Contest Alert! Enter Now to Win 1 of 20 Rhodia 80th Anniversary Sets!

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Contest Alert! Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 20 of the appropriately named No. 80 Rhodia 80th Anniversary gift sets!

This limited edition gift set includes a 6 x 8 1/4″ (14.8 x 21 cm) notepad featuring 90g ivory paper with our classic grid in a light grey ink. It also includes an 80th anniversary pencil!  A copper-colored Rhodia name and logo appears on both sides of the pad, with a special 80th anniversary emblem on the back cover.

This contest is open to world-wide participants and will be remain open until midnight EST on Tuesday, February 3rd 2015. 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) 

The Paper Project: Update

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Beginning this week, The Paper Project, Rhodia Drive’s free paper sampling program will be switching to every other week. We will resume with week 13 on Monday, February 2nd. 

The following list shows which products were offered during the first twelve weeks of the project. Clicking on the links will take you to each week’s page where you can read all of the comments and feedback the participants have posted.

Week 1: Rhodia Ice (white/grey/graph), Rhodia 80th Anniversary (ivory/grey/graph) and Rhodia Classic (white/blue/graph)

Week 2: Clairefontaine Graf It, G Lalo Stationery (white), Clairefontaine Triomphe

Week 3: Lined: Rhodia Webnotepad (same as 90g Webbie paper) R Premium 90g, Rhodia 80g

Week 4: Clairefontaine Pastel Graph paper, Exacompta Pastel Index Card

Week 5:  Rhodia 80g from the following: No. 8, (3 x 8 ¼”), No. 10 (2 x 3″), No.16 (6 x 8 ¼ “), No. 19 (8 ¼ x 12 ½ “)

Week 6:  Clairefontaine 90g paper in Lined, Lined w/ Margin, and Seyes (French Ruled)

Week 7:  Classic Rhodia Meeting Book and the Rhodia Meeting Book 90

Week 8: Clairefontaine Graf-It paper in both blank and dot ruling

Week 9: Rhodia 16 ½ x 12 ½ ” No. 38 pad  – graph and dot ruling

Week 10: Clairefontaine Triomphe, Clairefontaine 90g and the R by Rhodia Premium (All 90g)

Week 11: Rhodia 80G in Graph, Lined, Blank and Dot

Week 12:  Blank Clairefontaine Graf it, Triomphe and Exacompta FAF

Noteworthy: Kate Gladstone The Handwriting Repairwoman

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Kate Gladstone teaches and remediates handwriting for individuals/audiences in the USA and elsewhere, as CEO of Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works. Kate is also Director of the World Handwriting Contest. Her preference for Rhodia (generally the dot-grid format) is on grounds of quality and Kate mostly uses it with 1.5 mm italic pens, often Lamy with a teal ink (Diamine Teal or Noodler’s Squeteague.)

RD What led you on this particular career path?

I came to this career because, at age 24, I was struggling to improve my own (then) slow, painful, illegible, and ugly handwriting — a consequence of dysfunctional education along with some neurological disorders (most of which had not yet been diagnosed) As I improved my own handwriting, people whom I knew encouraged me to teach others.

My success (teaching myself and then others) — particularly interested my father, who had experienced lifelong handwriting difficulties similar to mine: during and after his Palmer Method childhood. He was the one who most encouraged me: I formally opened Handwriting Repair (now Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works) with classes offered to hospital doctors as part of staff development and quality control initiatives — in several cases, the hospitals had been on the point of losing accreditation, and/or individual doctors had been considered at high risk of facing malpractice charges, because of the consequences of poor handwriting in healthcare.

For over a decade, until electronic prescribing became common (and brought problems of its own), healthcare practitioners composed about 2/3 of my clientele. Today, my clients are anyone from schoolchildren to teenagers — some of whom contact me on their own initiative, having found me on the Internet — to folks of any age who simply want their handwriting to work, for a change (and who therefore are willing to change it so that it will work)

Additionally, many of those aged 35 and under have discovered that they cannot read cursive — and that this has numerous personally and professionally embarrassing consequences. (Fortunately, one can learn to read cursive in about an hour, because one does not have to learn to write cursive in order to learn to read it. I have taught people as young as four to read cursive if they read print — teaching that I do either personally or through the free iPad app “Read Cursive,” on which I collaborated with the educational software company WebTeamCorp.)

Nowadays, I check every new client to see if he or she can read cursive accurately and fluently — or at all. I’d the client cannot read cursive, then I teach cursive reading along with teaching italic handwriting. (In fact, I teach cursive reading by showing how cursive derived, step by step, from simpler and more legible letter formations such as those still used in italic.)

RD Why is handwriting important to you?

Handwriting matters to me for several reasons:

/1/ It’s useful and important to have a means of making your thoughts, transactions, and communications permanent without an electric power supply. Doctors and others in New Orleans found this out the hard way during Hurricane Katrina.

Just days after the worst of the disaster was being overcome in one Florida town, their largest local hospital flew me in to give the doctors some emergency handwriting training because the hospital’s Medical Records staff couldn’t read most of the handwritten records the doctors created in the four days during which the storm had knocked out the hospital’s power system and therefore the computers.

Handwriting and disaster coalesced in another way on that trip — at the hotel where the hospital had reserved me a room during my visit. Guests arriving, including me, were not being allowed to check-in because check-in depended on electronic key-cards — which weren’t working: eventually, someone had the bright idea of going out to hunt up old, retired staffers and asking them how people had checked into the hotel before computer. The answer — the hotel’s ledger book — had been in the basement since the 1980s: under a thick layer of dust, which the retired ex-staffer fetching the book had to blow off before using to teach the other staffers how to use a handwritten ledger to check the guests in.

/2/ There is some research evidence (citations on request) that students who write by hand remember more, learn better, and think more actively about their work than students who use only keyboards. PLEASE NOTE that these gains appear in all forms of handwriting, including print-writing. This point deserves emphasis because too many promoters of cursive, when they quote the research, have quietly altered the reports’ findings to generate “scientific proof” that of a superiority for cursive. This would matter less if such documentable inaccurate statements about research were ‘t made — as they are usually made — to legislators and to other decision-makers,

/3/ A third reason that handwriting to me — at school, handwriting washouts (which I once was) are often jeered (even considered unintelligent) by peers, parents, and even teachers. No child (or adult) should be subjected to this still-permitted bigotry.

RD How can one get started to improve their writing? 

To get started on improving your own writing would be a column in itself — that subject needs and deserves more than one article. Here, though, are tips that most of us can use:

■ Cross lowercase t’s as you write them. Don’t wait to go back after the entire word is written.

■ Simplify the downstrokes of letters, by keeping them as free from curves as you can, and using only about a 5-degree to 15-degree slant to the right (too much slant causes poor legibility). A slight right slant is easier to read, in a left-to-right alphabet like ours, than a slight left slant.

■ Eliminate loops wherever possible. Simply retrace your initial stroke on ascenders, or lift the pen without looping on descenders. (Most adults who write fast but legibly normally eliminate some or many loops and joiners in their handwriting.)

■ Join letters with straight lines, not curves. For example, join o to n with a straight, short horizontal line.

■ Be aware of the research on speed and legibility, Current research (citations on request) show that the highest speed and highest legibility in handwriting belong to those whose writing is print-like and semi-joined: joining only where the joins are structurally easiest and least accident-prone.

■ Use very simple, even “print-like,” formations of letters, even when they are capitals and/or are joined. Remember, capitals form only 2% of ordinary prose text (they should not receive 50+% of the elaboration and effort)

■ Most people should position the paper so that its center is in front of the writing-arm’s shoulder. To keep it in place, and move it as needed after a few words, use your non-writing hand — perhaps with a paperweight or a stress ball.

■ Even if you do nothing else as you write, quietly ask yourself — for a split-second, as you finish each letter or numeral, “Did I make this letter well — unambiguously legible — and was it easy to do so without risking accidents in the handwriting?” If you can honestly answer YES to both halves of the question, require yourself to wrote the next alphabet-letter or numeral a tiny bit faster. However, if you must honestly answer “No” for both parts, require yourself to wrote the next alphabet-letter or numeral a tiny bit slower. This — even if just for a few minutes a day — is a powerful means of developing legibility and speed in your handwriting, and an equally powerful means of developing your ability to perceive and evaluate these features of your own handwriting.

Please visit Kate on the web at:Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works.

Read Cursive app is specially designed to help children (and others) learn letters, sentences, words, and stories in different and interesting style. In short, this app will help the users get familiar with cursive handwriting that is going to help them learn even difficult handwriting faster.

Week 12 of The Paper Project: Free Samples of Blank Papers!

Exacompta FAF Pad, Clairefontaine Triomphe and Graf it Pads

Exacompta FAF Pad, Clairefontaine Triomphe and Graf it Pads

The Paper Project puts FREE Exaclair paper samples in your hands – allowing you to try before you buy. Each Monday, we will be offering samples from 1-4 Exaclair products to the first 50 people who sign up within that week. There is no limit to how many weeks you can sign up, and each week’s participants will be notified via e-mail that the samples are on their way. 

WEEK 12 OF THE PAPER PROJECT IS NOW CLOSED- THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST. TUNE IN MONDAY FEBRUARY 2ND FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT

Week 12 samples for the Paper Project include: 1 blank sheet from each of the 6×8″ Clairefontaine Graf it and Triomphe pads, and 1 blank sheet from the the 4 1⁄4 x 7 1⁄4″ Exacompta FAF pad

How do these papers compare for your every day needs? We can’t wait to hear!

If you have been chosen to receive samples, 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?

  • Tell us what you like/don’t like about the paper: surface texture, ruling, ink, etc.
  • 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 Week 6 at bjw-draw

“My favorite paper this week was the french rule. I could not resist using the grid to create a drawing. It is a back ground and it is a map to a drawing. The blue of the ball point pen complemented the blue of the french rule. If you like graph paper this should be on your must try list.”

Fun with Paper Samples from Rhodia Drive  at K.C. Dockal: Scribbling by the Bayou

“European paper makers come through with great stuff. No big surprise there. Is this Big Box, grade-school priced stuff? No. They aren’t ridiculously expensive either. All three are worth giving a go if you love to write letters and/or draw.”

#RhodiaPaperProject Week 4 at Squirrel Sentiments

“I have tried several papers from several manufacturers and Exaclair remains my personal standard to which all other paper is compared.  The supercalendaring they do puts a smooth and buttery finish on the pages.  They achieve this while maintaining the paper’s ability to absorb ink, but not feather, and dry relatively quickly.  All this while holding international best in class environmental consciousness and sustainability.”

You can also check out the reviews that people are posting in the comment sections of posts from Week 1 Week 2,  Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8 and Week 9

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: Nibmeister Richard Binder filmed by National Geographic

Richard Binder on NatGeo

Did you know that there are only about half a dozen people in the world who do what Richard Binder does? With great pride and skill, Richard repairs fountain pens inside and out and restores them to pristine working condition. Most people know Richard as a “Nibmeister”  – a skilled person who can improve, repair, or even reform the nib of a fountain pen. He’s been honing his craft and repairing fountain pens professionally since 2000 in his home in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Please watch the National Geographic video below to watch Richard in action and be sure to visit his website RichardsPens.com which is jam packed with interesting articles, reference pages, and of course, customized nibs.

Tuesday Talk Back: Keeping it in, or tearing it out?

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Today’s Talk Back subject: Do you keep all of the pages intact in your notebooks/tablets or are you ok with removing them?

In a perfect world I’d like to keep everything intact in all my tablets, spiral notebooks and bound journals. Why? Because in my mind, there is something both powerful and rewarding about seeing a tablet or book filled with ideas representational of a specific period in time.

In reality, my only rule is to keep bound books intact and sometimes spiral notebooks fall into that category, sometimes not. Tablets on the other hand, are regularly cannibalized for whatever task at hand.

I am most effective when I am able to work visually – which means sometimes spreading 53 individual pages out on the floor (or taping them to a wall) so I can get a better sense of how things fit together. These sheets can often be found clipped together and somewhat embarrassingly stored in gallon sized zip-lock freezer bags. (Though they are not stored in the freezer.) 

What works for you? In or out?

Week 11 of The Paper Project: Rhodia Rules! Free Samples of 4 Rhodia Rulings

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The Paper Project puts FREE Exaclair paper samples in your hands – allowing you to try before you buy. Each Monday, we will be offering samples from 1-4 Exaclair products to the first 50 people who sign up within that week. There is no limit to how many weeks you can sign up, and each week’s participants will be notified via e-mail that the samples are on their way. 

WEEK 11 OF THE PAPER PROJECT IS NOW CLOSED- THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST. TUNE IN NEXT MONDAY FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT

Week 11 samples for the Paper Project include 1 6×8″ sheet each of classic 80g Rhodia paper in each of its rulings: Graph, Lined, Blank and Dot. 

Rhodia products include a variety of sizes and bindings. Rulings vary by product. Please visit RhodiaPads.com for specifics.

If you have been chosen to receive samples, 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?

  • Tell us what you like/don’t like about the paper: surface texture, ruling, ink, etc.
  • 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 Week 6 at bjw-draw

“My favorite paper this week was the french rule. I could not resist using the grid to create a drawing. It is a back ground and it is a map to a drawing. The blue of the ball point pen complemented the blue of the french rule. If you like graph paper this should be on your must try list.”

Rhodia Paper Project: Weeks 1-5 at Clickthing

On the No.8 offered in week 5: “If you don’t have a ruler handy, think “bookmark size” or “shopping list size.” I own a gridded variant of this, and I use it for both purposes. It’s just wide enough to get a decent list written down, and plenty long for use as a notes/bookmark. Consider using one to keep characters straight in your next Russian novel.”

Fun with Paper Samples from Rhodia Drive  at K.C. Dockal: Scribbling by the Bayou

“European paper makers come through with great stuff. No big surprise there. Is this Big Box, grade-school priced stuff? No. They aren’t ridiculously expensive either. All three are worth giving a go if you love to write letters and/or draw.”

#RhodiaPaperProject Week 4 at Squirrel Sentiments

“I have tried several papers from several manufacturers and Exaclair remains my personal standard to which all other paper is compared.  The supercalendaring they do puts a smooth and buttery finish on the pages.  They achieve this while maintaining the paper’s ability to absorb ink, but not feather, and dry relatively quickly.  All this while holding international best in class environmental consciousness and sustainability.”

You can also check out the reviews that people are posting in the comment sections of posts from Week 1 Week 2,  Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8 and Week 9

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!)

 

Tuesday Talk Back: What are you writing?

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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.

Week 10 of the Paper Project: Free Samples of Premium Papers!

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The Paper Project puts FREE Exaclair paper samples in your hands – allowing you to try before you buy. Each Monday, we will be offering samples from 1-4 Exaclair products to the first 50 people who sign up within that week. There is no limit to how many weeks you can sign up, and each week’s participants will be notified via e-mail that the samples are on their way. 

WEEK 10 OF THE PAPER PROJECT IS NOW CLOSED- THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST. TUNE IN NEXT MONDAY FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT

Week 10 samples for the Paper Project include: 1 6×8″ line ruled sheet each of Clairefontaine Triomphe, Clairefontaine 90g and the R by Rhodia Premium pads.

Each of these papers is 90g, pH neutral and acid-free. The Clairefontaine papers are bright white, and the Rhodia R is ivory.

The Clairefontaine 90g paper is available in a wide variety of products.

The Clairefontaine Triomphe is available in two sizes (6×8″ and 8×11″) and two rulings. (blank and ruled) Matching envelopes are also available.

R by Rhodia Premium Pads are available in three sizes, (3×4″, 6×8″ and 8×11″)  two rulings. (blank and ruled) and with either black or orange covers. There is also a gift set available.

If you have been chosen to receive samples, 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?

  • Tell us what you like/don’t like about the paper: surface texture, ruling, ink, etc.
  • 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 Week 6 at bjw-draw

“My favorite paper this week was the french rule. I could not resist using the grid to create a drawing. It is a back ground and it is a map to a drawing. The blue of the ball point pen complemented the blue of the french rule. If you like graph paper this should be on your must try list.”

Rhodia Paper Project: Weeks 1-5 at Clickthing

On the No.8 offered in week 5: “If you don’t have a ruler handy, think “bookmark size” or “shopping list size.” I own a gridded variant of this, and I use it for both purposes. It’s just wide enough to get a decent list written down, and plenty long for use as a notes/bookmark. Consider using one to keep characters straight in your next Russian novel.”

Fun with Paper Samples from Rhodia Drive  at K.C. Dockal: Scribbling by the Bayou

“European paper makers come through with great stuff. No big surprise there. Is this Big Box, grade-school priced stuff? No. They aren’t ridiculously expensive either. All three are worth giving a go if you love to write letters and/or draw.”

#RhodiaPaperProject Week 4 at Squirrel Sentiments

“I have tried several papers from several manufacturers and Exaclair remains my personal standard to which all other paper is compared.  The supercalendaring they do puts a smooth and buttery finish on the pages.  They achieve this while maintaining the paper’s ability to absorb ink, but not feather, and dry relatively quickly.  All this while holding international best in class environmental consciousness and sustainability.”

You can also check out the reviews that people are posting in the comment sections of posts from Week 1 Week 2,  Week 3Week 4Week 5, Week 6Week 7Week 8 and Week 9

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: Interview with Ian Hedley, UK Teacher and Blogger from Pens! Paper! Pencils!

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My name’s Ian Hedley, I’ve been teaching since 1993 and I still haven’t got the hang of it. The schools I’ve worked in have tended to be in the parts of nice towns that people don’t live in if they can afford to live in nicer parts of the nice town. Lots of wonderful students, of course. I’ve taught a lot of subjects and some of them I’ve taught well(ish). The less said about my brief stint as a PE teacher the better though. I’m just glad no-one died.

RD: I can see from your Instagram images that your choice of pens, paper, & pencils are important to you when you sketch. Do they have equal value to you as a teacher? Do you do any lesson planning on paper? Any favorite Rhodia/Clairefontaine products for teacher related tasks?

Ian: I’m a headteacher these days and so don’t do as much actual teaching as I used to. I do make sure my students have access to something better than a nameless ballpoint, though, and they do appreciate it. I do plan my lessons on paper, using a printed template I came up with. Although computers are central to my work, I think better on paper.

I use a Rhodia No.16 plain notepad every day, for taking my own notes in meetings. A meeting is made a lot more interesting with a good pen on great paper.

RD: What prompted you to begin sketching? How long have you been doing it, and what advice do you have to others who would like to start?

Ian: I don’t remember when I started sketching, it was something I always did as a child. As a young teenager I used to take myself off to the river and sit and draw. As I got older I drew posters for rock discos and the band I was in but then I stopped for something like twenty years. Then, a couple of years ago, I developed a new interest in pens, pencils and paper (actually, I rekindled an old interest) and began sketching again because I wanted more ways to use them. The tools drove the act to start with but at some point I just became hooked. Now I have to draw every day. If I don’t, I get twitchy. I’m addicted.

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That’s the best advice I could give to anyone who wants to draw, too. Draw every day. It doesn’t matter what. I don’t have any special talent, I just love to do it and the more I’ve drawn the better I’ve got. I hope I can keep getting better because I’m a long way from being as good as I’d like to be.

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I think when you’re not as good at something as you’d like to be, you can either give up or you can try even harder to get better. If you want to draw, keep trying harder and you will get there. Anyone who can see and can hold a pencil can draw.

RD: Which are your favorite Rhodia/Clairefontaine products and why, and what are your favorite pens/inks/pencils?

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Ian: The Rhodia No. 16 notepad is my favourite notepad. The paper is wonderful with fountain pens. The white paper lights up inks and there’s never any feathering or bleeding. Because it tears away easily, I can scan my notes into the computer as I make them. This is important in my work.

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I love the GraF it sketchbook. The paper is great with pencils and ink and, again, it tears out easily. All the Clairefontaine sketchbooks I’ve tried have been excellent. A nice fine grain and a bright white colour.

I love J. Herbin inks, too. They do delicate colours so well. Vert Olive and Ambre de Bermanie are beautiful. And I can’t let a discussion of Rhodia products go by without mentioning the Webnotebook. The best notebook is its kind: fantastic paper, great binding, practical cover. (I just wish it was available with pure white paper.)

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As far as non-Rhodia/Clairefontaine products are concerned, my favourite sketching pencils are Tombow Mono 100s and for writing I’m enjoying the General’s Cedar Pointe. My favourite inks seem to change every week, I’m very fickle. As for favourite pens, I love demonstrators and brass pens. My current favourites are the Kaweco Liliput, Pilot Custom 74 and Platinum #3776 Sai.

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Find Ian on the web via his Twitter account @ian_hedley and on Instagram under user name banana_moon. Ian also blogs at Pens! Paper! Pencils! where he reviews a variety of stationery products, and offers additional images of his amazing art. A few of Ian’s Exaclair related reviews include:

Rhodia pencil review

Rhodia Webnotebook (A5, lined) notebook review

Rhodia No. 16 Block Notepad review

Clairefontaine GraF it 90g sketchbook review

The Art of Journaling: New Journal for a New Year

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There’s nothing like a new journal for a new year. Was one of your holiday gifts a new journal? Need help getting started? Here’s a few ideas on how to use it: 

You can use it as a personal diary, which would include entries arranged by date, reporting on what has happened over the course of a day, week, etc. A personal diary might include personal experiences, and/or thoughts or feelings. It may also include comments on current events outside your direct experience

You can use it as a commonplace book- essentially a handwritten scrapbook filled with items of every kind: recipes, quotes, letters, poems, proverbs, prayers, etc. Commonplace books are useful as an aid in remembering useful concepts or facts, and each book becomes unique to its owners particular interests.

You could use your new journal as an urban sketchbook – one where you practice drawing on location in cities, towns and villages you live in or travel to. (Take a look at the Urban Sketchers Flickr Pool for inspiration.)

rhodiarama-webbies

The purple journal shown above is a Rhodiarama Webbie. These notebooks are available in two sizes: Large 5 ½ x 8 ¾ ” & Pocket 3 ½ x 5 ½ ” and in 15 colors: Black, Chocolate, Taupe, Beige, Anise, Turquoise, Sapphire, Iris, Purple, Lilac, Raspberry, Poppy, Tangerine, Orange & Yellow

Show us the goods!

Pelikan 1935, Originals of their Time

Pelikan 1935, Originals of their Time

Did you receive a new fountain pen for Christmas? Bottles of Herbin ink under the tree? A stocking filled with Rhodia? Show us! We’d love to add your images to our Rhodia Fan photo pages. Simply send your images using the title of the page you are submitting as the subject line and send to, stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com and we will review for publication.

Rhodia: In Your Bag

Rhodia: On Your Desk

Rhodia: Favorite Pens

Rhodia: Favorite Pencil

Remember – the Paper Project starts back up next Monday and will be the 1st of 2015!

Image above courtesy of Randy Schaffer

Noteworthy Graphic and Web Designer Kelly Wirht talks about using Rhodia

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I’m Kelly Wirht, a graphic and web designer based in Los Angeles, CA. I have always been interested in design, photography, and computers, so I decided to get my BA in Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. I graduated in 2010, and since then I have been working as a visual designer, with a focus on all things digital – web sites, mobile apps, social media, and digital graphics.

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Although most of my projects are digital, I love writing, sketching, and drawing. I use my Rhodia dot pads ALL the time. They’re perfect for wireframing a website or sketching logo concepts. And the dots make them easy to scan in and use in Photoshop as well.

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I also used the graph paper pad to learn and practice calligraphy. The thick, high-quality paper absorbs the ink and the lines give extra guidance. Hand lettering and calligraphy add a unique touch to any project. Although we live in an increasingly digital age, I feel it’s important to continue to create and make things by hand.

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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.

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In Your Bag

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of Rhodia in your bag to: stephanie at rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page.  ... Read on »

Rhodia Customization Module

Visit our customization module at Exaclair.com

Grab Your Camera and Show us Where You Buy Your Rhodia!

Target? Dick Blick? Borders? Art Brown? We want you to show us where you buy your Rhodia... The next time you are out and about,  snap us a picture of where you buy your Rhodia products so we can assemble an online gallery of local retailers. To... Read on »

Favorite Pens

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of your favorite pen: stephanie@rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page. ... Read on »

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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Life Noted App

Visit the App Store on your iOS 7 device to download Life Noted

Would you like to be a guest blogger on Rhodia Drive?

If so, contact me via e-mail at stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com with your proposed subject matter. We are looking for posts ranging in length from 100-500 words. Photos to accompany the article are a welcome bonus. If you have been reading... Read on »

Journaling Blogs

Archives

Exaclair Themed Videos

Rhodia Anniversary Video

Rhodia Classic Pad Showcase

PanPastel and Rhodia

Rhodia Fashion Show

Tom Bihn loves Rhodia

Clairefontaine Basics - Life. Unplugged

InkNouveau.com Clairefontaine vs. Rhodia

Alberto Lung reviews the Rhodia Pencil

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.