Thursday, July 21, 2022

I Do Collect Pins


My claim of not collecting pins has been well and truly busted.  Gone is my restraint.  My ability to stand aside from these lovely little miniature horse models, the very essence of jewelry, has eroded to nonfunction over the past few months.  2D?  3D!!  I draw some comfort from the fact that Edward Bohlin, the famous silver saddle maker and artist, was involved with enamels during the last decade of his life.  While much of the hobby turns to Stablemates as a way to save money,  my ventures into such small scale horses means indulging in luscious rich colors and glorious textures of smooth hardness with the added durability of metal.  Some of these aspects drew me to the Decorators, all those years ago.  Is not tackmaking descended, in part, from jewelry-making?

The day after BreyerFest, my pin collection looked like this:

Compare to this, blogged about last fall (thank you Lynn!), November of 2021:
Here's the link to that post:  I don't collect pins.

You can see I've rearranged them so as to concentrate on equines,... and taken the Mink Unicorns off their cards.  Alas for the card manufacturers and packagers.  I no more collect those than I do horse boxes.

When I got home from BreyerFest, the Cave Pony Dulmener pin arrived.  I had decided to allow myself just one Cave Pony, (shall we dance angels on pinheads over the strength of my restraint?  I think Cave Ponies are obese!) and this one had to be it, given his color and historical connections.  I had acquired this year's 3 Special Run pins, Landler, Nicolas and Brahms, with scary ease.  I merely stood around the exit lawn of the All Access tent and asked people for the 2 pins I'd missed.  Ah, the open-air stock market!  This trick worked after about 6 inquiries and cost very little.

It is actually pretty hard to photograph these babies.  Low light is needed and then some serious Photo-Shopping so they're not washed out.  I shot this upside down (due to lamp position), auto-sharpened, and used Healing brush and Saturation increase, among others.  The top 2 photos are the most true-to-life color.

No collection is complete without oddballs.  The homemade cartoon Saddlebred is neither metal nor enamel, but I thought he was cute.  He came from a room open in the Marriott Griffin resort (next to the CHIN), proving that creativity is alive and well in all sorts of places!  BreyerFest could well spread to adjacent hotels in the future, just like the Tucson Gem Show...  oohhhh, what an idea...  

Thank you Helen B., my generous friend, for the Stein and his friends,--  the only Stein I'm likely to possess.


Note:  I would pay good money for a Mink Sayida, the chtnt Appaloosa Mare sold in April, as well as for a Zigmund.   Also in search of a Bastian, Zigby or a Manchado.  Alas, I am somewhat overdosed on Xanthian and don't want one... now how could that have happened... [see Dec 2021]

Sunday, July 10, 2022

My Virtual 5K Race plan

It has been a tough decision, making this year's BreyerFest 5K a virtual one.  I suspect I would not have run at all if George had not had a brilliant idea.  He said, with the elegant simplicity we value:  Why not run virtually right there in Lexington?  And I was instantly charmed.  Yes, that solves everything! 

I could not bear Not to run,... not after having run in every BFest race since the beginning, 2016.  Not after keeping myself in shape all through the year!  Much of the rest of this post will deal with that...  But equally I was so deeply afraid of the official race's "plume."  Aerosols hang in the air...  I cannot do races in a mask.  :(  I could run with maybe one or two other people, if they were known safe and clean.  But three hundred strangers...!   In a county (Fayette) still judged as red (in Covid numbers, that is)... well, I'm just really hoping that next year things will be,... even safer,... for the compromised.  Thank you Breyer for the virtual option!!

 I was enchanted to find a lovely 5K course literally across the road.  See that intersection at the lower right edge?  That's the one by the Clarion Hotel...  The map is turned 90 degrees right, that is, east, so that west is up; but the bottom road is Newtown Pike.  This next shot shows my course a little more clearly.  I shall park in the uppermost spot, labelled Legacy Trail Parking on the above map.

 At time of writing, I am hoping to run early Friday or Saturday morning.  The virtuals are allowed to run anytime between the 11th and the 17th. 

Breyer and 3Way have not recognized my race times for last year, 2021.  I emailed them twice, with pictures.  Their stated reason was that I hadn't submitted my time before noon on race day.  For the record, I finished in 41:40.

Below is my official 2020 race finish, my first virtual one.  

 I keep waffling about being officially recognized.  The race officials bend over backwards to offer you an app (RaceJoy) for your phone. I very much wanted to, and I thought for a long time I would have the technology in place by 2022.  However, I didn't have a case for my phone.  Probably (now that I think of it) this was the result of a combination of not using a cell phone on a daily basis, plus severe restrictions on shopping.  Carried in my pocket -- this is damning -- the thing butt-dialed itself into various configurations I did not want, and took time for me to get it back to its stopwatch.  And the phone's stopwatch was only good for 30 minutes.  My 5Ks are longer than that.
[Not yet realizing that RaceJoy would allow more than 30 minutes.]

I did actually try running while holding my phone in my hand.  I could do it;... but it was too distracting for really good times.  In classic procrastination mode, I had left it too late to purchase a case online.  Or an armband, which I now know exist.  Oh yeah!  I was also deeply distracted with the thought that I could make my own case,... fatal attraction of being a leatherworker.  After all the TSII specializes in small leather pieces...

 And so, in this saga of self-imposed restraints, having given up on the RaceJoy app for yet another year, I started using my tack bench stopwatch.  And here I had marvelous success.  Riding along in my pocket did not disturb it the least.  Shoulda done this all along!  I started taking pictures of important (to me) results.  This first one was for 4.76K, on June 30.

I don't want this post to turn into a boring list of times and dates, so I'm only going to show the times I actually photo'd.  So far there's only four. 

This next one happened July 5, over the full distance of 5K.  Not bad!!

Another factor that may have impacted my increased times was a proper sports bra.  Customized it may be, but it gets the job done, which wasn't done very well up to now.

Here's one I put up on my FaceBook.  July 7, over a distance of 3.45K.  This works out to a little more than 8 minutes a K (8.11).  Anything under 9 can be considered pretty darn good for me.

Here is this morning's take, a full 5K run in less than 9 minutes a K.  (8.69).  A 5K is exhausting.  It's more than 3 miles.  Of course there is walking,... at least for someone like me.

We will end this stretch of singlemindedness with a view of my Race Door, actually the inside of the TSII tack room door.  Here is where I hang all my medals and bibs from my races.  "I love me wall."  As it happens, Breyer has not shipped my t-shirt and bib for this year in time (as they were supposed to for virtual runners).  Maybe it's just as well.  One great development in the hopeful category this past year has been that we're no longer quarantining mail.

Ed. Note:  Breyer/3Way DID get me my t-shirt on time!!  The morning I left, Monday, I swung by the box and it was waiting there for me.  Wowzers!!

Virtual or in-person, I am cheering for every runner this year! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The Expanded Sales List


Chesterfield SOLD as of Monday night  7/11
Lima Mule SOLD as of Monday night
Estrella del Sol SOLD as of Monday night

This is where I'm going to throw all the heretofore hidden details of my sales horses for this year's BreyerFest.  Consider it, then, a repast for repainters and repairers, --- an open feast for opportunists, --- and not just a gallery of gouges and an assemblage of shelf-rubs.  As I write, it's becoming an elegy for them, with space for performance pix and all kinds of little personal details, like how Mahi got his name.  I've had them, and enjoyed them, for a long time.  Now it's time for them to move on.

Near- and off-side shots will be followed by, if applicable, any close-ups.  Prices listed are not firm, but they are strongly suggested.  Remember these prices are already discounted by virtue of the above-mentioned opportunities for repainters et al.   The horses on this list are nearly all solid cast resins, which means fragility and great weight.  They will be sold as is, by a friend, in Room 140, if all goes well.

Jorrit by Chris Flint, #1 of a 60-head edition

 Portrait of Jorrit, famous Friesian stallion.  Circa 2008.  Painted in oils by the sculpting artist, Chris Cook Nandell Flint.  Lightly shown -- he looks splendid in parade.  That reminds me:

TSII #454, Not Included

Asking $450.00
I find him tippy.  However, Chris made a base for him.  Almost any base would be an improvement.  Lack of base did not cause this ding, however.  He just hasn't been played with for almost 10 years.  That's my standard for it's time to move on.

 Here's a link to Beau Cheveaux' website page for this edition; look under "Friesian Stallion"

This is another horse who has suffered minor damage and hasn't been played with for more than 10 years.  He's a Breyer Gallery resincast, sculpted by the same artist who did Lonesome Glory, Kitty Cantrell.

I may regret letting this one go.

Seems an easy fix, don't it?  I swear I don't know where the time goes.  I used to show this horse with my Purple matchy-matchy English set.  He did reasonable in performance, particularly Cross Country.  Here's that purple shot:

You can read all about this photo in my blog: Fara Shimbo horses & tack.

Next up is an even older resincast, a Peruvian Paso mare by Sommer Prosser.  This one dates back to the early 2000s.  She entered my herd in the first flush of Peruvian passion and enjoyed some great successes.  Then she sat untouched until now.  It's time to move on.

Estrella del Sol

Here's a couple of shots of Chipsy, as I called her, wearing P4, the fourth Peruvian Paso set I ever made.  You can tell that Kathy Moody was a mentoring influence on Sommer.  I also think these pix show better color.

"Tack not included"

Those big brown eyes!  Yes, they are glass eyes.

Before you ask, P4 was sold to Margaret Olson, over the course of 2005 and 2006.

Moving even older, here's a 1993 Golden Oldie.  This one doesn't have a name (that I'm aware of) so we'll call him Mahi Pedro, my own name for this individual.  This is Linda Lima's famous Bell-Tail Mule, from the days when the sculpting artist was also the finisher.  And the caster.  And the order-filler, shipper and correspondent and secretary and...  I visited her home in AZ and it was filled with full-scale carousel horses.  She had cast and painted them herself.

Lima Mule Resincast 1993 

I have tried and tried to keep him painted and protected, but to no avail.  He was named Mahi because during 1993 my husband and I went on a Pacific ocean field experiment (ships and weather and science and waves!), and it was right after this time that I purchased him, through written correspondence, as was nearly all the hobby back then.  Mahi-mahi was a kind of fish that we much enjoyed eating while onboard the research vessel.  I just thought it was a cool name.

Husband of the above Estrella Del Sol is this horse, sculpted by Randy Buckler and finished by California master painter, Laurie Jo Jensen.  He is dated 1996.

Raven, Buckler x Jo Jensen   $300.00

Both these Peruvians were instrumental in my early years of making Peruvian tack.  I will return to that, but not with these horses.  Raven is a small Trad size, with a tack-unfriendly forelock.  Nonetheless, he was the partner for my first Peruvian Paso tack set, an accomplishment.

Here he is wearing P4.

"Tack not included"

As bonus for reading this far, the last of the C Pilz collection will also be up for grabs.  An unkind person would call these dregs; I think I'll call them bonuses. 

For one reason or another, these two did not get included in my earlier sale to Margaret Loesch of the Grey Woods Cat.   Since pandemic, Margaret has gotten most of my OFs.  Look for them on eBay (Grey Woods Cat).  I cannot praise this dealer enough.  She carries a lot more than just Breyers; go look for yourself.  The Grey Woods Cat

I'm going to try and include my Sales Posters.

Editor's Note Chesterfield Lima Mule Estrella del Sol SOLD as of Monday night

See you soon!

Sunday, July 3, 2022

TSII #430 Finished


TSII #430's rebuild and restoration was finished June 11, 2022.  The job took just under 20 hours spread over a month and a week (start May 3), which, although terribly slow, is far from our slowest.  Alas!  May and June have been extremely busy (read: distracted) for this tackshop.  However, the worst does seem to be past.

The owner of this little gem of a saddle was kind enough to send me a photo of it in its natural setting -- on a Stone Pebbles on her shelf.  Thank you Jeanette Eby, who loves longears (can you tell!):

Photo by Jeanette Eby
It is very satisfying to see TSII tack pieces on other people's horses.  They almost always look better than on my own horses, hah!  

Here are some more pix of #430, one of only 5 TSII silver Parade saddles built in this scale of 1:18:

I think some of these made it up on our Timaru Star II Model Tack FaceBook page.

Here's a close up of the Near side:

And one of my favorite tack views, the seldom-seen but always-useful BE, or Birds Eye:

Honestly, model horses must have some kind of inferiority complex.  We are always looking down on them.

The corona blanket here was made by Unicorn Woman (Melody Snow).


So what's next, now that all our tack orders are filled?  June was retirement month -- an end to a 36 year career.  That was the busy and distracted -- little else.  (Not counting the psychic cost of continued isolation and evasion weighing ever more heavily on ageing folk.) (We are both still healthy.)  A retirement is a huge change, something that happens only once; it's not unlike getting married in the first place... though in this case, both participants are still just as much in love.  :)   While he expands his online birding, wargaming and trip planning, I am deciding to... work on the next book.

No tack orders will be taken for at least a year, or until the book is finished, whichever comes first.  I should have started on it when Covid-19 hit, but apparently I needed more than 2 years just to finish what was in the tack pipeline.  :0  An inventory of drafting materials reveals 20 pens, 8 bottles of ink, 4 pads of drafting vellum and enough triangles to outfit an army.  :)  Three finished plates, several finished chapters, a huge Scrapbook of potential chapter subjects, drawings and braided button formulae and a place on my computer just for this project, make up the balance.  I've done this before; it's more than time to get this one into reality.  It's only been 25 years since the Guide was published!!  Besides, I feel like I'm starting to forget things.

 As I've long predicted, working on a book about Braidwork for the Model Horse will undoubtedly generate braid pieces.  Such pieces will probably be available for sale (if I don't fall in love with them).  You'll hear about them on FaceBook and here.

I'm also thinning down my collection, partly for funds and partly because some have to go if others are to come in.  I am deeply grateful to Margaret Loesch of The Grey Woods Cat, whom I call my pet Breyer dealer.  If you see some weird horses in her eBay store, they might be mine.  Thank you Margaret!