Tag Archives: hobbyists

Holiday Saddle Raffle

At Sweet Onion Live earlier this year I got to admire some amazing mini scale tack by Grace Ledoux of Stage Left Studios.

SOL GL - dressage

I was amazed by her attention to detail and how itty bitty she was able to make her strap goods.

SOL GL - english games

I really wish I’d had more time to stare and take pictures (these are all her pictures, not mine!) but I was a bit crazy showing in halter and performance while judging the Youth division. I won’t be doing that again, trust me!

Since meeting Grace, I’ve been following her blog with enthusiasm. And I was very excited on Friday when she announced that she has teamed up with her friend and fellow tack maker, Anne Yager, to do a holiday saddle raffle!

SOL GL - harness

Even better, all the money raised in this raffle will be going to charity. It’s a win-win! The greedy part of me wants to keep this hush hush so I have a better change of winning on of the awesome saddles (I keep waffling on which I want more!)

Luckily, that part of me is overcome by my love of all things tiny as well as charitable giving. So I want to share this with as many folks as possible! Anna and Grace set a goal of raising $50, which they have already surpassed. How cool would it be if they could raise $100?

You can read all the details on the raffle in Grace’s blog post. That post and several others on her blog and on Anna’s blog show many more photos of the two saddles up for grabs. Go buy some tickets!

SOL GL - horse bot

This photo doesn’t showcase Grace’s tack so much, but it sure showcases her creativity! Isn’t this just the coolest Other Perf entry you’ve ever seen? She had documentation for the Horsebot and everything.

 

Begin Again

I put this blog on official hiatus last January when I realized that work, moving, and starting at a new barn were keeping me too busy. My models and supplies were put away in preparation for our move, and I spent my weekends at the barn teaching lessons or at home packing boxes.

moving boxes

Helper cat is helpful

We moved into our new home in February. Painting, cleaning, unpacking, and organizing kept us busy. In April my dream came true and we had a studio built into a nook. I eagerly documented the process so I’d be able to share it here.

finished studio

My new studio

At the end of April, I got sick, and I didn’t get better. Once again I found myself turning to models as a mental escape from frustrating exhaustion and depression. I couldn’t ride, but at least I had performance showing goals to work towards in the few hours a day I wasn’t sleeping.

So although I’d meant to start blogging again after we moved in, I didn’t. But I worked toward getting better. By the end of the summer I was feeling well enough to attend a live show. By September I was riding again. Today, I think I’m more or less back to normal, health-wise.

Despite the illness, it’s been a great year. We love our new condo and our urban life. I’m back to my regular hours at work, tackling new and exciting projects. I’m riding regularly and falling in love with a little dun gelding. I’ve had some great hobby successes and have exciting goals for the future.

Sweet Onion Live 2014

Sweet Onion Live 2014

And as of right now, I’m blogging again! I’ve been keeping up with the other hobby blogs during my absence from the blogosphere, and I am constantly excited, inspired, and in awe of other hobbyists’ dedication to sharing their experiences. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today in the hobby without this generosity, and I want to be able to reciprocate. I may not be up to blogging as much as I did before my hiatus, but at least I’ll be posting again.

I particularly want to give a shout out to a couple specific people whose blogging has been inspirational to me over the last few months. To Jennifer Buxton, whose dedication to blogging and willingness to share is unparalleled. To Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig, whose honest and heartfelt post about her depression and her hobby journey resonated with me deeply- and made me want to buy an OF Breyer. And finally to Grace Ledoux, whose awesome hobby blog I recently discovered, whose mini tack is amazing, and whose thankful note pushed me to finally write this.

Thank you everyone! I’m excited to be back.

thumbs up jump 1 copy

Model Fun Day!

This Saturday Caryn hosted a little hobby get together. We all brought projects and hung out talking horses. It was pretty much the best thing ever. I got a ton of prepping done, Tracy painted medallions, Erin made saddle parts, and Caryn worked on customs and props.

Caryn working on her stablemate Arabian. Also pictured: delicious treats, mimosa, paint, ponies.

Caryn working on her stablemate Arabian. Also pictured: delicious treats, mimosa, paint, ponies.

Caryn was an amazing hostess, providing a veritable feast that kept us happily stuffed all day. Then she sent us home with chicken pot pies and cookies! We’re hoping to do more of these little get-togethers, but no one is gonna top this one for foodstuffs!

I got a ton done at Caryn’s, and then woke up today super motivated. I’ve got my resins and commissions in the works as well as a present for my trainer and a donation for NAN. There’s quite the herd in my In Progress cabinet. I hope to start putting color on them soon, and posting pictures of course!

Projects drying under the heat lamp

Projects drying under the heat lamp

Meanwhile, I still have photos from NW Congress to post (bored yet?). At the show I was lamenting that I couldn’t take enough photos, but processing and posting them all makes me feel somewhat differently :P Without further ado, here’s some of the pretties from the AR Mini division. Enjoy!

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Great Painting Tip from Jamie Baker

Jamie Baker is a great model horse artist, and is always very generous with sharing her techniques. She shared a brilliant (and so simple!) technique on Blab that I definitely plan to use.

Jamie Baker tip screenshot

This idea is a cool compatriot for another tip from Blab about visualizing colors, which I posted about previously.

Have I mentioned I can’t wait to start painting again?

This post needed a picture. Check out the butt on this gorgeous guy!

This post needed a picture. Check out the butt on this gorgeous guy! I know it’s the angle but… dayum. Cool reference for the pangare, too.

Tiny Things

My Christmas gift portrait cob now has hair! Said hair needs work, but she looks a lot better than last month when she had no ears and a wire sticking out of her butt…

Kettil Blacksmith is still in the pony hospital, but he’s recovering from Brokentailitis and will hopefully be ready to hit the show ring in a few weeks.

Progress!

Meanwhile, awesome hobby bloggers are busy making tiny masterpieces. EG of Last Alliance Studios cooked up some delicious looking sandwiches and Nichelle of Desktop Stables made a whole library of wee books. Seriously, the first pictures in these two posts will give you a real double take.

Play-Doh is Fun Again

Sara Gifford of FriesianFury Studio did a lovely blog post about using Play-Doh way back in February, but I didn’t have a reason to try it until recently. My resin drafter has a nifty little acrylic rod in his hoof to help him stand, and I needed to protect it from primer.

So off I went to the store to get some play-doh. At first I only found the big packs with many different colors, but then I found this handy zip pack for only $1.99.

I took a little piece of play-doh (man, even this small bag is going to last me forever) and smooshed it over the acrylic peg so it was completely covered. Then I primed him like normal.

After I was done priming, I simply pulled off the play-doh, with the acrylic rod safe and sound and clean.

I won’t have a frequent use for play-doh, but I’m really glad I got some. It’s one of those tools that is the perfect choice when you need it- you just don’t need it very often. But I’ll definitely never struggle with painter’s tape again. Those days are over!

Thanks for the great post, Sara!

Thoughts on Commissions

When I re-entered the model horse hobby in late 2009, I made myself a promise that I would emphasize the crafty, do-it-yourself side of the hobby and participate for my own enjoyment and creative exercise. I wanted to maintain the hobby as a personal activity that combined my love of making things with my love of horses.

There was a time when I believed that I would never accept commissions, even if and when I reached such a skill level. I liked the idea of my work being valued by other hobbyists, but I viewed commissions as a chore that some people strangely chose to shackle themselves to.

My first commission

I couldn’t imagine having deadlines for customers who wanted to take a horse to this show or that, or needing to follow a specific reference strictly to the last detail. Forcing myself to work on a horse would have been the antithesis of my hobby goals. My works always evolve as I go along, and I never wanted to have a customer’s desire override my preference as the artist.

My feelings and impressions about commissions have changed, particularly in response to another one of my hobby-promises: that I would keep spending to a minimum, and only buy the supplies I needed to make things myself. I keep that promise still, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting what I consider out of my price range, such as unpainted artist resins.

My second commission, nearly finished

I recently started my third commission, as a trade for a beautiful draft resin I’ve long admired. What I’ve found is that commissions don’t have to be chores or fetters. They can be inspiring and exciting. Each commission trade has been the result of collaborative design and agreement between myself and the customer, with flexibility reserved for me in terms of both time and creation.

The customer’s vision is an impetus for me to create something new, something that perhaps I would not have envisioned myself. And because I maintain the freedom for that work to evolve, I keep the promise to myself to do this for enjoyment and fun.

It is lovely to have my work respected and wanted by others, but even more thrilling to collaborate with another hobbyist on a trade that makes both sides so happy and satisfied.