The year started with Jeff in Afghanistan and me just starting to learn how badly I'd injured my shoulder in late 2013. A lot of things I was doing at the time had to be shelved, because of the injury - belly dancing lessons, dressage lessons, even taking care of Bo. I had to have someone do that for me for a while. It was hard to take, I'd wanted to do the dance and dressage lessons for many years and they were going well, then I had to stop everything. But I started PT and, slowly, my shoulder started to come back.
Though off to a slow start, I did manage to have a few good crafty days early in the year. I made more greeting cards and started back to work on a bunch of custom horses, some old, some new.
Then Jeff came home and everything was a lot better.
|Joy and relief.
I worked on a couple of big projects during the year. In March I started on my tatting entry for the Fair. It would be a tatted American flag.
The flag ended up winning first place, Best in Show, and Best in Class at the Fair in August. I was SO thrilled and what made it even better was that Jeff was there with me this time when I found out the results.
I also put some time in on the Stagecoach project during the year, finishing up the front axle/5th wheel assembly...
... and the rear axle/chassis frame. (all painted parts here, but it is assembled now)
I did quite a bit of cross-stitching this year, mainly on saddle pads. I finished several new ones.
In early October, we went on a trip to visit Jeff's family in PA/NY. It was a working vacation of sorts, since we took our laser with us and I took a bunch of custom horses and supplies to work on. The trip ended up being a turning point in my creative journey. A change of scenery and people resulted in big strides for some of my projects, one in particular. While there, I finished this horse. This was a huge, terrifying step in the journey back, now it's behind me:
I returned to live showing, attending two shows this fall - the Black Hills Model Horse Show and the Mid-Ark Model Horse Expo.
I was brave and finally put several of my cross-stitch saddle pads up for sale at the Mid-Ark Expo. I sold two of them there and one went on to be part of a Western Performance Championship entry that day! It was so wonderful to see one of my little creations in action and I was honored to have been part of such a beautiful entry.
I met a lot of great people at both shows, made some new friends, had a lot of fun, and left very inspired to continue on with my journey.
The shows also marked the Grand Opening of our laser business. They were the first places that we offered our laser cut and engraved items for sale at an event. We had dog and horse signs and ornaments, and a brand new line of model horse inspired pieces too. They were a big hit!
As the year wound down, I took part in just one "Black Friday" sale this year, at Tandy Leather. I stocked up on goods that I'll be using to start my adventure into tack making - and later... I hope to finally get into performance showing. *gasp!*
Of course throughout the year I spent a lot of time with Bo, including many early mornings where he and I had the whole barn to ourselves. We had several great rides around the area, I even used him to run some errands - something I'd always thought would be fun to do. We also did get back into doing some lessons and clinics toward the end of year and it was good to try and pick up where we left off a year ago.
Also, on the real horse front, I was able to audit a Buck Brannaman clinic. He came to our area for a 4 day clinic and I was there every day from start to finish, taking a ton of notes and pictures. It was a magical time and I loved listening to him. I had the chance to talk to him a couple of times and he was a great guy.
All around, it has been a good year. I had high hopes for this, The Year of the Horse, and I'm happy with how everything went. Though it wasn't off to a great start, I'm thrilled with the events of particularly the last few months and I'm looking forward to 2015!