Sunday, December 06, 2015

It's that time of year again - the Cowboy Christmas show is in town! (Oh, the NFR, too....)

You know the NFR is in town when you see this sign at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

It's CowBoy Christmas time! 

I don't care if you are a holiday Scrooge - it's hard to not get excited! This giant tree greets the visitors, and once you get inside the doors, you know you're in for a special treat. 

The leather work is amazing - miles of saddles and horse related gear. 

This wall of bridles almost had me hypnotized! 

 For some odd reason, they even included a velociraptor this year! It enjoyed a leisurely walk around the hall, posing with all the girls!

 There was a long line for autographs from all the rodeo riders - lots of picture taking and cowboy flirting going on!

The apparel is always interesting - I saw more Wranglers in that one afternoon than I see all year! 

This custom boot was about 28" long! 

 I always enjoying talking with the makers of these trunks - some of the most exquisite trunks you'll ever see!

These trunks include gorgeous interior upholstery, amazing craftsmanship, and several secret compartments, accessed only through a series of maneuvers known only to the buyer. 

Seriously, someday, I'm going to own one of these. 

Treestump Woodcrafts is also a favorite of mine, Christine's line of treen is always fresh and interesting. 

This rocker, welded from spare parts including a tractor seat, horseshoes  and leaf springs, was pretty special. 

It even had cup holders!

Buckskin Outfitters always has a nice booth, filled with all sorts of western wares... 

- from books to bells, tools and much more. 

This booth was like a Bed, Bath and Beyond for cowboys! Who knew they were so into bath and body care products!?!

When we took a break from walking the aisles, we shared a lunch table with the makers of these gorgeous stirrups, made by Don Orrell.  Honestly, I didn't even know what they were, sitting on the table, but Don was kind enough to explain some of his manufacturing methods, and share his story.

 The craftsmanship was spot-on, and I was so impressed by the passion with which he makes these wares. Here's a terrific video from their website, giving you a tour of their shop and some insight into Don's stirrup making techniques.

I'll tell you, it was a pleasure talking with this fellow, and listening to the excitement in his voice when talking about his work. That's really what it's all about, isn't it?

That's one of the high spots for me when attending this Cowboy Christmas show - the love of this lifestyle is evident everywhere you look.  From the custom saddles to the stirrups, this show highlights makers in their prime. 

I may not be a cowgirl, but I can certainly appreciate all of this hard work and dedication to craft. The Cowboy Christmas show is running until December 12 - I highly recommend that you check it out. It's truly one of the highlights in my year!

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