Sunday, 13 December 2015

Liebster Award!

Because of my longstanding computer problems which really set back my ability to blog regularly, I wasn't able to respond to being nominated twice for this a few months ago!

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About The Liebster Award
The Liebster Award is an award made for bloggers by bloggers, aiming to put the spotlight on new bloggers and give them a chance to shine and get known here in the blogging world.
The Rules
– Put the Liebster Award logo on your blog.
– Thank and tag the blog who nominated you.
– Answer their questions and come up with 10 new ones for your nominees
– Nominate 8 blogs (with less than 200 followers), let them know you’ve nominated them, and link them in your post
– No tag-backs

The first was by Beth from Chestnut Heartbeats and I was so touched to read I was her customising inspiration, that seriously made my day, thank you so much! <3 p="">

1. What inspired you to start writing a blog?
Hmmm, in truth...I can't actually remember! I read a lot of other people's and I think eventually decided it'd be a good place to stick all my tutorials and customs and whatnot, without having to faff about with my main websites and it was definitely a good decision!
2. Who is your inspiration in the model horse or real horse world?
Oooh, tough one! I think it's probably tied between Jennifer Buxton of Braymere Custom Saddlery and Juliane Gartska of the Luckenbach Ranch.
Jen Buxton's blog is a constant reminder of what makes a good blog - interesting and informative posts, a fantastic dose of humour and lots of pony pictures! Her work is incredible, and she's so keen to share techniques and things with her fellow collectors which is so lovely.
Juliane Gartska's horses are beyond compare and owning one would make my life, seriously. I love them so much. They may not have the perfectly smooth airbrushed finish that rakes in the awards at shows - they're hairy, scruffy beasties - but they're so incredibly realistic that it really makes you wonder why so few customs by other people end up looking that way. I'd rather have a tiny herd of her horses than shelf upon shelf of generically 'perfect' LSQ customs! I adore her photographs of them all too - that kind of realism is what inspired me to do the same with my Julips, and while my horses obviously don't share the same realism (lol) I do love trying to emulate the kind of attention to detail that captured my imagination when I first saw her photos all those years ago.

3. Of all your models, which is your favourite?

 Oh god, what a terrible question! D:

I suppose I'd have to say Tam, or he'd bite or maim me in some way...

 Tam Is Not Amused.

...but I'd be lying if I said he's not actually my fave...
*ducks flying hooves*

Despite not being a fan of TBs in real life (I prefer chunky cobs!) I think Harper is by far the most spoiled of all my Julips. He's got several headcollars, at least three rugs and I adore him.
He has the most soppy and eager to please expression, and I think he'd be the sort of horse who, after spooking at a crisp packet and chucking you off in fright, would rush over afterwards to see if you were alright and look really apologetic about the whole thing.


 4. Which of your models do you most regret buying, and why?

This guy.

Classic Arabian Stallion

It was back in my early days of the hobby, when Breyers meant everything to me. If I saw one for sale I had to have it, regardless of condition because it was a Breyer, and you just didn't get them round here. I was at a doll's house fair with my Mum and saw the Classic 'light chestnut' Arab stallion on a stand with lots of handmade dolls. He had a simple saddle which, while fine for someone who only had a basic knowledge of tack, really wasn't all that good, and I don't even think he came with a bridle. The seller wanted £40 for the two, and I, being young and stupid and obsessed, bought them.
It wasn't until I got home that I realised just how many rubs he had, as well as what looked like glitter and pearlescent paint in the recesses of his mane. I used the saddle with my Julips before I made my own tack, so I suppose I got some use out of it, but it certainly wasn't worth anything near what I paid and I regret it to this day. As seen in the above photo, he's been relegated to the body box now! (and just so you don't think I bought him in that state, he was sanded recently, hence the extreme rubs!)

This was the saddle in question - the only pic I could find of it without a rider was this one - sorry Nikolai!
5. If you could visit anywhere in time or space (including fictional places) where would you go?

 Oooh, good question!

As he's one of my personal heroes, I'd love to meet Leonardo Da Vinci, so I think 15th century Florence would get my vote! I'd also love to see some dinosaurs in the flesh so a trip back to the Cretaceous would be nice too!
6. What is your favourite season of the year?

Autumn, hands down.

I love the colours, the weather and the fact that everything in the landscape changes every day..not to mention, the opportunity to take photos like this!


Dalbeattie Forest

Threave Gardens

7. If you could have any skill you want, what would you like to have?

Hmm, if it'd be possible, the ability to not procrastinate! (failing that, the usual - power of flight, ability to understand and speak all languages, oh and teleportation!)

 8. What would your dream model horse be?

A Gartska cob or pony with hairy feet, a beard and lots of floof. Probably in dun or sabino...or both. XD
9. What is your favourite mythical/fantasy creature?

Dragons! I've loved them my whole life and fully intend to make more poseable ones soon!
10. Tell us something about yourself we don't know (Ok, ok, not really a question, I know :) )

I was once seen on the national news doing attempting  Bollywood dancing.

I know, I still can't quite believe that was a thing that happened either. XD


The next nomination came from Sarah at Ridge Farms Model Horses.

Her questions were as follows...

1. How far back do you remember loving horses?

First Horse Experience

Very far! I don't remember this photo being taken (probably just as well as I look terrified, lol) but I remember the second clear as day. 

First ever ride
Apologies for the crappy quality, it's a scan of a badly printed version of a photo, lol

I was either 8 or 9, and we spotted a 'pony ride' thing on the beach one holiday. I begged and begged and was eventually allowed to have a go. It wasn't exactly thrilling, as the pony looked so docile that a bomb could have gone off next to it and it'd probably have just carried on walking. That was it though, the horsey bug had bitten and soon afterwards I started riding lessons at my local yard and well, the rest is history! 
First Trot
This was Jimmy, who I rode a lot in my first lessons.

2. Which brands do you collect and why?

Mostly Julips (I covered my reasons for collecting them here) but I have a fairly decent collection of Stablemates (they're small, fun to customise and don't take up much space so I can justify having more. XD) and Schleichs (same reason as above!) as well as a handful of Breyer Trads that I just liked the look of, two Copperfoxes and another tiny handful of mini resins. I collect models I like, regardless of scale or brand - if it appeals to me and I can afford it, I'll get it!

3. Any real horses in your life? Breeds and names, please!

Alas, no, not any more. :(

I used to ride weekly when I was younger, but stopped when I started college and somehow never quite managed to get back into it. I miss it terribly, but I've since put on a lot of weight and I'd need to lose a lot before I could even consider getting back in the saddle, for the horse's benefit rather than my own.

When I used to ride, my favourite pony was Suki, the Highland mare. She was grumpy, she bit, kicked, acted out in lessons - sometimes attacking other ponies! - but I loved her to pieces and even though she rarely had her ears up for photos, I adored her and I always wished that I'd win the lottery so I could buy her off the riding school and have her all to myself! It was a real shame though, I remember someone telling me that before she was a riding school pony, she'd been someone's beloved pony club mount and had gone to camp and done a bit of everything, but school life really didn't suit her and she'd become lethargic and uncooperative, ignoring the aids for pretty much everything unless you asked properly, and didn't just kick on and hope for the best which so many young riders there did. She deserved a single rider I think, and while she probably has more fans these days than she did when I was there, I still kinda wish she had her own person.

Old Suki Pic


Gorgeous Suki

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This was the last time I rode her, when I was 18.

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A smiley suki-monster for a change!

The other horse to play a big part in my life was Cruz. 

Hello Cruz!

A Hanoverian/TB; my friend Deb bought her as a first horse, and while buying a youngster and bringing it on isn't really something I'd recommend, she turned out pretty well! Her life seemed cursed though - within a few months of owning her, she was chased into a fence by another horse, jumped it but caught her leg on something and sliced it open - the vet said if it had been an inch in another direction she'd have severed an artery so she was very lucky! She also ended up developing sinusitis at one point which required an operation on her face so she's got plenty of battle scars now!

She was a bit like Suki at times - very grumpy, stubborn and with a bit of a mean streak at times. She used to buck and buck and buck and even once she'd been backed and broken it was still her signature move if she was bored or didn't want to work. 
She certainly lived up to her show name - 'Trailer Trash'!

Cruz Bucking

As a pretty nervous rider I was wary about getting on board after seeing her do this virtually every time I visited but eventually I was persuaded to give it a try...


...and I never looked back!

Me and Cruz

She was difficult and wily and liked to push your buttons and see how far she could push you before you wanted to get off, but once you'd demonstrated that no, a few bucks when I ask for canter doesn't mean I'm done, she'd start listening and I found my confidence - which had been lost after a bad fall at 14 - start to come back. 

tiny jump - big

I was the first to ride her bareback in a halter and while a few years before I'd have been terrified to even try it, I felt so safe on her that I had no fear whatsoever.



Unfortunately she was really too intelligent for her own good, and needed a rider who complimented her rather than clashed, which was what happened with her and Deb - their personalities were too similar! The decision was made to sell her on and the perfect person turned up...only a few months later she decided she didn't like her after all and swapped her for another horse from a dealer and that's the last we've heard of her. :( The dealer said she was probably in Ireland now, but aside from that we've got no idea where she is or if she's even still alive. It makes me so upset to even think about it as I really miss her and although I know she'd have been too much for me if I could have afforded to buy her myself, I still regret not being able to, and it kills me to think she could have been put down by someone who saw her stubbornness as unfixable. :(

Roly Poly Ponee

4. What is your favorite medium to create horsey art?

Probably mixed media I think! I take part in the Horse Art RPG on deviantArt (or HARPG). It's a bit like photoshowing with models, except you draw your entries and most people design whole yards, with horses, staff, pedigrees and massive storylines. It's a lot of fun, and there's no set rules for what you can and cannot do so there's a lot of creative freedom. I base my digital herd on my Julips, and while I've only drawn a few, it's great fun to be able to expand their lives and showing careers in a different way.
While I do a lot of digital painting, I prefer to draw my lines by hand on paper, then scan them and colour them in photoshop, along with the backgrounds.

This one is the digital version of Harry.
Oh look, it's Harper again, along with Mitchell, Giovanni, Harry and Toa at the back.

Harper again!

  5. What is your favorite color for a big, feathered draft horse?

Literally anything, I adore cobs in every colour, though I'm partial to those with dapples and heavily ticked sabino roans!

 6. What is the largest and/or smallest your model collection has ever been? 

Smallest would have been when I started and had only a couple, largest? Probably now - I keep buying them even when I don't have the space!

7. Who do you share your collection with? 

Do dust bunnies and spiders count?

8. What's your best recent purchase model horse or otherwise? 

Probably my lovely Judith Miller etchie - I still can't believe he's mine now, and at such a ridiculously reasonable price!

EA The Alchemist - Mustang - stallion - EG

9. What's your favorite accessory piece (blanket, saddle, etc) 

Hmm, tricky. I like making headcollars but I think rugs are my favourite as you can do so much in terms of variety!

Family Horses

10. Who are YOU going to nominate?

 I'm going to be a rebel and not nominate anyone! This isn't because I can't think of any suitable blogs to award this to - I can think of plenty - but I'd really struggle to narrow it down to just 10!

Sooo, instead, I'll post my ten questions and literally anyone who wants to answer them can consider themselves nominated! :D

1. What is it about your hobby that first appealed to you?
2. Most disasterous make/custom? (show any evidence!)
3. What project do you keep putting off?
4.What's your favourite hobby blog?
5. Since it was such a good question I'll adapt it for myself - if you could meet any historical figure, who would it be?
6. Any unusual habits?
7.  Getting to the serious questions - Cats or dogs? (the correct answer is cats. ;))
8.  If you could spend a day with another hobbyist, who would it be?
9. Leftover pizza for breakfast, yay or nay?
10. What would you like to see from the hobby in the future?



  1. Aww, thank you for answering my questions :) It was really interesting to read all your answers. And I loved seeing your art: it's gorgeous :)

    I know the last thing you need is encouragement, but I think Cruz would make a beautiful addition to your Julip yard *hint hint* XD

    1. Thanks for nominating me! :D Oh and thanks, I haven't done any in a while as my graphics tablet's gone belly up but I'm hoping to get a new one in the sales after christmas.

      I had thought about ordering a Julip of her and of a few of my favourite real horses but as all my Julips have so much *fictional* backstory and personalities, it would feel weird having actual real horses along with them too. I've been working on a custom resin of Cruz though which I think fits her much better!