Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tools, Beautiful Tools

Sometimes it doesn't take much to make me happy. In this case it wasn't that I got new tools, it was that I replaced the old ones. And it made a bigger difference than I thought it would.

Rotary cutter. I'd been using the Olfa rotary cutter for years, mostly for trimming my felted pieces while they were wet. Yes, the back of the blade was kind of rusty, but the blade still seemed to cut. I thought. The book I'm working on now is printed on muslin and I have to cut the printed pages apart. I knew I'd been needing a new blade because most of the cut went through, but not all, and I had to cut while putting pressure on the knife and while standing up. They didn't have new blades for the Olfa at the craft store, so to save time, I bought a Fiskars brand and a spare blade. Now I have two knives. The spare 45mm Fiskars blade fit the Olfa. Hooray! I actually like the blade cover mechanism better on the Olfa: you can slide it back with one hand. The Fiskars needs one hand to hold the knife while you twist and unlock the cover with the other.

I tried it out. Proverbial "cuts like butter!" Um, room-temperature butter? No pressure.

I recently supplemented my collection of self-healing cutting mats as well. The blue one I've had for decades: it is pitted, full of glitter and glue and threads lodged in it, marker and paint stains. The black one lets me use my knives longer. It doesn't have potholes where the X-Acto knife blade tip catches and breaks off. The black one also has a centering ruler on it, which I just discovered. Very handy for cutting my pages in half.




Ah, good tools. Sometimes when work isn't going well, you really can blame the knife. A new blade certainly made my work go more smoothly, which improved my mood, which makes me feel happier in the world, more forgiving and more generous all the way around. 

2 comments:

Sharmon Davidson said...

I agree, having tools that work well is really important. And getting new art supplies of any kind always lifts mt mood a bit... it's the little things in life that make us happy, isn't it?

Suzi Smith said...

hehehe…. even thinking to put in a new scalpel blade does it for me!!! The old one never seems too bad but then the new one is so amazing….. so quite jealous of the new cutting mat. sad or what eh :-)