Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In Progress Paintjob

I've been working on a repainted Breyer horse for a friend.  I fixed a broken leg and did quite a bit of prep work.  Finally, it was time to paint!

First I put a bit on the mane and tail, and "undercarriage" to see how things were looking:

Looking good up close, let's do this!

Starting with a few thin coats all over, except for the rump.  He will be a bay blanket appaloosa:

I had some doubts about the first color I chose - seal bay, almost black.  The dark color here below is actually what most of the body is supposed to be, with the light color as highlights in the lighter areas.  Since foals often have more lighter tones than an adult horse, I decided to see how it would look to start with the lighter color and start adding in the dark.  I wasn't liking it at all...:

So..  I whipped up a batch of a lighter bay color and one that I've used on foals before.  Once again, thin layers of body color.  This one has more red tones:

And here he is with some of the darker shading and preliminary color on the mane, tail, and legs.  This color is coming together much better:

I still have some work to do on his base color.  After that will be working on his blanket, white and spots with halos.  I'd envisioned him with a big, wild, speckled blanket, so there is still a ways to go.  I really enjoy painting appaloosa horses, especially all of the details!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Time Warp and A Sign of Things to Come

I swear, I am stuck in some sort of time warp.  After Christmas, it seemed like time stopped.  The days were dragging on, it felt like each day lasted 3 or 4.  This last week has flown by so fast I'm not even sure what happened.  I'm speeding ahead toward this next weekend when my husband will finally be home after a 6 month deployment.  I can't wait to see him.

I've been crafting this past week, finished up another cross-stitch saddle pad, probably my last one for a little while.  I've told myself I won't make any more until I record the patterns on the ones I've made and get them all finished and photographed.  I'd like to get them listed up for sale or otherwise decide what to do with them - I'd like to donate at least a few.  Then and only then will I embark on making more of them.  That's the plan anyway...

The newest pad, done stitching:

All six of the 18-count pads I've made so far.  The stitching is done, but they all still need to be cut out and finished:

Last night I started working on my big horse head cross-stitch again (the one that I'll probably finish about the time I'm 80 - along with the Stagecoach project).

Yesterday I spent SIX hours in the Studio room, moving things around, throwing things away, and resisting the urge to give up, sit down, and start making things in the middle of the mess.  I made a lot of progress with the (latest) overhaul, but there is still more to do.  This was after I'd been underway for an hour or two.  As usual, things looked way worse before they got better:

Moving on to a subject which I will no doubt be posting about more - and one that will eventually have its own blog is...  The Laser.  In a (VERY brief) nutshell... ever since way before I met my husband, he has wanted a commercial laser cutter/engraver.  We had talked about it for years and last summer, we had one of these big machines delivered to our house.  I have been playing with the machine a bit while he has been away.  Tonight I made a few things with it, including this little design, a stylized Arabian horse.  I did a quick, freehand drawing in our graphics software and then made it an oval cut out.  It will be part of a new greeting card that I'm hoping to make tomorrow and then post to ArtFire.  That will make it the very first tiny laser project that we will offer for sale: 
Very exciting things to come with our laser adventure!
One last bit of exciting news from the last week...  I present...  a baby apple tree!  This little one was started from a seed that had sprouted inside of a granny smith apple.  I read about how starting an apple from seed most likely won't produce the same type of apple, due to cross pollination and grafting, but I wanted to see if I could get one of the sprouted seeds to grow, just for the heck of it.  Well, here are the results so far!:

It will be neat to see if I can get this wee little sprout to grow into a tree!  I don't even care if it makes apples, how fun would it be to raise up this little one from tiny seed to tree?!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Had a short hiatus

The past few days I've had a short hiatus from doing much crafting and from blogging.  I'm still sick and after thinking I was feeling better, I started feeling crummy again.  It's been two weeks now.  It seems I've moved on to the coughing phase.  Hopefully that means it'll be gone soon. 

My husband sent me flowers for Valentine's Day, which we also consider to be our Anniversary, since we met a few days before then - six years ago!

I did finish the brown cross stitch pad and as of yesterday am well underway on the next one. 

A couple of days ago I launched into house cleaning mode and was making good progress when I was derailed by a death in our critter family.  One of our rats had developed a large tumor just over a month ago.  He seemed to be doing okay, but then appeared to be going downhill fast the last couple of days.  Night before last he was euthanized.  He was in bad shape, It was time.  Doesn't make it easy though.  I'm sure some would say he was "just" a rat - I know some may even cringe at the thought having rats as pets - but he was a member of our family for the last couple of years.  I bought he and another young male a little over two years ago.  I named them after the horses in War Horse - Joey and (top)Thorn.  Thorn is the one who passed away.  Joey is sweet, likes people, is just a good little guy.  Thorn, well his name fit him.  He was always kind of standoffish, didn't care for people much.  He never bit us, would tolerate being held, but that was about it.  He was also a bit of a bully, beating up on Joey at times.  He was ornery, but it was still sad to say goodbye.  His "brother", Joey, seems to be doing okay, I've been giving him some extra cuddles and treats.


Yesterday I felt down about Thorn's passing and was still not feeling well myself.  So I spent the entire day/afternoon/evening on the couch, cross-stitching and watching movies, with Kitten in my lap.  I started a new saddle pad, this might be my last one for a while - I think I'm out of fabric and I have a LOT of other projects to work on.  I'd like to eventually sell all of these saddle pads that I've made.  First, I have been making patterns from them, so that I can repeat the designs later or maybe sell/give away the patterns for others to make.

I'm not sure yet what today will bring, hopefully more crafting and some house cleaning.  My husband will be home in two weeks!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mr. Sandman

I'm still not feeling 100% but am, hopefully over the worst of the crud, so I got a little bit more done today.  Did a big clean up of the kitchen - it had gotten scary! 

In the crafting department, I did more work on the latest cross-stitch pad.  I ended up with a few more rows than this done after I took the picture.  I'm already looking forward to starting on the next one.  I came across a pair of colors that look awesome together and I'm excited!:

Then I moved onto some time in the Studio, where I had company:

There was much sanding done...  much.  (my lap):

One of tonight's projects, a repaint that I'm doing for a friend.  He had a broken leg.  I fixed that and actually lengthened it, because it was shorter than the other hind leg.  Tonight I also built up the front of that hoof and did some more prep work.  I'm thinking he should be ready for paint tomorrow:

Two more that were worked on tonight.  The one on the right is another micro mini that I had prepped. She will be painted a tobiano color.  She was black, but had several (thin) coats of white paint put on tonight.  The one on the left will be a dapple grey. 

I also filled in the neck and started sculpting the cheeks and underside of the head on the bucking draft horse from a few posts ago. 

That's it for today.  Now it's time for bed!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sick Day - Part Two

Yesterday was another day spent on the couch with my Kitten, feeling not so hot.  I got some more work done on the latest cross-stitch saddle pad.  I also took a few quick pictures of the other 18-count pads I've made so far.  None of them are fully finished yet, as far as cut out and a backing put on, but the stitching is done.

Here's the one I'm working on now, after yesterday's work:

This is the one I most recently finished stitching  The colors were inspired by my favorite stone, lapis lazuli.  The colors are deeper than this picture shows.  This was also the first time I used metallic thread - the gold in this one is metallic:

This one is a design that I did a couple of times on 14-count cloth and liked it a lot, so I decided to do an 18-count version:

These two were my first 18-count tries.  I had bought a new pack of floss with a lot of bright colors and I was dying to use the purple and pinks.  So here we go!:

I'm feeling a little better today and don't have much choice but to get back in gear.  I have to go to town for an Orientation for a class I'll be starting.  Then when I get home this afternoon, I'm hoping to spend some time in the Studio room again, working on the continuing (never ending) organization crusade!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sick Day

I've been sick for the last week, but in typical "me" fashion, I've been plugging right along - in other words, not taking care of myself...  Last night and today my body finally said - enough!  So...  I spent the entire day on the couch.  I watched a bunch of stuff on the DVR, napped, and did a bit of cross-stitching.

I had company.  Kitten spent most of the day with me, sleeping of course:

Although when I turned on a dog show, she watched it with me for a little while:

This was my project for the day, other than resting, my latest cross-stitch model horse saddle pad.  These pictures are from my phone, which has a pretty crummy camera,  The thread colors here are dark brown, black, cream, and a golden brown.  The rest of this (that is white now) will be the dark brown color that is on top and bottom.  I'll have to get a better picture of it!  I think this will be a pretty one when it's done.  It is the 5th so far that I've stitched on 18-count cloth.  They take a lot longer than the 14-count, but I'm liking the results.  I already have my next pad colors in mind.  They are fun to make:

Now it's time for some soup!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Works in Progress

Yesterday I ended up helping some friends with their move.  I did a little bit of work on a few horses before going over there.  Then, instead of crafting the night away as I had planned once I got home, I got into the (never ending) project of organizing my Studio room.  I did quite bit more of that today and tonight - and for some of it, I had a helper:

I moved some of my supplies around, tossed some random weird stuff that I still haven't found uses for and made some decent progress.

Here are a few pictures from the last couple days' of actual craft time:

I started coloring in a few of the carousel horse stamps:

This is a horse I had painted some years ago, he is meant to be a Gypsy Vanner.  I stalled out when it occurred to me that the original model has a short mane and docked/short tail.  Gypsy horses are VERY hairy.  If I'd thought about it beforehand, I would have sculpted him a long flowing mane and tail.  Alas, he is already well on his way to having a finished paintjob.  So, I thought I'd see if I could get away with adding that flowing mane and tail now.  I may end up having to repaint him anyway, after the sculpting, but I figured it was worth a shot.  First I made some support wires:

Then I attached them.  His mane and tail won't stay this long, but when it comes to hair on a Gypsy horse it's go big or go home, haha.  I figured better to start too long than to still be too short:

Look at those long, flowing locks!  Next up will be deciding on a shape and then sculpting:

The itty bitty Micro Mini got a first session of sculpting done:

Including actually giving him a lower jaw and chin.  They appeared to be lacking at first:

Yet another project is this wildly bucking draft horse.  I'd gotten this far last summer:

Yesterday, I realized the neck was too long, so the head came off, and things were reset.  Looking better now:

I also did a first round of sculpting on the "pull horse"..  but now his neck looks too long to me.  I decided to go ahead and wait and see what I thought of it after a few days.  I'm still thinking: too long.  It's hard for me to tell with the different angles and colors.  I might put a coat of primer on him so he's all one color, that always helps.  Anyway, I may end up starting over here.  I have yet to sculpt an entire neck from scratch, but it is something I'd like to try, maybe that will end up happening if I can't wrangle this guy any other way:

That's about it for now!  I've been in a whirlwind of working on the horses lately  It's something I enjoy, but I haven't been doing much of it for quite a while.  It feels good to get back to it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Another Craft Day!


Today wasn't quite an all day marathon, but I did spend a good couple hours or so this afternoon bashing through a couple of projects.  Mostly some preliminary sculpt work on the horses in yesterday's post, along with coloring a few of the carousel stamps from yesterday. 

I did take several pictures (yay me!) but have not uploaded them yet (boo).  I will try to do that tomorrow.  For now I am off to dinner and a rodeo with a friend of mine!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Craft Day!

I can always tell it's been a while when I pop on here and see the background of my blog is the wrong season.  For instance, today it was fall colors.  Um...  that was a bit ago...  So now we have an appropriate winter theme.

I really would like to blog more regularly... it's not that I don't have anything going on, it's just that I forget to come on here and talk about it.  I don't often take pictures while I'm working, so while I may have stuff to say, I don't have much to show and that would be boring, eh?

Recently, I dug out my old little "point and shoot" digital camera and made its new home in my Studio room.  Compared to our newer cameras, it is a simple little thing, but it is highly portable and is good for taking quick shots of what I'm working on. 

Yesterday was a cold, snowy day, which for me is good crafting weather.  I have been steadily crafting along, here and there, but yesterday I had an all day creative marathon.  It was wonderful!  I made some new greeting cards, did quite a bit of stamping, tried embossing by myself for the first time, and worked on some custom model horses.

Here are some pictures from yesterday!:

First up, a card that I made for my husband for Valentine's Day, which is also the anniversary of when we met.  The stamp on the front says: "Every woman wants a man who will ruin her lipstick and not her mascara".

I've had this gorgeous carousel horse stamp for a little while and hadn't used it yet.  A few days ago I made a Valentine's Day card with it and listed the card on ArtFire.  It sold!  (my first actual greeting card sale)  So, yesterday I stamped several more of them.  I'd like to do a series of cards, all different colors.

I learned how to emboss at a craft get together a few months ago, but hadn't tried it on my own.  I had these pretty tatted doily stamps and hadn't used them yet.  I tried a pad of white ink I'd bought, but it wasn't working.  I was bummed, until I remembered I'd just recently bought embossing ink and powder.  I tried it and was thrilled how they came out!:

I also cut up a bunch of scrap cardstock and paper into sizes to use for bookmarks, artist trading cards, and inchies.

Moving on, I started working on some horses.  I prepped a couple of Micro Minis for paint and then I got to this one...

I just wasn't happy with how he looked, so....  "off with his head!"

Re-attatched, next step will be sculpting his neck and some on his itty bitty head:

To show how tiny the micro minis are:

 Next up was a Breyer stablemate that I had started on last summer.  Here is how this one started out:

Last summer I had repositioned a couple of the legs.  He will be pulling.  A week or so ago, I did some preliminary fill and sculpt work on his legs.  But one major repositioning task lay ahead of us...

Again, "off with his head!"  It was just the day for that I guess....

After sanding down the top of his withers and shoulders and re-attaching the head/neck in an approximate position:

That one will also need a lot of fill/sculpt/sanding.  In researching horses that compete in draft horse pulling contests (my original plan for him) last night, I found that they tend to pull with their heads up, not down.  But I still liked the head down plan I've always had for him, so maybe he won't be a competitive pull horse, he'll just be leaning into a heavy load, or pulling a plow.

It was a good day of making stuff and I'm planning on more of that today!