Claudia Goes to Pittsburgh

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Claudia McGill is one of my favorite contemporary artists because it was her colorful and whimsical art that first inspired me to take risks in my own art. She works with a variety of mixed media; including acrylic paint, collage and clay. Something I didn’t know about Claudia is that she uses Rhodia tablets. When she first learned that I worked for Rhodia, she told me about a zine she had been working on which included a short story about a train ride to Pittsburgh and how the story was based on notes she’d taken in a small Rhodia pad during her trip.

To read the story, click on the first image and then keep clicking to move from one page to the next.

How does your garden grow?

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Three years ago I had no garden at all. Two years ago, I had three tomato plants that someone had gifted me growing in buckets. They did not do so well because it was a bad year for tomatoes and because I don’t think they liked living in the buckets. Last year I grew 18 tomato plants, 20 herbs and a dozen cucumber plants in my “new” garden. (You could say I went a little crazy. Live and learn.)

This year I have six tomato plants, a dozen cucumber plants, two dozen herbs and a hillside full of flowers. (I poured several packets of seeds in my hand and threw them on our steeply sloped hill. I was completely amazed at how quickly they took root.) I’ve done additIonal hardscaping (which I think is my favorite part) and am overall pleased with a process that not only let’s me play in the dirt, but one that feeds my soul as well as my body.

Do you have a garden? What do you grow?

Which of these books on creativity have you read?

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After seeing this post on Buzzfeed: 37 Books Every Creative Person Should Be Reading, I noticed that I’ve already read several and will probably want to eventually read them all. Do you have any favorites from this list? #25 is an all-time favorite for me.

3. Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott: Read this a long time ago. Remember it being sweetly encouraging.
4. Steal Like An Artist, by Austin Kleon: Read recently. Good info, but nothing that was really new to me
7. The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron: This is a classic. Excellent info to be found here. Do the work if you want to experience transformational growth in your life. (It’s not just about art)
15. Just Kids, Patti Smith: This has been sitting patiently in my Kindle for over a year…
19. The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White: Great info. “Omit needless words” is a classic.
21. Art & Fear, by David Bayles & Ted Orland: I’ve never read it cover to cover, but every time I crack it open and read a few pages I find something totally relevant.
22. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards: Just recently bought a copy.
25. The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield: One of the BEST books I’ve ever read. It’s about resistance. You do not have to be an artist to get a lot out of this book. It’s tiny – read it in an afternoon.
29. On Writing, Stephen King: I owned this a very long time ago. Can’t remember if I read all of it. The one thing that sticks with me is his mantra of “Write every day:”

Creative Writing Prompt: Summer Vacations – Then and Now

Rhodia Pencils

It has been historically close to impossible for me to take a staycation without feeling like I *have* to do work but this past holiday weekend I think I did a pretty decent job of tuning out the world and just enjoying myself. I spent time puttering around the garden, reading, cooking delicious food, watching fireworks and contemplating life.

As I took several long walks around the surrounding neighborhoods, I noticed that things seemed very quiet and my assumption was that a lot of people were either on vacation or visiting with family and friends for the holiday.

This started me thinking about the types of vacations that people take. We didn’t travel much when I young girl, but I can distinctly remember two trips to the Jersey Shore- (Long before Snooki…) then in my mid to late teens, all I wanted to do was to go to Wildwood or Seaside Heights. Nowadays, I’d rather be in the woods or by a nice lake in the middle of nowhere. Nature, quiet, solitude. Ahh…

Today’s creative writing prompt centers around this:

Do you still frequent the same vacation destinations that you did when you were young?

Why or why not?

The Value of Your Product Reviews

Rhodia ICE Notepad Review

Objective product reviews intend to be unbiased, subjective reviews offer a single person’s opinion. Each type has value because the needs of the viewer are variable.

Objective reviews might typically include “just the facts.” Subjective reviews might be more helpful to tactile or kinesthetic learners who primarily learn through experiencing/doing things.

Reviews of our Rhodia products might include comments on the paper quality, color, design, style, size, ruling, color of the ruling, foldability, surface texture, durability, erasability, ease of use, portability, scent, and barometric pressure changes. You may speak to your use of fountain pen inks, ballpoint pens, pencils, (in a variety of grades) markers, paints, white glue, and glitter when applied to its surface.

We genuinely appreciate the reviews you take the time to write about our products because they go a long way in helping to inform potential customers. People get to know our products because of you.

Special thanks to Ed Jelley for his image above and also for his recent review of our new Rhodia Ice on his blog, EdJelley.com.

Friday Link Share: June Edition

Rhodia R Pads

The Traveling Muse – Inspiring Pocket Notebooks at European Paper

The Epic Refill Reference Guide: Rollerball, Gel and Ballpoints at The Well-Appointed Desk

7 Letters to Write Before You Turn 70 at The Art of Manliness

48 great examples of doodle art at Creative Bloq

Can You Call Yourself A Writer? at Thought Catalog

Rhodia Ice 80th Anniversary Notepad at Office Supply Geek

Lamy CP1: Quick Look at Ink Nouveau

5 Ways to Develop a Consistent Journaling Habit at Kaizen Journaling

Review: The Monteverde One Touch Stylus Tool Mechanical Pencil at Woodclinched

TWSBI Teases with More Eco Info and Images at FP Geeks

The Stylographic Pen of Edith Wharton at Palimpest

Rhodia Ice at A Penchant for Paper

Uni-ball Signo: A Comprehensive Guide at JetPens Blog

A Hand-Drawn Interview With the Man Behind Adobe’s Pen of the Future at Motherboard

The Illuminated Sketchbook of Stephan Schriber (1494) at The Public Domain Review

Mailbox Goodies: Pen Jewelry at Gourmet Pens

Esterbrook Dollar Pen Review at The Pen Addict

Rhodia Ice Contest Winners!

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Many thanks to all of you that entered the Ice Ice Giveaway, it seems as though there is a HUGE interest in the Ice product line!

The 15 lucky winners of this month’s contest are:

Alberto from San Diego
Julie (O-kami)
Kelly M
Todd Williams
Karen Y.
K.Williams
Roel
Penemuel
Megan from San Francisco
Creative Designs by Maria Soto
Lina from Coram
Marianne Angeles
Karl Knutson
Ben N.
Kimberly from Tyler

The tablets will be mailed out early next week. Thank you all again for your support and keep your eyes open for our next special giveaway!

Last Call to Win some Rhodia Ice!

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Last call for entries!  Please see Monday’s Post for the entry form. 

Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 15 No. 13 (4×6″) pads. (Graph or lined ruling, our choice.) This contest is open to US residents only and will be remain open until midnight EST on Tuesday 06/24/14 The winners will be chosen at random and announced on the blog on Thursday 06/26. One entry per household please.

Yellow

Rhodia Yellow

In need of a writing surface last night, I found myself reaching for the yellow Rhodia tablet that I was sent a while back to compare against the standard Rhodia white paper. Someone had mentioned that the paper seemed different in more than just color, and the general consensus from the few folks who helped us perform a side-by-side comparison, is that the yellow paper is slightly toothier than its white counterpart. This to me, makes writing with a pencil simply sublime.

My only complaint is that the color of this paper is a little harsh for my eyes – which I think is ironic because yellow paper is supposed to be easier on the eyes than white. It seems to lean a little more greenish-yellow than what one may be used to from a standard yellow legal pad.

Fred Pitts Review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Pencil Revolution review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Clickthing review of the yellow Rhodia paper 

Ed Jelley’s comparison photos yellow/white Rhodia paper

Rhodia Ice Ice Raffle: Enter Now to Win 1 of 15 Notepads!

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Contest Alert! Rhodia has designed a new notepad for its 80th anniversary year (1934-2014): a white cover with silver logo pad that we are calling Rhodia Ice. The silver and white pad is emblematic of Rhodia’s simplicity and minimalist design. It has beauty and character and a little bit of mystery. It is quite different than anything else—just like Rhodia.

Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 15 No. 13 (4×6″) pads. (Graph or lined ruling, our choice.) This contest is open to US residents only and will be remain open until midnight EST on Tuesday 06/24/14 The winners will be chosen at random and announced on the blog on Thursday 06/26. 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.

Listing our Legacy

Rhodia Stack with Yellow Safari

“We like lists because we don’t want to die.”

In a 2009 Spiegel interview with Umberto Eco, the Italian philosopher and novelist states “The list is the origin of culture.” And what does culture want? “To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries.”

I’ve kept my own book of lists for over a decade by contributing several lists per year of material either relevant to the time or from memory of things past.

Do you keep a book of lists? If not, would you ever consider it?

 

Ingredients for the perfect salad

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If you’ve ever had daily access to a salad bar, you probably know what items you prefer in your salad.

While I might not be able to remember what I put in my salads 20+ years ago when I worked in a mall next to a grocery store, for some strange reason, I am able to recall that my friend Lisa’s salads always contained baby spinach, shredded carrots, imitation crab, and peas.

These days, I make myself a big salad several times a week and this is the combination that makes me the happiest:

  • Chopped romaine lettuce or another dark green lettuce.
  • Chopped scallions
  • Pieces of cheese: typically sliced American (I prefer Clearfield brand)
  • 1 Gala apple, peeled, sectioned & chopped.
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Newman’s Balsamic dressing
  • A sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes
  • A pinch of coarse salt

Sometimes I’ll add in a few “extras” in the form of avocado, chopped ham or chopped cucumber. Tomatoes only if they are local & in season. (I can’t do the plastic hothouse type.)

If all I have is lettuce and dressing, I can do that- but for me, it’s the scallions that really make the salad.

How about you? What are your favorite salad ingredients?

Just for Today

Bleu Ocean

Whenever I come across a saying or quote that I wish to integrate into my daily thought process, I will often use it as an excuse to pull out some art and or writing supplies. In this case, I’m using the Japanese phrase “Kyo Dake Wa” which pretty much translates as, “Just for today” which I think is a nice reminder to live more in the moment.

By doodling with a dip pen, J. Herbin’s Bleu Ocean Anniversary ink, and a few colored pencils in this loose and playful manner, what may have been limited to quickly scrawled words on a post-it note, has engaged me for an hour or so of playful art-making with the added benefit of being able to actively focus on the message itself.

Do you have a favorite saying that you might consider turning into a simple piece of art like this?

Friday Link Share: May Edition

augustanissss

The Pen of Maya Angelou at Palimpsest

Ink Review: J. Herbin Vert Olive at A Penchant for Paper

Autopoint Interview at Dave’s Mechanical Pencils

The 2014 Chicago Pen Show Report at Fountain Pen Geeks

You Win, Pilot Metropolitan at The Pen Addict

So I picked up a broad……..nib. at From the Pen Cup

J. Herbin Lie de Thé Ink Review at Write to Me Often

271 Year Old Manuscript Colours and Penmanship at Pentamento

Evolution of the Pencil at Pencil Revolution

How to Get Ink Off Your Fingers – Amodex or Mr. Clean at Office Supply Geek

20 Common Words You Could Be Using Incorrectly at Inc.com

This Is Why Everyone Should Write Poetry at Thought Catalog

The British Library Puts Online 1,200 Literary Treasures From Great Romantic & Victorian Writers at Open Culture

Elizabeth Gilbert: How to Find Your Creative Home at 99U

Journals from Yellowstone. ~ Jill Pendergrast at Elephant Journal

Image courtesy of  augustanissss on Instagram

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.

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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.