Tuesday Talk Back: Big, Little, or Somewhere in Between?

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If you regularly use a bound notebook or journal, what size do you prefer, and why?

Shown above is a purple pocket sized (A6 3 ½ x 5 ½ ”) Rhodiarama Webbie, a large (A5 8 ¼” x 5 ½”) Landscape Webbie and an extra large (A4 8 1/4 x 11 3/4″) Quo Vadis Habana.

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…

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Journal

“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?

Question for today: How Important is Color in Your Life?

Purple Rhodiarama

  • 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?

Art is a Learned Skill (Really!)

nan_chanapa

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

Frank Bettendorf’s Trip to the Channeled Scablands

Schoolhouse-Road---Govan

81 year old urban sketcher Frank Bettendorf was super excited about the new landscape Webbie notebooks so we sent him one to try out on his recent trip to the Channeled Scablands – a barren, relatively soil-free landscape in Eastern Washington. Click on any image below to view the full gallery. 

I’m back home after seven great days recording my trip to the Channeled Scablands and I’m eager to share some of the experience with you. I shot three rolls of slides, two rolls of black & white, and did 27 sketches. I thought I’d send enough so you’ll at least get some feel for the trip..

Continue Readering »

Let’s Talk Flat: NEW Landscape Webbie

Landscape Webbie

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?

Landscape Webbie

Opens flat: The paper needs no hand pressure for the pages to reveal a flat writing surface.

Landscape Webbie

If you lean on the book as you write, the spine folds neatly upon itself.

Dispatch from the NSS: Things to look forward to.

Rhodia white ice

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 »

Waiting to get your paws on a landscape Webbie?

hotdogsandwiches

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

 

Rhodia Journal Swap

Journal Swap Art

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.

 

 

Redux: Moving From One Notebook to the Next

Orange DotWebbies

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

 

NEW 2014 Exaclair Catalog is available to view!

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 12.42.34 PM

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!)

Rhodiarama Anniversary Winners!

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Congratulations to each of the 20 people below – you have each won a Rhodia Webbie in my Anniversary Giveaway!

James Thornhill
Ramon from San Juan
Rodrigo Bertoluci
MJackson
Anitha K
Del Paeske
Christi D.
Dwight McDowell
Patricia Andrews
Jessica H.
Jane Jordan
Janel Gradowski
Brian Sizemore
Vikram Shah
Melinda Joy
Marji
Spaceghost33
DJ Jackson
Kerry from Little Rock
Kara Wexler

Image courtesy of chrisbfu on Instagram.

Enter Now to win 1 of 20 Rhodiarama Webbies in Stephanie’s Anniversary Giveaway!

keiim

In celebration of my 4th anniversary writing for Rhodia Drive, I’ve got 20 assorted Rhodiaramas to give away! 

What are the Rhodiarama Webbies? A 3 1/2 x 5 1/2″  notebook somewhere between orange and black…

  • 96 sheets of 90 g ivory paper, acid-free, pH neutral,  lined or blank
  • Italian leatherette w/ signature orange elastic closure
  • Embossed Rhodia logo
  • Inner pocket, printed full color flyleaves
  • Round corners and an orange ribbon marker

The contest will be remain open until midnight EST on Tuesday 10/08/13. The winners will be chosen at random and announced on the blog on Thursday 10/10. 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. As the color/ruling options are limited to the 20 Rhodiaramas currently on hand, we will make every effort to offer your preferred selection  – though no guarantees.

Help us to get the word out?  Please feel free to Tweet, blog or share this post via Facebook.

(Scroll down for entry form) 

Image courtesy of keiim on Instagram

Rhodia On The Road with Stephanie

Stephanie Biffybeans Smith

I snuck out this past Thursday for a much needed getaway. It had been two years since I had taken a trip that was just for me and boy, did I need it! From Thursday to Sunday I went to The Great Rhythm Revival which is described as “3 Days of Ecstatic Rejuvenation + Conscious Learning.” It is run by my friend Jim Donovan who was one of the founding members of the band Rusted Root.

The event is held on the same farm where the Blue Heron Music Festival takes place in Sherman, New York. I’m not typically one for camping but find it a little easier in this type of environment when there are hot showers available and super tasty organic food being prepared for you three times a day.

After the event ended midday on Sunday, I stayed in the area for an additional three days at a friend’s house near Findley Lake, NY. Now I feel refreshed and more in alignment with the path of least resistance!

In this photo I am holding a small orange Webbie which I use as a gratitude journal. Inside is a four leaf clover that I found while taking an outside yoga class at the retreat.

Rhodiarama In Your Bag!

Thea's Rhodiarama and custom Timbuk2 bag

Thea’s Rhodiarama and custom Timbuk2 bag

Rhodia fan Thea P. was the first person to submit an image for our “In Your Bag” photo page that showed a Rhodia product that wasn’t one of our signature orange or black colors.

Per Thea, “I love peacocks and the color purple; and I never go anywhere without my customized Timbuk2 bag, my purple Rhodiarama, and a purple Slicci pen. I don’t know…having beautiful things just makes day-to-day life more pleasant.”

As a purple girl myself, I hear you Thea!

To submit your own “In Your Bag” image, please include “Rhodia in My Bag” in the subject line and send to: stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com

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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

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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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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.