31 Jan 2013

stationery addicts anonymous meeting #9: @purplebag2

Apologies for the gap between these meetings. I have had a backlog of posts of publish and so that is why this meeting comes two weeks after the previous one. Before we get started this week, I just want to say that if anyone wants to talk about their addiction in an upcoming meeting, please email me at paperlovestory @ outlook.com :-) You are free to remain anonymous, of course.

This week, we hear about @purplebag2's addiction. She is choosing to remain anonymous, bar a Twitter handle, but I can definitely vouch for how nice she is (and that she is real!) :) thank you, for sharing your three favourite items this week :)


I have been an addict of stationery for as long as I can remember, buying pens, notebooks, stickers etc with my pocket money as a child. There are so many things I have that I could write about including my Muji erasable pens but I wanted to be good and just stick with 3. These are my current 3 favourite stationery items, it took me quite a while to decide but these are the things I use and like most at the moment.

1. Sheaffer Delta grip ball point pens

 I found these in Partner’s (a stationery shop no longer trading) a few a years ago and bought a couple because I liked the look of them. After using them and realising how good they were and the price dropping to 49p I stocked up. I use them everyday both at work and home and think they are great.

2. Washi Tape

I found out about washi tape through twitter and blogs including Angela’s. It’s brilliant for sticking things in notebooks, my filofax etc. I love that there are so many different designs and colours and the usefulness of it. Most of mine was brought from Prints International in London and the Moomin one was from Artbox.

3. Mini Memo Pads

I only found these recently but think they are so useful to use in my Midori and Filofax. Sticking them in using a bit of washi tape instead of sticky notes works out cheaper and they are so lovely to look at. I got mine from the Artbox shop in Covent Garden which I love.


I love the look of those Sheaffer ball pens. I'm not a big ball pen user but I do pick one up from time to time. I love how colourful they are :)

Thank you, once again, @purplebag2, for sharing your three favourite items (and possibly feeding some of the readers' addiction too!) :)

Would you like to be featured one week? If so, please email me at paperlovestory @ outlook.com :)

30 Jan 2013

an alternative way of labelling tabs

You know those tabs that come with Filofax organisers? The labelled ones (diary, information, addresses, notes, etc) and also the blank ones ('Label the tabs with a permanent marker')? Well, for the purpose of this post, I will be talking about the blank ones. I don't like labelling things with a permanent marker and in the past, have used washi tape to label my tabs.

Well, I have found yet another way to label these tabs, but without this permanence. A lot of you use Martha Stewart x Avery tabs to make top tabs, or to make your own tabs. 

The above tabs are actually the perfect size to overlap the label part of tabs:

Another example, using other tabs:

And when you turn over, this is what you see - that these sticky tabs are just about the perfect size:

One good thing about using these tabs to label tabs is that there is no permanence. You can chop and change as you please, move things around if you want and also bin them if you need to re-label the tab with something else.

However, the one bad thing is that it adds bulk, but personally, the added bulk is barely 0.5mm (if that) so to me, it is worth it. 

29 Jan 2013

my week round-up #4

Another week, another load of weeks for you all to perve over :-)

You can still join in! I've been a bit lazy and still haven't updated the page where I've listed the participants so far, but there's always room for more blogs to join!

{1} Well Planned Life
{2} Friday I'm in Love
{3} Atomik Sophia
{4} Lady Elizabeth
{5} Miss Mai's Adventures
{6} Skye Pennant
{7} Filofaximile
{8} Absharinaaa
{9} The Nest Not Exactly Empty
{10} Message From Zara
{11} Cider With Sophie
{12} Imysworld
{13} Monica Luis
{14} Red Lips 'n' Pearls
{15} Friday I'm in Love
{16} Rain by XOXO
{17} Lynzy's Whimsies
{18} Behind My Purpley Life
{19} Deligted
{20} DIY Sara
{21} Puddytat Purr
{22} The Wonderful Life of Alice

And my favourite from this week's selection is... (it was a close call between a few again!)...

Credit: Skye Pennant

Skye from Even Artichokes Have Hearts!

I love the simple colour coding and the overall simplicity. And the handwriting, omg! Other notable mentions are Carla and Jennifer :-) It was hard to choose but the simplicity of Skye's was something I couldn't stop staring at this week!

28 Jan 2013

smythson diary refills

I am currently still without my Smythson binder due to ring issues, but I am assured that a replacement will be winging its way to me as soon as possible. Having had a problem with my original order too, I was a bit cheeky and asked if they could throw in a set of complimentary diary refills with the replacement binder and they agreed. These actually arrived on Friday, even before the replacement binder was dispatched to me!

On a day where I was feeling quite down and depressed due to all the packing and stuff I have still yet to do in preparation for the house move, the packaging cheered me up no end. Just see for yourself...

They wrapped it in a gift box and tied it with a ribbon. Unfortunately, I undid the original bow (trust me, it was beautiful), so you have just been subjected to a photo with a bow tied by my untrained hands.

Here is the box without the bow and gift card:

Without further ado, I will now move onto the refills. This is the front page - doesn't it just scream luxury? I love the blue hue of the pages (not really captured by my camera!).

On the last page, there is a bit of information about the paper used for these refills. I have taken a picture of this so you can read for yourself.

There is information about the quality of the paper and it does seems to be true. In the past, I have experienced feathering on the Filofax cotton cream paper when I used felt-tip pens, and when I used the same pens on the Smythson diary refills, I noticed there was none of this. In fact, the ink was literally absorbed straight away (no feathering or show-through at all!), which leads me to believe that the same would be true of fountain pen ink - music to your ears if you are a FP user, I'm sure!

I can also definitely vouch for the watermark mentioned in the above picture, and here is the proof for you in the next picture.

Now, onto how the refills look. They are week to view, with all days having equal spaces and also a section for notes in relation to the week on show. This is the most accurate picture I took of the real-life colour of the refills. Although they are quite luxurious, I need colour in my planner pages and I also need to pretty them up just to motivate myself to plan so I'm making no excuses for any decorative pieces I have used even though they may not fit in with the 'elegant' nature of these refills.

Next, I love the gilt-edged detailing. Just see for yourself:

These refills also came with various other bits and pieces, such as important dates for 2013 (including cultural events in London and New York), a contact number page and a tube map with a map of the New York metro system within Manhattan Island on the other side (so cool!).

All in all, I can't wait for my replacement binder to arrive from Smythson. I hope the ring issues are a thing of the past and that there is nothing wrong with it because these inserts will look divine in the binder. At the moment, I'm impressed enough with the paper to shell out the £££ and use these again in 2014, but I won't make the decision about 2014 refills until October/November time.

27 Jan 2013

my week #41

This week, I'm doing something slightly different. I'm going to show you my week before it happened, and then after :-) Because I use my diary as a journal too, quite often, my pages fill up thick and fast, but not this week unfortunately. I've not had the time due to an immense amount of packing.

Before (in my Smythson binder!):

After (temporarily in my Kate Spade binder):

Quite a plain week and a less 'censored' week too.

How do your pages look on the Sunday before the week starts? And then on the Sunday at the end of the week?

On a more exciting note, there will a rather exciting reveal coming tomorrow! I'm no longer using Filofax refills as of tomorrow, and the reveal will show what refills I will be using for the rest of 2013. So, now I can say it; I've moved away from Filofax altogether (binder = Smythson or Kate Spade; notepaper = paper cut down to personal size; diary refills = come back tomorrow to see!).

25 Jan 2013

a Kate Spade agenda

A few weeks ago, back in early January, Kristin on Twitter tweeted that she had a Kate Spade organiser for sale. I think it was the Wellesley organiser and it was a lovely shade of green, had a zip all around it and the interior was a pale nude colour. However, this binder was sold to Imy (a worthy recipient :) ) and I found myself lusting after Kate Spade organisers. As luck would have it, I found one on eBay and for a good price too, and when the final few seconds of the listing were approaching, I put in a last second bid (I always do this - I'm one of those dreaded snipers) and as there were no other bids, I got it for the minimum the seller was asking for.

Although it is not the same as the one that Kristin was selling, it's still a beautiful binder :) It arrived a few days after I paid for it and here it is, in all of its glory:

The red colour is a bright pillarbox red, and the clasp has the lovely 'Kate Spade New York' logo on it - adding meat and weight to the closure. The leather is pebbled (I have tried to show this in the picture) and the quality really is brilliant!

Upon opening, one is greeted with the view below. Note that you'll see 2012 diary inserts - the seller didn't include 2013 ones, as judging by the contents, she only used it for a few weeks or so before abandoning it. Look at those lovely gold rings! And the polka dot fabric interior, the card slots which should please those of you who enjoy carrying around loads and loads of cards. 

Furthermore, there are more pockets on the left than first meets the eye. You can see a bit of paper poking out of a full-length pocket on the far left, but what you can't tell is that there is yet another pocket under the stitching on the right. 

The rings are actually 30mm (I actually measured them to check) and so, they can hold a lot. The plastic ruler is clear, but is wider than a Filofax one. One thing I dislike about the ruler is that the bottom doesn't stick out like the Filofax one and personally, I use this bit at the bottom a lot to flip to my current page. However, it is clear and that is one thing that really appeals to me. The diary pages are week to view, with a notes section on the bottom right - and the paper is delicious (but more on this later!).

Separating each month is a picture/creative collage of some kind on the right, and the upcoming month denoted on the left. I have no idea what the space is for but you could use it to write notes for the upcoming month if you wished.

The month to view looks as follows:

One good thing about the month pages is that they appear within the weekly spreads. This means that there is no awkward flicking between one part of the organiser and another. I just love the design of these inserts! However, Saturday and Sunday share a single box in the monthly view - not something I'm a fan of. I don't know if it is any different in the 2013 inserts though.

Next up, I have a picture of the tabs for you. Yellow = notes; red = to do; brown = birthdays; green = restaurants; blue = addresses.

The notepages look like this:

To-do pages:

Birthday pages:

Restaurant pages:

Address pages:

The back has a secretarial pocket where you can store whatever you like in it. The pen loop is smaller than the one in my Smythson binder but I find it sufficient for my needs so I'm not complaining.

Now, onto the paper. For 2013, I know that Kristin and Hannah from Blue Bonnet Reads are both using the Kate Spade refills in their Filofax organisers - and I can definitely see why. The quality is brilliant, it feels luxurious and the collages for each month are so pretty.

The obligatory pen test:

The only pen where I had a slight feathering was my fountain - but that may be because I hadn't used that in a while?

And overleaf:

You could even use a permanent pen, if you wanted, if my Staedtler Lumocolor is anything to go by (it has permanent ink) as there was barely any show-through with that. The paper is thick too. Like, seriously thick - Filofax cotton cream paper ain't got nothing on Kate Spade diary paper, that's for sure.

There was a card that showed the pictures of each month (February was missing for me):

My favourite had to be January. The monogram flower background, with a hand holding a simple Ace of Spades card is simple, but for some reason, it really stands out for me. 

And nine other months (I missed off the March one as I just chose my favourite nine after January, sorry March!):

If you had read my blogpost on Wednesday about my new Smythson binder, you will have read that it developed ring problems on Tuesday - quite a big problem in that the rings do not close properly but leave a 0.5cm gap in each of them. As a result, I have now moved into this binder temporarily. I have to say, I'm loving the space I have with the 30mm rings, but ultimately, I would like to move back to my Smythson binder once the replacement arrives.

I love it too much to sell it - gold rings are something that really appeals to me (a love that @JoshuaLaPorte and I share!) but I love my Smythson binder too, so now, my binder collection has risen to the grand number of three (with an additional two that I am trying to sell, so a total of five).

NOTE: The text on the inserts came out as blue in these images - they are actually black. A mixture of the lighting and photo-editing made them come out as blue! Sorry :(

23 Jan 2013

smythson bond street organiser

So, the Aspinal didn't work out. A Filofax is no longer in use. And I haven't migrated to Midori. Where the hell have I ended up? I know a few of you are curious.

The answer is.......


Whaaa? With their Bond Street organiser costing the wrong side of £200, they may seem like a pricey alternative, but nope, that doesn't have to be the case if you wait until the post-Christmas sales! I have had Smythson bookmarked for months leading to Christmas and have been lusting after one for way too long, so the sale presented me with an ideal opportunity to get the one I had been after, for a far cheaper price. In the end, I paid a similar amount to an Osterley. However, there is a notable quality and design difference between the organiser I got and the Osterley.

Look at the lovely blue hue of this card!

The organiser came with this envelope, and inside, was a piece of card with 'Smythson' imprinted on it. Ideal if the binder were to be a gift.

There is no lizard/croc print. Here is the organiser I opted for - it is made of calf leather and has a fine grainy print (finer than the Finsbury):

It is a lovely, girly, bright pink. I thought that, if I am going to be getting a Smythson binder, I want one that is something different. Not one that could be passed for another brand or one that fits in. And this one is just that - it is girly, the texture isn't overly garish and the contrast between the bright pink of the outer part of the binder and the lighter pink of the interior makes this binder what it is. 

The binder came with some dividers (three blue ones, made of lovely, thick card - at least twice as thick as Filofax dividers), clear A-Z dividers, a few sheets of address inserts (on their lovely blue paper) and also some lined notepaper (again, on the blue paper). Because this was all that was included, and because I love the blue notepaper, I haven't done a pen test on the paper yet as I'm one of those who saves luxurious stationery for when I have a better use for it. Once I pluck up the courage, there will be a pen test, I promise!

The left hand side of the binder has a two slip pockets (one, approximately, the size of a credit card; and the other being a smaller secretarial pocket, all within a larger secretarial pocket.

There is also a pencil holder for the lovely 'Smythson gilded pencil' that came with the binder. It takes Yard-o-Led refills.

Then, the right hand side is another secretarial pocket and a pen loop.

This pen loop can hold quite a large pen, but I don't want to stretch it so I haven't tried yet. It holds my Muji gels and Erasables fine and it also holds my thicker Pentel Energel pens ok too. 

At the bottom right is the Smythson gold-coloured text stamp:

It says: 'Est 1887 Smythson of Bond St'

The gold ring mechanism:

In the middle of this mechanism is the word 'Smythson'.

Finally, the clasp has a quirk about it. It has two buttons - one if the binder is stuffed full and one if it isn't quite so stuffed; almost like a belt. I love this quirk, though I have experimented with the outer popper button to see how full it has to be in order for it to be in use but I haven't managed to fill the organiser enough for that yet.

The binder doesn't quite lie flat yet, but with a bit of use, it lies flat enough for my liking. I love the colour contrast (I didn't at first! But it grew on me) and the gold detailing. And the quality really is fantastic - but you'd expect that with an RRP of what it had (a lady never tells).

Having not used a personal sized organiser for a long time (and this one appears to have 23mm rings - I did a quick measurement), it might take me a while to figure out what set-up I require.

Ironically, although I am unveiling this binder today, it developed ring problems yesterday! The ring's don't close properly now (there is a gap of about 0.5cm between each of the six rings!) and I have contacted customer services about this. This is an unnatural thing to happen to such a new binder so I am quite shocked and hopefully it will be sorted soon as I do love this binder.

What are your thoughts? Is the pink too bright for you? Do the gold rings tickle your pickle? Does it look too impractical (only one proper card slot!)? Do you know of any other Smythson binder users? I did a pretty thorough Google and I couldn't find anyone, blogger or otherwise! My next goal now is to save up for a set of Smythson diary refills for 2014 - I have a whole year so it should be do-able!

22 Jan 2013

my week round-up #3

Another week, another collection of diary weeks to have a look at :)

{1} DIY Sara
{2} Coffee and Literature
{3} Lazy Elizabeth
{4} Imogen Rose Beauty
{5} The Amazing Experiment
{6} Red Lips and Pearls
{7} Skye Pennant
{8} The Wonderful Life of Alice
{9} Monica Luis Blog
{10} Lynzy's Whimseys
{11} Maizahn
{12} Filofaximile
{13} Rain by XOXO
{14} Pony Town
{15} Jasmine
{16} Katie Louise Halsall
{17} Message from Zara
{18} The Nest Not Exactly Empty
{19} The Journal Keeper
{20} DIY Sara
{21} Puddytat Purr
{22} My Purpley Life
{23} Live Love Organize

And this week's winner.... *drum roll*.....

Credit: The Amazing Experiment

Danielle of The Amazing Experiment :)
There were a few that stood out for me this week :) all were colourful or creative in some way but Danielle's was my favourite because of the awesome number of to-dos she conquered in one week (holy...... come do my to-do lists for me?) but still managed to add some colour!

21 Jan 2013

what's in my bag #10

After seeing the Modalu Pippa on Deborah's blog, I was convinced that this bag was my perfect one. Compartments (perfect for organising! A dream for someone like me!) and the lovely shell detailing... yum. So, since the summer, I've been lusting after this handbag. However, two months ago, one popped up on House of Fraser - and it was on sale! And because I had a lot of vouchers for HoF, I ended up getting this handbag for very cheap. I didn't get it in the more popular 'Shark' colour, but instead chose the 'neutral' colour. It looks like a pale, dusky, nude pink.

I've not seen any blog posts on this colour so I thought I'd incorporate that into this 'what's in my bag' post. So, at the front, you'll see this. The two mini zipped compartments are super handy for tissues, and throat lozenges, etc.

Before I get onto the topic of what I cart around with me in this bag, I just want to show a few pictures of the detailing that I love so much.

First up, the shell detailing on the main compartment zips (there are three compartments so, therefore, three zips):

And the shell-print lining:

The backside of the bag, there is a zipped compartment, which is extremely spacious. It was hard to take a picture of just how spacious it could be but trust me on this!

 And that compartment at the back has this zip detail too:

So in the first big compartment, you're greeted with this sight:

The middle (smaller compartment):

And the other big compartment:

What is really deceptive about this bag is the space. It doesn't look as if it could hold much but the amount I can cram into it is unbelievable. However, I refrain from doing that because not only could it ruin the bag, it also bloody hurts to carry around so much on my shoulder/arm!

Everything laid out...

From top left: Paul and Joe bag that has make-up, medicines, etc; Kindle K4, Slimline Deco, The Body Shop almond handcream, Cath Kidston travelcard case, duck contact lens case (my sister gave me this as a present!), medical tape, iPhone 5, Luella purse, tissues, mirror, Burt's Bees lip balm and Softmints.

I'm trying to decrease the amount I carry around and this was what I carried on a recent trip to London. There were some papers in there too but these were only present in the journey to London and not on the way back.

Do you carry the kitchen sink, or do you try and carry as little as possible?