03 July 2014

Guest Post - de Villiers on its travels - Amanda

You may have seen earlier on Philofaxy, this post by Anita about a de Villiers binder. Anyway, I read the post and all the way down I was thinking, “I wonder if Anita really wants this or if she might sell it to me if I asked nicely?” Then I reached the end of the post and she said she had given it to Steve. I wondered if Steve would like to sell it to me, but didn’t get chance to ask him before he set off on his travels and didn’t want to bug him while he was away.

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. 

17 comments:

  1. Gorgeous binder and a great sprucing-up!

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  2. This can be my dreamed slim leather binder!

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    1. It is absolutely fabulous - the combo of the 10 card slots and the ~17mm rings makes it absolutely ideal [Filofax/other makers - are you listening??]

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  3. Bet you didn't need to do any repairs or restoration to the fabulous Krause ring mechanism! Why didn't you remove the mech (it just slides about 5mm and can be lifted off)? This would enable you to treat the leather around the base plate.

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    1. I didn't know you could do that!! That would have made things easier... Thanks for the tip!

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  4. Great job Amanda that is one heck of a makeover. I tip my hat to yah for turning it into a swan. applause applause hun :)

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  5. Gorgeous colour. We are all so different. I would have kept the black one, as I prefer immaculate to lived in!! Just me. So glad you have found planner bliss though. Can't beat that feeling. xx

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  6. That looks fabulous! I prefer lived in to immaculate any day. I'll be scouring eBay for de Villiers binders now :)

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    1. I wonder if filofax or any of the other binder companies will see this and think of making one similar? It really is a great layout. Hope you manage to find one!

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    2. What size are the rings (internal dimensions)? I'm currently using a Filofax Holborn Slimline which has a similar layout and 13mm oval rings. They are still available (just) from Filofax UK in black and brown.

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    3. I always find this hard to measure, but as far as I can see, the widest bit of the oval (internal diameter) is 15 or 16mm

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  7. I'm so glad that you're loving the De Villiers, Amanda!
    It is a beautiful binder & it looks great after some TLC. I regret giving it away maybe a tiny amount, but I would find it hard to tear myself away from my crimson Malden to use it. Glad that it's gone to a good home :)

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    1. It is a beautiful binder. I don't know how you could bear to part with it, minimalism or no...
      I'll look after it!!

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  8. It looks great. Wonderful. I love the lived in look.

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