Uncategorized

How to Basket Stamp a Leather Belt Quickly

We posted a video to our YouTube Channel on “How to Basket Stamp a Leather Belt Quickly.”  If you are new to leatherwork then you most likely have already given one of these a go.

When most of us start out in leathercraft, we quickly come up with the notion that we want to make a belt.  Belts are one of those items that everyone uses.  And, for the most part, the majority of these items are still made from leather.  No matter if you are a businessman, a waitress, a lawyer, or a burly Harley riding biker… we all need something to repel the effects of gravity on our pants. Continue reading

“Daily Rituals” by Mason Currey Book Review

I have another book review this week and if you are interested in Daily Rituals then this book is for you.  Have you ever wondered how artists work?  What routines and disciplines do successful artists put into place to insure that they are as productive as they can be each and every day?

Daily Rituals by Mason CurreyIn “Daily Rituals” by Mason Currey, he catalogs the daily routines and rituals of many successful artists from past and present.  We get a glimpse into their lives and how they maintained a consistent and productive work schedule despite the pressures of normal daily life.

I have to be honest, I have listened to this book probably six times on Audible while working in my shop.  I tend to listen to a lot of books during the workday.  I get bored easily just listening to music, so Audible is a very important part of my sanity throughout the hours and hours of working alone in the shop tapping away on leather.

Oh sure, Freddy is there with me the majority of the time but he listens to his music in his headphones and doesn’t waste time chattering away the day with me… although I enjoy being able to focus on my chores, I do miss conversation at times. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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!!!!

IMG_4805

 

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