Good Morning Girlfriends . . . the first thing I do at 4 am when I get up is turn on a light and get the tea-water boiling… it’s my favorite time of day, the house is quiet, no cars are on the roads, the world is all my own for a little while. Just the scuff of slippers on the floor. (And perhaps a little MUSICA . . .)

After the water’s on, I go from room to room, from the kitchen to my studio, clicking on lamps as I go . . . and this morning, when I did, I was reminded of how much I love lighting; how cozy it can be.  How it instantly warms everything up and brings a sense of home and safety.  And I thought, what a perfect time of year it is to talk about it.

Because lighting can add to the ambience of your house, and with these shorter, colder, and darker days ahead, making a house warm and bright is part of

I’ve never been one for overhead lighting.  I know it’s modern, and can come in quite handy when you really want to see, but I’m a lamp person from way back! I love the shadows they cast. Not that it’s my way or the highway, not at all, I think if you LOVE something, it becomes imbued with that, and can be wonderful even if it’s overhead lighting; just depends on how you use it.

But here’s my other side of the coin, light like this . . . Plus, btw, I have always thought that dressing rooms in clothing stores do not understand the importance of lighting!  Nothing like trying on a bathing suit, or anything really, under flourescent lighting (tinged pale blue).  Very unkind.

I mentioned this before . . .  in my Girlfriend’s Book . . . but they still don’t listen! 🙂

 But since I’m in charge at this house, I get to have it the way I like . . .  I know you understand that I had to have this lamp for my Peter Rabbit room!

I’ve collected lamps for years, I have no idea where any of them came from; sometimes I find them as is, but most often I find a base, then, a shade, and do a little  mix and match.

Glass shades can sometimes be a little too bright, so I starched and ironed monogrammed (got lucky with the initial!) vintage luncheon napkins and popped them over two matching guest room lamps to diffuse the lamplight on either side of the bed.

There’s a woman on the island named Ayn Chase …. she makes the most beautiful lampshades, this is one of them.  Lowely and I took a lesson from her a few years ago, so I know, these are truly handmade shades.  Sometimes you can find an Ayn Chase shade at Rainy Day, a darling shop here on the island.

Dining room lighting is important while setting the table, but candles take over from there!  Because I’m in love with . . .

Speaking of which, here we are back in blissland at my darling friend Rachel’s house in England.  I’m still in love with this lamp, with the glass balls, and the color of the shade with the wallpaper.

This is the lampshade I made in my class with Ayn.  I only did one, because I have not discovered how to clone myself yet (this took ten hours to do, even with Ayn right there — but it was worth it)!  It used to be really hard to find cute lamps and especially shades.

I’ve found them mostly in flea markets, or at Brimfield, or in antique stores, wherever I come upon one that I like.  It’s been a long time collecting, something that I always have my eyes open for . . . fun to find when I can!

But they are making more interesting new ones all the time, like this one, also from Rachel’s house.  She did the same thing, found the base in one place, and the shade in another.

Lamps in guest bathrooms make a beautiful soft light, and keep the ambience going at a dinner party, instead of your guests going in and flipping on a strong overhead light, they find this.

This is the lamp in our front hall.  Since all we do is welcome guests here, never try to read anything, it’s nice that it’s softly lit.

This one’s in the guest bedroom, welcoming guests with a cozy reading lamp next to a comfy chair.

Another kind of fall and winter lighting that I LOVE on cold rainy days is candlelight.  I have candles all over the house at this time of year.  I light one wherever I am, cooking in the kitchen, or knitting in my chair.  Like little mini fireplaces.

And there’s nothing like a candlelight dinner to make everything prettier and more dreamlike.

This is our morning today . . . outside the front window . . .

Here, the view from the dining room . . . it’s a dark rainy day here, at least so far . . .

But, no worries, turn on the lamps, and the house is cozy again . . . even at my house, where the kitchen is still totally destroyed!

Jack tries to point out to Joe that time is marching on.  Three sides of the room are done, these windows are next, he’s doing them today!  As soon as it’s done I’ll show you!  We can cook in here though, that’s the good news, and it’s coming out beautifully!  I am still happy we are doing it, the part that’s done is so CLEAN and PRETTY!

And I saved the best for last. 

I know now, the only way to end a post that will make everyone happy is with this little person.  Huggy wuggy.  Bo-Bo-Boy.  Bye girls (and boys!), have a wonderful day, thank you for your wonderful comments, I do love us!  

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654 Responses to TURN ON THE LIGHTS ☂

  1. JoAnn from SoCal says:

    Lovely, lovely blog, Susan. By any chance, do you have any lamps in your kitchen?

  2. Mary says:

    Hello Susan,

    I’ve never written here, though I’ve long read your blog and have sent many a friend your way. Everything you create feeds my soul in such a deep way–thank you! But I have a few questions: (1) so, if you wake at 4:00 a.m., what time do you go to bed? and, (2) Is Joe an early-bird, too, or is he one of those fellas who burn the midnight oil?

    I’ve been curious about this because most people I know wake later and don’t really get their engines revved ’till late morning. I am a very early riser, too, and by the time late morning comes, it seems half the day is over. Do you take a cat nap with Jack in the afternoon? 🙂

    Your boundless creativity and big-hearted sharing are forever blessing all of us. Thank you!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I love naps, I probably take two a week. I go to bed early, around 9, unless there’s something going on. Joe’s not an early bird thank goodness, I love my quiet time. He goes to bed when the normal people do, around 11 or midnight. Thank you Mary!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Well, Susan, I think it is nice that you both have some “quiet time” to yourselves. I love my husband, love spending time with him, but also love staying up late after he has gone to bed and I’m sure he loves getting up earlier than I do (though not as early as you do!) and having some “alone time”…Incidently, I love your lamps. None of our rooms other than the dining room and kitchen room have overhead lights. We have lamps in the dining room, in addition, to have on low when we have candles on the table and we have several Aladdin lamps that were electrified which have lower wattage bulbs in them and I love the soft light they give, as well as the “ambience”! 🙂

        • Dawn from Minnesota says:

          “…several Aladdin lamps that were electrified!” Electrified….Electrifying….I got chills… 🙂 That’s just not a word I see everyday! Pat, ya know your slight fear of cat’s and their eyes….well, I hope that my eyes didn’t electrify you! I keep looking at mine and then Jacks….to see if they are the same color….cuz my eyes are green, blue, yellow! 😉 We did have a fun afternoon …….BOO! oh my brave Pat!

          • Slight fear?? sorry….Dawn, now I have been working on Pat with sending her pics of my Smokee and she is seeing what a “sweet boy” he is and I have also told her to forget trying to think she needs a kitty, to enjoy her dogs and be happy!!!

  3. Kathryn says:

    I so agree that lamps are the way to go! I hate it when my husband turns on the ceiling light in the bedroom. Very jarring. But, he complains that he can’t see to pick out his tie with only the table lamps on. lol

  4. pat addison says:

    good afternoon susan and everyone, loved the tour of the house and all the lamp, think my favorite lamp is the one in the front entry, i seem to really like that style of lamp, looks so cozy and old fashioned. how is the striped bass fishing derby there doing?? i have an uncle who might be there fishing, and this is favorite fishing derby so do you have alot of fishermen fishing off the docks and piers??? my uncle said that this was 67th derby there, how marvelous that you have a fishing derby there and its been going on for 67years…… its the first time i ever heard of it. off to go roll up the hoses and put them away for the season, no more need to water:p as Fall is almost here…YAY!!!!! hugs….. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      There are lots of people on the jetty when we walk in the morning, so it must be going pretty good! Haven’t heard about the catch yet.

  5. Sarah says:

    That lamp shade you made is absolutely lovely. 🙂 Worth the ten hours it took you to do it!

  6. Sonya Hewes says:

    I love lamps and candles as well and I have had plenty of candles around just because we’ve been having horrific wind storms here in Anchorage, so I want to be prepared. I took a couple of pictures of the beautiful lamps that are in my daughter’s room, but I didn’t know how to attach them here, bummer.
    Thank you for making my morning warm and cozy!

  7. Oh I should have known you’d love The Evening Dim, for that’s what I call the time when the sun is going to sleep and twilight has come to visit.
    Ever since I was a youngster and babysat for my sister (i lived with her while i babysat) she wanted the lights turned on at this magical time. I loved when we’d go from room to room turning on the lamps or dimming the ceiling lights.
    I do it to this day. I started calling it The Evening Dim. It’s my magical, cozy time. I do love the night time when we can cozy it all up with lamps and dim lights.
    I hated taking down the Christmas decor lights, so one year I said I’m leaving them up. I took the clear lights and strung them across the windows, but under the valances, the lights didn’t touch the curtain. They cast this fairy light from the windows… so dreamy!

    Kindreds for sure, Susan 😀

    I must tell you the story of our new kitten that wasn’t supposed to be here at Ingleside next time I post… it’s a story of how a Cat really can change it’s colors. 😀


  8. Cyndi in NC says:

    I love lamps too. The shade you made with Ayn is beautiful. I like cozy too and agree about overhead lightening. I am on the other side of the clock and love to walk around the house at night with the lamps on. Walking around the house and turning the lights off as we shut things down to go to bed then on to the lamp by the bed while I read. The house is quiet. I heard my owl the other night, nice to know he’s still in the trees around my property. Fall is almost here. If our weather cools off I’ll be happy. *L*

    The kitchen is coming along nicely and will be super when done. Of course the supervisior is on the job and looking as cute as ever. I think he needs a lot of hugging!

  9. Libby Pasztor (Grayslake, IL) says:

    My husband and I have an ongoing, albeit friendly, argument about ceiling lights vs. lamps. . . . When our house was built (before we found it), the electricians mistakenly put an overhead fixture in the living room, instead of the bedroom across the hall. Occasionally my husband will turn it on when he’s doing something in there, and I am forced to say “Aauugghhh!!” and snap it off—-there are 3 perfectly good lamps in the room, after all. And I’ll never forget when my supervisor at work (the local library) put a large table lamp on her desk and used that instead of the (horrible, sickly, glaring) fluorescent lights that covered the ceiling in her office. We all kept finding excuses to go in there, it was so cozy—just a world of difference. She finally had to keep the door closed when she really HAD to get something done, uninterrupted, with a sign that read “Nobody gets in to see the wizard—not nobody, not nohow!” 🙂 It was SUCH fun working there. . .

  10. Sandy Manning - Plano, TX says:

    You do have a neat collection of lamps and shades. I agree that overhead lighting is not the greatest. It is bright, sunny and warm (80ish) here today so no need for lamp light yet. But boy, are the days getting shorter quickly! Your home and kitty are wonderful. He has such a cute face!

  11. Debbie Anderson says:

    I’m with you – love lamps, not so much for overhead lighting. And with candles, the more the better. All summer, we keep candles in the fireplace. One of my brothers told me once that my home is starting to look like a church with all the candles. I told him that there could be worse things in life that my home looked like. Oh well, I am ready for Fall!!!
    Can’t wait to see your kitchen.

  12. Sandy Manning - Plano, TX says:

    One other thing. If you get up at 4, what time do you go to bed?

  13. Heartsdesire says:

    Lamp light is the best, so much more flattering than overhead light. And certainly adds to cozy ambience of the room. I especially like them on the kitchen counter or the dining room buffet. We have lovely sunshine here on Vancouver Island, and have had for quite awhile. But I know those dark rainy days are coming soon and I’m getting the lamps ready to be lit. We have a lot of antique stores here in Victoria, so plan to check them out over the next few weeks. After looking at all your lovely lamps, I realize that I need a few more to set the mood. Thanks for the sweet picture of Jack, a wonderful way to end your inspiring post.

  14. Judy says:

    Great post about lamps. I am now inspired to add more lamps to my house. I detest the new lighting that we are going to soon be forced to use I can’t stand that bright white lighting and I have always disliked fluorescent lighting. You really hit the “Jackpot” with Jack. What a personality that just shows in the expression on his face. Girl Kitty is a good offset to Jack’s spunk.

  15. Linda Kramer says:

    I am with you all the way on lamp lighting; i love the little low pools of light that lamps cast. Also love candles in fall and winter-the cheery glow chases the cold and gloom away. Your description of little fireplaces is perfect! Thanks, too, for ending with Jack. I do love that little guy.

  16. sondra fox says:

    Love how you light up your day! I’m old enough to remember the old song, “The Old Lamplighter.” Do you recall that song? I’m a private singer (bathroom, cleaning out closets, etc.) & used to sing that song a lot while doing my housework. And of course, you saved the best part of your blog for last. Mr. Bo Bo, Huggy Wuggy, just gets cuter every day. He has the most expressive eyes. The eyes in your picture are ones of “questions.” Jack wants to know, “what’s up folks,” just like Bugs Bunny always asks.

  17. Lezlee says:

    I am SO in love with lighting and lamps – but they have to be cozy . . .I have a old metal frame bed with wickerstyle headboard with a bouquet of flowers in the middle (does that make sense??) and I found a vintage headboard light that (for 99 cents!) that is yellow with flowers and the whole room glows with that warm color . . . and it’s delicious staying up late at night, with the the creeksong out my window and I am all nestled in with two cats and one dog on the bed (with two others – one on a little couch in the bedroom and one on the rug:) And my husband loves them all (five dogs – four cats) – aren’t I lucky??

    I DO worry about my lightbulbs though . . . . the energy efficient ones just don’t give off that soft, vintagey light. I started stockpiling – but then just kind of let that go . . .

    • sbranch says:

      You ARE lucky!! I’m switched over to energy-saving lightbulbs … I really can’t tell the difference except it takes them longer to come on. Also, they make the shades go crooked sometimes.

    • Holly says:

      Lezlee, I’m with you! The energy efficient bulbs do not give off that cozy light…….I’ve been stockpiling, too!

      • Lezlee says:

        OK – then we might have to start our own company:) I noticed that when Brian Williams, NBC news, was reporting on the ‘switch’, he was pretty upset. Saying that we all do our part in recycling, but leave our light bulbs alone! Heck with it – I’m going to start stock piling again . . . .I truly don’t ask for much – I just want my GE Light Bulbs:)

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      Hi Leslie~
      Your headboard light sounds just like the one my grandma had~ but hers was pink with gold flowers. Thanks for the memory!

      • Lezlee says:

        Yes! I’ve seen those on ebay . . I found mine in a Senior Citizens Thrift Shop – It truly is the center of our bedroom – my Grandma had one also – also pink!:) And don’t get the ones with wire ‘hook’s – they just don’t stay put – has to be the thicker hooks . . .

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          Hi again~
          I loved my grandma’s bedroom! Grandma and Grandpa had separate beds~ twin size~ with chenille bedspreads and the softest pillows ever! Grandma’s furniture was blond in color and had flowers carved in the headboard. I would sleep over and get to sleep in her bed and read using her special little headboard lamp! Her dresser had her jewelry box and all her perfume bottles on it~ I remember Emeraude and White Shoulders. She would let me brush my hair with her special brush and look in her special mirror. I was so lucky!

          • Becky says:

            Oooooo, nice memory. My grandmother always wore Coty’s Lamant (sp?) She always wanted people to think she was a refined lady, but she did like “a wee glass or two of an evening” before she would go out to get on her riding mower and cut her 2 acres of grass! Love that thought!

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        Sorry I spelled your name wrong!

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          Hi Becky~
          My grandma would have on occasion a” nip ” of blackberry brandy when she couldn’t sleep or had a cold!
          ~Grandmas are the best!~

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Grandma on my dad’s side [Irish] wanted an old-fashioned. Grandma on my mom’s side [German] wanted a beer! Grandmas ARE the best! :>)

    • Jen says:

      I read that if you get the CFL bulbs that are around 2700K they give off a warmer glow, as opposed to bulbs rated around 5000K that give off the white-blue light. Even so, I agree – it’s just not the same!

  18. Mary S. says:

    This has to be one of my favoritest blogs EVER because I, too, LOVE lamps and candles, altho’ I do need to work on getting some of those beautiful, one-of-a-kind lampshades!!! Still not cool enough here to get out my candles (we are still using the cooler – 94 here today), but cool weather is on the way!!!!
    I am intrigued by the book on your side table! I can’t QUITE make out the whole title, “_____ BOY”. And the author?? Looks like a good book!
    And Jack!! He’s such a baby!!!
    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

    • sbranch says:

      It’s called Nobody’s Boy — and old book that my girlfriend Martha loaned me.

    • Lezlee says:

      I agree with the lampshades! I know we can make our own . . .but I just can’t see me doing that . . . .Susan has the gorgeous lamps and even gorgeous-ier (?) lampshades:)

  19. Mary S. says:

    P.S. You have a piano in your entryway!! I LOVE it!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s Joe’s childhood piano, but he can’t play it, and the only song I know is called The Happy Woodpecker, I learned when I was 8! It’s always nice when our piano-playing friends are around!

  20. Mary S. says:

    P. P. S. LOL Thanks for the song from Midnight In Paris!! I adore that movie!!!

  21. Andi M says:

    You can’t over stress the importance of lighting. For work, for relaxation, for setting the mood on special occasions, I think lighting and scent can make or break the moment. Few people ever say, ” I just love your flourescent 3 foot long tube lights.” I soon too, will be waking at 4am for my new job. I am glad to have you to help me adjust to the new routine, knowing you do it too will be nice. I get up at 5am now but soon will need to be to work by 6am. I will think of you as I do.

  22. Tisa at Seattle Retro says:

    Loved the ‘home lighting tour’, am not surprised that a kindred spirit & SLO-girl also adores vintage lighting! I like to dim the shades as well using vintage floral hankies draped over the shade & clipped ’round the top rim with old costume jewelry clip-on earrings. That way I get my bling on at the same time 🙂 PS am sooooo glad you didn’t chose ‘brown’ for your kitchen wall color, I kept thinking how your dishes would go with some soft blue color….and there it is, yes?

    • sbranch says:

      A teeny bit different color of blue than that, we are painting over that color, but it’s still blue and even prettier, is what we think!

  23. jeannine leonard says:

    I also love the softness of a lamp. The shades are always my favorite, it just makes our homes so cozy. Wait till Emily see’s you holding Jack, she is going to squeal with joy. I know she will want to jump right in that picture to hold him.
    Do you know where we can get that cookie cutter? I would really love own one.
    Cannot wait to see the kitchen when it is finished.

    • sbranch says:

      Believe it or not, as far as I know, that’s a one-of-a-kind cookie cutter. I designed it for a line of cooking things for a company — but then the company was sold and the cooking things were never made! So all I got was the prototype!

      • Elly says:

        I was hoping the same thing; to be able to get a “heart of the home” cookie cutter! It’s so cute! Any chance you might get it made elsewhere? It sure shouts “Susan Branch” when I look at it!
        As for your love of “mood” lighting, I’m right there with ya!
        I love twilight; the lights are turned on one by one.
        It’s that time of year when that comes earlier and earlier!
        Have a wonderful evening!

    • erica says:

      Hi Ladies!

      There is a company that makes beautiful little cookies cutters and one similar to Susan’s. Ann Clark. I am familiar with them, because they are sold at the store where I work. Here is a link:



      • Elly says:

        Thanks so much for the link, Erica! I am certainly going to check it out! My daughter and grand daughter love to bake cookies, and I’d like to get them one. I just know they will love it!

  24. judi says:

    Ahhh, (I’m still ahhing from looking at smoochie Jackxxxooo). Loved your post. I agree lamps and lighting create a special glow/feeling in a room. My daughter just emailed me a couple of days ago that she brought a floor lamp I gave her years ago that belonged to my parents….breath….in to be repaired, to look/work like new again. It is costing her a fortune but it makes me so happy.

    Up north I too had candles lit at all times of the day/night. Here i have to wait till it cools down outside – just the heat from the candle flame is too much:) I dream of putting my body in the refrigerator at night.

    Love all of your scrumptious shades. I have some little “Mario” lamps that I just love. YOU light up MY life:) xxxooo to you too

      • judi says:

        I purchased my Mario lamps in the late 70’s so just for fun I just typed in “mario lamps” in my search and, by jove, they still sell them. Lots of unique shades and lamps. Didn’t find the exact ones I have but think you may want to take a look:)

  25. Sue Rideout says:

    Living in Maine means that when I get up at 5:30 it is still dark outside! It is one of my favorite times of the day. I light candles in jars and open up the deck door to listen to the birds as they begin their day! Our cat, Ginger, loves it too!

  26. kare banks says:

    Love my Grandmas lamp on the bookcase.. first light that comes on at 5a.m.

    Gave up candles when Coco kitty decided the flicker was his business.. could’nt get it up out of the way high enough …even a wall sconce prooved too inticing. He could’nt get to That one but sat chattering on the floor beneath it.. No amount of ‘explaining’ could deter his curiosity. How do you teach “Hot” to a cat? Never had a cat be so interested in flames before..i’m glad we don’t have a fireplace ! !
    NO allowing curiosity to hurt any cats around here i tell you !!
    Hubby found a couple of those battery operated candles.. Not a peep from Coco…*~*. Our cats a FireMarshal ?
    Please send some of that rain here to Arizona … Monsoon hasn’t given us much rain this year, just muggy sogg.. ugg.
    kisses to tittytat xxx ooo’s

    • sbranch says:

      Your cat is a fire marshall! Maybe he knows something!

    • Holly says:

      The flameless candles have really come a long way. They’re a great option for people with pets and some of the candles even have timers. I also love putting them on bookshelves or in places where you can’t put a real candle.

  27. Georgie says:

    What welcoming, comforting pictures. I loved the entryway. I loved the handcut lampshade! My Grandmother did one too… so beautiful 🙂 I’m smiling picturing you walking around at 4:00 AM turning on lights. Isn’t that just the coziest time of the day whatever the season!!! Still quiet peaceful.

    Your home is such a delight and a feast for the eyes, and most importantly… the heart.

    Georgie xoxo
    Yardville, NJ

  28. Sheryle Towle says:

    Hello Susan…..lamps make me happy too…I think that is why I love the fall so much. They are all over my kitchen (along with your books, of course)! I have not posted for a very long time, but I do read every one of your posts! You & my lamps continue to light up my life. Thank you! I just hung up my “gingerbread” sign that I bought in Cape Cod….now for my maple & cinnamon candles. Happy September! Sending love from Maine!

  29. Holly says:

    I think it’s instinctual in most women to use cozy lights as opposed to harsh, overheard lighting. I remember in college, 20 years ago, walking down the dorm hallway after we had all moved in to our rooms and seeing all the cozy light coming from the small rooms. All rooms had overhead lighting but in every single room girls had brought lamps instead. Walking down the hallway of a boys’ dorm was a different story……. 🙂

  30. Colleen says:

    Hi Susan – I loved looking at your lamps. I live in an NYC and am always working towards creating a cozy feel in my apartment. Lamps make all the difference. Tiny lamps on the book shelf and computer desk cozy up areas that don’t see any natural light. Currently searching for a small scale (in my apartment, everything is small scale!) hobnail lamp for my bedroom dresser or perhaps a small “Gone with the Wind” style (similar to the one in your front hall ) for my nightstand. With all the beautiful old lamps out there, I’ve decided I’m never buying a “new” lamp again.

  31. Yvonne Shafer says:

    Lovely! And the soft rainy-day pictures are beautiful. Thank you for the inspirations and the pictures of that cutie-pie Jack!!

  32. Sandra Gillanders says:

    I’m with you on the coziness of lamps versus overhead lights. I need the overhead to see but love the ambiance of lamps. You have a beautiful collection.
    I recently just finished refurbishing one for my newly painted end table. It is so rewarding to take something that might have ended up at the dumps and turn it into something pretty and useful. Thanks for always inspiring us to be creative. Love seeing picture of your beautiful home. Looking forward to seeing how the kitchen turns out. We are just about to start our tear-out of kitchen; dreading the mess.
    p.s. Jack is so cute!!!

    • sbranch says:

      It’ll be great when it’s done … it’s been almost a month (not sure but it feels like a month!) — and I’m STILL glad we’re doing it.

  33. Diane Byrum says:

    Susan, you are a bright light in a dark world 🙂 Thank you for turning us all on to making the world a brighter place~each of us has something to contribute and you, Miss Susan, beautify everything! This little light of mine . . . I’m gonna let it shine . . . old, new, retro or repurposed {sigh of contentment}

  34. Oh Susan, what a wonderful post! So homey and comfy, I’m almost giddy! First of all, I’m in dry ol Arizona with my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth in 100 degree weather and you have a sweater on and rain outside your window! What a lovely place to live. And then the lights….I’ve been a collector of lamps for years and have them tucked in every place I possibly can, in my house. Even in the bathrooms. and my kids are not allowed to turn on the overhead lights in the kitchen because I detest them so. I have lots of other lighting in the kitchen. I collect lamps like some people collect shoes. There’s just a feeling of soft, yellow light that brings out the nesting feeling in me and makes me happy, I’ve even scored a couple of beautiful cut crystal lamps at Goodwill for $25.00 each and I’m just really happy with them. Looking forward to seeing the reveal of your new kitchen! and so happy that each of your posts will end with Jack, who seems to be the master of chillaxin every place he lands. Love you, Susan! Judy

  35. Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

    Dear Susan and Girlfriends,
    Oh-oh-I love the color of the sky in your 4 am kitchen picture! That is my favorite sky color! I think it was Midnight Blue in my Crayola box of 68 crayons. It’s not really the color of midnight, though. But you see it just before it gets totally dark or, as in your picture, before sunrise!

    And, yes, lamps…what can I say? My eyes are always pealed for cunning,adorable lamps when I go shopping at my neighborhood ReUse-It Shop. And the fun thing is–you can move them from room to room and get a “quick fix” if you are in the mood to decorate but don’t have a lot of time.

    One of my favorite places to put a lamp is the kitchen! Very unexpected! But it just looks so cottagey. Your lamps are lovely, Susan,–an inspiration to us!

    Yesterday was the rainy and windy day for Lancaster. But today–gloriously sunny and crisp and cool. And the roofers are making a racket! Yes, we are getting a new roof. It must be the season for fixing up. Lots of noise and pounding, and foot stomping that sounds like at any moment I am going to see a workshoe through the ceiling! Actually they are very polite and have this guard at the bottom of the roof so none of the old shingles will fall to the ground. Then they have a lift with a container where all the trash goes. I’m very impressed! Oh-oh, another LOUD pound!

    In closing, to Susan and all the fabulous girlfriends, “I DO love us TOO!” Great statement! Love it!
    Linda from Lancaster Co, Pa

    • sbranch says:

      That happened to me, was doing work in attic on my old house and a PERSON that I told, specifically, don’t walk there, DID, and I was in the living room when his LEG came through the ceiling! It wasn’t Joe! I wasn’t very happy about it! He wasn’t hurt, which I was a little bit sorry about! Not really. Sortof.

      • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

        I sympathize…maybe a few cuts or bruises??maybe?? just to teach him a lesson. “Just listen to me, would ya?” And then it’s usually not their own property they mess up, but the very neat and careful person’s property! Well, they’re still busy, pounding and tramping up there. But as they did a few other neighbors’ roofs, I not too worried.

    • Sue says:

      Oh Linda, which Re-Uzit shop is in your neighborhood?:) I LOVE the Re-Uzits in Lanc. Co. They are some of my favorite places to hang-out. Yep, I’m from here too. 🙂 I don’t live real close (like neighborhood close) to any of them but I like to make my occasional rounds to all of them and see what treasure I might find hidden around the next corner!
      How fun to see you on here on Susan’s blog! 🙂

      • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

        Sue, I usually always go to the Re-Uzit shop in Ephrata. It’s right on Main Street and I park behind the store. It’s small and cozy and always packed with all types of people, as I’m sure you know. I love to check out old magazines, dishes(!), pictures (I’ve gotten many really nice ones!), even fabric! I try to go there early at least once a week. I’ve also gone to the one in Leola on 23. It’s bigger–spread out. But I still like my cozy Ephrata store the best! How fun to meet you here!

  36. Lynn B says:

    YOU ARE THE BEST! It is a little gift everytime your blog shows up in my in box. Thank you!

  37. Shann says:

    I too am a lamp girl. My husband just does not get it. Oh well. Lamp girls unite! 🙂

  38. Ann says:

    Your hallway piano reminds me of the one we had in our kindergarten class. I immediately thought of the teacher playing it (and we’re about the same age, so thanks for bringing that nice memory back!). Love this lamp story, I’m always looking for interesting old lamps in antique stores. There’s nothing in Target that speaks to me. And I’m a little candle lighter too. Makes me feel so warm and cozy right where I am.

  39. Miss Winnie says:

    Love the “lamp tour”, love the kitty pictures, and you have maybe (?) inspired me to try rising at 4:00am to enjoy my own lamplight!

  40. Lori says:

    Hi Susan! Haven’t commented in a long time but I read every post! Thanks so much for validating my love of little lamps and cozy lighting. I learned this from my mother who always turns on her little pink hobnail glass lamp first thing in the morning. By the way, I thought you would like to know I’m making your pumpkin cheesecake today~ first cheesecake EVER for me! I’ve got Frank and Nat playing as mood musica. Wish me luck!

  41. Charlene H. (S.F.Valley) SoCal says:

    This is yet another rich, rich blog. Thank you for truly putting the ❤ in the Home!!! 🙂 You have such a creative soul…knowing, instinctively, that lamps/lighting would touch the hearts of so many other homemakers!
    But I have to tell you that I especially loved the photos of rain in Martha’s Vineyard! It is going to be in the high 90’s in So. California today. What a sharp contrast to the fact that, in a few weeks, I and my sister are off to New England for a visit! MV is on our list! Can’t believe that I’ll have to pack rain gear! So many F.O.S.B. girlfriends made suggestions for our trip, we are having a hard time narrowing things down. My sister said, “Stop reading! We will end up being there for a month!!!” LOL. But the Mass. coastline is definitely on the list. Looking forward to cooler climes! As always…thank you for sharing so much of YOU!

    • sbranch says:

      Go to Plymouth and see where the Mayflower came in, and go to tea on Main Street. New England is TEEENY. You can go actually be in five states in one day!

      • Charlene H. (S.F.Valley) SoCal says:

        I totally appreciate “New England is TEEENY.” 🙂 That’s what is making us soooo greedy to see everything! We have Rainy Day store on our MV list. 🙂 Ok…noting Plymouth’s Main Street and tea. Thank you!

  42. Donna Hamilton says:

    I, too, get up each morning really early–4:30 am. I have been doing this for over 25 years since I am required to be at work and at my desk by 6:30 am. This time of the moring has become my favorite time of day. I have lamps all over my home, and have several set-up on timers so that there is soft light already in the kitchen and breakfast room when I awaken each morning, and the same lamps automatically come back on about 10 minutes before I arrive home in the evening in the fall and winter months. Having the lamps on in the evening when I get home is so comforting and cozy. In the fall months, the last thirty minutes of daylight is absolutely gorgeous here in Arkansas. My great-grandmother called this time the “gloaming” of the day. Beautiful golden light which bathes the world.

    • sbranch says:

      If you start at 6:30, you must always be home in time for the gloaming!

      • Donna Hamilton says:

        I work until 5 PM, but get home most days in time to watch the “gloaming” from my porch which faces west. Best way to end the day out on the porch in a glider that is cozied up with pillows….always produces a sigh of contentment.

    • stephanie says:

      Have you heard the song “In the Gloaming”? It’s a beautiful song. Here’s a version:


      • Rhonda D. says:

        Evening Science: I sang a Scottish song for many years sung by Kenneth McKellar called Roamin’ In The Gloamin’ and I had no idea what the gloamin’ was for all this time. And I guess I just wasn’t smart enough to check it out. Now I know.

        • sbranch says:

          It’s a great word!

          • Rhonda D. says:

            It really is a great word…now that I know. When I thought about what it might be, I would think that it could be an area of land, like some part of the highlands (I was young – it’s been a long time ago). But now that I’m in the know, I actually love it! A very beautiful word! Now the idea is to get the gloaming inside the house and what a beautiful, fun thought that is.

      • Donna Hamilton says:

        I have been “Roaming in the Gloaming” since I was a very small girl, usually with my great-grandparents. I used to love hearing my Great-Grandmother say gloaming. We would sit or walk around outside at twilight, and she would tell me stories about when she was a little girl. Memories that I will cherish forever. I have been trying to write down all of her stories/memories and some of the phrases that she used. She was a treasure!

        • sbranch says:

          Such a good thing to remember! I love my Grandma’s “Land O’ Goshen” that she shortened to just “Land!” Which she would say any time she was surprised.

  43. claresgabby says:

    Your lamps are lovely…never thought of putting a lamp in our guest bathroom until now. Thanks. Enjoy your dark, rainy day!

  44. Debra Gibbs says:

    Well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen 4 am in my life! But I think it would be nice to start the day early…I would think you’d feel like you have so much more time in your life instead of sleeping. My husband is up by 5:30, and I thought maybe I could recondition myself and start getting up a little earlier each morning.
    Did not work….getting up when it’s dark goes against what every part of my body wants to do. Even if I wake up and can’t go to sleep, I will lay there until it’s light. Enough of my sleeping habits….I’d love to give that Jack a kiss on that furry little nose of his.

    • sbranch says:

      You have to follow your own clock, I don’t think it works any other way! That’s when you hear yourself say, “love the one you’re with!”

  45. Oh, Susan, what a wonderful post…I am all about lamps and the coziness they provide…forget the overhead lighting…I can’t stand it!!!! Rainy days make for an even cozier day (thankfully we had one yesterday here in Southwestern PA).

    I am so excited to see your “new” kitchen!

    Have you ever heard of the book, “At Home With Beatrix Potter”? My hubby gave it to me and I thought of you. It belonged to Mother of the Dear Lady we work for. amazon.com/At-Home-With-Beatrix-Potter/dp/0810921065 It was given to her by Saks Fifth Avenue one year for Christmas…if I ever get around to blogging again I’ll have to post a picture of the inscription…the lettering also made me think of you (with much fondness, of course).

  46. *I need to proof read more…”the” Mother…


  47. Karen Saunders says:

    i have at ask about the beautiful lamp shade you made. are those holes?? they’re beautiful, it looks like a lot of work.

  48. Ann says:

    May I ask what time do you retie to bed of an evening? 4am does seem VERY early to start the day, I am a night owl who ( no not whoooo ) wishes I could see more of the earlier part of the day, say 8 am ish. Love, love, love Jack boy kitty cat, he is so very cute. Did you know Agatha Christie had all the ceiling light fittings removed and only used table lamps at her house ‘Greenway’ in Devon, UK (a National Trust property) ? Are you able to watch the “Downton Abbey” TV series? So English, I feel sure you would enjoy it.

  49. Jeanine says:

    I have to laugh! So I’m not the only one who likes lamps. And my husband used to be an electrician so I always know he can rewire them for me. I hunt them out at garage and estate sales. I especially love the crystal/cut glass ones because they are so sparkly. Cheaper than diamonds, I keep reminding my husband.

  50. Diane from Poulsbo, WA says:

    Susan…yes, you and Jack were right! The picture of him at the very end being cuddled….and right under that was the picture of that adorable cookie cutter set into dough…..it made me smile and say, ‘oooohhhh”….that means how totally cute and perfect!!! I feel for you about the kitchen! My husband does nearly all of our “projects” himself because he is great at them and loves to do them…BUT..with him it takes just a smidge longer than I would prefer. He takes “breaks”….for a few days or even a week! lol. You dont have to tell me if darling Joe is the same….but I am sending you hugs and comfort anyway for all of your patient waiting! It will be so beautiful when it has been completed and you will be able to go into Autumn and Winter with a nice, bright and cheery kitchen!
    I LOVE all of your lamps. I am a lamp and candle and fireside person myself…which is one reason I am totally drawn to you and the girlfriends I am sure!…and I appreciate your beautiful lamps. Your house always looks so peaceful and clean and beautiful…but extremely comfortable and homey too. I love your “casual-elegant” look! My fav. lamp of all was the Peter Rabbit lamp! I laughed out loud at how adorable it is. I have never seen anything like it before! I dont know how you get up so early, but maybe it is a writer’s thing? My daughter is a writer and she says her best time is in the wee hours…and my aunt is a writer who says the same thing, but I am not a writer, so I cannot fathom getting out of bed…and being cheerful…at that unearthly time in the A.M. Anyway…thank you for so many wonderful blogs and pics and sharing!!! I love them each and every time and they brighten my world! Have a great week!!!!

  51. Ginger says:

    When we cleaned out my MILs house this summer, My husband snagged some great ivory damask shades with crystals dangling from the bottom. How cute is that? I thought we were the only lamp people left on earth.

    Also, I was thrilled to hear you are an early riser. It’s the best time of my day, too. This started way back, when my house was filled with children. It was the only time I could do things just for me in silence. Now I use it for devotions and practicing drawing. The drawing is getting better just as you predicted.

    Finally, I’m glad you kept the ladder up for Jack’s office.

    Have a lovely day!

    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      What a clever husband you have! You’ll have to tell us where you decide to put those lamp shades. On lamps you already have or new ones?

      I’m thrilled your drawing is improving. That is one thing I want to try although I think I’d be better at copying something from real life than dreaming up something from my head.
      Good for you,

      • Ginger says:

        We put them on lamps we already have in our living room next to two rose wingbacks in front of lace curtains. Isn’t that sweet!

        I’m using a little drawing book called the drawing textbook by McIntyre. It’s easy and fun. I now can draw things that are starting to look like real things instead of cockeyed imitations.

        • sbranch says:

          Good for you Ginger!

        • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

          Ginger, Yes, it does sound beautiful! It’s so much fun to find a ready-made place for our glittering treasures.

          And you have inspired me to carve out some time to work on my drawing!
          thank you,

  52. Francine says:

    Loved your blog today! I too love lamps and candles, and hate bright overhead lights!! I always like my house softly lit and cozy! Can’t wait to see your finished kitchen Susan!!!! Just can’t wait!!!!

  53. Beverly Brewer says:

    Enjoyed the lighting post so very much. The parade of lamps was delightful, but that misty view of the church steeple outside your rainy window made me linger there for a little while longer–so serene and soft and literally watercolored ! It was magical to me. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to share these sweet glimpses in your life. P.S. So happy I saw your post early—on my way home I bought a small lamp I had been admiring at a favorite shop and it was on sale!

  54. Lynn says:

    Love that adorable pic of Jack in your arms. He is precious. I decorated for fall yesterday and it makes the house look so warm and cozy. Now I’m thinking of the lovely fall recipes and plan to sit shortly with your “Autumn” book and I know I can find something in there. I puchased some wonderful taper candles at Rainy Day last week – Terra Cotta and a dark red – they are the best. Also Frasier Fir for the holidays – the entire store smelled amazing. Love the fall scents too. Stay warm – tonight is supposed to drop down. Can’t wait to see the finished product – your kitchen.

    • Becky says:

      Hmmmmm…..Autumn!!! I made an Applesauce Cake last weekend to nibble on while I pulled out my Fall decorations; candles, pillows, throws, cookbooks, etc. I still must be patient. It is still too warm here in central CA. (bummer)

  55. Marion Powell from Southern California says:

    This is a delightful blog! I loved the Benjamin Bunny lamp, and yes you did just have to have that lamp. Did I see a little Christopher Robin beneath one of the lamps? Thank you for your joyful blogs!

  56. Mia Sophia says:

    Hi Susan, Your beautiful home looks warm, cozy and very inviting! And I think Jack is just the cutest thing ever! That face is adorable. We are here in sunny California enjoying another mid 80 degree day! Fall is coming but I am hanging on to warm sunny days as long as I can. Can’t wait to see the kitchen in all it’s glory…Stay warm and dry, CHEERS!

  57. Frances Fowler says:

    I am all for beautiful, soft lighting with LAMPS, and I love small ones that go on tables or the ends of counters for a soft, homey glow. Anything overhead is too jarring, and those horrid lights in some dressing rooms have not only left me depressed, but were also responsible for the store’s loss of a few sales that day. I thought I was up early at 5:30, but I want to improve! Of course, I’ll need to get in before 10:00 or 10:15 to do that. I just love your home; it always looks so very….real. Cozy, comfy, charming, warm, and lived in!

  58. Carol C says:

    I really enjoyed this post with all of the charming lamps but the real charmer is that adorable Jack! I love the dark early mornings, too and it’s when I like to walk my neighborhood. All the homes are cottage-y; built in the 30’s. Many will have a light on in the kitchen and they just look so cozy and contented! The birds are just starting to sing and there are no cars out. Some folks dashing out in their jammies to get the paper or let the dog out. My favorite time of day and favorite time of year!

  59. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan, loved seeing your house by lamplight. I, too, love lamps and have many thrifted and antiqued ones. My favourite one is a little copper lamp that my mom kept burning in our upstairs hall all night. The first person up in the morning would turn it off. I always felt safe and cozy when I saw that lamp on. Loved seeing Jack.

    P.S. This afternoon I spotted another relative of Petey’s here in Toronto in an antique store. He was $69, a little out of my league, so I left him to be loved by
    someone else.

  60. Ann Y. (Adamstown, PA) says:

    Hey Susan…just knew you were an early riser. I will think of you….I ususally sleep in…until 4:20 AM ! There is a special feeling early, when you have the house to yourself, and it’s quiet, and peaceful… Bliss. Loved all the lamps and agree…I am often heard saying ( yelling) TURN OFF THE BIG LIGHT..meaning the overhead light. I just got a mercury glass vase at a discount store for 3.99 ( so it’s probably not real mercury glass, but I don’t care) and did not really need another vase. So I stuck a string of mini lights in it, taped the cord to the back, and put it on the top of the cabinet my tv is in..with a little wooden “Y”, and an old looking little suitcase. Stuck it into the outlet that turns on from the swith and LOVE it ! Just enough little light to welcome me home. Thanks for sharing all your ideas…PS Love naps too…but not on school days…Saturday afternoons and Sunday after church – once again – Bliss !

  61. Brenda from Saskatchewan, Canada says:

    Today’s topic is totally illuminating! :o)

  62. Susan, as luck would have it the home we are in is 57 yrs. old (Jims childhood home) so when we first came here my first question was “where are the overhead lights” and back in the 50’s they didn’t put in ceiling lights!!! YAY…so LAMPS IT IS….I would love to find the glass lamps and that is going to be my new project!!! We have wooden/glass and also some ceramic looking ones that aren’t my taste…so this will be a fun new hobby!!! The lamps in your home are just lovely and look like works of Art which make them perfect. Enjoyed this blog very much and as always Jack just cannot be any cuter!!

  63. Lori H from WA State says:

    mmmmm…cozy! I light candles every rainy day and in the Pacific NW, that’s a lot of candles 🙂 Thanks for letting us roam around your home with you!

  64. Claudia says:

    I feel the same way about lighting. Even growing up, I couldn’t stand to use the overhead light in my bedroom. Lamps are best. And the cuter the shade the better. I love yours, Susan.


  65. Pam T. says:

    I love little lamps in unexpected corners. Makes a room so much more cozy. A friend of ours was here this weekend…sort of a character…and he asked me if I had a particular light on “just for atmosphere”. I said, that as a matter of fact, yes, that was exactly why. And he said “My wife does that. It’s just us, but she has this little lamp she puts on and I tell her ‘it’s just us’.” Yes, but who better to have atmosphere for than “just us” right? By the way, I am longing for a dark rainy morning, so seeing the view through your windows was very encouraging. It might still be some time before we get those here (in Southern California), but at least I know the possibility is approaching. You and my Mom would have a great time lamp shopping together. She used to step into my room when I was reading and tell me to switch on the lamp by my bed so she could turn off the overhead light. I would, and she was always right…it’s just better that way. 🙂

  66. Kathy says:

    Jack is a ray of sunshine……loooooove him!!!! In total agreement with you; lamps, yes!! Dressing room lighting….ugh!! And combined with 3-way mirrors….eek!!!

  67. Kristin Esskew, Burlington, WA says:

    Lamp lovers of the world unite! My living room has 5 lamps. I despise overhead lighting, except a few recessed lights in the kitchen. I even have a lamp on my kitchen counter! Nothing beats cozy lamplight (except candles and Christmas lights, of course!). Thanks for sharing such a simple, wonderful trick to set the mood of the home! I am also an early riser. I often wake up between 4 and 5 am. I usually stay in bed and sulk that I can’t go back to sleep, but maybe next time I will just get up and light this old house. Enjoy that rainy weather-we are still getting into the 70’s and sunny out in the Pacific Northwest-almost unheard of! X O!

  68. Susie says:

    Oh yes…I was just home in Michigan for the summer and now have returned to Las Vegas for Fall and Winter…I brought back many things from my house there, but most important to me was more lamps with the days shorter, I must have soft lighting and candles for ambiance. IT MAKES ME HAPPY….Thanks for your continued sharing of your life…that makes me happy too…luv from Sin City…Suzanne

  69. Cindy Tuning says:

    Harsh ceiling lights are at the top of my pet peeve list. Just above….people chewing with their mouth open. When we went to Scotland, we stayed at a B&B with every room having overhead lighting except one bedroom. That’s the one I chose for me. Isn’t it silly how one little thing can make or break how comfortable we feel? I’ve lived in this house 26 yrs and have never had to change the lightbulb in the ceiling light in the living room. I also only have pink lightbulbs in all my lamps. Everyone looks pretty in pink light. Soon they will be a thing of the past though unless someone manufactures the low energy ones in pink. So sad. Well, there’s always candlelight right?

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      Way to go, Cindy! I use pink light bulbs whenever I can get them too! Don’t you love their glowy soft light? But they’re getting to be quite hard to find. On the rare occasions when I run across some in my travels, I scarf up all there are [there aren’t usually many].

  70. Ruth E. Rupp says:

    Hi Susan, First, give darling Jack a smooch for me and also Girl Kitty!! I just love your column about lamps and lighting. So now I’m looking all around my home for special areas to put special lamps. And lucky me, I found your “Autumn” book, which arrived in my mailbox today! Also, I called to order “At Home with Beatrix Potter”, and the lady got so excited telling me how beautiful the book was and that I was just going to love it, etc., that she told me she was going to buy the other one they had! Isn’t it fun how girlfriends end up helping “new” girlfriends with fun information? So, I am looking forward to cozy lamplit nights reading my beautiful new books, thanks to you. I just love everything “Susan Branch”! 🙂 Hugs from Minnesota, Ruthie

  71. lisa from CT says:

    Hi Susan,

    I see you have taken off your cabinet doors! Oh My Goodness! You are inspiring me to do the same!!! My cabinets need it! Can’t wait to see the reveal.

  72. Sherry Palla says:

    Thank you Susan for your sharing your little lights! i really like the napkin over the shade idea…and the lace curtains in your guest bedroom. I just got a new lamp for our bedroom this summer, for the side table. Didn’t like the pattern on the shade, so hotglued some artificial blue hydrangia petals on it along with some lighter blue, see through, small craft stones. [Love blue. Will want to change my kitchen to blue after you! ] Your home is so adorable and unique. Thanks for sharing it with us and inspiring us to make our homes more cozy. “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Make it Shine.” xoxo

  73. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    Lamps are DEFINITELY a girl thing. I don’t know ANY women who like overhead-fluorescent [ugly] lighting. I even used to buy pink light bulbs which make the softest, glowiest light. Very soothing, relaxing, homey [my sister calls it ‘cocktail lounge’ lighting]. I like dimmers on my table lamps too [except desk lamps]. It’s probably a little odd but one of my favorite things about Fall is that the days get shorter. Dark when I get up. Dark when I drive home. Being busy at home on weekends and there’s always that moment when you say “gee, it’s really getting dark – I ought to put a lamp on…” and before you know it, on comes one of the timer lights!

    PS – so right! You can never go wrong including kitty photos in a post. Is that a “baby picture” of Jack? Or something more recent? He has that indescribable baby look to him there [at least to me – though it could just be wishful thinking]. What a lil pudder that one is… :>)

    • sbranch says:

      The photo of Jack was yesterday! He’s a year old, but there’s still a lot of baby in him!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        No kidding? I would have bet $ that was taken around Halloween – last year. Wow – he DOES have a lot of baby left in him – that’s a lil pudder face we’re looking at! Does he still “go down” for a nap in the Peter Rabbit room everyday?=^..^=

        • sbranch says:

          He has moved his going down to where he can keep one eye on the action … and takes his nap in the same place I like to, on the sofa in what we call “the wood room.” (Cuz it’s made out of wood…!)

  74. Jodyg says:

    I cannot express enough adjectives for the way I feel in reading your blog. I absolutely love it,your website and anything else susan branch. You instill a sense of calm in me and I thank from the bottom of my heart…….

  75. Sarah Maldonado says:

    I love lamplight, too! So cozy. My favorite lamp I have is the one my parents used to put “emergency” money in the bottom! When they would travel and we would look after their house, they would always say, “There’s money in the lamp if you need it.”. Of course we never did but it was always the hiding spot. I have kept the tradition. Today would have been their wedding anniversary. Happy Heavenly Anniversary…there’s money in the lamp!

  76. Jenny says:

    All of your little lamps are so sweet. My mother is a little lamp person too. And I find the older I get the more likely I am to resort to lighting a room with lamps rather than the overhead.

    I love your rainy window pictures. I can just FEEEL the coziness in your house.

  77. Susan A. says:

    Did you get your Peter Rabbit lamp when you were in
    England? I love it!

  78. Susan Martin says:

    This blog hit the spot! I was just thinking about getting some new lamps, and I really don’t like matchy-matchy, so I’m going to keep my eyes open for bases and shades that really speak to me. Thank you for another lovely blog!

  79. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    I love the tour of the lamps in your home, and I especially love the beautiful lamp shades. I had to show these pictures to my husband, Tom, to prove to him that I was not the only one to love and collect eclectic lamps and shades …he now knows there are at least two of us in the world 🙂
    Oh, and I think I am getting to him … the other day he picked up the cutest shade that looks embroidered. Now we are looking for the perfect lamp. I think the first lamp featured in this blog would be perfect (lol).

  80. Terri J. says:

    So absolutely true. Lamps make a home. Love those pictures looking out the window too. Thanks for sharing your cozy nest.

  81. Bonnie L says:

    Dear Susan,
    We are now in New Hampshire snuggled into a campground in the trees near Concord. Really dark now……..could use a lamp! I had to give up real candles because my husband seems to be offended by the scents….makes him sneeze! We will near Portsmouth at the end of this month attending his a Navy submarine crew reunion. Thank you for the gifts of your friendship and comfort…this is where I come to enjoy time with the girlfriends and I always come away feeling so much better for having made the visit 😉

  82. Kim, Cathedral City, CA says:

    Susan, what a beautiful message this week. We are in southern California, so we are still over 100 degrees, but you brought me right to Fall. We should start to cool off soon and I so look forward to lighting those early evenings with my lamps and Fall candles!!

  83. Wonderful post! The “Heart of the Home” cookie cutter is just the cutest! xo

  84. I’m big on lighting too! We had four overhead cans installed in our living room when we added it on and we only use them with a dimmer or if we have a sudden need to extra light. I prefer lamps too and have them scattered about for accents. Your hand made shade is a treasure! Your rainy day pictures are so nice….makes a person want to snuggle up with a throw and a hot cup of tea!

  85. Pat Beckman says:

    It seems like there are so many kindred spirits. You being one! When I think I’m really Different and do strange things ,You do a new blog like the lamps. And so many people all over do the same thing. I have had a small lamp on our kitchen table for almost 40 years always turn off the big one when we finish dinner.
    Thanks for all you do..I’m always looking for a new post every day..you’d never get that book done..

  86. Susan I hit “refresh” all day yesterday while working at the computer, hoping for a distracting update on the new kitchen, Jack, and thebook! Jack….my how you have grown into a young man. If only Shadow would accept a new kitty I’d be looking for your brother in Texas. Newton the GoldenDoodle, would, of course, love the extra friend to chase and sleep next too. Every time I see Jack’s pic I want to run to the shelter and bring a new kitty home.

    Thank you for the light of early morning post….funny how we all like the act of turning on lights–whether in the early evening or for you Susan, the very early morning. It’s a ritual I love and I don’t think my house ever looks as magical from the garden as when the lamps are turned on, the dimmers are switched to low, and a few candles are ablaze. (Dimmers help with all those modern ceiling lights.)

    Lastly, a lamp story. We moved from Princeton to Austin a few years ago. I pleaded with the packers for all of my lamps and lampshades to be well packed. Of course, several of my favorite lamps shades were damaged, but I found a great shop in Austin that could repair the shades. Missing from the lamp boxes was a very quirky and small lamp that I had received from my mother–a beautifully woman from India woman riding on an elephant with beautiful browns, reds, and golds. Tiny as it was, it was somehow just the perfect size for the inside of a bookcase. I searched every box and continued to search the new house for years before I gave up and decided that someone had probably thrown it out thinking it was hideous! No names here…..

    Visiting an antique lamp show in Austin last year, the first thing I noticed was the exact same lamp and lampshade. For $99 it could once again be mine. I wandered the shop, trying to decide it I really “liked” it or just liked that it had been my mother’s. Decided on answer two, but it bothers me to this day. Was it the real lamp or could there have actually been more? Some things just can’t be duplicates right?

    I still wonder if perhaps someone decided it was just too weird (aka ugly) and threw it in the donation box….again….no names! My sweet friend said she wanted to surprise me and buy it for my birthday, but not knowing if it really was my mother’s lamp, we both decided to pass! LOL–still bugs me!

    thanks again Susan…

  87. carmel says:

    What a renewing stroll through light heaven. After a tough day and week (Sept. can be exhausting for teachers) it was so renewing and took my mind off things that can be dealt with tomorrow. Is the lamp in your guest bathroom from the Sandwich Glass Company of Cape Cod (1800’s)? I have 2 whale oil lamps (1860’s from that glass company). They’re called heart and thumb print patterns (one has etched angels – might have been a presentation lamp at a christening). They’re electrified and grace my living room. Anyway, your lamp looks like it might be from the same maker. Thank you for the very lovely post and for giving me the referral to Rainy Day on another blog post (I loved the Martha’s Vineyard May shade). I got their number and will try to reach them again.

  88. Like you, I adore my mornings when all is quiet…or used to be before Miss Lily was rescued from the barn owl and came to live at the house!…that’s when I drink my hot beverage, have devotions, give the dogs treats and ease into the day. Dave was a night owl, that’s what I call someone who stays up later than 10 p.m. -smile- and he did his “de-briefing” in the late hours while I, a sensible woman, was already fast asleep!
    Susan, thank you for your gift of “normal”; it’s such a great blessing to know life goes on, tea is drunk, hats knitted, cats loved and there is yet light in this frosty ole world.
    BTW, OTT lights are my favorites and have several throughout the house. They are beside comfortable chairs or a sofa where a hand work project always awaits. Those natural light lights are wonderful for my old eyes.

    • sbranch says:

      Tell me what OTT lights are?

      • Jamie from Virginia says:

        OTT lights are a color correcting bulb (in a variety of craft lamps) that provides a “daylight” light. They really do make the light more clear and the colors look like if you were looking at them in natural diffused sunlight. I use one at my art table, although it helps my aging eyes see everything better and colors are more clear, I find them to be a more harsh light. You can find them at Michael’s or Joann Fabrics and such places. There is another brand too, I think it might be called “Daylight” but I’m not sure about that.

        • sbranch says:

          Thank you! I wonder if they are the kind of light that’s in a lightbox? You don’t have to know this 🙂 . . . just wondering! That sounds like the perfect light to have over my art table.

          • Jamie from Virginia says:

            It really is a good light to see color more accurately. Actually I had been looking at light boxes recently in Jerry’s Artarama catalog and it says their boxes have color correcting bulbs (and no hot spots). I would think it would be the same thing as the OTT bulb.

          • sbranch says:

            I have a light box, but I thought a light bulb for the desk light might be good too.

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            susan, the OTT lights come in floor lamps, end-table style lamps, and little portable fold-up style lamps. We have a floor-style lamp for reading or handwork at night in the living room and one in the “loom room” as I can position it over the edge of the loom if I am weaving at night. I use the end-table style one on my sewing/drawing table. I actually have one of the little foldup OTT lamps which is really portable–rug hookers take them to classes or workshops. You should check them out as they would be good for over your art table when you are working in the early morning dark as they show you the colors by true daylight light. I think we bought our lamps online through Joanne’s Fabric and Crafts. I love “regular” dim lighting but when it is dark and you are doing close work, those lamps really help! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            It makes sense, because I’m doing art work, that light should be a good thing!

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            Also, if you look around, you can find styles of OTT lamps that look more “traditional” and not so “modern” (with the accent placed on the second syllable!) LOL! 🙂

  89. {oc cottage} says:

    LOVING the lovely lamplight!
    and jack! if you weren’t so
    fabulously precious…i’d sneak
    over there and steal his little
    loins away! ;}

    m ^..^

  90. Deborah says:

    I always read your blog posts twice — they are like my favorite books. Besides, there are always lots of lovely comments to read from fellow girl-friends as well. I wanted to add that I also get up VERY early. It’s a habit learned from years of a 2 hour commute (one way!)
    Now I get to spend this time reading, writing and creating, after I feed my Siamese cats and sip some French pressed coffee.
    Your Friend,

  91. Susan this is such an exciting blog! I had to talk my son (the electrician) and my husband out of putting cam lights in the bedroom of our remodel, was able to talk them out of the ones by the bed at least! I am now going to be bolder about putting more outlets in for my lamps! I love table lamp light! And candles galore! Thanks for giving me the courage and confidence to go forth and insist on what I want! I love all your different lamps, what a beautiful one you made! Our rain has gone north! It looks so beautiful out your window, it absolutely poured here in the mountains!
    How do you keep Jack from knocking all your treasures off the tables! Our new 8 mo old kitty Sammy destroyed my glasses the other day batting them all around the kitchen floor! I have to go tomorrow and order new ones! Yikes!expensive! And today I heard a crash in the kitchen again and he knocked a relish dish off of the counter! Aagh! I am afraid to bring out my treasures! I am hiding them! I have heard that a spray bottle of water works, guess I better try it. I don’t want to put my beautiful birds out that I won last year, or my pie birds that I have been finding!
    Getting my fall decor out soon, should have it out already but don’t! But! I do have my Autumn book out!
    Thanks for being so inspiring Susan, can’t wait to see the finished kitchen!
    Hugs to you, Joe and Kitties! And meow from Sammy! ( and I thought we were through having animals, huh!)
    Tweet! Tweet!

    • As you can tell I am one of the late to beders!!!! Used to always get up early when my boys were young and in school.
      Now I get up between 7 & 8.
      Nite all!

    • sbranch says:

      With Jack I live on a wing and a prayer. It’s very scary with a kitten. I’m about to put the kitchen back together, which means my Beatrix Potter people go back on that narrow little shelf. I’m so afraid he will need to re-investigate everything! Meow back to Sammy … They’re worth it!

    • Jeannie, being an expert of sorts on kitties (not really) haha I have 2 and if you start off with a “curious george” I truly believe they will always be that way!!! Our Mystee (her 8th birthday is today)!! still wants to jump up and investigate and I had two figurines on the lower shelf of a bookcase and she was sitting across the room and I saw that she noticed them and sure enough she walks across the room and in one quick swoosh he scraped one off onto the carpet!!! UGH so up on top of the bookcase they went…thank goodness they were not expensive but none the less I don’t want her doing that…she knows if something has been changed or moved and she takes a tour of the entire home every morning to be sure all is in it’s place….so, we will never be able to put our “nice things” within her reach!!! This is a cat that once got into our bathroom and every cabinet/drawer was open…she uses her paws like we do our hands she can get into anything and does!!! Now, our Smokee could care less about “things” sitting out; but, he watches her and we are hoping she doesn’t give him any new ideas….cats are so different from one another and it sounds like you have one that will probably always wreak havoc in your home….the spray bottle may work for a time until they get use to it and give you that look like…Really?…..got to love the kitties!!!!

  92. grandma glenda says:

    just love “our jack”! he is so adorable and I’m a dog person but he has won my heart!!!

  93. carol oliver says:

    Hello Susan,
    another reason that I love your…thing….all these years….Lamps…of all types and styles, and yes so cozy….I love them….and hate the new updated recessed however you spell it lighting. ugh….the more lamps I can put in every little spot I will, and love the tiffanys…old and new….and chandeliers, they are also so romantic and personal andcozy….you have some very cute lamps…thanks for sharing this story…I just looked at a 2001 Romantic Homes mag. today…that I saved…an Autumn one…and you had advertisedon the inside of the front cover,with your cute kitchen, and stenciling…the picket fence stencil with flowers, that you once sold in a kit….yes I know you dear friend…me with the Gravy Bowl….remember…from your personal collection…sorry, this is the only way I can help you remember me meeting you several times….and your mom,many years ago at The Auto Club in Long Beach.
    Thank you Susan…great photos and lovely lighting.
    Carol O. in San Pedro, So. Cal.

  94. Pat C. says:

    Hi Susan,
    I love your variety of lamps. I remember when my girls were young, I got them umbrella-shaped lamps, one with a pink polka-dot umbrella shade and one with a blue one. The base had a handle that turned up just like an umbrella handle. I think I loved them more than my daughters. Having a cozy lamp in the bathroom is so welcoming and having a soft light near a living room window makes passers-by want to come in and sit and read a good book! I also like restaurants that don’t go in for stark, bright lighting nd instead, have those skinny lamps with tiny shades on the tables. That is ambience! I also enjoyed seeing Jack. He is so adorable!

  95. linda says:

    That Jack just steals my heart-every time!

  96. Alice in Wisconsin says:

    Gee … There are usually a few cat hairs hanging from MY lampshades!

  97. Gert~Iowa says:

    Susan…love the lamps and all the different lamp shades! Jack is adorable! I think he is going to miss that ladder! smile.. Sorry this is short, I had written a longer one and got an error and lost it;(


  98. Linda in Texas says:

    Susan, I love the way you inspire us to make our homes cozy and homey. I love it when you show us your house. I haven’t seen anything in your house yet that I don’t think is absolutely adorable. It was so much fun seeing your lamps and all the pretty shades you have on them. And seeing Rachel’s lamps again, too.

    I’ve always wished I was a morning person, but I’m just not. It just seems like morning people get so much more done. But as you said to another girlfriend, we have to be who we are.

    Jack, as always, looks adorable. Black cat, white sweater. Too cute.

    Looks like Joe is a perfectionist. I’m certain the kitchen is going to be boo-tee-ful! Like so many others, I can’t wait to see it.

    I have to say it again “Thanks for all you do.”

  99. lani says:

    I love you Susan Branch!!! I start my morning in my kitchen around 4:30 as well and turn on all three lamps in my kitchen as I get our coffee.
    Then when I get to school around 6:15 a.m. I walk around the classroom and turn on all table 6 lamps. Boot up my Pandora Billy Holiday station on the computer and get ready for my first graders. When the teacher is happy the children are happy.
    You never fail to warm my heart girl friend.

  100. Terry B from Oceanside, CA says:

    Love, love, love the lamps – and the all over coziness of your home! My soul just says “ahhhh…”. Even though you are thousands of miles away, I can relax just by enjoying your blog. By the way (NO criticism here) but you seem to spell “a lot” as one word. It even popped out to me on your calendar. It is always spelled as two words. Yes, I am an English teacher, but others might notice it as well since you’re publishing your work. I love all the things you create a lot!!! Love you!

    • sbranch says:

      I know it’s two words, but my fingers have a mind of their own! Yes! A lot! xoxo

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        That is one of those words that I have to sometimes think about–whether it is one or two words. “Thank you” is another one–people make it one word but I think it supposed to be two separate words? And the other “problem word” I have is “laying/lying”. I read something cute once that was a way to remember which was which, but FORGOT IT! 🙂 It was something like “chickens lay, don’t lie” or something like that. Anyone familiar with it?

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