Nice Niece

JPatz_20140717_3J8A3937-Edit_WebMy niece came to visit for her Golden Ticket trip a few weeks ago.  We did a photo shoot that I’m turning into a composite image.  I still need to shoot the background and the effects so that one will be seen in a while.

In the meantime I tried out the ring reflector again.  I liked this picture because I think it captures a lot of true things about her but am really sad that I missed the focus.  My finger must have slipped and the camera must have refocused on the closest object which was her fingers.

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Golden Ticket Number Two – Boxy

Time has passed and another niece is turning ten which means it is time for our second Golden Ticket.  As previously mentioned, the Golden Ticket is a way for us to announce to a niece or nephew that their birthday present for that year is one week of extravagant fun at our house.

I don’t think I’ll ever change the design of the ticket itself but I hope to be able to customize its enclosure for each recipient.  It is exciting to me because everyone at my brother’s house knows that a Golden Ticket is coming but most, if not all of them, are assuming it will be identical to its predecessor.

I tried to incorporate her fondness for girly stuff and her love for animals.  The resulting “box” is very soft and squishy from the foam-covered ears to the baby blanket material.  I’m particularly pleased with the feline cues.  They are bold enough to be obvious but not overbearing.  I didn’t want this box to be seen as a toy that happened to house a Golden Ticket, but rather a container with stuffed animal characteristics.  The big breakthrough that got me thinking on the right path was scaling it down from baby doll or pillow size to Golden Ticket container size.

The following is a gallery of concept, in-process and finished product images with notations.

TofW2: The Golden Ticket

Since our oldest niece was born we have wanted to help her have a spectacularly memorable event.  It could be a gift, an activity or anything really.  During one of our brainstorming sessions it occurred to us that this was a little bit like Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and thus the Golden Ticket was born.

Over the years the idea has been refined so that it can apply to all of our nieces and nephews.  This means it must be affordable and flexible enough to engage all of the different personalities involved.

We decided that, during the summer following their 10th birthday, each will spend a week with us doing fun things.  Time might be spent cooking, shopping, sight seeing, going to the beach, etc.  The basic concept is that the child has a lot of input in what we do and there are no brothers or sisters around to interfere.  Maybe they want to make and eat a batch of cookies then watch two movies and sit around the house.  That’s fine with us.

In the gallery below, I present to you the first Golden Ticket and this week’s Thing of the Week.  This particular niece loves reading and writing both stories and plays.  We are reading The Hobbit together when we visit so her Golden Ticket tips the wizard’s cap to this idea.