Thursday, May 31, 2018

Learn to Stitch

Do you live nowhere near a needlepoint store but have always wanted to learn how to stitch?  Well, if your answers are "yes" and "yes" then I have some good news.  You can learn to stitch via the Internet with the help of Lycette, a needlepoint brand, store - here are the details.  Lessons with Lycette will be launched soon, so there will be no excuses for anyone out there who has an Internet connection and the desire to learn.

No excuses!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Posthumous Fall of the No Longer Legendary Jimmy Williams

There's been much banter in the horse world recently as the MeToo Movement has hit the upper echelons of the hunter-jumper world as the now-deceased Jimmy Williams has been outed by many of his former students.  The story made the New York Times today.  You can read it here.  Moral of this story?  Hire a female coach.  Have a great Tuesday!

(New York Times)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Planning a Summer Dinner Party

Now that summer has arrived, it's time to plan that perfect dinner party. I'm not talking about a cook-out but a sit-down dinner for guests, either on a patio or dining room depending on weather.  I prefer to use my patio when I can but can only seat six, so I select my guests carefully making sure it's a good mix.

(Pomegranate Linens)

If you are a "blue" person then try these placements, also from Pomegranate.

 Add these napkins:

Or these:

Or if you prefer an equestrian theme use these:

Add these placemats:

I love these faux Lemon Cypress Topiaries.  Add them to your table.

I love bamboo flatware and this will go nicely with the dark brown placemats:

Add these goblets to your table to keep the "color" going.

Use these Lilly glasses for cocktails, before dinner:

Or get a good laugh with these:

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Rachel Donley Needlepoint

I'm in love with this needlepoint designer.  If you need any new projects for your "stash" you might consider checking out her designs. Here are some of my favorites:

 You can order any of her designs directly from her website

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Devon Horse Show Stories

We all love a good story.  My old trainer's daughter was 12 years old when she made her first trip to the Devon Horse Show in the junior hunters no less.  Her horse was only eight.  She was wait listed and made it in the week before the show.  The horse was tiny, maybe 15'2, with a giant stride and obviously a great brain.  As she posted online earlier today:

12 years ago, a week before the show, 12 year old Kori and 8 year old Coconut Grove made it off the wait list for the Younger Small Junior Hunters at Devon. There were many "Jesus/Coco, the First, take the wheel" moments, but we prevailed and pulled off a victory in the stakes class. To all of those kiddos preparing to ride in the Dixon Oval or Gold Ring, you don't have to have a string of 6 horses or big name to do well. Have a great time and remember all of those who only dream about having that opportunity. And listen to your mom when she advises against wearing a bright pink belt. When you're 24, you'll see the pictures and realize it looks stupid with your shadbelly.

Kori won a class that day and the horse was later sold for a hefty price at the time. Kori still rides and I hope she is an inspiration to those out there who work hard and have big dreams.  Hard work pays off in the end and a little luck never hurts.

I have my own Devon story although it's not as good a story as Kori's. My big chestnut horse had qualified for Devon and my trainer wanted to take him but I had lost my job and money was tight.  I was not interested in dumping the hundreds/thousands of dollars to go to a horse show, especially one that I could not ride in.  But they begged and pleaded and my best friend set me real straight. "How many horses in your lifetime will qualify for Devon?"  She was right.  But I wasn't even planning to go see him go.  But she set me straight there to and so we went.   I got to see him jump around in the mud and I still keep my Devon ribbons in my home office.  It was worth it and my friend was right, I never had a horse qualify for Devon ever again.  Checked that off my bucket list. My lone Devon photo.  Memory lane!


Julie Brown Sale Picks

I love Julie Brown's clothes and if you are on a budget you're in luck as her sale items are an extra 40 percent off right now.  Get some great clothes for spring, summer or winter, at some unheard of prices.  Shop the sale here.  Here are some of my favorites:

(Use the Code Summerstock for 40 percent off)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tory Burch Summer Sale

As usual I am loving Tory Burch's clothes and the good news is that she is having a sale. This stuff goes quicker than hot cakes, so if you see something you love you'd better take advantage of the savings now.

This David Hicks' inspired tote comes in four colors.  

I also love these slides which come in four color options.  

And I love this fun terry dress, great for the beach.  Love the color too.

This tunic is so different, and I love the colors!

And Tory makes the best bathing suits. They fit well, are well-made and you can't find a better made suit.  Love this one.

I also love this one and it comes in navy too.

This cardigan is timeless. 

And I love the details on this navy dress.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

C.W. Anderson and the Billy and Blaze Books

We all read them.  Our home library was full of these magical books with the fabulous illustrations that we read over and over again, never tiring of the simplicity and the love between a boy and his horse.

This first in the series of eleven books, was started in 1936 by Clarence William Anderson or "CW" as he was known.   You can buy newer paperback versions of these books on Amazon.  But I prefer the old ones that you can find in antique stores, on Ebay, Etsy.  They reckon back to a simpler time, a simpler life.  These will never fade even though the pages and bindings may be worn with age.

A complete list of the books in the series and the publication dates is as follows:
  • Billy and Blaze (1936)
  • Blaze and the Gypsies (1937)
  • Blaze and the Forest Fire (1938)
  • Blaze Finds the Trail (1950)
  • Blaze and Thunderbolt (1955)
  • Blaze and the Mountain Lion (1959)
  • Blaze and the Indian Cave (1964)
  • Blaze and the Lost Quarry (1966)
  • Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony (1968)
  • Blaze Shows the Way (1969)
  • Blaze Finds Forgotten Roads (1970)
The books were fully illustrated by the author and you can find his illustrations today on the Internet.  I came across three of them last weekend at an antique show, all signed by the artist.

You can also find vintage books on Ebay and Etsy for a reasonable amount of money.







Sometimes vintage is best.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Fury and the Founder

In Virginia it's grass season which also means it's founder season.  Founder is one mean actor and you'll definitely know it if you ever meet it.  Secretariat was put down due to founder.  It's a mysterious disease that effects horses who typically consumer too much lush grass, although there are several types of founder.  Fat ponies, older horses, insulin-resistant or "IR" horses are all prone to founder.  I have two that fall into this category and I am always relieved with late June arrives and the lush grass is burned by the hot sun.

Founder or Laminitis is extremely painful for afflicted horses.  You will know something is terribly wrong. Some early signs might include heat in the hooves, a horse "parking out" meaning they may spread their front and back legs much like a Saddlebred will, to help ease the discomfort.  Walking will be very painful or shifting from one foot to other frequently.  If you suspect that your horse is foundering, call the vet immediately, pack their feet in ice and give Banamine if you have it.  Time is a huge factor in helping to stop the destruction in your horse's feet.

You have to monitor your horse's grass intake in the spring and fall when the grass is lush.  Grass is not necessarily your horse's friend.  Grazing muzzles, limiting grass turnout, frequent exercise, and a proper diet can help to prevent this terrible disease. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Day After

Wow.  What a weekend of events.  Wish we could restart this one and do it all over again.  So what about that wedding? Did that dress just not knock the ball out of the park?  Meghan will be the new fashion icon for sure.  She'll even give the late Lady Diana a run for her money.  That tiara!  Less is definitely more - she proved that to the world.  And the wedding itself.  The gospel music, the sermon and the guest list. How fabulous was the whole thing? 

I am hoping we'll see her influence in the "less is more" style like this shirt from Talbots, which I love. I have a similar one in white.

And what about the Preakness?  In the fog?  In the mud, again?   And the battle between the two super-talented chestnuts, Good Magic and Justify?  I cannot wait for the Belmont.  Let's hope that Justify can recover again in time for the much longer Belmont Stakes and let's hope that the horse does not have run again the slop. At least we know he can handle it.

(Blood Horse Photo)

Counting the days until the Belmont!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Graduation Gifts for Her

I'm struggling with finding the perfect graduation gift for a friend headed to college, who also happens to ride, but I am straying from things for the horse or rider. Looking for a keepsake, something she would never buy for herself. She's not a clothes horse, or logo conscious, but I suspect she'd appreciate something nice that she can wear or use while in school and I am open for suggestions!

This Tory Burch Crossbody Bag would be perfect for nights out, carrying a phone, keys and a few credit cards.  Love this.

Or this lovely Julie Vos bracelet:

What could be more decadent than a Smythson iPhone Cover?  It comes in many colors.

Perhaps a versatile Longchamps bag?

Or a sterling bar bracelet from LV Harkness:

Or perhaps a great cotton robe!

Other ideas?
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