Friday, March 31, 2017

Texas roadtrip

Last Saturday, Seth, Ryan, James and I packed our bags and climbed into the minivan.
We headed south on I-25...
and drove up and over Raton Pass into New Mexico.
Our first stop was Capulin Volcano National Monument.
We hiked up to the top and took in the amazing panoramic views
Then it was back in the car and on the road again through several small New Mexico towns... 
and into Texas. 
Ryan was so thrilled. 
The Texas Panhandle is flat...
and not terribly scenic. 
Then a stray rock broke our windshield.
It was a long, slow night of driving.
Finally, we reached our destination.
In case you're wondering, Memphis, Texas isn't anything like MemphisTennessee.
We woke up bright and early the next morning, ate a Texas waffle...
and drove and drove until we reached Seth's parents' house.
The rest of the day was spent socializing, both at home... 
and at a nearby park.
On Monday, we braved the Dallas traffic...
and headed downtown
We toured the JFK Museum...
and Reunion Tower
Tuesday was spent closer to home, with visits to Quail Hollow Tack, 
Gas Monkey Garage... 
and Flower Mound's flower mound
Then, almost before we knew it, it was time to head back to Colorado. We drove through some terrible weather...
and arrived safe and sound at my friend Andrea's house in Amarillo.
I rode Matt the Cowpony,
and met Gunner, her amazing deaf/blind Cocker Spaniel.
Seth and I slept in a room filled with Brioso's.
I would have been happy to stay in Amarillo for another day or two, but once again, the road called. We spent most of yesterday driving and driving.
There's no place like home.
So, that's how I spent my spring break. What did you do?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Studio hacks

Like most artists, I struggle with to keep my studio space organized and clutter free. In today's guest post, Lisa Smalley of Smalley Saddlery shares three of her best tips for maintaining a useable work space. Thank you, Lisa, especially for tip number three!

Studio Hacks 

by Lisa Smalley

Hack One: Organize Tips with a Magnet Bar

Here's an item that has worked out great for my work space: a magnet bar! I have a bulletin board on the wall above my desk. My magnet bar is mounted on that.

I put frequently used tools on the bar. In this photo, I have a hole punch, burnisher, awl, pliers, cutters, leather punch, scissors, and there is even a chasing hammer (metalsmithing) up there sometimes, too. The utility knives just happen to sit nicely on top.

The best thing about this is that I don't have to get up or dig around for a tool when I'm in the middle of a project- I can just reach up and grab it. This saves time and aggravation! It also keeps extra tools off my desk. It's so useful, I plan to upgrade to a secondn bar eventually!

Magnet bars can be found at home improvement stores and Harbor Freight often has them on sale for a few dollars! 
Hack Two: Recycle Containers to Hold Small Parts

I'm sure that we have all had those moments when we put the small hardware piece on the table, only to find that it has gone missing when we go to use it! 

I like using ketchup/condiment containers when working with hardware, especially when I'm cutting apart Rio Rondo photo etched parts. Cutting small items directly into a container prevents them from firing off into space when t cut, never to be seen again! 

Yogurt cups are great for things like holding small scraps of leather to keep your work space clean.

If you need something a little larger, single serve cups from things like Velveeta Shells & Cheese or Rice-a-Roni work great, too!
Hack Three: Is Spilling Leather Dye Your Worst Nightmare

Try keeping the bottle of dye (or other product) in a mug like this to keep it from falling over! A roll of tape will also work in a pinch, as it should keep the bottle from completely falling over. Don't have any old mugs handy? Stop at a thrift store or dollar store to pick up some inexpensive mugs!
Please visit Lisa's Etsy shop to see some of her work!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Show me your studio, part three

Model horse studios come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big, some are small. Some are messy, some are clean. Some are specialized and some serve multiple purposes. And then there are some that look like they should be featured in a magazine. The third and final part of our studio tour visits the dream studios.
Anna Dobrowolska-Oczko's studio
Jen Olp's studio is a mobile unit. She says: I saved my pennies for years and looked feverishly to find this mobile unit. Took some work to make her pretty again, but it was well worth it in the end, thanks to my wonderful hubby!
This is Isaac Brushett's studio.
He says it's not really finished yet, as he plans to fill the wall above his desk with art.
Even without the art, it looks pretty good to me.
Then again, here is Tammi Palmarchuk's studio, complete with art above the desk. 
This elegant room also houses Tammi's model collection in a museum-like display. So gorgeous!
Thank you so much to all the artists who contributed to this series. I loved peeking inside your studios!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Show me your studio, part two

Not everyone is lucky enough to have an entire room dedicated to their hobby endeavors. A lot of people make due with a lot less space. Today's studio tour visits some of these smaller scale studios.
Taylor Ouzts' studio
Erika Isbell is in college, so her home is both small and temporary. Still, she's managed to carve out two makeshift work areas. One is outside...
and the other is her kitchen table!
Sarah Pavolko's studio is located in the corner of her apartment's living room. It also serves as her writing station and home office.
Shelly Nelson says: This is my workspace in a corner of the living room. The white desk on the left is my hobby desk. I do only minis so a small desk is fine. The black desk on the right is my computer desk.
Christine Roar's studio is her kitchen table.
She's not alone in that.
Meredith Conrad's studio
A lot of beautiful models...
Nicole Severs' studio
are created in the kitchen.
Karinny Hullathi's studio
Elizabeth Bouras describes her kitchen studio this way: Here is my "studio" such as it is. It consists of a few square feet mainly on top of the dishwasher in my kitchen. My big Mako Shark tank air compressor in the corner, and I've commandeered two back cabinets for paints, supplies and "bodies." The kitchen is much too narrow for a table, but I have a very comfy padded stool I found on Craigslist. The exhaust fan over the stove behind me is great for sucking out fumes.

If you have a whole room to work in you have no idea how lucky you are but us apartment dwellers gotta do what we gotta do. Believe it or not, this is a HUGE upgrade from my last apartment. I sat on the kitchen floor painting for almost twenty five years! My life's dream is to retire in a few years so I can move away from the expensive DC metro area and buy a house with an extra room or a basement or a garage!
All of these small studio areas are functional, but Stephanie Blaylock's is also pretty. She writes: I love vintage and color so I have an old pine table that we bought the first year we were married, a vintage suitcase holds extra paints and my sealers. Thrift store mugs hold my brushes and an old ArtBin case from the 80's holds my pastels. Also an old glass cabinet holds projects and classic customs. Let the painting begin!
Jennifer Thorp's studio is the smallest of all. She writes: My current studio space is my lap. Eventually I will find a place that works for me but this is it for now. Plus side, the recliner is comfy.

That's it for the tiny spaces. Dream studios are next!