The Creative Retreat

Stephanie Smith Rhythm Renewal

Have you ever considered taking a creative retreat? I’ve been going to one in central Pennsylvania for the last seven years that includes a variety of expressive options such as hand drumming, African dance, writing, and mandala making. (Guess who teaches that class.) People of all skill levels have the opportunity to try new things in a safe environment- and speaking from experience, it can be life changing to do something you always wanted to with 100 people cheering you on.

8 Retreats to Spark Your Creativity

Gentian’s Calligraphy, Pelikan Pen and Rouge Opera Ink


It is such a treat to see Gentian Osman’s art and calligraphy and we always appreciate her using our dotPads and Herbin inks in her creations.

You should look at her pictures on Flickr, then check out her blog Drawing with a Squirrel. After that, read this brief artist highlight about her at JetPens and if you want, you can also check out her Pins on Pinterest.

Image courtesy of Gentian Osman –  gentian_o on Instagram

Crok Book Winners!


These are our 20 winners from our Clairefontaine Crok Book giveaway – did you win? Stay tuned for more Summer Giveaways – including my SPECIAL Anniversary Contest here on Rhodia Drive!

Caitlin Livingston
Jennie S. from Sunderland
Michele S. from Ridgefield Park
StanF from Toronto
Johnny Gamber
Sarah LG.
C Tyler From Beaverton
Sarah from Chicago
Elliot M. from Herndon
Karan A. from Buffalo Grove
Gordon Huang
JoniB from Phoenix
Rhonda Pena
Melissa K. from Tulsa
Seth Barber

Art Making is Accessible to Everyone

Stephanie Smith Mandala

If I may, if like to share a little something with you about art that might make it more accessible to you. Children are able to create art without fear. Put any variety of art supplies in front of the average child and they will have a blast. Put those same supplies in front of the average adult and your likely to hear something like, “No thank you, I don’t draw because I’m not an artist.”

Here’s a few things that might help you warm up to the idea of making art. Continue Readering »

Encre et Chocolat: Ink and Chocolate Art in Montreal!



From our friend Lorna Mulligan: ENCRE ET CHOCOLAT is an exhibition of contemporary calligraphic work by Les Calmars of Montreal. This is their fifth exhibition together and features a theme close to every writer’s heart… the exchanges that happen around pots of ink and the sharing of chocolate! Lorna’s piece shown above, entitled Goûte le passé is an exploration of Proust’s text, using Herbin inks and gouache on paper.







Did someone say chocolate? Rhodiarama Webbie shown in Chocolate. 

Friday Link Share

Handmade Fonts on Behance
Why I Use Fountain Pens on FPGeeks
Embroidery on the Fashion Figure on
Music Ink in Music Nibs at Leigh Reyes My Life as a Verb
Safety Flair: Our Favorite Reflective Cycling Gear at
Is Your Writing Timeless? at
A Young Colorist, Antennas Aquiver at The New York Times
TS Eliot’s fountain pen gets first outing at Royal Society of Literature at The Guardian
This Old Notebook at Patrick Rhone
Write for Palimpsest at Palimpsest
To Do Lists at Onigiri Sama & her 21Kittens
Follow the Leaders: Faber-Castell e-motion Fountain Pen (M nib) at From the Pen Cup
Are You Honest In Your Journal? at Kaizen Journaling
New Rhodiactive Professional Business Collection – Meeting Book Review at Writer’s Bloc
Experimenting Every Time at Urban Sketchers
Talking with Tom Hanks about What Really Matters at Psychology Today
The Battle Between Japan’s Big 3 at Pentorium
Recent Acquisitions, Massive Edition at A Penchant for Paper
Anne Frank, Danville, Ohio & the Letter Writers Alliance at Pentamento
My Fountain Pen Education: The Edison Pearl at The Pen Addict
Budget Fountain Pen Showdown at The Well Appointed Desk
The letter: an abstract gift of time at The Missive Maven: Epistolary Exultation
Papeterie nouvelle: Georges & Co. thinks—& inks—differently at Felt & Wire
The Claustrophobic Notebook at Notebookism

Oh, and then this happened…

 Image above of a Rhodiarama Webbie and a Nikon D5000 courtesy of Courtney Oliver, (designwinesunshine on Instagram) who also happens to design for one of our retailers – European Paper Company 

By Special Request: A Tour Around Stephanie’s Art Studio

Stephanie Smith Art Studio

I was talking with Karen Doherty last week when she asked if I’d post a 360 degree view of my studio to the blog and I said, “Sure, why not.”

I’m guessing that many of you know that aside from Rhodia Drive, I’m also the author of Spiritual Evolution of the Bean – a blog that started with me writing review after review of various art and writing supplies. A lot of people (especially those in the fountain pen realm) on the web know me by Biffybeans rather than by Stephanie Smith, but I am one in the same.  Continue Readering »

Friday Link Share!

For a Reader of Harper Books at Contrapuntalism

How does writing on good paper make you feel? at Quo Vadis Blog

Journal Writing: Stop Multitasking and Start Focusing at Personal Growth Journaling Blog

Writing Tips: Abolish the Adverbs at Writing Forward

Journaling Techniques: Writing on the Stream of Consciousness at Writing Through Life

Do You Know the 3 Steps to Journal Your Way through Difficult Situations? at Journal in a Box

Walter Cronkite Imagines the Home of the 21st Century … Back in 1967 at Open Culture

Planner Pad Insta-Pocket at Plannerisms

The World’s Coolest Pen at Office Supply Geek (I want one!)

Platinum Preppy Highlighter at A Penchant for Paper

Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki Ink Review at The Pen Addict

TWSBI Diamond 50 Inkwells at Ink Nouveau

Eric’s 2013 LA Pen Show Take-Aways at FP Geeks

My new Folded Ruling Pen and Friday Favorites at Quilt or Dye

Crayola Crayon Tower as a storage solution for Caran D’Ache Neocolor II crayons at Lung Sketching Scrolls

Pens with Names at Paper in Hand

Three Noodler’s Inks – Beaver, Purple Martin, Tiananmen at Inkophile

10 Uses for the Pencil at This Old House

How Small is Your Sketchbook at Notebook Stories

Namaqua Rain Frog at Real Monstrosities

Friday Link Share!

Rhodia LeCarre

Three Good Things at Little Flower Petals

Journaling Through Your Injuries at Creative Write Now

Where do you get creative? at Lifehacker

List It Tuesday: Been There Done That at Daisy Yellow Blog

Creative Thinking Exercises for the Workplace at Chron

Packing for India at Urban Sketchers

Marker Review…..2nd Edition at Draw Doodle Decorate


This Old Notebook at Patrick Rhone

You Can Have my Notebook When You Pry it From My Cold, Dead Fingers at The Digital Reader

The Post Office at Collage Journeys

12 Most Inspired Online Resources for Creative Juice at 12Most

Pen Shows: The 2013 Philadelphia Pen Show Review at Anderson

Robin Quivers gives Howard Stern a $1700 pen at

Writing works wonders: Personal growth, creativity among benefits of journaling for children at The Joplin Globe

F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Secret of Great Writing at The Passive Voice

51 Examples Of Matching Ink To Pen To Paper at Inkophile

Lisa Cargile’s Pencil Photography. at Pencil Revolution

Waterman Early Crusader at Fountain Pen Restoration

The Power of Handwritten Notes and Reminders at Journal in a Box

Myths About Our Right and Left Brains at Psychology Today

Pen and Pencil Cases

Rhodia Pencil Case

I own several pencil cases but struggle to use any of them because I hate having to choose what to put in it. It’s like having to pick which child gets to go to Disneyworld and which has to stay home.

If you carry a pencil/pen case, do you pretty much always keep the same things in it, or do you like to change things up now and again? Oh, and have you seen the Rhodia pencil cases?

• Flat pencil case
• Made of genuine soft black leather
• Embossed logo
• Metallic Rhodia zipper
• Fits 8 to 10 pens

Blogroll Housekeeping and Looking for New Links

Here on Rhodia Drive, we maintain a blogroll consisting of sites dedicated to paper, pens, pencils, ink, art, art journaling, and writing. It’s about that time of year when I check to make sure all of the current links are still functional and also when I start looking for cool new links.

If you have or know of an awesome blog you think we should consider adding to our blogroll, leave the link down in the comment section and I will be happy to take a look. I can’t guarantee we will be able to use each and every submission, but please know that we are always looking for relevant sites with quality content. Reciprocal linkage is always appreciated.

Oh, and please let me know if you regularly peruse our existing blogroll links.

Tell Me a Few of Your Favorite Things

At the end of each year, I like to compile lists of my favorite things which I aim to publish on my personal blog. The one most people seem to like, is of my favorite art & writing supplies. (My lists from 2010, and 2009While I am still working on my lists for 2012, I’d be happy to share with you a few of the Exaclair items sure to make the cut. Continue Readering »

Black Friday Link Share

10 Excellent Reading Nooks at The Passive Voice

Ending A Journal at Kaizen Journaling

Journal-Writing can be Self-Care During the Upcoming Busy Holidays at Yahoo News

An Ink Blotter and Why You Need One at Inkophile

Ink Links at The Pen Addict

Rosewood Writes Green via The Fozzy Book on Instagram

Getting warmed up with recent Blick’s loot at Lung Sketching Scrolls

Journal Writing a Just-for-Fun To-Do List at Personal Journal Blog

Lamy Accent Hand Written Review at INKTRONICS

Pics from Saturday at the 2012 Ohio Pen Show at Fountain Pen Geeks

What are professional reviews for? at Seth Godin’s Blog

The 10 Most Beautiful Libraries in the United States at mental_floss

Abandoned Suitcases Reveal Private Lives of Insane Asylum Patients at Collectors Weekly

Writing Down the Ink #7: Sailor Sky High at Peaceable Writer

Updated Ink Nouveau and Write Time Podcasts at Ink Nouveau

Improve Your Memory with The Chunking Technique at lifehacker

Review of the Quo Vadis Habana Notebook Large at Life Imitates Doodles

Featured Pen – Ken Cavers Bamboo at PENS PAPER INKS…WHATEVER!

The Unofficial Guide to Creative Prompts | Challenges | Inspiration at Daisy Yellow Blog

Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Highlighter at A Penchant for Paper

Watch the “Biblio-Mat” Book-Vending Machine Dispense Literary Delight at Open Culture

Good Reason to Keep a Rhodia Graph Pad in Your Sewing Bag via loveyoumuches on Instagram

3 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Day Job at

A New World at Spiritual Evolution of the Bean

Image courtesy of Adelle Ang. Follow crabbyphatty on Instagram.

Art Journaling in a Rhodia Reverse Book

What is art journaling? It is a simple combination of art and writing in the same book. There are no rules except for those that you set yourself. “Art journaling has a long-standing artistic tradition. Artists through the centuries have kept notebooks in which they sketched, practiced, experimented, and recorded themselves.” via Dina Wakley. Continue Readering »

Friday Link Share

A Plethora of Writing Prompts for Creative Writing and Journaling at Daring to Live Fully

Pencil Review: Dixon Tri-conderoga at A Penchant for Paper

New Rhodiarama Webbies at PENS PAPER INKS…WHATEVER!

Wed. Review- Monteverde Artista Crystal at Ink Nouveau

Rainbow Realities: 18 Everyday Objects Organized by Color at WebUrbanist

10 Tricks to Get the Creative Juices Flowing at

Le rouge et le bleu: a special Herbin giveaway at Quo Vadis Blog

One More Month Done… at Water Blossoms

Most Popular Budget Pen: Pilot Pens at Lifehacker

Image courtesy of jadedlotus on Instagram


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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

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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 »

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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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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.