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We need to paint the  lino in the bathroom for the Olympic rent-a-thon and I am trying to convince el Bubbo-grande that gloss black would be a nice touch.

He’s not convinced and I don’t think this is one of those battles worth fighting, though.

Anything will be better than what is currently there!

I have spent all weekend preparing our adverts to rent the house out for the 2012 Olympics in July.

It has been exhausting – styling, shooting, photoshopping…oy vey, the photoshopping, due to my cruddy photo skills! – but I am finally ready to post.

Here are the promo shots for you Roost-ers. If you know of anyone who is looking to rent while they are here, tell them to get in touch!

Below is the short blurb for info:

Only 5 mins to Olympic Park – Bright, Sunny, Mid-century styled 2-Bed House with Luxury Touches.

This lovingly refurbished house has 2 well-appointed double bedrooms on a safe, quiet street.

With lots of storage for your things it can comfortably sleep up to 6 people. The beds have new mattresses, feather duvets/pillows and Egyptian cotton sheets. The 2-storey house comes fully furnished with a full working kitchen and laundry facilities.

The lounge has a comfortable feather sofa, flat screen TV/surround sound, DVD player, and WIFI is available throughout the house and into the garden.

A large, well-maintained sunny garden is out back with fresh, organic produce and a small BBQ is available for cooking.

Think I am going to go collapse now…

So my next focus for getting things finished around the house (and I say ‘finished’ loosely, as we all know decorating is never REALLY a finite process!), is sorting out the kitchen, once and for all.

Here it is at the mo:

While the cupboards, floor and cooker are recently refurbished and the space is impeccable and maybe just needs a new lick of paint… somehow the room still irks me. It is better with the new Missprint ‘Little Trees’ wallpaper, which I LOVE, but still doesn’t feel right.

It screams BEIGENESS. The cheap, light wood cabinet doors give me the hives, and to make it worse are made out of some laminate that comes with a warning sticker not to use cleaners on it. Just a soft damp cloth. IN A KITCHEN.

A) Why would you even make such a product.
B) What numpt would buy it????

It makes no sense. The manufacturer should be shot.

Unfortunately, as the landlord has recently installed them, I really have to leave them be. So next on the irk list is getting rid the nasty halogen spot lighting. What a minger.

I am not even going to waste time with a photo – it is one of those silver bar deals with 4 lights. Someone thought a novel design feature would be to give it pseudo-retro pointy bits – so it looks like Buck Rogers shot it out of his ‘seat area’ (as a friend would say). It is bad.

So nearly a year later I am pondering how to replace it with something more pleasing, that will give us spot lighting in the needed places. WITHOUT a shadow over the sink when you are washing dishes.

Another irk.

I am full of them.

If there is anything I hate it is not having a direct light over you when you are doing dishes. A flaw in most of the kitchens I have lived with.

After much thought, and with the renting out excuse to make me move on it…I have finally come up with something (which you may have noticed in my olympic shots!. It is not quit done yet, as I need to sort out multiple hanging points, and I need to figure out how it will all work.)

Some of you might recall this post from way back on rise and fall lights – I have been wanting some industrial enamel lighting for a while.

Here are examples of enamel lights which I was using as inspiration:

For weeks I trolled and sniped on eBay for the parts I needed to make the fixture.

A few weeks ago I managed to snag 2 green vintage ‘coolies’ from seller frenchmemories on eBay, who is located in Vienne, France. I mentioned my sadness over not getting the 3rd one I had bid on, and the lovely fellow, Ron, let me know he was listing some more that evening! It was fate.

(I highly recommend his shop for French fleamarket goods, by the way. Enamelware, lighting, etc. Prices are very reasonable, and the man is super sweet. I actually won 2 more shades, as I was hedging my bets to make sure I got the 3rd in the second attempt…and he offered to refund me – unasked- on the one I didn’t need. Did I say SWEET?)

I need to sort out how the other 2 shades will work with the fitting and all the bits and bobs needed. Details make ALL the difference and I am hoping to find just the right brass bulbholder/coloured flex combination to make them shine. I want the brass bits to be chunky, but the hole on the shade is quite narrow, so need to rig up something that will work.

I can only dream of finding beautiful gallery fittings like the one below:


I will also have to sort out how the rose will work with 3 cords coming out of it…and how to hang them… This should be interesting.

I love new projects! I will try to slow down and take shots once I start putting things together and do a proper DIY if any of you Roost-ers are interested!

Wish me luck!

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!

I think what my room needs is a hanging planter to bring in the Spring (mid winter cold snap, anyone?).

Now, after a failed attempt to get a gorgeous little fat lava wall bulb on ebay (it arrived cracked. sigh), I kind of gave up for a bit.

Then I saw this shot over at the The Brick House and am back on the troll for something.

Macramé? Hmmm. Something.

I am not sure I can commit to macramé.

Though maybe crazy fluorescent macramé?

My black/white wallpaper obsession lives on.

Anyone know who this gorgeous wallpaper is by? And don’t tell me it is one of the super expensive ones…!


So the big reveal on the pillows!

I am positive I have mentioned my love of Ikea’s Saralisa fabric in a past post, but let me say it again….I love the Japanese-kimono, fish-scale-like-pattern (say that all in one breath) in this print:


I used the fabric a few years ago for some bedroom blackout curtains – below in the old flat with the much hated Ikea bed that came with the flat (the sharpest corners in the world. If you love your shins avoid this cheap hunk!) – and still love them today.

I kept telling myself the pattern was too graphic and distinctive to re-use…but then broke down on the pillow front!

So here they are, my new Saralisa cushions.

I decided I didn’t want them matching, as for some reason matching pillows make me slightly retch at the moment.  I also decided they should have zips. Don’t ask me why, though I guess it was because I was telling myself that it would make them more reversible – I put a black and white stripe fabric on the back.

As a result, they took me most of an afternoon as I struggled to figure out how a zip could be hidden in the seam.

Here are a couple of detail shots of the process – minus the endless unpicking! (well, ok, it wasn’t as bad as some other projects, but it did take me a while to sort out.)

Did you see that? I even hand-basted!!! Out of necessity, but STILL!

I think they turned out fairly well, and the zip is fairly concealed. I am well pleased.

( The more observant of you might notice that I snuck a shot of my beloved Glerups in there!)

Sweet Saralisa. I love you.

After months of looking at our once prized cushions, bought with our sofa only 3 years ago and already fraying in a horrifically ghetto way (grrr), a few weeks ago I decided to get on with recovering them.

(Especially as the inner feather cushions were slowly shedding their bounty all over the damn room and making it look like a chicken coop! Enough was enough.)

Here are shots of the offending covers:

So pretty, and yet so fragile, despite the deceiving weight of the fabric.

You’d think for the £50 each Highly Sprung tried to charge us for them, they would have let us know the fabric wasn’t suitable for pillows when we selected it! My only consolation is that I managed to wrangle them into throwing them in for free…so can’t complain TOO loudly. Sort of.

But just look at the fraying:

Three years, and we weren’t rough with them…it is shameful.

Alright, my moaning over, I was telling myself I would go with something understated. Maybe a natural grey wool. Something classic and probably…felted (still obsessed, yes).

So I ordered some beautiful wool swatches:

…and though I saw some beautiful fabrics for future projects, nothing really worked with the sofa.

Too dark or too light in the greys, and looked dull in our nook of a lounge. Even the brights like that fantastic orange didn’t feel right.

Back to the search I went.

I will let you see what I chose later in the week…a bit of a tease, but have to run!


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