Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tack tip: wrapping tassels

So I’ve been back from Scotland for a few days, and I have done nothing but making tassels for my first costume and a couple of presentation sets. While I was making the 873th tassel or so, it occurred to me that my way of wrapping tassels might be different from how other tack makers wrap theirs. I know there are many good tutorials out there on how to make tassels, like the one by Jennifer Wilson on Model Horse Blab. But wanted to show you how I make my tassels, in case it’s helpful to understand the process. So here is a mini tutorial on how to wrap tassels using my technique.

I start by cutting a length of string in the same colour (or a colour close to) as my tassels will be. I then cut bits of floss a little longer than twice the length I want the tassel to be. (You can also make tassels from silk or sewing thread, but since these will have microbeads on them I use floss because they stick better to that).

Next I place the floss in the middle of the thread, and double-knot it.

Then I cut a length of the thread that will wrap around the tassel – in this case bordeaux red. I then make a loop with the red thread as shown in the picture.

When the loop is securely around the tassel, I pull on both ends and knot it again. Make sure that the short bit of red thread is pointing in the direction of the blue thread, and the long bit down towards the tassel!

I then wrap the long end of the red thread around the tassel (about 5 times), making sure that the short end of the red thread is underneath the ‘wrappings’.

Next I thread the long end through a small needle and push the needle underneath the wrapped bit as seen in the photo.

I pull the needle through and give both ends of the red thread a tug to tighten the wrapped bit.

Then just trim off the excess red thread on both sides and you’re done!

This method creates nice, durable tassels, and you can’t see any knots! I hope this was helpful to some of you 🙂

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Posting from Scotland

The past 4 days I have been staying in the beautiful Scottish countryside in a place called Inverbervie. I also visited the town of Dundee, and tried lots of local food specialties (who knew beans go really well with eggs and toast?!).


The trip was planned around one single BIG goal: climbing the tallest mountain in Scotland, the Ben Nevis – and coming back down alive. So we set out at 3 in the morning, drove for a couple of hours, and started walking at 7am.

Beautiful sunrise while driving to Ben Nevis

The start of the 16km long path

Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain in the UK at 1.345 km (4400+ feet) high. It was a real struggle getting to the top, but the people walking with me were great company and the views from the summit were absolutely worth every bit of muscle pain!

The aches in my legs will go away eventually (ha, I hope!), but I will forever remember the fantastic feeling I got when reaching the top!

Starting my first costume

Today I decided it was time to start working on my first ever full Arabian costume! It will be a native-themed costume in black and blue, with lots of tassels and cowries.

I started out by sculpting the seat for the costume in Apoxie Sculpt. So I wrapped my poor PS Arab named Bakarat in some clear plastic foil to protect him from the clay

saddle tree_001

He’s looking a bit worried here

And then continued to pile up Apoxie until the seat was shaped properly.

I then waited for the clay to dry… *3 hours later* And with a bit of sanding and touching up in some places, the seat is now complete!

Later today I will hop by the local hobby store to get some black felt, beads, and other sewing supplies that I’ll need to make this costume.

New designs

A few days ago I started some new halters with new designs. The yellow one is a simplified version of a native halter. This type of halter can be used in the showring since it’s a nice dash of colour, but it’s not overwhelmingly decorated. This one was fun to make too! I want to make another one in blue to keep for myself.
The blue halter was an experiment. It’s basically a simple beaded halter that adjusts with sliding beads. I’m still finding the best way to weave the beads into the halter but it looks nice enough for now.

 

Finished native halters

Today I made the cowries for the two native halters I was working on. They turned out great, and both will be put up for sale on MH$P.

The black halter:

And the red halter:

Neither of the halters is adjustable in length, but surprisingly they both fit on the  PSA and Breyer PAM. Apparently their heads a pretty similar in size. Seeing the red halter on my PS Arab kind of makes me want to keep it…

red & black native_001

I will place links to their MH$P ads soon 🙂

~Amy

Inspiration

Searching ‘Arabian show halters’ on Google images turns up hundreds of results. Many of those beautiful halters and presentation sets I can only dream of making in mini scale, but some I aspire to recreate someday. Below are some pictures of what inspires me (none were taken by me).

 

 

I can even say that I’m working on recreating one of the above halters right now… But that’s for another blog post.

~Amy

Late night progress

Yesterday I started two native halters, one in red and one in black.

 

I worked until late that night finishing up the tassels on the red one as well (it has tassels with microbeads so that took me a while).

red native_004

The red halter now has a set of 2 throatlatches too – one with tassels and a plain one. You can change the throatlatch depending on how fancy you want to make the halter.

I’m hoping that today my new set of Sculpey clays arrives so I can start making cowries and other decorations. With that set also come silver and gold clay, so I’m excited to try those out!

 

~Amy