Saturday, June 26, 2010


As anyone that has been reading my blog for awhile knows, I love boating. Last September when Ethan and I were honeymooning in Newport we went sailing, which was a new boating experience for both of us and lots of fun. Since I don't have a sailboat or access to one I had to do something different. I also need to be able to bring both the kids with me so kayaking is pretty much out. So we bought an inflatable boat. The only inflatables I have had experience with are the cheapy ones you get for $20 and if you look at them funny they get a hole in them and are no good anymore. This one is very nice, sturdy and safe to put my kids in. Elecktra had to go to piano so Travis and I took the maiden voyage alone in the new Seahawk 2. We went over to RedBridge pond in Ludlow and went from the red bridge (how the pond got it's name) almost all the way to the stone bridge maybe a mile or more away.
I don't have any idea how far it is. I do know that I could not get the camera to work so the pictures I have are ones Ethan took from his kayak and a stock photo of the boat. Which is unfortunate because Travis was looking very cool for the trip. He had a good time just hanging out and then splashing almost the entire return trip. That was fine since it was hot and being splashed felt nice. I rowed for almost 2 hours straight and enjoyed every bit of it. I plan on giving my muscles a break for a few days and then getting out on the water again. This time I will put both kids in the boat and see how we do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Model Horse Performance magazine

I really like the new Model Horse Performance Magazine. Of course anything to do with model horse performance makes me happy. I think the magazine is a wonderful new resource for people that want to learn something new about performance showing (or things related to performance showing like tack making) or people like me who not only want to learn but like to obsess a little. There are not a ton of live shows throughout the year that I can get to with 2 kids so any excuse to think about performance showing is fun for me.
So I have been thinking about putting together and article on showing with dolls. Dolls can be a wonderful asset to your set-up or they can wreck it if not used properly. So my question is, does anyone have anything in particular they would like discussed? Do you have photos of both good and bad doll use? I've been rolling the idea around in my head and I know something will come out sooner or later but knowing what people would like to know would be helpful as well. ☺

Monday, June 21, 2010

youth doll feet

Youth doll feet are one of the worst parts of any doll. They are tiny, barely foot shaped and useless for building leather boots on. So not only do I have to remake the upper arms of the doll and the thighs, I also have to remake the feet. I have done that in several ways but yesterday I thought I would try something a little different and see how it came out. And I took photos to document the process. It is not a perfect system but I like the direction it's going.
First we start with regular, awful, youth doll feet.The really do have a funny shape. It's also odd that the Breyer doll with the largest hands (larger than the cowboy even) has the tinniest feet. Oh well, I'll fix that......that's better. Now I just have a stubb which really isn't much better than tiny youth doll feet. But I can work with this. First I take my specialty tool (which is a large, sharp, yarn needle with a handle made from Gapoxio) and poke two holes in the part I cut. Then I will stick in a thick wire that is bent in a "U" shape.

It seems to be working out so far. Let's keep going. The next step is to wrap the wire with gauze and medical tape in the same way I would for remaking arms and legs.

Not bad. It's foot shaped! And unlike wrapping around the original youth doll foot this one is actually pretty flat on the bottom. I think I am liking the wire in the middle of the stubb. Let's make some boots and see how that comes out...

...not too bad. They are boot shaped and after a bit of washing to get the extra glue off they should be pretty nice. I think the only thing I would do differently next time is a tiny bit less gauze in the middle so the feet will be a bit smaller before the boots is built on. But these are pretty good feet I think.
And here is the finished little lady. Her feet are pretty nice and she rides very well. I think the slightly new style of foot making is here to stay.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Interesting dolls, no good photo options

I have had some interesting dolls to work on recently. We have also had a lot of rain and I really don't have a place to get good indoor photos. But the dolls are still nice to look at. This first pair is a 19th century pair to drive a sleigh. I don't have a sleigh so they are driving a Mary Kay microdermabrasion set. Hey, whatever is close at hand will have to do at times.

Then I have this lovely fancy driving groom. I got super detailed reference material for him (front and back) so all I had to do was not screw up. His "mom" seems happy with him so I guess I did a good job. This is the first in the series of "in front of the microwave" photos. I am hoping for some really great actual shots of this guy.

Then I had an easier doll. This is a pretty showmanship doll where I pretty much got to do whatever I wanted with some very basic direction. I really like how this doll came out. I wish the sun would come out so I could get some nice outside photos. The bling really picked up the light.

There was another doll I did recently that was interesting but it is a secret project so I won't post any photos until after NAN. It's a little unfortunate because I did actually get some really good outdoor pictures of that one. But I have lots of things I have been working on so I will work on posting those. Though a couple of weeks ago I made three nearly identical hunt seat dolls. That would not make for a very interesting post ☺

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Several months back I got an email about donating to NAN. It was pretty exciting since I know the prestige that has always gone to being asked to donate to the NAN auction. Upon reading the email I discovered that things were not quite as they first seemed. The new format is making it possible for more people to showcase their work at NAN and to help support the show. It was a small disappointment but I have donated to lots and lots of shows. However I have donated more than I should so I probably won't be doing any more for awhile. This could be one of the last doll donations I make. Certainly for this year.
Though it was mildly disapointing to see that I was not asked to donate because of my awesome talent (btw, that is to be funny in case someone doesn't know me that well, lol) I was happy to help support the show (and Lauren Wood is a friend and the auction/raffle coordinater). Maybe one of these days I will actually get to attend a NAN. Yes, some day far into the future, lol!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Factory Ponies Live

I Had a really good show day yesterday. I wasn't even originally planning on attending the show bu the hostess is a good friend and said I HAD to go, lol. So I did and it was a really great day.
My first class was cutting. This is Johnny Cash moving into the herd. The next class was "other stock work". This is Johnny Cash doing his team penning entry.

The third class was other western. Because I like cows and it's fun this is a scene where Johnny Cash is moving the cows down from the summer pasture. It was amazingly also the only time I used my fancy diorama all day.
The next photo was my other, other western entry. This is Skippa Latte doing her western riding entry. It isn't all that interesting and only earned a 1oth place.

Next was games. This is Johnny Cash again doing his two barrels and a pole game. The idea and photo reference came from Jennifer Buxton's blog awhile back. Even with the great reference it only got 6th place though I didn't check and see what else was on the table. I thought it was really cool.

And here is my other games entry. Skippa Latte did the tennis ball relay. That was good for 3rd place though personally I thought the barrels and pole game were cooler. I guess it seems like balancing tennis balls on a racket is harder than turning a pole. I haven't personally tried either so I am not a good judge of what is a harder game. Though the way this doll is holding the racket she will have to reach across to dump the ball in the bucket.

Next Skippa Latte is doing her arena trail entry. This earned her her first NAN card of the day...

...With Johnny Cash receiving first with his arena trail entry. I have done a bridge entry with him several times before but I found a new trail pattern that had a pole on the bridge for him to step over. I guess that made this entry a bit more interesting.

This was just another shot of the same bridge trail entry but I included it because it had both my entries in it.

Though I mostly only took photos of my own entries yesterday (which made for a super relaxing show day) there were some very interesting fun classes. This next shot was in the "pimp my FAS" class. I believe this was put together by Lindy Pinkham and it was the winner of the class.
There was also a FAS performance class. This is Joan Fauteux's entry. I don't know the horse's name or who made the tack but I made that doll. Joan owns 11 or 12 of my dolls (maybe more...) but this was the first one she got. I believe this entry got second place.
This entry was Laurie Lape's George Stubbs self portrait. I made this doll as well and he tortured me for a long while. He was one of those dolls that just won't leave. Every once in awhile I have a doll that is close to done but something keeps getting in the way of me finishing him and getting him out the door. This was one of those dolls. Even on a FAS he looks pretty good. This was the eventual winner of the class.
After the fun classes were through we got the results of the western performance division. Johnny Cash and Cowboy Bill managed champion!
Next was the English division. I completely forgot to take a photo of my first entry which was a Handy Hunter in the Hunter/Jumper division. This was the first time I got to use my new tack I received from Jennifer Buxton and I hadn't adjusted the bridle quite right. So in hunter/jumper Lady Intrigue received 6th place and then got a tack adjustment. The next class she did was games. Here we have that tennis ball relay again. This time it was good enough for first place. The doll is also new and one I actually made myself. I only used Lady Intrigue for the English classes so my usual hunt seat doll (made by Joan Yount) took the day off.
Next was English arena trail and I entered the exact same entry (with a different Strapless) that I used in the western division. I would really love to come up with some new trail entries that can be used for a trotting horse but I have a very hard time finding patterns.
Next was my other English entry. I as usual put in my therapeutic riding entry. This time with the new tack and new doll. It did very well and I was thrilled. I am working my way towards a merit award with this entry and I believe I am up to 8 NAN cards now! Only 4 to go...
There was a snafu with my dressage entry and she got 6th place. I forgot to take a picture. Then there was English pleasure Where Lady Intrigue received first place but I forgot that photo as well. Even without photos Lady Intrigue had a good day and received the English performance reserve champion.
...and then went on to win overall performance reserve champion. I was cleaning up getting ready for a quick exit (my mom was watching Travis for the day and I was later than I expected to be and didn't want her to be mad at me) and had already put the dolls away. Though now my new BCS tack is easier to see.
You may have noticed little silver coins in the photos on the first place winners. The theme of the show was pirates and a coin was given to anyone that won a first place. The special performance prize was a hunt seat doll that I donated at the request of my friend Marisa (the show holder). Well, I managed to win back my donation so it was a good (and funny) day for prizes! I probably won't have another show until the fall so maybe I can get around to working on some photo show performance photos.