Tools of the Trade
Do you have special tools, favorite tools ... tools so well worn they fit the curve of your hand?
Whether you sew, cook, paint, or carve wood, you probably have special rulers, favored pens, scissors, notebooks, or brushes.
I have a paring knife I like to use when I chop vegetables, a cast iron frying pan I use for almost everything, and an old set of measuring spoons that are bent and worn, but still measure.
One of my hobbies is calligraphy and I've been to lots of workshops. What I like most about workshops is seeing the tools other calligraphers use. The pens, the inks, and the papers. Most of our materials are the same, but sometimes I'll see something new, dazzling, and different. Something I just have to have.
I've also got a stash of tried and failed tools.
New gadgets that were flashy, but maybe not as effective as I'd hoped. Others that turned out to be far more than I needed, and others still that proved unnecessary.
There's that pin-back button maker (with at least 700 blanks remaining from the 1,000 I ordered!), the can opener that takes the lid off with no sharp edges (too hard to get a grip on the can to even get it started), the pop-over pan, and that triangle knife thingamajig I don't even remember what to do with.
It's exciting to start a new project or return to an old hobby. To pull out the tools that become like friends. Because the right tool does make a difference.
It may take some trial and error to find the right ones, the ones that work best for you, but that's what makes them what they are ... tools of the trade.
Does Your Town Have a Tool Library?
If anyone had asked me that question last week, I wouldn't have known the answer.
Today I do. On my way to a meeting in an unfamiliar part of town last week, I passed the Maine Tool Library. The place to go when you need an apple picker (!), a pipe cutter, a bundt pan in the shape of a castle, a drain snake, a 6" c-clap, or over 1,000 other tools.
What a great idea, especially if you've got a project that calls for expensive equipment that you'll probably never use again once the project is done.
Make Your Own!