Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ruru gets festive!

It was the last Ruru meeting of the year today and the team was looking festive!  I'm sure you'll agree that Duncan looks dapper in his Ruru-themed Santa hat and Rebecca looks very merry in her head band decorated with Ruru badges.  You want a closer look?  I thought you'd say that ...

I think she might have been smiling more about the chocolate fish I gave her than wearing her faux antlers!

Anyway, to the proper news.  We talked a lot today about what will happen once we've launched the label trail - how we'll promote it to the public, when we'll get round two of labels underway, and how/when we might invite the public to write some labels too.  We all agreed that having the staff excited and enthused about the project is going to be integral to its success. 

Therefore, we're looking forward to thrilling you with our new scavenger hunt on 20 January.  It will be your chance to explore the reminiscences of fellow staff members, marvel at their wordsmithing and perhaps even get inspiration for your own label.  We hope you'll love the labels so much that you'll bring all your family and friends in to explore them as well!

So until January 2011, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Ruru team!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The big guns

We brought out the big guns today, trailing Simon and Andrew around the galleries to check our plans for label placement and to consider other logistical concerns.  By our powers combined we'll figure it all out ... so full steam ahead for the launch in January!

On that note, I gather there has been a little concern about the start time for the label trail scavenger hunt.  Fear not!  The scavenger hunt will not kick off until 6pm on Thursday 20 January 2011 to ensure anybody who's working can still be a part of the fun!

I also took Ruru on a road trip to Auckland this week, spreading the revolutionary word:

Ruru made an appearance at the Auckland War Memorial Museum (as evidenced by this picture) and also snuck out at drinks with Camilla Baskcomb, Conservator of Works on Paper at the Auckland Art Gallery.  He wanted to jump off the Sky Tower as well but I wouldn't let him!  Our colleagues from the Big Smoke are very interested in what we're up to down here so hopefully we can entice some of them down for a label trail scavenger hunt one day!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Placement is everything!

After receiving a few sneaky last minute labels (thanks Linley, Sarah, Glen Skipper, Andrew and Janie!), Kate and I set out on a mission to find the perfect spot for each one.  To help us visualise how colourful, exciting and REVOLUTIONARY our label trail will look, we took some photos of ourselves roaming the galleries with our little (but not too little ... 18pt font all the way!) mock up.  I discovered that the lighting in Takapou Whariki may well make the objects look great, but makes me look demented!  The things we do to make a blog amusing for our readers ...

I've done some preliminary editing of the (now 34!) labels that were submitted and, though horribly soppy for a Thursday, I have to say I was pretty overwhelmed by everyone's efforts.  What, misty eyes??  Who me??  Never! (well, maybe just a bit)  I was so impressed by how generous everyone was with their time and recollections.  There are some fabulous labels for both staff and visitors alike to enjoy once the trail goes up.  So thank you label writers!

People have been asking if and when they will get to read other people's labels.  The answer is: not until the scavenger hunt on Thursday 20 January 2011 at 5.30pm!  We want to keep the labels as a surprise so that the scavenger hunt is fresh, full of discovery and as scintillating as possible.  Plus, there will be a prize for the team that wins the scavenger hunt, so we have to make sure nobody has an unfair advantage!!!  Those who only come for the free beer will have to contend with the disadvantage of being slightly addled in the brain. 

The countdown is on!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The final flurry ...

A flurry of emails with labels have been keeping me busy delivering badges all over the building in the last couple of days.  Paul, pictured here wearing his badge of honour proudly, even submitted two labels!  This week we've had musings from Paul, Diana, Gary, Bill (of the Macnaught variety), Kelvin and North Wing Volunteer Pam Murdoch.  All of them are under the strict 100 word mark EXCEPT for Kelvin's, which is a whole TWO words over the limit.  I decided to be lenient in his case given he let me away with blowing the 5,000 word limit for my Contested Ground essay by more than 2,000 words!!!

I've also fixed the settings on the blog so anyone can leave a comment without registering first.  So feel free to start commenting.  Jocelyn, I know you want to!!!

So today is the last day for label submissions.  After that the Ruru group will be meeting on Thursday 2 December to review them and start considering issues like placement.  We'll start tormenting the Exhibitions team a bit after that to sort out printing, mounting, placement and lighting of the labels.  Then we'll create a whole new scavenger hunt for the launch of the trail - don't forget to mark Thursday 20 January 2011 in your diary.  This kind of fun awaits ...


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

People are getting creative!

Look yonder at those Titian flying ducks!  Christine wrote about these ceramic collectables and has since been seen modelling her spiffing Ruru badge in the TRC.

People are really showing off their creative talents now too.  Judy Thompson wrote a recipe about a set of Crown Lynn ceramics, Maia wrote a poem and Mikaere has something suitably visual up his sleeve (he IS an artist and all).

Talking about showing off, check out this rowdy mob:

Turns out the Education Team performs on request!!!  Here they model all manner of things, though it was their badges I really wanted them to show off.  Looking good guys!

Don't forget that this Friday (26 November) is the deadline for submitting your personalised labels.  We look forward to a flurry of emails with some more amazing literary efforts!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Look at all those badges ...

I made a fresh batch of Ruru badges on Tuesday ... and this time I seem to have done a better job of centering the logo!  So now there's plenty there for all you label writers who are yet to submit your efforts.  We've had new labels in from Te Maari, Sonya, Ron and Judy Thompson, taking the total to 12 labels so far (not counting those already written by the Ruru group).  And it's awesome to walk around the building and see fellow revolutionaries proudly wearing their badges!

So far people have tended to write things about objects in the Taranaki Life gallery and around the library, but seem a bit shy of the Taonga Maori and Taranaki Naturally galleries.  Don't be afraid to roam widely ... the point is to get people wandering into the deepest and darkest depths of our galleries to explore all the gems on display!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thank goodness the new badge making supplies have arrived!

Well, the personalised label contributions are coming thick and fast now!  The iSite team leads the way with three contributions so far, thanks to Karen, Valda and Anne Lise's efforts.  Education is making a play for the lead spot though, with Denise and Nathan emailing me their labels yesterday afternoon.  That good old Kiwi-ism, the contentious and well-loved word "bloody", features in Nathan's label ... and therefore it's a strong candidate for a bit of editing!  Kate Boocock has also sent in a trimmed down version of a slightly longer label she'd written previously.  Unfortunately there won't be room on the label for her gorgeous hand drawn pictures of the sewing patches she wrote about!  What with all these labels flooding in, it's a bit of luck the new badge making supplies have arrived from Australia!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The revolution is underway ...

We've now received four personalised labels from our revolutionary staff.  In addition to Coreen Jans, who was quick off the blocks, Judy Smith, Karen Longstaff and Christine Nana have also sent us their musings on various heritage objects that have tickled their fancy.  So far everyone has written about something different, which is fantastic.  So come on the rest of you, send us your labels and show us what you're made of!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Karen's false start

I got this fabulous note on Thursday from Karen Longstaff and had a little giggle.  She emailed me to say:

"I did up a lovely little blurb for a highland dancing uniform ... then realised it is marching ha ha ha.  Back to the drawing board :-)"

I guess that reminds us all that we need to read the existing label before starting to write our own take on an object!!!  After her false start and less than two hours later, Karen emailed a fantastic personalised label about the dentist's chair on display in the Taranaki Life gallery.  You guys will have to work hard to beat her efforts!

The first personalised label!

Less than an hour after the Ruru group's personalised label project was pitched in the Puke Ariki monthly staff meeting, Coreen Jans submitted her contribution.  She was duly rewarded with a Ruru badge AND a chocolate fish for being the first person to join the revolution!  Coreen wrote about the Taranaki rugby jersey on display ... apparently that choice came as no surprise to some, given Coreen is a Taranaki Rugby fan from way back!  Thanks for being the first staff member to contribute a label Coreen!!!