LIGHTING AND CANDLES
As I sit here, on a very dismal wet Saturday afternoon I am reminded of just how important lighting is to all of us - especially in the northern hemisphere where in winter months it gets dark so early.
Sometimes here in the UK it can feel like we get up in the dark, spend our day time at work and then when it's time to go home it's already dark again! I hate the feeling that I've just not seen the light of day!
(If you're anything like me, you come home, put on your PJs and by 8pm you're longing for the cosiness of bed!!!)
Of course, there is nothing better to create a cosy atmosphere than some mood lighting.
At the moment I have on a selection of battery operated lights which don't just give a soft illumination but also give peaceful, calm feeling to my living room.
There are a plethora of lighting options these days, from candles to battery operated lights and amazing lightbulbs so you can create the perfect atmosphere in your home.
So here are some of my favourite ways of using lighting in creative ways. I hope you find them interesting and inspirational.
Edison Antique Style Lightbulbs
I have yet to buy myself some of these but I really love the look of these antique style bulbs. They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes.
I've seen them available in all kinds of places including Amazon and eBay.
I'm going to buy some for the tree branch light fixture I'm planning on making - you might recall I mentioned this in an earlier blog post.
I just love the way you can hang them and enjoy the beautiful blown glass shapes without the need for a lampshade.
My tree branch light fixture brings me on to my other lighting obsession.....
Copper Wire Twinkle Lights
I first came across these in Wilkinson's last Christmas. What I love about the copper wire is that it blends really nicely into the background unlike a lot of twinkle lights that have thick white plastic coated wires which don't really do it for me. And the fact that the copper is bendable makes it ideal to bend into the shape required.
I looked for them on the Wilko website recently and couldn't find them so they are obviously a seasonal product. They are now on the website so it might be a good idea to pick up extra now whilst they are available.
I haven't actually bought any from Amazon yet so obviously I can't speak for their quality, they're just examples for you to check out.
I love to wrap them around plants, weave them in and out of objects, on my bookshelves for example, and wind them around tree branches.
I've also seen these amazing indoor/outdoor curtains of twinkle lights online that I'm very tempted buy....they would look great strung up on the wall behind a bed or perhaps covering a living room wall.
Candles and T-Lights
The fact that there is such a wealth of gorgeous candles out there really shows how important good lighting (and scent) are to us.
I particularly like the Yankee Candle range which has a lot of fresh scented ones - I'm not too keen on candles that smell of baking/fruit/nuts etc so I'm always looking for new ones with fresh, natural scents.
One problem I had with jar candles was they would melt down the middle of the candle but the sides would not melt at all which is so wasteful.
A top tip I read about this was to ensure the wax melts across the entire surface of the candle before you blow it out.
It often takes several hours for this to happen and it's not always practical to have a candle burning all day (if you're going out for example). For this reason I usually buy the jar candles with more than one wick as these melt all the way across the surface in less time.
I never thought I would say this but I absolutely love battery operated candles and t-lights!!
'Real' candles are obviously my preference but depending on where you want to put them they aren't always a suitable choice.
Which is where the battery operated kind come in to their own.
The kind that are made from real wax are the most natural looking ones I find and grouped together they make a really effective display.
There are plenty of ways you can display your candles and t-lights but here are a couple of ideas for you to think about -
Containers you could use to hold candles -
* Jam Jars - the possibilities are endless, from painting them to covering them with beautiful decorated papers/fabrics or filling them with interesting objects.
We made these vibrant Moroccan style lanterns in one of my Saturday workshops. They were simple to make using jewel coloured glass paints and gold puffy paints and are really fun to do.
You could add either a t-light or pillar candle and they cast a really beautiful light.
* Candle Glass Jars - for example, the Yankee Candle ones I mention above. I really love re-using these for all kinds of purposes as they are a beautiful shape and have a good lid seal.
Here I have used one to hold some stones and a t-light candle. A plain pillar candle would look better but I don't have any to hand.
You could also use gravel or sand in place of the stones, or even something from your store cupboard such as dried lentils, rice or corn!
If you were using battery operated candles or t-lights you would be able to add items that would be flammable if you were using a real candle - dried flowers for example.
* Tin Cans - these look fab when painted and decorated. All you need to do once decorated is punch holes in the can with a hammer and nail to create a beautiful lantern that's cost you pretty much nothing! Here's the link to a tutorial so you can check out it out.
So I hope you have found these fun ideas useful so you can start getting your home cosy and ready for winter?!
I've set up a folder on my Pinterest account of more inspiring lighting ideas so feel free to have a look.
And please share your ideas and makes either here on the blog or on the Instagram page.