ELLE Magazine Feature

2014-10-02 12.35.04I have a typewriter featured in ELLE magazine this month! They chose to feature the pastel blue Olivetti Lettera 32, classic choice. I believe Claire La Secrétaire is now officially “trendy” 😉  I sell this particular model on http://www.notonthehighstreet.com, £400 as well as a vibrant red or mint green option.

My Pastel Collection


If I was in a situation where I had to make the really tough decision about which of these colour combinations to pick, I think I’d go for the blue and yellow. Yep. Decision made. There is something Wes Anderson-y about the blue and yellow.. It makes me think of The Life Aquatic, one of my favourite films. What about you?!

Apricot and Pastel Green Style


Hello everybody, how are you today? Good I hope.

I’ve been busy working on a new design for my latest typewriter! I decided to go a bit 2 tone pattern vibe for this one. I just can’t seem to get away from pastels, every time I try, the colours somehow become pastel again…

Anyway – this is Avril. That’s her name. She is an apricot and pastel green Royalite with white detailing. The Royalite is officially my favourite model of typewriter. It’s so ergonomic, there is something so satisfying about hitting the keys on this typewriter. The keys don’t clunk, they feel very tight and quite soft, there’s no loud rattling of the metal, the padding on the back of the type basket really helps produce this soft satisfying feel when you type, as well as some kind of mysterious magic that clearly happens inside the mechanisms.

The carriage return lever is longer than average, and so shiny and curvy! You can reach it with ease when you’re typing a super urgent article for the telegraph or something. But you’d probably be best off with some technology for that really.

So as much as I want to keep this for myself, it is going up in the shop this week.

Have you been up to anything creative recently? I’d love to hear about it even if it’s not pastel coloured…


Watercolour Apricot Typewriter

This was a typewriter I painted a few months ago, now it is living in Canada, but remains immortalised in my studio through the medium of watercolour! I will be painting my favourite past pieces as watercolours and putting them together in a collection, maybe for a print set, or postcard set.. not sure yet. I hope you’re all having a great Sunday! I’m off to eat lots of lovely BBQ food now. See you later!
Watercolour Apricot Typewriter

Me and My New Baby… Hermes Baby

It feels like I’ve been working on this powder pink Hermes Baby typewriter for ever! But it is finally finished, and will be shipped off to Belguim this week! I decided to make the badge the same green as the keys, rather than the original steel, just as an extra touch. Here’s a picture of me posing. I think I look a bit smug, but I’ve just got the sun in my eyes… believe!
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Delicious Hermes Baby

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I always seem to connect colours with foods, especially anything pastel. This Hermes baby is really making me crave mint and strawberry icecream. I don’t even know if that exists, but it should.

The Hermes baby comes with these gorgeous mint green keys, and I stripped off the original grey / green paint and repainted the body in a soft baby pink. The colours work so well togethere so it would have been a shame to refurbish the mint, so we agreed it looked better with the keys left in the colour they are. As it is, it looks utterly unique now and rather fetching.

The customer for this particular order requested an Azerty keyboard – the French style instead of the qwerty we are so used to, so I imported this one from France for her.
After touching up the space key, and finishing the pink paintwork it will be a real beaut. 🙂

A beautiful Baby Blue Olympia left the studio last week!

It was definitely one of my favourite commissions, what a doll. I hope it enjoys its new life in France. The customer was quite creative in her request, and I was asked to put some text just under the badge – in typewriter font that said “You’re my favourite type of obsession” – but with the b of obsession being a little wonky – like in a murder mystery story where they can tell who committed the crime by the tell tale wonky typewriter letter! You would probably have to have read a decent amount of 1940s – 1970s murder mysteries to know why that would solve a crime.. (or Bunty for Girls comics). 

Anyway, it was a beaut and now it has gone to a loving home. 

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E-Book Launch “Typewriter SOS: The DIY Guide to Fixing Common Problems with Manual Typewriters”

This essential 45 Page E-book has been made to help the sea of people who bought a typewriter from a charity shop and for some reason it has stopped working and the only people who know how to fix it are either retired, dead, or live really far away.If this is you, don’t worry help is here.
Written and illustrated by Claire La Secrétaire Typewriter Studio, we have been reconditioning typewriters for 5 years and have had hundreds of typewriters through our doors all with varying problems. We have put this concise guide book together from our experience in diagnosing and fixing most of the problems we come across, most are easy, all of them are fixable.
The first reason that this is better than scouring the internet for hours in the hope of finding an answer to your particular typewriter issue is:
Because how are you supposed to fix it if you don’t know what’s wrong with it?! I know, you may not know what all the parts are called and you don’t want to sift through every section trying to see if it matches your problem, so that’s why we’ve written a troubleshooting section so you can diagnose what the problem is, without the technical terms.

Some of the 15 problems we talk about in this book:

If your typewriter works fine, but it only types in one line like this:



If your carriage is loose and there is a piece of string flapping about underneath it.

If the upper and lowercase letters aren’t aligned

Turning the letters inside glass keys the right way round

If the ribbon is faint even though it is not old

And much more.
45 pages with photos and illustrations of step by step instructions on how to fix 15 different typewriter problems, and to have you up and running in no time.

Extras include information on specific models that have specific problems (such as Olivettis, Byron, Oliver, Swissa Piccola and Remington), what some of the buttons and levers are for, and where to get replacement ribbons, as well as links to our youtube videos to help with specific problems.

There are a few common problems people come across that can be easily fixed, because mostly a lot of these things aren’t problems at all, it’s just about knowing which lever is causing it and then sorting it out. No two models of typewriter have their levers in exactly the same place, but in this zine we point out the broad area and show a few different examples for you to see. Typewriters are machines that have been made using precision instruments, they rely on every angle and length and spring and cog working together to get the letters to hit the page, just one small adjustment of one part may result in the complete mis-alignment of the letters on the page, so taking it apart could completely ruin it.

This zine is designed to show you what you need to unscrew, what to leave alone, and what bits you can fix without having to take your typewriter apart and completely ruining it.   

This is a 45 page downloadable E-book, which you will be able to download as a pdf file as soon as you make the purchase from the Etsy shop for a bargain £5!!!


So if you have a problem with your typewriter do not delay! Get the e-Book today! Click Here for the Etsy Shop!