Monday, February 14, 2022

Okay, So Maybe I'm Procrastinating

I'm not really one for sports, so I got up to the halftime show yesterday and pretty much called it quits and moved into more important things, like painting plastic (duh) Senioritis is probably ready for pastels now, but I don't want to go through the trouble of putting on my respirator to work with pastels, sealing, and doing that whole number all over again. I probably did that at least 20 times on LabRat, after all. All that said, this is what I signed up for, and I'm not trying to complain. That aside, here's last night's progress: 

I've started another project (but it's a small one, so that's fine, right? 😅) 

 

Aaaaand I decided to try and pull out an older test piece I've been fiddling around with. Only now did I remember I forgot to thin my oils! No wonder they weren't working like I thought I remembered... Maybe later (if the oils ever dry), I'll show you guys my next coat! 

Plus, I'm nearly ready to start filling in those ugly lines on WC! 

Also, and I don't seem to have a video of it, but I finally decided to start adding color to Sir/Madam Unnamed Medallion! It's faint, but I'm trusting the process. 
Now that that 20-page paper is in, I should (hopefully) be able to spend a bit more time working on Senioritis! Anyways, how's your NaMoPaiMo project going, if you're doing one this year? 


Friday, February 11, 2022

Totally not Procrastinating

This is me taking a break from writing a 20-page paper I have due tonight. Sounds like a blast, right?  I bring that up because I didn't post a Day Whateveritwas update yesterday. Oh well :/ Anyways, I still painted yesterday, which is what matters! 

It was a very shading-focused session, painting the darker points on my currently chestnut NaMoPaiMo model and experimenting with subtle, very dark shading on my medallion. Also, I continued blocking work on yet another side project: a cow! Once I'm done with the cow, I'll explain why I've branched out from Equinelandia to Bovinelandia! 

Here's my progress on Senioritis, who, admittedly, isn't looking incredible right now, but I'm trusting the process. 

Three coats of chestnut, onto shading darker points
Admittedly, I'm a bit skeptical to actually shade the medallion, since I really don't want to mess up. That's the thing, though. That's what experimentation is all about, so, I think a lot of the progress to be made with Unnamed Medallion is mental. 

 

When I signed up, I said I was going to work in pastels and acrylics, so I'll get to pastels... eventually. It seems kind of like I'm focusing on everything but the task at hand! 

 Aaaaand here's the beginning of the ugly stage of who will be known for now as "WC" 


As always, pieces of constructive criticism/tips are always appreciated! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

My First Medallion

Wayyyyy back in 2020, in a NaMoPaiMo prize I got a few medallions. I haven't touched them... until now! I've finally decided to give it a shot, starting with a Kylee Parks TJS "Ruffle" medallion. I've made the executive decision to start with black (which I know restricts my decisions). I'm considering experimenting with trying to lighten it with pastels. We'll see! 


Here's my day two of Currently Unnamed Ruffle: 


'Till morrow! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Senioritis, Day 1

Hey! Long time no see, eh? I'm really excited to (finally) start working on this body I've had laying around for 4(??) years! The reason I'm going with a stablemate and not something bigger is because, as you might or might not expect, the typical high school workload is intense, even for a second semester senior. That's why I'm probably going to call him "Senioritis," because I'm already into college (whoo!). Y'all probably remember the feeling in your senior year. Anyways, I'm taking a fairly relaxed approach to this guy, since I just want to have fun with this. 

Not necessarily poised for the camera, but I wanted to document my first coat! 

Interestingly enough, I haven't really completed any models since my latest (and first) NaMoPaiMo (2020), which I pin mostly on the tedium involved in pastelling. That's why I've decided to take a smarter approach and start with acrylics. All that aside, I can't wait to start on my second NaMoPaiMo model (my first was LabRat). And, if I like him enough at the end, I might bring him to my dorm as a fun tchotchke :) 


Also, how's your NaMoPaiMo going, if you're taking part? I'd love to hear! See you guys in a bit! 

Friday, November 19, 2021

The Endeavors of a Working Student

Hey, I acknowledge that it's been awhile since I've published on here, and I'll try to get more on that now that I'm done with my college application process (yeehawwwwww :))! 

Anyways, here's a fun summer throwback (Friday) for your day! Have you ever wanted to be a working student? I know I'd always been curious what it would be like. Over the summer, I got the pleasure of checking it out. Anyway, here're the highlights of my month of working studentery (is that a word? No, but let's go with it): 

I rode lots of different horses... 


Jumper show at Woodedge

Mastered the art of tack cleaning... 
Before (yes, that's mold you see)
After

Learned to pull manes 

(This is, of course, a WIP pic and not the final product)

Made lots of these piles 
Caption this as you may, hypothetical reader

And I leased a Dutch Harness Horse! How cool is that? 

The view atop my trusty steed, Legacy 

What about you? I'd love to hear about your summer equine experiences! 
(Edit: a few days ago, I learned of the passing of my first trainer, Jill. I have no words to describe the impact she's had on me (man, I should polish that one up if I'm going to actually say something at her memorial), and I miss her deeply. I hope you're finally back in the saddle, like you always said you'd be, Jill. I miss you.) 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Amateur Hour

So I know I’ve been churning out some non-hobby content, but I figure I might as well, in the spirit of my blog, post some hobby-related content! 

Every so often, I'll try my hand at some photography, and, I must say, I think I've improved. Of course, I can't hold a candle to this hobby's finest, but I can try! 

Starting here, with my first picture I can find, taken from my backyard: 

So many scale issues, but I tried!


Some of my first attempts at this have not stood the test of time, but they were taken at BreyerFest 2019. Very few survived, but I got a handful, including this random picture: 

Lil Ricky Rocker casually walking by

With the same mini, I took a handful of pictures, documenting my family's trip to Italy just before BreyerFest. Clearly, realism was not my #1 priority, but I wanted to make a few, at least, look possibly realistic: 
Here she is on the Rialto bridge.
Or, maybe the Vatican is more your speed.
haha, whoops!
Of course, she needed a good cleaning after that
And don't mind me, fulfilling the "dumb American" stereotype

More recently, I've tried to actually step up my game, mainly at the beach, because blades of grass make for scaling difficulties. Here's a sampling of some pictures I got later that summer: 
Whoops...

Quite frankly, photography isn't always what I want to do, so I tend not to take too many photos, hence the gap between then and these next pics from last November: 
I'm not quite sure how to crop it to make it look best, but I'm actually pretty pleased here.
Arggggg... the focus!
Regardless, I think I got really lucky with the awesome lighting.
Here's an unrelated one from the same day, because why not?
Subject: The regal Barrington Robert III

What about y'all, have you tried some photography? I'd love to see it! 


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

To All The Trainers I've Had Before

(Yup, I'm hopping on the trend :)) 


 To All The Trainers I've Had Before, 

     Thank you. Each one of you have taught me so, so much, for which I am deeply grateful. From my very first lessons on sweet homebreds in lady's backyard to learning how to sit the trot on fancy warmbloods under a professional, you've truly given me it all. You've dealt with me in my frustrations and watched me at some of my proudest moments: 


Jill Campbell, 

     It's kind of a funny story, actually, how I started riding. You see, it spurred from my mom urging me to play some sort of sport. I'd tried it all: softball, soccer, lacrosse, you name it. I had always wanted to ride a horse, and I guess my parents finally caved. Anyway, after asking around, we found you! It was a brisk November afternoon in 2015 that I took my first lesson. Immediately, I knew this is what I wanted to do. (Albeit, I had the same feeling about basketball after my first practice and went on to dread it, but this was different, luckily.) 

This sweet mare, Secret, might be the most forgiving pony I've ridden. She put up with all my beginner antics.
     Now, if I'm being blunt, I don't know how responsible it was to let a twelve-year-old (accompanied by adults) to handle your horses in your absence, but having that "raw" horse-owner experience was one of the most enjoyable things I've done. 

However, mind y'all, this lady knew her way around a horse, so it's not like my mom and I were flying solo.
See? Look how happy I was.
Also, what's in my hand? Tennis balls? Seeds?

I'm not going to lie, sixth grade was a pretty hard time for me, and having this to look forward to after school was a highly-welcomed reprieve.
     Plus, letting me use a few of your horses for my seventh grade science fair project was super kind. Before anyone here freaks out (again), its premise was whether horses could remember sequences or not- that's it. 
     And you probably gave me the best 12th birthday I could've wanted. 
Y'all might get a kick out of this: she said to get gloves with grips, so my mom went to the local garden center and got a pair of (pretty large) gardening gloves (which you can see here)!
What did I say about fun socks? You'll never find me without them.

Jean Myra, 

     Once I was ready to kick things into a slightly higher gear, I transitioned to you, a trainer whose barn was, quite seriously, in the same neighborhood. You, arguably, might have been one of my most transformative trainers. After all, you introduced me to the world of jumping! 

     You even roped in my mom! Those lessons were... interesting. 
Look at us, we're practically jockeys (yeah, jockeys... or whatever they're called!)
     Because you didn't teach in the winters (since there wasn't an indoor ring to use), we had to look for somewhere that did, which is where the American Academy of Equestrian Sciences comes into play... 

Alfredo, 
     Although you were a man of few words, I learned so much. From the sitting trot to feeling secure in the canter, you helped me establish a dressage foundation. 
I remember being frustrated here because I couldn't figure out how to do what he was asking, but once it finally clicked, it was well worth it. 
     I don't have much else to say, since I wasn't with you for long, but thank you. 

Sammi, 
     In all due respect to my other trainers, I think you've been my favorite. By which I mean I think I've felt the closest to you, and I miss your instruction. You seemed to have the "magic touch" in communicating clearly what to do. For example, I don't know how you figured this out, but apparently by focusing on something other than my riding while riding, my overall performance improved. 
I wish I had better-quality pictures of your teaching, but this is the best I can find :(
     I wish I could tell you how much I appreciate your time, and I wish my goodbye was a bit more than a "bye, I'll see you later" after my last lesson. 

Marina, 
     I must say, when I first met you, I was starstruck. I mean, it's you... in the flesh. I remember before you started teaching me, sometimes I would see you in your office, occasionally watching me, and I knew I had to look extra good.  I'd be repeating to myself, "Marina's watching. Marina's watching. Marina's watching," making sure you thought I looked nice. 
     Fast forward a few months when you became my trainer, and, I think, out of any trainer. This isn't to disparage everyone else, of course. It's just to say that you're a great teacher. 
I honestly don't even have much commentary here, I think this picture speaks for itself.

Kat, 
     Although hunters isn't quite my thing, it was my pleasure to have you as my trainer. Admittedly, I don't have much to say, since I only rode with you for a bit less than a year, but from what I experienced, some of the hunter elements of riding I still incorporate into my day-to-day rides. I wish I had some pictures to show, but I only have videos from my Instagram. 

Cameron, 
     Once again one of my most transformative trainers, I must say, because it was you that introduced me to competing. We had attended a local starter trial (where, as a nice segue later, my next trainer competed too, apparently) and the USPC Virginia Eventing Rally (double-segue, it was hosted at the barn where I currently ride), and I had a blast. 
Not to mention you have the cutest Fjords
     I really wish Difficult Run Pony Club was still around, but I understand that our membership was too low. Anyway, it was with you that I finally had the chance to get a pony club rating. 
Picture after my D-1 rating!
And my D-3!
And teamwork makes the dream work, right?
     Understandably, professional life comes first, and I wish you the best in your work. Actually, I have a thank-you gift that I'd forgotten to give you, so, if you still want it (and you're reading this), let me know, I guess? 

Hillary, 
     I think you really "got" my riding experience and what I needed (even if I didn't want it, because, of course, hard work is, well, hard). I don't have many photos from our lessons, but here's one from the first lesson at Angelica: 
Just look at Bama, isn't he the cutest?
     I apologize for leaving somewhat abruptly. In part, it was because my parents weren't a fan of how safe the barn was (they thought it might be a fire hazard, so you can probably understand why they would rather me elsewhere). I must say, I could have gone to your barn out in The Plains (I believe?), and maybe that wouldn't have been too bad an idea, except for the fact that it would likely require getting my own horse, and between not living close enough and going off to college in a year, it just wasn't in the cards. 
     Anywho, you helped me regain my confidence jumping, which was pretty imperative if I was to, you know, actually event
     
Megan, 
     Over the few summer months I spent under your instruction, I might have had some of the much fun yet in the saddle. Secretly, I think I've developed an affinity for jumpers. 
Not too shabby, eh?
     Not that this matters, but it was petty cool that you used to ride EZ to Spot! 
     I hope you're still at Split Elm this summer, because I know I will! 

And as for Rachel, well, she's still my trainer, so I don't think that fits the spirit of this entry, but if you're looking for a Rachel little appreciation, here's a bit from my last post. 

What's the bottom line? Everyone has their own teaching style, and everyone has something super useful and unique to contribute. 

And y'all? What're your best trainer memories? 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Landloched

As I'm sure many of you know, not only am I a collector, but I'm also a rider. Primarily, this is a collector's blog, but with lockdown and all, I can't really do much in the model horse world, but I still want to keep y'all updated! Last fall, I switched barns, realizing I couldn't reach my full potential where I was. There, I couldn't compete, and I really couldn't do too much jumping either. However, this isn't about my barn switch. If any of y'all follow my equestrian Instagram, @EventingAndAgility, you'd know that I compete in Area II, and I have slowly but surely eased my way back into the world of insanity-in-the-middle-ness. Most recently, this has included the Loch Moy Derby series, in which I've participated atop my trusty steed, Cozzie. 

You'd be hard-pressed to find me without fun socks, no matter the occasion.

The first derby was, well, meh. Don't get me wrong, it was fun, but I'm also pretty materialistic and wanted the prizes. Coming out in fifth for our first go 'round was pretty great, though! (Once I get the picture of Cozzie and I posing with our pastel pink ribbon, I'll attach it, but it's yet to land in my lap.) If I'm remembering correctly, we went 20-something seconds under time, but time wasn't really my concern. Rather, I just wanted to get through the round clearly and properly. If you were there, you may have heard me shamelessly, basically, announcing "six! Six! Six! Six!" on my way to, well, jump six, for example. Why? Well, in my last XC round, back at an onsite show, I got lost. If you're curious, here's some footage of my round (notice that a jump judge actually pulled me aside to tell me to get out of the way- whoops). So, so very lost. And I couldn't have that again, especially because I'm on a team and can't let them down. Again, materialism. Anyway, onlookers were, to say the least, borderline confused by my number-shouting. 
The ribbons and prizes outside the show secretary's office 
To no surprise, he was an angel. Carted me around like a champ. Not to be cliché, but we may have finished in fifth, but he's a winner in my eyes. I couldn't have asked for a better horse at the derby. 

Uhh, mister? The jump is down there!
Come January's derby, I was slightly more nervous and decided to take the options that made me feel the most secure, despite the fact that we've cleared 2'9" no problem. I think my ride on Diva had still shaken me then (understandably so)! 
Not too shabby, eh? Thanks, Cozzie!
Unfortunately, between then and late February, Cozzie had become lame (we think, I still haven't been told what happened, but it manifested itself like lameness). So, I rode a different horse, Brooke, for the next two derbies. Now, Brooke is considerably quicker than Cozzie, which I think was nice, because I didn't have to worry about "leg" as much as I did other things (like time, confidence, direction, etc...). She's just as much a rockstar as he. I have to admit. It, overall, had not been my day. I don't know what I would've done without my teammates. Between being pit crew and lending me a saddle (yes, you read that correctly... I might have forgotten a girth), they totally saved the day, for which I can't thank them enough. If any of you are reading this, I've got to say, I owe you... big time. Thank you. I mean, at least I placed well and had fun; that's good right? 
Believe it or not, I think this oxer scared me the most, and I don't know why. Ahh, I need to get out of my head! 
Some victory food for the good mare!
Isn't she the sweetest?
Perhaps the best derby was the last, happening earlier this month. Not only had I taken first (again hehe), but both Greta and my grandpa tagged along to watch! 
Meet the newest additions to my cheering squad
I also want to shout out my lovely coach and trainer, Rachel McDonough. Her training has been invaluable, and I can't wait to see how far I go under her watchful eye. 

I, for one, am not much of a mug enthusiast, but I'm sure I can figure something out ;)
What about y'all? Have you been showing recently? How's it been going? Can't wait to hear all about it! 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Be Safe...

    "Oh, no. You're riding her? Good luck, man..." Oh, please! I know what I'm doing; I'm sure it'll be fine. Fine it was not. 

    Please, be safe. Last Tuesday, I tried out a mare at my barn to see if we were a good match. The current gelding I ride, and don't get me wrong, I love him to pieces, Cozzie, maxxed out where I'm moving up. This, of course, means trying out other horses. 

Cozzie and I earlier this month at Loch Moy

    I do believe that this new horse and I were a decent match, but I'm not willing to put my safety and soundness below riding her. Don't get me wrong, she's great- super scopey and an awesome ride. 

    Now, I know that falling off is normal, and I'm not against falling to learn (not intentionally, of course). I am, however, opposed to falling not once, not twice, but three times in the span of 45 minutes. Was some of that my fault? Sure. I could have fixed many things, and she is a great horse to teach me to not lean forward. But her teaching style doesn't suit me. Again, I'm not trying to be a "wimp" by being very hesitant to ride her; I'm being cautious and careful. I know that there are a plethora of horses out there that could teach me without putting my safety at such risk. And, like I said, it's not all her fault, but our styles don't "click". 

Most of the ride was pretty good, though.

    I don't know how to explain this without coming across as "bratty" or "privileged", but I'm hoping that's not how I'm coming across. I just want this to serve as a lesson to others: just because you can doesn't mean you should. Just because I can stick with her doesn't mean I should. There are plenty of fish in the sea. She's someone's match, but not mine. 

    Mind you, I am not a bad rider. I'm not excellent, but, at my skill level, I know what I'm doing. So, no, I'm not going to let this shake my confidence, but it will absolutely shake my approach. The one jump lesson I don't wear my riding vest, this happens! Note to self: protect 'yoself: use your vest and get a neck strap (for emergencies, not as a crutch), also, if you're in a sticky situation like Tuesday's, maybe a pair of silicone full-seats. 

    This is also the motivation I think I've needed to commit to an exercise routine. Strength is key, and clearly I lack it (and, even if I had sufficient strength, exercising responsibly is still a good idea). Once my head feels normal again, I'll begin a routine. Who knows, maybe I'll update y'all on how it's going? In case you're curious, I'll add one of my falls (it looks worse than it was- tucking and rolling, etc...)- 

TW: minor injury

Pretty pathetic and avoidable...
Well, at least I rolled.

     Like I said before, the ride itself wasn't all bad, it just had some bad moments. Here are some less-frightening stills of my Tuesday lesson: 

See? Pretty chill. 
My form aside, I enjoyed the ride.

    Like we learn in elementary school, all most stories have morals. So, what's the moral of this story? Listen to your horse. Listen to your body. Stay on!!! But most importantly, stay safe

    That's all I've got for now. I wish all of you a merry Christmas and happy holidays and hope 2021 isn't half as bad as 2020. 

    What are your winter plans? Are you going to go riding? Tell me about it! 

Friday, September 11, 2020

Imitation is the Sincerest Form

First of all, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the fact that today is 9/11, and that deserves immense recognition. 

Would you believe me if I said I’ve had this in my drafts since December 5th, 2019? Wild. Anyway, better late than never, right? Without further ado, I present to you today’s post! 

We've all heard the saying, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", right? Well, there's no doubt that nearly every company has 'imitated' another once or twice. While doing some roaming throughout the interwebs, I came across a few semi-surprising examples:


Recognize this? Maybe because it bares a striking resemblance to this.  
Image result for toy horse
Huh- looks oddly familiar to this dude...
Image result for toy horse
That mare looks only slightly different than this lady.
Image result for toy horse
"PAM who?"
Image result for toy horse plastic
"FAS? Never heard of him."
Image result for toy horse plastic
I could've sworn I've seen this mare before...
Image result for toy horse plastic
And this donkey bears an awfully similar resemblance to someone else I know.