Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hobby Slump: Part 2

As I said earlier, May has left me with not much interest in anything plastic pony. As much as I wanted to take another commission, I had a hard enough time finishing my last one, which was just supposed to be one of those breezy odds-and-ends orders.  

That said, I decided what I needed to kick me back into gear in time for long summer days with little to no commitments was some good ol' fashioned instant gratification. 

To do this, I decided to finally 'tackle' the finishing touches on this working western set for Seabiscuit. 

I can't even remember how much work went into this saddle - I just remember messing up so many fenders when I hammered right through the leather (used a cube bead from Michael's as a 'stamp')

The sticky wax on the bridle is purely decorative
Thankfully, all I had to do to make this sale-ready was assemble the already created pieces of the bridle, and change the bit to one of the cast ones I purchased off eBay a few months back.  

There are some messier pieces here (see: rear cinch), since this was more of an experimental set where I could play with what worked and what didn't in my first working western set.

Franken-cinch! Yikes!
The cast bit is definitely a nice touch. Miles better than my old wire ones, anyway. The only issue is they come in gold, so this one is currently just painted silver. I'm not sure how that will hold up to some handling, though. 

That said, I'm more than pleased with how it turned out over all. 

There's lots of fun little details - such as the futurity knot browband and mechanically correct splint boots.

And most importantly, I think it gave me just enough of a boost back into tack making that I'll be able to continue on through the summer with some sales pieces!

MH$P add for this set can be found here.

For now, commissions are going to remain closed unfortunately. I know there are people still on the waitlist who I talked to about possibly getting a spot this summer, but I want to make sure I only take on a new project with someone that I know I'll be able to finish. 

Hobby Slump

I struggled over two months to finally finish up these three bridles. 

At first I couldn't find the time to work on them.

Then when I was finally free, I found myself actively not wanting to. 

Still, I managed to get them all done in time for them to head off to their new owner. Here's to hoping next time is easier, and I can get out of this hobby slump!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tackling Cross Country - The BASEics

Hah. Hah. There are a lot of classes I haven't shown in yet, and one of them happens to be Cross Country. For some reason, most Region 2 over fences classes have one big class for hunter/jumper/cross country, or at the most hunter and jumper/cross country. However, the Big Valley Performance Show I'll be attending on the 29th has a class for each. It's scary having so many options!

I felt throwing a sidesaddle mule into a jumper class was more of a stretch, so last week I started putting together my first ever cross country base. 

It started with some poster board, newspaper, and messy paper mâché, covered by a nice grass mat base.  

I tried using only that SceneARama loose ground cover before, and it was a mess. I learned my lesson and made sure to put regular grass down first!

The water was the biggest challenge. The grass mat ended up bunching around the hot glue it was put down with, and there were little valleys and mountains that caused the fake water to pool unevenly. It took a few coats of clear, blue, clear, and then laying some already dried strips over it to get something mostly flat and covered. 

Next came my favorite part: texture!! Lots of texturing with a popsicle stick and drying later, we have foam and splashes! 

Excuse some of the weird wash out. You can't see the little hoof splashes without flash!

I then sprinkled on some of the loose grass turf to 'shade' the ground some more. With the main base done, it was time to move on to a more traditional are of tack making for me. 
The jump!

Obligatory reference picture

It started as a simple frame.

While it wasn't the most challenging, this step definitely wins the award for longest. 

It came up with Grace that even after I complained about all those shingles from the hunter jump, I decided it would be a good idea to pick another jump requiring the cutting, dying, and gluing of little individual pieces of wood.

It took ages.

Each "log" was sawed, dip dyed, and super glued in place.
To help keep away the madness, I took a break to add some bushes 

You can see the jump filling out, too

What's fun about the bushes is they're hiding the plastic stands for some trees. Haven't decided if I really like them, but the idea is I can remove the jump and have a nice natural trail base, too! 

After the jump was filled out, it got its ground lines, flags, and, of course, flowers! 

They're not glued to the jump yet, so pardon their slight bumpiness!

Can't wait to put this entry all together. Super happy with how it's come out so far!

I'm also considering painting all the sides black, just to make it look more polished. Thoughts?

And that's what I've been spending some time on! There will be lots more props updates soon as I sort through pictures I've been taking while working. Can't wait for this show!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Gold Country Model Horse Show: Halter

My halter photos from GCMHS are just a smattering of the actual halter competition. 

My minis took 3 out of 4 of the NAN cards I brought home from halter

+ A blue for my Chips cutting horse. 

The performance ring was (slightly terrifyingly) right next to the china ring. 

Even though I was a little bit scary hauling props around the clinkies,

 It was fun to be able to turn around and admire them!

I feel like the china table needed to provide towels for people to wipe up their drool.

Over in OF Breyer halter, the tables were packed.

Out of probably 20+ horses in Arabian Mares, my Jasmine was able to pull through with a first!

More busy classes

This guy was in performance, but the detail was too good to not include a detail shot.

There can never be enough China pictures

The glossies were especially yummy! 

One of these day's I'll cave and add something extra breakable to my collection!

There were also some very cute OF minis

Long ears and china? 

That's just too much

There Peter Stone classes were also ridiculously competitive because of their quality.

And the big guy to match that mini from earlier.

China call backs!

There were so many different makes and sizes of Chinas on the table.

It was a hard choice to pick the overall, 

and reserve!

Then over to the OF Breyer halter table for collectability grand champ and reserve. 

And finally, the OF Breyer Halter breed champ and reserve

This guy is incredible in person! 

 The entire show hall was floored by this Man of War's condition. I swear - He was named champ and there was the regular cheering, but as people actually came up to take pictures and admire him there was total silence. The Love classics have always been at the top of my list, and seeing a horse this old in completely perfect shape, plus some amazing coloring and shading, felt like some kind of life-altering experience. 

All in all, I have never seen such quality and quantity in any of the shows I've been to as I did with this one! It was great getting to look and learn from all the fantastic showers around me. Once again, thanks for brining out your best guys!

And that's it! What a good ending point for the last of the show report. Finally all the Gold Country pictures have been blogged about. I hope everyone enjoyed them!