Spring Break!

Dancing vintage easter egg bunnies

The Desk is spending this week cavorting with nature, staring at the crab apple blossoms and skipping through fields of clover (… as soon as the snow stops. Stupid weather!).

Hope you are enjoying a little spring break and communing with nature yourself.

I’ll be back next Monday with lots of reviews, products and stories. Happy Easter!

(image via Bytes Daily)

Oscar Bingo!


Totally off-topic but with Oscar Night this Sunday, I thought I’d share a fun way to celebrate the event. Oscar Bingo is one of my favorite ways to integrate pens or markers while I watch the Oscars. Just print out a Bingo card and get your favorite marker or pen to mark your squares. It helps to watch with friends too so there’s some competition as to who gets a BINGO! first.

I usually play Oscar Bingo using the cards created by How About Orange. This year, I also might try playing with the Studio 360 boards. Two bingo boards at once will double the fun.

Do you watch the Oscars? Do you have your Oscar Ballot all filled out and ready to compare with the actual winners?

(photo and Oscar Bingo cards from How About Orange)

Office Supply Whimsy

office-y accessories from modcloth

While surfing around ModCloth looking for stationery, I found some other goodies for the office and for the office supply geek.

First, there is the cookie-inspired USB cup warmer. I’ve been grumbling about my coffee or tea cooling off and I have one open USB port left on my office computer. Solution? At $14.99, it just might be.

In the middle image is the vintage-inspired, ceramic dachshund paper organizer. Display your incoming post, letters and photos in the coils. It’s hot dog cool for your desk. Just $12.99.

And what paper nerd wouldn’t want to curl up under a sheet of notebook paper with the Free Verse Reveries duvet cover? Dream sweet pen and ink dreams. $89.99


And the Pencil Me In shoes are back in stock. It’s the perfect shoe for the teacher, librarian or office supply geek in your life. $109.99. If you’re feeling generous, I wear a 6.5.

Eyecandy from San Francisco

Happy Heart Mailbox

While I could not get Flickr to upload my travel photos, at least it saved my goodies, so I shall share those with you today. I did not buy a lot of goodies knowing so many things could be purchased later via Jet Pens and other vendors’  online shops so I limited myself to must-haves and small items that would fit in my carry-on bag.

Above, Melissa of Craftgasm and the Smithsonian Postal Museum shared the postal love with a little pink mail box filled with paper treats.

Red & Blue Goodies

If you put red-and-blue airmail stripes on anything, I’m likely to buy it. Maybe that’s why I love red/blue pencils so much? The pencil pictured above came from the epic Patrick & Co. stationery shop for a mere $0.39. Patrick’s is a classic stationery shop that’s been in business for over 100 years with an endless array of legal pads in every color imaginable, pens and pencils in jars to be purchased individually and so much more. There are two locations in downtown San Francisco, both near Union Square and should not be missed. The Dennison Airmail seals and the gummed labels came from Saturday Morning Vintage who had a stellar booth at the vendor market at Ex Postal Facto. The G. Lalo Verge de France stationery pad came from Patrick & Co. while the Air Mail stationery and envelopes came from Maido.

Red and Kraft is good

I purchased a few Pilot Hi-Tec C refills and a Hi-Uni HB pencil in the Maido shop in the Westfield Mall in Union Square. I also visited the Maido shop in Japantown and picked up a few more goodies. The postcard set tied with twine came from the 826 Collective Pirate Shop in the Mission. What fun! The Ohto Dude pen was compliments on Jet Pens along with a couple Morning Glory Mach 3 pens.

For the love of green

And of course, no trip would be complete without a little green. I got a word cards deck, some green gel pens, a “beans” cutter and itty bitty green staples from Maido. There will be more details about these purchases in the near future but I wanted to give a little taste of the stationery bounty available in San Francisco, should you find yourself there.

Top 10 Most Popular Posts for 2013

top10 posts from 2013

Here’s a  round-up up the most popular posts from 2013 that appeared here on The Desk.

  1. The Great Beginner Fountain Pen Debate
  2. Customizing a Midori Traveler Notebook
  3. Pilot Metropolitan Review
  4. TWSBI Mini Review
  5. Bullet Journal
  6. Piccadilly Essential Notebook
  7. Pipe Desk Building Plans
  8. Midori Traveler Star Edition
  9. Classroom Friendly Sharpener
  10. Kaweco Student Fountain Pen

I’m surprised to see the Bullet Journal and the Pipe Desk in the top ten but they are both great things to know. Thanks to all of you for continuing to read my reviews, leaving great comments and feedback and inspiring me with your own adventures in paper, ink and writing tools.

Happy New Year to all and happy writing!

Getting Organized: Recipes

Recipe binder

Since one of my goals for 2014 is to cook more meals at home, I need a system to store and organize recipes. Office supply geek thing at work, clearly! I’ve been searching the internet for good recipes and culling the stacks of magazines all over my house for potential recipes and sticking them in a file folder. This is not an ideal way to find a recipe so I am headed out to the office supply store today to pick up a binder ($3.89) or two, dividers ($0.99) and an assortment of plastic sleeves ($12.79/box of 50) to store my recipes in a more orderly fashion. I like that the plastic sleeves will keep the recipes safe from spills too.

I’ve been searching all morning for a good source for standard 8.5″x11″ sheet protectors that are divided to hold two 5.5″x8.5″ sheets since I have a bunch of smaller pages from Everyday Food (now defunct) and to hold recipe cards instead of a box. Sadly, I have been unable to find any at a reasonable cost (most seem specific to holding archival photo prints and are quite pricey). I may end up with a small binder and sheet protectors for the Everyday Food recipes, specifically, if I can’t find a better option.

I will probably keep dessert recipes in a separate binder to keep all the binders light and agile. Besides, I don’t tend to use them with the same frequency as dinner recipes.

In case you are curious, I found a lot of great recipes on Budget Bytes, including easy-to-make crock pot dishes. Also, the Dragon Noodles dish is delicious, easy-to-make and infinitely customizable. I added frozen edamame to mine for some extra protein.

Does anyone else have a good system for organizing recipes?

(photo via Freesytlin’ Beth)

Getting Ready for the New Year

Gold Foil Calendar on raspberry paper with easel stand $52. Refill only $38. Also available in Kraft with opaque white foil stamp. (via Sugar Paper)

Gold Foil Calendar on raspberry paper with easel stand $52. Refill only $38. Also available in Kraft with opaque white foil stamp. (via Sugar Paper)

I love the few, quiet days between Christmas and New Year’s. I use the time to potter around the house, tackling piles of papers, cleaning out my in-box (paper and digital), using Christmas cards to update addresses in my address book and other organizational projects. I try to write my thank you notes, catch up on correspondence, read books and catch up on movies. I really need a month but a week gets some of the projects checked off my list for the new year.

I love using the New Year as a chance to do things better. Lots of people talk about resolutions, but I think of them more as plans and goals. I often choose things that should be attainable in theory rather than things that are completely new habits or lifestyle.

So far, my personal goals are pretty humble:

  1. learn to cook more meals at home (besides frozen pizza)
  2. fix up my vintage bike (needs new rear wheel and tires)
  3. keep riding my bikes (4-5 times a week)
  4. keep writing lots of letters (and reply more quickly)
  5. match my GoodReads goal from 2013 (60 books)
  6. travel to SF for Ex Postal Facto
  7. more goodies in The Well-Appointed Desk shop

What are your goals for the New Year?

Batkid Successfully Saves Gotham

(This post is completely and entirely off-topic. Apologies to all and a promise to get back to business ASAP)


As a loyal listener to the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, AKA PCHH, I often spend my Friday afternoon thinking about “what’s making me happy this week.” This week, and Friday in particular, I spent the day glued to a live feed from SF and the adventures of Batkid.

So, this week, San Francisco is making me happy, for giving a little boy the chance to be a hero.