Archive for the ‘BrickWorld’ Category

BrickWorld Chicago 2013 Recap

June 25, 2013

Okay I know I’ve totally been MIA for the last couple of weeks and I apologize for that. BrickWorld was fun, amazing and totally exhausting! I’m still not fully recovered from the trip. That’s what happens when you only sleep 2-4 hours every night. πŸ˜€

So BrickWorld this year started out with a bang, literally. I happened to fly in just before a major storm that actually had torrential rains, lightning, thunder, and even tornado warnings. I only really experienced it while riding in the shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel. Even though it went on all night, and lots of flights were canceled, once I was in the hotel / convention center I rarely looked outside as I was busy setting things up, talking with friends, and starting on all the LEGO Convention fun.

This year’s theme was Heros and Villians
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There was a set unveiling — the Sydney Opera House
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It looks really good in person and all that dark tan! Also there’s a 48×48 stud baseplate in blue!
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And they also showed what the next Cusoo set will be
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There were awesome models, here’s some of my favorites:

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I think this was my favorite micro scale model
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There was a lot of buzz about the new roller coaster LEGO compatible parts. I was going to get one, but I didn’t have any room in my suitcase, so I’ll be ordering one instead. πŸ˜‰
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And this was rather random but cool — tiles and flowers making a “glove”
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What it looked like during Public hours
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I have tons more photos on my Flickr photostream although I know I didn’t get pictures of everything.

It was a great show and I look forward to next year. Now on to planning for BrickFair Virginia and Bricks by the Bay — back to back weekends I might add and cross country for me. But I’ll be at both. πŸ˜‰

LEGO “Elvis”

January 11, 2013

LEGO "Elvis"

Ryan McNaught, Australia’s only LEGO Certified Professional has created yet another mind blowing LEGO model of staggering proportions! And no, its not Photoshoped, its just that big.

Close-up you can start to get an idea of size
LEGO "Elvis"

LEGO "Elvis"

LEGO β€œElvis” Erickson Air-Crane.
100,000 bricks.Built for Brickvention 2013.
At just under 4m and over 1m high (that’s a little over 13 ft long and 3 ft tall), this is by far the largest Helicopter I have made.
It took me just over 1 month to design and build, with its unusual shape and virtually no ground contact made it technically challenging to build.

Last year’s model was a Saturn V rocket and the year before that the Love Boat. So Ryan building big isn’t all a surprise to me, he just had me waiting on the edge of my seat for him to reveal this year’s creation.

If you happen to be in the Victoria area of Australia next weekend, BrickVention is being held on Jan. 19th and 20th. Public tickets are available through the website and selling fast.

And like last year a batch of my LEGO jewelry, keychains and stickers will be available for sale.

2012 LEGO Model Review

January 1, 2013

2012 Model Review

Happy New Year Everyone! As I reflect on this past year of 2012 I decided to make a compilation of all the models I created this year. To be totally honest, this isn’t all of them. I made over 30 wedding cake toppers and literally hundreds of earrings, necklaces and key chains. But this gives you a pretty good idea.

This has been a whirlwind of a year. I went to ten Conventions this year — five LEGO Conventions, three Comic Conventions, the McDonald’s Worldwide Convention and Focus 12 Convention. I had six large project (even if one of them was microscale) — 3 ft x 3 ft Statoil logo mosaic, 4 ft long McDonald’s building, a giant Harting Connector (the big black thing on the left), a 2 1/2 ft microscale replica of a home, 4 ft x 2 ft John Hancock logo and 10 giant bricks, and a 5 ft x 5 ft Google Chrome logo. I flew to Portland, Orlando, Chicago, Virginia, and Seattle. I drove to northern California twice, Phoenix and Vegas — while building the top of the Harting model the whole way in the car (I wasn’t driving πŸ˜‰ ).

Who knows what I’ll be building next year. I’m certainly excited. πŸ™‚

Hopefully you had a wonderful 2012 and welcome 2013!

Sad News: Heather Braaten found

April 2, 2012

It is with a heavy heart that I post this. Sadly Heather Braaten’s body was found yesturday.

Heather Nicole Braaten...you are loved

Heather Nicole Braaten…you are loved

Thank you for the love, prayers and support you shared and thank you for your efforts made in Heather’s search, whether it be blogging about it, handing out flyers or searching in your own neighborhoods. Unfortunately her body was found yesterday, April 1st 2012. She valued her friendships and especially the LEGO community. Her family said it was ok for me to post this image and this write up. These are all the details I know for now and I will keep you all posted as I know more.

Her passing is a great loss to the whole AFOL community and especially to those of us who knew her. She was the founder of the FFOL Brick Chick Flickr group and one of the few well known female LEGO builders out there.

I naturally found an instant kinship with her and will miss her beautiful smile and sense of humor.

I found a couple pictures I took of Heather from the 2010 BrickWorld Chicago
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My condolences to her family and all of the friends she’s left behind. I am grateful I was able to be counted among them.

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Heather, I will miss you.

BrickFair 2011 and other LEGO Cons

August 10, 2011

Going BrickFair 2011!

Well, BrickFair 2011 is over and done with. As I am still on the East Coast and in a hotel, I can’t download all my personal photos of BrickFair quite yet –trust me, I have quite a few. πŸ˜‰

But I did want to at least post my thoughts on the event. This was my first time to this particular event and so far, the farthest East that I’ve gone for a LEGO Convention before. I’ve been to the East Coast before, but not to this particular area.

The thing I like about going to new LEGO Cons is meeting people that you’ve never met before. Now, it’s wonderful to see all your friends of course, in fact LEGO Cons are pretty much the only time I see them in person depending on where they live in relation to me. But I also really love making new friends. πŸ™‚

Going to a convention so far from home I didn’t know what to expect. I always have fun at LEGO Cons, you can’t help but not have fun. But you never know what the area will be like, if there are good food accomidations with in walking distance, if a car is needed, or how far from the actual cities or landmarks you will be.

Now that I’ve been to 4 different conventions I’ve learned a few things. LEGO Cons can be expensive, especially when you are so very far from home. When going to a Con expect to spend betwen $800-$1000 for the whole trip minimum — and that doesn’t include the LEGO you buy. That only covers the plane ride or gas for your car, food, and hotel accomidations. If you can share car rides and/or hotel rooms do it, the trip is expensive enough without you having to pay the full price for where you will stay or how you get around.

Bricks by the Bay is the easiest for me to get to, as it is in Northern California and only about an 8-9 hour drive away. I could fly, but with its reltive closeness, I don’t see the need. So for me, I can bring my larger MOCs (My Own Creations) with out too much problems. Depending on where you live the Con may be close or very far away.

BrickWorld is by Chicago, but in the city. It is in fact in Wheeling, Illinos which is 40 minutes north of downtown Chicago. By mistake I flew into the wrong airport, there are two in the area. Fly in to O’Hare if you want to get there. The other one is just too far away any you don’t want to pay the taxi or shuttle fee.

BrickWorld does have resturants within walking distance but they run on the high to expensive side. My best recommendation is either be friends with someone with a car or bring lots of snacks from home so you don’t have to spend all your money on food.

I admit, I prefer to travel on the cheaper side. And even though I like to support the hotel that partners with the LEGO Cons, sometimes the price of the rooms are just too expensive. Its all a matter of convenience versus expense. It is really nice to just go down the elevetor to the convention, but if there is a cheaper alternative nearby and it is within walking distance or I have a car I will probably choose that option.

BrickCon is set at the Seatlle Center right in the heart of downtown. Both food and hotels are within walking distance. The first time I went I drove and stayed near by. Last year I stayed with a friend that lives in the area and rented a car. I was a little farther away, but I could still get around.

Oh, and that is another tip I have for you. If you can, come in on Wednesday to a Con and leave on Monday. I know not everyone can do this, but if you can add a day before and after the actual con, it is easier. Plus if you have any flight delays or unexpected situations pop up, you still have time to get to the Con. Staying an extra day after the Con helps mainly because if you are anything like me, you want to hang out with your friends as long as possible which means late, late nights. That extra day helps you recooperate for all the lost sleep.

I guess I’m lucky in that respect as going to LEGO Cons is part of my job. I don’t go to one now unless I’m a vendor there, because for me, I simply can’t afford it otherwise. And since I own my own business I can take that extra day or two during my trip.

In fact the reason I haven’t posted much since BrickFair ended was that I extended my stay in the area for a few days so I could actually see some of this area. I was in Baltimore yesterday and I’m in D.C. today. Getting the chance to see this nation’s Capitol was an opportunity I wasn’t about to pass up. Plus, now I’ve got much more building ideas to keep for a later date.

BrickFair itself I will cover in a later post, most likely in a day or two when I finally get back home. So for now I’ll sign off. πŸ˜‰

New BrickForge Prototypes

June 23, 2011

This last weekend at BrickWorld, Armothe of BrickForge.com was kind enough to share several new prototypes that will soon be available for purchase. πŸ˜€

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There are lots of new bottle designs, a martini glass, beakers, and even a spill (or splat as I like to call it).

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BrickForge also has a new printed Vespa, along with a new gem, and new laser beams. And most exciting of all — 1×1 round tiles!!!!!!!

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For now, all of these items will only be available in transparent colors, although Armothe himself told me that he is already getting requests for solid colors as well. Please remember these are prototypes, so the final products might be slightly different from the ones seen here.

I certainly look forward to placing my order and I suggest you do the same. πŸ˜‰

BrickWorld 2011 Recap part 1

June 22, 2011

Well as you can clearly tell my plan to cover the whole of BrickWorld while there pretty much failed miserably. That’s what happens when you stay up every night of the convention talking to friends from all over the world (literally) and then getting up at 7 or 8 am the next morning each and every day of the Con. I didn’t have time for all the presentations, challenges and events that were offered, there was just too much going on. But I still had a wonderful time all around!

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I did attend Roy Cook’s Advanced Mosaic’s workshop. It was very informative and I learned a lot more about that style of mosaic building. Its not really the kind I build, but I love to learn all the different styles. πŸ™‚

I have to say, his Halle Berry mosaic was stunning and rightly deserved the trophy!
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One of the amazing things I was truly looking forward to seeing in person was my friend Ryan Mcnaught’s Love Boat. Ryan is Australia’s first LEGO Certified Professional and a great guy to boot!

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I liked how he put all kinds of great scenes in the boat (sorry for the poor picture quality)
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I even stood still long enough for someone to take our picture:
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The truly awesome thing was that Princess Cruse Lines found out about the Love Boat model and brought Gavin Macleod, Captain Stubing himself, along and he signed the boat!
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This just the first installment of all my BrickWorld goings-on. I’ll be posting more pictures, and more comments soon. πŸ™‚

BrickWorld 2011 Day 1

June 16, 2011

Hi all, as you know I’m in the windy city of Chicago for BrickWorld 2011. This year, to make it easier to find my bags I used a few of the decals on my suitcases.

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I can tell you for certain that no one else had bags like that. πŸ˜‰

Last night was the opening ceremony. We had a wonderful keynote speaker, Adrian Jones the General Manager of LEGOLAND Florida. He gave a great presentation on all the fun areas of the new park.

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Today is official start of all the presentations, workshops, and MOC (my own creations) set-up. As there isn’t to much else to report yet I’m going to sign off for now and I’ll post later. πŸ™‚