Semper fi, soldier. Semper fi.

I have been struggling to write this post and just can’t seem to get anything out. I think it might be a little post-excitement depression. I got all these nice care packages, sweet cards and emails, was babied for a couple weeks … now life is back to “normal” (except I still can’t lift more than 5 pounds, which makes life challenging to say the least, especially when you have two 14-lb cats) and it feels a little lonely and anti-climactic.

Since I really am drawing a blank as to what I want to write about, I’m going to give you an inventory of my end table with reviews of each item.



A pretty good marker as far as fine-points go. I tend to use these to finish drawings because they’re relatively easy to find and cheap. I actually prefer Micron or Staedtler pens, but these do in a pinch. I used this marker to do the outlining in the playing card image in my previous post.



Or notebooks, if you prefer.
Or notebooks, if you prefer.

My friend Erin K. Drew turned me onto these journals and the obsession has stuck. I’m the kind of person that buys the three-pack thinking that one journal will be for to-do lists, one for writing and one for drawing. Of course they all end up being all three. I carry a graph-paper ruled one (red cover) in my bag for those emergency embroidery graphing situations that pop up from time to time. The paper stands up pretty well to abuse like being painted, inked or glued. The last 20 pages or so are perforated for easy removal – I wish more of the book had perforated pages, but otherwise I am a total sucker for these notebooks. Though some would say I should more properly call them cahiers.


For Colouring
For Colouring

Because let’s get real, who hasn’t always wanted to re-imagine the color palette of a famous early medieval Irish manuscript? This is a super detailed coloring book (duh) so it actually gets a little tedious (shocker) but if you’re the kind of person that would have a Book of Kells coloring book you already know this, and if you’re not, probably no review is going to convince you to get one. I know that’s a cop out but it’s true.


seriously the best
seriously the best

These crayons are seriously amazing. If you are looking for some crayons, eff a bunch of Crayola and get yourself these. The colors are so saturated and beautiful. The only problem is they’re pretty stubby and imprecise… probably because they’re crayons, and the people using crayons are usually children. I recommend sharpening the points before using them with your Book of Kells colo(u)ring book. I used these crayons on the playing card image in my previous post.


Embroidery thread
Embroidery floss

It brings me great joy that when people clean their elderly relatives’ homes out, I’m the person they think of. A friend of mine sent me this musty-smelling box of only slightly moldy DMC floss. I’m not sure when it’s from but the design of the wrapper is definitely not the current design. The former library conservator in me hopes to lay these outside on a sunny day and get rid of some of the smell. I used one of the dark grays from this box of thread to embroider a Catherine of Aragon blackwork design (pomegranates, for fertility, you know — didn’t work for her, so I assumed it was safe for me) on my neck brace. Because if you have to wear a funny-looking collar, I say make it an Elizabethan one.


Mystery confection.
Mystery confection.

This is a pretty bad photo, but I don’t think you need a professional quality image to understand this picture. It’s the most confusing thing on my table to me. Who came over and ate every single piece of Toblerone but one? I certainly didn’t because I would have finished it, and discarded the foil. Is this an example of candy-related andstandstuck? Some kind of chocolate message from the Illuminati?

ITEM #7: Amarelli Liquirizia


This is possibly the strangest candy I have ever eaten. I have a thing for licorice, anise, and all things Italian, especially those that are licorice or anise-flavored. Imagine a hard lozenge candy with strong licorice flavor but absolutely no sugar and you are imagining this confection. I really hesitate to call it candy as it is 100% bitter and not in the least sweet. It tastes to me like the sort of thing you might dissolve in tonic water and sell to cure dropsy or some other Victorian-sounding disease. For some reason I keep eating it, probably because it is on the end table next to me and because it comes in a cool tin and also I kind of have a weird obsession with eating gross things.

So there you have it, that’s what’s on my end table right now. Happy April!


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