Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last saddle for the year!

I finished that parade set last night, and got photos this morning!  I am really beyond happy with how it turned out, so without further delay here are a whole bunch of photos.

This is it from me for the year!  Tomorrow morning we head down to Maarssen for Christmas, and then I am off on Monday the 27th for America.  I really cannot wait to visit everybody in Oregon and Washington, and have a HUGE list of things I want to do while I am there.  Go to Michael's and revel in a huge craft store, Jo-Ann for the same reason, not to mention all of my friends and family that I miss terribly.  It will also be wonderful to go places and understand the conversations around me without having to work to listen!

I hope you guys reading this have a wonderful holiday too, and that you are able to spend it with those you love.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Two per week has failed!

Though I can't say I am especially surprised, two per week lasted exactly one week.  I did get one saddle per week done the other two weeks, though!  I am fortunate that a couple of my customers asked that their saddles be moved farther down the line, so nobody is waiting longer than expected (I hope!).

Anyway, here is a small preview pic of the last saddle of 2010!

It has more than 140 individually tooled and detailed longhorn conchos, those were a bear!  Right now I am in the last stages of construction, and it should be done tomorrow or Thursday.  Just in time, because we leave on Friday to have Christmas with Ben's family!  Then on Monday I fly to America for my visit!  It will probably be quiet around these parts for my trip, though I do hope to update at least once.  I still have another post coming with finished photos of this parade set, though, when it's done!  

Monday, December 13, 2010

As Promised, Tack Pics!

I just got this one put together and got a few photos.  It's a reining set, to fit the Rose Reiner (obviously, haha).  I love the reference pic the customer sent.  She wanted this saddle here, except with a rope edge instead of barbed wire, and with tooling added to the corners of the fenders and jockeys:

Aaaaaand, here's my interpretation:

This one was fun!

Live Show this Weekend!

Well, I do not have saddle pics to post today.  I DO have one saddle almost done for this week, however!  It's not two, but it's better than none.

One of the reasons I was busier than usual this week is that I held my very first live show here in Holland.  It was really fun!  The point of the show was to give a low-key opportunity to practice with the "show one horse in many performance classes" system, which is totally new over here.  Only four entrants were able to make it in the end (it was rather frosty the week leading up to the show), but I heard great things from all four of them.  In addition, these guys just blew me away with how hard they worked to learn this new format!  They all had horses entered in multiple classes, and one entrant managed to get her horse shown in both the other performance division and the english division, with great success.

The show hall is rather small, but I can fit ten entrants in it, and the price is right.  I will be doing another one of these in April, this time only for AR models, CM models, and OF Minis.

Here are a few photos!  M&Ms were my "ribbons", and the orange ones are for first place.  It went Orange, Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Brown.

You can see the whole album here, with many more photos of performance and OF Halter (the two divisions offered).

I also hope to have more photos to post later today or tomorrow, of the saddle I am finishing!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I fail.

Operation Two Per week crashed and burned this week.  I have all sorts of excuses, but the result is that I finished just one set, and that was today.  I also made a pair of skid boots, but those are pretty quick.

Instead of wallowing in my failure, I will just post a few peetchers of the set I DID finish.  It was made for the ISH, who is a lot heavier through the middle than Miss America here, so excuse the hanging billet - that girth is cinched all the way up!

I am hoping I manage to be more productive next week, and stick to my goal!  Only 3 weeks left until I get on a plane... EEK!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sometimes I feel like I'm being watched...

Working alone in the house can have it's positives, like having whatever music I want turned up as loud as I want it.  Some days though, I get a little stir crazy...

Like today, I was working away with tooling and got that "eyes boring holes into me" feeling.  I wonder why...

She watches...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Still... mostly on track!

Can we pretend today isn't Monday?  Yes?  Great.  In that case, here is the second of the two saddles I finished right on time.

It's a rather "old school" style, which was really fun to do - my reference pic was of an older Circle-Y saddle that looks strikingly similar to the dark oil Billy Royal I showed in for years.

Up next: Light oil star themed reining set and a second pink sweetheart set!  NEXT week I will do a parade set I've been very excited to start on!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Two Per Week; Still on Track!

Here's the saddle I finished this morning:

It's for a customer that has a dark breastcollar and headstall coming from Susan Bensema-Young at some point, and I am just honored that my saddle will be paired with such work.  I feel similarly about an order I have on the books to make a saddle to match a headstall and breastcollar by Heather Moreton-Abounader.  Both of these ladies do incredible braiding and strap goods.  You can find Heather's blog here, where she gives us previews of her amazing work!

One day I hope to tackle braiding!  It's another item on my list of things to do when people tire of ordering from me and I have more time to play around with stuff for myself.  Other items on this list include harnesses, english tack, spanish and portugese tack, crazy feathered and rhinestoned circus tack...  Oh, to have unlimited time.

Anyway, Saddle Number Two for this week is still partially in pieces - it's tomorrow's project.

I hope all of you in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

(Edit to add - one of the little silver dealies is crooked on the top photo!  Those can move, they are held in with pins that reinforce the saddle construction, so I just have to nudge it back into place, but oops!  I normally catch those before photos...)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Finished the LB set from earlier this week!

The bridle is too big for this horse, the horse it was made for has a wider and bigger head.  So ignore the floppy fit on the bridle and the extra length on the throatlatch and the reins!

Woo hoo!  Now on to two chocolate colored pleasure sets, one trad and one classic.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Customer Photos!

WOO HOO, I have some customer photos from a show to post!  I just love getting these. A note for anybody that owns a saddle by me - e-mail me show photos, and for every show you get entered into a raffle.  Next year I will draw a winner, who will get something very special.  I don't know exactly what I'm going to give away for this yet, but it'll be worth taking a few photos for, I promise!

These are from Red Dirt Roundup, held this weekend in Oklahoma I believe.

This first entry belongs to Kellye Bussey - I love her customized Miss America resin!

These next photos are of an entry by Christie Partee, on one of my favorite performance horses - the BHR Loping horse!

If you have photos of any of my other work from a show, don't hesitate to send them my way!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A LB Set!

I confess.  Making tack smaller than classic scale is not my favorite thing in the world.  There just isn't enough space to get in all the goodies I want to add to everything!

In spite of my hesitation about them, I have made a few.  Here are progress photos I took this evening of a LB scale working set I'm doing now:

I hope to finish it up tonight or tomorrow.

Here's a couple photos of the other recent LB set I've done - it doubles as a parade or pleasure set:

I have one more LB scale set on the books right now, and once that's done I hope this will be the end of my Tiny Tack adventures for a while!  I will say though, the big ones just seem so easy after doing a couple of these wee ones!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Something awesome happened!

I made this set earlier this year:

I sent the link to that saddle's page to the Tacky Tack blog when it happened, and I just got an e-mail that she posted it to her blog!  The comments are just beyond flattering, and I am so tickled to be mentioned over there.  You can read the post on the Tacky Tack of the Day blog here. 

Operation Two Per Week is still on track, though I have a LOT to do on the LB set this weekend to get it done for this week's deadline!  I will hopefully have photos of that on Sunday, as well as real finished photos of the classic set.

We have friends here visiting this weekend too, so I am taking some time to be social!  Tomorrow we're going somewhere to see seals.  That's about all I know about this destination.  Hoping the weather holds!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Operation Two Per Week: So far so good.

I am 3 days into my "Two Per Week" goal, and so far it is going well.  Today I finished the classic set I started on Monday, and Friday I will finish the LB working set.  If all goes well on Friday, I should be able to start tooling next week's sets this weekend! 

Here is a terrible dark preview photo of the classic set.  It has only corner/accent tooling, and the buyer requested very little silver.  So here it is!

I also started a second blog this week, about my experiences living in Holland.  There may or may not be loads of sarcasm, whining and the occasional asterisked swear word, so be forewarned!  It is here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two per week?

You may already have read that I am coming to the US for a much awaited visit this January.  Shortly after that I will be holding my big live show here in Leeuwarden.  These things combined will mean about six weeks away from tack making.  For this reason, my goal is to finish ALL of my current commissions before Christmas.  I did the math last night, and this means I would need to finish two sets per week from now until then.  Theoretically I should be able to do this.  It only takes me 2 days to make a set from start to finish, but that is at a really intense pace...  more often I average out at about a set per week.  So these next 7-8 weeks are going to be rather challenging!

I am right on schedule though for this week.  Today I spent a solid seven hours in the studio, and got a LB working set and a classic all-around set outlined, tooled and dyed.  This means that if I can get back into the studio tonight to get the pieces cut out (and maybe even edged), I should be able to get them both put together on Wednesday and Friday.  Of course I can't do much of anything on Tuesdays and Thursdays, since I leave here for class at 10:30 and don't get home for about 12 hours.

Anyway, here are a few photos of the set I finished this weekend.  It's just the second one I have used these micro-studs on, and I love the effect!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Pony!

In the spirit of updating more often, I thought I would share my most recent purchase over here.  This gal is rather a big deal, because she is one of a very very small number of horses that I have purchased outright this year.  I am doing a whole lot of trading these days, which I love!  But this lady came at the right time, and for the RIGHT price, so I snapped her up.

She is a Miss America resin, customized and painted by Tammy Myrold.  I could not be happier with her!  She will make a fantastic tack model, too.  I finished a set tonight that I will put on her tomorrow for finished photos!

Here she is:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Not Dead!

Just neglecting this blog, as per usual apparently.  I checked my website stats today, and I'm getting a lot of traffic from this poor neglected blog, so I thought I should pop over here and do a little update.

I have been working away on orders and a sales piece here and there.  Almost all of my recent work is up on this page of my website, here.

I am also (as of today!) in the process of creating a new and better website.  The old homestead one will stay up until the new one is complete, hopefully within a few weeks.  

I think that's it for now!  Here are a few photos of recent orders and sales pieces, because every blog post needs a photo or two.