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.)
First impressions with J. Herbin Stormy Grey at FPGeeks
First Day of School Pencils, Take Two. at Pencil Revolution
Orange Delights From Ink To Paint at Inkophile
Guest Post: “I think I want to try out this whole fountain pen thing.” at The Pen Addict
Cursive: Is it really that important? at The Well-Appointed Desk
Journaling Exercise: Write A Review at Kaizen Journaling
Traveling pencils at Palimpset
Shades of White at No Pen Intended
How Much Do You Spend On School Supplies? at One Hundred Dollars a Month
Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review at Write to Me Often
DIY Pen Storage V.2! at EdJelley
Flight Delays in My Sketchbooks at Balzar Designs
An Introvert Goes to the Pen Show at From the Pen Cup
Check out FPGeeks on YouTube for videos from the 2014 DC Pen Show
“I can’t wait to try out a glass dip pen on it. I know the results will be beautiful, but I also anticipate a satisfaction in matching a beautiful paper to a beautiful pen, and capturing a sense of writing in a way as people have written for centuries. That creates a connection for me. Even though I’m a computer-fiend, I was a pen-and-paper fiend first, and the computer will never recreate that sense of connection. Or the feeling that not only am I creating a beautiful thing, but that the act of creating it is beautiful in itself. The action of making marks, moving pen across the page–these are artful things.”
Life Imitates Doodles blogger and artist Sandra Strait is a favorite of ours for reviewing our products because of her willingness to be so very thorough. As an artist myself, I know how common it can be in the moment to want to use a variety of mixed mediums on a surface that isn’t always intended to accept it. When anyone takes the time to test a wide variety of wet and dry mediums on an individual product, I find it incredibly helpful. In this review, Sandra tests this paper using pen and ink, fountain pen, rollerball, collage with glue and gel medium, acrylic paint, colored pencil, photo transfer, and finally, watercolor paint. You can read her full review which included loads of pictures, here.
I for one, am a huge fan of any writing implement that can create a line of varying width. I have a sweet little Parker Debutante Vacumatic in need of a new sac that has a really nice flexible nib and I don’t know why I haven’t had it repaired yet…
Have you ever tried a flexible nibbed fountsin pen? Any favorites? I’ve always wanted to try a “wet noodle” myself. (A very flexible nib)
Eversharp Symphony and Noodler’s Ahab shown above, image courtesy of Ed Jelley. Vist his blog at www.edjelley.com and follow edjelley on Instagram.
Check out Brain Sizemore’s demo on this vintage Wahl “wet noodle” fountain pen. Many more on his You Tube channel as well.
Objective product reviews intend to be unbiased, subjective reviews offer a single person’s opinion. Each type has value because the needs of the viewer are variable.
Objective reviews might typically include “just the facts.” Subjective reviews might be more helpful to tactile or kinesthetic learners who primarily learn through experiencing/doing things.
Reviews of our Rhodia products might include comments on the paper quality, color, design, style, size, ruling, color of the ruling, foldability, surface texture, durability, erasability, ease of use, portability, scent, and barometric pressure changes. You may speak to your use of fountain pen inks, ballpoint pens, pencils, (in a variety of grades) markers, paints, white glue, and glitter when applied to its surface.
We genuinely appreciate the reviews you take the time to write about our products because they go a long way in helping to inform potential customers. People get to know our products because of you.
Special thanks to Ed Jelley for his image above and also for his recent review of our new Rhodia Ice on his blog, EdJelley.com.
The Traveling Muse – Inspiring Pocket Notebooks at European Paper
The Epic Refill Reference Guide: Rollerball, Gel and Ballpoints at The Well-Appointed Desk
7 Letters to Write Before You Turn 70 at The Art of Manliness
48 great examples of doodle art at Creative Bloq
Can You Call Yourself A Writer? at Thought Catalog
Rhodia Ice 80th Anniversary Notepad at Office Supply Geek
Lamy CP1: Quick Look at Ink Nouveau
5 Ways to Develop a Consistent Journaling Habit at Kaizen Journaling
Review: The Monteverde One Touch Stylus Tool Mechanical Pencil at Woodclinched
TWSBI Teases with More Eco Info and Images at FP Geeks
The Stylographic Pen of Edith Wharton at Palimpest
Rhodia Ice at A Penchant for Paper
Uni-ball Signo: A Comprehensive Guide at JetPens Blog
The Illuminated Sketchbook of Stephan Schriber (1494) at The Public Domain Review
Mailbox Goodies: Pen Jewelry at Gourmet Pens
Esterbrook Dollar Pen Review at The Pen Addict
In need of a writing surface last night, I found myself reaching for the yellow Rhodia tablet that I was sent a while back to compare against the standard Rhodia white paper. Someone had mentioned that the paper seemed different in more than just color, and the general consensus from the few folks who helped us perform a side-by-side comparison, is that the yellow paper is slightly toothier than its white counterpart. This to me, makes writing with a pencil simply sublime.
My only complaint is that the color of this paper is a little harsh for my eyes – which I think is ironic because yellow paper is supposed to be easier on the eyes than white. It seems to lean a little more greenish-yellow than what one may be used to from a standard yellow legal pad.
81 year old urban sketcher Frank Bettendorf was super excited about the new landscape Webbie notebooks so we sent him one to try out on his recent trip to the Channeled Scablands - a barren, relatively soil-free landscape in Eastern Washington. Click on any image below to view the full gallery.
I’m back home after seven great days recording my trip to the Channeled Scablands and I’m eager to share some of the experience with you. I shot three rolls of slides, two rolls of black & white, and did 27 sketches. I thought I’d send enough so you’ll at least get some feel for the trip..
I’ve been noticing a lot of people experimenting with orange inks recently and have wondered what may be influencing this trend. Do you have a favorite orange ink? I’m partial to J. Herbin’s Orange Indien and Diamine’s Pumpkin.
Image courtesy of Ed Jelley on Instagram – Be sure to also visit his blog edjelley.com.
I prefer hexagon shaped pencils sans eraser. I like the wood to sharpen cleanly and a lead that is slow to blunt for writing, I want the lead to erase cleanly with minimal effort.
For writing, I like an HB, B or 2B depending on the make of the pencil. Light sketching? 2H. I’m happy with a 2B for drawing & doodling. If I want dark, soft & smudgy, I use something in the range of 6B-9B. Overall, I prefer a certain amount of smooth regardless of the grade.
I think that the best way for me to test a pencil isn’t a side by side chart like the one above but to actually spend time writing and drawing with a variety of pencils on a variety of papers. (any old excuse to keep buying more art/writing supplies) The ones that don’t make the cut are banished to a coffee can in my studio for other people to use.
What particular features are important to you when selecting a wooden pencil for writing, drawing or doodling? What is your preferred method to compare one brand against another?
(#2 pencils are typically graded HB.)
Gratitude Journaling (by Kathy Paper Pumpkin) at Art Journaling
Monami Handy Highlighter at A Penchant for Paper
More about Pencil Tourism at The Well-Appointed Desk
Pilot Kaküno Fountain Pen Review at Write to Me Often
A Ferrule to Arms: Erasable #2 at Pencil Revolution
Weekly Loadout Submission – Alia L. at Ed Jelley
20 Creative Writing Careers at Writing Forward
The Handwritten Note at Daily Writing Tips
New Habana Notebook Cover Colors at Quo Vadis Blog
Journaling As Healing Process at Create Write Now with Mari
Guide to Choosing a Pair of Scissors at JetPens Blog
Journaling Exercise: Question of Faith at Kaizen Journaling
Office Size Clam Paper clipper at My Supply Room
Faber Castell 9000 HB pencils vintage matchboxes spotlight at Lung Sketching Scrolls
Montblanc Meisterstuck : The Masterpiece at Pen Boutique Blog
Featured Pen – Kaweco AL Sport – Stonewashed Black at Pens Paper Ink… Whatever!
Smooth As A Baby’s Bottom – Or Not at The Pen Addict
Image courtesy of my_name_pesca on Instagram.
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 »
Earlier in the year, I’d written a post about New Pens for the New Year and Jane Herman took the time to write about her wanting to try a new pen and then discovering an opportunity to test it in person. Be sure to visit Jane’s blog, Jane the Writer.
“For some time, I’ve been eying these Papermate Flair pens, but was reluctant to buy the whole set without the opportunity to try one first. My chance came yesterday, when my sister and I stumbled upon University Stationery just two doors down from the movie theater where we’d spent the afternoon. The bins of individual brightly colored pens waiting to be tested and the piles of Rhodia notebooks and pads caught my eye immediately in this high-end, but cramped independent stationery store in the neighborhood of NYU. It didn’t take much to convince my sister we should pop in, and like a kid in a candy store, I tested pen after pen after pen, even though I knew all along that the blue ultra fine Flair above would leave the store with me.
The pen, a gift from me to me, got its test run in the office today and passed with flying colors. The ink is smooth, the color vibrant, the line fine and sharp, and, best of all, it doesn’t bleed through the pages in my brand new planner! If this experience is a sign of things to come, 2014 is off to a great start!”
What new pens have you purchased this year so far?
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.
Our friend Sandra Strait from the blog “Life Imitates Doodles” recently performed an in-depth review on the Exacompta Basics Forum Journal with a Nostalgie Cover. The review includes an emphasis on how the paper responds both to writing implements and various art materials. You can find the full review here.