Tuesday Talk Back: Who Are You?

Stephanie Smith

The subject of today’s Talk Back post is: Who are you, and what do you do? 

I am Stephanie Smith, and I am your Rhodia Driver. When people ask what I do, I often struggle to put it into a single word or phrase. The simplest answer would be, “I’m creative.” But that tends to not make sense to a lot of people.  A slightly longer answer would be something along the lines of, “I’m a writer. I’m also an artist, and I develop and offer creativity workshops designed to inspire, empower, and support people along their path.” Rhodia Drive and I found each other because of my intense love for tools that feed my creativity.

I believe creativity flows easier when working with tools you love.

I’ve been using Rhodia 8+ years and one of my current favorite products is the No. 16 top stapled pad in blank or dot. Cover color doesn’t matter. How do I use these? Typically to scrawl ideas for new projects and I’ve gone through a ton.

I also use the No. 18 (blank) the Classic Meeting Books, R pads… As long as it’s blank or dot, it’s high on my list. I am patiently waiting for spiral bound dot pads….

Now that I’ve had a moment to share, will you tell us a bit about yourself? Who are you, what do you do, and which is your favorite Rhodia product?

Week 9 of the Paper Project: Free Samples of BIG Rhodia Paper!

Rhodia No. 38

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. 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST – WE HAVE REACHED 50 PARTICIPANTS FOR THIS WEEK. TUNE IN JANUARY 5TH FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT 

(The Paper Project is on holiday the weeks of December 22nd & 29th)

Week 9 samples for the Paper Project include 2 sheets of Rhodia paper from the No. 38 pad – one with graph ruling, the other with dot ruling. 

The No. 38 Rhodia is 16 ½ x 12 ½ ” (A3+ 420 X 318 ) and features the following:

• 80 g acid-free, pH neutral paper
• Extra white paper, exceptionally smooth satin finish
• Pale violet lines, pale violet dots with 5mm interval
• Microperforated on top for easy and clean removal
• Reinforced staples for extra strength
• Cover is scored to neatly fold back – Top bound
• Stiff back cover makes writing or sketching easy and portable • 80 sheets

The No. 38 is available in graph ruling with an orange cover, and dot ruling with a black cover.

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?

  • How would you use this BIG paper? 
  • 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 section of the Week 1 Week 2,  Week 3Week 4Week 5, and Week 6 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!)

The Art of Journaling: Recording Holiday Traditions

Holiday Rhodia

Have you ever considered keeping a journal dedicated to holiday memories and traditions?

Here are a few journaling prompts to get you started:

Holiday foods: What are the traditional foods that you eat at the holidays? What new foods did you introduce this year? What came out perfect, and what needed improvement?

Mom and Gram each made a dense “filling” around the holidays and that was never like anyone else’s filling or stuffing that I knew. It wasn’t until years later that I figured out what they were making was actually a savory bread pudding

Holiday decorations: What decorations do you put out during the holidays? Are they family heirlooms, or are they new? Are they influenced by any cultural or religious traditions?

Growing up, we put silver icicle tinsel on our imitation tree with blinky lights and taped golden garland around the door frames along with Christmas cards from friends and family. Gram had a mini pre-decorated Charlie Brown style tree. It would take her 5 seconds to set up; she’d plug it in, drape a mini tree skirt under it and it was good  to go.

Favorite Gifts: What was your most favorite holiday gift ever? What gifts missed their mark?

One of my all-time favorite gifts was actually a birthday present from a friend. It was a small fabric bundle tied with a piece of yarn. Once opened, I discovered a tiny feather, a small seashell, a few beads from her favorite bracelet that had broken, a tiny piece of driftwood and some small rocks. (Mostly items I knew she’d collected along her many walks in nature) She’d placed the bundle inside a cardboard box that she’d collaged with meaningful images. 

 Who do you spend time with during the holidays? Do you always go home for the holidays? Spend it with friends?

When I was first with my husband, we’d go on a whirlwind tour to visit at least 5-8 different relatives. I especially liked spending Christmas Eve at my Mom’s. 

What cultural holiday traditions do you observe, or do you remember from when you were younger? 

What I remember most is all food related. Mom’s kiffles, Polish kielbasa, macaroni and potato salad. The filling I mentioned earlier. Ham with pineapple glaze. 

Need a few more prompts to jump-start your holiday journal? Take a look at the links below. 

30 Holiday Themed Journal Prompts at Art Journalist

December Writing Ideas: 30 Holiday Journal Prompts at Journal Buddies

Pen and Paper: Holiday Journaling Ideas at Carol Rubenstein

Tuesday Talk Back: What other Exaclair papers would you like to sample in the Paper Project? and, Oberon cover winners!

IMG_6873

8 weeks ago, we initiated The Paper Project; a weekly program which would permit people all over the world to sample a variety of Exaclair papers and so far, so good. Judging by the feedback we are receiving, you really appreciate the opportunity to try before you buy, and we really like hearing what you like and don’t like about the products you are sampling.

For today’s Talk Back, we’d like to know what other papers or products would you like to sample? G Lalo Stationery cards? Something from a Quo Vadis Planner?

Take a look at the Exaclair catalog here, and tell us what you’d like see offered in an upcoming week of The Paper Project.

Take note! The Paper Project will be on holiday hiatus starting December 22nd and returning on January 5th.

  • Week 8 Dec. 8th
  • Week 9 Dec 15th
  • On Hiatus Dec 22nd
  • On Hiatus Dec 29th
  • Week 10 Jan 5th

Oberon pocket-tree-of-life-open

PS: Winners of the 2 Leather Covers from Oberon Design are: Ashley Shell & smwebb! Congratulations! Each will include a pocket Webbie. 

 

Tuesday Talk Back: Do you fear the blank page?

Rhodia Blank Page

We have upon occasion, acknowledged the fear that some people have about starting a new journal. but this time round, I’m being literal when I mention the blank page. Blank, as in no ruling. No graph, no lines, no dots. Nothing to keep the words from moving from small to large or from falling off the page altogether.

If this is your fear, you may be suffering from Lackaruleophobia. Continue Readering »

Noteworthy: Guest Blogger Brian Goulet on Celebrating 5 years of GouletPens

Brian Goulet Pens

Five years ago on Nov. 17, 2009 my wife and I received our first shipment of Rhodia, Clairefontaine, and J. Herbin products from Exaclair to sell on our website, GouletPens.com. This was our first foray into fountain pen retailing, and we had a whole new world to discover.

We were new to online retailing, and brand new to the fountain pen world. We had our website that we’d been using to sell our hand-turned wood pens for the previous three years, in a failed former version of our business. We’d devoted three years of our lives trying to build up our company with wood pens, and we simply treaded water.

It wasn’t until I’d discovered fountain pens and the amazing community of folks that are into them that I found my new home. Attending the DC Fountain Pen Supershow in 2009 opened up my eyes to the fact that people are actually into this fountain pen thing, and my discovery of online communities like the Fountain Pen Network showed me that the internet was bringing us together in a way that wasn’t possible even just a few years before. Fountain pen users were no longer isolated from each other. Yes, maybe geographically we are spread out, but online we’re all together sharing with each other. I immediately recognized that this is what had been missing from my wood pen experience, and I dove in head-first to learn everything I possibly could about fountain pens and then turn it around and immediately share it back out freely on my own blog and in my YouTube videos. This laid the groundwork for my company today, and I’ve put out well over 1,000 blog posts and 600 videos with many more to come.

It’s very appropriate that the GouletPens anniversary falls right around Thanksgiving every year, because each year I’m thankful to have spent yet another year doing what I love. The pens, ink, and paper that make up this hobby are great. Though for me they’re not the most satisfying part of being “in the fountain pen business” after five years. It’s the people. Those of us who are into fountain pens have a connection with each other, one that’s hard to explain and even harder to find outside of this community. Because of the internet, blogging, and social media, we are able to find each other and share our knowledge and passion with one another in a way that was difficult to do even ten years ago. I consider myself to be unbelievably fortunate to have discovered fountain pens when I did, with the opportunity that was there for me to participate in the writing community like I do.

It’s no longer just about me and my wife, either. We have had two children since starting our company and been able to build a future for them. We have a team of amazing people that help us do what we do every day, twenty-four of us all working hard to share the fountain pen love. This is something I could not possibly have conceived when I wrote on my first Rhodia pad in 2009, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the community that has taught me so much.

I’m thankful for Exaclair, for allowing a once no-name online retailer like me to start to carry their products and represent their brands. I’m thankful to Stephanie Smith here at RhodiaDrive for blogging passionately and being a resource for me as a fountain pen newbie. I’m thankful for manufacturers like Rhodia who make consistent and reliable fountain-pen friendly products that greatly enhance our writing experience. And most of all I’m thankful for you as a reader of RhodiaDrive for reading and sharing your own knowledge of this writing lifestyle. Your passion and generosity of your knowledge is what drew me in to fountain pens five years ago, and that continues to inspire me to this day.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday Link Share : November Edition and Winner of The Divide

rhodia_ambience_laptop_750

Congratulations to Jeff Dickerson who is the winner of Mike Dudek’s The Divide pen holder! Stay tuned this coming week for another edition of The Paper Project on Monday, and a special giveaway of Oberon Leather journal covers this coming Wednesday! 

Noodler’s Konrad Dixie #10 Methuselah Ebonite Fountain Pen at Inkophile

Ink a Day at Palimpasest

Kalemlik / Pen Cup at Write to Me Often

The Pen Guardian is Serious Protection for your Classiest Pens- Review! at Fountain Pen Geeks

Don’t Write 1,000 Words a Day at Amy Hoy

My Eraser Crush: KOH-I-NOOR Magic Erasers at From the Pen Cup

Field Trip: Damen/Papier Royaal Den Haag at Gourmet Pens

Review: Levenger Circa Leather Pro Foilo Notebook in Black at The Well-Appointed Desk

What Kind of Book Reader Are You? A Diagnostics Guide at The Atlantic

Five Women Writers Tougher Than Hemingway at Book Riot

How to write calligraphy at Calligraphy Skills

OxyLED T120 Dimmable Eye-care LED Desk Lamp at Office Supply Geek

Ten rules for writing fiction at The Guardian

The New GouletPens.com is Here! at Ink Nouveau

What to put in a sketchbook at Medium.com

Regal 82 William Fountain Pen Review at The Pen Addict

Omas Ogiva Alba Fountain Pen Review at EdJelley.com

Why is doctors’ handwriting so bad? at Health24

5 ways your thank-you note could lose you the job at Mashable

16,000 Pages of Charles Darwin’s Writing on Evolution Now Digitized and Available Online at Open Culture

Black Pen Comparison at A Penchant for Paper

Friday Sketches at Dion Dior

Can You Guess Which Pen Name Belongs To Which Famous Author? at BuzzFeed

Win a Graf von Faber-Castell luxury pen worth £310.50 at The Pen Company

Art Journal Every Day: Art Journal Playground at The Ink Pad at Balzer Designs

How Many Ways Can I Draw Lines? at Daisy Yellow Blog

Catalogs at Contrapuntalism

Watercolor Wednesday with Schut-12 at Life Imitates Doodles

Re-Starting a Fizzled-Out Notebook? at Notebook Stories

Journaling Prompts: About Making Mistakes at Writing Through Life

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!

Tuesday Talk Back: Ink Colors on Ivory Paper – Yay or Nay?

Ivory Rhodia Paper

I’ve always been a big fan of the way ink colors look on off-white or ivory paper and I’m glad to know that some of the folks from week 1 of The Paper Project discovered that they liked it as well.

“…first time trying ivory paper and I liked it a lot! I noticed that it really brought out some of the fountain pen ink colors”

“I agree…that the ivory paper of the Rhodia 80th really made the colors of the inks (gels and ballpoints) pop.”

“I was surprised with how the colors I like to use (relatively muted greens and greys) actually looked nice on the Rhodia 80th Anniversary ivory/grey/graph paper.”

“…although I prefer a lighter ivory paper, warm-toned inks look great on this one!”

“I really love Ivory paper, my absolute favourite in the lot. It enhances fountain pen ink colors.”

What do you think about using colored inks on ivory paper? Does it enhance the way the ink looks, or do you find it distracting? When choosing inks, do you think about how they will look on a warmer toned paper?

The Paper Project Week 2: Your Chance to Sample 3 Different Blank Papers

Clairefontaine Triomphe

The Paper Project is our way to offer a variety of Exaclair paper samples to 50 (FIFTY! We’ve increased it to Fifty!) 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 and recipients will be 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 

Week 2 samples will include 1 sheet each of these 3 6×8″blank Exaclair products:

  • Clairefontaine Graf It 
  • G Lalo Stationery (white) 
  • Clairefontaine Triomphe

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.

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!) 

 

Retailer Spotlight: Fountain Pen Hospital in New York City

Fountain Pen Hospital

Image by fountainpenhospital on Instagram

Look at all that Rhodia in the beautiful new showcases at the Fountain Pen Hospital, located at 10 Warren Street, New York, NY 10007. The Fountain Pen Hospital is a retailer of fine writing instruments, ink & stationery and has also been repairing pens since 1946- an era when the only types of pens being used were fountain pens!

Fountain Pen Hospital

Image by RW Sinclair on Flickr

FOUNTAIN PEN HOSPITAL was founded in 1946 by Phil Wiederlight and Al Wiederlight (the father and grandfather, respectively, of today’s proprietors – Terry and Steve Wiederlight). Terry and Steve have a combined 60 years experience in all phases of vintage and modern writing instruments. Joining them in January of 1997 as Director of Operations, was Ed Fingerman who brought an additional 20+ years experience in fine writing instruments to the firm. Ed is a former President of Pen Collectors of America, a regular contributor to The Pennant, and has contributed to Pen World and numerous vintage pen books. (from the Fountain Pen Hospital website. Be sure to check them out online as well as in person when visiting the city.) 

Rhodia Anniversary Video! Take a look into the Rhodia factory

manufacturing3_750

Rhodia is celebrating its 80th birthday! Take a look at the video below for a behind the scenes look at the Rhodia factory. See below the video for an English translation of the French.

Here is the newest Rhodia product, with its white color and metallic logo – offering a nod of recognition to the technology (cell phones) of today. For 80 years, the Rhodia brand has stood resilient- watching change after change in the way people communicate with one another, proving that nothing beats a great pad of paper. 

Geraldine Muller product manager: “The Rhodia pad is timeless. – which is the way Rhodia founders wanted it from the beginning.  The Rhodia logo and characteristics have remained the same. The only changes have been the introduction of the black cover in 2007 and now this year in white for its 80th birthday with a silver logo. It is a sort of wink to the digital with whom it gets along very well.”

40 people at the plant have produced 10 millions pads, and other than the color of the cover, the pads have not really changed since 1934 when two brothers from Lyon started with this simple orange pad with 80 sheets, and 80g paper, staple bound at top, To this day, it remains 100% made in France.

Patrick Sartre, plant manager: “We have both the people formed and ‘faithful’ to the company as well as the tools specialized for this product. With this winning combination there is no need to move away in order to stay abreast of the competition.”

Finally the 5000 tons of paper we use are guaranteed to protect the environment and the socio-conomic role of the forests.  Knowing that 11% of forests are harvested for paper, it is a very respectable accomplishment.

More Rhodia Yellow?

Yellow Rhodia

We have started to receive requests for the yellow Rhodia paper to be available in additional options. Is there a particular format or ruling that you’d like to see filled with the yellow paper? dotYellow? Or yellow paper in the Meeting Book?

We are always very appreciative of your feedback regarding the design of our products.

Who would like to see more options in wirebound Rhodia products?

Wirebound spiral Rhodia pad

Exaclair currently offers a limited variety of Rhodia wirebound (spiral) notebooks and we’d like to know if you like them, how you are using them, and whether or not you’d like to see additional options made available in the future. I myself would love to see anything blank or dot- especially a dotReverse.

Current options can be seen here and include products such as the Wirebound Notebooks, 4 Color Book, Elasti Book, Reverse Book, Top Wirebound Pads and two versions of the Meeting books.

Creative Prompt: Notes to Your Younger Self

G Lalo Stationery

If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?

Would you offer kind words of support and encouragement? Talk about potential pitfalls? Tell yourself that things will only get better?

Sometimes (when I sit down and really think about it) I subscribe to the theory that all time is now and that every version of us is happening at the same moment- that if you offer love, coaching, advice etc., to a younger version of yourself, that it can positively affect who we are in the supposed here and now.

I happened upon this theory as one day when I happened to recall my failed audition for the junior high majorette squad. It wasn’t only baton twirling skills that I’d fallen short of, but also cheerleading, rifle squad, basketball… I’d noticed that I no longer take risks in that same way and I’d wished that I could tell her to not be discouraged and to keep trying.

And so I did.

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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 »

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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.