Jun 252014

Part 1 HERE

Part 2 HERE

If you’ve been following my previous posts on the making of a bespoke planner, you’ll be sad , but maybe not surprised to learn that I’ve come up against a major hurdle.  Yesterday, as I had some time to spare, I started putting together the inner part of the planner.  This was using a “leatherette” type material.  The first part went OK, but then when I got to the folded over pockets which resulted in 6 layers, disaster happened.

Initially, I thought I’d broken my sewing machine, but after dismantling all the bobbin gubbins and pulling out all of the cotton that was jamming everything up, I was able to move the wheel again but, alas, my needle had been bent out of shape.    Fortunately, I’ve got spares so all should be well again, but I’m not going to attempt to use it again on this material.

It’s way too thick for me to sew it by hand so the original plan has been abandoned.   However, not one to be beaten, I’ve had the idea to use cotton material for the inner part.  I know my machine can handle that, and if the truth be known, this would suit “my style” better than the dark green leatherette anyway.  I’m sure I have some floral fabric in my stash that would go well with the teal leather that will be the outer cover 🙂

To be continued…. it’s not over yet !

Jun 242014

I saw some binders listed on Ebay a while ago.  I told myself I didn’t need one, but I added it to my watch list.  I kept going back and having a peek.  I suppose it was inevitable that I contacted the seller , Elena, to ask for more information about them.

So, the first step was to choose the font I wanted.  I went with the top right.


She then sent me a preliminary sketch along with sample leather swatches



This morning….my parcel arrived!  The rest of the photos are in my Stationery Gallery (link is in menu at the top of this page)

the binder has arrived

In summary

  • The whole process after my initial questions started on June 2nd
  • Her sketch was done on 5th
  • I was shown sample leathers on 6th and chose the ones I wanted
  • After making the final choices, I paid on June 7th
  • 12th June she told me that it was finished and would be shipped the following day, and sent me some photos 🙂
  • 24th June – my binder arrived.  This was a reasonable time considering it was from Russia.

Overall, I’m totally pleased with my purchase,  Elena was friendly and helpful throughout the whole process.  The quality of the leather is beautiful.  The ring mechanism is good.  The attention to detail is impressive – I particularly like the covering over the ring mechanism, and the addition of the bookmark is handy.

I would recommend Elena’s products to anyone who asked.  A 5***** seller.

You can find her Ebay store here or visit her Etsy store here

Jun 192014

In a previous post reviewing the Day Timer Garden Path Desk Binder, I briefly mentioned the inserts.    I’ve been using the Garden Path inserts on and off since 2008 or 2009.  I loved the pastel colours and the faded flowers that filled the pages.   Then, when I bought my 2012 calendar I was disappointed to see that they’d changed the design (to this day I believe they still have the old style pictured for the note pads).

Gone are the pastels, gone are the soft floral images underlying on every page.   The pages are plain, though slightly shaded and all there is now is a squashed photograph of flowers at the top of the pages.

current diary

This is the current style

pre 2012

Pre 2012 style


Current style notepads


Pre 2012 notepad

Franklin Covey have done a similar thing with their Blooms range of inserts.  Shown here are Pocket size “Cut away” inserts.


New style on the left, older and prettier on the right

Fortunately for me, I have a stash of the older type of both Garden Path notepads and Blooms Cut Away pages.

Jun 192014

I don’t do many night scenes.  I don’t know why….

midnight swans

Jun 162014

It took me 2 attempts to get a response from Daytimer UK site.  My first message via their web contact form was missed or ignored, so today, I sent an email to the address on my invoice, asking about care and cleaning of the Garden Path binders, as I’d mentioned in my previous post.

Here is their response :

Dear Gill,

Thanks for your email, Sorry for the delay in responding.

Please see the response from our head office.

For Garden path binder, you can only use clean DRY CLOTH. Any chemicals will harm the product, as it is a special finished leather.

Kind Regards

To which, my response was :

Thank you for replying. 

 However, I do think that this should have been stated in the product description.  It was already marked when I received it and from your response, it would not be practical to carry it around in my bag or use anywhere other than the clean environment on my desk at home.  Had I known this I would not have bought it.


Ah well.  Lessons learned.