Filofax Deskfax

Today I tried my new Deskfax in the “real world”! And I think I love it…

I’m a Project Co-ordinator and Lead Artist in the Disability Arts sector. Formally, on paper, I co-ordinate 5 ongoing programs/projects. In reality, that number can be anywhere between 5 and 15 at any given time. And all in a 7 day work fortnight! Some are ongoing but the extras are generally once off, short term projects.

I’d add my “home” projects to the number but I may cry…

So today, after my usual “pep up” productivity podcast commute (have you got a favourite productivity podcast?), I sat at my desk and used the first bit of my morning to get organised.

I consider myself to be quite organised at work. I use a personal sized Filofax with day on 2 page inserts and I have action plan style project plans for each project. Until this week, I have been using an A5 Leuchtturm notebook for all my lists and notes ETC. I try to keep my email inbox to a manageable level and use the flags in Outlook to keep on track. My friends say I’m organised. My Instagram account is @theorganisedbusdriver because my art school mates used to come to me to find out where we were supposed to be heading each day! I was the only student with a visible diary of any description!!! An organised artist… who knew?!?! And now I’ve added a black Kensington Deskfax to my arsenal!

So, back to today… I’ll let the photos explain.

First thing, I did a brain dump and “sweep” of all my unfinished task lists and my email inbox. I designated them all to the appropriate project…

Next I went through all my action plans and assigned the tasks from my master list onto the appropriate plan. Where there wasn’t a plan, I created a new one, and even ended up with one that now holds the general type tasks that don’t belong to any particular project. I’ve called that one “General AAV” (AAV is the organisation I work for).

Finally, I scheduled the tasks out into my planner for the upcoming week. I noted each “start” date in the action plan with the intention of closing the week by updating the end date, and status of each task in the digital version of these plans.

The one thing that I didn’t get a chance to do, but will do tomorrow, is to create a timeline on a monthly insert for each project. I plan to work backwards from the end date (where necessary for short term projects) and create blocks of time for each required task for the remainder of this year.

So now, I get to actually DO the tasks, but instead of feeling a bit panicky about whether I will achieve everything in the time I have, I have proactively planned my time so I KNOW I’ll achieve them! And you know what? If I don’t, there’s always that magic “forward facing” arrow that allows me to migrate the unfinished bits to next week! Phew!

And on my next day off, I’m going to sort out some dividers and make this Deskfax a little more visually appealing on the inside!

How do you use your Deskfax? How do you manage projects? Leave me a comment… I’d love to know how others do “project coordination”.

Thanks for reading :0)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Traveller’s Notebook

Ever since I “met” my first Traveller’s Notebook online, I have lusted after the original Midori version but have just never committed to pressing the “purchase” button.  I suspect that it was the size that put me off, it looked quite out of proportion to my eye… That, and the knowledge that I would forever have to purchase specific stationery to go in it, just the right sized stuff, may have also prevent me from buying.

Fast forward a little, skipping through the removal of rings on my old, old, personal sized Filofax Domino and continued use of it (that’s HUGE for me) as a Traveller’s notebook of sorts, past the purchase of an absolutely divine A5 sized custom made painted leather notebook cover by Nicole Roberts of Crazy Organized that is just too heavy to carry everyday, to yesterday.

Oh hang on, we have to go backwards for just a little bit longer…This year, in April, I was introduced to the Hobonichi techo.  By introduced, I mean, my very own Cousin arrived from Japan in the mail.  I had prepared for this day by drawing up the preceding four months of my bullet journal notebook in the same weekly layouts as are in the Cousin and had stopped myself from ordering a real one until a month before my notebook pages would run out. This worked really well. I stuck to my plan, and on the evening of March the 1st, I ordered.  Then I waited…

The Hobonichi Cousin is perfect for my work needs.  With Yearly, monthly, weekly AND daily layouts in the same book there is ample room for everything I could possibly want to plan for!  Except for financial stuff. I didn’t want to keep financial stuff in my heavy, open on the desk at work, Cousin…. What to do???

Meet Lily…  Lily is an enabler… Lily blazenly encouraged me to go out and purchase a second Hobonichi planner but this time, the Weeks.  Ok, so she didn’t really do anything except show me via one of her fantastic YouTube videos, how she uses the Weeks to track personal stuff, like finances.  So I was sold.  I pressed “purchase”! 

The weeks is pretty tiny, 18.5 x 9.5 cms, and really light and easy to carry around.  The perfect satellite planner to carry in your purse everyday and everywhere.  Up until a little while ago, I was pretty happy just flinging it into my bag along with everything else but then Lily (yes, the enabler) started posting about the perfect weeks cover/wallet… I do love an object that can successfully multitask.

I had a few false starts – another Filofax purchase which has now moved on to a new home thanks to the wonders of online selling and an attempt to just use what I have and make it fit into a wallet I already own, neither of which worked or satisfied. 

Then I met Tori…  Tori posted a video about a recent travel adventure and in it, she demonstrated her use of the Midori Travelers Notebook coupled with her Hobonichi Weeks.  You can see where this is going can’t you???

As much as I would love to say that I went ahead and ordered the original MTN, which, one day, I suspect I probably will, I’d much prefer to share some photos of my own leather cover that I have made in the last two days.  The leather is repurposed, it was once a cushion cover that sat on our family couch when I was young.  It has been with me for over 30 years, has lived through the formality of our family lounge room and our child and animal friendly family room, it went with mum to live a solo life with her and then when, 12 years ago, I lost mum to cancer, it came to live with me and my husband and our very slobbery Golden Retriever Dave. Dave loved that cushion, so much so that since Dave left us to do what ever dogs do in doggy heaven, the poor cushion has been hidden away from view, hiding in a cupboard, under a pile of stuff that we don’t use anymore.  This leather has seen some stuff and it carries the most wonderful scars to prove it!

And here it is… Reborn…

My TN (sammdori? cushiodori?) in “regular” size with the Weeks and my Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen.

I decided to have secretarial pockets on both inside front and back covers because I couldn’t bear to waste any of the leather!

I’ve made a Kraft folder insert.

The back saddle stitching was my first attempt… In comparison to the front, I think that shows!!!

It’s soft and buttery and a kind of light caramel colour. It’s about 2mm thick so it’s a little on the floppy side but oh my goodness,  I completely love it!

And I learnt to do saddle stitch in the process!!!

So now, I sit and wait… For the order I placed for just a couple of traditional Midori inserts. The zippered pouch, the card slot pouch and a plain gridded paper insert for popping ephemera and memories into. 

I’m so looking forward to this bit of cushion leathers next stage in life!

I think they match… Hobonichi Cousin cover on left, hand embroidered in naturally dyed (by me) threads and my new Cushiodori on right!!! 

Thank you Lily and Tori for inspiring me. I love your videos and will continue to watch!


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

my discbound planner

so i’ve been researching and researching and researching some more. watching countless youtube videos and searching through blogs and Facebook groups for the “perfect” planner that will suit my work needs.  most recently, i’ve been using my black a5 domino filofax, which has worked to a certain degree but when it comes to planning my art activities for groups, apparently size does matter!

recently, on one of my youtube forays, i spied a martha stewart discbound planner which sent me into a frenzy!  and here i was thinking that i was at “peace” with my filofax… ha!

having spent a BOMB on a new filo for my everyday planning – another story folks, i decided to put on my diy pants and see what i could come up with.

here she is…


an a4 sized, cobbled together, discbound system of sorts!  all from officeworks purchases.  the orange cover (also all the internal dividers) is a trimmed down manilla folder, the sunny flower that you see paper clipped up the top is a gift tag that i saved from the 70’s (yep, not joking) and the “beautiful” quote is a kikki k vision board quote.

i don’t (yet) have a specific disc bound punch so i just used my ordinary single hole punch and snipped from the edge of the pages through to the hole. simples. not perfect, but simples! oh and the discs? yes, well, apparently officeworks aren’t that far behind the 8-ball afterall and do stock a “colourhide” display book with miniaturised discs as the spine.  they are seriously teeny so thats why i’m keeping things minimal in my planner for now!  i just performed surgery on the folder, removed the discs and voila!

all my workshop planning pages and diary pages are in but i’ll beef things up over the next week…

i’ve taken internal photos but they are all around the wrong way (user error) so i think i’ll make a video instead! meanwhile, my staples order for larger sized ARC discs and zippy pouchie thingies should be on its way before too long… a video with all the things would be better than a half hearted attempt don’t you think?!



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Christmas spirit

Wishing everyone a merry, merry Christmas from a non-snowy, snowflakey household xo



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

hands project


i’d love your help

as you probably know, i’m currently working on a body of work centred around the “vessel”

the vessel has become a metaphor for me that describes the importance of family and the passing down of family stories

as a “side story”, as i weave my vessels, i realise how much i miss my mum’s hands and how much a mother’s hands do.  as a result i am compiling a collection of photographs of hands.  the only rules of this project are that the hands belong to either a mum or a grandmother, or both.

i have documented the details here, and have created a “hashtag” type project on instagram (you’ll find me there as @sammiam)

looking forward to seeing your #mothershands



Posted in art, photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

halfway there…

very busy times

half a year is gone already leaving me only 3 months to get all my work ready for  3 end of year exhibitions and put together a book for assessment requirements

i just keep breathing – what else can i do?

IMG_5651WIP vessels in a range of states

and meanwhile, as the clock ticks and i keep breathing, my hands keep weaving bits of scrap cotton into chook wire

life is funny…

there IS always time for procrastination though of course!

IMG_5667 IMG_5665


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

when in doubt… in and out


We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.

Louisa May Alcott




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

off the loom



shifu… wool warp, paper weft


shifu detail

shifu detail

the colour on the end of this piece was derived from humble onion skins and the dregs of my morning plunger coffee…


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



2 ply bendigo wool warp, paper weft…
i’m in heaven!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Ready to weave


I finally got the opportunity to visit the lovely Amanda yesterday. I took my new/old loom, Mirabelle, with me so Amanda could help me to warp her up. This was a huge learning day for me and it took ages just to get the warp on and ready to weave.

Once the Teksolv heddles were attached we started to wind the warp…


Luckily, Amanda has a winding mill… 100 warp threads, or ends, in order to weave an 8 inch piece (we rounded the number of ends up to the closest 10, it should have been 96), meant a lot of yarn to wind! We decided on a 7 metre warp of a 2ply Bendigo yarn in white. The seemingly endless warp length just means that I’ll be weaving for a while before I need to return to Amanda for help again!!!


I learnt how important it is to maintain the “cross”… (Amanda became a hand model for this photo!!!)


…how to sley the reed


and thread the heddles.


Warp all tensioned, a job that really is made easier with the help of a friend, and I’m all ready to start weaving.

This Internet world really is an amazing place. I found Amanda by googling the name of the maker of my loom and discovered that she had recently assisted another soul with warping exactly the same loom. Amanda has been so so generous with her time and information sharing. She directed me to Petlins so that I could purchase a few bits and pieces for Mirabelle, she’s emailed me and we’ve spoken over the phone about issues I wasn’t sure about and then, sight unseen, she invited me to her home where she fed me a delicious bowl of soup and put aside 5 hours to help me get started with my weaving on this loom. Good, old fashioned, friendly helpfulness… Thank you thank you thank you Amanda!!! You’re a ripper!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment