Posts Tagged ‘In progress’

I’m really good at starting projects and abandoning them. 99% of the time it’s because I run into a Problem that I don’t know how to tackle, or there is something that needs to be corrected, but correcting it would require a lot of work. (or a complete do-over, which is very unappealing when you’ve already invested so much time into the piece)

This is exactly what happened with the western show saddle I started four years ago.

In this case, the Problem was how to cover the tree. For whatever reason I never really tried to work it out, put it aside, and got distracted with other things.

Last weekend I came across all the pieces while cleaning, and was going to just throw them out. But nooo, I decided that it needed to be revived.

Maybe a change of pace is what I’ve been needing to get out of this creative slump? Unfortunately time was not kind and the leather had darkened with age. The more I looked at it the more I realized that yes, this really does need to thrown away.

I hate starting things over but in this case I think it’s for the best. It makes me a bit sad to think of all the work I put into it going to waste, but then again, so much time has passed that it doesn’t really matter much anymore. One good thing was that I had created digital copies of the pattern and tooling pattern, which already cut out a lot of work.

So, version 2 has been started, beginning with correcting my lopsided re-sculpted saddle tree. Since the tree was the Problem originally I figured I would start with covering that first.

It’s um… kind of weird.

But it’s a start, even with it’s weirdness. And it’s created more Problems. My pattern is way off. I’m having to readjust everything, which in hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t discover when I first started working on this four years ago.

One thing I haven’t had to re-work much are the fenders, so here they are right now. I haven’t done any tooling in four years so I can’t say that I’ve improved there. I also don’t understand why my first attempt at it had to be such a complicated pattern but whatever.
These were created a day apart and there’s a lot of difference between the two. (or is that just me?) I think that has to do with the tools I’m learning to use and just practice/trying to figure it out.

I can say that I really like the stitched detail. For those wondering, it’s paint. I don’t think it’s possible to actually stitch something that tiny, and I’m not eager to try it out.

So yes… this is where I’m at with the saddle right now. I’m taking it slow and not pressuring myself to make it perfect. It’s not going to be perfect and maybe not even “good” but that’s ok. I haven’t made enough saddles to consider myself “good” at making them, and who knows if I’ll ever get to that point.

I do want to mention that on Mares in Black‘s most recent podcast, I was really inspired by what I believe Kylee Parks said about customizing: to just go for it and figure it out. I don’t customize but it still struck a chord with me. Saddles intimidate me because I don’t know how to figure them out, but the only way I will is if I just go for it and keep practicing. So uh, thanks for that.

Hopefully I won’t have to re-start this one in 2023…

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Is it weird that I find skiving leather almost therapeutic? I used to hate it.

This weekend has left me kind of down… partly from my own “you suck, stop trying” demons (don’t compare yourself to others, don’t do it IT’S A TRAP) and partly from bigger hobby problems. I love this hobby but sometimes it makes me feel incredibly sad, and when one hurts, we all hurt.
(on a side note, I also think witch-hunting is wrong and won’t make the first wrong right)

Anyway.

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out how to balance the hobby side of my hobby (aka personal, fun projects) and the “work” side. (aka sales pieces) I’ve come to the realization that I need to make some changes with this, because a) I’m unhappy b) there isn’t enough time for everything because I have a full-time physically demanding job and am always so tired and grouchy that my boss pokes fun at me and c) Etsy is… UGHHHH right now. I’ll save that for another post. Maybe.

I’m so grateful that Model Horse Place exists, and if you haven’t checked it out yet please do! The direction I want to take with my work (and to help this Balance thing) is to focus more on higher quality, one of a kind pieces that I can list as they are completed. I’ve been experimenting a little with how I sell my work, and I’m hoping that MHP works out. It could be exactly what I’m looking for.

The second part of Balancing is to stop working on sales pieces on the weekends, using that time instead for personal projects or *GASP* non-hobby stuff! (I mean summer’s coming! It snowed this morning but summer is coming!)

Will it help? I don’t know.

In an attempt to put this idea into practice, I put my current dinosaur blanket aside for the weekend. It needs leg straps but they can wait till Monday dangit.

I’ve been wanting to make more bridles lately. I want to get better at them but never will unless I put the time in soooo…

Close to 8 years ago I started a dressage bridle. I got as far as the noseband and quit for reasons I can no longer remember. I don’t know what happened to it.

I decided on making a simple bridle for my Strapless this time, suitable for lower level Dressage. I started off with the crown piece. Split crown pieces on bridles stress me out because it’s so easy for me to mess them up. In fact, as soon as I cut this one I thought I had butchered it, but after some careful trimming, I think I’ll be able to make it work.

Still, this was really aggravating. I put the project aside and told myself this was a stupid waste of time and that I should stick to sewing and and and and…

Today, I put together the noseband and cavesson. The process went a lot smoother, but I still have a lot of work left to do.

The weekend isn’t totally over yet, and I doubt I’ll get this bridle done, but it’s a nice change of pace.

Anyone else struggle with finding balance? Any advice??

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I felt super-motivated to start the new year. We’re two weeks in already and everything’s gone quiet on my blog. Ok not really but I always feel that way when I don’t post for a couple of weeks. This happened last year too, what gives?

Even though it’s been kind of quiet I am working on new stuff. Mostly, I’m trying to get ready for Breyerwest because HEYYY six months has magically turned into two-ish! WHAT HAPPENED. This doesn’t really surprise me BUT STILL.

(I blame everything on my job)

I have been participating in a January photo challenge on Facebook/Instagram, which has been fun and given me something to post when there hasn’t been anything else ready to share yet.

Aside from that, I’ve been re-working ribbon rosettes. These were inspired by NAN and Breyerfest:

My desk is a ribbon factory at the moment…

I really want to remake a full set like this, just need to make time!

A secret project got put together…

As well as some other things…

Magical prints… and plaid for the Muggles 😛

I got all giddy over Breyer’s website update the other day:

I will not stop being excited over this #sorrynotsorry

And Leah (who is awesome) of Shoestring Stable surprised me with a NIB Justify, which was super sweet and very generous of her. Thanks again, Leah!

Squee!

Breyerwest really is my main focus right now, (I’m not quite in panic mode but almost) so things will probably continue to be quiet around here. We’ll see!

Is that it? I think that’s it. Back to work.

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