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So here is the last 1227 installment…

As mentioned previously, the worst of the restoration was the hinge.

How the feck does one make an Anglepoise hinge? This took quite a bit of ‘art-school’ finagling, but I managed to get it together with a lot of work.

This is what I had:

Anglepoise 1227 hinge - lacking ALL working bits

This is what I needed:

Anglepoise 1227 hinge with all working bits


So after panicking for about a month I decided to take a deep breath and just crack on.

First on the make list were the flat bits that hold the arm structure together when it moves. That one seemed really straight forward… but in the end were much less so, as they ended up being a huge pain in the hindicus.

See, when I was checking them out, I didn’t stop to take into account the movement of the hinge THROUGH the narrow ‘arms’ at the front, which give it a full range of movement. Hence, with the added width of the metal I used they ended up being too fat once the bolt was in and couldn’t pass through. This meant that, months later, last week I spent another, painful, smelly hour filing them thinner – cursing them, and myself, all the while!

But back to the rosy beginning… So since Anglepoise no longer supply parts for their products (environmental policy? What’s that?), I figured I could cut the bits out of any flat metal, so started ripping the place apart looking for suitable bits to chop.

Weeks – possible months- passed, then I stumbled on these Ikea curtain bits we had stored away. The holes were the exact distance needed, so I went for it…

cutting Ikea curtain bits and filing to shape

Using my jeweller’s saw (have I ever mentioned how useful these things are?? Yes.) I cut out the shapes, then painfully filed and sanded. Hateful, tedious and sometimes painful, but got there.

Then. Sigh. Then I had to figure out how to make the spacer bits – that again, you can no longer purchase from Anglepoise, even though they still make them for the new ones. (Evil feckers.  Ok, a moment for a quick rant – nothing liking promoting a little sustainability, eh, Anglepoise, you money-grubbing bastards. Ok. Done now.)

Once again, I searched the home for things to chop up…and found an old metal pen that looked suitable. I chopped bits to size and then filled with epoxy putty, then drilled through this to make them solid.

cutting out spacers from pen and filling with epoxy putty

Not as bad as it sounds, just time consuming.

So now I had my spacer things and my hinging bits – and yes, these are the technical terms – all I needed were new nuts (ha ha) and I was ready to roll. I put it all together, and minus the drama with the width, I had made this thing of beauty:

fully reconstructed Anglepoise 1227 hinge!

*cue angels singing* Ahhhhh.

Was it really worth the effort, gouges, despair, broken finger nails and nasty ghetto hands, I hear you ask?

Well in the end, here was the final costing for those of you considering your own project:

I could probably have gotten an undamaged one on eBay for this price if I had waited. On the other hand, I suppose it was super satisfying taking something that would likely have ended up scrapped for parts and making it look amazing. (Trying to convince myself here, people, work with me.)

And I learned a lot.

…Primarily to cost out a project before bidding. heh.

Anyway, it is done and I now have good lighting for knitting while watching TV. What more could you ask for?

So all together now, the big reveal…here she is, after 5 months in the studio giving me the guilt-eye:

fully restored Anglepoise 1227

And just to make myself feel better (because I am a before and after NUT):

before & after

Ta dah. Phew.

It is done! Finally.

My darling little Anglepoise 1227 is fully restored!

Some of you may recall the drama when I started tallying up the costs of restoring my eBay ‘bargain’ and realised it wasn’t really going to be a bargain at all, but a labour of love.

And when I say labour, I truly mean it! Many months later and a lot of hard work, and I am ready to share at long last.

(I will be posting this in 2 parts so that it isn’t too long, and those who are interested in the process for their own project can follow it through more easily.)

Some of you may remember the eBay shot from back in September of 2011 that started it all:

anglepoise before - eBay shot

This was the state of affairs at the start. No hinge or hinge parts, dings, lots of grime and scratches, some rust and ALL electrical bits needing to be replaced.

The shade was a bit wobbly, so I spent some careful time with pliers and some card to keep from scratching the paint further, gently squeezing it straight.

It worked amazingly well, and you can barely see the wobbles now, when looking straight on. I also gave the inside of the shade a brush finish to clean it up.

shade after straightening and brushing


I replaced bulb holder (and had a lovely reader buy the original, so I didn’t have to feel guilty for buying the shiny new one! Thanks again, Jim.)…

…added an inline switch and new plug – which I got from the recycling depot, so free – and pirated the springs off my Type 75, as I figured the older 1227 has seniority.

I also replaced the cord with twisted silver flex from Urban Cottage Industries which I felt would blend a bit instead of contrasting like the black.

I also had to fix the little spacer plastic bit you can just see at the lower left of the picture above, as one of the plastic pegs had snapped off, so had to drill into it and glue a piece of pen into it to hold it in place.

So… that is the simple bits done.

Later this week  I will post on the brutal hinge reconstruction – which was an utter bi-atch.

Stay tuned if I haven’t lost you on all this technical stuff!

As I am working on all these lamps simultaneously I figured I could post them that way as well. I wouldn’t want you to think that I am actually logical and do one thing at a time. !

As I mentioned the other day I immediately stripped my Hadrill Horstmann Simplus (hereafter referred to as ‘simplus’, because I just can’t be arsed) on arrival.

Being my usual impetuous self, I neglected to take ‘before’ shots of the damage, so only have the blurry ebay shot as reference:

If you look really hard and use some imagination (heh) you can see the rusty on the arms and weight. The base was mostly peeled  and only had a few flecks of grey paint left and the shade was in the best shape of the lot.

After many days of coating with crappy ‘eco-stripper’ TX-something (if someone wants the exact brand name so they can AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE, let me know and I will go out to the shed and …pay attention) and then wrapping in cling wrap over night I finally managed to get most of the paint off. Then I had to spend quite a bit of time sanding off the last bits and new rust that formed from leaving the steel covered in wet go for nearly a week.

Trust me – go for the toxic, skin searing Nitromors. It isn’t worth the hassle.

So on a beautifully sunny day it was finally done. Ta dah!

The shade is definitely in the best condition and needs the lest work.

I can’t figure out if these white ‘bloomy’ marks on the aluminium are scratches or some kind of patina, but think they should come out with a minimum of pain.

More traumatising is the condition of the rust-pocked steel bits. Remember, this is after quite a bit of sanding already!

I got really frustrated at one point as I know this weighted bit must screw together, and tried desperately to get it apart to clean between, but my little girl hands just weren’t up to the job, so I gave up. Frustrating! Think it is rusted together and the WD just wasn’t doing it.

The base bit is ok, as it is made out of zinc (I think).

After all my deliberations regarding how to refinish these vintage lamps, I am thinking a ‘sensitive restoration’ is the way to go. So instead of revamping these to look new, I am going to clean them up and make them safe for generations to come.

I am hoping to find a way to treat the 2 metals of the base and weight/arms to have a dark finish like my ideal example below:

It looks like the metal has been patina-ed, which means using 2 different chemicals – one for steel and one for zinc.

You can still see all the scratches and dents in the metal, but it is protected from further rusting and inhances the finish.

Unfortunately metal patinas are not cheap! But look how damn fine it could be?!

Minus the white cord and bulb holder, of course. That kind of ruins it for me! WTF?

I have had a bit more progress on the Anglepoise restoration. I scrubbed it down and got it all the grime you can see below off the other day.

It came off quite easily with some sugar soap, baking soda and a bunch of elbow grease! It is now very white and clean…photos to come.

Unfortunately, while I was at it I also decided I would oil the joints as there was a bit of rust on the screws.

Um, apparently this is a big no no – don’t EVER oil your Anglepoise joints!!

I now have to take it apart and wipe off all the WD-40 with mineral spirits as it is all bendy-floppy and isn’t holding in place properly.

Duh. Live and learn.


I managed to get most of these dings and wobbles out of the shade with a pair of flat jeweller’s pliers and some cardboard to guard against scratches…

And can now tackle that pesky missing hinge…

Wish me luck!

I have been meaning to post this for months – an update on the progress in the house – but have gotten sidetracked with my many projects and forgotten. So here, after much delay is ‘the story of the lounge’.

When we initially moved in everything had been painted white.

This was great, except for the fact that they had done such a crappy job of painting and you could see the previous peach colour peeking through on the chipboard paper. Yum. Not.

As a result, we ended up painting 2 of the rooms before even moving in. As it was a last minute thing, the landlord said we could paint any colour (colour??? really?) and I was in a tizzy of packing, etc, I picked the wrong grey.

Wrong grey, you say? What do you mean?

Well dear friends, what happened was that instead of doing my usual maniacal research and agonizing over the hues, I went to Homebase and recklessly picked a grey that looked neutral under the store’s fluorescent lighting. I didn’t take the paint card back and test it in the room and I didn’t get a sample. (are you feeling my pain here?)

2 hard days spent painting the lounge while packing for the move only to find that the room looked blue, way too dark, and very dreary.

I tried to accept it…live on the dark side…like it, even…but eventually had to admit that while I admire Abigail Ahern‘s committment to dark rooms – I personally find living in them depressing. Maybe this harkens back to Canadian winters. Who knows.

The colour lasted 3 months then HAD to go.

Luckily the Bubs and I clocked into something that is both environmentally friendly and that thrills the pikey in me – recycled paint centres. We found one quite near to where we live called RePaint that not only sells regular emulsion for £1 a litre, but had brand new tins of Farrow and Ball which normally go for £75 for …£10. I danced a jig of joy and got the lovely Cornforth White, which is more of a griege-y, french grey.

After opening the tin I discovered why they had been discontinued as the VOCs were atrocious (Farrow and Ball have now switched to making water based paints which are low in VOCs). I am sure I have grown a tumour since using this for 2 days straight, but have to say the finish was immaculate. It covered everything completely, even the crappy hardware, and has stuck tenaciously. However we did have to live with the fumes for about 2 weeks, so be forwarned…cheap is not necessarily HEALTHY.

Anyhow, here is the B&A.

Darkest side of the room (you’ll note we took the door to the kitchen off to make room for the sofa. The room is tiny.) I am still trying to get a feel for where the art will go, but am taking my time with it.

Brighter side with window:

My advice to you all if you are at all sensitive to colour….test the paint hue in the room before committing!! It is a crapload of work and worth the few quid for a tester pot. Or even just put the sample card on the wall to get a feel. You have to live with it for ages afterwards, it is worth doing right the first time (haranguing myself here in the hopes I will remember this the next time around!).

Though this room will always be a bit dark due to it’s sandwiched location in the middle of the house, it now feels much warmer and cozier. Though Bubby hardly noticed the difference, as a painter hyper-sensitive to colour the room now just feels better to me. Finally. Phew.

My eagerly awaited Erik Hansen/Le Klint Scissor lamp arrived a few days ago, and I immediately started to get it ready for the wall.

For once I remembered to take a series of photos of my restoration and rewiring to document the process…those moments of bricking it when I couldn’t get the fixing back into the light holder/scissor section (bad, bad moments)…the relief when I did…

So naturally my camera somehow deleted the photos when I uploaded to the computer. Grrr. Hiss.

Luckily a precious few remained of the ‘before’ shots, so I can continue with my intended before and after-ing!

The shade was in worse condition than I initially thought, with a lot of crinkling and creasing in all the wrong places and the tension was gone due to missing and stretched out elastic.

Amazingly, as you can see on the right, I managed to get most of the wrinkles out and reshaped the shade by heating the vinyl with scorching hot water and re-pleating. (If anyone cares to know exactly how, please get in touch.)

I also replaced the  missing and worn elastic which is meant to hold the tension of the shade with fishing line. This last bit took me ages, and it became quite clear why the elastic is used, as it would have made it much easier. However, the fishing line won’t break down with age and did the same job.

You can still see a bit of the creases on one side, but the other is almost pristine. I am quite pleased with my efforts.

On arrival I turned the lamp arm over and saw the faint stamp on the right – a dead ringer for the Le Klint logo, shown on the right, that I have seen in photos for auctions on other Erik Hansen scissors:

As it was listed as a ‘Panton’ lamp, before it arrived I did have slight doubts as to whether I truly had scored an original Erik Hansen scissor lamp at a huge bargain, or if it was a replica. The shape was so obviously Le Klint, though, that I took a leap and bought it anyway. I have to say had a smug moment of jigging for joy when I saw the stamp (yes, Flatley is still weeping).

As the old wire looked worn and a bit ghetto, I cut it off and ordered some beautiful, braided, red fabric flex to replace it.

Then I wiped down the wood with sugar soap and gently wire-wooled away paint flecks that didn’t come off, then gave it a fresh teak oiling.

Lastly I rewired the lamp, added a cutely shaped vintage plug that is a similar aged honey colour as the shade, and hung it.

And here is my precious, fully installed and feeling fabulous!

Welcome to the Roost, little eagle.

As previously mentioned, I have been putting together some new lighting for the house, and thought posting before and afters of the hallway would be nice for myself so that I could feel a few short seconds of achievement over how much better it looks!

This was the cobbled together ghetto shade that I put up a few days after moving in, just so I wouldn’t have to look at the decrepitly disgusting one that was up when we arrived.

(Please ignore the state of the walls – the supposed  paint job by the landlord was a joke…at best. It looks like he got a herd of camels in to lick the paint on. We still need to finish plastering, sanding and painting this area before it is fit for human eyes.)

This pendant is an Ikea hack…was free…and way better than what was there previously, but still irked me every time I walked past it by whispering ‘ghetto’ to me in a smarmy voice (and located at the junction of the stairs and hall that was A LOT of snide whispering!).

So, having ordered a cornucopia of historic lighting goods from Sophie and Stan at Cottage Industries, I was really excited to put together some new, industrial lighting that I would be happy to look at, day in and day out. It took a little finagling, as this was my first complete light from start to finish, but I think I managed ok, as  everything looks clean and professional and nothing has exploded yet. Knock on wood.

The first shot is of the grubby, painted over rose previously on the fitting (shown here after scrubbing years of grime away and flaking most of the paint off). I needed to make the bronze ‘gland’ I purchased look a bit more substantial, so the spray painted the plastic el-crap-o black, then topped it with new bronze cap:

The new pendant in situ – complete with photoshopped paint job on the ceiling (what it will look like after painting)!:

A sigh of relief.

On a wiring streak, I also, finally (after 4 years!), wired up the beautiful ceramic bulb holder that came with my Nelson saucer with the last of the yellow fabric cord. 2 lights done with a meter of this cord. Quite a face lift for a mere £3.75! The fabric flex makes a huge difference, a nice little detail that adds a little colour into the lounge.

And lastly, I managed to properly fix the fitting in the bedroom into the ceiling with drywall hooks, fixing the gong-show DIY the last person had done – randomly screwing into  plaster…not into struts, so the whole business was just hanging in sieve-like plaster by pure chance (what crack was this person ON?? You should see the things they did to this poor house, from hanging doors the wrong way around to painting what looks like toilet paper onto walls!). Oh, the RAGE on that discovery! Deep breaths…

I had to cobble together a new rose for the lamp out of a brass vintage one as the old one was cracked and didn’t quite feel right, proportionally.

So now the Belgian-bubble looks like this:

I left the little screw at the bottom of the rose black, as the light holder inside the lamp is black bakelight, but may still take it down and spray it white. As you can’t see the other black bit, it looks a bit odd. Though maybe it is just me.

I have always been a firm believer in paying attention to details and have decided (in girly analogy) that lighting is like the eyebrow of a home…properly groomed and maintained it can transform a room.

Of course always be super careful with electrical wiring – take a picture of the wiring before dismantling anything, so you can put the new wiring back in the exactly the same way. (Be especially careful with screw bulb fittings for table lamps, as the wires need to attach to certain screws to keep the live wire inside the insulated casing, and away from you!) Do your research, keep track of what you are unscrewing and stay safe.

Safety addressed – in my opinion, lighting is one of the things you should really spend money on when decorating. You can buy a simple, comfy sofa and dress it up with great cushions, but lighting either makes or breaks a room.

Cheap/boring lighting fixtures immediately make a room look ghetto, so investing in some beautiful lighting that you can cherish and keep for years is worth it. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending a fortune, but quality and detail make all the difference – scouring charity shops for good fittings and adding high end detailing, like fabric flex or a beautiful lampshade yourself, is simple and effective.

Good lighting injects personality in a room and the best lighting can create a sculptural focal point while imbuing the room with warmth and coziness. There is nothing better than walking into a room and getting a warm fuzzy glow with the flick of a switch!

*Having troubles getting this sent out…trying again. Apologies for cross posting*

As mentioned yesterday, my order from Urban Cottage Industries arrived and I am super excited to get started on wiring and potentially burning the house down!

(yes, that seems really amusing at the moment, but maybe not so much if the place actually does go up in flames!! Must make sure the insurance is in order)

The package arrived first thing in the morning on my day off, and was a great start to the day. I had forgotten how getting a nicely wrapped/considered package can really make a difference in excitement levels! I opened the box to a succession of recycled brown paper-wrapped, paper-taped and hand-stamped packages….each like a little gifty in themselves. My heart started to beat faster….and then I began opening them and got more and more thrilled.

Luckily I was lucid enough to take some photos before it all got out of hand. Here is the first section of goodies:

A detail on the cage. They have tons of other finishes on the metal, but I loved the rust. I was pleasantly surprised that this was Bubby’s first choice too…thought he would go for the more polished ones. Who knew? (apparently not me)

Had to pause and wallow here, as I got giddy about the light bulb fittings.

Yes, I truly am a freak.

These are proper, old-school fittings! I am SUPER thrilled that they are solid brass and bronze, have a gorgeous weight and finish, and…here is the part that makes me a super-freak – the inside fittings where the wires will attach are CERAMIC!

I got a little shiver of joy handling these. No one will ever see them, but the quality and high-end detail of that THRILLS me! (nerd)

Then I opened the cute  little box included with the order and found a spectrum of braided cord! Oh!

How gorgeous are those? Now I am glad I couldn’t wait for the samples to order my colours, as I never would have been able to decide…they are all tempting.

Here is what I chose. The yellow for the chandelier in the bedroom and the red for the hall and a lamp in the lounge.

After all this giddiness, I found one last thing that really spoke to me about this little company’s true commitment to materials and eco-sensitivity (read here)…their business card is printed on card recycled from what looks like a cereal package!

If it is possible to love a company, I think I am in love…

I am currently bidding on this lot of antique English lawn bowling balls and have had to explain to Bubby, that no, I have not lost all leave of my avian senses!

Apparently he was under the misguided impression that there was some kind of design strategy happening with the flat, and has now come to the realisation that, instead, the theme is just plain random ‘I like-y, therefore, I want-y’, with the belief that it will all tie in somehow in the end!
At my first car boot sale a few weeks back I saw a woman selling these for £8 each. She had them stacked in a big bowl, like below. They looked lovely.
Here are some more basket shots:
What a fantastically styled flea market stand! Yum.
They do seem to look better in a basket/bowl when you have enough to pile up on each other. This display below looks a little lonely.
images above via Velvet and Linen
Here are a bunch of mixed balls in a grouping.
If you only have a few, this minimal kind of display is more effective. The row of three looks quite nice.
A solitary minimalist one?

Or maybe a pair, like these two ‘nailed’ (or cloutées) antique French boules.

image via Home and Design

During my research on the different kinds of lawn bowling, from country to country, I discovered something interesting. The French balls are a little smaller than the English, and they frequently covered them in metal nails to make them stronger and also to repair cracks.

They developed an amazing array of techniques with different nails to cover them, some looking like fish scales, other like hob nailed little wonders. Of course, decorations began popping up and everything from numbers to initials were worked into the designs.

Here is a gorgeous old sign from a French Boules manufacturer in Paris via website on the history of boules, Les Boule Cloutées. You can see the star and circle designs that they would have done in the illustration.
The workmanship is absolutely stunning. Here is an real example of the star design:
An example of the overlapping ‘fish scale’ method:
It is pretty amazing to see the difference in before and after restoration of the boules.
Here is the rusted, neglected before:
And the carefully polished after:
images above via Les Boules Cloutées

How satisfying a project would that be?! Below are some boxes awaiting restoration. Would love to get my claws on these.
Some lovingly restored examples.
images above via Joy of Bocce

images above via Ruby Lane

What beautiful objects, with such a rich history!

It makes you wonder what will happen to this sport over the next few years as the few, older people still playing the game trundle off to aviaries in the sky.

Maybe it is time to take up a new, gentle on the joints, sport as we creep into our own old age?

Boules, anyone?

Section 2 of my Rental Renos suggestions on perking up your rental home without investing money into things you can’t take to your next place!

Here are a couple more ideas to add colour and pattern to a bland space.

Paint something up in bright stripes – a canvas, sheet of fabric, large sheet of paper or board.I did the canvas below when we first moved in to brighten up the hall, and just blue tacked (yes, I couldn’t live without the stuff) the rabbit mask on afterwards as a second thought.

I stress that this is NOT a painting…but merely a bunch of stripes on a canvas…painting snob that I am! Super easy to do for anyone, not just artists or the craftily-inclined. Just mock up the colours you want by playing in photoshop or using strips of coloured paper and moving them around until you get a combination you like, then tape up the canvas into varying size stripes, mix the paints and go. Done in a few hours.

Suggestion- if using masking tape and acrylic paints make sure you take the tape off BEFORE it dries, or you will peel away paint with tape! (have done this before, and it sucks)

A much quicker fix would be to take boldly patterned fabric, a la Marimekko (they have been selling their fabrics stretched on canvases as ‘art’ for ages), and just stretch it on a canvas frame.

Maybe a chevron print? They are so popular at the moment!

Here is an example of a Marimekko print used to great effect:

Another idea is to cover a board or card with pattern and slide it into place.

I had mocked up this foamcore ‘table top’ for an ikea tv stand I hacked into a entry table when we first moved in, and when I replaced it with an mdf top discovered that it was the perfect width to tuck into this space under the bathroom cabinet as a temporary hit of colour in the bathroom.

As you can see from detail below, it is covered with cheap wrapping paper from Paperchase at the moment, and will not survive in the humidity, but for the moment, it is adding some much needed punch to our taupe-ly drab bathroom.

Another shot , demonstrating the old adage of making the most of boldly printed textiles!

I made these curtains out of bargain priced fabric from Ikea and edged it in black (and lined with blackout liner). I love the oversize print on these and found another image of someone using the fabric for curtains as well, but without a liner and edging they look much different:

Stylist Sibella Court has an interesting quick fix that would be easy to do. Looks like she has cut up a bunch of paper ‘scales’ and attached them to a wall.

Or what about bluetacking a bunch of book pages to a wall as wallpaper? I have seen this done really loosely with flapping edges and overlapping pages and it looks lovely.

Have a collection of old photographs? How about a photo wall like the one at Bluebird on Kings Road?

Here is a glamourous idea from the owner of VV Rouleaux, an amazing trimings store in Marylebone.

You would have to have a good wad of money to do this one, but if you could afford the crystals, a length of moulding and some screw in hooks…fabulous!


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