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For the last   I have been on the hunt for the perfect leather bag. Not too large, but able to fit a laptop, my knitting projects for the tube, my lunch and occasionally teaching materials for when I need to cart in large art books for classes.

Having coveted a Campomaggi bag from Italy for over 3 years – namely the one below…

…which periodically pops up at Toast or Plümo, and promptly sells out – I started looking at this bag as my starting point.

It was interesting how hard it was to find the actual bag in stock anywhere…and I mean ANYWHERE – not just in the UK but worldwide.

Campomaggi is a relatively small company that hand makes their bags and therefore keep production to a rather limited scale. Not only  are they hard to find, but when the bags become available they seem to sell out in minutes! It is amazing.

They really seem to have nailed the aged vintage mailbag look with their washed leather and have some gorgeous styles, which, I guess is why!

I waffled for a few months trying to decide between the bag above and the one below, not having seen either in the flesh, and not quite willing to spend large sums of cash on a bag unseen (felt/smelt/and pawed!):

Then the new collection came out and all hell broke loose! So many more choices…but so few suppliers. Hmmph.

These ones were added to the possible want list:

Then I saw it. THE ONE:


…and the angels sang…

…then screeched as they saw the £524 price tag!

There was NO WAY I would spend that much money on a bag. I just couldn’t justify it.

So I kept looking, and looking, trolling bags online like some leather obsessed pedo.


I saw my precious on another website, in Germany, this time. And lo and behold it was a fraction of the Swedish one. But sold out. Then weeks later it came back in stock…for a bit more money but still within my range! But before I could purchase – due to a glitch in the checkout system – sold out again. I was really starting to get irritated. And the company was not willing to help in any way, shape or form (Hence my not crediting them anywhere. Trolls.).

So I waited. And fumed. And plotted revenge. And waited. And  one day. ONE FINE DAY (months later)…it came back in stock and I managed to get the transaction through before someone else scooped the bag! VICTORY. Satisfaction. Smugness. And a huge touch of apprehension.

What if I didn’t like the bag in real life after spending all that covet energy and dosh? Eep.

So after much drama she finally arrived – well wrapped in a box…in a bag…in a cloth bag…! (not the most environmental of packaging, but adding to the anticipation of unveiling)

In sunshiney glory!

The shots were taken with my iphone, so the colour is a bit washed out on the back right corner. It isn’t actually two-tone in real life, but a rich, warm cognac colour.

The leather is actually thicker than I expected and will get better with age and last me a lifetime (or until some sketcher steals the bag from me. I DO live in London, after all!).

The front pockets are fully functional and close with a solid magnetic clasp – the top one with the clasp and the leather thong threaded through the one below, so secure to prying hands in the Tube. There is a phone pocket and a large zippered pocket inside for a wallet and other smaller stuff you want to keep from losing in the bottom of the bag.

The only thing I am not thrilled about is the chunky zip they used.

It is sturdy, but due to the wibbles in the thick leather and the fact that the large teeth have to change direction so much (if that makes sense), it isn’t the smoothest running zipper. Which is a bit annoying for a bag in this price range. However, it will surely last for ages, and also has a heavy chain toggle that you can ‘lock’ the bag with or use to hang your keys on which is handy. You can see it on the left, if you click on the image below.

last 2 images via

All and all I am pretty giddy! It is perfect. Sigh. Phew!


Some beautiful images from Hitoshi Uchida’s dreamy home in Japan:


A couple great shots from the new Rue Magazine:

I have a Monday morning question for all of you out there…Does anyone know who these chairs are by?

The images are from a Swedish real estate site, so they are likely Scandi.


Is it really sad that I am horrifically pleased with my newest acquisition, this vintage Ohio Art Co. 1950s Tiger Target?

Purchased from the lovely Donna at Dandelion Lane Vintage on Etsy.

I have been driving Bubs nuts by saying ‘tiger, tiger’ repeatedly in a strange voice. It must be stuck in my head from some old advert, but I just can’t place it! Oh well.

Tiger, tiger.

Some great circus themed shots from London location agency JJ Locations:

I have been on such a light/white streak lately that it takes quite a bit to make me stop for dark walled shots.

This place  in Athens did it. Owned by 1900 – 1950’s collector Alketas Pazis the place doubles as a show room and set hire.

I love all the warm wood with dark walls and industrial touches.

A bit of quirk doesn’t hurt either!


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.

Another beautiful Kaiser Idell..


Ever since finding this image of my dream bathroom I have been noticing more of those antique trifold shaving mirrors cropping up:

So pretty with their rounded corners…



… but not easy to find in the flesh.

All of the ones listed have been from the States.

Wonder why? Hmmm.


art, design and interiors obsessed

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