Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happy, Healthy, Calm and Strong: Original Mantra Mandala Painting Transformative Art

Happy, Healthy, Calm and Strong

Long before I learned anything about chanting or mantras, I created one of my own. In the spring of 1996 I changed jobs. Moving from my first job ever, (commissioned retail sales in a camera shop) to a warehouse job where I'd be driving forklift, picking orders... I was excited for the change but also pretty terrified to be so out of my element. In the beginning, I was assigned a lot of busy work which gave my brain way too much time to worry. Pushing a garbage cart back and forth across a 500,000 square foot warehouse, I made up a saying to stay focused on such tedious tasks. "Happy, Healthy, Calm & Strong" became my mantra - one that I still use to this day.

"Om Mani Padme Om" would be one of the first Sanskrit mantras I would learn when I developed an interest in chanting for spiritual development. The Dalai Lama on the meaning of Om Mani Padme Hum: "...the six syllables, Om Mani Padme Hum, mean that in dependence on the practice which is in indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure body, speech, and mind of a Buddha."

"Healthy, Happy, Calm and Strong" was first painted with acrylic paint, the white details added with a white gel pen then a clear spray coat added over top for preservation. It is on a 10 x 10" canvas with a depth of about 3/4 of an inch- the sides of which are painted. You may choose to hang the painting as is, add additional hardware for mounting, or have the piece framed for display. You can own this original piece by purchasing it from my Etsy shop: Fee Bean Art

Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: New Premium Rhodia "R" Pads

"R" by Rhodia premium Soft Touch pad

If you know me, you know that I've reviewed a lot of paper products. You probably also know that I write the Rhodia Drive blog and that I have access to some of the best paper products on the planet. What I'm getting at is that it's pretty unusual for a product to come along and pique my attention but these new Rhodia R pads just knock my socks off!

"R" by Rhodia premium Soft Touch pad

The R series have "Soft Touch" covers on both the front and back of the pad that are super smooth with a light velvety feel. Available with black or orange covers, each of the 70 pages of off-white 90g Clairefontaine paper is micro-perforated for easy removal.

"R" by Rhodia premium Soft Touch pad

The pads are top bound with reinforced staples, and the covers are scored so you can neatly fold them back and out of the way. The 90g paper is similar to what is found in the Webbie (Webnotebook) but different....

"R" by Rhodia premium Soft Touch pad

This paper is actually smoother than the paper in the Webbie, which is pretty darn smooth to begin with. I tried it with fountain pen, pencil, gel pen, felt tip pen...  it most certainly made me want to write more!

"R" by Rhodia premium Soft Touch pad

My first impression was that this reminded me an off-white version of Clairefontaine's Triomphe - a super smooth almost glass-like writing paper which is made by the same company. I will note that fountain pen inks do not take as long to dry on the R as they do on the Triomphe. Yay! And much like the Triomphe and all of the Rhodia/Clairefontaine papers, the paper in the R is fountain pen friendly with no bleeding or spreading.

"R" by Rhodia premium Soft Touch pad and Rhodia Webbie

I have a theory on why this paper might look the same as the Webbie paper but feel smoother....  I"m wondering if it might be the same paper but run through different machinery - maybe even run through the same machine as the Triomphe?

"R" by Rhodia premium Soft Touch pad

If like me, you prefer off-white to white paper writing products, you will quickly fall in love with the new R pads. They are available with black or orange covers, blank or lined paper and in the following sizes:

No. 12 at 3.3 x 4.75"
No. 16 at 6 x 8.75"
No. 18 at 8.25 x 11 .75"

As of this posting, each are in stock and available in the US with the exception of the lined No. 18's which will not be here until later this fall. (2011) I can't *wait* to get me some of the blank No. 16's!

PS: I work for Exaclair and received these pads for the purpose of review.
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