Sunday, November 30, 2014

Oh The Horror!

I've made mention (several times recently) of the wretched mess in my Studio room.  I've taken some "before" pictures of it - mostly for myself to have.  I wasn't sure I'd actually share them on here.  But I just read several blog posts from a fellow model horse hobby artist who has had repeated struggles with keeping her work area neat and clean.  (there's nothing for it - creativity is messy!)  It always helps to know you are not alone.  With that in mind..  THIS is what I'm up against:

Oh boy...

There is SO much going on in there right now.  I was working in there quite a bit before the horse shows a month ago, but even then it was a messy place and my organizational attempts (see the tidy organizers on the shelves to the left) were failing.  I've been avoiding even going in the room lately.  This is not good when there are SO many craft projects I want to do in there. 

After returning home from the two live shows back to back, I piled my boxes of packed up horses and supplies in the room and there they sit.  Those boxes all need to be unpacked and the things inside put away. 

The shelves on the right need to be wrangled into submission.  The biggest mess there is my reference book/binder/paper section.  I need to sort through it all and organize by subject, plus decide if I really WANT all of it now with the impending move and restructuring of my creative journey... 

I have a massive horse reference picture project in there that is ongoing.  In a nutshell, I collect pictures from magazines, group them by color, pose, markings, tack, etc.. and put them into binders.  I have been doing this for many years.  It is an ongoing thing, but I'm quite a bit behind on the organize and put into binders part of it.  It would be nice to get more of that organized and useable. 

The plants in the window need to be separated, repotted, and most of them will be sold.  That is my leopard lily "farm".  They are these neat little plants that are HIGHLY prolific and every so often I give away or sell a round of the babies.  I have a BUNCH of them that need to go now.

Everything on the floor needs to be... not on the floor. 

So there it is!  As soon as I post this, I'm off to wade into the pit and see how much I can get done in there today.  It is frigid cold outside (11 degrees), but bright and sunny, not a cloud in the sky.  It's a good day to get some work done inside.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Training Clinic Day

Today my boy Bo and I went to a training clinic.  Sadly I didn't take my camera, because I thought - "Eh, I won't be able to take any pictures of myself riding..."

(Note to self: ALWAYS take the camera to a horse event of any kind)

There were several pretty horses there today and two I would have loved to have gotten pictures of - a flashy Paint with a badger face and a gorgeous dappled sooty/chocolate palomino.  Live and learn... Maybe I'll see them again at the next clinic.

Missed reference picture opportunities aside, it was a good time and I am exhausted - both physically and mentally.  It was a solid two hours of riding, working on many different exercises.  I learned that Bo has improved greatly since the last time we did one of these clinics two years ago.  I also learned we still have a lot to work on.  There is supposed to be another one in two weeks and I'm hoping to go.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Leather

I pretty much can't stand "Black Friday"...  I think it's sad how people are willing to trample each other to buy more STUFF in a world where so many people have too much stuff already!  All that, a day after we are supposed to be tankful for what we have.  It just makes no sense to me.  But, of course to each his own. 

There was only ONE sale I was interested in this year amidst the bombardment of ads, banners, sales flyers, commercials, e-mails...  That would be the sale at Tandy Leather.

For many, many years I've had an interest in leatherworking, but have never really done anything about it.  My interest in it, no surprise, comes along in tow with my interest in all things horses.  While I think it would be awesome to make REAL horse tack (and someday I hope to give it a whirl), my main interest has been on the smaller scale - model horse tack.

A while after I had started making the cross-stitch pads, I thought it would be neat to have a saddle to advertise them under.  Naturally, I wanted to make the saddle myself and the widely accepted way to start with that is the Western Saddle Kit from Rio Rondo, which I picked up a few months or so ago:

I haven't started on it yet, one reason is because... well... I was afraid I'd mess up the piece of leather that came with it.  That's not a concern anymore:

We slept in some this morning, then got up and went to town to Tandy for their Black Friday sale.  We bought several things, the highlight - and the reason we went - was for tooling leather sides that were only $39.99 (regular price $152.99).  We bought two of them.  That was the limit per customer, otherwise we might have bought more!  They are pretty huge (rolled up in the picture) and seem to be the perfect thickness for my model horse tack making dreams.

I also got two bags of lining remnants (on sale, half price), a skiver (on sale, 30% off), and two leather stamps (also half off).  Jeff got some leather pieces to work with on the laser and some rivets and hardware for other projects.  Altogether we spent less than what one of the tooling sides would have cost at regular price.  Yay for sales!  Though if we would have had to sleep in a tent in front of the store and/or be there at 3-4am, it wouldn't have happened.  Thankfully they opened at 9am and it was a pretty laid-back experience.  The store was more crowed than usual, but not insane, and they had coffee and doughnuts for everyone.   

Just in time for finally taking the plunge and getting some leather and tools, I came across some tutorials online about doing miniature leather carving.  I'm excited to finally get going with some model horse tack!

(and yes...  I now have  MORE supplies when I'm needing to get rid of things...  but I see it as refocusing my efforts towards what I REALLY want to be doing, versus just odd random creative projects here and there - those are the ones that will be going away)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giveaway! - First of Many

I love to give gifts, I think it's easily as much fun to give as to receive - or even more so!  I almost always try to include "extras" when I ship off orders and for a while now I've wanted to do some sort of giveaway on my Studio Facebook page.  I've seen a lot of other pages organize giveaways as a way to increase traffic and so on.  I've wanted to do it for that reason, but also just because I love to give things away!

So, today I set up the first ever Giveaway on my Facebook page!  I couldn't decide what to offer as the prize, since I have a bunch of different things that I make, so I decided to offer a choice to the winner.  Whoever wins (I'll draw a name on December 6th) can chose from something in the picture:

Up for grabs are two Christmas cards, a dreamcatcher, a cross necklace or two Stablemate-scale saddle pads.  I already have plans for future giveaways - with more prizes and larger prizes too.

Ideas for future prizes...  More of the above...  plus: larger saddle pads and custom horses - maybe even NAN-qualified custom horses!  I might do some craft supply giveaways too, since I am wanting to pare down my "hoard".  The ideas are endless and I'm really excited about the opportunity to get more of my work out in the world, hopefully gain some new FB friends and fans, AND spread some cheer - not only during the holidays, but all year long.

Most giveaways ask you to like and share their page, I decided to give multiple entries for doing things.  So... Like the post = 1 entry.  Like and Comment on the post = 2 entries.  Like, Comment, and Share = 3 entries. 

In  other news, I've spent a few more sessions on my latest saddle pad and here's how it looks right now:

I did decide to go with the black, though I feel like I'm really itching to use a tan/sand color in a design, possibly in the next one.  I'd like to stitch this design again using shades of pink...  maybe it will turn out to be pink and tan? 

I love the way the 18 count pads turn out and the amount of detail I can work into them, versus the 14 count, but boy do they take a long time!  I've heard there are some pads stitched onto even higher count fabric - yikes!  While looking through my collection of fabric recently, I did find that I have some in a higher count - 20-something..  (I scored a bunch of fabric and floss for a few dollars at the thrift store a little while back and hadn't fully picked through it all until recently)  I'm thinking I'll break some of that out soon and see what kind of smaller scale pads I could make.  I'm not sure I'd do them in the Traditional-scale though, it seems like they would take for-ever.  Though knowing me, I'll probably try and do one anyway.  Yeah...  I'm nuts.  ;-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Like Option Three

The way I see it, from a crafting standpoint, I have three options for our upcoming overseas move.  I have way too much stuff to take along (craft supplies and otherwise!).  What should I do with it?

1 - We are going to be putting some things in storage.  I could put some of my supplies in storage, but I don't really want to do that.  I'd like to take this opportunity to thin down on excess "stuff" all around, not just pack it away and have to deal with it again when we return.

2 - My first idea was to do what I originally thought of for purging the Studio - decide what I don't want and sell, give away, or donate it.  

3 - Or... I can craft my butt off for the next few months and try to use up as much of my supplies as I can before we leave.  Then sell, give away, or donate the finished items.

I like the last option the best.  ;)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stitching The Day Away

Well, not quite, but close.

A few days ago I finished stitching another saddle pad:

This is a design that I've done on a few pads now.  It was an accent I saw on a real saddle pad when I first started stitching these and I really liked it.  So I started making pads completely covered with what was just part of the real pad. 

Designing the pattern for these is a lot of fun for me and when I come up with a new pattern I can't WAIT to start stitching it.  Such was the case with the one I'm working on now.  I drew up the pattern for it shortly after starting the one above and it was SO hard to stay on track and finish the first, before moving on to the new (shiny!) one.  (haha)

I finally did finish the one above a few days ago and promptly took it out of the hoop, reloaded and started on the new one.  In my haste though, I messed up the pattern and was well underway before I realized the error.  I decided, as I always do, to pull out all of the stitches and start over.  Jeff has seen me do this before and says I have a lot more patience than him.  I don't mind undoing stitches and I'd rather not waste the fabric if I can help it.

I don't have any pictures of all of that, though once I'd finally undone everything I sort of wished I had documented it.

I spent another number of hours re-doing what I'd messed up and undone and that was pretty much where I'd left the project yesterday.

Today I spent most of the day working on the new pad and here is where it sits:

I'm not sure I've ever talked about the inspiration for any of my pads before, so I thought I'd do it on this one.  Here is what it's based on:

(picture is from this website)

I'm going with a teal/turquoise color scheme for the first one, but I've already decided that the NEXT one will be the same pattern with shades of pink for the colors. 

I like the black in the original pad, but I feel like I've done a lot of black lately and I was playing around with making the big black area grey or even make all of the black areas a tan/sand color instead, just to be different.  I'm not sure yet and that's why I've stitched about everything except those areas at this point!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

One Part Excited, Two Parts "What have we done??"

Last night Jeff received some news that we knew was a possibility, but: a) we didn't expect to hear about for a month or so and b) we really didn't think would happen anyway.  He has a new job and we will be moving...  to Japan.

We've spent the last night and day feeling a mix of excitement, stress, nervousness, etc. etc. etc.  Several times since getting the news, we've looked at each other and one of us has said, "What have we done?"  Truth be told, he did apply for the job - a week ago.  But there were 3 openings for a pool of probably 20,000 people or more and he thought it was a slim to none chance.  Oh boy...

He has to be there by the end of May.  There is SO much to do between now and then.  We have a big house full of stuff to deal with, a fleet of vehicles and motorcycles, a bunch of houseplants, and most importantly - several critters.  We've already had a bit of a plan for Bo for a while now, just in case something like this happened.  He will go to stay with Jeff's family back east, since when we come for a visit we will probably go there - then I can see my Bo boy too.  We don't know yet how many, or what kind of pets we can take with us.  We already have offers from family and friends who will watch them for us if we can't take them along.  For that I'm very grateful.

It's hard for me to know what to feel.  Of course this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I'm worried about our animals.  Our dogs are older, with some health problems, and one of our cats is terrified of everyone but me.  What if they can't go with us?  What if they can?  Is it a good idea to put them through that?  What if we leave them here and something happens to them?  That is my biggest worry with Bo, obviously he has to stay behind.

It's also hard for me not to be bummed out about some of the things I'll be missing out on, like 4 years with Bo.  I was going to do a Buck Brannaman clinic with him this coming summer.  We were going to get back into dressage lessons, which came to a halt when I hurt my shoulder last winter.  Now all of that is out.  I know I can most likely try and get back to all that when we get back, maybe, but it just seems so far away.  By then Bo will be closing in on 20 and I'll be *gulp* 40.  That's scary.

Then there's the model horse front.  I have JUST finally started showing again after so long away.  I've started meeting new hobby friends, have gone to a couple of shows, been planning for future shows, even making plans to get into performance showing - finally - and now this...  I was talking to Jeff about it earlier today and he was saying, "You can still customize, you can still make things, you can always photo show."  I love that man.  I was surprised when he brought up photo showing - he really does listen when I ramble on, haha.  I suppose it's all true. 

From a creative standpoint, now the purge of the Studio is not only something I want to do, it HAS to happen.  I most likely won't be able to take everything with me, so some hard decisions have to be made.  I think I'll be focusing on my model horse stuff, cross-stitch, tatting, maybe paper goods if I can get those supplies down to a more manageable (and portable) size.  Everything else has to go.

I suppose most of that is the stress and nervousness end of it.  I know this is a great opportunity and it will be a big adventure.  I have a childhood friend who is actually a Japanese-English translator and has been to Japan several times.  She was here visiting us over the summer and we had a great time.    I'm really hoping she can come and visit us while we are in Japan, that would be so cool!

I'm trying to stay hopeful about everything. It is scary - I've never been overseas before! - but I'm glad that I'll be with Jeff and I think we will have a great time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Not So Big!

Years ago I saw an episode of Houston Animal Cops that featured a quote I still use to this day.  They had rescued a bunch of dogs from a puppy mill, mostly all toy breeds if I remember right.  One of the vets came in to start evaluating them and when she saw a little tiny Chihuahua puppy in one of the cages, she exclaimed, "You're not so big!"  to which the puppy went berserk, all jumping around and playful.  It was adorable.  "Not so big" is phrase Jeff and I still use to this day and when trying to think of a title for this post, it certainly fit.

I've still been feeling pretty awful today, but this evening I did manage to drag myself into my beloved Studio room and look around at the mess.  It is going to be so hard to get rid of anything in there and the reason I have so much trouble getting everything dealt with is that I get distracted by what I find in the mess.  Case in point - this post.  haha

I came across my wee collection of teeny-tiny horses and remembered I had told someone at the Mid-Ark show about them and I thought it would be neat to take a couple of pictures to send to her... (in other words - further procrastinating the actual CLEANUP of the room...?  no..  never!)

So, I took a few pictures and thought why not make a blog post out of it.  I found these in a dollar store when I was a teenager and I just thought they were the coolest thing!  I wish I would have bought more, but as I recall there was only one package of them.  It is a little set of cavalry (French I think..?) horses and riders.  They are unpainted, incredibly detailed for the size.  Each rider has a bunch of gear, canteen, sabre, scabbard, etc.  While the horses have bridle, breast collar, saddle pad, saddle, bedroll, etc. molded on. 

On the left is one of the little cavalry horses and rider, on the right is a "micro mini" the smallest scale (so far) that I've worked with:

"Charge!" says the pony cavalry rider - haha

Hard to tell the scale, especially if you're not familiar with micro minis, so how about this for scale:

There are three horse poses, the one above and two below: 

There are also a few different rider poses, sword up, swords down, and so on.  When I was painting horses as a teenager I had played around with putting some paint on a few of these, but that's as far as it went.  I've always thought it would be neat to customize them.  I would probably leave the gear that is molded on as I think it is so cool. 

I've been wishing for a while that I could find more of these.  I had done a few brief Internet searches over the years, but hadn't had any luck.  It didn't help that I didn't know the scale.  Very recently, I bought a set of miniature figures on clearance at a craft store.  I thought they would be micro mini scale and would be neat props.  To my dismay I found they were too small for the micros..  but they appear to match my little cavalry guys.  So now I think I know the scale - 1/72!

So that's the quick tale of my teeny-tiny project horses.  On the opposite end of the size spectrum, I also have THIS guy in a holding pattern...

He IS so big... in the background, dwarfing a Traditional Breyer...  I have plans for him too.

More on him later.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Quick Post - Sick Day

A super quick post today and the first one ever from my phone!  I've been sick today and have been on the couch all day, sleeping off and on.  I'm about to go to bed soon, but I wanted to see if I could do a blog post from my phone - how's that for dedication?  ;)  I'm still wanting to start the great purge of the Studio room and get back to work in there!  Maybe tomorrow...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Motivation Monday

I'm running behind today, particularly to do a Motivation Monday post since...  Monday is almost over.  But I still like sharing these pictures in hopes that they will inspire others as they inspire me, even if they may come too late for today. 

So here are a few things to consider as we continue on with our week.  I hope it's a good one for you!



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Back To Natural

A few days ago as I was going through old pictures, I was reminded of a bit of an "ethical dilemma" I'm feeling about a couple of custom horses that I created back then.  One of them was sold, the other I still have and he is nearly ready to paint... nut I don't think I'm going to do that quite yet...   

Many years ago I created and sold a custom of a "big lick" Tennessee Walking Horse.  She started out as a Stablemate G1 Morgan Mare  The pose was based on a picture I found in a book or magazine and it was not the typical point of the stride that is usually captured (ala the Midnight Sun Breyer mold), but was of the horse throwing a front leg straight out and not quite stepping with the back yet:

She was definitely a bit of an "unusual" little horse, when compared to others I was making...
...but she was kind of neat and I liked her pretty face

She turned out pretty (though of course - as always - there were things about her that I wasn't fully satisfied with) and her new owner loved her.  From a report or two that I'd gotten, she was showing well back then, even placing in a Workmanship class.

A picture her new owner had sent me from a show.  She had gotten a couple of ribbons that day.

I knew I had made another big lick horse around the same time, this one a stallion on the G1 Morgan Stallion mold, and I assumed I must have finished and sold him, because I hadn't seem him in a long time.  I knew he had been somewhat close to being ready to paint and I thought maybe I had done that and sent him off somewhere.  Then, while unpacking my old custom horses for the shows in the last few weeks, I found him.  He was packed away with my finished horses and a couple more who were nearly finished...



After looking him over for the first time in years, I found myself with a dilemma.  I've learned a lot about "big lick" horses since the days when I made those two CMs - plenty enough to know that I would never want to support or in any way endorse the practice.  Once upon a time I hadn't thought much of it, I just thought it was something else that those type of horses "did".  Although I do remember the first time I saw actual video of big lick horses, I was horrified.  Prior to that I'd only seen still pictures and I had no idea how grotesquely abnormal the movement really looked in action.  My thinking is, if you have to work so hard to get the horses to move that way, it's certainly not "natural" - and why would you do such a thing?  (this doesn't just apply to big lick horses, but other disciplines as well...)

I don't regret making these two - the first little mare was a pretty little girl and her owner seemed to be very happy with her.  I think back then a lot of us didn't really know what was involved in getting the "big lick".  We all loved horses and they were just another kind of horse, doing another kind of activity.  Now, a lot of us know different...  I've come across statements from many model horse hobbyists that say they won't buy, collect, create, or show big lick horses anymore.  I think that is a good thing.

So, I've been wondering what I should do with this little guy.  Jeff suggested maybe just throw him away (he is as disgusted with the whole big lick mess as I am), but I'm not sure I want to do that.  What I'm actually thinking is that maybe I will remodel him once again.  This time to a NATURAL running walk.  It will be another project, Lord knows I don't shy away from those, but it feels like the right thing to do.  I'm thinking this little one will "live again" as model of a HAPPY, flat-shod - or even barefoot - Tennessee Walking Horse... 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Picture Day - New and Old

Well, it's getting near the end of the day and I didn't actually start "the great purge" of the Studio room yet and it's probably safe to say it won't happen today.  BUT..  here's what I did do...

I spent hours photographing, formatting said photos, and uploading them to the Facebook page for the laser business.  Here is that page.  I think it's looking pretty good so far and I'm happy to see it's getting some Likes already! 

One product that we are making is a picture frame.  I haven't put any of them up on Facebook yet, but I did take pictures of a couple of them.  I wanted to put pictures in the frames, to show how they look and I decided to find a couple of my old model horse pictures to use for the model horse-themed frames.

This led to a bit of a trip down memory lane as I flipped through so many pictures of horses I'd painted - and forgotten about.  I know several of them were sold years ago, several more were donated to live shows.  It was fun looking through the pictures and I think I might try and photograph or scan them in to share on here.  For now, here are two of them, in our laser-cut picture frames:

I remember I had named him "Chocolate Dunit" - he was fun to paint

Some of my custom minis on my table at a live show - many years ago.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Productivity FTW! and... Purge Alert

I ended up getting a lot done today, mostly domestic chores (cat boxes, guinea pig cage, three loads of laundry put away, kitchen cleaning, dish washing, juice making, and so on and so forth).  But I also got some creative type work done, if not hands on crafting things (which I would have liked to do, but tomorrow is another day - more on that down below). 

I did some research for a color scheme for an Arabian Horse Native Costume (as far as why, that'll be another time... it's a surprise).  I created a Facebook page for our laser business, did some messaging back and forth with some fellow model horse people I met at the shows, and continued to catch up on reading some other blogs.  Another little project was to create an album on the Studio Facebook page for the cross-stitch saddle pads.  I realized that though I've talked about them and put several pictures on here, I didn't have anything up on FB about them...  took care of that!

I only set foot in the Studio room a couple of times today, but I was reminded how lovely it is in there during the winter.  We were below zero for about the first half of the day, but it was nice and warm in the room, due to the sun shining through the window for a few hours each morning.  I've always loved going in there and feeling the warm carpet under my feet, even when it's subzero outside! 

However, I haven't been spending much time in there, and pretty much none since returning from the last show, save for partially unpacking.  The reason?  It. Is. A. MESS.  I haven't even wanted to go in there and deal with it.  I've been battling against the clutter in there for as far back as I can remember.  The problem?  Too much stuff.  I've done a few minor purges over the years and have donated some craft supplies here and there, but I still have too much.  I keep thinking if I can only find the perfect way to organize it, everything will be fine... but that hasn't happened yet.  The biggest contributing factor is that I have way too many creative interests - and each of those requires a bunch of supplies.

So I've been considering it for a long time and it is a tough decision to make, but I think I'm going to have make some choices in my creative pursuits that may involve stopping some of the things I like to do.  As much as I enjoy making all of the things I make, I just don't have room for all the STUFF - and I certainly don't have the time to make ALL of the things I'm into. I suppose "hoarding" supplies and future projects is a pretty normal part of the creative process, but right now my studio room is such a mess I can't hardly move in there, never mind get any work done.

I want to be able to be happy in there, light some candles, play some music, sip my coffee, and MAKE THINGS.

I think it's time for me to finally narrow my focus back to what I'm most passionate about - horses.

I think I'll start the purge tomorrow.  Oh boy...

Breaking Free - It's A Process

I found this picture today and had to share it:

I did share it also on my personal Facebook page, with some thoughts of my own:

I'm not there quite yet... but getting a little closer every day I think. I do know that worrying what others think is paralyzing. I'm (slowly) learning that the only person I have control over is me - and even that much to manage is a challenge some days. I'm working on breaking free, coming back to life, and getting back to what I love - painting, writing, creating...

Finding this picture again today (I've seen it before) is very timely.  Last night I stumbled across another person that I need to contact about a custom order from several years ago.  Of course, I am terrified, waiting to hear the things I've been telling myself all these years, from someone else.  I am encouraged by the last person I contacted; she was happy for me that my life was doing better and when she received her horse, she said she loved him.  I am so thankful for all of that, it was the outcome I had hoped for, but had feared would never happen.

Another encouragement is recently learning of another (MUCH more skilled and well-known) artist having had struggles with clinical depression.  She has been working on her return to sculpting and painting after a long period of depression - and she has now even created a horse for one of the big model horse companies! 

I reached out to her and thanked her so much for sharing her journey through depression.  I told her that I'm battling back from extended period of darkness myself, right now.  She was so nice and encouraged me to keep moving forward, keep painting, keep showing.  I can't express how much her words meant to me.  Her words of encouragement came right on the eve of my very first live show in over 10 years.  Even though I had a paid entry into the show, I was still thinking of backing out, but after her messages, I decided to go... and what a show it was!

Her story gave me hope.  Granted, I would say she has more talent that I do in just her pinky! - but I found hope that there can be life and a continuation of a creative journey, after many dark years.

The next horse I need to finish is already nearly done.  I'd like to get him finished soon and *gulp*, try and make contact with his owner.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nice Days - Then Snow Days

Today I did a bit of sorting/organizing at my computer desk, a bit of cross-stitching, and quite a bit of online time.  I've now "liked" 50 or so other model horse artists on Facebook and have put them all on an Interest List.  I'm discovering that it's a handy way to keep up with a bunch of pages.  I have always felt inspired when looking at other people's work, particularly works in progress, so it's my plan to take a peek at what they are up to if I feel the need for some motivation/inspiration.

Winter has officially arrived here.  It is currently about 0 degrees with the wind howling outside.  Yesterday it was snowing and blowing all day.  Though this past weekend the temps were in the 60s on Saturday and 50s on Sunday...  I'm happy that I was able to get a quick ride in on Bo, Sunday afternoon, before the temperatures plummeted.

We rode up the road and across a field from the barn to check on the horse trailer for the winter

My ol' blue trailer looked good, time to head back.  I promised him a short ride, temps were already dropping thanks to a cold wind that was just getting started.

He was also able to graze on green grass, for the last time this year. 

Om nom nom

I had also cleaned his pen, trimmed his feet, and picked him a bunch more green grass to nibble on throughout the afternoon. 

24 hours later, this is what it looked like outside:

Why, hello, Winter!

I left Bo outside in his run (with shelter) for Sunday night and last night.  However, tonight the temperatures are predicted to be minus 5-6 degrees, with wind.  So I brought him into the barn.  We are supposed to have a couple nights of sub zero temps and days with highs in the low teens.

Jeff had the day off today and goes back to work tomorrow.  I'm hoping to make more progress with my (never-ending)organizational projects around the house and maybe, just maybe, get in some studio time!

Monday, November 10, 2014

(Epic) Show Report

(Strap yourself in, get a snack or a drink, this is a long one...  I've had much technical difficulties today and wasn't sure if I was going to get this posted - I've been working on it for most of the day...  Ah, technology...)

At long last, here is my (epic) show report for the show I went to just over a week ago!  It was the Mid-Ark Model Horse Expo in Greenbrier, Arkansas.

I ended up paying for an extra table, so I had two tables to set up and look after.  I was so happy to have the extra space, it was really nice to be able to spread out.  Here was my horse table:

Some of my OF (original finish) Breyers

The rest of my OF, and then my custom horses on the left.

Custom horses and a few OFs that don't stand very well

My little custom herd

And here was the second table, which I set up to be a sales table; mostly all laser things:

All kinds of goodies for sale!

The competition at the show was FIERCE.  We were allowed to come in for a few hours the night before to do some setup and at that time I saw a bunch of the horses I'd be competing against.  It was enough to make me seriously consider leaving my custom horses at the hotel... 

Here are some of the performance entries that I saw:

I took a bunch of pictures of this one since I am now obsessed with horse drawn vehicles and harnesses - thanks to my "Project Stagecoach".

I was in love with this set up

Check out this tack!!  This was one of my favorites.

A Marwari costume!  I was just recently wondering if anyone had made one of these...  Yep!

A cross-country entry.  A crowd was gathered around this one, talking pictures and taking to the man who made it.
Saddleseat, a very pretty horse and rider.

I noticed several cross-stitch saddle pads on some of the western horses and I took pictures of some of them:

One of the really exciting things for me was that I finally put out some of my cross-stitch pads for sale and...  I sold two of them!

The first went to a performance shower who was looking for a saddle pad to better match her rider doll.  This was the saddle pad she ended up buying:

She was entered in a lot of performance classes and I took pictures of a couple of them:

It was so cool to see one of my saddle pads in action!!

The pad actually matched the rider very well, I'm so glad it worked for her!

Then, it turned out that she won Overall Champion in Original Finish Western Performance!  How cool!

I'm honored that one of my saddle pads was able to be part of such a beautiful setup - Overall Champion!  I was so happy for her!

I had a few of my newer saddle pads there on display, even though they were unfinished.  I had thought if someone wanted one I could just take it home and finish it, then mail it to them.  Well, someone came along who fell in love with my "Lapis Lazuli" pad and had to have it.  It turns out they have done some cross stitching before and they said they could finish it up.  So I said goodbye to what was, so far, my favorite saddle pad:

Goodbye, "Lapis" pad...  I hope it helps to win some awards!

I loved that one so much that I think I'll end up making another one someday, though I'll probably change it a bit.  I like the idea of my saddle pads being one of a kind.  I wish I had gotten the buyer's name and/or contact information.  It would be fun to see this one in "action" somewhere too.

Lastly, here are some pictures of just a few of the stunning Artist Resin and Custom horses that my lowly creations were competing against!  They were all stunning, I felt a mix of awe and terror at having to face them on the show tables - ha!

The good news about facing so many amazing horses with my (primarily OLD) custom work is that I wasn't discouraged at the end of it all, I was actually fired up to get back home and get back to work on further developing my own skills.  It was frustrating to be showing horses that I know aren't my best work.  I know I have it in me to do much better and I'm ready to do it!  I even got started at the show, I pulled out a couple of tiny Micro Minis and put a little bit of paint on them:

A future custom Appaloosa and Pintabian...

The next show I'm eying is in March and I've already started developing a plan to have a BUNCH of NEW, finished custom horses ready by then. 

Whew!  So..  that was the show.  It was a great day.  I met a lot of great people, saw a ton of A-M-A-Z-I-N-G horses, and I ended up even more on fire to create custom horses - and even more interested in getting into...  *gasp* performance showing.  Duh, duh..  DUH!!