My Lego Journey
Over the lockdown I decided to spend a little more time to work on my website, my blogs and my book promotion. I joined a Facebook small business group and learnt a few different aspects of marketing and promotion advice.
I wasn’t sure if this was for me at the time as my books are not my income, the supply teaching is my income but of course the lockdown meant that this was stopped.
But I suppose as my books are what I provide for sale at events etc. then my children’s picture books are my business.
I also learnt that my Lego hobby was an important part of my journey.
The Lego Lady
On my supply teaching journey, I introduce myself by telling three secrets.
Secret Number 1. “When I’m not at school I play with my Lego.”
Secret 2. ‘I’m a children’s author.’
Secret 3. I teach a ‘sun-clap’. (This has a background story which I hope to write one day.)
It is secret number one the children really remember.
So, here is a bit more information for secret number one.
My Lego Hobby
While teaching in school, I was getting ready for our summer term project, ‘High Seas Adventure’, and my daughter helped me to re-build my sons pirate Lego. With ‘The Black Seas Barracuda’, pirate ship and various islands and boats we set up a display on the classrooms bay window.
My mother, who was working in a charity shop at that time, offered me a big box of Lego which had just come in. At first, I declined as I wasn’t really into Lego. But then seeing a Spanish Galleon sail in the box I took it a little reluctantly.
I managed to research and make the Galleon which I added it to the class display.
Then during the school summer holidays I decided to investigate the big box further. I ended up researching and making the sets in the box. My children laughed at me at the time as I carried on investigating.
In the Lego Box
As I went through, I was surprised how many sets were in this box and yet it never seemed to empty. Some sets had instructions and I started on these first including ‘Hogwarts Express’, Star Wars ‘At-At’, Bionicle’s, etc.
I managed to find a website which had instructions to follow. I soon started to identify the year most of the sets seem to have come from and carried on making.
I discovered that I had all of the sets from Star Wars Episodes 4/5/6. (Apart from the Death Star)
I sold the Lego and put the money I earnt towards my story writing and book illustrations. I also continued to teach as a supply teacher.
I wear Lego earrings when I visit on supply and the children love knowing they are named after my children, Tom and Elly, plus it helps them to remember me should I ever return, which I often do. I always leave a copy for my first book in the schools I visit.
I also undertake author days and events too.
Over the years I have seen a lot of changes in Lego, with new colours and bricks as well as some very complex sets with moving parts etc...
I now know, apart from the ‘Death Star’, I’ve made all of the old Star Wars; Space sets and many more.
The box of pieces might come with instructions; they might need a bit of restoring, checking through and sorting out. Sometimes the box might be just full of bricks but with investigation there might be a surprise set there. It certainly is good sorting and researching. But I’m sure that the bricks are breeding as I never seem to get to the bottom of the box!
When you buy a new Lego set the bags are numbered for each stage, but, for me, when I inventory the bag of bits is all mixed up. This can be quite a challenge when you have a set like the Disney Castle which has 4043 pieces (and two sets to build!).
I make each set to check it is all there (sometimes there is something missing or needing replacing). Often the sets have no figures or perhaps stickers missing but we try to keep the sets as complete as possible. It has certainly kept me very busy.
I have seen during the Pandemic and Lockdown that many people have been building Lego sets and there are now more and more sets not just aimed at children but for expert builders to either build for themselves or with their children. My daughter now joins me with my Lego building but as yet my grandson is too young.
There are some very clever and inventive Lego Builders out there but for me I enjoy researching and following the instructions. Although, I did create my special Playbus ready for any author event I might attend in the future. Including an Italian bus for an Italian policeman.
With mini-figure sorting, Lego boxes to sort and build I’ve been very busy over lockdown.
My husband and I now undertake the Lego together; we know where to find the inventories; the instructions; and to locate missing pieces to complete the set.
I do most of the building and certainly enjoy building.
I’ve certainly made so many different sets over the years, I can tell the best sets and most popular. Some instructions are easy to follow while others are either difficult to see the colours or complex, especially with mechanisms that work or move.
I usually keep the finished models for a short while before selling them on.
I don’t keep many sets myself, apart from the Christmas sets which my children like to buy me each year, and buses of course.
With Christmas coming don’t forget to add a Lego set to your list to Santa.
I usually get myself the Lego Advent Calendar, which I not only enjoy opening but, I repurpose the pieces the following year into Christmas Crackers.
I enjoyed the Harry Potter Advent Calender in 2020.
Maybe one year I will have to design my own Lego Nativity?
Check out my other Lego adventures
Where to get my books
Books are available from the following: My Books
Don't forget to look and ask in your local Museum, book shop or even buy on your Sainsburys on line shop!