Friday, April 22, 2011

The post in which I try to catch up on the past four weeks...

Where to begin? While I can not fully agree with Mr. Eliot that April is the cruelest month, I can say it's been quite a bear--fierce with some cuddly overtones. Project Embroidery!!! as I will hereby call it consumed the final few weeks of March and the first 8 days of April. My lovely friend, Pam, who is an exceptional fiber artist and generous teacher (remember those quilting lessons back in the summer? Well, I do, and that was all Pam.) agreed to collaborate with me on a weekly embroidery project way back in February. The original goal was to teach kids simple embroidery skills and to make an item (or items) that could be auctioned off at our school's annual silent auction in April. By April 7, we had made 6 large wall hangings encompassing the work of 110 kids and about 10 adults. There were several very long days and nights toward the end, but it was worth it! The experience was awesome for both us and the kids, and the pieces are/were/always will be AMAZING! And they were the biggest hit at the gala raking in almost $900 total. Here are some photos of the project and the wall piece I nabbed.

Just to illustrate how enthralled I became with the embroidery project, here's me jump judging at Morven Park...yep, while stitching on the binding of one of the pieces :)

I can't thank Pam enough for leading this project with me, and I am so excited to continue working together (hint- embroidery might be making an appearance in my final jewelry project).

As for jewelry (duh-dum), my class will be ending in less than two weeks, and I have no idea how I am going to finish everything. My second project, a pollinator locket for lack of a better name, was seconds away from being completed when the tubing for the swivel hinge snapped as I was setting the rivet. I know that sounds like gibberish to you, but it basically means I have to remake part of the piece with the looming threat that it could fall apart in a worse way. Oh goody. EEK! And it was so close to being finished! I only have photos of the component parts as they were a few weeks ago, but here you go:

I'll begin my final piece, a reliquary, this weekend; here's to better jewelry luck this time!

I put my class work on hold for a few days to make the following pieces for the aforementioned auction held by my school; they were very well received and I was sad to part with them. That's success in my book :)

Pollinators take the stage again, this time as rivets.

My second attempt at a cut-out piece: GSB are the initials of our school, and the leaf is our mascot of sorts :)

Terrible photo but all I have! These earrings are domed circles made of a marriage of metals.

On the horse front, Caesar has been going very well (very soundly!) for almost three weeks now. We have had several good flat sessions and a much better than expected jump lesson in the past two weeks, and I am feeling pretty hopeful about where we are. Unlike the past few times when he was lame, I feel like we came back strong and refreshed, and I did not loose a ton of knowledge or feel for the ride. Yea! Today we had a lovely little bareback hack followed by some nice flatwork in the ring (despite the sleet. Sleet in late April! Maybe it is the cruelest...).

I also had the chance to ride Megan's horse, Wyatt; while we often ride together we rarely ride each other's horses, and it had been over a year since I had sat on Wyatt. I have watched his progress quite closely so it was awesome to sit on him and see how far he has come. For reference, Wyatt is Perch/TB cross just coming 6. He was bred to be a field hunter, and he definitely shines on the xc course, but he has the build of a large fancy warmblood and the movement to match. Megan has worked tremendously hard to bring the big guy around, and it shows! Today, he reminded me of a Baroque horse in the making. His walk is so big that he literally swings your hips inches forward with every step. It was a treat to ride him, but it was work. I commend anyone who rides large sport horses especially young, green and large sport horses; it takes a lot of strength and correct timing of the aides to say the least! Hopefully Megan and I will be out schooling xc soon, and I will get some photos!

Here's hoping the rain ends soon, and we can get out on the trails. Caesar seems so pleased to be back in work, and I know we would both enjoy some trotting on the trails. In other news, Mike and I are enjoying our spring break with a little traveling (Ithaca and the Fingerlakes) and lots of reading. It looks like the reading will continue to be the pastime of choice as the rain continues, but that's not such a bad thing! Enjoy your weekend wherever you are!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Alright already

I have developed a seriously bad habit of making lists of things to blog about every two weeks or so then letting the lists get so long that I find myself too exhausted or too intimidated to write an all encomposing blog post when the time arises (which is usually around 11:30 at night on a weekday when I should be in bed:). Added to that is my desire to included photos of my current jewelry projects, and seeing as how I rarely upload photos from my camera to our laptop, this task is not so easy to achieve. So it's time for the roadblocks to be torn down. I have time for a very brief update, and that's whay I'll write!

I am ecstatic to report that Caesar is sound AND doing marvelously well. We have been back in the saddle for 10 days and each of our rides has been very good, much better than I could have expected. We took the first few rides very easy and light with only a bit of trot and lots of walking, but still he felt very stretchy and super happy to be going again. He has already put on a some weight since being back under saddle confirming that when he is out of work, he drops the pounds (wish that were the case for me!) As Margot put it, he is a bit of a worrier when he is unsound, and indeed, he does seem to be in very good spirits these days! Our trot work is going very well, and Margot has been really helping me adjust my position and be more effective, especially in the weak leg (ahem, especially, especially that left leg) department. I love seeing the progress I can make when I correct my body. Canter transitions are still an issue, but we had some very good ones Monday. Yesterday was a challenge because we had to ride in the indoor (which I am somewhat afraid of, apparently) and with an audience. ouch. But such is the life of sporting with horses. I've been doing lots of thinking as well as some journaling about sports psychology, specifically my tendancy to be chicken s*** about doing things that make me anxious (like transitioning to the canter; the canter I love, it's getting from trot to canter that I fail at). More on that later.

The embroidery project my friend Pam and I had been working on with the kids finished up last week with a bang. We completed six small quilts that became wall hangings that were auctioned off at our school's annual silent auction. The pieces brought in almost $900 and were a huge hit! Success! I even nabbed (okay, fought for) one that I just adore. I will post pictures...eventually!

That's all for now! See, I can write a short(er) post afterall!