Sunday, 30 November 2014

Binder with 4,5 cm Krause & Handler rings and how it got accustomed to my likings

This was a a3- sized binder with Krause & Handler rings. Fabulous rings in 4,5 cm, needless to say and really unattractive binder. But I bought the binder for something very different on my mind...
The source of this madness was, yet again, Staples.

It became this very handsome personal sized binder that can hold my entire life in one buttery soft leather covers and as promised, elsewhere on the roads of interwebs, I will now tell you here is how it all came to be. Do feel most free to use this as inspiration, copy shamelessly and let your crazy free. I´ll be happy if I helped at all.

Picture below shows a lacquer leather jacket from +60 years back. I very seldom used it because it is just too helplessly big. The leather, however was whispering me those ever- beckoning  murmurs.,, do you see where this was going. Yes, indeed. 
The binder below is my favorite one. It is devine and perfect, made from old briefcase. Too bad the perfection carries only +3 cm rings and my life has taken on the busier lane lately and come 2015, it´ll get even more insane. 

Now, what you must do is to find a leather item with sturdy leather, preferably not something that belongs to another un-knowing fellow human. However, if the fellow human gives his/her thumbs up to his/her leather tote or any other unworn or unused item of leather, congratulate yourself for finding a worthy fellow human.

Then proceed to cut the rings off from binder. If you are sensible person and can do with ordinary 2-3 cm rings, they are vastly found in thin plastic binders that will make this entire process much more tolerable and easy and fast. 
If you, like yours truly, joined the merry folk over at crazytrain, prepare to work for your lunacy.
Also, brew a pot of really nice tea or coffee depending on your preferences. 
No alcoholic beverages, you´ll be working with a sharp knife, after all!

Leave some material  from the binder around your ring system. Unless of course, you are inclined to mess with the hardware. My hands are weak and my impatience unparalleled to anything this world knows. No cobblers live in our household so glue is my best friend. If you are unfortunate to have to deal with cardboard, cut it a little smaller than the plastic around it. Then sand the edges thinner. Taper the thing entirely.

Now measure the middle of your leather.Glue the ring system on it, centering it.

Take another piece of leather and measure its middle line.

Measure the width and length of your ring system. Only metal bits rule! No measuring the surrounding remains from old binder. When you measure the length of of the opening to your binder system, measure to the thin part of metal, no need to leave the entire thing visible. Draw a pattern to your leather, see above.

And this is how it looks from the other side.
It is best to leave the flaps intact at this point. It proves wise to just fold them underneath and glue and hammer them in, in case the leather was any thinner. 
(these pictures were taken in kitchen lighting so they all seem different, depending how far or how close the phone cam was... apparently it had an effect of the hues.

Try the leather on your rings. No glue yet!  At this point I saw that the leather proved too bulky so I cut off the top folding bits. Do you see where to shove the long leather flaps? This is where they´ll stay snugly glued when you are done. But maneuver them in there very carefully! No hammering on the metal! 
Take your leather piece off rings, apply glue to the center bits and glue the thing on. 
In gluing leather, it is important to "paint" the entire leather with the glue, no air pockets! And apply glue in small sections and hammer the thing down! No matter how strong you are, you will need to hammer the leather as it seals the leathers together.

Practically, this is how I made my black binder above. Lastly I trimmed the edges once the leather was completely glued and hammered (no, not like that) , conditioned the leather and put it to good use.

This time though... I had all this sleeve material to use. So I made a full length pocket. I sewed two sleeves together (after creating straight cuts on the sides) and hammered and glued the seam allowances open. At this point I noticed how the makers of this leather jacket had taken the sloppy road by not finishing the seam allowances, so I glued and hammered them open as well. 
Then I cut a piece, slightly longer than the binder was and cut it as tall as it could be cut. 
All the excess height got flipped to the inside.
I sewed a seam on the top of the pocket edge.
I sewed a seam to the binder upper edge.
I sanded the edges of the pocket piece to taper them.
I then laid the binder atop the pocket piece, turned the edges of pocket piece around the binder edges and glued and hammered them there. Then I sewed the thing.
I used two leather-work threads, the bobbin thread a lighter, burgundy thread and the upper stitching was done with light brown leather-work thread. The thicker thread doesn´t seem to "flow" no matter how I adjust the bobbin but then, see if I care that there are two threads on this rugged friend.

And here it is without things inside after conditioning

And here it is from the outside. You see the character the sleeve pieces have adopted during the decades. You can diminish them or at least negotiate with them by lightly steaming through ironing cloth THE IRON ABSOLUTELY NOT TOUCHING THE LEATHER! You will proceed to maneuver the leather to its flatter, less bumpy form. Experience has proven me that when something is grumpy for +60 years, it is not likely the thing will adjust to a new outlook. The leather will adopt its former form very fast. So I didn´t even try. The jacket was here on earth long before I was, so I´ll just tip my hat to that fact and let the leather take shape and form in which it is accustomed to and in which it is happiest. None of us are perfect and having life shown is actually quite attractive.

With the stuffing.


This is how it looks in inside the pocket.

My weekly view is on landscape.I made the sheets myself since Steve & Ray decieded to respect the integrity of Week- Ends. I don´t respect the integrity of Week- Ends. I respect the leisure- aspect of those two days and that includes checkered flannel pajamas, wooly socks, endless supply of nicely brewn tea, baking, naps on the comfiest sofa and watching movies with my cub. None of that activity needs timetables. But then, surprisingly many people are actually *not* allergic to human interaction and like to stuff their planner on this thing called socializing. To me, that sounds very strange, utter nonsense and very exhausting. But then, there always is the annoyingly perky side of the mirror and those people, no doubt about it, need adequate space for their Sat-Sun planning.

Monday, 6 October 2014

a6 notebooks with side pockets from a5 notebooks

A little trick I´d like to share. 
I go through commonplace books and brain dump- notebooks exceedingly fast. I almost always end up with bits of paper or receipts to copy and whatnot in random stationery on the notebooks as I go about my days. Brain dump being the first notebook in my A6-carry everywhere TN, I usually shove loose scraps of paper in the first, the most active notebook so these little pockets have proved to serve their purpose on several occasions. 
Here is how I do this. It takes only a few minutes to do this, it´s not brain surgery but adds to the convenience generously.

I love the covers of these a5 notebooks.They are from Taurus Journals, they are 100% recycled. However, as much as I adore the covers, the paper quality leaves much to desire. This comes as no surprise as they are recycled but I must admit that oftentimes I choose to use other notebooks just for the fountain pen- friendliness of them.  

What I do is I measure the outlines to a6 size with these cheapest, my most favorite notebooks that I buy (often in bulk) from a local grocery store. They cost 60 cents per notebook, come with environmental friendly- stamp, have smoothest paper imaginable. There´s no mention to the thickness of paper anywhere but my seasoned paper loving fingers approximate their paper being in the 60-75 gsm range
(I´m reluctantly adding the 75 and suspect it would be pending on the 60-70 range rather).
What´s best, paper is fountain pen friendly, only slightly shadows through, does not bleed at all and provides with fabulous note taking experience. The notebooks have 7 mm grid paper. In case I have not underlined this quite enough, I love these notebooks.

Back to the merry task ahead, it is.
With a craft knife I then cut the notebook to a6 size, leaving the covers untouched.
I then cut the excess cardboard from the top and bottom of notebook covers. 
From then on I basically turn the sides in, use clear tape to tape the sides to their respective places 
(I love Scotch Crystal tape. It sticks like glue and is very clear). Sometimes I add washi on top of the tape but this time I chose not to. These covers have enough going on and I don´t want too much fluff in my notebooks. Notebooks are my everyday tools to use and not a party tree to decorate. To each their own.

I like a neatly pressed edge but sometimes cardboard leaves a white edge after pressing it down firmly.
This is easily mended by a few dabs from ink pad. It pays to use waterproof ink.

Quite a lot neater edge there. Somehow the sudden emergence of direct sunlight from window altered the look of the covers, I really didn´t ink the rest of the cover.

Here is the old notebook that the new friend replaced. I happen to love these wax- covered notebooks as well. They have very smooth, thin grid paper, are fountain pen- friendly and are easily accessible from our local Staples. They come in variety of sizes but for a MTN-styled fauxdori, their thickness becomes an issue. They have 180 pages and can get cumbersome, especially mixed with these thinner notebooks. But they are lovely, though. The waxed covers only become lovelier by use- I pamper these with a nice polish of Pledge every Friday, which is my library, tote, wallet, office desk & -supplies cleaning day. 

New brain dump book readily to take notes in its place.
(I turned the covers of TN inside out because of course)

The same trick goes with regular TN as well. When the notebooks are closed, these little side pockets can hold even larger & thicker items. Like this address book here. Also, can you now see why I turned the notebook covers so that the suede-side is now visible... yup. 

Happy planning!

Good things come to those who wait

My life is now complete.

And the owls are still not what they seem.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Meet Coccodrillo

Hello all, I´ve been on a hiatus for a while. Lots of things needed to be done and everything in terms of distraction had to be eliminated. 
So once I promised Paul B at Philofaxy to show pictures, I figured it was about time to dust this place, just as well.

The binder below is a former bag. It was a lovely vintage gem that I bought from Amsterdam. Once the bag practically disheveled (I used it a lot), I carefully removed the leather, it comes from from real crocodile and if you know this type of leather, it is very stiff, hard and armor- like. Very contrary to snake and completely opposite to calfskin. I was surprised to see how thin the leather was and how the pattern completely mirrors to the suede-side of the leather. 

So I wanted a personal sized binder but with larger rings. I wanted to add portability to the ability to hold a lot of information and writing space. The next time I went to grocery store I bought a general binder with pliable, thin´ish plastic covers and cut the spine off with rings still attached. I sewed the covers and lining, glued the spine to the leather cover, then glued the leather facing on it, stitched the top seam and then sewed the inside cover including pockets etc and finally stitched the two covers together. 

These pictures, that have not been taken on direct daylight, seem to have both too much flash and then not at all. My apologies.

At the back there is a pocket (all pockets are lined with leather) that holds my mark-it dots.  I placed a sheet of grid paper to protect personal information., There are some loyalty cards and library cards etc. at the back.

The rings measure 3,1 cm´s from inside and 3,5 cm´s when measured from the outside of the rings. I have cut the papers to 9 cm width and they do come all the way to the edge of binder edges, when being closed. To closing I cut a string of leather that I whip around the brass button. I contemplated having no closure at all- I hatehatehate the poky clasp that almost every leather binder usually has. It always bends and bothers and pokes underneath your hand while writing and no matter with how much sheer, animal rage you pound the puckerer on the desk, it boinks back with unnatural fervor every. single. time. Instead of a clasp I opted for a very low profiled brass button and a string of leather.
When the leather string decides that it has had it, I will just toss it and slit a neat opening through which I´ll thread a thin, round rubber ring, anchor it there and use the band to encircle the brass button.
The tabs are made of craft paper, papers are mostly grid and creme papers, I usually carry a ballpoint pen on paper clasp at the side of pages and the pen is even further supported by this string of leather that goes across.

The smoother leather is from old leather trench. I used it to line the front covers as well, as this enabled me to have a large pocket on the whole length of the binder. You see from the picture how the lining leather follows with the grain of coccodrillo. 

No matter how beastly is the nature of this leather, I still have found that it has softened after it´s been used. I have conditioned it alongside with my other leather goods and it has been subjected to hand lotions as well. Somebody asked me how do I dare to use it, she said it looks so expensive. Yet I bought it from a thrift shop as a bag and even as a bag, I still used the old fragile thing like there´s no tomorrow. Once it could no longer be used as a bag, I made a binder out of it. And it is quite likely that this slab of leather will very well outlive me so see if I care if it´s too precious or not by the looks of it. But I´m not pretending to be a shrinking violet and I´ll gladly admit that the thing  does not clash with décor.

The binder measures approximately 5´ísh cm´s in thickness and it´s not even stuffed.

Saturday, 22 March 2014


You know the end times are nigh when you can´t trust on  the high-priestess of Death Eaters.
Damn you, missus Wintour and what have you done to the Bible!
Damn you!
See? THIS is a manifestation to overload of vulgarity! I hope you are happy, now...
I´m done with this shit.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

New Beginnings

Hello all.
I figured it´d be time to start a new and shiny blog.

This blog will probably a place to think out loud about random subjects.
No doubt there will be books, interiors, grinding teeth about EDS, getting organized and planning including planners and stationary in general.

So I´ll see you when I´ll see you.
No doubt it´ll be soon enough.
The Olympics have been unleashed and I have thoughts, you see.
Evgeni Plushenko! Evgeni plushenko! How do I go on with my evening. Evgeni!
Jeremy Abbott shows the ultimate secret of life. No matter how many times you fall down, you get up. No matter how many times you fall down, you get up one more time that you´ve fallen down. It´s not complicated, but it does hurt sometimes.
And damn about that one Norwegian´s speed skating suit... could they not accommodate him to a partly more, umm... generous outfit. That torture devise looked nothing short of painful! I wonder if he´s already had his kids?
And German skiers and speed skaters, most uncompromising thighs! (as you see, I concentrate all my energies to things that truly matter)
I tell you, this year is the first that I don´t break out in hives when the word "sports" is been mentioned (figure skating is not just sports, I consider it a form of art). Who knew there was such joy to be absorbed while observing men in catsuits!... makes me understand my GBF a wee better, actually.
And sequined gloves! TatianaVolosozhar, while warming up wore the most fabulous sequined gloves. I HAVE TO have those, they need to be in my life right now! I would strut the living daylight outta those gloves, where does one acquire a pair!?!?!
Also, Ksenia Stolbova MUST be the most beautiful creature ever created. Seriously, she truly is perfection.
The woman could be doing atrocious things and I´d just be gazing in amazement about the elegance she did it with.

Then there´s the whole notion of excellence. Hundreds of people gathered to strive to be the fastest, the strongest, the most concentrated, to jump highest, to outperform themselves and others alike. The entire concentrated, nervous energy ready to explode at any given time.

So many emotions! Uncompromising thighs, men in catsuits, perfect beauty, big falls and conquering the pain, broken helmets (where the hickory heck are the paramedics when they are needed!), crushed dreams (giving a side-eye to you, Norwegian catsuitmanufacturers...tot-tot!) and above all...
sequined gloves. Are you hearing the bells as well? I am and I´m weeping here! It all just seems so terrifically dramatic as well. How about that speed skater from GB. One fraction, one split second of stupidity and she destroyed two other dreams alongside her own. And trust me, biggest punishment to her won´t be that she got hoisted out of the entire competition. She will carry on living her life, and this one little fraction of idiocy will follow her and haunt her and it will never let her go. She will go on living her life remembering this, blaming herself every day. The two others will remember this as well, and while it won´t be a peachy memory it´ll be less of a burden to them. They have somebody to blame. For the rest of their lives.
This is not just Olympics. These are stories about people. After these two weeks they will go back to their homes but their lives will never be the same. These days in Sochi will mold the rest of their lives and their performances can either break them or uplift them. The strongest will survive, they will use the fuel of disappointment to perfect their abilities, to outperform everybody and themselves. They will strive to again jump higher, to again be stronger, faster and better, well knowing that at any given time they could fall down. Despite that knowledge the strongest will go on, knowing that if they do fall, they will get up one more time.
They are the true winners. Falling down does not make one a failure, staying down will.

I´m so hyped, it´s incredible. And when a Russian man today muttered something to me in a grocery store (they always talk to me, Russians. Genetics, you see and the looks that follow. Also, high heels help in a country where love of sweatpants and flats blossom.) If they consider you to look like one of them, you are being bonded with. Now I really need to learn that language! It would so become my future sequined gloves.), I replied to him in French. No way would I reply in English (sorry guys) or in Finnish (I didn´t want to be cruel to him, after all) so I chose another language he´s most likely to understand. And then I walked away like a boss. It´s all in the genes, you see.

So you see, I already started. ´till the next time, ta-taa!

edit. Evgeni Plushenko is retiring. I have no words. Other than... Evgeni Plushenko is retiring.
I need to take a few moments now.