Monday, 17 August 2015

An attempt at an interesting walk.

Emphasis on the 'attempt' part.

Years and years and years ago, my dad and I visited a nearby abandoned quarry in search of fossils. I literally tripped over our first find, a nice bit of fossilized fern, and he later found a rather nice shark's tooth embedded in a bit of shale. I've always longed to go back, but with one thing or another we've never managed it, and today...we didn't manage it either, instead, heading for a little known rock formation just a little up the hill from the quarry on Craigmaddie Muir.

'The Auld Wives Lift.' -link- -link-

This glacial erratic, placed here rather artistically by a receding glacier during the ice age, has a lot of local folklore associated with it, and the name comes from its so called origin, where three 'old wives' - or witches, depending on where you read it - challenged each other to throw a stone the furthest, and, carrying the stones in their aprons to the moor, duly chucked them, with one landing atop the others. There's a gap between them which you're supposed to climb through if you don't want to end up childless! (something I think I'll pass on, though clambering through the rocks sounds fun!)
They have faces carved into the rock (some folk attribute them to ancient celts, but they're probably much later) and there are some cup and ring marked stones nearby as well as a few chambered cairns. I've always been fascinated by prehistory, especially Scottish prehistory, and as it was so local and my dad had been a few years before, it sounded like the perfect place to go for an afternoon's walk. The quarry was just a short walk from where we'd park the car so we planned to walk to the stones and have a rumamge in the quarry when we got back.

Oh how optimistic we were!


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Completed 'Todd' medallion.

Chronic procrastinator that I am, it's taken me several years to finish painting this little guy.
I'm not really a medallion person but I've got a few of my own stuck to the wall in front of my desk and this was the only one remaining unpainted.

I can't remember when exactly I got him - part of me wants to say that he was a prize from a forum show or something - but I probably did just buy him from his sculptor, Clare Stokes. He's sold out now though so I'm glad I got him when I did.

I primed him after he arrived, stuck him to the lid of a jam jar so I could paint him with ease...then, sort of...didn't. I tried, don't get me wrong, he was several shades of bay, then chestnut, then pinto, but every time I'd get halfway through and give up as it just wasn't right.

Finally, he let me know that roan was what he wanted to be, and in the space of an afternoon watching old episodes of Time Team (my childhood! <3 a="" acrylics="" almost="" and="" but="" exclusively="" eye.="" finished="" for="" hairs="" he="" i="" mane="" pastel="" pastels="" pencil="" some="" switched="" the="" to="" used="" was="">

'Todd' medallion, by Clare Stokes

'Todd' medallion, by Clare Stokes

'Todd' medallion, by Clare Stokes

New tack and a rider for Kirk

I know I'm not exactly a regular blogger, but I've been even less active recently as my computer is being incredibly slow and obstinate. (even more than usual) While there is absolutely nothing wrong with its connection to the internet (my tech savvy friend did a thing, and said so) it loads pages with all the speed of a particularly lethargic snail and so I've been favouring my phone for forum activity and so on. The other thing that's gone kaput recently is my graphics tablet - it still works, but there's no pen pressure so I can't do any decent digital art which makes me sad.

Anyway, all this time off the computer has galvinised me to do some more tackmaking!
Most of this was done a few months ago, but its testament to just how horrible the computer is to use that I've only just got pics up today.

Maris the cob got a nice squishy padded headcollar, with fleece noseband and pollguard. I didn't make her rug though, that came with another Julip a few years ago when I bought him from another collector. It's incredibly detailed and VERY well made.



Ezio has always been very jealous of all the fancy tack available at 'US Friesian Referral' so I thought I'd make him something inspired by it. The gold studs were from a nail art decoration set.



Tully models an autumnal themed headcollar, with plaited straps.
(and oh gods, how terrifying are his eyes here?! *makes mental note to repaint them*)


Echo's one isn't one of my best, but I wanted to try out a little plaited detail on the sides.


New cob Byron needed a bridle and as I hadn't made anything fancier than a snaffle for ages, I thought I'd give him a pelham. It's a bit big really, and the reins are hopefully only temporary until I get round to skiving some black leather, but it's not bad. The 'brass' on the browband is a selection of more nail art decorations.

Byron's bridle

Byron's bridle

I tried making a western saddle for my Julips yeeears ago, but the leather was too thick and looked terrible so I dismantled it in the hope that one day in the future I could do a better job! Well, the future is here, and while it's still not perfect by any means, it's a LOT better than it looked originally! I skived down the leather and did some really basic stamping for detail. The 'string' cinch was really tricky but looks pretty good in person.

Spud's Western tack

Finally, I decided that my new Pit Pony, Kirkby, really needed some tack, so after scouring google in search of Shetland saddles to copy...I made something that looks completely different. XD
The stirrups are mass produced metal 'charms' and while they're far too small for Julip riders boots, they're perfect for homemade child riders. I didn't attach the girth particularly well so the saddle is a bit wobbly - I added the crupper partly because I've seen so many Shetlands with them and partly to hold the saddle on in reality! Getting his tail through it is...interesting as there's just so much of it!

Kirkby's tack

Now that he was fully kitted out, all he needed was a rider to complete the Thelwell look, so I finished off a hybrid rider I'd been working on for months. She has a doll's house doll's head and forearms and her boots were nicked off a Primeval figure. The rest of her body is made entirely from wire and pipecleaners. I scraped off her original hair, which was glued on very roughly, and rehaired her with mohair. I didn't do the tidiest job (made harder as she has a hole in the middle where the original hair plug was stuck inside) but a hat hides all ills. :P I did a tiny bit of pastelling on her face to give her a little more colour and to add some faint freckles but otherwise I didn't need to do much else.

Kirkby and Katie

She's named herself Katie which goes rather well with her pony's name.

Kirkby and Katie

Kirkby and Katie

Kirkby and Katie

Kirkby and Katie

And now, just for the lols, here's the tiniest member of the herd with the tallest...



I've got out of the habit of entering photo shows, but I think I definitely made the right decision in joining in with Model Horse Love's CFT show earlier this month!

Ted Tonks - Reserve Champion
EA Ted Tonks - Fun Reserve Champion

I can't remember which photo I used for Ted... XD

Archie and Kestral - Reserve to Reserve Champions
EAE Archipelago & EAE Kestralis - Performance Reserve to Reserve 
Seriously, HOW well does it suit Kestral's bridle?!

Mounted Games
This is such a terribly old picture with terrible old tack and backdrop, I'm rather amazed it won tbh

Ezio - Reserve Champion
EAE Ezio's Kling Van Wraak - Performance Reserve Champion


Digby - Champion
EAE Gravedigger - Performance Champion

EAE Gravedigger - Cross Country

Digby - Overall Champion
EAE Gravedigger - Overall Supreme Champion

My 1/12th scale riding school office roombox also got Overall Reserve to Reserve Champion, but I couldn't be bothered taking it off the shelf and dusting it all just to get a photo with the rosette so you'll just have to use your imagination!

EAE Office

I'm not a huge fan of pink, but I think I can overlook it this time! :P