Friday, November 14, 2014

Three Strands at Once

 The title of this post reflects its three different areas of interest.  There is progress on TSII #454, the Gold Tipped Parade set; there is my visit to the magnificent Region X Regionals (TRXC); and there is my stable blanket collection, long promised a post and finally started.  My blanket collecting is now slowed to a decent pace instead of the breakneck speed it was at earlier this year.

 We begin with TSII #454.  Yes, that nearside serape was finished and taken to RXR in person, and many people viewed it.  (Some even suggested improvements; thank you, Jennifer. : )  This week, the offside serape was largely finished:
 There was a struggle over which drop to use.  Shortly after the last post, the answer became apparent to me: None of the choices, but a new one!  Utilizing curved ends, to echo the curved corner spots, yet mostly comprised of squares (the main edge motif), we came up with this.  As ever, they are rather hard to make.  Each drop has to be cut, thinned, dyed, edge-slicked (the ends are hard), sometimes treated with oil, and edge-coated -- and all this before the silver goes on.  Hanging is separate yet again, and involves making the rings, all by hand.
 For this saddle, I needed a way to curve the spots after they'd been stamped.  A reverse dapping block, if you will.  I decided the right material was deer antler, neither as soft as wood nor as hard as metal.  (Thanks to Nikki Herzog for providing me with this raw material.)  After some work, this appeared.  The whole thing is visible in the top picture of this post.
 Perhaps some day I shall braid some lace around it.  It just fits nicely in my hand.

I was privileged to visit Region X Regionals from Friday night to early afternoon Saturday.  I took one hundred and eleven pictures, and one movie -- just a pan of the room.   It was an elegant show hall.  Jennifer is right to call it cozy; I did not find it particularly dark.  It reminded me of Greater Pittsburgh MHS in Sewickly, PA.
Friends from the back:  Robin Briscoe and Laura Rock-Smith, old timers both.  To get to this show was a 6 -n-a-half hour drive for me one way.
Of those hundred pictures, here are three.
Naturally my interest was in other people's tack!!   Above is a bridle made by Heather Moreton Abounader (Desert Night Creations), owned by Iva Kimmelman. 
I shot this because  I liked the horse, as well as the fantastic cart.  The cart is surely a Wood Wiz kit of the Meadowbrook!  This entry is owned by Joan Fauteux.
Last and best, this marvelous saddle is by Donna Allen of TX and owned and shown by Kate Dwyer.  Kate was responsible for a lot of terrific harness entries!  She kindly put up with me handling this horse extensively.  I couldn't get over the detail.  Believe it or not, there are bolts on the stirrup necks!  Somewhere, Donna learned to braid; note the buttons on the reins.  Just what I need... another tackmaker to collect...

And for my third strand, a beginning to the sharing of my blanket collection.
These charming horses are CollectAs, with 2 Breyers thrown in for scale.  This shot starts the show mostly because my CollectAs are "up" right now, perched next to my computer.  (The Classic Foal Mold collection is also in the computer room.)  The white blanket, on the CollectA Dartmoor, belongs to the bay foal behind it.  The "Fighting Fillies" blanket came on Breyer's Miniature horse mold.  And the leftmost blanket, the littlest one, is the Stablemate WEG 2010 blanket put out by Breyer!!  Stablemate in picture for scale...  (No, this tiny blanket does not open at the chest.)
 The real beginning to my blanket collection is this one, the Grey Wool.  It was created in the early 80s when I was a college student in Fort Collins CO.  I was taking interior design classes as part of my drafting minor.  Samples of fabric abounded.  I pinched 2 nice pieces of woollen material and made two blankets (the other one is dark blue).  Through the years, this blanket has held up to the strictest test:  It fits more horses than any other blanket I've ever had.  The secret is the long chest velcro band and the 3 hooks and 3 eyes on the belly straps.
 How many people remember Breyer's early blanket offerings?  This pair of coolers was put out by Breyer from 1988 through 1990.  Far more popular colors for the same thing were red and blue.  The red and blue coolers lasted up through 1995 using the same model number, 3940.
 Here is another Breyer blanket I acquired along the way, the popular Rain Sheet, 3956.  It was first released in 1995 along with a bunch of other blankets... and it outlasted all but one!  being carried up through 2003.  Eleven different blankets were first introduced in 1995, and all but 3 were dropped in 1999.  This was one of the three; the other two were the quilted blanket sets with leg bandages.  The burgundy version of that vastly popular blanket lasted thru 2001; the blue version is still being carried today, 3847.  Incredible but true:  I think it is Breyer's longest carried piece of tack.
 I have collected many Breyer blankets over the years, but by no means do I have them all.  One collects what one wants.  It wasn't until this spring (2014) that my blanket collecting swung into high gear.  But that is a story for another day.