Happy Birthday to ME!

Hi all, just a quick post on my birthday! You know you have special friends when they buy you stationery wrapped in Unicorn paper. I have truly reached that point where I’m less bothered about my birthday than everyone else. I’d rather spend an evening out with friends with lovely food than go clubbing.

On the planner front, I currently have some peace. I use my Life Designer planner at home and still my pocket Malden on the go. I’m hoping a friend might pick me up the ECLP in New York in November. Otherwise I think I will take the plunge and order one for 2017. I have reserved a new platinum Carpe Diem A5 for July, as I’m thinking of uncoiling my LDP. It’s getting chunky with stickers! I will post of course all about that. Have a beautiful day one and all.

Planner Tag: Questions and Answers

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I was planner tagged by Zoe Plans to answer these questions, so here goes…

THE PLANNER TAG QUESTIONS:

  1. How were you introduced to planners and what was your first planner? My first planner was a Filofax personal sized Finsbury.  I’m not sure why or how but I had wanted a Filofax for a very long time.  I still have her and will never part with her.  She is battered, cut, rusty and very well-loved!  I may even share a blog on her one day.
  2. How many planners do you have and what are they used for?  I have *cough* 12 but only actively use two.  I use a Malden pocket ochre for on the go planning and a Life Designer Planner for my stay at home decorated one.  I also have the old girl pink Finsbury, and also a cherry red personal Finsbury and a gold Saffiano personal sized.  My pockets are the Malden, Hearts, Raspberry Finsbury, brown cross and red cross.  I also have a Personal Planner that I spilt coffee on and could not bring myself to use again.  I have an old black leather mini one by WHSmiths and a Caramel personal Websters that I won.
  3. What is your favourite brand of Planner?  I have to say Filofax as I own eight!
  4. How long does it take you to update your planner each day?  I tend to spend only 5 minutes or so each day. I have a decorating session every week or two and tend to decorate ahead a bit.  I have a full-time job and a toddler, it’s hard!
  5. When did you first start decorating your planner?  I discovered a Facebook group in the UK around January 2014 and it started really from there. I also started looking at YouTube videos and Instagram images.
  6. What is your favourite pen for your planner? I use a Frixion in my on-the-go planner and Papermate Flairs in my stay-at-home decorated one.
  7. If you could use one embellishment what would it be? (i.e. Stickers, washi tape, gems, etc.) Stickers, the possibilities are endless and you can even get “washi” stickers.
  8. Favourite place to get Planner supplies/goodies. (Etsy shops can be included) Etsy full stop!  Current favourites are Chocho and Mimi, Isabelle the Owl, Handcrafted by Sheree and The Plump Planner.  Non Etsy stores I love are BonBonsKawaii and Suzy Stick ItColemans are great for Filofax in the UK.
  9. What is your Planning routine?  Grab time wherever I can, I tend to have to be alone in the house. I use my Malden to check what is coming up, as I fill that in as I go along.  I then pick a theme and go nuts with stickers.  I am still playing with my layouts in the Life Designer Planner so it varies each week at present.
  10. What inspires you each week for your weekly layout? (i.e. Holiday, Birthday, Season, Colour, etc.)  Depends really on my mood, if there is a particular event or a nice sticker set burning a hole in my sticker box. I have also done some of the various themes set in my Facebook Planner group.
  11. Who is the first You Tuber that inspired you to decorate your Planner? Like Zoe Plans, the first YouTuber that inspired me was Living The Wife Life I also loved Devanf17 but she seems to have stopped loading videos this year sadly.
  12. How many Planners do you decorate?  Just the stay at home one. I recently stopped decorating my pocket with washi and lots of stickers and staying more functional, it’s been a blessed relief!
  13. What Planner would you recommend to a first time user and/or Planner to decorate?  I would say go with something cheaper if you are brand new and not sure how you will use it. Paperchase do nice ring planners in the UK.  If you like spiral bound, then Personal Planner are a good option.  If you feel the need for an ECLP but can’t face carriage and customs (like we have in the UK) then the Life Designer Planner fits all the ECLP vertical stickers.
  14. If you had to pick only one planner which would you use and why?  The Malden pocket ochre, it’s my baby.
  15. Bonus question: Show your washi tape stash and is it out of control? It’s semi under control, but still ridiculous!

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  1. Who do you tag to do this tag? I tag Puddle Side Musings, The Stationery Geekette and Into the Teapot.

Thanks for the tag Zoe!  I would love to know your answers to the questions, let me know if you post your own answer or have any other questions prompted by my answers.

Pen of the Week – Pilot FriXion Ball Erasable

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I mentioned in a recent blog that sadly I am the owner of awful chicken scratch writing.  Luckily for me there are pens out there that allow me to erase the worst of my writing and have another go.  I also find that sometimes plans change, so the ability to remove an entry or alter it in my planner is a real bonus.

The Pilot Frixion pen is available in a larger range of colours.  You can also get them as an erasable highlighter.  Although a little expensive for the pen, it is really very quick and easy to erase.  A useful feature too is that you can buy replacement ink inserts for them.  I have them with a removable lid and also a version that clicks on and off with the clip.

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It gets the name from the method used to erase the ink.  Heat is generated by friction when you rub the hard rubber eraser over the ink, that heat then erases it.  I say the name in the same way you would therefore say friction, although I have heard it pronounced Frix-On.

Ink

I only own the standard pens in black, red and blue ink.  A friend purchased a large pack of 12 lovely rainbow colours on the internet and they were really nice colours.

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The real attraction for me is the erasable ink.  In truth, I do find the ink to be a little pale in colour.  The flow too is not always smooth, resulting in sometimes a striated effect on the pen stroke.  However, I personally am happy to live with this for the excellent performance when being erased, even after some weeks of having been written.

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The yellow highlighter I own is a lovely vibrant colour.  I do however think the pink one is a little weaker than I would like.  Both erase well though.  Mine are all medium stroke at 0.7 and there is a fine stroke version available.

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Purchasing

I have seen them readily available in the UK in many places that stock stationery. I have even seen them in larger supermarkets, often on offer.  Prices are around £7 for a pack of three.

Overall the ability to erase is the main key feature for me.  I overlook the sometimes weaker coloured ink that is not so smooth.  I much prefer the clicker type, as the barrel is a bit smaller and I’m hopeless as retaining detached items of anything, so a lid is too risky!  I use mine in my on the go planner rather than my stay at home one, as I am more likely to need to erase from that one.

I’ve tried a Uniball erasable which had better ink but did not in my opinion erase as cleanly.  The Frixion is often the pen being used by the planning community.  It does not fit in my Malden pen loop, but honestly very little does.  But the clicker ones fit nicely in the gap behind the planner closure strap.

Let me know, what else is out there that performs as well as the Frixion in erasing but perhaps has nice colour?  I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts.

Planning Stickers from Callie Rose Co

I admit I probably spend far too much time either browsing Etsy for planner stickers, or browsing Instagram for sticker stores on Etsy I might like.  Over Easter, several of the stores I have marked as a favourite, offered great discounts.  It would have been rude not to take up the opportunity to try out some of those lovely stickers I have been eyeing up.

Callie Rose Co is a store I marked as favourite some time ago.  As a person that needs instant gratification, I tend to mainly order from UK Etsy stores as delivery tends to be faster.  I fell in love with her full box quotes.  My order arrived promptly and was packaged well.  It included a beautiful postcard sized business card on which Catherine had beautifully written my name.  I am always impressed by beautiful writing as the reluctant owner of chicken scratch writing.

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The first entries to my cart are both sets of the full box pastel motivational stickers.  Each sheet has 9 motivational quotes and are available for either horizontal and vertical Erin Condren sized boxes.  These are just £1.90 per sheet excluding shipping.  I am using a Life Designer Planner which has the same sized boxes as the Vertical Erin Condren Life Planner, as my stay at home planner.

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Next I chose the Spring Blossom Core sticker weekly kit.  This included full and half box blossom patterns, full sized ombre heart checklists, and lots of header stickers.  This was £4.50 excluding shipping which is a great price for everything you get.

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I also added some scalloped quarter appointment stickers which were £1.90 excluding shipping.

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The delivery cost within the UK for these was £1 and I used the Easter offer voucher for 25% off.  It is always worth following Etsy store owners Instagram accounts, as they do share special discount codes and offers there.

They look and feel lovely, and I can’t wait to decorate a week in them.  Such fresh and spring like colours are so cheery.  Nice clear, clean images and perfect cutting.  I already have my eye on the Pink Lemonade kit in the store and have the discount code sent with my order, burning a hole in my sticker pack.  There are also fab Harry Potter and Game of Thrones stickers for episode tracking available.  I will definitely be ordering again with Callie Rose Co on Etsy.

These stickers were purchased with my own money and these views are my own.

Pen of the Week – Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto

Reflecting on my last post, I realised it might be of value for me to highlight some of the pens I use when planning.  As I have so many, I will endeavour to select one each week.

So this week I decided to show you my Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Pen.  I really like a nice fine nib on my pens, and I find gel ink is nice and bright.  The Coleto is a multi-pen.  There are different size barrels available in regard to the number of colours it can take.  You purchase a barrel, of which there are a huge number of designs, then the ink inserts.

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Barrels

Whatever your taste there is a Coleto pen barrel out there for you.  There are various plain colours, from classic black or white through to pink. You can get simple spotty or other small patterned designs in various colours.  There are also many designs with images on them.  Mine is the Nicola Cherry design which is a limited edition.  As you can imagine, many people collect the different designs, which do retire.  Currently the Mary Quant seems to be a popular new design. There are all manner of Disney and other character pens.  I saw a particularly cute Tsum Tsum set this week.

Depending on the number of inks the pen will take, the barrel can be quite chunky.  Mine takes 4 (yes, I do only have one of these pens right now) and does not feel too big for me to write with. The top of the pen will flip open to allow you change the inserts as you require.  I found the inserts a bit fiddly at first, but soon got the knack.  Down side is it is too fat to fit in any of my Filofax pen loops.  However, I tend to keep it in the rings of my stay at home planner, as I would be worried I might break it in my handbag.

 

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Ink

The beauty of these pens is the ability to put whatever colours you like into them and swap them around.  Each ink has a small tab on the top that is used for you to click and select the colour you want to write with.  I chose angel wings, but came close to getting the star or heart shaped ones.  Again there are many different inks and tabs shapes that you can buy.  I opted for a set of 10 inks in a 0.4mm nib.

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The ink is nice and smooth, and if I were blessed with beautiful looking handwriting (I’m SO not) it would look lovely on the page.  I bought the set that comes with a hard storage case to keep them in which is well worth it.

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Purchasing

I got mine from Ebay.  The seller was “fsmymonkeys777” and the items were shipped from Japan.  This does mean a little wait for them to arrive, I think mine was just over two weeks.  It was worth the wait though, as it’s is so nice and I love the flexibility of the colour changes.  There are other suppliers out there, just do your usual research on their feedback quality etc.  I believe Jet Pens in the USA are suppliers.

I paid £4 including postage from my barrel which I purchased in June 2015.  The set of 10 inks were £10.36 including postage which were purchased at the same time. The prices show in USD but the Ebay UK site does give an idea on the GBP equivalent.

Final Thoughts

Overall I really enjoy the flexibility of colours with this pen and it’s really cute.  It writes well and it would be very easy to get sucked into collecting different barrels and ink sets. I have enough ink colours in the set of 10 to keep me amused.  I’m not thinking about the lovely new designs I saw whilst researching for this post…

Let me know if you have one, or your thoughts on these pens.

Erin Condren Life Planner (the itch I’m trying not to scratch)

Firstly, may I say I adore a Filofax.  I have several personal sized, the Finsbury Breast Cancer in pink being my first ever.  I also discovered I can work daily with a pocket size.  I’m currently in an Ochre Malden which I’m finding it hard to move out of in favour of a more spring-like colour.  That and the ring size of the pocket Malden is superb.

I’m a member of a wonderful Facebook planner group.  They are an awesome group of people.  Their support always goes further than just enabling me to buy more planning things.  However, enabling is their MO.  I swear, I have purchased more items that I never knew existed but suddenly needed, right now.  As such, I now own a laminator, various stamps, project life cards galore (pretty, but as I don’t actually do PL…why?) and pens and page flags to last me a lifetime.  I keep seeing that Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP for short).  What IS it about that planner?  Is it the covers?  The coil?  The stickers?  Maybe it’s one of those things that I’ve been so exposed to visually on Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, it’s always on my mind.

I tried the Personal Planner.  A lovely quality, fully customisable planner.  It’s such lovely quality, really function and excellent value.  But…not an ECLP.  Sadly, my Personal Planner had an intimate moment with a cup of coffee.  The back cover got all crinkled and I was so heart-broken it was no longer perfect I couldn’t use it any more (first world problem, I know).  That and it wasn’t an ECLP…

I moved back to Filofax and discovered that I could work daily in a pocket size, after picking up a Raspberry Finsbury in Staples at a bargain price.  I finally relented and bought a pocket Filofax Malden in Ochre. My dream planner.  I waited patiently for my Piaric inserts for 2016 from the US, knowing that the elusive “planner peace” would then be mine.

It was.  For about three months.  But damn, that ECLP itch was still not going away.  Why?  It’s not cheap, plus by the time I caved in and bought all the extra’s I’d get charged customs. They launched a rose gold one last year.  Arrrrrgh!  Fingers in my ears, la la laaaaa.  Can’t see it, don’t need it.

I’ve not caved in yet.  However, I’m using a Life Designer Planner as a stay at home planner along with my pocket Filofax.  I decided as it was on offer recently I would try out the vertical style and ECLP size layout.  I will update soon on how that is working out and if the ECLP itch has been scratched.

Anyone else itching?