A few days after reading the post on Philofaxy, I spotted another de Villiers on eBay. As I said in a post on my blog, I wondered if this would be the ideal answer for me, and so put a bid in on it, and ultimately won it.
However, despite being in immaculate condition, the binder I won was black and I am SUCH a colour-pop woman. Despite the fact it was utterly gorgeous, I just knew I wouldn’t use it long-term because I would crave some colour too much. So, I contacted Steve with my cheeky question – would he be willing to swap the black one for the red one that Anita had sent him?
To my delight, he was, and not long afterwards, our de Villiers crossed The Channel in opposite directions to go to their new homes. The poor red one must be getting dizzy!
I knew that the red one was not immaculate and that the phrase ‘one careful owner’ could not be applied! But I also know myself and I would use a battered red one a hundred times more than I would use an immaculate black one. When it arrived, I thought, “Hmm. It’s a bit grubby and quite well used, but I’m pretty sure that a bit of cleaning and some Tender Loving Care (and red leather polish!) will do the trick.”
So here it is, before I did anything:
After I took these pictures, I gently wiped it down with a damp cloth, feeling slightly alarmed that the cloth came away quite red. The slight dampness emphasised all the marks on the leather, but then they faded back again. I tried to lift the pen mark on the front with the old trick of a bit of hairspray on a cotton-bud (Q-tip) but to no avail and I didn’t want to persevere in case I marked the leather even more.
Once the leather was dry, I started applying the red leather polish. The leather was thirsty!! After what seemed like half a pot of leather polish later, this is what it looked like:
I left it sitting with the polish on for a couple of hours to make sure that it was really embedded in the leather. I probably should have left it for longer, or done multiple applications, but I had already had it for several days and was itching to move in!
I gently buffed it with a soft cloth. Ta da!!
For those of you who like your binders to look immaculate, this would be an instant reject, but for those of us who can cope with their binders having been lived in, this one is gorgeous. No, the pen mark hasn’t gone... but the mug ring has and the whole leather has a rich depth to it that I absolutely have failed to capture in my photos. Trust me though, it is drop dead gorgeous!
Thank you for this post Amanda... yes it was quite amusing, whilst I was away and before I had even seen the red one, I had a couple of 'offers' for it! But the straight swap for the black one seemed to make sense. Most of my 'collection' are black as well!
The eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed that the internal layouts are the mirror of each other, with the card slots on the black one being on the back cover and not the front as the on the red one.
It is lovely to see how you have restored it. It looks great.