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19 July 2012

Guest Review: Deborah's new Ostrich Filofax!

Many thanks to Deborah for this fantastic review of her new Ostrich Filofax! 

The “Roadrunner” of Filofaxes: The Ostrich

Philofaxy’s Laurie graciously offered to feature my review of my latest purchase. I have to admit that I was a little nervous (and very excited) about doing it for two reasons: 1) I searched endlessly for a review of this binder and could not find one single review, and 2) I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own blog, but have no idea if I can pull it off so this will be practice.

Thank you, Laurie and Philofaxy for featuring this. I hope that you all enjoy!

Please meet my biggest splurge ever…my Personal Ostrich in Buttercup! My obsession with this binder began when I saw Ro’s spotlight interview on Philofaxy and saw a picture of her ostrich binder. I hadn’t known that Filofax offered an ostrich leather binder. After months of obsessing I did it! I bought the binder at a very “reasonable” price from Pens & Leather. And here is my review:

Packaging It arrived in a black Filofax box and was wrapped in a thick, soft felt-like black cloth. Nice!


The Outside The leather is unlike any other leather I’ve seen or felt. It is incredibly soft, all of it, including the quill bumps. I was afraid that the “bumps” would be hard but they are soft as well. The binder has some type of cardboard-like material between the leather that gives it structure but doesn’t take away from the supple and soft leather. According to my research, ostrich leather is full of natural oils – so it resists drying and cracking - and also has collagen qualities that make it very strong, supple, and pliable. I love the way that the binder feels in my hand. I’ve been holding and “petting” it every chance I get.


 
The quill bumps give it a very nice and interesting texture that is just plain fun to touch. The leather between the quills has a very subtle wrinkle pattern…nothing overpowering.


I chose the Buttercup color hoping that it would be more of a tan color (and not a yellow/butter color). Fortunately I was right. It is a nice rich tan/beige color.

It has a snap closure on the clasp and no other outward detailing (besides the quill bumps). Interestingly enough, it does not have the embossed “F” on the outside spine.


The Inside The binder laid flat right out of the box! It is all ostrich leather on the inside except for the lining in the pockets and slots that is a nice cream-colored satin material. It compliments the color of the leather very well. The inside leather is slightly more wrinkled than the outside. The ring size, according to Filofax, is 7/8” (23mm) and the binder has a ring protector flap on either side of the rings. Okay, onto the layout details!



The left side has “Filofax, Made in USA, Genuine Ostrich” embossed in the leather. The ring protector flap partially covers the 8 credit card slots and the inside full-length pocket. There is also a full-length pocket on the outer edge. It reminds me a lot of the Holborn layout – plenty of pockets and slots! This was a pleasant surprise. One downside about the credit card slots is that they are very tight and it takes some finessing to get cards in and out of there. Hopefully with time it will stretch a little bit.





The right side has two full-length pockets similar to the left side. It also has a zippered flat pocket that has a protective “flap” over the zipper. I really like this feature since the zipper won’t damage the last page that is in the binder. There is one non-elasticized pen loop that fits a “regular-sized” pen/pencil; thicker writing instruments probably won’t fit.






Moving In/Space Once I had the binder in my happy little hands, I had to immediately move everything over from my Personal Holborn (which, according to Filofax, has 15/16” rings - (23mm)). As you can see from the picture, my Holborn was packed, and yes, I could still snap it closed!

Because of the perspective, it looks like the Holborn is smaller than the ostrich; it isn’t. Well, I wasn’t able to fit everything into my ostrich binder and had to leave out the pictured stack. The bulkiest item was my envelope full of stickers that I now carry separately in my purse. A concession I’m happy to make because….





Overall Impression I really love this binder! It was definitely a splurge but so worth it. I’m worried that my other 13 or so binders won’t be used now because I can’t see myself moving out of this binder any time soon (if ever!). I may have found my “one true Filofax”.

I think the binder has a very classic and unique look about it. The leather is very soft and supple and a pleasure to touch and hold - I find that I’m choosing to hold it when going from place to place rather than carrying it in my purse - a first for me. I’m very pleased with my investment and in my opinion, the challenges to the binder (tight credit card slots and the smaller rings) are something that I can happily live with because it is, to me, just so beautiful.

And lastly, here is my Ostrich open and ready for action!


Hope you enjoyed and please feel free to ask any questions!


70 comments:

  1. It's gorgeous! I love that it's made in the USA and that it appears to have the old style ring mechanism. Plus it looks incredibly nicely made!

    I think the layout looks wonderfully functional.

    Definitely worth every penny, I'm sure!

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    1. Thanks, Josh! Everyday that I use it I become more and more convinced that my other FFs may never get used again! It has gotten so bad that even in the car, while driving, I have it in my lap!

      An update on the credit card slots: as I had hoped, they are loosening up so I now use this binder as my wallet as well.

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    2. That's definitely an old-style ring mechanism (lowercase F). Filofax should fit it to ALL their binders, not just the Ostriches!

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  2. Lovely binder and great detailed review covering all the elements that interest me. I owned an ostrich-skin wallet eons ago I loved and wish I still had it - I've considered getting this Filofax also but not quite ready - I think my red Amazona would be too jealous! Thanks for sharing - I'm glad you've found the one!

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    1. Thyme2Be - thank you! Glad you liked the review. I, too, have an Amazona and had thought that might be "the one" but this one has far up-staged it.

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  3. Does anyone know the OEM manufacturer in the USA? I'm fascinated, and as a man, wouldn't hesitate to carry this.

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    1. This binder is most certainly a unisex binder!

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    2. John, my ostrich was originally owned by a man, and obviously well used and well loved for many years. Can't help with manufacturer, though. Mine was made in England.

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  4. I have just checked out the 'reasonable' Pen and Leather Price because I wondered why there were inverted comma marks around that word. now I see why! great discount but....ooof! yes a splurge. But wait.... You use this every single day and it gives you pleasure every single day so, I'd say more good investment than splurge.If you divide the price by the number if days in a year and by the number of years you could use it.... Well, it sounds much cheaper! I see that P&L do not have anymore in stock so I personally will have to take my investment urges elsewhere though :)

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    1. Helen - It certainly took me a while to make the leap to get it and P&L was the only place that had the lowest price. I like your thinking about the cost per day! Thinking about it that way, it costs me less than a cup of Starbucks coffee a day! I can live with that! I adore this binder!

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  5. Deborah, great review and lovely Filofax. Back in the '80's my colleague had one of these that she stuffed to the max and was so fat. I think it was a combination of her Ostrich and another colleague’s bottle green 19mm ringed Winchester that started my obsession with Filofaxes.

    I feel like I am on an impossible quest the find the perfect Filofax and of course the perfect handbag and figured that neither exists. I am happy to hear that someone has managed it. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Saffy. Yes, I think I've finally found the perfect FF (and the perfect handbag - Modalu's Pippa). One must admit that the journey to finding these perfect items is quite fun, wouldn't you say???

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    2. Deborah, what pen is in your Filofax, the silver one in the last photo?

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    3. It is a Yard-o-Led Viceroy Standard Rollerball in the Victorian finish. My favorite of all pens right now!

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  6. The Ostrich pattern adds a real touch of class to a really gorgeous organiser.

    The side opening pocket on the left is, hopefully, a feature that will stay with many organisers.

    Nice to see ring wings coming back. I think it would have looked better with gold rings, but the zip feature is (for once) looks good.

    My preference would have been to stay with the supplied matching cotton cream inserts.

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    1. Scoot, I'm in full agreement about the side opening pocket! It's a great feature. Regarding the diary inserts, the picture doesn't show it very well but I am using the cotton cream. Can't stand the white inserts!

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  7. Deborah, wonderful post and excellent pictures. I would encourage you to take up blogging because I feel you have a flair for it, judging by this post. I look forward to reading more things from you in the future.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! I've just begun researching how to create my own blog. Rest assured that Filofax binders will have a presence on the blog. I appreciate the encouragement!

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    2. Once you start your blog please email the URL to me at josephdquinton[dot]com.

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    3. I'll certainly do that!

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    4. And don't forget to let Philofaxy know... so Gromit can look out for your posts....

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    5. Thank you Steve and Gromit!

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  8. Deborah this is a great post, and I appreciate your photos and details. In the last photo, you have on the left page a label that says Zone 5. I'm assuming this is similar to flylady's approach. I would love to hear more about this label system. Is it removable (like on a sticky note? I think it is brilliant, and a great way to be mindful of areas to focus on.

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    1. Thank you! And you're exactly right...it is flylady. I created the labels using purple washi tape as the bottom and on top I placed a small index label that I printed with the zone info on it. I can move it from week to week since the washi tape is repositionable. It's been a great reminder for me. In the back of my binder I have a tabbed section for flylady that contains sub-sections labeled Routines, Weekly Plan, Zones, Menu, and Crisis (for crisis cleaning moments). So each week I can see which zone I'm in and then flip to the back to get more detail on the cleaning to dos!

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    2. I would love to see your flylady set up. It sounds great. Washi tape is a great idea. I'll have to stay on the lookout for it. Thanks!

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    3. Am happy to tell you about it. Hmmm, possible first post for my soon-to-be-created blog??? If you'd like to chat through email, I'd be happy to give you more detail. Let me know.

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    4. I would love to chat via email, but I'm not sure how to access your address.

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    5. Here you go: deborahem at gmail dot com

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    6. @aprilquilts...you can find washi tape at etsy.com

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    7. I sent you an email. Thanks!

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    8. I would LOVE to see your flylady section as well, since I am in the beginning stages of setting mine up and I am interested in seeing other's ideas for inspiration.

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    9. Jenna, I actually just put something together in an email to share with April and am happy to share with you as well if you want to send me an email...my email address is above.

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    10. What fabulous pictures of a stunning Filofax - looking forward to your blog. I would also love to see your Flylady section :o)

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    11. Thank you, LJ. I just now published by first post and it's about my overall FF set-up. I think my second post will be specifically on my Flylady section. Stay tuned!

      Thoughts & Exploration

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    12. Looking forward to it very much :-)

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  9. Just wanted to say what a lovely post - and the filofax is stunning. I have been using my Mulberry for over a year now so my many filofaxes are just gathering dust. This has made me lust for a filo again which I didn't think was possible. I love it.

    I come from South Africa, in the ostrich farming district and have always loved ostrich skin. It wears really well and the quilled leather is the most desirable. They often cheat by using the smooth part of the leather on insides and underneath but yours looks absolutely luscious. And it is going to wear so well. I want one!

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I admit that when I hit the purchase button on the P&L website I almost started hyperventilating at making such a splurge. Since getting it I haven't looked back or regretted the purchase! I'm certain that my other FFs will stay in their boxes for quite some time, or make their way to new homes.

      I was so pleased to see that the inside of the binder is full quill leather as well. Having such attention to detail makes the cost even more worth it to me. I have to admit that this binder was hard for me to resist. I now have a co-worker who has seen and touched it and is now searching for one for herself.

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  10. I Enjoyed your review! Sure is a beautiful binder, TFS! I was wondering if it had a leathery smell to it? That's what I love the most out of the leather Filofaxes. Maybe someday I'll splurge for the Ostrich or maybe even the Alligator (definitely, if I win the lotto), LOL! Sure would love to see these in person. I hope you start that blog you were thinking about doing.

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    1. Great question! It has a light leathery smell that is very pleasant. My husband actually caught me sniffing my binder the other night. He thinks I'm absolutely crazy!

      Everyone has been so encouraging that it has helped me overcome my fear of blogging. I'm going to look into creating one.

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    2. Just by the look of it, never mind the feel or smell, you could actually "love" that binder.

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  11. Gorgeous binder!!! I never knew what the layout looked like- super functional. I just wish they would bring the ring protectors back to more binders.

    Fortunately for my bank account, I'm still happy in my Malden :)

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    1. Thanks, J! This is the only binder that I have with the ring protectors. Fabulous things!!

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  12. Hi, my question isn't going to be about the binder, instead it's about the ruler shown in the last picture; where did you get it? It's really pretty!

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    1. I actually made the page markers (I've got two of them with different designs) out of the cover of a spiral bound notebook. The cover was a thick (about as thick as the today ruler) plastic that looked so much more appealing to me than the black or brown ruler.

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  13. Deborah, I have been considering downsizing from my trusty (but heavy) A5. I have just been persuaded...

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    1. Fabulous! Glad I could help ;-). Which binder will you be choosing?

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    2. Hi Deborah, a red personal version is winging its way towards the UK as we speak.

      I rarely make impulse buys - I've had the same A5 binder for 20+ years. I can't think why I'd not noticed the Ostrich before - it's exquisite. I HAD to have it. I ordered it immediately after seeing your photos. I was in love - it is THE ONE.

      I can't wait to slip my Mont Blanc into the pen loop. Yep, I like nice things!

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    3. Cloudberry!!!! I'm so excited for you! The ostrich binder is absolutely luxurious and beautiful!!! I can't see how you won't simply fall in love with it. I would love to hear about it when you get it! I bet that red is going to be drop-dead gorgeous!

      After using the same A5 for over 20 years, you deserve an impulse buy like this! It is worth every penny!

      Congratulations!!!

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    4. Thanks! I'll post an update when it arrives. Any day now, as I paid extra for express delivery!

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  14. could someone tell me what ring wings/ringprotectors are?

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    1. If you look at the 4th picture down from the top - they're the flaps of leather inside the main covers, beside the rings.

      Nice detailed review, enjoyed reading it and thanks for sharing your Fax Deborah!

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    2. So glad that you enjoyed it!

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  15. Ah .... happy to be of service. There needs to be more ostrich binder owners in this world ... they are truly magnificent!

    It was lovely to tour through yours; I am not exactly sure how old my old beauty is, but the configuration is different. No credit card slots or full length pocket along the edge, no zippered compartment. I need to see if I can find out how old mine is from the serial number, but another way mine differs is that mine was produced in Great Britain.

    I am glad you are so smitten! I understand the feeling!

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    1. Ahhh, Ro! The one who started it all for me :-) It's interesting that the configuration is so different! I know that one day mine will, hopefully, look as loved as yours does! Me, smitten??? I'm head over heels with the thing!

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  16. Okay, I did it! I started my own blog! After HOURS of fiddling with my first post, it's done and published! Subject is....my filofax set-up. If interested, you can see it at my blog titled Thoughts & Exploration

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    1. Well done!!!

      I just had a peek at your blog and left a comment. I'm inspired by your creativity - as a blogger and your Filofax inserts.

      Mine looks so 'functional' by comparison. But I have just introduced a whiteboard into my A5 as I love to mindmap in colour. I used the offcut as a bookmark for my daily jiffy list.

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    2. That's nice of you to say, Cloudberry. I appreciate it and I'm happy that you liked my first post. And thank you for leaving a comment. Woohoo~~

      I am so excited about your red ostrich; you'd think it was making its way to me... I'm looking forward to hearing all about it.

      I love the idea of the whiteboard. Can you tell me more about it?

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    3. Hi Deborah,

      I bought a mini whiteboard from our high street stationers (WH-Smith). In fact they were so cute, I bought a few! http://www.whsmith.co.uk/CatalogAndSearch/ProductDetails.aspx?productID=33822334

      I’m not sure they ship to the US, so give me a shout, and I’ll mail it to you. Through the transparent frame, I could see the surface is very thin substance backed by cardboard, so I dismantled one – it’s a very thin metal with whiteboard coating. Anyway, I cut it down to size, made rounded corners, hole-punched and popped it into my A5. I made a bookmark out of the off-cuts and a jot pad by my computer. I found some super thin pens on Amazon called Artline 2-in-1 whiteboard pen – in 8 wonderful colours! I’m in mind-map heaven.

      I’ve found what may be a better solution in “Magic Whiteboard” and have ordered some rolls, the A4 cards and the re-writable sticky notes. http://www.magicwhiteboard.co.uk/

      With regards my Ostrich, I made a boo-boo with my P&L order and clicked pocket size - doh. Being the weekend, I can’t get hold of anyone at P&L and their super efficient warehouse has now shipped it. So, I’ve just placed another order for the Personal size, and hope to return or sell the pocket one. I’m so excited - I can’t wait to get it!!!

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    4. The whiteboard idea sounds fantastic. Thanks for giving details. It does bring up a question for me: doesn't the whiteboard ink rub off on pages inside your binder? How do you keep that from happening? Aaaannnnd, another question: how did you cut through and punch holes into the whiteboard from WHSmith? I've never heard of someone incorporating a whiteboard into their Filofax...I think that's a fantastic idea.

      I'm very intrigued by Magic Whiteboard, especially the re-writable sticky notes. I'm going to order some now - just found them on Amazon...just not sure how to avoid getting ink everywhere.

      Oh my! You've got a pocket and a personal coming to you? Heaven! You may not want to open the package when the pocket gets to you or else you may want to keep it for yourself! lol

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    5. Hi Deborah, I use a clear plastic sheet cut from some old OHP materials (opps, showing my age there!)to protect my mind-maps but I guess the clear plastic Filofax flyleaf would work too. I don't tend to keep my mind-maps for long as I transfer actions to my 'in tray' section and wipe the whiteboard clean.

      I cut through the metal (its like a stiff aluminium kitchen foil) with an ordinary pair of scissors - they still work. I marked out the holes with a Filofax page, and used an old 2-hole punch to create the holes (I didn't want to risk damaging my trusty old Filofax punch). It took a bit of pressure but the holes were cleanly cut. I'm a bit careful turning it through the rings to prevent scratches, although a bonus is that the holes are slightly larger than Filofax pre-drilled paper. I was wondering if I could create some kind of protector for the holes, like an old washer or something, but I haven't figured that out yet. Then I thought I could maybe I could attach it (somehow) to a FiloFax page marker, so I could move it about in my binder without opening the rings. I might try that soon.

      Magic Whiteboard looks like a potential alternative. Let me know how you get on with the re-writeable post-its. They do some A4 sheets too - photos on their website show kids using them in school (fixed to card) which is really neat. My thought is to stick Magic Whiteboard onto a Filofax divider card.

      I will certainly have to resist the pocket Red - only last night I was trying to rationalise that I needed two!

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    6. Thanks for the explanation. I'm looking forward to experimenting with the post-its. Thx for introducing me to them.

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  17. Just catching up on posts! I've been using Filofax since '93 and have had my eye on the Ostrich for what seems YEARS. They actually had an A5 Buttercup in the gift shop at the Bermuda airport that the sales lady let me cuddle. I caught my boyfriend on eBay looking at the Ostrich and told him I was mad at him for now rekindling my passion at finding this model on the web. He asked me if I had one "which color"... I kept beating around the bush for days until I said "buttercup"... It seems to me that this is the most natural color and black or red wouldn't' do this FILO justice. As my boyfriend has an insane hobby of collecting scale model die cast model airplanes and feels guilty (thus I get extremely spoiled at Christmas) I have a very strong feeling I will finally get my Ostrich. Once I do I will print your post on my Filofax paper and insert it in the binder! Two months in, how is life with your one and only?

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    1. What a great comment! Thanks for sharing! I am still so in love with this thing that it's ridiculous. I love pulling it out and feeling the uniqueness of the leather. It continues to be my one and only. The only binder that has made my eyes stray is actually the red ostrich! A friend (Cloudberry) has the red and the pictures of it show how lovely the red can be!

      I actually can't think of anything negative about this binder. The layout is fabulous, the ring size is working out perfectly for me, the credit card slots have loosened (took no time at all), the leather looks fabulous and is taking wear and tear really well.

      Be prepared to get some attention. I've received lots of admiring looks and comments about my buttercup. The ostrich leather is just beautiful!

      I'll keep my fingers crossed that you get that extra special gift for Christmas! If you do, let us all know! I'd love to see pictures and hear about how you like it.

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  18. Wow...the Ostrich is beautiful! I think I found my next Filofax.

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    1. Woohoo! Let us know if/when you get it!!!

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    2. woohoo! Let us know if/when you get it!

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  19. Wonderful! I love it - thank you for sharing. I will now check out your blog....

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  20. Super! Woher hast Du das tolle Lesezeichen/Lineal, das auf dem letzten Foto zu sehen ist?

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