The current issue of Country Living magazine has a great article by Katy McColl about Victorian chatelaines, which can best be described as small tool kits which were designed to be worn like pendants (some were also worn at the waist, like this example from the Grant-Kohrs Ranch collection, which sports a penknife, button hook, perfume, note cards and what looks like a watch case.)
I think it's a shame this charming practice fell out of fashion; I'd love to wear some of the tools I use every day in smaller sizes on a chain. I think the vegetable chopper would be a challenge to downsize, though, and I'd probably get a lot of weird looks.
My version of the chatelaine is my must-have kit, which resides in my purse. I was just restocking the other day for the next quilt show I plan to attend. It's a long, flip-lidded tin that usually serves as my quilting kit whenever I travel, and holds whatever essentials I can't live without away from home:
When I'm being a writer, I stock it with a pen, notepad, hair pick (crowded shows get hot and stuffy, and sometimes I'll put up my hair to feel a little cooler) various paperclips and other bits. When I buy a particular fabric from a vendor I like to paperclip their business card to the piece so I can add them and a snip of the fabric to my source book, in case I want more fabric.
This year I actually have my own business cards, so I added a few of those. I'm not planning to toss them around like confetti, but I think they'll come in handy when I get that blank stare from someone who asks, "Who are you again?" or I need to give someone my phone number (which I'll jot down on the back.) I'll probably add a little bottle of hand sanitizer (I like people well enough, but it's always the sick ones who insist on touching me) and a couple sticks of gum. Having everything in one place is convenient and saves time, especially when you're in a hectic situation.
Making up your own must-have kit is easy; about the toughest part is finding the right-size container to hold all your ephemera. If you can't find one that works and you're handy with a needle or crafts, you can always make one (I've recycled old tins and made up my own kit holders from scratch.) Remember to check TSA's prohibited items list if you're planning to take your kit on a plane so you don't bring anything that will be confiscated at the airport (scissors are now a big no-no.) You can also make up must-have kits for writer friends as gifts; they make great bon-voyage presents if your pal is planning to attend a conference.
Wikihow.com's Make a Travel-Size Craft Kit
Naomi Szeben's article How to Make Your Own Desk Drawer Emergency Kit has some great ideas on kits you can make up for life's various emergencies.