Tuesday, February 13, 2018

DJD Prototype: sparkles to light up a dreary day!

I'm a pretty relentlessly practical person. I don't spend a lot of time indulging whims or shopping for new, shiny, beautiful or luxurious items. When it comes to my own gear and garb, I generally aim for pieces that "will do" for the job.

behold, the prototype of a new V-shaped browband from Dark Jewel Designs! in a classy silver color scheme
None of my horse stuff is very fancy, and very little of it was purchased new. I like a deal, and I like consignment. And I like spending my dollars on lessons and horse shows, vs the latest and greatest in tack or gear.

Somehow, tho, I've still managed to amass a small but growing collection of "nice" stuff. My jump and dressage bridles are both quite nice (both came to me used from other bloggers, actually!). And obvi my new (to me) dressage saddle is probably the nicest piece of tack I own. And I'm excited to have these pieces for this first horse of mine that will hopefully be my partner for many years to come.

an otherwise boringly practical mail day was made so much better by the addition of bling!
So when Amelia of Dark Jewel Designs asked me to beta test a new browband style she's experimenting with, I could not have been more excited! I already have a collection of her snap-on browbands for both bridles - with interchangeable bead strands for whatever mood suits us.

And this new shape seemed like it could be very flattering on Sir Charles. Knowing that this particular style does not have the interchangeable functionality, I opted to keep the design somewhat universal with a simple, but elegant monochromatic silver look.

and on foggy, gray, drizzly days when the ground is saturated beyond capacity... sparkles help brighten things up!
Which, ya know, was kinda fitting bc it's been gray gray gray here for ages. The amount of rain we've had.... ugh. I'm honestly shocked Charlie hasn't blossomed into every known variety of fungus yet. Esp considering he's started shedding, I just *know* the skin funk can't be far behind!

tho naturally, it was also a good day for some organization too
But before I could try out Amelia's gorgeous new design, my locker needed some fresh attention. I've posted a few times now on the organizational evolution of this locker, mostly bc clutter is apparently my lifestyle.

And the way I had things set up in this locker just wasn't sustainable. It was too messy, too hard to get bridles and saddles in and out. And I kept on finding myself piling stuff on the floor in front of those drawers instead of each item having its own dedicated place.

traded out the hanging organizer for a metal rack so my bridles could hang on the door too instead of along the inner walls of the locker
With this latest lovely browband addition to the family, I wanted to make sure it could be stored safely in the locker. Considering my bridles were previously wedged in along the sides, with the saddles cramming up against them.... I knew I wanted to reevaluate how the door space was utilized.

this makes it a lot easier to get the saddles in and out without tangling up all the bridles
As much as I loved that baker-style hanging organizer, I wanted my bridles on the door instead for easier access. So the hanging organizer is gone, replaced by a simple wire rack from Amazon. Which, amazingly, stores basically the same amount of stuff but takes up less space. I'll call that a win.

and suddenly the inside of the locker seems so much less cluttered! relatively lol
It also means that my saddles don't have as much friction when being pulled off their racks, or put back into place. You can see in the above picture all the nails where my bridles previously hung.

Not sure if I'll put anything else back on them again. Maybe spare girths.... but maybe I'll just leave that space clear. And hopefully a lot of this "spare stuff" will actually make it onto the eventual equestrian blogger yard sale post (keep an eye out for that at the end of the month!!).

the rack manages to hold basically as much as the hanging organizer too, tho i still want to optimize it a little more, esp with regard to boots...
I like the set of drawers in my locker a lot, but it's been hard to keep them as optimized as possible. Esp when other stuff ends up being stored on the floor in front of them. I'm hoping that with these wire racks, everything will be much easier now. Tho boot and polo and wrap storage continues to be somewhat of an issue. That stuff just takes up so much space!! Gah!!!

meanwhile, scruffy charlie got to come out and play too! let's just pretend that his mane is brushed lol
At least, tho, at least my primary objective in the re-org was met: Getting my bridles hung in a more effective way, with less likelihood for tangles or damage. Again, bc considering the bridles are some of the nicest I've ever owned, I really ought to take better care of them!

he's a hard horse to make pose lol, but he made some nice faces in his pretty new brow band!
And naturally, the last thing I want to do is damage Amelia's beautiful bead work! All of the browbands I've had from her have been sturdy in standing up to my regular abuse, and this new V-shape seems no different. But still.
 
mostly tho he kinda just looks like this. slightly confused as to what we're doing standing around like this
And actually I really like the way it fits Charlie. Right now it's sitting "up" a little bit off his forehead, but I think that's mostly just stiffness of new leather. The fit is nice and roomy, and doesn't seem likely to rub or pinch anywhere. The beadwork itself is flexible too.

or ya know, he doesn't stand around at all. it's hard to get a picture bc he's always following me!
Plus I actually really like how the V looks on him with his big bright star (and the silver color does a good job of making that star look even whiter, as opposed to making it look dingy).

so we'll just have to settle for close-ups ;)
Plus, perhaps it distracts a little bit from Charlie's forelock's tendency to hold itself in a dweeby center part??? Lol...

browband fits well and the beads are so pretty! i expect the leather to settle in and become more supple with regular use
Per usual, Amelia worked with me on my ideas for color scheme and style in picking a pattern for the bead work. My vision was "monochromatic sparkles" and that's exactly what I got, with a nice variety in the style and type of bead used.

She offers a ton of different styles, tho - which you can see on her Facebook, Etsy, or Flickr Albums. My personal favorite way to work with her is to give her a general idea of what I'm looking for (colors, dark v bright, type of pattern, etc) and then let her creative juices work their magic in mocking up examples.

but even with charlie's funny expressions, i think i quite like the V-shape on him!!!
I'm not sure if there's anything definitive yet on timelines, availability, or pricing for this particular V shape, as Charlie is wearing a prototype of the design while Amelia works out the kinks. I'm excited about it tho! And hopeful to debut it at a schooling show coming up later this month (fingers crossed!).

Do you like blingy browbands? Or new or interesting shapes? Or do you mostly go with the tried and true traditional look, to avoid distraction? And are you like me, using these dark dreary winter days to fuss around with all your gear and gadgets and organizational stuff to get everything all primed for spring???

35 comments:

  1. Oohh, that's lovely! I love the V shape.

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  2. That looks perfect on Sir Charles- very classy

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    1. that's the hope - we need all the help we can get in the dressage ring lol....

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  3. Loving the V on him! My personal favorite look it the swoopy U shaped browband. It looked so good on Pig's regal face. Still figuring out what best on Bast, though.

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    1. i like the U shape a lot too and still have (i think? maybe?) a plain PS browband hangin around somewhere in that shape

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  4. i really like that v-design on him. Gorgeous. I have a blingy browband that came with my Eponia and that is it. LOL I often think about getting different ones then I forget about it till another blogger posts about them :) I do like my eponia one since the amber color matches Remus eyes. The PS Sweden ones never fit Remus (drooped too much) so this one fits. But i do like this one on Charlie. AND on cleaning up clutter. OMG I need to clean my tack box out but it is has been so gross and gray and cold I havent done it yet (I Usually like to drag it outdoors so i can see and empty it out...one day maybe?) And is it sad my Stubben still comes home with me every day? I can't leave it in the barn. I am too scared something will happen. My husband is amazed i dont have a safe for it. LOL #crazyme

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    1. oh man, yea now is NOT the time to drag anything outside for deep cleaning lol! unless you want it filled with rivers of mud... blech. and that's funny about taking the stubben home every day lol, that's dedication!!! i'm way #toolazy for that!

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    2. he says i take better care of the stubben than him LMAO

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  5. I love me some bling! 😍 The monochromatic sparkle look with that V suits Charlie's face really well, great choice!

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    1. ha thanks! i was trying to decide between monochromatic black white or silver. all of Amelia's examples looked really good too, and i think the silver suited especially nicely!

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  6. Your tack locker is impressive. So much stuff!! I have one single bridle that Gem wears for everything. Poor mare is long suffering. That V shape looks really good on Charlie's face and, being a very boring person myself, I really like that monochromatic bling.

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    1. i definitely like the monochromatic look too, preferring it over alternating contrasting colors etc. and yea i've got a lot of stuff. i miiiiight be a hoarder. in my defense tho, charlie truly does need different bits for dressage and jumping, so there's two bridles right there. plus the hackamore for conditioning and trails..... lol

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  7. I like the V-shape! The slight swoop is my favorite for a dressage bridle, even though it took my eye a while to get used to it, I prefer it now over just a regular browband. The V is really nice too, gives it a little panache. ;)

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    1. i like the slight swoop too, tho it was basically impossible to fit on isabel's super refined little face. charlie's mug is a bit easier to work with, honestly. and being basically a big giant, fairly plain horse, he can handle a little extra "panache" haha

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  8. Ooo I like that. Someone will shoot me, but I also like the drop shape, but it's really hard to find a dropped shape that is the right shape for your horse's noggin. Bling is totally a necessary! I think I have a long grey spring ahead of me, and you've reminded me that I have colorful everything to break out and enjoy!

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    1. sparkles and color definitely go a long way toward brightening up otherwise gray weather!! and i doubt anybody will shoot you for liking the drop shape - you're the third person to mention it in this thread lol!

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  9. I love the V-shape! Charmer also has one of those weird center parts too - drives me crazy sometimes haha.
    The organizational part of this post made me giggle, because I just put up a post about the same thing!! Your locker looks so nice

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    1. lol the center part is so nerdy on the horses haha.... and i guess spring cleaning season has come early this year!

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  10. I like the v shape on Charlie a lot! I never noticed his center part before and it made me giggle. Amelia always does such pretty work.

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    1. she really does make such pretty stuff! i love all the beads!

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  11. So purty! I like the V-shape browbands and have a blingy one on my own dressage bridle (though no dressage saddle still, so it's collecting dust right now).

    P is shedding also and it's rained every day for the last couple weeks so I'm shocked he's not covered in fungus as well.

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    1. omg the fungus cometh, i can FEEL IT. probably the thrush too ugh.... this is def not my favorite weather pattern!

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  12. Ooooo I really love it! I think it looks great on Charlie! I think I like a more traditional shape on Amber since she's got a cob-length head but I love the V on Charlie! I've definitely had DJD in my sights to grab some fun browbands for Amber!
    And OMG CHARLIE NO FUNGUS. NO. JUST NO MORE.

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    1. no fungus as yet, but i'm sure there will be something eventually....

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  13. Thank you for such a wonderful write-up (as always!) and for providing such a studly model :) The V-shape really does suit Charlie very nicely and I like the monochromatic bling. You have given me ideas! I like the tighter U/wave shape on a lot of horses, but can't get behind the droopy ones that look like they are dripping down the horses forehead. It really is a personal choice though because I think different horses look good in different shapes.

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    1. thank you so much for letting us be your guinea pigs!!! when all else fails (as happens often in charlieland, apparently), at least we can try on pretty tack for pictures!!!! and yea i'm with ya on feeling like it really depends on the horse and personal taste. stuff that did not work at all for izzy actually works great for charlie. go figure!!

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  14. Very nice! Love the shape and glad to see it hold up

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    1. yea i'm eager to see how it all settles in after regular use!!

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  15. The fanciest browband I have is a unicorn horn for Gwyn, LOL. I REALLY want a pretty bling browband for my dressage bridle though. One day, one day I'll have one...

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  16. It's no secret I am not a fan of the weirdly shaped browbands, but Charles looks marvelous! :-D

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  17. Yes to bling and shapes and Amelia! New sparkles look awesome. :-)

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