When I was finally finishing my Snow Queen and her reindeer, I found the cut-off front legs of the vintage deer I’d used as a base for the reindeer. I also had this blue and tan straw bird around which the cats had been chewing on.
The deer’s legs fit so well!
I trimmed down some of the raffia on the bird’s belly, and glued on the trimmings to help the legs blend in. Combined with the post, there was a galloping carousel animal effect I loved. I also gave it one human eye from the doll-eyes bag.
So I did that. That was a good couple years ago, and the bird has just floated around, waiting for me to make it the rider, saddle and bridle it needed. This happens with projects!
I was obsessed with model horses as a child, and especially model horse tack.
Back in the ’70s the Breyer community had plenty of well-known tack makers for shows (yes, there were and are shows where people compete their customized model horses!). I used to look at their mimeographed catalogs in a state of mesmerized covetousness.
I loved real horses and real tack equally obsessively, and Victoria and I used to pore over Arabian Horse magazine, ogling the colorful, tassled tack. We would debate the merits of Western style over English; she went to Western riding camp and I went to English.
Left, my most precious childhood model horse Rosalind in a cooler (type of blanket) I made for her when I was like ten.
I still follow several miniature tack makers on Instagram, and I have also come to love “fantasy tack”, which is not based on historic or present examples. That’s where this project came from!
I love tiny buckles and leather gear, whether for horses or people.
When I made the Snow Queen, I finally had a reason to buy miniature tack supplies from Rio Rondo, the tiny company that serves pretty much the whole hobby. Yes, they know kinky fetish people use their stuff for things like Barbie Bondage. No, they still haven’t updated their website!
One of the weirdest side effects of being a miniature maker and bricoleur is that you’re always eyeing junk for its potential.
Two years ago I got some fancy cookies for our New Years’ Day party, and they had a gold bread tie.
I turned it over in my hands, feeling like it was the thing I needed for something. Usually I keep things like that, but foolishly, I did not keep the bread tie.
So when I realized it was exactly what I needed for miniature Western Bell stirrups, I had to steal the tie off our bread, wait til the next grocery delivery, steal that tie, cut down some toothpicks for the rollers, and prime it all with Mod Podge before I painted them gold.
Glossy, flexible bread-tie plastic is a surface paint will not stick to.
Mod Podge is a secret weapon here, and a couple coats formed a perfect isolation coat and primer. It sealed the stirrups after the gold paint, too, and then I glued them into the ribbon stirrup leathers.
I made the saddle out of shaped aluminium foil covered with Apoxie Sculpt, my “make everything” clay of choice. Then I covered it in velvet and trim.
I used a brass filigree decor piece, holographic vinyl, interference paint and UV resin to make this girdle for the Wasp Doll.
Interference paint created a pretty iridescent ombre on the front. Gluing a piece of holo vinyl to the back of the filigree meant I could go over the whole thing with UV resin. Then I added some crystals, of course, because you have to have crystals.
I love how it came out, honestly. The whole ridiculous project pleases me greatly.