I am an unapologetic Christmas LOVER! My parents are the ones to thank for that. They made it a magical time for my sister and I. My mom in particular, gifted Sharon and I with her creative gene and Christmas is the time of year when taking time to work on craft projects is "guilt free"! A couple of years ago I came up with a great idea for Sharon's Christmas present. It's not a rule, but we often make each others gifts. I've always liked the Breyer Holiday Horses! A couple of years ago I got the idea to create special Holiday Hero Horse for Sharon!
Oddly enough, the look of Breyer's model of the Selle Francais (a French Warm blood breed) is amazingly close to Hero! I did a bit of research into customizing Breyer horses and quickly realized there's a whole world out there I knew nothing about! But I picked up enough knowledge to know how to use a heat gun to make minor modifications!
Since Mikey has the mad graphic design skills, he customized signage for the inside and the front of the box, and Holiday Hero 2015 was very carefully secured back in for shipping.
In 2016 I decided to do another Holiday Hero and a Holiday Juan for Morgan Dalton! By the way, all of the bits and pieces I used for decoration are wired or tied on, not glued to the model! And all of these bits and pieces were already in my many, many boxes of collected "crafting stuff" or pieces of vintage costume jewelry! The 2015 version has at least 2 very cool vintage pins! And the 2016 version has a nifty stock pin with a horse shoe and crop motif.
Again, we refitted the horses back into their original boxes with customized Holiday labels, for Hero and Juan!
This year, I knew early on that I wanted to do more Holiday Horses, and I even bought the models pretty early in December. But blogging, writing and working on websites cut into my traditional holiday crafting blitz so I was super late (even by my standards) for getting to this project. Okay, full disclosure, it's almost always at the 11th hour that I get my best inspiration. And yes, that could just be a euphemistic way of saying I am a champion procrastinator.
But truth be told it wasn't until I found one particular item that I KNEW exactly what the 2017 Holiday Horses wanted to be. This was the first time that I bought something to add to my Holiday Horses. That was on December 21st. Yep, on December 21st I finally had a plan! And not only for Holiday Hero. Oh no. That would have been too easy. This year I had 3 Holiday Horses planned. Hero for Sharon and a Holiday Juan for Morgan and a Holiday Vannah for Colleen!
While I was able to create these-and they turned out fantastic- it was only because of Mike that I pulled it off. These were easy in theory and tough in practice.
There is no way I could have put these together without his help. Literally. It took 4 hands working in harmony to make these horses into angels.
The parallel between the challenges of this project and the way we've evolved as trainers and horsemen wasn't lost on us-even as Mike was holding the slippery, naughty devils still so I could get their wings secured. It required patience. It required team work. And quite a bit of faith in each other.
Actually, our 2017 Angelic Holiday Breyer horses have several things in common with their real counterparts;
1). The girth will ride forward to the girth line no matter how much you might try to put it elsewhere.
2). Sometimes you just need a great assistant to get you through the rough bits with them
3). Shipping both model horses and real horses long distances can require skill, cunning and careful planning-the 2017 Holiday Angel Horses are just not going to be confined to those boxes again.
They've earned their wings!