The Art of Journaling: Celebrating National Handwriting Day!

IMG_3450

It’s National Handwriting Day!

Today, when you put pen or pencil to paper, I challenge you to be more focused on how you write. Maybe take a little bit more time to construct each letter, each word, each sentence, etc.

What does your handwriting say about you? 

According to this video, my handwriting says that I am well adjusted and adaptable, can’t stand to be alone and that I crowd people. (Wha??) I am apparantly artistic and creative, logical and systematic, confident, comfortable in my own skin. yet private and introverted. It also says that I am detail oriented, organized and empathic.

Let’s see how that analysis holds up from one source to another. According to this article, Here’s What Your Handwriting Says About You at Business Insider, I am a people person and want to be understood and noticed. I am ruled by logic rather than emotion, am pragmatic and very solid. It says that I have strong emotions and feel things very intensely. That I may have had my hopes and dreams squelched, (?!?) and love to travel. I am logical, methodical and make decisions carefully. I don’t like clutter, (ha!) pay great attention to detail, and am aware of boundaries. Hmmm…

Be sure to leave a comment below telling us what your handwriting says about you!

What is National Handwriting Day all about? The National Writing Instrument Manufacturer’s Association (WIMA) has designated January 23rd to be National Handwriting Day, the purpose of which is to alert the public to the importance of handwriting.

“Handwriting can add intimacy to a letter and reveal details about the writer’s personality. Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.”

How to Celebrate National Handwriting Day at WikiHow offers handwriting inspired prompts such as, learning cursive, teaching someone else to write, and practicing your personal signature.

Interested in the value of cursive writing? Check out the Campaign for Cursive, an organization that believes that and writing is a life-long skill that should be available, taught, and practiced as part of a basic education for all children, regardless of whether they receive their education through public, private or home-schooling.

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!)

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

DSC05813

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!)

 

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

IMG_6869

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!

mugshot

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.

10520374_245631308968682_1198213767_n

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.

10507866_261243697402160_1081393533_n

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?

10706759_1547310205500496_763721249_n

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.

10831725_411351999018268_1876355736_n

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.)

10547334_465868793547581_1590459932_n

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.

10817865_1507848862827695_1022993798_n

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

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

Friday Link Share: December Edition

rhodiablack_larger_750

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.

Coming Soon on The Paper Project: More G Lalo Stationery

glalo_correspondance_750

In Week 2 of The Paper Project, we offered a sample from one of our most popular G Lalo products, “Vergé de France” stationery. In upcoming weeks, we will be offering the paper again in a variety of colors.

Not familiar with Vergé?

“The G. Lalo… What can I say? it really made me want to have someone to write a personal letter to. It is so fantastically aristocratic, and it feels so perfectly right to scribble a few words with my Pelikan M640 Polar Lights, I think it was made especially for such a pen.”

“The G. Lalo was very different. The moment I felt it I was intrigued, and man did it impress! It’s textured so writing on it with a pencil was not as smooth, but you can definitely feel the thickness. Using my fountain pen on it felt great! Very quick dry time.”

“…wishing for a G. Lalo paper filled sketchbook….made me want to draw on it. It had just enough tooth to make me feel when my pen/pencil was on the paper, but not so much that I felt like I was fighting it”

50 sheet tablets of this exquisite 100g laid paper are available in 5 3⁄4 x 8 1⁄4″  and 8 1⁄4 x 11 3⁄4″. Matching envelopes are available.

The 5 3⁄4 x 8 1⁄4″ is available in 00, 02, 03, 05, 06, 07*, 10, 16, 28
The 8 1⁄4 x 11 3⁄4″ is  available in 00, 02, 03*, 05*, 06, 07*, 10*, 16, 18*, 19*, 28

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 6.42.01 AM

TUNE IN JANUARY 5TH FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT  (The Paper Project is on holiday the weeks of December 22nd & 29th)

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

Subscribe to Rhodia Drive

Enter your email address:

  

Delivered by FeedBurner

Rhodia Drive on Facebook

Search Rhodia Drive

Find Rhodia to Buy

rhodiapads.com

Local retailers and full Rhodia product lines available in the US can be found at rhodiapads.com

Check out the Rhodia Journal Swap

Rhodia Journal Swap

Visit the Rhodia Journal Swap on Tumblr

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 »

Download the Life Noted App

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

Click here to read the story behind this video.


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.