Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another one finished

...Or almost finished anyways.  As per usual, I've noticed a few small things that need tweaking.  It's funny how those little mistakes are always more evident in photos than in real life!
As far as overall complexity is concerned, driving bridles are right up there with double bridles.  There are lots of buckles, keepers and intersecting pieces.   I spent an entire day building this.
And just for grins, here's the harness in its entirety.  It sure does look pretty on my head down Paloose.  One of these years I'm going to have to break down and make myself a harness to keep.
Thanks again, Vicky.  I hope you like your new harness half as much as I like my new pony!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Heather's two BCS saddles

Here's another look at Heather Puleo's brand new BCS saddle.
Interestingly, that's not her only BCS saddle.  She also owns this one:
Just in case you think I'm kidding, check out those buttons.  It really and truly is a full sized BCS saddle.
Of course in this case, BCS doesn't actually stand for Braymere Custom Saddlery.  Instead it's an abbreviation for Bucks County Saddlery.  Still, I think that's pretty neat!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Two down

My work week doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but I've already managed to complete two of my unfinished projects.  Teresa's bridle has new looooong reins...
and Heather's "orange" Huntseat set now includes a bridle.
Ahhh, it feels good to finish things!
Now I've just got to get them boxed up and ready to mail.  Ha!  Sometimes that's almost the hardest part!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Adult A.D.D.

I think there is something wrong with me--I seem to have lost my ability to finish things.  This became really apparent when I organized my work desk today.  Just look at all the half-finished projects:
That's Heather P's English saddle on the Victrix.  It's been done for a month or more... except for the bridle!  Anne's Western saddle needs stirrups and cinches, a bridle and a breastplate.  Vicky's harness bridle is stuck at the halfway point, and Danielle's pony set is waiting on stirrups and leathers.  My Charro set won't be complete until I add those last few conchos and finish the bridle, and Teresa's Western bridle needs longer reins.

My friend and fellow tackmaker has been maintaining a grueling two-saddle-a-week pace as she prepares for her Christmas holidays.  I don't have the energy to attempt anything that radical, but perhaps I can aim to get all of these projects wrapped up by this time next week.  That would be almost as impressive as making two saddles, right? 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Finding thankful

Yesterday another blogger whose blog I read regularly posted an entry entitled Thanks--for what? My initial reaction was: My thoughts exactly.  Of course I am thankful for my family and friends and all that, but still...  This has not been the best year of my life, and I've really struggled with feeling the spirit of the holiday.

That was yesterday.
Fortunately, today is better.  

It's cold outside but my house is warm and smells like roasting turkey and pumpkin pie.  The kids are watching the Mythbusters marathon in the living room, my husband is hanging Christmas lights and there are two good dogs are curled up at my feet.  There's even a new resin on my desk.  All these things remind me that life is good, and I am in fact thankful.  

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday

A couple months back, Teresa and I went to the Colorado Horse Park to watch one of Teresa's friends compete in a dressage show.  Upon our arrival, we were delighted to discover that the dressage show was only one of the competitions taking place at the Horse Park that weekend.  The other was the Colorado Reined Cowhorse Association Summer Fun show.  These pictures were taken during the cutting phase of that event.  

Performance showers who want to compete in a cutting class have two main options--they can use a model specifically designed to work a cow (Whiplash, Cowcutta, Breyer classic cutter) or they can opt for a more versatile standing or walking model and show it "making the cut."  Today's pictures should serve as good reference material for option number two.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lets see it!

A few days ago Erin Corbett started a thread on Model Horse Blab entitled Jennifer Buxton tack, let's see it!  I clicked on it a bit warily, expecting to see a parade of English saddles and not much else.  Fortunately, that was not the case.  Here are a few of the pictures that were posted by various readers.

First up are a few pictures from Erin, including this one of her new racing set on an Amankhar resin.  Isn't he cute as a racing Arab?
Erin's Salinero with a dressage type double bridle.
 Erin's Victrix by Tom Bainbridge wearing a full hunter set.  I really love this picture!
Erin's original finish BHR Loping Horse winning a cookie at NAN 2009.
Next up is a packing set formerly owned by Emily McFadden.
 And again!  Love these photos!
 Another packing set.  This one belongs to Vicky Norris.
 Kellye Bussey's Stage Mom and Child Star with their BCS tack.
 I've posted this picture, but it's one of my favorites.  This is Kellye's custom Alborozo by Mindy Berg wearing a Charro set I made earlier this year.
Last but not least is Jane Schneider's "hobbit harness."
Thanks Erin, for starting the thread and thanks also to every one who contributed pictures and kind words.  You have no idea how much I appreciate them!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Saddle progress

I don't make a lot of Western saddles.  It's not that I dislike making them.  It's more that I lack the mad tooling skillz of an Erin or a Shannon or a Kirsteen.  Most hobbyists--myself included--like beautiful, hand-carved saddles so they tend to buy them from people who specialize in that sort of thing.  I think I have made three Western saddles since 2008.

When Anne asked me to make her a Western saddle, my first instinct was to say no.  After all, there are much better Western saddle makers out there.  I had second thoughts, however, after I looked at her reference picture.  The saddle had only a little bit of tooling.  I liked it's shape and simple elegance.  This, I thought, is something I can do.
Here's how it's going.  
I simplified the tooling a bit and there's a lot of work left to do.  Still, I think I'm on the right track...  I hope I so, anyway!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend rest

Unlike last weekend, this weekend has been spent pursuing non-model related activities.  I did a little bit of work on the Western saddle last night, but that's about it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Today's studio pictures

Today the mailman delivered two much needed boxes of tackmaking supplies.
I now have all the kangaroo lace, Western saddle trees and photo etched parts that I should need for the foreseeable future.  
Unfortunately I did not receive my driving bits, so I was forced to set the harness aside and start work on Anne's Western saddle.  As usual, the first step is pattern making.  
Some pieces need a lot of revisions...
before they're ready to be translated to leather!
Not a hugely productive day, but a fun one nonetheless!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Two thirds of a harness

Here's another confession--I have a love/hate relationship with harnesses.  

More accurately, I should say that it's a hate/love relationship because the hating part comes first.  I just do not like making harnesses.  Specifically, I don't like all the prep work that goes into making a harness.  I don't like spending hours and hours skiving lace.  I don't like preparing all those buckles.  And the keepers--oh, there are just so many keepers! 

Part of me was hoping the mailman would deliver my Rio Rondo box today.  That would have given me a perfect excuse to put Vicky's harness aside in favor of a less tedious project.  Sadly, the mail gods were not smiling down on me.  I received one bill and a couple advertisements for local businesses.  There was no way to avoid that harness.

Here is what it looks like now.

This is where the love part comes in.  There is something so undeniably elegant about a harness!  I love the way all those carefully skived straps drape across the model's body, and who can resist the sparkle of all those little buckles?  Not me, that's for sure.  As much as I dislike the harness making process, I sure do love the results!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Half a harness

This is not what I'd planned to make this week.  

I sat down at my desk Monday morning with every intention of starting work on Anne's Western saddle.  Unfortunately, those plans came to a screeching halt when I realized I was missing a crucial part.  No big deal, I thought.  I'll get that ordered and work on something else.  Next on my list was Jane's endurance saddle.  Hmmm.  I didn't have all the parts for that either.  And so it went.  I was missing major parts and pieces for every single item on my list.

This is not totally unprecedented.  I tend to buy my supplies in bulk and usually I have more than enough to go around.  Every so often, however, it seems like I suddenly run out of everything all at the same time.  Just about the only things I had left in quantity were black lace and silver buckles...  

Here's what you can make with black lace and silver buckles.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I should admit that I don't actually have all the pieces for this particular project either.  No, I won't be able to finish this until I receive my box from the World of Model Horse Collecting!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Post weekend show report

Today's photos are courtesy of Kellye Bussey and were taken at the Red Dirt Roundup show which was held this past weekend in Midwest City, Oklahoma.  First up is one of Kellye's many custom Alborozos.  This one was resculpted and painted by Mindy Berg and is wearing a Charro tack set I made earlier this year.  Joan Yount dressed the doll.
The bay Alborozo was customized and painted by Sheryl Liesure.  He is wearing a BCS saddle and a bridle and pad made by Corinne Ensor.
Kellye's Deja Vu resin was the winner of the CM/AR Saddleseat class.  This horse was sculpted by Kathleen Moody and painted by Sommer Prosser.  I made all the tack and Sheri Wirtz dressed the doll.
Last but not least, is Kellye's Elegance shown winning the OF Dressage class.  Once again, I made the saddle and Corinne Ensor made the bridle and pad.
Thank you Kellye, and congratulations on all your wins!  If you would like to see more of Kellye's show photos, be sure to check out her Webshots album.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I don't collect minis

Honestly, I don't!  I have absolutely no idea how these guys found their way to my shelf...
If you do collect minis be sure to check out the MEPSA Stablemate Custom Contest going on right now on the MEPSA blog.  There are seventeen beautiful customs to choose from, all of which are destined to be prizes for the 2011 MEPSA Championship Show.  I may not collect minis, but if that nifty little Appaloosa jumper found its way to my house...  Let's just say I would not mind that one bit!