Friday Link Share: December Edition


Happy Holidays! Please enjoy this month’s link selections, along with a few holiday inspired art journaling videos, and also this Book of X-Mas Pinterest Board with loads of ideas for holiday related journaling ideas.

Lightning in a Bottle: J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey is Back at Ink Nouveau

A Day in the Life: Artists’ Diaries from the Archives of American Art

Macro Nib Shots – Photo Post at Ed Jelley

How to Better Retain Information from Books, Articles, and More at Lifehacker

The Red Corvette of Tape Dispensers at Blog – Rad and Hungry

Christmas 2014 at Fountain Pen Restoration

Vincent Van Gogh’s Notebooks at Making a Mark

A 22-Year-Old’s Diary Entries From Late January, 1974 at Thought Catalog

Review: Leather On The High Street 3 Pen Case at Gourmet Pens

Why no one should multitask — and how I finally stopped at Mashable

8 Smart Things Super-Productive People Do Each Morning at Inc.

Overthinking Pen Travel at The Pen Addict

Quick Look: Retro 51 Tornado Popper Montana Rollerball at FPQuest

J Herbin Ambre de Bermanie ink review at Pens! Paper! Pencils!

Top 10 of 2014 at A Penchant for Paper

More Stuff Around The Desk at My Supply Room

Happy Inkmas at Palimpsest

Link Love: Another Time-Sucking Rabbit Hole at The Well-Appointed Desk

Bubble Words from Daisy Yellow on Vimeo.

The Art of Journaling: Reasons Why You Should

Image courtesy of James Mercer jmercer on Instagram

Image courtesy of James Mercer – jmercer on Instagram

Aside from keeping a diary when I was a pre-teen, I didn’t really start putting pen to paper until mid  September of 2005. I am able note the exact moment in time because I remember making a special trip to Blick to purchase a fancy notebook and pen just for this purpose. (And then there’s this: The day after I bought the journal, I sat and talked with a psychic woman at a local holistic expo who distinctly told me that I needed to get myself a journal and and ink pen and start writing. <– Not making this up.) 

The first entries in that book listed crazy dreams, noted the end of one creative phase (jewelry making) and the start of another. (hand drumming) I wrote about the decline of my dog’s health and a job promotion that wasn’t working out for me.  That journal quickly became a trusted friend. The action of writing in it about whatever was important to me in the moment, became my therapy.

If you need any encouragement on why it’s a good idea to put pen to paper, check out the articles at the links below.

26 Reasons Why I Keep a Journal (And Why You Should, Too) at Huffington Post

“I can yell in my journal and no one will hear me raise my voice”

How to Journal in 10 Simple Steps at Journaling Saves

“Words, on a page. It’s really that simple.”

30 Days to a Better Man Day 8: Start a Journal at The Art of Manliness

“Why Keep a Journal? Your children and grandchildren will want to read it.”

Famous Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary at Brain Pickings

“Journaling, I believe, is a practice that teaches us better than any other the elusive art of solitude — how to be present with our own selves, bear witness to our experience, and fully inhabit our inner lives.”

How to start a journal – and keep it up at The Guardian

“You don’t need to create a masterpiece; you just need to write or draw something in the journal every day to get into the swing of it.”

10 Famous Authors on the Importance of Keeping a Journal at Flavorwire

“Why did I write it down? In order to remember, of course, but exactly what was it I wanted to remember? How much of it actually happened? Did any of it?”  – Joan Didion

Keeping a Journal Can Change Your Life at The Change Blog

“You will get better if you practice, and your journal is an ideal place to do so – no-one will laugh at clumsy phrases or failed experimental pieces, and you can write about whatever topics inspire you the most.”

Link Share Friday: August Edition

ink and pen

First impressions with J. Herbin Stormy Grey at FPGeeks

First Day of School Pencils, Take Two. at Pencil Revolution

Orange Delights From Ink To Paint at Inkophile

Guest Post: “I think I want to try out this whole fountain pen thing.” at The Pen Addict

Pilot Dr. Grip Full Black Dual Layer Grip Shaker Mechanical Pencil – 0.5 mm – Blue Accents at No Pen Intended

Cursive: Is it really that important? at The Well-Appointed Desk

Journaling Exercise: Write A Review at Kaizen Journaling

Traveling pencils at Palimpset

Shades of White at No Pen Intended

How Much Do You Spend On School Supplies? at One Hundred Dollars a Month

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review at Write to Me Often

DIY Pen Storage V.2! at EdJelley

6 Ways Your Brain Tries To Kill Your Ideas And How To Fight Them at FastCompany

Flight Delays in My Sketchbooks at Balzar Designs

An Introvert Goes to the Pen Show at From the Pen Cup

Check out FPGeeks on YouTube for videos from the 2014 DC Pen Show

Creative Prompt: Take the road not travelled

Ohio road

Today’s creative prompt is going to be a little bit different. Are you ready?

If you are anything like me, and often travel the same route to get somewhere, you might occasionally notice a road that appears to lead somewhere interesting but isn’t able to be explored in that particular moment.

My challenge to you, is to take the time to go back to that location and take that road not yet travelled. Notice everything you can about the surroundings. Be playful and explore.

The when you get home, take just a bit more time to write down a few words about your experience. What did you see? What new things did you discover? Is it a place you’d like to go back to, or one that you never wish to visit again?

Please feel free to comment with your experiences. We’d love to know what you find.

Reviving Old Writing Habits


Therapy can be costly, and our friends aren’t always available or capable of holding space for us- while our notebooks and journals stand ever ready to serve. I first started journaling in 2005 and can now look back and see how valuable writing was to my growth process.

In the book “The Artists Way“, author Julia Cameron describes a practice she calls “Morning Pages” in which you regularly dump the junk out of  your mind and into your journal – effectively freeing up space for clearer thinking.

In “Dark Side of the Light Chasers” Debbie Ford says, “Journaling is a good tool to help process your emotions. It encourages whatever comes into your mind to flow out onto the paper. It allows the emotional toxicity in our bodies and minds to express itself freely. Once we can grant this toxicity being and allow it to exist without judgment it will be released.”

I wrote with great consistency from 2008-2011, yet very little in 2012. Things picked up in 2013 but not as much as I would like. Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about writing and am ready to once again make regular time for it.

Do you have a regular writing habit? Do you make time to “dump the junk?” Is this a process that has proved valuable for you?

Image courtesy of sookyung on Instagram


Guest Blogger Samantha Kimball: Some Thoughts on Journaling and Handwriting


Sometimes I get an idea stuck in my head like a song. There’s no melody, just this endless train of thought, which picks up passengers every time I click a link or open a book. Lately, journaling has both been the stuck idea and the means to exorcise it.

I’ve been journaling since I could hold a pen, and I have always kept a paper journal. Neither the journaling nor the choice of paper was a conscious decision, just a way of relating to the world. With a few breaks here and there, this habit has stuck with me through adulthood. Continue Readering »

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

7 Ways to Turn Your Journal from Whiny to Empowering at Kaizen Journaling

Julie’s Gadget Diary 04-18-12 at The Gadgeteer

12 Ways to Attack Any Challenge at Inc.

Up and Down at Flickr Blog

Courage and Creating at Creativity for Life

7 Tips For Increasing Your Writing Productivity at Business 2 Community

20 Ways to Kill Your Writer’s Block Forever at Lifehack

Getting messy at nordljus

Travel Week: Flying With Fountain Pens (and other options) at The Well-Appointed Desk

My Collection at Plannerisms

How Cartoons Can Jolt You Into Being Creative
at Thoughts on Theater

What exactly happens when you send a letter to the L.W.A. P.O. Box at Missive Maven

Altered Book: Things I Collect at Daisy Yellow

graphite archive at La Vie Graphite

Note: Journal Addict has become Kaizen Journaling

Image up top courtesy of Bonnie Jean Woogler. It shows off her new favorite pen from Chance Pens.

Art Journaling on Tumblr

One of my favorite blogs is Art Journaling – a photo blog on Tumblr. I can scroll through the images forever & ever… so much inspiration, so much feeling of connectedness through all the different peoples art expressions. When I started to journal, I’d occasionally draw in my books but now I do it a lot more- to the point of dedicating whole journals to the cause. I especially have fun painting and coloring the backgrounds in which to return at a later date when the creative bug bites.

Have you ever tried art journaling? If no, take a look at some of the images on this site and let me know if they leave you feeling inspired….

Want to learn more about art journaling? Check out these sites:

Daisy Yellow

Teesha Moore

Art Journaling as a Creative Process

New Tools: Koh-i-noor Woodless Colored Pencils

Our friend Gail Young recently sent me an e-mail about these Koh-i-noor woodless pencils which I have yet to try. Her thoughts?

Art Journal Inspiration from Daisy Yellow.

Daisy Yellow blog has long been an exciting source of art inspiration for me. Tammy’s art, and the infectious way she shares it via her various projects and creative prompts makes it easy to jump right in and start creating. In the following video, Tammy demonstrates and discusses creating a two-page art journal spread in an Exacompta journal.

Pastel Chaos in the Exacompta from Tammy on Vimeo.

This second video shows Tammy flipping through a half-filled Exacompta sketchbook, and I’m sure you will quickly see one of the main reasons I am drawn to Tammy & her work.

Flip-Thru Exacompta Journal from Tammy on Vimeo.

Not familiar with the Exacompta sketch book? You can read my review on my personal blog.

Good Night Irene… Now grab your journals!

It’s probably not news to you that last Tuesday, almost the whole of the east coast of the US felt a 5.9 magnitude earthquake that originated in a small town called Mineral, Virginia. While earthquakes are apparently not as uncommon on this side of the US as one might think, it was due to the shallow depth of the quake and the hard rock much of the east coast sits on that many of us lost our minds when our houses started to rock & roll. My mind quickly raced between paranormal activity, neighbor’s washer thumping, Continue Readering »

Link Share Friday!

10 Science Fiction Books that Changed the Course of History at i09

Consolidation at Unposted

dotWebbie Review at A Penchant for Paper

vessels at Le Vie Graphite

Pen Collectors of America at Whatever

Scenes from Tibet at Flickr Blog

Rhodia Bloc No. 120 Rainbow Notepad at Pocket Blonde

The New and Improved Monthly Giveaway at Office Supply Geek

Week in the Life ~ Sunday at Nordljus

Exacompta Sketchbook Review at The Well Appointed Desk

Farewell Exacompts Sketchbook 1 at Ontheroad

Fun Making Pocket Shrines at Art Full Musings

August Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper is Here! At Peaceable Writer

Original Art above “Spin” by Stephanie Smith, your Rhodia Driver. All Rights Reserved.

Ever try watercolor paints? Here’s a few tips to get you started.

When I was first wanting to try watercolors, I somewhat skipped over the student grade paints which are more binder than pigment, and bought the artist grade paints I read would work best in the long run. Since the artist grade paints are higher quality, (more pigment than binder which means better coverage, better mixing) I think they are easier for a beginner to use- but they will cost more. I believe there are quite a few people who have tried then given up on watercolor paints because they didn’t seem to act as expected – and that’s likely due to the paints being used – not due to operator error. Continue Readering »

st|ART: Tammy’s new e-zine with a focus on art

I consider myself to be a creative person and often feel if left to my own devices that I’d forget to eat, pay my taxes, and sleep. I mean that when I get in the zone, I get in the zone. I will sit and create for such long stretches that my legs will cramp up and I get dizzy from not eating. I always thought I was alone in this madness until I started reading Tammy’s blog, daisy yellow. I’m not sure how she does it, (though I highly suspect superpowers may be occasionally called into play) but this woman appears to run circles around me when it comes to creativity. Her blog is a plethora of everything I love. Art, art supplies, beautiful photos, tips, and a whole lot of creative encouragement. All in all, Tammy simply rocks! So when she sent me a note telling me about her new e-zine st|ART, I wanted to make sure all of you knew about it as well. If you are wanting to venture into the world of art journaling and need some guidance, Daisy Yellow is the place to be and st|ART will most definitely keep you inspired!

Big thanks to Tammy for showing us how she worked on the name of her zine with Herbin’s Bleu Pervenche in a Webbie!

Subscribe to Rhodia Drive

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Rhodia Drive on Facebook

Search Rhodia Drive

Find Rhodia to Buy

Local retailers and full Rhodia product lines available in the US can be found at

Check out the Rhodia Journal Swap

Rhodia Journal Swap

Visit the Rhodia Journal Swap on Tumblr

In Your Bag

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of Rhodia in your bag to: stephanie at so I can add it to the page.  ... Read on »

Rhodia Customization Module

Visit our customization module at

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

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of your favorite pen: so I can add it to the page. ... Read on »

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 »

Download the Life Noted App

Life Noted App

Visit the App Store on your iOS 7 device to download Life Noted

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


Exaclair Themed Videos

Rhodia Anniversary Video

Rhodia Classic Pad Showcase

PanPastel and Rhodia

Rhodia Fashion Show

Tom Bihn loves Rhodia

Clairefontaine Basics - Life. Unplugged 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.


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.