The Art of Journaling: Celebrating National Handwriting Day!

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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.

Tuesday Talk Back: What are you writing?

Rhodia Unlimited

Pencil or pen in your hand, we know there are words making their way onto the page in one form or another, every day in every way.

What are you writing?

In your Webbie: Do you keep a diary noting daily events? A journal filled with personal reflections? A notebook filled with favorite quotes? A sketch diary? A dream journal next to the bed to document your nocturnal travels?

Is your No. 8 almost empty from jotting down shopping lists for trips to the local farmers market? Lists of wines to buy again stuck behind a magnet on the refrigerator? Notes to UPS to leave the package with a neighbor?

Do you use the Unlimited notebook you keep in the glove box to keep track of the business mileage on your car? To record rare bird sightings at the local conservatory? Write down books read, books to read?

Are you taking full advantage of the 16×12″ No. 38 by sketching out your dream house? New garden? Mind mapping a new business idea to start a pay-what-you-can-afford restaurant?

Maybe you use a No. 18 yellow legal pad to take notes at meetings? Brainstorm new project ideas over a brown bag lunch? Or maybe you are reworking your resume or drafting a cover letter for that job you really want?

Using the No. 16 to write a bio for that online dating service? A new poem for tomorrow night’s spoken word event? For sketching the old woman sleeping on the subway? Crafting a new menu for the week?

All this and more… What are you writing?

Tuesday Talk Back: Do you THINK better on paper?

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“Writing is thinking on paper, or talking to someone on paper. If you can think clearly, or if you can talk to someone about the things you know and care about, you can write – with confidence and enjoyment.”  – William Zinsser

In Saturday’s interview with Ian Hedley, he mentioned being able to think better on paper. Do you agree?

As a visual person by nature, words on a screen can often feel very one-dimensional to me. When I put pencil to paper, I can doodle in the margins, circle great ideas, cross out the not so good ones, and rearrange a series of papers on the floor to see which part of a project should come first, next, etc.

“Sketchbooks are not about being a good artist, they’re about being a good thinker.” – Jason Santa Maria

Good Ideas Grow on Paper:  “Great designers have one thing in common: their design process is centred on ideas; ideas that are more often than not developed on paper.”

The Magic of Thinking Paper 

“you slow yourself down so you can consider each thought” 

Doris Plumb uses a writing process that involves writing quickly in a journal, without thinking, so students’ ideas come out fast.

Friday Link Share: December Edition

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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.

Contest: Enter NOW to win The Divide pen holder by Dudek Modern Goods

Mike Dudek Clicky Post

Enter now to win THE DIVIDE – a $60 Value!
The lucky winner will also receive 4 pocket Rhodia books to bridge the gap. (Pens not included) 

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED FOR ENTRIES – THANK YOU!

The Divide is handmade by Mike Dudek of Dudek Modern Goods and is a solution to allow your pens and pencils to live in harmony on your desk. It can hold up to 6 pencils, 6 pens, or a combination of other items including three pocket notebooks. The Divide is handmade from solid walnut and finished with a smooth satin poly finish. Approximate dimensions are H 2.5″ – W 5.25″ – D 3″

This contest is open to US residents only and will be remain open until midnight EST on Sunday 11/23/14. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on the blog on Tuesday 11/25/14. The winner will also be notified via e-mail and The Divide will be shipped directly from Dudek Modern Goods. One entry per household please. If you are viewing this post via e-mail or on a mobile device, you may need to visit Rhodia Drive directly to see the entry form.

Please feel free to share this post on your own blog, or on any of your preferred social media outlets.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED FOR ENTRIES – THANK YOU!

The Paper Project Week 5: “Size Matters” Your Chance to Sample 4 Different Size Rhodia Pads

Rhodia Products

The Paper Project is our way to offer a variety of Exaclair paper samples to 50 people each week. Every Monday, we will be offering paper samples from 1-4 products to 50 people on a first come, first served basis. (There is no limit to how many weeks you can participate!) Samples will be mailed once we reach 50 participants with recipients being notified via e-mail.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST – WE HAVE REACHED 50 PARTICIPANTS FOR THIS WEEK. TUNE IN NEXT MONDAY FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT 

This week’s Paper Project: “Size Matters” 

Since we know that many of you make your notepad selections by size in order to suit specific writing needs, this week, we are offering a variety of sizes of the classic head stapled Rhodia pads for you to try because who knows, you might just find a new size that you can’t live without! 

Week 5 samples include 1 sheet each of 80g white Rhodia line ruled paper from each of the following sizes: 

  • No. 8, (3 x 8 ¼”) 
  • No. 10 (2 x 3″)
  • No.16 (6 x 8 ¼ “)
  • No. 19 (8 ¼ x 12 ½ “) 

If you have been chosen to receive samples in any given week, please come back and leave comments on the corresponding week’s page. We also welcome you to blog or share to your favorite social media sites about your experiences.

Tag #rhodiapaperproject on Instagram and Pinterest. If you’d like us to see your Paper Project blog posts, post your links in the comment section on corresponding week’s page OR to our Rhodia Drive Facebook page.

What kind of comments are we looking for?

  • How would you use all these different sizes?
  • Tell us what you like/don’t like about the paper.
  • How do you like using pencil/pen/fountain pen on it.
  • Would you use it to write/draw/doodle/sketch etc.?
  • …and anything else you think we should know.

Need a few recent reviews for inspiration?

Rhodia Paper Project Week 1 at Nerd Uprising

re: Rhodia Ice “I love that the grey graph is dark enough to guide my lines but not so pronounced as to distract from the words themselves.”

Week #1 sampling group for The Paper Project at bjw-draw

“maybe the best paper I have ever used for ink drawings. It accepts all the types of ink I depend on in my work.”

You can also check out the reviews that people are posting in the comment section of the Week 1 Week 2 and Week 3 posts. 

If you are viewing this post via e-mail or on a mobile device, you may need to visit Rhodia Drive directly to see the entry form. (Entries must be received through the form – please do not post your name and address in the comment section of this post to receive samples. Thank you!) 

 

Noteworthy: Guest Blogger Mike Dudek from The Clicky Post

Mike Dudek Clicky Post

Mike Dudek of Dudek Modern Goods  and The Clicky Post is this week’s Noteworthy Guest Blogger

Do you ever look back on actions you’ve taken or choices you’ve made in the past that have shaped your “today”? The origins of my Dudek Modern Goods brand came almost by chance. On the contrary, like starting any blog, writing The Clicky Post was a very conscious decision and was one I knew I would be committing to from the start, but the creation of my line of walnut pen holders was something that evolved all on its own.

The start of Dudek Modern Goods was not intentional and began when I was visiting my local specialty lumber yard to purchase material for a home project I was doing. While perusing their aisle of scrap hardwood pieces they sell to hobbyists, I stumbled upon a good sized piece of walnut and thought “I could make something from this”.

Mike Dudek Modern Goods

As I had already started writing the blog and my collection of pens continued to grow, I knew I needed a place to store them when not in use and didn’t want to settle on a standard pen cup. Not that there isn’t a place for a pen cup, but when you start investing into nicer writing instruments you want a place to keep them that both protects and displays.

I don’t think I would call myself a true “minimalist”, but I do enjoy items that have a sense of simplicity and elegance. Beauty mingled with high functionality. Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it cannot be of high quality. These underlying thoughts are what lead me to create the first of my walnut pen pieces for my own use and to give to a few close friends early on.

Mike Dudek

I already had a workshop that I would tinker in making various things, so I ventured out and started brainstorming. As I had bought a precut piece of scrap walnut that was about 2.75” tall, 3” deep, and about 20” long (like a big rectangular bar), I had to come up with a design that fit these dimensions. I enjoy symmetry and decided to create my first design in a sort of square or “cube” shape that was 3” x 3” on top. In trying to find the right proportions (again, symmetry) for the hole configuration, I opted for a 9 hole pattern that was evenly spaced from the center. This created a nice aesthetic and balance, but also provided some ample room for the pens to sit comfortably.

Mike Dudek Workshop

There was enough material to make about a half dozen of these “cubes”, so I went to work and created my first finished pen holders that would later turn into the start of my Dudek Modern Goods line. They would later become simply known as The Cube. I documented this project of making the first Cubes on the blog through pictures which prompted readers to reach out to me about possibly purchasing them. Once I started hearing from more people and with motivation from friends like Dan Bishop from Karas Kustoms, I knew it was something I could offer to the community which was exciting and fun.

Little did I know it would branch out into what it is today…

Mike Dudek

In the past year and a half I’ve added 4 additional products to the line, done two product collaborations (another in progress), and have shipped my handmade pieces to 20 countries around the world. To say I am humbled is an understatement. As a creator, being able to share your work or products is extremely satisfying and the scale of support has been tremendous. I’ll take a minute to say thank you to all that have contributed to the creation and continuation of these products as I couldn’t do it without your help.

Mike Dudek

I’ve recently released a new product called The Divide which is a piece that holds both pens and pencils with a strategically placed notebook slot as to keep them separate or “divided”. In discussing the guest post on Rhodia Drive (thanks so much for having me), we thought it might be fun to pair up and do a contest/giveaway of The Divide and include some Rhodia notebooks to go along with it!

Enter to win The Divide – a $60 value, this coming Wednesday 11/19 on Rhodia Drive! 

As my habits have evolved into primarily fountain pens for my daily writing, I have turned to Rhodia as my go-to paper as it really one of the best products to use with a liquid ink. My desk/bag is filled with Rhodia products of all sizes with the Dotpads (black cover) N16 and N18 being my primary. A small thing, but something I appreciate, is that each page is perforated.

I love the way Rhodia paper interacts with my fountain pens allowing the ink to set upon the page rather than just being soaked in completely.

A big thanks again to Rhodia Drive for allowing me to guest post and good luck to everyone in the giveaway of The Divide!

International Fountain Pen Day Rhodia Giveaway! Enter now to win 1 of 20 pocket notebooks

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rhodia_staplebound_group_750In celebration of International Fountain Pen Day, we are giving away 20 orange Rhodia pocket sized staple bound notebooks! 

These notebooks are  3 x 4 ¾ ”  and contain 24 graph ruled sheets of 80g fountain pen friendly paper. The side stapled Rhodia notebooks are available in three sizes and with two cover options – orange and black.

This contest will be remain open until midnight EST on Tuesday 11/11/14. The winners will be chosen at random and announced on the blog later that week. One entry per household please. If you are viewing this post via e-mail or on a mobile device, you may need to visit Rhodia Drive directly, to see the entry form. 

Help us to get the word out?  Please feel free to Tweet, blog or share this post via Facebook.

(Scroll down for entry form) 

After entering our contest, check out the amazing giveaways and celebration specials over at Pen Chalet as well as all of the additional promotions from the sponsors of Fountain Pen Day 2014

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.”

Friday Link Love: Special Giveaway Edition

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Pointing you in the direction of a few giveaways of cool stationery and art supplies:

Sheaffer Giveaway – 100 Year Coin at Pen Chalet

PanPastel Giveaway at Altered Pages

LePen Giveaway at The Well-Appointed Desk

Fountain Pen Love Giveaway at JetPens

Chalkboard label giveaway at CakeMom

Beautiful pop-up thank you cards at Blushless.com

Pigma Micron Giveaway via Liza Sylvestre on Instagram

Stay tuned for our Rhodia Anniversary Giveaway in October! 

Fountain Pen Friends: Ever order ink samples?

Image courtesy of emraher on Instagram

Image courtesy of emraher on Instagram

One of the big draws to writing with a fountain pen is the ability to choose your ink. With literally hundreds of colors available from a wide variety of brands, chances are you will be able to find the exact shade of blue or violet that you’ve been searching for.

Aside from color, inks have additional properties that may be of interest to the user such as:

  • Viscosity. Some pens that have a tendency to write dry, might benefit from an ink that flows more freely and vise versa.
  • Saturation. Some inks contain much more pigment than others. This would likely be an aesthetic choice, as would be an ink’s ability to show shading.
  • Scent. Depending on the materials used to create the ink, some may emit a stronger scent than another. Some inks even add fragrance to their chemistry.
  • Waterproof. As fountain pen inks are water based and do not contain shellac, there are options for people wanting or needing their inks to be water-resistant on the page.

What is shading? Lapis on the Fountain Pen Network offers this explanation: “…shading is an easily observable increase in intensity and/or darkness in certain parts of the handwriting on paper. … The easiest place to see shading is basically on the downstrokes of your hand, where the nib usually gets more force down onto the paper. Then the line is usualy wider, slower and thus more ink gets posted onto the paper. Shading is best (not exclusively) done using a broad, especially flexy or, to a certain extent, springy nib.”

If you’d like to try some inks before you buy, check out the forums on the Fountain Pen Network to see who has what that they’d like to swap. Popular retailer that sell ink samples include Goulet Pens, Anderson Pens and isellpens.

Favorite Ink Colors: Summer of 2014

Herbin Inks

I know that many of our fountain pen friends enjoy switching out their inks to mark the changing seasons. Did you have any favorite brands/colors that you used or discovered this summer? Did you make any recent purchases that you are looking forward to using this fall?

Did you discover any new all-time-favorite ink colors at any of the recent pen shows?

Creative Prompt: What I did on My Summer Vacation

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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.

Doodle Power!

marianmachismo

My ferocious appetite for doodling kicked in about ten years ago when I worked in a cube. (Technically more of a triangle…) Doodling while sitting in on seemingly endless conference calls, my focus and recall was always better than if I sat there and just “paid attention.”  My belief is that the benefits of doodling are similar to any other focused meditative practice; calming both to the mind and spirit.

Image courtesy of marianmachismo on Instagram.

The Power of the Doodle: Improve Your Focus and Memory

Doodling in a meeting? Maybe you’re just drawing inspiration

Why Doodling May Help Improve Your Memory

Doodling Increases Focus and Recall

Study: Doodling Helps You Pay Attention

Throwback Thursday: Favorite Vintage Pens

Parker 51 Fountain Pen

I love a lot of things vintage for their classic design. Classic, as in that sweet combination of simple, practical and durable.

When I first started writing with fountain pens, I wanted nothing more than to exclusively use vintage, but it never seemed to work out for me. One after another I’d buy a vintage piece (typically  on the cheap) that would work for a while then ultimately, a seal or sac would break, the nib would bend or get scratchy, or the ink would stop flowing properly. I began to see vintage pens as fragile creatures and became reluctant to invest in their restoration. As much as I love vintage, there was a part of me that didn’t like knowing that a favorite tool would be difficult to repair or replace and so I began to favor more modern designs like Lamy’s Safari, Pelikan’s M200 and the Sailor Sapporo – though I can’t tell you how many times I’ve poured over the offerings on sites like Vacumania, longing for a silver celluloid Parker Vacumatic, or a fully functional Parker 51. (Mine has a cracked front section and needs a new seal/sac) 

Do you have a favorite vintage pen? If you take a picture of it and send to to me at stephanie@rhodiadrive.com I’ll include it on our Favorite Pen Fan Photo Page.

 

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Chef Hosea Rosenberg on Rhodia

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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.