Saturday, July 31, 2021


      I am still plugging away on live sale items. I try not to do too much on the weekend, but I did work on some housekeeping. I went through my doll drawer to clean and sort. I really had no idea what I had. I mean, I knew some of what I had, but now everything is sorted and I have a much more exact idea of my dolls. I have a lot of dolls. So many different kinds of dolls. But mostly Yvonne-type dolls. I also went through my fabric drawer and sorted that. I had a lot of things I didn't realize I had. I also have now confirmed I am low on black fabric. These are all good things to know. 
     Saturday is the only day of the week that Ethan and I have off together. Since the summer program is half days (for me, not for Travis) I do get to see him a little bit every day, but mostly our day is Saturday. The weather has thankfully been super nice the past couple of Saturdays so we just hang out on the front steps and talk. It's really nice. It is not going to be fun when it gets cold again. Yesterday he was playing (one of) his ukuleles. I did not know he knew how to play Fur Elise. That is my favorite song. 
    So this hunt seat lady is going to be available at my live sale, August 15th at 2:00 pm eastern on my studio page on Facebook. I also, finally, have some saddlebags in the works. 

Friday, July 30, 2021


          As I said yesterday, or the day before (I lose track of the days) I have been making progress. I finished this second western pleasure doll this week and I love everything about her. Modifying the doll faces is not always easy and it doesn't always work well. But I really like how this lady's face came out. I absolutely LOVE the way her show top came out too. This was another Geometric design that I just started a piece at a time and kept going to see where I ended up. I really like where I ended up with this doll. She is one that I am strongly considering keeping. But I already have a doll in royal blue, black and silver. So she will be offered at my live sale on August 15th. 
     Unlike the lime Western pleasure doll I showed off yesterday, this lady has a slightly different design to the back of her coat. I really do love everything about how this doll came together. She makes me really happy. Not every doll does. But this one I just can't stop looking at. 
     Yesterday my car was in the shop to fix a handful of things. Broken AC (I mostly don't care, except when it rains...), some brake parts and other routine maintenance. It was expensive. A lot of things have been expensive this summer. In some ways it freaks me out. So I guess I will just have to use that fear as motivation and get more work done. I have also used it to delete so many emails with offers of "free" stuff when you spend $X on the website. There is nothing I need at the moment. And I am going to keep reminding myself of that. And if you have to spend money to get it, it's not really free, lol. 

Thursday, July 29, 2021


     I can never think of a good subject line for my posts so this time I decided not to bother. For years Joan Yount and I have emailed each other back and forth several times a day, and this is how we subject almost all of our emails, just by the day of the week we are writing the email. Every few days one or the other of us will start a new one, but it's an easy way to think of a subject. 
     I am sure that none of that is interesting to anyone. What might be interesting to a whole bunch of you is last night UPS sent me a shipping notification that tells me I should have a 12 pound package from CCG (Breyer) arriving today. Now if you have been on Facebook for more than a minute you have probably seen that the shipping weights can be very deceiving. I saw a post yesterday where someone said they have a package with a shipping weight of 12 pounds and it was for stablemates. I did in fact order some of those, so I guess that could be the case for me as well. BUT if it is my SRs I do have a surprise horse coming. I know that there have been posts about what the surprise mold is but I have not seen any pictures yet. And they always come in a variety of colors, so that will be fun. But again, I have no idea what is coming. It could be everything or it could be almost nothing. I guess I will find out later.
     I have been working away on dolls this week and have been at least somewhat efficient. Not as efficient as I always am, but not too bad. I decided to start out with some western pleasure dolls for my live sale. Since I didn't have any of those ready. The geometric style that I posted about last week was pretty popular, so I decided to do another. 
      I often struggle to choose colors for dolls. This one was interesting how it came together. First I chose the chaps and then I looked at what I wanted to go with it. And clearly, I settled on lime green. For the designs I used only colors I didn't have to dig for. So some of them were still in my doll box from the last doll. And the silver was also in the doll box. And then I just started making it up a piece at a time until I was done. And it was fun. I like how she came together. 
      There is only one week left in the summer program. Which is only 4 days and if we break that down more, just 12 hours. And I am a little sad. Maybe a lot sad. I have had so much fun working in this program. I have used skills I worked hard to acquire that I have not had the need to use in a long time. I have learned new tricks to positively reverse a negative behavior. And it has all been awesome. Sure, having a bit of a real break (which really just means sleeping until I wake up instead of using an alarm and then working on dolls), will be nice. And then school will start in a few weeks. And I don't know where I will be, even though I think I finally know what I want. Even if it's scary. 
      So anyway, more dolls to come soon. And I officially have set a time for my live sale. It will be on Sunday August 15th at 2:00 (sorry to everyone overseas). I will publish the catalog of stuff that I have a couple of days ahead of time, as usual. And then on Sunday I will have everything scheduled to post every few minutes on my studio page on Facebook. More details to come. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


      As I watch so many school friends post about how it is too close to back to school time I keep thinking that we are not even done with the summer program yet. There is still another week after this one. Travis has two more weeks in his. But I guess in a way it is sort of almost back to school time. And I don't know what I want. For 5 years I have worked at LHS and I have liked a lot of it. Not all of it, but a lot of it. Mostly the people I work with. Again, not all of them, but a lot of them. But I am finding that I really love the program I am in this summer. I have never felt this useful as a para. I know my stuff, helping these kids is second nature to me, and their bad days don't make me feel bad. They just make me want to try harder to figure out what is going on. I have totally had that at LHS. Though this past year was bad. There was no way to bring kids out for a chat if they were obviously struggling with things. Anyway, As a hypothetical I asked my supervisor if I could potentially work high school hours at the middle school, if there was an opening in the program for the school year. And she is checking for me. I don't have an answer yet, I don't know if I could even imagine leaving LHS. Mostly the people. But I am fully aware not everyone has the skills I do. I have a lot of training and a lot of practice working with kids with high needs. And I am good at it. So I am not sure what is possible or even what I want. But I am thinking about it.
     Last Saturday I decided that the vine that tried to kill our pine trees was trying too hard to get a hold on them again. And the weeds were taking over as well. Travis had been asking for a particular toy and I kept on saying no. It was a bit pricier and he asks for lots of action figures. But Saturday I told him that if he did a really good job on the weeding, and didn't quit or complain, I would get him the toy. And he worked hard. 
     He pulled weeds and filled the muck bucket over and over. I did help, but all I had to do was tell him to go empty his bucket and he took care of it. When everything was done we went in and looked to see if the toy was at the close Walmart. It was not. So we ordered it. He worked hard and definitely earned his toy. 
    Doll work also continues. I have been working on some western dolls and have some hunt seat dolls in the works. Hopefully I will have something to share soon. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Going to the Dogs

        I don't make a ton of items for dogs. There is not always a large call for them in the hobby, being as people are mostly into the model horses, but recently I missed out on a dog harness from Barefoot Appaloosa's Breyerfest sale. I bought one from another artist and then remembered something I wanted for years. I always wanted to get Abby (real Abby) a dog pack. We used to do a lot of hiking and getting her her own backpack (or doggie saddle bags) would have been a lot easier than me carrying everything for both of us. I never did get around to getting Abby a dog pack, but that doesn't mean I couldn't make tiny Abby (or her friends) a dog pack. I went down the rabbit hole of dog vests and found a variety of things I really liked. Including the vests for search and rescue. So clearly I had to make a working vest for a search and rescue dog. 
      But since I also like things to be as versatile as possible I made the pouches (which do not open) removable. The sets will also come with a tag that says service dog. These sets were designed from several different real service dog vests. 
     I do seem to be obsessed with things that have pouches these days. I am still planning on making pommel bags, though I don't know why, things with pouches are also making me crazy. Even when the pouches are just simulated and don't open. The pink vest was my prototype and currently the purple, red, yellow, and orange will be the sets that I will offer at my live sale. If I ever actually finish them. 
     Speaking of dog items, I got into more work on the dog bed sets I have been making for a bit. I usually choose the colors for the beds based on what color bowls I have (I get mine from HandcraftedByKari on etsy) and whatever fabric I have on hand. 
      The extras vary a bit depending on what I have on hand for dog toys. But they always include a ball, a bone, a bag of dog food (with food in it), a bowl, some other sort of toy, and a rope toy that I totally forgot to do for all of these sets until I just looked at this photo. I will have to make those. 
      I am starting to catch up a bit on having the smaller items available for my live sale. Soon I may even be able to stop freaking out about it (lol, sure I will!)

Monday, July 26, 2021

Versatile Dolls

      Versatile dolls are not a new concept. Many people over the years have wanted a doll that can do a lot of events. The problems come up when you try to make removable items to change up a doll's look. Many removable items end up out of scale and then the doll looks sloppy, no matter what class she is being used for. A doll that does work out is a casual/working western doll. This casual lady can be used for a variety of scenes. With her hat also being removable she can also make an excellent prop for many more classes. 
     With the addition of removable cutting chaps or chinks she can do even more. Now she can go in many working classes that require chaps. You could also do ranch pleasure. 
       In general I still prefer a different doll for each type of class. It's nice not having to try to change doll clothes. I know it is not always feasible to have a doll for everything. I myself have cutting chaps to add to my casual dolls for working classes. Some things don't work, but a casual/working western doll is a versatile doll that works out fairly easily. 
     I am officially changing the date of my live sale to Sunday, August 15th. Ethan's new(ish) work schedule gives us very little time together and Saturdays are now family days. My sale will be on Sunday now. I will settle on a time asap. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Work Work Work

       I need to work. I only have 3 weeks left until my live sale and I feel like I am way behind on getting things done. This happens before pretty much every sale. I start out with lots of time. I literally have months between each sale. After each sale I take some time off, even if it is just a few days that I don't work on dolls, and then I get back into things. At the beginning taking an extra day or two each week to not work on dolls is not a big deal. After a bit it becomes less and less of a good idea. The last few weeks before a sale are really crunch time. Especially if I don't have many of the smaller items I offer ready for sale. Since I only offer those things during the sales (you can order any doll you want at any time) it makes sense to me to have the smaller items, even if that means fewer dolls. Sometimes I can't focus on the smaller items though.
       Breyer has very kindly decided to keep the video content from Breyerfest on their website through the end of the month. Which means that I have been watching a lot of Breyerfest content while I work. The other day, while I was hairing a doll head, I was watching Dani Boiko's draft horse breast collar workshop. It was really fun and gave me some ideas. Not that I need more project ideas, but it happened anyway. 
     Last week I also finished up this judge for an order. I don't make all that many judges, and I think for the most part they are all by custom order. They are not overly tricky to make clothes for but there are definitely trickier parts to it. 
       I'll continue to work away on any orders, including new ones that come in, and also things for my live sale. I have less time than I usually do to finish getting things made. Setting up the semi-live sale takes a lot of time. Not only do I need to have all of the photo of what I have for sale, I also need to then duplicate the photos with claim codes on each item. Then I need to schedule each photo for a very specific time on my studio page (on Facebook) so they come up at the correct time. It is not super hard to run a semi-live sale once it is all scheduled, but it is easy to mess up the scheduling, and it does take a good chunk of time. I should get back to work. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Western Trends

      Trends in what to wear in Western Pleasure change often. I try to stay at least fairly current but basically, I am not overly interested in what is "in" in real horse show rings. When I made a doll I want her to look nice, not doll-like, and be as realistic as possible. Something I struggle with is symmetrical swirl patterns. For the most part any decoration on a doll is done by hand. It is incredibly hard to mirror image a tiny swirl pattern. Lucky for me symmetrical geometric patterns seem to be quite popular at the moment. Not that I would hesitate to make a style that is out of date if it is something someone wants that I can do well. But today we'll talk about geometric patterns. 
      For almost anything it is easiest to work from a reference picture. When working on a multicolored coat design it is definitely easier to work from a reference. This particular pattern was from a different colored coat and needed to be modified to work on a 1:9 scale doll. The reference was a helpful guideline which allowed me to grab elements of the design to give a similar feel to the finished piece. 
     Some designs don't translate well to miniature. The available materials and space just don't allow for an exact translation. And sometimes an element of the design is especially tricky. The curved pieces of this pattern were especially challenging. 
      Dolls definitely go through an ugly stage! Actually, often dolls are in an ugly stage from the start and right up until the finish. This can be incredibly frustrating. And at times it can be a little bit scary. This design took a lot longer to put together than many other designs. I had to trust that the extra time was not going to be a complete waste and that everything would come together. In the end bling saved the day!
      The finished doll is not exactly like the reference pictures, but that was unlikely to happen since we took the colors from one coat and put them with the designs of another coat. I especially like how the back pattern turned out. I am very tempted to make a geometric western pleasure doll for my live sale. Though they do take a good chunk of extra time. And time is something I am starting to be short of. 
     Speaking of my live sale, I may need to change the date from Saturday August 14th to Sunday August 15th. I still have to figure that out. Which I will do soon.


Friday, July 23, 2021

Pattern Making is Hard

      As the title of this post states, pattern making is hard. I guess that leads me into one of the things that often needs saying, that makes me sound selfish and greedy. There is a reason I won't give anyone my patterns, or even sell them. It's because pattern making is hard and takes a ridiculous amount of time. Then once you have a working pattern and use it for a while, you may realize that something needs to be tweaked. There are times that means a complete redesign. Pattern making is not easy. And it is often not fast. Also a pattern that makes sense to me, and works for me, might not even work for you. 
     Recently I decided I really needed to work on some new horse boots patterns. I have been making boots for years. The patterns I created make boots that are quick and easy to use. But they are not the ultimate in realism. Mostly this is OK, I am not a tack maker and having a fairly nice (and easy to use) boot is the majority of what matters to me. But recently I have been thinking about boots and realism... and I started working on a new design for open front jump boots. They are the boots that I like the least of the styles I make. So I got back into the process and spent several hours on one boot. And guess what? I still haven't finished it. I have a design that is partially finished but I don't have a totally complete design that works. I also got tired and a bit frustrated and decided to put everything away for a bit. 
     As I have mentioned at least once recently, and maybe more, I have been really thinking about pommel bags. And then I was also of course thinking about my regular saddle bags, with a set of pommel bags, and the miniature items, all together in one set. I do think I am going to do at least a few sets like that. It sounds fun to me. I am always afraid to make too many things at higher prices. I know not everyone can afford to spend a chunk all at once. But I also can't afford to undercharge. I try to find a balance. 
    Speaking of balance, I try not to make too many things that make me want to pull my hair out. I really like my hair after all. I quickly discovered while I was working on the little pommel bags that sure, I can make tiny little bags with flap pockets, and have them really open and have space for cool little miniatures, and it would be fully awesome. And I would make maybe one set and then no more. They are finicky and the results are kind of ugly, with glue in places it shouldn't be. I didn't like them at all. So currently my compromise is to make fake pommel bags, and only to go with the regular saddle bags. I likely (OK, possibly) might make some regular saddle bags without pommel bags, but I haven't even gotten to any bags yet. So we'll see. But I think doing faked (but cute!) pommel bags is good for my sanity. And time-wise they will also be much easier, which means I can make them more cost effectively and not totally hate doing them. Probably. My goal is to also make them so they work on English or Western saddles. And I guess also endurance by default. I haven't quite gotten there yet, but maybe soon. I keep getting distracted with other design projects. 


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Breyerfest Open- Just A Theory

      I've mentioned a few times this year that I had a dual plan for Just a Theory when I made him for the Breyerfest Best Customs Contest. I wanted a nice, calm horse for therapeutic riding, which is a very important event to me, and I wanted a really versatile performance horse. Just A Theory did not win the BCC, I would have been shocked if he had after I saw the 3 entries that did win, but he turned out to perfectly fit the bill for my second goal. He is an excellent, very versatile, performance horse. 
     The first horse I talked about in this series was Lady Intrigue, who is an excellent performance horse and the oldest I still currently have. She only placed in 2 of her classes. Bring the Mayhem placed in 6 of his 14 classes. My other custom performance horse, Apocalyptic, placed in 6 of his 16 classes. Just A Theory, who I made myself, placed in 12 of his 15 classes. Occasionally he placed pretty well too. I still seem to be missing that special something that makes a photo show entry stand out, and I may never figure out what it is, but I am incredibly pleased with how this little horse did in the Breyerfest Open show. I even did some shelf shuffling so he could come out of the pantry. Please enjoy my Breyerfest show photos for Just A Theory. He made me really proud. 
Other Performance-therapeutic riding (also my Best Customs entry...), 5th place

English trail, no placing

Huntseat pleasure, 9th place

Dressage, 6th place

Huntseat equitation, 8th place

roping, 4th

Western games, no placing

Other stock work-team penning, 8th place (oh that doll calling for a manager...)

Other western-Extreme cowboy, 6th place

Western trail, no placing

Western pleasure, 10th place

Western equitation, 5th place

parade, 3rd place

Other performance-endurance, 4th place

Scene, 2nd place

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Breyerfest Open- Apocalyptic

     Last year when Breyerfest went virtual because of the pandemic, the open show went virtual as well. This was the first time I could even consider showing in Breyerfest Open. The only problem is I don't have a lot of traditional scale Breyer horses. I bought Purdy Zippin Chick before Breyerfest, partially because I loved her on sight, and partially because I really wanted a custom Breyer so I could show in the Breyerfest Open show in the custom division. Even though I found out Chick could not show because she had previously won a champ or reserve at Breyerfest, I bought her anyway. But the idea to have a custom Breyer stayed with me. This year I set up a trade with Julie Brooks to make me a custom True North with a lowered head. Which is how I got Apocalyptic. Apocalyptic is the name of a Halestorm song. And actually, Bring the Mayhem is named (partially) for the Halestorm song Mayhem, which was the very first Halestorm song I heard on the radio. I immediately loved the band and have been buying their music and naming horses in relation to them ever since. Come to think of it, I also named a horse Lizzie. But I have explained enough of my horse name references. 
     Apocalyptic did not do super well in the Breyerfest Open show. But considering the classes were ginormous, and he placed multiple times, I can say he didn't do horribly. Here are his show photos. Enjoy!
Jumper, 7th

English Games-horseball, no placing

English trail, no placing

Hunter over fences, 8th place

huntseat pleasure, 8th place

Dressage, 4th place

English Horsemanship, no placing (I really like this photo!)

Roping, no placing

Western games- barrel racing, 7th place. 

Other stock work, no placing

Other western- western riding, no placing

Western trail, no placing

Western pleasure (and western horsemanship), no placing

Parade, 7th place

Other performance (or scene...) Jester performance, no placing