September Link Share

Public Eva-2

Image above courtesy of Eva Peters. Follow her as Public_Eva on Instagram or visit her on the web. Photo taken at Urban Espresso Bar West. 

From ballpoint back to…pencil?! at Recording Thoughts

Working in My Art Journals… at Random Acts of Art

The Writing Tools of 20 Famous Authors at Flavorwire

How to Make More Time for Creative Writing at Writing Forward

Rhodia ve Clairefontaine Notebooks @D&R’s at Write to Me Often!

Three New Mechanical Pencils at Dave’s Mechanical Pencils

Giant Office Supply Props at The Well Appointed Desk

Arnold Pens at Fountain Pen Restoration

Colour or no colour? at Nordljus

3 Functions of the Comma at Daily Writing Tips

New Pencil Blog on the Block at Pencil Revolution

Would you buy a Clairefontaine composition book? at Quo Vadis

50 Years, 1 Imagination: Man Draws 2000 Sq Ft Map by Hand at WebUrbanist

Dream Journaling Puts Your Dream Fairy Back to Work For You at Create Write Now

Review of the Exacompta Basics Forum Journal and Nostalgie Cover at Life Imitates Doodles

Rhodia Notepad Paper Comparison: Classic Pads vs Premium Pads at Jenni Bick Blog

An Alternate History of the Mongol Pencil (or Yes Virginia, there is a Pencildom) at Contrapuntalism

From our friends at Pentorium: Introduction to Rhodia

Brian Goulet’s Top 3 Daily Carry Fountain Pens at Ink Nouveau

Friday Link Share: Late Summer Edition

Pousserie de Lune ink

Five Best Paper Notebooks at Lifehacker (Guess who made the list!)

5 Reasons Journaling is a Life Changing Skill at Kaizen Journaling

Difference between ballpoint and rollerball at Write to Me Often!

Quotes on Writing: Ernest Hemingway “Learn to Write” at Writing Forward

Draw 3D with ruled Notebook Paper at Instructables

Review of the ePure Trolley Bag at Life Imitates Doodles

Handwriting Makes You Smarter at The Well-Appointed Desk

Miss That ‘Back to School’ Feeling? Here’s How to Get It Back at

Goulet Q&A Episode 1 at Ink

Canvas Pencil Holders at AlisaBurke

A Fountain Pen For MacGyver at Inkophile

Don’t Ask What I’m Writing at The New York Times

How to Draw a Complex Knot in 29 Easy Steps at Daisy Yellow Blog

Lamy 2000 Review at The Pen Addict

The Big Rhodia Review Part 1: Bloc Pads at Pentorium

Image courtesy of lylyle71 on Instagram.


First You Sow the Seed…


Captain’s log, stardate 8232013.1. The cucumber plants have all begun to perish. While I understand the cycle of life, I can’t help but think that I did something wrong as I look at their withered, brown vines that once held so much life. I’d clapped my hands with tearful joy when the seeds first sprouted, then again when I saw signs of the first itty bitty cucumber.

I cheerfully ate 2-3 cucumbers a day for weeks – I especially liked them topped with smoked salt as a simple snack and now I’ve only two or three left in the crisper until next year- if I even choose to grow them again as it’s just so sad to see them run their course without an opportunity to offer them a fond farewell…

Rhodia On The Road with Stephanie

Stephanie Biffybeans Smith

I snuck out this past Thursday for a much needed getaway. It had been two years since I had taken a trip that was just for me and boy, did I need it! From Thursday to Sunday I went to The Great Rhythm Revival which is described as “3 Days of Ecstatic Rejuvenation + Conscious Learning.” It is run by my friend Jim Donovan who was one of the founding members of the band Rusted Root.

The event is held on the same farm where the Blue Heron Music Festival takes place in Sherman, New York. I’m not typically one for camping but find it a little easier in this type of environment when there are hot showers available and super tasty organic food being prepared for you three times a day.

After the event ended midday on Sunday, I stayed in the area for an additional three days at a friend’s house near Findley Lake, NY. Now I feel refreshed and more in alignment with the path of least resistance!

In this photo I am holding a small orange Webbie which I use as a gratitude journal. Inside is a four leaf clover that I found while taking an outside yoga class at the retreat.

Chocolate Rhodiarama Webnotebook


Who doesn’t like chocolate? Or a chocolate Rhodiarama Webbie? Each time I visit the health food store, I discover another interesting type of chocolate bar. Pretzels in chocolate, sea salt with caramel, and hot peppers are a few that I’ve tried but the one I bought a few days ago was what I believe to be the most ultimate chocolate bar flavor ever: lavender and blueberry. It sounded so wrong that I had to buy it. One bite and I was amazed at how good it tasted and how well those flavors worked together.

What has been the most unique chocolate bar flavor combination you’ve tried?

Image courtesy of chrisbfu on Instagram

Friday Link Share August Edition

Review of the Rhodiarama Pocket Web Notebook on Life Imitates Doodles

Transforming Fear Through the Power of Journaling at Creative Write Now

Art Journal Prompts Galore at Daisy Yellow Blog

Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper at Notebook Stories

4 Things You Can Do At Your Desk To Be Happier at

start by starting at Wild Thyme Creative

Drawn the Road Again: Inside the Travel Sketchbooks of Chandler O’Leary as She Explores the U.S. at This is Colossal

Where nibmeisters differ at And ALl Other Tasks

How to Keep Motivated When Working From Home at Under30Ceo

Review of Neon Ticonderogas at Pencil Revolution

365 Collages | Week 30 – the Post It Note Edition at iHanna’s Blog

Fader Vanishing Ink Highlighter at Office Supply Geek

Sanford / PaperMate Liquid Expresso Extra Fine Line Pen at A Penchant for Paper

Archival Images Combed for Signs of Amelia Earhart at Mashable

Pen Loop at The Well Appointed Desk

Creative Every Day Theme for August 2013: Cycles at Creative Every Day

The Persistence of Pencil at Little Flower Petals

A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: Embarrasing Moments at Writing Through Life

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 65 – CSI Pen-Town

Image courtesy of spanisharchitect on Instagram. What was in the cup? “It was tiramisu mocha, really yummy!”

Psst – Have you entered our latest contest to win a piece of ePure luggage? 

And how is your garden?


While I did not think to take notes of what and how I was planting, I do have a few things worth noting about my first real year gardening.

  • When you put seeds in the ground and give them water, they grow. So simple yet so very magical…
  • Plants grow really big. I now know that I planted too many things way too close to one another.
  • Nothing I built prepared me for how these cucumbers would sprawl…
  • I planted two types of tomatoes three ways. Some seeds were started indoors then transplanted to the ground – others went in buckets. I also planted some seeds right in the ground. Transplants into the ground are doing the best.
  • Herbs bolt. I didn’t even know what that word meant. It means that the plant starts to flower and the taste changes. My cilantro bolted early. Best thing to do is to sow seeds at different times so they don’t all bolt at once.
  • Next year I will plant a better and more functional variety of herbs. I don’t even like parsley and I have no idea what to do with that pretty purple sage.
  • I should have bought 50 lavender plants instead of just one.
  • The Indian Poona Kheera cucumbers I planted (from The Seed Savers Exchange) can be eaten at any stage. They seem to have more flavor when they are smaller. The skin turns brown like a potato when ripe. (Shown in my hand above.)
  • Some tomatoes bear all their fruit at once. I sure hope the ones I’m growing don’t do that.

What have you learned about your garden this year?

New Sketchbook Test


Got a new sketchbook, journal, tablet? I love testing them all with anything close at hand. Favorite pens, markers, pencils… It becomes a rite of passage to initiate a new pile of pristine paper in this way.

A few years back when I was performing countless notebook reviews, my big thing was to grab a dozen different fountain pens, (each inked with a different color) then test each one on the first page of a new book to see whether or not the inks would feather or bleed on that particular brand of paper. After the fountain pens, I’d typically try a few watercolor washes to see how the paper would hold up to the water.

Do you have a favorite “new notebook/sketchbook” ritual that you would like to share?

Image courtesy of almighty5 on Instagram

Customizing your Webbie Covers


Well now, this is different! Anitropius seems to have a knack for expressive minimalism – not to mention a fearless attitude towards creative expression. I like it! I’ve seen stickers, paint and leather covers. How have you personalized your Webbie? Send me pictures: stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com OR post them to Instagram and use #Rhodia to tag them.

Image courtesy of Anitropius on Instagram

Write Every Day: Morning Pages


Are you familiar with the concept of “Morning Pages” from Julia Cameron’s popular book The Artist’s Way?

From Julia’s website: “Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *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 Continue Readering »

What would you do with this large Habana notebook?


This is one of the new 8×11″ Large Quo Vadis Habana Notebooks and to tell you the truth, I can’t decide how to use it. For journaling, I typically prefer something in the 5×8″ range or smaller – like the 4×6″ Habana. Are you familiar with the concept of a vision board? I’m thinking about using this as a “Vision Book”

How would you use this book?

Keep and Re-Read or Toss?

Writing has been my therapy. A place to say the things I wouldn’t normally say out loud or that I need to say when no one is available to listen. I used to go back and read through older books whenever I’d start a new one, but I don’t really do that any more – which leads me to the question of why I’m still keeping them.

What do you do with your notebooks when you’ve finished one – do you keep them? Read back through them? Toss them?

Image courtesy of Myriam Thibault – follow myriamthibault on Instagram.

The Search Continues

Biffy with paper

 Me & Pop-Pop. The infamous photo where I was being bribed with a writing tablet to sit with my grandfather for a photo. (I was afraid of old people) This is the beginning of “Biff Loves Paper.)  

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how I had once again come back to the task of trying to fill in the gaps of my family tree. I had only been able to get so far on but once a kind reader pointed me in the direction of the free website, I was able to almost immediately go back five generations on my paternal grandfather’s mother’s side into the Great Plains of Northeast Hungary.

Growing up and through most of my adult life (read: until about a week ago) I knew nothing of Hungary except for the stuffed cabbages, noodles and cabbage, and chicken paprikash that I ate growing up. (I still occasionally make the paprikash because it’s sooo delicious. It’s a simple broth made from chicken stock, onions, salt, pepper, paprika and sour cream served over stewed chicken with chewy drop noodles. Yummo!)

Learning of my new found 62.5% Hungarian ethnicity and how so many of my relatives came from a single village, I decided to see what I could learn by perusing various tourism sites and reading the history of Hungary on Wikipedia. 1000+ hot springs, inexpensive travel accommodations, wine, goulash, beautiful tiny villages… I wish I had a passport! (They also boast one of the most difficult languages on the planet which is oddly related to Finnish.)

Every time I go back to searching another name, I think about what their rural lives must have been like and how they came upon the decision to take a giant leap of faith to come and start new lives in America. Then I start wishing that I’d been left a journal or two describing life in the old country and what it was like to travel to the US- and that hopefully, the change was for the better.

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

Eat Sleep Surf and Write in Your Webbie

Living on the east coast and a 90 minute drive from the ocean, I don’t claim to know anything about surf culture except what I’ve seen on TV and in the movies. One film in particular that piqued my interest was the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. Continue Readering »

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In Your Bag

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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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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.