Everyone has a list of downright hard-to-find items--whether it be a new bird for an antique cuckoo clock or a chassis for a 1929 Model A Ford. You're on your own for such hard cases as box seats at the Hollywood Bowl and tickets for this year's performances of "Phantom of the Opera."
But with a little scrounging, difficult finds have a way of turning up--like the following dozen problems and their potential solutions.
-- Your aunt was kind to will you her priceless Capodemonte lamp, but where did she stash the shade? Not to worry, Gallery Lamps in Sherman Oaks will order one or make one to match the 100-year-old Italian porcelain fixture. Expect to pay up to $300 for the work--and up to $3,000 if you're in need of a Tiffany shade, which the company will also secure.
Gallery Lamps also repairs porcelain and china, rewires fixtures and can order most parts for any antique lamp. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. 4635 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91403. (818) 784-6348.
-- Delicate porcelain figurines are usually tossed out after taking a spill. But Barry Korngiebel, owner of Geppetto Imports and Restoration, can fashion new limbs using compound and an airbrush for about $50.
"We can make heads, fingers, even hair," said Korngiebel, who opened his shop in 1975. Korngiebel has repaired Hummel and Lladro figures and Capodemonte, Dresden, Meissen, Sevres and Limoges porcelain. Open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. 31143 Via Colinas, Suite 506, Westlake Village 91362. (818) 889-0901.
-- "We can turn you into Ricky Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marilyn Monroe, a prom queen, a doo-wop group or Annette Funicello," said Janet Tanenbaum, a clerk at Reruns, which sells authentic period clothing from 1920-70.
Hard-to-find beaded purses from the earlier decades range from $9.50 to $40, poodle skirts cost about $30, cinch belts are $12 and sharkskin suits for men cost $65. A lovely 1960s lime green taffeta prom dress replete with plastic gardenias can be had for about $25. The store, which also sells re-creations, carries accessories, including shoes, hats, jewelry, stockings, gloves and sunglasses.
For '20s, '30s and '40s apparel, contact Reruns, 11626 Ventura Blvd., Studio City 91604, open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. (818) 506-4399. For '50s and '60s clothing, another Reruns is at 4625 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91403, open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. (818) 990-9511.
-- That close-out sale netted you an Albert Nippon dress, but with four buttons missing, it's still hanging in your closet. Kathie's Design's in Toluca Lake can fashion most buttons using any material desired. Cost is $1 a button.
The shop also restyles old clothing and makes belts to match any outfit for about $16. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. 10000 Riverside Drive, Suite 2, Toluca Lake 91602. (818) 761-3541.
-- Whether you resemble Twiggy or Jane Russell, Cameo Bras and Lingerie has a brassiere that can support any size figure. "We have over 200 cup sizes, so we can pretty well custom-fit any individual," said distributor Jan Janicek, who orders her products from a Dallas-based company. The sizes start at 26A and zoom up to 52LL, and can be made in any size.
Janicek also holds "home parties," where she demonstrates her products and does fittings for the guests. The bras come in beige or black and cost from $23 to $45. Call for an appointment. 20263 Oxnard St., Woodland Hills 91367. (818) 887-6716.
-- "Who let the pit bull in the house?" That's the question you bellowed after finding a hole in your precious imported Persian rug. Gino Lupo, owner of Lupo Rug Care, which was begun by Lupo's father in 1945, will assign one of his craftsmen to labor over the $7,500 treasure. "He gets in there and reweaves some warp and woof into the backing," Lupo said, adding that select pieces of face yarn can also be woven in, some of it hand-dyed, if needed, to match the carpet.
The repair will cost from $200 to $400 for a hole the size of a silver dollar and up to $3,000 if larger sections have been destroyed. New fringe, which also can be woven in, costs from $50 to $100 per foot and $20 a yard if it is machine-stitched onto the face of the carpet. Carpet cleaning, using a dusting machine and giant wringer, costs from $1 to $1.50 a square foot. Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. 6505 Laramie Ave., Canoga Park 91306. (818) 716-5095.
-- Sometimes even rocks are hard to find--especially black, sea-washed pebbles traditionally used in Japanese gardens. But Balboa Brick Co. sells them by the sack--$15 for 75 pounds of the smooth, round stones.
The pebbles originate on the beaches of La Paz, Rosarita and San Quentin in Mexico's Baja California, but few people bother to haul them into California. Open 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. 16841 Roscoe Blvd., Sepulveda 91343. (818) 785-7492.
-- Sixty-nine years have passed since rich old Aunt Gladys gave you that 12-piece service of Wedgwood china for your wedding. Six saucers, eight teacups, five plates and one creamer have since found their demise on your tiled kitchen floor. You want it all back for your 70th wedding anniversary.
Franciscan China Replacements will hunt down the missing pieces, charging from $11 for a teacup to $120 for a place setting of Lenox fine china. The 10-year-old mail-order business specializes in Franciscan and Wedgwood china, but also maintains an inventory of Flintridge, Minton, Castleton and Spode china, among others. Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. P.O. Box 6066, Thousand Oaks 91359. (818) 341-9641.
-- Where's the best place to shop for French perfumes outside Paris? Canoga Park, according to Victor Himidian, owner of Parfumerie Parisienne, which specializes in fragrances from France--at a discount.
The shop has an inventory of about 200 French perfumes, including the popular Balaversailles, priced at $40 for 3.3 ounces; a 1-ounce bottle of Nike De Saint Phalle for $250, and Cabochard, priced at $140 for one ounce. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. 7212 Jordan Ave., Canoga Park 91303. (818) 348-4780.
-- What joy to be tooling down Riverside Drive in a 1929 Model A. But the running board has sagged, the bearings are bushed and those two boxes of parts in the back seat resemble an engine when laid out on the garage floor.
Hank Sorney, down at the Antique Ford Shoppe, will dismantle the roadster and put it back together for about $14,000. "We refurbish all parts and then reassemble them, every screw and washer," said Sorney, who owns the shop. Sorney has specialized in restoring 1928 to 1931 Model A Fords for 16 years. "I've got 85 Model As under my belt," he said.
Cost of the restoration, which can run as high as $23,000, includes upholstery and body work, which is done elsewhere. Tune-ups cost $60. Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, till noon Saturdays. 18320 Oxnard St., Tarzana 91356. (818) 996-1666.
-- Your grandfather's 1890s Hamilton pocket watch would make a perfect wedding gift for your son--but first take it to Saul Goldstein of Goldstein Watch Repair, who will hammer out the dents and restore the gold case to its original luster for about $50.
Goldstein, who has been repairing watches for 50 years, will clean, repair and overhaul any antique watch. Open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. 18710 Sherman Way, Reseda 91335. (818) 345-7114.
-- That wondrous gong that once rang through your home every hour is sadly missed--your 1793 Scottish grandfather clock has gathered a few cobwebs. Valley Clock Service will perform an overhaul for about $100. The clocks are ultrasonically cleaned in tanks (sound waves are passed through the cleaning agent), then dried, reassembled and repaired.
"Overhauling is the best method," said owner Mark Katz, whose father opened the shop in 1954. "Otherwise, you repair something and then something else goes wrong." The shop will also outfit your cuckoo clock with a new wooden bird from an orphaned inventory on hand. Bellows can also be replaced if the bird has lost its voice. 12828 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood 91606. (818) 761-2280.