Guest Blogger Fred Pitts: Yellow vs White Rhodia Paper

Pitts4-2

Fredric Pitts: Review of two Rhodia No. 19 pads of lined paper – one white and one yellow.

“When I sat down to write with these two papers I will admit that I had preconceived ideas about how the experience would go… and I was wrong. I thought that the white paper would be great for fountain pens and, thus, my favorite. The yellow, reported to be toothier, would be great for pencil but not fountain pens and I rarely use anything but fountain pens. On both pads the lines are nicely spaced for my hand and the page has lots of real estate to write upon which is great for the desk top, not really my favorite size for travel. Continue Readering »

A Change in Handwriting?

image

Has anyone else noticed any changes to their handwriting over the years? Has it become neater, messier, or perhaps more stylized? I know that I began to use a combination of printed/cursive letters sometime when I was an early teenager. Since that time, I believe that my writing has become somewhat more stylized and I am now able to write straight across the page when using blank paper. My signature on the other hand, has disintegrated into only a few recognizable letter forms. 

(This is one of those times when my notes about a post actually becomes the post.)

 

Permission to Doodle

butch_gordon

Are you a doodler?

By allowing yourself to be creative in a way that is not dependent on any particular outcome, you can focus on the process itself and simply appreciate your hand moving the pen across the surface of the paper.

The next time you find yourself waiting at the doctor’s office, the DMV, or when picking up your children after school, I’d like challenge you to reach for a paper and pencil and allow yourself to doodle. If this is something you don’t normally do, I think you might be surprised at how calming and meditative the process may be.

Image courtesy of butch_gordon on Instagram

 

Link Share Friday: February Edition

laurazigman

Rhodia Meeting Book at Office Supply Geek

J. Herbin Encre Rouge Ink Review at The Pen Addict

Preventing Hand Fatigue During Long Writing Sessions at Pentorium

More on Finishing Notebooks at Notebook Stories

Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen – White Body, Black M Nib at No Pen Intened

Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Marker at A Penchant for Paper

Quo Vadis Exatime 17 (personal size Filofax compatible) 2014 week + notes diary insert at Plannerisms

Review of the Clairefontaine Calligraphy Pad at Life Imitates Doodles

15 Quick and Dirty Writing Tips at Writing Forward

Faber-Castell brings two new colors to the affordable Loom lineup at Fountain Pen Geeks

Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing at Brain Pickings

Review: Rhodia No. 18 Uni-Blank Pad at The Well Appointed Desk

Sketchbook Exercises at Nordljus

Responsive ‘Hexi’ Wall Ripples and Wobbles Based on Nearby Motion at Colossal

Family Connection — Another Reason To Write Our Memories at Writing Through Life

Faber-Castell Loom Fountain Pen at Write to Me Often

Intro to the Monteverde Impressa Fountain Pen at Ink Nouveau

Rotring 800 0.5mm Pencil Review at Ed Jelley

Image courtesy of laurazigman on Instagram

 

The Sharpened Pencil

jdee

While I probably own at least half a dozen manual pencil sharpeners, I am always misplacing them. When I do find one, it’s usually the one that consistently chews the point off my pencil requiring me to re-sharpen them again and again leaving me with half the pencil I started with. I have a really awesome electric sharpener in my studio but I always seem to forget my pencils at home. I also have an older battery-operated unit which doesn’t seem to have the gusto (chewing power) that it once had which probably should be retired.

Do you have a favorite tried and true pencil sharpener? What brand? I may be looking for a new one… (I keep eyeballing those retro glass sharpeners by Alvin- especially the red one.)

Image courtesy of jdee on Instagram

The Difference Between Yellow & White Rhodia Paper: Would You Like to Test it?

Rhodia Yellow

A short while back we received a comment about the texture of the yellow paper in our No. 19 Staplebound Pads. When the person had mentioned that the yellow paper had more “tooth” than its white counterpart, Karen sent me one of each to test and I would tend to agree. While both papers are manufactured by Clairefontaine and are each 80g in weight, the 80g white performs as expected but the yellow does indeed feel “toothier” and is especially nice when used with a pencil.

So here’s the deal: We’ve got 5 pairs of these tablets to give away. If you are located in the USA and are willing to provide us with timely feedback on the yellow versus white paper with whatever media you prefer, (pencil, fountain pen, gel pen, etc.) please enter your info on the form below and click submit. (The form may not be visible when viewed on a mobile device or if you are subscribed to our blog via e-mail. Please visit RhodiaDrive.com to view the form)

This particular offer is open to USA participants and will remain open until midnight EST on Friday February 21st. Participants will be selected at our discretion and notified by e-mail the week of February 24th with additional details on where to submit the product feedback. Testers are also welcome to write their own blog reviews about these products.

The Humble Eraser

Pencil eraser

Did you know that different kinds of erasers exist for different purposes? Or that one might work better than another?

From Pencil Talk: Erasers: The Pink Pearl, the Staedtler Mars plastic, and others

From A Penchant for Paper: The Great Eraser Review: Pentel Hi-Polymer, Staedtler Mars Plastic, and Staples Brand Erasers

From Toad Hollow Studio: The Best Erasers for Graphite Pencil Drawing

From Lung Sketching Scrolls: The Pencil Eraser Comparison Review that never Was

From About.Com Chemistry: How Do Pencil Erasers Work?

 

Bent Pencils?

Bent pencils

At first I thought I was seeing things, but the two pencils on the left are indeed bent. I’d never seen that before, have you? The colored pencil 2nd from the left had been bent for a while and I’d figured it was simply an anomaly but when I found the second one which was a regular graphite pencil of a different brand, I quickly looked through all the rest of the pencils sitting out in my studio to see if any others were affected. (They weren’t). As each of these two were fairly inexpensive pencils, I wondered if the reason they bent had to do with the kind of wood used to make them. (For what it’s worth, the air in my studio is very dry.) 

Link Share Friday: First of 2014

Tiny Rhodia and Pencils

10 Words Often Misspelled in Business Correspondence at Daily Writing Tips

A Steel Pen The Most Odious Thing in Nature at Palimpsest

Kurt Cobain Lists His 50 Favorite Albums: Features by LPs by David Bowie, Public Enemy & More at Open Culture

Fresh Out of College? 10 Resume Writing Hacks to Land an Interview at Under30CEO

15 Postcards from Famous Authors at Flavorwire

How To-Do Lists Give Us a False Sense of Accomplishment at Lifehacker

Quaker Journals and Diaries via Haverford College

Pencils: Shortened and Well-Utilized at Pencil Revolution

25 Common Phrases Everyone Thinks Are Correct at Lifehack

Early 20th Century Police Detective Log Book and Daily Duties at Cowan’s Auctions

Art Journal Every Day: Started & Finsihed at Balzer Designs

Working With Mistakes and Imperfections in the Art Journal at A Penchant for Paper

Handwriting Day Follow-Up at The Well-Appointed Desk

How to Choose a GTD Tool at GTD Times

Deliciously Creative Coffee Cup Art Supports Thousands of Homeless Kids at Mashable

What 16 Successful People Read in the Morning at Inc.com

Pen Pals Interview: Typeface Designer Cole Imperi on Death, Life, and Design at JetPens

Writing With You! at Cold Antler Farm

Too Many Inked Fountain Pens at Inkophile

A Writing Process Makes Your Writing Better at Writing Forward

Artisanal Pencil Sharpening at Rad and Hungry

Three Brothers at Contrapuntalism

Writing in Isolation: Prison Memoir at Pentamento

Lamy Pur Fountain Pen – Aluminum Smooth – EF Nib at No Pen Intended

Traces of graphite – Don Rosa at Bleistift

Rotring Fountain Pens part III at Write to Me Often

This new Pilot “Stormtrooper” Vanishing Point is definitely the fountain pen you’re looking for at FPGeeks

Les crayons de la maison Caran d’Ache, Edition No. 2 at PencilTalk

From Memories to Memoirs, Part 1 at Writing Through Life

See Carl Sagan’s Childhood Sketches of The Future of Space Travel at Open Culture

Get the Lead Out

Pentel Lead Graphite

Q: If pencil leads have actually been graphite since the mid 1500s (when graphite was discovered to leave a darker mark than lead) why are they still called leads?

A: Because when graphite was discovered, it was initially thought to be a darker form of carbon and named Plumbargo. (The Latin word for lead isplumbum.)The name graphite (“writing stone”) was coined by Abraham Gottlob Werner in 1789. He attempted to clear the confusion of what molybdena, plumbago and blacklead actually are after Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1778 proved that there are at least three different minerals.

While lead has hasn’t been used for writing since antiquity, lead poisoning from pencils was not uncommon because until the middle of the 1950s, the paint used for the outer coating may have contained high concentrations of lead which could be ingested if a person were to chew on the pencil. (I was admitedly a juniorhigh school pencil chewer…)

If you use mechanical pencils, do you have a favorite lead? I prefer the Pentel Hi-Polymers shown above.

More interesting pencil history can be found hereand here.

(Details on lead and graphite from Wikipedia)

Diary Entry from 1874

Denis Nealon journal page

“November 20th 1874: Dark day snowed about three inches left Murhpys shanty with Butter, Welsh & Murphy. Went to Pages Depot Bought one adze from Monshan for 50c Butter Bought for Rathbun & Son Iron, Coal, Lamps, ox chains &c, &c. Left Depot about 11 a.m. Rode with Mule team William Diamond teamster about half way to Genarouxs walked from there to Mellons and had dinner. Left about 4 p.m. for Genarouxs Met Wm McMahan at forks[?] with 58 Head Cattle bought by O’Brien. Slept at Genarouxs Shanty all night. Butter slept at James Mellons. Walked today eight miles.”

This photograph, (courtesy of Desoronto Archives on Flickr) is of the pages of an account book and diary kept by Denis Nealon and covers the period between 20 November and 28 December 1874, when Nealon was working as an accountant for Rathbun and Son. He travelled between the various shanties (lumber camps) run by the Rathbun companies, compiling their accounts and noting the weight of cattle and other goods used by the men at the camps.

You can see all of the images from this diary in this set on Flickr.

Any thoughts on the pencil used to write this entry?

New Year, New Pens? Show Us!

maiechinatsu

I can only imagine all the wonderful new pens that our fans were gifted over the holidays. Willing to share? Snap a pic of your favorite new pen and send it to Stephanie at RhodiaDrive dot com to be added to our “Favorite Pens” Photo Page. Do you have a short story to tell about your new pen? Let us know and we’ll also consider sharing it here on Rhodia Drive.

Image courtesy of maiechinatsu on Instagram.

 

Final Link Share of 2013

panpan904

Have a safe and Happy New Year everyone!
Many thanks for all of your feedback, comments and suggestions throughout the year.

The Creative Experiments Challenge at daisy yellow blog

How to Improve Your Writing Skills at Writing Forward

365 Quotes to Inspire You in 2014 at Inc.com

Wattpad at Quo Vadis Blog

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 87 – Putting A Pen Out To Pasture

Last Minute Art Journaling Thoughts at iHanna’s Blog

Our 2013 Doodle, Draw and Illustration Year in Review at Doodlers Anonymous

Fountain Pen Experts And Their Favorite Pens at An Inkophile’s Blog

Link Love: Top 10 List Roundup at The Well-Appointed Desk

Nearly never without a Rhodia at Pentamento

How to Buy A Pen That Will Last Forever at Pentorium

Top 10 of 2013 at A Penchant for Paper

Annual 2013 Top Ten List of Popular Reviews at Office Supply Geek

Rhodia Wirebound Business Notebook Review at Write to Me Often

Back to Journaling Basics at Writing Through Life

30 Ideas For Your 2014 Bucket List at Abundance Blog

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin & Michael Collins Go Through Customs and Sign Immigration Form After the First Moon Landing at Open Culture

Overcoming Writer’s Block at The Passive Voice

Review- Four J Herbin Fountain Pen Inks at Life Imitates Doodles

Seeing the Big Picture: When Paper is Better Than Digital at A Penchant for Paper

Faber Castell Albrecht Durer/Caran D’Ache Supracolor/Caran D’Ache Museum Aquarelle Comparison chart at Lung Sketching Scrolls

Pencil Paraphernalia and a Pretty Pencil Pin Pendant at Bleistift

Prophetic Name For a Stationery Store: “Horder’s” at Contrapuntalism

More Pencil Sculptures at Pencil Revolution

Make Your Own Leather Notebook Cover at Notebook Stories

Journaling Exercise: Your Journaling Habit at Kaizen Journaling

Ink Sample Scribbles at Gourmet Pens

Breathing new life into an old bullet pencil at Woodclinched

Image above courtesy of panpan904 on Instagram

 

Back Pocket Rhodia Pad

masaru85-418365428143170475_284229551

If you told me that you keep a small Rhodia pad in your back pocket, you certainly wouldn’t be the first. What I’d like to know, is what you use it for. General note taking throughout the course of a busy day? Poetic inspiration? Recording your latest rare bird sighting? Thomas Mann, a well-known jewelry designer has been quoted as saying; “I keep a little Rhodia pad in my back pocket that is where every idea in the form of a drawing or thought goes down as a reference to jump-start the creative back in the studio.”

Image courtesy of masaru85- on Instagram

Black Rhodia White Blackwing

thatsraddude

Earlier this year, Palomino introduced a third member to their Blackwing family. For those who aren’t familiar with these pencils, Blackwing was a pencil first introduced by Eberhard Faber in the 1930′s. The pencil was manufactured until 1998 when it was discontinued but not forgotten. Original Blackwing 602 pencils were selling for upwards of $40 apiece until Cal Cedar worked to reintroduce a modified version of the original Blackwing in 2010. The retro “602″ was then introduced in 2011 to be closer to original design and now the Pearl makes three and is said to be somewhere in between the Blackwing and the 602.

I have tried the first two but have not yet had the opportunity to try the Pearl. I like the softer smudgier dark lead of the Blackwing for sketching and the slightly firmer lead of the 602 for writing.

What do you think about these pencils?

Image courtesy of thatsraddude on Instagram

 

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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 »

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Testing a vintage Mabie Swan fountain pen with a lot of flex - on a Rhodia Pad

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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.