Friday, January 20, 2017


Years ago, in the mostly undocumented, pre-blog era, I decided I was going to start painting models with oils.
In a fit of enthusiasm, I went to a hobby store and bought a few tubes of horse colored paint. I also bought some books, but I'm not sure that I actually read them.
Not surprisingly, things did not go well. I had no idea what I was doing and used way too much paint and no driers at all. My horse was wet for more than six months. Eventually, I wiped her off and finished her in pastels. 
In a fit of frustration, I gave the paints away. That was that until 2011, when Jennifer Scott graciously allowed me to watch her work.
I learned a lot that day and immediately started making plans to revisit the whole oil painting thing. But... days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and months turned into years and somehow it was 2017, and I still hadn't done one thing to advance my oil painting career.

"This is ridiculous," I told myself. "It's time to put up or shut up."

And thus, NaMoPaiMo was born.
In the last couple weeks, I've dusted off and actually read those books.
I've bought a whole new set of oil paints, this time with driers.
I've also selected and mostly prepped a victim.
I have a long and mostly bad history with finishwork in general and oils in particular. Still, I am cautiously optimistic that this is actually going to happen. Can it be February already? I am eager to see how things turn out!

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Today was another long day at the courthouse, and I am all borked talked out.
Fortunately, we did reach a verdict. Tomorrow I can get back to my every day life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Happy birthday to me

Today is my birthday, and Arapahoe County held a party in my honor.
I was hoping it would be a short engagement, but no. I get to go back tomorrow for bonus rounds.
This is really not how I wanted to spend my day, but there were a few highlights. I got a big box from Tiffany...
and my Etsy shop is scheduled to open tonight at 6 pm or thereabouts.
Happy shopping everyone!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Prepping with pets

It all started with Porkchop.
Kristen Cermele uploaded this photo to the NaMoPaiMo Facebook group with the caption: I actually put a dent into prepping today. The phone focused on Porkchop, but that's probably for the best. 😝
Malia Booker responded with a picture of her dog and NaMoPaiMo horse. 
Then Jennifer Kroll added a rat photo and "Prepping with Pets" because a thing.
This Hazel Vickers' dog, Splash, with her Dadhikra resin...
and this cat and model belong to Alison Martin.
Nikki Button's Chihuahuas, Bailey (tan) and Bear (black) are keeping watch over a whole herd of NaMoPaiMo ponies...
while Darleen Stoddard's cat, Zoey...
not amused.
My own Darcy feels much the same.
"Why, Mom, why?" 
Emma was less photogenic but also more helpful. Here she is looking for pinholes. 
If you'd like to see your pet featured in future "Prepping with Pets" posts, please take a picture of him/her with your NaMoPaiMo model, and send it to me via email ( or upload to the NaMoPaiMo Facebook page. In the meantime, happy prepping!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Snow ponies

New snow usually means a new batch of snow dog pictures, but despite my best efforts, I couldn't make that happen today. Emma wasn't here, having spent the night at Carol's house, and Darcy wasn't feeling it.
I could have admitted defeat, but all the new snow was too pretty to waste. I packed up my camera and headed to Kenlyn...
where I found lots... 
Some of the horses were too interested in their food to pose for me...
but most...
seemed happy...
to have company.
And then there was Layla...
Sweet, little Layla...
 Just kidding. She really is a nice girl, despite all her crazy faces.
I stayed for about an hour, adjusting blankets...
and taking photos. 
 Scarlett was especially friendly, so I spent the most time with her.
This allowed me to check an item off my photography bucket list.
That's me, perfectly reflected in Scarlett's eye!
I'm glad the dog thing didn't work out because this was a fun change of pace. I should take snow pony photos more often!

Fixing the feet

As much as I love Brigitte Eberl's sculptures, they are the bane of my existence when it comes to prepping. I have two on my desk right now, and they are both rough, pinhole filled messes with bad feet. Fortunately, thanks to the NaMoPaiMo Facebook group, I have some new tools in my prepping arsenal. In particular, I can't wait to try out this wonderful tutorial by Ela Zarzecka of MetalfishArt. Thank you, Ela!

Hooves Tutorial

by Ela Zarzecka

1. Original hooves with air bubbles under the surface, hoof walls are uneven, frogs are missing. Let's get started!
2. Hollow out the hooves (I used a Dremel) but try to avoid sanding hoof walls. If you uncover a wire - remove it. 
3. Fill the holes with Apoxie (or any other putty you use) and be sure to use plenty of it. 
4. Put your model on a sheet of paper. Hold it by the coronets and push it firmly to the ground.
5. Smooth out Apoxie with water and leave it for 24 hours. The paper will probably stick to the hooves - remove it at the end with water or sanding paper. 
6. Use x-acto knife or carbide scraper to remove the excess Apoxie. 
7. Sand the hooves to give them desired shape (I prefer 220 CAMI grade - 6/0 grit or 66 microns - sanding paper) . If you don't want them to be perfectly round, try to use more pressure while sanding the center area of the hoof wall.
8.-9. Hooves are uneven at the bottom so choose one that looks the best and use it as a guide to even out the rest of them. 
10. Sketch the frogs then carve them with carbide scrapers*. 
11.-12. Use CS05 Knife Tip and CS04 Angled Round Tip to carve the angle of wall and the bar of wall. Smooth it out with 220 grit sanding paper. With CS02 Tapered Round Tip carve collateral grooves and central groove.  

*If you don't have the carbide scrapers, you can use small diamond files (or any other tools you have - be creative!) or try to sculpt frogs instead of carving them.
12. Again, smooth everything out with sanding paper. Use fine sanding sponge for smoothing the whole hoof. 
13. Finished painted hooves.