Archive for ‘Rhodia’

December 11, 2010

Faily scrawlin’

I’ve been pining after a flexible fountain pen nib for a while because it allows for more character in one’s handwriting. Basically, it means that I’d be able to do thin strokes and thick strokes at will, which would mean I’d have awesome looking handwriting. That’s the theory, anyway.

I was considering a vintage pen brand called Esterbrook, which has wonderfully flexy nibs but — and here’s where I start to wrestle with myself — I don’t actually like how the pens look. (Click the link above to see pictures.) Some people like them. I can see why; it’s just not my sense of aesthetic.

A couple of weeks ago, it was a moot dilemma because I was (and am) terribly broke and a cheapie Esterbrook was out of my price range.

But then Valerie (kind, wonderful, albeit rather bratty Valerie), bought me an Esterbrook SJ in cherry red, with a 1555 firm medium nib and a 9048 flexible fine nib:

I missed out on the elusive 9128 extra fine, extra flexible nib but I have heard tell that it is not all that fine nor that flexible. And a 9048 suits me just dandy. It’s my first Esterbrook so I have nothing to compare it with save for my other pens — an exercise which, I suspect, is not so much apples and oranges but more like apples and alien ants from outer space.

I’ve been playing with a pretend-flexible nib while waiting for my Estie to arrive. It’s a cheap dip pen I bought for Valerie aaages ago, and now I’m claiming it till I get sick of it. The nib is fairly springy but not as flexible as an actual-flexible-nib, I think. But I’ve been able to play around, which makes me rather happy. And ink-stained. I cannot play with inks without getting it all over my fingers, which you can see on the photos, lol.

See my scribbles! (And be kind — I’ve never worked with a flex nib before. My lines are all wonky.) These are all done with J Herbin’s 1670 ink on a Rhodia Dot Pad No. 16. Bonus points if you can get the references in the first two. Many bonus points. And virtual cookies.

 

I did a few others but how many pictures of rather bad ‘calligraphy’ can one handle, really.

December 2, 2010

The notebooks; they take over my room

I have an insatiable fascination with notebooks. I love them more than word can wield the matter. One of my favourite online shopping sites of all time is Inscriber, and Notemaker, its sibling notebook and paper site, is a close second. I spend a lot of time browsing and, on occasion, a good portion of my income on wonderful bits of wonderful stationery. If you ever find yourself buying Moleskines, Clairefontaine notebooks or Rhodia pads at Borders (still rather giddy that Borders stocks Clairefontaine and Rhodia), do consider Notemaker — much cheaper by far. (No affiliation, etc., happy customer, etc., usual disclaimers, etc. Etc., for good measure.)

Unfortunately, my insistence upon exploring this love for notebooks (through purchasing all that take my fancy) far exceeds my ability to actually use them all properly.

I know that most people manage to use their notebooks quite regularly. I used to, till I realised that typing let me get my thoughts out more quickly than writing. I still carry a notebook (or three) around in case I do need to scribble, so my notebooks don’t go unused per se; they’re just not as well-loved as they used to be. Which is a shame, because I’m really very fond of them.

This is my notebook collection. It is, in my head, very small — and in comparison to quite a few other people’s collection, it is. (I’d flit over to the posts over at Moleskinerie if you want to see serious notebook love.)

The spiral notebooks are just cheap lined notebooks I picked up at Big W and Officeworks for uni notes. I replaced the covers myself — you can see how they look in this post (warning: I was a bit sleepy and high and not very coherent when that post was written, lol!). They are far from interesting in content, for they have law school scribbles and law bored me to tears.

Above the spiral notebooks is an A5 jotter pad made out of junk paper, which is my general scribbly pad. It has boring things like ‘dentist appointment 2.00 Saturday’, annotated with things like ‘????’ because I’ve forgotten to note precisely which Saturday it is.

The tiny little notebooks stacked on top of the jotter pad are Moleskine cahiers, which come in packs of three. I don’t use them half as much as I used to because my fountain pens hate them (the ink goes everywhere) but I always found them an awesome size for general notetaking if I didn’t have my jotter pad on me. I also like the simplicity of them — they’re so terribly appealing, even though I hate their lack of paper quality control.

Right underneath the spiral notebooks is my first and only Clairefontaine, which won’t be the only one for long, I fear. It has the best paper in my collection, save for the brighty whiteness:

It’s not that glaringly white, just glaring in comparison to the kikki.K and Moleskine pages. At the moment, it has very little written in it, because it’s my scribbly book for fiction pieces and my inspiration is sadly running rather low. One day, it’ll be filled. Until then, I’m trying not to buy any more Clairefontaine notebooks. HA.

The books under the Clairefontaine are all from kikki.K — the seasonal release of A5 blank notebooks.  kikki.K’s A5 notebooks have fountain pen-friendly paper in a gorgeous shade of yellowed cream, and they were my go-to books before Borders made it easy to get Clairefontaine and Rhodia. It reminds me of Moleskine paper (which is sadly not very nice to my fountain pens), which is my favourite paper of all time. (Note to Clairefontaine: please make your creams more creamy. Kthnx.) This is how they look inside:

And at the very bottom of the pile is my favoured thesis notebook: the Rhodia Dot Pad (No. 16). I love Rhodia — more than Moleskine, truthfully, although I really do love the simplicity of the Moleskine aesthetic. Rhodia has amazing paper, though, and the Dot Pad is really fun. The paper seems to demand word cloud-like notes rather than great walls of script, so my notes end up turning out like this:

I find it quite useful for getting the gist of my ideas out there, since I think in keywords and generalities rather than in specifics. Every time I walk into Borders now, I’m tempted to get another Rhodia No. 16, though I haven’t quite caved yet, because this one isn’t quite done.

I stopped typing for a moment after having said that, because I was thinking to myself, ‘nice; say “haven’t yet bought another Rhodia 16” to escape confessing that you have bought another Rhodia.’

Because I have.

But not, as I say, another Rhodia No. 16. No, no.

I feel like I need a trumpet fanfare before showing this MONSTER OF A RHODIA PAD:

ROAR. BOOYEAH.

It’s so big. It’s Rhodia No. 38 and is an A3 pad of dot-paper. My biggest notebooks up until now were A5, so you can imagine that this is WHOA CRAZY HUGE in my head. It’s probably quite normal to students who do giant sketchy things.

I don’t even think my writing will be visible on this paper.

HOW FREAKING AWESOME, YOU GUYS.

I have never-ending paper.

Never-ending paper is really rather important to me. During my Honours year, I found it really difficult to keep all my thoughts to paper, and ended up scribbling on my bedroom wall, instead. It felt better than giant butcher paper.

I do think, though, that’d it be nice to be able to keep my notes without having to erase them from my wall. HENCE THE MONSTER PAD.

I love it so.

And, by the by, has anyone seen the Mutant Dolls at Chatswood Westfield? I also love them, because they always make me stop and take a second look — a second look of the ‘what on earth is that oh it’s a mutant doll I geddit cute’ variety, which is more than most shopping centre stalls get from me, really. And I sort of want one. But not really, because they creep me out. I’ve been trying to load the website to see if they’re as creepy as I recall, but I can’t load it, so I’ve decided that yes, they’re as creepy as I recall. It’ll be this way unless someone convinces me otherwise.