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


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...

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...


"sleek" (Kate C there coined that one)



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


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

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;
. 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.
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.


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!