Saturday, 16 March 2013

Personal & Compact Metropol Comparison

A few months ago I chanced upon a filofax almost identical to Jeremy, except in compact size. Being a crazy collector, a sucker for the metropol series and in need of a compact to complete my range of sizes, I picked it up with minimal resistance from other bidders on ebay. I've already dubbed her Jemima, continuing the Beatrix Potter theme.

I've already decided that she shall be used as a travel fax; a slimmed down version of Jeremy with the bare essentials, plenty of lined paper for notes, and possibly use her as my wallet whilst away, so there will be a few saleable pockets in there too. As a pre-loved filo, the plastic has been stretched much further than I thought achievable from a Metropol. We're talking 2 cards+ per slot. Maybe one day I will be able to fit more into Jeremy if my needs increase.

Personal top. Compact bottom.

I'm glad to see that the vibrant Kingfisher colour doesn't vary through the range like leather binders tend to. Both have the same kitsch stitching throughout, but Jemima has more noticeable stress around the spine and a Biro mark here or there. All things which give this binder character and make it perfect for worry free travel.

Compact top. Personal bottom.

While Jeremy is already stuffed to the gills (though I have reorganised since taking this photo) you can still see how tiny Jemima's rings are in comparison. Prioritising on what I travel with will be exceptionally important whilst using the compact.

Personal top. Compact bottom.

At first glance the two binders seem almost identical, but on closer inspection the differences become clear.

Personal left. Compact right.
 The compact is down two card slots on the personal, only having 4 before the long vertical pocket. This is probably why they are so stretched.

Personal left. Compact right.

Another significant difference is the back pocket. While the personal has a horizontal mesh pocket designed to take a notepad, the compact instead has a vertical solid pocket. As a travel fax, this pocket will be perfect for holding all my less important scraps of paper like used parking tickets and receipts.

I have a short trip coming up next week so I'll get to try out my pre-loved find :)

Thursday, 28 February 2013

February's 365/30: 28/28 Review of the month

28. Review of the month

February has been a weird old month; everything happening whilst feeling like nothing was getting done.

My 365/30 challenge went to pot, as you can probably tell by my lack of posts on the subject and the recent spate of spam posts as I tried to catch up. I did intend to complete them all but after the 14th, the topics began to become date specific, and I didn't want to fill your subscription boxes with terrible rush-written posts.

Out of my two goals for the month I have at least partly achieved one. I've managed to get myself a design client who is willing to pay me for my services! I was starting to think that there wasn't anyone left who appreciated and understood the amount of work needed to bring ideas to digital-life. Thankfully I was wrong. If I nail this project, hopefully I will be able to get more work with other local businesses. Thanks to my A5 Metropol, I am (so far) completely on top of expenses, notes, time sheets, everything I might need to keep me ahead of any deadlines coming my way. £15 well spent there!

As for everything else this month; I've gotten considerably better at driving and will hopefully be booking my test for early Appril. I've also lost a stone! Whether it's showing or not, I can't tell. The pecemstic fat-girl within me is saying that it won't even show after three stone... but I'll shut her up with loads of fruit and roast vegetables!

Hopefully March will be better for keeping on top of blog posts, which I have been neglecting lately.

It's also mine, and my Boyfriend's four year anniversary in March, so there will be love, happiness and good moods all 'round :)

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

February's 365/30: 12/28 Things that make me crabby...

12. Things that make me crabby...

Unpaid internships are the bane of my existence! You've worked hard for that degree, passed with flying colours, oh by the way you now have to work for six months+ without any pay before we consider offering you a paid job.

This sort of practice ensures one thing, and one thing alone: Wealthy individuals stay wealthy, and the poor stay poor. I am by no means wealthy, nor am I living on the bread line, but I still can't afford to work for free for undisclosed periods of time, or want to burden my parents by expecting them to subsidise a wage I should be earning.

Under UK Minimum Wage Law (MWL), an employer must pay you a minimum of £6.17 per hour (depending on your age) of you have an "internship" which includes fixed and expected working hours and defined responsibilities. That is not an internship. That is a job. Wages are claimable up to six years in arrears if you think your employer has breached MWL.

For more information go to Intern Aware.

February's 365/30: 11/28 Five things on my Wish-list are...

11. Five things on my Wish-list are... 

I think my wish-list, if found by someone who doesn't know me, would portray me as a gaming and book obsessed vegetarian...

  •  Okami (Wii): staying with the gaming theme, this game is exceptionally special to me. Already owning, and loving, the PS2 version, I want the Wii version so that my sister and parents can experience the beauty that is Okami on a console they are more comfortable with. The last game made by the spectacular Clover Studio before the idiots running Capcom shut them down; Okami is an adventure game that draws you in with it's unique art style and play concept. If you've never played a game, get this and a second hand Wii. You'll thank me for it :)
  •  The Black Fish, Grey Zipped Hoodie: Sustainability and fighting to create sustainable energy and food sources, is something I've been interested in for a while. The Black Fish is a group who are trying to get world leaders to see sense and organise sustainable fishing practices. When I have enough, I'll be more than happy to give them money and support their cause by looking awesome in this hoodie!

February's 365/30: 10/28 My top must have pens are...

10. My top must have pens are...

Oh dear... This is not a question you want to ask a stationery addicted graphic designer! How much time do you have?

  • Faber Castell: Anything by Faber Castell makes me incessantly happy! I've used these pens for years due to their versatility and incredible life span. They're almost like the Fairy Liquid of the of the art-pen world (this may vary between users). I'm a sucker for bold outlines and noticable details, so the variety of thicknesses and quality of the finish (unless my hand isn't quite as steady as I want it tot be) makes me proud of almost every piece of work I've used them on. I highly recommend these pens to anyone who is arty or creative. A felt nib set of four will set you back about £9.99. I recommend waiting until you have a voucher for WHSmith, valid for stationery or art supplies, and use that to pick up a set.
  • Paperchase Mechanical Pens: There's something about the action of these pens that makes me really happy to use them. Slightly smudgy on finer grain paper and cards (I've already one card with my inky impatience) these pens seem to be made for filofax flex paper. As Paperchase is constantly creating new ranges, there is a design for everyone and almost every filofax!
  • Bic 4 Colour: I've had many multicoloured pens in my time, but none have matched the quality, strength and ergonomic design of the Bic 4 Colour. I currently own two; one for each of my Kingfisher Metropols (Oh? Did I not mention the second one?...) as the colour match of the blue Bic makes the designer within me very happy. Very useful for anyone who still writes things down. Comes in two sets of colours (that I know of), normally around the £2.20 mark from most retailers.
  • Frixion Erasable Pens: I first discovered Frixion pens in secondary school (that's  "high school" for those of you with alternative, and therefore incorrect, dialects) and then proceeded to forget about them until college/university. This may have been due to their unsuitability for check-box based examinations as the computer that is used to mark the papers has difficulty in reading the "ink" inside Frixion pens. Right now I use these for noting things which may change, like work shifts, and for labelling tabs. I despise filofax's recommendation to label your fresh new tabs with indelible ink.

February's 365/30: 9/28 What are your favourite guilty pleasure foods?

9.What are your favourite guilty pleasure foods?

As most of you know, I am both a crazy Vegetarian and a member of Slimming World. Both have had a considerable impact on my life, the food I eat and how I think about food in general. There are however, a few little indulgences that fit in with both aspects of my diet, and help to keep me sane.

Caffe Nero Giant Coin
Weighing in at a Vegetarian (but sadly not Vegan) friendly 6.5 syns, the giant chocolate coin is just enough chocolate to keep cravings at bay, without ruining my diet. The size probably contributes to a placebo effect of sorts, making me think I've got a lot more chocolate than I actually do. If eaten slowly with a large cup of strong black coffee, I can really enjoy this cheeky treat.

Mug Shots
The sweet & sour, tomato & basil, and chinese style varieties of Mug Shot are both Vegetarian friendly, and completly free on Slimming World's Green and Extra Easy plans. Not disimmilar to a pot noodle; mixing the packets up in your favourite mug and leisurely munching whilst relaxing or working, really helps keep hunger and comfort cravings at bay whilst on a diet. For as little as 30p (0.45 USD) each, they're perfect for stocking up on & taking to work or on long trips.

Alpen Light Bars
Another device used to keep me sane; counting as a B on a Green or Extra Easy day, Alpen Light bars are what I keep in my handbag for hunger emergencies. If you're having a really bad day, you could eat 7 of these bad boys (on a Green Day), using both of your As and Bs and all 15 of your daily syns (each bar counts as 3 syns). I wouldn't recommend it, but the option is there if it's just been one of those days.

Monday, 18 February 2013

February's 365/30: 8/28 My favourite apps are...

8. My favourite apps are...

My staple of favourit eapps changes regularly depending on my needs. Right now I rely on the obligatory social networking apps; twitter, facebook, linkedin, etc. But there are a few which I find myself returning to time and time again.

Colour Note
Despite owning a filofax which I am surgically attached to and fill with todo lists, I forget some most things I need to remember. Colour Note has been my digital savour for over two years now; its useful options for check lists allowing me to jot down anything I remember to remember.

The reminders are where this app truly shines, giving me the option to remind myself any time of day, with repeating reminders for bills. This app has saved my brain many times. Available on Android with widgets. Free!

Slimming World
 While I have many problems with this app (glitchy, constant crashes, lacking in basic search functions & bar code scanner, terrible database) I have found it to be essential in helping me keep track of my "syns" while out and about. If you are a paying member of Slimming World you will be able to sign into the members only section using your on-line login. While I do use this app almost every day, I can't honestly call it one of my "favourite" apps. Despite this, I thought it was worth mentioning for anyone considering either Slimming world, or using the app to aid in their weight loss. Free to download on Android and Apple devices.

I have used "the pill" as part of my birth control strategy for almost four years now, PillReminder has helped me keep on track! Definitely one for the Ladies...

Allowing you to choose which pill you are using, you can set the date you started your current pack and what time of day you like to take it. Once set up the app dutifully reminds you every day, at your chosen time and with your ring tone of choice, to pop your pill. Works well but crashes constantly. Free on Android.


My Week #7

Week #7 down! We've had Valentines Day, and Easter (or in my case Ostara, March 20th) is only 5 weeks away. Bring on the carefully portioned chocolate eggs!

On Monday my Mum won the raffle at Fat Club, so we went home with a big box of veggies! Great start to the week as it was also her birthday on Sunday. My main aim for this week has been to wrap her present and write her card, two things which I kept forgetting to do over and over again. I've also been trying to recover ground on February's 365/30, but I'm still way behind :(

Lots of Washi tape has been used this week because I needed to feel pretty.

See you next week!

It's still not too late to join in with Paper Lovestory's My Week.

Monday - Tuesday

Wednesday - Thursday

Friday - Saturday - Sunday

Thursday, 14 February 2013

A way to a girl's heart is through her organisational system... far more romantic than it sounds.

I hope you've all had a good Valentines Day, whether you're showing your love to your other half or those around you.

I had my Valentines gift a few days ago when by lovely Boyfriend visited. Apparently he couldn't wait until today to see my reaction. I bet you can guess what he got me...

The wonderful, and insanely supportive, ninja lurked around my blog and ordered me the exact binder I've been coveting for weeks! I didn't drop a single hint, I swear! We both think (and hope that this addition to my collection will help me make my way into the creative industry I'm trained for.

The best thing about the A4 zipped Metropol with handles, is the transformation it makes from unsuspecting portfolio...


Into buiseness ready briefcase using the snazzy handles which are ticked away in the side pockets...


Now for something completely related: More pictures!

Zipped edge

Inside Left: So much room for activities!... and business documents of course.

Inside Right: Everything in one place is the key to this filofax; Notes, info and examples of work.

Single elasticated pen loop, perfect for a Bic four colour or Frixion pen.

It may seem like a nerdy present, but I love it! I'm a very lucky girl :)

Happy Valentines Day Xx