Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day Two = Done!

Today at the Stock Show went a little better than yesterday, as far as sales.  We sold a handful of things from our business and...  I sold a horse!

Early in the day, someone said they wanted a couple of our laser-cut things, and then they said they wanted a horse too.  This is the little guy they picked:

He is another one of my older customs (haired!) and I was happy to see him find a new home.  One of my longtime friends has been helping us with our booth and she had told me yesterday that he was her favorite.  I had been thinking that I'd give him to her at the end of the Stock Show, but...  he sold!  Maybe I'll have to make her one like him... (oh darn, an excuse to make another horse - heehee)  ;)

It was a good day.  I'm hard at work right now on some custom orders that we received from the day.  Then it'll be time to go to bed and do it all again tomorrow!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Day One = Done

We survived our first day of having a booth at the Stock Show.  I did end up taking a bunch of my custom Stablemates and decided to take this guy along to tower over them and maybe attract some attention to his smaller friends.

He was created back in 2001 and was originally made as a custom order, but he ended up staying with me when they changed their mind on what they wanted.  I thought he would be a fun one to take to the Stock Show.  I love haired models and he is one of just a few Traditional scale customs I've done and I think he is (so far) one of only two haired Traditional customs that I've made.  I still like the way his hair came out and he has aged well.  He could use a few pint touch ups here and there, but he's still a neat model.

I'd better get to bed - Day Two is fast approaching!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Little Leah

For today (tonight!), I thought I'd share a few old pictures of Leah, the Arabian mare who I had for about 9 years.  She still has my heart, even though she has a wonderful lifelong home now with a good friend of mine.

The first day I saw her, in late 2002/early 2003
Leah and I, February 2003
Beautiful girl, she was still a medium dapple grey at first.
(she was born black)
Feeling spunky!
Her first ride
Nothing better than a roll after a ride
I think this was early 2005
Leah on alert - May 2006

One of my favorite pictures of her, if not THE favorite. 
Leah meeting Alex, Bo's brother, in summer of 2007

I hope you enjoyed seeing some pictures of "my" girl!  I do miss her, but I know she has an awesome home and I should be going to visit her again soon.  :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Creative > Messy House

This is true, especially right about now:

The Studio has taken a backseat for now and probably will for the next week and a half at least.  Tomorrow we move into our booth for the Stock Show and then the show starts Friday.  I feel SO not ready.  I'm going to try and at least keep up my blogging momentum while the chaos is going on, even though there most likely won't be any time for crafting...

I'm looking forward to the Stock Show and the experience of being a vendor there for the first time...  but I'm also looking forward to getting back to work on my first saddle, other tack making projects. my plethora of in progress custom horses, etc. etc...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Goals for 2015

Of course now we are already about a month into the New Year, but... better late than never?  I had this written up during the first few days or so of January, but hadn't posted it.  I thought I might add some things, but I think this is probably plenty!


Inspired by Janna at Shady Creek Farm and her post on 2015 Hobby Goals, I decided that it'd be a good idea to write my own goals down. 

I figure most of these will be geared toward my own model horse hobby goals, as that is where I really want my focus to be.  I've been working here and there on a lot of other creative pursuits, but my first love has always been the horses.

--- Keep up my blogging momentum.

Last month (December) was the first time I ever managed to blog every single day.  I'd really like to keep it up.  I enjoy blogging and it is definitely becoming something I feel like I have to do every day.  (not in a bad way - but something I really enjoy and look forward to)

--- Organize my collection of horses.

Several times I've started an overall inventory of who I have, as far as Original Finish, Custom, and in the body box, but I still haven't actually finished it.  It'd be nice to get that nailed down.  I still have some in my collection that are packed away.  I know at a couple of times I've sold some of my OF horses and I'm really not sure who all I have anymore from my childhood collection.  I like the idea of photographing all of them too, like Janna had mentioned.  It would be nice to make sure they all have names too.  Once upon a time they did, but now a lot of them are nameless.

--- Finish my Rio Rondo saddle kit and build some other tack as well.

I've been wanting to make tack for a long, long time and I finally have the supplies to do it.  This will be the year I dive in and see what I can make.

--- Make some real progress on the Stagecoach.

I'd like to see some real progress on this Epic project.  I'd like to get started on the team this year, maybe even finish a couple of them, and get started on the harnesses.  The coach itself needs a lot of work and while I'd love to finish it this year, I'd be happy with a rolling chassis and maybe the bare body of the coach assembled.

--- Create several new custom horses.

I have a ton of in progress horses and I plan to buckle down and get some of them finished.  Hopefully before the next thing on my list...

--- Attend a couple of live shows.

I've got my eye on a few shows this spring.

--- Work on some performance entries.

I've wanted to try performance showing forever and coupled with my interest in making tack, I figure it has to happen.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to have anything all set to go for the shows this spring.  However, I'd like to at least decide on the horses, events, start collecting documentation, and see how far I can get in the tack and prop department.

Last, but most certainly not least...

--- Finish all outstanding custom orders.

That is really goal #1 for me and it is something I desperately need to do. 

Non-model horse related...

--- Thin out my crafting stash.

I have a WIDE range of interests - and all of the stuff to match.  It will be hard to narrow my focus and get rid of things that aren't at the top of my list anymore, but it is something that I really need to do.  There just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do and make everything I want to make.  Model horses have always been my first love, from a creative standpoint.  Now that I'm back involved and going full speed ahead, I feel like I can let go of a lot of other things that kept me engaged creatively (off and on) while I was going through some very dark times.

--- Get ALL of my finished work posted up for sale/donation.

There are most likely hundreds of finished pieces in my Studio, waiting for a purpose.  This year I hope to send them all on their way, whether it be through sales or by donating/giving them away.  On that note...

--- Do more giveaways and donations!

I really do love to give things away, it is a lot of fun for me.

I'm sure I'll think of more that I want to do, but I'd say that's plenty to start with!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Motivation Monday

Monday is well underway at this point, Jeff and I have been go go go since early this morning.  (We don't seem to need any motivation today!)  However, I do enjoy sharing these pictures and I hope that they will inspire you (and me) to have a great week!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Home Again

Quick Note:  I made it home from Denver and am pooped!  It was 15 hour day, most of that driving.

It's good to be home!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Denver Bound

Tomorrow, or sometime in the middle of the night rather, I'm headed down to Denver to pick up a friend of mine.  She is coming up to help us man our Stock Show booth, possibly help us start getting ready for our huge upcoming move, and - of course - just come for a visit!  We've known each other since the 6th grade and had lost touch after I left Colorado many years ago.  Thankfully we were reunited through Facebook! 

Jeff and I have visited her in Denver (Aurora) several times.  She came up over the summer last year and stayed for about a month.  We had a lot of fun when she was here and one of the big occasions was that she rode a horse for the first time!  I was shocked to find out that she'd never ridden and I assured her that we'd fix that!  So, once again, Bo gave someone their very first ride on a horse.

First ride
For her second ride, we went outside to get better pictures - the lighting in the indoor is not that great and the dust doesn't help either.  Outside is much better!

Second ride

On her second ride, we did some horseback archery.  She had done some archery on the ground before, but obviously never on a horse.  We had a great day and killed a piece of foam insulation many times over.  (the target I keep at the barn)

It'll be good to see her again tomorrow.  For me the trip is going to be a "turn n' burn" - there and back in a day - about 13-14 hours of driving.  It'll be a long day, but I've done it several times before and thankfully the weather is supposed to be nice!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Little Bit of Leather

Today I started on the latest round of reorganizing the Studio room.  I pulled a bunch of stuff out and put in the two new storage carts.  They look good in there and will be much more useful than what I had in that spot - which was a computer cart, serving occasionally as an extra workspace and mostly a place to pile stuff.

Then I did a bit of leather working.  I finished dying the pieces for my very first leather saddle.  The pieces turned out a lot darker than I thought they would.  They look black here, but they are actually a dark, dark brown.  I had to really saturate the pieces to get any kind of even color.

Then I did a tiny bit of leather stamping.  I had briefly played around with some of that before I dyed the saddle pieces.  I had really wanted to do something to the leather, some sort of design.  But I tried and tried on a few scrap pieces, using the two stamps I have, and I couldn't get anything to look right.  So my first saddle is going to be plain.  Eventually I want to learn how to stamp and carve leather, but that'll come later.  I did manage a somewhat decent little bit of basket weave stamping today after studying the pattern on a saddle.  Some of these are crooked, but I think it's a good start.

It was good to spend some time in the Studio and I'm hoping to do more of that tomorrow.  I might even start assembling the saddle!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Resin Projects - Old and Brand New

Compared to many others involved in the model horse hobby, I don't have many resins at all.  I only have three resin horses, two of them are this set that I bought many years ago:

They were meant to be a Chincoteague pony mare and foal and were sold as a live show special if I remember right.  They were my first ever resin purchase back then. 

I thought the mare was pretty,

and the foal downright adorable.

All these years later, they are still naked (unpainted) and I've struggled, off and on, trying to decide what color to paint them.  My favorites to paint are pintos and appaloosa patterns.  I had really thought I'd do this pair in appy colors.  Chincoteague ponies don't have appaloosa coloring, so they'd have to be some other kind of breed.  Not being able to decide on anything all these years is a main reason reason they are still nekkid.

A couple of years ago, Jeff and I made a trip to Chincoteague and Assateague islands.  We actually camped right on the beach of Assateague and saw some ponies the next day.  It was a great trip and I took a bunch of pictures, of course.

I also bought several post cards at a gift shop, to have for reference materials. 

I just came across them again a couple of days ago and was taking another look at my resin mare and foal.  I think I'll keep them as Chincoteague ponies and maybe do them in a pinto pattern.  The herd I took pictures of had mostly pintos and flaxen chestnuts in it.  Either of those - or a combination of the two - would be pretty to do.

They are the old resin project.

Moving on to the brand new one...  Today, I got my first ever "Mink" in the mail.  It is beautiful.  I was lucky enough to be able to grab one of these before they sold out for the second time.  I was watching her progress on her Facebook page as she sculpted this one and I was in love with it early on.  I'm SO thankful that I was able to get one of them!

(I have NO idea what color(s) I'll be painting that one...  will have to think of something good)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ack! Bedtime.

So... it's late, it's been another crazy day, and I have not done my daily blog post.  I suppose it's cheating to type up a(nother) quick block of text, but I'm going to do it anyway.  I've been blogging everyday for almost TWO months straight and I'm not gonna stop now!  haha

This morning I had another assembly marathon of laser products,.  Then I went to town and had lunch with a friend I hadn't seen in a few months.  It was a good time.

I also started making some final arrangements with another friend who is coming to visit us and help out at the Stock Show.  On Sunday I'll be doing a "turn n burn" trip, driving down to Denver and back to go get her.  She came to visit us over the summer and it was a good time.  It'll be good to see her again and it should be fun hanging out at the Stock Show together.

After lunch I went and bought a couple of storage carts that I've had my eye on for YEARS.  I never bought them before, because I couldn't justify spending what they cost.  (but I was sooo tempted)  Well, yesterday I found them on clearance and today I bought two of them!  I put them together tonight and I'm hoping to do some re-organization in the Studio room (or..  just plain "organization"...) tomorrow to put them into service right away! 

I'm also planning to do a blog post with PICTURES tomorrow.  :D

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stock Show Prep - Shopping Spree

I hadn't quite planned on it, but today turned into a bit of a shopping spree.  I had meant to do a quick run to town and get a few things.  However, I ended up spending HOURS in town, buying things to make up our booth at the Stock Show in a week and a half! 

I think I've got a pretty good booth set up in mind now and I'm excited about the things I found today in the way of decorations and displays.  The whole thing is a big load off my mind now, because just a few days ago I was highly stressed about the fact that the event was 2 weeks away and we had absolutely nothing for our booth yet!  Today was a marathon of errand running, but I got pretty much everything we will need so that's great.

(I'll try and add some pictures of my finds later, I was so wiped out when I got home that I left everything in the car!)

The primary focus of the booth is going to be our laser business, but I am planning to have some custom horses available as well and I'm very excited about that.  Problem is, I only have a handful of finished custom horses at the moment.  I have a TON of custom horses in progress, some very near to being completed, but... I've been making tack lately instead of painting.  I really hope I can budget some painting time very soon - like in the next few days, because that's about all the time I've got.

There is SO much to get done in the next week.  For right now though, all I want to do is sleep! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Motivation Monday - What Do You Desire?

I've always loved this advice, from Alan Watts.  Since first discovering them, I often go back and watch video clips that people have made to go along with his words.  Here is a good one:

With that in mind, I'm off to the Studio.  I hope everyone has a great Monday and a wonderful week!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Model Horse Profile - Native Son

I thought it might be fun to share some of my model horse collection on here.  Lately I've seen a few people talk about photographing their collection, something I've never really done.  Back in the day I used to photo show - and I plan to do more of that in the future - but I've never taken pictures of my collection as far as documenting who I have.  I figured it might be fun to take it a step further and do a bit of a write up about some of my favorites, starting with this one.


San Domingo mold, number 829, sold as the "Comanche Pony" from 1990-1992  (information from the Identify Your Breyer website)

I love the San Domingo mold and always have, I'm not sure why.  I just think he is a neat-looking horse.  I only have one of them.  I don't remember getting this guy, though I'm guessing he was either a birthday or Christmas present, as that's how I acquired most of my childhood Breyers from around that timeframe.

He is not a mint condition example, he hails from the era when I played with my horses, though he survived better than some.  Even when they were sort of toys for me, I still tried to take care of them - especially my favorites.  I'd say he's possibly a photo show quality horse and even if not, he's still got a special place in my heart.

I named him Native Son, after one of my all time favorite Bryan Adams songs.  I've been a big fan of Bryan Adams for quite some time and I think the fact that I bestowed such a name on this horse meant he was a favorite of mine right from the beginning. 

I decided to write up this first profile on him, since he has made a couple of appearances recently, modeling a saddle pad and then my first halter.  When I needed a Traditional model to put the freshly finished saddle pad on, I grabbed him off the shelf right away. 

When when I set out to make my first Traditional scale halter, I figured I'd keep on using him as a model. 

I think he's pretty striking and I certainly don't mind taking more pictures of him.

Modeling my first "nylon" halter...

... and my first leather halter.

I hope you enjoyed this first little profile of one of my favorite models.  I'll work on writing more of them to share in the future.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rough Day

Today was a rough day.  By 2pm or so, I was DONE.  Jeff and I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening sitting on the couch, catching up on some TV shows.  He started building a model kit I bought him for Christmas and I started cross-stitching another saddle pad.

That's all I felt up to doing.  I feel completely wiped out.  I hope tomorrow will be better.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Horseback Archery

Lately I've suddenly started seeing posts on Facebook from the Mounted Archery Association of the Americas.  I know that I "Liked" their page quite a while ago, but I think (thanks to Facebook) I haven't been seeing their posts for some reason.  That's too bad, they share a lot of awesome pictures.  Hopefully I'll be seeing their posts now; I went and checked on the "Get Notifications" thing under the Like button, that's supposed to help.

Looking at the pictures they've been posting made me think of the horseback archery that I've done.  It is something I always had an interest in when I was younger, but I'd never had a chance to try it.

Then one summer, a few years ago, a guy came and did a clinic for Plains Indian style horseback archery... right at the barn where I board!

It was a great clinic.  He was doing it for a three day weekend I think, but on the first day Jeff and I were the only ones there, so we actually had the clinic all to ourselves.

For that first clinic, we rode a horse he had brought and used one of his bows.  We started on the ground, learning some history and safety, and shooting from the ground.  Then it was time to hop on a horse.

We learned that there are three basic shots: when you are approaching the target, when you are alongside the target, 

and when you are leaving the target.

I quickly learned that the last one, the parting or Parthian shot, is my favorite.  (It still is!)

When I said that I was interested in trying this someday on Bo, the clinician offered to introduce Bo to archery.  So I brought out my boy.

He started on the ground, letting Bo sniff the bow.  Then he fired a few shot from the ground, standing right next to Bo.  Bo didn't care, he rarely ever does care about much.

Finally he hopped on, bareback, and rode around.

He had a few shots fired off of him that first day, it was no big deal.  

The clinician exclaimed, "I've gotten your horse archery broke!" and we had a good laugh.

Next up, it was Jeff's turn.

He did most of his shots from a standstill since he hadn't ridden a horse much at this point.

The next clinic I went to was at the clinician's ranch that fall.  This one had a few participants.

We started on the ground again and then got on horses.  I had brought Bo and the other two ladies were borrowing horses from the ranch. 

After the clinic, we had a "graduation picture" taken.

The whole clinic had been done riding at a walk, but he told me afterwards if I wanted to try at a faster speed that I could.  So Bo and I did several canter passes while a friend took pictures.  Here are some of the best ones:

This is one of my favorite pictures from the day.  It wasn't until I saw this picture that I really realized what I had done.  Ride at the canter with no hands...!  I never would have thought it was something I could or would do, but when you are doing archery, you are so focused on handling the bow and watching the target, that everything else goes away.  This picture really captured my focus on the target while Bo cantered along.  I had just knocked and arrow and was about to take a shot.

The next year I did go to another one of his clinics, but I hadn't taken Bo so I was using a horse he brought again.  I only have one picture from that day.

All along, I hadn't had my own bow or arrows, so I wasn't able to get in any practice on my own.  I was only able to shoot when I went to the clinics.  The clinician made bows, reproduction Lakota horseback bows, and sold them.  Christmas before last, Jeff bought me one of the bows and six target arrows!

I've had a lot of fun with my bow since getting it.  I've done a lot of practice off of Bo and plenty of shooting from the ground too.  I've helped introduce others to mounted archery too, it is a lot of fun! 

Looking at the pictures from the Mounted Archery Association on Facebook makes me want to go out and shoot some more arrows!