Monday, 31 December 2012

Decision Made!

Oh, I tried, dear Readers. I really did. The majority of you voted for wine Holborn and I really wanted to move into it too. In fact, I did move into it, even before the poll officially closed. I moved all my cards and my cash across and I did all my goals to projects to next-action sheets. I made up all my monthly task-sheets for 2013 and all the weekly task-sheets for January and designed my own DPP and printed out a couple of week’s worth… everything!

And then I made the error of deciding, as I had Word open and was in the design-a-diary mood, I would make an equivalent DPP for the Mulberry, since it was so economical with paper and cutting and all… just in case...

And as soon as I had made the DPP sheets, punched them and put them in, I promptly moved ALL my cards and cash and everything back into the Mulberry, then replicated all the new goals to projects to next-action sheets, made up monthly task-sheets, made up weekly task-sheets… everything!

No, I don’t understand it either. The Mulberry doesn’t have enough pockets. It’s a sod to get cards into (and out of at times). It’s a red which doesn’t have quite enough blue in it. And it’s so shiny.

And every single time I have moved out and said, “I’m sorry. It’s you, not me. I just don’t love you enough…” it casts a spell on me and within moments I am saying, “Oh, no. You misunderstood me. Let me move back in immediately? Please?”

So, for the time being (at least), it would seem that I’m sticking with Red! The wine Holborn has joined the massive filofax party in the bottom sodding drawer of the bureau! (see this post for where that line comes from!!)

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Review of the J Herbin rollerball

J Herbin are well known for their inks but they have also produced a roller-ball pen which takes ink cartridges. Nifty!
Ever on the look out for new or different stationery, I bought myself a couple of the pens from Bureau Direct (no affiliation, just a very satisfied customer!). I bought one of the pen + 3 tins of cartridges set for myself, another for a good friend and also a roller-ball on its own (to be able to have a change of colour as and when needed).
In my set of pen + cartridges, I bought the following ink colours:
Bleu pervenche
Lierre sauvage
Lie de thé

I’ve been using the pens on and off since I got them so I thought it would be a good time to do a review of the pens and the inks I have used so far. Of the inks I bought, I loaded one pen with the bleu pervenche and the other with the lie de thé.

Apologies for the blurring!

The pen has a clear plastic barrel and takes a single, standard-size cartridge. Still capped, the pen measures 11.8cm long. It is approximately 1.1cm in diameter. Uncapped, the pen measures 9.8cm; 13.8 cm if you post the cap.

There are 6 cartridges in each of the tins.

They are a nice idea if you like the convenience of a roller-ball but want the quality and range of colours of the J Herbin inks (though as they take a standard-size cartridge, you could as easily use non branded inks with it).

The clear barrel allows you to see the ink level in the cartridge easily, without having to dismantle the pen.

The inks come in fabulous colours. The bleu pervenche is especially bright, but the lie de thé doesn’t disappoint at all – quiet, understated and extremely classy. The tins of cartridges are very pretty!

The writing line is fairly fine and the J Herbin inks are wet enough to draw a decent line but dry quickly enough not to end up smudgy.

The roller-ball is small – those with normal to large sized hands may need to use it with the pen cap posted.

The writing experience… I really want to use these more than I am but both pens have a slightly scratchy point and when I write, I want to be able to focus on what I’m writing, but I find I am being distracted by the scratch of the roller-ball. I may have been unlucky with them and they may smooth down with writing (as suggested in some of the reviews on Bureau Direct) but at the moment they are a bit annoying.

There are six cartridges in the tin, but the best packing-density of circles is one in the centre and six around the outside of it, so why not have seven cartridges in the tin? It seems a bit mean.

I love the concept of them and the ink colours are fabulous, but I am a little disappointed with the writing experience. Hopefully the scratchiness will wear off and they will be beautifully smooth to write with. My fountain pens have nothing to fear however as they are still my firm favourites by a country mile.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Pros and cons of all my binders

Well, not all my binders. That would be daft. And a massive, massive blog post. I’ll just focus on the “usual squeezes”: the Baroques, the Cavendish, the Holborn(s), the Mulberry agendas, the pocket Baroque and the pocket Aston. What do I love about them? What do I want to change about them? Will I sell them (daft question. We all know the answer is going to be no, possibly stretching to a mmm, maybe I could sell it… maybe…).

What do I love?
What would I change?
Will I be selling it/them?
Pink and turquoise Baroques
Interior embossing
6 card holders
Full height pocket behind card slots
Notepad slot in back

Add another full height pocket (like the Malden) behind the notepad slot
Don’t be daft
Brown Holborn
All those card slots
All those pockets
Contrast stitching (um, actually I did change it)
The full-height pockets nearest the rings are tricky
The zipped pocket is a bit tricky too

Hmm… maybe?
Wine Holborn
All those card slots
All those pockets
Contrast stitching
The full-height pockets nearest the rings are tricky
The zipped pocket is a bit tricky too

Jeez – I’ve only just got it! No…
Black Cavendish
The 8 card slots (yes! 8!)
The 1.25” rings (yes – 1.25”!!)
The pockets in the rear

The colour – black’s a bit… dark and lacking in colour
The zipped pocket on the cover’s a bit pointless

Ha ha ha ha ha!
Pocket Aston
The size
The colour
More card slots
The zipped pocket wasn’t that useful

Pocket Baroque
The size
The card slots
The embossed interior
The notepad slot

The colour – pink or teal would be better…
The zipped pocket is pointless

(brown Mulberry agenda)
The size
The quality
The beaten leather
More card slots
The vertical pockets to be a little further from the rings or have the shaped edge

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

(red Mulberry agenda)
The size
The quality
The colour
More card slots
The extra slip pocket that Indie has
Not to be so shiny (?)

Er… no… maybe…? No… Don’t know…

I have come to the realisation that I like:
  • lots of pockets
  • lots of card slots
  • colour
At least that’s good to realise so it might curb my binder-buying habits.

[ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… who am I kidding???]

Maybe it will help me decide which binder to start 2013 in...

Friday, 21 December 2012

Wine Holborn

My impulse-buy, I-don’t-need-another-binder-and-it’s-only-making-the-choices-more-difficult Holborn in wine arrived the other day and I promised I would blog about it today, so here goes.

I did a pretty comprehensive review of the brown Holborn (here) so I won’t repeat myself over the layout etc. Instead, I’ll focus on the differences.
[I do note, reading back over the original review, that I said I didn’t like the wine colour… really?? I’m more fickle than I thought!]

The colour is fabulous. I’m not sure my photos do it any justice and I would have taken it outside to get it photographed in natural light but a) it has poured with rain all day and b) there doesn’t appear to be much natural light outside today! Scotland, on the shortest day of the year, with heavy rain… never going to be a dazzlingly bright day!
The contrast stitching on the brown Holborn bugged me so much that I used boot leather conditioner on it to tone it all down! On the wine, it’s actually not quite so irritating, but I’ll be happier when it’s grubbied up a bit!

Interestingly, the brown Holborn lay pretty flat straight out of the box, but the wine one doesn’t. It will be okay laden with paper and the paper split evenly between the two halves, but at the moment it’s not lying flat at all!

Needing a weight on the LHS to get it flat enough to photograph
Well, obviously, the interior layout is exactly the same as the brown one. This one came supplied with the standard fill – diary (WO2P with no lines), A-Z dividers, www pages, address pages, to do pages, coloured notepaper, 5 blank dividers, a credit-card holder and a plastic protective sheet. 

Original fill (sorry the picture is crooked... more mulled wine anyone?)

A bit less crooked...

I’ve taken all that out already and put my standard fill in! Notes divider with lined paper behind; projects divider with projects to goals to next action sheets; diary divider with monthly sheets followed by the WO2P dairy that came with the Holborn; lists divider with a variety of things behind (um, lists of stuff really…); info divider with info pages from the diary and then addresses behind. Right at the back is the card holder and then a zipped pencil-case (bought for about 50p from Tescos and punched). I know the Holborn has a zipped pocked inside one of the slip-pockets but I like to see my coins and vouchers and the clear plastic pencil case is the exact size of the binder. (In the picture below, the index card is there merely to obscure the last name/address in my filofax).

Clear zipped pencil case for coins/money (when this binder is in use)

I think I’m going to set up three binders for the New Year: Red, wine Holborn and pocket Baroque and work on a rota…! But which one to use first? Keep voting to help me decide!