Friday, July 31, 2009

News From the Field: Rhodia and the new Diary Wars!

Big news right before the weekend drops for all you lovers of organisation! The legendary French icon Rhodia is launching a diary for 2010! This is big, big news for those of us who have always loved and gone straight to our Moleskine diary...or a big decision rather.

The tried and true, the exalted Moleskine? or the up and comer, the cocky young Rhodia? We all know Rhodia have been making amazing stationery (just try a Bloc Pad) for 75 years but this is their first go at a diary, which has been made in conjunction with Rhodia's sister company and diary/planner icon Quo Vadis.

Frankly, we can't wait to try it out. There are two sizes, a weekly notebook format (using graph paper for notes, instead of ruled lines), address book, tear-off corner page markers, 90g clairefontaine paper! in the large size and, with no shortage of audacity, an elastic closure. It's not available yet, but our sleuths have told us that Australia will definnitely have access soon!

Moleskine must have known this challenge was coming - their diary range keeps expanding with inventive new formats and consistent quality and style, but this really is a big challenge for the Moleskine diary stronghold.

So duck for cover because the big guns have come out! Diary tragics, we'd love to hear which way you're thinking of going for 2010...So, who's side are you on?

And if you're a lover of the idea of organisation, but just can't keep it together, our friends NoteMaker have some handy work smart organisation tips!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Field Notes Icons: Carrie Chau

Not everybody may know the name Carrie Chau, but we absolutely love the Hong Kong illustrator/graphic designer extraordinaire.

We found this interview with the eccentric Carrie where she talks both about herself (a self-proclaimed alien!) and her work (which i proclaim to be equally out there!).

Her personality definitely comes through in her artwork and the various products which showcase it. Totally unique, quirky, cute and touching. There is a sensitivity to her characters - a kind of endearing vulnerability - which reminds us of the cute little things you see at the zoo.

Her exhibitions have ranged from canvas displays to over-life-sized 3-d sculptures and her product range has gone from mugs, to figures, dolls and our favourite - stationery!

It's really beautiful stuff with the same heart warming aesthetic as we mentioned earlier.

Carrie has an online store and official website you can click through to for all of her work and products. Aussies can try the great Remedy Online Store for a whole range of beautiful Carrie quirks! But if you're just after the stationery, maybe try NoteMaker who have just received this new range.

Gift boxes, pencil cases, gift bags, notebooks, exercise books, lever arch files! Oh my...can't Christmas just hurry up already!? Best of all, paper fiends like us really really love it for it's (environmentally conscious) Clairefontaine paper stock.

Some of the world's best paper meets some of the out-of-this-world's best design and illustration. Lovin'!

Friday, July 24, 2009

News from the Field: Melbourne International Film Festival!!

Alright! It's winter and it's cold here in Melbourne and we all know that nothing warms you up quite like a nice cosy movie...enter MIFF.

The 2009 Melbourne International Film Festival kicks off tonight with it's opening night, showcasing the Australian made blockbuster Balibo. A powerful and moving political thriller about the true events surrounding the execution of five journalists during Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor in 1975.

It's great to see some significant parts of modern Australian History - good or bad - be covered in more mainstream forms of media and social consciousness as we, Aussies, start to get a grasp on our own identity (which , believe it or not, is more than a shrimp on the barbie!)

But, of course, there's more to MIFF than opening night, running from July 24 to August 9 with all sorts of fantastic pieces of film.

That's what's great about MIFF, it combines big budget with no budget, non fiction with fantasy, commentary with's just everything! There's something for everyone and everyone'e a critic!

Our picks for the festival include:

Balibo: Showing tonight as mentioned. The first feature film to be made in East Timor and documenting some important Australian history.

Deathbowl to Downtown: Filmmaker Coan Nichols' 30 year history of the New York skateboard culture, coming from obscurity to acceptance. We've always found some really interesting and unique design and style - the cool grungy stuff - growing out of this culture, so it's sure to be a cool doco.

Van Gogh: Brush With Genius: Showing at Imax, this French made film tracks the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh throughout his brief but prolific career, beginning in the Netherlands and advancing through Auvers-sur-Oise, Arles, Saint-Rémy and finally Paris. Did we mention it's at IMAX - what a canvas for all the unique and engaging chromatisms of Van Gogh's work! Oh, and it's at IMAX!

Lights, Camera, Tracktion: Just like blogs are sometimes better than novels, short films are sometimes better than features and this collection put together with the help of Yarra Trams is a great example of that. We've all (well, Melburnians at least) had a taste of Tram culture, so get along and celebrate the icon of our fair city!

So much to do! So much to see! Check out the program guide, the trailers page, get along and see something interesting at MIFF. You could fill a diary!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

News from the Field: When Moleskine fans unite!

A quick update from the field via our reader Alexandra about out humble little blog Field Notes getting some good love from big time Moleskine fans Moleskinerie!

Image Courtesy of Moleskinerie

Our post about the exciting new range of 2010 Moleskine diaries and planners impressed our fellow Moleskine lovers...well, you know they say that like attracts like!

Image Courtesy of Moleskinerie

In fact, the highlight was the 2010 12 colours volant diary so we checked back with our friends at NoteMaker who said it's currently unavailable! Talk about selling fast!

Image Courtesy of NoteMaker

You can pre-order though to receive stock as soon as it comes in so start filling up your bag of Christmas goodies before they're all gone.

Image Courtesy of NoteMaker

And don't forget the 2010 Desk Calendar for guys...finally, an easy gift idea for the hard to buy-for!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blog of the Week: The Design Files

Well, it's a Tuesday. We all made it through Monday and now we're settling in to another week and there's no better way to settle in to a week in front of the Mac monitor than a nice heartwarming blog. Enter The Design Files.

We posted about Geninne's Art Blog last tuesday as our blog of the week and are keeping it grass roots with Melbourne based The Design Files.

The Design Files is a collection of creative people, places and products from Melbourne and beyond updated daily by set dresser extraordinaire Lucy. If you're into design, something new, different and really cutting edge (updated so regularly it practically beats!) then The Design Files is a great way to get your fix of what's happening in the world of cool stuff.

We really love the hand made cards and paper products especially but there is just so much to see...forget Etsy for something different and go grab a nice hot drink (it is winter afterall...), click here and indulge yourself.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Trends in the Field: The designers are catching on!

It's almost a weekly occurrence now. A new store - whether a newsagent, a bookshop or a gift store - seems to pop up as a proud new stockist of Rhodia! The visual equivalent of music to our ears!

Especially when it's this good visually! Boffins bookshop has been reported to us from a happy WA reader (thanks Lou) as the newest - and quite possibly proudest - book shop to catch a case of Rhodia Love.

Indeed, Lou was so happy - and why wouldn't he be, after all, Boffins is technical bookshop - he sent us some photos of the great Boffins display. The iconic Rhodia pad is now sure to make the architect and designer Boffins following swoon.

The aptly named Boffins first opened its doors in Perth's CBD in 1989, and since then has grown to become the leading technical bookshop in Western Australia. So check it out (we love! the posters) if you're in Perth. If not, and you got a case of Bloc fever, then NoteMaker has just the prescription for you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Trends in the Field: Cool Hunting and Elephant Poo...?

Image Courtesy of Impact Lab

Well, as big fans of Cool Hunting, i must say we were a bit shocked this morning when one of our readers sent us a link to check out an old post on the Cool Hunting Blog about Elephant Poo!

Well, paper made from Elephant Poo at least. The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company Limited (and yes, the site carries through this lovely sense of humour) has been converting dung into a wide variety of paper products since 2002 with total dedication to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

They make stationery products like journals, noteboxes and greeting cards and all come with an informative little booklet of interesting information about elephants, which you can find on their site as well.

So browse through the Poo-Tique (see what i meant about sense of humour) and contribute to the on going cycle of sustainability.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

News from the Field: Special Edition Moleskine at Woodstock!

Image courtesy of

Exciting news for all international fans of the legendary Moleskine notebooks from - a new special edition Moleskine notebook has just been released to commemorate the 40 year anniversary of Woodstock!

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The summer of love may not seem totally in sync with the organisation and slightly high brow design of the classic Moleskine notebooks, but don't forget that Moleskine is also all about Peace, Love and Music.

Image courtesy of

After all, Moleskine started out as a notebook for artists, writers, musicians and thinkers - the aristocracy of the art scene!

Whilst this limited edition Moleskine will not be available in Australia, we noticed our friends at NoteMaker are really letting their hair down with the Moleskine range to celebrate all the same.

Well, letting their prices down at least! The Moleskine Classic Notebook range is heavily discounted at the moment, so get in quick! Their range is practically at 1960's prices!

And while you're there, why not get a 2010 diary? (we all want the new Desk Calendar) Now we know why it's called the summer of love...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blog of the Week: Geninne's Art Blog

Wow! What we love about blogging is the way that you can just lose yourself clicking through all the myriad of blogs out there. A suggestion here, a recommendation there, a little tucked away link every now and then and all of a sudden, the time has just flown by!

And whilst not every blog is brilliant, there are some real gems out there. Case in point: Geninne's Art Blog. In a word, beautiful.

Click through and meet Geninne - a freelance artist/illustrator. She has a store on the unceasingly cool Etsy which you should definitely check out here.

Whilst we could look at her art all day long, we also love the content - like this post about hand made rubber stamps. If you feel fully inspired to get rubber stamping (but aren't quite up to making them yourself), you can check out NoteMaker and Inscriber.

As well as the illustrations, the rubber stamps and the beautiful everything, Geninne is also an exponent extraordinaire of Journal Art (see Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook above) - just something else you should check out!

All Images courtesy of Geninne's Art Blog

But whatever you do, subscribe to Geninne's Art Blog. Your desktop will thank you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Field Notes Icons: Behance Action Method

Image courtesy of JCReport

We love the Behance Action Method approach to creativity and productivity. For those who are unfamiliar with this cutting edge technique for getting things done, the Action Method organises all of your projects into their basic elements, crystallising the steps needed to take action and make things happen.

There are online and even iPhone applications of the Action Method but we have to admit that our favourite is the offline, paper based range of products which are perfect for meetings and also for design and brainstorming.

Behance User Heather Ann-Snodgrass' work thanks to BehanceMag

The Action Method delivers clarity to ideas as it was originally developed in specific response to the needs of creative industry, where too many ideas get lost to concept and forgotten about when it comes time to make things happen.

You can follow this link to read more about the Action Method and why the world's brightest (like speakers at the world changing TED conference) can't get enough of it and if your meetings need to be sharpened just a little further, the range of offline solutions are stocked exclusively in Australia at NoteMaker.

There's also the Behance store for all of the online applications, for people who need Action on the run.

We recommend the Behance Action Book to harness the group's energy and the Behance Dot Grid Book for those quiet times of conceptualisation and contemplation. And if your business is overflowing with creative enrgy, you can even plaster the walls with it (well, almost...) as we mentioned in this post here.

Image thanks to IdeaPaint

If you've found other ways of getting the most out of your meetings and creativity, let us know! Even with Behance on our side, we can all use an extra hand!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Field Notes Classics: Bastille Day!

We like history here at Field Notes and so with the French National Holiday coming up next week, we thought we'd help prep you all with a quick run down on it's history.

Celebrated on the 14th of July, Bastille day commemorates the 1790 Fete de la Fédération - the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789.

The Bastille was a fortress-prison and seen as a symbol of the oppression of the modern nation during the French Revolution. This symbolic act of rebellion by the French people has been celebrated annually ever since as it lead to the proclamation of the much needed Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the abolishment of feudalism shortly afterwards.

The uprising of the people was an act of defiance against the Royal Government of King Louis XVI and their unjust detainment of political prisoners as well as neglect of the basic needs and freedoms of the French people.

The Fete de la Federation, celebrated one year later, was a wonderfully french affair – a four day feast, the finest of wine and even people running naked through the streets such was their new found freedom. This date is generally seen as the end of the French revolution and so, is celebrated to this day with fireworks, parades and feasts. And probably even still the odd streaking french man...c’est la vie!, as they say.

And we at Field Notes? We celebrate it with French stationery. The world’s finest. Rhodia, G Lalo, Clairefontaine, J Herbin…any excuse to show our thanks to these marques of near perfection is a-okay with us!