Thursday, February 26, 2015

Studio Update: February 26

It's been a crazy month! 

I have so many non-hobby related projects up in the air, I had a big birthday, and I'm working on a total bedroom overhaul that's been sucking up a lot of my time. Luckily, it's looking like things are settling back down, which means more studio time!

The surcingle set is now officially done (awaiting its new owner's approval):

I'm sure it'll look much prettier on the horse it's intended for... this guy needs a lot of help before my March shows. Curse you, cheap primer.

Speaking of my upcoming shows, I have a lot of tack to make for myself- luckily, this long rein set...

...and fugly-but-somewhat-accurate cavalry saddle came together in the snippets of studio time I've had in the past weeks. 

The hand jump is getting a breather while I tackle some tack, but I'm sure there will be much more complaining talking about it on here when I get myself together and finally finish the thing!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Studio Update: February 8

You know what I haven't shared enough of? Pictures of this hand jump.

But I really think it's starting to find its groove! 

I've cut the painter/easel, so now each standard is a tidy square, and (after I give the easel its white base back and add all the flowers) will hopefully look much more balanced. 

The hand itself is getting a lot of attention in the places that I previously thought I could live with before realizing that no, I can't, it needs help. Lots more sanding, painting, and general touching-up to do there. 

Thanks to all of your incredibly helpful comments on the last post, the fence is no longer too tall! Using a scale calculator? GENIUS. I'm such an eyeballing kind of girl that I was hesitant at first, but I'm now completely devoted to that method. Honestly, I can't believe I didn't think of that earlier!

The actual shrinking of the jump involved the slicing of a bit of wrist (thanks Devon!), which was fine as long as I didn't think about it too much. Cutting off a horse's head? No problem. Cutting off a slice of human wrist? Bit icky.

Tack has been happening too- the most fun project recently has been these saddle pads, which are a step up from my usual plain aida cloth design to this fancier aida cloth design. 

Old pad design, in a December commissioned set.

I've really liked the textured, "quilted" look of aida cloth for a while now, but the transparency bugged me a little, and I felt like there was a bit of room for improvement to bring the pad up to the level of the tack.

The new design has fun embroidery borders and details (see the little Irish flag?), as well as a cotton lining that makes the whole thing look not only more finished, but less see-through. They aren't perfect, but I think a step in the right direction!

As a shout-out to my Irish roots, I decided to make my WEG jumper from Ireland, which means lots of fun green matchy-matching.

Some fun hardware happening here: green stirrups, and a Rio Rondo etched D ring as a bit! I think it works? I ordered some 1/16" D's with my last order to give it a try, and I just love having thick, shiny metal instead of my usual wire. I'll probably mess with the little "tail" that goes into the mouth more to make it less harsh and square, but overall I'm really pleased. 

The other pad is of course part of the surcingle set, which is now down to needing boots! Or wraps? I've been doing some experimenting with wraps-that-look-like-wraps-but-are-secretly-boots... we'll see how that turns out. I'm so excited to get this set off to its new owner, and to see it on the beautiful model it's actually for!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

*Cricket.... cricket*


Despite my life suddenly becoming hectic, the two projects continue to slowly plug along.

Surcingle set:

The Hand:

Sigh. What I'm running into with this guy is the struggle between remaining faithful to my references (which are all slightly different, so I'd have to pick one and follow it) and taking the idea and running with it, with my own artistic freedom/flair thrown in (which is what I have been doing, because the original jump is severely lacking on flowers, and what's a WEG level stadium jump without flowers?). 

And it's too tall. This isn't a problem with my CM jumper, but if I were to want to show an OF approaching on the ground... (probably the Seabiscuit mold, as he at least seems to have the gumption to try it!)

"You want me to jump what??"
So I'm entering the phase every big project undergoes where I put all my materials down and spend some time just staring at it. 

Do I tear it apart, go back to square one and remain faithful to my reference? 

Do I shave it down even more to exclude the painter guy and paint tubes? 

Or do I continue to roll with my colorful, flowerful version and be-flower the other standard (and make some paint tubes)?

And on top of that, there's the option of keeping what I have/finishing the other standard, keeping it that way for these shows in March, then re-assessing or making any of the above changes afterwards (giving me more time to focus on the other props and tack I need for these next shows).

Anna is entering "okay I need to seriously get stuff done" time in preparation for a show she has in two weeks, which is making me grateful I had the whim to start this project two months in advance of my shows. I'm still in love with the idea, but I think it needs some.... stop and stare time, before I progress with it or tear it apart. In the mean time, I have a lot of tack to make.

I'd love to hear any thoughts or opinions any of you have! Another issue I'm facing is just how long I've been staring at this thing- fresh eyes are much needed!