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Archive for September, 2009

Over the years, Rhodia customers have requested a weekly planner. In response, Quo Vadis introduced the Rhodia Weekly Notebook for 2010. It is available in two sizes, and two colors-black and orange. In keeping with Rhodia’s famous notepads, the notes pages are gridded. For those of you who use fountain pens, the large edition (6″x 9″) is fountain pen friendly at 90 gr.

Rhodias 2010 Weekly Planner has a flexible black cover with the Rhodia logo embossed on the cover. A vetical elastic strap keeps the planner closed and compact.

Rhodia's 2010 Weekly Planner has a flexible black cover with the Rhodia logo embossed on the cover. A vertical elastic strap keeps the planner closed and compact.

For this review, I will be exploring the Pocket sized Rhodia Weekly Planner that was provided by Karen Doherty at Exaclair. Unlike it’s larger, 6″ x 9″ sibling the 4″ x 6″ Rhodia Weekly Planner has 64 gr. paper, not the best choice for fountain pens,  but more than adequate for ballpoint pens, pencils and even some markers. According to the folks at Rhodia, these are the specs for the 2010 Rhodia Weekly Notebook.

  • Weekly format, yearly calendar
  • Measures 4″ x 6″
  • Week on left, Rhodia’s famous grid for notes on right
  • 12 months, January to December
  • 8am to 7pm schedule
  • Extra white, super smooth paper
  • Crisp two color print – grey and orange
  • 64g, acid-free and pH neutral paper
  • Tear-off corner opens to week in progress
  • Sewn binding
  • Attached address book
  • Elastic closure

The Exterior

The cover of the planner is stiff, but flexible and has just the right amount of give. The leatherette finish is attractive and has as the slightest texture of leather. When viewed from a distance, it has a matte finish which is subtle and sophisticated. A vertical elastic strap wraps around the right side of the planner that keeps the planner compact.

The overall measurements are 4″ x 5¾” x 3/8″ thick. Since it is larger than most pocket sized planners, you’ll have a little more room on the inside to write, but you may find that it doesn’t fit your jeans or shirt pockets. The Rhodia logo and “2010” are embossed on the cover and are quite large relative to the size of the planner.Luckily, the color is subtle so it is less obtrusive than it could be.  If you are prone to collect little black books, this could be a good thing since the large logo will stand out from the sea of black.

The cover is slightly stiff, but flexible offering just the right amount of give.

The cover is slightly stiff, but flexible offering just the right amount of give.

The Interior

When opening the planner, the first thing that strikes me is the beautiful paper. It is bright white, super smooth and offers good contrast to the grey and orange print. The planning section includes equal-sized sections for the entire week. Monday through Saturday occupy the left page while Sunday shares the right page with a large gridded area for notes. The weekly planning format is good for scheduling appointments in an hourly format with planning periods 8:00 am through 7:00 pm. There is not much room for adding appointments on the half-hour, but a simple vertical line through the schedule would allow you to add half-hour increments. 12-hour time designations allow you to schedule with ease without having to mentally convert to military time.

The planner lays nearly flat when opened, but I imagine that it will open flatter with time and use. Because of the way it is bound, there is no annoying hump in between the pages when it is opened. The binding is thread-bound and the threads are a bright white like the paper and are only visible in the center of each signature.

Rhodias weekly format features 6 days of planning on the left page and a squared page for notes on the right. Each day of the week has equal planning space, but Sunday shares the right page with the gridded section.

Rhodia's weekly format features 6 days of planning on the left page and a squared page for notes on the right. Each day of the week has equal planning space, but Sunday shares the right page with the gridded section.

Tear-off corners on the planning pages are used rather than a ribbon book mark to keep your palce. Once a day has passed, just tear off the corner. This will enable you to thumb to the current day.

Tear-off corners on the planning pages are used rather than a ribbon book mark to keep your place. Once a day has passed, just tear off the corner. This will enable you to thumb to the current day.

Other sections in the planner you might find useful include:

  • personal notes including room for name, email, website, driver’s license, license plate, emergency contacts, etc.
  • 2009, 2010 and 2011 monthly calendars
  • vertical monthly planning calendars with the entire year at a glance for 2010 and 2011
  • alphabetized address book
  • small ruled page for notes

Overall, the Rhodia Weekly Planner is an interesting new addition to Rhodia line. It offers a everything you need for planning on-the-go in a package of high-quality materials. The size is slightly larger than most pocket planners so it is easy to write in, but it is still small enough to stash in a large pocket or purse. The narrow profile and flexible cover make it feel less bulky than most pocket planners. The paper is thinner than I would prefer, but it is bright white, beautiful and smooth. The gridded paper an interesting combination with the planning pages and would be really useful if you are prone to doodle.

2010 and 2011 monthly planning calendars show the entire year at a glance.

2010 and 2011 monthly planning calendars show the entire year at a glance.

The back of the planner includes a ruled page for notes and an alphabetized address book.

The back of the planner includes a ruled page for notes and an alphabetized address book.

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For those of you who have been waiting for Rhodia’s Paul Smith Limited Edition Notepads, wait no more. They are in stock in the US at www.journalingarts.com. Classic black and orange combine with Smith’s sophisticated stripes creating a squared notepad that is second to none.

Paul Smith Limited Edition for Rhodia ‘09:

Throughout the world, he offers his clothes “with a twist’ in his own shops or in highly selective points of sale. After the success of the first collection signed Paul Smith which came out in 2005, Paul Smith celebrated 75 years of his fetish pad by signing a new Limited Series where his fancy and his particularly English sense of style led him: on the famous card marked Rhodia orange or black, a true support for the fashion designer’s creation, his falsely naïve pencil sketches, underlined with his emblematic stripes.

Paul Smith’s stripes? “They convey freedom, youth, humour. You can like them fresh, reminiscent of the sea or downright pop. In any case, they are never neutral.’

  • two versions: on a card printed Rhodia orange or Rhodia black
  • four visuals: ‘Picture Frame’, ‘Photographer’, ‘Man Reading’ and ‘Camera’
  • three formats: N°16 (14.8x21cm), N°12 ( 8.5×12 cm) and N°11 (7.4×10.5 cm).
Rhodias Paul Smith notebooks are avilable in both orange and black.

Four of Paul Smith’s doodles are featured across three sizes, available in either of the famous black or orange covers used by Rhodia since 1934.

Photographer design.

Photographer design.

Man Reading desing.

Man Reading design.

Camera design,

Camera design.

Picture Frame design.

Picture Frame design.

Each Paul Smith notepad features Rhodias smooth, gridded paper.

Each Paul Smith notepad features Rhodia's smooth, gridded paper.

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I am in the beginning stages of a new journal. I started it with no intent or theme, but as it has progressed, the journal has become one about the eternal flow of abundance. While some of the artwork has been more abstract this one manifested as a gently flowing stream.

Flowing stream illustrated in a Moleskine Watercolor notebookfor an art journal on abundance.

Flowing stream illustrated in a Moleskine Watercolor notebookfor an art journal on abundance.

I used a Moleskine Watercolor journal because the wide format seemed appropriate for the subject matter. The elongated shape is more interesting than a traditional rectangle and it inspired me to see things differently than usual.

This illustration is on the reverse side of a page with acrylic paints and sealant, so I had little, if any issues with buckling. I was so pleased with how the paper performed on the page that backed up to the page with acrylics, that I am considering painting every other 2-page spread with acrylic so my watercolor pages stay flat.

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Visit www.notizbuchblog.de to read my interview about notebooks, art journaling and the notebook community.

Visit http://www.notizbuchblog.de to read my interview about notebooks, art journaling and the notebook community.

I was honored when Christian Mähler from Notizbuchblog requested and interview with me on the topics of notebooks, art journaling, and the notebook community. His questions made me think hard about my relationship with journals and why they are important to me, something that I really haven’t given much thought, until now. I am glad I had the opportunity to express my thoughts. Because of it, I feel like I understand myself a little better than I did the day before. Thank you, Christian, for helping me learn something new about myself.

Want to know more about me and JournalingArts.com? Read the interview by Christian Mähler at Notizbuchblog.

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For those of you who crave color and design, take a look at Robert le héros Lined Notebooks from Quo Vadis.  Bold graphics and a cool retro vibe merge with premium Clairefontaine paper for a unique writing experience. Cover designs are available in three trendy colors including light blue, chocolate brown and white with mod printed florals. Silver metallic ink adds pop to the graphics on the brown and white journal and has a 1970’s flair.

 Robert le héros notebook in white with bold printed graphics highlighted with silver metallic ink.

Robert le héros notebook in white with bold printed graphics highlighted with silver metallic ink.

The small Robert le héros journal measures approximately 4″ x 6″ and is slightly larger than the standard pocket notebook. The larger size has more lines and more room for writing than the smaller sized notebook and will still fit into the back pocket of my jeans. The pages are filled with 28 gray lines that have a narrow 5 mm line spacing  that is well suited for those of you with small writing or for using an extra fine fountain pen nib. The lines extend to the edge of the page, without left or right margins, and there is small amount of space on the top and bottom.

Each pocket-sized notebook has 96 sheets/192 pages of premium Clairefontaine paper. Each bright-white sheet has 28 lines of narrow ruled paper.

Each pocket-sized notebook has 96 sheets/192 pages of premium Clairefontaine paper. Each bright-white sheet has 28 lines of narrow ruled paper.

Each notebook has 96 sheets/192 pages of 64g, extra white, smooth Clairefontaine paper. It feels slightly thinner than the paper in the pocket Moleskine, but is smoother and much whiter. Like all Clairefontaine paper, it is acid-free and pH neutral. The paper is *PEFC certified and is made from sustainable forests.

The notebook has all of the features you would expect from a quality journal and more. You’ll find an expandable pocket, elastic strap and a ribbon bookmark and it will open flat for comfortable writing.  The bold design on the semi-hard cover is a standout when compared to solid colored notebooks and is the perfect compliment to the lovely paper inside.

White Journal Detail

White Journal Detail

Brown Journal Detail

Brown Journal Detail

Detail of Blue Journal

Detail of Blue Journal

The Basics

  • Bold, trendy graphics in 3 different color palettes
  • Satin finish paper for maximum smoothness in writing
  • Measures approximately 4″ x 6″
  • Semi-hard cover
  • 96 sheets, 192 pages of white, 64g, pH neutral acid-free paper
  • Ribbon bookmark
  • Opens flat
  • Chlorine-free.
  • PEFC certified
  • Elastic Closure

Robert le héros is a Parisian graphic design agency specializing in color and fabric design. Their collections are instantly recognizable by their colors, original graphics and poetic expression. They initiated “le graphisme vegetal.”

*PEFC certified papers are made from bio-diverse forests that are renewable and nurture the original flora and fauna while guaranteeing the rights of indigenous people.

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I sat down with my Moleskine Watercolor Journal and my fountain pen when I the pen started to run dry. With no available ink to refresh my pen, I realized that I would not be able to draw much before my pen stop working. In the spirit of going with the flow, I decided to use the fountain pen and dilute the remaining ink. This would give me a line that would initially be dark but would gradually lighten as I used it more. This inspired me to draw a tree that would be darker near the trunk and lighter towards the branch tips.

The tree illustration was created using a fountain pen that had diluted ink. The ink faded as I used it creating branch tips that were lighter in tone than the heavier parts of the tree.

The tree illustration was created using a fountain pen that had diluted ink. The ink faded as I drew creating branch tips that were lighter in tone than the heavier parts of the tree.

At first, the ink was very dark and I quickly drew the trunk and thick branches saving the highlighted areas for later. As the ink got lighter, I worked my way towards the ends of the branches and I filled in the highlights on the trees. The fading pen was a delight to work with and it was very satisfying to draw lines that continually lightened. When I was finished with the tree, I was disappointed that the line work was over because I enjoyed this process so much.

I still had some dried watercolors left in my palette from a previous illustration that I was able to reconstitute for the background. The blues and greens were just what I needed.

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For those of you who love office supplies, notebooks and pen, check out the second Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper at http://www.thepenaddict.com. I love the article by Pocket Blonde on creating a Tarot Journal and enjoyed reading the colorful review of Pentel Aquash Watercoloring Crayons by Lung Sketching Scrolls. Be sure to check it out to see what others are doing with some of our favorite office supplies.

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Primary Watercolor Abstract in a Moleskine Watercolor Journal

Primary Watercolor Abstract in a Moleskine Watercolor Journal was created without a plan or concept. I used the colors that had dried in my palette left over from a previous painting.

I enjoyed creating the Peace of Mind meditative image so much, that I wanted to try this method again to see where it would take me. With so little time to paint these days, these quick, meditative explorations are a great way to keep the art flowing without the demands of a larger, more elaborate piece. My breaks from work each day consist of 10-15 minutes twice a day which is just enough time to get in a wet layer of paint before I return to work.

On this particular piece, I started with a rich, wet red wash that dripped down the page. I hadn’t planned the drip, it just happened, so in the spirit of going with the flow, I just let it be. I added a lighter wash to the right of the drip, and pulled the darker paint into the lighter area while it was still wet to create some movement. A a pale red wash to the bottom right of the page before I set it aside to dry.

On my next break I added the deep blue wash, keeping the entire area wet while I worked. Once that was completed, I added a light wash of blue in red area to soften the contrast between the colors and to help the colors relate to each other. This took only a few minutes and I was able to put it aside and enjoy a cup of coffee before I had to return to work. On my following break from work I took a look at the piece and I felt like it needed something vibrant. Yellow was added at the intersection of color to add some much needed pop.

In the end, I ended up with an abstract of primary colors which I would never have chosen in well-planned, intentional illustration. While it is not my normal way of working, it does allow me to fit painting into my busy schedule and it keeps the creative juices flowing. It also provides me with an opportunity to clear my head and return to work refreshed.

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Example of some great Moleskine art from Moleskinerie group on Flickr and Official MyMoleskine Community.

Thanks to some friends on Twitter, I found a site that displays some amazing examples of art created in a Moleskine journal. Moleskine art has become quite famous in the arts and design community, and stunning examples are everywhere. Visit www.limeshot.com to check it out. http://limeshot.com/2009/50-examples-of-moleskin-art-that-will-make-you-gasp

Visit the following links for more great images.

Official MyMoleskine Community
Moleskinerie group on Flickr

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The soft colors and appearence was a welcome deviation from my normal style.

The soft colors and appearance was a welcome deviation from my normal style.

My life has been chaotic lately and I haven’t had much time to journal or play with art the way I would like to. With limited time and no reasonable idea in mind, I sat down with a Moleskine Watercolor Journal and my watercolors without a clue of what to do. I decided to just go with the flow and just do whatever feels right.

I was drawn to the blues and greens and laid these down in with a mop brush in large areas on the page in horizontal lines. It was odd for me to use such soft colors, but I didn’t want to judge it and continued on. A thin, dark line of green seemed right after the background dried and I softened the edges with water intending to keep everything soft. I was left with a page with two large blocks of color that needed something more.

With a quick glance around the studio I spotted some skeletonized leaves that I have been holding onto. The color was a natural buff and wouldn’t be enough contrast to the background, but his wasn’t a problem. I pressed them into a metallic white ink pad to lighten them and add a little sparkle. Once dry, I used a spray adhesive to affix the leaves to the paper.

The result is a soft, calm image which is quite a deviation from my normal style. A small peaceful spot amid the chaos of my life. It was just what I needed at the time.

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