Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Back to land again, & that's all the first figure..

From my first figure, to my first building, & the original inspiration for Hawthorn Bay..

When the first Trunk/Ellwoods elephant family I purchased arrived (secondhand from eBay) I found that they were not in the best condition (rather worn & with damaged flocking on their feet) & so I bought a second elephant family in better condition.  The second came with Madeline's Boutique & the Village Shoe Shop & I instantly loved the little cottage shop.

My initial plan was to customise & possibly spray paint the (very) pink Madeline's Boutique & turn it into a clothing shop for the crocheted clothes I'd already begun to make for Sylvanians, but I realised it would be easier to buy one of the cottage shops in another colour & use that instead, & use the pink Madeline's Boutique for something else.

So, in October I bought a Souvenir Shop (the same cottage shop style as Madeline's Boutique, but in white) to use for my crocheted dress shop & at some point I noticed that the cottage shops, with their boarded outsides, bay windows & fancy little porch/awnings, when stacked on top of each other, reminded me of the painted ladies of San Francisco - the beautiful painted & brightly coloured Victorian & Edwardian houses, such as the ones in Steiner Street that make up "Postcard Row". 

Painted Ladies at Sunset

I decided that I wanted my own little row of cottage shops - a miniature Sylvanian take on the painted ladies of San Francisco & began to collect 2 of each colour of the cottage shops.

Unlike the painted ladies of San Francisco, these will be a row of shops on a street I've nicknamed "Neopolitan Avenue" (because of their Neopolitan ice cream colours).  I have lots of plans for Neopolitan Avenue, but will write more about that at a later date..

I love San Francisco, I've visited the Bay Area a number of times & also lived there for a short time. I've always loved the beautiful Victorian & Edwardian houses there & so Neopolitan Avenue, & Hawthorn Bay, forms for me a connection between my Sylvanians & a place that I love & miss.  I might never be able to visit San Francisco or the Bay Area again, but I can create a small imaginary place inspired by it for my Sylvanians to inhabit.

In my mind Hawthorn Bay combines many places in & around the Bay Area that I visited & loved - San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Point Lobos, Lake Tahoe, Bodega Bay, the beautiful redwood forests, coastline, mountains & lakes of that region, but rather than being placed in the contemporary world, it resides in an imagined time more informed by the earlier settlement of the Bay Area by Europeans in the 18th & 19th century (with just some elements of the contemporary world).  It's a world that's still forming in my mind & I'm looking forward to imagining it more & writing about it here.


  1. Congrats on your new blog! Loved it so far!
    Great photos and you have some wonderful ideas for Hawthorn Bay!
    Can't wait for your next installment! <3

    1. Thank you sylvanako! So glad you're enjoying it so far.

  2. Lovely new blog! I like the layout :)
    Neapolitan Avenue looks awesome - I love the stacked buildings and I can't wait to see more developments!

    1. Thanks so much Aranera! I'm glad I finally got around to sorting the layout out & started posting.

  3. Neopolitan avenue looks very exciting :) Great idea to get inspired by the painted ladies!

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