Today I leave for college 2,851 miles away from home. This summer has been loaded with prep for this, and light on tack making; the dressage set came together over countless little hour and half hour long sessions here and there instead of dedicated studio days.
While this sluggish work pace was frustrating, my belief in the idea of karma kept me motivated. Jennifer Buxton's blog was one of my first introductions to the hobby as a little kid, and her tack was definitely one of the main inspirations behind me trying tack making myself.
Jennifer puts an insane amount of time and thought and love into her blog, providing a near daily dose of hobby goodness, and I just had to spring at the opportunity to say thank you.
I'd already been yearning to try an upper level dressage set for the new Valegro mold, and the donation opportunity seemed like a worthy cause for such a
frustrating intricate set.
The saddle is particularly adventurous, using entirely new patterns, a hand-sculpted tree (as opposed to my typical soda can structure), and...
...actual sweat flaps!
This is my first and probably last ever saddle to have multi-layered flaps, but I really wanted to try out a double layer knee block design. I have to say I'm really pleased with the result.
As with all experimental saddles, I can see things I'll change for next time, but I think overall it's pretty snazzy!
Seeing as the Jennifer Show sounds like THE hobby show of the year, it seemed only fitting to throw together a champion prize-style blanket to go with.
This is actually my first ever attempt at a blanket (beyond my very stylish felt and scotch tape ones with which I outfitted my herd as a kid), and I had a blast putting it together!
The burgundy color (which also lines the inside of the dressage pad) was inspired by the letter shadowing in the show's amazing logo:
The lettering is all hand-painted with the tiniest brush you could possibly imagine, and the hooks are all handmade and functional, which I'm honestly quite proud of!
The OF Valegro went along with the tack and blanket as well, because
I somehow have accumulated four of them someone needed to model my foray into blanket making!
Despite attending an art school, I made the decision to leave my tack making stuff at home, making this my last set for the foreseeable future. I'm shifting my focus to my other art and the whole going to college thing, so the blog is going to be a little quiet for a while. It honestly feels a bit like the end of an era, and I am so glad to have been able to make my last set one that means so much to me.
I'm sure the Jennifer Show will be an absolute blast, and I can't wait to read all of Jennifer's reports! Good luck to all the entrants and both Jennifer hostesses, and thank you to absolutely everyone who has supported me in my hobby journey thus far. The skills and inspirations I've gathered in this hobby have made me the artist I am today, and I know they'll continue to help me in whatever future endeavors lie in wait.