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!) 

 

NEW: The Art of Journaling – PLUS Anniversary Contest Winners!

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The Art of Journaling is a new weekly segment on Rhodia Drive where you can expect to read about the who, what, where, when & why of journaling. How is journaling defined? We see it as an individual’s record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept for (primarily) private use.

We will be offering various how-to’s and also be talking about the overall benefits of keeping a journal. Whether written by hand or filled with art, the possibilities are endless and we hope you will join us in the weeks to come.

I myself am a huge fan of  the stream-of-consciousness style of journaling. It’s the same kind of writing that Julia Cameron encourages doing as part of her “Morning Pages” routine in her bestseller, The Artist’s Way(PS – The Artist’s Way isn’t just for artists. It’s for anyone interested in personal development.)

*There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages* they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.

And now on to our next order of business – Announcing the winners of our Rhodia Anniversary Giveaway!

Elizabeth H.
Lisavi
Sherry Cohen
Max J
Janet A
Daniel Setareh
Chris D.
Eddie from Raleigh
S Burch
Dan from Mount Morris
Alexander Gruber
Vicki Nishioka
David Molitor
Ray Ambrosini
Kurt H

The prizes will be mailed out tomorrow (Friday) and you should all expect to receive them in the week ahead. Thanks to all who took the time to enter!

The Paper Project Week 1: Your Chance to Sample 3 Different Rhodia Products

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We have started The Paper Project as a way to allow 30 people each week to receive paper samples from products across the various Exaclair brands. Every Monday, we will be offering paper samples from 1-4 products to 30 people on a first come, first served basis. The paper will be mailed once we reach 30 participants and recipients will be notified via e-mail.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST – WE HAVE REACHED 30 PARTICIPANTS FOR THIS WEEK. TUNE IN NEXT MONDAY FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT 

Week 1 samples will include 1 sheet each of these 3 6×8″ Rhodia graph ruled products:

  • Rhodia Ice: white/grey/graph
  • Rhodia 80th Anniversary ivory/grey/graph
  • Rhodia Classic white/blue/graph

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.

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

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Journal

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today (and everyday) is a good day to be grateful.

What are you grateful for?

Retro Exacompta FAF Pad: You know you want one…

FAF Pad Exacompta

The FAF pad is a practical and highly functional desk pad with a unique vintage look. The perfect fit for your desk, home office and all of your writing needs. Makes a great gift.

• Elegant black box with clear top
• Sturdy metal construction with non-slip backing
• Bright white 60 g paper
• Comes with 200 microperforated pages for easy removal
• Refillable with 200 blank pages

The FAF (Fabriqué en France) pad is made in Paris in a workshop built by Gustave Eiffel (of eponymous Tower fame)

Exacompta Bloc Faf Retro Office Excellence at Pencil Talk

Review of the Exacompta FAF Pad at Life Imitates Doodles

Exacompta FAF Desk Pad Review at The Unroyal Warrant

Exacompta FAF Pad Retro Desk Pad at OfficeSupplyGeek

Review: FAF Un Bloc Pad at Pocket Blonde

Doodle Power!

marianmachismo

My ferocious appetite for doodling kicked in about ten years ago when I worked in a cube. (Technically more of a triangle…) Doodling while sitting in on seemingly endless conference calls, my focus and recall was always better than if I sat there and just “paid attention.”  My belief is that the benefits of doodling are similar to any other focused meditative practice; calming both to the mind and spirit.

Image courtesy of marianmachismo on Instagram.

The Power of the Doodle: Improve Your Focus and Memory

Doodling in a meeting? Maybe you’re just drawing inspiration

Why Doodling May Help Improve Your Memory

Doodling Increases Focus and Recall

Study: Doodling Helps You Pay Attention

Rhodia Product Spotlight: Classic Staplebound Notebooks

Black Rhodia Side Staple

These slim, side stapled notebooks are available in three sizes with either black or orange covers.

The 3″ x 4 3⁄4″ contains 24 sheets of graph Rhodia paper (Perfect size for a pocket!)
The 6″ x 8 1⁄4″ contains 48 sheets of lined Rhodia paper
The 8 1⁄4″ x 11″ contains 48 sheets of lined Rhodia paper

The card covers are coated and waterproof, the paper  80 g extra white.  (Acid-free,  pH neutral & fountain pen friendly)

Have you tried these? Do you use them for a specific purple?

Sandra Strait reviews the Clairefontaine Calligraphy pad

The Secret Life of Seeds & Spores

“I can’t wait to try out a glass dip pen on it.  I know the results will be beautiful, but I also anticipate a satisfaction in matching a beautiful paper to a beautiful pen, and capturing a sense of writing in a way as people have written for centuries.  That creates a connection for me.  Even though I’m a computer-fiend, I was a pen-and-paper fiend first, and the computer will never recreate that sense of connection.  Or the feeling that not only am I creating a beautiful thing, but that the act of creating it is beautiful in itself.  The action of making marks, moving pen across the page–these are artful things.”

Life Imitates Doodles blogger and artist Sandra Strait is a favorite of ours for reviewing our products because of her willingness to be so very thorough. As an artist myself, I know how common it can be in the moment to want to use a variety of mixed mediums on a surface that isn’t always intended to accept it. When anyone takes the time to test a wide variety of wet and dry mediums on an individual product, I find it incredibly helpful. In this review, Sandra tests this paper using pen and ink, fountain pen, rollerball, collage with glue and gel medium, acrylic paint, colored pencil, photo transfer, and finally, watercolor paint. You can read her full review which included loads of pictures, here. 

Doodle Pads: What is your surface preference?

Photo: Kaweco Pencil, Rhodia R Pad and Clairefontaine Graf-It Pad

I am the type of person who will literally doodle on anything and everything because mark making is a necessary part of my human existence. When offered a preference, I’ll take a paper with a slight tooth like the Clairefontaine Graf-It tablet shown above because I find it pleasant to use with just about any type of writing or drawing implement.

Do you have a preference for the paper you like to doodle on?

 

A Brief History of Writing Implements

Writing Implements

  • 4000 BC: Clay tablets are etched with metal or bone tools
  • 3000 BC: Egyptians use reed pens on papyrus
  • 1300 BC: In Rome metal styluses are used to write on thin sheets of wax
  • 600-1800 AD: Europeans use quill pens
  • 1790: Pencils are invented in both Australia and France
  • 1800-1850: Dip pen nibs are made of steel and tipped with Iridium, Rhodium and Osmium
  • 1884: Waterman invents the fountain pen
  • 1888-1916: Ball point pens are invented
  • 1940: Ball points become popular with the British military during WWII.
  • 1945: Ball point pens are introduced to the US market
  • 1960s: Felt tip pens invented
  • 1980s-90s: Roller ball pens invented
  • 2000s: Fountain pen revival! 

Art is a Learned Skill (Really!)

nan_chanapa

I’ve met a lot of adults who seem to believe that because they weren’t born with a pencil or paintbrush in their hand that they have no business making art. To this I say, Hogwash!

Most young children are able to be creative without self-judgment. It’s easy for them to make art because it’s playful and fun. Things start to get a little tricky around the ages of 11-12 because this is when children desire to realistically reproduce what they see, and may become extremely frustrated when they cannot. Learning to draw realism typically requires additional instruction and a lot of practice which is why a lot of kids give up art in favor of other activities. This is why you, as an adult, may think that you have no talent for art because you draw like a child. In reality, all you need (regardless of age) is additional instruction. (and patience) 

Having said all that, you really don’t require any skills at all to express yourself through art. if you want to paint, buy paint and have at it because it’s fun! In my experience, the most difficult part of making art is learning being okay with the results.

The Five Basic Skills of Drawing are good to know.

Image courtesy of nan_chanapa on Instagram

Friday Link Share: July Edition!

Rhodia LeCarre

Notebooks Explained at JetPens Blog

The Oxford Comma Controversy at Writer’s Relief

Brilliant Summer Inks And Watercolors at Inkophile

The Tiniest Fountain Pen at The Well-Appointed Desk

J. Herbin Bouton D’or Ink Review at Write to Me Often

Review: Rhodia Ice No. 16 A5 at Gourmet Pens

Episode 10 of Erasable: “The Graphites of Wrath” at Woodclinched

Hey Mr. Postman! at Rad and Hungry

Rhodiarama Notebook Review at Office Supply Geek

Bic Brite Liner Grip Highlighter at A Penchant for Paper

Guilt-Free Creative Work at Daisy Yellow Blog

Art Journal Every Day: Sketching at the Beach at Balzer Designs

How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Unblock the “Spiritual Electricity” of Creative Flow at Brain Pickings

Journaling Exercise: What Are You Putting Off? at Kaizen Journaling

Razor Sharp

Razor pencil

My artist friend Angie Snyder-Lande uses a razor to sharpen her pencils and for some reason this always amazes me. A razor seems like a good idea, even though the potential exists to hack a pencil to bits until one learns the right amount of pressure to apply to each cut. I’m guessing that once you get the hang of it, a lot less of the pencil would be wasted to sharpening. (Where to dispose of the shavings… maybe a small Altoids tin?)

Do you prefer to sharpen with a knife or razor? Please share your process.

I own at least a dozen pencil sharpeners but can never find one when I need one. I’m wondering if a small pocketknife might be easier to keep track of.

Razor pencil

Let’s Talk Flat: NEW Landscape Webbie

Landscape Webbie

The new landscape Webbie notebook both opens flat to the page and lies flat when you are leaning on it to write. To me, that’s a pretty big deal because I don’t like losing precious real estate in the fold.

How important it it to you that your notebook lie flat? Can you give specific examples of when it might be particularly necessary for the book to lie flat?

Landscape Webbie

Opens flat: The paper needs no hand pressure for the pages to reveal a flat writing surface.

Landscape Webbie

If you lean on the book as you write, the spine folds neatly upon itself.

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Rhodia Customization Module

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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 »

Journaling Blogs

Other Sites of Interest

Archives

Exaclair Themed Videos

Rhodia Anniversary Video

Rhodia Classic Pad Showcase

PanPastel and Rhodia

Rhodia Fashion Show

Tom Bihn loves Rhodia

Clairefontaine Basics - Life. Unplugged

InkNouveau.com 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.


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.