Monday, February 28, 2022

My NaMoPaiMo 2022 - Done!

Well, hey, I haven't blogged about her - or anything - since I started prep work.  Is anyone surprised?  I'm not, haha...

Reporting to you, Live from Denver, the day after BreyerWest, to say that my NaMoPaiMo horse is done!

She does not have an official name yet, but I'm thinking Ordinary Life, maybe "Ordie" for short.  Subject to change, I'm still ruminating on that.  There's a story behind it, to be expected, but that's a story for another day.

I'm happy she is done and even more: happy that I'm happy with her.  

I do have in progress pictures from along the way and would like to share them to show her progression, hopefully soon.  For now though, I'm exhausted and hungry.  Next up: either take a nap or finally eating something.  

Friday, February 4, 2022

Bit of Prep Progress

Today I did a bit of prep work on my NaMoPaiMo horse.  She was in primer, from a few days ago.

I did a little scraping with a carbide scraper and a bunch of sanding with fine sandpaper.  Also, I roughed up the areas around a few sunken seams that need to be filled.  I'll use the Bondo spot putty for that and plan to put that on tomorrow.

Here's how she looked after prep session 2 or 3 of...?  

She looks like she's already done with my nonsense. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

NaMoPaiMo and News

Here's a bit of news from the studio for this past week or so.

A few days ago, I wandered through a few stores in town, including an antique mall that I had forgotten about, and my favorite used book store.  In the antique mall, I found a bunch of Breyer and Heartland horses scattered around, and I ended up buying this appaloosa FAM: 

She was in the best shape of the other HSOs (horse-shaped objects) and also the lowest price.  The old Family Arabians bring back nostalgia for me.  They were among some of the, well played with, herd I was given, which started my collection.  Someday, I hope to get Starlight, the Vintage Club Yasmin in that same color. 

Other recent new arrivals are Firefly and Hawkeye, standing behind the FAM.  I had fully intended to repaint them, but they are very nice.  It's not like I don't have a ton of other projects right now, so that's far from a priority.

I ended up taking on a commission for a western pleasure saddle pad, using these colors of floss.

I'm very excited for this project.  The doll that it is being made to match is a favorite of mine, ever since I saw the initial post about her from the doll maker.  After creating the pattern, based on a real pad the owner likes, stitching is well underway.  

Speaking of commissions, I'm also working on the second micro mini scale Chagu Chagu Ummako (Jingle horse) set, which was ordered by a friend.

I braided more thread and made more fringe.  Also started cutting out fabric strips.  We chatted on Skype and she liked these colors, red and blue.  

On the left here is the horse this one is being made for.  He is "Robin", sculpted by Horse and Bird Studio.  On the right is the first set I made, in front of the in progress stablemate Arabian regalia set.  Which suddenly looks big here.

Another bit of news is that I signed up for NaMoPaiMo.  This is the 6th year and I've been in every one.  I actually came close to deciding to skip this one.  I wasn't sure I was up to it.  Though I'm planning to go to BreyerWest at the end of the month and could CERTAINLY use the motivation and an "excuse" to be in the studio right now.

I chose to paint a traditional resin, Yerokayannie - or "Annie", from Hanna Bear of Bear Carousel.  As soon as she had arrived here last year, I decided I wanted to paint her as an appaloosa.  In particular, a varnish roan.  This is a color I've never done before, but I think I have a plan.  

First order of business, yesterday, was a bath for her.  Well, the first was actually a bit of prep, mostly some seam sanding.  Then I decided to get some primer on her, before continuing with prep, but she needed a scrub down first.

I reeeally didn't feel like doing the selfie this time around.  It's not a requirement, and I really don't like having my picture taken (by me or anyone), AND I'm perpetually tired these days.  In the end I did it anyway.  This was the best attempt, I thought.

Last night, she was primed.  This picture was after one side had been done.  

I love the effect that happens when one side is done and the lightest hint of primer spray comes around to the other side.  It's something I often take pictures of.

She's fully primed now and waiting in the studio for prepping to continue.

While I was at it, I decided to wash and prime a pile of medallions...

...and a few micro minis.  

Not the best pictures, I use the dank cellar as a spray booth.  I'm happy to have that option in the winter, the lighting just isn't great for pictures.  I may end up using a few of those as test pieces for Annie.  Most will end up being future sales pieces.

I'm happy it's (finally) February, but that means it's really time to get busy!

Monday, January 24, 2022

Favorite Hobby Memory

Over on her Facebook page for Khrysalis Studios, Rayvin Maddock has a post asking people to share their favorite hobby moment or memories.  I've been thinking about it.  There are so many I could easily share, but this one in particular sticks out.

(In the voice of Sophia, from The Golden Girls)

"Picture it, BreyerFest, 2019..."

I could, and should have, done posts about my first (and last - so far) BreyerFest. 

(I mentioned the saga, briefly, in this post: 2019 World Travel In Review.) 

The moment that popped to the front of my mind happened there, at the Artisan's Gallery. 

I was wandering around in the room, taking it all in.  I was in awe of seeing some of the artists and amazing horses, in person, for the first time.  I stopped at the table for Studio Thornrose and was looking at her work.  Kylee saw me, yelled "Bobbie!" then ran around the table and gave me a hug.  I confess, I was in shock.  Then she said something along the lines of, "I'm so glad you're back in the States.  I know you miss Japan, but we'll be your family now."  More shock on my end, haha. 

The next day, I think it was, I admitted to her that I didn't think she even knew who I was and I thanked her for what she had said.  It meant so much to me.  She said some more wonderful things and - as the saying goes - you could have knocked me over with a feather.  I was so excited to be at my very first BreyerFest, but also a bit overwhelmed by it all.  And yes, I was acutely missing Japan - having left there, to move away, just 10 days before. 

It was wonderful to see many friends, old and new, and meet several people for the first time - some I'd been talking to online for years, but had never met in person!  That moment, that night at the Artist's Gallery, jumps out, because Kylee made me feel SO welcome and included - and didn't even give me a chance to be shy and awkward (my default mode).

This is a meme I like and I do think it's something we should do.

Love you, Kylee!  Thank you, again.  You were right, in my case, I think my hobby family is the best family.    

And to anyone reading this, I love you, too!

Friday, December 31, 2021

Tomorrow, tomorrow

I've always liked this picture.  Well, not this picture in particular, but this saying:

I don't really make New Year's Resolutions, I'm not good at sticking to them.  Ha, I'm not super good at sticking to many plans or goals, let's be honest.  (one of many ADHD struggles, but at least I know that now)  However, I do have a growing list of things I'm going to work on, starting tomorrow. 

** Signing up for a few options I've been tracking to try and make some income online.  Side hustles to my side hustles.  If they work, I'll try and remember to share them.  I don't like sharing stuff like that, or really sharing much of anything, until I have a chance to look into it.  

** Renewing my Stitch Fiddle account.  If you haven't heard of it, Stitch Fiddle is a super helpful site for designing patterns: cross-stitch, crochet, and knitting.  I use the cross-stitch option and have designed a ton of patterns on there.  They have a free membership, I think it limits the number of patterns you can save.  Of course, I had exceeded that, so I upgraded to the paid account and I renew it annually.  It is $5/month or $30/year.  

** Somewhat in line with the above, I would like to start selling some of my patterns and offer other things I've designed.  I have come up with all sorts of random things, as offshoots in the graphic design software I use for the laser, and would like to see how they go when offered up as digital downloads. 

** In line with that, haha, put more things up in my Etsy shop.  Goals should be specific and have a timeline attached - this is where I typically struggle.  I'll say that I have a bunch of finished or very nearly finished tack projects and custom horses.  I'd really like to get them all listed in January.  Everything that's either done or close enough that I just need to sit down for an hour or two and get. them. done.  Hopefully that's specific enough (it makes sense to me).

** I'd like to finish some of my laser products in development.  At the top of the list: jumps (top of that list: hunter style and flowers) and my little Stablemate stable.  I have plans to offer both as finished items and also as kits that a DIY person could build.  Waiting off to the side in this category: new saddle stand design(s), Stablemate shelf holders, paint holders, other jumps, horse-drawn vehicles, and more.  So much more...

** I have a few larger no timeline attached commission projects here that I really want/need to get started on.  All from patient and wonderful friends who've told me from the start "no rush at all" which is great and appreciated, but also, can make it hard for me to get started, ha.  

** I need to figure out who my next NaMoPaiMo horse is.  I have NO idea yet.  

** BreyerWest is coming and I'm going...  Barring, well, a lot of things - who knows..  potentially winter in ND will be enough of an interference.  At the moment, we're buried in snow with -40F wind chill.  But I'm hopeful and will be trying to snag a ticket and possibly a show entry, and workshop(s), and swap meet, and...

** In line with that, in particular, I want to have at least a partial new show string of custom horses for BW.  I had/have been toting around the same old CMs for a long, long time and I really need to get more new work done and out there. 

Whew, okay, yeah, that's a "start"...

What is on your list of hope to do/want to do/need to do?  Or resolutions, if you do them?

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2021


When I was a little girl, my Granddad taught me some of the constellations in the night sky.  Most notably, Orion and Cassiopeia.  Those are the two I remember the most.

Something strange has happened to me, many, many times over the years since my Granddad passed away.  It'll be dark, sometimes at night, sometimes in the early morning.  I'll look up to see the stars, or see if I can even see any stars, and I'm looking right at Orion. 

Though I have an interest in space, I never know where Orion will be but, SO many times, I turn my eyes up and I'm looking right at him.  It's happened in different parts of the world, and at different times.  Sometimes in a city, sometimes out in the middle of nowhere.  I've come to think of this as my Granddad saying hello.  Maybe it's silly, but it is a comfort.  Often, I glance up at the sky during moments of uncertainly, or before starting another adventure, and there he is. 

My response to this is usually something along the lines of smiling and saying,

"Hi, Granddad."

I'm feeling adrift in another period of uncertainty, stacked on top of uncertainty, with a side of uncertainty right now.  I randomly decided to go outside tonight, at 11pm, to empty the compost bucket and put some papers and cardboard in the burn barrel.  No, I didn't need to venture out into the arctic tundra at night to do these things, but I wanted to.  Partway across the yard, I wondered if I could see the stars tonight.  I glanced up and there was Orion, of course, right in my line of sight.  I stopped in my tracks. 

"Hi, Granddad...  Am I doing the right thing...?" I asked. 

There was no answer.  I didn't expect one. 

As I studied the constellation in the silent, cold night air, something else occurred to me.  There was a scattered pattern of clouds up there, thin, but numerous, with gaps and lines in between them.  Every star of Orion was shining bright through a break in the cloud cover.

After marveling over this, I said, "I do know that you'll be with me, no matter what." 

I finished my spontaneous late night chores and when I glanced up again, Orion was behind the clouds.

Until next time, Granddad.