Happy New Year!

All my love and hopes for a brilliant 2018 to all Sylvanian Families homes. I’ve missed everyone. 2017 was a bit rough medically, so not much happened here Sylvanianwise, but we did take Ludwig Babblebrook on two trips. Here’s the first trip.

Ludwig had ordered two Sylvanian Families suitcases ready for this trip with his pocket money and decided to use an old camera. When the suitcases didn’t arrive, he dragged out his old tin travel trunk. Like many rabbits, he knows how to make do.

We traveled to the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas for a wood carving class that I had attended last year too (I only lasted one day of the week long class – I didn’t know at the time what was wrong with my shoulder.) The view of the Ozark Mountains from our lodge was breathtaking.

Ludwig came along to Arkansas last year, but didn’t remember a camera. This year he was glad he brought one.

Oh that sunrise over the mountains each morning! He loved it! He wants to paint a copy of this view for his cabin.

Upon his return to Wintermitten Island, Ludwig discovered his order of suitcases had finally arrived. Isn’t that always how it goes?

See photos of Ludwig’s winter trip to Hawaii in an upcoming post ❤️ and enjoy this brand new year. Do you have plans to go on a trip this year? Always put a Sylvanian in your pocket!

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March and April Review

It’s different for everyone, but I have reached my personal “I have enough” limit on buildings and families. During this two month shopping period I spent twice the $50/month limit I had initially set for myself, although I’ve also sold over $100 of my previous dolls and minis on eBay to offset the Sylvanian Families shopping.

BUY:

Copper Beech Cottage – used, thrift store, $2 (!)

Cozy Cottage – used, eBay, $10

Lakeside Lodge used, eBay, $15

Triplet chocolate labradors – new, eBay, $8

Triplet calico kittens – new, eBay, $8

Triplet piglets – new, eBay, $22

Triplet penguins – used, $10

CC Living Room Set – TRU sale, $20

Doughnut Shop Set – Amazon sale, $15

Nursery Toys Set KA-211 – new, eBay, $11

Housekeeping Set 607 – new, eBay, $7

Sister Bedroom Set – new, Joanns with coupon, $6

Sewing with Mother Set – new, eBay, $25

Microwave Cupboard Set KA-413 – new, eBay, $11

4 Sylvanian horses – used, eBay, $30

TOTAL: $200

 

DIY:

Repainted and refurbished the Copper Beech Cottage (hours and hours and still not finished!)

Designed and crocheted four sets of baby rompers

Took several color themed flat lay photos for Instagram

Spent hours trying to design suitable life jackets for the iceberg ferry. No success

Lots of Wintermitten Village research and planning

Designed and crocheted an adult SF ice skating dress and hat

Crocheted a blanket for the Copper Beech Cottage

Crocheted tiny squares for more blankets

Designed and printed some cardstock backdrops

Made a newspaper for my critters

Sorted and indexed all of the Sylvanian crochet and knit patterns I have drafted so far

Wallpapered the Country Market shop and shared the pdf template I made

Finally succeeded in making resin replicas of the outside lamps on the Country Market/John Lewis building

Dyed a flock of Sylvanian sheep in different colors

Deflocked a Mapletown rabbit for future resin experiments

Made a lot of resin replica Sylvanian books, baskets, bottles, jars.

Copper Beech Cottage Renovation: session 4

After putting a lighter wash on the roof shingles, I finished painting the lining panels for the upstairs bedroom. I fussed for a bit with getting a good fit, then hot glued the panels in place.

I’m pleased with the little blanket I made for Ludwig’s nook bed. The blanket is made from tiny crocheted squares that are then crocheted or sewn together. Like most of my projects, it’s not difficult if you don’t mind fiddly crafts. 

The blanket squares are fast to make. Especially if you get a Sylvanian to darn in the many, many ends.

As I let Ludwig look around his new bedroom for ideas of what to make next, I realized that stone fireplaces and cast iron stoves probably don’t belong upstairs in log cabins – the floor would buckle under the weight. I shall return to a previous plan of putting a bookshelf in that alcove. The stove will go downstairs with a new fireplace.

On the other side of the bedroom I installed a hanging rod so that Ludwig can hang up his large wardrobe of y-front undies. I may need to make more hangers.

Ludwig’s bedroom is now ready to fill with soft furnishings and accessories. I may paint the window frames. I may not. It looks like a tedious task and I’m ready to get started decorating the downstairs room, which will be Ludwig’s asparagus shop. 

Wallpaper Template for the Sylvanian Market

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This was a challenge. I was going to say that I enjoyed this project, but actually I only enjoyed finishing this project. The Calico Critters Cloverleaf Corners Country Market is also the Sylvanian Market and it’s the bottom floor of the John Lewis and Applewood Department Stores. Whatever you call it, the shelved walls of this building are a pain in the backside to wallpaper – but now I have a template, which means you do too. Yay us!  🙂

 

c391b939-ef72-40dc-9932-aee2ffff6b14Wallpapering in miniature is not fun, especially around fussy shapes. The pattern-making method of pressing a sheet of paper over the wall contours works doesn’t turn out accurately for me despite a lot of fiddly cutting, recutting, more cutting…

So, for this project I used a combination of miniaturist and scrapbooking methods plus some computerosity to make wallpaper templates. It was a bit tedious, requiring five craft sessions, but I ended up with an accurate template on my computer and plotter-cutter machine.

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I made a printable pdf version of the pattern for others to use.  SF JohnLewis Wallpaper Template 2017  There’s an inch square marked on page one to help with printer sizing. Printing and cutting a plain paper version first will help you with any adjustments you want to make to the fit.

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For more wallpaper patterns, the Sylvanian Store Keepers website provides free downloadable printable wallpaper for three popular SF dollhouses here: SSK Downloads  If you want to use your own pretty paper, just print the SSK downloads in black and white, cut out and use as templates. Double sided tape or glue stick will hold paper onto the plastic walls.

I will possibly, probably, maybe, in all likelihood make more wallpaper templates to share here in the future. Which building would you most like a wallpaper template for?

 

Copper Beech Cottage Renovation: sessions 1-3

The $2 cottage is my trial renovation project. This is Ludwig’s cabin on Wintermitten Island.

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Session 1: Painted the outside and inside of the house. Only the textured plastic worked well with the painting technique I used. I need a different way to finish the smooth interior walls on the other houses (apart from wallpapers).

Session 2: Repainted the roof to reduce contrast. Added new porch post.

Session 3: Lined the interior upstairs room with card for built-in features. So. Many. Angles.

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STILL TO DO: finish upstairs renovation, make and paint stonework, decide about painting windows/door, renovate downstairs room (currently have no inspiration for this whatsoever), matte spray all over, decorate inside, diorama (maybe a temporary set up).

This has turned out to be a really fiddly project that I’m not sure will be particularly helpful as a trial for the other buildings as they aren’t planned to be log buildings. As I go along with this, I’m making samples of different finishes in hopes that something I do here will be handy in the other buildings.

Baby Rompers

This weekend I designed and crocheted little rompers with cute, puffy legs for my new brown lab triplets. I’m not quite satisfied with the design yet as they’re tight to pull on and I worry about scraping the flocking, but I like how they fit and I was glad to be able to take the tiny puppies out of their bland synthetic/lace onesies.

img_1340What do you prefer in the tiniest outfits? Clothing that is a perfect fit? Clothing with a looser fit and easier to pull on and off? Clothing with Velcro, buttons, or strings to tie? The challenge is always how to design a Sylvanian Families garment that takes into account the ears, tails, fuzziness and tininess of the figures and still looks good at all angles.

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Also, this led me to wonder whether collectors change outfits on SF babies much or whether it would be easier to buy another baby for a different outfit. I think I’d buy a duplicate baby to wear a different outfit!

Tiny Sylvanian Contemporary Art Galleries

Last month a Tokyo art exhibition by XYZ Collective presented miniature versions of large exhibits the artists would like to build. They used Sylvanian Families buildings as the mini galleries to hold their work. You can view the exhibits here: Sylvanian Families Biennale 2017 (before you click: some exhibits have adult themes.)

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The exhibits aren’t toy themed, which might limit our SF-fan interest in the individual mini-gallery contents, however we can definitely understand how Sylvanian Families buildings are so widely available in Japan that an exhibition would select them for a uniform visual impact in a gallery.

As an aside, I’m tempted to set up our basement with white-painted cardboard boxes and my SF buildings as a personal art gallery 😉