Monday, October 19, 2020

Photo showing is fun, part two

Photo showing is hard, but it's also fun, especially when you're friends with the competition. One of my favorite parts of preparing for the Mares in Black Spooktacular Photo Show was bouncing ideas off and comparing notes with Bobbie Allen.

Unlike me, Bobbie hasn't shown a lot of performance. This show, with its themed class list, was a walk on the wild side for her. 
Then, of course, she decided to up the ante by choosing a Breyer Smoky for her main performance model.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
It shouldn't have worked, but somehow it totally did.
Sliding Scale
Her "Fly High!" entry was a thing of beauty.
I also loved her interpretations of "All Dressed Up,"
"Stock Market,"
"Drama Llama"...
and "Action Park."
All week long, we sent each other pictures of our entries and laughed over them.
Even though we live more than nine hundred miles from one another, it kind of felt like we were working together.
Liam's "Feathers" entry

I think we both have a chance to do really well in the Performance Consistency division.
But even if we don't, we're already winners.
Thanks for playing performance with me, Bobbie. That was really fun!

Sunday, October 18, 2020


 You might have noticed a new face in today's first post...

This is Uno. He is a Kylee Parks Tucker high relief medallion/resin painted by Nikki Button.
Tucker was sold exclusively at Kylee's STAG event, which took place over the long BreyerFest weekend
I spent my entire BreyerFest budget at this sale. In addition to Tucker, I also scored a Truman and numerous other smaller items. Everything arrived beautifully packed, with lots of fun extras. I wish I had thought to take an unboxing video. It was truly an epic box of goodies.
But back to Uno!
I have admired Nikki's finishwork for years and was absolutely delighted when she agreed to paint my Tucker. He is everything I hoped for and more. Even his backside is perfection.
To the best of my knowledge, Uno is the first painted Tucker. I may be biased, but he is also clearly the cutest. He is number one.
Thank you so much, Kylee and Nikki, for creating this precious baby. Thank you also to Nikki, for allowing me to use her photos in this post.

Photo showing is fun

One week ago, I wrote a post titled, "Photo showing is hard," and I stand by that assessment. Thinking up ideas, sourcing scene requirements, setting up a clean and correct entry and taking well composed, well-lit photos is hard.

U-Turn's "Action Park" entry
Here's the thing I didn't mention: Photo showing is also fun.
Bubbles' "Kooky Spooky" entry
I had so much fun taking pictures for the Mares in Black Spooktacular Photo Show.
Dun Up Purdy's "Stock Market" entry
I am a visual person. I love photos, and there is something so satisfying about taking a scene that's lived in my imagination and bringing it into the real world.
Maeve's "Babysitter" entry
This picture makes me so happy.
Uno's "Barn Love" entry
This one, too.
"Barn Love"
Taking pictures of my model horses has been a fun and much needed distraction from the stresses of daily life. Thank you, Mares in Black, for hosting such a innovative online show. Regardless of my placings, I already feel like a winner.

Friday, October 16, 2020

What could possibly go wrong?

That's the name of one of the performance classes at the Mares in Black Spooktacular Photo Show. It's a great theme, and right away I knew I wanted to field a back-to-back, double bareback jumping set-up. My main performance horse, Love N Stuff, is standing and, therefore, not well suited for an over fences entry. Instead, Olivia did the honors.

I'm usually good at ideas, but I really struggled with creating an entry for Love N Stuff. This class is all about bad decisions and impending doom, and she is the ultimate sweet, bombproof horse. I kept looking at her and asking, "What could possibly go wrong?" and then answering, "It's Love N Stuff. Absolutely nothing is going to go wrong. She's got it all under control."
This is the 1:9 scale version of me riding Sweet Pea (a real live Love N Stuff) with a freshly repaired collarbone. I got yelled at on Facebook, but it was Sweet Pea. Nothing was going to go wrong.
After a lot of false starts, this is what I finally came up with. This was inspired by the "Beware of Rattlesnakes" sign that was posted by one of the Port-A-Potties along our trail. Always proceed carefully if you're using an outhouse in snake country!
It's perhaps not my strongest entry, but it's good enough. I set out to enter every single performance class, and I did. Mission accomplished. Now I need to shoot some halter photos!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Mares in Black fun class

As soon as I saw the class list for the Mares in Black Spooktacular Photo Show, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the Mares in Black class in the Fun division

Using matt board, white glue and black paint, I built a basic recording booth, which also doubled as an auction counter for Love N Stuff's "Stock Market" photo.
Next, I found a file for  3D printed microphones on and persuaded Ryan to print two of them for me. I painted them and made some basic microphone holders with wire, model airplane tubing and polymer clay.
Finally, I rounded up two black mares, a laptop, adult beverages and an assortment of 1:9 scale toys.
Today I put all the pieces together. It looked even better than I'd imagined. I am so pleased with this picture.
I hope it does well, or at the very least amuses Heather and Jackie.

P.S. That last line - and the idea for this entire post - was borrowed from Anne Field. Read about her Mares in Black fun class entry here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


It's one of the rules of performance showing: If you own a prop long enough, eventually you will find a use for it. This old, battered Breyer tent came to me years ago in a big box of random props. I'd never used it until today, but it worked out perfectly for Love N Stuff's "Home on the Range" entry.

I decided to take a few more pictures before I packed it up again. This one is fanciful.
And this is, well, Hawkward.
I'm really glad I bought a Breyer tent all those years ago. Today - finally! - it really came in handy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

And then there were eight

Today was mostly a real horse day, but I did take two more pictures of Love N Stuff for the Mares In Black Spooktacular Photo Show. This is "Strappy."

It was inspired by a chance encounter with a bunch of pack mules during a family trip in 2012. I'm always happy when I get to use my trailer!
The second photo is "Stock Market." 
Poor Love N Stuff! She's worked so hard this week, and Karen still sent her to the auction. I hope she finds a good "Home on the Range."

Monday, October 12, 2020

Because everybody needs dolls

Anne Field's blog is named Field of Dolls; Because Everybody Needs Dolls.
There was a time in when I emphatically did not need dolls. 
Horses only, thanks!
Then I discovered performance showing.
Although I tried extremely hard to convince myself that riderless entries were okay, eventually, I broke down and bought a few dolls.
Then I bought a few more.
Things spiraled out of control and now I own a lot of dolls. 
And yes, I really do need them all.
Especially this one
Never has this been more obvious than this week. For reasons I no longer remember, I chose to use a standing model as my main performance horse for the Mares in Black Spooktacular Photo Show. Love N Stuff's calm demeanor served her well in classes like "Flying High!" and "All Dressed Up," but "Drama Llama" was really a challenge. There's nothing dramatic about Love N Stuff.
Dolls to the rescue! 
Karen was not pleased with her placing and is having a few words with the so-called judge.
"Just Dance" was another hard one. Fortunately, once again, the dolls saved the day.
I have a plan for "Stock Market" and "Strappy," but I have no idea what I'm going to do with "Home on the Range" and "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" That's okay. I still have a little bit of time and a whole lot of dolls. I'll figure it out!