Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Status Quo..

Another Wednesday and I'm not much farther along on my "Mother Hubbard" project. I have been working on the Vaquero Reins, the Bosilla and the saddle tree. I've finally come to understand better the Turks Head knots and the spanish ring knots that I've been making. Previously I was making the knots by using a diagram in a book but
not really understanding the terms and what they really meant. I think I'm really getting it now though and I hope to be able to do two color knots in the near future. (Thank you goes to
Susan bensema young who helps me keep my interest in knots and braiding alive with her stunning work!)

I am posting a picture of the Bosilla in progress.. I still have two more spanish ring knots to put on the nose.

The saddle tree that I'm painting is far too yellow so I'm going to have to tone it wayyyy back down with a lot of white.

I have heard from the museum gift shop that I was working with and I need to re-sell myself to them. This is making me a bit nervous but with my husband's help, I think I can come up with a decent email illustrating my accomplishments and my miniatures work. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I am finding myself hopelessly addicted to the TV Show on Discovery called "How
it's made
". Every time I See something manufactured I get more ideas as to how to make my miniatures or I get ideas on what classes I need to take to push myself to making the kind of work that I want to be making.

I want to quickly mention the Kentucky Derby Winner Barbaro that was put down on Monday. I think that he showed a lot of folks what horses are truly capable of, and what they're not capable of. I also think that his owners and trainers and Dr's did absolutely the best things for him at the right time. I admire them both for their commitment to their horse and in the end, their strength to know when to let him go. I'm hoping that his owners will allow his remains to either come to Churchill Downs or to the Kentucky Horsepark so that I can go visit him.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I still haven't heard from the museum folks that I had been talking with. I'm sure with staff changes, things are chaotic so I'm being patient.

In the meantime, I'm hurtling forward with my miniature "mother hubbard" project. (as I've so labeled it in my head). The first picture is of the miniature bit shanks that I hand made and etched out of silver. I've found that even with the fine gague silver that I"m working with, I can still use jewelers rouge to buff it out to a high shene. I'm fairly delighted with the progress that I've made so far. I'm also going to work on hand made silver buckles for the matching bridle as well as braided vaquero reins and a bosilla. (and then paint the tree and and and and and...)

I REALLY wanted to be finished with this by the end of January, but I don't think thats going to happen. I should've started earlier but for some reason The time I took on the roping set got away from me. I regret how long that took but I don't regret the end

I can see that these mother hubbard saddles can get addicting for me. I REALLY want to do another one in a different color like Mahogany.

Today when I woke up (today is a "late day" for me because I usually work out in the mornings but I take wednesday's off) I found that it had SNOWED! I know this isn't a rare occurance for most places in the US in the winter, but the Ohio Valley here where Louisville, KY Is situated is a strange place. We sit in a bowl of sorts. Weather tends to go AROUND us. Literally. I live on the very outskirts of Louisville so we were treated to some lovely snow. Just enough to blanket the ground in white but not enough to cause too many issues. I think the temp is going to get up to 38 degrees today so there isn't a lot of chance for freezing roads.

Anyway, I got a nice shot (second picture) of our backyard right before the sun came up. Everything was black and white.. it was very serene and lovely. I'll attach it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Little steps

This is a prototype for a silver spade bit that I'm trying to develop. This was cut from real silver and then etched using a dremel etcher. I am really pleased with how this turned out. I was going to leave the bit shank simple but I believe that I can do better, relatively easily. I wish that I had taken drafting or some other
kind of class that would teach me better about centering and designing things.
It's frustrating to have to wing it and then it not come out as perfect as I'd like. I also think I should take a jewelry class on cutting silver. I have no idea what folks who cut filgaree designs out of silver use in the way of equipment. SO MANY IDEAS! SO LITTLE TIME IN LIFE!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I found out some Poetentially bad news this past friday. Seems as though there has been some staff changing at the museum that I was making tack for. I don't know yet what this means for my project. It's very scary for me, but then I have a really bad habit of always thinking the worst.. (just ask my husband! HA!).

This is a picture of it in progress. That back part is just laid underneath the Mochilla. I haven't put in the rigging yet because I can't primer the tree. It's been too wet here!!

I am lucky enough to have some very talented friends. My friend robin agreed to attempt to make the wooden stirrups that I would need for this set. I think it would be SO cool and authentic if that came about!!


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A new start in a new year!

Ok.. I decided that my previous pattern was way too complicated.
Susan Young tells me that this is because of my fine art training. I think she's right. I continually have to "un-detail" my miniature patterns. ("But I can fit all of these lines in one little space!")

I've learned a tremendous amount about the old west/old california era between about 1820-1860. Well, at least I've learned a lot about the saddles used. Big thanks to Bruce Johnson and James Nottage!

This is my revised pattern. It will allow me to move forward faster because it's not so complicated.

This past weekend, I was SO sick. Too much time spent in bed and not enough time spent making miniatures! I am now really grateful for my job because if I'm sick, I can work anyway and I don't have to see other people.