Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Finger Puppets!

Puppets on Display!
Helllllooooooo big wide world!  Yes, I realize I have been completely neglectful of my blog, I do sincerely apologize!  But I have had good reason, I promise!  Here is my alibi:
Appaloosa Finger Puppet
Roman Horse Finger Puppet

Lusitano Finger Puppet
Thoroughbred Race Horse Finger Puppet
I've been working on getting together a good selection of finger puppets, trying to make as many one-of-a-kind designs as possible.  I have blue eyed,  light grey Lusitanos, along with snowflake appaloosas, palominos, race horses, zebras, and Roman horses with felt mohawks.  Phew!  So many to keep up with!

My very first race horse finger puppet is part of a package to be donated to Shadowbrook Equine Facility's "Tribute to OTTB (Off the Track Thouroughbred)" event coming up on July 10 in Berne, New York.  The rest of the donation includes a DIY Stick Horse Set, $15 gift certificate, and some brochures to be available at the event.   Proceeds from the silent auction will go to a rescue for thoroughbred ex-racehorses to support their retraining for second careers.  It's a wonderful program, and close to my heart, because although my Thoroughbred isn't an ex racer, I certainly can imagine the amount of training and effort that goes into the process!  For more information on the event, visit their Facebook Page!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Gypsy Vanner, Egyptian Arabian and Indian Pinto Pony

Another new design!  As of a couple weeks ago, I introduced the Gypsy Vanner (Drum Horse, or Gypsy Cob) to the Painted Pony Shop family!  His name is Nomad, and he has some very special features!  In addition to high quality, genuine leather ears, Nomad has a 2x thick mane, that almost envelops his neck and face, as you would see on a real Gypsy.  His mane is made from super soft black and white yarn, and alternates according to the patches on his neck.  Nomad's stick body is painted black, with a white "sock" at the end and, *drum roll please*, adorable yarn "feathering" just like the four-legged Gypsies!  It's made from the same yarn as his mane, thick and soft.  The yarn is free flowing, so when ridden, Nomad's feathers, mane and forelock billow out behind him and swirl around in the wind.  Beautiful! :) 

Two of the designs that have been revisited are Cricket the Pinto Pony and Raja the Arabian.  Raja has had a bridle makeover, so that it no longer contains any metal parts, and now sits high on the nose as a real traditional Arabian bridle would.  Available in white or red, the bridle is made from thick, decadent woven fabric trim, dripping with tassels, with smooth ribbon or shimmering gold cord reins.  Very pretty!  Cricket also has a bridle makeover, her padded nose band now comes in either "rabbit skin" or "bear skin", with plenty of beads and feathers.  As always, she has bright, colorful hand painted Indian symbols scattered across her face and neck, that are different and personalized on every horse.  Don't they look great?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Designs and Photos

I have been so neglectful of you all!  I'm so terribly sorry, but I promise I was working hard in the meantime :)  Here is the lowdown of all the fruits of my labor: I have about a zillion new designs (no, really, I counted) and because of that fact, I have been photographing like crazy.  Of course, once I have the photos, it is a rare thing for me to be satisfied with the raw images, so each and EVERY pic goes through a rigorous series of edits, resulting in an image that I may or may not be completely satisfied with.  Just for convenience's sake, I'll only share a few today, I wouldn't want to overwhelm you!!  New designs include a red road appaloosa, lipizzaner stallion, dapple greys, a tobiano (black and white) Indian pony, hunter/jumper warmblood with genuine leather bridle, a buckskin, and several re-vamped designs including the circus pony, zebra, pinto pony, and more.  Whew!! And that's just what I can remember off the top of my head!! Here are a few sneak peaks to keep you satisfied until the next photo shoot!

 In other news, I spent a day or so revamping my website.  I have been on a seemingly unending quest for the perfect design, combining elements of earthiness with freshness, appealing colors and yet with soothing tones, organic yet at the same time playful..... this is what I came up with!  I  think that I am actually quite satisfied with it, it's fresh and uncluttered, which I think is key!  And, on the "Custom Orders" page, I created a form so that you can actually design your own hobby horse!  It includes specific design options for coloring, markings, mane length and color, personalization options, bride material, etc.  Just fill it out and press "Submit"!  Cool!  It's an easy way to tell me exactly what you want in as few steps as possible.  Hooray!

Friday, April 22, 2011

What a Day for a Ride!!

Rajah paying rapt attention

Cora trotting in warm up
Finally, nice weather is here!  After trudging through snowbanks and tiptoeing across ice for MONTHS, the weather has finally submitted to the fact that spring has sprung.  I took advantage of the opportunity and rode for a couple hours the first nice day that we had, which was today!!  My horses are *so* happy to be back in action, and despite both Cora and me being completely rusty, we broke out some nice lengthened trot and a touch of half-pass, all while staying in a nice frame.  So happy!  Rajah was excited to watch us, prancing around with his head lifted watching the show.  I hope everyone else had such a fantastic day!  Back in the saddle again!  :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Treasure Trove of Gifts

I've been featured in some really adorable Etsy treasuries lately, here is a set of two that I especially love! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Featured Item: DIY Stick Horse Kit

I can't beleive I never introduced you to my favorite new addition!  I created my first craft item a while back, listed it in my Etsy shop, and watched two of them fly of the (invisible, virtual) shelves within a few hours!  I had a request for a Do-It-Yourself Kit, including all of the necessary items to make one's very own personal hobby horse.  So, I created one! 

Kit Includes:
(1) Handcrafted pine stick horse head
*with 1-inch hole for dowel
*woodburned (signed) by the artist

(1) Pre-assembled, extra soft yarn mane
*forelock portion seperated for easy attachment
*your choice of color: black, cream, white, tan, grey, brown, black/grey mix, brown/red mix

(2) Pre-assembled faux leather ears
*handstitched at the base for quality
*your choice of color: black, brown, white

(1) Three foot section of rein material
*your choice of material: ribbon, twine, rawhide

You Will Need:
1" diameter wooden dowel
glue for the ears and stick
acrylic paint

This has been by far one of my most popular items, due to the lower price bracket and hands-on capabilities.  It comes wrapped up in an adorable white box, tied with a bow, all ready to give as a gift.  Here is a review of the kit from my wonderful customer, Natalie Emery of Georgia, USA:
"The [stick horse kit] package came Saturday and we painted and put it all together yesterday. My daughter is thrilled ...She loves her. Thank you for such a delightful idea and creating a kit so we could build her together."
Special items can be requested for the kits, including 'Decadent Lavender Reins', leather ears, and fringed bridle material.  Custom colors for ears, mane, etc are also available.  What a great weekend project!  Listing is available in my Etsy Shop!



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Certification, New Retailer! Big News!!

Painted Pony Shop is now officially a "Maine Made" company!  What are the advantages of being Made in Maine?  An excerpt from their website reads as follows:

"Maine's expansive beauty is legendary. Vast forestlands, thousands of miles of beaches, and enough lakes and mountains to lose yourself in for life.

And yet, as anyone who has been here will tell you, Maine's truest character is revealed in the details. Sunlight shafting through a spruce grove. A perfect, round stone on a beach of rugged cliffs. And a people who are resourceful, dependable and inventive.

This combination of pure material and fine detail has long characterized Maine craftsmanship. A tradition of excellence passed down for generations, "Maine Made" is recognized worldwide as a term for quality and integrity.

The unique products featured in this Web Site represent some of the finest craftsmanship available today. Over 2000 Maine companies offer a wealth of items created from wood, granite, field and farm. These products bring a sampling of Maine's rich resources right to your door. Please join us in celebrating these fine traditions. We hope you'll discover the beauty of Maine in all its detail."

I count it as such a privilege to be included with all of these fantastic artists!  Read my Maine Made Profile here:

In further news, PPS products are now also available on the highly regarded Endeavour Toys website. Endeavour's objectives are to provide toys that are:

  • Manufactured in countries that value human rights and civil liberties

  • Fun

  • Made with environmentally sustainable materials

  • Educational

  • Meet safety requirement standards

  • Check out my Endeavour Profile and listings here: 

    Endeavour is well known for providing high quality, safe, socially responsible toys.  All PPS designs will be appearing, including horse designs, DIY Kits, finger puppets, etc.  Well-made toys from all over the world are included on this amazing website, I am thrilled to be included!  There are no other stick horses or finger puppets by other manufacturers on this website, so all my products will be the go-to designs! I'm so glad that all of my PPS designs are starting to pick up some speed and gain a little bit of attention, I would love to share them with as many people as possible!!

    New Products! More Cute Ponies!!

     Sorry for the negligence!  I have been working my behind off, working on new designs.products, etc, trying to add items in a low price bracket to attract a larger range of customers.  I threw around the idea of pencil toppers, but they just aren't my speed!  I need something more snuggly.  So, I did some tweaking to my original plans and came up with a design for some super-soft, squishy, pettable finger puppets!  They are made from fleece, with uber-soft yarn manes (the same yarn used on the big wooden hobby horses) and tiny little pewter and seed bead eyes.  $8.50/each, $14/set of 2.  Available now on Etsy!  Currently only available in zebra and palomino, but with more colors and designs to come.  Aren't they just the cutest?? 

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Working on the Lipizzan....Details, Details, Details

    The Official Crest of Piber - Indicates
    Where the Horse was Bred

    So, I started to work on my newest design, the Lipizzan after the famous white stallions of Vienna, but it just looked like another white horse to me, so blah and boring.  I thought, what is unique to a Lipizzan?  Of course, I can give it sparkly gold and red tack, and a long, thick mane, but what else?  Browsing through pictures, I came across a photo that gave me a great idea.  All purebred Lipizanns bred at Piber have a series of brands, or symbolic marks tattooed into their hide.  These include an "L" on their left cheek (you guessed it, L for Lipizzan!) as well as a series of numbers and symbols across their backs rumps to indicate registry number, dam, sire, dam's sire, and where they were bred.  So, I decided to make my little wooden Lippy match!  I "branded" an L onto his cheek with a woodburner, and I'm toying with the idea of trying to brand the stick body at the end with the official crest of Piber, as well.  I might end up deciding just to paint it on, considering how intricate it is!  But I love all the little details, I think they make my horses a little extra special :) 

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    A New PPS Logo is Born!

    Lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking about a Painted Pony Shop logo.   I usually use my green horse painting, "Connection", but I really wanted to come up with something a little more whimsical & loose, with clean lines that could easily be transferred to a business card or brochure.  My objectives are to convey a natural, yet playful feeling, that looks professional and crisp.  I took a road trip to Connecticut, to see family, an on the way back, I spent most of the six-hour drive sketching out some ideas.  I had a few different layouts, but the one that really stood out to me was this:
    Original Sketch
     When I got home, I transferred it to my computer, cleaned up the edges, stylized it a little, overlaid it with color, and added my shop name.  I disconnected a lot of the lines, and varied the thickness of the strokes, so that it would have a more organic, freshly painted feel.  Viola!  The Painted Pony Shop logo was born....after several hours of tiresome trial-and-error, and lots of staring frustratedly at my computer screen, that is.  The logo is still based loosely on my green horse painting, but is a much more business-friendly version.  Any thoughts? 
    Final Product!

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Finished Product ~ Cora, the Race Horse!

    With Hood & Shadow Roll

    With Tack Removed
    Ok, so that was fast!  Didn't expect to finish the design adjustments so quickly, but what can I say, we are in the middle of a blizzard!  There's not much else to do except go into project mode!  So, here is the finished, shop-ready version of Cora: Tadaa! 

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Work In Progress!

    A while ago I posted that I was working on a design for a race horse, with all kinds of fun removeable tack.  Well, I started, and she looks pretty good!  So far, Cora has a removeable grey and green felt hood, complete with bright cupped blinders, green trim, and contrast stitching, with her running number (7) stitched front and center on the hood.  She also has a bright yellow shadow roll and brass bit rings, with smooth white ribbon reins.  And, her super thick black yarn mane is just so soft to the touch!  What do you think?  I'm thinking about changing the shape of the shadow roll, lengthening the reins, and adding green and/or yellow rein covers to go over the part that would be held....white gets so dirty!  Plus, a little extra color is never a bad thing!  Underneath all the tack, Cora is a nice dark brown (almost black!) with eyes and nose outlined in a smooth chocolately color.  She has a bold white star, that leads into a strip, that leads into a snip!  Great markings!  I can't wait to see how she turns out when she's finished, she is going to make some little kid (or adult) very happy!

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Custom Order! ~**~ Meet Annabelle!~**~

    I wanted to give an example of some custom work that I can do!  Meeting the customer's needs is of utmost importance to me, and I love to do custom orders, because it helps me to break out of the box a little and be experimental and creative! Hearing the consumer's ideas and design concepts helps me to plan for more marketable products in the future, and usually gets my wheels turning and a brainstorm brewing. 

    I just received an order for a version of Lady, the Circus horse.  The little girl's favorite color was emerald green, to be incorporated into the bridle, along with shimmering gold accents and decadent gold tassel reins.  The soon-to-be new owner is young enough that maybe having a plume wouldn't be such a good idea, she may have perhaps wanted to pull it off and do a little redesigning of her own!  So, these, along with other color specifications of a dapple grey coat with a coordinating  creamy mane, went into the creation of my latest custom order:  Annabelle!   Annabelle is going out in the mail today, I hope her new owner will have her for many wonderful years to come!  Congratulations!

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Paintings and Sketches


                  "Contentment", Acrylic on Canvas, 2010           "Chrome", Acrylic on Canvas, 2010

    I wanted to share a little of my artwork!  Painting on canvas is what I switch to when I have become completely overwhelmed and frustrated with painting on wood over and over again. This happens a lot, and as a result, there are actually a few select pieces that I am actually quite proud of!  When I found out last year that one of my horses, Rajah, had severe, life-threatening melanomas, I did a portrait of him - the one titled "Contentment".  That's the only painting that has any kind of real story to it, everything else has just struck me in the moment, from an experience or feeling.

    "Watching", Charcoal, 2010
    I'm not the type of person who can sit down and work on a painting for a days at a time, painstakingly adding minute details and tiny brush strokes.  Usually, unless I finish a piece the same day that I start it, it sits incomplete on the easel for weeks!  But, once in a blue moon, I finish something I start.  Here are some final products that I've done over the years.  I'm toying with the idea of making some of these available on canvas on Etsy, what do you think? 

    "Rogue", Charcoal, 2010

    "Connection", Acrylic on Canvas

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Gift Certificate Giveaway!

    I have decided to do a little promotion, to attract a bit more attention.  So as a result, I'm giving away a $25 gift certificate!  That's more than 33% off any of my horses!  All you have to do to enter is become a fan of my Facebook Page! That's it, so simple!  Anyone with a Facebook account can enter, and there are no strings attached.  The gift certificate is absolutely free!  When I reach 100 fans, I will randomly pick a winner and send the gift certificate via PDF file or through the mail, whichever they prefer.  The $25 can be used on a horse, piece of artwork, or accessories for the horses, anything in the shop - you can even give it as a gift.  If you use it toward something that is less that $25, I'll re-issue another gift certificate for the adjusted amount, so you can do some more spending! 
    To Enter:

    1) Visit the Painted Pony Shop Page:( )

    2) Press "Like"

    The winner will be contacted through
    Facebook as soon as he or she has been
    selected.  Have fun!


    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Meet My Inspiration!

    Rajah and I Showing 1st Level
    Isaac Royal Farm
    Cora Relaxing at a Show
    Isaac Royal Farm
    In my last post, I referenced my Throroughbred, Cora.  I actually have two horses, Cora's companion is a beautiful Lipp/Thoroughbred gelding, Rajah.  These guys are as juxtaposed as you can get!  Cora is a punk with a chip on her shoulder (who somehow has found it within herself to love me) but Rajah is a sweet, cuddly, laid back teddy bear who comes running when he hears me and gives hugs and kisses upon request.  I've given Cora a mohawk, it seems appropriate! They are both trained in Dressage, Rajah hovers between First and Second level, Cora is trained to Fourth Level/Prix St. Georges and has an AMAZING extended trot, enviable to be sure!  I got both of my babies from Isaac Royal Farm (, they are fantastic horses, and the training I received there will last me a lifetime! Since I brought my horses home, I ride mostly bareback, because I find that the feel and timing is so much improved - I haven't used a saddle in a couple years!  My horses are so special, and they serve as constant encouragement and inspiration. I just thought you'd like to meet them!