Tuesday Talk Back: The Benefits of a Consistent Source of Paper Manufacturing

clairefontaine_mill

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.

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.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Journal

“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?

Who would like to see more options in wirebound Rhodia products?

Wirebound spiral Rhodia pad

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.

Creative Prompt: What I did on My Summer Vacation

IMG_0798

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.

Clairefontaine Staplebound Notebook with Vintage Design

Photo: Clairefontaine 1951 with Pencils and clips

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 

Read a review of the 1951 Notebook at Life Imitates Doodles

Question for today: How Important is Color in Your Life?

Purple Rhodiarama

  • 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?

Creative Writing Prompt: Foods you’ve loved.

carrotta_yeon

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

Listing our Legacy

Rhodia Stack with Yellow Safari

“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?

 

Let’s Talk Flat: NEW Landscape Webbie

Landscape Webbie

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?

Landscape Webbie

Opens flat: The paper needs no hand pressure for the pages to reveal a flat writing surface.

Landscape Webbie

If you lean on the book as you write, the spine folds neatly upon itself.

Dispatch from the NSS: Things to look forward to.

Rhodia white ice

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 »

Rhodia on JustDaveyB’s Desk

Desk_Rhodia_20140425_1366px-3

This is David’s desk. David is also known as JustDaveyB. (<– Check out his blog) Does your desk look like David’s? If yes, Rhodia thanks you.

“Just a few Rhodia pads on the desk” – David

(From left on the desktop)

Rhodia No18 Orange Blank – used to print my writing sample pages
(Under above)
Rhodia No19 Blank Dotpad – used for general writing and dip penning of inks
(at Bottom of pile)
Rhodia No38 Orange 5×5 – my blotter on occasion
Rhodia Webbie Black A5 Blank – my daily journal

(In the red desk tidy)

(front row)
Rhodia No11 Orange 5×5 – for quick scribbles
Rhodia No12 Orange Dotpad – for scribbles that need more space
Rhodia No12 Black R lined – for scribbles that need 90gsm ivory paper

(second row)
Rhodia No14 Black lined – for lists
(behind above)
RhodiaNo15 Orange lined – for longer lists
Rhodia No16 Orange Dotpad – for my weekend Ink in use writing samples
(and on the lean)
Rhodia No8 Orange 5×5 – for really,really long lists. :)

Dialog Writing in Your Memoirs

220px-Stephen_tobolowsky_2012

When I first bought character actor Stephen Tobolowsky’s book “The Dangerous Animals Club” I didn’t initially realize that it was a memoir. (If you don’t know Stephen’s name, you probably know his face because he’s been in over 200 movies – from Mississippi Burning to Memento.) Each chapter is a separate story, (some quite amusing) yet there are larger interconnecting narratives that weave together from the book’s beginning to end. From the very first chapter I instantly recognized Stephen as a gifted storyteller and was more than happy to read about his various experiences -including many from his 30 years in the entertainment industry.

When reading a book such as this, I’m always intrigued by the authors ability to either recall or write detailed dialog. I have a million stories I could write about, but how does one remember exactly what so and so said? If one does not have the memory of an elephant and did not take explicitly detailed notes at the time of the event, does the author simply use artistic license and make things up? I’d be concerned that I’d receive a phone call from Great Aunt Hilde screaming at me something along the lines of, “I never said that you should buy the tuna, It’s always been the cod!”

If you’ve ever penned a short story using actual events from your life, how did you go about writing the character dialog? If not, we can each check out the advice offered at the links below.

Can You Make Up Dialogue In Memoirs Or Nonfiction Books? at Writer’s Relief

Writing a Memoir Like a Novel: Dialogue at This New Mountain

 

Rhodia Notebook in Maxpedition

maxwellequations

I belies this is a Maxpedition Field Book Cover which has an overall exterior size of approximately 8.5″ x 5.5″ x 0.75″. I am guessing that that this is an A5 (6 x 8 ¼ “) side stapled Rhodia notebook that the owner noted: “I had to cut a little off of the Rhodia to make it fit properly into the Maxpedition binder. Just a little off the back and then it fit just fine.”

It seems as though Maxpedition products are pretty popular with the EDC crowd. You can take a look at a Pinterest board featuring many of them here. (As a side note, we’d love to see more orange in these photos. Hint hint.) 

Image courtesy of maxwellequations on Instagram

 

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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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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.