Saturday, May 24, 2008

New hobby.

The photo above is of my kitty Lill, on a glorious sunny day Last September.
IN case you were unaware, I spend a LOT Of time alone at home with just the baby, my thoughts, the cats and anything creative I can get into. For the last 10 years this has been miniature tack.

Starting with the camera (Canon EOS Rebel XTI 400D)that hubby gave me for my birthday, it now also includes photography. I've found some photography websites here recently that allow uploads and critiques of photos as well as monthly photo contests. This has been a BLAST because as a lot of folks know, I tend to take a gigantic amount of pictures. I wore out my Sony DSC-v1 at the arabian horse nationals in 2006. IT no longer pre-focuses when one pushes down the shutter button which is why most of my pictures in 2007 kinda stunk.

In fact, we have an entirely separate drive for our computer with about 150 GIG on it that I Get to fill with pictures. We have 116 gig left now. Yes, I filled it with pictures. Everything from model horse shows, to real horse shows, to my cats and my son. My husband and I also like to shoot ominous weather photos. Big thunderhead clouds or some flooding in the back yard.
I try really hard to get good pictures of the wildlife we have hanging out around my house but I'm not very good at it yet. My goal this year is to get some good pictures of the hummingbirds that enjoy our bushes near the garage. No clue how I'm going to accomplish this but it may involve me sitting by the retaining wall for long periods of time with a camera.

The photo sites that I go to that I really enjoy are: (Great for amateurs and professionals alike) , (warning, not for the faint of heart. Mostly professionals) and of course and I have photos in all three places and I'll spare you the urls. Remember if you're putting photos up on the internet and you'd rather not have them used elsewhere, it's a good idea to put a watermark on them. I'm finding more and more my photos being used and posted in different places without any acknowledgement. I am watermarking all of my photos from now on with the exception of in progress photos.

........And speaking of in progress photos, the below photo is of the headstall to the Mother Hubbard II set. (I have now officially been working on that set for over a year) I'm really pleased with how it's turning out so far. I wish that the knots were a little farther down onto the tassels but otherwise I like it. There will be a browband and a throatlatch on it when I'm done. I'm really happy that I finished the reins already.. that would've taken me another eternity to finish!

I am also diligently working on a woven/silver show halter to fit the ISH mold in blue. I've just been moving very slowly because my son requires more of my attention now. NO more long naps to enable me to work in the studio uninterrupted. Sometimes I only get about 20 minutes in the studio which is about how long a foundation knot takes if everything goes well. He's worth it though. The smiles and giggles alone make me happy for days :-)

Still Working on the Bridle. THis is the headstall in progress


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bam! Right into a wall..

No, not my car.. My brain!

I'm working on the crownpiece for the braided bridle and I'm having a hard time making knots overtop the tassel/knot combo thing at the end. I've done it once but the knot was too big and the decorative knot didn't cover it completely so I had to cut it off. After that, I haven't successfully made another decorative knot over top the "Functional" knot which makes the tassel head. I guess my brain just doesn't "Understand" it or maybe it's too advanced for my skill level right now. I dunno but I'm just going to keep banging my head against it until I get it right. (as usual!)

I've had some very nice folks tell me that they don't believe that any of my tackmaking is hard for me, but I'm here to set the record straight! I just have a stubborn streak a mile wide and the unfortunate desire for doing things the hard way

Inbetween banging my head against that knot/tassel issue, I'm working on another "braided" western show halter for the Peter Stone Ideal Stock Horse Mold. I am going to "lottery" it off on my yahoo group to thank those folks for joining and being so patient. That way I don't have to fool with Ebay, which is getting stranger and stranger with it's rules.

I also have another bosal/hanger on my radar to sell because I'm saving money for my Breyerfest Trip in July. I Fooled with it briefly yesterday because it's made the "old way" that I used to make bosals instead of the "new way" that I learned earlier this year. That's going to take some time too.. I may just scrap it and start a new one.. it might be easier and faster.
My Son is more aware of the world around him now. Last week he turned over from back to belly several times on his own, but he doesn't seem interested in doing that this week. This week he's been crankier than usual and has been sleeping more, getting up at 7am instead of his usual 6am. This is good because it's been giving me a bit more sleep which I desperately need. I think he's closer to teething now because he loves cold teething rings on his gums. The bad part is that I'm getting less time in the studio. Before he'd just stare at the TV's colors and music but now he seems to need my attention more. He seems to be on par for development for his age which is very comforting.
I should probably say something about the Poor Filly Eight Belles from the Derby but I don't want to go on and on about my theories about why it happened or my "issues" with Racing horses. I think that if you do a Google News search you'll read opinions of all types. Some more informed than mine and some less. There was a really good article on the ESPN website about all of the factors contributing to all of the more frequent race horse breakdowns over the last few years. To read it you can go here It says a lot of things that I already knew and suspected. One point was raised though that some of the same bloodlines here in the US that supposedly cause unsound horses race into their 4 year old and 5 year old years abroad in England and Australia. So clearly this is a complicated issue. I'm eager to see what US racing does to try to curb the "breakdown" trend.
Lastly, the picture above was taken by me in my Senior Year in highschool. In the 1980's there was a mostly arabian horse Subdivision in LaGrange Kentucky called "L'Spirit". It was made up of 100's of acres all carved into gigantic farms that mostly bred Arabians. The mares above belonged to Bittersweet Arabians. In my Sr year of high school, gas was less than $1 and to amuse myself I would go out driving and taking pictures of horses. Kentucky is a wonderful place to do this :)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Kentucky Derby Week!

Normally, I'm very INTO Kentucky Derby Week. I'm very proud that I live in Louisville, KY and that all eyes are on us once a year for this prestigious horse race. Although I have my "issues" with the horse racing industry, I set those aside for the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.

This year though, because of Mr Boy, I've been somewhat "out of it". I barely know who's running although I did pick some horses to root for. Big Brown, Colonel John and Eight Belles.

It poured rain today before the Oaks and made the track sloppy so a long shot came in. Thats part of the fun of horse racing, you never know what will happen.

On Derby Saturday, I never ever go to a Derby Party and anyone that is not a horse lover is allowed to come to my house. I find that "regular" people want to *gasp* TALK to me while the TV talks about horses. How annoying...! I just want to watch the coverage of the Races and of the various Derby Contenders without having to make small talk with someone about something other than horses.

I also refuse to leave the house for any reason. The one year that I agreed to give a lift to someone ("I swear it'll only take an hour!" they said...) to their mother's house, I found, after going to said friend's mother's house that she in fact, did not own a tv. You can imagine how peeved I was.

On the miniatures front, I started on the headstall for the braided bridle for my Mother Hubbard II set. it's wrong.... just all wrong.. Tomorrow I'm going to have to cut it off of the bit and start over. I had a couple of techniques in mind but they turned out too bulky and I didn't like the look.. then I thought I had a decent design but it's just not.. At least I have the weekend to work on it though while I watch the races.

Lastly, the picture of the Beautiful Horse Above was taken at the Rock Creek Spring Horse Show that I went to last week. It's not "After Eight", the horse pictured in my last blog post, but it's another beautiful black horse.. I didn't catch it's name though. I think that a few horses that showed there were not Saddlebreds. I don't think that the horses that showed were required to be a Saddlebred but I'm not sure about that. The horse above does not look "Saddlebred-y" to me but I'm not an expert.
I'm not finished with resizing the pictures from the show but as soon as I do I'll let people know.