Sunday, November 17, 2019

What Does a Model Horse Swap Meet Look Like?

     Yesterday was the Tolland Country Model Equine Swap Meet in Vernon, CT. I have never been to a model horse swap meet so I didn't know exactly what it would be like, but I had some ideas. We started out working out some details on the group chat for the event. I said I would change up my customizable tag sale signs for the event. These signs were some of the best thing I ever invested in ($6 for a set of two, with the metal legs) I should start printing in bright red maybe...
    Originally I was thinking, I don't need an 8 foot table. That is a ton of space and I didn't think I could fill it. Silly me. Even though I am used to packing all my sales stuff onto the end of my show table, it doesn't mean that I don't have a ton of stuff that I am trying to sell (or should be trying to sell..). So I quickly went from "I don't need this much space" to " I need more space!" But I did eventually work it out. Anne Giles was my table neighbor and she was better prepared for the day. I borrowed some masking tape and taped the food displays to the front of the table, along with Breyer accessories I was selling. That saved a lot of table space! It is also an idea to plan to repeat at shows. In the end I managed to fit everything on the table in a not-too-crowded way. Still, it's sort of like a flea market, you need to take your time looking at all the things being offered. 
      I took some photos of the room while I was sitting behind my table. You can get a good idea of the size of the space that way. 
     I should have walked around and gotten more photos. Sara Roche posted a ton of photos of everyone's tables on Facebook. This was definitely a cool event. 

     The majority of what I saw available was Breyer. Lots of Breyers of every size and price point. I myself was selling some Breyers, among other things. 

     I thought this setup was really well done. Excellent use of space. I believe this was Kelly Martin's table. She did have a bunch of Hartlands (I think) in boxes. I have never seen that before! Sara Roberts had some Hartlands as well. I took many many walks around the room and managed to see something new every time. There were definitely lots of Breyers, but also some Stones, Hartlands, chinas, resins, safari animals and so on. I loved it!
      So my sum-up of the day and the answer to the question, what does a model horse swap meet look like? It looks sort of like a craft or vendor fair, but all related to model horses. It looks like a room full of friends who don't get to spend enough time together, having much more time for visiting. It looks like an excellent way to spend a Saturday. I definitely want to do this again!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Tolland County Model Equine Swap Meet

        Today is the Tolland County Model Equine Swap Meet. It's being held in Vernon, CT. There will be model horses of every size and type, as well as model horse related items. 
      I'm excited. I do love seeing model horse friends. And model horses. Elecktra is also coming with me. 
     I still have some dolls available, chaps, cross country kits, horse boots of many types, some resins, some OFs and of course, the saddle bags. I have seven sets of those available. Whatever is left after today I will list for sale. I am probably going to make some more when I get my order of ultrasuede in. I think this is the last weekend I have any plans already in place. There is a show in the beginning of December, and I might go to that, I haven't decided yet. 
     Next week I really have to get back into making some dolls, though all I want to do currently is hibernate. Or binge watch TV. I signed up for a trial of Disney+ and I have been having way too much fun with that. They have so many good movies from the vault, and that alone has been worth it for me. Yesterday I started watching a show called Imagineering. Which is about how Walt Disney got a team together to create Disney Land and then Disney World. It's really interesting. It's sort of a "how it's made" but all about Disney. I like it. Disney+ also has Star Wars so I am wondering if they have the documentary on how those movies were made. I'll have to look into that, it was a good one. 
     So I am super boring and hopefully I will have something to talk about tomorrow. Maybe a report on how the swap meet went. That could be fun!

Friday, November 15, 2019


       It's been an odd week. Tuesday we had a half day because of parent/teacher conferences. Well, the kids had a half day, staff was there all day. But paras don't have conferences so we escorted parents to the different classes. I got so many steps. At one point, during a lull, we were talking about wine. One of the other paras was saying it is right in front of the door at the Pop N Kork, something about cold brew infused. And I knew exactly what she was talking about. Apothic is my brand (obviously. It's covered with fancy A's) and I haven't had the Apothic Brew in a long time. So on the way to do laundry I stopped to get some. Worth it. 
It was also a fun mail day. I finally managed to get Maple Stirrup. 
     When I ordered Travis's school pictures I got the "text me the photo" option. So now I have his school picture that I can (legally) share all over the place. It's a really nice option. It amuses me that Travis seems to choose a different Johnny Cash T-shirt every year for his school photo. 
     I'm still working on saddlebags and I got a teal set and a black set done yesterday. I am thinking I will not take orders for these. It stresses me out to even think about taking orders for them. So I will have some available at the swap meet on Saturday and then probably I will list some for sale on my studio page on Facebook. Or maybe Instagram and Facebook. But I will not take orders for them. I am hoping to have about 8 or 9 sets ready for Saturday. I am out of black ultrasuede, which I need to line them, so I can't get more than that done. 
     It's weird to still not be working on dolls but I think I will get back into that next week. I have a couple that need to happen. After that I will probably make dolls at a much more casual rate than I have been for months now. I wonder what I will talk about then...

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Easing Back In

     I had a nice break after TRXC. Just a doll work break, but a much needed, much appreciated break. I binge watched TV shows, while actually looking at the TV (who does these things???) I went to a craft/vendor fair, I read a lot. It was really nice. But I can't stop doll work forever. Monday, it was time to start easing back into things. I wanted to get some saddle bags made to bring to the swap meet on Saturday. 
     I posted a week or so ago on, my studio page, to see if people would be interested in empty bags. The response was overwhelmingly yes. 
     Somewhat surprisingly, purple was the most requested color. I have gone for long stretches of time where no one orders anything purple and when I make things in purple they sit and sit. But right now purple seems to be very in. It made sense to make the first bags in purple. I posted this photo on Instagram and my studio page on Facebook. I had another huge response to them. I don't know that I want to take any orders for saddle bags. It stresses me out to think about HAVING to make saddle bags. I like making them sometimes, and I like them much more now that I am not also making a bunch of things to go in them. But I don't know if I want to take any orders for them. I am still considering. 

     I have a handful of little projects that I needed to get to and Monday seemed like a good day to clear out some of the little things. I got this doll in last week for some new boots. I don't remember when I made her but it has been a very long time since I made a Breyer doll, did a custom printed silk shirt, or painted a doll's nails. It was kind of fun seeing her again. I'm also reminded that the Quinn and Gracie hands take paint well. It might be time to start doing doll manicures again.
      I got her new, slightly longer boots made and she is all set to keep on showing. It was cool seeing some things on a doll that I have not done in awhile. Also sort of inspires me to go old-school on some things in the near future. I have plans...
     I also had to get a pair of black mens chaps made to go with a couple of dolls that I sold recently. I was really happy to see that one of the two pairs of unfinished chaps I already had in the works was exactly the pair I needed. I was sort of bummed that I ran out of time before TRXC and didn't finish a few things. But this worked out nicely. Plus I was able to cross another little project off my list. 
     Since I didn't have school on Monday I had a bit more time to work on some saddle bags. So I made a few sets. After I posted the picture of the purple bags I had a lot of people that wanted purple bags. When I did my original post, asking if there was interest, I made a note of every color that people specified they wanted. If I go by the list I need several in purple, a couple in pink, a couple of teal, turquoise, black and blue. Obviously those aren't actual orders but it seems like a good place to start. I don't have any teal fabric at the moment but I can make all the other colors. I am hoping I can have at least one of each of the requested colors done by Friday. We'll see if I can make that happen or not. I need to work on these in stages, since there are a lot of steps to them and they are a bit tedious to make. I can start with cutting out all the pieces for several bags but then I need to iron all of the pieces in a ton of tiny, fiddly, easy-to-burn-myself ways. Then comes the gluing, the lining, make the water bottle holders, etc, etc, etc. Like I said, they are sort of tedious to make. I do love how they come out, but I have to want to make them. Right now I am really hoping I can get at least a set or two done each day this week. That would be great. 
      I have some actual dolls I need to make but I need to ease back into that. I have to rebuild a doll so I can make a show jumping doll and I have a youth doll to make, but I think I am going to cheat a bit on that one. More on that when I get to her, lol. It was good to get a bit of doll work done and good to get a couple of the smaller projects out of the way. It was a good Monday and good to be able to ease back in. My craziest crazy time of year is done, but I do want to get some more things done for the swap meet. I need to finish a couple of dolls and then... maybe I'll take another week off.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Anatomy of a Doll

       I discovered something interesting at TRXC that I probably should have known, but had never occurred to me before. A lot of people have no idea what the dolls look like under their clothes. Which makes sense. Most people purchase their dolls already dressed from a doll maker and have very little reason to ever see the naked doll.
      Our goal is to make the dolls look as realistic as possible. That is the goal of model horse showing in general. When it works it can be really impressive. I heard people saying how realitistic my endurance riding set-up was. And that was wonderful. That was my goal. But what do you do when something isn't right and you don't know how to fix it? If you have a doll maker handy, you can ask for help, but I want to give you some idea of how to try to fix things on your dressed dolls yourself. This post is full of naked dolls. If that makes you uncomfortable, don't go any further. 
     This is what an Yvonne/Gracie/Quinn looks like under her clothes. This is with most of her parts separated. These separations are some of the things that can go wrong with your doll. But only some. One of the issues I saw was a hip that was loose. One of my casual western dolls has a hip that like to pop out of the socket. Often. She was an Yvonne from way back and it doesn't bother me much because I can always pop it back in. If your doll pops a hip out make sure the fabric is out of the way and you can literally pop the hip back on over the ball. Hopefully the picture helps. When I am trying to put something back in place it helps to visualize what the doll looks like.
    These next photos were an issue I saw for myself and told the shower about. It is a bit hard to see in photos, but it was incredibly clear in person. This doll sort of looks like her knee is broken. 

It has a weird curve instead of a proper knee shape. This is because the dolls have two knee joints. 

     Here is the same bend with no clothes in the way. The doll has double joints in both the knee and elbow so she can move in a variety of ways. This makes her incredibly flexible and also gives you a lot of things that you can screw up as you set up your entries. 

     I took a series of photos of a naked, faceless Quinn, in the same way I would take sales photos. I have the left side. 
Left front. 

Right front.
Right rear. 
Right side. 
     And left rear.  
Not including the double joints in the elbows and knees, these dolls have a lot of joints.There are definitely a lot of things that can be out of place as you set up your entries. I always recommend looking at your entries from every angle. It is worth it to be thorough. And hopefully it is helpful to know what the dolls look like underneath their clothes. 
Yvonnne/Gracie/Quinn is an amazing doll who can move in ways brenda Breyer can only dream of. 
        These dolls can be positioned in very realistic ways to add so much to our entries. We just need to watch for things to make sure everything is in place. Sometimes it takes a bit of extra fiddling, but it's worth it. 

     Hopefully this helps with some doll issues you may run into. Happy Showing!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Dolls and Doll Accessories

     I had a pretty large stock of items for my TRXC sale. Not quite as many dolls as I had for Breyerfest, but I had a larger variety of things. Sunday I was supposed to hang out with Crystal but Ethan had van trouble in the morning so he took my car to work. That sucked. I decided it would be a good day to get pictures of the dolls and things I have left. Apparently the day had other plans for me. I brought the dolls outside to try to get photos. It was very windy and very cold.
$200 (sold)

I managed two photos and was just too mad and miserable to keep going.

     So I came in and thought about how to deal with this issue. Apparently the right thing to do was to take a couple of cases of seltzer to be supports and to drape a blanket over them. The other right thing to do was to get a therapeutic hug from Travis. He was upset from I am not sure what and I was pissed off about everything going wrong and being cold and a therapy hug was the right thing to do. And for those not familiar with therapeutic hugs, they are extra long and you can in fact feel them working. After our extra long hug I felt a ton better and Travis didn't seem upset anymore. Hugs really are magical.

 I have a variety of western pleasure dolls left




Plus a showmanship doll. 
I have a couple of saddle seat dolls. They would both likely look quite good on Hamilton. 



I have a jumper/lower level dressage doll. 

     And I have a couple of huntseat dolls with bendy necks. These ladies will be great for over fences as well as other English classes. 

I have an upper level dressage lady. 
      And a couple of casual english ladies with fancy breeches. I do love these custom fabrics from Spoonflower!

I have a cross country lady

$30 each
And a variety of cross country kits. 

I have a fancy driving lady

and a pair of ladies chaps and mens chinks. 
$30 each

        I also have more pictures of all of the dolls. If you are interested in purchases any of them please send me an email at And as always, my books are open if there is something you need that I don't already have. Shipping is an extra $10 and I can ship up to 3 dolls for that price.