Friday, November 12, 2010

A trip to New Zealand

It's been a while since my last update of October 17.  Back then I was preparing for my trip to New Zealand.  A special trip, because I was going to visit my friend and together we had planned to go to the biennial Dollshouse & Miniatures Convention in Albany, Auckland.  Dorothee picked me up at the airport and together we made our way to our motel in Albany on a busy Friday afternoon.  We dropped off Dorothee's exhibition item, met a few friends and enjoyed a quiet dinner and evening chatting the night away.

The next day we arrived well-prepared at the Convention, and with well-prepared I mean not with an empty purse. LOL  This year we didn't go as delegates, nor had we signed up for workshops, as there wasn't much we fancied doing and we wanted to spend our money on buying rather then on the registration for the Convention.  And this is my loot:

At the bottom you can just see some veneer, on top of that from left to right: a hanging lamp which works on a battery (handy for those roomboxes or vignettes that can't be connected to mains power), shutters and hooks (for my future shabby chic minis), terracotta pots with saucers in two sizes (for my florist) and underneath the veneer a packet of ten sheets of fuzzy paper.

At the bottom on the veneer: light bulbs, a few glass containers in various shapes and sizes, handy sticks in various grades for sanding, jewelry findings and a few fluorescent type of lights with holders.

At the top of the veneer: a punch, purple feathers, a few sets of glittering earrings (which were dirt cheap and I can use the parts for whatever takes my fancy), Venne yarn for knitting, and last but not least on top of the fuzzy paper a kit for an oil lamp.

It might not look like much, but as you all know, the price tag for miniatures is definitely not in miniature!! :-)  The main thing however, is the fun that you have in selecting everything and gloating over it all again when you get home....

I hadn't finished buying however, because during my stay we've been to some craft shops where I still discovered things that I could use, or indeed 'needed' to have:

I intend to make more flowers, so I have bought a few more punches.  Double sided tape was cheap in the $2 shop and some paper-covered wire.  For the dinosaurs I have something special in mind which I will show you when I get around to it.

Back to the convention, though.  Of course there were displays and after the AGM (I am a member of NZAME as well) we went on the moonlight walk.  This always is the best part of any convention as you get to see all the displays with their lights on in a darkened room.  I did take some pictures, but not of the moonlight walk.

As I don't have access to those pictures right now I will add them later.  I do have some more other pictures though, because I finally met up with Carolyn from Carolyn's Little Kitchen again.  She's such a lovely person.  While at the convention as a trader she even had a surprise for me.  I was dumbfounded and even more so when I opened the parcel:

Out came two sets of beautiful porcelain plates.  You may have seen them before on her site.  She makes them herself and you'll all know how she did it if you've read her tutorial.  However, I know I can't do it as well!!  Aren't they beautiful?  Thank you so much, Carolyn.

Of course I met more people that I knew, because I have been to the convention in Lower Hutt two years ago as well and to a Rik Pierce workshop two weeks before that convention.  It's so nice to meet everyone again, although there was little time to chat, because everyone is busy either with buying or selling. LOL

And to top it all off I also won something.  It never rains but it pours...  I automatically filled in a form when buying something at the Hathaway Cottage table and only half saw what it was for.  Hence my surprise when a few days later I received an email message from Donna Leddy to inform me that I had won the couch that they had on show.  In the meantime I have arrived home and the parcel had even arrived before me.  It didn't only contain the couch, but also a very handy, and sturdy (!) little container.  Thank you so much Donna!  I will find a good home for it.

Of course I stayed on with Dorothee for a week and a half more and we spent more time shopping (although no miniatures) and visiting friends of old.  I had a lovely time.  And best of all, what happens when you both have the same hobby?  Of course, we spent a lot of time hobbying together and were quite productive.

We made some cats to sit on a door frame.  I commented on Dorothee's real size cats and mentioned that I received one as a present from a miniature friend a long time ago.  This friend had done hers on the scroll saw, but since neither of us is very handy with it we decided to just cut them from thin card.  Dorothee searched the internet for a few appropriate images and off we went.  We had to cut the three times to get the correct thickness, but in the end they looked good enough and all we then needed to do is paint them black.

We also tried our hands at making tiles to fit in a shabby chic environment.  Although they are still a bit thick we were quite happy with the outcome.  We used paperclay and decals to make them.

I wanted to make a few things for my florist as well, so we made a few wreaths.  The results are quite different, as Dorothee's are more 'playful', but I like both styles.

The two wreaths at the top are done by me.  The one in the next picture was done by Dorothée.  The plant was also her work and both were her gifts to me.  Beautiful additions for my florist!  I bet you can see the difference in the wreaths.  Dorothée has clearly had more practice..... :-)

And last but not least, we've made a variety of baskets.  We were contemplating on doing something else when I spotted a beautiful basket, so Dorothée delved into her store of materials and out came the stuff we needed and we set upon copying it.  We were very happy with the results:

These are the two rectangular ones I did, and in the second picture above you can see a round one.  I still need to finalise the details, but so far so good...  I am sure I'll be making more of these.  Such satisfying results!  I might even put some tiles in one of the baskets and use it in my flower shop.  I should have a few tiles somewhere with flowers, so that might be appropriate to put in a corner somewhere.

So, what else can I say.  I had a great time with great friends and got to see the various cottages that the Katikati group built for the exhibition. They were marvellous and as always, much prettier in 'real life'!

To my surprise I discovered that I have a great number of new followers, not only since I posted my intention to do a draw for a Giveaway, but still more after the draw.  I am sure you'll all understand that I cannot welcome everyone personally when there are over forty (!) new people on the list, but will do so again the next time.  Be assured that I have had a look at all your blogs and I loved what I saw.  It's good to know that there are so many skilled and likeminded friends out there.  Welcome to you all!


  1. Such a lot of news! That couch is adorable.
    Love, Susanne

  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful and productive trip! Thank you for sharing the pics. What a wonderful couch and dishes! The cats are fun and turned out nicely too.

  3. Leuke spullen heb je gekocht én gekregen én gewonnen ;-) Die bank is prachtig!
    Volgens mij hebben jullie een gezellige tijd samen gehad!!

  4. Sounds like you had a good time in newzild!! It's good to have a friend to share the experience with, and also good to have lots of lovely loot to bring home!!

  5. What wonderful shopping, and a gift and prize on top of it all!

  6. Marion, those wreaths and lovely and the baskets are amazing! I wish I had seen more of you but I just love my little presents and really enjoyed the little bit of time we had! xxxxx Lots of love from Carolyn

  7. Hola!! Gracias al traductor he podido leer tu comentario del viaje, que bien te lo has pasado y tus compras parecen estupendas. Felicidades por tus buenos amigos.
    Un beso Gemma

  8. I missed this post Marion, it looks like you had a great time and one way and another returned home with a lot of new treasures.


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