Both my doctor and my husband did not think it was a good idea. "You want to do WHAT? You with your sun and heat problems want to go on a CRUISE? Where the sun reflecting off all that water is twice as bad?"
It was hard to explain that my friend Janet had been able to come up with a unique 3-D printing experiment for a drone like thingie that would hover over me the entire time, providing a bubble of protection. "Well, don't say I didn't warn you," the doctor said.
"And be sure all your affairs are in order and you leave me a list of your passwords, just in case," my husband grumbled. "Have fun, but remember," he called, as I boarded the plane. "I won't be there to rescue you!"
The cruise was great, especially because practically everyone on board was also a miniaturist. Certainly there were a lot of activities I couldn't participate in, but that's the story of my life anyway. Even though the bubble drone worked pretty well, I knew better than to risk too much exposure. However, when I learned about the caves, I thought, well, one more little outing and then I will stay indoors until we get home.
Frankly, I thought a story of hidden pirate treasure was just a myth. But when I saw everyone else going exploring, well, you know how it is - we want something to be true so we suspend our disbelief and go for it. And since so many others were looking, as well, I smeared on another layer of sunscreen, grabbed my hat and camera and scrambled over the island, too.
You wouldn't believe the racket; all this screeching and metallic banging coming from an area honeycombed with caves covered with lush growth and exotic blossoms. I climbed to the top of a ridge and there it was - the cave, just as we had heard.
But others had gotten there first. I climbed down further for a closer look.
They sure were having a good time with all those bright shiny objects!
One of the monkeys caught sight of me and happily pointed to the cave interior.
By george, there was a pirate skeleton guarding a treasure!
The crown-wearing monkey was joined by another companion holding a gold-trimmed vessel and a silver box.
And another pal was taking a break from his discoveries to enjoy the wide gold band encircling his neck.
Although they seemed quite friendly, perhaps overly so, I didn't get too close, deciding luck had been with me so far dealing with the sun and heat, and it would be prudent to view things from a distance. I had a friend in New Mexico who worked in a research lab many years ago. She had gotten a severe bite from one of the monkeys and had problems as a result for the rest of her life. I realize the illness she had was probably because of whatever they were testing in that lab, but still .... I decided that discretion was called for, so I left the treasure for my excited monkey friends and someone else on the cruise to find.
Wow! I wonder what the value of that crown was!
When I got back to the ship, I managed to make a call to my husband to relate that I was still alive and kicking and he wouldn't have to wonder what to do with all my stash for a while longer. He was relieved and frankly, so was I. We sent each other love and hugs and each of us decided to take a long nap.
It's still hard for people who know me to believe that I went on that cruise, and now I am wondering if they think my story of locating that treasure was just fiction.
Well, would I lie about something as awesome as THAT?
The marvelous little cave and the basic treasure chest were a collaboration between Paula Isaacs and Janet Smith for the quarter scale online group Quarter Connnection's 2015 Online Convention with a Retreat theme.
Janet designed and created the treasure chest with her 3-D printer. Paula designed the cave prototype and created a mold, and made not only several to be used as centerpieces, but provided some extras for sale to convention participants, who snapped them up immediately. Paula landscaped twenty of the caves as centerpieces and I was fortunate enough to win one in a drawing, to my great surprise and delight.
As for what I did with it ...
When my grandchildren were small we were in a restaurant one evening for a family gathering. The kids asked for quarters for the gumball machine and came back, all excited. "Nana, you are going to love what we found," and they opened their palms and there were two little monkeys.
They were right; I loved those gumball monkeys and gave the kids several more quarters and soon they had gotten me a handful. I have intended for years to do a tropical setting with all those little monkeys, and when I opened the box containing this wonderful little cave scene, I knew instantly that some of them belonged there.
I used flocking to give them a furry appearance, although they look a lot better in real life than they do in these enlarged pictures.
And naturally, there needed to be a skeleton guarding it and I just happened to have one in my stash, as well, like those I used in Granny Watchful's Animal Day Care
I gave it a dirty water wash to age it, and used my needle nose tweezers to bend his body parts so he would fit into the cave recess. It was VERY difficult and it cost the fellow his left arm and left leg to fit him in! Fortunately, the trunk and treasure pieces would conceal them anyway.
His clothing was made from tiny tissue squares. I used eye shadow to age his bandana and pants legs.
I spent a considerable amount of time looking through my Findings stash for items that could become additional treasure to add to the basic trunk. After having more than one tiny piece disappear into the darkness behind and by the trunk, I found it useful to crumple a bit of very thin black tissue paper and glue at the right end of the trunk in order to provide a base for gluing additional items.
It was such a thrill to win this wonderful cave piece, and I am grateful for all the hard work that Paula and Janet did to create the basic scene, and for all the members of the QC team who made the 2015 Online Convention the best ever.
The entire thing fits perfectly inside a 3 inch square acrylic baseball display case which protects it from dust.
And, to top it all off, I found this palm tree candlestand in my stash; perfect to display this little scene on the sofa table in our living room, elevating it for aesthetic purposes and to make it easier to see inside.
I just love it, and it makes me smile every time I look at it.