Saturday, April 10, 2021

Visiting

       Yesterday we took a road trip to Boston. I have not done any sort of road trip in a really long time. But there is some fancy, high-end pipe store there that Ethan wanted to go to (one of the most prestigious in the entire country or something like that) and a 75 miles trip just to go to a pipe store, even one with a really impressive inventory, is sort of extreme. Even for Ethan. But my friend Tamzyn recently moved to Massachusetts from Amsterdam, and I was really looking forward to meeting her in person. When Ethan first mentioned the store I asked Tam how far the shop was from her and it turns out it was only a few miles. Seemed perfect!
      The weather yesterday was absolutely perfect. Ethan, Travis and I headed out in late morning and got to Boston sometime after 11:00. We found the pipe shop, parked long enough to get photo proof of it for Ethan. Then Travis and I headed over to visit with Tamzyn and Teo. On the way I saw this cool graffiti and got a photo for Ethan. 
      After a couple of wrong turns (it is super easy to take the wrong turn in Boston, lol!) Travis and I arrived. Tam showed me her model horse collection while Travis hogged the bathroom. Travis's Thor got to meet Tam's doll that I forgot the name of. I know I have seen her in minis painting minis during NaMoPaiMo. 

      Due to traffic Ethan texted me shortly after we had arrived and we went to pick him up. Then we all (Ethan, Travis, Tamzyn, Teo and I) spent a lot of time in the park around the corner from their house. It was a really great day for it. There was some really interesting people and dog watching, tons of good conversation, and laughter. 
      We spent most of the day outside and socially distanced but did get a quick photo together. I should have remembered this when we were outside in the sun!
     Tamzyn gave me these 3 little kitties she made, and I love them! I think the one with the blond on it has to be Ethan, the one with the toy clearly is Travis. So the little smiley one in the middle is me. They are sitting on the table next to me being cute. 
     The drive home was fairly quick since we didn't hit any traffic on the way to the Mass Pike. I was sort of sleepy from all the sun but managed not to nap on the way home. It was a really excellent day and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Tamzyn and I have a lot more in common than just model horses. I am very glad to have a new "local" model horse friend. And extremely glad the good weather is here so outdoor visits are possible again.
 

Friday, April 9, 2021

An Annual Event

     There are things that happen every year. Birthdays, anniversaries, and many other things. What I never expected to be an annual event was making Dorothy rider dolls. And yet, here we are. 
      When I was asked to make a (headless) Dorothy doll this year, I went and looked for things that I used for the last Dorothy doll. And while it would have been easy to Google "Dorothy" (which I also did) It was easy to grab a screenshot of the last Dorothy doll I made. For one thing, I could make sure to make her a bit different. And I could also see how I put the doll together. But when I checked the photo I saw that I finished the doll on April 7, 2020. And I was working on the 2021 Dorothy doll at the beginning of April. 
     Clearly, I HAD to finish headless Dorothy on April 7, 2021. Which I did. Though it is still too recent to say anything other than Wednesday (check the calendar, same day, one year later!). There are certainly differences between 2020 Dorothy and 2021 Dorothy. Other than the glaringly obvious lack of head on the new one. Last year Dorothy had a bit shorter skirt, and I made it in a somewhat different way. This year I also did different boots, though they are hard to see in this photo. The overall design is similar, it's Dorothy after all, but they are far from identical. And it amuses me to a huge degree that I finished the "same" doll on the same day, 2 years in a row. I wonder what next year's Dorothy doll will look like...

      Did I ever mention that one year when Travis was in preschool he insisted we watch The Wizard of Oz every single day for a year? That is a lot of Wizard of Oz. I stopped actually watching it after the first handful of times, but I can probably tell you where every single weird mistake is in the movie. I could also probably recite the movie from memory (our house is small, I could hear it no matter where I was), but preschool was a long time ago, maybe I have forgotten some of it. Anyway, I don't hate The Wizard of Oz, but I doubt I will ever voluntarily watch it again. 
      Today is the absolute LAST day to enter and upload photos for the Field of Dolls Online Spring show. The login info is displayed on the screen when you submit your form. I am going to Boston today and may not be able to check messages much or send out the login if you forgot to check it. 
     If you entered the show and did not pay your entry fee, this is your last day to pay. Tomorrow any entries that were received without payment will be removed from the show and barred from entering future shows. I don't want to be mean but I don't want to be taken advantage of. It also makes extra work for me having to go through every photo to make sure they are all paid entries. 
     One last thing, make sure all of the needed info is on your photos! Horse name, breed, owner name and (optional) link to documentation. Not every photo needs documentation but often it can help your entry. If the basic info is missing the photo cannot be judged. I don't have time to try to figure out that stuff after. This show is A LOT of work, and I have very limited "free time" (lol, what's that???). I will be locking the show (ie, changing the password) sometime tomorrow morning after I get up. You have until then to finish uploading. I will also create and post a link to view the show so people can see all the fun entries! Happy Showing!
 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Cleaning is Expensive

      I have had a weird illness lately. I want to clean everything. And just to be clear, the "illness" IS that I want to clean everything. I am not a disgusting person and I clean my house often, including doing several different cleaning jobs every single day. But in the course of regular life I can overlook or ignore certain things for months at a time. I think most of us are like this (there are definitely exceptions to this.) but then we (most of us) get to that point where "Spring cleaning" becomes really enticing. And then we super deep clean everything. Again, some people super deep clean everything all of the time, some people can live in filth and not care, but I think the majority of people fall in the middle. Often my "Spring cleaning" lands on the hottest, most humid day in the Summer. I have no idea why. It has been like that for a lot of years. My brother John and I used to get into the super deep cleaning when the weather was super gross. And we grew up with no AC (and I still do not have AC). Anyway, this year my Spring cleaning seems to actually be in the Spring. And funny enough, Massachusetts seems to be actually getting Spring this year. For many years now we have had cold, cold, cold, one nice week, then instant Summer! This year it is mild to really nice, and has been for a couple of weeks now. We have some chilly days in the mix, but overall just really nice weather. I like it. 
      Can you tell I am easily side tracked? I think you already knew that about me. That actually leads into what this post is mostly about. Being easily side tracked. I think it started last Thursday. I was at school, thinking about going through all of my doll making and crafting supplies. I had the idea that I could neaten up all of the mess I had made during my big push to get things finished for the live sale. I could empty the bags of things that were in places they didn't go and pull out things that I was not using. It sounded really nice. Then I got the idea that it would be fun to do a giveaway, which I have already talked about. So I did that, I went through all of (or a lot of) my doll making items, pulling out things I know I am not using or likely to use. I did my giveaway photos and then had to pack things for shipping. The large lot of stuff ended up double bagged (literally) in paper grocery bags. I secured everything with copious amounts of box tape. I meant to put all the stuff in a box but I either had ones that were too big or too small. So this happened. Anyway, the shipping for the 2 giveaways was about $35. Wow. 
      So that was Thursday. I did the doll stuff cleaning and sorting and got giveaways packed to ship out and then Friday and Saturday I managed not to do any doll work. I was proud of me. I don't actually remember what I did, so maybe it wasn't fun, but at least it was a bit of a break. Sunday though I decided I wanted to do just a couple of deep cleaning things. But I started with normal cleaning things. I vacuumed in my bedroom and then I noticed that the short runner in the hallway could really use some attention. So I took care of that. But then I noticed that there were dust bunnies in the hall (most of the floor is just tile without a rug) and so I grabbed the broom and took care of the hallway. But then I noticed that there was... I just kept on going. I kept seeing things that needed extra attention. All of a sudden I could not not see the dirt and dust. And I had to take care of it. Every time I cleaned one thing my attention would then be drawn to another thing. So much deep cleaning happened. I also realized that my vacuum really was not doing its job anymore. It kept leaving little piles of sand on the carpet, or just not picking things up at all. So I paused in my wild deep cleaning to go out and buy a new vacuum. I suspected for a bit that that was coming. I had already taken the old one apart to clean everything out, which did not help much or for long. So yeah, between shipping out things I was giving away and buying a new vacuum, cleaning was definitely expensive last weekend. 
     In different news, the second stablemate from the stablemate club arrived. I always buy them as soon as I get the email. I don't want to forget after all. I already can't remember this guy's name (Hendrix? Am I making that up?) and this one also has a small but obvious flaw on him. My first one (whose name I really can't remember right now) had the small but noticeable (and deep) ding in his flank on his show side. This one has some noticeable chunk of something in his gloss on his back. The good news is I am not an OF halter live shower (or usually OF anything shower) so I don't care. He has really excellent color and he looks spectacular standing on the shelf next to the glossy gray from the Breyerfest set. I don't even particularly like glossy horses, but this guy is really lovely in gloss. 
      I still seem to be infected with that cleaning illness. I keep seeing the dirt and dust everywhere. School is rough because there is SO MUCH dust everywhere, and I am definitely not going to clean the school. But I keep on seeing the things that I wish were cleaner. And I want to vacuum all the time. That is so unlike me. But I have to say, the purging and deep cleaning really does feel good. And it is feeling like Spring. I like it.
 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Hurry!


      The Field of Dolls online Spring show is open for entries until Saturday April 10th 2021. That means that you have until I change the SmugMug password on Sunday morning to enter and upload photos. If you are planning on entering, hurry! If you have not paid your entry fee please make sure to take care of that. 

      The show has TONS of prizes, including miniatures for 1st-6th in all of the regular performance classes. There are mini rosettes for 1st-6th in each of the specialty classes. The specialty classes are double judged, so you have twice as many opportunities to get awesome tiny rosettes! Champs are being done by shower, not horse. The shower with the most points from the entire show will get the overall champion prize. The shower with the second most number of points will receive the overall reserve champion prize. I will also be naming an additional top 5. Which means in total there will be 7 people who receive really impressive prize packs! Currently the plan for overall champ and reserve is a traditional scale horsiemama haversack made by Lynn Isenbarger, most likely a doll, a variety of 3D printed items, a "large" mini rosette (sounds funny, doesn't it?) and most likely other items that are yet to be determined. Top 5 showers will get smaller scale PTDs made by Larry Nichols, a prize pack with a variety of miniature items and also "large" mini rosettes. Every shower will receive something because prizes are awesome!

     I have had a handful of questions come up in the show's Facebook group. Saddleseat entries can show in any English event they are appropriate to be in (pleasure, trail, etc. One photo per horse, per class please. Brightening and cropping photos is totally fine, though no other digital manipulation is allowed. We are not going to tell you where to put your entries. Put them in the class that you feel is the best fit. 

     I am still accepting donations for the show. Both physical prizes and monetary donations are very welcome! Please email me at fieldofdolls@gmail.com if you would like to donate. I hope to "see" you at the show! 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Mane Event

    I take ugly photos often. A lot of times what I see I real life is not how it appears in a photograph. I don't know if it is what the iPhone "sees" or if my eyes are off. But I take a lot of really bad photos. This photo however is a pretty accurate depiction of a mediocre forelock. It was just the first draft of the forelock. Several other drafts were to follow. 
     I also worked on the mane, a bit at a time. Even though it looks like I applied it in strings, I did not. And it doesn't look like this in person. My photos make it look like the mane came out of a play-doh fun factory. *sigh* This project is hard. 
      Eventually though, I had a forelock I didn't hate (after 4 tries!) and I had a mane that was not too horrible. 
    At least my custom has hair again. Even if it is not great hair. Even if he looks like he got a bad haircut. Oh well, he has a mane that I don't totally hate. 

       The bad news is I am not a great sculptor. The good news is, I am an excellent prepper. And I have a lot of tricks. I may be able to save this hairdo yet!

 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Letters Home- North Carolina

    Little Elecktra is still visiting with Stephanie Blaylock in North Carolina. As is usual for her she got into some interesting things!

Hi Mom!
     A scary thing happened today! Stephanie was doing some painting and I was trying to help, but I got locked in the cabinet! Wow that was scary! It reminded me of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe when Edmund closed the wardrobe door after he followed Lucy inside (because he forgot it was a bad idea) and they ended up in Narnia. Well, nothing that cool happened to me. I just knocked on the glass and Stephanie let me out. 
    After that it seemed like a safer idea to just sit on the desk and hold brushes. There really is something very soothing about watching people create. 
      Since I really wanted to help in some way Stephanie said I could hold her horse. Isn't he gorgeous!

      I even got to go for a little ride! I am having a wonderful time!
I also got to do some visiting with Stephanie's dolls. 
      And look! Another spotty equine! I think Stephanie needs more doll furniture. Maybe you should stop hoarding all of it mom, lol! (no, I have a deep love of 1:9 scale furnishings and will keep on collecting as many pieces as I can get my hands on!)
     I am hoping that I will get to have some more adventures while I am here. And maybe I can still find Narnia! I'll write more soon. 
      Love, 
          Little Elecktra


 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Photos and Customs.

     Friday I set up my arena, on my bed, got out the studio lights and set up to do some show photos. Was it an ideal setup? Not by a long shot! Did it work out? Yes, it did! I had to be super careful about leveling the arena (blankets were helpful in this) and several times I had to thin out my kinetic sand so the horses would not sink in and fall over. But eventually I made it all work. I tried the lights in several different positions until I liked how the photos ended up. I am still excited for my new, longer (by 10 inches!) arena, but for now I can totally make this one work. 
      Saturday morning I got a bunch of photos entered in Candyland, Travis and I went to do errands, and then I came home and decided it was time to get back into working on my custom horse. So I brought him out and with the battery powered rotary tool on medium, I got a lot of sanding done. He will of course need more. Soon, sanding will be my life. 
     But at least he is now all in primer and I can see what else needs to happen to him. He's not super bad really. I think a mane and forelock and then actually prepping. I am not looking forward to that part. 
      I got a message that my new arena has shipped! Fingers crossed it gets to me faster than the last one. I am VERY excited for the photos I can take with more space!