Thursday, April 30, 2020

Work, Work, Work

      Wednesdays are much busier school days for Travis and I. We always bake something, as part of our focused life skills lessons. Yesterday was blueberry bread again. Travis read me all the ingredients, all the instructions, referred back to the ingredients list for the amounts, he measured, mixed and did a really excellent job. We also had a long video chat with his teacher and did a whole ton of school work. Today was a very busy day. 
      In between school tasks I would go outside and hold ropes for Ethan while he cut trees. That is not an easy thing to do! My hands and my arms hurt. But everything fell where it was supposed to. 
       Early in the day it was pretty warm and sunny. Travis wanted to walk. So we did. Up and down the street, over and over again. We took a break for some lunch and then he wanted to walk some more. So we did. Up and down the street, over and over again. But I knew that we were expecting rain for several days. It was good to get out and enjoy the nice weather. Also, between Tuesday and Wednesday I think I got the same amount of steps as all of last week!
      After our second walk I asked Ethan if he needed help with the construction project he was working on. I held stuff and took notes for a bit and then he said he had a mega fun job I could do. Have you ever sifted dirt for hours? I have. I sifted this entire wheelbarrow full of dirt and then a full muck bucket. Try not to be too jealous. 
     Strangely, it was one of those weird, mindless, repetitive tasks that I actually enjoy. Silly little things amused me about it, like watching my hill of sifted soil grow, and tumble into the (what I think is) the compost pile. Or maybe it wants to be a raised garden bed if it ever gets warm. I have no idea what Ethan is doing with it. But I know it is now full of lovely, sifted dirt. 
      I FINALLY got some more interfacing in (though not the stuff I ordered from Joann's weeks ago) so I worked on cutting out some more masks. Recently I ordered some fun new fabrics from Field's Fabrics and I was waiting for interfacing. Now I have all the things I need and I cut out a big stack. I need to do the ironing, then I need to cut more elastic. And after that I can get into sewing some more masks. More and more places are requiring them in public. There is still a need. 
     So no doll work got done but a lot of other work got done. It was a good day. And I still have lots and lots of time to work on dolls before my Breyerfest sale. I want to see about getting back into the cross country vests today. Maybe. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Amazing Tuesday

     Let's just jump right in, what was so amazing about Tuesday? I actually managed to get over 10,000 steps (way over), which is something that hasn't happened in awhile. There are days I struggle to hit 3.000 recently. So that was kind of amazing. Travis also did a Google Hangouts class with his OT (and the other kids) and it went well. They were working on kitchen safety. Travis is really good at safe and unsafe and he seemed to have a good time with it. He also did the math and this color-by-number whale without any assistance. He even had to fish through my giant box of prismacolor pencils to find what he wanted. Hey, I'm proud. 
     I stopped by Brandi's house to drop off some more art so we can have another paint and sip night sometime soonish. I remembered to take a picture of part of her flock of flamingos. She has them everywhere. They are fun but make getting out of her driveway (which is on a main road) a little trickier. I have not run over any flamingos yet! We had a short chat (in masks, at a safe social distance) in her driveway. It's getting to be decent weather for that sort of thing. 
      Other things that were plentiful on Tuesday were pieces of laundry. Laundry mountain is a real thing and at one point it was taller than me! I switched laundry from every Tuesday to every other Tuesday, so I could stay home more and do my part to help flatten the curve. It does make for A LOT of laundry when laundry day comes around. 
      I knew that I had a lot going on Tuesday between my school stuff, Travis's school stuff and laundry, so I didn't plan in a ton of doll work. I did want to get started on a new batch of cross country vests for my Breyerfest live sale. I may change the name so Breyer doesn't get mad at me, lol. Maybe it will be my room 511 live sale. On the Facebook group Not Going To Breyerfest "Clarion" my room is 511. Anyway, I cut out 18 vests. I may add more at some point, but I think this is definitely a good start. Eventually I want to make another color wheel of vests, but for now they can be a rainbow. 
    So some stuff got done, most of it not doll related, but still important. Travis and I went out for a couple of drives in between laundry in the washer, in the dryer and then to drop something on my niece's doorstep. It was a pretty good day for a drive with the sunroof open. Travis told me it was boring (I asked, lol) but he did say it was nice to get out of the house. Again, I asked. Hopefully we will start having more and more nice weather soon. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Monday News

       Sunday I got into a bit of pasteling again. Maple Stirrup told me he wanted to be buckskin. I layered, and layered and layered... and I don't know that I really made a ton of progress. I did put a layer of finish between some of the layers of pigment. Still, it did not seem to be doing much. I have that with some of the colors. 
     I did eventually get a bit of color going on him. This was after switching to a second and maybe even a third color. I know my friend Anne likes to think I am smart enough to wear gloves when I pastel, but I don't. I am impatient and have always found wearing gloves to hinder me in delicate work. I tried wearing them to prep for awhile (when I was using bondo) and it was horrible. I switched to modeling paste (so much safer!) and went barehanded and had a much easier time of things. For pastelling I am going to go with I am too lazy to go and put on gloves. That's all I can come up with. Anyway, I made some progress on this horse. It's hard. 
     I got another gift from Linda Perry-Horst today. The seller goofed and sent the Funko pop guy instead of the keychain. Linda contacted the seller and for now, Jack will hang out and look cute and evil on my computer desk. 
     I also managed to finish up a couple of cowboys I started last week. The Breyer guy has a bendy neck and the other guy is just cool. These guys will also be part of my Breyerfest live sale on July 5th. 
      I have sort of a busy day today so I likely won't get a ton of doll work done. I want to get started on some cross country vests and I hope I have time for that between my school stuff, Travis's school stuff and laundry. It would be good to get some vests at least started. 

Monday, April 27, 2020


     Kylee Parks is an amazing artist. I’m sure just about everyone in the model horse hobby  has seen her work. Recently she sculpted a doll to look like her husband, Greg. Now while Kylee is an Amazing, multi-talented artist with a wide range of skills, she can’t make tiny doll clothes. It is not an easy skill, even if you have a ridiculous amount of training. My mom has been to tailoring school and she says she can’t do what I can do. So when Kylee asked if I would dress Tiny Greg, I said of course. 
      I had seen a photo of the head, in the doll’s lap, on Instagram. That photo was mentioned on Mares in Black #36 (I believe it was #36). The doll I got in the mail was even more amazing than the Instagram doll. Holy cow! The detail is amazing! And I felt a little bad because a lot of that detail got covered up.
    But Little Greg (Tiny Greg? I don’t know what his name is) needed some clothes. Kylee sent me some reference pics of Real Greg’s typical outfits. I sent back a photo with some fabric options and I got to work.
      I could have put a tiny garbage bag on this doll and it would look good (and funny). The sculpt is so amazing that everything looks good on it. I need to paint a hat, wait for some boots of the proper scale to come in (I ordered for a 12” doll accidentally) and lucky for me I also ordered some glasses. Little Greg needs his glasses.
     This has been a really fun doll to work on. Soon he’ll be done and he can hang out a bit until he gets sent home. Then I look forward to seeing all sorts of cool Tiny Greg photos from Kylee. I feel like he NEEDS to sign up for minis painting minis during next year’s NaMoPaiMo for sure.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

More gifts and miniatures!

     I got another gift from one of the gift exchanges! This one is from Heather Visser. It's a hand held rotary tool, which I am hoping will be good for doll prep. I do already own a dremel, but getting everything set up to drag outside is a big pain. If this works out I can just grab the hand held one and go and get stuff done. Efficient. I like it. 
         I got a big batch of miniatures in the other day as well. I have a few more things on the way but I am really happy with these. I have hot and iced coffees, as well as prepackaged bottles of coffee. I have plenty of water bottles for making saddlebags and I have cake! The cake is for prizes for my live sales. It's cute. Some of the other items may end up in as prizes as well. At least a few might. 
      I also got the Spanish riding school guy I was working on finished up. That hat was interesting to make! I actually had to make it twice to get it to work out properly. The first time it was not long enough in the front or back. So I remade it. I added some wire on the sides to shape it properly. For a little item it was actually tricky and time consuming to make. But I think he worked out well. 
     This week we have school again. I will find out soon when the seniors are officially done and then I will have the tricky time of trying to do work when all of my students are gone. That should be interesting. And homeschool will start up again. I need some plans!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Gift Exchange

     On Facebook recently I joined a couple of model horse gift exchanges. The format is super easy and makes it simple for everyone involved. In case you haven't seen them, they are the ones where the first person makes the post and posts an Amazon wish list. Then a second person joins and posts their own wishlist and buys a gift for the person above them on the list. At the end of the gifting time (I think the first one I joined is open for a week) the first person to have posted will buy a gift for the last person that posted. Which definitely makes it efficient and easy to follow. Linda Perry-Horst was my gifter and part of my gift showed up on Wednesday. The transaction screenshot showed two items so I know another surprise is coming. I have zero idea what it is but I have coffee. And I will thoroughly enjoy it. 
       I signed up with another model horse gift exchange with the same format, it may have been on someone's personal page, I can't remember now, lol. I saw it, liked the idea and jumped in. Maybe I will post one on my studio page. That might be fun. No one has to play, but it's a fun game. 
       I got a bit more doll work done on Wednesday as well. I know this lady looks like she is unfinished, but that is because she is. I ordered some hats the other day and some of them are in colors and one of the colors is purple. So I am waiting on a purple hat to finish her off. She has a really fun space themed purple shirt, a blinged belt and just a bit of bling on her cuffs and collar. I like the simplicity of the outfit, but she still has enough bling to be eye catching. 
      I may get started on another color wheel of cross country kits soon. I got some more ultrasuede in the other day, though not a ton for new colors. I should have checked the colors I already had before I ordered. Two of the colors I bought I already had. Oh well. I will make a vest in every color I have. Or many colors anyway (I have a LOT of colors of ultrasuede). I am not quite sure yet how many I want to try to make I think I had 14 kits for my birthday live sale. Maybe I can aim for 20 for my Breyerfest live sale. It's an idea. 

Friday, April 24, 2020

I miss...

      The other night I did something stupid. I started looking through all the photos in my phone. I was looking for pictures of a specific model horse but I started paying attention to all the photos. And thinking about the things I miss. 
       I definitely miss horse shows. I miss groups of friends casually getting together over performance entries to make them the best they can be. 

     I miss how casually we would take photos like this, without a second thought about social distancing. 

 I miss seeing groups of hobby friends.
And going on road trips to visit hobby friends.
      And I miss when it was OK to get up close and take a selfie with a friend. 
We thought nothing of saying squeeze in closer, so we could fit more of us in the photo.
So many of my hobby friends are not just hobby friends.
And I miss them. 
       I miss special occasions where we thought nothing of bunching together to play games and take pictures. Even when half of us were strangers (I knew 1 person in this photo at the beginning of the day)
I miss going out with friends. And really, just going out (not that I do it much).
How casually we did these things.
I miss getting together with old friends.
And I miss making new friends.
I miss my school friends.
I miss having lunch with them.
Chatting about food and track and whatever.
I miss my doppelganger (The kids seem to think we are interchangeable, lol)
I miss the madness that is graduation. 
I miss that last chance to see the kids (I won't post any of their photos, though I have 3 years of graduation pics with my students)
I miss my family. I really want to hug my mom. 
I want to go play with makeup with Gabby.
I definitely miss my family...

I miss my family of choice (Amanda is my niece, but no relation)
I miss my sister Crystal (also no relation,  she's my bff)
I'm glad we started the selfie habit. 
It helps and makes it harder at the same time. 
Some days I miss Elecktra so much that it hurts.

        I miss being able to be close to people. I am very grateful I have Ethan and Travis. I know that some people live alone or have jobs that force them to be socially distant from their families while living in the same home. I at least have a couple of people I can hug. But I want to hug a whole bunch of other people. This isn't new for me, I love hugging people. I find it to be therapeutic. And when all of the COVID-19 stuff is under control and we can go out and hug people again, I am going to need a whole lot of therapy.