Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Field of Dolls Studio Year in Review

      I am sort of feeling like a blog slacker. Not because I am not posting, I have officially posted at least once a day for all of 2020. But my blog sisters are doing year in review posts, and I have not done any of that. I guess this will have to be the wrap up for the year. 
     2020 was the year of cancellations. The global pandemic caused things to change. It was not safe to get together in large groups and many parts of the country (and world) experienced shut downs where we were asked to shelter in place. 2020 was the year Breyerfest went virtual, which allowed a lot of people who had never been able to attend Breyerfest to participate. I am included in that group of first-time Breyerfest people. I had a lot I needed to do that weekend so I did not get to participate fully (or even much at all) but I enjoyed my first Breyerfest. Technical glitches and all. 
     The Breyerfest virtual show inspired me to buy my first new performance horse in years. I bought Purdy Zippin Chick and then found out I could not show her in the Breyerfest show because she already won big at a Breyerfest live show. I have no regrets. She has been a really fun horse to play with. 

     2020 was the first year in a long time that I have bought new tack. I think I added 3 new saddles to my collection. One I bought undecorated from Mandy Claussen and finished myself. I also bought another braided bridle from Danielle Hart, bringing my collection of braided bridles from her up to 3. I bought a very nice (super bargain) saddle from an etsy store, which I plan to use on a prop horse, and I bought a saddle from the friend of a friend who I met up with in a parking lot to do the socially-distant handoff. I also casually sang that it looked like a drug deal. It was funny. 
     2020 was the year of a renewed interest in photo showing. We could not gather for live shows so many live shows went online. I entered Card Shark, Lemmonade Live (but now virtual), and Reindeer Games. Reindeer Games is a region X show but last year it filled up so quickly I didn't manage to enter. The other 2 are too far away for me to enter, so it was a real treat being able to show "in" different parts of the country. 
     2020 was the year of brand new online shows. These shows are technically photo shows, but don't have all that much in common with old school photo shows, other than the horses are all judged from photos. Many of them included an element of the live showing experience. Shows that were held on Facebook you could see the results as they came in. Since any photo you would get a notification if a comment was put on it (and comments were most often a placing). Several of the shows had a livestream for some of the results. It was fantastic!
     I really enjoyed entering Jennifer Buxton's Pandemic Performance Panorama. It had a specialty class list with all of the classes being a prompt open to interpretation. 
Beauty Queen in Bad Perfornance

      I also entered the Mares in Black Spooktacular photo show, which was also a prompt based class list. I judged halter in that show. I am still recovering. 
     Some of the prompts allowed me to get some really excellent photos. I took this photo for the "stock market" class. See, there is a stock horse in it. And it is clearly a market. I got to pull out a large portion of my 3D printed items collection. I had a few more things at the time I took this photo and have added a bunch more since. I love 3D printed stuff!
    Some of the photo shows had prizes and some of them did not. They were definitely fun and a nice way to take part in hobby events while still being socially responsible. I also was inspired to hold an online show, which I of course went overboard on. I had fun, I people who entered had fun, and everyone who entered got at least a little something as a prize. Or they will when the mail is no longer backed up. I am already planning for version 2 of the Field of Dolls online show. That will be held in April of next year. I have a 3rd version in the works as well. I very likely will continue to hold the online shows even after we are past the pandemic. As long as people continue to enjoy them and enter, I will likely hold them. 
      I got to meet one of my neighbor's chickens while I was doing photo show pictures this summer. She came to visit me a couple of different times. She made sure to get my attention so I knew she was there.
     Before Connecticut decided they no longer wanted people from Massachusetts in their state (again) I got to go visit my friend Marisa for a pony mental health day. 
     Clearly, this was good for both my and Bronte's mental health! I need another pony mental health day. Maybe things will be safer again by the Spring. The barn is an excellent place for a socially distant visit. 
           2020 was the year I bought myself a beautiful arena from a lady in Russia. Maybe 2021 will be the year it actually arrives. It has been processed through a facility... but then nothing new has happened since November 26th. I may eventually get it. Or it may be lost in Russia. I have no idea. 

     2020 was the year my friend, Susan, gifted me this amazing Bold Endeavor. She had him painted to look like my old Bold Endeavor, Cloud Dancing. He is named Partly Cloudy. I love him so much!
      2020 was also the year I bought myself the first new traditional scale artist resin I have bought in years. I fell in love with this Matriarch and had to have her. 
      I think I finished more models that I have in any other year. I painted Beauty Queen, my Ballycor resin that was a gift from Marisa, during NaMoPaiMo. I also finished a micro for my minis painting minis challenge model. I think there was another random horse or two after NaMoPaiMo and then nothing for a while. But the end of December I finished 3 horses in a week. One of them was done in earth pigments with the points done in eyeshadow and the other 2 were exclusively done in eyeshadow. That was fun. 
     2020 was the year of distance learning. It had a lot of challenges, including everyone having way too much screen time. But I saw so many people come up with so many clever ways to make it work. I won't miss it when it is gone but I am glad that we are finding ways to keep things going while the pandemic is still such a big issue. 
     There was a lot of weird, bad, or sad and lonely parts of 2020, but I had a lot of really great things. I held 3 regular live sales and a miniatures live sale. I decided the miniatures sale was a one time thing, but I will be offering miniatures as add-ons for future live sales. I also have miniatures available at any time on my studio page on Facebook. I think I will likely have 3 live sales a year now; one around my birthday, one around Breyerfest, and one on Black Friday. I will likely randomly list other things for sale and my order books are always open. 2020 was also the year that Travis started communicating quite a bit more with us and telling us he loves us. Nothing can top that.

      So to wrap things up lets have a list. In 2020 (as of Tuesday 12/29) I have finished 138 dolls. That brings my all-time total up to 1459 dolls. I usually finish about 100 dolls (roughly) a year. I worked really hard. I may finish a few more before this post goes live, but I am not going to edit. So here we go:
western pleasure dolls- 19
Hunt seat dolls (including youth)- 21
Casual Western ladies- 17
Casual English ladies- 16
male dolls (a few got put in other categories)- 19
Other English dolls- 9
Other western dolls- 2
driving dolls- 6
other dolls- 3
specialty dolls- 13
hoodie dolls- 17 

Which that actually totals 142... so I don't know if my original count was off or if I added a few dolls on my broken out list. Either way, I have made a lot of dolls. I still have 2 more hoodie dolls and 2 western pleasure dolls in the works (that may be done now... but we just don't know!) I made a lot of dolls in 2020. Photo showing became a thing that people are really excited about. Social distancing restrictions made people have to get creative about a lot of things. There was definitely a lot to dislike about 2020, but I have found plenty of things that make me happy. Hopefully 2021 will be an amazing, semi-normal year.

1 comment:

timaru star ii said...

Yay, Thank you Anne, great post! At least one blog sister has not done year reviews... yet. :) I love your attitude. I'm quite impressed with my Field of Dolls WP girl. Yes, there will be a time in the future when we can see each other again.