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Great news for dot grid paper fans: the Rhodiarama soft cover notebook with dot grid paper is now available in the USA!
The paper is ivory in color and has a subtle grey dots printed in a 5 mm x 5 mm grid. These dots are meant to be an unobtrusive guide to your writing and sketching and they are also great for Bullet Journaling. If you haven’t already heard of Bullet Journaling it’s a simple and effective method of organizing your notes as you take them. The Rhodia Drive blog has a series of blog posts on Bullet Journaling to get you started.
We’ve already reviewed the details and performance of the Rhodiarama soft cover notebook with lined paper here: Rhodiarama Soft Cover Notebooks. Some of our favorite features of this notebook are:
The 90g high quality paper is fantastic for fountain pens!
The journal is slim and easy to carry
Comes with dot grid or lined paper
The leatherette cover is not only flexible it’s soft to the touch
There’s an expandable pocket inside the back cover
Binding is stitched so you can open the notebook flat and pages don’t fall out
Available in a variety of fun cover colors
Do you use Rhodia notebooks? Which one is your favorite?
Just about everyone in the USA and Canada is familiar with the bulk packages of loose leaf paper for 3-ring binders that are purchased in late summer at the the beginning of every school year. Loose leaf paper is generally utilitarian: very cheap in quality and price and not meant for enjoying the pleasure of writing. If you’d like loose leaf paper that goes above and beyond common no-frills paper, the exceptional quality of Clairefontaine loose leaf paper will take you to a much higher level.
Clairefontaine is a French paper manufacturer that is famous for the fine quality of its products. Their loose leaf paper has a weight of 90 g so it is thicker than ordinary binder paper. The paper has an ultra-smooth finish that keeps your pen happily gliding across the page. Fountain pens write like a dream on this paper because there are very few, if any, problems with ink feathering, bleeding through or showing through the paper.
Clairefontaine standard loose leaf paper is bright white so you can really enjoy the full impact of any color of ink you choose to write with. It is also available in packs of pastel colors that can be useful for organization. The paper has pale violet lines and comes in these formats: ruled, French ruled, graph (5 mm x 5 mm grid) and blank.
Many of these loose sheets are metric A4 size which is approximately 8 1/4″ x 11 3/4″ compared to common 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper in the USA. They are meant to be held in 3-ring or 4-ring A4 size binders which can be rather hard to come by in the USA but they are regularly imported and sold at Writer’s Bloc.
The funky arrangement of holes punched in this paper allows it to fit inside American 3-ring binders, but the paper will stick out a little from the top and bottom of the binder. If you need to use an American standard size binder, this problem can be solved by taking the paper in to a local print shop or office supply store and having a little trimmed off the bottom and top of the pages.
Clairefontaine also has double sheets, which are A3 size pages folded in half to make a double A4 size sheet that’s connected at the spine. In French they are called “Copies Doubles Perforees” or in English “Double Sheets”.
Since Clairefontaine manufactures their own paper, they can guaranty consistent quality and they can control the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. Their paper is made from materials sourced from certified sustainable forests, is chlorine-free and is only printed with natural inks. Clairefontaine supplies most of their own energy and they are committed to waste reduction and recycling.
We love Clairefontaine loose leaf paper so much that we make a special effort to import it from France. It takes a few months of travel in a shipping container to get it to the USA but we feel it’s definitely worth the wait!
It’s the end of another year and we’ve been reminiscing about special releases of new fountain pens and fountain pen inks over the past few years. Back in 2010, when J. Herbin released their first 1670 Anniversary Ink in the red Rouge Hematite color, we had no idea there would be more to come. In addition to the original 1670 Anniversary red ink, J. Herbin has created Caroube de Chypre, Emerald of Chivor, Bleu Ocean, and Stormy Grey.
The J. Herbin Rouge Hematite 1670 Anniversary Ink is a vibrant, earthy, rich blood red color, reminiscent of the historic color of the J. Herbin logo and the red sealing wax used by royal courts. Using the right combination of paper and nib, you might even see a gold colored sheen in this ink.
A personalized wax seal is a great way to make any invitation, thank you card or old-fashioned snail mail stand out in the crowd. Wax seals can be used to embellish wine bottles, for scrapbooking, to seal packaging, to add the finishing touch to a wrapped gift and much more. J. Herbin’s Supple Sealing Wax resists cracking or chipping when applied to envelopes being sent through the US mail.
J. Herbin’s hand-blown glass pens are beautiful and elegant works of art made in the style of glass pens popular in 17th century Venice. The glass nib on this dipping pen has small spiral grooves that hold enough ink to write several lines without the need to re-dip. They can be used along with fountain pen ink or other specialty inks made for dipping pens.
For over 150 years Brause has been making steel calligraphy nibs of excellent precision and durability. This gift set includes a small bottle of ink and 6 different nib types for both script and calligraphy.
J. Herbin Calligraphy Ink is specially formulated with natural resins allowing the ink to adhere to a metal nib, yet flow smoothly and consistently. For use with dipping pens, steel nibs, glass or quill pens, calames and brushes. It pairs well with the J. Herbin Glass Pens and Brause Calligraphy Dipping Pens.
J. Herbin’s 1670 Anniversary Fountain Pen Ink comes in a cool retro cube-shaped bottle that is sealed with wax and decorated with a “1670” wax seal. J. Herbin created its “Anniversaire 1670” inks in honor of the 340th anniversary of the J. Herbin ink brand. Napoleon, Victor Hugo and Louis XVI all used J. Herbin inks!
This Delta Vintage Fountain Pen is made from a mother of pearl acrylic resin that beautifully catches the light. Like fountain pens of the past, it is carefully hand-crafted and made with attention to detail to produce a quality writing instrument that can be treasured for generations. Also available in Lava Stone Black, Deep Ocean Blue and White.
The Traditional Rocker Style Wooden Ink Blotter from J. Herbin is easy to hold and a clean way to avoid smearing excess wet fountain pen ink. It can be refilled with Rocker Ink Blotter Paper Refills, or purchase larger sheets of Blotter Paper to tuck inside the cover of your journal or notebook.
In addition to all of your great nostalgic writing gear you’re going to want some high quality paper to enjoy it with. Classic Clairefontaine Triomphe Stationery Tablets fit the bill with brilliant white 90g, acid free, ultra-smooth paper. Fountain pens write like a dream on this paper! Matching envelopes are also available.
Brand new from Quo Vadis this year is the Plan & Note Weekly Planner. It has an open format, which means it doesn’t have an hour by hour schedule or a lot of extra details. It simply and effectively gives you the space and freedom to organize your days according to your own personal needs.
It has one week on two pages, with Monday through Thursday on the left page and Friday through Sunday on the right page. Each day has 7 blank lines for recording your appointments, thoughts, memos, plans and adventures plus an extra eight lines for notes on the bottom right. It does make a note of major holidays as well as phases of the moon. The week of the year is mentioned on the bottom of the right page.
The very beginning of the planner has a page for your personal information and a page with a calendar of the current year. There are also 12 monthly planning pages – one for each month of the year. Each month has a six-week Monday through Sunday calendar grid to keep your plans on track. Major holidays and phases of the moon are listed here.
The back of the Plan & Note Planner has a one page calendar for the next year and 2 pages of anno-planning for keeping track of future events.
There’s also a bound-in 9 page address book for recording snail-mail addresses, email addresses, phone numbers etc. The very back of the planner has an extra 2 lined pages for notes.
The Plan & Note’s paper, cover and binding are all noteworthy. First, the brilliantly smooth paper is made by Clairefontaine. The large Plan & Note Desk Planner has glorious 90 g paper that works wonderfully with fountain pens. The pocket size planner has 64 g paper to keep it nice and compact. The pages are bright white with 2 color printing and have tear-off corners to help you find your place.
The cover is flexible with a pleasing velvety soft touch. It is streamlined and simple with only the year and Quo Vadis logo blind embossed on the front and only a logo on the bottom center of the back. The cover is mostly black, with a colorful re-inforced spine and matching elastic closure. This year’s colors include Turquoise, Rose and Violet.
It has a stitched binding so that pages won’t fall out and it can open flat. The spine is flexible enough that the planner can be completely opened backwards without breaking.