As mentioned in my previous blog entry, this saga gets its own post. Really, looking back it wasn't all that big of a deal but at the time I was going through a total rollercoaster of emotions. Let's begin, shall we?
Almost two weeks ago on February 7th, I flipped a coin and had fate decide for me to put a $405 bid on a custom stablemate. This isn't an exaggeration: I had been watching the auction, it was ending in a few hours, it was almost to $400 and I had never fathomed paying that much for a stablemate custom before - even if it happened to be one on a brand new SM mold painted by Nikki Button. Yet I was so drawn to this horse, so in love with him, I couldn't just ignore it. So I flipped a coin - just once - and the coin flip decided for me to put in a bid. I posted my bid and then forced myself not to look at it until I knew bidding was over so I wouldn't potentially bid again if someone outbid me.
Fast forward to the end of the auction, I had won. I won't lie, I felt some immense guilt on the fact I was about to shell out that amount of money on a little stablemate custom - but I HAD to have this horse. Here is Nikki Button's photos of the gorgeous boy:
As far as finances go, I did conveniently also sell my car back home in the states at the same time for more than I was expecting. With that bit of extra cash I decided it was justified. Plus, my birthday is coming up this month and I could count it as a treat for myself. He was paid for and sent on his way and I was incredibly excited for him.
Because I'm still overseas but will be heading back stateside in March, I decided to have him sent to my very close friend and fellow hobbyist, Rachel. I've mentioned her here before - we've hosted a live show together, been to BreyerFest together twice, and next month will be attending BreyerWest together. We are both going to show a hoard of minis (mostly all OF stablemates with a few CM stablemates mixed in) and of course I planned on also showing this new Darwin custom there. The box was addressed to her and only took a weekend of travel before arriving there on a Monday. Rachel worked that day but had never had packages missing or stolen before - in fact, I even had already had quite a few boxes of stablemates I have been buying over the last few months to prepare for the show arrive there without issue, even just a week prior.
Unfortunately, when she got home that night, the package was not there. I checked tracking - marked as delivered hours before - and she scoured all over for it. Neighbors, mailbox, apartment office... nothing. No where. My heart was immediately crushed and I instantly thought the worst. Just a over year ago I had a box stolen from my front door. Inside was a Christmas secret santa swap gift with just a few small treats and a painted Maggie Bennett micro mini resin. There was full video evidence of the person stealing the box, I took it to the post office, my building manager, and the police - and nothing happened. The police reviewed the evidence, asked me a few questions, and nothing else. My apartment manager said that was too bad and that's about it. The post office allowed an insurance claim to be filed but the box was never recovered. My secret santa was super nice about the whole thing (I felt awful as they had painted the horse themselves) and took the insurance claim money and sent me a new package of goodies and an unpainted version of the micro mini resin. Still, the whole situation left a bad taste in my mouth because that original horse was probably thrown in the garbage by the man who stole the box thinking it was worthless.
I figured this was the same situation. Someone swiped the box, opened it up hoping for something valuable, discovering something valuable but not knowing it was at all - and throwing it away. What was going to be my first piece by Nikki Button, one of my favorite painters, in one of my favorite colors, on one of my favorite breed types, and being the one to own what I'm pretty sure is the very first CM on this new mold... gone. Missing. Lost. I was heartbroken and gave up all hope. I would have gotten my money back, the box was fully insured, but still... I wanted the horse, not the money.
But then, by some miracle, he showed up. He was delivered to the wrong place and the person who received him put him in a parcel locker and my friend was notified a few days later. He was completely unscathed and Rachel and I were overjoyed. Not only that, he came in time for her to proxy show him for me with my other minis that she currently has at Emerald Downs Live 2019 just this past weekend. Unsurprisingly he NAN'd in both breed and workmanship and got a reserve champion in workmanship.
Needless to say, it was quite a wild ride but worth it in the end - this little boy is mine. We'll see how he does at BreyerWest next month, which I am terribly excited about!
Things have been quiet here as expected - my collection is still thousands of miles away, stored away in totes in a closet at the family farm, while I've been settling in quite nicely to my new home in Europe. The awful purple walls are no more (still working on the purple door frames and doors, but the purple toilet seat is gone at least. I'm not joking about any of this - the previous owners were just that crazy about purple), we actually have some light fixtures in instead of bulbs hanging from wires, and pretty much an entire apartments' worth of furniture is in and assembled (thanks mostly to IKEA - whether buying secondhand or at the store itself).
The only room we really have left to go is the second bedroom, which has thus far been more like a storage room until recently when we finally brought all this stuff down to our ACTUAL storage room in the basement of the condo building. Our plans for it is a combination guest bedroom and studio room for me. Surprisingly didn't take much convincing for that decision! I'd love to have a dedicated workspace for painting and sculpting, and my boyfriend is all for it. With a convertible bed/futon sort of deal also in the room, it'll work as a good guest bedroom as I do have family members and friends back from the states who are yearning to visit - some of which have already purchased tickets. Time is of the essence to get that together!
One fun addition from IKEA is a brand new cabinet for my model horse collection. Instead of a low but solid oak bookshelf from the 80's, it is a nice shiny new cabinet with glass-pane doors to protect the contents inside. My two cats are a bit unruly but I never really had an issue with them messing with my horses even with the easy-to-jump-on bookshelf from before, however my boyfriend was very insistent we get one with doors to protect the horses inside just in case. He considers them investments (which in a way, they are) and knows they mean a lot to me, so who am I to argue? I'm all for it.
I didn't wait long to follow that advice, and bought one of the new 2019 RR Breyers from a German dealer along with some apoxie to work on my current sculpt project. Here she is:
Please enjoy my quickly put together photo set up: a cardboard box, which we've of course had an abundance of, and the fake grass out on our windowed-in, three-stories-up balcony, where no grass would be. I don't like the grass - I think it's tacky and would much rather just have stone tile or something, but I'll admit, it's pretty good scale for traditional models. If I got a better background it would be a great photo taking place! But still an ugly balcony. The other great upside to the balcony is it gets great natural sunlight from all angles (it's the shape of a triangle with nothing but windows and glass sliding doors). Likely to be my photo taking spot forever - grass or no grass.
Anyways, this isn't my only new acquisition, but I'm going to give the other one its own post for a few reasons...
Hello 2019! The new year has been here for almost half a month and it's been a bit of a whirlwind for me. Right away in the first week I was already traveling due to family emergency and will finally be headed home in a few days. While I've been at a family member's house that I don't visit often I found a remnant of my early days of collecting:
These paddock pals are some of the last members of my original childhood collection. I brought them to my dad's house a long time ago since my mom's house is where I kept my main collection, so that when I visited I still had some horses. Since then he has moved a couple of times and I no longer have my own room at his place since I only really come out once or twice a year, but to my surprise these three were on a shelf in the guest bedroom I'm staying in. They have some love marks from play but they are still unbroken and look lovely. I wonder if Breyer will ever bring the line and molds back outside of activity sets?
Anyways, that aside, now that it's 2019 I have actually seriously sat down and thought about what I want to do with my hobby this year. I have set a few goals and focuses to begin with.
#1 is to focus more on getting resins I already own painted instead of buying new resins. I have quite a few naked resins now and want to spend my hobby funds on getting them some clothes. I also have a few specific painters in mind that I will have to keep a close eye on for commission slots. First up will be my mini Khan, who has suffered a few breaks before ever even getting painted, but will be going to Jenn Danza for repair and some color much to my excitement. I also tried to get a slot in Nikki Button's commission lottery for my Abrantes but unfortunately was unable. I plan on sending both my Lola resins, long and short, to Sue Kern at some point. But I still have Auron, Barnaby, and another Rose Reveler to decide who to send to.
#2 is to continue sculpting and release at least 3 resin editions this year. I already have one well in the works that I finished digitally sculpting just after New Years and the 3D print was delivered at home while I've been away. I'm hoping as I continue doing this, practicing my skills, and getting my name out there, I can successfully sell editions and start funding my hobby with the hobby. Those paint jobs aren't going to pay themselves!
#3 is to dive into the European show scene. I already have one show on my scope I really want to attend that is in September in Germany, and I'm hoping more pop up on the radar that are within a reasonable distance. I love showing and don't want to stop it just because I'm no longer within the US. Plus it'd be great to show with an entirely fresh new batch of competition instead of the same horses that always come out in my region every time. European shows seem much more resin focused than OF focused like US shows are and that's right up my alley because I show pretty much exclusively resins now.
These are my three main goals as of right now. They are pretty broad and ones I feel are doable. Often, however, I find my interests shift over time, so we'll see what happens.
In any case, happy (belated) New Year!
It's been a couple months since my last update, but there is good reason for that. At the beginning of December I got on a plane and went to The Netherlands with nearly all my possessions in two large suitcases and a small carry on, plus my two cats in a kennel which they weren't too thrilled about.
Throughout the month before that, I was busy packing up things and selling nearly a whole apartments' worth of stuff. You can't bring furniture onto a plane to Europe so it all had to go. This included my trusty oak shelf that has been holding my collection for the last two years I've been in that apartment.
Unfortunately for my collection, I had to put it in storage at my mom's farm. But that's not to say they'll be there forever - I just didn't want to ship them now when I would have had nothing to put them on at the new flat in Rotterdam and all the other moving craziness going on. My boyfriend, who I just moved in with, and I had to put a whole empty apartment together after I got here (including painting over the ungodly bright purple walls the previous owners had EVERYWHERE). Dealing with several thousands of dollars worth of fragile model horses at the same time just seemed like a bad idea.
Fortunately, it'll only be a few more months until I am reunited with them and can get them boxed up and shipped out to the new place to be with me forever. I'll be going back to the US in March and not only that, will be attending BreyerWest with my best hobby friend Rachel. I've never even thought of going to BreyerWest before but being as she also moved this year just an hour away from the venue in Portland, the opportunity was there and we took it. She was the person I went with to BreyerFest in Kentucky this year.
Anyways, I am without horses and with no shows planned except for BreyerWest. BreyerWest is Breyer OF and CM only - no resins or Stones or anything - so Rachel and I have come up with a strategy of easy to transport, cheap models to get a full show string in a short time: OF minis! We've been loading up on Stablemates over the last month or so, and before I left I shipped all of mine to her. Here's just a few of the new ones I got:
There are many more, and more to come, too. Rachel is keeping an eye on them for me until we show at BreyerWest. Very exciting!
In any case, it'll be pretty quiet here model horse wise until then.
Things are looking very different around here! The site was starting to look pretty outdated and I thought it was high-time to give it a fresh look. I also reorganized my collection catalogue. I have really cut down on everything outside of resins so I have combined various sections into three main ones: Artist Resin, OF Plastic, and CM plastic. All the horses have been rearranged and their placings cleaned up and updated. I think this is a huge improvement!
I am also going to use this post to give a show report on North Star Live 2018. The show went great! I had a lovely time chatting with other show goers and my placings were pretty good. Although I didn't get much in terms of sectional champs, the one I did get ended up with Overall Grand Champion so I can't really complain. You can probably guess who it was!
Only two shows and two grand champions under his belt already - wowza! This horse continues to impress (and make me feel less bad about how much I had to shell out for him).
There were quite a few other NAN cards achieved with various first and second places. I was especially pleased that the Reveler resin I painted picked up first and a NAN card.
It was a very fun show overall and I'm glad I was able to go. I'm going to miss showing here!
In other news, I never have really talked about it much here, but I have delved into model horse sculpting in this past year and have finally finished and released my very first resin edition. I have a separate website dedicated to my studio, so please take a look!
That's all I've got for now, I think. Exciting stuff!
I failed to update after Raise The Roof Live! 2018 happened last month on September 8th, so we're going to catch up on that now just a couple days before my next show, North Star Live 2018.
Raise The Roof Live! was by far one of my most stressful shows, but also one of the most fun. The beginning stress was my own fault. I decided I was going to just get up early and do the 3 hour drive to the venue on the morning of the show instead of staying in a hotel close to the show the night before like I have for every show i've attended previously. It would mean getting up at 4:00 AM, but that didn't seem like a difficult task to me. Unfortunately, I slept right through my alarm and woke up about 40 minutes to the show hall opening... when I had originally planned on arriving. I had to jump into my clothes, load up my totes into the car, and hit the road as fast as I could (and I did go fast, I believe it was about 10 minutes from realizing I had overslept to backing my car up and heading out). I didn't make it to the show until half an hour after classes started and unfortunately missed about 3 or 4 horses' classes.
The other thing was that I wasn't showing just my horses. I was proxy showing for two other people - my close hobby friend, Rachel, with her 20-ish horses, and another hobbyist's 2 horses. All together I had over 50 horses on my table, I believe, which is quite a bit for me to show. 90% of them were mini artist resins, so when those classes started I was constantly running to and from that ring.
One of the horses I was proxying - a gorgeous bay roan Levi resin - did manage to get a sectional champion, while many of Rachel's horses went home with fresh NAN cards. My own horses, as well, did quite good! I had quite a few new NAN cards plus four sectional champs/reserve champs, plus my biggest achievement to date: two overall grand champions.
It came as no surprise when Leonardo ended up pulling a workmanship overall grand champion. His paintwork is truly divine and he was heavily admired at the show! It is such a pleasure owning him and he's already proven his worth in the ring. I was also very pleased that my Faran resin won his second overall title in mini artist resin, especially when that division was loaded with tons of amazing horses. He continued to do well after I sent him back with Rachel's horses, along with my Fausto resin, to proxy show with her at his very first out-of-region show in Region 1 at Atomic City Live last weekend. He won champion dilute AR (the show had AR/Custom divisions split up into color sections instead of breed) along with a double NAN.
While it is somewhat sad that I won't be able to show here anymore, because I do love it, I hope to enter a new show scene in Europe and likely will be attending German shows as I'll be living in the Netherlands and will be fairly close by. I suppose I should probably learn the language, first! In the mean time, North Star Live is less than 48 hours away and I'm already packed up and ready to go. I hope to end on a good note - we'll see how I do!
When I got back into the hobby and graduated from childhood carpet herd into serious collection, there was a few rules I set up for myself. First, it was only collect minis. Mini CMs, mini OFs, mini resins - whichever, but only those. That was quickly discarded when I discovered traditional molds, specifically Stone horse molds and even more precisely the saddlebred, and fell in love with them. Then I grew my collection more, decided to stop collecting plastics, and focus only on resins. And yet I'm still adding OF and CM minis into my collection.
Other rules were that I would never buy a horse I'd have to buy on time pays. My thought was, if I couldn't afford it right then and there, I didn't need it. It's only a plastic horse, after all, Other finances become more important. But when I was heavy into conga'ing, I wanted so badly to complete my OF Breyer Marwari conga, that I started time pays and eventually purchased a glossy prize palomino.
Throughout all this time, I've dreamed and fantasized about owning models that come up for sale that are into quadruple digits in price - always after winning the lottery or coming into some sort of immense wealth to do so. I never imagined I would purchase one any time soon, or ever really, especially not all at once. And yet, here we are, over a grand later:
I may have had a bit of an "oopsie" with this guy. To put it in perspective, I've always, always dreamed of owning a sculpture by Emilia Kurila in the distant future with aforementioned fantasy lottery funds. Her work is in such high demand that it is hard to come by and expensive when it is. As a spanish breed lover, I specifically day dreamed about owning her Lucius or Leonardo resins. I did enter for Leonardo for both his releases - I was too slow to get in on the first come, first serve release, and unlucky when it came to the email lottery. My hopes of owning one were essentially dashed as I knew I would never pay the secondary market prices any time soon.
But oh, then this guy came up for sale. The price was well over any amount I've shelled out for a model horse. But it was a price I personally considered quite low considering the immaculate paintwork by Anna Zaharenkova and the sculpt's worth on its own. I was smitten. I was immediately considering how to buy him and was practically writing an email to the seller minutes after I saw the ad. I paused and tried to think straight, I even turned to my usually reasonable boyfriend to talk me out of it. He's done it before, telling me no, don't do it, it's just a horse, that's so expensive - you know, being level headed and not model horse obsessed. This time, however, he was not so helpful. He must have known I wanted it so bad, and actually encouraged it. The nerve!
Rachel, my closest hobby friend, was no help either, and enabled me as well. A few short emails and the biggest amount of money to ever go through my Paypal account later... and he was mine. This big, beautiful, gorgeous, expensive hunk of a horse that arrived a week later all the way from Russia. Through the whole wait of him getting here, I was having my doubts, my buyer's remorse, but when I unwrapped him it was all over. He's my dream horse, and he's here. And he's here to stay. And so is the dent in my finances!
But who could say no to that pretty face?
Whoops, I guess it's been a few months since I posted! I've been super busy with a lot of things - preparing a move to Europe and house hunting over there in May, visiting family in Arizona in June, and spending the summer on the road all over the US with my boyfriend. We even managed to squeeze a very last minute trip to Breyerfest! I met up with one of my very best friends and closest hobby friend, who I hosted a live show with in March, and we spent Friday at Breyerfest. This was also my boyfriends first real model horse event and to say he was a bit overwhelmed is probably an understatement, but we know how that is! He funded the trip and was there every bit of it and I am, as always, extremely grateful for him.
He also took some photos while we enjoyed the experience (click to enlarge and see captions):
My boyfriend kept my wallet safe for me, but I did manage to walk away with three single day stablemates and a new resin, the new version of Kim Murray's welsh pony resin Auron in a mini-me SM scale.
After a week of downtime, I managed to sneak in a last minute entry to a show in Omaha, NE: Wild-N-Free Live. It was a small but very fun show where I showed mostly resins and judged the traditional custom division. Not only did I have a great time hanging out with showers from the region, I also managed to get NAN cards for almost all of the horses I brought, sectional champs and reserve champs for most of them, and two division grand reserve champions. In the mini artist resin callbacks, I managed to have 6 horses on the table!
friend Rachel, mentioned earlier. She sent me nearly all her resins and customs and I'll be showing about 50 horses of ours after all is said and done, including that hunky new Andre she got a Breyerfest! That show is September 8th, so I'll definitely be posting about that once it has happened. Let's hope it went as well as it did last year, or better!
Off To The Races Live 2018 has come and gone just this past weekend, and what a show! The competition was extremely tough and I have to say, it was definitely one of my least successful shows. I brought mostly resins and ended up with only three ribbons from that entire division. Every horse there was gorgeous, I'm sure the judges were having just as tough of a time deciding when so many of them were deserving of ribbons.
Regardless of my not-so-good placings, I still had an incredible time and I did actually walk away with two placings that meant a lot to me. As I mentioned in my last post this was going to be the first show where I brought and exhibited my own paint work. This was mostly done on customs but I did bring one resin I painted myself - the first time I've ever painted a resin - and I was both excited and nervous to see how it did. That resin was Sarah Rose's new saddlebred, Reveler, that I painted a couple months ago to a classic dark shaded chestnut that saddlebreds often have. I was prepared to be excited if he was awarded a 6th place ribbon, especially knowing he'd be up against mostly Sarah Rose's other widely popular Independence and Mini Independence resins. But my heart stopped when I walked up to the table and saw a first place ribbon next to him, and I was even more ecstatic when he ended up pulling a reserve champion in the light and gaited section:
Another notable placing came from the likes of one of the only OF Breyers I brought along with me. I have diminished my OF traditional plastic collection to nearly nothing and the only three Breyers I brought to show were a classic haflinger mare, a black PAF, and my Shannondell. I was really looking forward to showing the Shannondell in particular. He is one of the nicest of his run I have ever seen, with extra dark and dynamic shading especially on his head. He also has the most crisp and nicest mapping and masking I have personally ever seen. Everything about him was nice - but not his price, that I paid quite a pretty penny for. I have only been holding onto him for this long instead of selling him like the rest of my Breyers because I wanted to show him so badly, knowing he would do well. And do well he did!
Alas, like the rest of my OF Breyers, he must now move on. I was able to show him and receive the results I was hoping for, so I am selling him in hopes that he can move on to a more active show home where he can do just as well for them. I really would prefer to collect resins and minis only at this point and he is one of just a couple left that has to go. He's certainly been a pleasure to own in the mean time! He's up on my Ebay right now, which is linked to on my contact page.
Other than that, the show was a blast. I saw so many gorgeous models, talked with many people, and had a great time. I even won a raffle item - this time a "mystery bag" that ended up containing a Breyer Smokin' Doubledutch, a SMC Wolfgang, a Stone Chips friesian, a bunch of fun Breyer buttons, and a really great horse breed reference book. What fun! I was more than happy with the memories and things I walked away with from that show.
My total ribbon count was 20 and 6 fresh NAN cards, plus the reserve champion and champion rosettes. Not my best, but still not too shabby! As far as other show plans, the other two shows that usually happen in the spring have been rescheduled to fall and I'm not sure where else I'll be able to show in the meantime. I will be overseas for all of May and likely visiting family in June or July, and by September I may even be moving. We'll see if I can get to another show in the meantime!
Off To The Races Live is happening again this year (and yes, it did have the name before this year's Breyerfest theme was ever announced) and I, of course, will be attending. This will be the first time I have live shown since June of last year so needless to say, I am super excited! I have greatly downsized all of my OF traditional models and upsized my resins and customs, so I'll be bringing roughly the same amount as last time but most of them will be resins. I also will be showing my own paintwork for the first time. I haven't really talked about it here before, but I have been practicing and working on painting model horses myself. I use primarily earth pigments and acrylic paints. Here are a couple examples of things I've painted recently:
I've painted a couple of other things along with these that will be tagging along with me at the show, so we'll see how they do! I'll be pretty thrilled no matter what if they place at all. I did paint something a long time ago for someone else that has apparently NAN qualified for them once, so I guess I can say I'm already a "live show proven artist," but I have so much to learn. I am itching to get my hands on more bodies to practice more, as well as more earth pigments since I only have 5 colors at the moment.
After the show has concluded, I'm downsizing a bit more, and maybe will purchase some bodies in the meantime. I am not confident enough yet to take on commissions - far from that, actually - but I can work on my own pieces for now.
Anyways, the next blog post I make will be my show results from Off To The Races, which is just a few days away. Here's hoping I bring home a couple big rosettes!
This will be my personal blog I'll use to talk about the going-ons of my hobby experience and who knows what else with rambles.