Artisans of the West – Shelagh Blatz

Shelagh Blatz, silversmith and owner of Designs By Shelagh.

Our March 2013 issue featured the Ultimate Artisans of the West. Over the next few months, we'll profile some of the talented artisans we met and whose work we fell in love. To see the full feature, order the back issue

Stamped Sterling Silver surrounds this 1930's Buffalo nickel, the iconic symbol of the West, surrounded by turquoise stones. Complimented by matching beads.

Shelagh Blatz “fell” into silversmithing. After convincing some friends to take an Introduction to Silversmithing class with her in Okotoks, Alberta, Blatz fell in love with the craft. She continued to take classes from her mentor, Shirley Paradis, and also at the Alberta College of Art & Design.

In 2002, Blatz started making pieces that she couldn’t find anywhere in Canada and began taking orders from people who were interested in her unique pieces. Working out of her home studio on her family’s ranch southwest of Calgary, Blatz draws motivation for her jewelry from her western lifestyle – she strives to create unique pieces that reflect her life.

A beautiful grouping in striking Spiny Oyster, a shell that has been used for adornment since ancient times and worn by Aztecs, Anasazi, Mogolion and Hohokam.

“I draw a lot of inspiration directly from the stone; the color and shape usually indicate where I start with the design,” says Blatz. “I start with a sketch book and a shape and fit a stone into the design or sometimes I begin with a stone and draw the design around it.”

Blatz finishes all of her designs off with her trademark Buffalo nickel clasp. “It’s great to be able to pick out one of my creations from afar.”

A striking turquoise stone surrounded by small beads of silver and on a silver beaded chain.

Suspended on a silver chain, and adorned with a light turquoise stone, this feather is light and easy to wear.

Silver feathers adorned with precious stone, and complimentary earrings.

Visit Designs By Shelagh to see more of Blatz's work.

~ by Deanna Beckley

 

A Cowboy Love-In

BY DAINYA SAPERGIA

Dave Stamey flanked by two of Shannon Lawlor’s newest works, Friday night.

Foretelling of a vicious southern Alberta storm couldn’t even keep hardcore western music fans away from the historic East Longview Hall last Friday and Saturday night.

It was a beautifully planned event by Delilah Miller, showcasing the likes of Californian western singer Dave Stamey, Turner Valley, Alberta cowgirl poet Doris Daley and Nanton, Alberta famed equine artist Shannon Lawlor. Held within the walls of the East Longview Hall, we knew we were in for a special event.

Dave Stamey

A down to earth gentleman, Stamey took time to sign cd’s and fraternize with the locals.

In a sea of expertly shaped hats and well-worn boots, the show couldn’t have pulled off western authenticity better. Doris Daley kicked off the

show reciting a small collection of some of her melodic tales, covering everything form the great love story of Flores Ladue and Guy Weadick to the conundrums of being a not-so-punchy cowgirl.

But we were all thrilled when the great Dave Stamey strolled up the aisle to take the stage. His very first time performing north of the 49th, Stamey’s performance kept the audience enthralled and giggling, with the perfect amount of both. His words flow like a hot knife through butter and, maybe most importantly, are truly authentic, ringing true to every fan there. It would be hard to pick a favourite of the night, but his Buckskin Horse song had a comical introduction, with a poignant message…

East Longview Hall

The historic and revered East Longview Hall.

“…and she always wanted a buckskin horse and though life, can push a dream aside within the ranges of the heart there are miles and miles to ride if you ask, she’ll say it’s nothing, just a fantasy of course but like a secret hidden just behind her eyes there’s a buckskin horse”

But with all of the artistry flowing Saturday night, we were allowed a special treat when Ian Tyson meandered up the aisle to join Stamey in an impromptu rendition of the great ‘Bob Fudge’, flanked by two of Lawlor’s newest works. Two legends of western music before us, we all just sat and listened.

Shannon Lawlor Doris Daley

Shannon Lawlor and Doris Daley, standing in front of Lawlor’s painting Casey.

If Stamey ever decides to venture up our way again, make sure you get yourself a ticket and be in that room… and the trip out to the East Longview Hall isn’t that bad, either.

March is Out!

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Spectacular Western Weddings Part III

Published in the January/ February 2012 edition of Western Horse Review.

BY DAINYA SAPERGIA & DEANNA BECKLEY

A western wedding exhibits ample opportunities for stunning and expressive photography. With blossoming western culture molding beauty and elegance with tradition, the choices for modern day brides and grooms are endless. Here’s one of three weddings we featured in the Jan/Feb, 2012 issue of Western Horse Review.

Brook McGovern & Clint Buhler

western weddings cowboy cowgirl wedding

Being avid horsepeople and team ropers, it was important that their horses be included in Brook and Clint’s day. Photo by Krista Kay Photography.

Venue: A photographer’s dream, Manning Park provided the ultimate in stunning backdrops, for western wedding photographer, Krista Kay. The couple chose dramatic the Park as the setting for their vows. The ceremony was held at Lightning Lake, and the dinner was hosted in the Cascade Room of the Pinewoods Lodge, also located in Manning Park. For dancing and festivities, the wedding migrated to the Bears Den Pub where they danced the rest of the night away.

Colour Scheme: Simple and elegant, with chocolate brown and black.

Jewelry: A simply stated Victorian-esque necklace with a tear drop design adorned Brook’s neck. For a very personal touch, Clint had Brook’s platinum engagement and wedding rings designed especially for her, and Brook chose a strong carbine tungsten band for Clint, inscribed with the promise “Will Love You Forever.”

Men’s Attire: Clint and the groomsmen wore black western influenced blazers, crisp white collared shirts, dark wash jeans, black hats and brown boots.

Ladies’ Attire: The bridesmaids pulled in the chocolate brown element with their cotton halter dresses with brown cowboy boots. The two flower girls looked pristine in white ‘princess’ dresses accented with a wide brown sash and cowboy boots.

western weddings cowboy romance

A bit of magic from Brook and Clint’s engagement photo session. Photo by Krista Kay Photography.

Wedding Dress: Keeping her outdoor plans in mind, Brook went with a hardy taffeta material that would easily shed dirt and grasses which could cling and snag traditional materials. It was a princess ball gown, with a modest train and a beautiful back. Knowing that the ceremony would involve horses, she made sure it had plenty of body and flowed nicely when she was riding.

Flowers: Brook chose Abby Florist of Abbotsford, British Columbia to create her unique arrangements. Wanting something completely different, she went with fresh white roses, and accented with white gerbera daisies, dried grasses and wheat.

Centerpieces: The tables were adorned with a clear glass votive holder with a rose set in pebbles underwater and a tea light floating in the center. Spread throughout the center of the table were dried leaves to tie in the strong outdoor presence laced through the day.

Favours: Tying in Clint’s profession as a farrier along with a shot of whimsy, Brook chose a pony shoe with fine wire for a hanger, making a unique and useable momento for guests to remember the day. Cake. Personal and simple, the cake was a small nineinch round carrot cake (Clint’s favourite), decorated with a pretty paisley pattern.

Something Borrowed: Brook filled the old adage “something blue” with a blue garter. Also hidden under her beautiful gown was “something borrowed” – her mother’s garter.

Last year we featured three western weddings for readers to derive inspiration from for their upcoming nuptials. This year is no different! You are going to want to pick up the Jan/Feb issue of Western Horse Review, or purchase the current issue online

Spectacular Western Weddings Part I

Published in the January/ February 2012,  edition of the Western Horse Review.

BY DAIYNA SAPERGIA & DEANNA BECKLEY

Say the phrase “western wedding”, and many of us get mental images of lace-up Victorian boots and satin fringes. But there is a movement within the engaged couples of the contemporary western world to create a day that bears witness to that which brought them together – the horses that are so important in their everyday lives, the traditions of their western backgrounds and the great, wide open West. We feature three couples who took these elements and created a day burgeoning with western flair, a love for horses and warmth for each other. Here is part one of our Western Weddings feature.

Photos by TJ Photography.

Deanna Paulsen & Jesse Beckley: An old ranch barn served as the ideal backdrop to reflect the couples’ western lifestyle.

Wedding Invitation: Deanna wanted a rustic wedding invite that represented the laid back ranch wedding she was planning. She worked together with a designer on Etsy.com to put it together, and printed them herself.

Venue: Three Bars Ranch – Cranbrook, BC. Colour Scheme. The main color was turquoise – the western world signature color and Deanna’s favourite. The turquoise was adorned with orange and a splash of pink for a very bright and fun color palette.

Grooms Attire: Jesse wore a turquoise Cinch shirt, starched Cinch White Label jeans and Rios of Mercedes ostrich boots. His groomsmen wore black Cinch shirts and Cinch White Label jeans (also starched, of course!).

Wedding Gown: Deanna chose a strapless A-line gown from Mena’s Bridal Boutique, Calgary, Alberta. Shoes. These were Deanna’s “something borrowed”. She chose a cute pair of pink high heels she discovered in her mother’s closet.

Jewelry: Deanna kept it simple with a small bracelet and earrings, while her bridesmaids were adorned with chunky turquoise necklaces that she found online.

Bridesmaids: Deanna’s bridesmaids had the liberty of choosing their own dresses, so long as they were short and black.

Cake: The couple went non-traditional, opting for cupcakes from Craves Cupcakes in Calgary, Alberta.

Flowers: For the bride – a beautiful combination of orange and pink gerbera daisies and orange dahlias in her bouquet, adding a splash of turquoise in her centre pieces with the spider mums she chose.

Party Favors: Guests could choose from an array of sweets and take home goody bags full of all their favorites.

Centerpieces: Deanna used antique turquoise jars from Jesse’s grandmother’s personal collection and filled them with beautiful flowers. Each table was numbered on a chalkboard, using NRHA patterns 1 through 11 – adding a nice reining-related touch.

Wine: The Show, a California made Cabernet Sauvignon.

On each place-setting at the reception was a “Matchmaker” for each guest’s enjoyment, filled with questions and answers about the happy couple. Photo by TJ Photography

For more Western weddings ideas…Check out Western Weddings Part IIWestern Weddings Part IIIWedding Bliss  & Cowboy Weddings


Wedding Bliss

The Grand Christmas Giveaway

From the 2012 Western Horse Review Christmas Gift Guide. Photo by Krista Kay Photography.

We love bringing you the best of the West when it comes to authentically styled product. Trending that theme, Christmas is definitely coming early for someone.

We featured artist Paige Albrecht’s handcrafted belts and cuffs in our Nov/Dec. Christmas Gift Guide. The photos were some of our most loved shots of the day, and we were so impressed with the quality of the product, we got together with Paige to collaborate a giveaway. As a result I’m ecstatic to announce we are able to giveaway one of the belts* above to one lucky reader as a special Christmas gift.

There are four ways to enter this contest and you can enter it once in each venue, giving you four unique entries into the random bucket draw. Here they are:

1. Comment on this blog post for your first entry. Just let us know what your favorite Christmas activity involving horses happens to be.

2. Sometime in the next few days we’ll post the photo above on the Western Horse Review Facebook page. Head on over there, LIKE the page, SHARE the photo with your friends, and COMMENT to let us know you’ve shared.

3. Pin the post on your Pinterest page and include the comment Western Horse Review Christmas 2012 Giveaway in the comment box, so we can search it.

4. Tweet Western Horse Review Christmas 2012 Giveaway and include @westernhorserev in the tweet.

Contest closes Dec. 20 and winner announced Dec. 21 – just in time for an early Christmas present.

* each of Paige’s belts are unique and individual pieces. Our giveaway belt may not be exactly as shown, and winner may have the option to design their own up in collaboration with Paige up to a value of $299. this festive Farmer’s Market…

The Lane of Lights at Aspen Crossing in Mossleigh, AB, is beautiful. This display’s grandeur is captivating enough for children and adults alike! It’s free for everyone and if you would like to bring a canned food item, the good people there are accepting donations to the local food bank.

The hoarfrost around our ranch this year has been incredible. But that also means it’s not wise to leave your halters on the fence…

Peanuts seems happy just chillin’ out. He’s always available for a photo-op!

Stay tuned! My Stable Life will be coming back at ya in the next couple weeks leading up to Christmas with some handmade gift ideas and more to put you in the spirit of the season!

gorgeous handcrafted belt by Paige Albrect. It’s a good thing, as Martha would say. Loomis), USS Whiz (owned by St-Onge Reining Horses Inc.), Whiz Starbrite (owned by Amabile & Strusiner), Whizen Starlight (owned by Robert Peterson) and Whizzer Whiz (owned by Xtra Quarter Horses, LLC). Topsail Whiz’s official NRHA Offspring Earnings are $9,030,000.

Bob Loomis Reining Horses’ Topsail Whiz (Topsail Cody x Jeanie Whiz Bar by Cee Red) is an NRHA Hall of Famer who earned $49,865 in the NRHA show ring. His successes included an All American Quarter Horse Congress Junior Reining Championship, 1991 NRHA Lazy E Classic Open Championship, a third place finish in the 1990 NRHA Open Futurity, and a fourth place finish in the 1991 NRHA Derby. In 2009, the reining community mourned the loss of this great stallion when he was humanely euthanized at Loomis’ ranch in Marietta, Okla.

 

Likes of the Week

I posted this on the Western Horse Review Facebook page this morning.

It just never gets old, does it?

Eleven years ago today I stood in front of a flat screen in our home in the city, holding a baby girl and wept with the worry of what sort of world I had brought her into. I don’t believe I’ll ever forget the despair in my heart that day. A year later we moved to the country, and my own rural upbringing came full circle as my children came to grow – each into their own individualistic style of country-love.

Last week that little baby girl of mine worked cows for her third or fourth time. My heart leapt to my throat and pretty much stayed there for the entire lesson. But, she did alright. We’re lucky, we have a trainer who, though in the thick of all the pressure that is futurity season still takes time to help her every time she comes for “class.” And, a friend who trusted us with her good old horse, allowing Wee the opportunity to try on the sport this year.

On the surface, these may seem like small efforts, but they are so important, when we’re collectively trying to grow, or maintain a sport. Every bit lends itself to boosting one more seat

Likes of the Week

Can it really be the last week of summer? Apparently. Among

other things, we’re busy preparing Wee for her first cutting show. It’s a bit of a crash course at this point, as so much of her time was devoted to 4H over the summer, and I’ve been busy for the past two weeks helping Teenager settle in for her first year of university studies in Arizona.

While I was away these arrived for Wee. The absolute sweetest of little-girl chaps. All flowers and swirls and just a hint of tomboy, succinctly Wee. She loves them, and Christmas has definitely come early for her at the log house. Fashioned by Heather Baumgartner of HB Leather, these are Canadian-made and perfectly gorgeous.

I have so much to post about, we have a lot going on at the magazine this fall, but for now, in these last few days of summer holidays, just sharing some links and videos you might be interested in.

If you’ve been following the Tennessee Walking Horse soring controversy, you’ll know it’s at a significant and intense head this week, as the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, the equivalent of the World Show for the breed, is ongoing at Shelbyville, Tennessee. On one side, the trainers and breeders who desire the public to understand this is not as prevalent as activists such as the Humane Society of America – which released a damning undercover film on YouTube earlier this year on soring – maintain it is. Many say soring is widespread and commonplace, others state it’s the work of a few greedy industry players. One of the better articles I’ve found on the crackdown in the walking horse industry here. The video accompanying the piece is worthwhile too.

Holding in the genre of controversy, I’m still marvelling over blogger Cami Ryan’s excellent essay, Dear Pam, challenging the motivations of PETA spokesperson, Pamela Anderson. Straight shooting, and I like it.

One of the surprises we have for you readers this fall concerns photography, hence we’ve been doing a lot of research regarding the subject. I came across this and it made me yearn for a western-photography themed workshop with a parallel degree of yummy.

Something I loved discovering just lately – the Days Inn in Brandon, Manitoba  now sports western artwork in 15 of their executive suites, but not the usual uninspiring bought-at-a-box-store drudgery, but the real mccoy – Shannon Lawlor prints. Kudo’s to managers Dave and Melody Brooks for showcasing our western heritage and treating all of us who might be passing through with a gorgeous visual. I’m looking forward to checking these walls out!

Finally, another video, this one the trailer for Wild Horse, Wild Ride, has been receiving some great reviews and awards. Looking forward to seeing it.

Thanks for tuning in and have a great long weekend.