Tuesday, June 30, 2009

NAN, short report

It's over! I'm still exhausted. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights I got two, four, and five hours of sleep. Last night I slept for 12 - and feel a lot better today!

The show was incredible, and went really really well for me. All in all, I ended up with eight championships, four reserve championships, and sixty top tens. Many of those are due to Miss Jennifer Buxton - without her making me those two extra english sets at the eleventh hour, I would have had to scratch two models from showing! It would have been a disaster!

This is the champ I was the most excited about, in CM Western Pleasure.

When I first got into showing, I could never imagine doing well in such a tack-specific class as western pleasure. There was no way I could afford to buy the really fancy saddles I saw winning. That motivation was the first thing that got me into tack making in the first place, so winning a national championship in that class was really special for me. The saddle pictured here is a replica of Tracy Eilers' real show saddle. The replica saddle is a gift to Tracy for all of the things she does for me, as well as just for being such a great friend. It makes me truly happy to be able to give gifts like this.

I have posted my NAN photos here:


They are 95% my horses, but I did put a caption on most of them - maybe it'll be semi-interesting? It's bittersweet that the whole thing is over now. I'll be able to do other things with my nights and weekends for a bit, although I am even more excited about tack making again. I had a great discussion with Carolyn Boydston at the show, and she has some pictures of an ancient warrior statue with really neat tack I want to try to make - the bridle has DEER ANTLERS on it! How neat would that be!? It will be fun to make some tack that isn't so boxed in to 'working western' or 'western pleasure'.

I do have Breyerfest coming up in roughly three weeks though. That will be much easier though - since I am flying, I am only going to show one, maybe two horses in performance, and then just OF and CM minis. It will be a great time, and I am looking forward to hanging out with the mom-unit!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

No pics - sorry!

I have a camera full of pics, but still have to pack my customs and resins for tomorrow - so no pictures tonight guys, sorry! NAN today was awesome, but of course exhausting. I ended up with twenty-something top tens, and three champs!

More on Sunday! Tomorrow we'll be there even later because of the auction, but I expect to be home in plenty of time to post all the pics from the weekend on Sunday.

Off to get ready for round two!

Friday, June 26, 2009


It's 1:46 AM, the morning of my busiest day at NAN. I'm just now going to bed. I'll wake up again in a tad less than four hours.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Workin' Away...

I apologize that I don't have any pictures to post with this blog - it's mostly just an update! I had my second toe surgery on Monday, and it went as well as can be expected. I'm so excited to be able to wear socks and not have throbbing toes at the end of the day!

The saddle factory is going full speed ahead. I got all the tooling done on the next all-around set last night, and dyed the leather. Tonight I will seal it, and being the fun part of construction! It's our friend Julio's birthday though, so I will get a brief reprieve from tackmaking to go out to dinner with friends.

Lastly, proxy bidding for the parade saddle I donated to NAN ends on Saturday! You can see the set at the following link, as well as instructions on how to submit a bid.

I hope to post again on Thursday with more pictures!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One down, four to go!

My apologies to those on Blab who will be reading this twice. For everybody else, here goes!

This saddle is one of five I *WILL* get done for myself to show at NAN this year. With NAN in my back yard, I could not pass up the opportunity to show pretty much every performance horse I own. My goal is to have NO tack changes at the show - so that means I need a LOT more tack! The plan is to make the following:

-Super-pleasure light oil silver set (the one pictured in this post)

-All-around set in saddle tan
-All-around set in chocolate

-All around set in light oil
-Gaming set (The theme for this will be unicorns - seriously. I'm going to tool unicorn heads on a saddle. The pad is rainbow...)

Anyway, here it is! I'm really happy with how it turned out. It seems like I try something new on every saddle set I do, so I apologize if me talking about the latest new thing gets old! This time, the new thing was these dogwood flowers. They are the first 'real' round flowers I've done, in that they actually look like flowers and have individual petals. I'm usually a fan of the roughly round thingy with lines in the middle to hide that it's
just a round blob... This set also has a new finishing product on it that I LOVE. It really brings out the depth of the tooling way more than what I was using previously. It's amazing what a simple change of finisher will do!

T-minus 2.5 weeks until I MUST finish the other four... Oh, and fly to Breyerwest and work a full time job too. It shall be interesting...

Here's the saddle! It's pictured here on Mel Miller's Jasmine resin, the ears forward version. Tracy Eilers painted her, and is giving her a few more fun details before she shows in Halter, workmanship, AND performance at NAN.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Whoops, it's been a while...

I have been neglecting this blog for WAY too long! Thanks to those that are still 'following' me for not giving up hope. Today I have a rather large update! Most of you that would read this probably already know, but my NAN parade set was finished about a week ago, and turned over to the NAN auction coordinator. It was bittersweet to let go of it, it's certainly my best tack set to date. Here's a sample pic of it, the rest you can see on my website.

I'm really glad to have it finished and gone though, so I can move on to the *five* other sets I need to finish for myself in the next three weeks! Yes, it's a bit ambitious, but I have faith I can do it. This is the first of the five, and I am discovering the more saddles I make, the harder it is to 'name' each one. So this one is called "June 2009 Dogwood". It's my first try on these kinds of flowers, and I really like how they turned out. I also tried a new finishing product on this saddle, and LOVE how it brought out the depth of the tooling.

The picture there is rather small, so here's a cropped close-up of a corner, to show tooling:

I am hoping to finish this set tonight! Up next on the "to get done" block will be a purple/rainbow Unicorn themed gaming set (No, I'm not kidding, it's going to be FABULOUS), a saddle tan pleasure/all around set, and then two other all-around sets that have yet to be designed in my head. I'm so glad I have three more weeks to get all this done - and most of the week off prior to NAN!

I'm still recuperating from my toe surgery last week. It was extremely owie, and now my toe is all shades of gross looking. I'm pretty sure the toenail is going to come off this coming week. Lucky me, I get to go back next Monday to have the other toe done! WHEE!

That's all for now, I hope to have more updates this week as the next two saddle sets move along to completion!