Sunday, December 20, 2009

I finished something! :)


Aaaaaaaaaand I'm having project completion introspection... Soooooo I just uploaded this album and am waiting to hear back from his owner... http://www.artbymorgen.com/galleries/sold_paintedresins/Indian_Fire/album/

Thing is, as I took these photos, I sorta have to laugh. I mean you can see the detail in real life if you look close in good light... but it was hard to get the camera to take pictures that showed the details well. And again I start to wonder, "is it worth it?".

I mean that quite sincerely - as an open question to other artists. I really really enjoy striving for crazy little details but sometimes I wonder if I'm really the only one who notices in real life?

I'm not trying to garner oohs and ahhs here -> I REALLY wonder this! lol! These two photos are the ones that sorta show the detail best, and even the album view doesn't let me zoom in enough to show it.
You'll have to click on these to see the hairs of which I wonder about..


and this one


At some point I just gotta wonder if it's worth it to collectors. As my eyes get older and it's harder for ME to see little hairs, I wonder if collectors find that hyper-tiny details aren't worth it? Who else has eyes that are aging here and have no idea what I'm talking about with "hairs". lol!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

View from the painting desk..

I keep meaning to remember to do a helpful tip video on something I keep hearing about - how to address warping legs. It's just something that happens with minis that lack steel rods in their legs because they're too small. It's really quick, safe and easy to fix with a cup of (near) boiling hot water. Safer that way than even with heating guns. To be honest, it's just that I have to borrow my fiance's camera (so odd to say that still!), which is the one with video ability. I suppose I could try it with my cell phone but that would be really hard to juggle along with the hot water.. anyhow, will try to remember to do this. I've fixed minis made by all the US casters and a couple of the overseas ones too - all stayed fixed to the best of my knowledge too (the ones still here of my own collection have anyhow).

Anyhow, there's not much else to share of late. These are most of the commissions on my plate and they've all been keeping me plenty busy. Arab mare sculpture (Iaret) got primered the other day but I'm still dissatisfied with a couple ofminor (but big to me!) things so I decided to wait to show her off. Besides, she's pretty much just hair and veins away from being done now sooooo I'll let the anticipation build. :)

Commissions;

Just the Hazel there is a commission. The minis are my own cold-cast bronze copies. The grey behind her is a Caller Lippizan of my own (won't be for sale). The Indy poking out behind her is just waiting for the market to pick up before he goes up for sale..

My new doll behind this Bosco was also too cute to put away (made by Mrs Anne Field!). :) Doesn't the Bosco look like he may just spin and kick Hazel in annoyance? This fellow is the one used as the prototype for all the bitties... so yes, his head is held differently than others and his mane and tail are a little different too. :)

And then we are down to the grey's shelf. The Deseoso has just started on his dappling, and the Indian Fire is almost done now. Todays project to go with my latest book on tape! :)

There's 2 more in the other cabinate but it's tucked back and is dark so I couldn't take pictures of what's in it. One is a Sovran who's just too heavy to try and cram in here. The others is another Bosco started years ago by someone else.

Anyhow, so that's the update. Will take a stab at the mini videography soon. Off to lunch now and this rainy afternoon project. :)

PS - just remembered to add this. Speaking of dolls and things not put away. I redid my documentation performance photos and blurbs onto matting boards recently (over many days a little at a time). Then put them away all organized in a folder... Last night I DREAMED that I went to a show and forgot the folder with all the documentation at home. The most frustrating part of it all to me is I can't remember if I managed to work out a solution or not. I'm odd, I get very excited when I work out solutions in my sleep. Anyhow, for whatever interest that is.. there ya go. ;)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What I've been up to lately..

Well primarily it's been these two horses;


Neither are great photos but you get the idea. I have a couple of others in progress too but far less photogenic at the moment. At least with the mapped out appy here for example you can tell what basically he'll be in the end. :)

Other things are clearing out trash, reorganizing some things, and I fixed/revamped a few things too. General housekeeping finally being addressed.

Not nearly as exciting as fun videos but there ya go! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Presention is everything!

This is actually something I've been thinking on in the last 24hrs as something has come up. The pros and cons of a spiffy presentation. What cons could there be you ask?

hahahah... glad you did! The first one I thought of here is this you tube video of a "feel good" vacation story... when presentation can be misleading...



I saw this remade trailer of "The Shining" there some years ago on youtube and apparently now a whole genera of movie trailer spoofs now exists! Some more fun ones below;







As for the pros of a well done presentation. Well at the moment I'm not able to discuss it but soon enough I will. :)


Ok, ok... in all seriousness, I think presentation of professional matters is exceptionally important. Clear and obviously NOT misleading presentation (dispite the above goofs). The twisting around of the true stories above (hopefully you're familiar with at least one of those in reality?) at least show how the media bytes we are innudated with daily so easily distort the truth. I've witnessed personally one interview-gone-awry in real life after a boss of mine had an interview that was (personally it sure seemed intentional too) misquoted and really achieved the result of completely misrepresenting his words & the company he was speaking on behalf of. I tend to be quite skeptical of the media and still I get "taken" sometimes mind you.


Ah but again I digress into the pitfalls of it. Presentation is really a GOOD thing when done right imo. And more on why I've thought about that so much in the past day or so soon enough..! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Taking a second to explain the allure...

This is addressed more to the non-performance peeps who just wonder what on earth is so fun about tiny buckles...

So I restarted collecting models in my late 20s saying, 'oh no, I will never pay more than xyz'. ... (guffahs all around). But to be fair, I focused primarily on sculpting and painting them myself, and I haven't purchased a painted horse from anyone other than when I was 12 and bought myself a Kathleen Maestas CM (or r/r/h back then).

Now when I was a preteen & early teen it was all about replacing real horses for me. NOW it is far cheaper than and far less painful than real horses (on so many levels of course but I was primarily thinking of injuries, yes).

So in my pre-highschool age I did performance set ups. I really loved the creativity of creating little scenes. Now I find myself drawn back to them.

THANK GOD THEY ARE SO CHEAP compared to other ways I could be entertaining myself as my fellow 30-somethings around me are... hahaha! I watch my friends buying Wii things, for example, and accessories and playing with them a few times and then they're done with it. Or they purchase some form of technology that either becomes obsolete shortly or breaks. Thhbbt to that. Here, by comparison, I can set myself little goals. The better made stuff really stands the test of time and wear and tear.. aaaaand I can enhance my purchases in various ways, or be utterly creative as well. Sadly I can't sew little things nor can I cut leather (or anything else well with scissors.) So like everyone else, I need to buy things to complete the scenes.

First it was just amassing my own tack/prop collection on a very thin budget of a few hundred dollars this past summer and items to trade. I'm thrilled now that I have my versatile "basics" and only need a spare rear girth on one saddle, a small running calf of my own, and a little cone (I think I might be capable of making that from a cake decorating icing tip however)... items like that to complete my 'basic' entries. There are better references I could dig up as well. Well shucks, there are always ways to improve in this game. :) And frankly that does kinda rock for me! Plus every single time you compete you could easily mess it all up by missing something key.. so it's real focus work to do it each and every time...

Then there are the fun "want to" do things I have in my head. Scenic diorama stuff (with water, I love the water)... obtaining/creating some really fun things to make something unique. Aaaand trying to compile these with the "ease of assembly" factor in mind. So that's a cool challenge to look forward to. :)

My first goals going in were to show my two gals and earn a Versatility Merit Award on my own. Well today I just quickly set up their loot here for their merit gallery photos;





But sincerely, I didn't expect to accomplish this goal in just a few months (wishing sculpting were so fast typically). Uhmmm... so NOW what???

Well.. I have challenged some seriously competitive friends to a "Hazel Face Off".. We're working on the logistics. So that's going to be fun! :D

But both my horses here also have enough cards left over to show at NAN. Sooooo while I saaaaid I wasn't going to show at NAN, (like when I said I wouldn't buy resins costing more than xyz amount), now I am sincerely considering it. I plan to get my butt to Kentucky this year. I would like to volunteer/help out at NAN at least for 1 day. Uhm.. suddenly this niggling thing starts nagging at you.. 'mmm... wouldn't it be fun'.

Then Heather sends me preview pictures of this;


Well now I am feeling this bug again to get out and share this amazingly little braided thing here with the world.. (notice the buckle is even woven? amazing!).

The fun part is that it's not like I have magical tack making skills, I'm in the same boat as everyone else there.. I gotta buy/trade for my tack and props. Lately I've gotten some amazing trades too for resins that I would've felt bad about selling since I'm friends with the artists.

Oh, so well the point being to non-performance peeps. I really do NOT like tiny buckles. And trying to keep reins in doll hands and stirrups on their feet. That said however? It's somewhat zen-like to sit and put it all on.. the end result really is fun to look at, which is a goal. Then there are all sorts of things you can strive to win, beyond just one class in halter. I haven't branched too much into the "Other" category but I hope to someday more. There is strategy too - you can learn/improve right there at the show by asking what the judge thinks you can improve on. Strategy in what you're going to attempt. Strategy around what the competition is likely to be. It's far more challenging than breed assignments. It definitely feels more challenging. And in the end, yes, what else is on the table makes or breaks things for you... sure... but there is a certain amount of joy just in successfully setting it all up too! I can't explain but there have been times when a 3rd or 4th in a bigger class with an entry that was something unique and different is more fun than a card.

Right now I'm excited about the notion of Aussie tack. Western dressed people in those cool oilskin coats (I have one of those and rode in it a few times, not really all that practical in the rain I'd like to say, and they're heavy as all hell get out!)... anyhow, well there's a lot of "Other" potential there and new things to learn (not just by watching "Man from Snowy River" but real research). I'm looking forward to that for 2010 or 2011! lol! Ditto for hopefully getting into harness scenes... but again, that's a long term goal.

For now, I think I may just try the big national show. Refine what I've got, think about strategies... it's a nerdy type's dream hobby, really.

The good news for those waiting for new sculptures is I've discovered an incentive to sculpt more new horses -> trading...

So with that said, back to clearing out those commissioned items and adding a little more to the sculptures today.. Happy Thanksgiving if I don't post here tomorrow! :)

PS (later add on).. I *really* need to thank a great # of my friends who lent me stuff to get started until my own had arrived. Especially Liesl there - thanks chica!! (hugs) :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yeeehaaaw!

Saturday my fiance had a little barn raising (ok, a shed really, albeit large and of typical barn raising post and beam timber construct...). Soooooooooooo I wanted to make a time-lapse video for him but when he saw how many there were on youtube he said "bleh, it's been done to death"... well you know me, once I get a notion in my head.. ;) So I went home last night and said hmmmm... I have all those hundreds of in-progress pictures, lessee what I can come up with..
...and this is what I came up with.

(I think if you click on it a certain way you can get it to enlarge)...

Personally to me it's like a dire warning of exactly what NOT to do (if you value your time). ;) -snorts- Anyhow, but for those who didn't know it, yes, Hazel came from sculpture iteration #1 of Godiva. Proof in the archival footage now posted online here. Forever documenting my foolhardy ways on youtube. Enjoy! :)

Stay tuned for when I dig up that Alan Jackson song there and show how I madeMY "itty bitty".. (grins)

PS - I went to put the list of people I have great gratitude towards in at the end in a big scrolling 'thank you' and it added several minutes to the video.. no matter how I fooled around with the scrolling credits. Since it's my second attempt at Window's Movie Maker.. well.. I gave up. They're HERE though. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blab made me do it...

lol!
Well after posting yesterday I thought 'what the hey' and went over to Blab's "What do you really think?" forum.. started a poll (I seem to like polls eh?!).. and see that there's a near 50/50 split about the breezy look.

Then my head started pounding but blabbers made me laugh by starting up a really silly poem. ;)

ANYhow.. I redid a few pics and my thinking is now towards these versions..

wispies in the breeze...

or

"sleek" (Kate C there coined that one)

or

'tousled'..


I have been appropriately redirected from attempting to recreate the Breyer ASB now though. Thank you guys!! :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photoshop Skillz... I no haz dem...




Even hairless this horse definitely has the most "personality" of any I've done to date. Today I tried fooling around for a sec in photoshop as he started calling to me to look at him again (in need to be peeling my eyes away from fleabites and dapples and appy spots.. oh my!).

You would never think that I've actually produced photoshop manipulated images that appeared on nationally distributed magazines. Crayon hair here. Oh well.. lol! Interesting new twist for me to explore (well ok, for all of 5 minutes here).. hmm.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Black resin & some in progress horses again


Yup, that's not paint, that's black resin. It's AWESOME to prep! The details stand out sooo much more.

I've asked the casters and they are willing to do this on request. It's one drawback that I can think of is that you can't always see when the steel rods are close to the surface. It certainly is more fun to display!

I asked for this for this copy as it's for a family member who lives far away. When painted damage such as ear & hoof rubs won't be down to white resin, but rather to black resin. I have to laugh, I guess scratches would look more like scars. ;)

Other things in the studio of late... this wee gal only has this one photo in progress. She's done now & I'll see if I can get a pic of her when the Regionals champ gallery is posted - she was down to the wire last week;



Congrats to her new owner! Her name is Koolatta I believe? :) Such an adorable resin and lots of fun to paint.

And this fellow is tons of fun to paint too. Sadly these pics don't look all that different from the ones I took a few weeks back. All the same, he's getting ready for his fleabites. :) I did a few test bites on him but wanted to really have the body color down before getting into that. It's really best to approach the bite marks last. Things like his eyes, mane/tail hairs and hoof details can come at the end too but anything around a fleatbite mark needs to be blended and smooth.





There are other things in progress but they are really not ready for photos. Sorry to not have more fun pics to share today but while I was online uploading some things I figured I might as well share these things... :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back from Region 10 Regionals - whew!

They hate me here now.. it's probably a good thing that I'm moving away. ;) I got teased a LOT about how I just randomly decided to take up performance this past year and after 4 shows did so well. I had REALLY good teachers. I got to borrow some really nice tack (this time I used my own at least - Iva Kimmelman lent me a rear cinch though). I still needed to borrow a pole from Larry, an english rider doll & calf from Jackie (have my own as of a last minute trade Sunday eve now too though)... a horsemanship pattern from Tanya, a cone from Terri.. I think that's it? I will post more thorough credits to tack makers and such when the regional pictures & results come out.

I'm thrilled to say that 1 of my 2 goals was to get another halter card for Hazel to fufill the NAMHSA Merit Versatility Award requirement, and she got it with many more to spare now so I guess the next 2 I'll try for are the Superior Halter Horse Award and the Performance Versatility Award. Those plaques are way neat with the horse's name on them and such.

My other goal was to get my Godiva closer - I hadn't shown her in as many classes as Hazel. I'm thrilled to report too that she also earned enough for the Versatility Award as well. :) She's farther away from a PVA because she has no english cards yet (and it'll be interesting - I haven't even tried my english saddle on her!).

Ok, well here are a couple of pics! I really wanted Jane Schnieder to see the saddle she sold me last weekend doing her proud! :D I also wanted a few tack makers to see their work in action.

It's all honestly a blur. I am not sure what I have for results, I was pretty much jumpin the whole time. I also don't have a spreadsheet system like most folks do yet. I had good teachers though that's for sure. I've decided to challenge a few friends to make it more fun for me... there was once upon a time something called the "Stone Pony Smackdown" that a couple of gals around here had. Stay tuned for the Hazel incarnation of this. I have to invent excuses to get out. I don't get out of the house much obviously. ;)

I know I have 5 ribbons. I'm not sure all for what so i don't want to say (I had some big gaps a few times in my note taking - I do try!). Like I said, a complete report soon. I have a new painted Pixie too that I only have her show photo to share... on Friday I'd hope to get studio photos of her but Fenwick's took up most of my day Fri. And making sure I had her and the others who needed to be given to their owners ready & all packed. :) I'll make an album in a week or so I guess. Easiest way to do it..(go J-albums man!).


Jane's trade to me (the saddle) with Donna Hutchin's bridle and Anne (St Onge) Field's doll... ranch horse pleasure - a lot less expensive than typical western pleasure fortunately (although someday I'll have a pleasure set too - eee!) :)


Yes, that's my Brenda w/her more natural thighs. ;) Donna's Hutchin's halter. And Ann's doll (and judge tools) again. :)


Jackie's borrowed doll and my Jana Sabova tack. :) Can't see them but the SMB boots are are by Corrine Ensor. Jump made by me and my man (yes, he IS a keeper I know). ;)


And just for fun.

Of to write some tack folks now... and mail out a million (20) preordered Fenwicks! (they're gonna hate me at that PO today). ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You Colorado Crazy Ladies caused a proposal!

I owe
a BIGGER than usual thank you to Teresa (many of you know her as ‘flicksmom’)
& the gals from Colorado
for bringing me out this past weekend to judge….because aside from the great
fun that is, it gave my man the impetus to
propose!!

(coughcoughfinallyafter5.75yearsofdating)
;)

No seriously, he was planning on it later this winter sometime…I
had a bit of a clue but not that it would be nearly so soon.. and I had no idea
of all that went into it. That he’d managed to get them to design his custom
ring in a hurry for this rare vacation to the mountains event that came up a
few weeks ago. We know folks who live in Golden CO, a few towns away so we stayed
there with them. :) They were wonderful about it too (and of course in on the
planning).

Of course I got to see gals I haven’t seen in AGES as well
as put some new faces with the names I see – good times!!! There’s a bit of
a report here on it by Jennifer; http://www.braymere.blogspot.com/
. I was kinda planning on meeting with Teresa and Heather the following day,
but then it rather “dawned” on me that my man was being a tad pushy about doing
something like ‘trail riding’ in the weeks before… soooo if he was planning
on it, I realized that I ought to give him a chance and not make it a whole
big “model horse weekend” just for me. (mind you I did work out a trade for
something in that tack box you see me sitting there going through – slygrin!)
;)

Soooo I got Teresa to take me out to see Flick on Saturday
evening after the show. & My biggest HUGS to Heather who I never seem to
connect up with enough… :( (hugs to Heather!).

AND then
it was off on some random adventure for the remaining day of our stay.. an adventure that the man of the hour here ‘pretended’
to not have any real plan for...

Sooooo we get to this dinosaur fossil park. http://www.cliffshade.com/colorado/dakota_hogback/
We had visited it before on our last trip out 5 years ago so it was a taaad
suspicious that he chose THIS as a place to go again on our trip out this time…
However THIS time he also seemed bent on climbing some obscure ‘hill’ (read
mountain to those flatlanders like me) trail off to the side. See the link’s
pictures, that’s essentially where were were. I’m kinda thinking ‘ahhhh, ok…mmmm
the hill thing…mmm, this could be it.. men always seem to chose hills in case
we say no??’. ;) Now I’d just like also to say that “trails” in CO are not like
ours. And despite what that chic Sonya says, ;) they are NOT clear easy treading
paths – they’re full of tricky rocks and yes, plenty of tree roots too Sonya
(Sonya thinks New England trails are horrible & these western parks are
a cakewalk… what eva!). I’m also drinking tons of water on the way up because
of my body’s dislike of altitude (that’s a whole nother story really). Anyhow,
so we get to what seems like ‘plenty damn high’ in my book and I put on the
brakes and say, “sorry, I’m sitting down here now” (in the sun on a nice flat
rock that many former probably tired people also clearly thought the same thing
by this point as it almost looks like a bench or fainting couch). Soooo he says
“well, why don’t you sit over here” (in the shade, on a much less flat rock
but that is higher up… a rock placed like a pedestal like you might say. And
now of course I’m going to myself, ‘oh wow, does he really plan to here?’. And
then I take a quick swig of water and (of course) promptly swallow it wrong
and have a really great hacking fit. (I’m soooo lady like!) He stands there
all weird-like through this and waits. … Then when I’m done gagging suddenly
he goes down on his knee and does the proposal thing. Honestly I have no idea
of what he said or I said. It was all very romantic. We sat there for a good
long while afterwards and talked about things and then a gentleman came along
and took our picture;


This was our effort at taking them ourselves where I sat
(but of course you can't see the location - I LOVE that tree tho!)

I was soo charmed that he really really tried to get my ring
size from my junk jewelry box. Little did he know that it all really is junk,
I don’t wear jewelry & never had one for my left ring finger. When I went
to the jewelry store today I learned that he was in there many times with his
design plans. The entire staff remembers him & the ring he came up with.
Those are our birthstones – in the past couple of years I’ve been making a point
over and over again specifically that I have no desire to own a diamond (cost
mostly bothers me). He does listen occasionally. I also had recently realized
he didn’t know I’m allergic to silver (well the purest just itches a little
but anything less than turns me green). So it’s white gold with a sapphire and
citrine. Custom designed by him.

We will be doing the court-house/elopement thing someday
down the road after he buys property. (so no, no date) Hey, & maybe the
party then can be a housewarming/wedding reception type thing. ;) I’m not one
to get all ‘girly’ about weddings and such, I’m not even sure if I’ll buy a
super fancy dress (I have some REALLY nice formal dresses though I should add).
I’m rather frugal and would rather see us invest it in something bigger than
a ‘day about me’. In fact, to be honest the whole “my day” bride thing really
kinda spooks me & weirds me out. I’ve never wanted a “my day” (but I do,
oddly, kinda like going to weddings!). But conversely “my ring” here is totally
unique and symbolic and a completely different matter! I’m so charmed how much
thought and planning he put into it. Someday (around about when we get that
house or so), we’ve decided to get a custom wedding band to fit around it. (I’m
wondering now if he forgets how much I want THAT to be platinum though… hmmm…
that’s a pretty wide platinum band that will be needed to wrap around those
horseshoes…) Gads, well, we’ll see. I didn’t ask prices today at the jewelry
store when I got this sized. I rather choked when I saw the costs of getting
a simple chain to hang this ring from when I’m working in the studio… I’m just
not up on these things! (only wanted something like platinum because of it’s
durability/longevity – I’d want it even if it was the cheapest.. course my tastes
are never cheap, isn’t that always the way?). WELL ANYHOW – this is my only
real piece of expensive jewelry and it’s little story behind it.

Yay!

Aaaaand I owe the biggest thanks of all to those Crazy Ladies
of Colorado (name of the show) for flying me out… otherwise apparently I would’ve
had to wait many more months before getting this! Tx for thinking of me Teresa!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Recent Wrap Ups :)

These are things from earlier this year... more that I've taken on this summer are following on their heels though! :D

Their owners picked their names so I added to their photos! :)









Sunday, October 18, 2009

Just quickly I documented the experience..


"New England Performance Challenge" yesterday = Performance showing "take 2"! :) Actually this is the 3rd performance show I've attempted. The first one was 4-5 years ago (4 I think?) & was just one entry. This one was a lot more serious. In fact *I* get WAAAAY too serious about this stuff. At least in planning and forethought. It brings out my competitive streak in the worst way imo. But I just LOVE the wee gidgets and tiny things you get to play with.

All the same, I need to write out a TON of thank you's this time. The last show was a month ago. And I judged halter afterwards. This time I was less "shell shocked". I attempted fewer tack swaps & didn't try to enter both horses in most classes (I could have using the borrowed tack& props available to me). And yet? I still was probably head down & shuffling around like a little troll in a hurry the whole time. omg... what IS it about this? Like I said, I need to thank some folks.

I know a few tack & prop makers would like to hear/see how things looked & went. & thus it seemed easier to make this here album;
http://www.artbymorgen.com/galleries/sculptingjournal/NEPC_pics/album/album/

Ok, an onto many other things I need to get back to! (none the least of which is painting horses!) :) Fortunately my little wee tools and such are all now really well packed into a rolling cart of drawers. So when I'm working on a sculpture or painting I will know where these things are now. I guess being forced to organize it all (or go mad!) is a good thing. My table at the show tho.. it looked like a bomb went off. Poor Nancy the show holder assumed I'd want to be selling things? HA! I didn't even find the time to take my business cards out and put them in the little business card holder. Uhm yeah... performance showing is definitely a weird disease obsesssion of massive magnitude. Hysterically too -> I was hardly very concerned with placings... it was more a game of what I could get out & together. It's definitely a great way to challenge yourself! That or a serious mental illness that needs a reality show and some Oprah episodes to expose it... ;)

I posted them on the comments but I'll paste the links where credit is due here (I'm sure I'm missing many an item here too - deepest apologies!)...

Donna Hutchins of Shadowcat Studios http://www.freewebs.com/shadowcatstudios/ (bridles & halters!)

Kirsteen Haley http://khcustomtack.com/ (saddles you can't convince people to sell)

Doreen McGuire http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Poochkers-Model-Horse-Accessories__W0QQ_armrsZ1 (jump standards and way cool props!)

Anne St Onge Fields www.fieldofdolls.com (swears she will never make dolls with removable clothes again) ;)

Jana Skybova www.jscustomtack.net (amazing english tack & rubber bell boots everyone in the world can afford & needs!!!)

Corinne Ensor of the amazing SMB boots (shoebox saddlery!) http://www.shoeboxsaddlery.com/

Soon to be coming home... romel reins attached to a WONDERFUL braid-laden bridle of my own by Heather Abounader of Desert Night Creations http://desertnightcreations.blogspot.com/2009/10/pleased.html

Right now blogger isn't letting me upload an image... interesting. This could be a MAJOR issue for my contest blog tomorrow... hmmmm... well stay tuned. I'll try it here first before getting stuck mid-way through the contest #2 upload. ACK! (later edit: it worked again... hopefully this means no problems for the contest too)...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

One of many things I've been working on... :)

My camera batteries won't let me recharge them hardly at all anymore sadly... anyhow, so you may recognize this backdrop from another artist... ;)

Anyhow, I have 3 horses that are nearly wrapped up here, several that are coming along fast! Woohoo!! But this guy is actually JUST basecoated barely right now. I have many layers over this. I really wanted that translucent dapple look around the fleabites he's going to get. Fleabites are something you mostly see the detail in close up. I wanted him to be eye catching from a greater distance thus the depth thing... and the layers to come. I'm just waiting now on his owner to tell me if he's to be more like 1 horse or another now.

I really found a technique that works for me for dapples. In oils thus far I've only been satisfied and sold 1 to date iirc? I'm really not liking oils for making dapples from scratch. They add depth to them.. but for me they just get too muddy OR stark.. I'm digging this. Liesl takes a wonderful photo but she was frustrated that she couldn't quite capture the dapples right either. Which imo is how I want them... like women's silk stockings, they have 'depth'. Lets hope I don't screw it up from here. I have earlier pictures before this layer of white (and airbrushy blacks) went on. Again tho, couldn't get my own dang camera to stay on long enough even for 1 pic taken to show how. Sorry! I'm not sure I want to give up my technique anyhow. Expect to see more dappled things from me in the future though when I clear out my backlog. ;)

Well here's something in progress finally anyhow.






& Yes really. I consider it a base coat still. It's far too grainy & stark in spots, even if it wasn't scheduled for a fleabite makeover. :D Needs more layers to smooth out the grainy & more highlights in some parts too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Video archiving here today

Ok, video time…

I’ve been on a mission to see certain muscles in certain poses… well forever really. I just firmly believe that the very best way is video pausing. Although I’ve discovered recently (in the last month) that high speed video (which produces exceptionally clear “slow motion” or “SloMo”, is that a brand?)… is the very best way to study the motion of the muscle and all else to boot.

Thus I’m truly using this like a journal today and embedding 20 or so movies that seem helpful to me (that I wouldn’t like to lose the links of). So on to random bookmarks basically…:) It’s easier to archive them here than just as links like I normally do. (Easier for me, to sort through at least!)

For fun here are the Muybridge photographs http://bowlingsite.mcf.com/Movement/HGal.html to compare them to.


Nice resolution;




Another;




And just amazing how they look like little bull dogs running flat out like this;




I wish I had 3D glasses. I thought there were some here but apparently not.. wonder if this works with them!




I just LOVE this horse’s build;




Backwards canter. I’ve seen this a few times as an offshoot of the many things that can be taught. I’d bet I’m not alone in knowing what this is like to ride when a horse wants to gallop and you’re holding them back! ;) Course then it’s a little less controlled and has a lot more air time. :D




Interesting variety of things to be observed here. On many levels. ;)




I’ve never met a saddlebred I didn’t think of as being worthy of the name “Gumby” (or Stretch or something like that…). They’re becoming popular in dressage because they redefine the word “supple”! (Making them great for lateral work but also great for the precision of transitions that requires being elastic to round up or push out through the whole body).




Way creepy music here at first




Mostly here I’m noticing the shoulder absorbing the impact when a heavier horse is on the forehand like this…




Don’t ever let someone tell you that English riders never take their legs out of that equitation position. ;) No but seriously, the non-shod videos here are interesting. Some of the best are extreme close ups of the hoof landing in various forms (shod/unshod/trims etc). If you are into that definitely worth going over to the off-shoot videos)




Nomal race horse gallop stride. Compare it to the next one tho!




Interesting that this is 3 beat and the front actually hits down a sec before the hind. Wondering if this is a facet of being such a young horse? Being held back? Or what..?? Definitely not “stretching out” movement. Interesting though. They call it a “slow canter” which cracks me up a tad because your average rider in any other discipline would not feel that way – grins. That said, it's a good case for showing how the footfalls determine the gait, not the speed.




And I’ll tuck this here to compare this next one from a ¾ angle to the above too;




On to the other type of racing, the harness guys… pacers;




Now for a trotter… Always fascinating to see just how close the fronts come to the hinds before breakover. Otherwise not much use except to note the angles of the pasterns (rest is blurry/dark and such)




Commercial fodder.. not quite sure why this fascinated me enough to save the link. Pretty sure it was just the weird terrain montage biz…?




Arabian horse whisper. Interesting and yes, a little tough for me to watch b/c I used to this sort of body language work with my horse who was actually every bit as silly & then docile/responsive as some of these guys when he played (before he stopped eating and becoming miserable and oversensitive & then confused in general as he declined in those last 2 months). I suppose it was therapeutic for me to watch though. Someday again.




And lastly.. this has no real useful material in it but you should watch it to the end if you’re going to.. it’s a little different than you might remember.. ;)




In the course of my collecting these over this last month on you tube, I discovered that Getty Images now has Footage you can search through too;
http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?contractUrl=2&language=en-US&p=horse%20slow%20motion&assetType=film

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Can't forget the contest announcement!! (plus more babble)

Gotta take a second to PROMOTE (duh!)! I always forget the blog when it comes to important stuff (hangs head in shame)…


Ok, well I’m holding my contests again this year -> this time I’m cleaning off the shelves (there is no way I’m going to paint all of my AP dinky dukes and Flitwicks). I’d asked the casters to make a couple more too to replace seconds I wound up selling on my group (discounted) rather than keeping as the edition #s reflected. Normally I try to keep around 10 for myself when the whole edition is said and done. Long story short, after painting 4 Flitwicks I have only 1 left (there were 2 that I’ve painted weren’t from my own stock of 10). Eek! Mini’s break in transit so easily when sent in big bunches to ya. There really is no point to this ramble I suppose… :-P Uhm yeah.. nope. Forgot my point..


BOTTOM LINE -> check it out! You can win minis!

Contest #1 for da painters! (but owners win too) http://kilbourn-contest1.blogspot.com/

Contest #2 for da owners to get creative! http://kilbourn-contest2.blogspot.com/


And while I’m at it, I should report that the bitty bosco edition continues to dwindle down.. under 20 castings left.


Lastly! Gotta share quickly an Echo medallion I made for my dad & aunt. My dad leaves this coming week to drive across the country to AZ by way of NC (where he will stop to see my youngest brother in Charlotte). My dad has been torturing us with stories that would curl your hair about his preparations… this year he tells me he is certain he will be “just fine” with his car because “he only needs to use the brakes about 10 times for the whole trip”. You didn’t read that wrong. (He doesn’t think the brakes are bad mind you, it’s just that he’s playing contingency planner – I’m more worried about something transmission or engine cooling wise breaking down on him) I can’t comment when he says things like this. We all (his children) close our eyes and pray often for him. What can I say. He leads “the life” many men dream about (being a wanderer.. eating and drinking and being merry). We just have to be happy for him and hold our breath. Sadly (since this is the first time he’s had good reception on his cell phone in about a month), I had to tell him about my aunt Ellen dying a few weeks back and my other aunt being in the hospital (she is out now but it’s all rather stressful/upsetting). I'm hoping he gets a chance to go visit them before he leaves.


Meanwhile, my aunt that he’s going to see and stay with for the winter (HIS sister not my mom’s), is his older sister and she’s in her 90’s. (She's 20 something years older I believe?) Rock on Aunt Dorothy!! She’s the one a few folks might remember me talking about a ways back over my Joe Reed sculpture (she and her hubby Bert would have my dad stay with them for a few summers). Bottom of this page; http://74.125.113.132/search?q=cache:g-9GU3gm00IJ:www.artbymorgen.com/intheworks.html+%22Dorothy+Kilbourn%22+%22Bert+Wood%22&hl=en&client=firefox-a&gl=us&strip=0 (you can read about them and the sculpture - still very much in progress there because it's HUGE on the bottom of that page) ... I got to go to Bert’s induction ceremony a few years ago and it was quite an honor. My cousin Cliff (who is my father’s age because it’s all VERY confusing thanks to the prolific nature of the men in the Kilbourn lineage.. –sighs-).. anyhow, he made the speech. Sadly this was the last time I’ve seen Dorothy in person. I need to get out there again too… isn’t there always so so very much we would like to do? -sighs- Most amazing and inspiring woman. (big warm fuzzy smiles)

(I'm going to take a gamble that dad and Dorothy aren't going to see this before tomorrow by posting it.. no one go tell them though, eh? tx!) ;)


ANYhow, sooooooo a busy weekend this weekend! In a few hours I get to go watch Skye and Steve get married (Skye is a long time hobbyist who sometimes makes funny comments here on my blog at me about this horse I gave her that she continues to call “your horse” whenever he’s naughty - read " Recipe For Disaster's" comments in this post she is such a brat!!) :D… eee for them!!! (after I’ve given them their gift I’ll post it up here to share).. And the tomorrow I say goodbye again to dad for the winter. And see my sisters too for the first time in a year. Crazy season coming up here.. ack!

& Really though, there is lots of other good stuff getting wrapped up in the studio but again, no pictures for now. I’ll save it for when I’m serious about getting good ones. Ok – gotta go get dressed up now.. eek!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Silly story here..

Before I launch into it perhaps I should quickly mention that I've been getting a lot done in the studio. I just don't tend to stop & take pictures. Especially when the final smoothing of detail hasn't been done. Right now it's been a matter of going from one thing to the next... finished a mini foal yesterday that just needs fixative & glossed eyes. Maybe pics soon of him? His mom needs a tad more however to some areas though soooo I wasn't in a hurry.

Ok, my silly (really nothing) story here. I was putting away thingsSunday after getting my new tack Saturday. Which of course DID lead to a tacking up and trial timing of myself to put it all on (around 5min, not great but not terribly bad). So as I was putting it all away I realized that I'd never gotten around to braiding a wire into a lasso / lariat. There was a movie on that I wanted to "watch" more of a part of so I sat down and did this. It's nothing great, kinda sloppy really.. all the same, I put the resulting lasso into "Angry Mego Man's" hands, sat him astride a cow in the cabinet to later show off to my man. "Angry Mego Man rides cow whilst twirling magic lasso". So Angry Mego there has missing fingers. Making holding the rope properly in his right hand even harder. So I just wrapped it around his hand to make it stay.

Now every night my guy comes into the studio and I point out the area of some new thing for him to look at (well most nights). Last night I waited to hear what he thought of my little fun lasso. He thought it was neat. But then he turns to me all serious and say "You know it can't be looped around their hands like that though right?". He so gets the whole "game" of our goals.

Anyhow, here are photos I took for Jana of my Hazel all tacked up in her finery. :D Trees were another fun side-project that didn't take too long (and are really sloppy & not entirely finished yet either). It's refreshing to break from grueling dappling or marking mapping/edging work for example to stop and get all messy with glue and foam and have bits of railroad moss stuck all over you. ;)








I will confess that while I put the boots on initially, for the sake of timing I left them off. I'm getting some SMB boots from Corrine of "Shoebox Saddlery" and these are far more likely to be my all-purpose boots. Even if the english division is first, taking off all those many the tiny tiny buckles of the gorgeous leather brushing boots Jana made would take a REALLY long time. And I made my (real life too) typical blonde mistake of putting them on backwards (lace tabs forwards) the first time I tried it too. I used to groom for a bit at a dressage barn & fast tack-ups were the norm. And I went through that all the time there too. Boots, polos, you name it.. don't ask me to slap em on too fast. ;) The boots are just a marvel though too. Oh yeah, my boyfriend admired them and immediately picked up on what a challenge they were to get on too -> he said "you have to buckle up all 4 of those tiny ones for each?" and I explained to him about needing tweezers to catch the tiny tab ends through the tongue of the buckle (like threading a needle). I think he made a comment about crazy things or crazy people (?) ;) and then left before I demonstrated that..

And I've only just begun here. :D

Soon I promise I'll have some cute new HORSES to actually share. Fun and games also has all batteries in the house dying after just a couple of minutes... -sighs- It's one thing to photograph w/flash really fast and another to try and get a decent pic of a color to share or of details in shape where flash totally flattens that away... I avoid shopping whenever possible but it's going to be pretty necessary soon for batteries... :/ Blech!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SCORE! :D

Sooooo I got the most exciting email today!! :) Check out my new saddle; http://www.jscustomtack.net/01_main_pages/finished_orders3.html (<-- click on that! SERIOUSLY - check out the detail in larger images!!!)
(and please give Jana your business – she was pretty reasonable but I’m guessing she’s “found” now, eh?) :D Go Jana!!!


Btw, those gel boots are just WONDERFUL to use – they literally can be stretched over your thumb and popped on/off without any trouble at all..

Other rambles/links, stuff related to showing in performance..Over coffee this morning I decided to invest my online time towards finding pictures of hunters who are showing but have unbraided manes. It’s “fine” by typical hobby standards to have unbraided manes sure… (like you can do much about it with a loose mane mold!). All the same, it makes a difference when one horse is more appropriate than another. And I’m ALLLLLLLLLLLL about documentation for showing them (as a judge too – mind you in my case I judge halter only).

Anyhow, NOVICE HUNTER OVER FENCES. This is what to look for. Hunter Derby is another exciting good one too..

Weee! http://www.dlkillingerphoto.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=809&pos=60

(Eventually I will try to find a picture of a horse in a similar pose to mine too – that’s the other thing I’m pretty uptight about -> I like to make the picture match quite a bit if I’m using a reference with a picture..)

Annnnnd since I need to save my search pictures.. more hunter links where they are unbraided (lower level fun stuff).

The whole gallery from above;
http://www.dlkillingerphoto.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=708&page=13

I just liked this b/c of the pose obviously! :) http://www.peterberkers-sporthorses.com/index.php?op=viewpage&page=23&mod_op=view_images&content_id=1&image_id=5&offset=1

Pony / cob hunter.. not quite the same thing… but cute! http://www.dragondriving.co.uk/images/horsecarts/horse3640-2.jpg

An obstacle I think I might manage to recreate (this sorta stuff oddly challenges me greatly!) http://www.horsemart.co.uk/img/adphotos/48/57348_11_yrs_16_1_hh_piebald_warmblood_worcestershire_img.jpg

I just liked this gal b/c of his build, he’s a Clyde cross! http://image3.equinenow.com/174926_1/piebald_clydesdale.jpg

OH and in my googling I found that Hunter Classes offer up something called “Bridle Path Hack” which very often DOES ask for a “hand gallop”. For those who might be interested in knowing such things. :)

And lastly.. a fence that might be within my limited woodworking skillset; http://www.stable.com/images/ServiceProvider/ServiceProvider_2519.jpg (plus it’s pretty low level as stadum fences go which is something else I was looking around for)..

Well that's it for messing around today.. In all honesty I also got out 20 packages to the PO soooo it wasn't all fun and games. ;) Ahhh but boy that certainly put a big smile on my face. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

What GREAT advice!

I just needed to share this tidbit from an article that crossed my path today;

In some ways, the art world is far too fragmented. Instead of sharing and cooperating and learning from one another, different artist factions spend their lives tearing each other down and disparaging each other's art. A New York City artist once told me that because of abuses in the limited edition print industry, people should stop buying prints altogether. Is that supposed to include originals by all legitimate printmakers, etchers, and lithographers? Should we ban printmaking? Should we make it a felony? This artist would rather eliminate the industry altogether than study and learn from its marketing successes, and incorporate those successes into his business model.

Just remember that there's no right or wrong art, and as long as sellers don't break the law or engage in deliberate misrepresentation, there's no right or wrong way to sell art. Every single time a fledgling new collector buys his or her first piece of art, no matter what type of art it is, subsequent sales to that collector become easier and easier. That first sale is always the toughest one to make, and congratulations to the artist or dealer who makes it.
Text from"a talk given to artists at the Indianapolis Art Center and to art students at the Herron School of Art at Purdue University, also in Indianapolis. " http://www.artbusiness.com/maxprice.html

How appropriate to our niche, eh?

I really like that he addresses the tendency to dismiss various forms of art as "not valid". Plenty of art fields find that commerical art or hobby art or craft art is 'garbage art' sadly. I think it's all a case of "walk a mile in their shoes" however...

Well anyhow, in follow up to my last post... I've completed stage one of my website/host transfer. I got in, I converted my site to (non-asp/microsoft) html.. and made a simple change to the coloration while I was at it, and then got one domain (http://www.one-horse.net ) pointed over to it. I've got 2 to go and am waiting for the release codes from the old website host. I'm ALSO waiting for a web designer who took over one of my old client's web sites to get back to me about taking over their domains... that last bit will be the ultimate delay I suspect in closing that old host account.

But the new look you see when going to the one-horse domain now should be this;


In a day or three artbymorgen.com ought to go there too. (hopefully!) :D

Friday, September 18, 2009

Web Hosting Woes..

Well I've been wanting to do things like put a link to Echo's sales page (this one http://www.artbymorgen.com/echo.htm ) on my site somewhere that is easy to get to. Right now it's not linked up to any pages. You have to get to it from one of my ads somewhere like on MH$P.

Anyhow, I also have a goodly # of unpainted resins by other artists I'd like to sell. And a few minor word changes (one ugly mistake too!) on a few pages. All of these I can't do because my web host has been having issues for .. well hell! A WHILE now.. I haven't been able to get into it to change a thing for a week now.

So, as patient as I am, it's time to move.

Hahaha on me, I did something really stupid a while back, I designed my site to have info "feeds" through a microsoft server (only supported) document type called "asp". If you went to look, a good # of my web pages still have this 'asp' instead of 'htm'. Well none of the good hosts screw around with microsoft servers anymore (probably for the same reason 'security' has rendered my site very static and unhelpful). Long story short, it's all got to be renamed at the least/but that means a million links redone.

OR that I finally simplify it. I've had my site/plan/hosting for 9 years now. There are a couple of other folk's sites on there. Quite a bit of files for non-relavent things as well. In other words, starting fresh wouldn't be so bad. And that's what I'm going to do. It's far easier to dump the old words into a new design rather than try to find and replace site-wide and port the whole (very very convoluted and BIG) site over to a new host. Also, I simply need to add a few horses for sale in a clear way to the main page. And the way some of the side bar navigation links are worded cannot be too clear because these are questions I get a great deal.

I used to run my company's web sites (plural). There were several actually. The trickiest part of my job however was creating on-the-fly websites within an hour for investors. The financial quarterly presentations were given to me in Powerpoint which converts to web formatting and flat images ok, with a few major exceptions (at least the programs I had did some ugly things). So it was a lot of mental prep, dry runs, and then a checklist because the shareholder calls and shareholders viewing/listening needed the files at a very specific time. So for example, my boss would be on the call at 9am introducing the CEO/CFO et al. I would need to have a live link that he knew in advance. I was outside of the conference room, they were inside. It was tense moments when a server or Powerpoint default setting threw a curveball.

After a year or so of this every quarter we'd pretty much worked out the steps. I even did it once from the Radisson in KY during my vacation at Breyerfest (because I refused to give up my vacation for an hours worth of un-delagatable work). That was different (they have wonderful and outrageously priced breakfasts!) but also went very smoothly.

The bottom line is, between having to time links to these absolute to the minute deadlines, and also have links up online all the time minutes after a press release goes out... I am just ASTOUNDED that any hosting company would still run in this day and age with people locked out of website changes on shared servers. There aren't many companies that need the space of a dedicated server, but there sure are millions of companies that need info put up online when they say they will.

The baffling part to me is that all companies seem to have some amount of downtime woes. There are ways to get around this like server mirroring - if one goes down, another automatically picks up the slack via an automatic DNS redirect of your domain to the one that isn't broken.

Regardless, I won't go on about techie stuff. Notice that I don't offer web hosting/design even privately anymore? lol! Actually there are a couple of web sites about to disappear from the world wide web in a day because I want a cleaner web site.

Here's an interesting example, relavent to sculpting & such, when I held my 'egg hunt contest' (and can you imagine if I'd gotten locked out? that was my biggest concern and I did have a little problem I'll explain in a sec..). I hid egg images throughout my site. The WAY I did this was to upload the pages to appear (with the little egg image in it somewhere). Thus if you'd been through the site too early, you might actually not see it, due to browser caching, so folks were supposed to wait until I gave the go-ahead. There was no way to cheat early, because there were no traces of the egg pages until after I uploaded them. When the eggs were found I pulled down the pages.

The problem was essentially though that my site traffic spiked unbelievably for a brief period. The same way site traffic spikes badly when you release a new horse. This is why businesses go with a business host plan - one mention somewhere 'big time' or a great new product goes up and your site could be down or you could be charged silly fines (or both). ANYHOW -> what happened was that some folks used web-bot-crawlers to try and find the eggs. This jammed up my site mighty bad for me to even finish uploading them all! I'm not sure even the best server could've handled that one too easily. At least not in pushing 20 or 30 or so pages up and down fast.... plus the fact that web bot programs were used makes it all unfair to the rest. I studied the results of that long and hard and am at least satisfied that many real finds by real human users happened too. A few rampaging bots can jam up a server far faster than 800 hobbyists though can. I'm guessing they were programmed to search for web pages that had been modified. Maybe someone sluethed out what the egg images were in advance (not that hard to do despite that I have the bare bones 'no bot searching' settings set up on the site for those areas). If you found out what those were, you could then easily reprogram the names into the bot to find the page that contained the name. The bottom line for me though was the my server was so taxed it took far too long to accept the transfers (normally they would only take a second or two for me)... some pages took a minute or two to transfer it appeared - and by then I'd have 20 emails saying the egg was found on it and need to pull the page back down. I'm guessing a bit of that was ordinary traffic, but there were the dreaded bots working over the server too. I'm just lucky (or not? I dunno!) that the server didn't ruin it for all by clamming up at the bot intrusion. Btw, I say "bots" but they also can be looked up under web crawlers...
-sighs-
It's hard to think of fun games that'll work sometimes.

That's one that definitely should only be done in single instances (of 1 prize at a time) on that scale.

That said, I am doing the blog contest polls ("People's Choice" Oktoberfest contests over there to the left side of this page???). WEE!!!! :)

Lets hope blogger sticks around and stays reliable. ;)

Alrighty.. back to work cutting and pasting my web site over. I will be happy to have a better company to work with. There are things like shopping cart features and forms that my last company just never could resolve the 'glitches' for and I just never took the time to push the issue or leave them before this... I look forward to utilizing some forms and making things more interesting hopefully in the future. :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Delving into insanity here... ;)

Editing to add in show albums I've found b/c it makes the post more fun w/pictures!!! :D
http://s17.photobucket.com/albums/b65/drsteggy/2009%20North%20East%20Congress%20Live/

http://good-times.webshots.com/album/574628903MVMsVq

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40828858@N02/sets/72157622230865287/

http://s1008.photobucket.com/albums/af202/regionxshowphotos/Northeast%20Congress%202009/


Insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.


Seriously. Yesterday felt insane. Last night I wasn’t sure I want to enter another performance show for a while.. then I woke up this morning, my headache finally gone.. and I said “man, I wonder if I can do BOTH of those shows at the end of October. That’s a textbook definition of insanity imo. ;) I did performance as a kid for photo shows & 1 live show. I’m not sure I expected anything much really. I don’t think I expect anything now really (although I have given myself little “mini goals” which only serve to make me obnoxiously competitive imo). ;) All the same, here I am, just aching to do performance things again.

For instance, Friday, in a hurry, I made some whole & some broken eggs. (recipe for anyone interested: take some white Apoxie sculpt, roll some into egg shapes.. roll some smaller dots and press half flat onto a surface. Use water/solvent to smooth them out.. then paint the whole eggs white, paint the egg yolks yellow.. when dry, put the egg yolks onto a clear flat sheet of plastic of some sort, like a thick wrapper, and add a blob of thick gloss of some sort & fan it out appropriately.. takes just a few minutes. When dry, cut out with scissors…). This absolutely trivial extra touch was SO fun for me to do.

I think it’s the need for the creative mind to expand into many directions least it get stretched too thin in just one... like any "exercise", mentally or physically, variety is very important. And unfortunately I’m not a crafty home decorator type of woman… which is where I might find this outlet for these silly extra “touches” of fun.

Sooooo I showed performance on Saturday – managing (out of 10 possible classes I had tack for 2 horses for..) to enter almost all of them with nearly both of my horses almost every time. The really draw for me is, after sculpting and painting something, to be able to see just how creative I can get in presenting it in as many scenes as possible. As you’ve seen in this blog when I had my photoshop frenzie I guess, I really like to try to picture a horse doing MANY things sometimes. (Photoshop "performance" playing around posts here and here). Especially after I find all these references for muscles & limbs in similar poses from such a big variety of real horse life/breed/discipline moments in time (in Hazel’s case – how often does the hand gallop come into play in real horse work). Since Godiva (my other show horse) is walking along, that’s a lot easier to picture in nearly any type of scene for me, although then it’s fun to make her all “pretty pretty”. In fact I was dinged by the judge (well I knew damn well it was ‘over the top’) ;) for having this far too fancy looking doll out there cutting cattle. That just makes me giggle. Fortunately my mini competitive goals allow for failing by being a twerp when I know better. ;) It IS about playing with toys and having fun imo. And while I never did “dolls” so much, if my parents could’ve afforded to, I would’ve been a doll house/miniature fanatic. I adore tiny tiny things done well. Little beer steins.. Little fancy buckles.

I got my newest cow yesterday too – the Hernden running cow in red. She smells like maple syrup. I’ve been craving waffles all day now. ;) I’d done a trade of a resin for 3-4 cows (3 but I got a bonus cow), a few months ago and since 2 were standing I did a further trade with someone else.

Trading is the ONLY way I could afford to consider getting into this. And my friend who lent me all of the amazing tack traded most of time to accumulate most of her amazing tack collection. It’s so funny to me how people prefer to collect.. my personal goal right now is to get “more bang for my buck” and commission (trade for commission anyhow) the most versatile tack possible too. Eventually maybe it’ll let me focus more on the superfluous props (that I so sooooo adore!). As it was, some of the silly stuff I made I didn’t even have time to put out on the table.. ;)

My boyfriend says “wow, that sounds like HELL? Why would you want to do all that for a set up that’s going to be together only for 10 minutes?”… simultaneously however, he tells me he “spied a really cool type of bridge in a western movie the other night”… and then goes on to describe it’s construction. Poor guy, little does he know that (while SO supremely awesome to have) these really well constructed props aren’t the make it or break it “must haves”. But hey, I won’t stop him if he gets the urge to try making a trail bridge again.. funny guy. :)

Bottom line is that I came home with 5 performance cards for my two horses out of 15 efforts. SERIOUSLY? I am FLIPPING THRILLED with this! But it’s actually more about things like learning how a rider holds certain types of reins (even when I failed to place b/c I draped the ends of reins to the wrong side of the rider/saddle). My most exciting “win” was a 3rd place in pleasure with HAZEL who is booking out man! But as a “Ranch Horse Pleasure” entry, properly documented, it stood out against all these textbook “western pleasure entries” (that were utterly gorgeous). I wrote the gal who’s entry was on a photo performance entry (thanks Mary/sassymiss!!!) that gave me the idea for this, I shall share what I used here for any Hazel owners who’d like to give it a go;

Horse being asked to hand gallop in “Ranch Horse Pleasure” class

Ranch Horse Pleasure -Designed to show a ranch horse that is a pleasure to ride. Horses are required to work both ways in the arena at a walk, jog or pleasure gait, and lope. The walk is intended to cover ground. The jog or pleasure gait should be faster than the walk, the extended jog or pleasure gait is truly extended, with longer, more ground covering strides. The lope is a true 3 beat gait that is to be extended into a hand gallop, showing ground covering extension without excessive speed. Horses to reverse at the trot or pleasure gait in one direction and reverse at a lope in the other direction. Simple or flying lead changes allowed.

Ranch Horse Show Rules Working tack shall be used. An excessive show of silver on saddles and bridles is not allowed. All competitors shall wear western clothing. This will include a long sleeved shirt with a collar, western boots with a heel, and a western hat. Management may determine and announce whether long sleeved shirts or short sleeved shirts are more appropriate for the weather conditions.


Read more about that here and here;
http://www.iowaranchhorse.com/ranchhorse.htm
http://www.outwestarena.com/horse-events/events-sub-navigation

How grateful I am to this photo shower for enlightening me on this whole different world of "western events" for the more action oriented (my preference) horses out there! :D (I hope she doesn't find my random out-of-the-blue thank you note weird and alarming...)...!

And that to me is what is the most fun about performance (aside from the flipping waaaay too cool little tiny things to be amazed by). That you can get creative “intellectually” and research alternative horse disciplines that fit under any particular category such as the above example.. and that it’s not necessarily about the most expensive tack being used, but about the “correctness of fit of tack and suitability”. (Thus why my first commissions are of very versatile type tack..). That said, until they are done I still only have one saddle and no bridle of my own for my two performance horses. Ack! I know the pain of the commissioner now! :) I really cannot wait until I get to do more.

What is WRONG with me man? Lol! The funny thing is that I know of some errors in my entries that weren’t caught.. and I hope I can fix that by the next time too. I am definitely an OCD perfectionist in a highly chaotic/disorganized personality type. What a bad combo. Honestly. :-P There is so much more to say but for the moment, I’ll stop rambling. I just can’t believe after all that and my shell-shock last night that I want to do it all again so very soon…!

Capping off my highly chaotic post here I’ll mention that I now am offering up that “Echo” medallion for sale: http://www.artbymorgen.com/echo.htm ($35 ea ppd - $30 for each subsequent purchased after the first). The first proofs arrived in on Friday and will mail out the first 4 tomorrow. I had then rush shipped a few because I wanted to have a donation for the show yesterday. But you really should’ve seen some of the amazing donations there – the finished medallions and dolls and tack in the raffles and auctions were incredible. I put in for the raffles on several items but when it came to bidding on the silent auction items it was already well out of my league… the doll I loved there went for over $400! Anyhow, so yeah, where was I? Well, my new medallion is casting and I guess I ought to mention that here too. (clearly I’m still a bit shell shocked today.. I’m so sheltered now). ;)


Oh! And as I went to log in to post this I realize I never shared the latest pictures of my araby mare since I "snarked" out her purty little head a bit more.. I revamped the nostrils and eyes after carefully studying the various faces of horses being fiesty. There are just so very many types of faces they make, even for a snarky mood when striking. I felt that this suited her best. :)