Archive for Editorial

Tuesday Talk Back: Covering Your Notebooks: Yes or No?

Gfeller Webbie

How important is it to you to cover your tablets and notebooks? While Rhodia offers several options of covers for the top staple bound pads, and Exacompta makes a clipboard folio for the Rhodia No. 18 pads called the Exaboard, we seem to mostly hear people talk about wanting covers made of leather.

If you’d like a leather cover for your favorite Rhodia products, check out these companies below. Don’t see what you’d like, or want something customized? Don’t be afraid to ask these folks to handcraft something just for you.

The Rhodia Webbie shown above, is adorned in a leather cover from Gfeller Casemakers – currently offering hand-made cases for 9 different Rhodia offerings.

Hidebound Leather

Hidebound Leather offers a variety of covers and folios for several Rhodia products.

Sulu Jane and Earl

A variety of colorful leather covers from Sulu Jane and Earl fit pocket sized Rhodia notebooks.

Ateleia

Ateleia Craft & Design just recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to manufacture a sweet brass pen, and also the leather journal shown above.

Circa_cvr_tradS_snap__front

If you are a fan of Circa Rhodia, Renaissance Arts makes several covers for the disc bound products from Levenger.

small webbie Inkleaf leather

InkLeaf Leather offers leather covers for small and large sized Rhodia Webbies. 

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A personal favorite of mine, is this one of a kind leather case made by Michael Martinez,

schwarz_folio

as is this AMAZING custom folio by Cary Schwarz, a saddle maker from Salmon, Idaho.

The Paper Project Week 2: Your Chance to Sample 3 Different Blank Papers

Clairefontaine Triomphe

The Paper Project is our way to offer a variety of Exaclair paper samples to 50 (FIFTY! We’ve increased it to Fifty!) people each week. Every Monday, we will be offering paper samples from 1-4 products to 50 people on a first come, first served basis. (There is no limit to how many weeks you can participate!) Samples will be mailed once we reach 50 participants and recipients will be notified via e-mail.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST – WE HAVE REACHED 50 PARTICIPANTS FOR THIS WEEK. TUNE IN NEXT MONDAY FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT 

Week 2 samples will include 1 sheet each of these 3 6×8″blank Exaclair products:

  • Clairefontaine Graf It 
  • G Lalo Stationery (white) 
  • Clairefontaine Triomphe

If you have been chosen to receive samples in any given week, please come back and leave comments on the corresponding week’s page. We welcome you to blog or share to your favorite social media sites about your experiences.

Tag #rhodiapaperproject on Instagram and Pinterest. If you’d like us to see your Paper Project blog posts, post your links in the comment section on corresponding week’s page OR to our Rhodia Drive Facebook page.

What kind of comments are we looking for?

  • Tell us what you like/don’t like about the paper.
  • How do you like using pencil/pen/fountain pen on it.
  • Would you use it to write/draw/doodle/sketch etc.?
  • - and anything else you think we should know.

If you are viewing this post via e-mail or on a mobile device, you may need to visit Rhodia Drive directly to see the entry form. (Entries must be received through the form – please do not post your name and address in the comment section of this post  to receive samples. Thank you!) 

 

Corporate Gifts

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Rhodia notepads are associated with creativity, high quality and a crossover between innovation and tradition. Everyone loves a notepad to jot down important thoughts and ideas.

Rhodia pads and pad holders can be customized with your logo or artwork for holiday giving.

 

 

 

Who would like to see fountain pen friendly Rhodia Engineering paper?

Engineer Paper

We received a recent letter from Michael Marchesan asking us to develop an fountain pen friendly engineer’s pad. When Karen Doherty asked why engineers couldn’t use the standard grid, Michael responded as follows:

I used to do all of my math/science on graph paper for years until I began engineering study and realized the beauty of engineering paper. 

Engineering paper has it’s grid on the backside, which you do not actually write on. The grid shows through to the front of the paper which is blank, so you can have the benefits of writing on gridded paper, without actually writing on a grid.

When you tear your sheet off the glued-top-bound pad, it appears as if though you wrote in perfectly straight lines and did all your calculations, figures and measurements with incredible precision on a blank sheet without the distraction of a grid on your work.

The other benefit to this is that the grid does not show up when your work is photocopied from engineering paper.

Each grid on engineering paper is 0.2″x0.2″, with bold grid-lines forming 1″x1″ squares every 5 grids–great for scaling and doing precise engineering calculations and figures.

So who else out there would like to see Rhodia produce a fountain pen friendly version of this specialized paper? Spread the word and tell people to comment on this post.

Feedback wanted: What do you like best about this blog? What would you like to see more of on Rhodia Drive?

work work work

We’d like to know what keeps you coming back to Rhodia Drive – what type of content you prefer: what you’d like to see more of, and what you’d like to see less of.

Judging by the number of comments we receive, we can clearly tell that you enjoy offering your feedback on our products – which we really appreciate. Over the years, your feedback has helped to upgrade and improve product design which creates a win-win situation for the both of us. These posts will now typically be featured as “Tuesday Talk Back.”

We also know that you love our contests & giveaways – that’s a no brainer and we’ll continue to offer them as often as we can.

If you wouldn’t mind taking a moment to offer your feedback on this form, we’d really appreciate it. If you don’t see the form below, please visit the blog directly, in order to submit your responses. Thank you!

2016 Rhodia Weekly Planner Update

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Your comments counted. We will be keeping the hardbound edition for 2016 and not changing over to refillable.

Since more and more people like to draft and make notes on graph paper, we may explore developing a daily pocket planner with this type of notes page.

 

 

Tuesday Talk Back: Light or dark dots? Feedback on new Clairefontane dotGraf-it pads

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I was really excited about the Clairefontaine dot ruled Graf It pads because it’s a really nice light grained drawing paper and after blank, dots are my preferred ruling.

When I received the sample from Karen, I was a bit disappointed because the light violet dots didn’t play well with my eyes. My first impression was that there were inconsistencies in the printing, with some dots appearing to be lighter than others. In a side by side comparison, the grey dots in the Rhodia dotPads look dark by comparison. (That’s the Rhodia on the left and two Graf It’s in the middle and on the right.)

Graf It Dot

Since this is a drawing pad, I decided to show this paper to a number of my artist friends. What I saw as potentially bothersome, they viewed as a positive attribute. They all wanted the dots to recede from their field of vision while drawing. They wanted them to be gentle guides and as non-obtrusive as possible.

Have you tried these yet? If so, what do you think? Do you like the lighter violet dots or the slightly darker great ones?

Below, sculptor Virginia Abbott poses with a quick sketch that she created on the Clairefontaine dot Graf It pad.

Virginia Abbott with Clairefontaine dot GrafIt 

Graph It Dot Grid stapled pads: 80 sheets of white drawing 90g PEFC paper with pre-printed lilac light dots. The light geometric dot matrix is used as a skillful guide for your sketches, technical drawings or note taking. This subtle matrix will become almost invisible at scan, or on photocopy to reveal only your sketch.

Dot Grid
160 pages / 80 sheets
90gsm / 41lb white paper
Available in A4 & A5

Fountain Pen Friends: Do you use ink swatches?

J Herbin Ink Swatches

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to test a LOT of different colors/brands of fountain pen inks. (over 100!) Because I am a visual person, the best way for me to compare and contrast was to perform ink swatches and though my method was simple, you can make this process as detailed as you’d like. In the images I’ve attached here, I used cotton swabs to do 1, 2 and 3 swipes of each J. Herbin ink in a white drawing pad.

I also kept two separate journals that I only used for ink testing. One with white paper and one with ivory.

What process do you use to remember what all of your inks look like?

J Herbin Ink Swatches

J Herbin Ink Swatches

A5 Webnotepad

 

Rhodia landscape1 (3)One of the new products we introduced this year is an A5 Webnotepad.  It is 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 or 14 x 21 cm. The paper is 90g, ivory, 96 sheets.  The top of each sheet is micro-perforated for clean and easy removal. We currently import lined for the large size, but it is also available in dot grid and blank. Suggested retail is $26.  You can read more about them here.

As a leftie fountain pen writer, I prefer notepads to notebooks.  When I finished my No. 16, I thought I would give the large Webnotepad a try. I normally don’t use hard bound writing products because I find them intimidating to put pen to a blank page (Writer’s “Buck Fever”). Much to my surprise, I now carry around the Webnotepad instead of a regular pad. The extra hard back increases the stability for writing.

The time and the quiet to write by hand happens more during my weekend bus commute to the country, or sitting in an Adirondack chair in the backyard–not at my desk.  I like a notepad with some heft. It seems to encourage serious thinking.

I would like to get feedback on the A5 from Rhodia Drive readers. Do you like the size? Would you prefer dot grid or blank to ruled? Most important, does it make writing enjoyable for you?

I have five A5s for review. If you would like to enter, please comment on this post with your name and email by Thursday, October 16th.   Your feedback on the Webnotepad is welcome–what you like and constructive criticism.  Thank you so much.

Stephanie’s Upcoming Events and Exhibitions

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With Karen’s encouragement, I wanted to share with you several events and exhibitions that I have going on during the month of October:

On First Friday October 3rd I will be a featured artist at The Banana Factory with an exhibition of my work in the 1st floor lobby. First Friday activities throughout the building are from 6-9pm. Be sure to come up and visit me in my studio #250 on the 2nd floor. (My lobby and stairwell exhibitions at the BF will be on view until Nov. 3rd.) Facebook event details can be found here. 

Stephanie Smith Metamorphosis

On Wednesday October 8th I will be offering a free artist talk entitled “Metamorphosis” at The Banana Factory from 7-8:30pm. I will be discussing influences, artistic processes, and my evolution as an artist. This event is free and open to the public. The event will begin with a slideshow and talk in the Banko Gallery at The Banana Factory and end with a visit to my private studio on the 2nd floor where light refreshments will be served. Facebook event details can be found here,

Stephanie Smith Orbit

October 3rd-30th is the 125th Annual N.A.W.A Members Exhibition held at the Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery, 417 Lafayette St in New York City.  I became a juried member of – N.A.W.A  (National Association of Women Artists) earlier this year and my piece “Orbit” will be part of this historic exhibition.

Tapping Final

On Friday October 10th I will presenting an all-new workshop entitled “Tapping the Source” with Dr. Kell Morton - an expert in the field of transformational healing and personal growth. This experiential workshop is designed to help you awaken, access and nurture your full creative self. See the attached flyer for full details or visit the Facebook event page here. 

Write This Down: One Line Per Day

Rhodia Webbie Gfeller

There is no question that we are all busy people with a multitude of things constantly vying for our attention. I know that sometimes we just don’t get the chance to put pen to paper as often as we would like, and so I’d been thinking about simple ways to keep the ink from drying up in our pens so to speak. When I recently came across a three year journal in a bookstore that prompted a single line to be written per day, my thought was, One line per day… that seems like something most people could accomplish if they really put their mind to it. It could also be a way for those who would like to begin writing, but don’t know how to start. 

So here’s my creative prompt to you: Use a pen/pencil to always write as least one line per day in your favorite notepad or journal. The line can consist of anything – how you feel, something you’d like to accomplish or have just accomplished, a favorite quote, headline news – anything really. Just so long as you do it every day.

And what if we liked this exercise so much, that we were to put aside a separate notebook just for this prompt? One line per day: 365. A year in the life of (fill in the blank)

What do you think of this idea? Is it something you’d be willing to try? Already do? Have shared with other people?

Guest Blogger Gabe Couch: Designer at Few

Gabe Couch

I’m Gabe Couch, a designer and partner at Few. I’m also CEO of our internal startup, Tagless Style - an alternative online style service. Our group of friends launched a design and development conference in 2012 called Made by Few and last year Designed by Few which was a large part of launching Few, a mobile and web application development house. We are located in the center of Arkansas (The Natural State) and are working on creating a truly creative culture here. Continue Readering »

Rhodia on the Road: Show us yours!

Out on the field

Image courtesy of Robin Massingill – robin_mr on Imstagram

We would love to see where you’ve been taking Rhodia on the Road this year. Send your images to stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com to be added to our Rhodia on the Road Fan Photo Page. Interested in being a guest blogger? Include a paragraph or two with your image telling us a little bit about who you are, how you use your favorite Rhodia products and where you’ve taken them on the road and we’ll review it for publication on the blog. 

PS: On Instagram? Tag your images #rhodia

2016 Rhodia Planner Change

rhodia-planner-2015_2000_750

Work has started on next year’s catalogs.  This includes 2016 planners.

We are seriously considering a change for Rhodia WebPlanners, or Rhodia Weekly Notebooks as I like to call them.  The change includes moving away from a bound hard cover to something else. The format will remain the same–week on left, page in graph for notes on right.

In the new version, the Rhodia planner, both pocket and desk, will have a firm orange cardboard cover which can be used as is, or inserted into black smooth or grained leatherette cover for people who prefer a refillable option.

The planner will be lighter, and also less expensive.  We may expand the line to include Academic Year (August-July) in addition to Calendar Year (January-December).

We think these changes will expand its appeal, especially to people who like to work out ideas, problems and designs on graph paper.

Your comments and questions are welcome.

 

Fountain Pen Friends: Ever order ink samples?

Image courtesy of emraher on Instagram

Image courtesy of emraher on Instagram

One of the big draws to writing with a fountain pen is the ability to choose your ink. With literally hundreds of colors available from a wide variety of brands, chances are you will be able to find the exact shade of blue or violet that you’ve been searching for.

Aside from color, inks have additional properties that may be of interest to the user such as:

  • Viscosity. Some pens that have a tendency to write dry, might benefit from an ink that flows more freely and vise versa.
  • Saturation. Some inks contain much more pigment than others. This would likely be an aesthetic choice, as would be an ink’s ability to show shading.
  • Scent. Depending on the materials used to create the ink, some may emit a stronger scent than another. Some inks even add fragrance to their chemistry.
  • Waterproof. As fountain pen inks are water based and do not contain shellac, there are options for people wanting or needing their inks to be water-resistant on the page.

What is shading? Lapis on the Fountain Pen Network offers this explanation: “…shading is an easily observable increase in intensity and/or darkness in certain parts of the handwriting on paper. … The easiest place to see shading is basically on the downstrokes of your hand, where the nib usually gets more force down onto the paper. Then the line is usualy wider, slower and thus more ink gets posted onto the paper. Shading is best (not exclusively) done using a broad, especially flexy or, to a certain extent, springy nib.”

If you’d like to try some inks before you buy, check out the forums on the Fountain Pen Network to see who has what that they’d like to swap. Popular retailer that sell ink samples include Goulet Pens, Anderson Pens and isellpens.

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In Your Bag

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of Rhodia in your bag to: stephanie at rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page.  ... Read on »

Rhodia Customization Module

Visit our customization module at Exaclair.com

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

Target? Dick Blick? Borders? Art Brown? We want you to show us where you buy your Rhodia... The next time you are out and about,  snap us a picture of where you buy your Rhodia products so we can assemble an online gallery of local retailers. To... Read on »

Favorite Pens

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of your favorite pen: stephanie@rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page. ... Read on »

David Allen of GTD on Rhodia

David Allen is a productivity consultant who is best known as the creator of the time management method known as “Getting Things Done”. David comments on the Rhodia Meeting Book: “I love this Rhodia pad. First, the paper stands... Read on »

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 »

Download the Life Noted App

Life Noted App

Visit the App Store on your iOS 7 device to download Life Noted

Would you like to be a guest blogger on Rhodia Drive?

If so, contact me via e-mail at stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com with your proposed subject matter. We are looking for posts ranging in length from 100-500 words. Photos to accompany the article are a welcome bonus. If you have been reading... 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.