Noteworthy: Guest Blogger Mike Dudek from The Clicky Post

Mike Dudek Clicky Post

Mike Dudek of Dudek Modern Goods  and The Clicky Post is this week’s Noteworthy Guest Blogger

Do you ever look back on actions you’ve taken or choices you’ve made in the past that have shaped your “today”? The origins of my Dudek Modern Goods brand came almost by chance. On the contrary, like starting any blog, writing The Clicky Post was a very conscious decision and was one I knew I would be committing to from the start, but the creation of my line of walnut pen holders was something that evolved all on its own.

The start of Dudek Modern Goods was not intentional and began when I was visiting my local specialty lumber yard to purchase material for a home project I was doing. While perusing their aisle of scrap hardwood pieces they sell to hobbyists, I stumbled upon a good sized piece of walnut and thought “I could make something from this”.

Mike Dudek Modern Goods

As I had already started writing the blog and my collection of pens continued to grow, I knew I needed a place to store them when not in use and didn’t want to settle on a standard pen cup. Not that there isn’t a place for a pen cup, but when you start investing into nicer writing instruments you want a place to keep them that both protects and displays.

I don’t think I would call myself a true “minimalist”, but I do enjoy items that have a sense of simplicity and elegance. Beauty mingled with high functionality. Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it cannot be of high quality. These underlying thoughts are what lead me to create the first of my walnut pen pieces for my own use and to give to a few close friends early on.

Mike Dudek

I already had a workshop that I would tinker in making various things, so I ventured out and started brainstorming. As I had bought a precut piece of scrap walnut that was about 2.75” tall, 3” deep, and about 20” long (like a big rectangular bar), I had to come up with a design that fit these dimensions. I enjoy symmetry and decided to create my first design in a sort of square or “cube” shape that was 3” x 3” on top. In trying to find the right proportions (again, symmetry) for the hole configuration, I opted for a 9 hole pattern that was evenly spaced from the center. This created a nice aesthetic and balance, but also provided some ample room for the pens to sit comfortably.

Mike Dudek Workshop

There was enough material to make about a half dozen of these “cubes”, so I went to work and created my first finished pen holders that would later turn into the start of my Dudek Modern Goods line. They would later become simply known as The Cube. I documented this project of making the first Cubes on the blog through pictures which prompted readers to reach out to me about possibly purchasing them. Once I started hearing from more people and with motivation from friends like Dan Bishop from Karas Kustoms, I knew it was something I could offer to the community which was exciting and fun.

Little did I know it would branch out into what it is today…

Mike Dudek

In the past year and a half I’ve added 4 additional products to the line, done two product collaborations (another in progress), and have shipped my handmade pieces to 20 countries around the world. To say I am humbled is an understatement. As a creator, being able to share your work or products is extremely satisfying and the scale of support has been tremendous. I’ll take a minute to say thank you to all that have contributed to the creation and continuation of these products as I couldn’t do it without your help.

Mike Dudek

I’ve recently released a new product called The Divide which is a piece that holds both pens and pencils with a strategically placed notebook slot as to keep them separate or “divided”. In discussing the guest post on Rhodia Drive (thanks so much for having me), we thought it might be fun to pair up and do a contest/giveaway of The Divide and include some Rhodia notebooks to go along with it!

Enter to win The Divide – a $60 value, this coming Wednesday 11/19 on Rhodia Drive! 

As my habits have evolved into primarily fountain pens for my daily writing, I have turned to Rhodia as my go-to paper as it really one of the best products to use with a liquid ink. My desk/bag is filled with Rhodia products of all sizes with the Dotpads (black cover) N16 and N18 being my primary. A small thing, but something I appreciate, is that each page is perforated.

I love the way Rhodia paper interacts with my fountain pens allowing the ink to set upon the page rather than just being soaked in completely.

A big thanks again to Rhodia Drive for allowing me to guest post and good luck to everyone in the giveaway of The Divide!

The Art of Journaling: With Kids – PLUS – FP Day Contest Winners!

Image courtesy of dominiemahl on Instagram

Image courtesy of dominiemahl on Instagram

Oftentimes, children don’t have an outlet where they are safely able to communicate their feelings. Journal writing can be a very positive experience for children – especially when their efforts are encouraged and supported in a way that allows them to write without feeling like they will “get in trouble” for what they have to say.

In an article by Colorín Colorado, Helping Young Children Develop Strong Writing Skills the author suggests that the practical skill of writing is of value to children as an important form of communication, as well as being an essential element of a student’s education. The article also suggests a number of ways how you can help your child become a stronger writer.

Journaling For Kids at Home Schooling Ideas

“Journaling for kids is a wonderful way to open up new horizons. A journal can be a friend, a confidant and a mentor.”

The Benefits of Journaling for Kids at About Parenting

“For children who have a hard time expressing their needs verbally or making decisions about things, keeping a journal of their thoughts is a great way to help learn emotional organization.

Art Journal with Kids at Creative with Kids

10 Easy Steps to Introduce Journal Writing: Preschool – Third Grade at Waddlee-ah-chaa

Find a variety of posts about Journal Writing Prompts for children at Journal Buddies

Did you enter our Fountain Pen Day Contest? See if you are a winner by checking the list below.

M. David
SheilaM
Mark W
Joi
Jeff from Vancouver
Lynn Bustle
Monty
Shangching
B.Bennett
Drew
ginigin
Kris W.
Cari R.
Pat Hannon
John Ang
Michael
Mark Masterson
Steven Dennis
Herschel
DELively

Tuesday Talk Back: What is your preferred ruling width?

R Ruling

Over the years, we’ve received a number of requests for ruling in a wide range of widths, (anywhere from 4mm, to 9mm) and I’m guessing that a preference for a specific size of ruling is primarily related to the size of one’s handwriting.

While I prefer blank paper, (so I can write as big or as small as I want) I have no problems working with 7-8mm lined ruling. 9mm makes me feel like I’m back in grade school, and 4mm makes my eyes go buggy because all I see are lines.

Do you have a preference for a particular line width? Do you need this width for reasons other than the size of your handwriting?

Read about Ruled Paper on Wikipedia

Read about ruling in Materials and Techniques of Manuscript Production

Google Answers a Question on The History of Ruled Paper 

A Brief History of Lined Paper 

The Paper Project Week 4: Your Chance to Sample 2 Different Pastel Graph Products

Clairefontaine Pastel

The Paper Project is our way to offer a variety of Exaclair paper samples to 50 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 with recipients being 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 4 samples include:

  • 1 sheet of the 8×11″ Clairefontaine Pastel Graph paper
  • 1 3×5″ Exacompta Pastel Index Card 

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 also 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.

Need a few recent reviews for inspiration?

Rhodia Paper Project Week 1 at Nerd Uprising

re: Rhodia Ice “I love that the grey graph is dark enough to guide my lines but not so pronounced as to distract from the words themselves.”

Week #1 sampling group for The Paper Project at bjw-draw

“maybe the best paper I have ever used for ink drawings. It accepts all the types of ink I depend on in my work.”

You can also check out the reviews that people are posting in the comment section of the Week 1 Week 2 and Week 3 posts. 

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!) 

 

Noteworthy: Project Manager Derek Knoble talks about using Rhodia products on the job

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My name is Derek Knoble. I am a Project Manager for McKesson, a Forbes Top 100 company. I manage the implementation of software to our clients. On a daily basis I am on conference calls with clients, tracking the status of the many projects that I have going on at a single time, working my Six Sigma projects, and learning more about Project Management.

I started out in the support group for my company, where I learned that keeping notes of calls and projects that I worked on there was key to making sure that things went smoothly. I work out of an office building with access to lots of different types of notepads. One thing that I learned early on is that your standard, run of the mill notebooks do not work well with fountain pens, which I have a deep appreciation for.

I had to find something that would allow me to use my collection of pens while making it so that I could read what I had written previously, so my hunt began for the perfect notebook.

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I had not previously used any Rhodia products, and I am not sure that there is even a distributor of them in the town that I live in. I did some research online and saw how well many other fountain pen users had rated them. Sure, they were more expensive than the spiral notebooks found at your typical office supply store. However, I am not one to shy away from a product just because of price.

I started by ordering 2 Black Side Staple-bound A4 notebooks. The lines were wide enough to allow me to write as large as I needed to, and the texture and color of the paper was perfect! I figured that they would last me a while due to the size of the pages. However, I found that I filled them up quite quickly because I was actually enjoying the writing experience more!

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Eventually I decided that I needed something smaller for note-taking for the classes that I take on the side on my way to acquiring more Project Management certifications. I had been eyeballing the Ice series since it had come out and decided to pull the trigger on one. I decided this time to go with the Top Staple-bound No. 16 notepad. This has worked perfect for me! The graph paper is amazing and offers me the flexibility to be as creative on the pages where I have to draw out items, or follow the graph lines to create my own graphs.

IMAG0767

It is crucial as a Project Manager to make sure that you are keeping track of feedback from your clients, ideas for what to work on next, planning a timeline, and just keeping notes on what is talked about on status calls with the clients. Not dreading the writing experience because the pen is giving too much “feedback” on scratchy paper is definitely a nice plus. I found that the 80g paper in these notebooks is perfect for this.

I will most definitely be a Rhodia notebook user for life as I feel the product quality is fantastic. The price for what you get is well worth the initial investment. Showing notes to others around the office makes me feel better as well as I take more pride in what I am writing, as well as what I am writing on, as silly as that sounds.

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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.