from “pfffft” to “fabulous” – my Filofax hack

I’ve been working on the massive renovation and reconstruction of a novel in progress, but sometimes a writer has to come up for air and do a little cutting and pasting of immediately prettier things instead. SO SATISFYING TO MAKE SOMETHING COME TOGETHER IN A MATTER OF HOURS INSTEAD OF YEARS. This is why I love visual art. I can SEE it happening, instead of the years it takes to bring a book into its final shape.

I love book-hacking (is that the badass cousin of scrapbooking?), and was just about to list my little, ancient Filofax on Craigslist due to dedicated neglect, but then I got excited about making it appealing to use again (or in the first place), because dates and months and little boxes per day and to-do lists with pre-printed lines and tick boxes just do not rock my every-lovin’ no-idea-what-day-of-the-week-it-is and gloriously flakey and unscheduled life.

As someone who has spent more days in pyjamas making stuff than working at a ‘real job’, let me tell you, I do not need an organizer. I need sections for ideas about what to write, what to draw, notes on family life (Who needs new rainboots? Which Value Villages have we checked so far?), and random pockets and tags and nooks and crannies for tiny word-ish treasures and soothing bits of text, or just a picture of my grandma, because she remains one of my dearest friends long after her death. And she is gorgeous. Isn’t she gorgeous? (She’s the one leaning against the car, not the illustrated bathing beauty.)

Behold, the Filofax hack, now a hub for creative jotting and think-y thoughts, and stashing all the sparkly things, which satisfies the magpie in me. Also, and enthusiastically noted, this was proudly done for zero dollars and zero cents, because after decades of cutting and pasting, I have amassed quite the supply of all manner of deliciously crafty goodness and all that it entails.

Some details for you artsy lookyloos:

  • I covered the Filofax standard issue dividers, using papers from an old calendar and a glue stick. All the way to the edges, kids. That’s how we roll.
  • I used some papers that I absolutely love, such as a vintage postcard of a bathing beauty, and another old postcard that I cut down for a more interesting shape. I’ll put my address on one (if found, please return … that sort of thing) and a favourite quote on the other (haven’t decided yet). Also, a little paper tag, and pieces cut from cards or harvested from the kids’ collage box. And a brown paper envelope that is just begging for a tiny precious something to be put inside.
  • Speaking of that little brown paper envelope, I decorated it with washi tape bunting, which makes complete sense if you know me and my current obsession with bunting. (For the camper van! For my friend’s camper van! For the new screen door! For my submissions binder! Bunting, bunting, bunting!)
  • Heck, I’ve even put a few of my own illustrations in there. And speaking of creaky ol’ camper vans (see above), I’ve put in the card that inspired the colour scheme of our gawdy early-90’s Dodge recently christened as “Harriet Van Chariot.” It’s the ruby/orange/lime green/turquoise pretty in front of the nifty Filofax-issue ruler.
  • I didn’t bother trying to make the holes smaller in papers that I cute from scratch. I did reinforce some with washi tape before I used a standard hole punch and a good ol’ pencil to line up the holes.
  • There’s even a little clipboard in there, people. With the cutest little bulldog clip! And behind that? A eensy weensy Moleskine notebook for the win! In lime green. Sigh. Swoon. Yes, it’s true, I have these sorts of things lying around just waiting to be put together.

So for all you stationery lovers and book-hack fans, this one is for you. Or, for me, because I’m not letting anyone near this thing. And did I mention that is also works as my wallet? Why yes, yes it does. Boom.

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