On Thursday afternoon, I drove down to CO to drop off our kiddos with a babysitter. Then came home and threw some things together, and My Cowboy and I left for our annual trip to the Rocky Mountain Leather Trade Show in Sheridan, WY.
We started up a small road through the canyon, and over the mountain. It was getting dark, and then we hit fog. Thick fog. Then the normally-decent road turned to dirt. I didn’t realize they were doing road construction on it… so we poked along through the potholes and darkness and fog.
I was on a high from the excitement of finally being on our long-awaited trip. But My Cowboy was tired. He had just worked a long, tiring day, and he was just trying to keep his eyes open.
We were only about 2 hours from home when we finally gave up and stopped for the night. I told My Cowboy that we may as well enjoy our trip, instead of fighting sleep!
The next morning we left by 6 am, like the true early-birds that we are. I love driving early in the morning. Nothing quite like it.
It was cloudy.
Dark and mysterious.
Gloomy and foreboding.
Well, cloudy, anyways.
It was pretty, tho. I love driving through Wyoming. See how empty the FREEWAY is??? This is how driving should be.
Pretty little lakes…
And tired old cowboys.
…and gigantic Wyoming jackalopes. (That’s a cross between a jack rabbit and an antelope, in case you aren’t from WY.)
Here is another example of my obscure, slightly twisted sense of humor… In case you don’t get it – I get a kick out of the ‘green’ wind farm directly behind a power plant that is belching smoke!! Ha ha! I love it!!
And here we are at the leather show itself.
My Cowboy checking out the knives…
Somehow I managed to snap photos of leather piles, and not many tools. But I do love the leather. It smells so good. The whole place smells like leather. There is leather-suppliers, tool suppliers, hardware suppliers, saddle-tree suppliers, leather soap/cream suppliers, leather-dye suppliers, etc. It is fun of you build saddles. Or are married to someone who builds saddles.
Then there is a room christened the ‘World Leather Debut’. In it are the best of the best, in leather making. Craftsmen and women enter their best items for judging. It is always a popular room. I love the gorgeous items they make. I can’t wait to see a saddle sitting there some year with a little sign that says:
“Cliff Schrock – Maker”.
Meanwhile, check out this stuff… Beautiful woolly chaps. Not that the white wool would be practical, or anything!
I love the detail on the back of this saddle.
This gave me a good idea for the fox that is living under my barn, and desiring my chickens. The mannequin that was holding this handbag had the rest of the fox fur draped around her neck! lol!
Check out the tiny miniature saddle! I love mini’s. They had several there, but this one was the fanciest.
And here is a briefcase for all you businessmen who don’t need chaps or a saddle! It was amazing. Simply amazing. It won first place in its category. No wonder. It was THE best piece of workmanship in the whole room, I thought. Nice, clean lines, and straight, neat stitches. Plus all that carving.
This won first place in several categories, I think. Anyways, for floral carving, that’s for sure. It was superb.
And that’s it, folks! Sadly, it poured rain the entire time we were there, so I didn’t get to go yard-saling…but I am sure you aren’t interested in small details like that. We did enjoy ourselves. Here’s to saddle makers everywhere!! …and the cowboys that need em.
Show me a cowboy, and I will show you a guy who likes fancy gear. They may not all like showy, ‘bling’ type stuff, but they all like expensive, quality stuff, whatever the style. My Cowboy doesn’t normally go for the real showy, shiny stuff. He prefers a more simple style, with just a touch of silver. But when he was given a gift certificate to the local saddle shop, he splurged and got the Jeremiah Watt spurs he has been eyeing for the last several years. I was so happy that he could get them. Even happier that we didn’t have to pay for them. They don’t come cheap! But they are pretty.
I sweet-talked him into putting his foot in the boot, so i could get some Wranglers in the shot.
Here is the original photo from Jeremiah Watt’s site: http://www.ranch2arena.com/ Cliff used JW’s saddle-making videos to learn how to make saddles. And he follows JW’s style closely. He also uses some of JW’s silver and hardware on his saddles. When we go to the Saddlemakers show in Sheridan, WY every spring, we get to chat with his wife. She’s real nice. I don’t know where JW is…he’s never around. Probably at home, carving spurs.
In case you haven’t heard, My Cowboy owns a custom leather-working shop on the side. ‘On the side’ refers to it being something he does evenings and Sunday afternoons. Those are the only times he isn’t working, sleeping, or in church. I realize I do tend to brag on him alot. But you will just have to put up with it, as he has learned to do. I told him this morning that its part of my job description, and he can’t make me shut up. Or something like that. He still loves me. He can’t help it. I make him homemade bread on a regular basis. (Not that it has anything to do with his affection for me, or anything like that.
Anyways, here are a few photos of his work. Enjoy.
The first three pictures are of a saddle he made for my brother-in-law. It was a beauty. All the flowers are hand-carved by My Cowboy.
I forget whose chaps these are. But again, hand-carved.
These are known as ‘shotguns’. Lovely color. And nice, long fringe. I like fringe. Alot.
When I tried to power up my computer last Friday, it wouldn’t. It bravely tried, sending a few weak glimmers of blue light and tiny squeaks, but to no avail. I tried unplugging it, restarting it, etc. Nothing. So off to the shop it went. It took exactly one week and ‘way over one hundred dollars, but its fixed. Thankfully. I am a terrible about procrastinating, and when I thought my pc was doomed, I was frantically trying to think how to save all my precious photos. And I am not even a photographer. But I love my photos. Fiercely. I do not want to lose even one. So yes, topping my to-do list now is ‘burn pics onto cd’s’. If I can quit catching up on emails, FB, Pioneer Woman, The Garden Web, etc, etc.
Our good friend from Germany. I love the horse.
My fun sister. Love you, Rose.
…and it would have been sad to lose all the pictures from CK Custom Leather.
My Cowboy does quality work. In case you’re interested.