Tag Archives: blogs

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.

Splint Boot Adventure

Crazily enough, I ended up with a little bit of extra time on my hands before the show. None of my performance entries need splint boots, but a few of them would be improved with the added detail. Plus went I want to do jumping or cross-country in the future, I’ve got some leg wear in the tack box.

I made my splint boots using Anna Kirby’s tutorial, located here. Putting wire in the boots to help hold them on the leg is just a stroke of brilliance. It also makes the on/off a lot easier.

The first thing I did was make a basic pattern. Then I skivved some blue leather using my awesome new super skivver.

I followed Anna’s tutorial and did mock velcro straps, just like the kind I use in real life. After this picture was taken I decided to add more of the blue leather to get rid of the little gap between sides. Adding more leather also helped the boots stay on, since I was putting mostly sticky wax on the bigger blue leather instead of the itty bitty black straps. (I’d love to try the re-usable glue that Anna recommends, but I haven’t gotten to a craft store and already have plenty of sticky wax on hand).

 

Somehow I managed to lose the photos I took of his paid of finished boots, and now the horses and tack are all packed away for the show. But Nightfox will be sporting his new boots in English Natural Trail and English Games.

My tubs are all packed and ready for the show. Hurry up and get here, Saturday!

About Blogging

I’ve been very busy lately organizing what I coyly referred to in my last post as “a 300 person tech conference.” I was being vague because I felt like the event was not really relevant to the topic of this blog. But I realized that is silly.

This year I helped organize WordCamp Portland. WordCamps are world-wide, community-led conferences centered around the WordPress, an open-source publishing software that anyone can use. Tech-savvy folks can download and install it from WordPress.org, and those of us who don’t want to deal with security and software updates can sign up for free at WordPress.com.

Beer is also an important part of WordCamp Portland, because, ya know, Portland. Photo by Daniel Bachhuber.

Most of the attendees of WordCamps are .org users, including many developers and code contributors. But even though I don’t know my PHP from my MySQL, I’m still a passionate WordCamper. These events are a celebration of the awesomeness of blogging, and that’s something I can definitely get behind.

One of my fellow attendees, Marshall Kirkpatrick, said it best in his post-WordCamp blog post:

Blogging is beautiful, it elevates the human spirit and enriches public life…I see a lot of blogs on niche topics and there’s a whole lot more blogging going on than you might think. Geneticist Daniel Swan blogs about moving from academia to the private genetics industry. Ana Lilian and Roxana A. Soto blog together about raising bilingual kids. Jeff Rothe blogs about his collection of classic arcade game machines. And I think the world is a much better place for it.

His post inspired this one. Because although the tech world might seem far from the model horse hobby, both have evolved and benefited greatly from the growth of blogging. Without the prolific hobby blogosphere, I would not have met most of my lovely hobby friends, nor would I have learned so much about customizing, tack making, etc. And it’s because blogging is so fun, easy, and rewarding that I can share what I’ve learned with you, my readers.

As Marshall Kirkpatrick said,

I remember discovering how easy it was to blog, not so many years ago, and I really hope that lots of people are still discovering how easy and how rewarding it is every day today. Yes, Facebook and Twitter are even easier – but there’s nothing like a good blog post.

I couldn’t agree more.

How They See Us

Check out this great post from FriesianFury Studio from the point of view of one of her model victims!

Living with a Customizing Serial Killer

I can’t wait to see the final results.

Visualizing Colors

I ran across an awesome idea from Karen Grigson of Bluebird Studio in a Blab thread recently. The subject was shading and tones on a white horse, and she posted this cool visualization from the reference picture:

What a brilliant idea! And it’s not just for those difficult white/off-white tones, either. She also posted these:

Seriously, this is so brilliant. And widely relevant too- no matter your medium of choice, these easy color palettes are extremely useful! I can’t wait to get back into finish work and use this technique.

If you don’t have a program that can take color swatches like this, there are several free downloadable ones. Karen mentions Paint.net (downloadable at getpaint.net) which runs on Windows/Vista. If you’re using a Mac, never fear, GIMP is a free, open-source photo editor for Mac.

Karen Grigson is not just a talented (and helpful!) painter, but also an excellent and creative sculptor. She did an awesome post on her blog called Character that has some great tips on facial customizing.

It is super awesome how open and helpful hobbyists are!

Batch Progress

I currently have two batches of horses being worked on rather regularly, which is fun and awesome and means serious progress. Rotating between them leaves time for epoxy or fixative to dry, and means more solid work time over all.

Speaking of epoxy! I have always used “but I have wet epoxy!” as an excuse not to do chores, but that explanation may now be futile. I learned from Karen Grigson’s Bluebird Studio blog that you can slow the curing time for epoxy by putting it in the freezer- and thus save your leftover bits until you have the time to use them.

The Akhal Teke lost his head and hooves but has since gained epoxy, and is at least giving me the attitude I want.

Baking soda and glue to the rescue!

Hmm… that face needs serious work.

It’s fun and interesting to be sculpting a horse with such specific and unusual breed characteristics. With the Akhal in my Sculpting WIP Batch are my Thoroughbred racehorse with her new opened mouth and the one time “Head Down Mare” who is now destined to be a gelding and has put on some serious weight. I’m thinking Percheron/Quarter Horse. All three of these are quite challenging- I’ve got the unique Akhal type, a tiny open mouth, and some big muscle groups to sculpt. And I’m having a ball.

In the Pastelling Batch it’s a big ol’ Pony Party.

From left: unnamed potential sale pony, Typhoid Mary, Alpo

The chestnut pony is almost done, which is satisfying. I think she’ll go up for sale when finished. Typhoid Mary is just beginning to get layers of dapples and individual hair detail, so she’ll be on the table for a while. Alpo mostly has his body done, but matching his mane and tail and making them match his body and be realistic will be a definite challenge. I’m looking forward to having him done- such attitude.

Don’t mess with the poneh.

I also finally photographed my sales horse “Jaycee” so she’s up on my sales page and on MH$P.

Start to Finish Customs from Strutt’n Steed Studio

I love seeing start to finish photos of other people’s customs. It’s such a great way to learn from and admire another hobbyist’s work. I follow Strutt’n Steed Studios’ blog, and artist Rikki Lyman recently posted two awesome start to finish albums.

Check out the adorable pony Bailey (custom TR Eberl Haflinger) and playful donkey foal Emelia (custom CL Cantering Foal).

One of my own very much in progress