Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Horse for Giggles: Part 1

Just like misery, hippomania likes company.

And in our family it is in the genes - so it is very fitting that Aunty Jenny feed, encourage and give every opportunity for Giggles' latent horse-loving gene to flourish.

I started with a Happy 0th Birthday present that included a soft rattley toy in the shape of a horse's head. Then tried to teach her to say "Daddy, can have a horsey please" from about the age of 3 months. Daddy would always counter with, "I think Aunty Jenny would love to buy you a horsey," so that might have back-fired a little.

Anyway, when I was a child I always wanted a rocking horse. A proper rocking horse like you see in period movies in some mansion in Georgian England. You know, with the stand and the horse swung from it. *Sigh* My repressed childhood.

Okay, so I got to have real horses for a few years while we were out west. The rocking horse would have been a much cheaper option, but Mum & Dad provided the Real Thing. This possibly downgrades the level of repression I can claim for my childhood - but I've never been one to let the facts get in the way of a good story.

So because I always wanted a rocking horse it becomes essential to give one to my niece Giggles (who is showing every sign of early hippomania - just like Aunty Jenny).

I found a book on wooden toys (that belongs to my Beloved who started out life as a carpenter).

I looked at the sizes and decided that it needed to be a bit bigger so that a child could sit in the right place, not precariously balanced on the rump - I'm not going to be responsible for Giggles having an incorrect seat on a horse.

So we scaled up the plans to get enough room for a child to sit and have a little growing room. It might have ended up a little bigger than anticipated. And this is the story up to now (and the reason that blogging has been a little short on for the last few days):-

Plans in progress. Trying to make certain everything was in proportion. It answered my question that the head they had in the book was just the wrong size, but I had scaled it down too much - so I made a few changes. The body shown was only a spacer, not the full width in case you're wondering about the poor thing's nutrition (or lack thereof).

The LBD is happy to help in any way he can.

Working title at this point should probably be "Blockhead". My Beloved laminated multiple boards together to get a piece thick enough for his head. Definitely a job for him, not me.

My very clever Beloved then uses a jig saw to block out the basic shape. Another job for him.

Then it's back to me and my rusty, I mean trusty, rasp - trying to get the basic shaping for the neck and head. I've got a little further than this now, but not looking forward to eyes, nose and ears - all of which are detailed and difficult. Every horse book I possess is scattered around the house.

First we had one leg...

Then we had fore legs (one more to go - oh the bad pun)...

Final leg is marked out, my Beloved will probably cut it out after work today.

So we're living in a house littered with dismembered horse limbs and much, much more work to do before the deadline (Giggles' birthday) in the middle of June.

Chance that it gets done on time?

... Approximately None - NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!


Swift Jan said...

Great birthday present!!!
You would be an awesome Aunty to have around :)

I reckon you will get it done in time!!

Givinya De Elba said...

Oh no, you're well on the way! And June is still way down there. It's looking great, and I love the bad puns.

Jenny said...

Oh wow Jen!, this is looking fantastic - Giggles is one lucky little girl :)! Can't wait to see the progress on it!

Crazy Sister said...

I'm trying to get rid of a nice little rocking horse. Let me know if the big rocking horse needs a half sized foal...

Debbie said...

Looks to me like you are well on your way! What a great project.

Anonymous said...

You are very clever. Well done!

Femina said...

Well? Well? How's it coming along? And what colour will this horse be? Please note that I resisted writing "horsey" because I knew it would probably make The Hippomanic One wince. Aren't I kind? (But it's still a horsey to me...)

Wendy said...

Ah, you obviously outdid yourself in getting it done on time! Well done, Jen!!