Sunday, July 17, 2022

From Myself Two Years Ago

    July 17, 2020

Hello future me! Today is July 17, 2020. I am 13 years old, and I am a rising 7th grader. I hope that you are still collecting model horses, and making tack. Have you been to model horse shows, and/ or Breyerfest? ( I hope so! ) Right now my blog has 374 views, are you a successful tack maker? Are you still blogging? Right now I have about 20 model horses, not including the stablemates. Right now it is the coronavirus pandemic. I have been SO bored! Next year I will only be going to school two days of the week.

    Right now I ride at Mulford horse farm, do you still ride there? I have sewn one rider a jacket, and I have rerooted her hair and customized her arms. It didn't come out very well... but I hope that you customize a lot more dolls and model horses. Do you have any artist resins or peter stones? I have always wanted an artist resin, they are so pretty!

    Right now I read Braymere Custom Saddlery and Field Of Dolls Studio. I love to read about these two awesome tack makers. I want to be just like them when I grow up. Have you won any nan cards? I can't wait to go to a model horse live show. Are they as fun as they sound? 

    So that is all that I have to say. Good luck at high school! I will now set the publish date to two years from now.

13 year old Jamie Choe

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

First Day of School

      Yesterday was my first day of 8th grade. It’s really my first time in middle school as I was 100% virtual last year. My first impression of middle school, is that it’s quite hectic. There are so many people in the halls, and I have to constantly worry about what class to go to next. On the plus side, I met a lot of my old friends. The classes are also a lot more fun, especially my electives. 

My picture made it into the yearbook!

     I’m especially excited about science. I can’t wait to try some hands on experiments and learn all about animals and the world. 

     This year, my school decided not to use lockers. So I have to carry my backpack to each class and let me just say, my backpack is HEAVY! I need every book, pencil supplies, my computer, not to mention a binder for each class. 

     Even though I’ve been busy with starting school this week, I managed to make a model horse bridle. Notice anything different about it?

     I added buckle tongues! Adding buckle tongues has always been on my check list and now I’ve done it! I think from now on I’ll only use buckles with tongues as it makes tacking up much easier. (In my opinion) 

    It feels great to start off the school year with a clean slate, I can’t wait to learn new things! 


Thursday, August 19, 2021

My Busy Life

      I guess you could say that I live a very busy life. I’ve always been the kind of kid that has some kind of after school activity every day, if not twice a day. You guys don’t know this, but I have ALOT of other hobbies. I have singing lessons twice a week, cello once a week, volunteer work once a week, and math, a whopping three times a week. So I’m very busy. In fact I’m so used to being busy that whenever I don’t do anything it just feels weird.

     You also don’t know this, but I’m really into Musical theater. I’ve been in musicals (Be More Chill, Bring It On, Lion King, Big Bad Musical, and more.) so singing is a big part of my life. I love to perform, and challenge myself to learn new things. 

     Recently I won second place in two categories in the international American Protégé competition, and I’m going to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York. So yeah, I’m kind of nervous about that…

     About the math, I’ve been going to math three times a week. I like it, so it’s not that big of a deal, but it does take up a lot of time. Somehow I find time to make model horse tack! (Usually after dinner). I love making model horse stuff, it’s like my happy place. I like sitting in my quiet craft room and making whatever I want. My ears are really messed up, I’m sensitive to loud noises and lots of other things, so being in a quiet room is really calming. 

     Oh, and I have to talk about pets. Animals are a big deal to me. I’ve loved animals since I could talk, so it makes sense that I have a lot of pets. In total, my family’s has 1 dog, 2 guinea pigs, and 2 gerbils. We also always have foster animals around because I like to help out the animal shelter. I take care of all of them so it sometimes feels like doing farm chores!

My gerbils, Toasty and Cookie.

     Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. School is starting next week and I’ve been busy studying and doing other things. But I promise, I’m writing a horsey post right now!


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Those Darn Mini Roses!

    Hello! I spent ALL week crafting two tiny roses, what did you do? 

Hahahaha, so basically a few days ago my brother made some blue model horse cones. I’ve always wanted matching flowerpots, so I decided to try and create my own mini flowers. 

So what I did was mix two colors of polymer clay together until I got a perfect match. 

Then I rolled it out paper thin and used a straw to cut out tiny clay circles. 

The idea was to form the circles into little rose petals, and stick the petals together to form a rose. 

Let me just say that the YouTube videos make this look ALOT easier than it really is.

I had to make lots of tiny little petals and layer them each by hand. The polymer clay was really sticky so I had to use cornstarch. This made the clay less sticky, but it also made it not stick to itself. So I had a lot of trouble trying to dab on a bit of water to each petal to stick them together.

In the end, after days of work I was left with two tiny blue roses. Then I decided to chuck those into the trash as well. I figured that it would be MUCH easier to just buy some mini flowers instead of making them. 😂


Saturday, August 7, 2021

New Horse

      Hello! Today at LMU (the horse barn that I volunteer at) we met the newest member, Shiloh! He’s a chestnut Missouri Fox Trotter.

 He also seems to be really sweet! When I approached the paddock he walked right over and greeted me. I can’t wait to see how he is with someone riding him! This is a really funny picture of him mid-sneeze. 

Also, just a little photo of Maggie’s nose. She was getting her tail washed and braided for a dressage show!


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

3D Printed Cones

      Hello! Today I managed to convince my brother to 3D print me some model horse props. Most of you don’t know that my brother is a craft maker as well. He has his own work room where he makes resin things, wires up contraptions, and other things. Well, he has two 3D printers and today he was looking for things to print, so I suggested model horse cones! 3 dollars and a few hours later, I have my very own 3D printed cones!  

This is my brother’s craft room:

I love them so much, they even stack! I just couldn’t wait, so I had to go outside to take some pictures!

I chose blue to match the poles that I painted a while ago.

I was just playing around and taking all kinds of photos! :)

My brother and I are already talking about collaborating and selling some 3D printed things on my Etsy shop!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Again and Again

     Hello! When it comes to the model horse hobby (or any hobby in general) you’re going to run into issues. Trial and error is just a way of learning! I know that in the past, I’ve faces SO many problems! I remember when I was so dedicated to learning how to sew that I would sit in my craft room and sew for AGES! My family would only see me at meal times, but other than that I would be sewing. There were many times I felt like just throwing everything down and quitting. 

     Developing my saddle pattern was so much work! It’s awfully hard to create a saddle pattern from scratch when you can’t remember what an English saddle looked like. I had to sit down and fully study the parts of a saddle so that I could just sketch out a pattern. And let me just tell you, it was not easy. I would try to construct an entire saddle, but something would always go wrong. The saddle flap would be too big or small, or the girth was too short. So I would start all over again. I probably made about 5 different saddles before I was remotely satisfied with it. I wish I had kept my failed saddle attempts, but most of them are in the trash or in my backyard. (I put them in a time capsule.)

An old buckle that I made out of a paper clip.

My first attempt at a girth.

     A BIG problem that I had with my saddles was the bulk. I tried many different ways of reducing it. But I found that skiving makes a big difference. I also learned how to create a saddle tree that reduced bulk as well. In the photo below, you can see the difference. It may not look like much but in the model horse world, it is.

     Another thing that took lots of trial and error was my saddle pads. When I first saw a mini saddle pad I thought, hmm that doesn’t look too hard. But boy, was I wrong. Sewing the saddle pad itself is easy, the really hard part is the edging to go around the outside. Keep in mind that I had no idea how to function a sewing machine, so first thing I had to do was watch videos on how to use a sewing machine!

These were all of my failed saddle pad attempts. 

Some have terrible stitch work,

Some have uneven sides,

I even tried to glue the edging on! (That did not work, it made them Rock solid.)

     Starting something new is always challenging, you never know where to start. If you keep on trying again and again the things you make or do will always improve. I mean they can’t get worse, right? For example look at my saddle pads now compared to my old prototypes!

While my tack can always get better, I’ve come a long way! I guess the point of this post is to encourage you to keep on trying and don’t give up! Learning is a hard thing especially when you don’t know where to start. Also know that everybody makes mistakes! Nobody makes something perfect every time!