Putting Pen to Paper: The A5 Organiser

When I finally decided to start this blog, I had to ask myself how I would meet all my commitments. I work full time 5 days a week, have a nuclear single child fur family, hold craft classes, need some me craft time and now blogging. So I decided to get an organiser. A physical one. There are those who love their smart phones and all manner of electronic organisers – that is not the way for me. I like seeing and touching pretty stationery.

20 years ago, one of my mom’s friends (the lovely Auntie Valerie) purchased me a personal size crocodile skin personal sized Filofax in cherry red. I recall it was £100 – a huge investment that a 16 year old girl could not afford, a long lasting gift still lovingly cherished.  20 years on, the colour is still luscious, rings in perfect order, but the clasp no longer works. Given my very long lasting history with the brand, I really wanted a nice new leather Filofax but in the bigger A5 size. However, recent reviews seem to point to the company having lost their quality mojo and when I went to their website, it seems their design team has been caught napping too.

Then it was like the fates were calling and the Kikki A5 organiser in black saffino leather went on sale. I read the words “30% off” , “limited stock” and “free shipping” and my credit card came out. While the organiser is no longer available for sale, I thought I’d do a bit of a review so that anyone interested in the Kikki organisers in other colours or sizes can have a bit of a better idea.

So this is the organiser compared to my 20 year old personal sized Filofax. As you can see, its much bigger. The leather has that beautiful signature cross-hatch pattern and feels quite thick in hand. The leather also seems to be padded underneath, something I’m not sure I like as it makes the overall organiser feel bulky.

Two Organisers

Below is a picture of the inner front view. The lining fabric is black and has a cute diamond print. On the front flap, there are 3 card pockets down the bottom. The top pocket housed a mini “Today” notepad that I promptly gave away as scrap as it was of sub-par quality that detracted from the overall look. There is a flap, a zipped section and a pocket. The flap certainly adds to the bulk, but makes sense for people who want to keep papers without the worry of them falling out the bottom. Personally I prefer my old Filofax which has an accordion style pocket instead. The rings of the binder themselves are flush and tight, in a lovely mid-tone gold. For me, huge drawback is that the fabric holding the binding rings was not glued down to the leather. It feels like the weight of all that paper is on the seam that attaches the fabric to the cover. Okay if it lives on a desk, not so good for toting around.

Inner cover

This is what is included: 3 sticker sheets, monthly spreads, meeting paper, to do paper and lots of notes paper. In fact there was so much note paper it felt that the designers were just plain lazy and couldn’t be bothered with designing weekly or daily sheets. There are 6 dividers in gloss card… shame that the stickers to label the dividers with are in semi-matte. The look together is passable, not wow wee.

Whats inside

This is the back inner with the included notepad. I’m getting rid of that notepad too. The binder has rings that open and close so if I wanted to hand a note to someone, I’d give them one of those numerous note papers that were already included. As an aside, I shifted the last divider all the way to the back so that the last few pages of the last section of note paper don’t crumple along the spine.

Back Inner Cover

Anyway, you can see that I am not overawed by the organiser. However, since its now a sunk cost (too expensive to ship back for a refund), after my initial guilt and chagrin from bad decision making, I’ve decided to get a bit crafty with it and hopefully come to love it a little more. I’ll document my organiser transformation over the coming weeks (or maybe months) in my Putting Pen to Paper series.

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Howdy Neighbours

In my last post here, I talked a little bit about why I wanted to set up a blog and where I saw it going. Today, I want to talk a bit about who inspired me to start blogging. As I said previously, I love looking at the amazing creations that people make. This includes everything from works of fashionary art that took a team of 30 over 6 months to create, to the rustic dining room table that someone said they just “banged together with a few nails”.

For me, popping in on a blog and reading about the happenings of the day is akin to catching up with your neighbour over a cup of tea . Its usually a relationship of likes and comments, but sometimes ends up as gossipy housewives or giggly teens via e-mail. I thought I’d take the chance to introduce you, my newest neighbour, to some of the other lovely people in the neighbourhood.

So in no particular order, I’d like you to meet:

Sanae Ishida – an amazing artist, sewer, writer, mother and wife. Her literary, painting and sewing talent makes Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings such fun. More than anything, I love her candid yet gentle approach to writing that makes you feel like family.

This one is a new and awesome discovery, aptly called Oh Happy Day! Its an eclectic mix of interior design, party ideas and travel. The blog is bright, has eye catching photography and makes you want to go out and have fun.

Okay, so Make my Lemonade is a mix of fashion and sewing DIY… in French.  I don’t read or speak French. If I could figure how to turn Google Translate on, that would be bliss. However, I can’t help but pop on in since I love pretty pictures and craft videos really transcend the language barrier.

Does anyone reading this love stationery? Especially the customised no one has sort? Amber from Damask Love is an enabler and an inspirer. I just want to spend all weekend playing around in the craft room.

Mmmm, food glorious food. The pretty pictures and food able to be made by a normal human makes Joy the Baker‘s blog a pleasure to look at, read and then try. Yum-o. I hope you enjoy exploring the neighbourhood.

To that end, I leave you with a picture of Digby with her doggy friends checking out their neighbourhood.

Wiggly and Co