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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Don't Mess With Texas

I love my home state. I have not gone to any other state where the people that live there love being there as much as being in Texas. I have, however, met people that came to Texas and didn't like it. It does take a certain personality, I guess. Depending on where you live it also takes a certain quirk of style. I'm talking we're heavy on leather and turquoise. Not all of us, mind, but it is a definite majority.

Another major thing here is the rodeo. The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo is the largest in the states. It started in 1854, and became the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo in 1950, held in the recently opened Freeman Colliseum. Now, the rodeo isn't in the Freeman anymore, it's in the AT&T Center (previously the SBC Center) which is right next to the Freeman. Maybe it's an inbred Texas thing, but I love the rodeo. I never loved it more than when I was 17 and showed my yearling stallion there. That's where this first photo comes in. We had been doing the small local APHA/PtHA shows and had just been using regular leads and harnesses. When we went to the SA Rodeo, however, we needed to step it up but couldn't really afford to. So we borrowed our gear from our vet (she was awesome). Now, I showed a yearling stallion. They are notoriously mean and high strung. Not my boy, though. Nope, he was unusually calm and content to stand there and let people look at him. It was almost as though he knew he was pretty. He was a sorrel and white sabino patterned Overo paint and looked just like his sire. Before the rodeo, I had never used a chain lead or leather halter on him. I had never had to. We got there and the harness for him fit just fine, but the end of the lead was too large to fit through under his chin. So he didn't have to feel the chain on him. He did great and while the other colts were rearing and basically giving their handlers hell, I had my hands full trying to keep mine AWAKE. This gorgeous leather lead line would have made me proud had I had it when I was showing horses. It is made by 23horses on Etsy and well worth the price. Why go to a tack store when you can get quality handmade tack right here?

All horse business aside, I also like the western style home decor. I especially like it if it is Texas theme. I have stars all over my home, and this next item would be right at home above my front door. Made by PalmerFalls on Etsy, it is more true than most people think. I mean, they wrote a song about how "God Blessed Texas" and this sign is just perfect.

When I walk into almost any store, I see big, bold jewelry all over the place. Most of the time in western stores, it's turquoise and silver (or poor imitations of both) with ostentatious prices. I flat out refuse to pay turquoise and silver prices for dyed howlite and silver plate. However, when that piece is described with the right materials, I will happily pay the price. Especially for a carefully handcrafted piece of wearable art such as this magnesite and copper necklace by WillowCreekJewelry on Etsy. Magnesite is naturally white, and in this necklace it has been dyed a wonderful blue-green shade and paired with oxidized copper. I would be happy to buy it as a gift for my mother in law who loves unique jewelry. I also love that in the mess of faux turquoise jewelry on Etsy, WillowCreek actually told the truth and didn't try to pass this off. Honesty is always the best policy and in this case the honesty is a beautiful piece of jewelry.

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