Wednesday, September 30, 2020

3D Printing

      The last few years have had an explosion of 3D printed props in the model horse hobby. It has been wonderful for performance showers and anyone that just likes tiny horse items for barn scenes or just because they are cool. I still have not taken out all of my props to photograph them (I have been collecting props for a really long time!) which I will do eventually. But I did get a bunch of stuff out to play with. And I realized that I have A LOT of 3D printed items. And I am pretty sure I have more hidden here and there that didn't make it into these photos. 
     Another overwhelming theme in my collection is pink. I have a ton of pink items. I have a collection of pink gift bags, sent to me at different times, by Jennifer Buxton. I have a pink mounting block, feed pan, pink laptop, pink coffee cup... so many pink items. I do have other things that are not pink, but I definitely have a lot of pink. 
      I have a variety of buckets and muck buckets, mostly pink. I kind of want to have more. I keep thinking about adding more to my collection. Maybe teal, or red. Those sound nice. 
      I have a couple of pink grooming totes, pink milk crates (I have other milk crates as well, this is just the one that made it into a photo), pink cones, pink jump blocks, pink cleaning tools. Lots of pink. It makes me happy. And really, the 3D printed items in general make me happy. I found a new place on Facebook, Rockin W Ranch-Hobbies and I have been compiling an order of more items that I just clearly "need". Not that I really need another milk crate, I think I have 4 now. And not that I need more grooming totes, but whatever, this one is different. I sort of do need another saddle stand. But my pig, Bacon, makes a good saddle stand for the moment so it's not a desperate need. I just happen to love miniatures. And I definitely love 3D printed stuff. I also need to gather together more prizes for my online show. Prizes are important after all. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Show (Photo) Weekend

     This past weekend we had really spectacular weather. It was perfect to go out and get some photo show pictures. Instead of using the haphazard setup I have been using, which was a large piece of MDF on top of a small camp table, I had Ethan dig out my photo show table. Which is still not a huge table, but definitely is less precarious. 
     Once I dodged the bit of iffy weather (it was misting when I first tried to go out) I decided to set up old school, with a twist. 
      My live show footing is pieces of ultra suede, which is not particularly realistic. My photo show footing has always been coffee, which if not put down perfectly will show the table through it. This time I put down the ultra suede and covered it with coffee. It works out really nicely. 
     I did also take an endurance riding photo in a corner of my yard. 
     The portrait feature on the iPhone really does take some amazing shots! Too bad it often blurs out important features like reins. I still really love this photo. 
     At one point during a tack change I got a visitor. I heard and unusual noise, looked over, and this chicken was staring at me! I think even chickens are unsure of what our hobby is all about. My chicken visitor didn't stay long, but long enough for me to take her photo. 
      I did a few photos on Saturday morning, then Ethan and I spent some time together throwing axes for our anniversary (it was fantastic!), and then spent several hours on Sunday taking more photos. It was amazingly beautiful weather and I managed to get some shots for the Mares In Black Photo show and some that I needed for regular photo shows. 
      Because I was having way too fun with the portrait mode I have also been taking some interesting photos that are not workable for shows but have been fun to share on Instagram. I didn't do any doll work last weekend, though I "worked" on show photos for a large chunk of the time. It was tiring in some ways but also incredibly energizing to just do something I love. I should try that more often.


Monday, September 28, 2020

Third First Day of School and Lynn is Awesome

       Yesterday was the third first day of school. What does that mean? Sort of what it sounds like. If you work in a school, or remember back to when you were in school, you know that first day of school feeling. A little nervous, kind of excited and hopeful. We had that back on August 28th for the first, first day of school, even though it was the beginning of two weeks of PD. We hadn't seen each other for 6 months, it was a big deal. Then last Monday we had our second first day of school. The kids who are allowed 4 days a week in person (and chose it) started. They were the only students in the building. Yesterday, cohort A of the freshman started. It was our 3rd first day of school. And it was different. We have a group of kids who is new to the building, so they don't know their way around yet, and they have to follow one way hallways. So this morning we all went out into the hallways to help kids find their way. I walked a few to different places (science is especially hard to get to!) and then ended up taking an extended walk around the school because I kept forgetting that the stairs I needed to get down to the hallway where my government class is are up stairs, and I needed to go down. There were some hiccups and some kids late for class, but we all worked it out. Only one of my classes today had actual in-person kids in it. It will definitely take some getting used to. On Thursday we will will have the cohort B kids in school. Just the freshman this week. It will be the 4th first day of school. Next week the sophomores start, the week after the juniors, and then the seniors. That is a lot of first days. I am wondering how things will be when everyone is in-person. Even though it won't be everyone all at once.
      So I am a bad friend. Lynn Isenbarger sent me a lovely gift a week or two ago (somehow I have lost track of time) and I didn't even talk about it! Lynn is helping feed my newish flamingo obsession and she sent me this beautiful haversack that I used as a backdrop but didn't actually share properly. 
      There was an adorable little friend tucked inside. Between the several varieties of flamingos in my yard, and now the 2 small sizes in my house, I now have a pretty good collection of flamingos. That is overshadowed by my collection of pigs, Breyer dogs and of course, horses. Apparently I just collect animals. And tack. And props. I need an intervention. Or a bigger house. Lynn also sent me enough of this cool fabric that I can make another mask. That will be awesome!
           School is definitely still weird, it is strange having kids in person when we only had them virtually for so long. I also don't know who any of them are because even though I have been looking at them for weeks my tech has been acting up so much I barely could see everyone and see their names. It's also a lot easier to recognize people wearing masks if you already know them well. I spotted one of my students from 2 years ago in Walmart and I totally recognized her and she recognized me. It's a bit trickier with the new ones. Especially since I am again seeing the backs of their heads. One girl has gorgeous red hair with chunky purple highlights, it's awesome! Sooner or later I will either learn everyone's name or it will get to the point where I just don't know who they are and it's too late to try. We'll see how it goes. I have another 1st day tomorrow after all to try it again.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Give me an "L"

      I was very sad to hear of Karen Crossley's passing. I did not know her well, but I read her blog, Dust Ponies: Musings about the Model Horse Hobby. Her last post was about me, my dolls and my last live sale. That has been super hard on me. It is a very strange feeling to be chatting with someone and within a couple of weeks, out of nowhere, they are gone. Life is fleeting and when we get reminders like this, it sucks a lot. 

     As you may know, Jennifer Buxton (Braymere Custom Saddlery) and Lynn Isenbarger (Horsiemama) have started working on finishing something Karen started. Once in awhile, Karen would take a letter of the alphabet and write a post about one of her horses that had a name that started with that letter. Jennifer, Lynn and I are going to continue with the alphabet in Karen's honor. 

    My letter today is "L". L is for Lady. This post is about 2 horses named Lady. Lady Intrigue and Lady Liberty. As an even more fitting tribute to Karen, they are 2 of a very small number of OF horses I own. They both have been extensively live shown and are very important to me. This one's for you Karen. 

     Let's go in a weird direction and start with the event. Therapeutic riding is very important to me. Other than trail riding, it is one of the only real life horse things I have actual real-life experience with. When Travis was little, maybe 5 or 6, he started in therapeutic riding. "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man" (Churchill). That is also true for little boys with disabilities. 

     I started showing Lady Intrigue, who is my side-saddle Strapless model, in therapeutic riding at every show. It quickly became my go-to Other English class. It was not super easy to set up but it was not overly challenging. It evolved a lot over time. Sometimes I used it on other horses, but usually Lady Intrigue was my therapeutic riding horse. And she was good at it. Eventually she was close to a Superior event horse award. She had been an excellent all-around show horse for me for years, but she was semi-retired as she chased that award. 
    While this was happening I was also having fun showing Lady Liberty. Lady Liberty was mostly a prize. There was trivia at one of the shows and I won a gift certificate to Anne's Rockin' horse (no clue if I got the name right or not). That was Anne Giles' store when she was a Breyer dealer. The gift certificate I won was just about the price of Lady Liberty. 
     Showmanship is the other live show class that is really important to me. I also have real-life experience with showmanship, but not at all in the same way that I have experience with therapeutic riding. I used to go down to visit and work with Liesl Dalpe about once a week in her studio. Sometimes I would prep, sometimes I would work on dolls, half the time I would just watch her paint. It was a good time. One of the times I was there I told her my concerns with an upcoming show I had agreed to judge. One of the classes was showmanship, and I knew nothing about showmanship. Liesl, being the awesome friend that she is, and excellent at showmanship, brought me out to the barn and taught me showmanship. On a real horse. In the snow. The snow was not important, it just proves the level of dedication and awesomeness. It is amazing how much you can learn about something when a knowledgeable person not only shows you how it's done, but answers all of your questions. So I learned and then I went home and studied. I was amazed at this class that was so deceptively simple. And I set out to master it. 
     Lady Liberty is an excellent OF horse for showmanship as she is standing squarely, which is important for the inspection portion of the pattern. Showmanship is another class that I worked to improve over the years. Like I said, it is deceptively simple. You just need a horse, halter and a doll. But then you need to not mess up the details. I have a lot of practice with showmanship. I still will sometimes mess up the details. 
     In 2013 Lady Intrigue finally earned the last card in therapeutic riding that she needed for her superior event horse award. I was incredibly proud when I got this in the mail. I showed Lady Intrigue for a lot of years to earn this award. Near the end it got rough. No matter how correct my entry was, often there was something newer and more interesting that the judges would pin above my therapeutic riding entry. Eventually we got there. 
     By the time I was trying to get the last few cards Lady Liberty needed for her superior event horse award in showmanship, I had pretty much completely switched from OF performance to AR/CM performance. Some people consistently show in both. I don't actually like having super hectic show days so I usually show only a couple of horses, and just in one division. So for a bit Lady Liberty was coming to shows JUST to show in showmanship (or other western, wherever I could put the entry). 
     In October of 2015 Lady Liberty earned the last card she needed for her superior event horse award in showmanship at NEPC. And not just a card, but she got a blue ribbon. After several thirds it was an amazing end to her showing career. But I gave her another shot and showed her again at TRXC that year, where she again got first place again. 

     These days Lady Intrigue is totally retired and has hung out happily on the shelf for years. Lady Liberty came out of retirement to do a vintage performance division at Medieval Madness. She has also started to occasionally do a therapeutic riding scene and she showed in the Breyerfest Virtual show this year. Even after all these years, she's still a pretty great show horse. 

     I don't know how much I can contribute to this series, as I don't own a lot of horses. Karen also made it through most of the alphabet where my horse's names would fall. But I will figure out a way. It was a really cool idea and I am glad that Jennifer, Lynn and I are going to keep going with it. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Performance Only Photo Show Champs

       I thought that we were never going to get the champ results for the Performance Only Photo show. Turns out the judge had done the placings but forgotten to post them. We all are going in 15 different directions these days, mistakes happen. But the champs are up and I am excited!
       In the CM/AR traditional western division, Purdy Zippin Chick got champion
And Bootlegger got reserve champion!
In the CM/AR traditional English Performance division Purdy Zippin Chick got champion
And Bootlegger got reserve champion!
In the OF traditional performance division Bring the Mayhem got reserve champion. 
In the CM/AR traditional Other Other (really, 2 others) performance division Purdy Zippin Chick got champion!

In the OF traditional Other Other performance division Lady Liberty also got champion!
I really enjoyed this show and even with the long delay for champs it had bits of the live show experience. Watching notifications pop up as the classes were pinned was fun. Being able to see the other entries was great as well. Now I need to go find some more photo shows to enter!


Friday, September 25, 2020

I'm Embarrassed

     I was listening to Mares In Black episode #51 the other day and they did a really fantastic interview with Darynn Bednarczyk of DeeJayBe Studios. Darynn made a Youtube video entitled " I am embarrassed to collect breyers".  I watched the video and a lot of what Darynn said about her experience in the hobby have been true for a lot of us. For some reason, loving horses is often seen as childish. Whether it is real horses or plastic ones, we often get judged for our love. Sure, if you have real horses more people will think that is just fine, but collecting plastic horses is a little kid thing. Isn't it?

     I am not sure at what age collecting turns taboo but there does seem to be a time. Often it is somewhere between middle school and high school. So many horse crazy kids sort of grow out of it. And then there are the hobby people. We might put our collecting into the closet for a while, we might even step away for a while. Many of us feel shame about our love of little plastic horses. And it's not surprising, often people think it's weird. 


       When I was 13 years old I saved up all of my babysitting money for a few weeks or a month (hey, it was a long time ago, I don't remember how long I saved, just that I did) and I went to Toys R Us (remember that place?) and I bought a Breyer classic Arabian family. And I loved it (and still have it). I had almost no Breyers growing up because they were expensive. So getting those Breyers was a thrill. Earning them had me elated. My best friend at the time scoffed at me for spending $5 on plastic horses (she thought I spent a day's pay. She had no idea...) that was my first time thinking that collecting horses was something to be ashamed of. 

       I stopped collecting all together when my kids were small because I had nowhere to put the horses, still had no money, and had other things I needed to focus on. Like learning to cook because we could not afford take out or anything pre-made. But one day I was sitting on our ancient dial-up computer (which was a second hand luxury item) and I remembered my horses and figured I could find some on ebay. And I also found the hobby. 
     I started searching for horses that I liked and found photo shows to enter. Eventually I started altering doll clothes which quickly switched over to making original outfits. It was casual for maybe the first year or two but then I decided to see about turning doll making into a business. It was not easy or quick but it worked. I had a way to make some money to help out our family. And it was awesome. 
     But I was still embarrassed. Ethan and I ran into a friend of ours that we had not seen in years and he asked what I am doing for work now. I told him I make dolls and he turned up his nose at me and sneered "you make dolls???" As if it was the weirdest and worst thing he had ever heard. I wonder if the reaction would have been any better if I said I was a stay at home mom. Likely not.
     When I started my job at the school it was exciting for a lot of reasons. It was something very different from anything I had ever done for work. I got to help people, and not by bringing them food (I was a waitress before). I got paid regularly. These were really great things. But one of the most exciting things at the time was I had a more acceptable answer to the question "what do you do for work." Being a paraprofessional is not a highly respected job, and a lot of people have never heard of them, but no one ever acted like me being a para was weird. Once I explained what they are and what they do, most people will say that sounds like the perfect job for me. They are not wrong.

       I started collecting model horses when I was 5 years old. From the first Breyer horses I stole borrowed from my mom to the few I got as gifts and the ones I bought with my own money. I took a break for a while, as a lot of us do, and then came back into the hobby in probably 2004 or 2005. And I hid my collecting from almost everyone. Clearly my family knew. We have a small house and plastic horses that multiply is something that is noticed. But outside of hobby friends I didn't much talk about my horses or showing. 
     When I first started at the school I didn't really tell people about my collecting and showing. If I happened to say "I was at a horse show" they were usually quick to perk up and ask where I keep my horse. And I would sort of duck my head a bit and say it was a model horse show. And I would share photos of the dolls I make and the performance setups. Usually they were appreciated. But it was still embarrassing. 
     This year there was a shift. Everything is different. Everything is weird. So far, everything is virtual. We are performing on camera and trying to engage kids in learning when they are at home. It's hard. And for some reason, 2020 is the year that I am not embarrassed about my hobby. Sometimes I am embarrassed by the behavior of my fellow hobby members, but I am not embarrassed by my collection or my showing. And I am proud of what I have accomplished with the dolls. I did quite a few this-is-some-stuff-about-Mrs.-Field chats to all the new and new-to-me kids. What did I tell them? That I am married, have 2 grown kids, I know a lot about special needs because my son has autism so I have been studying autism and related disorders for year. I also told them that I am a doll maker in the model horse hobby and I show my horses and people use my dolls to show their horses all over the world. And I have tattoos. What did the kids focus on? Mostly nothing. Occasionally they ask me where I got my tattoos. They look bored about absolutely everything that anyone says. No one acted like my horses or my hobby is weird. And if they do think it's weird? So what. I enjoy it and I have skills in it. But I can also acknowledge that maybe it's easier for me to come out of hobby hiding because I am successful with it. I do well at performance and I can make a living as a doll maker (not get rich, but can get by, lol). Usually the benchmark for something to be considered OK is for it to be "normal" (you know, something most people like or are into) or if it can make you money. But just maybe, me being proud of my dolls and talking so openly (and excitedly, I was in a good mood!) about the hobby might have helped one person. One person who felt that what they like is weird. Or maybe I just helped me to not be embarrassed. And that is OK too.

Thursday, September 24, 2020


Etiquette: the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.

       Etiquette changes depending on the situation. If you are eating dinner at home with your family, it likely doesn't matter which fork you use (or if you use the same fork for everything... or at all). If you are at a formal dinner your choice of fork might be a big deal. For something non-food related an example could be that it is inappropriate to use profanity at most work places. It is not universal, but in general you shouldn't be swearing at work or in professional emails. As the definition states, it is a customary code of polite behavior. What is polite and correct for me at school is not the same as what is polite and correct at a model horse show. But there are definitely some things that are universal about etiquette. It is basically a customary code of politeness. 
     The Internet has done some really strange things to politeness in general. A lot of people feel quite free to just shred someone for having different views, for something they made or for no particular reason at all. We definitely see a lot of this in the model horse hobby. A new model comes out and a lot of people are really excited about it. And a lot of people have a laundry list of things they feel are wrong with the horse. Sometimes you just get a generic "it's ugly" post. It is completely OK to not like something that an artist produces, but there really is no reason to shred the piece because you don't happen to like it. I think these days a lot of people forget that there are PEOPLE behind these things that we collect. Someone sculpted the horse, painted it, made the tack, the props, etc. A person took their time and creativity to create a thing. If you don't like it, move on. If it's not how you would have done it, so what? Make your own thing. Then you can do it just how you want to. 
     I asked a friend of mine, who has judged model horses for years and shows her real horses in showmanship, to critique the above photo for me. She liked it, said it looks correct but she would really like to see this entry from the other side. I said to her that my thought process when I took the photo from this angle was that in photo showing, judges generally want to see the horse. From the other angle the doll is partially blocking the horse. My friend acknowledged that but said the whole photo would work better from the other side, maybe even with the judge in the extreme foreground of the picture. And I agree with that. I do still like this photo. It is a correct photo, but likely it would do better from the other side. The important thing in that story was not that I agreed with the critique, but that I asked for it. That is a basic rule of etiquette for all aspects of life. Yes, everyone has an opinion, but sometimes people just want to share a thing because they like it or because they are proud of it. They don't want to see a bunch of negative comments about why it is wrong or how it could have been better. Sometimes the entire point was to share.
      Another really important piece of etiquette can actually sort of apply to other things as well. Like, don't dish it out if you can't take it. In our house we always say teasing is love. There are definitely lines that should not be crossed, but teasing, and taking the teasing in return, is often hilarious! It's a good idea to keep the idea in mind that critique is a two way street. While I was looking for another way to say "don't dish it out if you can't take it" I found a really great entry in the Urban Dictionary. It says " don't give criticism if you can't take criticism. Don't say thing's about other people if you don't like things said about yourself in return."

     It is really poor form to give unasked for critiques but also to give critiques while refusing to take any for yourself. No one is perfect. Most of us know it. Critiques can absolutely be essential to growth in many aspects of life. But what if you are just starting out as an artist? Or you just learned to sew and made your first ever thing on your new machine? Or if you have worked hard on your performance entries? Or you even just wanted to show off that new Breyer you bought. Sometimes people just want to share. People are social creatures, even the most antisocial among us needs to be seen (even if they only want to be seen from a distance). Sometimes the shared thing is just that, to share. 
     So please try to keep in mind that when you critique without being asked, it's rude. If you critique things and then fly off the handle if anyone critiques your things, that's not cool either. And please, please remember, if you are asked to critique something remember that a person was behind creating it. A person who likely worked very hard on the thing and is likely very proud of what they did.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Not Creepy At All

       The title of this post has nothing at all to do with the content of this post. Other than to describe the in progress photo of the Hunt seat doll I was working on in my car at the laundromats on Monday. Yes, laundromats. And yes, Monday. Last week I switched my laundry day to Monday and I really liked it. Not doing the laundry, I still hate that, but doing it on Monday got it out of the way on a day I often lack doll making motivation anyway. So I figured I would try it out again this week. I actually brought the hunt seat doll with me and got a good chunk of the work done on her. It was nice. 

      In other laundromat related news, my regular place was super busy and I had to wait for a dryer. And I waited and waited and then just took all of my (very  heavy) wet laundry to another place in town. The other place had one person in it, was super clean and it looks like even though they do not have front loading machines it may end up overall being a cheaper place to do the wash. I may have to give it a try. I am always looking for ways to save money. Even if it's just a few dollars a week. 

      Tuesday I managed to also be fairly productive. I was very proud of myself! I finished up the hunt seat doll, got the gloves painted on the 2 youth dolls I have in the works and all the clothes cut out for the 3 dolls that I am hoping to finish by the end of the week. That may be a stretch. But the bodies are already rebuilt, the clothes are cut out and the hands are painted. Progress. Maybe I can work on hairing some heads before school. I get there pretty early. 

       I usually grab one of the place mats off the kitchen table to take quick doll photos. But even though it is not the best backdrop, I had to grab the really awesome haversack that Lynn Isenbarger sent me. Isn't it cute? She also sent me one of the tiny flamingos from her Flamingo Pond set up for the Pandemic Performance Panorama. I was thrilled to pieces! It might not make the best backdrop but I love it!
       This week has been pretty productive. I like it. I am starting to feel a little less like a slacker. Once I get a few more order dolls finished up I think I will feel a lot better. I don't like orders to linger in my book for too long or they start to feel like they are looming over me. I am making progress and sooner or later I will get them done. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020


       I think I have mentioned before that I am bad at free time. It's true for the most part. Recently I am finding that a lot of what I liked to do in my free time, I can't currently do, or not as much. Ever since I got that migraine the other day I have felt just a little off every time I look at a screen. I get the weird feeling just checking the weather on my phone. The TV bothers me slightly less, but it still sort of bothers me. I can't spend a ton of time on the computer so less emailing, less game playing, less shopping. That last one might be a good thing. I also have to skip some research because I really am afraid of that pain. I have never had a migraine before and I really hope I never have one again. Also, a lot of you have probably picked up on the fact that I have to be on the computer to blog. It's kind of hard. But the thought of not blogging bothers me. I have been doing really well this year. So I have the brightness turned way down on the monitor and I often just look away when I type. I don't need to see it. Or the keyboard really.
     Part of what I have been doing when I am avoiding screens is working on horse boots. I don't think I had any at my last two live sales and a few people have been asking for them. So I have been picking away at some. I am really hoping to have at least a handful of every style of boot I make for my next live sale. Which will be my Black Friday sale. My Black Friday sale last year was my first live sale ever. I really do love having them that way. 
      I have not been putting in tons of hours on dolls since school started back up so between orders and mental burn-out I have not had much time to start working on random dolls to put away for November. Not getting orders done in a timely fashion makes me panic slightly. Not getting dolls done to put away for sales also makes me panic slightly. It's sort of a no-win situation. If I push through the exhaustion I will likely end up completely unproductive for much longer. Or I will mess things up and be mad in a different way. So I just keep reminding myself that I can just do a bit of doll work at a time. Even if I don't start until 4:00, I can work for an hour or two before supper. Sooner or later the time will add up and I will have some finished dolls. 
      I finished up the pink and black western pleasure doll the other day and got a hat for the cowboy and all of a sudden I had 3 dolls finished for my next live sale. Or prizes for the Field of Dolls Online show. I can't actually decide which dolls I want to make for overall prizes. Maybe I will just make a whole bunch of dolls, wrap them, and then blindly pull a couple out of the stack and those will be the prizes. Anyone have any ideas? Suggestions? Dolls that they hope I make for the prizes?
      So screens do weird things to me but I think I will be OK. I ordered some of the blue light blocking glasses and I am hoping they help. They are not cool in any way, but I really don't care. Maybe I will bling them up and make them more fun/ Being able to make it through the day without feeling like poo IS very cool after all. 

Monday, September 21, 2020


      There are days that I struggle to get anything done. And then there are days when I have a ton of motivation. Saturday was one of those days.

       I got a message early in the day from a customer who wanted to get a doll for a friend as a birthday gift. Several friends got together to finance the doll. I got started on her when the details of her clothing were being worked out. After all, it doesn't matter what the hunt seat doll is going to wear, I know that she will need a bendy neck and some extra dremeling. And I also know that the gorilla glue takes a bit of time to dry. 


      So we went back and forth a bit and as I got the details I needed I pulled fabric and cut out clothing. I also managed to get a few things cut for the youth dolls I already have in the works. 


        I should have a day off every once in awhile, but I was feeling really motivated so I kept on going with the doll. I got her outfit sewn...


      And that was where I stopped. I did pull a head out but I have not haired the doll yet, painted the face or gloves and clearly she has a way to go before she is properly dressed. But I got a good start on her and this makes me really happy.
      Technically, I have other dolls I should have worked on before I worked on this one. It was a brand new order and no one expected me to turn out a doll that day. I could have, but I did other things. It was the weekend after all. I try to make the dolls in the order of deposits (when I say the deposit is to book your slot, that is exactly what I mean) but sometimes I just have to go outside of the strict order. Sometimes, like now, I am actually working on several dolls at the same time. One has so many details and will need some figuring out for some aspects. And armor, he will also need armor. Some dolls I hate making, youth dolls, so I got all of the bodies taken care of at the same time. And sometimes I just need something easy and fun. Hunt seat dolls are easy and fun. This doll helped me get a bit motivated. I am hoping I can keep up the momentum.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Performance Only Photo Show- Other Performance

 There were definitely a handful of unusual classes in the Performance only photo show. Some classes that are just about always in a show were not there. So we have to sort of pick where to put certain photos. I decided to put Bootlegger and his Native Regalia picture in AR/CM Anything goes. There were 4 entries and he got third (there is another regalia photo that got 1st and the photo is amazing!)

     The next class I had was AR/CM traditional scene. There were only 2 entries and Purdy Zippin Chick got 2nd. And I agree with that placing because the other entry was entirely awesome! Mine is just sort of funny. 
The next class was also just two horses and Purdy Zipping chick again got 2nd with her showmanship entry. 
But the next class of 2 was AR/CM in-hand trail and Purdy Zippin Chick got 1st. 
The last class was CM/AR lunge line (English or Western) and Purdy Zippin Chick (who CLEARLY needs a nice short barn name!) got 1st.

     Technically these photos come from the other performance division and the Other Other Performance division. But I saw no reason not to put them together. As I was putting this post together I remembered I did in fact have horses in some of the OF classes. 
     There were 4 entries in the OF traditional Scene class and Lady Liberty got 1st with her picnic at the horse show entry. This entry has grown and evolved over the years!
Lady Liberty also got 1st with her OF showmanship entry. There were 6 entries in that class. 

That's it, that's all I have for this show. At this point I am not sure if the champs are happening or not. But I enjoyed the show and I loved having a new place to show. I hope that people will be interested in the online show I have planned. I have a group on Facebook, Field of Dolls Online Show. Though if you are interested and don't have Facebook send me an email to and let me know and I can send you the show packet and the class list. The show will be held on SmugMug so you don't need Facebook to enter!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Another Unusual Doll

             School is still sort of a struggle, but things are starting to fall into place. I am still pretty tired when I get home, but I am still adjusting to getting up super early and getting less sleep. I keep telling myself that as long as I keep on going with the dolls, at least get a few bits of them done every day, sooner or later they will get finished. 

             I have another unusual doll in the works. I decided this was the doll where I needed to try the "upgrade" kit. The arms and legs have extra points of articulation so they are much more flexible. I have had the upgraded limb kits for probably a couple of years now and never tried them out. But I saw a comparison of one of the original type S bodies and and upgraded one and figured now was the time. 

           It's not particularly challenging to change the arms and legs (or head) on a type S doll. You just need a small screw driver. The first thing I did was to take the doll apart. And then of course photograph the carnage. 


       When I tried to put the new arms and legs on I discovered that the sockets were all just a bit too small. But I remembered a trick Craig (the creator of the Yvonne doll) told me. So I grabbed my hair dryer and heated up the sockets. This softened the plastic just enough that you can change out the parts without danger of breaking things. This was originally the recommendation for changing the hands on the doll. Works perfectly for limb changes, too. 

        I also brought the upgraded body outside and dremeled it so the finished doll would be a better rider. Next came the cutting out and sewing of a few items of clothing. I did not get a ton of work done, but it felt good to get at least a few things done. Finally. 
      I am still struggling to find energy and head space to get all the work done that I need to. But I think I am at least slowly making progress. This week we will start to have students in the building 4 days a week. That will be another bit of adjustment. The week after another group of students will start and the week after and so on and so on. Doing it that way we all get a bit of time to adjust to things, even though it sort of drags out the first-day-of-school feeling for a long time. Eventually though, we'll get there. And eventually I will finish the dolls.