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Preview: Braymere Custom Saddlery

Braymere Custom Saddlery

Model horse tack and talk by Jennifer Buxton

Updated: 2018-01-16T05:11:23.824-07:00


PBR night at the Stock Show


Some hobby friends and I were talking about this year's Stock Show."I don't care what we see," I told them, "As long as it's not the rodeo. I've been to the rodeo three years in a row, and I am all rodeo'ed out."So guess what I event I went to Monday night?Yeah, rodeo.And not just any rodeo. It was PBR (Professional Bull Riders) night at the National Western Stock Show.PBR isn't really my thing, but I went we three of my best barn buddies, and we had a great time.Our seat were down by the roping chutes, which is a long way from the main action. I didn't mind because we had a great view of the outriders and their horses.Every now and then a loose bull would end up on our side of the ring.Then the outriders would jump into action."Get along, little dogie."Make that really big dogie!I really enjoyed watching the teamwork between the outriders and their horses. They do a great job.I also enjoyed the halftime show with the Clydesdales.There's my favorite badger-faced guy!All in all, this was a pretty good way to spend an evening.But seriously, next time I go to the Stock Show, I want to see something other than the rodeo![...]

Hand painting with craft acrylics


NaMoPaiMo is almost here so I'm bringing back Tutorial Tuesday. Every Tuesday, from now until this the end February, this space will be dedicated to sharing tips and tricks designed to help new and established artists improve their work. Since we already have twenty one first time painters signed up to paint, this year's first tutorial focuses on a "starter" medium. Thank you to Bobbie Allen of Horse Tender Studios for sharing her words of wisdom!Hand Painting with Craft Acrylicsby Bobbie AllenDisclaimer: The pictures in this post do not show me creating a LSQ horse or anything considered good quality.  I grabbed an unprepped blank stablemate as my model, and skipped several steps that would be done in my regular work (in addition to prep).  I wanted to focus on technique and tips and get this tutorial out ASAP for anyone who might want to use some of these ideas for their NaMoPaiMo project.-------------------------Way back when I first put paint on a horse, I used cheap craft acrylics. I think it was most likely Apple Barrel brand.I've come a long way since then. I've learned a lot, won lots of NAN cards and even a small handful of live show championships and reserves... ... and I am still hand painting, with cheap craft acrylics.One of these days I'd like to be brave and try other mediums (airbrush, pastels, maybe even oils), but for now, craft acrylics are my jam.It can be hard to find tips on how to work with them. It seems they are something a lot of people start with and then move on to other things. I never did.Here's a quick list of pros and cons about using them:Pros:Fast drying - you can finish an entire horse in one session, if you want to. Cheap - usually around $1-$1.50 per colorEasy to find - about any place that sells craft supplies: a dedicated craft store, or even WalMart.Easy clean up - soap and water clean up, no need for potentially harsh chemicalsThin with water - again, no need for chemicalsCons:Fast drying - Yes, I listed this as a Pro as well, but the drying time makes it hard/impossible to blend colors together on the model.  There are products such as drying extenders that can slow the drying time and allow for more blending, but I have not used any of them.Can't really be sanded, can be hard to touch up smoothly if nickedDelicate finish, easily scratched - however, a good coat or two of spray sealer fixes this and they are actually quite durable with a good clear coat over the topHere are the tools that I use to paint a model:BrushesMakeup spongesA pallet or something to mix paint on/inFlat toothpicks to mix paintPaper towels, for cleaning brushesA cup of water to rinse brushesAnd of course: paint.  I haven't found any issue with mixing various brands of craft acrylic together - ceramacoat, americana, folkart, apple barrel, they all seem to work together just fine.Also helpful: instructional material, be it physical or digital (I prefer real books).For color mixes, I use the color cards from Carol Williams' Color Formulas and Techniques book. They were written for use with oil paints, but I've found that most can transfer over to acrylics, or at least offer a good starting point.  Some colors don't exist in craft acrylics - like the cadmiums and so on -  but that's where improvising and experimentation comes in. It's worth noting that I also have a bajillion reference pictures, both physical and digital.  Good references are crucial!I use the makeup sponges to apply my (thin) base coats for the first time.  I also use them to do dark shading over the body color, and to apply white over large areas, such as on an appaloosa.  I use the triangular makeup sponges, cut down into smaller pieces, since I tend to do mostly minis.  Even on larger horses, I want to work with smaller amounts of paint, so I'd still use small sponge pieces.I cut them in half, then cut each half cut in half, lengthwise.After cutting the pieces down, I like to round the corners on the widest end - the one I'll be using. &nbs[...]

My NaMoPaiMo sign-up


Last year, NaMoPaiMo registration took place publicly on Facebook. Participants were asked to post a photo of their unpainted model and provide information about their skill level, painting plan and overall goals for the challenge. I took that information and entered it into a spreadsheet.This year we're using an online registration form connected to a database. It's a much more efficient system, but It's also a lot less fun. Since I know some people are missing the old way, I thought I would post an illustrated version of my sign up here.So... My name is Jennifer Buxton, and I live in Colorado, USA. My skill level is somewhere between intermediate and advanced. For this event, I listed myself as an Advanced Amateur.My victim is a slightly customized Jennifer Scott Brigid resin.Brigid will be a mixed media piece, but I plan to use mostly acrylic paint... and create a flea-bitten grey coat.Although completing Brigid will be my primary focus, I also hope to advance and possibly finish these three models.And because I'm completely delusional, I also think I might paint this Appaloosa. Beyond my painting goals, I am looking forward to a month of education, excitement and encouragement. Can it be February already? I can't wait![...]

So... NaMoPaiMo!


Registration for NaMoPaiMo 2108 began January 1 and will remain open through midnight January 31.We are using an online registration system that was created by my son, Ryan. It is a PHP page connected to a MySql database, running on an Amazon AWS EC2 server. I don't know what any of that means, but I am very happy not to be entering all this information manually!As of this morning, we have two hundred and two people from eighteen countries signed up to paint a horse in February. That's a lot, but when it comes to painting parties, more is always merrier. Everyone is welcome, regardless of age or skill level. If you haven't already, please consider joining us.But before you do, be sure to visit the official NaMoPaiMo page. This is the single best source for NaMoPaiMo rules and information.There is an optional two dollar entry fee this year. This helps pay for event expenses such as the production of the Van Gogh medallion, computer software and prize postage. Payment (and donations) can be made via PayPal to of this year's amazing prizesThank you to everyone who has signed up for NaMoPaiMo. Let's make this the biggest and best hobby party of the year![...]

Stock Show Parade


I was going to write about NaMoPaiMo on Tuesday, but I was distracted by a beautiful new face. Then I was going to write about it on Wednesday, but I was distracted by sunshine and the open trail. This leads me to Thursday. Once again, I thought I was going to write about NaMoPaiMo. Instead I went to a parade.And let me tell you, that was a pretty awesome parade!The National Western Stock Show Kick Off Parade is a long time Denver tradition.Crowds pack the streets of downtown Denver to watch longhorns,horses, ponies, mules,donkeys,alpacas,sheep, dogs...and people...make their way down 17th Street.This year the Grand Marshall was Thunder, the mascot of the Denver Broncos.He was accompanied by his rider, Ann Judge, and owner, Sharon Magness-Blake. Thunder is my favorite Bronco!This was a great way to spend the day.I'm planning to write about NaMoPaiMo tomorrow, but no promises. It seems like other things keep coming up![...]

First ride of 2018


Most of the country is experiencing record breaking cold temperatures, but not Colorado. Today was warm, sunny and much too nice to spend inside, so I got in my car and headed to Kenlyn.The plan was to go on a trail ride with Stetson with three of my best barn buddies And that's exactly what happened for approximately ten minutes.Then there was a bit of drama, and our four person ride turned into a two person ride. Also, Stetson turned into Rey.It's all good. In fact, it was better than good. I really like both Stetson and Rey, so this seemed like a perfect way to start my riding year.Today was all about real horses, so the NaMoPaiMo registration post has been pushed back another day. That's okay, but I do want to mention that the first NaMoPaiMo benefit medallion is currently up for offers on MH$P. This one was painted by Nikki Button and it's absolutely fabulous.  Thank you so much, Nikki and Kylee for your generous support of NaMoPaiMo. I truly couldn't do it without you![...]

First horse of 2018


Yesterday at noon, Ryan's NaMoPaiMo registration page went live. Within twenty four hours, we had more than one hundred people sign up to paint. I planned to write about that today. Then the mailman brought me a new horse and all thoughts of NaMoPaiMo went right out of my head.I received this beautiful Deb McDermott Musetta resin as payment for judging the inaugural Models in the Mountains live show.I sent her to Sommer Prosser with a set of photos of my favorite Kenlyn broodmare, Khemecho. "Paint her like this," I said, "but with more dapples."Nailed it! Of course, I couldn't resist tacking her up. I bought this Cary Nelson Arabian costume from Tiffany at BreyerFest. It's made a couple appearances on this blog, but it's never had its own post. That is a real oversight. This costume, like all of Cary's, is absolutely amazing. The doll is also by Cary.  This picture makes me squee.I'll write about NaMoPaiMo tomorrow. Today I'm busy playing with my new toys.[...]

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year...
 to all of you... 
 from all of us...
at Braymere Custom Saddlery.
It's going to be a great year!

Parting shots


Last post of the year is always a real horse (and dog) photo blast. Here are this year's pictures. Enjoy![...]

One more


On Friday, my friend and fellow tack maker, Erin Corbett, pledged to finish her hobby year with a burst of productivity.I watched vicariously as she struggled to get going...Then BAM! The first saddle was done.There was no reported progress on the second saddle when I went to bed last night, but I was delighted to find this topping my Facebook feed when I got up this morning. Erin is really awesome.There's no way I can touch her level of awesomeness, but maybe I can also finish one more thing before this year is over. I've cleared off my desk in preparation...Wish me luck![...]

2017 model year in review


2017 was a very busy hobby year. I opened an Etsy shop in January...and convinced more than two hundred hobbyists to paint a model horse with me in February.I attended my first BreyerFest...That was really something!...and participated in six live shows, four as an entrant, one as a judge and two as a photographer for Breyer. They were: The Redline Revival Resin Show,The Willow Tree Live,Redline Revival Yellowcard Live Workmanship,Breyerfest Live and... Breyerfest Children's and Youth Show...and the Backwoods Two Day Show.This wasn't a big year for acquisitions, but I am extremely pleased with all the new additions.Especially this one!Overall, it's been a pretty great hobby year. Thank you to all my friends, near and far, for spending it with me.Here's looking forward to an even better 2018![...]

Member show of the year


Yesterday, NAMHSA announced the winner of the 2016-2017 Member Show of the Year award.In case that's too small to read, here's the important part: And the winner of the 2017 Member Show of the Year goes to.... The Jennifer Show, held by Jennifer Buxton and Jennifer Aurora, Colorado on September 17, 2016. It continues: This first time show pulled in attendance and judges from far and wide, including one entrant from Japan! The write-up also mentioned my extensive blog coverage and our amazing array of prizes.Ryan's innovative Show Helper program wasn't mentioned specifically, but I'm sure it factored into the judging as well.Jenn and I worked really hard to make the Jennifer Show the best it possibly could be. Thank you so much to our families, friends, donors, judges and entrants. We couldn't have done it without you, and we are so honored to have our show recognized as the Member Show of the Year![...]

Moooo-ve over Luna


Remember Luna the jumping cow?Luna belonged to a German teenager, whose parents wouldn't allow her to own a horse. Determined to pursue her passion for riding, the fifteen year old successfully re-purposed one of her family's cows. For a while, this story was all over my Facebook feed. I was reminded of it when I tacked up my new cow for last week's Double Purdy post. One thing led to another...And this happened! Look! Emerald is a jumping cow, too! Who needs a pony? Move over, Luna. There's a new cow in the jumper ring.[...]

Random things


My dogs are extremely tolerant.Kylee Parks is extremely awesome.Is Mieka Cuter Than Meeka?Is Pixel Cuter Than Pixel? Almost anything can be negotiated with 1:9 scale props.Customized Elizabeth is coming along nicely but probably won't be ready for NaMoPaiMo.Customized Brigid is coming along nicely and looks to be my NaMoPaiMo horse.Airplane tickets are purchased, so next month's trip to Texas is officially official.Maybe I'll bring my new purse dog.These ponies were sculpted by three separate artists, but clearly they were meant to be a family.Colorado no longer feels like Hawaii... not even close.It's a good day to stay inside and work on tack, so that's what I'm going to do... as soon as I clear my desk.This might be an all day project. I'd better get to it.[...]

Merry model Christmas


Ask and you shall receive, at least when it comes to model Christmas photos. Thank you to everyone who shared a picture, and merry Christmas to all!photo by Dee Crawleyphoto by Bobbie Allenphoto by Christine Roarphoto by LeeAnn Bachmanphoto by Dark Pegasus Studiosphoto by Ela Zarzeckaphoto by Jackie Radwanskiphoto by Jen Olpphoto by Lindsay Diamondphoto by Madeline Krawciwphoto by Heather Malonephoto by LeeAnn Bachmanphoto by Magda Zajęckaphoto by Juliane Garstkaphoto by Madeline Krawciwphoto by L.K. Maggaphoto by Ola Nogaphoto by Olivia Tiercephoto by Patrycja Zaleska-Rutkowskaphoto by Rikki Lymanphoto by Ulrike Appeltphoto by Vicky Norrisphoto by Zoja Makovecphoto by Mindy Berg[...]

Double Purdy


It's just not Christmas without a Purdy box, and this year I got two of them!The first was from Jodi Purdy, who drew my name in a hobby gift exchange. She sent a box filled with things....some hobby related...some not.I am especially delighted with the Earth Pigments. NaMoPaiMo is coming!The second Purdy box was from Tiffany, and it contained a dazzling array of performance props, including last year's basket saddle with doll and Mieka... and the cow and calf set from BreyerFest 2016. There were also gifts for the girls... and the boys, including Jose...If everyone could stop sending me Trump things that would be great. Thanks.Best of all, there was a beautifully painted Husband bust. This little guy was sculpted by Jennifer Scott for the Jennifer Show. I am so pleased to add him to my TJS collection!Thanks for everything, Jodi and Tiffany!You've made my Christmas Purdy awesome.[...]

Aloha Christmas


Every year, my barn buddies and I get together on a snowy December day and take Christmas pictures with our favorite horses. Unfortunately, this year, the weather hasn't we decided to have a Christmas luau instead!The horses wore shells, flowers and addition to the traditional Santa hats and Christmas decorations. The guest of honor was Aloha Santa, AKA Lee...who patiently posed with nearly every horse.I spent most of my time behind the camera, but I did take pictures with my two favorite boys, Santana...and Stetson. This was so much fun. I can't wait until next year's party.Mele Kalikimaka![...]

Almost wordless Westpoint


Ever wonder how a medallion is born? In today's "almost wordless" post, Kylee Parks shares the creation of her newest medallion, Westpoint. Be sure to check out the Studio Thornrose Facebook and Instagram pages for more information on the Westpoint Holiday Giveaway referenced in the final photo. Enjoy![...]

Five box day


Yesterday the mailman delivered a stack of hobby related boxes that was taller than Darcy. Three of the boxes contained NaMoPaiMo donations.Medallions sculpted and donated by Samantha WhiteBreyer Newsworthy donated by Kitty GrubkaIma Sharpe Cutter resin donated by Ryan JaegerThe other two were gifts.My kids are have zero interest in presents from hobby friends, unless the friend is Bobbie Allen. They love Bobbie's Japanese goodie boxes. She always sends a perfect mix of weird and wonderful!The last package was from Anne Field. I have to admit, I get a little worried when someone describes an item as "something I need to have." Usually that's code for "This is weird and it reminded me of you." However, in the case of this almost 1:9 scale playground set, I am not offended in the least. This thing is awesome, and I really did need to have it.I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do with it... but I'll think of something! Thank you so much, Samantha, Kitty, Ryan, Bobbie and Anne. That was a most excellent mail day![...]

NaMoPaiMo is coming


NaMoPaiMo is less than a month and a half away.From an administrative standpoint, I am ready. I have hired a five person staff to help me administer the Facebook page and created separate NaMoPaiMo email and PayPal accounts. Ryan is building an online entry form, and the NaMoPaiMo prize corral is overflowing with generous donations from some of the hobby's finest artists. I have no doubt that this is going to be the biggest and best hobby event of the year.Jasmine resin, sculpted and donated by Melanie MillerOn the personal, Jennifer-paints-a-model side of things, things are a little more tenuous. I started prepping two models for NaMoPaiMo last summer.Then I decided I couldn't wait to paint them.Proof was finished in October.Hornet is taking a little longer.mid NovemberLet's be honest, this isn't a one month paint job anyway. mid DecemberSo now I'm back to prepping.Except somehow prepping has turned into customizing. Brigid has had a couple minor leg tweaks in addition to a new set of lop ears.Elizabeth was a waste mold cast that Jenn gave me more than four years ago.I successfully moved a leg before utterly and completely ruining her neck. There are no pictures of that because it was really too bad to memorialize.Earlier this week, I dug her up and tried to do an non-invasive fix. It almost worked.Unfortunately, I am way too picky for "almost". So it's back to the drawing board for her.I think this is going to be better. NaMoPaiMo is coming, and I know I will be painting something. I don't know what, though. It might just come down to whoever is prepped first. [...]

Full dog saddle circle


The only thing more frustrating than making stablemate tack is photographing it.I tried really hard to take good pictures of Leah's saddle, but eventually things got silly.The tiny saddle didn't fit any of my I decided to try it on a dog. This reminded me of an edited picture of Darcy that appeared on my blog back when she was just a pup. I decided to find that picture again, and in doing so I discovered this amazing fact: the person who edited the photo was none other than Leah Koerper!Some things are meant to happen, including tiny saddles on jumping dogs. Isn't life awesome?[...]

Secret saddle


Almost two years ago, I attended BreyerWest in Albany, Oregon. Leah Koerper picked me up at the airport and delivered me to Albany, where we split a hotel room. Throughout the weekend, she made sure I got to where I needed to go, saved the day when I was not quite prepared for my halter making workshop and offered to handle the sale of my volunteer models after the event was over. I hadn't met Leah prior to BreyerWest, but in just a few short days, I decided she was one of the most awesome people I'd ever met.During the course of BreyerWest, Leah told me that one of her hobby goals was to own a Braymere stablemate scale saddle. I laughed and told her that one of my hobby goals was to own a Leah Koeper stick horse.The stick-stangs arrived in October. I can not tell you how many times I have sat down to make Leah a saddle since then, but Stablemate is not my scale. Every single time I'd look at all those dinky pattern pieces and give up before I even started.About a month ago, I signed up for a small holiday gift exchange. Leah was a member of the group, so I begged the coordinator to let me have her as a giftee. "It's the only way," I said, "that I'll ever make this saddle."It worked.This is Leah's saddle. It's not quite Anna Helt level... but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.Leah's saddle arrived in Oregon yesterday.I think she's also pleased with how it turned out![...]

Horsey holidays


It snowed a teeny, tiny bit last night.The girls were not impressed...but all I needed was enough snow to cover Beep's base. That'll do.Happy holidays!Have a holiday themed model horse picture you'd like to share? Send it to me via email ( or Facebook. I'll gather them up and post them all on Christmas![...]

Unicorn Christmas


One of my family's favorite holiday traditions is to go Christmas tree our favorite local garden center.This is the tree we picked this year. We went inside to pay for it, and came face to face with a big display of unicorn Christmas items."Hey, Mom," James said gleefully. "Look at all the horses!" He knows this irritates me.Unicorns are not horses. This one is pretty cute, though. And one of these looks a lot like Native Dancer. See? Ryan and James 💜<3 unicorns...<3And maybe I do just a little bit, too.[...]

Package season


 I love this time of year because you never know what the mailman is going to bring. Of course, most of the packages are presents for other people...Shhhhh, don't tell Ryanbut sometimes those presents are pony shaped!These adorable Gigi resins were sculpted by Mindy Berg. They're not destined to be part of my herd. Instead, they are prizes for NaMoPaiMo.Thank you so much for your generous donation, Mindy. I know these ponies will make some lucky painters very happy![...]