I went trailing around a bunch of antiques stores up around the Cook Forest area yesterday, after what I saw an estate sale turned out to be part of an end table or night stand with the drawers upright on one side and then a flat surface at the bottom of the drawers on the other side (and a small toy chest of drawers or what might have been a furniture salesman's sample (the first was too big to go anywhere in my house, and the second would have maybe fit a couple dozen pens -- at most.... At one place around Cooksburg I saw a spool cabinet -- for $675 US (!). Now kicking myself for passing up on that silverware cabinet on legs at an estate sale a month or so back for (IIRC, under $250). Sigh.
In the meantime, I went to IKEA Friday and ended up buying a small Malm two-drawer cabinet: I think will fit up to eight 24-pen cases once it's put together (so room to grow, since at the moment I only have six ). It's small enough to fit under my antique Arts and Crafts writing desk, even if we decide to put casters on it to make it easier to move (the Office section of the store had a similar Malm cabinet that DID have casters -- but the upper drawer was really too shallow, and the bottom one was clearly designed for hanging file folders).
Now, I just have to wait for my husband to get home from visiting his mom to help me assemble it (the diagram directions that IKEA helpfully provides shows a cartoon of a person holding a pencil, who is crossed out, and the next cartoon shows the same person with another person to assist; I'm not sure it should have to take two people to assemble a cabinet that's less than 22" high x ~16" wide x under 19" deep, but there you go...). I saw a 2 drawer Hemnes nightstand that was a little better looking, but if I have to put casters on it -- neither unit calls for them, only the Malm office one did -- it won't fit. I figure the brown-black finish will look okay with the desk (which is a sort of golden brown color) and the flanking Pier One fold-down shelves (black sides and sort of a reddish brown shelves) which no longer seem to be on their website), and the unit is small enough to still have a place to sit (I have a stool that came with a Bombay & Co. desk I bought on Craig's List that was a little too small to be useful once I got it home, but which is now in my husband's home office).
The Malm cabinet isn't overly stylish, but is eminently functional, and clears space off one of the bookcases (the bookcases have a bunch of really nice rattan covered folding cloth boxes -- that IKEA sadly no longer carries -- which have ink bottles and back up journals in them, along with things like spare clipboards). But the shelves are filling up and also have stuff like medications and hand lotion and my alarm clock on one (it doubles as a nightstand) and also stuff like my pen repair tool box (a small art supply tool box) and a jewelry box (one of those Lane chests that girls graduating from high school used get for free with a coupon if you went to to the local furniture store that carried Lane cedar chests). The back of the desk itself is cluttered with random silly tchotchkes, like a battery powered mini Lucky Cat (one of those cats with a waving arm that you see in Chinese groceries), my two small Pelikan pen stands. some Wade Whimsey figurines, some other small boxes, my mini Gumby and Poky, a Kleiban cat hanging ornament, and a blue Rat Fink with whiskers I bought on eBay awhile back....
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth
"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."