Saturday, January 24, 2015


And petal-y.

Today was spent doing some miniature gardening, stressing out about class work, and brainstorming ideas for Braymere's scavenger hunt. I haven't yet decided if I want to do pictures that fit the prompts well, or ones that are just totally out there.

I think both. 

Next time I post about The Hand on here, it should be the grand reveal of the final product! Weee!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Studio Update: January 21

The two projects are plugging along.

On the tack side of the table, the surcingle set now has most of a surcingle (complete with tiny girth), and the beginnings of the bridle's crownpiece. I hardly ever get to work with gold hardware, so this is a real treat!

And of course the props workshop is in full swing. The hand jump is so, SO much fun to fiddle with (as are the twenty or so little riders/people strewn around my desk).

I usually mix my paints on the back of my left hand (an old habit that I'll never kick at this point), which proved helpful while I was trying to find the right tones for The Hand. Just keep mixing until the paint blends in with your skin!

The "paint brush" poles were a total blast!

Today I fiddled with itty bitty flags, and starting brainstorming greenery options. This jump has made an appearance in more than one venue, and has a slightly different greenery design at each one, so I have some options. 

Here's where I left it for tonight, with some greenery just thrown in to try and get an idea of what it could look like:

Obnoxious flash to show the shading on the poles- I love how they turned out!
There's still lots to do: I think I'm going to "permanently" fix it down to a base like the one above, for ease of setting up at shows and to have a hole drilled for the horse's rod so I don't have to worry about a stand messing up the overall entry. It also needs a proper jump number, actual coordinated and full greenery, and possibly...

One aspect of this jump that I actually initially planned on leaving off for simplicity is an extra little set-up to the left of the left standard:

See the little dummy painting away at his easel? 

I have a little sitting doll that wouldn't be terribly hard to make into that dummy... but of course my real life size paint tubes are slightly too large to use for those adorable giant ones. Looks like I'd be sculpting or otherwise crafting them from scratch. 

I originally planned on leaving it off because when I first saw the pictures of this jump I didn't think the painting dummy and paint tubes looked like they were actually a part of it (they're also kind of distracting). You can kind of see in the very edge of this picture from WEG that the greenery around the base of the standard extends to include him, which is what I would probably do to make the whole thing look more put-together:

What do you think? Add in the dummy and the paint tubes (connected to the standard with leafiness), or leave them off and keep the jump more simple?

In other news, the rider rides! I'm still fussing with her colors (the pants' current tone is just ick, and I'm not crazy about the blue hair. Pink was more fitting, methinks). 

She's not ready to make her Breyerfest debut, but she is starring in my very MEPSA photo show debut! I've been intermittently braving the cold this week to create my very fancy professional photo studio:

...and get some pictures of my minis. I'm especially excited to see how my attempts at performance photos do. Photo show performance is definitely "easier" than live show performance in how you only need to worry about one side of your horse, tack, rider, etc; is the rider's other foot in the stirrup? Is the other side of the bit popped out of the mouth? If you can't see it, doesn't matter!

However, I did find it trickier than live showing in how you need to capture your whole entry in one shot, while keeping the horse as the main focus. I think this would be a much easier task if my background fence was longer than 12"... I was constantly struggling to fit all my props and the entire horse into the frame without showing the ends of the fence. 

So much learning to do!

Monday, January 19, 2015


Earlier this week, I received my first new model of 2015. 

This girl is an order I placed with the lovely and talented Sue Kern, and I am in. Love. 

For a few weeks leading up to this purchase, I was torn. Longer time readers here will recall that I have a very similar CM G4 Driver that I did myself last summer. His nickname on here is the Fjord monster, which is mostly just me poking fun of his semi-cute fugliness. 

I put a lot of bloodsweat&tears into the original Fjord monster, and he did pretty well at the single show I took him to, but at the turn of the new year I decided it was time to crack down on my performance entries and start seriously shaping up. Why?

I am absolutely over the moon to say that Anna and I will be making the long voyage to Lexington, Kentucky this summer for Breyerfest 2015, and will be trying our hand at the Open show. 

We're entering this show with the full knowledge that we're out of our league- the competition there is probably borderline the toughest anywhere. Amongst the huge, elaborate, gorgeously detailed and I'm sure sharply correct entries, our collective goal is to win a ribbon (even if it's an honorable mention in a class of 12!). 

Just to achieve that, I figured it was time to invest in a performance horse that isn't slapped together in my basement. 

I am so, so excited for this girl to test her performance chops in March, and of course for the adventure of Breyerfest this July!

I didn't think my guy was too bad until I put him next to this new girl...

As for the Fjord monster, he isn't forgotten. I have a performance idea cooking that could possibly feature him as a prop horse... an entry can never have enough Fjords, right?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Studio Update: January 18

The craziness continues. 

This week has been primarily about prop making, with some pretty dull tack prep work thrown in. 

The second doll from the last post cleaned up rather nicely, albeit slowly...

...And is currently midway through painting. Pink hair on a hunt seat rider? I think yes. 

The two most ambitious projects I'm currently chipping away at are nothing alike, but equally fun to be attempting. The first is for an order, a surcingle set for a gorgeous CM'd horse in the capriole:

Hopefully this will come out really cool, but it's currently just a bunch of black lace. This definitely feels like a project that takes a long time to prep, but that will hopefully really benefit from it later!

As for the other challenge...


A stadium jump for my CM G3 jumper! Naturally, colorful standards and striped poles would just be too easy. I thought a 1:32 scale version of this fence from the World Equestrian Games in Normandy would be a much better choice.

Braymere featured a guest post by Terri Wright a little while back with some more fantastic pictures of this guy- I'm sure other hobbyists have already given this jump a whack, but maybe not in this scale? I just adore the whimsical design. 

Now, I am not a master sculptor by any stretch of the imagination, and hands are hard to start with. For a while, I noodled on trying to go out and find a doll or some kind of decoration that had the right size hand, but the likelihood of finding a hand in the correct size and the correct position just seemed a little far-fetched. 

Out came the clay.

I now have the rough beginnings of a hand, and a pretty solid little palette with some fun paint smears. Fingers crossed this will turn out!

And finally, some less exciting projects:

A hunter jump with some experimentation with greenery and "AstroTurf" poles..

...and the beginnings of a saddle for this guy to wear while he sails over the "paint brushes."

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Studio Update: January 11

This week has been all over the place.

I've entered this weird, transitional phase of studio life, thanks to my decision to attend two back-to-back performance shows in March. So in addition to the current orders I'm working on, I have a lot of work to do for myself to try and get a head start on improving my performance entries, rather than waiting until the week before the shows and throwing everything together (which I've definitely never done before...). 

Naturally, now that I have so much legitimate work to get done, I decided it was time to try micro scale tack. 

That adventure lasted about an hour, before I decided that micro is way, way too small for me. However, it sure made Stablemate tack seem large and manageable!

I also...

...realized it's high time to order new stirrups, and apparently make a side saddle!

At Sweet Onion Live last summer, I drooled over Leah Koerper's incredible mini scale dolls, and resolved to one day have little riders of my own. This has been quite the adventure. 

First, I decided to give a whack at just sculpting a doll entirely from scratch...

...but sculpting is hard, and I was really frustrated with her leg-to-saddle ratio. I'm keeping her around, but I think if I'm going to go that route, I either need to make her larger or make a smaller saddle to fit her. Ugh.

Frustrated with that, I took a hacksaw to one of my plastic dolls and tried to alter her into the kind of position I'm going for. She's really, really rough right now, but I think this is headed in the right direction?

Her arms need a lot of help!
With all this work on dolls, though, I'm feeling torn: On one hand, I think a doll could really help my performance entries look more complete and put-together, and give them an extra edge they need. On the other hand, I'm terrified of unknowingly having a doll with slightly incorrect positioning or not perfectly fitting the tack, and having it hurt my otherwise good entry. Non-articulated dolls are definitely hit-or-miss in that if there's something fundamentally wrong with her, I can't just adjust it later!

I'm totally open to constructive criticism at this point- what do you think? Keep going and adjusting her, or just leave her off altogether and play it safe?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dutton Saddle Pics

Holy Saddle, Batman!

One of my long-standing tack dreams has been to recreate this awesome RZ Dutton saddle in Stablemate scale, and this week, it finally happened!

The inspiration...

My concept sketches

Getting that hole in the seat was a bit of a trick. 

Woo! Check that one off the tackmaking bucket list.