Monday, May 4, 2009


Whether I'm teaching or taking a class, it's only a matter of time until we get around to the toolbox tour. You've got cool stuff in your toolbox, and I've got some good stuff in mine. Here is my "If I were stranded on a desert island and could only have 10 tools" list.

A board or mat cutter with an easy to change blade. Meet Mr. Fish.

An x-acto knife with a handle that is easy to control, comfy to hold, and quick to change blades. Very Martha.

A short Zebra mechanical pencil with a point that seldom breaks. Really.

A hole pokey tool that I decoupaged many years ago. I keep the needle point stuck in a cork.

The world's smallest brayer. This one performs lots of glue miracles on papers that misbehave, rolling out little tiny bubbles until they are gone, gone, gone.

A genuine bone folder, handmade by Jim Croft, that fits my hand perfectly and gets into the smallest places. It is so beautiful it glows.

A tiny brass triangle, with a pick-up handle, for mitering perfect corners without thinking or measuring.

A small metal square, which keeps my lines honest and true.

A reliable glue brush with a plastic ferrule that won't rust when I forget to take it out of the water jar for several days.

And finally, the tool tray by John Derian. This tray lives next to my cutting surface and is the catch spot for all the tools I'm currently using for a project. When the project is done, I put them all away, then reassemble a new mix for the next project. There must be a surgeon or dental assistant somewhere in my past.

Next time we tour the toolbox, we'll look at the second tier of favorites. For now, I'm off to find some paper on this mythical island to make a book!


  1. Pam, Where did you find the bone folder and the brass triangle and who makes the brayer? I need a list of where to find these tools. I want to make a book and the right tools are everything!!! And who would know better than a book maker and artist!!!! Blessings, Deborah

  2. For Deborah and others who sent email requests --I have added most of the sources for these tools to the Supply Resource Links at right. They are Mr. Fish (Paper Source), X-acto knife (Michael's Arts & Crafts), Zebra pencils (Staples), glue brush (University Products), pokey tool handle (Dick Blick), brayer (10 Seconds Studio), bone folder (Jim Croft), triangle (Talas), and small square (MicroMark). The tray was a limited edition sold at Target last year.

  3. Thank you for the links! I am coveting the brass triangle rather mightily!


  4. Lovers of the brass triangle, this is not an inexpensive item. If your budget won't permit at this time, consider the 3" stainless steel triangle from MicroMark at a fraction of the cost. It is not as thick, and does not have a handle, but it does the job well.