Saturday, January 25, 2020

Pig and Wheel

      I love well done miniatures. Anything that is tiny and looks just like the life-sized version makes me really happy. When I saw the chair that Terri Wright donated to Mares In Black as a giveaway piece, I wanted it. 
      I didn't win it. 
      But last week I was working on a separate transaction with Terri and she mentioned she could make me a chair. I was really excited by the idea of a PINK chair! Even better (to me) than the one I didn't win. I chose this super cute pink plaid fabric. Terri made my chair and when it arrived I needed to take a picture. With no (dressed) dolls handy I grabbed my miniature pig. Originally I tried to get a photo with both of my miniature pigs but the black pig did not want to photograph well. But this one was adorable! I sent it to Terri to let her know my package had arrived. For anyone that is interested in Terri's work you can check out her facebook page, Priam Costumes, or she is on Instagram @priamcostumes. Trust me, you want to go check out her work!
    Speaking of work, I did some too! I finally finished my color wheel of cross country vests. And not just the vests, but also the watches and medbands. I really enjoyed taking this photo. After I got this done, I packaged them all up and added them to my live sale stock. Next I think I will try to make a doll or two and then I am thinking I might work on some saddle bags. I haven't quite decided yet what I want to do. 
     This past week at school was not overly taxing. We had midterms so, other than Tuesday, the kids were only there for half days. Since I am a para, I didn't have to correct any exams so I spent the second half of the days seeing if anyone needed help, but mostly visiting people. Next week will start 3rd term so I am sure I will have more to do then. But we are barreling towards the end of the year, especially for the seniors. They only have a little more than 3 months left. That's just crazy! After the seniors leave I don't know what I will do. Most of my kids are seniors. One class has 3 juniors in it. That's it. So I will see what they have me do. Maybe they will let me go to Life Skills. That would be awesome!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Spanish Side Saddle Revisted

     The other day I got this really cool photo from Fabian of his Spanish side saddle doll. I really like this. Once he has his proper Spanish side saddle in hand I am sure we will get some new photos. For now, this is a lot better than what I could do with a western saddle. I love it so much!
     I also made some more progress on the cross country kits! I decided this time around to do the numbers with iron on material. So I printed a bunch of them, though as usual it took me forever to remember how to flip the imagine, since you have to print them backwards so when you iron them on they come out correctly. But I got all of the numbers on all of the pinnies and all I have left of that step is to finish a few more straps and get the last few pinnies on the vests. This BIG step is so close to being done! I was also working on the stopwatches. After I cut out the watch faces I glue them onto black cardstock and then I cut those out and glue them onto a strip of ribbon. So far I only have the watch faces glued on the cardstock, but it's a step! I need to finish those and do the medbands and then package all the kits up and everything will be done. And I am really looking forward to that. 
      I had planned on finishing up the vests, but then I ended up doing a lot less work than I probably could have. So they are not done. Soon I will finish them up and cut out some doll clothes. I do need to start working on some dolls soon. 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Cross Country Kit Progress

      Tuesday I managed to talk myself into getting some work done on the cross country kits while I was at the laundromat. Before I left the house I made a template out of corrugated cardboard. I have used thick cardstock for most templates and they tend to lose their shape somewhat easily. I am hoping this one will last a lot longer. 
    I decided I would bring my clipboard for working, even though they have convenient coffee tables. It is COLD in the laundromat in the winter and I wanted to snuggle into my coat, used as a cape of course, and working on my lap was a bit warmer. And nicer for my back. 
     I got most of the pinnies made, and on the vests, but I ran out of the white ribbon I use for straps so couldn't finish up that step. But progress has been made!
      I also had to share this really cute little makeup sample, because most of us really like miniatures, lol. The brand, Beauty Bakerie, has baking themed packaging for all of their products. It's really cute. This is a sample of "flour" with is a translucent loose powder. The packing of the shipping package was wonderful and the packaging for the items was really cute. I am not the type of person who saves packaging (I want less useless stuff hanging around, not more) so I don't keep the cute stuff. Though I can appreciate cute packaging. 
     I am hoping to finish up the cross country vests soon, but I seem to not be getting as much done as I would like when I do work on them. Maybe I am still in hibernation mode. But I AM making progress, which is what I need to keep on reminding myself. And once all the cross country kits are done I will actually have a fairly large stock of small items ready for my live sale. Which is good, because currently I have no dolls ready for it!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Formal Saddle Seat

     The other day I got a significant amount of work done on the formal saddle seat doll. Then I sort of stalled out. I hate when that happens. When you can see the end in sight and just can't seem to talk yourself into getting there. Monday I had plans to go over and visit my mom for her birthday. I decided I had more than enough time to finish up the last few details on the doll so I got out my materials and got to work. I painted the doll's face (she looks funny with only one eyebrow on!)
And I painted the white gloves. 
    Then I made her boots and got into making her top hat. Hats are not super hard or super easy to make. It is very easy to make the hat and have it just a bit too big, which on a doll is way too big. So a bit of fiddling with it, trimming a bit here and there as needed, and I have a top hat. 
    Another doll officially done! I don't know what number this is but I really like the way she came out. I love the clean look of a black and white outfit. 
     The next thing I want to do is try to finish up the color wheel of cross country vests. That project has been going on for awhile and it might be about time for me to work on finishing it up. Who knows what I will work on after that. Maybe some more chaps, or some horse boots, or saddle bags. I guess I'll see what I feel like doing when I get to that point. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

It’s All in the Details

      The other day I realized that I am in an odd place with my doll work. I am not in a slump where I don't want to do anything, but I don't seem to be in a place where I am really into working on dolls. But I will work on accessories. Maybe it was because it was the weekend, or maybe I am feeling a bit meh about things still, on Sunday I got some details worked on, but nothing else really. 
      The first thing I did was to start packaging chaps, since I finally remembered to buy the correct sized baggie for them. After that I got into packaging up my current stock of saddle pads, though I quickly discovered I was low, and now out of, the size baggie I need for them. I also packaged up some things I didn't make, that will still be in my sale (water bottles and tiny handcuffs). My nonexistent stock of sales items is growing into something a little more respectable. I currently have a bunch of saddle pads, a few pairs of cutting chaps, some water bottles and handcuffs and soon (hopefully) the cross country kits. I am making progress on details. 
       While I was looking for the small package tags I use I found a double stack of materials for judge's kits. I already had the "clipboards" cut out and the judge's sheets. It made sense to start putting some judge's kits together. After my black Friday weekend sale, I was completely sold out of judge's kits. 
       With some effort I finished a good amount of them and I now have a respectable amount of judge's kits all ready for the sale. I still have 10 weeks to get things done and while I still have no dolls ready for my sale, I do at least have a small variety of accessories. I am a bit less nervous now. 
      I need to finish up the last few details on the formal saddle seat doll and then I can get started on some dolls for my live sale. I still have a few bodies prepped and ready to be dressed. Now I just need to get into the rest of the details on them. At this point I am at least a bit less concerned about my lack of progress. I am making slow, and mostly steady, progress on all the details. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Mood Swings

       The weather has been having some really wild mood swings lately. Last weekend it was super warm, about 70 degrees. It was warm and comfortable and Travis and I went out to do errands without coats. 
      This weekend it was around 20 degrees. It was super, nasty cold and heavy winter coats were not really enough when you were outside since the wind was very bitey. All of this in just a week. Our weather really does get crazy around here! I am ready for Spring. 
     The 10 day forecast is a strange mix of temperatures. I think near next weekend we will have temps in the 40s. Well, at least I have my NaMoPaiMo horse prepped. Do you?
      Today is my Mom's birthday. I have the day off from school. Maybe we will stop by and see her for a bit. Oh as a super random though, Sunday when Travis and I were out doing errands, 3 different people told me they love my hair. Last Thursday I was walking into Target and a woman yelled across the parking lot that she loved my hair. I am glad my hair is still bringing joy to others. 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sometimes I’m Really Productive

     You all know by now that there are days that I get almost nothing done. Sometimes it's through lack of motivation, sometimes it's through lack of effort, and sometimes it just seems there are not enough hours in the day. But there are some days where I am really productive. I love days like that! Friday started out looking like a day where I would not get much done. It was early release (we have those once a month on professional development days) and the morning was spent running from one short class to another. I spent a bunch of time modifying a test and making a study guide for one of my kids for the midterm. That is not actually my job, but I want him to do well. His mom will help him study if she knows what he needs to work on. And no matter how low, I don't write anyone off. He is totally teachable. It just takes more work. I think making the study guide was well worth the time. Plus the "study guide" is also consolidating the notes he will need to bring for his exam. Which will make helping him through the test much easier for me. Win-win.
      I had grand plans of doll work when I got home but I was attacked by a nap! And it was one of those sneaky naps that wants to be more than twice as long as you were willing for it to be. So I did waste close to an hour napping and trying to stop napping. But I did take a half day (Travis had midterms so he had a half day) and I had extra time. After my nap I cleaned my makeup brushes. Again. I have discovered that the issue with using really good pigments is the need to clean the brushes daily. No more wiping them off and just doing the cleaning once a week. For anyone that is curious I use the Ulta Beauty brush cleaning solid soap. Which is very easy to use, is incredibly effective and doesn't stink! So many brush cleaners smell horrible or super perfumy. This has no smell. Fabian was wondering if it would be good for pastel brushes. I have not tried it, but it works really well on makeup so I think it would be great for pastel brushes. 
     Anyway, as you mighty have guessed by looking at the photos, I did manage to get into some doll work. I had a few struggly moments but I managed to finish up the Arabian rider I started dressing. I really like how she came out. The black and gold is just so elegant! Her veil can also be styled in a couple of ways, as the photos show. 
      I still had a decent chunk of time before supper when I finished the Arabian rider, so I decided to get into dressing the formal saddle seat doll. I am so glad that I have a bunch of bodies prepped and heads haired! It's also convenient that I had the clothes for the saddle seat doll sewn. The sewing of a saddle seat or hunt seat coat take a lot longer than sewing almost any other piece of doll clothing. I took extra time on this one to make sure I didn't have to fiddle around with fit when I got to dressing the doll. 
      It doesn't show much in the photo, but her coat is a really excellent fit. I got a good amount of work done on her and am down to boots, gloves, face and hat. So she won't take too much more time to finish. That should be an easy win when I get back into working on her. 
     For anyone curious about my nails, these are the Color Street nail strips. These are the ones I ordered from Elecktra's aunt's online party way back in December that USPS lost somewhere. I contacted the consultant and asked if the company ever replaces lost product (I think I mentioned this before) and she went and found out and they sent me out my nail strips! I was afraid that the fabritac, which has acetone in it, would ruin the nails, which it has done to other nail strips in the past as well as regular nail polish. As a precaution I put on a UV gel topcoat and got glue all over my nails (of course) and they are fine! So I am super excited because not only are the Color Street strips super easy to use, they also come in really cute designs. Things that are fun, and also easy to use, make me happy. 
     I am not sure what I have after the saddle seat doll. Maybe a western pleasure doll, I haven't decided yet. I do also still need to finish up the color wheel of cross country vests. Only 10 weeks until my live sale! I need to get moving!