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A Review of the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield

resistanceThis is a review of the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.  Pressfield has written many books in both the fiction and nonfiction space with one of his most successful being “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

I am an avid reader of nonfiction books specifically directed at business and development.  I came across “The War of Art” last year and consumed it first in audio form while working in my shop.  After listening to the book multiple times and gaining great insight every time, I have added this book to my list of “Must Reads” for anyone wanting to succeed in their business and personal life.

If you are a creative in any field, this book will bring to the surface those things we all do that sabotage our focus and productivity.  Whether your gifts and talents are put to use as a hobby or they are the sole form of revenue for your household, using these talents in a way that the universe calls for you to do is not something you can ignore.  What Pressfield calls “Resistance” sets up shop in our lives with a sole purpose to keep you from that which your guts tell you has to be done to be complete and happy.

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Do You have Projects You Procrastinate On?

img_1011Have you ever found yourself working happily on the project that you are most excited about only to have a voice in your head reminding you of that one job you put off for way too long?  Those projects you procrastinate on consistently? That one job that you set on the bench in the corner of your shop and feel it staring at you throughout the day?  In your mind you know that you need to just put down what you are doing and get it done so you can get back to what you love.  But as the days, weeks, or maybe even months continue to cycle by, you make an honest attempt to convince yourself that you will do it “tomorrow.”

 This is procrastination, resistance, or simply lying to yourself.  We all do this from time to time, but for some of us this can become a chronic disease among the best of craftsman.  We work so hard to improve our skills and talents, that we tend to put off the types of work that don’t add value to our skill set.  In an attempt to be good stewards in our business and remain financially responsible, we take these jobs because of our lack of confidence in our true passion.  We tend to look at these jobs as a necessary evil because it must be a sin to turn down work.  So we end up taking the project on, knowing in our minds that we don’t want to do them and in turn putting them off to the point that the customer is upset.  And we ourselves are upset for having to do them.

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Measuring for a Custom Belt

Measuring for a custom belt can be a little confusing but getting a good measurement is crucial to insure a proper fit. We also require a good measurement so that any lettering, brands or figures within the artwork are balanced when the belt is being worn.

In this short video I show exactly how to get a true belt size for you using a belt that you currently wear with the type of buckle you plan to use.

Please be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more helpful videos and tutorials. Thanks so much!

 

Drawing a Flower

I have had a lot of questions lately about how I draw my flowers for my floral designs.  This is a quick example of how I go about constructing any flower I may want to incorporate into my designs.

  

 

 The first thing I do is draw a small circle for my flower center.  Once that is drawn in the area that will be the center of my flower I then decide on the number of petals this flower will have.  Here we are drawing a five petal flower which I represent with just simple rounded shapes sketched in very lightly, just to show their placement and size.

  

Now that we have the center of the flower and the basic petals sketched in, I determine what the petals will look like and draw that design within my petal guidelines.  Here we are drawing a very simple scalloped petal.

  

As you can see in the last drawing, you are not limited with this method to just the traditional scalloped petal.  Knowing the basic size and placement of the petals first allows you to design virtually any kind of petal for the design you are working on.

This method works best for me in both speed and ability to design unique flowers.  Try this method and let me know what you think by sending me an email!  

Spring is Almost Here!!!!

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It’s March and we are still dealing with cold weather and many of us across the country are experiencing a fair amount of “winter mix” weather, but the fact is that winter is almost over and sunny days are soon to come.  With that, now is a great time to take a sunday afternoon and go through your tack room.  The majority of folks are fair weather horsemen and haven’t paid much attention to your saddle since before the holidays.

This is the time of year that our repair shop gets pretty busy and, depending on the repair, your normal wait on getting something fixed could be a couple weeks or better.  Now is a great time to go through your saddles and check key areas that may need attention before your right in the middle of the season and your saddle is in the shop. Continue reading

A video tour of Herman Oak Tannery.

Have you ever wanted to see the leather making process in action?  This a video tour of the Herman Oak Tannery where we get the bulk of our tooling and saddle leather.  Herman Oak is the industry standard for  quality when it comes to high end custom leather goods.

We think you will enjoy this video tour and getting a chance to see the hard work and dedication that goes into every piece of leather from the best tannery in the country!

 

Is that a Phonebook?

The internet brings us many things in our day to day routine: weather, news, research information, emails, connections with friends/family and much more.  With Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever other platform we use, we virtually have all the contact information and ability to actually contact those people in some fashion instantaneously.  So if this is the case then what person in their right mind would still be trying to push phone books on people as a form of advertisement for their business?

I honestly thought the days of the dusty cumbersome phone book were long gone… Then a salesman walked into my shop peddling his wares of yesteryear.   He was dressed sharply and had a salesman part in his hair that could be spotted by a keen eye right away… this fella was a classic salesman.  In his hand he was carrying a phonebook, that’s right, a phonebook.  I have a vague memory of such books from my childhood.  I was sure that the tree hugging liberals must have rounded up all the forgotten relics and recycled them or used them as mulch in their herb gardens.  But they must have forgotten one, and here was a man standing in my shop in 2014 getting ready to lay down his sales gibberish to entice me to advertise in the phonebook?

I found this situation so funny because there are many companies in this country that are so far behind with technology and even the consumer culture.  With any business you have to study your target demographic and find out the trends and nuances to better target your marketing to make sales.  What business, like a phonebook agency, looks at their target (businesses) and thinks that the phonebook is still a viable advertising platform in 2014?  With all the free social media platforms available and the relatively low cost to build a website today and have immediate contact with your core demographic at all times, spending money to advertise in a paper book doesn’t make any since.

Honestly, when is the last time that you have picked up a phonebook to look up a number?  Hell for that matter, when was the last time that you saw your grandmother pick up a phone book to look up a number!  Everyone just about in this country carries a microcomputer in their pocket that can INSTANTANIOUSLY find any phone number in the world!  Why would I waste time stumbling around in a phonebook looking for a number that may not be in there because the business owner figured out that it wasn’t worth spending $5,000 a year for a phonebook add when Facebook was free.

So what happened with the classic door to door salesman in my shop?  I politely told him I wasn’t interested and he said “Well don’t you want to advertise and get more business?”

To which I responded, “Sir, the free advertising I do keeps me covered up in work.  I can assure you paying for advertising is not something I can do.”