Thursday, 29 January 2015

Leather bag heaven

Hello folks!
Well, its a really long time since I last wrote on here, but I'm really super excited to share something with everyone.

About a week ago, I was reading posts about Filofaxes, as I do, and in particular, the Original.
I have an Original in patent fuchsia (personal size) and it has become my absolute favourite.
I especially love the quality of the leather, the simplicity of the design, and just the way it feels so sturdy and well made.

I happened to read somewhere that there is a company based in Liverpool called The Leather Satchel Company who actually made the Original for Filofax.

I had a little search for their website and fell immediately in love with their satchels. They have been making satchels and bags since 1966 and started out selling their stuff on markets. They were based in Smithdown Road in Liverpool, and then moved out to Huyton.

I knew straight away that I just had to have one of their satchels! There are various sizes to chose from, starting with smaller Pixie Bags which are like handbag size, then their smallest satchel at 11", they also do a 12.5", 14" and 15"

They also offer a full customisation service, with choice of magnetic closures instead of buckles, 2 different types of handle that can be added to your satchel, a wider gusset, shoulder strap pad, embossing, back pack handles etc.
You can even have one entirely custom made in colours of your choice!
They also offer a 5 year craftsmanship guarantee.

So anyway, I decided on the 14" patent Oxblood leather satchel.

I emailed the company to ask if I could go and pick it up, as I work just down the road from their workshop, to save having it shipped. I had a prompt e-mail back from Daniel, who was very helpful and we arranged a time for me to pick up my satchel. Daniel also said that he would kindly refund the postage charge as I was able to collect myself.

Their headquarters is lovely, full of beautiful satchels, large and small on display, in every colour you can think of. I was practically drooling!!!

...Then they brought out my satchel...WOW! It was just so shiny and beautiful.

It's very rare these days to buy something so perfectly well made, crafted by hand with real attention to detail. The quality of the leather, and the work is just stunning!

I cant recommend them highly enough, and I can't wait to buy another!

So, without further ado, here are some pics (they really don't do it justice)

I am just soooooo HAPPY with it!

Let me know what you think :)

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Its been a long time!!!

Yes, as the title suggests, its been quite a while since I last posted. I guess life takes over sometimes, and time flies by and you lose track a little bit.

Well, we are a quarter of the way through 2014, and i have only just got around to sorting out my new Filofax diary inserts for this year. I have my raspberry pocket chameleon, which is my wallet and diary, and goes everywhere in my bag with me, and i also have a diary in my personal aqua chameleon (which is my main Filofax).

I will do a follow up blog with my set-ups and pics. 
Now, I have collected a few filos, as well as the two chameleons mentioned, I also have an A5 aqua and an A5 raspberry chameleon, an A5 red cuban zip, an A5 and personal Holborn zip in wine, a personal black Amazona and a black pocket pimlico. They all have their uses! I dont think I have left any out, haha.

I feel like I need a new one to re-motivate me into being organised (and to treat myself).
Now I always want what I cant have, or that which is hard to come by. Its just typical, I don't make things easy for myself. Now, as much as I love my aqua personal chameleon, I feel like a little change. I fancy a purple Malden or an Original, but I am struggling to decide on a colour, or if I could find my holy grail of an almond Amazona, I would be in Filofax heaven! The one I'm really hankering after (at the right price) is the dark aqua Original. I have found a website that have some Originals on sale, but the only colour available in the personal size at the moment is purple and I'm not sure thats my favourite. I do quite like the fuchsia and the nude as well. Oh decisions, decisions....

I also got a bit creative the other day and made some new dividers and rulers for my pocket chameleon. I love making my own as I am quite a creative person, but I find it therapeutic and satisfying making pretty things which are original to me.

I think thats an excuse for another post sometime soon :-)

If anyone has any comments and can help me to decide on a new filo, that would be much appreciated as I'm quite indecisive at the moment. I like the idea of the patent ones, but having not seen them in person, I don't know if I would really love them in the flesh.

Maybe I should sleep on it.......

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

sick of being sick

Hi Everyone!

I apologise again that its been absolutely ages since my last post. I seem to have been ill with one thing or another since September! Its either been a cough, or a cold, a chest infection, or tonsillitis. Now I have the flu for new year :/

My little fella has been ill for ages too. I have a theory though, It seems to be too much of a coincidence that he started pre-school in September and we have been ill since then. It must be all of those germs he's coming into contact with, and bringing home with him!

I have started taking some vitamins to see if that helps, I mean it cant hurt can it?!

I have to get my Filofaxes in order for the new year too. Lots of new diary inserts to put in and sort out. Thats gonna take me some time! lol

I have decided to change my format a little this year. My pocket Chameleon (the one that doubles up as my purse) is going to have some month to view sheets slotted in, and I have gone for week to a page instead of week on 2 pages to try to reduce bulk and weight, so we will see how that goes.

In my personal Chameleon (my main Filofax) I have got a year to view, month to view and also week on 2 page this year. I wanted to try the year to view as I thought it would be nice to see things like birthdays at a glance. The month to view will be useful to see my work shifts and days off more easily.

Last year I bought a second hand (but very gorgeous) black personal Amazona, which has been sadly just sitting on a shelf. I have to find a good use for that this year. I have even contemplated using it in place of my personal chameleon, but I do love that Filo.

I'll keep you posted, and post some pics sometime soon.

Happy New Year everyone


Sunday, 30 September 2012

Homemade Filofax inserts

Hello everyone! Sorry it's been a while but I have had a hectic / stressful couple of weeks followed by a week away. Hopefully life will settle back down a bit now, at least for a while.
I have been meaning to do a post for a while now, on home-made Filofax inserts and rulers. I have always been a bit of a creative type and still like to have a go whenever I get some free time (which isn't so often when you have a small child!)
Anyway, I kind of like the idea of making your Filofax your own. They are very personal and individual things, which is why I think they hold such appeal.
So anyway, on to the inserts... I was hankering after a laminator for ages, so that I could make flashcards and stuff for my 3 year old. So when I got one, yay! The possibilities are endless!!!
I started off by cutting out images from home shopping catalogues which I liked. Mainly designs and patterns which could be either collaged together or used individually to make pretty subject dividers or rulers.
Here are some of my first attempts.

These were just pictures of floral displays that i cut to shape and were a bit rubbish to be honest.
So, I tried again, this time using patterns rather than whole images.

So, I was quite pleased with these, so I tried my hand at some rulers. I used my Filofax today rulers as templates, cut the images to size, laminated them, hole punched them and then made little cuts through into the holes so that the rulers can be pulled on and off the rings without opening the binder (just like with the Filofax today ruler)

So then, I made some as a gift for Judith, who had kindly sent me some inserts from the Netherlands which are not available here. She liked them! :)

Sorry this post is so picture heavy! I hope it inspires you to get creative. I have lots of fun making these, and they make my Filofaxes look lovely :)
See you all soon ;)

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Chameleon in distress :)

Hi everyone!
Just a quick update on the fate of my lovely A5 aqua chameleon. After sending it to Filofax to look at, I received it back just 2 days later (very quick!). Unfortunately, they returned my Filofax with a letter to say that there was nothing they could do with it, but I could have a 50% discount off a replacement. I rang them to order another A5 aqua, but there were none left and there would be no more! :(
After a little indecision, I decided to order a red A5 which, with the 50% discount on too of the already discounted price, I got for £22.50!
 Now for what to do with my poor aqua. I decided that the only thing to do was to try to fade the rest of e cover to match the white patch. I remembered someone once telling me that alcohol removed dye from leather, so I got some hand sanitising gel, and rubbed it into the leather, left it for a bit, then rubbed off. It worked! I have to say it was a bit of a scary thing to do, but I felt I had nothing to lose as it looked a mess anyway. I have to say that I am rather pleased with the result! It now has a kind of distressed / vintage look to it which is quite nice. Also, it's an original as I would bet no one else has a chameleon like it! Here are the pics,

please comment and let me know what you think ;)

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

My poorly chameleon!

As those of you who read my first post the other day will know, I went to the North West Philofaxy meet-up on Saturday in Manchester and had a fabulous day with some lovely people. When I got home and unpacked my bag, I was horrified to see a strange white mark on my A5 Chameleon. It looked kind of like it had been bleached or something. At first I thought maybe something white had got on the leather, but then I realised that the actual colour had gone from the leather like it had 'rubbed off' or something. It is a bit of a mystery, as it was fine when I put it away into my bag at the meet-up, so somehow, the colour must have got rubbed off that patch in my bag.
I decided that I should contact Filofax to see if they could help, as all of my filos (2 other chameleons) had been in the bag together and the others were all fine, and surely the colour shouldn't just come off?!
I e-mailed customer services on Sunday, and Monday morning I had a reply from them asking me to send my Filofax back to them freepost for them to assess it and see if they could rectify the problem.
So, last night I packed my little beauty up really carefully, and today it went off in the post and I am missing her already :( There's an empty space on my shelf :(
I hope they can fix her or replace her and that I won't have to be sad for too long.

Here is a picture of the offending white patch.
Not good! :(
I will update when I hear back from Filofax, hopefully in a few days when they have had a look at it.
I have heard that their customer service is excellent, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

Oh, on a happier note, I decided to advertise my personal cuban zip on e-bay as I have never really taken to it as it's really bulky, and after seeing Alison's personal holborn zip I fell in love! I put it on on Sunday and guess what? It sold yesterday - YAY! So straight away, I ordered my Holborn (obviously that will be a whole other post, so watch this space!!!) Check out Alison's blog to see her lovely family of Holborns to which she has just got a new edition.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Simple pleasures on a sunny day

Well, I'm back already with my second ever blog post. Thank you to those who have already visited and had a little nosey at my blog. Special thank yous to Steve and Lucy for being my first two followers :)
I am lucky to live right near to a lovely big park with lots of things there to do. On Sundays for most of the year there is often a band or group at the park, on the bandstand, playing music for people to enjoy. Once every year, there is a group called Pantonic All Stars who come from Stockport near Manchester. They play steel drums, which I love. I always go to the park to see them when they play. Steel drums just sound so summery and sunny and lovely, they make me feel all happy and kinda like i'm on holiday. The last two years running, when they have played in our park, it has poured with rain. I still went to see them though, standing under my umbrella or the hut in the park. Their music makes me feel summery even in the rain.
Today, for once it was lovely and sunny, so me, my little fella and my other half walked down to the park with our picnic and sat in the sunshine munching our food, listening to the lovely sounds of the steel drums. I love how sometimes the simplest little things, like some sunshine and some music can lift my mood and make me feel so happy. Such a shame the Pantonic All Stars only come to us once a year. Of all the bands that come to play they are without a doubt my favourite. They have some videos on youtube if anyone wants to check them out.
Bye for now, Deb