I’m really into the “adult coloring” craze right now, and am always on the lookout for nice horse-themed books. This was one of the first I found, created by Christina Riley. It’s so awesome to see hobbyists releasing stuff like this!

She has two books called Horsin’ Around: Just Horses! and Horsin’ Around: Color Me Crazy! I purchased a copy of Color Me Crazy and have really enjoyed it so far.

The illustrations in this book are gorgeous and very well done. What I really love is the variety.

Some of the horses are tacked up…

And others aren’t.

There is also a nice variety of breeds, including a couple bonus zebras. 😉

The drawings in Color Me Crazy have had intricate backgrounds added to them, which are fun to color in. Also, all of the pages are printed on one side of the paper.

Here’s one of the pages I’ve completed:

Both books can be purchased directly from Christina here. She’s having a clearance sale on them right now, so if you’re interested I’d definitely recommend snagging one up!

More of her beautiful work can be found on her website, http://crileycustoms.weebly.com/ and Facebook page as well. 🙂

I was hoping to have more posts (and progress!) made by now, but last week was rough and… yeah. BUT, some progress was made over the weekend!

I got the crown piece and browband made.

The crown piece is split, which is always a bit stressful (for me anyway!) as it can go wrong so easily. Mine isn’t exactly how I want it either… since I used two different buckle sizes on the cheek and throat pieces, I tried to cut the lace in the correct widths to match that. I came close, and everything buckles ok, but the hardware is really rough on the lace because it’s not exact. I doubt I could get it exactly right, but it’s something I need to pay closer attention to in the future. :/

The browband came out ok though.

Most of my references have this decorative stitching on each end, so I added that and went over it with the gold paint again. I kind of like how it’s tying together with the hardware and all.

The next piece I decided to tackle was the brass rosettes on the browband. On my refs, this is almost always a circle with a scalloped edge, and a cone-like shape in the center of it. (though I did find one made from pieces of leather!)
I really didn’t want to stick with a plain brass circle as a substitute, so I tried to make them from scratch instead.

At first I thought a 1/4 in circle would be large enough. I used a circle template to visualize this:

I used the template to cut a bunch of circles out from paper. In the end, I went with a 5/16 circle as it looked the best on the browband:

To make the rosettes, I rolled out a thin sheet of black polymer clay and used the template to cut out a tiny circle.

The “cone” shape was made by stacking even smaller circles on top of each other. It was very fiddly to get right, and I did have to squish up a few attempts before I got one I was happy with:

Instead of trying to make another one exactly like it, I decided to make a mold from Amazing Mold Putty. I picked up this stuff a while ago from Michaels and have played around with it for polymer clay food.

The copy isn’t quite like the original, but it’s fairly close. These I painted with gold alcohol ink:

They’re attached to the browband with E6000:

On the horse:

They’re not super shiny and perfect but I think they turned out ok. 🙂 I am pretty happy with how this set is coming together. I still have plenty of pieces to make though. April’s nearly halfway over already, ack!

The cheek pieces and bit were up next. These were each cut from two pieces of very thinly skived lace, 1/4″ and 1/8″ for those curious.

My references have this stitched piece on top of the larger one, so I was trying to imitate that:

Two more tiny straps were buckled in place. The loose ends will go around the bit shanks and glued down underneath. On full size bridles, I think that strap is actually part of the cheek piece. I believe it loops behind the noseband, through the bit, keeper and through the buckle.
It’s possible to do this in model scale, but it would result in the flesh side of the leather facing upward, which is what I’m trying to avoid.

Anyway! Here it is minus the bit:

Speaking of the bit, I have had no luck trying to obtain a gold plated stud bit. I figured I would have to use a silver one for the time being, or find a way to customize one. I decided to try the customizing.

To add some more depth, I added a tiny drop of glue to each shank. I did rough up the piece with a pin beforehand, hopefully to help the glue grab on a little better.

When that was completely dry, it was time to add color. I picked up this set of alcohol inks from Joanns, after hearing a lot about them in all those miniature videos I watch. 😛 They have a much better coverage than metallic paint, dry quickly, and seem to cover metal well too. It was worth a try, anyway!

Here it is after a couple coats of the ink, and a coat of varnish. I didn’t cover the back of the pieces- you can’t see them anyway and I didn’t want to risk any weird reactions or transfers to the horse!

Not perfect of course but I am pleased with the result. I have no idea how it will hold up though. I painted a scrap piece of etched metal with the gold and tried to scrape it off, and it held up fairly well so we’ll see!

Here it is all together, held in place with string for now.