While I was looking for my paper-rotary cutter to cut out my postcards the other day, it occurred to me that I have a lot of scissors. Most fall under the “general purpose cutting” heading, but I do have separate scissors and rotary cutters for paper and cloth.

This is a hold-over from my youth – Mother Dearest did quite a lot of sewing and had a special pair of scissors that were used exclusively for cutting fabric.

You NEVER used Mother Dearest’s fabric scissors for anything other than cutting fabric.

Cloth requires a very sharp blade to cut it – those scissors were kept sharp enough the shave a frog – and cutting things like paper tends to dull the edges of the blades.

The only thing sharper than those scissors were Mother Dearest’s hair-cutting scissors. Mother Dearest went to cosmetology school and was a licensed beautician for many years. (In the pre-GhostSister days she was even a hair model) These scissors were so sharp they would cut you if you looked at them wrong. When it was time for GhostSister, or GhostDad, or I to get a haircut – out came the smock, the scissors in their little plastic case, and the kitchen stool. (I don’t think I visited a hair salon until … it was probably middle school or later. I’ve probably only had about a half-dozen haircuts in my life that Mother Dearest didn’t do.)

I have very clear memories of being given “child-safe” scissors to use in grade school – you know the ones.


You couldn't cut a fart with these things.


I have equally clear memories of thinking that the things were useless. I had better scissors than those at home.

Once I was old enough to know better than to cut off my own finger, I was allowed to use any scissors in the house (as long as they weren’t the hair-cutting scissors.) There was none of this “Oh, she could hurt herself!” nonsense. I was smart enough to know better than to cut myself and the whole emo “cry and cut yourself” thing didn’t exist yet. (From middle school age or so I regularly used straight-edge razor blades for various things. They are tools, not fashion accessories.)

When I started getting more interested in different forms of art, I bought better quality scissors. I also started buying antique pairs from yard sales and thrift shops. These days I have over a dozen pairs of scissors – some are vintage, some are just cheap things for general cutting, some are slightly better quality for precise paper cutting, and one pair are designated for cloth only.

Just like Mother Dearest.