Sunday, December 28, 2008

Carousel horse anyone?

I sculpted this little guy eons ago, long before my hobby involvement. Back then my 'thing' was carousel horses. I love the creativity, spirit, and all the fun colors He's been sitting in my closet, never cast, after I lost interest in carousel horses. It's a shame to never cast him, since I had already put a ton of time into him. Obviously he isn't as anatomy oriented as the Model Horse Hobby requires, but I think he's fun as an art piece. I would refine him more, of course, but he would mostly be a 'fun' horse, not meant to be shown as a model. He's classic scale (pretty close)What do you all think? Would anyone want a copy if I did a small resin run?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Time flys

Whoops, where did the time go? Seems like eons since my last blog post.

Since the last post "Miss America" was officially released, we went to Southest Utah for some end of the season riding, filled our freezer with venison, cut, split, and stacked a lot of firewood, got into the daily habit of feeding the woodstove, and gracefully slid from fall into winter. Oh, yeah, I also finished "Doodlebug" (shown here pre-finished as of a few weeks ago):

Right now he's encased in a block of curing rubber, which will be cut open, the clay removed and resin poured into. I will take that casting and work it further than I could the clay, sanding all the roughness out of it and adding veins, refining details, and making any last minute changes. That puts the release of Doodlebug right after Christmas, barring unforeseen cicumstances and distractions, of course :)

We have about an inch of snow, with more coming. This area generally doesn't get substantial snow until after the first of the year, when we get smoothered in the stuff. Fingers crossed it isn't as bad as last seasons 4 1/2 feet.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Nevada Trip

We managed to slip away for a short visit to see family in central Nevada. I grew up in a (really) small town called Austin smack dab in the middle of nowhere. My dad still grows hay out there, and shares his crops with the recently transplanted antelope herds:

After spending a few days in Austin we headed up to Winnemucca to visit one of my brothers. On the way we saw these mustangs hurrying along like they were late for an appointment:

The herds in this area used to be primarily bay and other dark shades with very little white. This herd had several flashy overos and sabinos, so perhaps some pinto stallions were released into the area to increase the adoptability of future horses taken off the range.

Speaking of pinto, here's "Chance" my niece's mini horse, being hard on the fences:

Before we left on our trip I finished painting the first Miss America casting. She's off to her new home in the UK next week:

It went from summer to fall in a few short days. Our planned fall leaf ride looks like it will be a rain out, or even a snow out. Todd is busy cutting up firewood and doing other winter preparedness tasks. Next week we leave for our annual 'stretch out our summer' riding trip to southest Utah. Then hunting season. My sculpting plans for the immediate future are to finish up 'Doodle Bug', shown in my very first blog post.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lady in Red

Miss America is now sporting her red primer coat. I use sandable primer and then go back over everything with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper to get it smooth as a baby's bottom. At that point the veins and whisker bumps will be added in gesso.....and then she will be ready to use for production molds! Finally.

I haven't yet settled on the release method or the price. You can vote on your preffered sales method here on the Blog. I do know that I will be painting and selling a few copies from the first castings. I'm thinking a black and white (or seal brown) tobiano, a liver chestnut, and maybe a palomino. At the very least the pinto and the chesnut. Painting is something I enjoy, but rarely set aside the time to do. After all this intensive sculpting I think I've earned a break to pursue some other creative avenues within the hobby for a bit.

Speaking of other creative avenues, while I was waiting for Miss America's primer to dry I got out my new (real horse) tack braiding book and made this set of hobbles:

They are made from parachute cord from a color I thought closely resembles rawhide. I am going to be sad when these get lost in a meadow somewhere, but I couldn't bring myself to braid them out of hot pink cord.

Well, my primer is dry so off I go to sand some more.....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

8 day wilderness pack trip

Every July for the past three summers we have gone on an 8 day pack trip with some friends to the upper Pine River area. We left on a Saturday morning from the Poison Park Trailhead northwest of Pagosa Springs (Williams Creek Reservior area). We call the trail the Poison Park trail, but it's proper name is the Weminuche Trail. Here is Todd just a few miles into the trip:

Some flowers just past the first photo:

Each time we make it further in, this time camp was about 15-18 miles into the wilderness. Our camp was an hour up the La Osa trail (2-3 miles?):

The creek that runs through this canyon is great fishing, all native cutthroat. This pic was taken from camp, the meadow behind Todd is where our horses grazed:

Our first ride from camp was to Flint Lake and back. This is along the La Osa trail a few miles beyond our camp:

This is on top of La Osa near the Continental Divide (The Wilson Family, Brindo the Dog, and Todd my husband pictured):

Heading toward the pass we saw this buck:

The view towards Silverton on the way to Flint Lake (that might be Ute Lake, not sure):

Here's Jerry and Cindy as we head along the trail towards Flint Lake. That's the Window and Rio Grand Pyramid in the background:

The horses had the next day off, and after a morning of grazing they returned to the highline on their own and rested without being tied:

Our next ride was back up La Osa to the Divide and then east on the La Vaca trail for a fantastic loop ride. Here is Jypsi and I along the La Vaca/Continental Divide Trail:

Some sunflowers:

The traverse to La Vaca canyon:

Jypsi and I under the Window:

Jerry and Cindy on the steep descent down the La Vaca trail (this is a good trail to go down, not up):

Where the La Vaca trail joins the Pine River trail we saw a cow moose with two calves. At first we only saw the cow, so my husband got a little closer to get some photos as she ate in the pond. Lo and behold, two calves were in hiding and swam across to their mother:

She then left the water and trotted off across the meadow:

The next day was another day off for the horses (and riders!). There was plenty of time to fish, sleep, read, and remark on how fantastic the trip was going. That evening Todd went down to the fridge-creek behind our camp to get a beer. When he stood up to return a bull moose blocked his path. He said they just stared at each other, and the bull gave him the trail and walked off. We heard him shouting "Moose!!!! Moose!!! and saw the bull sneeking behind our camp and then pause by the highlines. It happened so fast I couldn't get a photo. About 20 minutes later the bull reappeared in the meadow. We were able to watch him for quite awhile from our camp, until it got dark:

After another ride and another day off it was time to leave. Here is Todd and Jerry packing up:

Here's me ponying Jasper (I hadn't ponied a horse at all until this summer, now I have two packtrips worth of ponying):

Here's Todd with Indy and Brush (TWHs) overlooking Granite Lake on the return trip home:

It's amazing we got so much riding in and never got caught in a storm. We put in about 90 miles total in five rides, and saw 7 moose. Each packtrip we go on seems better than the last, and this trip was the best of all :) I've come a long way from someone who *hated* her first few packing adventures. I think I might actually really like them now.

We are probably going to go on at least one more, maybe two. Todd and I want to go out by ourselves, and then one of my brother's wants to on a short one for fishing purposes only :)

I am also still plugging away on the new ASB mare, and still shooting for a mid-August completion. I am doing a lot of tedious sanding and detailing which takes weeks, but the finished product is worth this extra step as it removes and surface roughness and makes the castings nice and smooth to show off any painting techniques and mediums.

Speaking of that, she's calling to me to add some epoxy, so I must go....

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today "Miss America" was officially born into resin! Now that I have a resin casting I will be doing more smoothing and adding little details like veins and whisker bumps. Typically I spend another 2-3 weeks on this phase. After that the production molds are made, which is a whole 'nuther time consuming process. Depending on how long this all takes we should be ready to sell "Miss Americas" by mid-August.

Here's how she looked encased in a block of mold rubber:

And here's what happens to the clay sculpture as I cut the mold open and pull out parts as I go:

Doesn't she look nice all in white?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Trail videos!

I finally figured out how to do short videos with my digital camera. And, yes, a 'real' video camera is at the very top of my wish list. But, for now, here are two short but sweet videos of some of the worst sections of two of my favorite trails:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Weminuche Wilderness pack trip

Our first pack trip of the season was wonderful with gorgeous weather, good company, great horses (and one donkey) and fabulous views. We went up the Pine River which is east of Vallecito Reservior in the Bayfield/Durango Colorado area.

My husband Todd packing our huge 16 hand 3 year old TWH Brush (our baby! And, yes, he actually is related to Trigger):

A baby bighorn sheep:

Our horses at camp:

A baby elk that was on the trail in a narrow section (we had to herd it along until we could go around it):

One of our day rides up the Pine River to Flint Creek:

Heading back from Flint Creek:

Leaving camp for home with Jerry leading the string:

Monday, May 19, 2008

work continues.....

For those who might be wondering, yes, I am still working on my ASB mare. My intent is to capture an ASB mare galloping in her pasture. Most ASB resins out there have been done with performance in mind, but this girl isn't thinking about that at all. She's eyeing that photographer along the fence and giving him a show!

I'm changing some stuff about the mane/forelock/tail that aren't shown in these photos. The first two photos are taken from the sides, with the hopes that some of you ASB people out there might have some suggestions to make her even better. Afterall, this is my job and I hope to create a lovely resin that appeals to as many hobbyists as possible (within the limits of an at liberty pose).

So, if you see something that doesn't look quite right to you, PLEASE email me and let me know. I often get bombarded with email after soliciting feedback, so if you don't hear from me it just means I am swamped. I appreciate all the feedback I get, and try to put it to good use. This horse is for you all out there, so help me make her the best she can be! Photos are always a great help, too.