Sunday, January 31, 2016

Danielle and Janna's barns

I'm not the only hobbyist with a passion for little barns. 

Ever since I posted photos of my two new barns, my Facebook feed has been filled with model barn talk. Several of these posts have included a #blameJennifer hashtag, which is fine by me. I love this side of the hobby, and I am delighted to inspire other collectors to create their own 1:9 scale worlds. 

That said, I really can't claim any credit. Little barns are not a new phenomenon. In fact, I suspect they've been a part of the hobby as long as there's been a hobby. 

What is new, at least for me, is the realization that readily available, mass produced barns can be amazing. I've wanted a nice model barn for years, but I always assumed it would have to be a custom job. I didn't think toy barns would be big or realistic enough to meet my standards.

Then I saw Danielle Hart's barns.
I was blown away when I saw these photos. Her barns looked so realistic I assumed they were custom made.
Imagine my surprise when Danielle told me that they were actually Breyer barns that she'd bought second hand and refurbished.
"I could do that," I thought.
A couple months later, Janna Shepherd posted photos of her new model barns on Facebook.
Again, I thought they were custom made. Again, I was wrong. Both of these barns are available on Amazon.
It was at this point that "I could do that" turned into "I will do that." I began looking for used barns on craiglist, and the rest is history.

Thanks so much to Danielle and Janna for the inspiration. I hope people will continue to tag me on their model barn Facebook posts, but perhaps the #blameJennifer hashtag should be changed to one that says #creditDanielleandJanna?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Before the storm

There's snow in the forecast. 

If the weatherman is to be believed, it's going to start snowing tomorrow and will keep snowing until Tuesday. Accumulation predictions range from eight inches to more than a foot, with fifty mile per hour winds producing blizzard like conditions.

But... that's still a day away. 

Today was a warm and sunny sixty four degrees--perfect riding weather. Mary Jo, Karen and I met at the barn for  one last ride before the storm.
 It was...
absolutely beautiful out there...
and the trails were crowded with like minded riders. 
Sigh. Why can't it be spring?
After my ride, I walked the dog,
put gas in the car,
I can not remember the last time I paid $1.05 for gas!
and went to the grocery store. 
I think half of Colorado was at the grocery store with me. Those were some seriously long lines! 
The last stop was the hardware store for some barn beautification items.
Now that I am officially ready for that storm we'll probably end up with two inches. And, you know, that would be okay with me!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Model model horse show

I am a long time fan of Kim Jacobs' work, particularly her historical costume and packing sets. Recently, she listed one of those sets on MH$P, and I was unable to resist. 
Kim calls this a "Donkey Packing Set for a Live Shower." 
That's a model live shower, mind you. Inside the donkey's packs are everything you would need to attend a model live show.
There's a tablecloth, a lap top, pencils, NAN cards, ribbons, documentation sheets, a big binder full of live show records...
and a fast food lunch. 
Mostly, however, there are horses. 
Oh, so many horses! and each with its own tiny pony pouch. 
 Scene class entry, perhaps?
And I'm pretty sure this is what my table looks like at the end of every show, minus the Coke swilling donkey, of course! 
Thank you so much, Kim. I love everything!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Almost wordless Wednesday

There's nothing better than a spring day in the middle of winter. January is usually the coldest month of the year, but it was sixty degrees last Saturday. Sixty degrees! I celebrated by spending entire day outside, both on horseback and at the dog park. Here are a few pictures of my day. Enjoy!
Bald eagle in flight

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The great indoors

When I lived in Memphis, it was easy to get well-lit outside show photos.
It's a lot harder in Denver. The light is brighter and harsher here. Plus, it's often windy. Because I am persistent, I've managed to take a few good outside pictures, but more often than not, my photo sessions end up with deletes and frustration.
Indoor photography is another matter. The sunshine which is overwhelming outside, is just about perfect when filtered through my dining room window. 
I've often wished that photo showing clubs like MEPSA were more accepting of a plain white background, because this is easy in Colorado.
Last August, Nichelle Jones wrote a blog post about building an indoor arena backdrop. It occurred to me that this might be the solution to my photo showing problems. I started collecting bits and pieces for my own indoor arena...
but I didn't put them together until yesterday. 
Here's the first real performance photo taken with my new backdrop. I am very pleased.
Although I haven't given up on outside photography entirely, I am delighted to have a good indoor alternative. I am looking forward to taking lots and lots and lots of indoor photos in my indoor arena this year!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ask and you shall receive

Actually, this time I didn't even have to ask!
I casually mentioned my need for a gaming doll dressed in lime green, and like magic, she appeared.
Thanks so much, Anne! That was pretty cool!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Stock Show 2016

It's just not January without a trip to the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado. This year, I was accompanied by Seth, James...
and Collyn. 
We arrived early and spent some time perusing the wares in the Hall of Education.
The Stock Show used to be a great place to look at tack, but now the saddles are few and far between.
This made me sad, but James was perfectly happy trying out massage chairs and sampling no bake cheese cake batter. Go figure!
I am always on the hunt for horse shaped object, and we did find some of those.
I have no particular interest in these little, rubbery horses... 
but I love their props! 
Oh, how I wish this was 1:9 scale! 
After about an hour, we headed to the Coliseum for the rodeo. 
We watched horses...
and cowboys,
ropers...
and rough stock, 
Percherons and
and Westernaires.
The rings is dark and difficult to shoot in, so I didn't take many pictures of the actual events. Instead, I focused on specific things, like interesting tack,
long haired cowboys, 
and steer wrestlers named Bray.
All in all, that was a pretty good way to spend an evening. I'm already looking forward to next year's edition!