Friday, December 30, 2011

Breyers in the snow

Clementine- grade pony mare

Our new house has something that has worked out spectacularly well for the hobby- an uncluttered and stunning backdrop for show and sales photos! I've blogged about it before, but I just can't get over this gorgeous countryside that we now live in.

Hobbes- Hanoverian gelding

You have already seen some summer and fall shots in previous blog entries, since it's snowed a bit this past week, let's show off some winter shots!

Zeva- grade horse mare
The two mountains in the distance are about four miles away and are a part of the Green Mountain range. Across the street is a neighbor's field, this year the crop was soybeans. 

Tabula Rasa- Appendix QH mare

And the road just behind the fence is a fairly major north-south route for people going to and from work. Picture taking is carefully planned since I use a timer (I use a wide depth of field) or else I get a blurred-out neighbor's car going by...

Wild Plum- Miniature/Welsh cross mare
Taking photos of dark models against light snow is a pain, but it can be done well. 

Storm Phantom- Chincoteague mare
And taking photos of lighter colored models is quite a bit less hair-loss inducing.

Levi- Grade stallion
Although I did leave my alabaster and grey models inside for a later, indoor shoot.

Amazon Freckles- QH mare
Old Amazon here has been photo showing since the late 1990s with the same photo, shot with a film camera, which was taken in our San Antonio, Texas backyard. As fond as I am of that photo, I decided the old girl deserved a bigger, clearer photo. (unfortunately the original's hard copy was lost or else I'd re-scan it)

That's all for now, until next time!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a good one. Here's my Christmas Breyer for this year (thank you Meredith!):

I've named her "Clementine", a nod to her rather orangey-shade of chestnut (and a Lost reference, I'm a die-hard fan, oh well :p) and she'll be shown as a grade pony mare in Trad scale.  I also got Christmas money, so there will be some more new herd members along as soon as I decide what I want. Whee!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just a heads up on some new tack that is for sale on MH$P. Sales include this red and gold neck bells set, this pink 'roo lace trail halter/bridle comboThese are currently on eBay.  

This was a bridle I started at a get-together for Vermont and NY hobbyists in Colchester, and sort of rattled around my projects box for a few months. Still getting the hang of twisting floss, I would love to get that "spiral within a spiral" look I see on real mecate reins. Haven't found a method that works for that yet. Pooh.

Look for a whiskey and silver bells set later this week. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

New tack body

Been awhile since I bought a new model, and what fun it was to lie in wait for the mail truck again!

This handsome fellow is Stone's new Saddlebred mold, sculpted by artist Kathi Bogucki. Stone had several factory seconds on eBay at a reduced price, sold "as-is" with only the guarantee that he would come with a head, two ears, four legs, and a tail (!). And let me tell you- they weren't kidding. He looks fine from this angle, but up close... whoo. Prepper's nightmare. XD

But you can't beat paying $36 for a Traditional Bogucki sculpt! (trying not to notice that they dropped the price even more to $24... grr) I'm toying with the idea of having him painted eventually by my sister, but for now, he stays in his naked glossy white glory as a tack fitting body. Now he and my unpainted Palouse can start a nudist colony...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Knots to you, too

I learned four new things with this bridle: the half round six braid, three strand twisted cord, how to make cheek attachments that tie instead of buckle, and the hackamore knot. I learned the first three fairly quickly, but the hackamore knot had me stumped for a while. 

I had trouble just finding instructions for the thing, I found photos of the knot, videos that showed how to tie it (no good to me, I need high resolution illustrations to stare at) and instructions on how to tie the mecate rein (which I already know), but nothing on hackamore knots. Finally I found a site that said "oh, yeah, it's also known as a jug knot". Great! So it was off to Google instructions for "jug knots". 

Two sites came up with good, clear images, two similar but slightly different methods that seemed like something I could grasp. So I picked one tutorial, and so began my sometimes plodding learning process where I basically stare at instructions for some time, fiddling with my practice cord, repeating each step until I feel like I had it right. Well, there was one step I just couldn't get right because of vague wording. (OK I "turn down" these loops, fine, but what the heck does "turn down" mean??) So I turned to the other tutorial.

This one was trickier, but I got the hang of it, right up until the next-to-last-step. Stumped again, but this time because I couldn't get it to work for me on such a small scale. The loops were simply too small to make the passes this tutorial was showing. This tutorial mentioned another term, "jar knot", so, in exasperation, I Googled this term.

Ah, much, much better. A good, clear tutorial popped up with instructions that I could get to work with small scale loops! Yay! I got my practice string to do it! Yay again! Now I had to do it with my braided length of linen thread bent double to create the loop I needed to tie the latch knot for the throatlatch. It took quite a bit of patience, since the doubled strands wanted to part every time I touched it, then once I got the knot I had to loosen and adjust to move it down and leave the braids long enough to pass over the crown and tie on the other side, but compared to the learning process, that was a piece of cake!

And voilĂ . It matches the Western set I did last year, dark brown and sandy tones are my favorite. You do have to untie the latch knot and the cheek knot in order to take it off, which is a PITA, but in my opinion the look is worth it.

I do get a kick out of the fact that there is no metal on this bridle. (well, except for the aluminum wire core in the bosal, but it doesn't count ;p )

This bridle is for sale on MH$P for $70 ppd, hopefully I will get some nicer outside photos in the future.

ETA 9/22- bridle is now on eBay.  SOLD! Outdoor photos can still be seen here.

Until next time!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pre-Irene skies and a "new" model

Pretty spectacular sunset last night with the outer edges of Irene's clouds starting to pass overhead!
Right now it's a steady rain with some wind gusts. We're supposed to get stronger winds this afternoon into evening, hopefully it won't knock out power. 

In model news, I donated several items to the raffle at Melissa Addison's American Heartland Live (Platte City, MO) just before our move to VT, and put most of my tickets in for this handsome fellow: 

Besixdouze, Belgian Brabant stallion
SO happy to have won him! Big thank you to Cassie Black for donating him, and to Melissa for holding AHL. I wish I could have attended one more time, it was a fun show every year. 

Well, he'll be a Region X showhorse, now. :)

Until next time!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Open House at the UVM Morgan Horse Farm

The UVM Morgan Horse Farm had a free open house on Wednesday, so we stopped by for an hour or two. I would have liked to stay longer, but everyone else was hungry for lunch (and tbh, so was I) so this is what I got.


Before I switched to the "speed" setting on the camera. Actually,
I like how this came out.

This is the second time this week I've seen a bridle with what
looks like a sidecheck rein hook on the crown. The other was
on a Percheron being ridden at the county fair (photos
from that later).

The horses were being shown off in the paddock out front with
an announcer talking about each horse. Not a good photo-
taking vantage point.

So I moved up toward the barn and took photos by the path
being used to bring the horses out.

Some misbehaving by the barn.

This guy kept neighing back at someone
in the barn. Stall buddy? Girlfriend?

Mr. Loudmouth had a white spot on his butt. Birdcatcher spot? 

Oh, ladies!

One of the weanlings was very curious about us.

Wha? Oh, you're over there now.

Shot of the barn with the Justin Morgan statue out front
That's all for today!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Red zebra halter

Well I just got her in a trade and I had some red leather lace lying around. Thank you to Jennifer Buxton's blog entry on rolled throatlatches! That was easier than I thought it would be!

It is for sale on MH$P.

In other news, we've been growing vegetables out back, and I picked our first tomato yesterday!

Not much to look at, but I'm proud all the same. We cut it up and split it between the three of us as a pre-dinner snack. One word: delish! 

And I'll leave you with a panorama shot out front. They're long here, but those shadows of the house and the trees can stretch almost to those trees in the distance, which are about a mile away, before the sun disappears over the hill.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dogs and props

I love collecting in-scale dogs, not just Breyers but also Hagen-Renakers, various MIJ and MIC chinas and resins, and, as with "Dobby" the Pug up there, Schleich toys. Not all Schleichs are made equal, in fact many are very toyish, but enough are realistic enough that the brand should not be overlooked. They also make cats, poultry, goats, and other pets and farm animals.

They can make for cute interaction with the main subject. Titania always has her photo taken with her pal Bailey.

And they make nice background additions, like Bailey and Dobby watching Merlin doing some free jumping. 

A note on non-animal props: I'd been looking for a way to show Merlin in halter, since just having him positioned in the setting jumping nothing would have looked a little strange, at least in a "realistic" setup. (and I'm not much of a fan of neutral, "artsy" backdrops, at least not for conformation classes) Photos of horses free-jumping solved that problem. I took two empty cans that were destined for the trash: a small evaporated milk can, and a vienna sausage can. The wrappers and glue were removed, the cans washed, then spray-painted in stable colors. Topped it off with a cavaletti off an old Breyer jump and Merlin had his jump.  

 Not much else to post about this time, so I'll leave you with some baby Friesians and their mothers. They live along the route we take to get to the store and where my sister works. Aww! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New photo backdrop

The view from the front porch at our house is just stunning, nothing but fields and forest all the way to the mountains 4 miles away. Unfortunately most of our yard is on a downhill slope so finding some level ground on which to set up a photo table was a chore. I finally found a good spot in the side yard and set up to take some sales photos as well as some new show photos. This setup works great for Traditionals, I'm still working on adjusting table and tripod heights for smaller scales.


Christian taking Freckles Outlaw for a spin.

Really love how this one came out!
And Freckles after she ditched her rider and somehow 
wiggled out of her tack... she's rather exasperating that way

Cleopatra takes her invisible English rider out for a ride. I need more English dolls...
Cleo's halter shot.

Cleo's son Kharavanserai
Riddle gets a new halter photo after 11 years.  His gloss makes
photography pretty difficult, but the overcast conditions were
just right for keeping out those pesky glare spots.
I'm very pleased with how this came out. 
A few more:

September Shadows, a Colorado Rangerbred. 
Lady Charlotte, who shows well as a Standardbred.

Copper Chime, a QH mare and apparently the name of an Indian
cuisine restaurant in Christchurch, New Zealand. 
White feet are sometimes a problem with the camera exposure blowing them out. Reducing light intake on the camera helps but sometimes makes everything else too dark. I have a Photoshop lighting and layers trick that I use instead, which I will be sharing in a later post.

Oh, and the bridle and bareback set pictured are for sale on MH$P.

Until next time!