December 27, 2014

Giving's More Fun than Getting: VinylCrafts and Enter at A LLC Reviews

Of all of the gifts I gave this year, I was most excited about my mom's, which were both horse themed.  I started ordering them back in October, so it was a long time to wait!

Her first gift was a subway art-style sign with the names of all of her favorite racehorses from Etsy seller Vinyl Crafts.  Here is a link to the original.

I sent the owner, Becky, a message asking if I could substitute three of the racehorse names on the example for three of my mom's favorites, and she replied 'yes' almost immediately.  She was great to work with!  Being custom, it did take 6 weeks to get to me, but I ordered it early enough that it didn't matter - just a word of caution if you order one yourselves.  Here is the finished product:

The letters are very crisp in real life, my cell phone didn't do it justice.

Her other gift involved more work on my end!  I got her one of Enter at A, LLC's Memory Bracelets with hair from her horse, Little Red.  While she was showering over Thanksgiving, I dashed out to cut some of his hair off for the bracelet.  Poor guy had no idea why I was out there.

He's a legitimate senior citizen these days at 24!

I knew I wanted it to be in Secretariat's colors somehow, so I worked with the owner, Kim, who steered me against using white leather with blue padding due to quality control issues with colored leather.  I ended up going with her recommendation of royal blue padding, dark havana leather and white stitching to bring in both of Secretariat's silk colors.

A pile of Christmas bracelets before shipping, my mom's is in the middle.

I also asked that Kim use a blend of mane and tail hair, since the mane hair I got looked more like Secretariat's shimmering golden chestnut, but I couldn't get enough of it without my mom noticing a huge chunk out of Red's mane!  As a result it lays differently than the other memory bracelets, but I like it - looks like a braid of Little Red's hair with Secretariat's wrapped around it:

I briefly thought about finding her actual Secretariat hairs (plucked from his brush during a Claiborne Farms tour) and having those woven into it too, but wisely decided against it.

I hope all of your Christmases were fantastic!  Connor cleaned up in my Christmas gifts, but that's a subject for another day!


  1. Nicely done, and thanks for sharing the artisans. I've been saving tail hair from a beloved pony I used to ride - now I finally know what to do with it. (Holy cow your mom snitched Big Red hair... from his brush? A woman after my own heart.)

    1. Thanks, I wish I could have shared them before Christmas, but she reads this blog. I'm excited to see how yours turns out (I actually have another bracelet that I had made, but I can't give it to the giftee until the end of January so I cant post it yet, but it's gorgeous!) She sadly never met Secretariat herself, but her two best friends went in high school and took the hair for her. It's a good story!

  2. Those are both super cute! I never knew your mom had a horse- I love his star. And I agree, giving is more fun than giving. It looks like you were a great gifter this year. I hope your mom loved them! :)

  3. what thoughtful gifts! that sign and the bracelet are perfect for a racing fan! the bracelet turned out really well - and i think you're spot on about it looking like the two horses' hairs are woven together

  4. Those are amazing, thoughtful gifts! I bet she loved them.

  5. I love that sign!! And the bracelet is really thought out.

  6. I bet those gifts were both real winners! How incredibly thoughtful of you!