Monday, April 27, 2015

Motivation Monday - Love and Inspiration

Most of our belongings that are bound for Japan, save what we'll be taking on the airplane, are on their way now.  I managed to squirrel away a bit of cross stitching supplies and a few tatting supplies to hold me over, but other than that, ALL of my creative projects and supplies are gone.  I most likely won't see them again for about two months.  It's a weird feeling.  I'm finding small ways to keep the creative bug going, such as: gathering MOAR reference pictures (never ending project there), reading about the things other people are making, doing a bit of cross stitching, and of course, day dreaming about many future projects. 

I'm looking forward to seeing our new house for the first time; we've got a little less than a month to go.  In the meantime, I finally have a few minutes to breathe and fart around on my laptop.  So I figured it was a good time for a motivational post!  As always, these pictures inspire me I hope they inspire you.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Checking In

I'm almost done with what I've been referring to as my Colorado Farewell Tour.

I'm (back) in Denver, after visiting family on the western side of the state.  I'm going to stay the night here, then make the trek back home tomorrow.  I've been having a great time, meeting up with model horse friends, and also meeting some family members for the first time.  It's been a good trip, but I am ready to get home!

I have managed to get some cross stitching done, I'm underway on my newest saddle pad pattern.  I think this one will be fun and I'm already thinking about some future color combinations.  This first one will be black and white:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Intermittent Blogging To Come

It's getting close to what is always a rough time of year for me and it hit me hard out of the blue today.  That, combined with the big move fast approaching, means that I'm not sure how much I'll be able to keep fresh posts up on here for a little while (but I'm still going to try).

The movers come in a little over a week and then it'll be a long 6-8 weeks (or more...? hopefully not...) until I see most of my creative supplies again.  That is hard to think about.  Making things makes me happy and during this time of year, I can sure use any happiness I can muster.

My plan so far is to hang on to a bunch of my cross-stitch supplies and crank out several more saddle pads during the transition period until we and our belongings are reunited.  I am thankful to have some sort of portable outlet for creativity.

Anyhow, this concludes my brief update on the state of the studio...

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Moo-ving....

I recently made a couple of decisions about our big upcoming movie.

1 - I'm going to take ALL of my model horses with me.

2 - I'm going to pack them myself, versus having the movers do it.  This may mean that they won't be insured, but as Jeff pointed out, I might not get any insurance on them anyway since we are both suspicious they will view them as "toys" and not value them anywhere near what they should be.  Soooo, I decided I'd rather pack them myself, feeling fairly confident that I can help their odds of getting to our destination in one piece.  It is still nerve-wracking though..  They will be crossing the country and the OCEAN.  Eeek.

Anyway, the packing officially got underway tonight.  So far I probably have a little over half of my OF Stablemates packed and ready for their voyage....

And of course, the instant I had one box put together, I had a helper.

I then informed her that, no, this is not the way SHE will be moving...  ;)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Motivation Monday - Don't Quit

Monday is winding down now, but there are still several days left of this week for us to make the most of!  I hope these will help...




Sunday, April 5, 2015

New Faces - Resin

After my day in the studio with Candace Liddy, I did a bit of shopping - picking up several resins to have fun with.  Most of what I bought were on sale for being raw castings and having missing parts.  (yay for budget resin shopping!)  I thought it would be fun to snap some pictures of them to share the several new faces here!

The first couple are from her Zebra series, Stablemate scale, they were named after cat foods. 

This is Nine Lives, she sadly has NO feet:

Next up is Whiskas, she's only missing part of one leg:

Then we have Zuba..  I think she's one of the zebras too, but I'm actually not 100% sure.  (I don't recognize that as a cat food..?)  She's missing the same leg as Whiskas:

Moving on, and up in scale, we have Epitome.  She's a stock horse mare, Little Bit scale I think.  She's missing her back feet:

Next is Amisha, gorgeous, gorgeous Amisha.  She's missing one back foot and the tip of an ear.  She is a Little Bit Marwari mare: (she's already a favorite of mine, if you can't tell by my introduction...)

The only one I bought who was is intact and cleaned up is this one.  He is Mini Mulan, a stunning little Friesian stallion, Stablemate scale.  I HAD to have him:

He is a looker from any angle:

I love his action pose and flying hair:

So, there they are!  My wee little resin collection went from just 3 to 9 in no time!  ;)  I'm looking forward to working on these little ones and I'm hoping I'll be able to put a little time into them before our big move.  I also have to stock up on packing materials now for my more fragile additions to the herd.  I'm thinking I'll be getting some foam for the first time, that seems to be the stuff to use.

The only one I left out on my computer desk, for now, is Amisha.  I love her action pose and the fact that she seems to be demanding to know when I'll fix her and get her painted.  Maybe not for a little while, pretty girl, but it will happen!  There are SO many awesome color possibilities for a Marwari...  She will be fun.  :)


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Leatherworking... Sorta

Not the type of leatherworking that I'd necessarily like to be doing, but I have been "working" with leather the last couple of days.  We are working on our first big custom order for the laser business.

Basically, I'm taking a pile of this:

... and making 250 or so leather coasters.  Leaving me with this:

I wonder if anything can be made from those scraps...  Hmmmm....

Friday, April 3, 2015

Studio Day - Learn ALL The Things!

About a month ago, (really??  Yes, time does fly...) I had my day in the studio with Candace Liddy.  It.  Was.  Amazing.  There was SO much that I have been wanting to learn for YEARS and...  we covered just about all of it.  Unfortunately I didn't end up taking much in the way of pictures, I was too busy trying to soak it all in, but here are a few that I took during my visit.

The first thing I noticed when I got to her house was...  Gasp!  A stagecoach!

Since stagecoaches are a bit of an obsession for me (thanks to my very own ongoing epic stagecoach project), I had to get a closer look at this one.  It is being pulled by her "Wells Fargo" Thoroughbreds: Cash, Chex, Credit, Debit, Loan, and Savings.  It is an amazing setup.

Another really cool hitch she has is this micro mini circus wagon!

Of course since she created the first micro minis, I saw a lot of neat stuff about them during my visit.  She has a lot of the originals, test models, promotional material, and so on.  It was really neat to see all of that too.

One of the first things I noticed as soon as we went out to the studio was THIS.  A gorgeous sculpt she did of a racehorse and jockey, that was hanging from the ceiling.  I just kept staring at this each time we took a break.  It was so cool.

Okay, enough oogling at the cool stuff, ha!  It was time to get to work...

As far as the actual studio time, we did a LOT.  We started out by going outside and measuring her three (real) horses, to discuss conformation analysis.  Then we put what we talked about to work in looking at reference pictures of horses and building an armature.  Building an armature for an original sculpture is something I've always wanted to do, but was sort of intimidated by.  She showed me an easy way to do it and also how to bulk up the armature, without using clay.  I've wanted to try an original sculpture for a long time, but really didn't even know where to start.  Now I do!

She had told me I could bring anything I was working on, for a critique or for help if I was stuck.  Boy was I stuck on one in particular.  This is one that I started YEARS ago and then just stopped.  I mostly customize minis and I wasn't sure where to go next with this big thing.  She helped me a lot here.  I just had to grab a quick picture of one of my crazy creations hanging out in the middle of her work desk! 

She told me some things to work on and she even did a bit of sculpting on my little monster!

We also took a look at another of my drastic customs, a classic scale, and she did a bit of work on that one too, plus giving me tips on where to go next.  Although, I did tell her that after finally seeing how easy it can be to do an original sculpture, I may have to rethink all of this drastic custom nonsense - ha!  No, I do still enjoy the challenge of doing a drastic custom pieces and I'm sure I'll keep hacking away at them.  (emphasis on hacking)

One of the last (and MOST) exciting things we covered was...  resin casting!  I can't say how long I've wanted to try this, but it's been a long, long time.  I've always been so intimidated by even getting started.  Once again, after seeing her process, I felt like saying, "That's it?  This is what I've been so scared to try all of these years??"  She did three resins while I was there and also let me see how fast the resin sets up, and what it looks like as it does, by pouring some into the open medallion mold.  That was really neat to see.

After we were all done, I did a bit of shopping...  She had a bunch of resins still packed up from the previous show and I looked through a lot of them.  I ended up buying several new little faces, most of which were discount priced for being raw castings or having missing feet.  I don't mind prepping and can certainly make new pony feets, so it was a good way to get some resins inexpensively.

I am still so excited by all that I learned with Candace.  I took a bunch of notes and she sent me home with some wonderful reference materials for sculpting.  A lot of the fear of the unknown that I had about trying these things is gone now.  I know a big part of my trepidation has always been that I am a very visual learner.  Even tutorials with pictures just didn't feel like enough for me to grasp how to do these things.  But after seeing it done, the mystery is gone, as far as how certain things actually work.  I'm sure there will still be quite a learning curve to get past and lots of mistakes to make, but it really was invaluable for me to SEE all of this being done.

A HUGE thank you goes out to Candace Liddy for her generosity and hospitality.  It was such a wonderful time and I am so grateful. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Wasta Museum - Part Two, WWII German Cavalry Saddles

A couple of days ago I did Part One on some WWI horse items at the Wasta Museum.  Here is Part Two, featuring the three WWII German cavalry saddles.  There is glare in a lot of these pictures from the glass cases that they are in, but I still thought the pictures would be neat to share...

Here are all three saddles and gear together, as viewed from the second story balcony of the museum

The sign in front of them.

At first glance, they appear to be just English saddles, but there are some odd things to be seen on them...

... like for instance, they each have these panels that extend from under the cantle, with one sort or another of buckles or rings there.

A side view of the back of the top saddle.

The saddle bags hanging on the front.

A couple of the saddles had these interesting metal plates on them, they appear to be adjustable.

Interesting leather tabs on the middle saddle.

The back of the middle saddle.  It didn't have the buckles that the other two had under the cantle, but some sort of square ring there instead.  They all had the hole in the cantle, like seen on a McClellan.  Another place to attach stuff I'm supposing!

A front view of the middle saddle.

One of the stirrups hanging off the bottom saddle.

The back of the bottom saddle, with a canteen hooked on.

Another of those interesting metal plates under the saddlebags.  This was the bottom saddle.

Another view of the saddlebags on the top saddle.

A look at the sabre hanging from the top saddle.

I saw two different girths and had to get pictures of them too.

I thought they were both pretty, but especially the second one.

That's about it!  I hope you enjoyed a look at some old German cavalry saddles and gear.  I'm thinking it would be neat to try and make something like them once I'm (much) further along on my model horse tack making journey.  ;)