Monday, July 30, 2012

The Tinkerbell Effect

Another lightweight topic day - work was absolutely brutal, so I’m not in much mind for heavy thinking.

I made some comments about the complicated history of the Modernistic Buck and Doe on Blab over the past couple of days, but it’ll probably be another week or so before I get the article I wrote for my Sampler last year rewritten and repurposed for the blog.

I also want to spend a little quality time with it because, judging from the frequency with which the topic seems to come up - both online, and directly towards me, personally - I have a feeling that it’ll be one of my more linked to pages.

Since I’m feeling a little numb from the neck up (and the knees down!), I’ll just spotlight another one of my BreyerFest treasures - the Tent SR Shire "Cheerio":

I was really surprised when I finally opened her up a couple of days ago - she’s drop dead gorgeous. I was already predisposed to like her - hello, she’s a Bell-bottomed Shire, and she’s glossy - but dang, Reeves really stepped up their game with her. Clean mapping, tri-colored eyes, fabulous shading, and the super-thick gloss that squeaks to the touch - pretty much everything you’d want in an exclusive Limited-Edition-Exclusive-Special-Run type model.

What struck me was the hint of sparkle that Reeves is now putting into the gloss - not quite enough to make it iridescent, but just enough (I’m guessing) to make it difficult for scammers to duplicate. I had seen some comments that the Gloss Mariah’s Boon models also had this bit of "Tinkerbell" sparkle, but hadn’t really given it much thought (because, you know, that model being a delicate subject in these parts).

The Prince of Chintz also has it, but my Glossy Silver Bay Stoneleigh Surprise does not. (Different factories, different production times? Hard to say why.)

It’s an interesting solution to the "fake glossy" problem, one that certainly didn’t come immediately to my mind. I’d still want to see decals or notations underneath the gloss as a failsafe measure, especially if some enterprising con artist manages to duplicate the "Tinkerbell Effect". Because you know they’ll try.

I was kind of surprised that Cheerio didn’t get a little more love in the Special Run line - I think it was because everyone was so fixated on the Stoneleigh Surprises (and, to a slight degree, on the Cantering Welsh Pony, the mold that got the Half Gloss/Half Matte treatment this year) that everything else just sort of fell by the wayside.

There were quite a few Prince of Chintzes, Aintrees and Tunbridge Wells’ left over for Sunday, too. The Prince of Chintzes because they were a little too outre for most people’s tastes (then again, so were the original Decorators), the Aintrees were actually quite pretty, but they made a ton of them (1400 pieces!) and the Tunbridge Wells wasn’t that impressive in person. (The roany paint job obliterated a lot of his finer details, and the crest of his neck had virtually no definition.)

Cheerio’s price was a wee bit on the high side, for a modestly popular older mold - $65 - probably a reflection of the time and effort they put into her paint job. Personally, I think she’s well worth the price. If they happen to offer her on the web site as a Collector’s Club Special Offer, you really ought to give her some serious consideration.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pulling Weeds

One of my roommates at BreyerFest this year brought up the fact that their father was witness to a very significant historical event - and that what he remembers had little relationship to what the "official history" actually remembers.

I’ve been trying to keep that in mind, as I’ve been lurking around the model horse ‘net for the past week. ("Best BreyerFest Ever?" That’s not how I’m going to remember it.) I’m still not quite ready to talk about it. But I will, eventually; as a historian of sorts, I feel like it’s my duty to file the dissent.

For the time being, I’ll just continue pulling weeds. Both the literal and metaphorical kind.

As promised, here’s my other treasure from the CHIN:

A test color Shetland Pony, in Five-Gaiter Sorrel. She was purchased from Linda Walter, the former editor of The Model Horse Shower’s Journal and Grand Dame of the Model Horsedom who just happened to be down the hall from us in the 300 wing of the CHIN. She was still in the process of unpacking when I entered her room Wednesday afternoon, and that little beauty had only just been set upon her sales table.

I picked her up, turning her over and over in my hands. A Marney test color, here! You just don’t see them at BreyerFest all that often anymore. You occasionally find things that could be or might be, but this one couldn’t have come with a better provenance. 
"I take it she’s coming home with you?" Linda said.

"Yeah, I think so."
She was a gift to Linda from Marney, in the early 1970s; I should have asked if it was before or after the release of the #23 Matte Bay in 1973, but that didn’t occur to me until a couple of days - and a couple of meltdowns - later.

I won't disclose the price, other than to say it was very reasonable. I did not feel the need to dicker, even though the option was offered.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Chalky Nobody Heard About

Feeling a little bit better, now that I’ve gotten a little more sleep under my eyes. (On the other hand, I had to break some horrible news to a friend today. Nothing anyone here needs to know about, though.)

Still in the process of unpacking; I just realized about an hour ago that I somehow ended up with two Bay Esprit "Steppin’ Outs"; seeing as I only "need" one, I’ll probably have the other either up for sale or trade by the end of the week. I’d love to trade it for an Appaloosa Stoneleigh Surprise, but seeing as how it’s the "rarest" one of the set (per Breyer’s Facebook page) it’s probably not likely.

Eh, maybe I can throw in my sample/no VIN CH Sprinkles in to sweeten the pot. (S/he is actually quite nice, but I already have a good number of "no VINs" already, and I haven’t grown attached to him/her just yet, the way I have to the others.)

Anyway, as I’m still unpacking and subject to a rather disagreeable work schedule, this is going to be short and quick. My first "big" find at BreyerFest this year:

A Chalky Black Bucking Bronco! (Yeah, I know, I got all artsy-fartsy on the photo. He does look good at this angle, though, don’t he?) I had never seen one before - and judging from the reaction I got from everyone I showed him to, nobody else has, either. The fact that I found him at all - in this white-hot Chalky market - is absolutely astounding. (And so was the price!)

He’s pretty darn close to mint, for a Chalky. He’s a "White Plastic" Chalky, too, which means that there have to be more than just a handful out there. They might have just run the one batch of that plastic, but I’m not sure quite how many Bucking Broncos a drum of Tenite translates into. (A hundred? Maybe two?)

I knew he was theoretically possible - he was in production during the classic "Chalky Era" - but even moi, the ginormous Bucking Bronco fangirl, had discounted the possibility after all these years.

If I had not found anything else at the hotel, I would have considered my shopping run a success, but we’ll get to my other big find next time.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Parade of Fail

Alive, but still mostly unpacked. I had to work early this morning, so literally - I’ve had no time. I just got up from a three hour nap, and I’ll have to be heading to bed again, shortly.

As you may guess from the title of this post, I failed - spectacularly - at all three BreyerFest contests this year. It wasn’t just a matter of "not winning" - I mean, I can handle not winning a contest, but it was the ways I didn’t win that really, truly hurt. (Let me put it this way: it felt like I was living in a very badly written 19th century melodrama.)

I’m still a little woozy and disoriented, so you’ll have to wait until later in the week before I can post something about it that’s both coherent and relatively ire-free. I'll try to post a few extra times this week to cover everything that needs to be covered, to make up for my extended absence. (My excuse: the Internet connection at the hotel was a bit futzy.)

Thank you to everyone who witnessed what happened, and took some pity on me. I know I wasn’t very demonstrative about it, but I truly did appreciate everything you guys did to comfort me. At least some of you have now witnessed firsthand the kind of weirdness that only seems to happen to me.

On the positive side, sales were very good this year (Would have been better if I hadn’t forgot my second box of Japan chinas, but whatever.) I sold over half my inventory, including four of the race horse prints, most of my body box, and a good portion of my books. Of course, what I bought filled up the available space in my sales tubs, so I pretty much brought home the same amount of stuff that I took. (In other words, not much different from any other year!)

Among the things I brought back included a Glossy Silver Bay Stoneleigh Surprise, a fairly impressive haul from the Ninja Pit of Death (including a WEG Chestnut Esprit - and a Steppin' Out!), a test color Shetland Pony, and a Chalky nobody had ever seen before.

All of which I will get to later this week, when I find my danged camera. 

(I know, I know, for anyone else that would have been an impressive haul, but it's me we're talking about here.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Trip to Almost Canada

Since I am going too exhausted from the heat to do much more than surf tonight, I will now regale you with the story I hinted at back in May, about my trip to Almost Canada. It’s been sitting on my laptop since then, and why waste a perfectly good story?

It has nothing to do with Breyers, or model horses, but it does have something to do with travelling, something a lot of us will be very familiar with this week. And I’ve been told it’s quite funny, at least to the people who have already heard it.
The job I have is neither glamorous nor high-paying, but it does provide me with two other things that are almost as important: flexibility and stories. My family and living situation are complicated, hence the draw of the flexibility.
As for the stories, well, to a person like me, stories are the best kind of currency. And some days, I get paid in spades.
My job involves a lot of local travel; the district is huge, and I live on the outer edge of it, so whenever a carpool is made available, I tend to avail myself of it. I’m not a big fan of driving anyway, so if I can find someone else to do it for me, all the better.
The day’s assignment was in Port Huron – about 40 miles from me, but 15 miles from the meet site. So naturally, I go, even though it’s actually out of my way.
When I get there at oh-my-God o’clock, one of the few people there was someone I most definitely do not want to drive with. You know the type: loud, obnoxious, overly helpful, and prone to oversharing. Kind of like me, but less funny and less interesting. (I was not alone in my opinion – of her. I can’t speak of your opinion of me.)
Anyway, she’s not intentional being obnoxious, but the thought of having to sit in a car with her for two hours of commuting was enough for me to jump into the other carpooling car, driven by a guy I had never even met – or worked with before.
Carpooling with near-total strangers is hazard of this job: my company of employ has an insanely level of turnover, which means that it simply doesn’t pay to get close to new faces until you’re pretty sure they’re not a new face anymore.
The driver hadn’t driven to Port Huron before, but I figured that when the time came, I’d point him in the right directions and in the right lanes when necessary, so we wouldn’t end up in Canada. You see, the road we’d be taking sort of blends into the road to the bridge to Canada; it’s not normally an issue, but there’s been some road construction going on, so it makes accidents more likely to happen.
All was well until we got to the highway. Where I promptly fell asleep. Did I mention before how early it was? Well before sunrise, even for this time of the year.
I had gotten enough sleep the night before, but it’s my natural inclination to fall asleep when someone else is driving. I think it’s a self-defense mechanism: I come from a family (both sides!) of less-than-perfect drivers (too fast, too slow, inattentive, prone to road rage, doesn’t like to wear their glasses while driving, etc.) I guess I learned early on that the best way of coping with the terror is to sleep it away, with the added benefit of my body being limp (and less prone to injury) lest anything bad actually happens. (Which has, but that’s another story entirely.)
So I wake up, with a start, when we were halfway up the ramp to the Blue Water Bridge.  To Canada. Exactly the thing I was hoping my presence would avoid, except for my inability-to-stay-awake-in-a-car-I’m-not-driving complicating things.
This has happened to carpools with our company before, enough that you’d think the Border Patrol would have a protocol set up just for us by now. They direct us to go up the bridge a little, past the concrete barriers, and turn back around.
We sat there for about 15 minutes before we realized that the car in front of us was stalled; in that little bit of leisure time we had, I made mention of the fact that the officers of this particular border crossing had a reputation for being hard cases.  About a year earlier, a science-fiction writer got a little bit sarcastic with a guard at this very same crossing, and ended up in handcuffed in the hoosegow overnight.
We pulled up, and handed over our driver licenses. The guard looks them over, and starts questioning our driver.
“Sir, where is your green card?”
Up until that point, we didn’t know that our driver was a resident alien. He had a slight accent, but just about everyone I know – even the folks who were actually born and bred here – talks funny, so it’s another one of those thing your really don’t think much about. (Heck, my grandfather had a fairly noticeable accent, and that side of the family emigrated from Poland in the mid-19th century.)
So he didn’t have his green card. And – even better – the car was a rental, since his had gone kaput a couple days earlier. Another occupant of the car had just moved the week before, and my address – well, if you’ve ever done business with me, you know I have this funny address that I’m constantly reassuring people is not fake. It all seems a little too hinky for the guards, so they decide to confiscate our electronics and direct us to the station to be interrogated.
Yeah, really.
So we find ourselves in the station, filling out declaration forms, then waiting in the lobby as they make sure we all are who we say we are. In the meantime, FoxNews is on the TV. Today’s topic? Illegal immigration. (Surreal, much?)
This was almost too much for me, and I had to stifle a laugh. I was beginning to get the feeling that the guy who was investigating us might have been the same guy that writer might have pissed off, and as amusing as it all was, I really didn’t want to try explaining how I ended up in an international incident on any future job applications.
I did, however, give my fellow carpoolers a knowing look. “What was I telling you?” They all giggled nervously.
At one point the investigating officer gives us a stern look, and asks us “Are you guys member of a bowling team, or something?”

This wasn’t as random or absurd a question as you might think: we’re all wearing matching polo shirts and hard-soled work shoes. And this is a big area for bowling; several coworkers are actually members of bowling teams. (Not me, though. If I were any more uncoordinated, I might actually qualify for one of those handicap parking permits. I’m so clumsy, I’ve actually injured myself reading. But, I digress.)

Anyway, I had to bite my tongue almost to the point of bruising and let one of my coworkers answer the question, because at this point anything I would say – no matter how carefully I had chosen the words – would not be taken well by the authorities. 
After about a half an hour, they finally decided to let us go, but not without giving our driver a stern warning about his green card. “If this happens again, you will be handcuffed and you will be arrested.”
(It just had to be that guy. Had to be!)
We show up about an hour late for work. Even better, there’s no “good” equipment left; it makes my workday even more difficult than it already is. The annoying coworker I was trying to dodge? Not only did she have functional equipment, she also ended up with an hour more of work than I did by virtue of not getting trapped in Almost Canada.
But you know what? The trip was worth it.
Hope all of yours this week are, too.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I can tell BreyerFest is only days away: the chaos is increasing. I came home from the store yesterday (an emergency craft supply run) and I tripped and fell on the step up the porch. I scraped up my knees pretty bad, but the worse injury was to my dignity: all I’ll say is that I required a change of clothes afterwards.

Before I get to discussing the Marwari, please also allow me to pout a little about this year’s volunteer model. Dang it, she had to go and be all nice and stuff.

I take some small consolation in the fact that the piece count’s now been upped to 150, though I wonder where the extra 15-20 pieces are now going towards. (Hey Reeves, if you have a spare, I certainly won’t turn it down.)

Anyway, the Marwari, who can be seen on the Breyer web site here.

My first reaction - other than, "Ooh, pretty!" - was "Hmm, I see they went with something trendy."

I have nothing against the breed personally; it’s just that I was sort of expecting an Akhal-Teke first, though. (Lonesome Glory makes an okay Akhal-Teke, but the "real thing" has been a long overdue.) But everywhere I look online it feels like everyone seems to be doing Marwaris resins and customs, so I suppose it makes sense.

I have nothing against creating molds of more exotic breeds. Some of my favorite breeds (ahem, Dales Pony) are a bit on the rare side. Creating molds of rare breeds also helps raise awareness of them, and perhaps lead to their preservation and survival.

The only problem with the creation of molds of rarer or more exotic breeds is that it fosters a certain level of unreality in the model horse world.

There’s definitely a strong undercurrent within the hobby that wants to emulate the real horse world as much as possible. However, when you have just as many production molds of a somewhat more common breed - such as a Missouri Fox Trotter - as you do a significantly less common one - like the Marwari - that’s simply not going to be the case.

It’ll be hard to argue that a "model horse" show is just like a "real horse" show, when you will inevitably have an overabundance of Marwaris compared to Missouri Fox Trotters, or even Akhal-Tekes.

A true and accurate representation of the "real horse" world in miniature has never been - and will never become - a reality in this hobby. There will always be more stallions than geldings, and more exotic colors and patterns rather than the more mundane grays, bays and chestnuts. And always more rare and exotic breeds than most normal horse people will ever see in person, or in their lifetimes.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’d be nice to see a greater acknowledgement of the fact that the hobby is more its own thing than a downsized version of another.

I am curious if there is - or will be - a mold change out for the ears? With the ears that the mold has, it’ll be hard to sell it as anything other than a Marwari, or the closely related Kathiawari. Marwaris come in just about every conceivable color, it’s true, but switching out the ears with something more standard might make the mold a little more versatile in the long run.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More News, More Surprises

When I asked for more hours at work, I wasn’t expecting them to give them all to me the week before my trip. Argh!

And of course, there’s been tons of news while I’ve been on the road for the past three days.

First, they offered more leftover Connoisseurs, this time to Collector’s Club members: Nympheas, Kandinsky, and Thrillseeker. A Thrillseeker would have made a nice bookend to my Connoisseur collection - since I was lucky enough to win a Mosaic - but I was on the way to work (again) when they finally went live with them on the web site. (I know Kandinsky is still available, but the $225 price tag is not to my liking.)

Wasn’t too crazy about them announcing them "early", since that nearly caused a meltdown on the Breyer web site, with everyone refreshing every few seconds.

The BreyerFest program is out. Surprises: more items for the British souvenir tent, and the full auction list, which includes the volunteer model (a buckskin overo Roxy) and a Glossy Bay Alborozo.

The extra Souvenir pieces include: a kinda-creepy standing horse named "Fox Chase", dressed in hunting attire; "Fox Hunt", which is a bay-ish Might Tango with the Tally Ho hunting decals; and finally, a numbered plushie named Little Jack. I’m definitely interested in the Might Tango, and (as I’ve mentioned before) the Translucent Classic Ruffian "Union Jack". I haven’t had time to read up on the where/when/how of it all, though.

(Note: As of today, all Souvenir Models are available for viewing at Breyer’s Blog.)

The volunteer model sounds really nice this year, but I think Reeves should have just left that space unspecified in the program (i.e. just stating that the lot is for the volunteer model, not what the model was, exactly.) It makes me feel uncomfortable seeing people pre-sell their volunteer models. Not that they shouldn’t be allowed to do it, but I rather prefer that they keep that sort of thing more on the "down low".

Keeping it a secret until the day-of helped mitigate that a little, but if it’s a known quantity, that might change.

Wasn’t there a rumor floating around about a Gloss Bay Alborozo back in 2008? I distinctly remember the buzz, if not what it was specifically in reference to (as the volunteer model, maybe?) Is the auction piece the inspiration for the rumor, or was the rumor the inspiration for the auction piece? Or maybe … my brain is addle-pated from a lack of sleep, and it’s all just a big coincidence.
I don’t see any surprises on the Tent Specials list. On the store specials they’re doing 750 pieces on the Taskin, 400 pieces on the Killarney, with the Killarney being a surprisingly reasonable (for a porcelain) $100. All the prices and piece counts on everything else are in the same range as last year’s, more or less. If they do a Gloss/Matte mix up like they did last year with the Once Upon a Time, I think it’ll either be with "Sixes and Sevens" or "Bees Knees", which both have lower piece counts, like the Once Upon a Time did. And both would look fabulous in gloss!

They did up the piece count - and the price - of this year’s surprise model, which now leads me to believe that IF another new mold release happens at BreyerFest this year, it has to be with the Surprise model.

Technically the "Fox Chase" Souvenir model is a new mold, but it’s a little too offbeat to be anything more than a novelty one-off. And I don’t think they’d dare do an early-release on the Totilas, since the mold (who also makes a cameo in the program) doesn’t strike me as being representative of the kind of horse you’d take on a trek across the English countryside.

The final surprise - in my very limited skimming of the program - was my own personal cameo on the very last page. Guess I’ll have to pick up extra hard copies for autographing!

Next up on the blogging agenda: that Premier club Marwari!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pushing My Buttons

Apropos of absolutely nothing, I just want to say if I had a choice of auction models to bid on, it’d be today’s cutie-patootie rose gray Hackney with lime green ribbons. No one particular reason, it’s just the first auction model I’ve seen in a while that’s telling me it wants to come home with me.

(Pic from the Facebook page.)

Not gonna happen, of course. (Had a kitten try to do the same thing to me at the flea market yesterday. Dang it, he was persistent.)

I want to preface what I’m writing today with the following, to explain the tone: I broke out in a rash, the brake pads went on my car, and one of my projects just fell apart. Oh, and I’m having some scheduling issues at work, too. So yeah, my patience is a bit lacking.

Though some of it is my fault: I really shouldn’t be cruising the Internet when I have eleventy-billion things to do before I leave on my trip. But you know me and my multitasking problem.


I found it amusing that even Reeves is getting a bit annoyed with some of us. From their forum, in regards to the Premier Club Connoisseur Offer:
There were several ways people were notified about this limited-time offer. We posted about it on Facebook, Twitter, in the Club News section of our web site, and also started a thread in the Premier Collection forum on our web site. Also, the available models could be viewed in the Club Home section of our web site.

As stated, only an extremely limited number of these unclaimed Connoisseur models were available, and they sold out quickly. There will be more special offers soon!
For a hobby that almost brags about how it adopted - and adapted to - the Internet culture right quick, I am amazed at how "disconnected" many online hobbyists are. And how persistent misinformation can be within our community, in spite of the wealth of resources available to us. 

I am not on Facebook: I don’t have an account, I don’t want an account (unless it ends up becoming medically or professionally necessary). I am not on the computer 24/7; if you keep track of my post times, you’ll notice that I, in fact, keep pretty weird and irregular hours. I am also not a member of the Premier Club.

And yet, despite all these impediments, I still managed to have found out about the offer before they all sold out.

Look, when you actively pursue any hobby, you have two commodities to spend: time, and money. You have to have at least a little bit of both, but most of us have more of one than the other. (And those that have a lot of both - well, fortunately for the rest of us, they tend to get bored very quickly and move on.)

Reeves can’t do all your work for you. Simply belonging to a club is not enough. All club membership does is give you access: it doesn’t provide you with a palanquin, it opens a door.

(A few extra freebies for the money would be nice, but that’s another issue, for another time. And also, palanquins at BreyerFest would be awesome.)

If you don’t want to spend the money, spend the time. Don’t have the time? You’ll have to spend the money. It really is that simple.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Leavings

That’s very nice of Reeves to offer leftover Connoisseurs to Premier Club members; I would have loved a Pandora or a Swirling Sky, but with BreyerFest right around the corner, I wouldn’t have been able to even if I was a member of that club.

A few less things for the Ninja Pit, I guess. As for what I actually think is going to be in there this year, I am not even going to speculate. Not that I don’t have some interesting ideas on the subject, but I don’t want to stir the pot anymore than that silly "When are you getting in line for the NPOD?" thread on Blab already has.

I know, it’s mostly talk, but still. Nothing against amateurs or noobs - we all were, once - but if you don’t know what you’re doing, or what to look for, your odds of finding something "good" are utterly random, regardless of your position in line.

Naturally, right after I posted how everything was going so swimmingly, everything came crashing down. The computer lost its mind, the printer jammed up so badly that I had to disassemble it, I discovered that a component of one of the costumes I was thinking about doesn’t fit, and the power went out for most of a day. Oh, and a groundhog ate all of our tomato plants (which is somehow my fault, because everything is my fault.)

I’ve managed to recover from the bulk of the catastrophes; on the costume front I will probably go with one of the other ideas I have if I can’t take the weight off in time. And the universe gave me a small token for my trouble: a Beswick Beatrix Potter "Cousin Ribby"!

At a Salvation Army - in a less ritzy neighborhood than I usually frequent, no less. Not sure if I’m keeping her or not; it’s been a while since I picked up a Beswick of any kind, but it’s not a horse, and I will be needing some serious cash after BreyerFest to pay for all the things I need to pay for.

Other than the SRs, and the NPOD, I’m hoping to hold on to most of the money I manage to make this year. There are a few things I’m still eyeing (like a really nice Yellow Mount!) but if I buy anything, it’ll be the usual reference materials and stray oddities.

Among the things I’ll be selling this year - besides the usual assortment of flea market finds and book sale leavings - will be these Allen F. Brewer Jr. prints I picked up a few weeks ago at my local flea market. If you haven’t already seen them, here they are:

(In order; Kauai King, Man o' War, Round Table, Your Host, Swaps, Silky Sullivan. Your Host was Kelso's sire, sort of the Barbaro of the 1950s.)

They’re not all in the bestest shape, but they’re (mostly) signed, and (to put it bluntly) they had to be rescued. I wanted to keep a couple of them - like the Man o’ War and the Silky Sullivan (for research purposes, right?) but I’ll probably have to let them all go, because of the money. I don’t have a lot of wall space to spare, either.

Cutting it short today; lots of odds and ends to deal with.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Quiet Time

And yet another In-Between Mare pops up on eBay…that’ll make it the third "new" one in the hobby in a year, right?

Like I’ve been telling you, I’m really beginning to think that those Mares are more common than hobbyists realize, because of the perpetual (or eternal?) confusion between the Old Mold/Proud Arabian and the Family Arabian Mares.

A similar thing happened with the Woodgrain Old Mold Mares and Foals, not so long ago: they went from being "virtually nonexistent" to "just really, really rare" when more hobbyists started paying attention to the not-so-subtle differences between the Family Arabians and the Old Mold/Proud Arabians. 

The In-Between Mare ("IBM") is just close enough to the Family Arabian Mare - a mold that most hobbyists don’t even give a first glance to, much less a second - that I think some are still getting passed by, too.

If I had noticed the latest IBM on eBay before it sold - it was a "Buy it Now" at a "mere" $1800 - I might have considered buying it. Yeah, really: I’ve been working just enough - and saving just enough - to have been able to cover it. Plus, I think that price is more in line with where the market will eventually settle to, once the market finally shakes a few more of them out of the tree.

On the other hand, if this is more proof that they are really are more common than we realize, I probably should just bide my time and hope one turns up locally. My local flea market is just good enough for me to give me hope.

The flea market, though, has been fairly quiet for me for the past few weeks. Aside from some odds and ends, the only things I’ve picked up are random sewing supplies - patterns, fabric, and another unfinished vintage quilt project (an applique thingie from the late 1940s or 1950s that, like most projects I find, has to be completely disassembled and re-pieced.)

Everyone (capable of it) should do a little bit of handwork - be it sewing, gardening, painting, woodworking, or even baking. It’s better than therapy, I think; the mostly repetitive nature of the work is soothing, and even if you don’t completely resolve whatever problem you’re dealing with by working it, you at least come out of the experience with a beautiful or useful object.

While I am enjoying - in its own way - all of my BreyerFest prep, I am so looking forward to getting back to my sewing after the trip. I think its absence from my life is one of the things that's been keeping me more agitated than average lately. 

The BreyerFest prep, oddly enough, has been going almost disturbingly well. No drama, no major catastrophes, emergencies, or unexpected expenses. I even came up with three - three! - different costume contest ideas that I either already have the pieces for, or that I can buy at minimal expense. My only decision is which one I should go with. (Or maybe I shall bring them all, and draft friends and roommates into the cause?)