Archive for the ‘villages’ Category

The Making of My First Sylvanian Village

Sycamore CottageThe Sycamore Cottage had to go.

That was my first thought when I decided to build a Sylvanian village. The cottage is pretty but too girly even for me. I actually prefer the soft blue and cream colours of the Riverside Lodge, which unfortunately has even less usable floor area in my opinion. The adult in me yearned for a Sylvanian house that could accommodate all the features of a real-life house – living room, kitchen, dining area, bedroom/s and bathroom – and its inhabitants.  I examined the Sylvanian Families displays at all the major toy stores in town to get a good idea of what would make the ideal home. Surprisingly, Willow Hall – which is 50cm deep when opened – didn’t fit the bill, despite boasting 5 rooms and having a large footprint. I found the rooms too cramped; once you put the furniture in, there’d hardly be leg room for the critters. Cedarwood Terrace (21cm deep) and Babblebrook Grange (27cm deep), same thing. Oakwood Manor, too big, period. I was going to settle for Cedarwood Terrace when I saw Larchwood Lodge.

I didn’t fancy the teal roof, but I loved how spacious it looked, and a quick check on the internet using my smartphone (because the promoter didn’t know, tsk) gave me the info I needed to make my decision: it was 34cm high, 40cm wide and 31cm deep.

Best buy ever.

(Close second being Bramble Hedgehog Baby Boy a.k.a. Bilberry Bramble, which I had found 3 days earlier at a Toys ‘r’ Us. It was looking unassuming and ridiculously cute, all by its lonesome.)

Larchwood Lodge back top view

With all that space on the upper floor, my big adult hands could  set up the rooms without knocking into pieces of furniture and fixtures.I was able to install a complete bathroom on the right and a bedroom on the left that comfortably sleeps 4: parents on the double bed and the kids on the bunk beds, with some room still for a side table and a coat stand in the corner, which I intend to substitute with a wardrobe or dresser.

Close-ups of bedroom and bathroom:

Larchwood Lodge upstairs bedroom

Larchwood Lodge bathroom

And now for a look at the ground floor. Here’s the living room:

Larchwood Lodge living roomThere’s still space to the right of the TV for a fireplace or a grandfather clock. But I’m thinking of a long dining table for dinner parties.

Here’s the kitchen:

Larchwood Lodge kitchen

I feel like I’m missing a cabinet for storing the dinnerware and dried packaged foods. But I love how the stove is positioned right under the window so that the delicious cooking smells can waft outside and entice guests and family members to come in for a meal. 🙂 And check out the staircase! There are stairs instead ladders! Win!

And finally, here’s the front view:

Larchwood Lodge front view

Home Sweet Home. 🙂

I haven’t decided who will live here. My son decided we would be the charcoal cat family, so I used them in these photos, but after seeing the baby Bilberry Bramble, he now wants us to be hedgehogs, which is fine by me because the Brambles were the first family I owned. I do think they fit better with the country look of the Lodge. The charcoal cats look too posh for it, and my family certainly isn’t the posh sort.

Plenty of time for such decisions.

Back!

Wow, it’s almost 2 years since my last post. Where did all the time go? Where have I been?

Well, 2011 was a very eventful year. In March, my dad had a fall at home and died a week later so as you would expect, I lost interest in many things, including Sylvanians, as I mourned his passing. The grief then turned into a determination to set my life on the right track, and the fact that I found myself pregnant again gave it more impetus. My husband I had been renting for 5 years so we started looking for an apartment big enough for 4 in April, and got the keys to our home in June. Career-wise, I had been feeling bored and stuck in a rut for some time so I made a decision to take a position in another school, which would begin after my maternity leave in March 2012. Speaking of maternity leave, our second child, another boy, was born in November, and since then he has been keeping my hands full while making our lives messier, but happier than we ever thought possible.

Once I went back to work in March this year, I hit the ground running. In my 12 years at the old place, I have never worked as hard as I have (and still do) at this new school. There was absolutely no time for play; when I was not at work, I was home with the kids, who of course needed to be watched every minute. My Sycamore Cottage sat on my older son’s shelf with bits of furniture that I didn’t care too much for because he liked handling them, especially the kitchen appliances, but largely ignored by me and gathering a bit of dust. 🙂

Then my sister and her 10-year-old daughter came to visit from Melbourne 2 weeks ago.

In a house with no girls, my Sylvanian Families collection was the only thing I could offer my niece. I knew I could trust her with it because she has Sylvanians of her own thanks to me. So she and the older boy got to work and managed to create a village with practically everyone in our family represented! This is my favourite tableau by the kids:

Raiding the FridgeThose two represent my niece and my son, of course, raiding the fridge. 🙂 Here’s another one that I like:

the new arrivalThat’s supposed to be my brother (fox) and his wife (cat) with their newborn baby (cat in cradle), my husband (charcoal cat), my youngest sister (sister fox) and my younger boy (charcoal cat baby in stroller). And finally, can’t help but find this sweet:

getting ready for Christmas

I was so inspired by what the kids had done that when my sister and niece flew home on November 17, I didn’t pack away the village but instead felt the urge to build a new one. 🙂