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) :)