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Preview: For Love of a Gray Horse

For Love of a Gray Horse

Updated: 2018-03-08T06:57:33.097-08:00




My first offering in my jewelry line contains my original art framed by metal and glass and hanging from a loop of beautiful turquoise stones strung on silver wire and attached to a 17" necklace made of golden taffeta ribbon and waxed cord with silvery metal clasps. On the back of the pendant is written the quote, "And thou shalt fly without wings, and conquer without sword; oh horse." Available in any of my Etsy shops. Purchase HERE

Memory Preserving Jewelry


Feathers are a reminder that our Angels are always near and watching over us. This is an example of my custom made, just for you, memory pendants. These two by two inch metal and glass frames are viewable from both front and back and will have unique art work on both sides that is designed just for you. I will take your personal photo, treasured quotes, a snippet of a letter, invitation, announcement, song, locks of hair, feathers and other precious memories and created a unique and very personal piece of jewelry. Your personal photos and other paper memorabilia will not be damaged. I will make copies of them from which to create your pendant and then I will return the originals to you, with your pendant, unharmed.



I'm trying out a new storefront/shopping cart called Big Cartel. I'm currently just using the free version so I'm limited to just five products. I decided to try one photo, two large art prints, one piece of jewelry, and one design of the new note/greeting cards. My new store is called, An Artful Life. And you can check it out by CLICKING HERE.



I will be posting several new note card designs to my online store over the next few days as well as some jewelry offerings. The cards are five and a half by four inches and are packaged in a lovely shimmering fabric bag with ribbon drawstring. They make a perfect gift for a friend or yourself.  [...]

Note Cards


Also new to my Etsy store are these note cards....I'll have to check but I believe they measure about 4.5x6.5......they come with envelopes and packaged in a pretty, drawstring organza bag. At the moment, this is the only style I have available but I will be adding others over the next few weeks. I will also offer this specific card with and without the inside text. This image shows both the inside and outside of the card.

New to Etsy....


New to my Etsy shop, Gentle Breeze. This photo is available in either Lustre or Matte and in a variety of sizes from 8x10 to 12x18 inches.

New Web Site


I'm so excited about publishing my brand spankin' new web site this week. Not only does it bring together all of the mediums I work with in a comprehensive and I hope, easy to use manner but I've also added a webstore. I will still maintain my Etsy stores but I'll use my site's store to sell special items such as photos with special mounting and materials, like Fuji metallic, deep matte and canvas. I only have a few items listed so far but I will be adding new offerings as time allows and as I create new work.
click on the image to visit

True Promotional Value


 Often friends ask to use my photos or artwork for free. More often, strangers use it without even asking. People who would never walk into a person's restaurant and ask for a free meal or ask to "borrow" clothes from a friend's clothing shop just don't seem to see the value in art work or the time, energy and effort involved in creating or even less, the fact that I'm trying to make a living here. All of that aside, I have often allowed friends and family use of my images but I expect true promotional value in return. That doesn't mean a small mention in small print. True promotional value should include: 1) My signature and copyright clearly visible on the art work, 2) A visible notation with the name of the art work and my name, 3) A link to my website or etsy store, or I'm not trying to be mean but only trying to protect myself and my work. I know that I can not prevent people from sharing my work that is posted on the internet but I would like some common courtesy shown me in return. That seems very little to ask. 



Just sold a print of this image--Solitude. This shot was taken in the early hours of morning just as this lone horse and the sun were waking up. It is available for purchase in my etsy store.



This is Phantom. He has one very dark brown eye and one very blue one. This effect is the result of an in camera error and would usually go in the trash bin but the results were as striking, unique and beautiful as the subject so I decided to not only keep it but print it. Hope you like it, too. It's available for purchase, here,



  • 11x16 inch print of Heavenly Light is available in my webstore for $32. You can see it HERE.

Fun in the Snow


Just as the weather is starting to warm up and the lovely daffodils are bobbing their sunny heads in my garden, I came across some snow shots from a few years ago. Occasionally, I'll have a rejected photo that I just don't think is quite good enough to offer for sale or to print but it is still a whole lot of fun. This is one of those photos. It's not perfect but it's still a whole lot of fun.

Warning Signs


Warning Signs by Kathi PetersLove this painting by my extremely talented friend, Kathi Peters. Her website where you can see more of her absolutely wonderful work, and her blog, I weren't a perpetually broke and drowning in debt artist myself, I would own this because it reminds me of Danny and something that happened this morning.To preface this story, we have had a stray bear wandering around in our woods for several months now. When our neighbor first spotted it, I'd already noticed that my horses were behaving oddly for almost a week.  They were not only jumpy and extremely cautious but they refused to go into the lower pasture. The larger of our two small barns is in the lower pasture. It is actually just a large run-in at the moment but it will protect them from wet and cold weather. Yet, since the appearance of the bear, no matter what Mother Nature is dishing out, they all stay on the exposed hillside of the upper pasture which has no shelter other than the feeble shade of a few tall, scraggly trees.Today, Steve and I walked down to the lower pasture to examine the run-in which we plan to soon enclose and expand into a small barn. The horses stood on the hillside at the top gate which separates the upper pasture from the middle pasture and they were all alert as they watched us. I know that they were expecting the bear to come roaring out of the woods at any minute and eat us alive.I whistled and Danny came running with me yelling the entire time, "Be careful! It's slick!" and "knowing" he understood me. Once he realized that there was no food to be had, he decided that he'd stick around for some love and affection which we readily provided. That boy loves attention and all of his attention was on us until Sadie, our dog, decided to start digging at the back of the barn. The usually calm and unspookable Danny went into a frenzy of kicking and then started to gallop straight toward the fence...with me yelling, "Watch out for the fence!"....and "knowing" that he understood me. Understanding my warning or not, he did not run through the fence but stopped and stood there with his ears up and listening intently. Now, I'm not saying that she did it on purpose but I'm sure if she'd realized his reaction, her actions would have been purposeful; Sadie started digging again and this time against something that made an incredible racket. I'm sure Dan thought that either the wayward bear or the hounds of hell  were behind that barn and coming straight for him because he started kicking and bucking and then took off at a gallop, once again not even slowing down to heed my warnings about the slick mud where the round pen use to be. He headed up the hill, leaping over a ditch and dancing through the slippery mud while occasionally giving a kick back toward whatever might be chasing him. His brother met him midway up the hill and ran beside him to the safety of their mother's side and the rest of the herd, all of whom were waiting, lined up behind the fence that evidently, in their minds, offers safety from any wild beast that might arise out of those scary woods surrounding the lower pasture.Steve and I are now concerned that not even the sweetest of sweet feed will be temptation enough to lure the entire herd down to what will soon be their new digs. Their obvious fear expressed by this avoidance leaves me wondering what exactly did occur down there in that nook amongst the trees.[...]



BrandyTenderness...Mouse and her newborn, DannyDjango the "snowman"RileySadieMerry Christmas from me and all of the critters![...]

New Website and Updated Storefront


At the beginning of this week, I wasn't too happy with my choice in web hosts. I went for a savings and at first it looked like I'd ended up buying that proverbial "pig in a poke" but after a few frustrating days using their web building program instead of my own, I'm not only satisfied with my site, I'm overjoyed with parts of it...namely the built in slide show! WhooHoo!

I can't share the slide show here but I can give you a link so you can check it out! SLIDE SHOW
While you're there, check out the entire new website and let me know what you think.  The new website domain is,

I've also totally updated my Etsy Storefront.

And a new Facebook page (click the image for link) that encompasses all of my shops, blogs, and lines.  Like the site, too...I need more than 28 fans:)

There's also lots of news, new treasuries and the like on the GHD Facebook page.



It is with great sadness that I report of the passing of one of my favorite equine models and friends, Cash. Cash passed away yesterday and his death has broken many hearts but none more so than the heart he owned, his "Mom", Juli Matz. I created the image above as a tribute to him and have had it printed and sent to Juli. The base image of him was taken last August and he was trotting by looking straight at Juli not me. I think you can see the love in his eyes. He was an exceptional horse, not only obviously beautiful but so smart and full of so much personality. He will be missed. Cashy, I hope you're jumping over the clouds today.

Larger Prints-Lower Prices!


As I've heard said here in these Tennessee hills, "You can't beat that with a stick!" I'm offering larger prints for a lower price and still FREE shipping!Three Prints that I've recently added or updated and I'll be adding more over the next few days:Heavenly Light11x16 print for $26.00 and shipping is on me.Photographers call the fog atmosphere and light beams like this are called God's light. It's been several years since I clicked the shutter on this image but I still remember that amazing morning when all of the elements and the horses came together to make magic!Tenderness 11x14 inch print for $22.00 and again no charge for shipping.At the time of Danny's birth, I was very scared being a first time horse mom but this was Mouse's second foal and she had the process down pat including the bonding. This "photo montage" was created with a photo taken just two hours after Danny arrived. I think we all fell instantly in love with him but Mouse most of all. I tell the entire story of that morning in May in the description of this image on its Etsy page. It was very traumatic for me and at the same time totally joyous and amazing. Watching a new life come into the world is truly miraculous. I hope this image conveys at least a small bit of the joy and wonder we felt.Rainy Days and Mondays 11x14 inch print for $22.00An older print taken with a camera that didn't allow very large files and certainly didn't provide sharp detail but this is one print from that camera that I love just for that reason. It's almost abstract in both design with its strong contrasts which accentuate the strong lines and beautiful forms and balance of the image and only the horse's head is in sharp detail and focus while the rest of the image seems to melt into the muddied and puddled background. I guess I'm showing my age with the title;-). For those of you not born before 1972, it was a song by a brother and sister duo known as The Carpenters. He played the piano and she sang like an angel. The rest of the line went, "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down." Here's the video...enjoy! allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="420">[...]



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An oldie but goodie that I came across last night. It's made up of old shots of my sweet girl, Mousie and  a wonderful song by The Waifs, Pony.



I'm in the process of cleaning out my old workshop which has stood neglected for over six years now but sadly not empty since Steve, my husband, has been using it as his personal storage unit, haha. I'm also converting one of our bedrooms into a very nice studio space for "clean" work such as painting, drawing, and jewelry design. I know that none of those are necessarily what you'd think of as "clean" endeavors but trust me, compared to wood sculpture, they all can very much be described that way.

Still, mess, sawdust and all, I'm eager to start creating wood sculpture once again. My enthusiasm has returned and my creative juices are boiling! There are so many ideas and creatures in my head who are just leaping about trying to get out. Hopefully, the prep work will be done soon and I can start building an inventory, stock my two Etsy stores (Gray Horse Designs & S.Elkins~Folk Art,) finish my new websites (which are coming along can see an example in the post below but I've done quite a bit of tweaking since I posted that image; the pages look even better now!), and post some links on here. There will be a directory of the website which you can link to directly from this page just as you can link from any of them to here (Home, Buy, Contact, Blog/News.) There will also be a listing of "brick and mortar" stores and galleries where you can view and buy my work (I'm really excited because I've already been approached by several galleries and I plan on contacting others to see if they are interested in carrying my work.) There will be a listing of LINKS to my other blogs, Facebook pages, other websites and other outlets for my work as in sites like Zazzle and others that sell products branded with my GHD designs.

I'm really excited about all of these changes and I'll announce each one of them here as soon as they are ready to launch.

Preview of New Website


As many of you may have already notice, my website has been down since January. I haven't been in a big hurry to get it running again because I want to not only add new mediums with wood sculpture, paintings and drawings, and hand crafted jewelry but I also plan to revamp the entire site. This blog is a small example of how it will look. Here also is a mockup of the new home page which shows the layout and style of the entire site. There will be four photos representing each medium instead of the single photo shown here but I had to have a photo to get my sizes and layout right. I hope that this new sight and my new online stores will be up and running by the end of July. 



It's been a bit of dry spell but a print of this image, Olaf Contemplates, just sold over in my Etsy store,

Danny Turns Two!!


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Photo a Day


Well, maybe on the blog, it should just be one a week or the entire blog will be photos ;-).
For this beautiful Spring day, Danny's first run, May 2nd, 2010.

Facebook Updates


Yesterday was a busy day for me. It started with an escaped horse, Mouse (the original gray horse :) and ended with my tax files finally being restored after either my computer or software (still not certain which one to blame) ate an entire days worth of work. Luckily, the receipts were still sorted so I put them into the computer much faster this time and I also remembered to SAVE. In between those two adventures, I managed to design new banners for my Facebook "fan" pages. The new Timeline format allows for a personalized banner or as they call it, cover photo, at the top of each page. Tomorrow, all pages, both personal and fan, will automatically switch over to the new format so I had no time to waste or I'd have an empty spot at the top of my pages.These are the banners that I came up with for each of my business pages. I'm very pleased with all of them. What do you think?Gray Horse Designs (my base page, base businesss, that encompasses all of the others):LINK To pageSande Elkins (I wanted one that used my name so that those that only know me that way could find me.):LINKI love this photo of Django.S. Elkins ~ Folk Art (When I finally get my workshop and studio space finished, I will be adding any equine sculpture I do to my Gray Horse Designs gallery on but all other sculpture will be going into the S. Elkins ~ Folk Art gallery and will be featured on this Facebook page and accompanying blog.):LINKThe mermaid worked perfectly for the banner because of her length and I love this funky font I found to do the title. It fits to a capital T.The Tennessee Equestrian (As many of you know, this project has been in the works for a while. I hope that I can finally bring it to fruition this year with an e-zine and possibly a print version to accompany the already popular Facebook page and group, Tennessee Horse Owners and Businesses.):LINK[...]



The Christmas cards are in the storefront and ready for purchase.5x5 inch bifolds with envelope, blank inside, free personalization on the outside if desired, available in three different colors and four different paper types (I prefer the Pearle or Pearle Linen because it glistens:) come in sets of 24 for $36.oo and the shipping is FREE!Gold...personalized GreenBlueAlso available is the 5x5inch one-sided card with a scalloped edge and if you like(you can specify your preference for this option as well as color, paper and personalization at check out), a hole for hanging. These cards are available in the same colors and papers as the bi-fold above. They come in sets of 15 for $25.5o and can also be personalized for free with your name printed on the front of the card.These cards may be purchased through my store, shipping is free and they will be shipped directly from the printer to your door, usually within five business days. As stated above, you have your choice of color and paper (one preference on each per set ordered) and also the option of free personalization and/or, with the one sided, scalloped cards, a hole at the top (as shown in photo) for hanging from a ribbon as a festive decoration.Just added, this folding card with envelopes and free personalization (as illustrated in this example). 5x7 inches with a horizontal fold these come in sets of 24 for $40.oo with FREE shipping.[...]