Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Filofaxing: My 2012 Setup

3rd Filofax post in a week! Not that I'm obsessive. Well, maybe a little.

Anyway I thought I would share some pics of my Filos and the setup I'm using for 2012. It's taken me a long time to get it right and I'm still shuffling things around which is why you will see post-its notes on my new dividers. They help me to remember what I plan to put there without permanently marking the divider.

As I said in my last post I have decided to make the move from Pocket size back to Personal size. My regular Filo will be my Personal Baroque in Teal for 2012 but first up is my Classic, which only has 2 weeks of abuse left to endure.

 (Note: I tried to stay true to the colours of the Filos but unfortunately my ancient camera decided it was going to do as it pleased, the flash was intermittent and so some pics are quite dark as a result. I have tried to correct where I can in Photoshop)

My pocket Classic
Protective film bubbling

I love the colour of this Filo but sadly the protective film has started to bubble and peel away. It's only a year old so I'm a little disappointed. Apparently this is a common problem with Classics. The ink mark on the cover however is my fault, another one for the hairspray trick I think.

Doesn't lie flat! Grr!

At the front is the first page of the cutom diary.

You can see why I need to upsize - it's getting so busy in there that I've had to start overwriting the pages by sticking post-it notes in there and writing on those. As you can see the photo layout in the custom diary takes up a lot of the much-needed space! I also have a lot of crap in there which doesn't help (and this pic was taken after a clear-out!)

I won't bother discussing the setup for this Filo as it will be redundant. The new setup in the Baroque is similar but with slight improvements. Here we go (deep breath)

My beautiful Baroque
I'm packing a lot in there!

Close up of me lucky charms!

My new dividers!

First things first - I love this Filofax! There is something soft and squishy about it. The little decorative loop allows me to attach charms to the Filo for extra customisation and I make my own jewellery so it means I can swap them out depending on how I feel. I wish more Filos had this loop, it's so nice to be able to customise the planner on the outside as well as inside.
The Baroques also lie flat straight out of the box, and the soft leather means you can cram loads into it and it still closes! Hurrah! She ages well too, doesn't look to bad considering she's nearly 4 years old & is kept in my handbag.

Inside are a few card overspills from my purse and a wad of post-its. Inside the zipped area are some hair clips, some paper clips, a saftey pin (in the event of wardrobe malfunction) and a spare key. Note the pretty Baroque pattern on the inside of the Filo - it's like a little secret on the inside!

Custom front page

Custom Contact Details page

First up amongst the chaos are my own custom pages. I designed these myself in Illustrator a while back. This is actually my second set - I made some Wowl pages & dividers a while ago but they looked better in the black Baroque and so have been transferred there for the time being.

Badly coloured year planner

Month planner

After the custom pages is a plastic envelope containing some photos and my old business cards - just for memories :)
Following this are my year and month planners from WHSmith. I like to use these so I can tell at a glance what I'm doing for the year, and the month planner is super handy for family and friends birthdays. These don't exist in my Classic - not enough room.

The first of the Dividers; eventually this will have a Diary label made for it.

Here are the divisions I use in my Filo:

Section 1: Diary. I've opted for the plain white diary this year. The customised diary was nice to have but in my opinion it's a little too expensive and the photos took up space I wanted to use. This is the first of my new dividers. I made them from scrap booking paper (more like thin card) which I ordered from eBay. I love how the patterns are in proportion and the colours all complement each other and the binder.

Section 2 : Personal Notes - for all my essential details I need to remember (don't worry, there are no passwords written in full!) I use the peach coloured paper for this.

Section 3: Professional Notes - for all my career work including some handy websites for freelancers and general reference sites. I chose pink paper for this section when I was using my black Filo and it now looks a little garish against the teal of the Baroque.

Section 4: Gift Ideas. Here is where I record gift ideas for friends and family. I like to note down if somebody mentions something they want or need - I then come back to this list when their birthday comes around. I love the lilac paper, but again it looked better against black.

Section 5: Shopping Lists. Does what it says on the tin! On blue paper this time so I recognise my shopping lists in amongst all the other receipts and crap in my purse.

Section 6: Landing Pad. Nothing exciting here. I use this section as a scrawling area for all kinds of nonsense. I can them look at them later and file them elsewhere. It means I can get my thoughts down without deciding which section they need to be in first.

Some blank paper for my doodles.

(Left) To Do Section: I might cut this - I don't really use it very much.

(Right) Addresses: I love this card, the little castle is so appropriate for this section!
I've really slimmed down here. I got rid of all the tabs and kept 3 or 4 sheets of the Address section and just jotted down some important numbers in the event I'm out and about and my phone dies on me. I don't need to carry a physical copy of all my contacts with me; my phone does that for me. I also have a pretty address book at home that I like to make use of.

Some maps of the UK and our planet Earth. Because I just want to have them there.

Some business cards I have picked up (and some I have designed - left hand side, bottom two)

Do i really need these in here? Probably not. I just don't want to take them out - one day they will be needed!!
Behind you can see my notepad - another feature I love about the Baroque! I use this a lot. And hiding under there in the pocket is lots of crap. But it's hidden so that's fine.

And that's it for the Teal Baroque!

The black Baroque is currently in use as a stay-at-home planner. It's not aged as well as the Teal Baroque which I find quite surprising considering the Teal has been used more.

The black leather has scuffed and discoloured so it's not too attractive anymore. I use it to keep my reading list, notes for people (basically a more detailed & permanent extension of Gift Ideas; presents I've bought, their fave colour etc). I also keep my teacup readings in there. It's in a mess after swapping out the dividers and messing around with the setup but here is the Wowl customised front page.

When the Purple Finchely gets here I may put her to use as a work/project diary.
In the meantime I will continue looking for a bargain A4 work Filo and drool over the possibility of owning a Personal Rose Finchley or Personal Vintage Pink Malden one day. Such beautiful colours! I just wish Filofax would make some Today makers/rulers in a range of colours to go with their pretty binders.

So there we go - that's my lot! Well...for now...

If I don't blog in the next 5 days... I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

My Filofax Love Story

For those of who you don't know, I'm obsessed with stationary and organization. And who is the king of these two things? Filofax of course! In short, my Filofax is my memory. A former boyfriend endearingly called my Filofax my "Bible". He wasn't wrong.
I have 4 Filofaxes at the mo (I have just ordered a Filofax Finchley in Imperial Purple - it was 50% off so I don't feel too bad about it) consisting of a Personal Baroque, a Personal Black Baroque and a Pocket Classic in Cherry Red. I'm currently missing a Pocket Domino in Red which is floating around at home somewhere.

Here's my brood:
My lovlies, top to bottom: Pocket Cherry Red Classic, Personal Black Baroque, Personal Teal Baroque

The missing Domino was my first Filofax, I bought it after watching 27 Dresses. It was during my last year of university and chaos was ensuing all around me. I was about to undertake some more freelance work alongside my Uni course and was generally feeling a bit lost amongst all the work I had to do. My flatmate and I had gone to the cinema to relax and de-stress by watching a crappy chick flick. The movie itself was terrible (in a good way) and it stirred something in me - it was that pretty Filofax - that's what I needed! My life was missing a blooming Filofax!!! The next day the Domino was bought from the local WHSmith and I instantly felt better for moving everything out of my brain and onto the paper.
I also invested in a smartphone which helps me remember more time-specific events - unfortunately my Filofax doesn't beep at me to remind of appointments! I know a lot of people prefer either a Filo or a phone to organize thier lives but the two can exist together...a combination of both smartphone and Filo works perfectly for me!

Soon after buying my Domino, I met up with a Freelance Art Director who would be working with me on an up-coming project. I spotted it straight away. She had a Filofax. It was an over-stuffed Indie in personal size. It was beautiful. I immediately got Filo-envy! Needless to say it didn't take me long after that to hit the Filofax website like an addict and order my two Baroques. I loved the slouchy soft look and being the indecisive person that I am, I bought two - one in black and one in teal - as I just couldn't decide which colour I wanted! They served me well during some very stressful times but two years later I got a sweet little bargain on eBay - my pocket Classic in cherry red. I had become a bit sick of carrying around the larger Flo and so I moved back into a pocket size. And that's when the problems started.

Every year the same thing happens; during the wintry months I decide I want to start using my Personal filofax as I can cram more stuff in it. I find I'm busier in Autumn/Winter but once Spring is well and truly underway I get bored of lugging around my larger Filofax (and oh my god it gets heavy!) and I start yearning for those lighter, more compact days when my Pocket Filofax was my go-to Filo :-/ What I need is a magical Filofax - one that has inserts the size of the personal, but folds down into pocket size!
Nevertheless, I have decided to move out of my pocket Filo for 2012 and a few months ago I dug out my Baroques and ordered a new diary refill in personal size. Sadly my teal Baroque had picked up a horrible black ink stain right on the front of it! I used the age-old trick of dabbing hairspray onto the stain. It worked, but it also took out some of the dye so be careful if you try this too. And don't worry, the dye bleed didn't affect the Filo at all - there is no visible sign of colour-loss on the Filo itself. Now I only have a darkened edge on the clasp, which is nothing compared to the huge stain that was there!

Next week I'll be doing a little run through of my Baroque and my setup for 2012 - hope to see you there!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Filofax 50% Off!

I'm a big stationery and organization freak and I love Filofaxes! I love bargain Filofaxes even more! Filofax are having 50% off on selected items as part of thier 12 days of Christmas campaign - this includes some A4 binders! Exactly what I've been looking for to use at work! But now I'm confused - do I hang onto the bid I was about to make on eBay for an A4 Strata, or do I get a half price Graphic?!!? Ahh!
Talking of eBay, there are a few 1 day ONLY auctions on Filofaxes today... that's all I'm saying...

Next week I'm going to do a little piece (which will probably turn out to be a very long post!) on my Filofaxes and the setup I'm using for 2012.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

New cycling gloves!

My new cycling gloves have finally arrived! I say cycling, but I will actually be using these gloves for everything.
I get very cold hands in Winter, especially my index fingers for some reason. So these will be my walking, driving, cycling, hiking and general lounging around the house gloves.

dhb Extreme Winter Gloves - no messing around

They are dhb's latest Winter-proof glove, the dhb Extreme Winter Glove, which are wind-proof, waterproof and breathable, along with the usual cycling padding, reflective strips & palm grips. dhb are apparently the epitome of British design, although I'd never heard of them before, and they come with a small booklet informing you these gloves were indeed designed and developed in the UK. Not made in the UK of course, that would be absurd!
I bought them directly from Wiggle (my other fave cycling store aside from Evans) who are a lovely bunch who dispatch your parcel with a free bag of sweeties inside. I like this idea very much! Free sweets are always a good thing!
The gloves arrived last night and I haven't taken them off yet (except to write this, I did try to keep them on but I was just mashing the keyboard sid qwas ridculios - see).
I admit, they aren't very feminine looking. I think they might actually be men's gloves as they are a little wide on the palm and long on the ring & pinky fingers. But I don't care. I'm going back home to Scotland for Christmas, and you don't mess around with the cold weather up there!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Back again! With cake, a card and a scarf!

It's been a while since I blogged I know. I have a habit of getting carried away with little projects, and once I've started something I don't like to stop!

So what have I been up to? Well in my last post I mentioned it was my mum's birthday and I was going to visit her. I did indeed bake her a cake (pics below) and travel up north to visit her for a few days. The cake is a coffee cake which I know to be my mum's favourite. I grabbed a recipe from the BBC as they usually turn out great, however this one just turned out 'ok' (recipe here) To be honest if I were to use this recipe again I would increase the coffee strength (personal taste!) and definately use one less egg. The cake was a wee bit stodgy and hardened faster than it should have.

Yummy cake decorated with chocolate stars (from Tesco), gold balls (from Asda), walnuts halves and
a little dusting of cocoa powder :)


I made plenty of frosting while trying to get the coffee strength right.
Of course it meant I had to lick the bowl clean. What a hard life! :P

While I was up we had a lovely time looking round the local gift shops for Christmas present ideas (and of course a little present to bring baclk to AJ). We popped into a wool shop (I don't know the proper name for this kind of shop...) and I bought some colourful chunky wool for my next project. My mum had taught me a new knitting stitch while I was home, as I am a complete novice, and I spent some time practising before I went mad on my new wool. Literally. I didn't put it down and in less than a week I had finished my scarf :) Pics to come soon.

And finally I've been at card crafting again. Not as advanced this time as I only had a day start to finish to get it designed, printed, cut, glued and posted out. It's for my wee baby cousin,Callan, who had his first birthday last month.

I stuck the wings and flag on sepeately so they could 'flap' out a little bit

I need to get some proper paper for these cards, using normal printer paper is
just causing wrinkling when glued.

The obligatory logo I have used on the back of the card since I was very small
(although the owl is a new addition!) It started off as a little joke - pretending I
had my own card designing business as a kid, but now it's just a habit, and I
quite like it :)

That's all for now! I'll remerge again sometime soon. Promise!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Card Making

It's my mum's birthday in a few days and I've been working away on a card for her. Ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil I have been making home-made cards for my family. As the years went on and the workload piled up - be it homework, high school portfolio, uni dissertation or design overtime - I started to whittle down on the amount of cards I made. Now I reserve the 'honor' for new arrivals in the family and for my mother who keeps every card I make and displays it proudly until the event the card was created to celebrate has long passed. Sweet. (With the exception of last year, when for the first time in years I sent her a shop-bought card. Poor health + heavy workload = no time management. Sorry mum!)

A few Saturdays ago my good friend Mark and I wandered around Fred Aldous in Manchester to get some inspiration and gather materials. This shop has really come on since I first stepped foot in it 2 years ago. It's so refreshing to see a traditional arts & craft shop keep up with current trends. There were so many vintage style pieces alongside kitsch gifts and oddities. I was really impressed and must have spent close to an hour in there. Seeing the quirky nature of some of the items I then decided to go recreate my own quirky piece.

Here's my latest handywork. You might recognise it...

The beautiful pearlised and laced effect craft pieces from Fred Aldous,
the little silver raindrops reminded me of my Rain Bird illustration.

The templates: My Rain Bird infuriatingly but lovingly printed from Illustrator

The finished product! I cut the artwork out in layers and built up the images piece by piece.
Difficult to see the decoupage effect and 3D raindrops due to my ancient camera
refusing to accept there is any light source in the room and insisting on using a flash at all times.

The silver raindrops and 3D hearts were painted with Chroma acrylic paints to match the graphic,then glued
on to the background. I decided not to add the lacy edging and the pearl drops - less is more!

The inside graphic :)

Does it meet my perfectionist standards? No. This is actually the third attempt at making this card. But I'm sure my mum will love it for what it is.

That's all for now... for tomorrow I bake the cake!! :D

Friday, 4 November 2011

New artwork!

Introducing some new characters to my portfolio, Wowls.

I sell my artwork on Red Bubble under my professional name. You can see my portoflio here.
Anything can be ordered from postcards & stickers to full size canvases. I haven't enabled printing on clothing yet but I'll make it available soon! Also on the way will be iPhone cases :)

Here's a preview of my quirky Wowl series...

Get Out of My Tree!

Where are all the Wowls?

Wowl One

Full of Wowls

If you're a budding artist trying to get your work out there I would definitely give Red Bubble a go - it's incredibly easy to sell your stuff and templates are available for the tricky things. There's quite a community spirit too and you promote your work as much as you wish.