Monday, October 25, 2010

He's here!

The long awaited WEG diorama team volunteer model. I am excited because I managed to get him out of the box, unwrapped and photographed without anything bad happening to him. Things like to break in my house. Usually when I am not looking but you never know.Anyway, I do already have a buyer but I have had a couple more people contact me looking for this horse. If anyone else had one they would like to sell I will pass on the names and email addresses.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weekend show report (CM division)

Yesterday I posted my show report for the New England Performance Challenge OF division. Today I have photos from the CM division. I didn't do anything super amazing in CM but I managed to get more photos than of the OF division so it's worth sharing. The competition was fierce for the entire show and it was said more than once that any placing at all was good. So here are some photos of mostly all-new entries. First we have my newly finished Hazel resin Regal Lady. She was sculpted by Morgen Kilbourn and painted by Jill Ennis. The tack is made by Anna Suna and I made the doll (and borrowed it from my friend Joan to do the class, lol). This entry got 5th which wasn't horrible considering some of the drool worthy entries on the table.
Next was Regal Lady in her other English performance class. I decided to do a game set-up and we did jumping figure 8's. I think it is normally a western game but I made some cool documentation for this class so I thought I would try it. The judge thought it was worth 6th place. Next is my Chip resin, Spin A Chip, sculpted by Lori Daniels and painted (and named) by Jessica Fry. His lovely new tack is made by Pam Perkins and the saddle pad was made by Elise Partanen. The wear leathers were also by Pam Perkins. I have no idea who made the boots and I made the doll. I know this guy can be an awesome performance horse but I have not done outstanding with him just yet. Though this cutting entry got 3rd place.
Next is my Native American costume entry on. This is Poker Face who is a Smokin' Hot Chic resin sculpted by Sheri Rhodes. He was customized and painted by Corrie McDermott. I made the costume. I got 5th place with it (3rd in OF) which isn't horrible considering some of the amazing Native American regalia that is in the region.
Poker Face also did showmanship since I love showmanship. She is wearing a halter made by me and I made her doll as well. Poker Face managed second in her showmanship class.
Next is a new...everything. This is Merlot who is a Knightly Cadence resin sculpted by Carol Williams and painted by Liesl Dalpe. My original Cadence painted by Liesl jumped off the shelf and broke so this is the second one she painted for me. His tack is made by Pam Perkins and his doll, reins and matching saddle pad were made by me. I didn't think too much on the coloring I just made this doll, liked it a lot and decided it would go on Merlot. And when I put it all together I thought it was just lovely. They are doing a rescue race which I also have new documentation for. They managed second place with this entry!
Then there was chip doing the tennis ball relay. Not as often done as egg and spoon but a similar idea. This one was only good for 5th but you can see that I planned to use this doll on this horse because everything finally matches.My other western entry with Merlot was a western riding entry which was good for 3rd place. Not bad really.
Then Merlot tried natural western trail but the bit slipped and the judge said she would have liked the trail pad a little longer. My reply was that I would too, lol. So they ended up with 6th place.
Chips arena western trail entry wasn't a judge favorite. He got 9th place with this one. Though I did get to use my other new western pleasure doll (who I got the blue and black saddle pad to match) and it was interesting. This set-up really only works well in photo showing where it looks like the horse is side passing if you take the picture from the right angle. In live showing of course you can look at his back legs and see he is turning on his haunches. Oh well, I got to use my doll.Merlot didn't place in arena trail at all because I goofed and didn't realize the he is on the wrong lead according to what the pattern says. I am also not good at figuring out what lead a model horse is on. I guess that is the next thing I need to study. I did enjoy how very matchy-matchy this whole set-up ended up. And the pink colored "X" I chose (to mark the my entry was done being tweeked) was also chosen to match the entry, lol.My last photo was of Chip in Western pleasure. I think he may have done better if I had given him a card saying he was turing on the rail to change direction. I am not sure really. Merlot had a couple of 2nd's and got into the call backs but didn't win anything but the new set-up looks really good and I think with some work I can have them winning championships next year! For now I guess I will find some good days to go outside and work on some photo show photos to keep me entertained over the winter.

Weekend show report (OF division)

This past weekend I attended the New England Performance Challenge in Spencer, MA. It's a very fun, very full performance show that has been held for the past 10 years I think. I have been going for 3 of those years as far as I can remember. This was the first year I decided to show in CM as well as OF. And boy did it get crazy at times...

It was lucky for me that we got full tables this year (we don't always) because I had so much going on at once that I don't think I could have made it through the day (without breaking something) with only half a table of space to use. Several divisions were running concurrently so at times I had horses in, or going into, 4 rings at once. I think next year I might just stick with one horse in each division. I don't know if I can choose between OF and CM. Or maybe I will decide not to try to champs and just see how I can do in a bunch of my favorite classes. Who knows. Next fall is a long way away. Because of how hectic it was I completely forgot to take pictures of most of the classes. So I only have a few photos to share from the show but show photos are fun.

This is Johnny Cash competing in Of cutting. I can't remember who made the saddle, I made his bridle and his doll though. Even though I was rushed and a little crazy he did very well. And any time I get to play with the cows is fun.

This was Johnny's entry for the other western class. I thought it would be fun to do something a little different so I set up this "pony" ride entry. Of the 6 dolls used in this set-up (I only now just realized I used 6 dolls, lol) I made 4 of them. The little boy on the horse is just a dollhouse scale child doll and the little girl waiting in line was an unmodified Breyer doll. The doll leading the horse is my new casual western doll and I am very pleased with how she turned out. The entry only got 10th place but it was fun to set up. Maybe I will try this again sometime and see if I can improve on it. Johnny had some decent placings and then some less than stellar placings. He didn't win any champs but the judge was so torn on who to pick she gave him an honorable mention. Yay candy prizes!This next set-up is my OF Stone jumping horse Smoke N' Mirrors. It's not a clever or original name but I know a ton of magicians (not sure how that happened...) and she's gray so that's what she ended up being. I really got her so I could have something to model in-flight jumping dolls on. My other goal was to see how many classes I could show her in. I think I actually put her in 3 classes, fought her the whole time, and the best she did was 3rd. Not bad for a horse that doesn't want to behave. The tack was made by Cari Chaney and I made the convertible doll. She can take off her pinny, vest, watch and armband and be a casual in-flight jumper. I think she may be for sale, lol. If I get a better stand for the horse I may make another doll.
There were a couple of fun classes at lunch-time. The theme of the show was WEG so one of the fun classes was WEG disasters. I wasn't planning on entering but Nancy, the show hostess, said we needed more disaster entries. I figured I could throw together a disaster pretty quickly. The doll had already fallen off the horse at my table so I grabbed them and the jump pieces and pulled the saddle crooked and set this up. Then I got the extra doll to run over to help the fallen rider. The documentation says something like "Oops! The saddle slipped, the rider fell, the rest is obvious..." this quick set-up earned me 4th place! And it was pretty fun to do.After that Lady Intrigue got more serious and worked harder. She did well in hunter and many of her other classes. It was enough for reserve English champion on the OF division. Lady Intrigue is wearing tack made by Jennifer Buxton and a doll by me.
That was all the fun and excitement for the OF division for me. I think next year I will try to focus some more and maybe I can do better. It was a really fun day though. CM performance tomorrow.

New performance team

Yesterday was my last live show for this year. I am sure I can post some photos but right now I want to share my new performance team. This is Breyer's Justa Dream arab and I have been thinking of getting one for awhile. I got her for a SUPER deal yesterday because my Breyer dealer friend is going out of business. I couldn't resist. This side is always what is posted so I thought she would be a fun performance horse. The other side of course has the super long mane. However it is nice and flat and some allowances need to be made (and are) for OF horses so she should be OK. I have had a fully braided horse do very well in OF western classes. I think she will be fine and I asked another friend who judges and she said it should be fine. So I am pretty excited to try out this little team.
I already had the tack and it used to be the set I used on my Strapless model (who has been my main English performance horse for awhile now) until I got my lovely new Jennifer Buxton set. But it fits very nicely on this little mare and, since she is a small model, this little youth doll fits very well on her. The youth doll was originally made as a sales doll but since no one bought her yesterday and she looks like she was custom made for this horse...I guess I have another doll for myself now.
I figured since I already have a Travis (my son) doll this one would have to be Elecktra (my daughter). So this is Ellie since I guess some of her friends at school call her that. I don't know yet what to name the horse or what breed to show her as. I know she is supposed to be an Arabian but she seems a little bit small for that. Any advice would be appreciated. Now to sort some live show photos and see what I can post!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Native American costumes are hard

I have been working on a Native American costume for a long time now. I don't really know how long but I know I have had the saddle tree for at least a couple of years. Part of the reason they are so hard is there is a lack of documentation out there. You have to know where to look (I still only know a little bit) photos are hard to come by and good documentation is essential to a good live show entry. So part of what I have been doing all this time is trying to come up with sources for information. I ended up picking up a great book for information called Native American Saddlery and Trappings. It's actually a paper doll book but it is very informative as well. That and I got a book on Native American bead weaving.
I did actually start trying to do a beaded costume. I have the bead loom, the super tiny delica beads (I think that's what they are anyway) and I got a few inches of bead work done. I realized something important about that time. I really hate doing bead work. *sigh* so I put the project aside for awhile and thought about it some more. I also wasn't sure how I would do the beading on pieces that were not exactly rectangle.
So after awhile I decided that I would paint the designs on the costume. Native Americans often did this for real so I figured it was OK for me to do it. And let me tell you, even when you are "just" painting on the designs it take a long time. But I think it was worth it, here's my finished costume.
And here's the front view of the bridle. The photos are a little bit dark because they are inside with no flash but the flash photos looked really bad. So this is what we get. I have a live show on Saturday and one of the things on my show projects list was to finish my Native American costume. Before today I only had the breast drape and saddle drape painted. So today I painted the crupper, made all the bridle pieces and assembled it, covered the saddle tree, made the cinch and attached it (in the proper way!), made the stirrups and attached them and put together my documentation. *phew* I'm tired. This took most of the day to finish and the documentation...was also hard to make, lol.
Here is the picture that I mostly copies for the costume I made. The saddle blanket I made was from another crow saddle so hopefully that won't give me trouble. I didn't make the stirrup decorations or the pommel flaps but the rest I did. With more fringe because I like fringe, lol. I like the way the costume came out and I will be happy to show it but I don't imagine I will be making another Native American costume any time soon. Now I need to get some dolls...