Review of Renaissance Art Folder Holder (by KR)

So, my friend kindly sent me a bottle of Old Manhattan. I fell madly in love with it and absolutely had to find the right pen for the job. Decided that it had to be something black and subdued and preferable not shiny, just like Old Manhattan. Since said friend knows better than I do, he sent me this for my 40th birthday:

Yellow Omas Emotica
Yellow Omas Emotica in the process of being attacked by a snake!

(The pen, not the snake. The snake is in love with the pen. Long story, but the pen is extremely lovely.)

So. We now have the perfect pen/ink combo. Now what? Hm. I seem to have a separate Apica notebook for everything that interests me. I have a New Music Canada/CBC Radio 3 notebook and a History notebook and a NY Times crossword notebook where I write unfamiliar words for further study so that I can kick tail at the 2010 American Crossword Championship and an “Interesting Things I Hear on the Radio” notebook and… You know where I am going. An absolute nightmare to go to the library lugging all of those notebooks.

Enter the Renaissance Art Folder Holder! Excellent! Rather than a whole notebook dedicated to one subject, I can have all of my subjects, plus work, meal planning, grocery shopping, household chores, calendar and personal goals folders with me at all times, everywhere I go. Sweet.

Drat! I use Rhodia pads and they won’t fit in the traditional Folder Holder! No fear, as Arthur the Magnificent from Renaissance Art kindly just made me one that would accommodate A4. Two days later it was in my hot little hands.

Renaissance Art Folder Holder
Enter the Renaissance Art Folder Holder

The leather is fabulous. Hands down, the nicest leather I have ever seen. It even smells good. For those who ride motorcycles, this leather has the same feel as a Hein Gericke jacket. The stitching and everything exceeded my expectations. Bliss. Now to fill it with lovely, useful things. Because it was purchased to 1) make life easier and 2) look (absolutely!) fabulous with the Emotica and the ink and the Rhodia, yellow, black and orange would figure exclusively.

What a hat trick - Folder holder + Emotica + Rhodia!
What a hat trick - Folder holder + Emotica + Rhodia!

I do use different little useful things depending on where I am going, but the folders generally stay the same. When I have finished a page of, say New Music, I take the page out of the folder and put it in a matching folder in my desk. That way, I don’t fill up my Folder Holder too much. There is ample space for extra folders and a Behance Action Pad, which I carry everywhere in case a spontaneous meeting erupts. If you haven’t tried this stuff, you should. Very cool.

Check out the Behance in that folder holder
Check out the Behance in that folder holder

Anyway, I usually have a Clairefontaine Age Bag address book in the middle pocket (yes, I know my address book is black, not brown. Noodler’s Heart of Darkness and a Q-tip fixed that little problem), Behance Action Pad in orange and a Crane 3×5 card case with a Behance Action Card in the CD pocket. My Mikado fits snugly and happily in the business card pocket (I used to carry a Visconti traveling ink pot there but because of the Mikado’s ink capacity, I no longer run out). The Emotica fits securely and happily in the large pen loop and the material used to make the loop doesn’t stain the yellow rubber. Bliss. Because of a recent development (details below) I now carry a Preppy eyedropper highlighter filled with (wait for it) Noodler’s Orange highlighter ink in the pen loop. Oh. The Rhodia pads have yellow paper. Sigh.

Okay, now we’re cooking. I had a part time job at our local Farmers’ Market and the good bathrooms were upstairs so I used to pass by and chat with an artist who worked up there. Very nice man. One day, I linger a bit longer and take a really good look at one of his little tiny paintings (I had glanced at it every time I went up there, but I hadn’t really looked at it).

"The Gang's All Here" (ed. note - and what a motley crew it is!)
Photo otherwise known as “The Gang’s All Here”.

Enter the missing link: Jim Pescott is his website. Amazing stuff and those of you who get the Unicef Christmas cards may see his work this year, as he was selected to participate. This is a very great honour and I am proud to know him.

Now, as all such adventures go, I found that I needed another piece of the organization puzzle. I am a notoriously bad housekeeper. I don’t plan well and I forget that things need doing, such as taking library books back on time, sending birthday cards and cleaning the kitchen. That one constantly falls out of my head. I was using a folder for it in the Folder Holder, but I’d keep forgetting to look in it to tell me to do things like clean the kitchen. I needed something more “in my face”.   Enter the 3×5 card case with composition book!

Enter the card holder
And gimme one of those card cases too!

While I am not thrilled with the leather used on this one (I got spoiled by the batch used to make my Folder Holder) it is a well made and thoroughly well designed item. I’ll get used to the leather (nothing wrong with it, but I don’t like shiny leather). I scoured the city and have found some composition books that might work. I am still in the process of finding exactly what I want. I may end up cutting the covers of my Apicas and putting those in (the opening is a bit too small).

Everything in its place - Oops, where are my glasses?
Everything in its place - Oops, where are my glasses?

So. The Folder Holder and his little brother, the card case have changed everything. Seriously. I can now have all of my various hobbies documented in one place and it is effortless to drop one subject and pick up on another very quickly. I have orange folders for my personal hobbies and yellow for my work projects. The card case serves as a constant reminder of what needs to be done when and how. It is impossible to open it and not see that my copy of Spaced needs to be back to the library on the 25th. I have a running shopping list in there and a myriad of other lists and doodads, with a composition book that is for note taking and is also perforated so I can dispose of my ramblings.

Renaissance Art has been fabulous to deal with (slow answers to emails aside-their spam filter is apparently too efficient) and there is no denying the quality of their goods (shiny leather aside). The Folder Holder and his little brother are extremely cool tools in quieting the frenetic mind (I think the expression is “mind like water”). I have never been more organized, although the kitchen is still a mess. I lost that card, I think. Oh, well.

Thanks to LPC member KR for writing this and taking the great pics!