Friday, 29 April 2016

The arrival of an expected stranger!

Bruno Honeybear loved being a beekeeper and honey farmer. Being an introvert he loved the solitude of the job. It was only him and the soft humming of his bees all day.

The location of his small beekeeping set up was also perfect. The hives was set in a corner behind their stable home. A hedge of Sugarbushes kept all unwelcome company out, and the view beyond the hedge was just breathtaking.

Bruno was still admiring the view, when the sudden appearance of a stranger through the hedge woke him from his daydreaming. Was she real or just a fiction of his imagination. After blinking ferociously for a few seconds the strange lady, hasn't disappeared so Bruno made the assumption that she was real.

"Sorry, I see that I have startled you. I hope I'm not intruding. I'm Damara de Wild from Rooibosh Hill." the strange lady explained. "What? You mean THé Damara de Wild, the travelling Sylvanian?" Bruno couldn't believe his ears. "Yes, that is me!" Damara giggled. "Oh, ok. But I'm sure this wasn't your intended manner of arrival." Bruno asked skeptical. "No not at all, but I wanted to explore the area a bit, so I asked the bus driver to drop me along the road. Even though I live in Rooibosh Hill, my family and I have never come down this far South, and I admit, I got lost a bit. I heard your soft humming, and decided to climb through the hedge, and here I am." Damara explained giggling still.

"Well, you have to come and meet my wife, Irene. She is a huge fan of you and your travelling endeavours, she has followed your journey with great interest." Damara followed Bruno around the corner of the house, and was quite surprised by what she saw. Though it was the smallest of houses, it was incredibly cosy. She immediately felt welcome.

"Yoohoo, Irene. Honey! Look who is here!" Bruno called out. Irene turned to find her husband and who she was sure was Damara de Wild, but which was highly unlikely, staring at her in amusement.

"Damara?" Irene began carefully. Damara giggled some more, "Yes it is indeed me, nice to meet you Irene!" Irene was really surprised and immediately wanted to ask Damara a million questions about her travels, but she remembered her manners, and welcomed her in a courteous manner to Sugarbush Valley.

"Thank you, Irene. It is really lovely to finally have reached my final destination. I loved the travelling but I want to go home now. I miss my family." Damara explained "I just want to ad, you have a beautiful home, it is so cosy... aaaah and look at the sleeping baby. She is adorable. Is it normal for her to sleep outside?" Damara inquired cautiously. "Yes, I know it is a bit strange, but up North were we come from it is normal to let babies sleep outside, it is believed that the cold fresh air is good for them. In the summer it is easy, but during the cooler months I dress her quite warmly for nap times." Irene explained.

"I guess I have to go, the people in the village is expecting me, can you maybe just point me in the right direction..." Damara asked. "Oh nonsense, you will stay for lunch. You have already walked far enough and must be exhausted, you can always blame the bus schedule for being late." Irene interrupted.

While Damara entertained, little Harriet, Bruno and Irene quickly prepared lunch.

They had a scrumptious meal of fresh fried fish, mushrooms and biscuits. Lunch was delicious and Damara realised just how hungry she was.

After lunch, Bruno served tea and pastries to the two ladies, after clearing away the plates. While he lie down for a quick nap, Damara and Irene discussed Damara's travels in great detail. Irene loved to hear the stories and relived the journey with her new friend.

After an hour of napping, Bruno announce that he must go into the village for some business and he will gladly accompany Damara. She indicated that she had to meet a mouse called Sydney at the Information Centre.

The two women greeted each other as if they were old friends ... 

...and with promises of more tea parties, Damara was on her way.

The walk into the village was a bit further than Damara anticipated, she began to feel the exhausted. "Here we are," Bruno announced,  "and yes there is Sydney waiting for you."

Despite her exhaustion, Damara felt like giggling once more, when she met Sydney. He was indeed a comical little mouse.

He must have been relieved to see Damara, as he grabbed her, and almost kissed her, luckily he just gave her gigantic mouse hug. Damara wasn't sure if she should feel offended or welcomed by this intrusive behaviour.

"Thank you for bringing her into the village, Bruno." Sydney said. "We have arranged a room for her in the Commune, luckily the Timbertops went West to Slydale Hollow and offered their room to her.

Damara was relieved that they reached the Commune soon, though everything was arranged beforehand, she was always worried if a village knew about her arrival and if they would welcome her. Having a safe place to rest her head, was mostly her biggest concern.

In the kitchen of the Commune, Sydney introduced Damara to the rest of his family. His wife, Mona, was just as comical as her husband...

... but the kids was just plain cute. Damara immediately warmed to the family, and had the urge to hug and squeeze the kids, but refrained from doing so. She wouldn't want to annoy her hosts.

Sydney suggested taking her to her room on the next floor and while walking there, quickly explained the setup of the Commune. It was certainly a fantastic concept and Damara decided to tell Mayor Bill of Rooibosh Hill of this.

Damara was overwhelmed by the cosiness of her room. She sensed that it was decorated with great care, to make her stay as comfortable as possible. The fresh flowers and fruit basket didn't go unnoticed.

Sydney also quickly showed her the bathroom. 

Finally she was alone in her room. She knew she had to do her diary write up, and it would be lovely to take a bath...

... but she just couldn't muster the energy, and soon fell into a dreamless sleep.

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Bearbury Bear Family

So the Bearbury Family has been living in my Village for about a year now. I just love the small bear mold, and would probably get each and every small bear mold release ever made, if I had the money and the space.

Before I even got them I knew I wanted them to be Honey farmers and knew that they will live, just like the Meadows mouse family in an old refurbished stable on Highfields farm. They will share 'outhouse' facilities with the Meadows, but I wanted them to have a private space for cooking and sleeping.

So a week or two ago the decorating bug bit me and though I wasnt in the mood for a big project I decided to get the Bearbury's settled in.

The decorated stable: small but cosy

Close up: the attic room is the children's bedroom. While downstairs is the kitchen and living room area. The sofa doubles as a bed (sleeper couch) for mom and dad at night

Do have a close look at the two plate cooker/stove. Kyraja from Marigold creek made it. She also made the crockery. It must be be one of my favorite teasets in all of Sugarbush Valley. Irene is a really lucky lady. (Notice something strange about the sink?)

A closer look at the attic. Owen has a mattress and sleeping bag while little Harriet's cot fits perfectly.

The house and surroundings

Father Bruno just loves to spend time with at beehives, situated in a private and quite spot next to the stable.

A very happy family in front of their house

And this is how I see my stable area. The stable in the corner of the photo is that of the Meadows family. As I only own one stable (yes I redecorated another building), Sylvanako helped me to stitch two photos together to get the idea of this area.

Just a quick but special thanks to Sylvanako who helped with the photo. And Sigrun for inspriring. She is the original stable area queen, and the false attic floor was also her idea.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Meet the Teak Family

Just a quick little post this morning.  I am introducing another new family to Sugarbush Valley.

Cecilia and Bonnie Teak has finally arrived safely in the Village, and are happy to join Arthur and Sadie.

So without further ado meet the Teak Family.

Father: Arthur Teak
Mother: Cecilia Teak
Sister: Sadie Teak (9)
Baby Sister: Bonnie (3)

Arthur has a particular soft spot for carpets and rugs as there are so many wonderful designs! He is a master craftsman, making the most beautiful, colourful rugs that Sylvania has ever seen!. Sitting at his loom, surrounded by wonderful, complicated designs, Arthur creates his masterpieces in delicate coloured silks and cottons on sturdy jute strands.

Mother Cecilia Teak, designs a lot of the intricate patterns that her husband Arthur uses in his rugs. After her son’s death she has however been struggling to get inspired and these days prefer to curl up with a good book in a sunny place. She can spend hours reading romantic novels in the sun’s warm rays, oblivious to the world around her.

Sadie Teak is pretty-in-pink and loves make-up and making herself look extra nice. She thinks that her mother is the most beautiful cat in the world, and often picks out a dress because she thinks that her mother would like it. She’s got plenty of tips for applying make-up from her mum and is constantly trying out new fun looks.

Baby Sister Bonnie Teak is a bit like a magpie because shiny things are always catching her eye. This could be anything from a pretty candle to some tasty looking jelly beans. But she likes to hold onto these treasures and watch them for hours, sometimes holding them in her paw. Unfortunately chocolate melts and she often gets mucky from holding too tight onto her sparkly treasures.

Do visit my "The Villagers of Sugarbush Valley" page for bios on all my families.

Monday, 18 April 2016

The realisation of a dream!

Taylor Timbertop gave a subdued sigh, and thought, 'This is going to be tougher than I though!' It was his turn to put 3-year old Burl to bed for his afternoon nap.

His other son, Buddy, was elsewhere in the Commune visiting Lester Thistlethorn, hopefully behaving. "No, no, no Buddy, don't jump form there!" Prissy Thistlethorn squealed.

While his wife was taking a well deserved break, having coffee and cake with her friends in the kitchen of the Commune.

After what felt like ages, Burl finally started to dose of. Taylor was quite relieved, even though his coffee was too cold to drink and he has completely lost his appetite for the biscuits.

Just as Burl closed his eyes completely, there was a knock on the door. "NO!" Taylor wanted to scream, but managed to swallow it back.

He quickly looked down at Burl, who was sleeping peacefully!

Taylor walked to the door, where Tilly Dappledawn and Grizabella Macavity were waiting patiently. "Good afternoon uncle Taylor, sorry for disturbing you, but my dad asked me to deliver a message to you." The little girl rambled off. "Apparently someone called to his office, something about a boat." Taylor looked perplexed.

"What could it be about" he wondered out loud. "I'm not sure," Tilly replied, "but the man told my father he would phone back at three."

"Oh, really? Thank you, by that time Burl should be awake, so I will be there." Taylor thanked Tilly for delivering the message and the girls said goodbye.

While waiting for Burl to wake up, Taylor tried to read the local newspaper. It was hard to concentrate on it though, as his thoughts constantly drifted off to the strange caller. 

Finally at 2:30 Burl awoke from his nap, and at that precise moment Rose appeared in the doorway of their room too. "Oh my little Burly is awake, did you have a good nap?" she asked sweetly. "Thank you Taylor for watching over him, I had a good time with my friends." 

"That is no problem Rosie, do you mind if I take him for a walk?" Taylor asked, trying very hard not to look guilty. "Yes, Burl wants to ride his trike." Burl yelled. "I was just about to suggest that I take him, but if you don't mind, I can go look for Buddy and get him to do his homework." Rose replied.

Father and son set off, making their way to the office of Herbage Dappledawn. 

"Daddy," Burl began, "thanks for bike ride." he finished. Taylor looked at his youngest and smiled. "It is nice, yes." he replied.

As they turned the corner to the office, he could see Sorrel Cottontail approaching, he tried to walk even slower to avoid a conversation with her. He was so worried that he would miss the telephone call again.

But he had no such luck, as Sorrel actually stopped and waited form him in front of the shop. "Hey Taylor, how are you?" She asked. Taylor sighed, he liked Sorrel very much, and could never ignore her, "Very good, Sorrel, and with you? How is Aaron doing?"

The two old friends chatted for awhile before they were interrupted by Herbage. "There you are Taylor, I was wondering if you would make it."

Taylor was glad to see that Theodora occupied Sorrel, otherwise she surely would've asked about what business Taylor had with Herbage. He wanted to keep this call quiet, until he himself knew what it was all about.

"So do you have any idea about this call for me?" Taylor asked Herbage. "Not really, it was someone from Slydale Hollow, I think Wade." Herbage said. "That is strange I have an uncle living in Slydale Hollow, you know the Mayor of the village, but he usually writes to me." As the two were still wondering about the strange call, the phone started ringing.

"Well, now we will finally find out what it is all about, why don't you go answer it." Herbage prodded Taylor. Reluctantly Taylor answered the phone, he didn't like telephones at all.

"Hello? - Yes it is him!"   

"Oh, yes, my uncle has mentioned you previously in his letters. - Wait, what? Repeat that? - Wow, really? - Thank you, but I'll first have to discuss it wit Rose, that is my wife."

"Certainly. - Can I call you tomorrow? - Ok, fantastic. Thank you. - Goodbye." A bewildered looking Taylor put down the phone. Herbage rushed inside, he was really curious about this call.

"So, what was that all about?" Herbage probed carefully. "Oh Herbage, I can't say yet, I must talk to Rose first, but I promise I will tell you first thing tomorrow, when I return to make the call, that is if you don't mind, me using your phone again." Taylor said apologetically. 

"Oh that is fine, I understand, well sort of. And of course you may use my telephone again." Herbage smiled and shook Taylor's hand.

That evening, when both boys where asleep, Taylor approached Rose.

"Darling, can we have a talk?" He began reluctantly. "Taylor, what is going on?" Rose was not used to Taylor spoiling her with hot chocolate and wanting to make serious conversations.

"Maybe you should sit down, I have some news." Taylor said. "Ok Taylor, now you are scaring me, what is going on?" Rose insisted."Don't worry, Rosie, it is nothing bad. I had a call this afternoon, from Wade Waters. My Uncle, the Mayor of Slydale Hollow, directed him to give me a call." Taylor explained. 

"Oh, okay," Rose said, visibly relieved, "and what was the call about?" Taylor took a photo from his pocket, "Well you know how we have been dreaming about a own home, and expanding our little business. Can you remember how we dreamed about a boat, one that we can live on and that we can use to take tourists on?" Rose's eyes widen. "Y E E E ES?!"

"Well, I have once shared this in a letter to my Uncle, he has always been such an inspiration to me, especially after my father died, and now it turned out that there is an old boat moored at Slydale Hollow, and he thought we might be interested in restoring it. Are we interested?" Taylor asked carefully. Rose took the photo from her husband...

... pasted it against the wall just above the night stand, and replied, "Yes of course we are!"

Taylor turned her to him, "Thank you my Love, I can't wait to start this new life with you!"