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    kleefan
    Latest Entry

    This is actually a question to anyone. When forming a beaked mask, specifically a Doctors Plague mask is it possible to cut the eye holes after forming the beak and the main fart of the face area?

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    Please help. If anyone know what a fair price on a singer 131-L is I need to know. Thank you

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    Actually this isn't the beginning so to speak, just me dusting off the equipment and tools.

    As I do not have a good location for a shop, I had to drag a desk into the bedroom to use. Still working on getting everything straightened out so I can start practicing again.

    Spending today downloading youtube videos on related topics. I would love to get signed up for Tandy classes but I could not afford taking weekly trips to Louisville for the classes, so videos will have to do.

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    I was looking forward to today - our once a year review with the Accountant to see how the business has done. I am now upset, annoyed and unsure of what to do. The meeting went ok but when we were leaving and shaking hands our Accountant put his arm around me. As I found this uncomfortable I ducked but was in the doorway so couldnt move sideways. As I straightened up I was being kissed on the head!! I quickly moved away as my Husband, who had seen all this taking place, moved forward to "shake" the Accountants hand. I'm not sure how hard he "shook" it or if he made any other contact but as I turned around our Accountant wasnt looking very happy and nor was my Husband!

    We have had this Accountant for about twenty years and have no contact with him other than for business. Right now I dont feel like I can go back to the office - I dont like being slobbered on and dont think I would be comfortable there again. What do you think? Was this acceptable behaviour for a professional?

    The good news is that we doubled our turnover - despite being in a recession. I wish I could celebrate, I just dont feel up to it right now.

    Cheers

    Donna

  1. For me I use the best leather quality for the item I am making. I do and will continue to use seconds for a lot of projects reason is it gives the items being made a greater character than a perfect piece of leather, it also shows that the leather is real and not some man made genuine leather product. One thing I have discovered is a lot more chemicals are being used in the "Veg tanning" process when I started in the early 70's almost all the leather we used then was naturally tanned using plant extracts or were brain tanned (think chemicals are stinky try brain tanning a deer or elk hide) for a soft garment leather.

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    bvb knives
    Latest Entry
    blogentry-13369-126983174479_thumb.jpgblogentry-13369-126983182771_thumb.jpgJust wanted to drop in and let everyone know I am still working on my web page but in the mean time feel free to email with any questions you may have and I also posted a couple new pictures of my knives. I recently change my program of building my knives, steel is a better grade and holds a sharper edge, slightly larger than before with the same appearance just a quarter inch wider. knives sell for $125 w/ free shipping. Have references upon request. Please call 406-293-2032 with questions or e-mail me at bbronson@frontier.com
  2. Now that we've had the Leatherworker.net business directory up and running more than a month, and a few of you have set up your listings, we're already starting to see some trends developing in what listings seem to be drawing the most traffic, and what you can do to improve the performance of your directory listing.

    Just to give you an idea of what we're seeing so far, as of March 6, with just the few listings we have so far, our listings have received almost 7,000 hits, and almost 3,500 of those resulted in web site click-outs. A hit is when someone clicks the title of a listing to view the description and contact information. A click-out is when someone viewing a listing clicks on the link to visit the lister's web site.

    We also keep track of what is called a click-through rate, which is the percentage of listing hits that get click-outs. It helps us determine how effective the ad is, or how likely the ad is going to produce a sale. So far, the overall click-through rate for text listings in the directory is running around 51%, which is a staggering rate, compared to traditional pay-per-click advertising (such as we offer on the forum).

    But even without the stats, we see the inquiries coming in, some involving volume work, and people are already telling us they've gotten orders from people who found them in the directory. Considering we're just getting started, that's a very good sign!

    That sounds great, but why isn't my listing getting that kind of traffic?

    One thing a lot of people need to realize is that a banner ad or directory listing is not a magic bullet. Just having one there is not going to guarantee you're going to get more sales. What you put - or don't put - in that listing does affect how many shoppers will click that site link, send that email, or pick up the phone. All listings are not equal. There are some listings that are attracting a lot more traffic (and business) than others. The good news is, you have a lot of control over what to put in that listing to improve its performance.

    Here are some tips to keep in mind when setting up or modifying your directory listings:

    Use the logo box.

    Use the "logo" box in your listing to upload an image of your work, which will appear in the listing. This will make your listing more attractive, and serve as an enticement to click your web site link to see more of your work.

    Include a description.

    My first tip for a good listing description is: include one. This seems pretty obvious to me, but I'm amazed how many listings have nothing written in the description box to tell shoppers about what you're offering for sale. Not surprisingly, these are the listings that get the least number of click-outs. Most don't get any. Don't expect the listing title to do it all. Use all the words you have available to you to promote your work.

    Include a call to action.

    Write a description that urges people to visit your web site, send you an email, or pick up the phone and call. I know most of you will think this wouldn't make any difference at all. I know I didn't at first. In marketing, this is a "call to action", and I found out after years of working with pay-per-click advertising, that it does encourage people to take that next step. Sometimes all it takes is a simple suggestion.

    Toot your horn!

    Write a description that "toots your horn". Sometimes it amazes me what a humble bunch of people we have here at Leatherworker.net - never quite happy with their own work, despite how others admire it, which is a sign of a true artist and is the reason your work possesses the quality it does. But when you're trying to sell your work, that's a BAD thing! When you're selling your work, you need to focus - just long enough to write your listing description - on what you (secretly) LOVE about your work, and what you know others love about it.

    Use enough keywords.

    Here's a really sad reality: About 95% of all the searches done in the directory for specific items are coming back empty. And a lot of them are searching for things that are offered by makers or businesses in the directory, or searching for specific makers or businesses that we know are members of Leatherworker.net. It's a sad reality because this represents a lot of missed opportunities to get found by your customer. It means a lot of you are being searched for, but not being found.

    Adding keywords to the keyword box in your listing will help directory shoppers find you via the search function. What keywords should you enter? It's pretty simple: choose words that people shopping for what you offer would search for. Do you specialize in holsters? Then at least one of your keywords should be "holsters". If you make lots of different items, try to include any other terms that are inclusive of the range of what you are offering, such as "equine", or "outdoor sporting".

    A Basic Listing can have up to 10 individual keywords. You can also use phrases that are more than one word, but each word will count towards the 10 word limit. Each search word or phrase should be entered with a comma to separate each one.

    What's the difference between keywords and meta-keywords? The search terms entered in the keyword box will help people who are searching in the directory to find you. The search terms entered in the meta-keyword box will (eventually) help people who are searching from places like Google and Bing to find your listing on our site.

    What do you mean "eventually"? It sometimes takes awhile before the search engines can pick up that information and get it indexed so it begins to appear in their search results. We are working on ways to get more traffic from the search engines sooner.

    Get your site in shape.

    If your site is getting traffic from the directory, but not much of it is converting to sales, take a good critical look at what people see when they visit your site. Is the layout clean and attractive? Is the photography the absolute best you can make it? Is it filled out, or does it look like there are pieces missing? Are shoppers finding what they thought they would find when they clicked on the link? Is the ordering process free of any obstacles?

    If you don't have a site, consider creating a gallery photo album to display images of your work.

    Having a web site makes selling on the internet a lot easier, but it is possible to sell your work on the internet without a site of your own. I can almost guarantee you won't sell a thing on the internet without at least displaying some images of your work that shoppers can see before taking that critical step closer to an order.

    One way to do this is to create a photo album in the gallery and upload your photos there. Then you can make your "web site" link go to that album.

    Consider upgrading your listing.

    You knew I would bring this up eventually, didn't you? Sorray - just had to put in a plug for the paid listings!

    You can do any or all of the previous tips without spending a single dime. And you probably should, whether you are considering upgrading to a Feature Listing or a Banner Listing, or not. But one reason to consider an upgrade is that the Feature and Banner listings really are getting a lot more traffic. It's still a little too early to come up with more accurate averages, since there are only a few so far. But we can safely say they're getting more than 3 times as many hits as the Basic listings.

    Regardless...

    We want to help you get the most out of your listing, whichever one you use, because the more successful you are at selling your work, the more we all benefit. So if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

  3. What a marvelous weekend this past weekend was and not just because the time I got to spend with my wonderful friend. No, this weekend was a learning weekend. Sunday was a specially arranged class with Rocky Minster and Monday was a class with Tony Laier. Truly a couple of great days to sit with some knowledgeable people and see how they do what they do and pick their brains.

    I didn't have the $$ for Rocky's class but I did stop and join in on the breakfast and meet Rocky. What a great guy and he has such an amazing accumulation of patterns and pictures of his career. Really inspiring to see and ask questions about.

    On Monday Tony and Kay Laier were at the Tempe Tandy with Tony teaching and giving tips on laying out and tooling the new holster kits. He also gave a great EcoFlo demonstration that was very informative and dispelled a lot of distrust I have with the product. Tony's skill and and teaching style makes everyone feel at ease and he didn't leave any of the newer toolers (me) in the dust or bore the ol' hands. He truly is a national treasure and so is his wonderful wife Kay. I had a lot of fun in the class and asked as many questions as I could think of. Poor Tony! I also begged him to bring back the rams head edge tool. I hope that he bends the ear of the right guy and this tool is back on the shelf. This was a all day class and even with the lunch break it just went too fast. I can't remember when I had a more pleasant Valentine's day and President's day and I even had a old crown pop off my back molar at lunch Monday! It was a wonderful time spent with some really wonderful people.

    I am so truly grateful for the friends I have made in this hobby. Without something to keep my mind and hands busy this difficult spell in my personal life would have affected me very differently. I can't say that simply tooling some leather has made it easy to watch a twenty year partnership go down the drain. But the close personal friendships that have resulted from this "hobby" has lifted me up out of a very big hole in my heart. Probably beating the snot out of something stamping has helped a little bit too. The thing is that for me leatherworking is a part of a meditation in my day. Just shutting off the rest of that noise in my life and sitting down and stitching a project, stamping a pattern, lacing an edge lets me rest and rejuvenate my mind. Thanks friends, you know who you are and a big thanks to one in particular that made sure I was suiting up and showing up, you're the best.

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    I have for many years argued that the general public has been taken for a ride.

    I argue that the quality of goods in the USA and world is lacking any and all quality, or effort to make it last and stand the test of time.

    Yes, I think that we are be coming a disposable world. You go to( Wal Mart) and buy a phone case it is pretty looking, you spend $20 bucks and it gives at best a few months of service. Then you go again and buy another. Bang another $20 bucks and in the course of 5 years you will spend upwards of $300. And if you were to buy even the most expensive case you could find it would last a good 5 years. Mine are rated for a life time. You see, your sticking it to the man, You. And the cycle goes on and on. Buildings are not built any more to last. The average school is built to last 10 to 15 years and then bang knock it down, throw it away. So you see the demand for Quality is not there.

    I am trying to get this point across to my fellow leather workers so we may in turn educate are customers. Its better for all of us it bring's the money back to the people and out of the greedy Big money grabbers hands of the world. I know there is a need for the likes of Wal mart but when it comes to shoes hats and leather goods there not helping, there soaking.

    think about it!

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    jbird
    Latest Entry

    Howdy all,

    Well, I am in my new space still trying to set up. I have orders pilling up and still so much to do.

    I will post pictures when its in working order and get back to work. the year is moving fast and that scares me a little, got to slow the mad hatter down some LOL.

    This is my first entry of many take care and be happy.

    Josh AKA jbird

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    stelmackr
    Latest Entry

    Just a quick note to let you know that PSLAC (Puget Sound Leather Artisans Co-op) and the DLG (Desert Leathercrafters Group) information can be found at: http://pslac.org

    Bob Stelmack

    Editor, RawHide Gazette

    www.pslac.org

  4. Cow Camp Saddlery has the chap patterns ready for sale. They are Shot Gun chaps and Chinks. avalible at www.cowcampsaddlery.webs.com

    blogentry-9505-126522218588_thumb.jpg Chinks

    blogentry-9505-12652222213_thumb.jpg Shot Guns

    Mark

  5. It has been one week since the surgery on my rotator cuff. It has been a hard week. shoulder feels like I was kicked by a mule literly.I was sick for a week and still feel nauesa at times. the anesthesia was the culpurit. It will make you feel sick for a couple weeks as it matabolizes out of your body. I hope I can get back to leather work soon and i think i will be able to to it. I have people that have put in orders so I do need to get it back asap. Thanks for all the support I have gotten from everyone and hope to be back on game soon. Gary

  6. We figured a way for you leatherworkers to get your site rankings up and draw in extra business. Glance up at your toolbar- see that button that says "Directory"? LW is proud to use its power to help our members get found by customers and make sales. This is going to a huge deal in the future, so get in there and create an account. You want business? We have a way for all the shoppers who come here to browse your sites and pick the right leatherworker for their job. Any registered member of LW can have a plain free ad, but if you want more of a stand-out presence, we can do that, too. And here is the best part- not only will your ad be seen by more people than any other place in print or online that you can advertise, it's CHEAP. We're talking waaaay less than it would cost to take out a classified ad in a newspaper or the yellow pages. The point is to have a comprehensive leatherworker directory that keeps you guys and gals busy at the bench and not thinking about day jobs. (yuck!) We hope you use this service and make some money off it- if you are a custom leatherworker or saddlemaker with a website, you want to be in the Directory. If you are a supplier or business that caters to leatherworkers- we are offering a regular text ad for the entire month of February for FREE, just so you can see how much your ad can impact your business. When you see the extra hits your site gets, and the phone starts ringing, we are confident you will want to stay with us and choose a plan that's right for you. You won't faint when you see the prices, either. With the high traffic and the low prices, you have to agree this is the best advertising deal to a TARGET market ever. We are more affordable than magazine ads, yellow page ads, radio advertising, newspaper advertising, PLUS our Directory will be seen by more leather folk than all that other advertising combined. The math speaks for itself.The top of this page has the links to compare different advertising campaigns and to sign up. It's easy and fast, and we want you to benefit from the Directory feature. Please ask Kate or me if you have questions or need assistance. We are happy to help you.

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    terrahyd
    Latest Entry

    WONDER HOW MANY OF US CAN REMMBER WHEN ALL THOSE NEWBE QUESTIONS WERE OUR QUESTIONS??????Doc....

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    Isn't this nice, personal Blogs on LW! Got to love LW. Johanna, and Kate rock, even if getting out of bed is a little slower nowadays...lol.

    It's lonely out here in the backroads of NC, but I'm managing to keep busy in the shop, everyday. Songbird is playing some blues on the linux box. The dogs are in and out, as usual. The back bench has some molded cases and sheaths drying. The to-do bench has some chap repairs, zippo cases to finish, a couple of belts, and some of toolbags to start making up.The rest of the shop really really really needs a clean up. Oh, that reminds me. I have to mix up a new batch of vinegaroon.

    It's starting to warm up from two weeks of cold. Today might be in the 50s, tomorrow might make 60. Looks like I'm riding the Sportster tomorrow.

    I have to go to Raleigh and collect on the sale of a solo bag through a local indy. He reported the customer was thrilled. That's the only bad part of not making the actual sale...you don't get to talk to the customer.

    The plan for the next few months is inventory! I'm hoping to do some bigger shows this year (hopefully, the "SmokeOut" in Rockinham, in June, for sure), and had better get off my arse, and start beating on the bench. The custom stuff keeps getting in the way, but it's all good. Still ain't making a paycheck, but I am getting established locally. By the way, you can name your company (Rocky River Leather Co.) anything you want, but if the locals want to call you "Dave, the Leather Guy", you can't do a damn thing about it.

    I guess that's enough for a first entry. Hope this catches on with a bunch of members.

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