Don't go talking about the undesirability and shortage of incandescent light bulbs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At this point, something extraordinary happened.
Manna from heaven.
I have a friend, Lizzie, who has taken up knitting as a hobby. She had made me a pot-holder earlier. She loved horses and knew about my little tack shop, but was not a collector. I had told her the dimensions of a Western saddle blanket, but I certainly was not expecting anything!!! I learned that her job required frequent flying, so to amuse herself while in the air, she knitted me this fabulous, incredibly soft, beautiful little gem. This photo shows the true colors. The red, green and yellow cover the spectrum and will go with any color horse.
I was amazed, astonished, delighted. After a quick referral to another model tackmaker who knew more about old-style California saddle blankets than myself (thank you Heather!), I decided my Muse knew what it was doing when it fell madly in love with this blanket coupled with this saddle.
Oh the relief.
And now for the cinch. Light at the end of the tunnel....
Voila! In this picture the concho strings are much too long. In fact the whole saddle's strings are too long. Chop chop clip clip point point. A whole lot of little adjustments happen when you finally put the thing together and fit it on a horse. Far better to find out if it's going to behave NOW, whilst on the tackbench and in my own hands, than have the customer find out!! It's not just a pretty-looking miniature, it's a working model, so everything has to actually fit...
The martingale was too long, for instance; and the cinch center ring too small. Strings too long.
And then I realized I hadn't signed it.
The last saddle I signed was the Golden Sunburst back in September of 2011. Mein Gott, three years... I can hardly believe it... And before that, the last saddle I'd signed was in 2009!! oh my again... 2010 and 2013 really did tear me up...
This photo shows how I carved my initials on the bare tree, something I've never done before. It also shows circled the year, 2014, cut into the front part of the second skirt extension.
This is the off side. It shows the saddle number, 451, on the tree. (The four-hundred-and-fifty-first Western saddle I've made since 1979.) The circled area also has a 451 carved into it -- extremely hard to see.
So, why am I saying "Almost There?" Isn't it done? After a year and a month, isn't it done yet??
Remember the original reference picture?
A week in Tucson will be a breathing space. After a year and a month, another week is no big deal. But I'd sure love to finish this out. It has definitely reached the stage of being called "you stupid saddle" and with me, that's a sure sign of an approaching end... !
I can hardly wait.
Thank you, Sue, for your patience.