Archive for New Tools

New 1670 Herbin Ink Coming Soon: “Gris Orage” or Stormy Grey

Herbin 1670 Inks

A new ink is being added to the J. Herbin 1670 line. Joining Rouge Hematite and Bleu Ocean is Gris Orage or “Stormy Grey”. Gris Orage is a grey ink with gold particulate which makes the ink appear silvery. It will be available in France towards the end of July. Samples have been requested to display at the New York Gift Show in mid August, and should be available in the US early this fall.

Is this an ink you will be looking forward to trying?

Multimedia Enhanced “ME” Journal – Giveaway

ME journal small group set 500


The Ultimate Personalized Journal


Line up


What is it?
Continue Readering »

Tracing Paper

Tracing Paper

Tracing paper is a product that hadn’t been on my radar until I needed to purchase some for a workshop I attended last fall. It’s purpose is simple yet multifaceted. It can be used to “test” potential changes to a drawing without altering the original. It can be used to isolate individual elements from a series of sketches and also allow you to play around with composition. With a little effort, tracing paper can also be used to transfer a drawing onto another surface. Watch the video below to see how this is done:

Waiting to get your paws on a landscape Webbie?


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


Beautiful Tools


New York City graphic designer, Louise Fili, has created Perfetto Pencils based on 1920s and 1930s pencil cases collected in Italian flea markets.

Perfetto Pencils have two tones like the pencils traditionally used by teachers in Italy for grading homework.  “Red is for a minor infringement, blue for a serious offense,” she said.

I was struck by the beauty of the pencil box as well as the pencils.  Beautiful tools enhance the pleasure of writing.

Staedtler Triplus Fineliners and Rhodia


There was a time when I was trying and buying practically every kind of drawing pen I could find – especially if I could buy them individually as opposed to having to purchase an entire expensive set of colors I wasn’t likely to use. The Staedtler Triplus Fineliners  shown above have a super fine 0.3 mm nib which makes them great for writing or drawing and they have a triangle shaped barrel which makes them easier to hold over long periods of time.

Have you ever tried these? Do you have any other brands of drawing pens/markers that you recommend?


Top image courtesy of chic ambition on Instagram. Bottom image by Stephanie.

Top 5 Reasons to Try Life Noted for Free


On the fence about another digital app that says it will make your life easier but fails to deliver?

Here are the top 5 reasons why you should try Life Noted for free today and how we plan on making journaling and planning digitally as rewarding and fun as on paper.

  1. Life Noted had a unique Today View lets you see all of your notes, photos, videos and events for that day all on one screen.
  2. Syncs with iCal and all supported calendars. Paired with our note taking feature to create an all in one stop for jotting down ideas and planning out your days, weeks and months.
  3. Search all notes and events by keyword and never lose an important idea or appointment again.
  4. By merging calendaring, journaling, organizing, photo and video apps you can have everything in one place and stop juggling multiple apps.
  5. With our intuitive Month View you can plan ahead accurately and easily. Borders around dates for all day and multi-day events for quick identification. Special feature that allows you to highlight selected calendars to show up in the Month View in a shade of blue so you never forget an important upcoming event again.

Clean and easy to use Life Noted will make recording, retrieving and remembering simple again.

Try it today for free on the App Store.

Exaclair’s Life Noted iPhone App

App logo (2)

Exaclair’s new Life Noted app is now available on the App Store. Click here.

You can download it for Free, or do an in-app purchase of $2.99 for the Premium version which has full functionality.

Paper planners and organizers have lost a lot of customers lately as more and more people migrate to using calendars on smart phones and tablets.  Life Noted is meant to woo back some of our old Quo Vadis and Exacompta customers by giving them what they miss most about paper – a way to combine free-form notes with dates.  Life Noted has several other unique features besides, including the ability to add a photo or video to your note; and search events and notes by customizable tags.  You can also print a PDF version of your calendar.

We also hope to attract new customers to our brands, especially Rhodia. Digital convenience aside, many people still prefer to write thoughts and notes on paper.  If they find us through Life Noted, great, welcome to Rhodia and Rhodia Drive!

If you try Life Noted I hope you find it useful and fun.  If you really like it, please rate and review it on the App Store.


The Kneadable Eraser

Rhodia Pencil Eraser

Though I’ve had one or two of these kneadable erasers (aka: putty rubbers) lying around for what seems like forever, it’s only recently that I’ve begun to fall in love with them. Slightly reminiscent of the Silly Putty of our childhood, this slightly sticky, moldable eraser works by absorbing graphite, charcoal, pastel, etc., and does not leave crumbly bits when used.

Have you ever tried one of these?

These erasers are often used in subtractive drawing techniques- a brief tutorial can be found here:

Keeping Things Sharp


I finally bit the bullet and bought myself an electric pencil sharpener. I didn’t really “need” one, but when you have piles of colored pencils to sharpen, it can sure come in handy. I’d been working with a battery operated unit that even when loaded with fresh batteries always sounded like it was about to up and die.

I like that this one can sharpen pencils of varying thicknesses as I’ve always struggled to get a good point on my favorite Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils which are slightly thicker than a regular pencil.

This beast will live in my studio, while the 5 miscellaneous pocket sharpeners I know I own will remain at large.

How do you keep your pencils sharp? Do you have a preferred sharpener?

Custom Leather Renaissance Arts Bag

Renaisance Arts Bag

As we continue to look for Rhodia specific accessories…

“This is a custom bag made by Renaissance Arts of Santa Fe, NM. The right hand side is a messenger style bag, and on the left is a folder that holds a Circa system with purple aluminum rings and Rhodia for Circa (Levenger) paper, along with six slots for 3 by 5 cards. The folder attaches to the back of the bag with brass fixtures and can be carried together with the shoulder strap.”

View the various Renaissance Arts Circa folders here.

 Image and description courtesy of Doug Cooper

Quiver Pen Holders and Webbies

Quiver pen holders are described as “thoughtfully crafted, hand-made leather pen holders for your treasured notebook.”

I would agree.  Quiver pen holders are gorgeous.  Separately each product is very handsome, but paired together they really enhance each other. LH-1-BLK-RED FAN 2

Quiver pen holders got their start from notebook users who were continually frustrated with losing their favorite pen in the bottom of a bag, or forgetting it on their desk at home.  Clipping it to the notebook cover was awkward or iffy, since the pen clip could break or fall off.

The Quiver pen holder solved the problem of safely and conveniently pairing a pen or pens to a favorite notebook.

Their pen holders come in three sizes: Pocket/Small (A6 size); Large (A5) and Extra Large (A4).  The sheaths are in brown, black or pink leather. The black sheaths have red or yellow stitching.  Quiver is starting to develop holders with orange stitching for your favorite Webbie.

The pen holders are made in Mexico by the same leather crafters who build Saddleback Leather suitcases and travel bags.  Quiver designers worked directly with some of the Saddleback Leather people to gain their perspectives on how to construct a leather product to last many years, even down to the type and strength of the thread and stitch count.

See all the Quiver pen holders on their website –

Please check back on Rhodia Drive tomorrow for a special surprise…!




Ever try an Ergonomic Pen?

Evo Pen Ergonomic

Some of us love to write for the tactile experience of putting pen to paper, while others are required to write longhand because of school or work related obligations. When I first stated journaling, my hand would cramp from using my favorite ball point pen because back then I didn’t realize that pressure was required to get the ink to flow. Switching to a gel pen or a felt-tipped marker may have solved this issue but I really loved using those cheapy blue PaperMate stick pens because I liked the way the ink looked on the paper. I solved the cramping problem after buying my first fountain pen. I’ll admit that I bought it because while the vintage aspect intrigued me, it was wanting to be like the other cool kids in the “What’s in your bag” Flickr photo group that did me in.

I learned quickly that you don’t have to exert pressure on the nib of a fountain pen for the ink to flow and that meant bye-bye hand cramps. And hello whole new world of paper, pen & ink friends!

While I’ve never tried an ergonomic pen, I understand they can be quite helpful for those with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. The pen shown in the image above is an Evo-Pen and a quick web search for “ergonomic pen” led me to The Writing Pen Store – an online retailer that seems to have a pretty wide selection of ergonomic pens and pencils.

Do you suffer from writing cramps? Arthritis? Have you ever tried an ergonomic pen?

Pen Of The Day: Delta Scrigno Secret Fountain Pen

This is a Delta Scrigno- Italian for “treasure chest”

Scrigno is an innovative collection of writing instruments offering a tiny coffer inside the cap which is capable of safeguarding one’s most intimate secrets. Simply unscrew (counterclockwise) the top of the cap to uncover the inner container made of food safe steel. Use of this space is left to your imagination. Continue Readering »

Rhodia Pad Complete Size & Availability Chart

A new Rhodia chart has been compiled on the website. It shows product sizes in both inches and centimeters, ruling and cover options, reference numbers and also paper colors. Is there anything we are missing that you would like to see? I suggested perhaps adding the weight of the paper. Most are 80g but the R series and Webbies use 90g.

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Find Rhodia to Buy

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

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 so I can add it to the page.  ... Read on »

Rhodia Customization Module

Visit our customization module at

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: 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 »

Journaling Blogs


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Rhodia Fashion Show

Tom Bihn loves Rhodia

Clairefontaine Basics - Life. Unplugged Clairefontaine vs. Rhodia

Alberto Lung reviews the Rhodia Pencil

Testing a vintage Mabie Swan fountain pen with a lot of flex - on a Rhodia Pad

Click here to read the story behind this video.


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.