Claudia Goes to Pittsburgh


Claudia McGill is one of my favorite contemporary artists because it was her colorful and whimsical art that first inspired me to take risks in my own art. She works with a variety of mixed media; including acrylic paint, collage and clay. Something I didn’t know about Claudia is that she uses Rhodia tablets. When she first learned that I worked for Rhodia, she told me about a zine she had been working on which included a short story about a train ride to Pittsburgh and how the story was based on notes she’d taken in a small Rhodia pad during her trip.

To read the story, click on the first image and then keep clicking to move from one page to the next.

Return to Sender? Please resend your mail.

return to sender
If you tried to e-mail me via stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com in the last two weeks or so and received an undeliverable response, please resend it. There had been an undetected mail glitch. (I was wondering why I hadn’t received any responses from our New Year, New Pens, Show Us! post…)

This is the same address where you can send images to be posted to all our various fan photo pages.

If you would like to send me snail mail, it can be sent: C/O Exaclair, 143 W 29th St # 1001, New York, NY 10001


Christmas and Holiday Card Traditions


In 1953, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first official White House card. Over the years, these cards would typicaly depict White House scenes as rendered by prominent American artists. The number of recipients has snowballed over the decades, from just 2,000 in 1961 to 1.4 million in 2005. (Per Wiki) The image above depicts American president Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1967 White House Christmas card.

It’s been a good number of years since I’ve sent out holiday cards and do you know what? I miss it. I don’t hardly receive them anymore either – and I’m not sure if that’s because of people not sending them, or people just not sending them to me.

Do you still mail out holiday cards? If so, what kind do you send? Traditional store bought cards, photo cards – or maybe handmade cards? If you don’t send them anymore, why not? Limited time? Cost of postage?


Friday Link Share – a giant list!

More Along the Boulevard at Urban Sketchers

‘Imagine’ That: Fostering Creativity In The Workplace at NPR Books

How Fountain Pen Highlighter Inks Hold Up During Copying at Ink Nouveau

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen at Cool Tools

Zen-Like Artist Creates Intricate Pencil Tip Carvings at Web Urbanist

Akashiya Sai Brush pens, Clairefontaine Carnet de Voyage at Drawing with a Squirrel

Another sneak peek at Clairefontaine’s Carnet de Voyage travel album at Life Imitates Doodles

Must you finish a journal? at daisy yellow blog

A Little Ink History For The True Geek at An Inkophile’s Blog

Sticky Note Clock Face – But Why? at Office Supply Geek

How to Defeat Writer’s Block at Writing Forward

Handwritten at Notebook Stories

Fountain Pen Nib Comparison Video at The Pen Addict

Rhodia R Pads – Wow! at Field Notes

Western Suede-covered Diary from 1949 at Notebook Stories

6 Ways to Keep on Writing at Creativity Portal

In the Beginning at The Pear Tree Pen Company

Turn Paper Into Pencils With The P&P Office Waste Paper Processor at Office Supply Junkie

A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: Creative Clustering at Writing Through Life

Fountain Pens And Collecting Autographs In 1932 at Fountain Pen Restoration

Connecting with Nature is Good for Creativity from Art Asana

Letters in the Mail: from famous authors, to you at The Missive Maven

Old Church Converted into a Modern Bookstore at My Modern Met

6 Ways to Make your Own Luck at Inc.

Where doctors go for their fountain pen fix at

Listen to some podcasts from our friend Brad the Pen Addict at 70Decibels

Image courtesy of Seth from the blog Good Pens. He is also one of our Rhodia Journal Swappers.

Journal Swap Soon to be Underway!

Thank you to everyone who signed up for our 1st ever Rhodia Journal Swap! We had quite a few entries and it wasn’t easy to chose 12, but we did. Once I confirm their participation, the swap will commence!

You might like to know that since we had so many people sign up for this first swap, we are considering implementing a second one in 6 months – stay tuned!

Friday Link Share

Notebook Papers at Pens and Paper

Going the long way, via technology at Make Every Day a Good Mail Day

Help us Design a Planner for you! at Quo Vadis Blog

Better Googling at Read, Write, Think, Edit

Uni-ball Woodnote .38 mm Orange Review at The Pen Addict

Indiana Diarists at Notebook Stories

Rhodia on the Road at Ontheroad

Fiction Writing Exercises for Exploring and Developing Theme at Writing Forward

Wish List at Dave’s Mechanical Pencils

‘Tis the Season to Simplify at Inkophile

Artistic Dollar Redesign is Beautiful, Simple & Practical at Web Urbanist

Staples 16-Sheet High Speed Cross-Cut Shredder – Giveaway Week Item #4 at OfficeSupplyGeek

December Carnival of Pen, Paper and Pencil at Pocket Blonde

Holiday Greetings – How do you send them?

At this festive time of year, I am wondering how people are choosing to send their holiday greetings to friends and family. Do you still send cards through the mail? Family newsletters printed on the home computer? Photo greeting cards? Handwritten letters? Hand crafted cards? I like to use cards I’ve either made myself or that showcase the art of other artists. I don’t maintain a specific holiday “distribution list” as I have in the past, but I do my best to in some way reach out to those that mean the most to me during the holidays.

Image by Biffybeans (Stephanie Smith)  ©All Rights Reserved

Holiday Mail for Heroes 2010 – Postmark by December 10th

The American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes have teamed up for the fourth annual Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

From now until December 10th you are invited to send holiday cards to our American service members, their families, and veterans all over the world. Continue Readering »

Send me a letter?

If you would like to send me a handwritten letter or postcard, please mail it to:

Stephanie Smith
c/o Exaclair Inc.
143 West 29th Street Suite 1000
New York, New York 10001

Please include an e-mail address and or phone number where you can be reached.

I *Love* mail!

Your Feedback: Write a Letter?

In response to our recent post, “Write a Letter?” we received a message from a man named Frank that said:

“I agree that written letters seem more personal and convey a different feeling than email. I write letters when I want my reader to “hold something in his/her hands,” thereby getting a tactile sense as well as a visual sense from the writing. Seeing the loops and curls draws the reader into the letter, requires a different involvement, and creates a different investment in connection than email. Email is plain vanilla and quick. To some, writing a letter means, “I’m willing to invest the time to write this, and ask that you invest time to read what I’ve written.” And it can say that I care enough about you and the subject to personalize it.”

You know, as silly as it might sound, I never really thought about how much joy the physical letter could bring to the recipient.

I think it’s time to start writing a few letters…. How about you?

Write a letter?

When the last time you sent someone a handwritten letter?

I’m embarrassed to say that I can’t remember the last time I’ve written one- and I’ve got gorgeous pens, wonderful color inks and fancy writing papers from G Lalo and Clairefontaine.  Why don’t I do it? crazy as it sounds, (and as much as I enjoy receiving mail) I think things are so much easier via e-mail (though much less personal) because you can see the entire conversation. (If you don’t delete it) I remember receiving letters and having no clue what the person was referring to that I supposedly said in a previous letter….  So I guess I’m a little afraid of feeling foolish when I can’t remember something. Maybe if I write a letter I could scan it first, or does that sound silly?

Can you maybe offer me some tips to help me because I think I really would enjoy writing some letters and receiving some personal correspondence in my mailbox.

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David Allen of GTD on Rhodia

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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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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.