Saturday, 15 July 2017

Lake District Live 2017

As with the same show last year, I travelled down to the Lakes with my friend (and new owner of Magpie Models) Heather, though this time we had an extra travelling companion in Magda, who I'd seen last a few weeks prior at the RHS. She didn't currently have any Julips, but we assured her from personal experience that she'd manage to acquire at least one in the spares. :P

The journey was good, save for that one time the sat-nav directed us around the world's smallest roundabout! (which was literally a clump of grass in a very narrow country lane!) We were staying somewhere different from our usual room at the George Washington pub, this time we'd be at the Arnside Independent Hostel  overlooking the estuarine Morecambe Bay.

We arrived in good time; so good in fact that we were far too early to book in, so we went for a wander instead.

IMG_4261


It was a beautiful little village with lots of quirky features and buildings.

IMG_4264

IMG_4265

IMG_4267

We had to make a minor detour when we came to a very steep path that led down to the estuary. It was really quite a significant gradient, and when covered in damp leaves, I really didn't trust my converses' grip! The alternative route took us past some nice houses and fields instead, then back round to the water so it was actually quite a nice walk of about a mile and a half.

IMG_4269

IMG_4271

IMG_4272

 After the extra trek to avoid the big steep hill, guess what we ended up ascending on the way back! πŸ˜†

We were still too early to book in when we got back so we got back in the car and headed off for our usual post-show pub meal a day early at The Ship Inn. After some very good food, we finally returned to the hostel and booked in, where we were met by a selection of interesting signs. Clearly the owners have a good sense of humour!

IMG_4277

IMG_4461

IMG_4286

Our room was modest but comfortable, with a view out over the estuary.

IMG_4279

The trees blocked most of it, but it looked gorgeous at sunset.

IMG_4282

I didn't sleep much at all that first night; the combination of a warm room, a different bed (with hugely insufficient pillows!) and well, snoring from the bunk above me, (πŸ˜…) kept me awake for most of the night.

As usual, Heather was up at the crack of dawn, and as I had by then lost all hope of getting some more sleep, so was I - something which doesn't happen often I can assure you!

Once we were all vaguely conscious, we headed off in search of breakfast. We hadn't booked anything at the hostel as we knew there were probably plenty of wee shops we could grab something from en route to the show hall. In the end it was probably just as well we were all up so early as we took far longer than expected to find food! We'd passed a nice little bakery in Arnside the day before but when we arrived at it that morning it was closed, with no opening times on the door or windows, just a selection of increasingly tempting looking pies and pastries devastatingly out of reach behind the glass. With a grumble we wandered down the road and grabbed some food from a little corner shop which was fine, but we couldn't help but glare at the bakery when we got back into the car as it had apparently just opened while we went elsewhere. πŸ™„

IMG_4289

Arnside is a lovely little village right enough, and this part was particularly nice.

IMG_4288

IMG_4299
...so long as you mind your footing that is!
I couldn't get enough of this little house we passed on the way back to the car - it was just so unusual! It must have been split into two homes, one called Overhill, the other Underhill - someone's a Lord of the Rings fan perhaps?

IMG_4297

IMG_4298

With breakfast and lunch sorted, off we went to the show hall. Despite taking longer to get there than we'd planned, we were still there before anyone else!

IMG_4446

We opened our goody bags(!) and got our tables set up as the rest of the gang began to trickle in. There's an almost instinctive migration to Laura's table when the spares start to emerge, which pretty swiftly descends into a feeding frenzy, so it's always best to be there early so you can get first dibs, or can at least make grabby hands towards everything!

IMG_4437

IMG_4300

The animals tend to linger longer than the horses do, but some people were still taking them off the display before all of them were even out yet! I really liked this little cat, but I'd already taken my fill of pets by then so I reluctantly put her back.

IMG_4352

Ever since Julip started producing chickens, I've been trying my best to get some from the spares page but they always vanish so quickly it's impossible to nab one. I could order some up but I like being able to pick from a selection instead of choosing something in advance. I knew I probably wouldn't get such a good choice online afterwards so I made sure I grabbed a couple...which became three...then six. (so they would have an equal number of friends. XD)

IMG_4301

 At one point Laura took me aside to thank me for fixing the forum when everything pretty much went belly up the other day after photobucket blocked half the banners and things. It wasn't hugely difficult to fix, just annoying, but she insisted I pick something off the remaining pets table as a thank you. It was totally unnecessary of course, but greatly appreciated, so I picked out a pheasant, as I've somehow never managed to acquire one since they came out! πŸ’“
I don't have any photos of him yet so I'll post about him later.

On the horse front, this gorgeous dark dapple grey Family Horse caught my eye instantly and I was even more pleased to have grabbed her when Laura said she thought of me as she was painting her - obviously it was just meant to be! I'll introduce her properly on here once she's been groomed. XD

IMG_4303

As we predicted, Magda bought a horse and a cat...though I'm sure the usual Julip-people peer pressure probably helped. πŸ˜‹ I didn't get a proper photo but he was a gorgeous and very striking black overo Mustang!

As ever, everyone else's tables were far neater than mine, though in fairness I did have a lot of diorama-y bits...

IMG_4312
and look, I had a LIST, I was being ORGANISED πŸ‘

IMG_4310

IMG_4311

IMG_4315

IMG_4316

IMG_4320

IMG_4321

This was actually taken later in the day but I'm going to stick it here anyway XD

IMG_4319

First up were the Mould classes.

'New Horses' aka moulds which are still in production today.

IMG_4305

As she only had one horse, Magda became the official photographer! (which explains why I didn't take as many shots as I usually do!)

IMG_4306

This was one of the morning's spares and if I hadn't already nabbed my grey I'd have been really tempted!

IMG_4307

IMG_4308IMG_4309

Same horse, without and with flash - check out those dapples! πŸ’“


'Old Ponies' (aka vintages)

IMG_4314

'Altered Moulds'

IMG_4318

IMG_4317

I was super chuffed when my own Talisen took first place in the Altered Moulds class...

IMG_4323

...then went on to be the overall Moulds Champion!

IMG_4331

Next up was the colour classes. I always love these as there's such a wonderful variety of  painting styles across the years, and as this division isn't separated into modern and vintage Julips, you can see some really nice old style shading mixed with the new stuff.

Bays...

IMG_4349

...Chestnuts...

IMG_4350

...Greys...

IMG_4353

...Other (includes roans)

IMG_4355

IMG_4358

I adore this shade of roan on vintage horses!

'Spots and Stripes'

IMG_4359

The first and second from each class went onto the Colour Championship - my Rosa and Magda's newbie took first and second in the pinto class!

IMG_4362

One of the special orders Heather collected from Laura at the show was this gorgeous, almost glowing chestnut CJP and I think she'd have quite happily snuck into one of my boxes had I the chance to grab her! She took the Colour Championship!

IMG_4363

This beautiful fleabitten grey Arab Stallion took the reserve and I'd have quite liked him in my herd too to be honest...

IMG_4364

Mysteriously, the next class 'Customised' was forgotten about before lunch, until Elli and I both wondered why it had been skipped, so it was hastily added to the 'Fun' division afterwards. XD

Lunchtime went by quickly, with the usual sales table (I resisted!) and the raffle. (I didn't)

IMG_4365
You've gotta love own brand knockoffs. XD
Amongst the very generously donated prizes was a limited edition Magpie Arab courtesy of Heather, some handmade tack, a whole host of Unicorn themed bits and bobs and a couple of Julip animals, including a rather handsome black and white cockerel. I put most of my tickets in for him and the rest on the Magpie, who ultimately went to Jan. Laura had made some comment about how much she wanted the cockerel too, as despite being the maker of all things Julip, she doesn't always get to keep them! In the end, it was my number that was called out and I did feel very slightly guilty when I went up to collect my prize! πŸ˜… He'll have a good home here though, I promise, and if he starts being a pest to the rest of the hens I'll know who to pass him on to!
Magda landed lucky and got pretty much everything she put a ticket in for, including the big pile of unicorn themed things!

With lunch over, it was time for the Fun division.

First up was the previously forgotten about Customised class. XD

IMG_4411

IMG_4413

IMG_4424

IMG_4414

IMG_4416

IMG_4417
Fred here got third


IMG_4422

IMG_4423

Next up was the ridden classes which I completely neglected to photograph along with the pairs, so instead, here's the 'Families' class.

IMG_4427

 The tacked up ponies in the foreground were actually from the 'Best Dressed' class.

IMG_4428

Congas now!

My Family Horse herd is growing steadily...

IMG_4430

IMG_4431

...but I'm still in the minority!

IMG_4432

The ranks of Stacey's Dartmoor Army grow almost exponentially!

IMG_4433

IMG_4436

The rules of the Conga class are fairly relaxed, so it can be multiples of the same mould, same colour, breed or indeed, tack! XD

IMG_4438

This would have been a brilliant photo showing the evolution of the Julip Welsh Pony moulds over time, had I actually photographed it when the modern one was actually included. XD

IMG_4435


The animal classes are always really hard to judge!

IMG_4371

However, this graduation present of a pupper won the dog class easily.

IMG_4420


IMG_4368

IMG_4369

IMG_4370

IMG_4382

After the pets came my favourite division of all, the Scenes!

Each class had its own theme open to interpretation and this year they were especially brilliant.

1) Fundraising Julips – How do your Julips fundraise for their favourite charities?

Stacey and Nicky as ever went all out for their entry, showing a popup horsey car boot sale, complete with a whole host of items for sale!

IMG_4377

IMG_4376

IMG_4374

IMG_4343

IMG_4322

IMG_4372

IMG_4347

Heather had obviously thought along the same lines with her 'garage sale' for charity, starring cheeky ponies and what looked like half the Playmobil spares catalogue!

IMG_4338

IMG_4361

IMG_4388

IMG_4341

IMG_4339

IMG_4389

I never did find out who's entry this was but I loved it, especially the tiny packet of teabags on the shelf and the rather conspicuous pile of poo! πŸ˜†

IMG_4348

IMG_4381

IMG_4379

I however, had other ideas. While everyone else seems to have been thinking along the lines of sales and sponsorship, for some reason, the first thing that popped into my head when I read 'How do your Julips fundraise for their favourite charities?' was a nude calendar.

I'm not entirely sure what that says about my subconscious mind but there you go.

I had way too much fun posing my Heidi Ott doll (the only doll I had with decent abs) and customising some of my Julip riders (which I needn't have bothered with in the end as I covered them up too much and one's newly applied boobs actually fell off) then doing a spot of photoshopping to headswap my more famous staff members onto them. XD

IMG_4333

I think David's living in a perpetual state of regret at this point.

IMG_4336

IMG_4335

I wanted to go for that kind of 'Calendar Girls' style, with conveniently placed buckets and riding hats to retain a modicum of dignity, but I'm not quite sure how well it worked. XD

IMG_4334

IMG_4337


Next up...

2) Special occasions – For this scene, please show us your Julips celebrating a special occasion.

Unfortunately there was only one entry to this one, but it was still a great scene!

IMG_4391
I don't think the dog's supposed to be dead btw

IMG_4392

I think everyone had great fun with the next class...

3) Something scary – What are your Julips scared of?

From terrifying skips...

IMG_4329

IMG_4394

IMG_4395

...to tractors...

 IMG_4328

IMG_4403

IMG_4405

...and flapping newspapers...

IMG_4396

...Julips can be startled by anything!

I put my own spin on it with two entries, the first, a rather literal interpretation of the 'horse eating monster in the hedge' excuse for a spook...

IMG_4398

IMG_4326

IMG_4327

I cobbled everything together at the last minute, from the papier mache and wire tree I've had in my WIP pile for years, part of one of my old college projects and I even roped in my old Gloamglozer as a helpful extra!

My second entry was a little more abstract, as after all, what's scarier than vet bills?

IMG_4324

The final class (4) Competition time – Any show or event scene.) only had a couple of entries and due to the harsh lighting was too hard to photograph properly, but I had Rory and Digby doing a spot of showjumping. I meant to have him actually jumping one of fences but I forgot on the day!

IMG_4409

The other two entries were great - I didn't get anything of the dressage scene sadly but the Polo setup was brilliant!

IMG_4408

IMG_4406

Finally the votes were totted up and I was super pleased to see my entry got first in his class as well as Reserve Scene Champion!

IMG_4429

Unsurprisingly the wonderful boot sale scene took Scene and then Overall Show Champion!

IMG_4445

Heather's new CJP clinched the Reserve as well.

IMG_4442

As per tradition, after the show we were all going to head off to the pub for a meal and a good long chat, but as we had about an hour (?) until when the meal was booked for, the three of us headed off elsewhere as we'd spied an interesting looking junk shop in Arnside that morning and there was always the possibility of a box of vintage Julips appearing. Unfortunately we all thought another of our group had told everyone else in the hall where we were going, so I later found a facebook message from Stacey asking where we were as 'we seem to have lost you' πŸ˜†

IMG_4449

IMG_4450

IMG_4455

After confirming the lack of vintages in the shop, we somehow managed to get lost en route to the restaurant, despite it being literally only a couple of miles away from the show hall.

OGlZ1J0_zpsesokg1rt

 We thought we ought to keep the water on our left...then it literally ran out so we turned round very confused - it turned out to be an inlet and not the actual estuary...πŸ˜…
It then turned out that poor Richard and Laura had followed a car around for a while thinking it was us, only it wasn't, so we were all as bad as each other!

 Somehow it wouldn't be a Lake District show without a bit of scenic route taking! πŸ˜‚

We weren't able to book our usual place so we went elsewhere and I have to say, I was very impressed! I had the most gorgeous goat's cheese tartlet thing, and it was just so nice to get all of us round one table instead of split up into small groups like we usually are. It's so lovely to just sit and chat outwith the show, where there's no pressure or rushing about to plonk a pony on the table, and I think a good time was had by all. 

IMG_4457

We had some bonus Julip time on the way home the next day, as Heather wanted to call in to see Anita, another collector, who had just sold her a model, and as we'd be passing her on the way up, it seemed like the logical thing to do rather than faff about with postage. After standing awkwardly in front of her house for a couple of minutes until we worked out it was the right one, we were ushered inside to meet the ponies and her very excitable and gorgeous little dog! We didn't have long, as Magda needed to catch a bus at the other end, but we pored over her enviable collection of vintages, and left with a couple of unexpected extras - a repair job for Heather (courtesy of the aforementioned excitable dog!) and an utterly gorgeous old TB for me to rehair!

All in all, some minor car sickness and nearly missed buses aside, it was a very uneventful trip back north, and the weekend was over far too soon - bring on next year! :D :D 

Here's my two big winners of the day, Talisen and Roscoe!

Winners!

Winners!

It wasn't until I put them next to each other like this that I realised they were both the same mould - Talisen has added feathering and a dropped head though.

No comments:

Post a comment