Comancheria Days

What a sensational weekend with the Texican Rangers for Comancheria Days 2018, Texas State Championships.

Thursday was met with fine and glorious weather. We shot 4 stages of Wild Bunch and then cowboy side matches including the ever entertaining 'Blazing Saddles'.

Jack finished 8th overall in Wild Bunch and I was 15th overall.

Friday we were on the late shift and the weather again proved to be fairly warm with a moderate breeze. Shooting stages 7, 8, 9, 10, then 6. It was all over and both Jack and I had finished clean for the day.

 

Catch ups, drinks and eating BBQ dinner at the range that night with side matches. It was still quite warm and there was a good turn out.

I won a few side matches and decided that even sharing with Jack, I didn't need all the cups I won. My new little mate, Givem Hale was going to get one when I saw him Saturday. That kid just pulled at my heart strings for sure!

 

Our shooters on Posse 14, made up of none other than Tex, Cat Ballou, Chee-ee, Toothache, Texas Mac, Texas Flower, Brett Cantrell, Wild Sage, Ramblin Rose, Mad Dog Too, Ranger Tays, Abilene, Little Bowly, our Posse Marshal – Bootstrap Richard, Mysterious Mc Rae, my new little gem – Givem Hale, Jackaroo and myself. Thanks to Mindy (Givem's Mom) for keeping score for us all weekend!

At times I have attracted 'small gems' as I like to phrase it and Friday when I heard this sweet little voice ask Tex (and you really couldn't get any better than one of the youngest asking one of the founding SASS members!!!!) 'is this Posse 14 sir?' And Tex obliging in telling him it was and if sure was to be on it then he had found the right place. To which an answer of 'yes sir I am' followed.

My head spun and my heart did a backflip when I heard it and I headed over to say hello and find out just how old this little man was. He is 8! Givem Hale is his alias, I love it! and all the while we spoke he had his hat off across his chest and it was yes ma'am, no ma'am, pleased to meet you and all. That kid had me wrapped around his little finger straight away. ❤

I went back and told Jack how sweet he was and headed straight back over to give him an Australian hat pin, his first on his new hat. Might I add right now, Givem has only been shooting for 4 and a half weeks and I think everyone on our posse was amazed at how this young man was shooting his .32 pistols, a .22 rifle and ….. Wait for it…. A 20 gauge single shot shotgun. We were all in awe!

 

We were into it on Day 2, with a stiff cool 20mph wind hitch seemed to get colder as we progressed through stages 2, 3, 4, 5 and back to 1 before the sun decided to come out and stay out. However, we were much better off (extremely!) than those that decided to attend the Nebraska State match!

 

Jack had a few unfortunate events during this half of the match and I finished strong with a clean match. It was now up to score tally's to see where we placed overall.

 

The banquet was held at the Lady Bird Johnson Pavillion, costume contests were held and awards presented. Congratulations to all who entered and those who placed, there were some great costumes and many good stories. (I'm still giggling about Scarlett Mascara and Rhett Valet!! Very clever Hawkshaw Fred and Annie D Vine with your skit!)

It was on to prize drawings, giveaways and awards! To everyone that participated I hope it was the match you were wanting and you finished well.

Jack finished 6th in his category, congratulations to his fellow Silver Senior competitors, 9th , 8th , 7th , 5th , 4th , 3rd , 2nd and in 1st place and the 2018 Texas State Champion – Aberdeen.

 

Congratulations to all my fellow Lady Wrangler competitors. In 4th Okie Fenokie, 3rd and the 2018 Texas State Champion is One Chance Fancy, 2nd Misty Moonshine and 1st was myself.

 

I finished 1st lady overall and 6th overall from 318 shooters. Was very happily surprised to hear my name in the top 10!

Jack was also awarded 1st overall out of state champion at 36th place, so he was pretty pleased that we were able to have a photo together.

 

Congratulations to the 2018 Texas State Champion's – 1st overall men's Matt Black and for the ladies Panhandle Cowgirl.

 

A huge thank you to the Texican Rangers for hosting another fabulous Comancheria Days!

Kat xo

 

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Port Neches – Beaumont, TX

We spent the day with a leisurely breakfast, fresh air and sunshine before taking a ride with Texas Mac and Texas Flower, first via Nederland and Tex Ritter Park, then to Cowboy Harley Davidson and on to Gladys City.

 

Spindletop – the first place oil was discovered in Texas. So named for the small bursts of escaping gas that rose, ghost like from the ground and appeared like spinning tops.

The actual gusher was called the Lucas Gusher which is actually situated across the highway from the reproduction on the Lamar University grounds. The reproduction gushes water during re-enactments and other celebrations.

 

Here on the University grounds sits the small replica town of Gladys City, representing businesses from the 1901 boomtown. The man behind the plans for this “industrial utopia”, Pattillo Higgins, never actually saw his dream realised. As the news of the oil strike spread, buildings seemed to spring up over night in a haphazard fashion for the workers and their families, in a seemingly unorganised vision of what Higgins intended.

The original town had no saloon, for he and especially his wife, were involved in the temperance movement. Stella Higgins wanted no part of any drinking, gambling or prostitution within town limits. Of course saloons did exist further on the outskirts of town where I'm sure many an oil man may have squandered some or much money on these pleasures.

Mac and Flower are involved with re-enactments of this part of history in their town. Whilst the reproduction Gladys City does have a saloon, it is often changed into a tea room during these shows where high tea, fan etiquette, and discussion about the temperance movement can be participated in.

When Spindletop (Lucas gusher) first gushed in 1901, it did so for 9 days before being capped. During that time an estimated 800,000 barrels oil were lost.

 

The buildings depicted within the city are – Walkenshaw Steelworks, Barber Shop, R.C. Grinnell's Log Cabin Saloon, Guffey Texas Post Office, A.L. Gibson's Dry Goods Store, General Store & Living Quarters, Beaumont Oil Exchange, Edgerton's Photography Studio, T.A. Lamb & Son Printers, Gladys City Drug Store, Gladys City Oil Gas & Manufacturing Co., Nelson & White Engineers, Southern Carriage Works, Broussard's Livery Stable and the Lucas Gusher Monument.

 

There are many artefacts within each of the buildings and is worth a quick little visit and walk through history.

 

After a quick bite at Depot Hamburgers it was back to the house for the men to take a nap and a quick spot of sewing.

This evening we went to Port Neches Wheelhouse Restaurant. A popular waterfront restaurant and tiki type bar huts that seemed to be well patronised for a Tuesday night.

 

The barges, tugs and later a ship came through the river access. When the ships come in the bell at the bar is rung and there are half price 'ship shots'! A blue concoction of vodka, gin, rum and something but surprisingly was pretty good!

 

So the views were great! The food spectacular!

 

Jack and I thank you Mac and Flower for an interesting and exceptional evening. Actually, a fabulous day!

Kat xo

 

Mountain Lion, Horse and Dog

What on earth could these three things have in common?

I'm glad you asked, oh you didn't? Haa Haa, well I do have a little story about them and it all started with a request from Lil Magill for her next interesting B-Western costume.

This time Lil had found a vintage 1940's brown gaberdine shirt and skirt featuring, you guessed it, a black mountain lion, dog and horse with a chenille palm tree like detail.

After discussions about changes of colour etc we decided to keep it to the original as close as possible.

 

I set to finding fabric similar to the original and during this quest for fabric, trim and snaps, Lil's brother John contacted me wanting to have this for her Christmas present. I'm sure she was presently surprised!

Now, around the time of initiating the project Jack and I were actually visitin with Texas Mac and Texas Flower. Flower and I were deep in conversation of the outfit and we both wondered as to the unusual grouping of the dog, horse and mountain lion.

As enquiring minds tend to do, I threw it into a Google search and to our surprise (and now this presents a whole new surprise to Lil. SURPRISE!! 🙂 ) I found a 1957 Golden Book – Roy Rogers and the Mountain Lion.

I could not believe my luck! I bought it straight away as a gift for Lil to go with her costume. The book itself other than some minor foiling missing on the spine does not appear to have ever been read. There are no creases in the pages, no writing in the 'This book belongs to' section and is in excellent condition.

 

Now I could get into the costume and get cracking. Eventually I found suitable mountain lion, horse and dog embroidery designs that I could then spend time changing colours and getting it to look close to the original.

 

The embroidery floss chain stitch detail was to follow and I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself at how it's coming together.

 

Finding the right fringe proved again to be an interesting feat so I purchased a longer version and spent time cutting it back to the required length. I eventually found the black snaps required. (actually should have been brown but as Mum says 'a blind man on a galloping horse wouldn't see it')

 

I altered the usual cuff pattern to make up similar to the original and was very pleased with how this turned out. It's all coming together nicely!

Next to last was the fringing and it looked terribly long, checking my measurements and a quick message to Lil meant 4 inches needed to come off! Unpick the fringe, cut, stitch and reapply.

Finally the hand stitching was completed and the snaps are on and the 'Roy Rogers' inspired outfit is ready for sending!

So looking forward to seeing you wear this one Lil!

 

Cheers and stitches!

Kat xo

 

When In Texas….

It's go bold, go big or go home! Lol!

So here I present the 'I Love Texas' outfit that I made for Pistol Packin' Pami.

You would have seen it boldly worn at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix at Winter Range 2018! (Tuesday over there)

Others desiring this similar theme were a little disappointed when I said I couldn't do a corset for them because 'somebody else' was already getting it.

Pami wanted a Texas flag corset incorporated with blue bonnets and the main part to be like the flag. We put our heads together and came up with the star embroidered on the blue, the red and white on the left as per the flag – perfect – and at the back the two middle sections would be white and feature the Texas state flower, the Bluebonnet. (The 'lupinus texensis' the bluebonnet was adopted as the official state flower by the Texas legislature in 1901)

 

Pami, being a colourful character who I treasure, loves colour and so we went with a red top with a small blue and a white frill in a style she is familiar with.

 

Her flamenco styled skirt in red features a blue frill with white embroidered stars, the white frill has a smaller version of the blue bonnets and a plain red frill – see where I went with that? Keeping it in similar order to the flag itself.

 

With, of course, a quick little headpiece to boot!

 

The final product and one very happy cowgirl! You look amazing my friend, can't wait to see more photos of you in this outfit on range.

 

Somebody please post more pic's on Facebook so I can see it in all her glory!

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

 

Mary-Lou Does Christmas!

As Mary-Lou July reminisced with her 'sista' Mary-Lou June this week, both still separated by continents, she bugged the hell out of me about getting out again.

So I sent Mary-Lou July with Jack to the Ten Horns this weekend. She was so excited to go visit for their Christmas shoot and party. I hoped she would be on her best behaviour but as always with Mary-Lou July, life IS like a box of chocolates and you never know which one you're gonna get – more than likely the nutty one!

 

She had me make her a new costume especially. I wasn't exactly thrilled about the 'cat' fur she decided she wanted but with the addition of 4 bells she found (don't ask), I guess she is ready for anything. At least the Ten Horns might have a chance of hearing her coming before they get to endure the nonsense.

Jack being a good sport, took his antlers she found for him (no reindeer were hurt during this process and they definitely aren't Rudolph's!) and they headed out early this morning.

The Texas Ten Horns had a good turn out of 61 shooters on a glorious sun shiney day. It was so good to see Smokin' Limey out and about too even though she wasn't shooting! And Pistol Packin' Pami, so glad you came and hung out with them on the posse.

 

The afternoon followed 6 great stages with their Christmas party! What a hoot!, gifts going in all directions! Buckles and conchos given to the clubs top hands, overall yearly champs and so on. Congratulations to Hillside Hannah and Dirt Hill Bill for overall club championship points winners!

 

Mary-Lou July was over the moon with her first shooting match, Jack said she had taken on some good tips from me and she managed to finish 5th overall yesterday and 1st overall today. Thanks to the RO's for putting up with the antics and silly lines she started with.

 

Jack finished 14th overall on Saturday and 7th overall today. Good one Jack!

She probably won't be back but thanks for bearing with her!! It's all good fun but I can't subject her to folks too many times, lol!

Merry Christmas!

Kat xo

P.S. A very special thanks to Hairtrigger Hayes and One Chance Fancy for hosting our stay Saturday night. Was a great night chit-chatting, we will definitely do it again. Love and hugs to you both.

 

Into The Woods

…lf you go down in the woods today, you better go in disguise……

Well this wasn't no nursery rhyme and you might say we were in disguise….if you call a weekend away in 'normal' clothes, disguise! Haa haa!

What a great weekend of down time spent with our very good friends Texas Mac and Texas Flower at their little ranch and I do say little with tongue in cheek.

It might be a cosy little old farm house but their surrounding 'woods' as Flower calls it, is not so little at all!

We arrived Thursday to a warm afternoon. Still in shorts and tshirts we were able to enjoy Margarita's on the deck before enjoying steaks from the grill – a revamped, repurposed old wood stove!

 

Friday morning it had turned chilly, so suitably dressed, the four of us ventured (on the ATV) out after a hearty breakfast into the woods, checking Mac's hog traps, learning of the history of the property, checking out the cows and looking for deer.

 

Now Tinder or e-Harmony has nothing on Scrapings! The dating service for deer. (I learnt this on our little exploration) Bucks will rub glands under their eyes against an over hanging branch along a path, scrape the ground clear and urinate in the middle of the spot. Doe's will come through and if so inclined, will follow the trail to the Buck. We saw many scrapings along the way through all Mac's trails.

 

After visits to old house sites, Mac's storage, to me was just a divine old run down house with spectacular timbers, (Thought of Bertie Winchester and her woodworking but that's another story to follow) we then headed down to the pond and back around to the house for late lunch.

 

The afternoon followed with chatting about costuming and the men folk doing a bit of shooting in the back yard. Flower and I eventually ventured out to see what they were up to and tested out the new .22 rifle and had a go at shooting outlaw!

 

Soon it was time for Margarita's although we didn't spend too much time outside this evening.

Baseball and more costuming chats ensued after dinner.

Saturday, after breakfast we took a trip into Coldspring. It's Trades Day which is a weekend of markets with anything from handcrafted items, homegrown cosmetic creams, quilts, jewellery, horseshoe items, you name it. We walked the stores around the square of which almost all of them are still the original buildings and marked historical.

 

We lunched at 'The Mason Jar' and headed to the historic jail and hanging tree. Being Halloween, the jail was not open to the public unfortunately, and I hear it still has the original trap door and hanging rope in there but it is set up as a haunted house for people to visit of an evening.

 

A quick stop at the store and we headed to a friend of Mac and Flower's who has an awesome collection of Roy Rogers, John Wayne and other western memorabilia. Thank you to Wayne and his daughter Gail for allowing us to come visit his own little 'museum' and showing us his wife, Barbara's antiques and her special pieces in their home. Wayne was such a fan of Roy Rogers that he had actually got to meet him as well and we were able to pour through his photo albums and marvel at all the pieces he had collected over time. Really appreciated that visit!

So a much cooler evening made it necessary for the chimenea to be lit if we were going to enjoy the fresh woods air and margaritas outside. It was now down around 50F.

 

We ate dinner inside but later went back out to enjoy our first S'mores experience!! You heard it right, we had not had S'mores before and I for one was not leaving no matter how cold it was, or how full I was from dinner, without experiencing one. Funny thing! Jack hadn't even roasted a marshmallow on an open fire!?! So firsts all round!

 

What a great weekend with the Butler's in their little slice of country heaven. It was great to be able to spend more than a few hours with you both.

Kelli xo