"To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.".....The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Thursday, September 18, 2014

RMA International Horseback Archery Competition

I haven't been posting things here lately, as I had been preparing myself and my horse for the Rogue Mounted Archers International Horseback Archery Competition — also known as the RMA Horseback Archery Zombie Shoot. Yes there were zombies. Five of them. They got shot full of lots of arrows.

I had backed out of this event, feeling that I wasn't quite ready for the big show. I got talked back into it, and I am glad I went, even though I ended up WAY low on the final scores. Partly because I had to pull Delight out of the Sunday shoot, as she had come up with a stone bruise. Then again, my shooting is still pretty hit and miss...mostly miss, so I went for the experience more than anything else. I met a lot of wonderful people, and had a great time. Delight did me proud and didn't spook at the crowds, and gave me consistent runs of between 12 and 12.6 seconds in 90 meters, which is plenty fast enough for me. Any faster and I wouldn't get any shots off at all. Just so long as she stays under 14 seconds, which is the cut off. Go over 14, and you get penalty points.

There were contestants from all over the US, and also from Japan, South Korea, and Brazil. There were two grand masters attending. One from Japan and one from Korea. The Japanese were using the traditional Yumi bow, which is much longer than the shorter horse bows. All in all it was a very fun event, even if the weather turned very hot, and toward the end a bit smoky from the forest fires burning in Oregon and California.

Here are two pictures of me and Delight taken by the wonderful photographer Carla Resh (All rights reserved. Please don't re-post anywhere without giving her copyright credit).

In the above photo, I am not celebrating a great shot. I am saying, "Oh, shit!" because my arrow hit the target but bounced off...no score. 

Another photo by Carla Resh. Not many people get to meet a true Samurai. Tanaka-San from Japan is such a one, and it was an honor for us to meet him. Here is a photo of him and my husband, Robert, retrieving arrows off the course between runs of shooters. He was out there all day, helping the ground crew, and in his 70's he could outlast a lot of the younger guys. And boy, could that man drink whiskey! Chugged it down like water, and then just walked away, steady as a rock. He told me later that he'd had lots of practice in Mongolia drinking Russian vodka from a bowl. Yikes!

There are a ton of stories I came away with from this event, too many to tell here, but ones I will cherish. Can't wait to meet up with all these people again next year.

Next up is an SCA mounted archery event October 3-5 and then I am done for the season! Back to artwork, beading, sewing, and new experiments. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Looking Forward To Winter

Most of my friends reading that title would ask if I was feverish or delusional. I usually rant and rave about how much I hate winter and the months of rain and cold. This year things are a bit different, and it surprises even me that I am actually looking forward to winter this year. And since we don't have a covered arena, and our place turns to mud after the first rains, I don't have to feel too guilty about not getting outside and working...either in the yard or with our horses.

It's mainly due to the fact that this summer has been a busy one of horse events, or trailering the horses to the Rogue Mounted Archers site for practices. Then things really ramped up when the RMA decided to host an international competition Sept 9-14. As members of the group, we were driving back and forth (it's about an hour and fifteen minutes one way) to help get the property ready for this first time event. Also, things got even more antsy, for me, as I ended up deciding to compete. Since I had waffled back and forth over that decision — yes I will, no I won't, yes I will, no never mind — then had several friends tell me to just go for it, so I did...or will. Which put me in a tissy, because I had let things slide, thinking I was out of the competition and the pressure was off. Now it's back on.

Then, just two weeks after this BIG competition, Robert and I are involved in putting on the equestrian part of an SCA event Oct 3-5. We had hoped to kinda bail out of setting things up for this, but it turned out that we still needed to be involved, which just added to the stress level we were already under.

You can see why I am looking forward to winter. After that last event, I want to be a slug for a few weeks, then start some art/sewing projects that I just haven't had time for, as my limited brain power has been focused elsewhere.

Here are a few of the things I want to play around with...some new, some old friends.

Gelli printing. I had never heard of this form of mono-printing, but stumbled on an example on Pinterest. I then did a search of gelli printing on Pinterest and got tons of photos and how-tos showing what it was all about. It looks like fun, seems to be pretty easy, and you can do it on fabric as well as paper, just use fabric paint instead.

Using resin in jewelry making. This is another thing I have been wanting to play around with for quite a while. With the new kits available it seems an easy process and I have seen some really wonderful things done with resin.

More beading on fabric. I got really hooked on beading ever since I started doing the boleros. I want to try using stencils for beading designs, and incorporating paint, stitching and beading all together on pieces of clothing I pick up at the Goodwill. There are just so many wonderful beading ideas out there, and I get all excited. But I don't want to start anything until after all these events are over, so I can really hunker down and get busy.

Back to drawing and painting. I started drawing and using colored pencils a while back, but due to all the time spent trying to get ready for these upcoming events, I put it on the back-burner...again. I did buy a new and better sketchbook with paper than can stand up to wet media, so I am ready to go when everything else calms down.  I can also use this sketchbook as an art journal, which will be fun.

Here is a list of some other crazy things I would like to play around with during The Dark Days: Bleach pens, dying fabric, embroidery, making beaded bugs (I bought a little book on how to make them), and printing photos/artwork on cloth so I can use my own in designs on fabric.

Now you can see why I am looking forward to those long, cold, rainy months. I have a lot to do, and I can't wait to start playing.