Tuesday Talk Back: Who Are You?

Stephanie Smith

The subject of today’s Talk Back post is: Who are you, and what do you do? 

I am Stephanie Smith, and I am your Rhodia Driver. When people ask what I do, I often struggle to put it into a single word or phrase. The simplest answer would be, “I’m creative.” But that tends to not make sense to a lot of people.  A slightly longer answer would be something along the lines of, “I’m a writer. I’m also an artist, and I develop and offer creativity workshops designed to inspire, empower, and support people along their path.” Rhodia Drive and I found each other because of my intense love for tools that feed my creativity.

I believe creativity flows easier when working with tools you love.

I’ve been using Rhodia 8+ years and one of my current favorite products is the No. 16 top stapled pad in blank or dot. Cover color doesn’t matter. How do I use these? Typically to scrawl ideas for new projects and I’ve gone through a ton.

I also use the No. 18 (blank) the Classic Meeting Books, R pads… As long as it’s blank or dot, it’s high on my list. I am patiently waiting for spiral bound dot pads….

Now that I’ve had a moment to share, will you tell us a bit about yourself? Who are you, what do you do, and which is your favorite Rhodia product?

Tuesday Talk Back: What other Exaclair papers would you like to sample in the Paper Project? and, Oberon cover winners!

IMG_6873

8 weeks ago, we initiated The Paper Project; a weekly program which would permit people all over the world to sample a variety of Exaclair papers and so far, so good. Judging by the feedback we are receiving, you really appreciate the opportunity to try before you buy, and we really like hearing what you like and don’t like about the products you are sampling.

For today’s Talk Back, we’d like to know what other papers or products would you like to sample? G Lalo Stationery cards? Something from a Quo Vadis Planner?

Take a look at the Exaclair catalog here, and tell us what you’d like see offered in an upcoming week of The Paper Project.

Take note! The Paper Project will be on holiday hiatus starting December 22nd and returning on January 5th.

  • Week 8 Dec. 8th
  • Week 9 Dec 15th
  • On Hiatus Dec 22nd
  • On Hiatus Dec 29th
  • Week 10 Jan 5th

Oberon pocket-tree-of-life-open

PS: Winners of the 2 Leather Covers from Oberon Design are: Ashley Shell & smwebb! Congratulations! Each will include a pocket Webbie. 

 

Tuesday Talk Back: Do you fear the blank page?

Rhodia Blank Page

We have upon occasion, acknowledged the fear that some people have about starting a new journal. but this time round, I’m being literal when I mention the blank page. Blank, as in no ruling. No graph, no lines, no dots. Nothing to keep the words from moving from small to large or from falling off the page altogether.

If this is your fear, you may be suffering from Lackaruleophobia. Continue Readering »

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 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!) 

 

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

IMG_2652

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.

Who would like to see fountain pen friendly Rhodia Engineering paper?

Engineer Paper

We received a recent letter from Michael Marchesan asking us to develop an fountain pen friendly engineer’s pad. When Karen Doherty asked why engineers couldn’t use the standard grid, Michael responded as follows:

I used to do all of my math/science on graph paper for years until I began engineering study and realized the beauty of engineering paper. 

Engineering paper has it’s grid on the backside, which you do not actually write on. The grid shows through to the front of the paper which is blank, so you can have the benefits of writing on gridded paper, without actually writing on a grid.

When you tear your sheet off the glued-top-bound pad, it appears as if though you wrote in perfectly straight lines and did all your calculations, figures and measurements with incredible precision on a blank sheet without the distraction of a grid on your work.

The other benefit to this is that the grid does not show up when your work is photocopied from engineering paper.

Each grid on engineering paper is 0.2″x0.2″, with bold grid-lines forming 1″x1″ squares every 5 grids–great for scaling and doing precise engineering calculations and figures.

So who else out there would like to see Rhodia produce a fountain pen friendly version of this specialized paper? Spread the word and tell people to comment on this post.

Feedback wanted: What do you like best about this blog? What would you like to see more of on Rhodia Drive?

work work work

We’d like to know what keeps you coming back to Rhodia Drive – what type of content you prefer: what you’d like to see more of, and what you’d like to see less of.

Judging by the number of comments we receive, we can clearly tell that you enjoy offering your feedback on our products – which we really appreciate. Over the years, your feedback has helped to upgrade and improve product design which creates a win-win situation for the both of us. These posts will now typically be featured as “Tuesday Talk Back.”

We also know that you love our contests & giveaways – that’s a no brainer and we’ll continue to offer them as often as we can.

If you wouldn’t mind taking a moment to offer your feedback on this form, we’d really appreciate it. If you don’t see the form below, please visit the blog directly, in order to submit your responses. Thank you!

Rhodia on the Road: Show us yours!

Out on the field

Image courtesy of Robin Massingill – robin_mr on Imstagram

We would love to see where you’ve been taking Rhodia on the Road this year. Send your images to stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com to be added to our Rhodia on the Road Fan Photo Page. Interested in being a guest blogger? Include a paragraph or two with your image telling us a little bit about who you are, how you use your favorite Rhodia products and where you’ve taken them on the road and we’ll review it for publication on the blog. 

PS: On Instagram? Tag your images #rhodia

Tuesday Talk Back: You don’t like the notebook you started… Now what?

Notebooks

Question: What do you do with the journal or notebook that you started, but ended up not liking?

Before I started writing for Rhodia Drive, I used to do a lot of product reviews on my personal blog in search of the perfect pen, ink and journal. At that time, the perfect notebook for me was one that was first and foremost friendly to fountain pen inks. Other preferred features included being able to both open and lie flat, pages with rounded corners, and a rigid cover so that I could write with the book propped on my knee. I ended up testing many, many journals.

(Some people use the words journal and notebook interchangeably. I tend to use “journal” when describing a notebook whose pages are not removable.)

If I really didn’t like the book, I’d either give it away or recycle it. If I liked it, I’d obviously use it – but there were one or two that while I didn’t love them, I thought had a few redeeming qualities. These ended up hanging around on the shelf a lot longer than I’d intended.

Case in point – I just finished a book that I’d started in July of 2010. I didn’t love the book when I first bought it, mostly because it wasn’t fountain pen friendly and the pages had noticeable grain. Four years ago I decided to turn it into a mixed media art journal and had started drawing on the first few pages but once again, I quickly abandoned it.

I came upon the book once again this past April, when I decided that I either had to use it or get rid of it. Knowing that I’d created art in it, I didn’t really want to let it go and so I tried again. Five months later, it was filled with a combination of writing and sketches, all done in pencil and it felt good to have finally finished something that I’d started so long ago- even if it was just a simple journal.

So if I may ask, what do YOU do once you’ve started working in a journal or notebook, then decide you don’t like it?

(Once in a blue moon, if I’ve been in a journal for too long sometimes I get antsy and want to move on even if it is a journal that I do really like. In which case I’ll either finish the last pages with collage, sketches, poems, affirmations, intentions, prayers and/or overall positive words of encouragement.)

More Rhodia Yellow?

Yellow Rhodia

We have started to receive requests for the yellow Rhodia paper to be available in additional options. Is there a particular format or ruling that you’d like to see filled with the yellow paper? dotYellow? Or yellow paper in the Meeting Book?

We are always very appreciative of your feedback regarding the design of our products.

Which do you prefer: Violet Blue or Grey Ruling? Please vote.

Rhodia Ruling

One thing I noticed instantly about the new Rhodia Ice Anniversary tablets is that the ruling isn’t violet blue. It’s gray.

Several years ago, Rhodia ruling was light violet blue. In an effort for the printing inks to become more environmentally friendly, the formulas were altered. These changes resulted in the ink becoming a slightly darker blue and we’ve heard from several of you that you don’t much care for the darker ink, specifically in our graph ruled products.

I started noticing the gray ink in the dotPads. The original black covered dotPads had violet dots & the later orange covered dotPads have gray dots. We are now seeing the gray ink again in the Ice products. Is this indicative of a permanent switch? We don’t yet know. The Exaclair folks are in communication with France about this and as soon as we know, you’ll know.

Something I noticed about the blue versus grey inks is that the paper with the blue ink takes on a pinkish hue (which makes the white seem whiter) while the paper with the gray ruling seems slightly less white.

DSC05450

In the meantime, we’d LOVE to know which you prefer so we can tell France about which our customers prefer. The newer (darker) blue? or gray?

Clairefontaine dot? Quo Vadis dot?

Clairefontaine grafit dot

Other than the up and coming Clairefontaine dotGrid Graf-It pads, dot ruling is exclusive to Rhodia.

If you prefer Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis or Exacompta papers, would you like them even more if they were available with dot ruling? If yes, please tell us which specific product- including anything in the Rhodia line that isn’t yet available in the dot format.

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

 

What would be your ultimate Rhodia product?

Imagine if you will for just a moment, a Rhodia Reverse filled with dot grid paper. Leather bound Rhodia Webbies. A 250pg spiral Rhodia notebook. Isometric graph paper. 6-packs of Rhodia pencils…

Knowing how much you love your Rhodia, I know that there is probably a product configuration that you would like to see that doesn’t currently exist. So what is it? Please share! From our recent question on our dotGrid format, I know you’d like to see some spiral bound dot products- me too.

Maybe YOU can inspire a whole new Rhodia product!

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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.