This past weekend, on November 30th, was Waterweg Live - my first show in the Netherlands. It was a very convenient 20 minute drive from where I live and by far the closest show to where I live I've ever been to.
The show went great, and I continue to be blown away at how nice everyone is here. I had great conversations with fellow collectors and saw some truly lovely horses. As far as placings go, I did the best I ever had in sectionals, with 6 reserve champs and 1 champ. I brought home a stack of flats and also had one final big one - an overall grand in CM that went to the amazing Django custom by Sarah Bieber that I won at the Ponypallooza raffle a couple of months ago.
Here are a few of the other sectional reserve champs, in various AR, OF, and workmanship classes:
All in all, I had a fantastic time and I'm always looking forward to seeing everyone again. I don't have another show on the horizon until March of next year - a huge show in Reken, Germany, with over 50 participants - but there is a few Dutch hobbyist meet-ups I'm going to try and join if I can. I'm so glad there is such a thriving, close model horse community here!
It's hard to believe I've been living in my not-so-new-anymore home in Europe for almost a full year. Though my collection didn't come over until April, I did buy a cabinet to display them in ahead of time. Since we bought that cabinet, it has been the plan to eventually buy a second one once I started running out of space.
Unfortunately, a break was bound to happen at some point, and it happened to be two this time. Of all the stablemate bodies and such that could have broke with little concern from me, it had to be Bacchus - whose right ear was not only broken off but in pieces - and my new grail resin, Ginger painted by Josine Vingerling, whose back right leg broke above the hock, of all places. Bacchus is already off to a repair artist to likely get an entirely resculpted ear, and Ginger's break is very clean - I just need to find a repair artist for her, yet.
As I was unpacking, I was visibly upset over these breaks as they are of two expensive resins and I had a show coming up I was hoping to show them at, and my boyfriend asked if buying a second cabinet would make me feel any better. I said no at first, of course, he didn't need to spend money on me because I was feeling down, and it wouldn't fix my horses... but... maybe a short trip to IKEA wouldn't be so bad. A few days later, we went and purchased another cabinet, and here is the new set up looking lovely:
As always, I'm eternally grateful to my boyfriend for being so supportive of my hobby and in general. I didn't have to get so lucky, and yet here we are! In any case, there is a lot more space now for plenty of horses. I have organized them as such so that the left cabinet (the original) is resins only, and the right cabinet is customs and original finish. I'm hoping to find a way to display the rosettes, too.
In any case, I personally think this set up looks great. I've always wanted nice cabinets to display my collection in. Ever since I was a young girl with my original Breyer collection, I had simple mounted shelves on the wall. In my previous apartment I had a low bookshelf from the 1980s, but now I have glass doors to protect the models and a lovely aesthetic. I love it. Here's to filling up those shelves!
North Star Live 2019 was this past weekend. It was my fourth time attending the show and as usual it was quite fun, well-run, and I came home with quite a few ribbons.
I flew in for this show from the EU and I was only taking a small show string of horses of mine that still need NAN cards. With the prospects of attending NAN 2020 on the horizon, I wanted to make sure I could take as many horses as possible. Ultimately, my entire resin show string. I have newer horses that I bought or were painted in the past year that have not had the chance yet to show at a NAN qualified show. Most made their debut in Germany at PonyPallooza which, of course, is not within NAMHSA's boundaries. I managed to succeed in this goal almost 100%.
I brought 10 non-NAN qualified resins to the show, and 8 of them NAN'd and every single one of them placed. Not only that, but one of them received a sectional reserve champ and another received not only a sectional champ but also overall reserve champ for the entire AR division! That went to my short mane Lola, painted earlier this year by Jaime Castleman:
Additionally, it was a show debut for my two newest additions. These were absolutely huge grails of mine that I purchased recently and made it in the mail just in time for the show on Friday. Meet Martijn and Carolijn, Fred and Ginger resins by Josine Vingerling and also painted by her to lovely detailed roans. These are her Artist Proofs #1 for the molds and thus far, no others have been painted by her. She painted them earlier this year in May.
They had been up for sale for some time and I had been watching their price. It had been slowly lowering but I really could not swing the price then and forgot about them. Recently, I remembered the listing and decided to see if they had sold. To my surprise, not only were they still available, but their price was insanely cheap. The ad had not been bumped with the reduced price and I decided to just go for it before someone else did. I have no regrets - they are spectacular and I am happy to finally own paintwork from my favorite hobby artists. Plus, I didn't have these two adorable draft sculptures from her yet.
For their first show, they both NAN'd and the Fred ended up getting a sectional reserve champion. So happy to have both of these in my collection! Soon they'll be flying back with me to their "birthplace," so to speak, in the Netherlands. At the end of this month I have another show over there where they can strut their stuff again.
My boyfriend and I decided last month that we wanted to fly back to North Dakota and visit my family. It will only be for a week, but we'll be going at the end of October, squeeze Halloween in there, and have an early Thanksgiving dinner at the beginning of November. It'll also be a chance for me to pick up some horses I have waiting for me there as well as just spend some time back home.
I do love living in Europe. The Netherlands is a beautiful country, my boyfriend and I have a beautiful home I love, and the people here are very nice. I have also enjoyed meeting other hobbyists over here and can't say enough good things about them and how welcoming they are. Still, it is hard being so far away from family and familiarity sometimes. And some of the shows I loved back home I'll probably never go to again.
Fortunately, this trip ended up being perfectly timed without us realizing it. Besides going back to my roots in my hometown, I'll also be going back to my roots in model horse showing. The very first show I ever seriously showed in was North Star Live in Big Lake, Minnesota. I've been going every year since 2016 and it was the last show I attended in Region 4 before the big move.
Coincidentally, North Star Live was scheduled for the very weekend I will be there. After I realized this I still decided no, I shouldn't go, I won't have many horses to bring and I also want to use this week for quality time with my family. As it just so happened, my mom forgot to tell me they have a wedding to go to that Saturday and won't be around anyways, and I was free to use her car that day. At this point, all the signs are telling me I need to show, so of course I signed up!
I will only be bringing a small show string of about 10 horses, 2 of which are already at my mom's house and have yet to be revealed here because they only just recently returned from their painters. The other 8 are mini resins and mini customs that don't have NAN cards yet, mostly newer horses that just haven't had the chance for a NAN show, including Mr. Orion down there. Other than that, I'm just going to go for the fun of it, seeing the usual MN showers again, and that's about it. I'm excited! Orion seems to be ready to fly, too.
As promised, here is my recap and results post of PonyPallooza Live 2019 - a live show held in Schermbeck, Germany just this past weekend. The show was amazing in every way and I had a total blast. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and nice, and I had a fantastic time chatting with lots of hobbyists there. I am just so overwhelmed with how lovely everyone is here!
The show was a little different from most shows I am used to back in the US. Namely, there were no breed assignments. Tags had ID numbers only and while you could put documentation with your horse, most people didn't. This was very different to any other show I've been to where the breed assignment is everything. There were still breed classes, but they were more broad, with things like all drafts, all Iberian breeds, and so on. Some where still specific - such as an arabian class followed by a part-bred arabian class. I brought a whole stack of documentation not knowing this would be the case but in many cases, my documentation did seem to help with placings.
Other than that, all sectional and overall champs were done based on participant vote. At the end of every section, each show entrant would get a chip to place into a cup/box for the horse they decide to vote for. This was an interesting way to do it as the final totals probably differed from where a judge might decide the winner. I liked this twist a lot, though I can see pros and cons with the system. The regular placings were also done by points based on two different judge's placings, tallied up at the end of the class and final placings decided based on that.
With all that in mind, my horses did really well! I walked away with three sectional champ ribbons, one in OF plastic, one in CM plastic, and one in mini workmanship, as well as two overall grand champions for the first two categories. My Rhian Premier Club horse won the overall in OF plastic and my Darwin custom was voted best of CM plastic. It was very exciting and the show prizes were great, not only offering rosettes but special show-exclusive medallions from German artist Vincent Lange, as well as traditional sized blankets made by Red ANIMA Studio.
Along with plenty of other firsts, seconds, thirds, and fourths, I also got incredibly lucky with the raffle. Raffle tickets were not purchasable, but instead given to each 1st and 2nd place horse. Thanks to my decent placings, I had a good amount of raffle tickets to spend. My main hope was for a gorgeous custom Django by Sarah Bieber, or abellyshorses, but unsurprisingly that was also everyone else's and his ticket cup was practically full. Somehow I managed not only to win that Django (still shaking over it), but also an amazing custom resculpt morgan chip by Amy of Zoraida Tack and a beautiful Liska resin by Anna Dobrowolska-Oczko of Horse and Bird studio. Needless to say, I left the show feeling totally exhilarated and will hold these happy memories for a long time. Here's a photo of all the placings and "loot," so to speak:
Overall, fantastic experience, the show host and judges did a great job, and everyone there was incredibly kind and I am looking forward to seeing them all again at future shows!
It's finally time again - time to show! In 2018 I attended four shows, most of which were ones I had also attended in previous years. This year, though, I've only been to one show - BreyerWest. Although BreyerWest was a lot of fun, it was also Breyer horses only, and I threw together a cheap show string of OF stablemates that ended up being judged by someone I know I wasn't the only one thinking was questionable in their choices. It wasn't really a "true" show for me, where I got to show my actual show string, basically. But it was fun nonetheless.
That was back in March, and now it's almost October and I'm just dying to show. Having not gotten in my good three or four shows like the past few years has given me the itch, but that's what happens when you move across the ocean I suppose. However, the time has finally come again to show, this time in an entirely fresh crowd of faces, as the show will be held in Germany! I am very excited to see how shows differ here from shows back home, as well as meet the many lovely hobbyists over here who have been nothing but welcoming to their community thus far. Also, I'm just ecstatic to show in general once again. I am packed and ready to go, class lists and documentation printed, and ready with a few extra pony pouches just in case some new horses come home with me.
I will definitely be brining one "new" one home, a resin I sent to German artist Sarah Bieber (more commonly known as abellystudio) to be painted, which is completed - and gorgeous - and I'll be picking up from her at the show, which she is also attending. I'm so looking forward to seeing him in person as her work is gorgeous and from the photos alone he just seems spectacular. I also have my eye on a custom sculpted stablemate from another artist and cash in hand to pay for it... so we'll see what all happens! My next blog post will be a show recap and results, so stay tuned (whoever out there actually reads these, which is probably just me).
Well, I've done another one of those hobby things that I said I'd never do but then went ahead and did it anyways. That being, buying tack. I did used to own and love having tack and accessories in my early carpet herd days. I'm sure I had most of Breyer's flimsy tack sets at some point or another. And while, today, I can greatly appreciate the incredible details and workmanship in performance tack, props, and dioramas, I decided it wasn't for me. That level of detail requires a lot of patience, even just to put together on show day, and I don't have it.
Still, when I bought my Leonardo resin last year, I immediately thought, "boy, he would look incredible in a nice Portugese tack set." I sat on that thought for a while, even started looking at tack maker studios and such. Finally, earlier this year, a tack maker who had become my favorite opened up commissions and I decided I'd jump on a slot and take the plunge. That tack maker was Anna of RED ANIMA Studio, a Russian artist (not the same Russian Anna who painted the Leo - that's Anna Zaharenkova). After a few months, the tack set was done and sent to me and it just arrived - and I am blown away.
Anna created my dream set, exactly as I had envisioned it only better. The level of details is absolutely insane. Stitching in the soft felt saddle, itty-bitty buckles, straps, leather tooling, and everything else you could think of. I mean just look at the immaculate workmanship:
I was also super pleased to see that it works with Leo so well. The black, gold, and bright splash of red really suit him. Overall, it's absolutely incredible and I have zero regrets buying it.
That said, I'm still not going to get into performance. It took me a good half hour just getting all these tiny buckles adjusted and on him, and my shaky hands did me no favors. I can't imagine trying to pull this off on show day. You performance showers out there who are changing tack sets and props constantly from class to class truly have my respect! I think I'm mostly going to have this set as an excuse to go take some nice photos of Leo galavanting around in his fancy stuff!
Last week I picked up my Hamilton from the post office. He is the second release of the 2019 Breyer Premier Club, and one I was very excited for. I used to have a 10 horse conga of the Peter Stone saddlebred mold, and I do love a nice saddlebred. Though I don't have any of those anymore, I still do have some other saddlebreds of various types (such as my Sarah Rose Reveler resin). This guy was a beautiful racking saddlebred in the color I was most hopeful for when I first saw the sneak peeks of the sculpt - a bay cat-tracked tobiano, with mapping of course. Almost like some kind of dream come true!
Unfortunately, many of them were coming with flaws. I had to wait over a month for mine as Breyer takes two weeks just to get international orders sent out, let alone the extra two weeks for it to actually travel across the ocean and process through customs. I was terrified mine would come with flaws as bad as others were getting - it's too expensive and long to deal with a replacement internationally. Luckily, mine didn't have any white paint all over the face or similar as others had, but it wasn't flaw free. One of his ears is covered in tiny bubbles under the paint, and he has a few weird "crazing" spots in his paint that others don't seem to have. But from a distance, at least, he does look nice... I'm keeping him and maybe someday I'll fix the ear, or trade him for a better Hamilton. I do want to have one, because it is a gorgeous release.
I'm hopeful someday they'll release him in a nicely shaded, classic Saddlebred chestnut with just a minimal amount of chrome. Throw in some gloss and I'll buy one no matter what.
Other than that, I recently emptied my collection cabinet out so it could be move over a bit and be anchored to the wall. It was moved to make room for a future second cabinet, when I need more space for more horses. In three weeks I will also be going to my first show since BreyerWest in March, and my second show this year. It'll be my first time showing in Europe, as it's being held in Germany. I'm exceptionally excited for it - just as I am for any show, but I think a little extra because it's been so long and it'll be a kind of new experience. It should be a lot of fun and I'm interested to see how my horses do with an entirely new crowd of competition!
Don't let the title confuse you, this will make sense. In my last blog post I briefly mentioned another new addition on its way, and it's finally here. After being held hostage at customs for two weeks due to dumb and completely untrue reasons - customs declaration missing my ass, it was right on the box when I finally got it - I finally was able to bail this guy out for a hefty fee yesterday. He wasn't alone in his box, I had him packed with a (very) late birthday for my ever supportive, lovely boyfriend.
In any case, he's here, he's big and beautiful, and he came with a show name I couldn't help but laugh at. Had I not already submitted a roster of my horses for an upcoming show with a different name, I might have kept it. In any case, meet Ciabatta, formerly known as Pineapple Chunk.
He's a Bacchus resin by Emilia Kurila and painted by Sara Gifford of Friesian Fury Studio. He's got some great metallic sheen in his paint and lots of details - truly lovely and an addition to my collection I am over the moon about!
His new name, Ciabatta, does come with an interesting and fun story, too. Last year when I went to BreyerFest with my friend Rachel, she impulse bought a $500 sorrel Andre resin - a huge steal of a deal, the seller was originally asking $800 but wanted him out so she could close up her room and offered him to her at $500 - that she ended up naming Cornbread by my suggestion. He did look like tasty cornbread, so it worked out nicely. Almost exactly a year later, I impulse bought that toasty guy above for almost exactly the same price ($515), making it a weird coincidence. Two sorrel draft resins, one year apart, of course this guy needed a bread name also! Rachel suggest Ciabatta, and that was quickly decided.
So, he and the rest of my resins will be off to PonyPallooza Live in Germany in a couple months, where we'll see how everyone does across the big water. Here's hoping!
A massive box arrived here in Rotterdam from back home in the US. My mom was so kind to as pack up a bunch of boxes that I had sent there of recent purchases and forward them to me. There was one last minute impulse buy that didn't make it into this box, but quickly followed and should be here in a week or two. In the mean time, here is a bunch of things I have acquired in the last few months since I moved.
Some of these were purchased quite a while ago. Pierre, the big drafter on the right, was pre-ordered and paid for back in December, shipped in April, and is now here in July. Aerosmith was a trade from a month or so ago, I purchased the Orion from Stacey during a sale a while back. The Stablemates, of course, were sent when they were released in the Stablemate Club.
Lola wasn't a recent purchase but a recently completed paint job. She was painted to a soft, beautiful appaloosa by Jaime Castleman. She did an incredible job on her and I couldn't be happier. Here is a closer shot of her:
I have been trying to set up commissions for the new naked horses, and others that are still back home ready to ship out to painters, but thus far have been unlucky. Every artist I've contacted has not replied. I have decided to wait until after BreyerFest craziness dies down to try again. It is frustrating, but I don't want to bother anyone. I am not in any rush, I will wait for the right paint job opportunity to come along. Back in my earlier days of resin collecting I was always wanting to get things painted as soon as possible by whoever happened to be open. Waiting for a more limited, sought-after artist wasn't something I was interested in. Now, however, I am increasingly picky on who I want to send my horses to.
In any case, my horse cabinet keeps getting fuller and with the other horse that's still on its way, it'll be jam packed! It may be time to get another cabinet...
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.