It’s National Handwriting Day!
Today, when you put pen or pencil to paper, I challenge you to be more focused on how you write. Maybe take a little bit more time to construct each letter, each word, each sentence, etc.
What does your handwriting say about you?
According to this video, my handwriting says that I am well adjusted and adaptable, can’t stand to be alone and that I crowd people. (Wha??) I am apparantly artistic and creative, logical and systematic, confident, comfortable in my own skin. yet private and introverted. It also says that I am detail oriented, organized and empathic.
Let’s see how that analysis holds up from one source to another. According to this article, Here’s What Your Handwriting Says About You at Business Insider, I am a people person and want to be understood and noticed. I am ruled by logic rather than emotion, am pragmatic and very solid. It says that I have strong emotions and feel things very intensely. That I may have had my hopes and dreams squelched, (?!?) and love to travel. I am logical, methodical and make decisions carefully. I don’t like clutter, (ha!) pay great attention to detail, and am aware of boundaries. Hmmm…
Be sure to leave a comment below telling us what your handwriting says about you!
What is National Handwriting Day all about? The National Writing Instrument Manufacturer’s Association (WIMA) has designated January 23rd to be National Handwriting Day, the purpose of which is to alert the public to the importance of handwriting.
“Handwriting can add intimacy to a letter and reveal details about the writer’s personality. Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.”
How to Celebrate National Handwriting Day at WikiHow offers handwriting inspired prompts such as, learning cursive, teaching someone else to write, and practicing your personal signature.
Interested in the value of cursive writing? Check out the Campaign for Cursive, an organization that believes that and writing is a life-long skill that should be available, taught, and practiced as part of a basic education for all children, regardless of whether they receive their education through public, private or home-schooling.
If you regularly use a bound notebook or journal, what size do you prefer, and why?
My go-to size for a long time has been A5. 5×8″ books allow for me, a decent amount of real estate to write as large as I like and/or to sketch without feeling cramped. I also think this size isn’t too large to stick into a purse or backpack. I find 3×5″ books a bit too small for my needs, – though I do like and have occasionally used the 4×6″ Habanas, which are even better for portability.
The 8×11″ Habana shown above? I’ve had it for quite a while but haven’t yet committed to a use for it. Fear of The Blank Page? Perhaps…
Keith Haring was an American artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s by expressing concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war. Haring’s work was often heavily political and his imagery has become a widely recognized visual language of the 20th century.
The Keith Haring Foundation has scanned the artist’s journals from 1971 to 1989 with the intention of making them all available online. The journals feature writings, drawings and the occasional collaged element. Some of the journals had been previously seen in the Brooklyn Museum’s 2012 exhibition, Keith Haring: 1978-1982.
The foundation has created a tumblr account for the scans, which can be viewed here.
This journal entry from 1986 provides insight into Keith’s feelings about computers and technology:
“I was very interested in the tactile experience of drawing that is very different than drawing with a computer…This displacement of image and action [on the computer] creates a new problem to be solved by the “drawer”.
The book Keith Haring Journals a brilliant account of Haring’s life and observations, told through the voice of the artist himself. You can also learn more about Keith from the “In His Own Words” section of The Keith Haring Foundation website.
- 85g, ivory paper with satin smooth finish
- 96 sheets
- Elastic closure, black ribbon
- Elegant round corners
- Inner pocket for notes and cards
- Available in large and pocket sizes (A5 and A6)
The Clairefontaine company in France is now managed by sixth generation family members and is currently the only European manufacturer making its own paper for its own products. This guarantees consistent quality and better control over the environmental impact of the manufacturing process.
If you will, please tell us which of these things is most important to you as a consumer:
- Clairefontaine paper is made from pulp and wood by-products from forests independently certified by PEFC or FSC as sustainably managed.
- Clairefontaine has reduced its water consumption through an advanced recycling method. The water is returned to the River Meurthe cleaner than when it arrived at the mill. The water is so clean when it is returned to the river people can swim, boat and fish downstream within sight of the mill.
- Our paper is chlorine-free. A gift of nature, a mineral called calcium carbonate gives Clairefontaine paper its famous trademark qualities of extra white and ultra smooth.
- The ink used in all Clairefontaine and Rhodia products abides by the most stringent European environmental standards. The inks are water-based and made from vegetable oil pigments.
- We supply most of our own energy as Clairefontaine operates a dual power generation system (electricity and steam) which supplies 80% of the mill’s needs.
- Through a plan for improving sorting at source and recycling/transforming, Clairefontaine has reduced the quantity of solid waste produced by the plant by over two-thirds. Packaging is designed to produce the least waste (returnable containers, bulk packaging, etc.) The waste from the water treatment plant is converted into agricultural compost. This is a first for the paper industry.
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.)
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.
“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?
Exaclair currently offers a limited variety of Rhodia wirebound (spiral) notebooks and we’d like to know if you like them, how you are using them, and whether or not you’d like to see additional options made available in the future. I myself would love to see anything blank or dot- especially a dotReverse.
Current options can be seen here and include products such as the Wirebound Notebooks, 4 Color Book, Elasti Book, Reverse Book, Top Wirebound Pads and two versions of the Meeting books.
For this week’s creative prompt, grab a pen and some paper to make a list of all the things you did this summer. It doesn’t matter whether or not they were connected to any specific vacation destination or event, just write down anything that you’d like to remember about the summer of 2014. Think people, places, foods, music, games, sports, nature…
Feel free to write an essay if you like, but individual words and simple phrases will work just as well.
Monday’s product spotlight post about our Rhodia Classic Staplebound Notebooks included a typo. What I mean to say, was: Do you use them for a specific purpose? when instead, I wrote Do you use them for a specific purple?
This caught the attention of Beth Treadway who asked, “Purple? Is that typo a Freudian slip that we may someday get these in colors?” Not that I’m aware of Beth. Although, there is a purple version of the Clairefontaine 1951 staple bound notebooks which might be of interest to some of my fellow purple fanatics. (Purple is my favorite color, which probably explains the typo.)
• 90 g pH neutral, acid-free lined white paper with a smooth satin finish
• Grained paper cover with front label
• Vintage look and feel
• 48 sheets, lined, in two sizes and seven colors: 3 1⁄2 x 5 1⁄2 and 5 3⁄4 x 8 1⁄4
- Does the color of an item influence your decision making processes when purchasing items for daily use?
- Have you ever allowed the color of an item inspire you make an impulse purchase?
- What do you think about Rhodia offering products in colors other than their classic black and orange?
- What is your favorite color?
Who doesn’t love food? Whether individual ingredients, meals you’ve been served, or something you’ve cooked up on your own, today’s creative writing prompt encourages you to make lists of the foods you love. You can list favorite fruits, vegetables, herbs, or spices. Favorite brands of a particular food item, as well as the shops where you bought them may also be included.
(Avocados, white nectarines, red pears, cardamom ice cream, and uni are a few of my favorites.)
Food memories will inevitably prompt additional memories and may even trigger emotions. (Did I ever tell you the story about my friend whose grandfather was a butcher? Years after he’d passed away, they found a long forgotten package of his hot dogs at the bottom of a freezer. Did they eat them? You bet.)
If you’ve ever thought that writing would be beneficial to your overall health but didn’t know where to start, these various creative writing prompts are designed to help you open up to the page.
No judgments, just write.
Image courtesy of carrotta_yeon on Instagram
“We like lists because we don’t want to die.”
In a 2009 Spiegel interview with Umberto Eco, the Italian philosopher and novelist states “The list is the origin of culture.” And what does culture want? “To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries.”
I’ve kept my own book of lists for over a decade by contributing several lists per year of material either relevant to the time or from memory of things past.
Do you keep a book of lists? If not, would you ever consider it?
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?
Opens flat: The paper needs no hand pressure for the pages to reveal a flat writing surface.
If you lean on the book as you write, the spine folds neatly upon itself.
There were several new products on display in the Exaclair booth at the National Stationery Show that I had the opportunity to drool over today, including the new “pictures can’t do them justice” Rhodia Ice. They look AMAZING in person. Continue Readering »