Where The Big Kids Play

Haa haa haa, Jack and I are headed for Universal Studios today for fun in the sun.

Looking forward to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter of course! Having been a fan of HP since reading to the kids when they were younger (we would get the new book and all read together so no one had to wait on the other one to finish reading it first!), it is definitely a must see.

After a bus trip in reasonable LA traffic we made it to the park and were able to get through easily and quickly.

We headed for Harry Potter World first, visiting the 9 3/4 platform for Hogwarts and on to the ride. Wow! Even Jack thoroughly enjoyed the ride and he hasn’t even seen the movies or knows the books!

From there it was through the park and to the lower lot, hitting the Jurassic Park ride with its 84ft drop off the waterfall and then the Transformers 3D ride. Sensational!

We saw the special effects show, the animal actors and the Waterworld show was spectacular! Heaps of special effects and stunts.

We lucked it at every turn, getting straight onto rides or very short waits. The place was packed enough and it’s not even peak season.

Phew! What an awesome day!

Smile! You’re on camera!

Kat xo

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And We’re Off

Had a casual afternoon at the Will Rogers World Airport only to have our flight (leg 1) delayed to Phoenix.

Eventually it’s boarding, time, the plane is packed and people assume there is goi h to be space for them not to have anyone sit between them.

Think again sunshine! Plane is packed, Jack and I are split up for this leg.

Thank you for flying Southwest this evening and we apologize again for the delay.

Kat xo

Australia Day

26th January indicates Australia Day, a day off, a long weekend full of beaches, barbies, drinks, games, fireworks and concerts.

During community events and reenactments, citizenship and awards ceremonies take place along with Australian of the Year.

It officially marks the landing of the First Fleet in 1788. I don't recall thisduring history lessons at school but apparently they saw it necessary to go and form a penal colony in the then, New Holland, after the loss of the Thirteen Colonies in North America. So Australia got all the convicts (yes, I descend from one)! Haa haa haa.

Anyway I'm not giving a full history lesson today. Whatever you decide to do for Australia Day, I hope it's a good one and let me know who gets Australian of the Year.

 

Cheers big ears! Onya mate! Break out the esky, thongs and the terry towelling hat! Throw another shrimp on the barbie and have a lamb cutlet!

Kat xo

For our American friends –

Glossary:

  • Cheers big ears – an Aussie salutation when having a beer
  • Onya mate – slang for 'good on you mate', mate – friend
  • Esky – NZ, chilly bin, US, cooler
  • Thongs – you wear on your feet, flip flops
  • Barbie – not a doll, short for barbecue

 

 

 

 

How Many?

Apparently 6 stages, lunch and a 20minute car ride re-watching the days shooting videos, only to see a steel bone sticking up out of the back of your corset!! Haa haa haa and yes there were others there – 19 in total!

 

The weather was a little windy and overcast but a hell of a lot warmer than in previous weeks.

 

Sunday we headed to Cushing for the club match. Stages were fast with plenty of movement and a good variation of single tap and multi tap sequences.

 

Jack shot a really good match ending up with just less than a second between us with my stuff ups for the day. Keeping me on my toes he is!

 

Hope you had a great weekend and are into another fabulous week!

Kat xo

 

Here’s Yer Sign!!

Well, this is a sign to behold. One of the secret squirrel projects prior to Christmas was a special request from Texas Jack Daniels.

The idea was for a pack down prop to be put up outside their RV when on ranges across the nation. Many cowboy's distinguish their spots by flags, lights, signs etc and this one is sure going to let you know that you have arrived at Texas Jack Daniels (TJD) and Shotglass' camp.

The requirements: a gambler, a saloon girl, the Texas flag, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a shot glass, their aliases and should measure around 3ft tall by 4ft wide when assembled. Okay! Let this brain get thinking a little and see what I can come up with.

After a short time of contemplation and use of a couple of actual photos of TJD and Shotglass, I sent through my thoughts for approval. Next I drew it out on timber and we were under way!

Stage 1: drawing the design on the timber, took me a long time to draw the saloon girl face, (anything else but face's is my usual thought)

 

Stage 2: cutting, sanding (yes, did it myself, she wouldn't have had feathers on her boa otherwise)

 

As TJD was keen to see it to completion with photos to give Shotglass for Christmas, I cracked on.

Stage 3: black – everything I do for props starts with a black base coat. Saloon walls, gambler hat, saloon girl feathers, background between her arms and carpet

 

Stage 4: saloon walls first

 

Stage 5: working on the saloon doors, layer by layer

 

Stage 6: adding a bit of Texas flair, keeping the louvre door look happening, more shading and hinges

 

Stage 7: aliases (hmm taking a look at the aliases now, I see a flaw that I may have to rectify. The aliases are flat and by saying that I mean if you look where some of the letters flow from flat timber to louvre – should be shadow)

 

Now fixed!

Total layers: timber walls 6 layers , saloon doors 7 layers, aliases 3 layers.

As each day drew to an end I would send TJD a number of photographs of the progress.

Always starting from the background first it was onto the gambler. Depending on where it was at and if waiting on paint to dry, then I would switch over to the saloon girl or add more detail if I thought a section needed more.

Stage 9: onto the carpet for both

 

Stage 10: the table in the background was next. My original thought was to have the gambler holding the bottle and still hadn't quite worked out the shot glasses. The photo had a table in it and so became the perfect idea to include it for the bottle and shot glass.

Stage 11: boots and pants

 

Stage 12: saloon skirt, boa, gloves, hair feathers – we both decided red would be a great colour to make this pop, besides, it is one of Shotglass favourite colour's also.

 

Stage 13: whiskey bottle and shot glass, saloon girls legs

 

Stage 14: more shading to gambler boots and saloon skirt

 

Stage 15: black base to saloon girl boots, apron front of skirt and gambler vest

 

Stage 16: continue shading saloon girl skirt, boa and apron front. Stripes, buttons and chain to gambler vest with additional shading.

 

Moving right along into another day and I'm starting to get to finer details on some areas.

Stage 17: let's add some gimp trim and fringing to the apron front and black in the fan.

 

Stage 18: detail to boots, eyelets, hooks, laces and detail the fan

 

Stage 19: flick back to the gambler and it's time to do the cane and hands, black in the corset and bust of the saloon girl

 

Stage 20: skin layers take time

 

Stage 21: black in the gambler coat and start shading

 

Another new day dawns and I'm still thinking about how to give the corset more detail rather than just a colour.

Stage 22: add red shading to corset, black in hair

 

Stage 23: she needs jewellery – draw, black in, shade more to corset, shading to gambler coat arms, cravat and tie pin, add colour to necklace, draw in lace pattern to corset.

Stage 24: shade jewellery, paint lace and shade corset. Tie pin, collar and cuffs, hatband

 

Stage 25: do both their hair, shadowing to gambler hat, and face skin tone

 

Stage 26: moustache and eyes to gambler, fringe, earrings, facial features to saloon girl (starting to sweat now, really want to get this face right)

 

Stage 27: more shading to facial features to both, hat shadow to face of gambler, touch ups where required.

Stage 28: stand back and admire my own handy work. Loved working on this piece!

 

Stage 29: lacquer! Now the colours really pop!!

 

Stage 30: assembled

 

Stage 31: brackets and posts – thanks to Jack for working out a better solution of my half baked idea.

 

Total layers: Gambler – carpet 5, table 5, bottle and glasses 6, boots 4, coat 5, cane 4, vest 6, pants 3, hair 5, hat 5, tie 7, face 10.

Total layers: Saloon Girl – carpet 5, boa 5, gloves 3, skirt 7, corset 8, fan 4, boots 5, hair 6, face and skin 10.

A total of 39.5 hours later over a period of days, this is what we finally have!

The photos don't do it justice and I think they will be more than ecstatic when they finally have it in real life, come Land Run, when it will make its initial appearance on range.

That was a fun piece!

Cheers! Kat xo

 

Vaquero

I've been procrastinating a little on this one but finally worked out what I was going to do and got it done.

The order was for a vaquero jacket but 'I don't want it shiny! I want it to look worn in' was the request. Okay……so I had to start thinking dyeing and distressing, shouldn't be a problem.

Eventually I found the right colour fabric we were after in a sturdy medium.

I sourced a braid that goes really well with it and different to other soutache braids I had been working with previously. This worked extremely well with the curves I needed. It's a little coarser than the usual soutache but worked well for this project.

I wanted to include some sort of studs or riveting this time but thinking of the 'non shiny' scenario, it was back to the Internet to look at techniques for distressing nickel.

One hundred, shiny nickel rivets spent a good 2 hours soaking in some vinegar, then tipped that off, didn't seem to do anything.

 

Next step, hydrogen peroxide and salt! Holy cow, don't want to leave it in that too long unless you want stuff completely rusted! I think I did that for a bout 15mins maximum getting the desired result.

 

In the meantime, it was time to put the pieces together. Chalk pouncing (well baby powder in this case) and drawing up the designs with chalk. I could now get on with pinning and stitching the braid in place.

 

Next came the lining and something didn't look right. Well actually it wasn't looking right before that and I had kept going back to the pattern trying to work out where I'd gone wrong. Finally the light bulb goes off! Thankfully nothing major and nothing that a quick unpick/seam ripper, a pair of scissors, a different pattern piece couldn't fix! AND it didn't involve redoing the braid. Phew!

 

Everything is now together and it's onto the riveting. Yee haw looking fantastic! Hand sewing to the hem done. Frogs made, stitched on and my special silver buttons that I gave up to this project.

 

I love it but it's still too 'shiny' so taking a scrap piece I start playing with bleach to trying get some areas to take on a sun damaged effect. Different strengths appear to not have made a scrap of difference to the overall colour. So this morning I mixed a sprayable mix of white and cream acrylic paint to simulate some sweat marks.

 

I'm going to have to play more with this procedure. Stay tuned!

Kat xo

 

That’ll be the day!

Said John Wayne as Ethan Edwards in “The Searchers” (1956) and that's exactly what I thought when Petticoat Parker asked if I'd seen any John Wayne inspired fabric.

'Whoa, take 'er easy there pilgrim' I thought (John Wayne as Tom Doniphon in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)) I've never seen any John Wayne fabric but I sure was going to see if I could find anything like it for her.

I did! To my wonder and surprise Spoonflower had two designs featuring John Wayne. So therefore, Petticoat Parker's corset, matching reticule and Red River Raider's matching arm bands came to be!

Now if you haven't kept up with what's going on here, in a months time, Winter Range begins and this year the theme is John Wayne movies. So I just had to find fabric appropriate for her gear.

'Slap some bacon on a biscuit and let's go! We're burnin' daylight!' – as Wil Anderson in “The Cowboys” (1972). They are done and already in her hot little hands!

 

Wish I could be there but keep your eye out for these little beauties on the range in Phoenix! Go check out Winter Range, at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility Feb19th-25th, 2018. 700 or more shooters, Fastdraw and Mounted Shooting included.

 

Kat xo