There's a few things that make life easier for the embroiderer -
an assortment of hoops, invaluable to keeep your work from puckering. I resisted using a hoop for a long time, but I'm used to them now, and my work stays nice and flat. These are 4", 6" and 10". What's that pen thingy, you ask?
It's a Frixion pen, for marking designs on your work. Supposedly, if you rub the marks with the other (grey) end of the pen, the marks disappear. Doesn't work very well. But apply heat and
Voila! all gone! Depending on the colour of your fabric, there may be a faint white line left, but not noticeable enough to worry about. This is a wonderful tool, especially if you change your mind about something :-) Someone told me the pink marks come back if the fabric is chilled, so I experimented by putting this piece in the freezer for 10 minutes. The pink lines returned, but faintly, and another touch with the iron removed them.
Another, often overlooked marking tool is your sewing machine. Just stitch beside the seam line, and use it as a guide for even stitch length.
Oh, and here's the next bird.