I’m so over it being winter. Being cold all the time. Not being able to use my balcony or to plant anything because it’s all still frozen solid. Winter seems to drag on indefinitely this year and no matter how much I’m trying to be positive I can’t stand it any longer. I think I’ve got cabin fever from being indoors and out of the light for too long and from working too much.
A visit at the ponies still does wonders for my spirits though.
And we do try to be cozy at home, watching movies and doing our best to eat something other than frozen pizza.
A bit of a rant this time, sorry! I’ll be bright and happy again once spring is here ok?
It’s about time I posted some random horse shots again, right? There’s a new boy at the barn and he’s gorgeous.
Sometimes the sunday I spend at the barn, in the arena or going for a relaxing trail ride, is the best part of my week. Definitely this week.
I don’t like to be negative in this space, but the truth is, I’m plain exhausted this week. There’s some family troubles right now (or still I guess), coming at us from different directions. Some days I think it’s going to be ok but often it just feels as though we’re all falling apart at the seams.
I’ve always been proud to say that I’m a person people can rely on, that if someone asked for help, I’d be there. Now I find myself drawing back, trying to proctect my emotional balance, fragile as it is anyway, to be able to keep on going. I guess there’s a fine line between self-protection and egoism and I can’t see it.
Anyway, that was just waiting to get out. We do have a lot to be grateful for and one thing I am intensely grateful for is some down time at the barn and a pony who makes me laugh, trying to catch waterdrops landing on his nose wile he’s being brushed.
The weather continues to change at a quite literally dizzying pace. 14°C and wind yesterday, 30°C today.
On the cool days it feels like fall is already here.
(trees reflected in a trough)
On the warm ones the air is stuffy with humidity and the rich smell of overripe elderberries. A last attempt at the summer we never got this year.
But on to the news! We finally found a great apartment and will be moving in November! I didn’t want to say till we signed the papers but now everything is settled. We really love the new place which will make leaving our pretty but small flat less bittersweet. It has a huge balcony which I’m looking forward to planning a garden for and is situated in a cute little village not too far from our respective work places (my commute will still be about an hour though, which I plan to use for reading and knitting). I’m still not looking forward to moving all our stuff and furniture and cats, but I guess that part of moving is never really fun. So while we wait to pack up we’re plunging into the fun part of moving: the planning and gathering inspiration and colors and, eventually, the shopping.
Because I still haven’t gotten around to photographing all the sewing that is going on here and because I won’t have time to blog in the next few days, here’s a random collection of shots from my pony for you all.
These were taken when our pastures were still beautiful and lush and filled with flowers.
Since then we’ve had some wet and rainy days and they’re all turned to mud.
Have a good start to the week!
As my regular readers know I love horseriding and have been riding the funniest little pony for three years. I love the little guy so much and for my last birthday my friend gave me a bracelet made out of his tail hair which she had had made by a woman in Holland.
Sadly it fell apart after having worn it constantly for three months and I really wanted another bracelet. My boyfriend and I did some research (neither of us had ever made jewelery before) and we came up with this easy way to make a horsehair bracelet:
horse hair from either mane or tail, preferably same length
a silver clasp like the one shown in the pictures below
a pair of scissors
Disclaimer: I know nothing about making jewelery and this is probably (definitely) not the neatest way but it works and is nice and quick and easy.
We start off with a suitable amount of horsehair (depending on how wide you want the bracelet to be and how thick the horses hair is). I like my bracelets small and my pony’s tail hair is very thick so I only really need a couple of hairs.
Make a knot and put a safety pin through. This amount of hair is enough for two braids and 4-6 bracelets by the way:
Now we can fasten the safety pin on a pillow or somewhere comfortable and can start braiding:
Braid until you have more than enough of braid to go around your arm (I always do the full length of the hairs and I can get 2-3 bracelets out of one strand of hairs).
Now we need to secure the ends so we can cut the bracelet to the right length. To do this, put a couple of drops of superglue on the braid where you want the bracelet to start and end. You’ll have to wrap it around your wrist to see how long it needs to be. Let the glue dry and repeat.
When the two coats of glue are dry you can cut the two ends of the braid and the braid won’t come undone.
We need a clasp where we can lay the end parts of the braid into the end part of the clasp and then squeeze that part shut with the pliers into a tube.
When you don’t have pliers (like us) look for a pair of household scissors that may do the job as well.
After squeezing the ends of the clasp shut with the braid in them all that remains is to secure that the braid can’t be pulled out again by daily wear. Give a couple of drops of superglue on the top of the tubes and the glue will be sucked into the tube.
Let the glue dry completely and put on and admire your bracelet!
I personally can never be bothered to take it off and having to put it on again, so I just wear it constantly. So far it has survived several months of constant wear and daily showering and seems to be very durable. Besides being very unobtrusive jewelery I just love having a part of my pony with me always!
These Holga shots were taken a couple of weeks ago, but I hadn’t yet gotten around to sharing them here.
Duesseldorf on a summer weekend, at twilight.
It was still hot, around 30°C and the city center and all the promenades along the Rhine were crowded.
All of these are developed and scanned at home, as always.
I’ve found out that the Holga makes for the most wonderful sun flares (because of its awful lens of course). I am loving this shot of my pony (bestest horse there ever was, loving you to bits baby!):
I’ve really got to try to get those sun flares in color shots as well!
I did the final one of the kid’s photo sessions on Wednesday with a very cute 11-year-old at the barn and wow, she totally blew me away! In less than an hours we got so many great pictures that I seriously cannot narrow them down to the 5 or 6 I usually show in blog posts. Be prepared for a long post and many many pictures!
Look at those gorgeous blue eyes!
Don’t you just love taking photos when you can give lousy instructions like ‘ok, now smile’ (instructions are my weakest point out of many) and you get rewarded with this?
That’s what it must be like working with models (by the way, this is also a sneak peek of my new quilt with Anna Maria Horner’s wonderful Voile fabrics…more on that one when it stops raining and I can take pictures of it!):
The joy in photographing extremely photogenic people is that you can take 100 pictures and they look different in all of them. She hardly looks eleven here, does she?
We’d picked a great day for photos: slightly overcast with sunny breaks, nice afternoon light and a pretty strong wind replacing the professional fan I always carry around for people with long hair (not).
This may well be my favourite photo from the whole shoot:
Or wait, maybe it’s this one:
In case anyone was wondering, this is the ‘Vintage’ action from the free (!) Pioneer Woman Action Set.
All of my photos are edited using a mix of different free actions I picked up somewhere online, though I do have my very own super secret black-and-white action 😉
After we were done out on the meadow we went down to the barn to get some horse shots. This is the pony she’s leasing to ride twice a week starting in June and she’s already soo excited about it:
Seriously, how cute are they together?
I think I’m totally spoiled now for anyone else wishing to have their pictures taken.
It’s officially spring…it’s warm and green and flowery and the horses get to leave their winter paddocks behind for the wide pastures.
Spring means freedom
and food…lots of lush green grass waiting to be eaten
But it also means grudgingly coming back in after a while, so they get used to the grass slowly.
Soon they’ll be outside day and night though, one big herd of about 40 geldings, another with a couple of mares, a gang of oldies and youngsters, and one sole stallion.
Nothing spectacular today, I just shot these the other day at the barn and liked them. I wish I had taken my camera with me last thursday. The road to the barn was completely icy and I had to park a way off in the middle of nowhere and walk down (on wednesday I made the mistake of driving down and went in full panic mode when I couldn’t brake driving down the slope. I had to ask a friend to drive my car up again later, because I was too scared). Anyway, it was -5°C and the wind was blowing the snow from the fields across the road, creating snow dunes all along the way. Quite a sight really.
It has snowed over night yet again and so it’s going to be a fun ride out to the barn today…not.