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.)
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
This week’s Noteworthy Guest Blogger is sketchbook artist Bonnie Jean Woogler.
Over time I have wondered how to describe myself and my work. Recently I have come to think of myself as a sketchbook artist. The filling of a sketchbook is not a means to an end, but it is the creative work.
The form, the shape, and the weight of the notebook/sketchbook is the vessel for the artwork. Each page flows into the next, making my internal world external. This is a creative process and finished work that has come from a lifetime of day jobs and limited time for creative work. I can carry a sketchbook with me everywhere and allow the creative thought to flow in and around all the day job demands. The sketchbook/notebook is the work; it is the lifeline to always being with the drawings and the internal creative world.
The discovery of the Rhodia notebooks has been a luxury. I have spent many years making my own books or simply using the next one I find.
The Rhodia Journal book, hard cover with the dot paper, (Webnotebook) is my favourite. The dots are a wonderful background for my drawings and collages.
One of the qualities that make the Rhodia books a real luxury is that the binding holds up to my abuse.
The quality I love the most is that the paper is totally compatible with and receptive to the assortment of pens and pencils I use in my work.
Contest Alert! Enter now for your chance to win one of these two U.S.A. Artisan Made Leather Pocket Notebook Covers by Oberon Design. You will win our choice of either the Tree of Life or the Bold Celtic covers. Each will include a pocket sized Rhodia Webnotebook in our choice of color/ruling.
This contest is now closed for entries. Thanks to all that entered!
Love your pocket Webbie? Oberon Design’s tooled, bench crafted covers will mold itself to your notebook over time and develop a gorgeous, polished patina. See more cover designs here. Many thanks to the good folks at Oberon Design for offering us these stunning items to be raffled off on Rhodia Drive.
This contest is open to US residents only and will be remain open until midnight EST on Monday December 8th. The winners will be chosen at random and announced on the blog on Tuesday December 9th. 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.
*Note: These covers and notebooks will be shipped by Exaclair but if you want to order your own from Oberon, they close their shop on December 22nd and will re-open on January 6th 2015. Since products are made as they are ordered, folks on the east coast should order by Dec 15th to insure arrival of goods that are mailed or shipped UPS ground. During most of the year, Oberon Design makes and ships these covers within 2-3 days but at this time of year it can extend to 8-9 days if they are really slammed – so, to be on the safe side, don’t wait till the last minute to order.
Please feel free to share this post on your own blog, or on any of your preferred social media outlets.
If you regularly use a bound notebook or journal, what size do you prefer, and why?
My go-to size for a long time has been A5. 5×8″ books allow for me, a decent amount of real estate to write as large as I like and/or to sketch without feeling cramped. I also think this size isn’t too large to stick into a purse or backpack. I find 3×5″ books a bit too small for my needs, – though I do like and have occasionally used the 4×6″ Habanas, which are even better for portability.
The 8×11″ Habana shown above? I’ve had it for quite a while but haven’t yet committed to a use for it. Fear of The Blank Page? Perhaps…
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today (and everyday) is a good day to be grateful.
What are you grateful for?
- Does the color of an item influence your decision making processes when purchasing items for daily use?
- Have you ever allowed the color of an item inspire you make an impulse purchase?
- What do you think about Rhodia offering products in colors other than their classic black and orange?
- What is your favorite color?
I’ve met a lot of adults who seem to believe that because they weren’t born with a pencil or paintbrush in their hand that they have no business making art. To this I say, Hogwash!
Most young children are able to be creative without self-judgment. It’s easy for them to make art because it’s playful and fun. Things start to get a little tricky around the ages of 11-12 because this is when children desire to realistically reproduce what they see, and may become extremely frustrated when they cannot. Learning to draw realism typically requires additional instruction and a lot of practice which is why a lot of kids give up art in favor of other activities. This is why you, as an adult, may think that you have no talent for art because you draw like a child. In reality, all you need (regardless of age) is additional instruction. (and patience)
Having said all that, you really don’t require any skills at all to express yourself through art. if you want to paint, buy paint and have at it because it’s fun! In my experience, the most difficult part of making art is learning being okay with the results.
The Five Basic Skills of Drawing are good to know.
Image courtesy of nan_chanapa on Instagram
81 year old urban sketcher Frank Bettendorf was super excited about the new landscape Webbie notebooks so we sent him one to try out on his recent trip to the Channeled Scablands – a barren, relatively soil-free landscape in Eastern Washington. Click on any image below to view the full gallery.
I’m back home after seven great days recording my trip to the Channeled Scablands and I’m eager to share some of the experience with you. I shot three rolls of slides, two rolls of black & white, and did 27 sketches. I thought I’d send enough so you’ll at least get some feel for the trip..
The new landscape Webbie notebook both opens flat to the page and lies flat when you are leaning on it to write. To me, that’s a pretty big deal because I don’t like losing precious real estate in the fold.
How important it it to you that your notebook lie flat? Can you give specific examples of when it might be particularly necessary for the book to lie flat?
Opens flat: The paper needs no hand pressure for the pages to reveal a flat writing surface.
If you lean on the book as you write, the spine folds neatly upon itself.
There were several new products on display in the Exaclair booth at the National Stationery Show that I had the opportunity to drool over today, including the new “pictures can’t do them justice” Rhodia Ice. They look AMAZING in person. Continue Readering »
The landscape version of our beloved Webbie (Webnotebook) will soon be available in the US and we are hoping that you are as excited about it as we are. Will you share with us how this format may work more efficiently for your needs?
• Size A5: 5 1⁄2” x 8 1⁄4”
• 90 g ivory paper, acid-free, pH neutral, 96 sheets
• Embossed Rhodia logo
• Elastic closure matching color cover (orange and black)
• Round corners
• Individually shrink-wrapped
• Lined or blank
• Inner pocket in back cover
Image courtesy of hotdogsandwiches on Instagram
In 2012 we created the first ever Rhodia Journal Swap. The idea was simple – 12 people in the US sending Rhodia Webnotebooks from one person to the next, each adding content as they go and sharing some of their completed pages on a group Tumblr blog.
Despite everyone’s best intentions to participate in a fun and ongoing project, life occasionally took precedence over participation. The initial momentum began to waver several months into this year long project and would eventually slow to a crawl as people were receiving books faster then they could create content – ultimately keeping the swap from progressing as scheduled and leaving some people without books to create in for months on end.
Some of the positive feedback we heard from participants?
- What I liked: the writings, artwork, etc. from the contributors were amazing. … I loved sharing stories with them, discovering their blogs etc.
- I loved the writings and art in my book. The swappers chosen were all talented and interesting individuals.
- I’ve met (virtually) several new people… at least three I now communicate with regularly. New friends are always nice!
- I loved the creative outlet it provided and the inspiration that came from seeing other people’s contributions.
- The best part of the swap was seeing the work on the tumblr blog,
Areas of opportunity for future swaps?
- Clearer instructions on how to contribute to the Tumblr blog
- A shared spreadsheet for tracking the books.
- A Facebook group for communicating between participants.
- Less pages to work on at a time.
Stephanie’s ideas for a future swap:
- Having several “micro groups” swapping concurrently. Perhaps 4-5 groups of 3 people each, with the potential of adding at least one international group.
- Using a different Exaclair product with less pages – 6×8″ Clairefontaine Crok books are one option. (Blank pages which can hold up to a variety of art mediums)
- Clearer instructions for posting content to Tumblr
- Implementing a Facebook group for participants to communicate.
Do you have any additional suggestions which might improve this concept? We’d love to hear from you.
Image above from swap participant Lou (Trillium) McCallister.
Rhodia Drive experienced a few hiccups over the last 2 days and when the blog was restored, this post disappeared along with a few of your comments. I think we may have also lost a few comments from Friday’s post about Herbin Anniversary inks. Since we greatly value your feedback, if you don’t see a comment that you know you submitted on either of these two posts, we’d be grateful if you’d be willing to take the time to resubmit your thoughts.
For the last several years I’ve made it a point to always finish a notebook by the year’s end and move into a new book in the new year but I didn’t do it this year. With my birthday being the very last day of the calendar year, I’ve often found myself running around during the end of December, “I’ve got to do this by the end of the year, I’ve got to do that by the end of the year…” As if the significance of these actions would make a real difference when performed with such specific intention. (Letting go)
Truth be told, I found that I did not like using the 2013 book in 2014. It just felt, wrong. Like I was living in the past, or that I didn’t want to let go of the events that happened during that year. Thankfully, I’ve since finished it and moved into a new book .
As you finish a notebook and move from one to the next, is there anything special you do to mark the occasion? Such as:
- Writing a defining end passage on the last page
- Writing a list of specific accomplishments during the time the notebook was in use
- Putting your name and the date inside the cover of the new book
- Adding a favorite quote to the inside front cover
- Copying your bucket list from one book to the next
- Moving a favorite bookmark, photo, or papers from one book to the next
You can now take a look at the NEW 2014 Exaclair catalog and see all of the goodies coming in the new year – like the large Rhodiarama Webbbies, Landscape Webbies, Mignon Refillable Leather Journals, new colors for the Habana, Graf-It dot pads…
Which products are you most excited about? (You must KNOW that I’m excited for the large purple Webbies!)
Congratulations to each of the 20 people below – you have each won a Rhodia Webbie in my Anniversary Giveaway!
Ramon from San Juan
Kerry from Little Rock