Wednesday, November 30, 2016

In which I accidentally create a Christmas-themed scene...

Modern miniature scene of a black ghost chair next to a white scrollwork side table. On the chair is a shoebox filled with Christmas decorations, and on the table, a tray displaying Christmas baubles in  silver and hot pink.
I only wanted to display the scrollwork side table that was made from a solar light cover (and idea I yoinked from Mad Missy Minis).

But, somehow, the scene that emerged has a decidedly festive bent. *Shrug*.

Actually, I'm quite pleased as it means I got to use the tinsel given to me by Kitty and Kat Miniatures this time last year, The strings of miniature Christmas lights (some deconstructed!) sent to me by Catherine earlier this year. And the 3D-printed wall art given to me by friend Sandra while I was in New Zealand last month.

Time taken (excluding painting time): 20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Taking stock

(Card stock, that is...)

Last weekend I caught up with a friend who recently visited New York.

'I brought you back a little something' she said. And added, almost apologetically 'It's really quite small'.

After assuring her that I really REALLY liked small things, she handed me a card. Not just any card, but a card she bought at the Museum of Modern Art gift shop. A card that could be turned into a one-sixteenth scale Ercol butterfly chair
Fingers holding a greeting card by One to Sixteen, which contains pieces to make a model 1958 Ercol butterfly chair.
If this isn't a good example of what the phrase 'It's the thought that counts' really means, I don't know what is...

Last night curiosity got the better of me, and I opened the package. Read the instructions. Punched out the parts (super-easy, especially as little arrows were printed on the backing pointing to where the chair pieces were attached to the card.)
Card containing printed pieces to make a model 1958 Ercol butterfly chair, and glue to make it.
Then realised that there were bits on the backing that weren't explained in the instructions. And the picture in the instructions of how to glue the chair together was very small. And very confusing.
Piece of cardboard threaded through a curved slit marked 'seat curve'.
Luckily, this morning I noticed the words at the bottom of the instructions: 'Further assembly instructions:'.

I checked out the website and found full, clear and easy-to-follow instructions.
Glue, ruler, scissors and toothpick plus a half-built cardboard model of a 1958 Ercol butterfly chair.
Hand holding a half-built cardboard model Ercol butterfly chair in front of online instructions for making the chair.
 And pretty quickly my flat pieces of card turned into a chair.
Almost completed cardboard model of a 1958 Ercol butterfly chair, set in a jig in front of the tools used to make it.
 They've thought of everything, as included in the package is a floor and background to display your finished piece in.
Completed cardboard model of a 1958 Ercol butterfly chair, in a printed room setting.
The only problem? I want some of the other models. And they're not sold in Australia. :-(

Monday, November 21, 2016

Final photos

Believe it or not, there are still things about convention that I've not covered...

1. Convention dinner gifites

Always something to look forward to. We each got a copy of New Zealand's smallest history book (full printed inside, of course!)
Hand holding a one-twelfth scale book titled 'New Zealand's smallest history'
and a teeny weeny model of a boy in a plane (by Jewel Lewis, based on a photo of one of her grandchildren)
Ornament of a boy in a pedal plane, with a miniature book next to it. A hand shows scale.
There was a scavenger game, and everyone received a one-twelfth-scale chocolate fish as a prize.
Name tag for NZAME convention 2016, with a tiny chocolate fish on a backing paper printed with a 'winner' rosette.
2. Workshops

I was only booked in for one, the tea trolley by Alison Ede (the 1940s armchair by Inge Veale [PDF link] was full by the time I got my application in, sadly).
Components of a one-twelfth scale tea trolley kit laid out on the instruction sheet. Around the edges are the tools needed for the project.
It was a quick build, even though my miniature-building skills were feeling quite rusty.
A half-finished one-twelfth scale tea trolley sitting on the instruction sheet.
I didn't finish it as I wanted to paint it when I got home. Of course I'm still trying to decide if it should be black. Or white. Or stained... *sigh*

My workshop was held upstairs in the cafe building. Others were luckier with their location: their workshops were held in a hangar!
Group of people doing workshops in a hangar, with a bus in the far corner and a plane hanging above them.
Group of people doing workshops in a hangar. In the middle one woman smiles broadly at the camera.
It was a great convention, and I'm already planning my trip to convention 2018 ('Shop 'til you drop') in Palmerston North.
View of the sales and display hall of a miniature convention, set in a hangar.
Oh, and if you're not photoed out, I'm loading some more general pictures to my NZAME convention 2016 FLICKR folder.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Running away to Rotorua

A couple of fellow Australian miniaturists planned to spend the Sunday of the NZAME convention going on a road trip to Rotorua, and invited me along (especially after I happened to mention that I used to live there).
Boatsheds across a river.
Suddenly I was the tour guide for the day: even when I explained that 'used to live there' was over 45 years ago...

So, after racking my brains for suitable activities, I started our day with a visit Te Puia, which would give us a Māori cultural experience at a marae, a walk through a geothermal valley so we could see geysers and mud pools, a visit to the Maori carving and weaving schools, and (if we were lucky) a glimpse of a live kiwi.
Maori carving at the edge of a path through the bush.
The last time I'd visited was way back in 1985, and I was looking forward to seeing it again.
Close up of a maori carving of a face, painted in red and green.
Close up of a maori carving of a face.

Close up of a maori carving of a face.
Close up of a maori carving of a face.
First on our agenda was the marae visit and concert:
Marae visit Marae visit
Followed by a guided tour down through the bush
New Zealand bush.
to visit the geysers
New Zealand bush with a geyser in the distance.
Thermal area in New Zealand bush.
Geyser in a thermal area.
Geyser Geyser Thermal area
Geyser in a thermal area.
Man sitting on a railing of a bridge, watching tourists taking photos of a geyser.
We then stopped at the mud pools, where our guide explained how the mud is used:
Mud pools
We visited the kiwi house, but peer as we might into the darkened bush, there was no sign of our feathered friend...

Before we left Te Puia, we popped into the carving school to watch some students working on a carving,
Man working on a maori carving.
A maori carving in progress.
and to the weaving school.
Maori grass skirt with the words 'Kia ora Te Puia' woven into it.
One of our group had said she'd like to visit the lake shore, so I took the chance to swing us by the old bath house building (now the Rotorua Museum).
Large elizabethan-style building.
Large elizabethan-style building.
Corner of a large elizabethan-style building.
Doorway of a large elizabethan-style building.
Large statue at the foot of a curved staircase.
Large statue at the foot of a curved staircase.
We didn't have time to stay long, as we were due back in Tauranga for convention dinner. Before we left town, though, we drove along the lake front to Ohinemutu, and St Faith's Church (where I'd been baptised).
Front of a mock-tudor style wooden church.
Alas, the church was already closed for the day, so we weren't able to go inside. Instead we wandered around the outside, admiring the architecture
Front of a mock-tudor style wooden church.

Front of a mock-tudor style wooden church.
Back of a mock-tudor style wooden church.
(including the feature window of Jesus wearing a maori cloak. From inside the church it looks like he's walking on the lake...)
Detail of a window feature in a church, showing Jesus dressed in a maori cloak.
and the view across the lake.
View over a lake, with a yellow bench on the left side.
View over a lake.
View over a lake, with a geothermal outlet pipe in the foreground.
Want to join me?
At the edge of Lake Rotorua, by St Faith's Church
Finally, here's a video I took of some of the geothermal activity, showing how hot the water is:
Thermal activity at Ohinemutu
No wonder that, when I lived in Rotorua when I was three, I refused to swim in the lake unless Dad had poured a bucket of water in it to cool it down first!