Friday, December 8, 2023

Pin Sale Post


When you collect pins as assiduously as I have, you're bound to wind up with a few extras.  Some of these were purchased with resale in mind; some are duplicates; and some, like the earrings, were genuine mistakes on my part.  This post will be a close look at all the pins I currently have for sale or trade.  Trade wishlist is at the bottom of this post!

There's one big caveat:  Unless you grab these by Dec 15th, everything's on hold til late January.  I'm old enough to invoke the ancient hobby habit of no mail order during the Christmas rush.  (We were afraid we'd lose our precious ponies;  too often, we did.)  I'm out of town from Jan 2 to 26 and cannot post packages while canoeing down South.   (Which doesn't mean I can't mail off Christmas letters.  But I digress...)

Isn't this a cute pin (above)?  For all that he's 1.25 inches tall, I had to get this one when I first saw him!  It's a Daniel Muller Indian Pony, and I hadn't known this pin existed.  As luck would have it, I found a Stein & Goldstein Stander pin I hadn't known existed either, and had to get that one,... and with him came this.  So it's a genuine duplicate in my collection. 

Almost the same story applies to this graceful blue and white Stein & Goldstein Jumper (below).  I already had one, from long ago, but that Stander came accompanied.  Each of these carousel cuties should be priced somewhere around $15 plus $5 postage.

You'll have to forgive photography of these two in their cellophane.  Each one comes with a brass pinch clasp for the back.

 I suppose it had to happen sooner or later!  I thought those Minkiewicz earrings would be dandy little pins on their own;  I thought I could disassemble them and display them by themselves.  But when they arrived, I changed my mind.  A rare thing happened:  I didn't like a Mink pin product.  I suspect not wearing earrings had something to do with it,...

In themselves these are absolutely charming examples of what can be done with Mink's art.  They really are tiny;  the zebras are one inch  high.  They and the Quaggas are hook earrings with silver hardware.  I am willing to let them go for $50 a pair plus $5 postage.  (The release price for these hook earrings was forty.)

The size of the Quaggas is 1.13 inches high, a smidge bigger than their friends the zebras.  But you should see the Unicorns!  These mini miracles are just half an inch!!  Rose gold in color, these are pinback earrings.  The pins stick right out of the package.  Yup:  right through the cellophane...  It's another miracle that they traveled safely in their bubble envelope...

These are versions of none other than Mink's very first pin, Unicorn One, first sold in January of 2021.  Here's a close up:

Aren't they charmers!  The release price for these pinback earrings was thirty-five, so I'm thinking of charging $40 + $5 postage.

 The remaining three pins are standard Mink issues:  Faleadon the Imperial Unicorn (released August 24 of this year), Driving in Style Gelderlander from BreyerFest 2023, and Runicorn III, released December 8 of 2022.  I'm asking $40 each + $5 postage.

You can read more about Faleadon and the Gelderlander in my latest blog post on pins:  Fibonacci Pins.

They both have fantastic sparkle backgrounds!

The same sparkle applies to the mythic Runicorn:

 Trade and Wish List:  repeat after me:  Any of the above, up to three pieces, for Mink's Dancing Horses Bastian and Trinka.  These pins were released in January of 2022 (Bastian) and Sept of 2021 (Trinka) and were the second and first Dancing Horse pins ever released.  That has something to do with how rare they are, but not all:  I suspect the news just hasn't migrated far enough.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, November 24, 2023

Polar Vortex


This is yet another FB post gone blogspot, because despite my best efforts to keep things short, it's too tempting to babble about everything in these 3 pictures.  Whatever's easiest, whatever's simplest:  That's what gets blogged about, not the long-promised stuff, not the carefully researched history ones nor the memorial ones, deserving though they be, and as fun as it is to blog.  Those take time and work and right now the time is nearly all going into the next book.  Soon I'll be making tack again and that is a pleasure too long denied, as well ---!!

So Vail finally arrived.  I'd received a delivery notice on Friday the 17th, went downtown on Monday the 20th fully expecting him to be there, and picked up instead -- a boxful of puzzles from Bits & Pieces.  "That's all I have for you," begged the clerk.  Unhorsed, I went home.  The next convenient opportunity for going downtown was today, Friday the 24th.  Lo, not only was Vail there, but so was a huge box that turned out to be from Germany.  "Vuca!" cried the wargamer in the house -- and I learned this was a company he'd least expected to deliver the goods, not after the war in Ukraine!  (It was a Ukrainian war game, with phenomenally bad timing in its release -- unintentional of course.)  Well, good things come to those who wait.

Yes, that's a copy of Driving Digest magazine.  Since it's Black Friday, there should be some package-opening to counterbalance all the purchasing (even though none of these was bought today).

Now, I already had a Totilas.  Back in 2017, I'd taken the time to make a special base for this horse, thanks to guidance from N. Hertzog.  

I detest horses on stands, and as a rule, there are few in my herd.   However, for this delicious palomino, an unusual effort was made.  I made a permanent stand from Masonite and Fimo and embedded a nail and a screw, one for each hoof.  One can disassemble it with a screwdriver, if required;  but why?  I painted it brown and thought I'd never need another Totilas.

Well, I was wrong.

The names of these three reflect the sky in some form or fashion.  The Huckleberry Bey Technicolor is my darkest modern Copenhagen, an incredible royal blue color-shift, and (how many times are you going to hear this) very hard to photograph.  I named him Orion after the constellation, a celestial name.  The Clock Saddlebred I named Cirrus Floccus.  (C'mon, my husband is a meteorology professor ---!!)  Note from the future:  I remembered his name.  Polar Low was close, but now (as of Dec 8) it's Polar Vortex.

I have always loved the Copenhagens.  I shall always be grateful that I have a couple of the original vintage ones, collected in the 1980s.  These three contemporary Decos are fantastic, incredible horses:  Dreams come true. 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Progress Report 2


It's time for another progress report on my next book!   Heaven knows it's been a slow slog,... only a year and a quarter!  still not done yet!,... but progress has definitely been made.   My vision for it is so much clearer now;  and it keeps getting clearer as more and more gets done.  We're up to 27 Plates (pages of drawings) now.  We've gone through the alphabet and are starting over at AA --!!

This exciting book originally intended to profile eight pieces of headgear:  Meet the 8.  As that post reported, of course, the project kept getting bigger and bigger.  As it stands now, there's a 5-page Table of Contents, a 9-page Introduction, and three of the 8 pieces (Ricky's, Duke's and Malaguena's) plus supporting chapters such as Braiding Sinew.  Malaguena's has been by far the most monstrous effort, spawning 10 Plates, 23 pages and 41 photos.

For comparison, Ricky's only took one Plate and Duke's has two,... 

Today I am proud to announce that the chapter on Braiding Thread Buttons (as opposed to Sinew) is almost finished.  It has 8 Plates!  Following it is something I'm calling the First Interlude, consisting of five Plates.  Four are already done.  The First Interlude covers subjects I really did want to include in this book but which weren't headgear per se.  These parts and procedures contribute to the 8 pieces but could stand on their own.  The five Plates are Braided Curbstraps, Connectors, Hobbles, Braided Rings and one I'm slipping in early, Peet's Romal Reins.  Peet's is very advanced, but only one button off of Tissarn's, piece no. 7.  I couldn't resist including it, but put it next to the parts about braiding sinew (e.g. Malaguena's) because that's what it was.

Sneak Peek of Plate T,  button formulas

Oh yes, using bold font on certain words just means they're important, or else it's the first time the reader sees them, and they get defined shortly thereafter.

These two chapters, Braided Buttons and the First Interlude, have sometimes just about made me cry.  It's been very frustrating working only a few hours per week, week after week after week, on this 25-year dream.  I just don't seem able to carve out big chunks of time.  There are so many other fun things to do,... plus so much adulting and other responsibilities.  FaceBook is one, but not the only, extreme time-waster out there.  I am really hoping Winter will solve some of this,...

Sneak Peek of Plate W, Curbstraps with Braid

On the good side, everyone who sees this mock-up in person has been very excited about it.  I printed out the pages and stuck them in this Binder for my own convenience.  When it's finally ready, this book will be published in pdfs, just like its elder brother, Guide To Making Model Horse Tack.

On the good side, the next piece up is the Peach Rose Bridle, and that one should be the easiest of all.  I've looked pretty hard for its photo in my files and finally found it:

Why would a bridle built in 2004 be filed under (and photo'd in) 2009?  Worse, how could I lose track of a picture used on this blog just last March??  Eh well, perhaps we shouldn't ask these kinds of questions -- !!  Just look at this beauty.  It only has 2 kinds of braided buttons on it, a 9P 4B with three rings of IW [Interweave] and a 7P 6B with two rings, for the tassels.  We already have those formulas on Plates in the Braided Buttons chapter -- plus how to read them, and all my methods!!  No wonder this book has been creeping along,...  there's so much in there.  Now I gotta remember where I wrote up about the Hill Tribes Silver beads (Bali beads) which form so prominent an element in this charming little bridle.

Of course, we're only barely at the halfway point.  There will be a Second Interlude, containing all the rest of the Formulae for the remaining headgear pieces.  There will hopefully be something about Braidwork on Western Saddles.  The Peach Rose has a whole saddle to it:

One decision I have to make is how much, if any, of this saddle to include.  I've got 5 pieces of headgear yet to go, including Mecates and Bosals, surely giant subjects and worthy of their own book.  (That's what I said about Malaguena's!  And that's what I'm saying about the Braided Thread Buttons chapter -- !)  The Snow Shoes, I can say with relief, merely need to be inked;  they're already drawn up.  So this effort is going to be a bigger book than the Guide, I think.  The more this saga goes on, the more I'm not backing down from a $25 price tag --!!

Slowly we are progressing.  As ever, I can only say:  Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Fibonacci Pins


Even before these 6 new Breyer pins joined my growing collection, I'd made the move from two display boards to four.  Ah, the Fibonacci sequence:  1 to 2 to 4 --!!  The last pin post on this blog was in June.  At that time I transitioned from one to two -- the Mink Unicorns got their own -- and the remaining Mink + Breyer + Misc original board was big enough to need two photographs:

Left Half

Right half (sans some miscellany)

And even these don't show all of them!  In October the collection reached a stage where something had to be done.  I went to JoAnn Fabs and bought some black velveteen.  [Note: Velvet can cost $30 a yard or $20.  I got the $20.]  With more cardboard, tape and staples, I indulged in making more display boards.  And just like that, my collection easily divided itself into 4 categories.

First off is the pride of Mink Unicorns.  These naturally set themselves apart. 

Faleadon is my latest acquisition.  To photograph him took some juggling of dark lighting and PhotoShopping, but I am very pleased with his sparkles.

The second-most-recently acquired was Kalasin.  This photo makes him look greener than he is (alas, the above photo makes him bluer than he is).  He's really a luscious, pure light sky blue.  Every one of these pins is a masterpiece.

The second board, the original, found itself home to all my Breyer pins.  Breyer has certainly found the golden cash cow with their enamel pin offerings!!  (Believe it or not I mis-typed that at first as the golden ow.  SO true!)

Earlier (c. Sept) new ones for me were the black Hope pony and the Artic Grandeur, bargains from MH$P.  Now, with my new 6, I had a blast arranging them and trying to photo them.  Up to now, Breyer has been a little stingey with their glitter on pins.  But the Mink sculpture of the Croi Damsha pony, named Cascade here, is -- most amazingly -- VERY glittery!  And a major challenge to photograph!  Pardon me for trying so many times here.   At first you can't really see it:  She just looks smoky and mysteriously foggy.

And then you darken the light and try to get closer.  I used PhotoShop to both unsaturate and sharpen, as well as enhance contrast.

Starting to see some of the real sparkles now!  The darker, the better.  And notice how they're never the same from shot to shot...

This little pony really challenged me!  The last shot is the most mysterious -- and it brings out the most glitter.

Who'd-a thunk-it!
Here's a closer look at three of the new Breyer pins, Mojave, Spectre and Lonesome Glory.  I was particularly pleased to see a Lonesome Glory;  I do love that mold.  However, this dark bay without white is nowhere near the original bright chestnut Lonesome Glory.  All dark makes a pin small!  What's up Breyer! 

Another interesting point is that Breyer's pins are starting to duplicate themselves moldwise.  I saw this first with the two versions of Nicolas the German Riding Pony, in 2022.  They're very different!  Mojave, the pinto Fireheart here, is different, larger and prettier (in my opinion) than the earlier Fireheart, Stein. 

The Spectre really does glow in the dark -- first of my pins to do so!

Here's a third case of duplication of mold:  This Holiday Highlander pin is the same mold (True North) as the Danash's Northern Tempest (Dani) small one released earlier, in 2021.  As with the others, the angle of view (of the pin) is different between the two.  Highlander is an interesting pin.  While he doesn't have glitter, and features (to me) boring colors, he has some unique textures in that fur lined coat.  I love those long cinnamon stockings!  The ?antler? headpiece on his poll is stupendous, giving him great character; and the gold metal color perfectly sets off the whole ensemble.

I suppose it was inevitable that we'd get Breyer pins that look like Minks.  That's because they are!  They're Breyer pins of sculptures by this amazingly talented and generous artist.  An advantage of this hybridization is they're produced in much larger numbers and anyone can get them anytime.  In my immense spreadsheet of Minkiewicz enamel pins, I've included the Anamar.  The pin was designed by Sarah and produced with her blessing.  Now I'm realizing I've overlooked at least 2 previous Breyer/Mink pins, both of which I now own:  the black Arabian Malik and the Cascade Croi Damsha.

Anamar, above, is a delightful case of how realism and fantasy can blend in a single pin.  I don't believe I've ever encountered a rose grey with a golden tail like that in real life;  but it just gives him so much character.

So here's my Breyer pin collection in toto:

Apologies for the dark corners and the clipped off black spaces.  It really is hard to photograph these creatures;  but now they've got room to grow!

So of course the third display board is given to my pure Minks:

The interesting thing to point out here is the size difference between the earliest Dancing Horse pin, Zigmund (top center, the leaping grey) and the latest one, Lucky, to his right (buckskin pinto with a light purple border).   These pins are arranged in the order I got them, downwards from Zigmund and then up again from the bottom.  Zigmund - Baxter - Rockette - Sayida - Sammy (the roan appy on the bottom).  Next to Sammy is Tango, then above:  Dreamer - Cobre - Dawnstar - Lucky.  You wouldn't notice them growing larger, but Lucky is seriously bigger.  Zigmund is under 1.5"  tall, but Lucky is a full 2" tall and more than 2" long, by far the largest Dancing Horse yet.

Elsewhere I have developed the theory that the increase in scale and size of model horses has to do with the steadily growing ego and power of their creators,...

Let's move on to my 4th and last board, Miscellany.  There are new ones here:  a colt that fits right in with an earlier family and a very welcome Carousel Jumper.

The lowest, chestnut pinto colt  is not really news as I blogged about him in July:  The Traditional Loot Shots.  What's striking is how perfectly he fits in with my Chincoteague family.  They might have been created by the same artist...!

And glory be, a fourth Carousel horse has joined up.  Once again, these seem to appear out of nowhere, usually on eBay (as was the case here), and I had no idea at all they even existed.  There are so many carousel pins out there that are primitive, or not enamels, or the wrong color or size!  Very few pass all the defensive filters I throw up in their way.  And yet this one did.  The fact that the clear acrylic layer was so old it had yellowed merely gave the horse a lovely ivory cream color, which I happened to fancy.  I love the quiet wisdom and colorful metallic streamers on this little jumper, lower left:

I have found a favorite collecting interest.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

The Silver Dapple Fighter


This is a long post (long overdue!), so, important stuff first!  This horse is looking for a good home, but he's not for sale.  He is, hopefully, a gift, a donation to the next generation.  Money can't buy him, (although, in a perfect world, the new owner would supply the postage, Hah!).  In that ideal world, he'd go to someone who was conga-ing unique, unusual Fighting Stallions:  those with a touch of hobby history.  In this case his claim is a name:  he was created by a famous artist who is not known for painting but for tackmaking.  😁   He's been sitting around doing nothing for about 40 years, and for many different reasons I don't want to keep him.  This post is his story.  Email me at with your own story of why he might come to you.  I'll wait til Halloween, then reassess.

 Sooner or later, good things come to an end.  It was hard enough to lose my mother this spring (see May's post), but it hadn't occurred to me that meant losing the house as well.  Yet in the end, things have boiled down to that.  We have been unable to find enough helpers for Dad to go on living there in the summer, and none of his 3 children wanted the house enough to keep it.  The process of cleaning out my natal home -- think of it, 63 years! -- has begun.  (Dad's now in the winter house, in Tucson.)  And so we come to the silver stallion.

We are all familiar, I think, with the concept of a model horse as a memorial.  Often they are portraits of real horses;  sometimes they are a memory-piece for a real horse (I have one of those).  Other times, the model is a souvenir of a person or a place, or of a time with a special person(s).  I have quite a few horses that remember places and people, happy visits and vacations.  But this one embodies an entire house,... as it happens, one without me.

I owe my brother Allen for my possessing the Silver Dapple Fighter right now.  He said quite simply, "But you have to take him Sue!"  Spoken with inside knowledge of my model horse career.  Skipping over, forgetfully, the Lipizzaner Reitschule plates and embroidered pictures still hanging in the old place; certainly skipping, because I haven't told anyone yet, my own Will's dictates for a few models to go to family, i.e. my sister.  The silver stallion is pretty much outside of everything.

He has no name, no personality.  He has no registry card (almost every other one of my models does).  He's not like Thomas, the Fighter on my piano:  Tuning my piano.  He has sat on the mantle for, let's see, about 42 years.  Thirty-six of them, appx., without me.  (Note the fireplace was never used in this house.)

Blog readers may recognize this end of the basement from my BCS Winter Photo Challenge post (see January of 2015, first photo).  Of course, particularly during the 80s, the silver stallion may have been residing anywhere in the basement.  I left home permanently in the spring of 1987, and I just didn't want him.  So there he remained.  I told myself he'd stay there forever, in the place where the TSII began -- where I began.  Every other horse I've owned or wanted I've long since taken away; they have continued their story with me, accumulating memories, history and story, layering richer.  This one I deliberately left behind, a symbol of unchangingness,...  of unthinkingness.  I couldn't imagine ever losing the house itself.  How comforting, for all those years!  far longer than many other families,...

Ah but how can you refuse little brother, especially when he's right.  😲   

The horse has no photos, not being represented in the 5 shoeboxes of photographs I have covering my pre-digital hobby life, circa 1978 to 2010.  I'd done a number of repaints and customs in my early years, and many are shown here:  Thoughts on NaMoPaiMo 2017.  Somehow, my few faux-Decorators are not mentioned.   I do remember one gold-dapple FAF.  Fake Decos appears to've been a phase I went through.

"Luke I am your father!"  I was a young artist in the first full flush of her powers, in her early 20s, going to college, discovering the model hobby and setting up a mail-order business.  He is a piece that reflects my early determination and stubbornness -- my love of silver! -- which would soon be turned to leatherwork and tackmaking.  With him actually in hand, I am astonished by his power now -- the raw strength of him.  I really had forgotten that.

Take an Alabaster Fighting Stallion (they were common in those days), strip off what little grey shadings there were (nail polish remover!) and leave the pink.  These photos don't show it but the sheath is pink.  If you look closely enough you can see the remains of hoof pads!  Take a can of silver spray paint and let most of the freon out (by spraying with it upside down).  The paint then comes out in blurts and splatters, dribs and gobbets, making for a satisfactory if not authentic reproduction of those most revered model horses, the fabulous metallic Decorators.  Handpaint the places that need it and run some polishing, smoothing factor (probably sandpaper) over the areas that got too much paint.  I did not have any gloss coating back then.

It's entirely possible he was my original White Fighter and got demoted when he broke his ear (honestly I've no idea how that happened).  A replacement might've been too perfect to destroy, so I kept the newcomer (today I have a great Alabaster Fighter dating from those years) and may have used the broken one to experiment with.  But it's also possible I bought him with painting in mind from the start.  The first flush of eager experimentation was successful:  that's all that mattered.  In this case that excitement went on to form a hobby artist who has lasted 40+ years,... although it took until 2018, and NaMoPaiMo, before I seriously painted horses again!  With NMPM to guide me, today I inked initials on him:

It should be clear we don't really have a year pinned down for the Silver Dapple Fighter;  but a good educated guess is 1981.  

A logical question is how many more of these surprises are there to uncover!?  Heh!  There's the mentioned-but-long-lost gold-dapple FAF (you'd know that one by his much-worn-down off fore hoof); and there's a TSII-saddled buckskin Stock Horse Mare on the Tucson mantle, but she is seriously ugly  😄  no desires there!  Every horse from those ancient days has either been dispersed long since or is with me now.  This one was an exception, sitting in the basement of Fox Hills, unwanted, quietly absorbing, suspended.  He was present during my Mom's last times there, but it's more than her;  it's the house itself I can hardly bear to let go of.  For once, I am not strong enough to want him;  it's too painful;  I have other horses to do this job.  The house's fate is his fate.

The best thing that could happen would be for him to go to a new generation that was trying to capture hobby history yet enjoyed pieces for their own sake.  Tell me a story, make me an offer.  I can help with the postage.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Stromness in Tack


When I first saw Eva Rossiter's Stromness, an Irish Sport Horse mare, I fell madly in love.  This was a bit strange, as I am Western to the core.  I comforted myself somewhat by remembering I had felt this way about Victrix several years earlier.  There is something about a really beautiful, positively correct standing English Thoroughbred-type that just pulls my heartstrings.  But it was the potential Western application in the back of my mind, I think, that truly explains my attraction.

It was at last year's BreyerFest, 2022, that Heather Moreton let me make off with one of her splendiforous braided-bridle-&-breastcollar sets.  I promised then to photograph it upon a suitable horse.  Ooops,....  A whole year went by, the promise simmering on the back burner, but I hadn't.  Somehow, when I saw Stromness, I knew the time had come to fulfill.

The price for this horse struck me as amazingly reasonable, considering it had to be cast upon request and shipped from Ireland.  Here is a link to her page:  Stromness.  This beautiful resin was a lovely exception to my usual argument that no one buys horses immediately after BreyerFest and indeed they are burned out.  Hah!!  That didn't apply to me this year,.. I was instead inspired,...

When I finally opened her and sat down to a photo session, it was as close as I ever get these days to preparing for a show.  Fun!!   I had a large selection of saddles to choose from.  Given the delicacy of the bridle, and its color, I wanted a plain warm brown saddle with some kind of braidwork on it.  The strange thing was I didn't think my own two famous TSII braided saddles would do.  The braidwork on both the Elk (TSII #432) and the Peach Rose is dense and colorful, of a different texture and feel than Heather's work -- bouyant, almost clamorously loud, rather than restrained, light but tight.  This bridle featured openwork.  I didn't have anything with openwork, but after a thorough search I decided to use my 2004 Kathy Wiggins set, which had a solid-set braided edge.  No other piece I possess has this.  I liked the textural contrast, and the colors matched.

Thereupon followed an hours-long session of polishing!  Also, I wasn't happy with the cinch of Kathy's saddle;  I borrowed another cinch from a completely different saddle, a Toots Geyer.  In addition to this carefree substituting I pinched a blanket from a third saddle.  That one happened to be one of my own saddles.  I cannot claim to have "made" this blanket;  I merely chose the denim-like fabric and added on some corner tassels in the deeps of time.  This blanket dates from the late 1990s.  I love its asymmetry (the right and left sides are different).

Who says an English Thoroughbred doesn't look good in Western!  The alertness and pose lends itself to so much.  The Western snaffle does a good deal to bridge the difference.   My deep apologies for not quite lining up the mouthpiece with the lips though --!

Alas, the bridle ears are a tad too big for this horse.  And I really shouldn't've let the cheek strap cover so much braidwork on the sides.  Eh, no show entry is truly foolproof.  I had way too much fun assembling all this, and that's what should count.

Her pose lends itself to heroic views.  Forest ranger's horse?

I love her expression.  I'm naming her after a character in a Molly Keane novel (Easter from Mad Puppetstown).

This truly is a horse with promise.  There is so much here.  'Stalwart' comes to mind.  She would look good in harness,... and, of course, English gear.

An additional piece of tack I purchased from Heather (Desert Night Creations) in 2022 is this mecate.  I didn't have a bosal that would match it at all, so for now it remains in the bag.

What beautiful work.  It is a privilege and a pleasure to collect this art from my dear friend.

It has become my habit to announce other news at the ends of my blog posts, so here goes.  Work on my next book continues, but it is vastly slowed by taking three weeks of September and 2 weeks of October for family trips.  (Not to mention all January.)  It is clear to me now 'twill not be done by the November 6 Guide publication anniversary.  My husband knew this all along, but I'm just making faces and rolling on.  Only this week has it become clear to me I should place the Braided Buttons chapter ahead of the First Interlude, which treats subjects like Connectors, Braided Rings, Hobbles and Peet's Romal Reins.  These subjects are not part of (or are only partly of) the 8 pieces of headgear the book was originally meant to cover.  I suppose it's mission creep.  I've envisioned including such subjects for so long that I'm putting them in anyway, and thus the book is growing larger as time passes.  Right now we're at 24 drawn Plates plus the 2 from the Guide;  I don't know the page count but it's serious, and there are 66 photos just for the first 3 pieces.  And yet I believe I'm merely at a half-way mark.

There will a pause in programming while we travel the high plains; but we will return!  As ever,

Thanks for your patience.