Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year, 2012!

Hi everyone! I hope you have had a lovely Christmas, and have a great New Year!

This post is about the New Year, which I'm sure is something people are thinking a lot about at the moment! As I'm writing, it is currently New Year's Eve. I'm not a big New Year's celebrator. I don't do the whole champagne at midnight thing, although I do stay up (usually!). I use the opportunity to eat lots of chocolates and watch the special New Year's programmes that are on TV, and spend the evening with my family. I guess, although I don't do the big New Year's Eve celebrations, me and my family have our own traditions, in our own way!
I've always said, I don't think the New Year is very special, at least, not like Christmas. If I needed to work over New Year's Eve/Day, I wouldn't mind (although, if there was a day off, I would take it!!).

But I think, if there's one thing the New Year represents, it's a new start. Although I don't work on the proper yearly calendar- I work on the academic calendar, with September being my January, if that makes sense, the majority of the rest of the world works on January-December, so it just seems natural that I do too, at least in part. There are 2 main things I'm going to use this new start as an opportunity for.
The first is New Year's resolutions. Normally I hate setting myself resolutions. It comes from school, when at the start of the new school year we were told to list resolutions we want to work on for the coming school terms. But that means going through all our bad habits, our failures- I HATE looking back at my failures!!! But this year I want to look at it with a positive stance- 'What will make my life easier?', 'What would I like to improve this year?' etc. Not looking at my failures, my bad habits, but concentrate on making my life better for the forthcoming year.
That ties in with my second thing I'm going to do this New Year- The Happiness Project! I started reading the book in August (and haven't actually had time to finish it!), and thought I would start my own at the start of the next month, September, which is also the start of my uni academic year- it seemed perfect! But I was always so busy with everything I had to do when I got back to uni that I never got around to it!! I haven't had even 1 month where I have successfully managed to fulfil anything substantial for the Project. So I will start again with  this New Year.
Today's project is therefore to write a list of resolutions, and work out my January Happiness Project focus, and list of things to do towards it each day. Hopefully, I will post at the start of each month what that month's focus is, and at the end of that month how successful/unsuccessful I have been! My overall aim is self-improvement- and hopefully- Happiness because of it!!

Monday, 26 December 2011

It's a dream, but a lovely one! My hypothetical stationary shop! :D

If I could set up my own business, I would have an online stationary shop!

I would sell the best stationary around. Not the most expensive, but the most efficient, practical, and best value for money stuff out there! I would specialise in things going out of production, stocking up where I can so I can supply them to people who couldn't buy them originally!
Unfortunately I don't have a business head at all! So I would hire people who could deal with all that, but I would be Head Buyer! And I would hire my Philofaxy friends!
And Philofaxy people and my blog readers would get a discount!

These are the things I would stock:

Filofaxes! Of course! I'd sell all of them, but focus on ones going out of production, or already out of production, so that people could have the chance to own them when they normally couldn't. I would buy them off ebay and amazon and anywhere else I could, and put them up on the website. I would also buy them off people who were trying to get rid of them. Stocks would be limited, as these are the rarer ones, and for these it would be a first-come, first-served basis. People could also request certain filofaxes- if I find one, and you're first on the list, it's yours! I'd also sell inserts, refills and accessories! And people who make inserts and dividers etc could sell through my store!

Notebooks- Moleskine, Paperblanks, Clairfontaine, Rhodia, etc. I love notebooks, they can become such a part of you! I'd especially try to stock ones available in other countries, but not in Britain, so GB people could get their hands on them!

Lamy! I LOVE Lamy!! Safaris, Al-Stars; fountain pens, ball-points, pencils; converters, nibs...
Pens to fit in tight Filofax pen loops
Bottles of fountain pen ink- I love the traditional way of filling a fountain pen, and all the brilliant colours! I use Parker and Waterman bottled inks at the moment, and I would stock those, and Diamine, which has an AMAZING array of colours!!!
And everything in between in the pen world!

I LOVE mechanical pencils, and my favourite is Kuru Toga! I would also sell other types of mechanical and normal pencils of course!

Post-it notes-
Pretty coloured ones, cool shapes, different sizes, lined, squared, pretty designs, super-sticky...

Kawaii stationary- love love LOVE!!! Hello Kitty etc!

Anyway, this is all a pipe-dream!! But if I had the opportunity, this would be my business!!

Hope you are all having a great Christmas!!!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Last few days- update!!

Hi everyone!
So lots of interesting stuff has happened in the last few days, and instead of breaking it up into innumerable separate posts, I decided to do 1 long one!!

I last blogged about my vintage Filofax purchase. After playing with it for a couple of hours, and cleaning it, I decided that I didn't want to keep it. Thanks to all the advice from everyone about how to treat it, but I was just too worried about damaging such a precious filo. It felt like the designer bags I saw at the Bristol meet-up with Imy- I would be scared to use it, or even touch it, because I was worried about damaging it! But for a couple of hours I gave it the TLC it needed- I cleaned it with a baby wipe- it needed it as it was really dusty- and I smothered it with a thin layer of unscented face cream (as I didn't have any Nivea). Immediately you could tell it was sucking in the moisture from the cream, it really needed it!

It absorbed most of the cream, then I wiped the reminder off with a tissue. After:
It felt noticeably smoother and healthier!
But I decided that I didn't really like the vintage Filo. It was a combination of how I was worried that I wouldn't treat it properly, and that it wasn't quite as nice as my Malden!! I guess I have been spoiled!
So I put it up on ebay. This was a big deal for me, as I have only ever sold 1 thing before, and that was a handbag for my mum years ago! I put it up on Buy-it-Now, and within an hour and a half it had sold!!!!! I was shocked!! After many emails back and forth (stressful!!), 24 hours(!) later, the buyer paid for it, and today I posted it :)
In the meantime, due to the lifted confidence brought by the success of my first filofax ebay selling, I put my A5 raspberry Finsbury up for sale! This is the one Filofax sent me as a replacement for the one I got earlier this year, which was damaged (although, according to the seller, brand new!!!). This sold quickly too! The buyer of this one also had lots of questions, and needed it to be delivered quickly because it's for her birthday in early January, and Christmas post/Christmas break will mean Royal Mail is slower in the next week or so. So I had lots to organise and think about with selling these filofaxes!!All I can say is that ebaying is stressful!!

I also bought a Filofax, an A5 brown Kendal! The trouble is, the seller on ebay said that he was away until 3rd January. This is fine, I thought, and when he comes back to work he will dispatch it on 3rd or 4th January, so I might as well send it to my Liverpool address, as I will be back there a couple of days later!
BUT actually, it turns out he wasn't away, he just put that he was so people didn't expect their parcels to arrive by Christmas! Well, Mr seller, you shouldn't say this unless you really ARE away, it's a LIE and has caused me a big problem!!! If I had known you were going to dispatch it now, I would have asked you to send it to Plymouth, where I will be able to receive it in the next couple of weeks! But instead, it has been dispatched to an empty house, where the 'You weren't in' red slip will sit on the doormat for 2 weeks, and my Filofax will sit all lonely in the delivery office, waiting for redelivery!! I will just have to wait until I get back to Liverpool to arrange redelivery so I can finally get my hands on my Kendal, which I have been wanting since April!! It's going to be my uni assignments filofax, to replace the Finsbury I just sold!
And a few days ago I received the personal red Butterfly Filofax I bought very cheaply from ebay, as a reward to myself for finishing my dissertation proposal a day early!! The clasp is a bit damaged, but will serve me great over the next couple of weeks when I don't have any of my other filofaxes here (except for my trusty ochre Malden of course!)

In other news, today me, Imy, Anita and her husband met up in Plymouth! It was brilliant, because this is where I live!! Well, during the holidays, at least! We went for lunch at Spud-U-Like (although I had Burger King!), went to Lush, Paperchase, Boots, Fat Face, and House of Fraser where Imy bought lots of expensive make-up and we looked at- and tidied- the Filofax shelves!! And I had the most gorgeous Ferrero Roche hot chocolate drink in cafe The Americano!! Hope we can do something fun like this again soon! Or in Liverpool!

Hmm... there are probably other things I have forgotten to say!! But for now I will tell you what my plans are for the next few days: Arranging my brother's Christmas present- (horrible) Apex filofax, which I will fill with notepaper and teach him how to use the dividers and arrange the sections in the way he wants! Converting the world to Filofaxes, 1 person at a time!!
I will also be sorting out my new A5 Ochre Malden. I need to put my current assignment stuff in it, because it's the only A5 I have at the moment, and it's full of other papers, so it needs sorting out, as well as setting up to be my proper MA dissertation planner! Then when I finally get my hands on my Kendal, I will set that up to be my 'other assignment' planner- the essays etc I'm doing that aren't for my dissertation (which needs to be my focus over the next couple of months), while my A5 ochre Malden will be my proper dissertation planner! I can't wait to get them sorted!
And I will also be sorting out some more important filofax things! In my Butterfly Filofax, which will serve as my excess filo at the moment, because my everyday filofax is full to the brim, I am going to start a Reading section, which will eventually go into a Reading Filofax, and my 2012 Happiness Project stuff. In my reading filofax, I am going to write a list of books I want to download for my ereader I am getting for Christmas, and start writing reviews of the books I read! And next year I am going to try to stick to my Happiness Project, because I didn't stick to it last year! So I need to write a list of 2012 resolutions and goals, and sort out monthly improvements charts. These will go into my teal Finchley when I get back to Liverpool!

OK, that's enough from me!!
I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays! 
I will post again soon to talk about the exciting things I received at Christmas, and hopefully about how much my brother loves his new Filofax!!!!! ;b

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Vintage Winchester Filofax!!

Hello everyone!!

I have wanted a vintage filofax for a while now, because they are the classics of the Filofax brand and would be an amazing addition to my collection!
On Saturday night I found one on ebay that was finishing soon, and at that time the bids on it were only about £4.50! So I decided to wait until the dying minutes and try to bid on it!
Someone had  placed a maximum bid on it, so every one of my bids was immediately outbid. But their maximum bid was £20, so I bid £21 and I won it!!

The auction didn't make it very clear what the filofax was. This is the picture, the one and only, that was on the auction page:
And the description was:
"Vintage filofax in dark green leather. Some inserts included. The original filofax logo is clearly visible inside the front cover. Both front and back covers have pockets and there is a pen holder. Looks like new."
And the condition was: "Use: An item that has been previously used..."

That's it! No model name or number, no size, barely any clear description! I could only work out that it looked like a personal sized filo, and from the photo, Steve from Philofaxy said it was probably a Winchester!

It arrived today!!! I was very surprised, because it is the Christmas period and the Royal Mail is notoriously difficult to get through now! But I bought it on Saturday night, it was dispatched on Monday, and it was delivered today, Wednesday!! Excellent!

First impressions: The leather is very stiff. I supposed I am used to the supple leather of the Malden, but hopefully this will soften up over time! It doesn't lay flat AT ALL!! I think it mustn't have been used a lot, because Steve's filo of the same range lays flat. It is in relatively good condition, in comparison with what I would expect a filo of over 25 years to be! So I think it wasn't used much in the 80s, and definitely not much recently, because it's FILTHY!! Fluff has gathered near the rings and needs a PROPER cleaning!! The only bit I'm annoyed about is that the clasp is quite delicate, if bent too much it will probably snap, so I'm going to try to do something about that ASAP. The leather is such a dark green it almost looks black!!
I googled the number on the inside cover, and Steve was of course correct, it is a Winchester!
The clasp is a bit damaged

Tonight I am going to clean it and give it the treatment it needs- using the Nivea trick!!

I've posted lots more photos on flikr, and I'll put some more up and do another post when it's all cleaned up!

Merry Christmas in the meantime!!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Bristol mini-Philofaxy meet-up!!

Hello everyone! Uni term has finished and I am now home for Christmas!! I promise I will write lots of blog posts over the next few weeks!

Yesterday was the mini-Philofaxy meet-up in Bristol, organised by the lovely Imy! Coming along were me, Nicola, Emma, and Tali and her husband.
Imy was coming from Cornwall on a train which went through Plymouth, so I went on the same train and she saved a seat for me! We sat there on the whole journey chatting and having fun! Imy was sooooo excited!! She's like a little puppy!!!
Then we arrived in Bristol and waited by the exit for Tali and her husband, then made our way outside to meet Nicola who was picking us up in her car! She drove us over to the shopping centre in the centre of Bristol, Cabot Circus. We decided not to go to the mall on the outskirts of Bristol, Cribbs Causeway, because it would have been packed full of Christmas shoppers and we might not have been able to get back to the train station on time. But Cabot Circus was great! A very impressive shopping centre, with amazing architectural features, sweeping platforms and cool Christmas decorations! Nicola drove us up to quite a high level in the multi-story car park, we went round and round and round and round the corkscrew to get up to that level and we got quite dizzy! But it was really fun!!
Then we met Emma who came in her car, and she gave everyone a Christmas card with a little envelope full of cute stickers in! So kind! And those weren't the last stickers of the day!!
Now we were all together, suddenly we all got very very excited!! We went over to Nandos to try to book a table (Imy wanted to book it under the name 'Filofax'!) but they said we don't have to book, just come back later and stand in the queue. Tali's husband went off to do his own shopping and would meet up with us again at lunch.
Then we started shopping! We went over to House of Fraser because Imy wanted to visit the handbag section which had a Mulberry concession in it- she's a Mulberry addict! But I must admit some of them were quite nice!!
Then we went over to the Paperchase concession! We all love Paperchase!! The concession in House of Fraser is huge, bigger than the shops in both Liverpool and Plymouth!! We were there for about half an hour, and I think we helped to pay quite a chunk of their rent bills for the day!! We all bought a LOT of stickers!! Well, they are so cute and pretty, and only £1 or £2 for a pack!! And we are all children in our heads!!
This is my haul from Paperchase! (+1 lipgloss I got later in the day!) As you can see, I bought LOTS of stickers!! Plus I bought a pretty tin for them to live in, or else I'll lose them around my room. It's supposed to be for pens/pencils, but it's the perfect fit for the slimmer packets of stickers, although the £2 packs that are wider won't fit in. I also bought some really pretty sticky notes, some tab markers for my new MA filofax, and some bookmarks, which I am going to turn into Filofax personal today markers! Possibly the best thing I got from Paperchase, which is saying something because I really love it all, is my pink Lamy Safari fountain pen!! I love Lamy pens, and have wanted a pink one but it's hard to find because they were last year's special edition one, so they're quite rare, although Paperchase do stock them. I'll do a post on this soon :)

Then, after we had managed to pull ourselves away from all the pretty things, we walked out of the shopping centre to the other shops in the city centre. At 1pm we met outside Nandos and queued for a table, finding a table for 6 on a busy Saturday was difficult! Emma took me to a cashpoint, and by the time we got back the others were seated inside :) We ordered our meals, I had a chicken breast burger, medium heat, which was very nice! After that I ordered the chocolate cake, but it wasn't very nice because it was like chocolate mousse made into a cake, and I don't like chocolate mousse :(
While we were eating, we got our shopping out and played with our stickers and things!! Again, we're like little kids!! And we got our filofaxes out and made a mini stack!! Nicola brought lots, including the WHSmith one masquerding as a filofax at the front! We compared filos, and they were sent around the table for people to write messages in! Like a proper Philofaxy meet-up!!
Then we went back to Paperchase! Yes, I know, we were addicts!! But Imy had seen some cute highlighters Nicola had bought and wanted some for herself, and my sticker tin was a bit dented so I wanted to exchange it. But when I got there, there were none left! Oh well! Then we went to a few more shops like WHSmith (more filofaxes!), and I went in Boots while the others went in Build-a-Bear workshop.
Then we made our way out of the shopping centre again, and went into Harvey Nichols. We found our way over to the Chanel hand bags, and there was the Chanel man there. Rude rude man, insulting our non-Chanel hand bags, and saying living in Cornwall must be like living in the fashion middle-ages!!! Imy was upset and we were all very angry at him!! We walked straight out, and were fuming about it for a good few minutes! We wanted to slap him with our 'cheap' handbags!
Then after a bit more walking around, we went to Starbucks. Everyone ordered their drinks, but as I don't drink hot drinks like that, I had a quick look around the Christmas market for presents, and finally got my mum the present I couldn't find in Plymouth! Yayyy!!!
We got back into the cars and went to Staples!! We are stationary geeks!! We all had a good look around, although I didn't buy anything, Nicola found a good pen that was made by Franklin Covey and is a multi-pen, with black, blue and red ink and a pencil all in one! I have been looking for a pen like this for ages! But Nicola got the last one, and the shop assistant phoned the Plymouth store for me, asking if there is one in stock, and there might be, so I'll have a look soon!
We had a while to wait until our trains, but we went to the station anyway because we were all shopped out! There wasn't a McDonald's/KFC/BurgerKing in Temple Meads station, and knowing I wouldn't be able to eat until 10, I bought a sausage roll- which was huge!! Well, it kept me filled up, so I could only eat 1 slice of the pizza my mum cooked for me!
On the train Imy found out we had free wifi! So we spent most of the journey on the internet on our phones, and chatting! :) It was a really fun journey!

It was a very very fun day, I really want to do it again soon!! Thanks everyone!! Have a great Christmas!

Friday, 2 December 2011

2012 diary update!

Hi everyone!
Thanks to everyone who voted on my poll and commented on my previous post, it has helped me make my mind up!
My biggest issue was what should I do with my Filofax day per page interts: well, Lucy bought them off me!! So now I am free to get the Day Timer Flavia inserts! I have asked my mum to get them for me for Christmas, which she has agreed to!
So now I'm really looking forward to 2012 for some really efficient planning! I hope!