NOW I think I am done with my recount!
I don't know how, but I managed to forgot this very important part of the last installment of my BF recount! At the campground, the office had a mighty special supervisor! Meet Graven!
Graven is a baby Crow who had fallen out of his nest when he was so little, he was featherless! The Campground owners found him & took him in. With the helpful input of a vet, they raised him to the handsome little guy he is here!
He was a cute, noisy, & hungry little fella. I got to hold him too. :) He will be a part of their family now, as Rachelle said that he will have imprinted on people too much to ever be accepted by wild crows. They plan to let him have free rein once he can fly, but he will always be able to call the office home.
NOW I think I am done with my recount!
First post of the new year & last post in my BF series (finally, right?). Amazingly there are no horses involved in this last one. ...You didn't think I'd let all these posts go without adding some nature did you?
In 2016 I went down to BF with my friends Alayna & Laura. We tented at a little camp ground Alayna had stayed at before called Three Springs up in Corinth KY, about 30 min. North of the KHP. It was such a pretty place, nothing fancy & certainly nothing to satisfy the priss & prim, but that's why I liked it so much! They certainly care about their little valley & the nature it holds, so it is not manicured much more than mowing the camping areas. It also holds a good deal of history as well, which I had not learned of until after I had gotten home.
When I knew I would be able to go back down last year I reeeaaally wanted to stay at this campground again. Tenting would have been fine as well, but Dad did not care for that idea. His original thought was to just go down & then find a hotel ...until I pointed out that about 10 to 15,000 people come to BF every year. He then decided that booking a hotel might be a good idea! But, surprise surprise, there was not a room to be had that was not an exorbitant price (remember, this was a mere six days before BF opened). He asked me if the campground had cabins; yup! They sure do!
This is one of the examples where God's hand showed: Dad called to see about reserving a cabin; come to find that they had JUST had a cancelation a few minutes earlier which freed up exactly ONE cabin! *yes*! Good compromise! I got to see my campground & Dad didn't have to sleep in a tent!
This is (a crappy cell phone pic) of our cabin. Nothing real fancy, it had electricity, bunk beds, a little kitchenette (we only used the mini fridge)... It was big though! It was meant to sleep something like 18 people, so Dad & I had plenty of room! There was a second floor, but we didn't use it; neither of us felt like climbing that attic ladder! It also had a nice little balcony with a pretty view of the valley. Even with the space, the thing only cost $50 a day! (My cheapskate heart rejoices!)
I should have gotten more & better pictures, but I didn't. Oh well!
I was smooshed into the far corner to get this pic & still didn't get everything. The kitchenette was to the right along the wall, the bunks where I slept were to the left, I am standing over the table, which was right next to the door, & the door you see part of led out to the balcony.
Here's a pic I found from 2016. It was from where we tented. To the left is the hill where the cabin is (if you went far enough), down that drive is the office/bathhouse/pool. The pond you see in the middle left there is where the froggy choir sings!
This valley is really neat! During the War Of Northern Aggression (aka Civil War), it was a camp for both Confederate & Union troops. Rachelle, one of the owners, said that occasionally they still find relics in the creek that runs through the grounds.
One of the interesting things still remaining is an old stone wall built by slave labor. Now before you go 'politically correct' crazy on me (which, honestly, if you are one of those kind, you probably shouldn't be reading my blog anyway!), he was a kind man who basically just came up with the idea of this wall just so that it would look like he was making his slaves do something. But anyway, it's a very pretty structure & I took many pictures of it.
Ok, probably more pictures than you wanted to see of an old pile of rocks.
Across the little valley from our cabin, up the other side you could follow a trail past a handful of old graves,
Past an old well,
& just beyond the well, the path ended at a little quiet space with benches & a cross.
...Dad put up with me very well, wanting to tramp all over the place.
A few random interesting individuals crossed our paths: this moth (which I have no clue what it is since it's not an Ohio moth!),
& a few bright red mushrooms were a couple.
There was also a very pretty butterfly, but he was having none of the paparazzi, thank you very much. ...Darn him.
One of the things I REALLY wanted to capture while I was there were the frogs singing. According to the owners of the camp ground, they are Chameleon Grey Tree Frogs, & they are only found in two places because of their specific chosen environment. I forget where she said the other place is, but apparently they were 'seeded' at both by a university study in the, 50s? I think? Here is a picture of one of the little guys from last year. Again, taken with cheap crap phone camera, so they are HORRIBLE pictures.
Little froggies, BIG voices!!
Saturday night, I spent a bit of time stalking the little wretches: I wanted to get audio of their very unique song. They must have radar though, because even with my hiding behind a dumpster, & waiting for minutes on end, they would all shut up as soon as I would carefully hit record!! I finally got them though!! Here they are, singing away!
I spent a year trying to describe how they sound kind of like wooden beads being rattled around in a plastic drinking cup. Really cool sound!
Let me say! They make an awesome lullaby if you are tenting right next to them! Plus all those hungry little skeeter eaters keep the vampire bugs controlled!
With it being so late at night I didn't bother actually taking video of the pond. But during daylight I did take a couple pictures of it.
& with that, this ends my BF recount series! Thank you all for reading!
Happy New Year & a Happy Ninth Day Of Christmas all!!
Well. Kinda' went AWAL on my BF recount didn't I?? Let's continue on without further delay!
It is such a thrill for me to see Marwari every chance I have to go to the KHP, & this trip was ever more special since they were practically what BF revolved around this year! Brace yourselves for many Marwari pictures!!
Of course there was the stallion Nazrudin, the man of the hour so to speak, being the celebration horse. Such a handsome boy!
Then there was Mehrunisha, the mare who came with Nazrudin for BF. She was a sweetie.
& let's not forget the KHP residents. I was able to catch two of them; Toufan, the gelding...
& my girl Ghunghuru! She was the first Marwari born in the U.S. I will take her home with me as soon as no one's looking! She is such a lover!
Ugh. I hate trying to take pictures through the Breeds Barn stall doors! Here are a few pics from years past:
Toufan from 2016,
Ghunghuru also from 2016,
& Ashwarya, from 2013.
This year I also got up close to an actual real life Marwari costume! (& the tent pegging spear it was hanging from as well!)
I am by no means a tackmaker, but I made one of these costumes several years ago; it was fun to see a real one in person!
OK! I think that is all the Marwari pics out of the way! Here are the 'other' horses. ;) I didn't get as far out among the stables this year as I would have liked, so there weren't as many real horse pictures taken.
One horse that I really would have liked to have seen again is Harley's Classic O, the last Sugarbush Draft stallion left. ...Next time, O!
(This pic was from 2013. I'm not doing a very good job of remembering to change the years!)
As for model horses, there were plenty to see of course! I did take a few more pics of them.
One of the best parts of room saling at the CHIN this year I think was reading the walls! Whoever did these things, THANK YOU! We both got some good laughs from them!
To end this very picture heavy post, I will leave you with some shots of the diorama contest. Honestly, I don't know HOW they judge these things! There were several that I thought really deserved a prize model!
Whew! Hopefully it won't take me another three months to get the next instalment of my BF trip posted! I still have more to share!
Cheers all & happy Thanksgiving to you!
What's a trip to BF without coming back home with some treasures?
My first gem of BF was a Spark AR by & from Maggie Bennett. Spark is a LB QH filly, & is a second, missing the wire in one front leg & not coming with a base (thus explaining her being stuck in an epoxy tub for her photo!). She was $85, a little less than a first casting, & I can fix her anyway! I've been waiting a while for this little girl & her mama, Zap, to be cast. As soon as Zap is out I plan to get her too. :)
Every year Maggie gives out goodies to anyone every time she spots them wearing a name tag. This year they were tiny busts. I managed to collect the set of them over the weekend. :)
Of course I got a Nazaruddin. Who is unfortunately the ugliest non-showable OF in my possession.
But he is signed by Francesca Kelly, Bonnie Singh, & their head rider Dalip Kilaniya, so he is priceless to me!
I also got a couple single day tickets in hopes of snagging the new SM Gypsy mold. Of course I did not get even one, but at least I didn't get that nasty Para Dressage pintaloosa! If anyone would like these guys though, drop me a note. They come with their original packages. $35 each ppd in the US or $60 for both also ppd in the US. MO or check only.
At the CHIN on Friday, I wandered into a room in the 500s & found me some U/P ARs. Got pretty excited when I saw a Fritz for $25! Lol, that didn't last long! It was a tag to a medallion! Fritz was $400! I did get him though as the gal in the room (Corinne, I believe she said her name was?) liked my finished Sundara "SWF Tunukamizaja" & we did a trade! Later this year she is moving to India, where her husband is from, & she said that she needed a Marwari. So there will be a Sundara in India!!!
Corinne, if you read this, I hope you keep in touch! I will show you what I do with Fritz!
Wait 'til you see this next AR though! In the AG, Candace Liddy had a couple boxes of seconds, which I rooted through & found a Credit who is more like a fifth or sixth!! But his price was right: free! I will make him beautiful!
CF came to the CHIN again & I bought another Cob canvas from their room for $20...
& one chance on this OOAK test Cob for a buck. ...I don't think I won him! Not unusual! ;)
But the real treasure, even though I hardly do OFs much anymore, is Masala!!
Just look at this pretty boy!!
He happens to be one of the nicest OFs I have seen in a long time! Definitely LSQ!
This trip to BF was such a blessing, & so many things were just too perfect, that all I can do is thank God for giving me such an awesome adventure! So in honor of Him, I have named my Masala 'SWF Devine Design'.
Loot not pictured is a book about the Indigenous Horse Society of India & postcards given to me by Francesca Kelly & Bonnie Signh, & a book on conformation given to me by Candace Liddy. Thank you all!
Also, not as exciting, two hand held fans for $4 each; I had a couple fans like this for some time, but they were freebees & broke. I liked those fans, so when I saw these at the CHIN I decided to get them.
There were some other horses too that I picked up for friends.
Like this Bennett MM Sierra for my friend & fellow model horse artist Kim Prosek. There's going to be an extra surprise in her box for you too Kim! ;)
& SRs Bollywood Surprise...
& Indu for my friend Liz in exchange for my BF tickets (I didn't want my SR ticket so this worked). Of course the one color of the Surprise that she didn't want was the buckskin! (I think he's pretty!) I'm hoping the fact that her Indu is glossy might ease the pain!
& the last of the loot to mention will be a fitting end to this post:
A tee shirt by Sue Sudekum! A horrible color but well earned & only $15! Bringing my total spent at BF up to $129, which I am pretty proud of!
I came VERY close to buying an U/P Sheza Carnival, & U/P Pipsqueak, as well as the new dapple grey HR Spanish China, but I resisted. *sigh* :/
Stay tuned to my blog as there is still more to come!!
Aside for wanting to go to BF to witness the CM Contest, something else made this BF a particular draw for me. If you know me, you can probably already guess why! I am a Marwari lover & have been for eight years. Longer than most people have even known what a Marwari is & several years before Breyer released their Marwari mold.
If you do any amount of research on these awesome horses, & trust me, I have spent many hours researching them, you are going to encounter two names connected with bringing the breed count back from just 600, & working tirelessly to promote their future: Ms. Francesca Kelly & Kr. Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod (aka Bonnie). They have been instrumental in saving these beautiful horses ever since Ms. Kelly went on a horseback safari in India in 1995 & met Bonnie Singh whose Marwari were the mounts of the safari at Dundlod Fort.
I have followed the endeavors of these two incredible people for many years & was quite excited when Gateway To India was announced last year! That could only mean one thing for the Celebration horse! A Marwari! & the only Marwari in the U.S. belong to Ms. Kelly, which meant that surly she would be there! & by George, that was indeed the case!
With that in mind, as soon as I knew I would be able to attend BF I decided to create a gift for her, since I appreciate all that she has done for this breed. I painted one of my AR releases, 'Sundara' my Marwari stallion, as a portrait of the stallion Gajraj; a handsome black with four white feet & an off kilter white face. He was an incredibly well known stallion & if you pick up any publication including these horses, he is most likely pictured in it.
See pictures of the elegant Gajraj here & here. Both photos are taken by Slawik Equine Photography.
He has my hair-by-hair mapping on his white, deep multi toned eyes, & the details of his natural hooves were the last thing to be done, & I wasn't willing to shirk them.
We arrived at BF in the early afternoon on Fri, I picked up SRs for a friend in exchange for our tickets (I just don't do OFs, so I didn't want the SR ticket anyway), & went over to Maggie Bennett's booth. That was the majority of BF for Fri since we had to leave for the cabin we had reserved before going to the CHIN that evening. But Saturday! Saturday I was DEFINITELY seeing Ms. Kelly's seminar on the Marwari horses at noon!!
Saturday morning Dad & I headed to the KHP a bit earlier than needed since I wanted to be absolutely SURE of finding where she would be talking. If you have ever been to BF, than you know that no one knows where anything is at BF, not even the BF information booth!
Turns out that it wasn't a problem, it really was in the Visitor's Center of the KHP & we found the room, a small theatre of sorts, right off the bat. We had about an hour give or take to kill before noon, so we looked at the dioramas, & then set on a comfy couch in the Visitor's Center & people watched.
About ten minutes before the set time, we went in & got good seats; I wanted to video her talk. As we were sitting there, a few people bustled in & out from the stage, & then the lady of the hour came in with granddaughter in tow. Along the other side of the seats another person I had not expected to see also came in: Bonnie Singh had come from Rajasthan for BF!!!! Not only that, but their top rider from Dundlod Fort, Dalip Kilaniya, had come as well!
Ms. Kelly started her talk, & I did indeed record it, with all my pathetic video camera skill! Evidentially my camera has a time limit set on it at the moment which I did not know of. Right then was not the time to hunt around for a way to change it, so I just recorded it in four parts, starting it up again as soon as it stopped. Not much was missed!
Here is her talk:
After she was finished & as soon as I could get though the people, I waited to catch her & Bonnie's attention. When she notice me standing there we shook hands & I said how long I have studied Marwari & have followed her & Bonnie's endeavors to save the breed. That I appreciate how much they both have done for these horses, & that I wanted to present them with a gift if they had the time (there was another talk coming in soon). As I unwrapped the Sundara she continued talking with the little crowd gathered around them. I freed the Sundara from his bag & old tee shirt (my typical travel packing) & Bonnie got Ms. Kelly's attention. I handed him to her & she seemed flattered to receive him. As she turned him over she realized who he was & said "It's Gajraj!!", that he had passed away a few years ago, & that my portrait of him is spot on. The gift brought a tear to her eye & she gave me a hug! As Bonnie recorded this, she turned to the remaining crowd & said that "this lady has just given me a portrait of my late stallion!" :)
We had to get out of the way for the next speaker, so we went out into the Visitor's Center. She wanted a picture so she found a more picturesque area & as Bonnie took some pictures, I had Dad take a couple on for me too.
It was certainly a special moment in my life!
I asked all three of them to sign my Nazruddin (pronounce naz-roo-DEEN), & we all exchanged business cards. Ms. Kelly is interested in some Sundaras & CM painted Kalahkaaris to benefit the Indigenous Horse Society of India! & Bonnie invited me to Dundlod Fort for a horse safari! (Someone please beam me there!!!)
I don't think anyone can imagine how much this moment meant to me! It was an honor to meet both Ms. Kelly & Bonnie Singh in person!
...Saturday was a really, REALLY, GOOD day!!!
More to come! So check back!!
Hi ho all! I'm sure it will be obvious just by the look & length of this post, but I am home from BF! I have tons to share, so I am going to break this up into several posts over the next week or so. Of course I am going to start with the biggest news of all of it: the Best CM Contest!
If you've read the previous post, you already know that I won my divisiom with my CM G2 Shetland to palomino Shet mare named "SWF 101 Lbs. Of Fun" aka Honey!
Honey rode down to Lexington with nearby friends since I was not going to make it down until Friday & she needed to be at the Artisan's Gallery on Thursday. She was safely set up by my friend Kati, with help from my friend Chunk as I understand it (I'm sure Chesna was in on it too), thank you guys!
We, my Dad & I, were able to leave for KY earlier than I thought on Fri, so we spent several hours at the KHP before going to the CHIN (the hotel where the contest was held for those who do not know). I room saled for a few hours until the AG opened when of course we went over there to see the contestants & me wiwdle poneh!
Here they are:
The Theme division, "Good Things In Small Packages", PP to MM scales (mini scales). Obviously, I was the winner. :)
Drastic CM Division. 'Toady' the huge 8lb Wixom Shetland by Studio Thornrose took top honors here & I am so happy about that!!!
Repaint division. Mel Miller's Clyde won this div!
Fantasy Division. OMGosh! SO cool! In the words of his creator Gretchen Glover: "It's a Chinese Qilin. Close to a Kirin, but with the option of having more than one horn." He won the fantasy division & I was rooting for him! He was AMAZINGLY detailed!
Performance division. The Pony Express swept up the prize for perf! Lauren Hoffer is his creator! I was standing right next to her when she won & had been chit-chatting with her before that!
Here is a ridiculously blurry video of the entrants. ...I really need to learn how to use the video on my camera better. :/
Saturday was the fateful day! Judging was to be in the evening sometime with awards presented at 9:30 pm. I got to the CHIN at about 6 & popped my head into the AG room (which was not open yet) to ask if I may remove the cube from my entry for the judging, so I was let in when no one was in there!!! That is when I took the above vid, when no one was around! After that... I room saled!
I came back at some point a couple times to see what was doing; I REALLY did not want to miss the judging & awards!!! I wound up coming back at 9, & shortly after witnessed Sommer Prosser, Morgan Kilbourn, & one other lady who I did not recognize, judge the entries! Not too long after the participation ribbons were laid out & the atmosphere was tense with anticipation!! The announcement was near & the crowed was waiting!!
It turns out that they, Breyer, had misplaced the prize models & one of the rosettes!!! OMGosh! It was so awful that it was funny! The poor gentleman behind the table made the announcement regarding the delay starting with "Please don't kill me"! Thankfully the crowd was a genial lot & we were all ok with this latest screw up of Breyer's!
At long last, at nearly 11pm, they arrived with the prize models & Stephanie Macejko made the big announcements!
I had wanted to video the whole thing, but my battery was flashing at me, so I only took a vid of the Theme class, below:
I had a few friends in the crowed, could you tell?? :)
Chunk took this great pic of me with Honey & her wins:
& of course I had to take victory shots!!!
I'm kind of disappointed that my pics weren't better. I was so out of it by that time at night! Having been up since six, hiking around the KHP all day & the CHIN all evening, standing for two hours waiting for them to announce the winners, which they did at just short of 11! I suppose it was good that I could still work my camera at all at that point! :P
But! It was a good night!
I have teased a few folks, asking if they could figure out the song that Honey is named after. No one has guessed yet! It is this old show tune, & I thought it fit her quite well!
Welp, I will leave you here! I will get some pics of Masala at some point, & of course there is still loads to tell you! More posts to come!!
Ramblings & tutorials of a model horse artist.
Just a 'public service notice' to any of my blog readers; Since there's not really any way to 'follow' a weebly blog, if you shoot me an email (sprucewoodfarmsstudio at gmail dot com) I will add you to my blog announcement list & will send you an email when a new post is added. :)