Monday, December 29, 2008

Pictures of the Knots!



Above is a picture of three knots that are double interwoven. Please forgive the colors on them, the camera distorted them. The colors in person are much more attractive.

It turns out that my first attempts to do a double interweave were wrong. I figured it out the next day after I looked closely at some real double interwoven knots. The interweave should "float" (or what I call float) one on top of the other. My first attempts at it were sorta "winged" and therefore wrong. I went back to one of my Gail Hought Books and I was able to quickly understand why my attempts were wrong and learn the right way. This is thanks to already knowing the basic knot really well and the interweaving really well from her books. It's also in part to Susan Bensema Young and I talking on the phone so many times about knots and weaving.

As you can imagine, my brain is ON FIRE again at what I can accomplish and it's also given me a boost to learn that four bight long knot. I now understand that the more bights on a knot, the wider the knot will be. Wider is not better for Miniature scales and I better understand the "knot conversation" that Susan I had earlier in December. (I allude to these conversations because I know that Sue Reads my blogs )

I'm finding that knot work is a good "Filler" for the desires I have to do silver working but I am unable to until I set up a metal working/dremel station in the basement. (Due to my son not at all liking the sound of the engraver, pounding of metal and dremel).

If you haven't noticed, I treat my "creative" side as though it were an entity unto itself instead of being part of my own brain. I don't know if all artists feel this way but my "muse" definitely has her own mind and desires and more often than not commandeers me into doing what she wants to do instead of what I have planned out. She was on vacation for most of the time I was pregnant and I'm glad she's back. I should probably name her because I name everything... I'll get back to you on that.

MY husband and I mapped out a plan for a room down there but we're finding that the electrical supply is limited so moving my whole studio down there isn't feasible right now. This whole house is such an "issue" and a "conundrum" since the housing market tanked... oy.. I won't get started..

Anyway, look for more braided miniature tack in 2009. I understand now why it consumes Sue like it does! hehehe

Saturday, December 27, 2008

BAM!!

BREAKTHROUGH!!!

While I still haven't learned a long knot, I have learned how to raise my seven part six bight turks head in order to intewreave it with three herringbone rings instead of just one. I also taught myself to put in a second color of interweave tonight and I learned that I should have done it with string instead of string and rawhide!

No pictures yet because I'm exhausted but I'll have some up soon!!

And a big thank you to my husband who allowed me to get two and a half hours solid in the studio tonight!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Real Quick!

Firstly, Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope that your days have been lovely and filled with happiness!

Secondly, I haven't got a good update for this week. I have spent the last four days in the grips of migraine/shoulder problem and I've spent most of it in bed. This is extremely frustrating for me because Hubby is home and I could've spent a good amount of time in the studio.



Right now my shoulders are very "touch and go" and I hope that it is finished with me for this month.. Those of you that remember me from breyerfest a few years ago when I had the same problem know how much pain I've been in. This is one of the major reasons I don't take orders. This "condition" strikes randomly and doesn't go away with medication or sleep. I think I may have to get physical therapy again to get control of it.


ANyway, I will be donating to Heather Jackson Lain's show. I intend to do a bosal of some sort. I started it once already but I didn't like the way it was coming along so I tore it up..


I am also planning on donating to the NAN auction this year if they'll have me :-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Slowly moving along......






The above halter is still available and probably will be until after Christmas. Stupid me, I didn't realize how close Christmas was because I've been holed up in the house. I envisioned the halter for darker color horses like the one above where regular colored tack doesn't show up very well. Red and Black are the University of Louisville Colors and are a lot of other schools' colors so I figured that someone that based their performance set up on their school colors could probably use it. But I'm sure it'll sell eventually.. I just have to find the right buyer.
 

 


 

Christmas time is very busy for a lot of folks, and we're no exception. Munchkin is also a year old now and has decided that he doesn't need any naps so my time in the studio is at a minimum now. He also doesn't like the sound of the dremel or the engraver when awake or asleep so we are considering moving my studio to the basement. Actually, it's almost become imperative to move my studio to the basement because I'm at an annoying and frustrating stand still.
 

 


 

I have a part of one shank of the bridle plan below finished but getting the rest of it done may be impossible until after the holidays. I'm trying to acclimate munchkin to the dremel by using it in front of him but so far he really doesn't like it. He makes a grimace and then starts to tear up. : /
 

 


 

Progress on learning a "Long knot" of some sort has been at a standstill this week as well. Just no time to myself during an "awake" period. I can't do any braiding or knot tying when I'm tired because I forget how things go and I mess it up every time.
 

 


 

It's supposed to be 60 degrees here tomorrow due to a freak warm front so hopefully there will be some sun and maybe I can take munchkin to the park.
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Second Western Show halter




This halter is available as of today! It is $170.00 ppd. It features real silver plates, real woven knots, real swarovski crystals and a matching lead. if interested, please email me at: tackmaker@desertnightcreations.com I accept pay pal or money orders.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sometimes.... I want to run away to an artist colony




I know, thats kinda weird but there are days, like today, that I wished I had more artists literally within my space. I work in a vacuum sometimes, all alone, allowing in only inspiration and my own way of doing things. Actually I work that way a lot and here lately, far too often.


I want to feel that creative rush that one gets when they're around other inspiring artists. The internet is pretty good at this, but sometimes there is nothing like watching someone else's process
in person.



I'd bring my son with me too. Somehow I'd have a safe environment for him to play in while I worked. I'd also like him to be exposed to other creative people and maybe their kids. My cousin (Melissa Moreton) lives in Idaho on an artist colony so maybe we should go visit her sometime....

I'm just daydreaming outloud, forgive me...

The First photo above is a miniature western show halter with braided buttons - turks head knots with a single interweave and a herringbone interweave.

The silver noseplate has been engraved and attached. I need to work on the cheek pieces now. It's hard to engrave because munchkin is afraid of the loud noise, so I have to do the silver engraving in the evenings when my husband can watch him or on the weekends.

When I engrave, I normally need to engrave all of my plates at once because everytime I engrave, I do it differently. I always try to do it the same but it depends on where my head is at the time.

The second picture was a blast of inspiration I had last night after viewing Gail houghts website and Susan Young's website. I really want to make a black braided bridle. Sue normally maps out her tack by drawing it out . I have never done this before but for some reason I really wanted to do this. The drawing is crude but it's a good general idea of what I'd like to make here in the near future.

I have the silver bit already scratched out onto the silver but there is a ton of silverwork left to be finished. I have no idea how long it's going to take to make that bridle since I intend to learn a long pineapple knot. I only started looking at it today though which means I have a long way to go.

I'll also be looking for a job and a daycare for munchkin after the beginning of the year so my time will be more limited. But.. there is always time to create even if I have to forgo sleep and work at midnight.. :-)

I




Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Detour!

Ok, real fast, cause my husband's family is staying with us - I am trying to learn the gaucho interweave on a 6bight turks head knot. I figured that since I know the six bight turks head so well by now (after interweaving it with the herringbone so often) that I might as well go for the gaucho interweave as well. After a couple of days of working on it, I have not mastered it yet but my brain more easily understands it than I initially understood the herringbone.

And while I find not picking it up as quickly as I'd like a bit frustrating, I have to admit that I'm having a great time trying to learn it.

I also want to learn to work silver a bit better so I've been working on that as well on paper. It is hard for me to find time to work on etching silver while the baby is awake (because my engraver is very very loud and I can't work on it while he's sleeping) so my silverwork will have to wait a bit before I put it into practice.

This weekend will be swamped with Munchkin's birthday party but I hope that maybe sunday I'll get a bit of time to myself to work on silver..

Pictures when I get close to having something to photograph!

Halter Lottery

I just want to put a reminder here that I am taking names for the halter lottery through tomorrow at noon. (halter pictured below) So if you read my drivel here and you'd like to enter for an opportunity to buy the halter, just email me at tackmaker@desertnightcreations.com

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Finished Western Show halter!






Here are the pictures of the Completed Halter. I'll be having a lottery for buying it. It's price is $170.00ppd and I'll start taking names on December 1st at noon and go till December 2 at noon (Eastern Time). More Details on December 1st!

Monday, November 24, 2008

How to dye an Untooled Piece of 3/32nds Leather Lacing

My apologies that a version of this went out last night before it was ready. I hit the wrong button.....

I know it seems sort of basic to start with an article on how to dye an untooled piece of lacing, but a lot of folks that get into miniatures and leatherworking for that fact, don't quite know how to start. It took me a couple of years and reading to figure out how to dye a piece of lacing and not have it turn out stiff. Hopefully I can save someone a few
years of frustration with this article.



DISCLAIMER: I am not saying that this is the only way to dye a piece of lacing. I am just showing you MY WAY of doing things. Admittedly I tend to be stubborn and sometimes I do things the hard way. Everyone has their own process and it's best to develop your own flow.










Firstly, I use Fiebing's Oil dyes. The folks that have been working in leather for a while all swear that it covers more evenly than the water based dyes. I have to agree with that.




Next, I use little plastic containers with a long "nose" on them to keep a portion of my dye in. I use this for two reasons:


1. I like the control that the needle nose gives me (I am a notorious klutz) for both pouring dye into the plastic container and into my plastic pallet;



2. It saves the dye that stays in the original container from constant exposure to air. I think I bought them as "glue" containers from a seller on Ebay and I don't think that they were too expensive. (I don't recall actual price because it's been so long.)







I also use paint brushes to apply dye instead of the wool daubers that Tandy recommends. I currently use a dick blick paint brush 2/0 that has been thinned out a bit. Again, I have had that paint brush for so long that I don't really recall the price. I know that it's called a "liner" when looking the brushes up on line or in a art/craft supply store. Don't buy a brush that is too expensive. The dye will turn the brush dark pretty quickly and you don't want to ruin a good sable brush. Just make sure that it's a decent brush that won't lose bristles while you are using it.



The natural colored lacing that I use is uncoated. I bought it from Melody Snow - www.unicornwoman.com . I use the uncoated natural lacing because I find that the dye goes on it more evenly. If you use uncoated lacing, make sure that you only touch the ends of the piece of lacing. The leather will absorb any oils from your fingers and your dye won't stick where your fingers touched. (Or it could turn the leather a black/grey color where you touched it)











If you don't wish to buy uncoated natural colored lacing, you'll need to "deglaze" it first before dying. You will need Tandy's "deglazer" and a q-tip. Dab the qtip into the deglazer and keep rubbing the top/grain side of the lacing until it no longer has a shiny coating on it. I don't know how successful I've ever been at deglazing so I can't offer much more than that. Make sure your lacing is dry all of the way through before dying it.






I use plastic paint pallets to put the dye I'm using in. You can get these at any craft store, or walmart or any art supply store.


Make sure you have some water handy for cleaning your brush and dilluting your dye. I save old spaghetti sauce Jars for this purpose.



Aways have paper towels handy in case you splash or spill or for "dabbing" your full brush.


It's probably best that you have a few layers of newspaper between what you are dying and the surface you're dying on. I use an old "Drawing Board" that has a resistive surface but if you don't have anything like that, newspaper is fine. Make sure your newspaper is VERY THICK because dye goes through anything. Make sure you wear something you don't mind getting dye on.



If at all possible, try to use natural lighting to dye your lacing. I have a desk that is near a window and I use a desk lamp for lighting.


Ok so those are our supplies. Now cut off a length of lacing that you wish to dye. I try not to dye too much at once because it gets tedious dying a really long piece. I probably dye about a foot at a time max. If you cut a shorter piece, you may need something to hold either end so that the lacing will lie flat, top/grain side up.



Pour some dye from the long nose container into one of the little circles in the paint pallet. Then dip your brush into the water and drop some water into the dye. (You can also use fingernail polish remover to "cut" your dye but I use water because the fingernail polish remover will dry out the dye faster) I "cut" my dye because I think that straight dye onto the lacing soaks into the lacing too quickly making some spots darker than others. I
probably dip my brush into water and then drip water into the dye about 3 times.



I then dip my brush into the dye and I dab the brush onto a paper towel before I put it to the lace. This takes a little bit of the dye off of your brush so again, it'll help the dye go on more evenly.




Start at one end of your lacing, and hold the brush so that you can pull the bristles sideways across the top of the lacing. Make sure that you do not get the dye onto the sides of the lacing. Putting dye on the side of the lacing will make the lacing stiff and make the lacing hard to skyve later on. Pull the brush sideways across the lacing until your run out of dye.



(you can see above where I slipped off of the top of the lacing and accidently hit the side)


Dip your brush back into the dye in the paint pallet and stir it up a bit to make sure that the water and the oil dye are well mixed. Then load up your brush again, dab it on the paper towel and start where you left off. This will leave lighter and darker spots on the lacing, but this is ok because you can go back and fill in light spots later.


When you have gone across the lacing the first time with dye, let the dye dry before starting the second coat. It is important not to put too much dye on the lacing at once because the dye will go too dark too quickly and become sort of "metallic" looking.




(Lacing after first pass)


Then Start your second coat. I usually start from the opposite end that I started on the first pass and repeat the directions above. The number of passes depends on how dark the dye is. For the DK Brown that I'm using, I usually do at least three passes and then go in and fill in any light spots and even it out the best I can.


After the lacing completely dries I will finish it with Super Shene or Antiquing paste. How you finish it is up to you :-)


I Hope this helps! If you have any questions, please leave me a comment and let me know!

Scale















I have some new folks visiting from the "SITS" blog and I want to show them the scale of my work. So forgive me if this isn't very interesting to folks that already are in my hobby or already know about miniatures.



Above is a halter that I finished recently that is compared to an American Quarter. Underneath it is a catalog page from Sergeants Western Wear catalog showing a real "life sized" halter so that you can get the feeling of what I'm making.


My work is 1/8th of life size scale. Doll House folks work in 1/12th scale. I'm not sure how that translates to the Railroading folks or I'd compare my scale to them as well.

The next braided bridle that I'll be working in will be in 1/6th scale which is quite a bit bigger than my regular scale. (about the size of a barbie horse or a johnny west "thunderbolt" horse)


My "how to" article mentioned in the last blog post will be about dying a 3/32nds piece of leather lacing. I actually get asked how I do that quite a bit and it's not quite as easy as it sounds. I've taken pictures and everything :-)..

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Promise..




I've been reading a whole lot of blogs lately. Not just miniaturist blogs, but blogs of all kinds. I must be nuts but I'm thinking about doing a "How I do this" kind of post in the near future. So I promise to do one. I have no clue what I'm going to show folks but I'll think of something.


I also read back through my other blog posts and they're pretty boring. I'll try to liven it up around here a bit.


I'm seriously exhausted today. boy decided that he didn't want to sleep past 4:45am so I heard him in the monitor at that time, and at 5 am.. and every 15 minutes afterwards. (as he did yesterday morning as well..) So I'm not going to be informative or interesting today but I promise it's coming soon......... :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Inspirational and humbling

Please visit Morgan Kilbourne's blog today. She has Published a link to a video of a Miniature Artist that is astounding. In fact, his work has become very inspirational and has my mind reeling!

Also, I'm very close to finishing the Blue and White Western Show Halter mentioned in my previous post. I don't know when I'm going to get time to completely finish it up because of the upcoming holiday (I have to clean and cook!) but I'm hoping to be done with it by December 1st! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sneaky peeky!



Above are Sneak peeks of halters I have in progress. The blue and white one was made for a Peter Stone Ideal Quarter Horse and is 1/8th Scale. The Red and Black one was also made for a Peter Stone Ideal Quarter Horse and is also 1/8th Scale. Both will be for sale when they are finished. I'm hoping like mad that I'll that I'll have them done by January 2009 at the latest.

The blue one will be lotteried off to my yahoo group and the red one will be first come first served. They're both going to be $170 postage paid.

Monday, November 17, 2008

whirling, blur of a mess...


No, not my studio (well, yeah, my studio too) but my brain. This weekend I got jack NOTHING accomplished despite my best efforts. Saturday morning, at 4am munchkin's diaper leaked so the poor thing started to cry and woke us. It was my turn to get up with him (I let hubby sleep late on Saturdays since he gets up with munchkin throughout the week) so I jolted awake and bounded up the stairs as fast as I could to see what was going on..

Because of this, I ingested LARGE amounts of caffeine to wake up which sent my brain into overdrive. I was able to get some time in the studio but I couldn't focus for anything because my brain was whirring too fast.


Yesterday was spent going to my parents with munchkin and going out to eat so (Marimbas in Shelbyville!!!!!) I didn't have a lot of productive time in the studio.

I need to engrave some keepers for a woven knot western show halter but I can only work in the studio when munchkin sleeps. My engraver is UBER noisy so I can only engrave when my husband is home, and feeling generous about giving me time to engrave. We have a basement but it is currently unfinished, although I guess I could go down there to engrave and munchkin wouldn't wake up..hmmmmm........... That's a thought.. I could eye the treadmill and guilt myself into getting on it too..hahaha

Yesterday during my brief time while munchkin slept I looked on youtube to see if anyone had put up some silversmithing videos. I was richly rewarded and I now have some more ideas about how to make my tiny silver bits more 3-d. I know that I could just sculpt the buggars and then cast them, but casting costs more money than just hacking them out of silver one at a time. Hopefully, eventually, I will make the bits more uniform and maybe I will be able to cast them. Right now the "process" is very hit or miss so I'll just keep them to myself.

Above is the "silver graveyard" - a collection of stuff that has been pulled off of finished pieces or never passed the muster to be used on pieces I was working on. I am still very proud of the tiny silver oak leaves. They taught me a lot about how silver works, or doesn't :-)

I have a harder gauge of silver on it's way from Rio Grande (not rio rondo). Heather Downing mentioned when I saw her at Breyerfest that she felt that my bits were bit flimsy. Although I disagree with that to some extent, (because you don't need a lot of weight to control a model horse <G>I decided to test the waters with some 28 gauge silver to see if I liked working on that better. I think it may hold more detail than the thinner gauges.

We shall see, and I promise to whine about it on my blog! YIPPEEE!



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Finished! The Californio Style Mother Hubbard II set
























It only took a year and 10 months! And it is already sold! :-)


Next up is a bit of a departure - a 1/6th scale braided bridle. And I've started working on a woven western show halter in 1/8th scale that I'll be offering to my yahoo group whenever it's finished.

Friday, November 07, 2008

sooooooooooo close...............







I am so close to finishing up the cinch for my mother hubbard II saddle. I think just a couple of more hours and I should be finished... I am still trying to figure out a way to do more on the cinch but I just don't have a lot of room to work with.






After I'm done, I'm going to clean. My studio is a TOTAL mess from when I was pregnant and couldn't do a lot. I just brought the magazines upstairs and put em on the floor. LAST Year's Breyerfest models are STILL in the studio waiting to be un strapped from their boxes... and my catalogs and reference all need to be organized.






Above are photos of the chaos......
Then it's onto braided bridles!!! I'm thinking about a silver snaffle braided bridle in blue or green.......

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

LIGHT!

As of today, I think I have a plan for the cinch! It isn't as fancy as I had wanted it but it will definitely be appropriate! Now to carve out time to work on it and finish it!

My next project will be a braided bridle or two. I really have a strong desire to do more of them.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Happy Voting Day!




I won't attempt to "wax poetical" about how lucky we are that we can vote in this country. I'm sure that everyone knows that voting is a great privledge not afforded to everyone in the world so we should feel lucky and "blessed" that we can decide our leaders this way.





Please, be nice to the poll workers and everyone in line with you. Please resist the urge to stab the person spouting off about the candidate that you hate with a pen. :-) Please resist the urge to tear the opposing candidates bumper sticker off of the cars around yours. If you can't play nice then you can still play but it would be more pleasant if you're not psychotic about it :-)




Above is a patriotic picture of the arabian stallion "Good Thunder". "Good Thunder" is a champion in many disciplines (native costume, saddleseat and more!) and at the final Arabian Horse Nationals held in Louisville, Ky in 2006, he carried the American Flag on Friday and Saturday Nights.




My apologies for the all of the "noise" in the picture, I was using my old Point and Shoot Camera. (only 5 megapixels as opposed to the EOS Rebel that I use now which is 10) The noise reducing plugin that I use "Noise Ninja" only made the grain worse so I left it as is.


Supposedly there will be at least a 2 hour wait to vote around here today. My husband is going to come home early so that I can go vote without toting munchkin along. I would imagine that 2 hours in a line would be torture for a 10 month old! I wonder if I still have my old "Game boy"......

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Not a Lot of progress








I haven't made a lot of progress on the cinch. I finished up the weaving that I was working on and I've put it aside to concentrate solely on the cinch now. I had a period last week wehre I was feeling super creative and I started several different things, but this week I've been tired so I haven't progressed much. I have an idea on how to try to make the cinch a second time thanks to my Friend/Mentor Susan Bensema young but I haven't gotten very far with that Idea.








Last week I also bought a blue sheet of poster board and I've been playing with lighting techniques in order to get a some good, more professional pictures of my tack. As you can see, the photos above are a bit dark. The Funny thing is that my old point and shoot camera takes better pictures of the tiny stuff than my DSLR because it has a built in macro lens. Unfortunately, though, the old point and shoot camera is only 5 megapixels and the DSLR is 10.






I'm also realizing that if I want to sell to "upscale" clients I need a website overhaul. I don't think I have the "foo" to overhaul the website and make it look the way I want it to so I may have to eventually have someone else do it. So many ideas in my head and so little time!!






I also started thinking about eventually doing a 1/6th scale braided bridle. There is a group of hobbiests that collect the 1/6th scale Johnny West Riders and horses. They are very very nice folks and are not as competitive as the 1/8th scale folks are. It's a relief to talk to them sometimes. They're a very close knit group and are very creative. I think it would be fun to work on something a tad larger than what I'm used to working on. The larger the piece the more detail I can put on it. The problem is finding the right scale hardware. Rio rondo has some pieces that help out a lot (in fact I'll be using one of their bits for the braided 1/6th scale bridle) but they are still working on things like halter rings.






There is a man within their hobby, Luis, who sculpts and who is kind of an "agent" For a miniature tackmaker in Mexico. (Luis is in mexico too) This tackmaker is astounding! He makes the miniature mexican style saddles with all of the extras like embroidered saddles and silver pieces. I believe he's also responsible for the trees and other accessories that Luis sells. He's really inspiring to me! I'd also like to buy one of Luis' 1/6th scale resins some day so that I can make tack on it.






If you can't tell, I like to read about and make myself aware of as many different hobbies as possible. The more I learn, the better my miniature work becomes. At one time in my life, I was very fond of saying "I'll never do this or that". Putting limits on what I would learn such as working with silver. It wasn't until I was given the amazing opportunity to have my work sold from the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft that it dawned on me that I should work with as many "Real" materials as possible. They suggested that I learn to work in silver because to them, the silver tape just wasn't good enough. I'm glad they planted that seed in the ole noggin because I think my work has definitely benefitted from it.






I have been thinking lately that I should also work on sculpting my own saddle trees. I've been thinking about this because I want to make my work 100% original. There are may tackmakers out there with excellent saddle trees, so it's definitely not because those trees aren't good enough. I have a thought about a wire armature that I could make in order to sculpt a saddle tree over top of it. If I make one good enough, then I could eventually have them cast. Thats way off into the future though.






I tried to enter the "Art of Horse" magazine art competition with one of my bridles as a soft sculpture but they informed me that my bridle was ineligble. I entered some of my photographs instead. This of course inspired me to make another bridle strictly for entering art competitions with. I really think that people need to see the miniatures that the 1/8th scale hobby produces because they really are works of art. I feel like the bits and buckles and the little things that Rio Rondo has for us to use are really no different than "found object" sculptures. Wonder if the art world will agree with me?


Lastly, I'm working on my model horse tackmaking article. It's not a "how to" article, it's a general advice article. I believe in everyone finding their own path and to tell someone how to make something is circumventing that process to me. Also, I'm far from organized enough to do a "how to" article. You should see my studio, it's a total mess now. Not my normal "messy" which means organize chaos, but a real, downright, "Holy crap where is everything" mess... Anyone know someone that organizes for a living?


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Real Quick!



I watched a biography on Frank Lloyd Wright this evening on the Ovation Network. I feel really inspired after seeing it. I had only ever glanced at the outside of a Wright Building and they felt too modern and "ugly" to me. This evening, they showed the insides and the view from the windows.. I was floored.. I absolutely loved it!!



It has inspired me to maybe thing about a western saddle set (or maybe parade..hmmm.....)after I'm finished with my current project. I "feel" like maybe a fern motif or something that is definitely nature inspired.



I'm still banging my head against the weaving but I actually made a mental breakthrough today. I'll finish up the current weaving I have for a native arabian halter and then move forward to another one using what I "think" will be a new technique. I don't want to reveal it yet because I have no idea if it'll work. Above is the current halter being woven..



In case you're interested, Susan Bensema Young updated her page this evening with the most beautiful bridle and breastcollar set!!! go see! go on.....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nothing worthwhile comes easy.....


("new year", pencil)
and that is definitely true for the cinch I'm working on. I know that I'm not alone when I say that making that cinch was much easier to create in my head. Meaning, that even though I *thought* I knew how I was going to make it, it's not the way it's turning out at all.
I've made two cinches so far and neither are good enough. I decided to "retrain" my brain to weave and see what I could come up with from there. I've broken out the ole bead loom and I'm working on a native arabian halter. Now I know that the two don't seem to be related at all, but they are. They are both woven. So in making something that I already know how to make to boost my confidence and get my brain retrained, I will learn how to make the cinch I want. I do this a lot with things so I know this will work. (like the braided bridle and the braided halters which I worked on simultaenously).
Above is a drawing that I did when I was in my early 20's. Like a lot of folks, I desperately wanted to be a fine artist when I was younger. Unfortunately, while I had the talent, I was too insecure and immature to go to art school and really make it my path and hone my skills. I was too busy rebelling against authority to see that I was screwing up my "artistic" future. Luckily I fell into Technology and was able to make a living despite myself.
In learning photography, I've actually deepend my drive to make miniatures. I don't want to lose the skill of being able to make them like I lost the skills to draw and render well. It took me a few months to really realize that I missed making miniatures immensely. I will be more focused on them in the future. I've worked very hard to get where I am and I don't want to lose the skills that I've obtained.
I sold the above drawing as a donation for an Arabian Horse Rescue and I've lost track of it. The scan above is all I have of it, and it was done at a time when technology was not able to the drawing very well. (thus all of the white spots you see). I hope that the person that has it now cherishes it as much as I do :-)

Friday, October 03, 2008

I am really trying...


The above Cinch was taken from a High Noon Catalog. I in no way take credit for the photo or the cinch.

That said, the cinch represents what I want to attempt for my mother hubbard II saddle. I have no earthly idea how it's made, or how I'm going to get that kind of decoration on a miniature cinch. I am re-learning how to make a cinch, using Carol Williams' kit from www.riorondo.com . I made two the last time I made one for the Mother hubbard I set. ONe practice, one production cinch.

This time, I'm using completely different materials than just the dmc floss as recommended by Carol. I'm using Alpaca yarn and dmc floss on the practice cinch, which was shown in the last blog post. I've learned alot so far.. namely that one has to be VERY careful to not pierce the yarn.

I've been working on how to weave the decorations but I haven't figured it out yet. I worked on it for about an hour this morning while munchkin slept, but I didn't get a lot accomplished. He's only sleeping an hour at a time now, which for a miniature maker, is like a flash in the pan.

I totally miss those days when I could bang my head against something for a couple of hours straight. That really went a long way towards figuring something out and making my work as detailed as possible. Not that I'd trade him for the world.. just lamenting a bit..

I almost don't want to post that photo because I have no idea if I'll be able to copy it in some way, but now that I've posted it, I have to..

The Model horse market right now has crashed. I can't sell a danged thing! LOL!! I really need some kind of money coming in but that isn't happening. I know though, that I'm not the only one..

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

a few things



I know, that second picture has nothing to do with model horse tack. It does, however, have everything to do with my life now. I never understood why an art career has to take a back seat to children. I do now. Munchkins need constant supervision once they learn to crawl, and one is so mentally tired when munchkin goes down for a nap that doing art, or anything for Mom is really put on the back burner.



I did play around with my new alpaca yarn and making a cinch. It's been about 2 years since I made my last one and it's taking me some time to figure it all out again. I have no idea how long this cinch is going to take me but it'll be cool when it's done.



I haven't had the time or the mental capacity to learn spinning yet. There are several ways of using a drop spinner and it's going to take me a few hours of focus to do it. Problem is that I just don't currently have a few hours of focus to give it.



I was feeling very very creative yesterday for a few hours and I sat down and did a few sketches. nothing earth-shattering, or even good but I do see how photography has taught my eye to see much better. When I turn back towards model horse tack and saddle patterns I can see that I'm going to have to redo them.. again..

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NO ELECTRICITY

Unfortunately, as of today, I've been without electricity for two days! It stinks!! Especially for an Internet junkie like myself! THe POer Companjy says it could be yet another 7 days before our power is back up. This is due to the 71 MPH winds that came through our area on sunday. These winds were the remanants of Hurricane Ike. There are 260,000 people in Louisville without power and unfortunately, I am one of them. All of the houses around us on different streets have power - it is very frustrating. We are fortunate though, the trees behind our house withstood the winds just fine and our house suffered no obvious damage.



Luckily my husband bought a small power supply a couple of years ago so that we can have 25 - 30 minutes of internet a night.. Our home network is down though so I can't tweak any photos during this time. The good thing is that I can work in the studio in the mornings when my son sleeps because the sun shines right into it. I haven't gotten a lot done because I am spending time looking for some of the supplies I need, but hopefully tomorrow I'll be more productive!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Overwhelmed




I have to say that I've felt pretty overwhelmed over the past 8 or so months with the birth of my son, not being able to go back to work, taking on a new career and not having enough time to myself. I think that there are a lot of things that people just don't talk about or admit to when they have a munchkin enter their lives for fear that people will think they're not good parents. I love my son more than I've ever loved anyone or anything in my life. That is absolutely for sure the truth. That doesn't mean though that it hasn't been a rough adjustment.

Because of all of the above change, I've really struggled to redefine who I am in my own mind. I haven't come to any conclusions yet either

Lately I've been in the studio a few more days than usual and it's felt really good to sit and work with my hands on something tha I KNOW I can do. I don't get a lot of time to just sit and create and it feels really good to be back at the bench.

My desire to become a better photographer hasn't waned at all, much to my surprise. The more I learn about the business of photography, the more I realize how truly difficult it is to make a living as a photographer. Right now, I'm probably just too stupid to realize that I may not be able to do this so I just keep pushing forward

This weekend is the Rare Breed Expo put on by the Rare Breed Trust at the Kentucky Horse Park. I can't wait to go and photograph some of the horses. This includes caspian ponies, Akhal Tekes, Dartmoor ponies and more!

ON my workbench are work boots for my roping set that I'm still fooling with. I've also bought a Drop Spindle and some unspun wool. Yes, you read right, I'm going to attempt to spin wool. Why you ask? On the Advice of Jacquie (sp?) that I met at the Artisian's hall, I'm learning to do this to make my mecates more realistic. I also think that If I learn to spin my own string/yarn I can make a realistic string girth for my mother hubbard II set. (Bless you Robin S. for being so patient with me! I really think that it'll be worth it in the end!)

Thats the one thing about making model horse tack that I love - a Never Ending learning curve!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finished Halter




Above are photos of the halter completely finished and ready to go! Good luck and thank you to all that enter the lottery! I draw the names tonight at 9pm est!

Last Call!




I am lottery-ing off the above halter to the folks on my yahoo group and to those that subscribe to my blog. It's a "Thank you" for being so patient and supportive of my big slow butt!

I thought I was finished with the mother hubbard bridle but of course I had to do ONE more knot on it and then I messed up the actual knot underneath so a part of the reins will have to be done over.

Also, I got a tip from a wonderfully talented woman (jacquie who was at the Artisian's Hall at Breyerfest next to Liesl Dalpe)that went from braiding life sized bridles to braiding model sized bridles. She told me to look into drop spinning and alpaca yarn for mecates! What a revelation! DUUHHH!
I've been overwhelmingly busy with photography and model horse stuff! I've been meaning to blog for over a week now and I just got to it today.
I don't know if I've mentioned it but I've set up an "e-commerce" site for my photography. http://abounaderphoto.smugmug.com
And I have a photography blog: http://abounaderphoto.blogspot.com
Munchkin is now sitting up and crawling and he is into EVERYTHING! This is actually a great sign and I'm so pleased with his curiosity.
I've also been dealing with a touch of post partum depression. I've never been good about going out of the house and over the last three months I've been much worse. I'm seeing a counselor though so I will be much better in the future. I day dream a lot about taking munchkin places and taking his picture there... Like taking him to the slugger museum or taking him to the park and taking his picture in front of well known Louisville Landmarks... Hopefully I can actually do that soon.. I think it would be adorable for his photo album.