June 27, 2008

sneek peak...

It finally stopped raining long enough for me to get outside and take some photos of my works in progress. The lighting in my apartment is terrible, and I haven't had the best success with my flash (it would help if I knew how to use it), so everything comes out yellow. I need to experiment more with different lights, but that would require finding time to do that. And space. Two things I don't have. So for now, natural light is best.

This is the first of my three jumps. The plan is to have a small rock wall under the polls. The colors on this one are going to be burgundy, gray and white. I still need to make the wall and get some mortar to fill in the stone with. I love these little stones, they are so easy to work with! One thing that I realized, after I had put these standards together, was that the 1/2" jump cups fit very tightly on these 1/2" square poles. Thus they need to be sanded before assembly or the cups will scratch the paint. Of course I realize this
after putting it together... oh well next time.

This is my second jump, the caribbean themed one. It is almost complete. I still need to make a gate to go below the poles, which will be green. And of course, I'm still looking for some trees/bushes for the flower pots. I love the way this one has turned out so far.

The last jump will be a lot like the first one, but stained a medium wood color and have green (or blue) and white accents. I wanted to use something different for the 'box' area of the standards, so I haven't fully put them together yet. We'll see how it goes. This one will definitely be for sale. And I remembered to sand the posts down this time, so no scratching. ;)

June 19, 2008

where does the time go?

I haven't had a whole lot of free time lately to get much work done on any of my various projects. Lucky for me though, next week starts my two-day work at home, three-day in the office work schedule. That will save me an extra 3 hours per day just by not driving. What was I thinking living an hour and a half from where I work?

I decided to get out my airbrush a short while ago and get to work on my custom "Doc" horse, who is just itching for a base coat. This guy is/will be a portrait model of a friends paint horse. He has the most interesting sabino markings that keep spreading as he ages and, needless to say, he will require a lot of hand detailing to get those markings in. Anyhow, all was going well until I decided to clean out the airbrush, when I conveniently dropped the gun and broke the point. Lovely. Now I need a new airbrush. I swear this guy does not want to be finished.

In the meantime, I started a new project (I've always wanted to do this!): custom jumps, in trad scale. I was inspired when I found a jumper resin that I really like. I'm currently working on three now. Two will be a more traditional style show jump with slight differences (and color), and the third is a pretty elaborate caribbean inspired jump complete with palm tree type bushes. Well it will if I can find some. The hobby shops around here close awfully early, and get this: aren't open on the weekends! How frustrating. But, it will be worth it in the end, as this one is coming along quite nice.

Of course what jump set-up is complete with out a rider? I've started customizing one of Sue Kern's Juliets to a jumper doll. I'm very pleased with her so far, although I'm having a heck of a time getting her jacket to fit decently. I may have to start over on that one...

Those are my three big projects right now, or should I say my three priorities. But on the workbench I also have:

• a new western saddle — I haven't settled on a design yet
• a new hunter/jumper saddle set — I'm planning two of these right now
• the custom stablemate truck and trailer
• flitwick — base is done, flitwick just needs some color
• various other naked resins

June 8, 2008

a day at the races

To start, I have a love–hate relationship with horse racing. But, after watching Big Brown win the Preakness with a remarkable run, I thought how cool would it be to see him run in the Belmont, and possibly make history?

I got my hands on a few tickets, and so we set out for a weekend in New York. Coincidently,
The Horse exhibit was showing at the Museum of Natural History this weekend, so of course we had to stop there too. Very cool.

Saturday, morning started early as we made a mad dash to board the first train to Belmont Park out of Penn Station. I think mad dash is an understatement. Luckily we got seats and didn't have to stand for the forty min train ride. We arrived at the park around 11:30 am. It was bright, sunny and humid. And it only got hotter as the day went on. I think it only reached 88, but sitting there in the sun, it felt a lot hotter than that. Luckily we had sunscreen, and we weren't about to give up our seats to go sit in the shade!

For me, this was not just racing, but a photo opportunity, as I love to photograph horses. My favorite of the day was this one of White Tie. Taken during the parade of the 2nd race.

The first race was at noon, and about every 20-40 mins after that. With each race the crowd of people grew and grew. By the time 6:20 rolled around there was hardly any room to stand. We stood on our benches to see as they paraded the horses in front of the grandstands. Of course by now the entire world knows the results of the race, and unfortunately Big Brown couldn't pull off a Triple Crown victory. Oh well, it wasn't his day. It was still a remarkable race, and the energy of the crowd was incredible. To top it all off, there were no breakdowns.

Despite the heat, the sun, the sunburn, the crowds, the lines, the overflowing bathrooms, and the long train ride home (standing) followed by an even longer car ride out of NYC, it was a good day. A once in a life time experience for sure.