Saturday, March 22, 2008

small victories

Today, I got up early, made it to the Post office on time to mail a package and then I went and had my hair done. On the way home I found myself in a really good mood and ready to accomplish more when I got home.

The picture above shows several failed attempts at a bit and one in progress bit. (the round unfinished spade bit is the one in progress. The other three: two domed that I think look silly and one flat that I couldn't figure out how to finish correctly)

I was able to actually find a bit that I think that I can make this week. Working in silver using my hit or miss method makes me nervous. Now that Silver is $20 an ounce (instead of $5 an ounce when I started working with silver beads 10 years ago) I'm very cognisant of the cost of what I'm wasting as I'm grinding away on my little bits.

I started taking a silversmithing class this time last year. I didn't finish it due to the fact that I became pregnant and I couldn't drive a car. (vertigo and nausea when I rode in or drove a car) I did learn a lot in the few classes I attended but I am not able to replicate the work benches in class here at home. I don't have anything I can attach an anvil to, to hold the silver in place so that I can use thin jewelers hack saw to cut out my designs more precisely.

Because of my slight nervousness in working with silver, I can only make bits when I'm in a very confident and focused mood.. like today. The REALLY hard part though is making two bit shanks exactly the same or similar enough to pair together. On my last mother hubbard set, I made a silver bit and I recall at least 4 or 5 tries before I had a usable pair. So far I'm at try number 4 with the bit for the Mother Hubbard II set. I kept picking beautiful, but complicated patterns that I was not able to replicate at my current skill level. Very annoying... But I think I have a good start with that round one. Just that one little unfinished shank represents about 2 hours of work and it's far from finished.

The other two bosals in the picture: One that looks finished, really isn't. I intend to add another color to the heel knot when I get time to learn how to. The other is another unfinished pencil bosal for the Mother hubbard II set that is fancier than the one that was auctioned off last week.

The second picture is a look at the screw on my fluorescent magnifying lamp. Things sorta hang there until I either finish them up or until I sell them. The tiedown/bosal and leather bridle matches the Roping set that I made for Kay Callahan. I decided to go back and add some fancy knots to it and I'm not quite done yet. Yes, there is my susan Bensema young bridle lurking in the very back. I keep it in my sight while I work on interwoven knots as inspiration to keep going :-) Also hanging there are the reins for the bridle for the mother hubbard II set.
Also, I have an arabian show halter in progress as a donation to a show I'm going to. I try to donate something (anything, not always tack) to any show that I go to.

All in all, lots of projects on the bench!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

shhh.. baby's sleeping!

Finally! I was able to get my son down for a nap for a decent amount of time! He's been very awake lately and staunchly resisting naps. He really likes to look around and see stuff and feel new things with those little hands :o). He's learned to take the pacifier out of his mouth with his hands but he hasn't learned to put it back in yet. He also has learned to smile every time I smile at him which is just heart warming..

Today I posted a western show halter with interwoven turks head knots on ebay. Please go to see it. (or it bid!) (you can also see a picture of it above). I really hope it is as successful as the last halter that I had for sale cause I need the moola!

I made a bit of headway on the mother hubbard bosal but I found taht I'm pickier about the knots that I'm making so I've had to do a few over. (and over and over...) I'll post pictures of that as soon as it's at a stage where I'm happy with it.
I did find another design for a spade bit that I think I should be able to do. I found it on ebay (home to everything I've ever wanted but didn't know that I needed)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Gah! *grumble*

Today is one of those days that I have gotten nothing done in the studio. I thought I had finished my "Lady Phase" Mold Halter and I was pretty happy with my work. I then got a gander of it in the bright natural light and I noticed that all of the knots were dirty. I think that the day I was doing the knots, I touched them too much when I was working on them. It appeared that the oils from my hands turned the Ecru colored thread grey. This means that all of the knots have to be redone which is difficult to do when the halter is completly put together. I've gotten half of the knots redone that I need though so that makes me feel a little better.

Then I went to work on the Bosal for the mother hubbard II saddle. I tried to comprehend how to do a real six bight nose button in miniature and my brain just wasn't having it. I decided to fudge it a bit by just covering some spanish ring knots on either end. Well, I didn't realize that I should'v made those knots stationary before trying to braid over top of them. As you can imagine, my braiding work was "chasing" the knot to the wrong spot on the bosal. I then secured the knots but I have to wait a day to let the clear fingernail polish dry.

Then I went onto the bit for my Mother Hubbard II saddle. I'm not sure what I was thinking with the particular design. I can't use it now. It's just "wrong". This means I have to design another one AND I wasted precious silver in my first attempt with the other design.

Today was not the good day in the studio like I had thought it would be, but everyone has setbacks.

My son was crankier than usual today too. He's not on a rigid feeding and sleeping schedule. We kind of go with the flow with him because he constantly changes when he's hungry and when he sleeps. He roughly goes 3 - 4 hours between feedings and he has been sleeping up to 6 hours overnight. This last week though, he's not been sleeping well or napping well so it has made him cranky. (Not to mention mom and dad!) A lot of today was spent running around the house and trying to appease baby.

Yesterday and today Louisville, Ky experienced more of that "weather" that I mentioned a few posts ago. 7-12 Inches of snow fell across our fair city. Thankfully I had no where to be today so I enjoyed the snow in our back yard. I took quite a few pictures and above is one that I took at dusk.
I'm ready to go to bed now even though it's only 7pm! Thankfully, there is always tomorrow.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Last week I thought that I temporarily linked ONE webshots photo (The bosal) to my blogger account. Well, apparently I permanently linked them somehow. I see now on my website's blogger feed ( that it updates anytime I do anything to my webshots albums. This is not at all what I intended. My Apologies if you get anything weird like an email about me updating my webshots albums. I'm going to try to find out how to Unlink it.

This weekend was somewhat productive in the studio. I got further with the Lady phase halter and I read up on how to create a real nose button for a bosal. My brain hasn't "cooked" this piece of information yet and I don't know how to make it miniaturized. (Again, it makes me marvel at Susan Bensema Young's brilliance of making things in miniature.)

Little Man is doing great except for being a bit restless when he sleeps. I think he's going through some pre-teething stage. He's drooling a lot and not sleeping soundly. Last night he was very very restless which is continuing into this morning. Every time he falls asleep he seems to wake back up - all with his eyes closed... Course I don't mind looking at him..he's pretty cute