December 31, 2020

Bridle Tree Barn Raising Challenge


The finished arena wall decorated for Christmas. 

Kenzie Williamson hosted a super fun event on Facebook for the month of December - the Bridle Tree Barn Raising Challenge. You could makeover a barn, make a tack room or arena wall, or decorate for the holidays. What a nice diversion this has been. Also, my tree is very tall. The wall itself is 22 inches tall by 40 inches wide. 

As with all projects, it starts with planning it all out. I was looking into which direction I wanted the boards to go on the kick board wall in this photo. As it turned out, I ended up using popsicle sticks (not my first choice) as there just wasn't any wood available in the right sizes. The walls are dollhouse panels made of plastic, simulated to look like a corrugated metal. It took 4 pieces. I wanted something sturdy to hold up with lots of use. I love how these look. 

To assemble the wall, I used 2 large foam boards that I glued together and reinforced with wood strips. I'm going for longevity with this thing. Side note - don't buy different foam board brands as apparently a half inch is not the same across brands. Oh well. You can't tell from the front.

I really love the look of windows in an arena, so I measured and cut them out of the foam bigger than the actual window, so that hopefully the thick foam wall won't show.

Then I glued the plastic panels over the front of the foam, measured and cut out the windows.

All the wood strips were stained using some leftover stain from samples when we redid our hardwood floors. The color was exactly what I wanted, oh happy day! It is Bona Special Walnut, but I didn't stir it up, just used the thin layer of stain at the top of the can. 

The window frame pieces were cut using a tiny miter box I picked up at Michaels years ago to get decent 45 degree angles.

To make the kick board wall, I glue the stained sticks onto thin foam board and used channel molding strips for the top and bottom to hold it all together. I like how this looks like wood boards nailed together, but without the hassle. The channel grooves were a little on the wide side, so I shoved some extra strips and sticks behind to push the popsicle sticks into place up against the front of the molding. The back is not pretty, but it's functional.

Laying everything out to check fit before gluing in place. The plastic and wood aren't creating the strongest bond, especially since the plastic is wavy and doesn't have a flat surface to glue onto. I might end up finding something stronger than Aleene's when they start popping off over time...

Once assembled, I added a fire extinguisher, which was a prize from the Field of Dolls Online Photo Show (thanks Anne!), and several little signs I printed out on card stock.

I used pieces of plastic from a Breyer box in the windows.
The blue sky and clouds is showing through from my other backdrop, which I thought was a nice touch.
I love a cheery blue sky and fluffy clouds. 

I also made lots of ornaments, presents, and decorations for Christmas.
It's never too late to decorate for Christmas!
Happy holidays!

December 21, 2020

Field of Dolls Online Show Results and Prizes!


Hollywood Bling
Overall Champion AR/CM Performance
Champion AR/CM Other Performance
Reserve Champion AR/CM English Performance
Reserve Champion AR/CM Western Performance

The Field of Dolls Online Photo Show is a wrap and the prizes have arrived. This was an amazing show and I put my best effort into taking a bunch of photos. The amount of prizes is mind-boggling. Anne really outdid herself. Thank you Anne and thank you donors! The competition was outstanding, which makes these winnings all the more sweet.

I went for the approach to campaign one horse in every class (except saddleseat, as I have no saddleseat tack). For Anne's next show, she has said that it will be based on top shower, so the more specialized entries will be rewarded. Sounds like fun! I do have many other wonderful performance horses that I would love to get photos of them. Work is shaping up to be crazy busy all the way up to the show though, so not sure if I'll be able to pull it off. And I never finished by ICEE project, my original sculpture 'Panache' started 9 years ago. I really wanted to finish him up this year, but got a little distracted in November with all the photo taking, then work got busy. I think I'll give him my attention over my holiday vacation. 

Hollywood Bling was by far my best performer. Here's a summary of her championship prizes pictured above. Thank you to all the generous donors! 

Pony Transport Device donated by Larry Nichols
Pink Halter with show name & date donated by Dani Youdris
Medallions donated by The Jennifer Show
Assorted red 3D printed props by HandcraftedByKari
Miniature rosettes made by The Winner's Circle
Miniature Fire Hydrant - not sure of its origins, but I am so excited to add this to the arena wall I plan to build as part of the Bridle Tree Barn Raising Challenge this month that is happening on Facebook once my supplies arrive (squirrel!)...

Posted this before, but this is the sum of all Bling's performance entries for the show. Many of these didn't place, but she was still able to have a very successful show! 

Prizes for the regular performance division. Every placing received a miniature award. Amazing! 
My first place winners are below. 

Hollywood Bling in Stock Pleasure Harness
Harness by Jennifer Fisher
Doll by Darla Curtis
Whip by Susan Bensema Young

Hollywood Bling in Native American Plains Regalia circa 1840
Regalia by Jessica Swaney
Doll by Liesl Dalpe

Happy As A Lark
Cowboy Dressage
Doll by Dolls by Keri's Custom Dolls
Saddle by Terry Newberry
Bosal by Susan Bensema Young (I think, correct me if I'm wrong!)

These miniature rosettes were the prizes for the Specialty/Scene classes. 
The classes were filled with some amazing, creative entries.
I really struggle to come up with good ideas for 
these classes, so was thrilled with the results. Winning pictures below.

First in Food judged by Marisa Spence

Second in Projects judged by Marisa Spence 
Park scene in progress, going on 10 years...

Third in Dolls judged by Anne Field 
Sixth place in Dolls judged by Liesl Dalpe

Third in Projects judged by Anne Field
(working on NaMoPaiMo project,
complete with the Frida medallion from last year as motivation)

Fifth place in Miniatures judged by Marissa Spence
Best Birthday EVER!

Fifth place in Dolls judged by Liesl Dalpe

Fifth place in Miniatures judged by Anne Field
Tag Sale

Judge's Choice by Anne Field
Getting ready for the Field of Dolls Black Friday Sale!
Snacks, drinks and all devices at the ready! 
(Gotta see which device streams the fastest!)

Medallion for Judge's Choice award
donated by Christina Riley

November 21, 2020

Field of Dolls Online Photo Show

Anne's Field of Dolls online photo show has happily consumed all my free time during the month of November. My original goal was to enter every class (sans saddleseat, I have no saddleseat tack). With the class list for regular performance classes split into OF and AR, plus a fun division, that meant 38 classes. I have never been a big OF performance shower (the CM/AR division kept me busy enough), but before COVID I had decided to attend Breyerfest Live for the first time, so actually had a couple OF performance models. I had a blast pulling out the tack and props. I invested in a new poster backdrop (love the blue sky and fluffy clouds!) and new softbox lights (aaaand am still working on my lighting). 

I decided to try and campaign one horse in every class and chose Hollywood Bling (see above). She is a Victrix resin body by Carol Williams with a Pheonix resin head and neck by Kristina Lucas Francis that I customized many moons ago. I'd never shown her in English before, but I think she looks pretty good! 

I almost took the same route with OF using a Breyer Painted Rugged Lark (see below), but opted instead to go with a more English friendly horse for that division (Breyer Catch Me, now called Therblig). I used a few photos from the Mares in Black Spooktacular event in the fun classes, but that still wasn't enough, so took a bunch more photos of a few more horses. All said and done I ended up with 62 different entries. I did a rough count and realized I'd spent more than 50 hours combined tacking up, tweaking and taking and cropping photos. 

Photo showing is hard. 

But, it is also fun. It takes a special kind of crazy to tack up a harness at midnight. There are some great prizes being offered at this show, which was a HUGE motivator. However, the competition is also fierce. Regardless of the outcome, it was a welcome distraction. Thank you Anne!

October 22, 2020

MIB Spooktacular Photo Show

Your horse is weird, dude.

The Mares in Black Spooktacular Photo Show was the impetus I needed to get involved in photo showing again. The last photo show I entered was decades ago! The fun class list and fun prizes were too hard to resist. I only entered the halter division, but I had fun with the themed classes. Here are my best efforts at making creative entries for the various classes.

Savoir Faire
I'm so fancy!



I'm so fancy!

Oh yeah, EARS!

Oh yeah, EARS!




Hollywood Bling
I'm so fancy!

Working class (working hard being
"such a good girl" to earn those
carrots she has her eye on)


Dusty Bottoms

Old, but still LIT





Serendipity & Jax

Fun fact: this is my only china