Before we get to paint & ink and the containers you can purchase at the art supply store, I wanted to say a few words about how the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain can save the day.

A few weeks back, my hubby, our friend Anne, and I went out to breakfast at the Cracker Barrel. Needless to say, all three of us had something to serve as a syrup delivery device. I have been pilfering everyone’s little syrup jars every time we road trip to/from an SCA event. Let me just say, the Blueberry Syrup bottles are the BOMB! The regular ones are good too, but the blueberry ones are money!

Syrup Bottles

Why yes, this is the picture from my cell phone of the bottles that went home with us that day!

These bottles are super because they are meant to contain sticky liquid during transport. They are resealable and the lids close tightly (especially if you have a really strong fighter or ceramic artist in your group).

The Regular Syrup Bottles:

The regular bottles are NOT good to use for ink. It seems like they would be the ones to choose for ink transport, but alas, no. Simply, their openings are just too small for a regular/standard pen (metal nib holder) to dip into. They are wonderful for transport if you have another container to transfer the ink or paint into when you get to the work site.

The Blueberry Syrup Bottles:

Aaaah, yes! These are the fashizzle! The openings are wide enough to dip pens, paintbrushes, palette knives, and loads of toothpicks (for paint stirring sticks). They can even be gently reheated to reconstitute gesso for gilding (adhering gold leaf to stuff,including overly helpful furry pets).

Both Bottles:

Both of these bottles are good for giving out samples of stuff (just remember to take off the labels) for SCA classes, A&S entries in displays or competitions, or for individual size stuff (things you want to take to an event, but not the entire big bottle/jar) for any and all events.

If you’re going to eat there anyhow, and you’re having the syrup anyhow, it’s not going to cost you anything extra. As we all know, free is good!

Touching Short Story that Demonstrates Usefulness:

Last month, my friend Jennifer was working on a family project in a sepia colored ink from a Micron tech pen. She tried and tried to mix a gouache paint that would work as a match for her to do the calligraphy in. She got frustrated and asked me to mix the paint for her, because I am really good at mixing colors to match. I told her to get a container for me to mix it in, and for her to take the left overs home (better to mix too much than not enough). She looked and looked for a little container, then suddenly remembered that I had given her one of the blueberry syrup bottles, and she still had it in her car. She squealed with glee as she went outside to retrieve it. I mixed the perfectly matching color for her, and she happily set to doing calligraphy.

Had it not been for that little jar, we would have had to mix it in who knows what else, and had to leave it at our friend Catherine’s Scriptorium to dry, possibly to have never been seen again (more helpful furry pets and all). But now, she has that color of ink/paint that matches and that she can take with her where ever she goes.

A happy ending indeed!

So, next time you’re on your way to an SCA event, stop at a Cracker Barrel and have the pancakes. Take the bottles with you, when you get home wash them, and see if any of your scribal or otherwise artsy-inclined friends would like to have them.

Last, but certainly not least, if you have a really nice wait-person, ask if they will rinse the bottle out for you before you leave. If not, and all of the contents are gone, you could rinse it out in the bathroom sink, but I don’t recommend that for every time. In either case, remember to give it a thorough washing when you get home. It’s always nice to have semi clean bottles to stick in your purse, basket, bag, tote, or “European Shoulder Bag”.

Hopefully Helpful,