Archive for Editorial

Question for today: How Important is Color in Your Life?

Purple Rhodiarama

  • Does the color of an item influence your decision making processes when purchasing items for daily use?
  • Have you ever allowed the color of an item inspire you make an impulse purchase?
  • What do you think about Rhodia offering products in colors other than their classic black and orange?
  • What is your favorite color?

Art is a Learned Skill (Really!)

nan_chanapa

I’ve met a lot of adults who seem to believe that because they weren’t born with a pencil or paintbrush in their hand that they have no business making art. To this I say, Hogwash!

Most young children are able to be creative without self-judgment. It’s easy for them to make art because it’s playful and fun. Things start to get a little tricky around the ages of 11-12 because this is when children desire to realistically reproduce what they see, and may become extremely frustrated when they cannot. Learning to draw realism typically requires additional instruction and a lot of practice which is why a lot of kids give up art in favor of other activities. This is why you, as an adult, may think that you have no talent for art because you draw like a child. In reality, all you need (regardless of age) is additional instruction. (and patience) 

Having said all that, you really don’t require any skills at all to express yourself through art. if you want to paint, buy paint and have at it because it’s fun! In my experience, the most difficult part of making art is learning being okay with the results.

The Five Basic Skills of Drawing are good to know.

Image courtesy of nan_chanapa on Instagram

Friday Link Share: July Edition!

Rhodia LeCarre

Notebooks Explained at JetPens Blog

The Oxford Comma Controversy at Writer’s Relief

Brilliant Summer Inks And Watercolors at Inkophile

The Tiniest Fountain Pen at The Well-Appointed Desk

J. Herbin Bouton D’or Ink Review at Write to Me Often

Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 A5 at Gourmet Pens

Episode 10 of Erasable: “The Graphites of Wrath” at Woodclinched

Hey Mr. Postman! at Rad and Hungry

Rhodiarama Notebook Review at Office Supply Geek

Bic Brite Liner Grip Highlighter at A Penchant for Paper

Guilt-Free Creative Work at Daisy Yellow Blog

Art Journal Every Day: Sketching at the Beach at Balzer Designs

How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Unblock the “Spiritual Electricity” of Creative Flow at Brain Pickings

Journaling Exercise: What Are You Putting Off? at Kaizen Journaling

Games People Play

640px-Five_ivory_dice

I kept hearing an odd clacking noise coming from the neighbors porch and it took me quite a while to figure out that they were playing dominos. The delayed reaction is because I’ve never played dominos- unless “playing” counts as carefully lining them up to be knocked down in sequence.

Growing up as an only child in the 70′s usually meant coming up with imaginative ways to play games originally designed to be played by 2 or more people. (I built a lot of game board forts) Since I’ve long abandoned the notion of playing games with friends, I am always intrigued when I discover adults playing games for fun. (Once in a billion years my husband and I will play Othello but that’s really about it.) 

Do you still play board games with friends or family? Card games? Other kinds of games?

Image of “Five ivory dice” by Liam Quin 

Proposed Paper Comparison Project

clairefontaine

Some during August-September I will be organizing a project to compare the different Clairefontaine, Rhodia, Quo Vadis and G. Lalo paper surfaces and how they interact with different writing instruments and inks.

We will collect the comments of as many people as possible on their experience with an individual product paper–how it feels to the touch, how their pen (pencil or other writing instrument) moves across the surface and interacts with it; basically–what is their experience, and what they like (or don’t like) about it.

The summary of the comments can be a good reference not only for people getting started with journals and notepads, but also for expert practitioners to exchange experiences with each other.

The products I am thinking of including for this comparison are:  classic Clairefontaine notebook paper; Clairefontaine Triomphe pads, R by Rhodia pads, classic Rhodia notepads, Rhodia Ice, Rhodia Webbies, Quo Vadis Habanas, G. Lalo Verge de France pads, and G. Lalo correspondence cards.

People can test each sheet with their favorite writing instruments (fountain pens, rollerballs, pencils, etc.)  and contribute feedback via an online form.  We will publish the results on both Quo Vadis Blog and Rhodia Drive  either in December 2014 or January 2015.

Each person would be limited to three or four different sheets per month (that I can send in a first class letter), but can sign up each month for other papers to sample and add their thoughts.

What do you think?  Are there specific questions we should ask?  Are there any other product papers you would like to try?  Your input at this stage is very much appreciated and welcome.  As always, thank you for your thoughtful suggestions, help and support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Writing Prompt: Foods you’ve loved.

carrotta_yeon

Who doesn’t love food? Whether individual ingredients, meals you’ve been served, or something you’ve cooked up on your own, today’s creative writing prompt encourages you to make lists of the foods you love. You can list favorite fruits, vegetables, herbs, or spices. Favorite brands of a particular food item, as well as the shops where you bought them may also be included.

(Avocados, white nectarines, red pears, cardamom ice cream, and uni are a few of my favorites.) 

Food memories will inevitably prompt additional memories and may even trigger emotions. (Did I ever tell you the story about my friend whose grandfather was a butcher? Years after he’d passed away, they found a long forgotten package of his hot dogs at the bottom of a freezer. Did they eat them? You bet.) 

If you’ve ever thought that writing would be beneficial to your overall health but didn’t know where to start, these various creative writing prompts are designed to help you open up to the page.

No judgments, just write.

Image courtesy of carrotta_yeon on Instagram

Which do you prefer: Violet Blue or Grey Ruling? Please vote.

Rhodia Ruling

One thing I noticed instantly about the new Rhodia Ice Anniversary tablets is that the ruling isn’t violet blue. It’s gray.

Several years ago, Rhodia ruling was light violet blue. In an effort for the printing inks to become more environmentally friendly, the formulas were altered. These changes resulted in the ink becoming a slightly darker blue and we’ve heard from several of you that you don’t much care for the darker ink, specifically in our graph ruled products.

I started noticing the gray ink in the dotPads. The original black covered dotPads had violet dots & the later orange covered dotPads have gray dots. We are now seeing the gray ink again in the Ice products. Is this indicative of a permanent switch? We don’t yet know. The Exaclair folks are in communication with France about this and as soon as we know, you’ll know.

Something I noticed about the blue versus grey inks is that the paper with the blue ink takes on a pinkish hue (which makes the white seem whiter) while the paper with the gray ruling seems slightly less white.

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In the meantime, we’d LOVE to know which you prefer so we can tell France about which our customers prefer. The newer (darker) blue? or gray?

Claudia Goes to Pittsburgh

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Claudia McGill is one of my favorite contemporary artists because it was her colorful and whimsical art that first inspired me to take risks in my own art. She works with a variety of mixed media; including acrylic paint, collage and clay. Something I didn’t know about Claudia is that she uses Rhodia tablets. When she first learned that I worked for Rhodia, she told me about a zine she had been working on which included a short story about a train ride to Pittsburgh and how the story was based on notes she’d taken in a small Rhodia pad during her trip.

To read the story, click on the first image and then keep clicking to move from one page to the next.

Summertime Travel Necessities

Rhodia Pencils Case R Pad

For many, summer = travel. Trips to the beach, kids at summer camp, the cabin at the lake, camping in the mountains or perhaps a drive through the desert.

Regardless of where you are spending your time, I know that many of you would never leave home without first packing a few essential tools for the inevitable creative urges that free time can inspire. Will you share your favorites? Is it a notepad,  journal or sketchbook? A few favorite fountain pens or a handful of colored pencils? How about a travel sized watercolor paint box?

Big Gay Dragon

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Andrea over at Big Gay Dragon (what a great name!) is using Rhodia Webbies for some of her daily doodles this year.  To me, the doodles can be whimsical, spiritual, meditative–or all three.

Thank you, Andrea.

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Flexible Nibbed Pens: Yay or Nay?

I for one, am a huge fan of any writing implement that can create a line of varying width. I have a sweet little Parker Debutante Vacumatic in need of a new sac that has a really nice flexible nib and I don’t know why I haven’t had it repaired yet…

Have you ever tried a flexible nibbed fountsin pen? Any favorites? I’ve always wanted to try a “wet noodle” myself. (A very flexible nib)

Eversharp Symphony and Noodler’s Ahab shown above, image courtesy of Ed Jelley. Vist his blog at www.edjelley.com and follow edjelley on Instagram.

Check out Brain Sizemore’s demo on this vintage Wahl “wet noodle” fountain pen. Many more on his You Tube channel as well. 

How does your garden grow?

image

Three years ago I had no garden at all. Two years ago, I had three tomato plants that someone had gifted me growing in buckets. They did not do so well because it was a bad year for tomatoes and because I don’t think they liked living in the buckets. Last year I grew 18 tomato plants, 20 herbs and a dozen cucumber plants in my “new” garden. (You could say I went a little crazy. Live and learn.)

This year I have six tomato plants, a dozen cucumber plants, two dozen herbs and a hillside full of flowers. (I poured several packets of seeds in my hand and threw them on our steeply sloped hill. I was completely amazed at how quickly they took root.) I’ve done additIonal hardscaping (which I think is my favorite part) and am overall pleased with a process that not only let’s me play in the dirt, but one that feeds my soul as well as my body.

Do you have a garden? What do you grow?

Creative Prompt: Write a simple letter

ivory_ocean

Who doesn’t love to receive a handwritten note in the mail? I know I do! My challenge to you this weekend is to write a simple letter to someone you think could benefit from a bright bit of human kindness in their mailbox.

Don’t know what to write? How about writing out your favorite poem- or maybe a recipe for you favorite chocolate chip cookie?

Image courtesy of S. Jane Mills – be sure to visit her blog, Sketches and Studies Art & Life by S. Jane Mills

Scheduling: What works for you?

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How do you keep track of your schedule? Do you use a paper product like one of our Quo Vadis planners, or do you prefer an app or software based calendar that can be synced across all of your electronic devices?

While I like being able to check my calendar through my smartphone, the reminders I set aren’t a strong enough visual cue to reenforce the things I need to accomplish. I’m thinking about copying my schedule to a large wall planner in my kitchen. Is redundancy something that works for you?

Which of these books on creativity have you read?

birdbybird

After seeing this post on Buzzfeed: 37 Books Every Creative Person Should Be Reading, I noticed that I’ve already read several and will probably want to eventually read them all. Do you have any favorites from this list? #25 is an all-time favorite for me.

3. Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott: Read this a long time ago. Remember it being sweetly encouraging.
4. Steal Like An Artist, by Austin Kleon: Read recently. Good info, but nothing that was really new to me
7. The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron: This is a classic. Excellent info to be found here. Do the work if you want to experience transformational growth in your life. (It’s not just about art)
15. Just Kids, Patti Smith: This has been sitting patiently in my Kindle for over a year…
19. The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White: Great info. “Omit needless words” is a classic.
21. Art & Fear, by David Bayles & Ted Orland: I’ve never read it cover to cover, but every time I crack it open and read a few pages I find something totally relevant.
22. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards: Just recently bought a copy.
25. The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield: One of the BEST books I’ve ever read. It’s about resistance. You do not have to be an artist to get a lot out of this book. It’s tiny – read it in an afternoon.
29. On Writing, Stephen King: I owned this a very long time ago. Can’t remember if I read all of it. The one thing that sticks with me is his mantra of “Write every day:”

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Rhodia Customization Module

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Grab Your Camera and Show us Where You Buy Your Rhodia!

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Favorite Pens

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David Allen of GTD on Rhodia

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Chef Hosea Rosenberg on Rhodia

Season 5 (Bravo Network) Top Chef Hosea Rosenberg, originally from Taos, New Mexico, was always good at math. After graduating 3rd in his class at Taos High School, he moved to Boulder, CO to study at the University of Colorado. His dream... Read on »

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About

Rhodia Drive is a blog about Rhodia notebooks and the people who use them. It’s a place where devotees of this “French orange notebook” contribute ideas, experiences and links on the latest tools, events and general notebook-related news.

Rhodia Drive attracts creative people passionate about their Rhodia. Designers and artists, writers and pen collectors, thinkers and free spirits—anyone who loves notebooks—come together on Rhodia Drive.