The Paper Project Week 1: Your Chance to Sample 3 Different Rhodia Products

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We have started The Paper Project as a way to allow 30 people each week to receive paper samples from products across the various Exaclair brands. Every Monday, we will be offering paper samples from 1-4 products to 30 people on a first come, first served basis. The paper will be mailed once we reach 30 participants and recipients will be notified via e-mail.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST – WE HAVE REACHED 30 PARTICIPANTS FOR THIS WEEK. TUNE IN NEXT MONDAY FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT 

Week 1 samples will include 1 sheet each of these 3 6×8″ Rhodia graph ruled products:

  • Rhodia Ice: white/grey/graph
  • Rhodia 80th Anniversary ivory/grey/graph
  • Rhodia Classic white/blue/graph

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 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?

  • 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.

Great New Opportunities to Sample Some Rhodia!

Rhodia Stack with Yellow Safari

Two great opportunities are on the immediate horizon which will allow you to sample Rhodia products, as well as paper from various other Exaclair brands like Clairefontaine, G Lalo and Exacompta. 

First up: In tomorrow’s post, we will be giving away 15 of the limited edition No. 80 Anniversary sets!

And then, on Monday, we are rolling out… The Paper Project!!!  And just what IS The Paper Project?

The Paper Project will offer 30 people each week (first come, first served) the opportunity to test and compare up to 3 sheets of paper from a wide variety of Exaclair products. We will look forward to hearing your feedback and comments about your experiences testing these samples on the giveaway page itself, and as always, you are more than welcome to write reviews of our products on your own personal blogs and or share your experiences with this project throughout your various social media outlets. (Tag #rhodiapaperproject on Instagram)

So… are you as excited about this project as we are???

 

Fountain Pen Friends: Do you use ink swatches?

J Herbin Ink Swatches

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to test a LOT of different colors/brands of fountain pen inks. (over 100!) Because I am a visual person, the best way for me to compare and contrast was to perform ink swatches and though my method was simple, you can make this process as detailed as you’d like. In the images I’ve attached here, I used cotton swabs to do 1, 2 and 3 swipes of each J. Herbin ink in a white drawing pad.

I also kept two separate journals that I only used for ink testing. One with white paper and one with ivory.

What process do you use to remember what all of your inks look like?

J Herbin Ink Swatches

J Herbin Ink Swatches

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.)

Link Share Friday: August Edition

ink and pen

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

Pilot Dr. Grip Full Black Dual Layer Grip Shaker Mechanical Pencil – 0.5 mm – Blue Accents at No Pen Intended

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

6 Ways Your Brain Tries To Kill Your Ideas And How To Fight Them at FastCompany

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

Sandra Strait reviews the Clairefontaine Calligraphy pad

The Secret Life of Seeds & Spores

“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. 

Flexible Nibbed Pens: Yay or Nay?

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. 

The Value of Your Product Reviews

Rhodia ICE Notepad Review

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.

Friday Link Share: June Edition

Rhodia R Pads

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

A Hand-Drawn Interview With the Man Behind Adobe’s Pen of the Future at Motherboard

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

Yellow

Rhodia Yellow

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.

Fred Pitts Review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Pencil Revolution review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Clickthing review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Ed Jelley’s comparison photos yellow/white Rhodia paper

Frank Bettendorf’s Trip to the Channeled Scablands

Schoolhouse-Road---Govan

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..

Continue Readering »

Orange on Orange

edjelley

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.

How do you test a pencil?

Rhodia Paper Pencil Test

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.) 

Link Share Friday: April Edition

my_name_pesca

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

10 of the Most Controversial Productivity Tips That Actually Work at Buffer

Journaling Exercise: Question of Faith at Kaizen Journaling

The Library: A World History Presents a Stunning Visual Survey of The World’s Great Libraries at Open Culture

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.

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 »

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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.