Twinkle lights are the Dolly Parton of the lighting world.  They’re cheap, cheerful and in abundance at drag shows.  Seriously, when in doubt … add twinkle lights.  Then add some more.  That’s what I did with the epicly troublesome hoop chair I bought a few weeks ago.  To recap:

The chair wouldn’t fit in my car.

Returned with truck, the chair was gone.

Chair was just on loan out of store for high profile photoshoot (which they didn’t admit to, but I suspect was porn.)

Chair is supposed to return to store next day, doesn’t. Chair has gone AWOL.

Chair returns to store 2 days late smelling of cigarettes and cheese.

Get chair home.

Spray paint cushion of chair in moment of Pinterest induced idiocy.

Throw out chair cushion cover, sue Pinterest, sew cushion, sit, relax, watch porn.

You can read the whole shebang in Part 1 of the epic tale, and Part 2.

With the basics of the chair done I could finally get around to doing what I wanted to do with the chair from the very beginning.  Stand in it with my arms and legs spread while rolling down the street singing Mama Mia as loud as possible.  Once I got that out of my system I did what my friend Marta suggested I do with the chair.

She said I should cover it in twinkle lights so it would be like sitting in a planetarium.

So I did.

Only I think of it as sitting under a constellation.  This, in honour of Canada’s Tragically Hip.  Allow me to introduce you to the Star Chair.   Known in Canada, as The Bobcaygeon.

See?  Everything’s better with twinkle lights.  At first I only had one set on it.  Then I added more.  Because that’s the twinkle light rule; if some is good, more is better.  Like makeup.  Or vodka.

Oh Marta.  I owe you.  I love it and I never would have thought of it.  It’s too much.  I know it’s too much.  But like with Dolly, too much is just enough.



The lights are battery operated which I’m normally opposed to but this set passed all the tests.

My Star Lights:

  1. They use “C” cell batteries, not AA or AAA so they last a long time.
  2. The lights have a built in timer.  Turn them on and they turn themselves off 4 hours later.  Then they come on at the same time the next night.
  3. They’re LED so the bulbs last forever.

They’re the kind of teeny, tiny lights on copper wire that you can bend and mould to go in any direction you want.  I just wrapped them around the chair and squished them in place.  Anywhere they didn’t seem to want to squish I just added a squirt of glue.  The instant kind that inevitably glues your fingers together giving you an entire night’s worth of entertainment as you try to pick it off of your fingers without picking off your actual skin.

Again, if you want the same lights this 2 pack by Kohree were the best ones I could find.

The chair is a hit with everyone who has seen it and sat in it.

Wondering about why I call it The Bobcageon?  That’s thanks to The Tragically Hip’s iconic song.

“It was in Bobcaygeon where I saw the constellations reveal themselves one star at a time.”

That’s exactly what it feels like to be in this chair at night.  In the middle of a constellation.  I may not have a cottage in Bobcaygeon.  Or Gord Downie melting at the sight of me.  But I do have my very own constellation.


  1. Maggie Van Sickle says:

    Good job as usual Karen. Love the chair and I live not far Bobcaygeon. I need one of these chairs

  2. j says:

    Love the chair!!
    Years ago I had a stuffed toy golden retriever that was too cute! About 18″ so not tiny. Displayed cute stuffed golden retriever on bookcase shelf. Wanted to make even more cute. Wrapped little sparkly lights around head, neck, body. So cute. After about an hour of this cuteness there was a funky burnt smell and it began to smoke. Yup, golden retriever had multiple burn holes. So glad I was able to rescue pup. I haven’t felt ok around tiny sparkly lights since,,,

  3. Jody says:

    There are definitely some advantages to living in a border town. I didn’t know until recently that most of the U.S. doesn’t know about The Hip or bloody Caesars. I really want that chair! Well done!

  4. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    You are just too cool…

  5. MartiJ says:

    I really can’t recall this level of genuine enthusiasm for something so ridiculously “Dolly Parton” over-the-top goopy-goofy-ridiculous. What happened to your personal too-cool-to-care ‘tude that we’ve all come to know as “authentic Karen”?


    Let me know when you have returned to “All I care about are my chickens and my community garden share tomatoes which are twice as tall as yours, MartiJ, so bite it!” eh? Or maybe… yeah, I’ll probably read whatever you have to say anyway. :)

  6. Rachel says:

    I’m thinking about adding twinkle lights to my dog’s crate😂 Love the chair!❤

  7. Valerie says:

    Perfect, absolutely perfect

  8. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Thank you Karen for writing this . . . beautifully done. Your posts usually make me smile or laugh. This one? A quiet tear.

  9. Stephanie Hobson says:

    Oh wow… that is perfection!

    • Karen says:

      I’m not sure if that is a baby? Is it? I wonder … if it is much smaller maybe I could fit it in my living room! ~ karen

  10. Cussot says:

    There’s an ache in the beauty of a summer night, isn’t there? ‘Bobcaygeon’ captures it, so does your chair. It was outside in my backyard last night as the fireflies danced in the dark. So fleeting.

  11. Andrea says:

    Thanks for the excellent Epic post. I was seriously laughing out loud for hours after Part 1. Made my husband read it too. He laughed in all the right places. Bought two orders of those fairy lights from your link. Thanks for the great deal!

  12. Mary W says:

    Love the chair and really appreciate you introducing me to Tragically Hip – REALLY loved that song. The lyrics are written by a genius! I went on the click on Last Song and heard just plain real people singing it filmed all over Canada. What is the story – it was so sad and people were so moved. Did they quit producing, die, or was it just a song? I keep my twinkle lights up for months wrapped around a collection of angels that sit in a 1 foot tall, 8 foot wide window that is above my headboard – so I don’t need to cover it at night. It makes me feels so good. I just really wish I could buy the twinkling kind again. Seems they just make whole strands that flick off then on instead of individual lights randomly flipping off and on. Now they are more like dying neon lights instead of twinkling fairy flickers. Don’t need the dying neon’s in my bedroom window! Not the type of advertising I appreciate.

    • Renee Ryz says:

      Look at Christmas time – I bought some last year to use for the summer.

      • Mary W says:

        Does each light twinkle or just the whole string flash on and off? Do you know the brand? Would love to get some.

    • Jan in Waterdown says:

      Hi Mary W, the Hip are a quintessential Canadian band, much beloved by their fans. In 2016, the leader, Gord Downie, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. A possibly final concert was held last summer in Kingston with the event broadcast across the country. Gord has continued to inspire Canadians with his courage and advocacy for the rights of our indigenous peoples. This year he and the band members are recipients of the “Order of Canada”.

  13. Jamieson says:

    I assume “whole shebang” is the name of the porn you watched?
    PS: you spelled hole wrong.

  14. Nicole says:

    I love that song. It just reminds me of cottage country. Your chair is awesome.

  15. li says:

    The song is very nice, love the video too. I wikid Bobcaygeon, a real place with population of 3525. LOVE the chair too, lights are great. I can see that at night you would feel like you were in a constellation. Well done my friend, well done.

  16. Sabina Missana says:

    FABULOUS! Now I have a new obsession to strive for, thanks a lot, lol!

  17. Aaltje says:

    Totally and absolutely magical!

  18. dana says:

    That is awesome! I love it!

  19. Sheila Turchyn says:

    Love it all, especially the Hip/Gord Downie reference. Once again, you rock!

  20. jaine kunst says:

    Brilliant, just brilliant!

  21. Leisa says:

    White lights, quiet summer nights and The Hip = Heaven!

  22. michelle says:

    Currently digging out all my fairy lights to put on every outdoor patio, porch, and garden item I own. “Dolly Parton of the lighting world.” :)

  23. Marilyn says:

    Love ,love ,love. And if Estelle approves then it is definitely oool..that kid is a tough sell!

  24. Annie says:

    I like that the timer goes off at 4 hours, that way you know when to stop the vodka!

  25. Jenny W says:

    simply love it :)

  26. *standing ovation* Love it! I was actually hoping there was a reference to that song when I started reading, makes me nostalgic. It looks amazing. Bravo! I have been looking for my own ‘holy grail of bamboos chairs’ ON SALE for awhile now – but haven’t found it yet, everything is really expensive here in England (compared to Canada, my homeland too)… so the search continues! Will def do this. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Debbie D says:

    I agree. You can never have too many fairy lights! Mine are LED solar. I get them at OSH but Amazon carries them also. Work like a charm if you ever get tired of changing batteries! Love the chair.

  28. billy sharpstick says:

    ” . . . suspected . . . porn shoot . . . Chair returns to store 2 days late smelling of cigarettes and cheese.”
    Are you sure that was cheese? I would have the chair sterilized.

  29. MaggieB says:

    With this, I nominate Karen and Marta for the Nobel Peace Prize ….. This chair will bring about world peace, because everyone will be too busy squabbling at home with a timer and a schedule about how many seconds over the last person sitting in it had taken….

  30. Brandy says:

    You did such an excellent job!! I was dying laughing when you were describing sanding the black paint on the previous cushion!!! I want that chair now! I am definitely going to have to check out the lights. It’s still during the if I spend more than 30 seconds outside I will be a puddle of goo season but soon it will be the ahhhh…..swing in the hammock under the stars while everybody else is frozen solid season!!.

  31. Kipper says:

    It looks magnificent!

  32. Jo says:

    Thanks for the fairy light recc…been looking for these for awhile that are at the right (lowish) price for decent, nay even Long length. And you can get 2 of em! Also thanks for the battery info. Did not know about the c-cell vs. A-type batteries. Constantly swearing at how many batteries the X-box controller (for Netflix only) goes through. Perhaps they will work for this too? I can only hope. But nevertheless, it’s wonderful to know these lights are powered by the c-cell type as I neither want to have more battery powered stuff, and cannot load any more plugs into my already overloaded extension cord nightmare…rental, 1 plug box per wall, well, nearly as 2 of these do not work at all. harrumph. Cup still half full though!

    • Karen says:

      The fact that there’s a timer is great too. So they come on automatically, I can see them from my kitchen window every night and don’t have to worry about turning them on or off. ~ karen!

      • christine Hilton says:

        Or you can get solar/battery ones about 30′(?) that only come on when it gets dark for $4 at Dollarama next spring because I bought them all this year.How many times can I listen to this song this year and still get goosebumps? I am at about 673 now.

    • Diane says:

      Tip for the Xbox controller: Once you start a show, turn off the controller. It’s even better if you’re letting the shows autoplay the next episode.

      • Jo says:

        Wow thanks! I was intending on using lights inside for a different project – lighting up the backside of my 2 round ‘rice’ baskets (i think that is what they are, 2′ diameter and about 2″ depth). But I would like lights on my balcony too – but No electrical out there. A solar one would be ideal. But I live in a town where even the local ‘dollar’ store has very slim pickin’s. Any online source? (for $4-ish and not $40! i mean).
        But Diane, sorry, techno-illiterate here. How again do I turn off controller Without turning off box? Ditto with the ‘autoplay’…what’s that? I can only lay claim to Very basic on/off knowledge.

        • Diane says:

          To turn off the Xbox controller, you should be able to hold down the Xbox button on the controller for a few seconds, then the screen will change and ask if you want to turn off the controller or the console. (To turn it on again, hold the Xbox button again and it should turn on.)

          To turn on Netflix autoplay, which allows multiple episodes to play without any interaction from you until you hit the magic number where it asks if you’re still watching, go to your Netflix account profile, navigate to Your Account, click Playback Settings, then check the option to Play next episode automatically. If you decide you don’t like it doing autoplay, do the same steps but this time uncheck the box.

  33. MrsChrisSA says:

    I have an obsession with fairy lights and solar garden lights – trying to think right now what chairs outside I can “light up”.

    Love it!

  34. Kathleen Aberley says:

    I want one! I can see me in it… Granddaughter o my lap, book in hand…
    Or…book in one hand, glass of Merlot in the other, dog at my feet.
    Notice the book theme… this chair whispers “come read in me”.
    Love it!


    Just too much beyond wow!!!

  36. Pat says:

    Not to burst your bubble but the only reason Bobcaygeon got into the song is because it was the only word that he could think of that rhymed with “constellations”…so I heard on CBC.

    Love the chair!

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