Archive for Give us Your Feedback

What books are currently on your night stand?

nightstand books

I usually have at least three or four books going at a time.

The books currently on my night table include:  American Vampire, a graphic novel by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque and Stephen King; The Kingdom in paperback by Clive Cussler; The Ptolemies by Duncan Sprott and Eastern Europe! by Tomek Jankowski.

Whatever book or combination I am reading includes a bit of history, archaeology, and some mystery–supernatural or otherwise.

I started with Eastern Europe! when some DNA tests from Family Tree DNA indicated I have a substantial amount of Eastern European and Baltic ancestry.  I’m acquainting myself with the region before I make a trip there someday.

Graphic novels are usually done by wonderful storytellers–both writers and artists.  IMHO, they are under appreciated both as good writing and as an art form.

The Ptolemies are a great soap opera of a dynasty, with plenty of interesting characters and weird twists and turns. Following them is like feeling your way against a dark temple wall.

Clive Cussler also tells a good story.  I like Dirk Pitt, but Sam and Remi Fargo are my favorites. They are adventurer-archaeologists–something I wish I could be.

What books are you reading?

 

Inky Fingers

ragemore
What fountain pen user hasn’t at one time or another experienced inky fingers? For me, it’s every time I refill a pen. It happens either by accidentally touching the rim of the bottle or when using a paper towel to wipe the nib section clean.

Other ways I’ve gotten inky? If a pen is running a little dry, I will sometimes twist the convertor to push more ink into the feed; if it’s a bit too much, spillage may occur. Dip pens/nibs come with their own type of inky hazards simply from having to repeatedly dip the nib into an ink bottle.

Under what circumstances have you experienced the inky finger syndrome? Anyone ever experience ink problems on an airplane?

Image courtesy of Ragemore on Instagram

 

Waiting to get your paws on a landscape Webbie?

hotdogsandwiches

The landscape version of our beloved Webbie (Webnotebook) will soon be available in the US and we are hoping that you are as excited about it as we are. Will you share with us how this format may work more efficiently for your needs?

• Size A5: 5 1⁄2” x 8 1⁄4”
• 90 g ivory paper, acid-free, pH neutral, 96 sheets
• Embossed Rhodia logo
• Elastic closure matching color cover (orange and black)
• Round corners
• Individually shrink-wrapped
• Lined or blank
• Inner pocket in back cover

Image courtesy of hotdogsandwiches on Instagram

 

Rhodia Ice

rhodia ice 2

Rhodia has designed two new notepads for its 80th anniversary year (1934-2014): a white cover with silver logo pad, and a special 80th anniversary pad, with an interesting orange gold grid pattern on the cover.

We are calling the new “Bloc White” – Rhodia Ice.

Both pads will be featured at the National Stationery Show in New York May 18-21. 2014.  They will arrive from France within the next two weeks.

Rhodia Ice will be available in six sizes:  No. 11, No. 12, No. 13, No. 16, No. 18 and No. 19. The paper is 80g with muted silver grid or lines.

It is the most striking pad I have ever seen, with an elusive beauty and character. It is quite different from anything else–just like Rhodia.

rhodia ice

A Change in Handwriting?

image

Has anyone else noticed any changes to their handwriting over the years? Has it become neater, messier, or perhaps more stylized? I know that I began to use a combination of printed/cursive letters sometime when I was an early teenager. Since that time, I believe that my writing has become somewhat more stylized and I am now able to write straight across the page when using blank paper. My signature on the other hand, has disintegrated into only a few recognizable letter forms. 

(This is one of those times when my notes about a post actually becomes the post.)

 

J. Herbin scented fountain pen inks: Your Thoughts?

Herbin Scented Ink

Did you know that J. Herbin offers several different scented fountain pen inks? Whether or not you’ve ever tried a scented ink, we’d love to hear your thoughts about them.

J. Herbin scented inks are made from floral water (hydrosols) of rose, orange, lavender, apple and violets. The hydrosols used by J. Herbin come from Grasse, France, a Provencal town long associated with the perfume industry, and famous for its floral scents.

Fashioned with great care, scented inks are inspired by a tradition that began in Italy in the 19th century. J. Herbin and other manufacturers used to collect different scents from the perfume industry and add them to their inks.

Known as “Les Subtiles” (The Subtle), each ink matches fragrance and color: bleu/parfum lavande; vert/parfum pomme; amber/parfum orange; rouge/parfum rose; and violet/parfum violette.

 

The Silence of Smooth

_leisurely_

As a writer slash artist, I have a lot of different kinds of paper on hand for writing, drawing, sketching, painting, etc. The major differences (IMHO) between these papers is the surface. (Weight also plays a big factor) Drawing and sketching papers typically have some degree of “tooth” which helps to enhance the appearance of dry media like pencils, charcoal, or pastel.

When working on paper that isn’t smooth, there is an audible sound as the writing/drawing implement is moved across the paper. I don’t mind this when I’m making art but sometimes find it distracting when I’m writing – especially when using an extra fine nibbed pen on a toothy paper.

Have you taken notice of the sound your pen/pencil makes on paper? Do you choose specific pen/pencil and paper combinations to enhance or avoid the sound?

Image courtesy of _leisurely_ on Instagram

 

Help us find New Link Love: Favorite Blogs?

leon_uk

We are searching for two things: New blogs for our blogroll and your overall favorite blogs to read. 

If you have a personal blog you believe to offer content relevant to Rhodia Drive, enter the link into the comment box below along with the Blogroll category you think it would best fit and a note that indicates that it’s your own personal blog. The links will be reviewed and added to our Blogroll at our discretion.

To share your favorite blogs, (let’s limit 3 per person) comment “My favorite blogs” and then add the links. These I will review and consider for future link share posts.

 

The Sharpened Pencil

jdee

While I probably own at least half a dozen manual pencil sharpeners, I am always misplacing them. When I do find one, it’s usually the one that consistently chews the point off my pencil requiring me to re-sharpen them again and again leaving me with half the pencil I started with. I have a really awesome electric sharpener in my studio but I always seem to forget my pencils at home. I also have an older battery-operated unit which doesn’t seem to have the gusto (chewing power) that it once had which probably should be retired.

Do you have a favorite tried and true pencil sharpener? What brand? I may be looking for a new one… (I keep eyeballing those retro glass sharpeners by Alvin- especially the red one.)

Image courtesy of jdee on Instagram

More Plain Paper?

puww

We’ve received several requests for plain paged notebooks. Most recently, this message from a Turkish university student and self-proclaimed “stationery nerd”:

“We university students love and buy and use plain paged notebooks, buy most companies do not have paper as qualified as yours. We want to use Rhodia’s quality papered notebooks, and we want them to be plain paged please.”

We’ve also heard specific requests for spiral bound plain paged books – which is one product I’d swipe up in a heartbeat.

Are you a fan of unruled paper? Do you use it primarily for writing, sketching, or a combination of both?

Image courtesy of puww on Instagram.

 

The Difference Between Yellow & White Rhodia Paper: Would You Like to Test it?

Rhodia Yellow

A short while back we received a comment about the texture of the yellow paper in our No. 19 Staplebound Pads. When the person had mentioned that the yellow paper had more “tooth” than its white counterpart, Karen sent me one of each to test and I would tend to agree. While both papers are manufactured by Clairefontaine and are each 80g in weight, the 80g white performs as expected but the yellow does indeed feel “toothier” and is especially nice when used with a pencil.

So here’s the deal: We’ve got 5 pairs of these tablets to give away. If you are located in the USA and are willing to provide us with timely feedback on the yellow versus white paper with whatever media you prefer, (pencil, fountain pen, gel pen, etc.) please enter your info on the form below and click submit. (The form may not be visible when viewed on a mobile device or if you are subscribed to our blog via e-mail. Please visit RhodiaDrive.com to view the form)

This particular offer is open to USA participants and will remain open until midnight EST on Friday February 21st. Participants will be selected at our discretion and notified by e-mail the week of February 24th with additional details on where to submit the product feedback. Testers are also welcome to write their own blog reviews about these products.

What is Your Preferred Paper Surface Texture?

Rhodia R Pads

Earlier today I was trying to draw with a fountain pen on a drawing pad which boasts “excellent tooth”. This was not a good match at all. Had I been using pencils, charcoal or pastels, it would have been perfect but the delicate fountain pen nib (which admittedly was not flowing as well as it should) was extra annoyingly scratchy on this surface.

My drawing preference (with pencils etc.) is a paper with at least a little bit of tooth. My writing preference with any device (fountain pen, pencil, etc.,) is smooth but not too smooth. I want the pen to flow but not skate recklessly across the surface.

What is Your Preferred Paper Surface Texture?

Fountain Pen Friendly Paper

aarongpeabody

Fountain pen ink is water based. Depending on how a particular brand of paper is made, this type of ink may feather on the surface or bleed through to the other side. Clairefontaine (the parent company of Rhodia) manufactures their own paper in France and their 80g-90g paper products are very well known for being fountain pen friendly. It is this feature that continues to attract many people to our products.

Did you come to discover Rhodia products in this way? Are you a fountain pen user?

Image courtesy of aarongpeabody on Instagram

 

Rhodia Journal Swap

Journal Swap Art

In 2012 we created the first ever Rhodia Journal Swap. The idea was simple - 12 people in the US sending Rhodia Webnotebooks from one person to the next, each adding content as they go and sharing some of their completed pages on a group Tumblr blog.

Despite everyone’s best intentions to participate in a fun and ongoing project, life occasionally took precedence over participation. The initial momentum began to waver several months into this year long project and would eventually slow to a crawl as people were receiving books faster then they could create content – ultimately keeping the swap from progressing as scheduled and leaving some people without books to create in for months on end.

Some of the positive feedback we heard from participants? 

  • What I liked: the writings, artwork, etc. from the contributors were amazing. …  I loved sharing stories with them, discovering their blogs  etc.
  • I loved the writings and art in my book. The swappers chosen were all talented and interesting individuals.
  • I’ve met (virtually) several new people… at least three I now communicate with regularly. New friends are always nice!
  • I loved the creative outlet it provided and the inspiration that came from seeing other people’s contributions.
  • The best part of the swap was seeing the work on the tumblr blog,

Areas of opportunity for future swaps? 

  • Clearer instructions on how to contribute to the Tumblr blog
  • A shared spreadsheet for tracking the books.
  • A Facebook group for communicating between participants. 
  • Less pages to work on at a time. 

Stephanie’s ideas for a future swap: 

  • Having several “micro groups” swapping concurrently. Perhaps 4-5 groups of 3 people each, with the potential of adding at least one international group.
  • Using a different Exaclair product with less pages – 6×8″ Clairefontaine Crok books are one option. (Blank pages which can hold up to a variety of art mediums)
  • Clearer instructions for posting content to Tumblr
  • Implementing a Facebook group for participants to communicate.

Do you have any additional suggestions which might improve this concept? We’d love to hear from you. 

Image above from swap participant Lou (Trillium) McCallister.

 

 

Redux: Moving From One Notebook to the Next

Orange DotWebbies

Rhodia Drive experienced a few hiccups over the last 2 days and when the blog was restored, this post disappeared along with a few of your comments. I think we may have also lost a few comments from  Friday’s post about Herbin Anniversary inks. Since we greatly value your feedback, if you don’t see a comment that you know you submitted on either of these two posts, we’d be grateful if you’d be willing to take the time to resubmit your thoughts. 

For the last several years I’ve made it a point to always finish a notebook by the year’s end and move into a new book in the new year but I didn’t do it this year. With my birthday being the very last day of the calendar year, I’ve often found myself running around during the end of December, “I’ve got to do this by the end of the year, I’ve got to do that by the end of the year…” As if the significance of these actions would make a real difference when performed with such specific intention. (Letting go)

Truth be told, I found that I did not like using the 2013 book in 2014. It just felt, wrong. Like I was living in the past, or that I didn’t want to let go of the events that happened during that year. Thankfully, I’ve since finished it and moved into a new book .

As you finish a notebook and move from one to the next, is there anything special you do to mark the occasion? Such as:

  • Writing a defining end passage on the last page
  • Writing a list of specific accomplishments during the time the notebook was in use
  • Putting your name and the date inside the cover of the new book
  • Adding a favorite quote to the inside front cover
  • Copying your bucket list from one book to the next
  • Moving a favorite bookmark, photo, or papers from one book to the next

 

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rhodiapads.com

Local retailers and full Rhodia product lines available in the US can be found at rhodiapads.com

Check out the Rhodia Journal Swap

Rhodia Journal Swap

Visit the Rhodia Journal Swap on Tumblr

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.