Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A new lease of life for our old piano!

Our old piano made it to concert pitch today which we are very happy about and have been celebrating by playing some tunes! We've had the piano for years and it's been reasonably in tune with itself but it has never been in tune with anyone else so it's not very sociable! Robert wanted to buy us all a new (in tune) piano for Christmas and yesterday we went on an adventure up to Chris Brown's (piano tuner and restorer) house up in Barkisland, near Ripponden. That was an adventure -over the snowy moors and down a bendy, icy track. I wish I'd had my camera as the view from his house was spectacular and his two rooms stuffed full of pianos was great fun! We couldn't find a piano that was just right for us though and decided to just ask him to tune ours for now while we waited for a one that we liked to come along. We had been told that ours wouldn't reach concert pitch and that it was way too risky but Chris had a go and after two and a half hours or plonking and tweaking he made it without snapping any strings!

He reckoned it hadn't been in tune for perhaps 5o years!

The cats seem to like the new piano stool and have taken ownership!


Hello! Hope you have all had a great Christmas. This lovely 'hello' necklace by Joanna Rutter was one of my favourite Christmas presents this year (thanks Mum and Dad) along with this beautiful pair of silver and resin earrings by Fiona Chapman (thanks Robert). Handmade jewellery is always such a treat especially when you have chatted to the designer/makers and know a little bit about of my favourite things!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Happy Christmas Everyone!

I am just tidying up all the last minute things before the HOLIDAYS begin! Four O'Clock today I'm closing the shop and shutting down the computer and trudging home through the beautiful snow to my cosy house and my lovely family for a well earned REST (and a few of our mince pies)! Ahhhh. I'm so excited!
Publish Post

Thankyou for everything this year-all your lovely comments on the blog and all the sales you have made. It's always appreciated!


Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Happy Birthday Boy!

My boy was fourteen (oh my God FOURTEEN) last week and we got him this rather cool laser lamp. His little room looks amazing!

What a mess!

Away with the beautiful inspirational shots of the artists workshop! THIS is the truth!.... right down to the old banana skin. Oh dear! This is the culmination of an extremely busy period of making hundreds of lamps for Christmas orders AND trying to do it in a teeny weeny studio which doubles up as a storeroom for Radiance! I have managed here for four years. It's been challenging at times but I've got by. It's been cosy, affordable, attached to a BEAUTIFUL shop space and with a lovely landlord and lady who look after me well! BUT lately it has been getting on top of me.

This year has been amazing! The launch of the Radiance mailorder website has been fantastic and it is growing everyday. The discovery of the wondrous Etsy has had me happily sending out parcels across the globe (and receiving a few nice ones too). The 'aha' moment of making personalised fairy lights for weddings has brought a lot of business and some good press my way, and being on the wedding gift list and the Winter catalogue at NotOnTheHighStreet has been fantastic! But all this busy-ness has made it difficult to manage working in a small space and be able to comfortably fit in someone to help me out. My business has grown and it is officially time to make some kind of MOVE!

There are a couple of interesting places that have come up in the last few weeks which I have been thinking about. So on top of managing this busy Christmas period I have been being kept awake by these new and exciting possibilities. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. 2010 could see some exciting changes!!!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Happy Lights

At Radiance I am surrounded by lots of beautiful lights everyday and I can't bring them all home because our flat is too little! But I did have to bring home a set of the new lanterns that I got in last week because they are delightful. We needed something on the walls around our kitchen table and these are just right. Very colouful and pretty. They won't be coming down again after Christmas. They are definitely for all year round!

Sorry I've not been blogging much. I've been flat out making lamps in the Hannah Nunn lamp factory! Every day I feel like Santa Claus going down to the post office with bags of parcels. Theres going to be quite a few lamps under Christmas trees dotted around the world and that makes me VERY happy! :) Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Bernards Spectacular Puddings

Ever now and then Bernard (my friend, neighbour and shop landlord) brings me one of his wonderful desserts to sample. He has been catering for a special event over the weekend and you can just tell he's enjoyed himself can't you. Such pride in his puddings! Today he brought me one of the ones with the cherries on top! Lucky me. It was delicious!...i like the look of his little orange jellies too.

It was a welcome break from me being squeezed in my currently chaotic workshop endlessly wrapping parcels...which I think I have actually done all day! I don't mind -I'm not complaining. Every order I recieve with thankfulness...could just do with a bit more space for sorting them all packed up!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Troublesome Poppers

I have been having a bit of trouble with the poppers that secure the cylinders of my lamps in place. They have been popping out of their own accord. I've been using these poppers for SEVEN years and they've never done this before. They occaisionally pop off in the post but they are mostly secure. When one of them popped off in my face the other day it was the final straw. I contacted my supplier who agreed that they looked and felt different than usual and didn't feel as robust. He contacted the manufacturer who said they had started making them differently but had had complaints from other people too so they were going back to their old way.

Why change what works eh?

Anyway if anyone who has bought a lamp over the last few weeks has ANY problems with popping poppers please let me know straight away and I'll replace them when the new ones arrive.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Winter Wedding Lights

I have just made some fairy lights for 'Jeremy & Catherines' winter wedding. They asked for mistletoe on their dated light and it looks really sweet!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Feeling Better

I'm feeling much better today after my busyness rant yesterday. I got an early start and have had a very productive morning so far. I've been many lamps ready to send to a Christmas Open House in Brighton which I take part in each year. (It's 15 Chanctonbury Road, Hove if anyone can make it).

Calder High was closed today due to flood risk (although now it's not even raining) so Ffion is sitting in the workshop keeping me company and making felt orchids for Christmas presents. She bought a tutorial from Alison Boxwell at who makes beautiful things, like the one shown in the picture. You can buy them from her ready made or buy her tutorial and have a go yourself. We've bought all the bits and we'll see how it goes....

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Missing You

I'm having a really busy time. Probably busier than ever before. I am really happy about this. My businesses are working and all my hard work is paying off and that is very satisfying indeed. I feel somewhat challenged though and I'm running to keep up every day. I miss the simple things like being here and blogging and taking pretty pictures to share. I'm on full capacity with a brain full of things that need my attention and despite my mindmaps and to do lists I'm forgetting to do things that I've said I'll do and I don't like that! It's not like me. My studio is chaotic and feeling too small. It kind of doubles up as Radiance storage and with all the extra stock for Christmas I feel squeezed and somedays like I'm drowning in cardboard and I spend my days moving things around just so that I can work.

Perhaps I need extra help...but where would I fit someone else? Perhaps I need to delegate some jobs...but which ones? There are so many things to think about...and I feel rather too busy to think about much!

It's all growth I know. Robert keeps me posotive. He said the other day that it's just something else I need to apply my creativity to. That was nice as he made me remember that I am creative and I would find a way.....he made me see things in a brighter light.

So if my blog is quiet that's why, that's what's going on. Oooh feel much better now for sharing...


Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Late Night Shopping In Hebden Bridge

The flyers and posters have just arrived for Hebden Bridges late night shopping. Shops will be open until 8pm on the 26th November and the 3rd and 10th of December. On the first night the Christmas lights will be switched on and there will be a handmade lantern parade leaving from the square at 5.30. It's lovely at Radiance when it's dark outside. It really is the best time to visit the shop!

If you fancy taking part in the parade there will be lantern making workshops at the Hebden Bridge Methodist Church (near The Coop) on Sunday 22nd Nov 2-4pm, Monday 23rd November 3.45-6pm and Tuesday 24th November 3.45-6.

Look, the flyers have even got room for s special Hebden Bridge Christmas shopping list....

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A lamp in it's new home

Alice from Simply The Nest just let me know that she has blogged about my work after buying an allium lamp at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair at the weekend. It is such a gorgeous write up and such a visual treat that i wanted to share it with you. She took some lovely pictures of the lamp in situ. I hardly ever get to see where my little creations end up so it's lovely when this happens! It's has obviously gone to a beautiful home!

Monday, 26 October 2009

News from the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

I've had a really fantastic time at the show. I have sold lots of lamps and worked hard to promote my work and Radiance which I suppose is the ultimate aim but I have also met up with old exhibitor friends, made new ones and had a lovely, lovely time! It was really nice to know that lots of people looked at my picture of the shop with recognition or with excitement and the promise of paying us a visit! It also met so many people I have been chatting to via blogs and Twitter over the last year and it was really nice to put faces to names.

This year my stand was opposite Linzi Ramsden, a ceramic artist based at The Manchester Craft Centre. She is also inspired by plants and flowers and actually grows her own flowers which she used to create the textures in her ceramic panels. They are lovely and so was she. She was a good stand neighbour and kept us entertained.

This year the show was situated in a large marquee in the centre of Spinningfields, Manchesters new and swanky business quarter off Deansgate. They had an awesome banner. It was huge! Last year the show was at Manchester Grammar School which perhaps a little more quirky but it was nice to be in the centre of town and the venue was more condensed which had it's benefits.

Despite driving rain and high winds it was very busy most of the time and people seemed to be enjoying all the lovely work which I have to say was outstanding and very inspiring. Although I didn't have much time to spend going round get round I did take some time to have a look and take some pictures.

Being me, I always notice the lighting and I loved Jane Blease's new work (shown above)- lampshades, brooches and some lovely framed pieces. There will be some coming to Radiance soon!

Another lighting artist at the show was Jenny Bland with her beautiful lamps and shades made from spun embroidery thread. (hopefully also coming to Radiance soon)

There were some lovely displays and quirky ideas. I liked these hands on Lynsey Walters stand displaying her colourful felt rings.

Kate O'Connells serving platters based on shards of broken pottery caught my eye.

It's always nice to catch up with the lovely Debbie Bryan and was good to hear that her new shop in Nottinghams Lace Market is doing well. She gave me one of her beautiful resin buttons which I have happily sewn on my cardy!

I always like Yungi's cosy textile stand too and catch up with Mr Yungi himself (Bryan Young) We were stand neighbours at b.c.t.f afew years ago. We always have a giggle.

...well I have run out of photos but I feel like I have barely scratched the surface There were SO many talented makers (144 to be precise) making so many utterly beautiful things. It's an honour to have been a part of it.

There are more reviews with great pictures over at Moregeous and over at HisforHome.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Last day before the Show

Just though I'd say a quick hello as I'm going to be busy at the GNCCF over the next few days. My stand furniture and stock is in a huge pile in my workshop and tomorrow we will load it up and go and set up in Manchester.

Wanted to say thanks to Kate Feld from the Creative Tourist website who has written a piece about the show to tempt you!

I'm looking forward to meeting many people I've been chatting and Tweeting to over the last few months but have never seen in real life. It will be nice to put some real faces to these names.

Hope to see you there but if not I'll be writing about it here next week! Bye for now.x

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Wedding date lantern

I thought it would be nice if the last lantern on a string of named wedding lights had the couples wedding date on. We tried it out and it looks quite sweet.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

What a busy week!

I think this has been the busiest week yet. I seem not to have sat down all week. It's all good though. Laura, on a work experience placement has been amazing (despite being full of cold and coughing and sneezing all week bless her) and it makes me wonder how I ever cope on my own for most of the week.

We have got a lot done together. We've made loads of lamps for the show and gift wrapped them them all. Yesterday the Not On The High Street winter catalogue came out with my personalised fairy lights in and I've had orders for seven sets already which I'm pretty gobsmacked about.

So it's been fairy light making central!

It's been nice to have a couple of glasses of wine this evening and chill out a bit....and tomorrow, no work...except fitting our kitchen floor. The new sink is in place and now time for the lovely floor. That'll make a nice change...

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Great Northern Contempoarary Craft Fair Approaches

It's only two weeks until set up day for the GNCCF now so I'm working hard making stock and preparing my stand. It's all go go go! I have Laura Garrow (remember me blogging about her a few weeks back) on a work placement with me which is wonderful and I think we'll be able to do a lot between us. She looks very happy to be here and keeps beaming from ear to ear!

Mr & Mrs

I have just made these lights for Mr & Mrs Armsby. I havent done a 'Mr & Mrs' before as people usually write their first names. I like these, they're sweet. Look out for my fairy lights in the November issue of Perfect Wedding magazine which is out now. I'm yet to go and buy a copy. Looking forward to seeing them there.

Friday, 2 October 2009


I just had a marvellous few days visiting my friend Amy in Denmark. We realised that it was our 20 year anniversary as we met in September 1989 when we started at Dewsbury College of Art and Design. I was only 16! Amy is a textile artist with a fascination for bats and has made me a very special personalised Bat Box for Radiance. I thought it would go and collect it and see Amy's beautiful home and studio in the Danish countryside.

Sofus accompanied us for a walk in the cold crisp morning sunshine.

Otis enjoyed his cuddles.

Amys workshop is full of inspiring and interesting work. Cupboards full of fabric and trimmings and shelves of her bat boxes. It has a lovely view across their lake and they have deer running throught the garden. She is currently working on her website and I'll alert you to it as soon as it's done so you can have a closer look at everything. Here i am with my Bat Box. It has a lamp and an illuminated wall panel, a cosy chair, pictures of my family and cats on the walls and a shelf full of books. I'm going to put more pictures on the Radiance blog later on....

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Something a little bit different

The other day I was inspired by an Etsy Treasury made by a great papercutting artist called Mr Yen. The treasury list has expired now so I can't show you, but he had made a beautiful collection of objects, cards, prints and papercutting on a 'Typography' theme. I had a flash of inspiration and saw this design in my head which I immediately sent off to my laser cutting man to cut. It came today. I like it....maybe the start of something new.

I have put it in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sunday afternoon walk in Hebden Bridge

Me and Ffion went for an afternoon stroll because it was a gorgeous sunny day and she wanted to take some pictures. We found a path that we had never taken before which gave us a new view of the town. This is our old house and my old studio building.

I liked seeing all the canal boats all in a colourful row at the bottom of the valley. You wouldn't think that there is a road running right next to them. It's nicely covered by trees.

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