Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Clean

I cleaned my desk last week.

Why is this worth a blog post? Because I am a truly, ridiculously, maddeningly messy person. I feel for the next person I move in with. And I like making fun of my inability to keep anything clean.

My tiny computer desk is also the place where I make tack, so when you sit at one place, day after day, and are as untidy as I am, things tend to get a little filthy.

The clean started because I could not find the bridle for one of my models. I searched my tack box , the shelf, and my old photo-taking area (which is now just a junk-holding area), but nada. Then I turned and eyed the desk. It had to be in there.

I found the ribbon browband from the bridle relatively easily, but before I go any further, let me tell you what else I found. Keep in mind that when I said I was messy, I am REALLY messy.

I found:
- 12 bobby pins
- 9 mini wooden pegs (that I use to hold drying work together
- 17 tiny elastic bands used for braiding a horse's mane (in my case, used for holding hanks of lace)
- 24 (!) browbands of various sizes and colours
- 6 paperclips
- 5 single model horse boots, none of them matching
- 16 1/16" D-rings
- 7 Australian one- and two-cent coins. These coins haven't been in circulation for over 20 years, yet I still hang onto them. Why?
- 1 classic harness shaft loop

Little bit hilarious, isn't it?

I did eventually find the rest of the bridle, but by the time I did, it was too dark for photos. That'd be right.

So instead I turned my attention to my new glue, Helmar 450 Quick Dry Adhesive. To test its mettle, I made a traditional silver Western show halter:

and then a bridle:

At this point, I've discovered a flaw. The glue is super stringy when wet. If you're not careful, you can end up with cobweb-like bits of glue all over the place. They are easy to cut off when dry, but they are annoying

I have a love-hate relationship with the lid on the bottle. It's a twist cap - twist up to open the bottle, twist down to close - instead of a removable cap like on Duco. This is good as you can't lose the cap, but the design also means that if you forget to close the cap, you can find a great bubble of glue forming on the top.

Other than that, the glue itself seems relatively strong. The connection holds well and doesn' come apart easily. So, happy with the glue, I turned my attention to Dan's harness.

I finished off the girth and belly band with Duco, since that is what I started using on it. I'm not entirely happy with it - there is a glue mark on the very bottom, so if I have time I will remake the girth.

Next came the breeching, which I spent today working on. And then I discovered 450's deep dark secret.

It doesn't like tragacanth-treated leather. At all.

That's the backing of the breeching coming off the stitch-marked piece.

(This probably didn't show up with the test pieces as they were made with natural leather, and I don't treat that colour due to colour changes.) I'm annoyed, but I think I may be able to work around it by only treating the piece after it is complete.

I did manage to get all of the breeching and the backstrap and crupper finished today, using Duco.

It is sitting a bit high on bubble-butt Lady Phase here, but Ricky's butt is not as big so it will sit properly on him.

I also started on the breastplate. The blue piping/trim is done, and I've attached the traces, but there is still a bit of work to go yet.

I still haven't touched the bridle yet. Oops.

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