Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jingle bells

Although I've made a lot of progress in the last week or two, I still have an extremely large order backlog.  I don't know how this happened, but do I know how to fix it:  There will be no new orders until the old ones are filled.  No exceptions.  


I am a soft touch.  Despite my good intentions, there are some things I just can't say no to.  Here's the story of one of those irresistible orders.  Many thanks to Lynn Isenbarger for allowing me to republish this post.

Oh Boy!

by Lynn Isenbarger

I am hopping with excitement and happiness about these:
I have wanted a tiny set to go with my horse collection for years, a set that was inspired by these:
The grandchildren and any visiting students LOVE to play Jingle Bells on our antique player piano and shake them along with the chorus. (The bells get quite a workout during the holidays!)

I found them at a tack stall at the Gordyville Flea Market (Penfield, IL) in the early 1990s. They were $15 and brand new. Best of all, they had a beautiful tone when shaken - really musical, and not tinny or cheap sounding. These are good bells, and at $15, were a real steal.

I'd looked online for some matching miniature bells for my model horses without much success. But things changed last week.

I was reading Jennifer Buxton's tack-making blog, and she wrote about two sets of miniature sleighbells she had just made for friends. She posted a picture, and they were lovely -  so realistic, in scale, and perfect miniature replicas. Absolutely stunning.

On impulse, I emailed her and asked if perhaps her books were open for new orders and if she might make me my dream set. Since she is one of the very best miniature tackmakers in the hobby, I really did not think she would have any openings, and anticipated a long wait if she did.

To my surprise, she wrote back and said that, since she had all the materials on hand from the other two sets, she'd be happy to make mine. I could scarcely believe my good fortune.

I explained that my hope would be to have a replica of my own set and sent her several reference pictures.
The tie ends of my set so she could see how they are constructed.
A close up of the tie end. (As I looked at these pictures, I realized that my sleighbells were aging and that I had better get some leather oil on them quickly.)

I am NOT a tackmaker and had no idea if that was possible, so I told Jennifer that I would be happy with just about whatever she could make. But she persisted, asking what color of the leather I preferred, the color of the bells (she only had gold ones on hand but went looking and found some silver ones for me!), and then had my miniature bells done in two days!

Needless to say, I am over the moon and cannot wait to see them. And I am grateful to Jennifer for her kindness in slipping me into her schedule and making such a beautiful miniature set.

Oh, boy!!

This was such a fun order, Lynn.  I'm glad I was able to fit it in!  


  1. Wow...Mrs. have made someone very happy! I would be too! I have always drooled over your work. Maybe I can be as good as you someday!

  2. So cute! That was so nice of you. :)

  3. I am looking for two large bells or several small bells on a strap for us to put around our two horses necks. We can then turn them out onto a large property next to ours, and know where to find them! I hope you can help. Christina