Gimme Five! Outdoor solar lights

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selection of 5 outdoor solar lights

We’ve been enjoying sitting in deckchairs in our garden this summer. It gets direct sun until almost 7pm at this time of year. It’s been warm enough to sit out until way after the sun has gone down.

We want to get some pretty yet functional lighting to enhance our garden space and think that we’d be best served by some outdoor solar lights. No fiddly – and not to mention potentially dangerous, given our electrical knowledge  – cables and sockets to contend with. Solar lights are notorious for being a bit dim thanks to the often measly British sunshine. But we don’t mind that, we’re not after floodlights, just a nice, warm glow to give the garden added atmosphere. Here are some we’ve found…

  1. SOLVINDEN solar-powered table lamp: £9, IKEA
  2. Lola LED solar powered outdoor glass jar lantern in blue: £7, B&Q
  3. Solar outdoor string lanterns, multi: £20, John Lewis
  4. Solar post light: £16.99, Crocus
  5. Solar bamboo light: £6.99, Original Organics

Charity Vintage: Philips Christmas lights

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vintage Philips Christmas lights being sold on eBay for Charity in support of Sense

(ends 27 Nov, 2013 20:01:49 GMT)

It’s nearly the festive season so we’ve decided to feature a topical Charity Vintage item. These vintage Christmas lights made by Philips are a rare survivor. Each shade features a different, popular nursery rhyme or fairy tale such as Humpty Dumpty, Cinderella and The Pied Piper. The lights are being sold, with its original box, by and on behalf of Sense*.

*Sense is the UK’s leading organisation for people who are deafblind or have associated disabilities. Our aim is to maximise the profits from items donated to our charity. Funds raised by Sense are used to help the deafblind and their families.

Light show

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collection of vintage industrial lights hanging in a row

A couple of weeks ago Justin bought one of these vintage industrial lights at Todmorden flea market.

collection of vintage industrial lights hanging in a row

As he turned to walk away someone who’d been standing next to him at the stall tapped him on the shoulder. He said that he had quite a collection of similar lamps at home, would he be interested in buying any more?

detailed view of vintage industrial light


pair of vintage industrial lights

He arrived the following week with a cardboard box full of these gorgeous vintage task lights. They’ve got such a great look – industrial & almost sculptural.

collection of vintage industrial lights hanging in a row

They’re well designed, robust and functional – and the grippers mean they’re very flexible with regards to positioning. Perfect in the kitchen, office, craft or sewing area.  Anywhere you need a good, clear task light.

Bookmarks: Illuminate – Contemporary Craft Lighting

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cover of Hannah Nunn's Illuminate: Contemporary Craft Lighting book beside one of her Allium paper cut lamps

Today’s Bookmarks review, of Illuminate – Contemporary Craft Lighting, is the debut publication by someone we’ve blogged about in the past.

dandelion lamp handmade by Hannah Nunn

The book’s author, Hannah Nunn, is a designer/maker – specialising in beautiful & delicate paper-cut lamps.

cylindrical, handmade paper cut lamp by Hannah Nunn

She also owns and runs Radiance – a lighting & craft boutique – in Hebden Bridge where she’s based. All in all, a very busy lady!

glass feather chandelier

Illuminate’s chapters are broken down via materials – paper, glass, ceramics, wood etc…

large, rectangular ceiling light with multi-coloured glass drops in the shapes of leaves

…with sections within those chapters given over to individual designer/makers – a summary of their background & practice accompanied by lush photographs of their creations.

handmade floor lamps and floor-standing wooden cube lamps by Jane Blease

 Creations that are fun, colourful, wacky, delicate, whimsical and works of art – you’ll never make do with a bare bulb ever again!

sewing paper hanging wall lightshade above a vintage wooden chair

It’s lovely to see makers we know personally and admire including people like Manchester-based Jane Blease.

drum lampshades handmade by Helen Rawlinson from her silk-screened designs

And others who we’ve not had the pleasure of meeting in person, but with whose work we’re already familiar, such as Helen Rawlinson and Greypants.

trio of cardboard ceiling lampshades by Greypants

Equally, it’s great to be introduced by this book to talents such as Scabetti, Penelope Batley and Aline Johnson.

long pendant ceiling light with four different coloured glass shades

The lighting showcased represents an international pool of artistry. As well as the UK, makers hail from as far afield as Japan, the USA, New Zealand, Serbia and The Netherlands.

the beginning of the Paper chapter showing organic pottery vases with poppy heads inside next to a paper cut lamp by Hannah Nunn

In all, there are 43 individual lighting designers featured in the book – but owing to space restrictions Hannah has included an additional image gallery of work by other makers that she recommends you seek out.

selection of drum lampshades by House of Chintz on an antique Windsor chair

Perhaps this is a sign that there’s a demand for Illuminate II!

selection of lights

Illuminate is available from Bloomsbury the publishers, Amazon and Hive.

long neck light resembling a huge string of silver beads on a necklace hung over the back of a white chair

[Many thanks to Bloomsbury for the review copy]

Strike a poise!

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Multicoloured collection of vintage Anglepoise lamps | H is for Home

This was an unusual buy at auction last week. A single lot, consisting of 21 vintage Anglepoise (and similar) lamps. We bought them untested – but amazingly all bar one worked perfectly!

White vintage Anglepoise lamp with Kathleen Major print in the background | H is for Home

We put some in our antiques centre pitch this morning….

Orange vintage Finnish lamp | H is for Home

…the others will be finding their way into the H is for Home shop in the coming weeks.

Northern Lights

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Radiance lighting shop on Market Street in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

One of our favourite shops has moved.

strings of colourful bauble fairy lights in the window of Radiance lighting shop on Hebden Bridge

detail of handmade patchwork lampshade available at Radiance lighting shop in Hebden Bridge

Radiance, owned & run by Hannah Nunn re-opened in new premises at the weekend.

people at the 'shop-warming' of the new Radiance lighting shop in Hebden Bridge

We went to the ‘shop-warming’ on Saturday afternoon.

strings of colourful bauble fairy lights in the window of Radiance lighting shop in Hebden Bridge

She’s not moved far… about 200 yards in fact… but whether it’s 200 yards or 200 miles, moving a shop is a big job.

selection of items from various designer/makers available at Radiance lighting shop in Hebden Bridge

The new shop’s a bit closer to Hebden Bridge town centre – next door to Mooch café-bar on Market Street.

Exterior view of Radience lighting shop in Hebden Bridge next door to Mooch cafe

A few stone steps lead up to the enticing shop space – filled with her trademark handmade lighting…

Collection of Hannah Nunn's lamps at the 2009 Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair at Spinningfields, Manchester

…along with a fabulous selection of household goodies by other designer/makers.

collection of hanging lampshades available at Radiance in Hebden Bridge

collection of items by various designer/makers available from Radiance lighting shop in Hebden Bridge

collection of items by various designer/makers available at Radiance lighting shop in Hebden Bridge

To the rear of the shop is an improved workspace for Hannah, with a wood-burning stove for chilly days.  She even has a loo and somewhere to make a cup of tea – something she had to cope without in the last shop!

Blossom Bill homewares available from Radiance in Hebden Bridge

fairy lights wrapped around willow and butterfly decorated pebbles

Detail of a colourful tissue paper bird, one of six along a string of fairy lights

For those of you unfamiliar with Hebden Bridge – and within reach – it’s well worth a visit. It’s one of our next-door neighbours town-wise, about 4 miles from Todmorden. It’s a pretty place, full of small independent shops and cafés – perfect for a day trip.

BLOG UPDATE: For more great pix and info about the new launch check out Hannah’s own blog!