Friday, February 22, 2008

Ice Storm

Last night and part of the early morning today Louisville, Ky experienced an Ice storm. You northern folk might be giving me the "big whup" signal, but here in Louisville, this is a fairly rare occurrence. Louisville is in a geological/weather "bowl" of sorts. Mostly any "weather" (meaning storms or bad weather) goes around us - North to Indiana, and South to Bullet county. (Louisville is in Jefferson County). It literally usually just skirts us and we get the edge of the storms. (Except for the winter of 1994 but that's a different story).

I precariously went out on our back deck and our front yard today while munchkin slept this morning. The first picture shown is one of the pictures I took. Even though it's raining now, it's only 35 degrees and for some reason the ice is hanging around. Which is good for those of us that have the time to play with our cameras.
The second picture (which is horrible, my apologies)is a miniature bosal in progress that was designated for my "Mother Hubbard II" set. It marks the first time I've done an interweave heel knot on a bosal. I really haven't made that many bosals in my "career" of making miniatures. I think I've made about 10 total. This bosal was supposed to be a "bosalita" or "bosilla" or "Pencil Bosal" that marks a horse near the end of his bosal training, before he becomes a full "Bridle horse". I feel as though the heel knot is too large and I want a fancier bosal for my mother Hubbard set.
Therefore this bosal has turned into a regular bosal (in my mind) and will be donated to the Model Horse anonymous Live model horse show hosted by Heather Jackson-Lain. I had totally sworn off any donations to any shows this year because my schedule is so wonky but everything kind of fell into place for me to do this so I am. :-) The great thing is that I can finish up this bosal and make a twisted mecate for it which will give me some practice for the new bosal I'm going to make for the Mother Hubbard set. It lacks a couple of details that I want to put on it, but otherwise the headstall portion of it is pretty much finished.
I'm happy to report that Susan Bensema Young saw my last blog post, took pity on me and has graciously sent me the formula for a single interweave on a turks head knot in an email. I still can't find that original piece of paper. I've literally looked everywhere at this point. I wonder if I brought it with me somewhere and forgot it or it dropped down underneath something. I hope that I didn't throw it out with a bunch of other papers!
Anyway, if you're reading, THANK YOU SUSAN!!!!! You are always so gracious to me with your time and your knowledge, I don't know that I could ever repay you! (but I'm gonna try!) :-)
I now have high hopes for the new bosal that I'm going to make. I have it all pretty well planned out in my noggin and I hope that I can bring it to fruition.
My son is doing really well and life around here has definitely changed for the better. I'm still really, really tired but he's sleeping longer at night inbetween feedings so I'm not as tired as I was before. He really brings a lot of joy to the house and to our lives. He's learned to smile at us and laugh a little. It's very heartwarming and makes all of the sleepless nights worth it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ok, I admit it...

When Susan Bensema-Young came to visit me this past year during Breyerfest week 2007 she was kind enough to write out a "primer" for knot interweaving. I cherished this piece of paper because I thought it was SO NICE Of Susan to provide me with this information even though, at the time, I didn't entirely understand it. I KNEW though that it would be important to me when I was ready for it.

Well, This past week I was finally ready for it. And yes, you guessed it, I can't find the Damned thing! I had it in my "Inspiration/reference" binder and I must've taken it out at some point, thinking that I would do some knots and I've now entirely forgotten where I put it. I have now been searching for it for four days and I can't find it anywhere. Its not in any of the numerous piles of stuff in my studio or in any of the magazines that I normally read. Of course, it's not also in it's place, in my inspiration binder. It's not in my English/other pattern binder or my western saddle pattern binder either.

I was really bummed because I was really ready to start on some new interweaves for the NEW bosal that I'm going to be doing for my mother hubbard set. I have bought THREE books on how to braid leather, not realizing that only one, The Encyclopedia of Leather Braiding would've been fine. I also have "How to make Cowboy horse tack" and I found the section in it on bosals. (well, I found it because I went looking for it). I am going to attempt a miniature bosal made very similar to a real bosal. I wanted to do a certain interweave on the side buttons of the bosal. I feel as though the mother hubbard set "deserves" more sophisticated and realistic knots than those I've made in the past.

Luckily, I have a piece by Susan Bensema Young. A lovely leather/woven knot bridle in which she employed the herring bone interweave and the single interweave that I was looking for. Thanks to her excellent teaching I was able to look at her knots with the single interweave and I *think* I've figured out how to do a single interweave on a four bight five part knot. I've semi-successfully done this intweave twice now on a scrap piece of leather lacing and I'm ready to try it on a bosal.

Because of doing this, my brain automatically went to pondering a two color herringbone interweave. At first, I thought that I had it figured out, but sometimes what I have contemplated in my brain doesn't translated into real life. So that is going to take more cooking and figuring in my subconscious.

Well, it's Saturday again which means I take Munchkin to his Grandparents house. I have to run to the store first to get a Birthday card and more mylicon. I think this will be the first time I've actually gone to the store since my son was born. His dad has been wonderful enough to have done all of the food shopping up until this point! I'm kinda looking forward to going to a grocery store again! ha!!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Stuff I'm working on..

Above is a picture of the projects I'm currently working on.

The Western halter with the interwoven knots is the "lady phase" mold halter that I've been promising for a while. I am up to the point where I attach the buckles and the real silver keepers (the flat strips of silver are the keepers). My son doesn't like the sound of the engraver - he cries when he hears it - so I have to wait until he's asleep in a different part of the house to use it, which slows down the process even more. (thank goodness for intercom systems!)

The bosalita is for the Mother Hubbard II set that I have been working on for almost a year now. I'm not entirely sure that the bosal is finished. I'm "cooking" that one in the back of my mind.
The long string is supposed to be the mecate that I mentioned in my previous post but it doesn't really look the way I want it to either. It will be done over and some interwoven knots will be added at each end. I did learn that if I left the waxed strings overnight that they kept their shape! This leads to all sorts of new possibilities because it solves some of the issues that I was having. Thank goodness for happy accidents!
I'm also feeling rather "brave" about trying some new interwoven knots. I don't know where this bravery has come from but I'm glad it's here. Now to find the time to actually try them out!!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

a really good day

Today was a really good day.

We went as a family (me, my son and my husband) to my favorite Mexican Buffet restaurant, Marimba, in Shelbyville, Ky. Their food is excellent and all of the waiters know us. So it's kind of like going to a friend's for brunch.

Then when I came home, I took my son to my parent's house. They really love their latest grandson (and all of their older grandsons)and they subtlely teach me how to handle him every time I'm there. I don't know if they know that they're teaching me anything but they are.

Today my dad held my son and talked to him while my son was coo-ing and smiling at his grandpa. Today was the longest that my son has been awake his entire 8 week life and my Dad encouraged this. My son absolutely came alive and was very very active. He waved his arms, and kicked his legs and smiled repeatedly at my dad. This has taught me that he (my son) needs to spend less time in his bouncer and more time in my arms interacting with me.

When I came home, baby was tired so we let him sleep as long as he wanted to. This gave me time in the studio. (2 and 1/2 hours!!!!!) I was able to put a heel knot on my bosalita that matches my mother hubbard saddle and I started on making a new mecate for it. By looking at Susan Bensema Young's mecate and using Carol Williams Of Rio Rondo's method of making a rope, I thought that I had figured out how real twisted mecates are made. My method wasn't working however... I'm going to have to come up with a way to twist one in small scale.

I did find a video on the internet showing how life size mecates were machine made and I was indeed making it how real ones were made... Somehow it didn't work for me though so obviously more practice is needed.

Still this is progress and I feel really good about it.

After coming out of the studio, I fed munchkin who drank a whole bottle (which is rare for him) and then we interacted. He coo'd and smiled and even laughed at me as I chattered on at him! It was wonderfully heart warming and worth going through all of the colic episodes of the last two months :-)

Now to get him to sleep through the night!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Happy Feb 1, 2008!

Hi Folks!
Happy Feb 1st!

The last two months have been exceptionally busy and life changing for me, as you can imagine. RJ was suffering from colic every night and we've gone through four different formulas. The last formula seems to be working because the poor little guy isn't as colicky as he was on the others. He had a lot of gas and tummy issues. He's still waking me up several times overnight but that is more my fault than his. As expected, I'm a bit overly protective of him, so if he makes a weird noise I have to wake up to investigate.

This means I'm not getting a lot of sleep. I'm very grateful to my husband who takes over watching munchkin when he comes home from work, after dinner, so that I can get some solid sleep before taking over "third shift" again.

My son has brought a whole lot of joy to my life and I really shouldn't have waited till I was 37 to do this! (but I really think I wasn't ready till now.. I'ma bit of a late bloomer)

I am not going back to regular work as I thought that I might. It just hasn't worked out with my former employer so for now I'm staying home to raise munchkin.

This also means that I may get a bit more time in the studio. This week I've gotten up there for about an hour a day. My son comes with me and listens to music with me. Sometimes he sleeps and lets me work and sometimes he complains. On the weekends I should have more time cause hubby is home to help me watch munchkin.

The good news is that I have finished the knots on the new Lady Phase halter, but I don't know when it'll be finished.

Secondly, my staying home means that I'm gonna need money. Currently the only way I can legally get money is to make model horse tack .

My plan is to make a piece of tack for sale and offer it via lottery to folks only on my yahoo lists as a thank you for their continued loyalty. This will probably be in march because I need to finish the mother hubbard set II for it's owner first :) ( I swear I haven't forgotten! - I just need to learn one more interweave and make the bit!)