Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Jumping on the bandwagon

So I did that and now, I'm currently hooked on the Rainbow Loom (no pun intended!)

I know, I know... it's a little late since this has been around since last year and I actually saw this at the mall last December and ignored it. Now, it's popularity is gaining traction and it's hitting Manila like a heat wave in summer. 

It has rekindled my interest in jewelry-making.

If you are into this thing, you'd recognize the pattern and yes, I'm a big fan of double braids. They look so feminine with the proper color combination.

My daughter is 4 years old now and with some assistance, she is able to make a simple fish tail. However, she lacks the patience to finish a whole bracelet... thank goodness. She's a little too fond of neons and I don't think I can rock a neon pink bracelet at the office. She did insist I use the short fishtail she finished so we turned it into a charm and is now dangling happily from my wallet.

Anyway, this is my way of saying "I'm still alive!!" and that the corporate world has not eaten me alive just yet. I miss crafting and I am still crafting only I lack the time to take photos of the things we make at home.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Love from a child's point-of-view

Last February, we had the opportunity to visit my daughter's pre-school. And posted in her nursery classroom's wall...

As part of one of their lessons, the kids in my daughter's class, aged 3-4 years old, were asked about their concept of love... what do they think it means, who do they love, how do you show someone you love them. Amidst all the other kids usual answers of hugs and kisses and mommy and daddy, Andrea's answer stood out... 

"Pasyal sa SM" ("A trip to the mall.")

Yep, that's my daughter. Apparently, we take too many trips to the mall for the activity to invoke love in her little heart. Nothing beats simple pleasures :)

To everyone out there celebrating the special bond of love between mother and child... HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

NOTE: This post is written as part of Brilliant Earth's "Love and Appreciation: Bright Like a Diamond Campaign.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tatty Teddy & My Blue Nose Friends

Hello, my name is Janelle and I'm addicted to flocked toys.

They are so cute and soft, I can't help myself.

Here is another line I started collecting accidentally.

There are around 30 characters to collect, I think. Plus a few houses. I only have 21 characters so far, a couple of the accessory sets, no structures/houses. And I say I collected them accidentally because I didn't really want to collect them... only they went on sale at a local mall (averaging approximately $2.20 per character) so I bought everything they have available. 

I want to get this house:

Photo source.

And this house too:

Photo source.

The second one, when closed, looks like a cute lamp. It's battery-operated and lights up. Even on sale, both houses are still a little expensive for me though, so I'm hoping to find ones that are used but still in good condition.

Welcome to Primtown

On one of my previous posts, I mistakenly identified some characters I recently acquired as being part of Ban Dai's Maple Town line. Upon closer inspection of their packaging however, I found out that they are part of Primtown, a line of "candy" toys released by Ban Dai in 2002. 

There were 16 characters initially released and another 12 were released after that. So far, I only have 8 characters from the initial release. 

I know where I can get 3 more, but I have yet to negotiate the price with the seller. 4 of them I got boxed and when I opened the boxes (yes... I OPENED THEM), they did have candy inside... which I threw away because eeeewww! They've been in the box since 2002 o_0

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Welcome Party

Note: There wasn't enough space for all my Sylvanians to party so the next photos only feature some of them.

Welcome to our new citizens! (I have yet to name my village). We held a small party to welcome them to our little village.

Party! Party!

The daddies discussing vegetable gardens with Mayor Waddlington.

Clearwater family, reunited at last! Daddy finally came home from the UK.

Kids can't wait for the cake. 

Mr. Cuthbert Marmalade giving Mr. Aristotle Treefellow a tour of the house.

Mrs. Lauren Marmalade sharing recipes with Mrs. Beatrix Spotter

Mrs. Sorrel Cottontail chatting with Mayoress Wanda Waddlington

A view of the kitchen and Mrs. Delia Doughty preparing more treats for the guests.
Now that the mayor is here, the citizens of our village will be gathering for a town hall meeting soon to discuss matters of great importance (i.e. the name of their village) and to have their photo taken. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

More friends!

More of our friends just arrived!

Meet the Persis Persian Cat Family. There is Father Septimus, Mother Salome, Brother Nolly, and Sister Sadie.

Meet the Cottontail Rabbit Family. We have Father Aaron, Mother Sorrel, Brother Gromwell, Sister Willow, Twins Comfrey and Angelica, and an extra baby without a name yet. 

And here we have some school kids. I haven't asked their names yet. But we have 2 Chiffon puppies, and one Silk kitten. 

Time to let them get ready for their welcome party!

(NOTE: the party post will not happen for a few weeks probably... Aaarrrghhh! We have house guests and I can't set up my little houses while they are here).

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The British Invasion

They are here!! All the way from the United Kingdom!

Front row: Treefellow Owl family
2nd row: Spotter Meerkat family, Bullrush Frog family, Vandyke Otter family
3rd row: Mr. Clearwater the dentist, DeBurg Penguin family, Waddlington Duck family, Tina Wildwood of the Wildwood Brown Rabbit family
4th Row: (not from the UK but new arrivals just the same) Dale Sheep family, Friesian Cow Family

Last December, I found out that a friend's sister who lives in London is coming home to the Philippines this January to visit. I asked if it's ok for her to bring some stuff home for me and my friend said ok. I was elated! My initial plan was to buy from www.sylvanianfamilies.com whose store is in London. However, each family costs around 16 British Pounds. So I tried scouring ebay.co.uk and found a lot of Sylvanian Families items for sale. I started bidding. 

I was only looking for families which I know are hard to find here in the Philippines. And I scored my first win with the Bullrush Frog Family. Winning that bidding was a turning point. I was a new ebay buyer with no track record. I know some sellers ignore wins by new buyers like me. But thanks to Paypal, I was able to credit payment within a few hours of winning. I got the frogs and that got me started on a bidding spree. 

The items are used... and some are not perfect. Mr. Treefellow has lost his cap and Mrs. Waddlington has lost her bonnet. The Bullrushes are a little faded and there are a couple of discoloration spots on Mrs. Bullrush's face. Mr. Waddlington has a broken and badly glued leg, which the seller "forgot" to mention in his description (deep breaths), but I let it pass and refuse to let that mar my happiness at meeting his family. There were also some GREAT deals. The dentist set with Mr. Clearwater, the Vole, was complete and in excellent condition! I can't wait for him to go home to Mrs. Clearwater and their daughter Stephanie. Both the Spotter and Vandykes are also in excellent condition. I had no plans to bid on the Vandyke family, but I noticed there was little bidding activity so I figured I might get them at a bargain and what do you know... I did! The best deal was with the Treefellows. They were part of a set and they came with the brown rabbit sister and the Maple Town furniture I posted about here. They also came with a small bed and dresser made of wood, and a really nice Barbie-sized, elaborately embellished wood chair. I will feature them soon.

There were a couple of families I was hoping to get but I ran out of time and I hope to get them somewhere else next time. Here are the families that are still on my wish list:

The Bamboo Panda Family
Photo source: SylvanianFamilies.com
The Beaufort Polar Bear Family
Photo source: SylavnianFamilies.com
The Bouquet Skunk Family
Photo source: SylvanianFamilies.com
The Buckley Deer Family
Photo source: SylvanianFamilies.com
The Hamilton Hamster Family (no photo)

The Lopez Chihuahua Family
Photo source: SylvanianFamilies.com
The Moss Reindeer Family
Photo source: SylvanianFamilies.com
The Neptune Sea Otter Family
Photo source: SylvanianFamilies.com
The Nettlefield Goat Family
Photo source: SylvanianFamilies.com
The Tuxedo Cat Family
Photo source: Calico Critters
The Puddleford Duck Family (no photo)

The Plume Owl Family (no photo)

These are my must-haves. The others I don't have, I will probably get, but I don't really like them that much. 

Anyway, the welcome party is happening soon! 

A Peek Into Maple Town

A few weeks ago, I was scouring ebay.co.uk for some Sylvanian Families deals and I keep coming across descriptions like "Sylvanian Families/Forest Families". I got curious whether the Sylvanian Families were also called "Forest Families" in another part of the world. I know they are called "Calico Critters" in the US. During my research, I learned that once upon a time, there were 3 kinds of forest creatures: Sylvanian Families by Epoch, Maple Town by Ban Dai, and Forest Families by M. C. Toys. 

I was intrigued by Maple Town and Forest Families, and even tried to bid on a few Forest Families vintage toys but the bidding always goes beyond my budget. My, those toys are definitely collectible! However, I hardly found any Maple Town toys.

That is until one of the sets I bid on arrived. And what do you know?

The seller labeled the set as Sylvanian Families, but on closer inspection, they are actually from the Maple Town line! I didn't mind. I was so excited. Here's another look at the Maple Town pieces from the bedroom set:

If these really were from the 80's or 90's then these are old. The plastic is the same texture as the furniture from the Sylvanian Families, which means scratches are not too obvious. However, the cloth sticker/mattress on the beds are discolored.

After this find, I was surfing the surplus toys stores on Facebook and guess what I found?

I can't read Japanese so I'm not really sure if these are from the Maple Town line but they are flocked and they are made by Ban Dai. And they are boxed! However, both were showing signs of discoloration inside so I finally opened them after 2 weeks to check if I can do something about it. 

Yep, definitely some discoloration there.
I washed them earlier and I got most of the yellowish stain off on both characters and their clothes. Yey! Will post pictures after they dry out.

And here are my friends from Ban Dai:

I found an online surplus toys store that carry a lot of critters that look like these. I hope to grow this collection soon :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Busy Busy Busy Little Critters

Our little friends are busy preparing for the arrival of our expats. I think they are throwing a welcome party.

Some little kids should stay away from that cake.
Food preparation ongoing!
Note to self: I need a plain green carpet.

Anyway, we can't wait to meet our new friends! Coming soon!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Family Picture!!

One big happy family.

I finally managed to take out most of my Sylvanians out of their boxes to have this group photo taken. I wanted to save this moment because we are saying good-bye to our friends, the Dingles.

Rebecca, Baby Katharina and Dominic Dingle
The Dingles will be joining a new family and they are going on a long journey in their quest for greener pastures (i.e. I am giving them away to a precious little girl whose mom helped me with some new acquisition). We wish them well!

Not to fret though... In a few days, we will be welcoming new members of our growing family. All I can say for now is... the British are coming, soon! 

Pretty Little Crocheted Dresses - Sylvanian Families Edition

Cold weather, like we have been experiencing lately, always inspires me to crochet. Anything made with yarn is usually too hot to wear in weather like ours but it has been unusually cold lately. However, making anything for me takes time... and summer is coming. And I know that when summer comes, all thoughts of crochet usually melts with the heat. So, I focused on making small-scale stuff. And when I say small, I do mean small

Rompers for Freya and the Dingles' little girl (does she have a name?)

Dresses for Sybil and daughter Stephanie
I don't like the original dresses that came with Clearwater women. You can check them out in this post. So it was high priority for me to make new ones for them because... well, someone special is coming home soon ;)

A new dress for Delia Doughty
I got Delia Doughty second hand. She came with the Kindergarten Music school that I bought online.When we got her, her original dress, especially the apron part, was looking very worn. Her dress took the longest to make, as it was also my first attempt and I was not using a pattern. I was doing trial-and-error, fitting-fitting-fitting and more fitting, before I managed to complete it. 

The dresses are supposed to go with accessories, but I haven't had time to make the accessories. I hope I find the time soon to make shoes and other accessories to go with their new outfits.