Friday, December 13, 2013

Toy Store Sales - Part 2

Meet the Barker family (aka the Golden Labrador family).

That's daddy Jerry, brother Tarquin, sister Jocasta, and mommy Margo.*

"Jerry Barker is the tour guide of Sylvania. He takes visitors to all the points of interest around Sylvania and regales them with information about buildings and their origins, historical events and old customs. 

Margo Barker runs the well organised Tourist Information Office. The walls of Margo's office are full of posters and maps and she has leaflets full of details about everything that is happening in Sylvania. 

Brother Tarquin Barker does everything at a sedate pace, he never runs or rushes around. If he could, he would spend all day, every day reading a book in front of the warm open fire in the family front room. 

Sister Jocasta Barker, unlike her brother is full of energy, rushing hither and thither like a mad thing. Give her a ball and she will play for hours in the garden even if there is no one else to play ball with!"

Mommy Margo and Jocasta are workin' some cool threads don't you think? Among all my Sylvanian characters, I love Jocasta's clothes the most.

Meet more of my friends, the Henry Lloyd family (aka the Chocolate Dalmatian family).

From left: Brother Zac, Daddy Ben, Mommy Pippa, Sister Sarah
"Father Ben Henry-Lloyd is a great sailor and fisherman. He started sailing with his parents when he was a boy and now he has mastered all kinds of watersports. His wife Pippa knows that he will spend morning, noon and night messing about on boats! If he can be persuaded onto dry land then he likes to play cricket!!! 

Mother Pippa Henry-Lloyd also learned how to sail with her parents. She enjoys boating and sailing competitions and has taught her children that teamwork on board is essential so that they will all become very competent sailors. If Pippa has time to relax then she likes to cycle along the riverbank enjoying the views. 

Brother Zac Henry-Lloyd is very enthusiastic about rowing and also about music, as well as being an accomplished sailor. He finds it hard to fit in all the practising required to master all his hobbies, if only he could play a saxophone and row a boat at the same time, now that would be very handy! 

Sister Sarah Henry-Lloyd is very competitive and well organised. She enjoys regattas in the summer, in particular she enjoys the evening parties after the races are finished and the social side takes over. She loves to get dressed up and chat to her friends about the day's events."

And then there are the Clearwaters (aka the Vole family).

Mommy Sybil and daughter Stephanie.
Daddy Spencer is working overseas (i.e. I haven't bought him yet) as a dentist and was not available when we took photos.

"Sybil Clearwater is an expert needlewoman who spends many a happy hour teaching her daughter Stephanie the art of sewing.

Stephanie loves using her mother's sewing machine more than stitching her creations by hand, it's quicker and you don't prick your thumb! Sybil enjoys embroidery as she finds it very relaxing and it can be done whilst listening to the radio."

NOTE: All items are from the Flair items sale at the Sylvanian section of Toys R' Us Rockwell a few weeks ago. All descriptions were copied from the Sylvanian City.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Toy Store Sales - Part 1

Toy store sales never really interested me until a couple of months ago. And the discovery happened accidentally: Toys R' Us set up their toy sale in Trinoma last November right smack in the middle of my route to the MRT. And so that first day of the sale, I went to the sale area... and almost never made it to my office. I wanted to stay all day. A lot of toys were marked down and I mean really, REALLY marked down. 50% of my Christmas list finished in a span of 30 minutes, yeah! The other 50% are adults so...

Anyway, not to ruin the surprise for my daughter and nieces and nephews who have yet to receive their gifts from us for Christmas... I am only posting what I bought for me. Yes, I bought something for me at the toy sale.

The Sylvanian Toy Shop from Flair, The Village Flower Shop, and the Elephant family.
None of which are marked down on the first day I went there, which bugged me initially. But since I will not be able to find these in Manila, I let it pass. 

The Toy Shop and the Flower shop sets are the sets used for display previously by Toys R'Us and the Toy Shop was missing some small pieces (again... which bugged me at first but again, I know I will not find another one in Manila for a while so... *sigh*). I kept asking the sales rep why it was not marked down considering it was a used unit and it was in the sale area but she looked confused and the only answer she could give me was that there was no advise yet if it was included in the sale (um... it's in the sale area, hello?!).

Enough with the rant and on with the fun...

"Hello! Welcome to my Toy Shop!"
I added some other stuff from other Sylvanian sets like the bikes and the shelves, and I used some of my daughter's Squinkies to pose as plushies and dolls.

A closer look at the doll houses and bikes.

Plushies and dolls also available at our toy shop.
Had enough of the Toy Shop? Let's take a quick peek at the Flower Shop.

"Welcome to my Flower Shop!"
There's Mrs. Barker, from the Golden Labrador family, tending the flowers.

A closer look at the Flower Shop.
And that's it for today. Tomorrow, I will introduce the rest of Mrs. Barker's family as well as a couple of other families, scored from another toy store sale. See you!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Journey to Sylvania

"Hello there!"
It all started innocently enough... one little girl celebrated her 4th birthday a couple of months ago and asked for a doll house. I'm sure she meant a Barbie doll house but daddy and I found some toy figures and generic furniture that resembled those from Sylvanian Families (i.e. Calico Critters) at way lower prices and decided to buy those. We couldn't find a cheap doll house to match so we decided to get her the "My First Sylvanian House" to go with the furniture. 

The humble beginnings.
As you can see, very small house, few furniture and just a couple of figures that were not part of the Sylvanian Family. She loved the house and loved playing with it. What we didn't count on was that mommy would love the house and the concept of decorating and personalizing the little space, more. Much, much more.

The small home turned out to be a disappointment after only a few days... it was simply too small to fit the basic furniture a home needs. I needed a bigger house so I started to do some research about the types of homes available. During my search for information I joined a few groups on Facebook and imagine my excitement when I saw an ad selling a used Beechwood Hall/City House with Lights for only P1500 (approx $35). A brand new one would have cost me more than twice as much. The ad was a few months old, and I new there was little chance the house was still available but I tried contacting the seller anyway, and what do you know... it was still available. We decided to meet at a local mall the next day and I am now the proud owner of a "new" and bigger house. And my journey began.

Since then, I discovered that there is a trade niche for used toys and miniatures online, and toy shop sales began to take more significance in my life. And several shopping trips later...

The commercial center for my small village.
I have yet to come up with a name for my village. And after 2 months of collecting and collecting, I was only able to find the time to set this up earlier today... and I only had an hour before I had to get ready for work so there are still a couple of stalls and one more building I was not able to set up. Plus the houses... and the creatures. Most are still in their boxes. 

Notice the small boutique in the middle? That was the project I previewed on my last post more than a month ago. It's definitely taking me more than a couple of weeks :( I had a plain wood box from one of Andrea's toys and initially wanted to turn it into a shoe store after I bought the Village Shoe Store set. And then I planned to put some railing to make the top look like a balcony, and maybe set up a small cafe. But now, I think I'll just turn the building into a boutique since I have a lot of spare accessories to make one. 

A closer look.
I printed some brick pattern I downloaded online and used that to wallpaper the outside of the box (seen on the third photo I posted). Then I used papers from "When I was Young" digital scrapbooking kit by Valentina's Creations, and "Renewal" kit by FranB to wallpaper the ground floor. I'm so glad I kept most of my digital scrapbooking files!

I used craft sticks to create the bottom molding and some built-in shelves.

Built-in shelves using craft sticks.
A view of the unfinished top floor.
And there is another view of the unfinished top floor.

Oh... and closer look at the backdrop too... which happens to be our table placemats *wink*. I have yet to find something else to use as backdrop.

That's it for now. I hope I can find the time soon to photograph the rest of the village and her citizens.