Hello Monday!

I am sorry if you don’t like Mondays.
I am sorry if you’re not looking forward to being back to work…or school…
I am happy though, for Monday.
Oh, not for the 3:30 am wake up-especially when I couldn’t sleep (surprise!!) and was up until nearly 2am.
But the routine is back, and I am happy for that.

Don’t get me wrong, the past 10 days of the family being all together, the friends who came to visit, the family who came out too…all great stuff. 10 days of free ranging it? Yeah, also good stuff. But, as usual, during any free ranging time, my brain starts to get frustrated…there’s a pattern, a process, to my day. Things need to be done, and on time. Oh, and work?
Yeah, nothing happened. Ideas happened, and some testing of a new product/method happened, but those were simple day-to-day things. Not hands on, get my hands dusty and dirty, w.o.r.k.

That’s what I’m back to today. And I’m happy for it. 🙂 Once The Kid is off to school, I’ll turn up the stereo and start putting out some jewelry. Then, I can do the photography work to get it up here…oh, and I have some festive fun photos from the holidays, where friends came out to have pictures taken with The Girls. I have those to edit too.

And now, with a picture and smile, off to work I go…

Look at how fuzzy Sable is! That's her winter coat around the girth...

Look at how fuzzy Sable is! That’s her winter coat around the girth…

7 days

We’re looking at exactly 7 days to Christmas.
And we’re exhausted. lol! But, that’s farm life, right?
Let me say though, it’s not the work. There are things that have to be done, so we just do them. It’s the weather. We’re on the tail end of our first big winter storm (which, considering it’s 7 days ’til Christmas is not bad!) and well, I’m ready for winter to be done.
Thing is, I’ve been hoping for snow. I love the snow, and taking pictures the horses in the snow…and then, at least, we’re done with mud for a while. Oh, but it’s the wind. It was blowing pretty hard out here, and non-stop.
*sigh*
It grates on the nerves, making everyone short tempered. Especially the horses.
We’ve had a couple “Come to Jesus” meetings with Cookie this week, due to disrespectful behaviour. I 100% understand that it’s the weather, but, 1200lbs of pushing humans, or aggressive pushing of other horses into humans, will not be tolerated.
And then, during last night’s feeding Astrid tried to kick Sable, who deked out of the way, leaving me in the line of fire…thankfully, she realized Sable had moved and swung that pretty bum of hers away from me. Still, I was not happy, and I let her know she screwed up.
No asshat-ery allowed when humans are in the pasture!
Again, it’s the weather. I know it, the Girls know it, but I still won’t let that be an excuse for bad behaviour.

Sunday is supposed to be lovely. Cool, crisp, with little to no wind. I’m looking forward to it.

That said, the lead up to Christmas and Yule has been delightfully full with work for me. I’ve had more than a dozen custom orders for Equi~Gems, and several sales of ready-to-wear pieces made from the Girls here. I was given the opportunity to put some pieces in the display case at the Stable where Kid takes her lessons. That is awesome. 🙂 Makes me smile. The profits from them get split between our hay fund and the emergency vet fund. Any time I can bolster those funds is great!

We’ll have some new stock on the Equi~Gems For Sale page in the new year. I had planned on getting some new stuff posted up before then, but life got busy. Making Equi~Gems.
There will be some changes…good changes!

~Chains will now be included with the pendants…of course, that means prices will change to reflect that. I did find some marvelous sterling silver chains that are well worth the price though.

~Earrings!! I’m working on some earrings…The joy of the Equi~Gems is they’re light. I’ve been wearing my piece of Dorkite on a hoop for several months now, and I can’t even tell its there.

~Gemstones! I’m excited about this one. 😀 Much like my Dorkite necklace:

Dorkite

Dorkite

I’m working on being able to offer this simple setting as an option for Equi~Gems.
The Kid and I are in the product testing phase of this setting…again…I had to adjust how it’s done after loosing that ^^^ emerald to tiny tabby teeth way back when the Meatloaves were really itty bitty.
I have an adjustment to the procedure, so hopefully that equals new style for y’all come the New Year.

And, once I re-stock the sale page, I’ll be adding the paypal button. Just to make everyone’s life easier. I’m all for that! That way, you see an Equi~Gem you like, you hit “buy it now” and I send it out on my next trip to the post office (typically Tuesdays and Thursdays). Easy peasy.

And now, a few photos to share!

Last month, I had looked out our front window to see what I thought was a seagull sitting on our fence.
We had, over the summer, a couple of them walking up and down the road out front, and in some crazed fit of weirdness, I named them Bob, Oscar and Leroy. They would walk back and forth in front of the house, stop at the end of the driveway and stare into the yard…it was a little odd.
So, when I saw this bird sitting on the fence, I was ready to open the window and yell at “Bob” to get off my fence and go do something productive. What I realized though was that it wasn’t Bob at all…it was someone far more incredible than Bob…

Hello Not-Bob!

Hello Not-Bob!

I have always loved owls. Owls Sing to my Spirit.
I knew we had them out here. I’ve heard them many times at night, and a couple of times caught glimpses of them flying through the yard light.
This visit though, was incredible! That picture above, I was less than 30 feet from him. I know this because our fence posts are 10 feet in between, and I had just passed the 3rd post from him to take this shot.

And then he flew...

And then he flew…

Then settled on the post at the far end of the pasture.

Then settled on the post at the far end of the pasture.

I’ve seen 2 more since then.
The wildlife around here never ceases to amaze me. ❤

On Grief and Losing Your Equine Friend

We’re going to get a wee bit serious today, okay?
There’s something that I’ve been encountering that I feel I need to address…

You all know I make jewelry from hoof clippings, naming them Equi~Gems. I am a Goldsmith by trade.
My shop is small but mighty 🙂 …uh, okay, its my kitchen table. My actual “shop” hasn’t been built yet. It’s on The List of Things To Build.
I have done many, many pieces of jewelry, from the classic design and cast pieces, to the more eclectic wire/stone/claw pieces.
I prefer the eclectic, one of a kind pieces. That why Equi~Gems are perfect for me. Every piece is unique. Just like the horses they come from.
I have even had the honour of setting a pair of LifeGems.

One of the things I have always believed the Equi~Gems could be, and should be, is the Equine version of LifeGems. A tangible piece of jewelry, made from your equine partner’s hooves as a memorial when they pass.
Much like having horse hair jewelry made.

Lately, in our smallish horse community, there have been a few people who have had to let their horses cross The Rainbow Bridge.
I have been asked why I don’t use that opportunity to sell Equi~Gems. To advertise them as the perfect memorial piece. By more than one person.

Here’s the answer to that…

I am not in business to take advantage of a horse owner’s grief.
Yes, if I did push the Equi~Gems at that time, I would likely have more sales, and would be busier with client’s pieces.
But.
I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.
Okay I don’t sleep much anyways…lol.
What sleep I do get, I want to be good sleep, and I can’t sleep well without a clear conscience.
I cannot, in good conscience, intrude on someone’s grief, just to sell a product.
Yes, the jewelry is a perfect memorial.
Yes, I want to be able to make that memorial for the grieving horse owner.
I don’t however, want to play the vulture…
Too many people see someone dealing with losing a loved one, two footed and four footed, and think it’s the perfect time to sell them a product. I hate that, and it’s not how I do business.
But, that’s just me.

What I will do, is offer my sympathies and words of comfort. I know how hard it is to lose a beloved pet.
March will be 3 years since we lost our OldWoman, our german shepherd, and I miss her every day. Every damn day.
I would not have wanted someone to be in my face about how to memorialize her right after, or just before, she crossed. It was hard enough making the trip to the vet, let alone anything else.
I cannot imagine someone trying to sell me a product at that time…

The other thing I will do, is leave a list here, on what to do, should you be facing the death of your Equine friend, and you think you might, sometime, want an Equi~Gem made.
I’ll also add the information to the F.A.Q page.

  1. Take your piece of hoof after your equine friend has crossed over. This way, there are no worries about holding up a foot, balancing, or causing further distress.
  2. Take as big of a piece as you are comfortable with. As cold as it may sound, the bigger the piece, the better. It will give us more options for jewelry when you are ready. Take pieces from all 4 feet, if you can. Every hoof will polish up different. Again, it’s options. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with this.
  3. Rinse off as much of the muck and mud as you can. Pat dry, and place in zipper bag.
  4. Put the bag in a cool place. A fridge, or freezer is best. If you don’t want to store the clipping(s) yourself, contact me. I can, and will, store it for you, until you are ready.
  5. Grieve.
  6. Contact me when you are ready. Give yourself at least 6 months. Be ready to talk about your equine friend. I’m going to ask you about them. I want to be able to make you the best piece possible, to represent your relationship. Something you are going to be proud to wear.

When we talk about your Equi~Gem, I don’t want you to be thinking how pushy I was advertising my skills. How I intruded on your personal grief to convince you to do this…I want you to be remembering the times you had with your partner, the good things you did together, the love, the laughter, and yeah, even the tears.

When you have an Equi~Gem made as a memorial, it should hold the memories of your and your horse.
I will do my very best to make sure that’s what you get.

Catching Up

Well now, I fell off the face of the planet again didn’t I? At least, here on the blog, I did! It’s been a busy time since I last posted. Much picture-taking/editing and processing. Learned a new technique in processing and had to play with that…it also brought to mind so many ideas I want to photograph!

So, where did we go that I took so many pictures?
Why, to the rodeo!! The Arborg Fair and Rodeo, to be precise.
So many pictures. So much work to do afterwards. So worth it!
Almost a week worth of work, and now, I’m ready for the next rodeo we’re attending in August.
Here’s some samples…

The cowboy meeting before it all got started

The cowboy meeting before it all got started

Here's a sample of that new technique I learned.

Here’s a sample of that new technique I learned.

This is one of 2 flag bearers who rode around the arena flying the flag while the national anthem was playing.
I was hesitant to take pictures during that time, but Hubby-who is one of the most patriotic people I have ever met!-assured me, that taking pictures was fine. Thank goodness, because this is, as far as I’m concerned, one of my best shots ever. 🙂

Saddle bronc

Saddle bronc

Saddle bronc, sans rider

Saddle bronc, sans rider

This silly boy...*sigh* decided he wanted to turn in the chute. Thankfully, he didn't hurt himself, he just turned around and settled back down.

This silly boy…*sigh* He decided he wanted to turn in the chute. Thankfully, he didn’t hurt himself, he just turned around and settled back down.

I love this horse...just have to say.

I love this horse…just have to say.

This lady was trying to get her horse into the arena for the barrel race...horse was having none of it!

This lady was trying to get her horse into the arena for the barrel race…horse was having none of it!

Bull riding...

Bull riding…

Bull Rider9^^^This bull was something else.
He layed down in the chute before the ride even started, and then, after the ride, he didn’t want to leave the arena. He had to be roped and encouraged to the exit, but before they could get him to leave, he threw himself down on the ground.

"You can't make me leave, puny humans!"

“You can’t make me leave, puny humans!”

"Pfft! Try to move me now!"

“Pfft! Try to move me now!”

"I spit in the face of you puny humans...hey! Grain!"

“I spit in the face of you puny humans…hey! Grain!”

And away out the exit he went. 😉

One of the Team Roping cowboys...

One of the Team Roping cowboys…

After the parade, we were going over to the Fair Grounds, and driving through town, we saw this…

Yard Giraffe

Yard Giraffe!

My Hubby, ever the patient man, turned around when asked to, so friend Shaila and I could take pictures of the giraffe.
Her rodeo shots can be seen here…
Arborg Fair & Rodeo

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday saw us back in the city, visiting with friends, and delivering some Equi~Gems.

Paul was the winner of our contest.

Paul was the winner of our contest.

We were finally able to get his prize to him, and he is now the proud owner of a Midnight Meteorite Equi~Gem. 🙂
His lovely wife Toosh, was one of our 6 finalists, so she received one as well…

Yay for horsey prizes!

Yay for horsey prizes!

I’m low on Midnight Meteorite pieces, so she had the opportunity to choose from the others as well. After much deliberation, she settled on a Rubidium piece. 🙂

While we visited them, I took a whole bunch of pictures in their Backyard Jungle. Oh, it’s a beautiful space! So many flowers, so much wildlife (bees, bunnies, butterflies), and so calm and relaxing.
I’m working on those images, and will share them when I’m done.

~~~~~~~~~~~

And then…there was the mead.
Checking on the gallon jugs, to find that the Joe’s Ancient Orange is clearing…

WooHoo!

WooHoo!

It’s still bubbling, but it’s working nicely. The claim is, with this recipe, that once the fruit settles on the bottom it’s ready to drink. Others say it’s even better after bottling and aging for a few months.
Well, Ima try both. 😉
I figure, taste it while it’s young, to see if the underlying flavor is good, put one bottle up for aging, and see if we like that better. And, once bottled, start another batch…assuming we like the taste of it. I may even start a 5 gallon batch.
I might be enjoying this a little too much…

NAH!!

Introducing…Equi-Gems

Equi-Gems are cut and polished organic gems made from the clippings of horse hooves. Every Equi-Gem is unique work of art.
No two are alike.
The pieces can come from the same horse, the same hoof, in the same trimming session, and will still be completely unique in their coloring.

Why Equi-Gems?
Why not?!? Every 4-6 weeks, horses need to have their hooves trimmed for good hoof health.
Sure the trimmings can be left for the dogs (our Daphne loves them!), but, they can also be turned into a one of a kind piece of jewelry to honor the bond you have with your equine.

How about some examples?
The following pieces are made from our horses, all are set in sterling silver, and all are for sale…

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Check out our Equi-Gems page on the side bar for more info on each piece, pricing, and contact info.

 

E is for Equi-Gems.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.