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  • Writer's pictureHolly

Sharpening the Saw...

Sharpening The Saw

Today's topic is Sharpening The Saw. I take this blog post title from a chapter in the book

"7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. If you haven't read his book, you should. It has been around forever but is still applicable today.

The 7th habit of highly effective people is "Sharpening The Saw". This has to do with self-maintenance. The Physical, Mental, Spiritual, and Emotional sides of you. Taking time regularly to take care of yourself. Preserving and enhancing your greatest asset.

You might ask, What does this have to do with digital cutting machines? Great question... It has everything to do with it.

As creators, we are exercising the creative side of our brains continually. We are constantly meeting the needs of our families, friends, and businesses. It can be overwhelming. I know that I hit the wall from time to time and just get stuck.

Stephen Covey uses the term "Sharpening The Saw". A dull knife does not cut well. It is dangerous in fact. I need to keep my greatest asset sharp and focused. I would imagine you do as well.

MY BRAIN IS MY SAW AND MY GREATEST ASSET... * I need to do challenging things to build or sharpen my brain * Reading * Taking on challenging things * Being with people that share my vision, or at least understand it * Learning new skills * Associating with people in my industry that challenge me.

So, all of this is to tell you about my recent trip to visit girlfriends. Girlfriends that "get" me and what I do, in fact, do much the same in many ways in terms of business. I was in the same business as Missy Billingsley of for 20 years. I still do Embroidery, but my focus is on this blog, and the SVG business now. Gayle's business is a supply business for embroidery and crafters.

We call it "Playtime" when we get together. In essence, it is playtime but with a purpose. We get together from time to time to learn from each other. To bounce ideas off of each other and experiment with techniques. We have done this for years. Missy and Gayle are well-versed in digital cutting machines and techniques. I always feel energized after spending time with them. I learn things that I am doing right and also things I could do better.

We teach each other and challenge each other. Hanging out with Missy and Gayle challenges me and makes me better and more knowledgeable.

On this trip we focused on:

Stickers - Looking at the strengths and weaknesses of Cameo, Cricut, and Scan n Cut.

We cut at least 8 different types of media on the Cricut Maker and Missy was impressed with it.

We looked at software and made some designs for sublimation

Gayle taught me about setting up a printer for sublimation, the special paper used, and the ink. I learned a lot about printing for sublimation.

We printed tumbler sublimation designs and all learned how to tape the design to the tumbler and to make the edges match. Gayle was good at that!

We made T-shirts with sublimation designs and learned that 50% cotton T-shirts will scorch! Ouch! We also learned how to fix that! More on that in another post. I learned that I am used to my heat press and that using someone else's equipment can cause unexpected results. LOL. Again, there will be a video. 8-)

There is an old saying...

“Steel sharpens steel,” or “Iron sharpens iron”. This old maxim embodies the simple premise that we grow stronger when we surround ourselves with others who are strong. I spent 4 days with Missy and Gayle. I watched them pack and ship over 100 pkgs to their customers. The care and concern they have for their customers is inspiring. Spending time with them was relaxing and educating. I went home "Sharpened" and ready to continue my work here for you. Don't forget that you must take care of yourself to take care of others.


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