First of all. I got a big box of crummy tack to repair and clean. There was a breast collar in it that was the worst thing I've ever attempted: dry, filthy, and spattered with something I couldn't even identify. It was like sticky black and white candle wax. Definitely not the usual horse dirt. I had to gently scrape it off with my knife blade. Here's a before and after picture:
It turned out so well, I even impressed myself. There was also an English martingale in the box. One of the straps had broken and was repaired by punching holes through it that were fastened by screws. A workable repair, but certainly not elegant. I took the whole thing apart, cleaned it up, cut a new strap and stitched it on, and stitched the rings onto the ends. I scrubbed the hardware with solvent and a brass brush to take off the rust. Then I dyed the whole thing to match and voila! a nice-looking piece good for many more years of service.
Oh, I forgot to show you the present I made for my friend! She's a fan of corvidae -- that's crows to us regular folks -- so I bought a lambwool scarf and appliqued a woolen crow onto it, festively holding a ribbon reading "Caw".
A flat bone bead with a shiny glass bead makes his bright eye. Details are backstitched. Looking at it now, I think I should have had him clutching an evergreen branch, but it's a bit late for that now. She was very pleased anyway. Handmade gifts are always a treat.
My next project is going to be something for Dave. He's officiating at a wedding in May and wants me to make him a garment of some sort, "like Jedi robes" he says. So stay tuned to see how that goes.
Now go make something!