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...
I've had my first true taste of being an international collector recently. I knew the shipping costs would be more expensive, but what I failed to also remember was the customs fees that would also come.
I finally joined the Premier Club this year, after some years of debating on joining and then never pulling the trigger. With artists like Josine Vingerling, my favorite sculptor, Jennifer Scott, and Eberl with a promised draft horse, it was set up to be a year I didn't want to skip. So I finally joined and ordered the first release for 2019 - the welsh mare and foal set, Rhian and Cadell - right away when it was put up. Over two weeks later the box finally shipped from Breyer, and another couple of weeks after that they arrived at a nearby pickup place. The cost for shipping from Breyer was a painful $60, and I owed about $45 in customs fees upon pickup. Ouch! That's over $100 just to receive an already pricy set. And unfortunately I am disappointed with the mare in my set - sloppy dapples (much more evident in person), and messy masking. The foal, on the other hand, is perfect as far as I can see and lovely.
I have made the rather easy decision to have this be my very last year purchasing from Breyer. I don't really collect plastics anymore, anyways, and with the cost of shipping plus customs fees, it just isn't worth it for me especially if I'm not thrilled with each release. I'll finish out this year in the Collectors Club, Premier Club, and Stablemates Club, and then I'm done for good.
In other news, I am certainly not slowing down with resins. Some new arrivals include Emilia Kurila's new Percheron stallion resin, Pierre. I did manage to jump in on the pre-orders for him and he arrived back at my family's house in the US just yesterday. I wish I could see him in hand, but they will eventually forward him to me, however I am trying to set up a commission for his paintwork first so he can be shipped within the US more cheaply.
Another couple of recent purchases include both Aerosmith and Orion, the jumping warmblood resin by Stacey Tumlinson in both traditional and mini-me stablemate scale. I traded my Miss Lizzie resin, who just wasn't growing on me, for the Aerosmith, and then Stacey put a few Orions up for sale at a discount. I had barely any warmblood resins - none, in fact - which is crazy to me as next to Spanish horses, warmbloods are my favorite. How I've managed this long without a single one in resin is impressive. No worries, now I have a big and little jumper and some painting plans. Again, I will likely have them sent to painters before they are sent overseas to me.
I'm looking forward to having all these pieces in hand eventually, but for now it'll be probably a few months if not more before I see most.
Last month I finalized my move to the Netherlands. As I've already mentioned here, I "moved" in December already, but it was more of a soft move where I brought most but not all of my things. I mostly went over then because that was when we could get into the new house and start renovating, putting together, and filling it up with all sorts of things. I went back to the US in March, did some family visits, experienced BreyerWest, and then in April I packed up the rest of my stuff in three large suitcases, a stuffed carry-on, and my laptop bag and came over for the final time.
One of those large suitcases was dedicated entirely to my collection. I was a nervous wreck about it, but I figured it'd go through less bumps and risk by flying with me rather than shipping them in boxes. I packed them as carefully as I could, crossed my fingers, and watched the suitcase get tossed onto the luggage belt behind the airline counter, hoping they would reemerge on the carousel in Amsterdam unscathed. Luckily, they did! Absolutely no horse got harmed and everyone made it to their new home in the new cabinet:
I'm in love with my models in this new cabinet - sure beats an old circa 1980s bookshelf! Currently I have it organized where my resins are by sculptor (starting at the second row of shelves down, top left is Stacey Tumlinson, then Emilia Kurila, bottom left is Sarah Rose and finally Josine Vingerling on the bottom right). Then CM stablemates, OF stablemates, and traditionals on the bottom two. The top left shelf is a menagerie of things and top right is classics. I may rearrange these later but for now I'm happy with how it is.
Some horses did get left behind, namely my unpainted resins. Each of those is packed up and ready to ship out from my family's house back in the US whenever I happen to find painters for them. Those horses include long mane Lola, Valor (oh yeah, did I mention I got an HP Valor recently? Yeah, that was a chunk of change), Abrantes, and also Miss Lizzie, who just arrived there from the casters recently.
Anyways, now that they're all here, I truly feel like this place has become a home! With recent IKEA trips, plant nurseries, and furniture order deliveries, everything is really coming together. Yesterday I was especially excited about putting together our balcony with some cute patio furniture and a bunch of plants I got a week ago. Here is my Leonardo resin showing some of it off:
BreyerWest 2019 has come and gone and boy what an experience! I attended it with my best hobby friend (and friend in general) Rachel. We each showed the max amount of 50 horses during the show and both of us walked away with a "rosette" and a prize horse.
The show was well run even with a few snags. Mostly, the box on the palette from Breyer that contained the official ribbons and rosettes apparently fell off and was missing for the show. They handled it as best they could with "temporary" ribbons cut from actual ribbon spools and the rosettes were slightly thicker ribbon (white and gold for champion, white and silver for reserve) made in the same manner. I believe we are supposed to receive our actual rosettes and ribbons in the mail later.
Rachel's prize came from her Django stablemate, Tarantino. He is one of her best show horses and the win was well deserved, however it did put an end to the rivalry that was our Djangos, both good show horses, both who have squared up against each other before in other shows, but the final proof that one was better than the other, and unfortunately it wasn't mine! The show before this one they competed against, Emerald Downs Live, resulted in hers getting a 1st in the class and mine right behind with a 2nd. Both are lovely horses!
My champion was the one I was the most hopeful for. I almost couldn't bear to watch the class get judged - it was massive and full of well-deserving horses. Mine managed to win the class, much to my excitement, but by the time the callbacks happened I didn't let myself get my hopes up. Every single horse in the callbacks could have won, they were all amazing and I'd have pinned them all if I was judging and it was allowed. And somehow... it was my boy that won!
My lovely Darwin custom by Nikki Button managed to get Champion in the custom mini section (under the custom division). I was so ecstatic - the whole day was won for me right there, regardless of the placings of the rest of my horses. I won a glossy Fletcher, a 2018 Collectors Club model. Prize aside, I was just so happy this boy won. He was the horse that was lost in the mail for a couple of days and sent me through a whirlwind of emotions. I feel so lucky to own such an incredible piece.
Other notable placings included a 1st for Tezari, my ever consistent winner Marwari custom by Jeanette Garey, a sweep of the OF Mini warmblood class with my two cantering warmbloods getting 1st and 2nd, and a handful of other 2nds and under. Rachel and I's "mini strat" did not end up working out very well, but namely due to some (at least what we considered) questionable judging that had a rather vintage mold bias and the classes where vintage molds weren't allowed there were some choices made I would never dream of. For example, I'd have never placed my Darley 2nd, or anything, let alone exclusively pick Darleys to place in the non-G1 arabian class. I wasn't the only one who walked up to the table after this class was judged and was confused and shocked by this.
Nonetheless, it is the judge's decision in the end, however it is not a judge I would show under in halter again. The overall champs of the division were, unsurprisingly, both G1s. I love G1 molds, they are among my favorite SM molds, but some are quite lumpy and the paint jobs from back then are usually flat and/or unrealistic (see: splatter dapple grays, something that usually never places in a breed class, yet ended up pulling overall reserve grand). All that being said, the rest of the show was still enjoyable and getting to see the lovely horses there was fun.
The next day we took part in two workshops, a micro mini painting class with Maggie Bennett and a medallion sculpting class with Kylee Parks. Here are my two resulting projects from the workshops:
I am now back in North Dakota with all my horses and I'm packing them up for their final move to the Netherlands with me, where they will get cozy in their shiny new collection cabinet I posted about previously. I'm excited to see them all in it, however stressed about making sure they get there safe and sound! I will be packing them up in boxes and putting those boxes in my suitcases. It's a lot quicker, cheaper, and less risky of a journey to do that than sending them through international mail. Here's hoping everyone makes it safe and sound - I head over on Saturday!
We're only a couple weeks from BreyerWest, and I am incredibly excited to go! I never thought I'd go to BreyerWest, after all it's all the way on the west coast and not necessarily a large event - more of a glorified model horse show at an expo. Still, I love showing and this one will most certainly be the largest show I've shown in thus far.
As I've mentioned in blog posts before, I am attending BreyerWest with my best hobby friend (and friend in general) Rachel. She, conveniently, moved to Oregon last year and isn't far from the venue. We'll be showing together and each have nearly 50 mini horses to show. That's right: we are showing practically exclusively minis. The only non-minis I am bringing is my traditional marwari custom, Tezari, my black OF PAF, and a couple of classics: the haflinger mare and a glossy Cosette. Other than that, I have over 40 stablemates, mostly OF, to show.
In ten days I will be flying to Oregon and only a few days after that I will be the big event. After the show on Friday, we are also signed up to a couple of workshops on Saturday. One is sculpting a medallion with Kylee Parks and the other is painting a micro mini with Maggie Bennett. Both of which should be quite fun.
It's getting so close - and lot's of photos will follow!
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!
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.