wound up cutting hearts out of the recipe book and tying one to each arm with a lovely hemp string. While I was buying the hemp string at Michaels, I found a lovely inch-wide tan satin ribbon that could be laced through the weathered brass chain I brought up from the basement. A leftover piece was just the right size for a bow to hang down from the center. I'm very pleased with the finished product, which wound up costing less than $7! Well, then again, I think I'll pick up some thin wooden hearts and apply a recipe to each side because the paper tends to hang askew.
I still have some work to do before the living room and dining room are finished, but the overall look is definitely much closer to what I'm shooting for! Which is a good thing, because I hope to tackle re-painting the kitchen soon - and with my home on the Home Tour this coming Mothers Day, the clock is ticking!