Monday, 21 April 2014

Decorating Highfields Farmhouse - Part 1

As some of you might know I received my much anticipated and most coveted Sylvanian Families house, Highfields Farmhouse, last week. I couldn't wait to arrange the furniture that I've been collecting for the Buttercups in it and just play with it. I got the story idea from Sigrun.

I love the house. It is so big and finally a Sylvanian Families house where I don't need to cramp everything into a small room. Enjoy the story and keep posted for some regular updates!

Daisy Buttercup takes the loaf of bread that she baked for dinner out of the oven and places it on the bread plank. When she turns around to close the oven door her eye catches the curtainless windows and the bare walls. Oh how she would love to decorate and refurbish her house a bit.

Her mind drifts to the upstairs rooms. White walls with curtains that are barely covering the windows.

In the bathroom she would love some modern tiles and not to mention matching curtains.

And she would love wall to wall carpeting especially in the bedrooms.

Daisy immediately felt ashamed, it wasn't as if she was ungrateful. She loved her house. It was comfortable, somewhat cosy and most of all huge. Especially compared to the houses of her friends who lived in the village. She slowly walked over to the couch where Hornbull was sitting or rather sleeping.

Daisy: Hornbull?
Hornbull (sitting bolt upright, he was almost asleep): Yes Daisy?
Daisy: I've been thinking... uhm... I feel like redecorating our house.
Hornbull (grunting): But why? Our house is perfect.
Daisy: Seriously, is that what you think?
Hornbull: Yes, but I guess you don't agree with me?

Daisy: Hornbull, look around. The walls looks so bare, and some windows don't even have curtains.
Hornbull: At least we have great furniture.
Daisy (throwing her hands up in the air): What is the point of having fantastic furniture if the decorations are so dreary! Walk with me Hornbull!
Hornbull: Now?

Hornbull obediently followed Daisy upstairs and further up to the attic room.
Daisy: Look at this Hornbull, this is suppose to be a nursery. Does it look like a nursery? No it looks like someone with no feelings for their babies decorated this place.
Hornbull: Uhm... But...

But Daisy was already back on the second level.
Daisy: Look Hornbull! No carpets, no wallpaper, barley any curtains. We need to decorate! I don't want the most expensive mohair or whatever kind of carpets, I just want nice looking wall to wall carpets, matching curtains and some frames with family photos.

Daisy began to walk down the stairs to the kitchen again. Why is it so hard to convince men of the simple and basic needs in life. She was just about to give up on ever trying to convince Hornbull, when he called her into the loving room.
Hornbull: Daisy, I'm sorry for not always understanding what you want, but if you want to redecorate the house, feel free to go ahead. I trust your decorating abilities and know our house will look even better than before.
Daisy: Wonderful, wonderful. You are going to town tomorrow?
Hornbull rolled his eyes at himself, he had to know that Daisy will not wait with this.

And there was no stoping Daisy. The next morning she went with Hornbull into the village and headed straight for the Haberdashery of the Thistlethorns. Although they specialised in materials, she hoped that maybe Willow will have some kind of catalogue with wallpaper in it. Willow obliged and even gave Daisy some guidelines of what kind of wallpaper to use where.

That evening at home she showed Hornbull her choices and he absentmindedly looked at it and agreed that her choices were fantastic.

Sooner than expected the wallpaper arrived and Daisy could start her first project: The Nursery. She was extremely excited. Hornbull had to move all the furniture before he went into the village to drop the kids at school. Though he had to get up even earlier, he knew better than to complain.

In between moving the furniture, Daisy rolled up the old yellow carpet, she will definitely get rid of it. She is really tired of it!

Finally the attic was empty and Daisy could get started. She was terribly excited!

Daisy worked extremely hard the entire day. She wanted to finish before her family arrived home. Finally, after putting the linen on the beds, she was happy. It looked modern, but cute. She loved the giraffe wallpaper and the grey carpet was much more practical than the old yellow rug. All that is missing now is the babies and their toys.

By the look of it the babies loved their new room and even Annabell who was always very critical, liked it.

(Thanks to Sigrun for the photo of the two ladies in the Haberdashery.)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Herbage's idea

Like every Monday morning, Herbage Dappledawn started his day with a stroll through the village of Sugarbush Valley. This gave him the opportunity to have a look around and chat with the local villagers. Like every Monday morning he also hoped that he may just stumble upon something new that he can use as a great selling point to attract more tourists to this beautiful village. But if there was one thing that Herbage learned since he moved to Sugarbush Valley, it is that things happen very slowly here. After the foundation was laid for the tourism office, nothing new happened, and he is beginning to feel like a failure, he never felt so blank about a task at hand.

His thoughts drift to his wife, Theodora, or Thora as he fondly calls her. He knows that she loves the outdoors too and that she is just as passionate about tourism as he is, it was actually her idea to buy a caravan and travel from one camping site to another for "research" purposes, but he does sometimes wonder if that is really what she want to do still. Does she maybe long for some more normality in the form of a permanent home?

Part of the reason for his Monday morning walks was to give Thora some alone time, which she usually uses to clean their caravan, get the washing done and just recuperate, even though she's working while doing it. After a whole weekend of dealing with the twins, who can be a handful, Herbage knows that she longs and appreciates this time. He has many times told her to rather go for a stroll in the forest or read a book, but that is what his Thora prefers to do.

As he rounds the corner into Village street, Herbage is pleased to see the street abuss with activity, but it immediately strikes him that it is only local residents doing their normal Monday morning shopping. How on earth will he ever get tourists to visit this hidden gem. He notices Katrina Whiskers in the door of the Florist and head over for a quick chat.
Herbage: Morning Katrina, you are busy so early? Guess business is good?
Katrina: Morning Herbage, and hello you two adorable babies. Well, business was great over the weekend, Saturdays are usually the busiest day. Some tourists drive to our village to get away from The Big City or the ever expanding Blueberry Hill, for some peace and quiet. And they love our fresh produce, but there is still some flowers that will have to be thrown out, as they wont stay beautiful much longer.
Herbage: That is interesting, but what a shame about those flowers.
Katrina: Yes indeed, but luckily I have a gentleman's agreement with some of the other shop owners like the Periwinkles form the shoe shop and the Thistlethorns form the Haberdashery. They and many others buy the flowers for their shops on Monday mornings, at a slightly reduced price. It is a win-win situation for both parties, but really not ideal if you think business wise. I lose some profit and they don't get my best.

Perplexed and even more downhearted he says his goodbyes to Katrina. He passes the Laundromat and are glad to see some desperate housewives queuing outside, to get their washing done. At least Mae's business is thriving even without tourists. He waves to her and politely greet the ladies as he passes.

He passes the old shop that Ben Henry-Lloyd wants to convert into a Fishmonger, where mostly trout caught in the local dams and ponds will be sold. That will be another wonderful tourist attraction, but Ben has been having so much trouble with regulations that the opening of the Fishmonger looks doubtful. He smiles to himself when he passes the school. It looks like Daniel Fielding, is again having a disagreement with his teacher, Mr Huckleberry about something. According to Raddish this is a regular occurrence.

Herbage, however, laughed out loud when he passed the clinic and see Mable Periwinkle sitting on the bed. It is common knowledge now that Mable is a hypochondriac and visits the clinic with every cough and ache. Schroeder looked exasperated and just fed up. Herbage wondered how Kate was coping, the last time he heard she wasn't very happy with her Parents-in-law's move to Sugarbush Valley. Maybe he should offer them a free stand in the camping site ... Then it hid him, that was it! That was it! It was under his nose the whole time and he never thought of it before!

Herbage quickened his pace and made his way to the Commune. He had to see Sydney Hazelnut. In the distance he could see two unfamiliar faces entering the real Estate Agency. Who can it be?

He past the Furbanks Real Estate Agency and craned his neck to see who Kenneth is talking too. On any other day Herbage would think up a reason to pop into the shop to meet the strangers, he was just that  curios. But not today he had to see Sydney.

Sydney was the town planner and part of the town council. Sydney was quite open minded about new ideas, even crazy ones. In no time Herbage reached the commune and went straight to the kitchen. The kitchen of the commune was the heart of activity. The Hawtons were in there preparing the school lunches and were assisted by Mona. Mona noticed him first and immediately came over.

Mona: Herbage, good morning. What brings you here ... aah look at these two cuties, aren't they adorable?
Herbage: Hey Mona, I would like to speak to Sydney if he is not busy?
Hildie: What is up with you, Mona? Cooing over these babies? You don't even like babies?
Mona: Don't be silly, Hildie, of course I like babies.
Herbage looked at Hildie and they both frowned, it was a known fact in the village that Mona indeed wasn't very font of babies, and she never pays attention to them. What was up with that, he wondered?

Mona: Sorry Herbage, Sydney is upstairs. You can go right up, and leave the babies here, I'll look after them.
Herbage: Are you sure, they will be no trouble?
Hildie: Yes, Mona, are you sure, remember they are babies.
Mona: What is wrong with you two, of course they are babies and we will be fine. Hildie you can continue to help Barry and I'll look after the twins.

Herbage made his way up to the first floor and found Sydney at his desk.
Herbage: Hi Sydney, sorry for disturbing you, but I have a little matter that I would like to discuss with you.
Sydney: Herbage! Come in I need a break and I'm all ears. Please, sit down.

Herbage told Sydney of his idea. Like expected Sydney loved it and the two spend the next hour discussing it in detail, as well as how Herbage will break it to the Mayor and Slick Slydale, the other member of the town council. It will not be easy to convince Slick as he is very money driven and this is not a very profitable idea, but a great way to attract tourists to the village

After finishing their talk, Sydney and Herbage went down to the kitchen. Sydney needed some coffee and Herbage had to go home. Thora was probably wondering where he was. They were both astounded to find Mona sitting on the floor surrounded by Cotton and Dillion. 
Sydney: Mona, what are you doing?
Mona: I'm playing with Dillion and Cotton.
Sydney: My dear, not to sound rude or anything, but you don't like babies. You loved your own, yes, but other people's babies? You just don't like them!
Mona: Oh nonsense, where do you get that from...
Sydney: Mona, really?
Mona: Oh ok, I guess I was a bit reluctant to like other babies, but people can change especially ...
Sydney (interrupting Mona with a smile): Ok good, as long as you admit it  and are trying to change.

Sydney and Herbage shook hands and agreed that they will share the great plan with Mayor Hugo and Slick at tomorrow's weekly meeting. Mona were very reluctant to let the twins go.

After what felt like the longest night ever and no sleep, Herbage got dressed and went over to the Frasier's Pizza Parlour. A while back the members of the town council decided that the Pizza Parlour is the ideal place to have their meetings. According to Frasier he was usually very quite on Tuesday mornings and that was exactly what they needed. Frasier usually closes the shop during the meeting and tend to his bookkeeping chores while the meeting is ongoing, but only after he dished up one of his breakfast pizzas.

Mayor Hugo opened the meeting with the usual hello and a quick prayer, where after Sydney summarised the agenda.
Sydney: Guys, I hope you don't mind but I added a point to the agenda after it was send out. I'm sorry that I haven't informed you earlier but it was brought to my attention very late yesterday morning by Herbage here. I thought it was quite important so I didn't want to let it stand over till next week.
Hugo: That is all in order, thank you Sydney. And I must say if you think it is important, it probably is.
Slick: So why don't we just start with this mysterious and important point.
Sydney: Great idea, Herbage over to you.

Herbage: Thank you Sydney, so where should I start. I guess at the beginning. It has been bothering me for a while now, how quiet our village is during the week. It is very seldom that we ever see a tourist during the week. Yes, the village is busy over weekends and sometimes there is even ques outside this very Pizza Parlour and the Hamburger Restaurant, but it usually is only on weekends, and I really feel that we need that financial injection during the week too.
Hugo: That is a very valid point Herbage and something I've been thinking about too.
Herbage: I've wrecked my brain about ways to get more people in, but though all was great ideas, I was just worried that it will not keep bringing the feet to the town.
Slick: And then you got this great idea?
Herbage: Yes, I did. And all the time it was right in front of me, I actually live there?
Slick: The camping site?
Herbage: Indeed. As you might be aware the Sugarbush camping site is one of the most beautiful ones in the country, because it has the indigenous forest to the one side and the river to the other. It is also a World Heritage Site, but we have never really marketed it before as we have a steady flow of visitors over the weekends. Which, again, is fine, but we need people to visit during school holidays too and why not during the week as well, surely there are tourists that have their vacation during a normal working week?
Hugo: But how will you get them here Herbage?
Herbage: My suggestion is as follows, we ask the campers no fee to come here (gasps were heard all around the table) or not entirely no fee, but 10 Sylva per entrant.

Slick: But that is outrageous. 10 Sylva is nothing, one can not even buy a bread with that. How on earth do you want to get a financial injection from such outrageously low fees.
Herbage (smiling): Thanks for the question Slick. I know that 10 Sylva is nothing and that it will barely cover the paper that their receipts will be printed on, but keep the bigger picture in mind. First of all we get people to the village, surely at that rate who will not want to come here on holiday. And once they are here they will have a taste of the good life. Faboulous gourmet pizzas and burgers, the pastries and delicacies in Pippa's shop, wonderful handcrafted shoes at a steal, designer dresses, fresh flowers that will stay beautiful for weeks. Home made ice cream, the most freshest organic vegetables, quality hand stitched bedding, should I continue? Their basic needs will be looked after too, as here is a doctor, and the deli and country market for some basic shopping. The aim of it all is to get the tourists here and when once they have experienced everything, they will come back or would refer their friends.
Slick: Ok, it all sounds fantastic, but I'm still skeptical.
Herbage: Well that is ok, someone should be, to keep my feet on the ground, you know.

Hugo (getting up): Herbage, thank you, thank you. I think it is a great plan. I really believe that it will work, we really do need the feet in this little village of ours.
Herbage:  The pleasure is all mine, and I will work very hard on this project to make it successful.

After some more discussions the meeting was adjourned and for the first time in many months Herbage went home feeling lighthearted and ready for some real tourist action.

(*Sigrun once again helped me with some photos. The two of Theodora in the caravan and the Berchers in Kenneth's Real Estate shop is all her. Thank you so much Sigrun!!! The Berchers (my very original surname for the JP Labradors) are my family that made a detour to Iceland first, hopefully they will reach me around end May!)(**Anyone noticed the very subtle hint of something that is about to be revealed soon?)

Friday, 11 April 2014


Just a quick notification that the Woodbrook, Chantilly, Petite, Periwinkle and Meadow's bios has now been update on my villagers page!

Pls tell met what you think. I appreciate all and every comment!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Family updates!

Over the past few weeks I've gotten some new figures. Some of them have featured in my stories and some haven't. So before adding them to my Villagers page, I want to introduce them here.

Margaret Petite and her daughter Hailey arrived all the way from Candy in the USA (California). They are sold in this set.

Margaret is Postman Pete Petite's wife. The newly weds will settle in Sugarbush Valley and Pete is on a mission to build his bride a house soon, but for now they will reside with the Trunks. (Hailey will make her appearance soon).

Pete will continue to deliver the mail to the residents of Sugarbush Valley, while as a qualified beautician Margaret is thinking of opening a small salon, or like Dorothy Patches provide a personal service to her clients at their homes. Read about their homecoming here!

Another member of the Sylvanian Families Forum, Crandj, had an extra set of Meadows parents, which she was willing to sell to me.

Jack and Maisie have already featured in a Sugarbush Valley story, but a proper introduction might be necessary. Jack has accepted a position on Highfields farm as the Milkman. He was appointed by Hornbull Buttercup to deliver the milk from the dairy. For now Maisie will be a stay at home mom and take care of Noah and Jess, although Roxy Renard has mentioned that she might soon need someone to help her with her cleaning business.

Mack and Mable Periwinkle also recently became residents of Sugarbush Valley. To Kate's dismay her in-laws are, for the moment, occupying the spare room in her house. She hopes this is only a temporary arrangement as Mable might just drive her crazy.

Also allow me to introduce the Woodbrook family to you. They are the vegetable farmers of the valley and though their plot of land is not as big as Highfields farm they are known to supply the villagers and especially the Fresh Produce Market of Bob Blackberry with the freshest produce. Father Andy loves being a vegetable farmer. He is assisted by his wife, Bethanie, who can spend hours watering the crop. They have two children, daughter Abigail and baby boy Marcus.

Then also meet the newest member of Sugarbush Valley, little Jacques Chantilly. With him is father Maurice, sister Jocelyn and proud mother Myriam.

Keep posted for the full bios that will be added soon!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Opening sets!

I've been very bad lately and spoiled myself with a huge lot (in my eyes) of Sylvanians. Below are some of the sets that I acquired with a short review.

Soft Ice Cream set

According to my knowledge this set is a re-release of the soft serve ice cream set, as it has been available previously but was rather rare and hard to come by, but maybe I'm totally wrong.

Since the first time I saw it a few years ago on ebay, I had to have it, so I was ecstatic when I realised it will be released again, but I know this annoys those that have probably paid an arm and a leg for it.

It is an extremely cute set. And like all Sylvanian items the detail is just amazing. The pull down handles on the soft serve machine actually moves when pulled, and the swirly ice cream and sugar cones are just adorable.

The only negative part for me was to get the stickers on the ice cream machine, as well as the stickers on the strawberry and chocolate sauce bottles. It was another struggle to get the two bottles to fit into the two tiny shelves, and to get them to stand up!

All and all a fantastic set though, and I'm not disappointed that I got it! I just hope that Annabel's mother doesn't find out that her daughter is buying ice cream from the opposition.

Kitchen Cookware set
Another set that I always wanted, but that wasn't readily available is the kitchen cookware set or as I refer to it the kitchen trolley.

I have seen many of the items listed on ebay before and even got a few in joblots I won, but never knew where they actually came from.

Both the pots has removable lids and is literally miniatures of the real thing. The green smoothie mixer reminds me alot of the juicers that comes with the Juice Bar set. But my favorite two items has to be the toaster and the coffeemaker.

This set will go straight to the Periwinkle family and Kate is just as in love with it. Note the two pieces of toast in the toaster and the two jam jars (without stickers).

Like the soft serve ice cream set, a fantastic set, hard to think that it is a toy, and I can honestly say there is not a negative thing about this set.

New Arrival set
These are one of those sets that I always wanted, well sort of, but there was just always something I wanted more, and it got shifted to the back of the row. The Chantilly's has been one of my favorite families, mainly because one has the option to compile a different kind of family, and with different I mean not just mother.father and the siblings. The other sets in the family "range" are the Garden Barbeque set that has the father. Father Maurice was also released in this set. Sets containing a brother and sister is available too, and babies are readily available in carry cases. The most common baby other than Jacques is the one in the Rainbow nursery figure set.

The set is, as expected, very cute. The lid of the milk powder tin is actually removable and the baby cape is quite cute. The only negative is that the baby has pointed feet (not flat) and can't really stand on its own. 
But I do love the colour and "purity" of the look of the cats. I have to 2nd hand figures and the difference between the new ones and the 2nd hand ones are immense, which gave me an idea of just how easily they can look "played with."

A Visit to the Dress Shop set
But my most favorite set must be this one. Not only does it contain the adorable Margaret and cute baby Hailey, but the items they come with are so sweet too.
There are new outfits for both mommy and baby. A handbag and necklace for mommy. Hailey gets spoiled with a toy and an alice band. The set also included a hand mirror and picture frame. What is weird though is that the figures in the picture are the Macavity cat mother and baby.

Please feel free to ask me any questions about any of these sets I am even willing to take close up photos.