And Away We Go!

I got the very last scheduled donation boxed up yesterday, and today it hits the post office.  Not a moment too soon, since The Show for the Cure is March 24! This is much, much closer than I am comfortable with, and it was a combination of poor planning and !@#$%^-stupid-boots! Boots can be time consuming under the best of circumstances, and then I had to remake one particular boot twice; once because the tabs were on the wrong side* and again because I dyed it too dark.  I also remade part of the five point breastplate to correct some fit issues and lengthened the crown piece of the bridle.

But it's done, thank goodness, and will ship today along with a few extra goodies.  Here are a couple of photos:

 Now that both donations are out of the studio, it's time to really dive into the next project: a cross country/jumper set for WeeJay!  I'll be doing more boots, of course, and another five point breastplate.  I finished the figure eight bridle while I waiting for various parts of that last !@#$ boot to dry (and watching Frasier).

Please excuse the poor studio photo - this was taken indoors at night with the flash.

Compare to the two bridles below, both finished in March of last year.

The reins are slimmer on this year's bridle because I've gotten more confident when lacing reins and the buckles now have tongues, but otherwise there's not much difference, is there?  I haven't decided if that's a good thing or a bad thing.  I hadn't cleaned up the edges on the 2011 bridles yet, if anyone wonders about the light edges on some straps.  I have to trim lace for strapgoods by hand and those edges are the result of dye not soaking all the way through.  From what I've read, this is a common complaint with Eco-Flo dyes.  It's not really a problem for me, though.  I dip my brush back in the dye and run it along the edges before sealing. 

*Equine legwear is always worn with fasteners (buckles, velcro, etc) on the outside, with loose ends pointed behind the horse to prevent injuries and help keep the protective gear from being torn off by another foot.  The boot in question was for the left rear leg; when the tabs were on the outside of the leg, they pointed forward.  It would be much easier for something to tear them off as the horse is moving forward, over a jump say, than if they were pointed towards the rear.

It Begins Again

I know I promised a post last...Thursday? You'll just have to forgive me, life got busy again!

 I used to think that I was a patient person.  I really did.  Then I made a five point breastplate last month and wrapped up five pairs of boots, one of which ended up being a double and has to be redone.  Strap goods and odd bits of miscellany tax my patience.  There comes a point when I just want the endless parade of buckles and keepers to be over.

And now I'm getting ready to start a figure eight bridle, a full set of leg protection, and another five point breastplate (and a saddle, of course).  It's all for WeeJay, though, and you'd be surprised by how much easier his slightly larger size makes things.

I'm sure part of it stems from the laborious preparation process.  Unfortunately, lace does not come in "miniscule"; most of the straps on my bridles are less than a millimeter wide and thinner than two sheets of copy paper. If I did by lace by the yard or spool, I'd still have to dye it, skive it, and split it by hand.  Might as well cut out the middle man.  I have also learned that I don't like waiting for dye to dry.  It's like watching a pot boil.

Then there's the actual construction.  I spent most of a morning and an entire afternoon finishing a bridle and four pairs of boots.  After the last boot, even my eyes were starting to cross.  I had to look it up - the last pair of boots I made was probably in June.  June! I'd forgotten how long they take.

The good news, though, is that the last donation is almost done and Sugar High Live's box went out March 2.  I took some photos of the Show for the Cure donation, which is when I discovered the messed up boot.  I also ended up reworking the five point breastplate (which didn't fit quite right) and the bridle (the crown piece was a little short).  What you don't see in the photo below are two pairs of galloping boots and a fitted "fleece" pad.

Rough Riders Live!

Like a lot of artists, I donate to a few different shows every year.  So far this year I've sent donations to Show for the Cure, Red Deer Rebellion, and in just less than a week Rough Riders Live will be added.  The show is held in Fargo, ND, and will run from July 30 to 31.  They have an entire day devoted to minis and performance! Sounds like my kind of show!

When Nancie, the hostess, asked me to donate I said sure! Unfortunately, I timed things badly and wasn't able to get anything along the scale of S4tC or RDR ready in time.  I did have a nice, all around personal set that I'd made ready, so I shipped that out to North Dakota.  Nancie received it on the 21st, in plenty of time for the show.  I thought her email was too sweet not to share, so with her permission:


The sm tack set arrived today!!  OMG, I had to get my glasses on to see it!!  LOL
How in the WORLD do you make such small tack and so beautifully?  LOL

Thank you so much for the donation and I'll make sure to lyk who wins it.  WOW!!


I love hearing about how people react to my tack, their success with my tack at shows, and how it does as a donation.  It really, truly makes my day.  I'm sure other artists feel the same way, so don't forget to update them!

Here's a close-up of the saddle that I sent to Nancie:

Good luck next weekend, Nancie, and to everyone who will be at Rough Riders Live!


PS: I haven't forgotten about the raffle! I'm working things out, and I'm reasonably sure that the next post will have details.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Photos

One of my wonderful customers, Barb, sent me some photos from the Mid-Atlantic Regional show held last weekend.  She used some western tack I made for her way way back in 2009 and the english set that I finished this month and got some pretty nice results!

Second in dressage

Second in trail

First with a Dreamflite halter

Western Challenge High Point award!

Second in a barrels/poles/games class

First in trail!