Riverside Lodge

Riverside Lodge

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Hog-in-the-box




Dear readers, this is Hester Hogwart writing!
Since I am Nina's special crafting buddy, I am here today to present to you something that she made for Christmas. Nina is on holiday now, but she told me to say hi and wish you all a Merry Christmas on her behalf!

In case you did not know this yet, Nina likes to make gifts and she likes to decorate things, so she decided to create a special gift box for the present she purchased for a friend.

She started off with a plain white box...



This plain white box.


 

Then came the fun part! She poured a bunch of her crafting items onto the table and decided to use these golden stars.




She also picked out those wooden stars over there with bits of snow on them and some green ribbon...



...as well as large and small stars made of cork, wooden christmas stickers, some red stick-on pearls in different sizes, christmas themed paper cut-outs, scrapbooking paper and, more golden stars!!! (She's really into Christmas decorations, I believe...) :)

Where was I? Oh yes. After several hours of pondering and measuring and cutting and glueing (yes, it took her several hours - she seems to be quite the perfectionist and likes to take her time when crafting) this was the end result:




Voilà! This is what the box looks like from the front.



Let me turn it around for you.... She even placed a beautiful sleigh motif on the bottom side. 



And this is me playing "Hester-in-the-box" for you! Just kidding, I'm not the gift to be put inside here and anyway, I would like to show you...



...that Nina even decorated the interior of the box using this curious and happy looking Santa Claus for the bottom surface.



That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoyed my presentation as much as I did and maybe I will help Nina out more often in the future! 

I really like that Nina chose a candle motif. This red candle is bearing a light that never dies out.... Isn't that a pleasant image for the winter, when it is cold outside and your heater isn't working, because it was destroyed by a naughty poltergeist and you have to search for firewood out in the cold every morning to rekindle the oven fire in order to keep the family warm inside a draughty and crooked forest cottage???

Oops!!!  That was slightly off-topic,  please excuse me, I didn't mean to be rude! 


I sincerely wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS 
and a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 !


Hugs and kisses to all from Ham, 
our three little bacon rolls and me!



Thursday, 15 December 2016

And the winner is... Fudge??




Hello, my dear readers! I am guessing you all want to know who the winner of december's giveaway is! Well, I am going to let you wait just a little more, hehe... ;P

FIRST of all, I want you to guess where we are.



Remember this living room? There is a new sofa in it with two beautiful green cushions.



What about Carlie, the potted mandrake? I am sure you know where we are by now. It's Caramel Cottage. Crabby Carlie is looking particularly crabby today. I think she doesn't care much for christmas! Fudge likes this time of year though, and has decorated the living room table with a large red candle and a plate of gingerbread cookies and other sweets.



Here we are in his kitchen. The package laying next to his bed that first morning was a green cook book. It is standing on top of his kitchen cupboard. He has been using it a lot. There is a basket of groceries standing on the stove. Fudge didn't have the time to put them away yet. He has more important things to do right now.



Like spending a cozy evening together with Pickles, eating honey almond cake and drinking warm cocoa and cream. Pickles wants me to tell you that he has been a very well-behaved little dragon and on the 6th of December Saint Nicholas brought him this beautiful white sleeping bag you can see him cuddled up in.



Fudge says that (except maybe for the time he ate my ice cream or snatched the last cookie from my plate or ate chocolate brownies in bed or forgot to brush his teath after eating pumpkin toffee for dinner...) he was an EXTREMELY good Biwubear, which is why he too did not get any coal. Saint Nicholas brought him a lovely, a beautiful, a delicious bar of chocolate. He placed it on his nightstand so that he can look at it before going to sleep tonight.



He says he is very sorry for you that this photo isn't a "scratch and lick" photo. (Or at least a scratch 'n sniff photo.) So there is no way for him to share this bar of chocolate with you. Sorry. And if you came for a visit... That would probably be too late... Because the chocolate will already be inside his (and Pickles') tummy. :)



The tired Biwubear and his dragon are going to bed now. Pickles has left his sleeping bag downstairs (just for now) since he will be sleeping on top of Fudge's warm and fuzzy belly.

But why is there a noise from downstairs??? 
"I let in a couple of villagers that were freezing out in the cold, Mama. They said they didn't have any where to go," Fudge tells me. 



Oh! I think we know who the creature on the right is! It's Matilda the squiddy mandrake who escaped from "Prissie's Peculiar Plants" store! Looks like she's fed up from walking around the woods! 
She has snatched a bar of chocolate from Fudge's kitchen and curled up on an armchair where she is reading one of Fudge's storybooks. 

The crazy looking guy on the left is called Wendelbert Wolperting. Matilda met him in the forest. He is munching Fudge's honey cake and humming to himself happily.



After finishing his cake he tries the cocoa and sighs.



"Mateeelda, come on, trrry zee cocoa!!" he says with a heavy accent. Matilda is so engrossed in the book, she picks up her cup without taking her eyes from the page.



I bet she is going to finish the book in no time.... Wendelbert has leaned back in his armchair and placed his cup with the remaining cocoa on top of his round chest. "Aaaaaah," he says, "Zees ees ze good life! A rrroof abaff zee head and warm cocoa eenzide my belly! Wanderfool!" 

Looks like Fudge has done a very good deed letting these two in...



Sooooo! Let's change location! Here we are with Tanya Babblebrook and Munchie the christmas elf. I have decided that they should be the ones to do the draw, since they will be the ones moving house and possibly even moving country!

Tanya has blindfolded little Munchie.



 "Where am I? What's going on??" he says running around frantically.



"Silly little elf!" Tanya says and places him on top one of the gift boxes. Then she fills the purple box with little red pieces of paper with the names of the people on them that have entered the giveaway.



"It's time, Munchie! You may now pick one!" 

Tanya is trembling slightly from the excitement! Munchie stretches out his little hand, but his arm is too short. He cannot reach into the box. 

"Oh, sorry, I didn't think of that!" says Tanya.



Munchie mumbles "it's okay" as he crawls into the box to pick a ticket.



"This is the one!" Munchie squeaks after climbing back onto the silver box.
"Ooooh! I'm so excited! I can't take it!" Tanya whispers. 

She opens the ticket and...



...the winner is CUTATA !!!!

"Tanyaaa, we're moving to another country again!" Munchie says. He is awestruck and stares at the ticket with an open mouth. 

"I hope they have christmas cookies in Spain..." he worries, "And do we even know what the weather is like in Sweet Berry Valley?? Will I need my scarf or will I need a bathing suit?? So many questions...!!" 

"Don't worry so much, all will be well!" Tanya assures him and laughs.
 


"Tanya...?" Munchie suddenly says in a very depressed manner.

"What is it my poor little one? Have you become ill over all the excitement?" she asks.



"No, I am just wondering... what will happen to all the people on the tickets that HAVEN'T won?" Munchie sniffs and looks at the remaining tickets glumly.



"My dear little Munchie, don't cry, this is the way the game works. We only draw a single winner. BUT, the good news  is, all those people that have not won can get another chance in Nina's NEXT giveaway!!! :)))




THANK YOU TO ALL THAT HAVE ENTERED MY GIVEAWAY AND FOR READING THIS EXTRA LONG STORY TO THE END!

CONGRATULATIONS TO CUTATA! PLEASE SEND ME YOUR CONTACT DETAILS VIA EMAIL SO THESE TWO CAN SPEND THE NEW YEAR WITH YOU!

Wendelbert Wolperting, Matilda Mandrake and Crabby Carlie are all creations of my very talented friend Irina!


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Prince & Princess Tomato




Today  we  are  at  the  Peachblossoms' house.  This  is  the  children's  bedroom.
Paul and Portia have very different tastes. As you can see from the wall deco on the right part of the room, Portia is crazy about sheep. She loves them because she thinks they are very peaceful and fluffy and never harm anyone on purpose. 
Paul is very much into penguins. The only sheep he is crazy about is his boyfriend Danny. You can see a foto of Danny on the left part of the wall.

Something that Paul and Portia share is their interest in Alice in Wonderland. They looove to read about Alice and her adventures and have put up two Wonderland posters. Their friends are usually creeped out by the large Cheshire cat hanging above the cabinet. The siblings, on the contrary, love the cat and its toothy grin. It helps them remember to always brush their teeth before bed!
On the left part of the wall, apart from a picture of Humpty-Dumpty, there are several stickers of penguins which Paul has dressed in Wonderland attire. One penguin is wearing a pink top hat and carrying a flamingo umbrella. Another one is wearing blue high heels and a Queen of Hearts crown. (Paul loves to keep his penguins well dressed.)



The siblings each have a nightstand at the foot of their bed with some of their favourite items on it. Paul's favourite toy is a huge penguin. He also likes his penguin book and, after over a month, is still guarding the Halloween truffles his mother gave him like a precious treasure.
Portia has already eaten her Halloween chocolates, except for one single truffle which is being guarded by her three plastic sheep.



The cubs have just come home after some extracurricular activities. They want to get ready for bed until they see some bright red clothing on the chair in the corner.
"What's this??" asks Paul. 
"It's the new clothing Mommy wanted us to try on!" replies Portia.





"Hmmm, this looks nice," she says, as she looks at the dress her mother has gotten for her. 
"My scarf feels really soft, Portia," says Paul.

"Let's try this stuff on!"





As they get undressed, Portia babbles a little about this and that.
"What do you want to be when you are an adult, Paul?" 
Paul thinks for a moment and then says, "A penguin!"

Portia rolls her eyes and says, "That's silly Paul! You can't ever realistically become a penguin. You're a bear. For life.
Paul scowls at his sister for a second and snaps,  "Well you didn't ask me what I can realistically, truly become when I am older, did you? You just asked me what I'd like to be..."
Portia doesn't want her brother to be upset, so she quickly says, "Alright, alright... Don't get mad. Maybe you can pretend to be a penguin when you are older. Like actors that pretend to be something they're not..."





"Couldn't I dress up as a penguin and visit kids in schools and sick children in hospitals and tell them all about the biology of penguins and read penguin stories and make penguin jokes?" Paul says turning around to face his sister.
"Sounds awesome to me..." she earnestly replies.
Suddenly Paul giggles. "The red skirt on your head makes you look like a tomato with a face, Portia! Hahaha!"




Portia giggles, too, and slips on the dress. As Paul leans over the bed to grab his clothing, he moans, "Awww man! I took off my clothes for nothing, Mother just got me a warm vest and a scarf, no trousers." 

Now it's Portia's turn to burst out laughing.



But then she sees that Paul is genuinely disappointed. 

"Don't worry, little bro! Let me give you a hand," she offers.
And she helps Paul back into his orange dungarees.




After helping him put on his beautiful new vest, she ties the scarf around his neck.

"Thank you, Porsh!" he says and means it.




Orangine enters their room to see how they look in their warm winter clothing and if it fits them. 
"Do you like it?" she asks. "I hope you don't mind the bright red, children, but there was no other colour in your sizes." (The Peachblossoms usually tend to stick to pastel colours.)





"Oh no, mother, I love my new dress!" gushes Portia.
"And I love my new vest and scarf, mother!" says Paul. And then he adds happily, "It's comfortable, mother, and it's warm, and it makes us look like prince and princess tomato!" 
Portia giggles.



"What a relief, my little royal tomatoes!" Orangine laughs, 
while giving her children a cuddle.




Hope you enjoyed finding out more about the Peachblossom cubs.

 Thank you for your comments!




Thank you, Jill, for Portia's stunning dress. 
 
Thank you, Kathy, for the adorable bedding set and carpet.




Sunday, 4 December 2016

Ralfie's Midnight Adventure



CAUTION:

The following story contains scenes 
that might be distressing to younger readers 
(particularly Sylvanian children) and the faint of heart

Please read at own discretion!




Ralfie Hazelnut is a cheeky little boy. 

Sometimes, at night, he climbs out of his bedroom window and takes long walks through Riverside. I do not know why... Do infant squirrels suffer from insomnia??



It was one of those nights and Ralfie had just arrived at the clearing where Hester Hogwart had taught her workshop on Halloween night. 
Ralfie was admiring the bright red and orange leaves, illuminated by the moonlight.



He thought they were perfect for playing hide-and-seek.



There were so many leaves, he was able to swim in them.



He saw an interesting looking branch.



Maybe he could use it to build a burrow.



Suddenly he heard the strangest sound. It actually made him fall on his furry little belly.



As quick as he could, he scurried to find a place to hide.



He had just hid behind a pale green shrub when something very eerie happened. One of the trees he had just walked past on his way to the clearing shook off a bunch of autumn leaves and STARTED TO CREEP AROUND.



If you are thinking things couldn't possibly become any spookier... You are very WRONG. This "tree" didn't only have squiggly tentacle-like legs to walk on. As it turned around, Ralfie could see that the thing also had bright green eyes!!!
Quietly he ducked down deeper into the brush. That thing mustn't find out he was there...



Through a teeny tiny hole Ralfie watched as the thing started to creep around SIDEWAYS LIKE A CRAB.



It walked in a half-circle to the place where Ralfie had been playing and started to dig through the leaves with one of its short squiddy arms.



Then it stopped. It seemed like it had found something.



Ralfie couldn't believe it when the thing retrieved a golden bat cookie from the leaves and held it to its face with its snaky arm like a spanish fan. 

Was Ralfie unlucky or what! HE should have found that delicious cookie!



Again, Ralfie was surprised when things got even STRANGER and the thing placed the cookie on the ground and bent over...



...to stick the biscuit between the leaves on its head.

What kind of a tree was this?? It sat there for a while, in complete silence, as if thinking about something, or waiting...



Then it scuttled to the right, walking sideways in the same crab-like manner as before. 



It seemed to be interested in the undergrowth opposite of Ralfie's hiding place.



It dug itself into the scrub until the only part that remained visible was the three leaves on its head holding the cookie. 

After the rustling of the leaves subsided, there was absolute silence. 

A horrible suspicion entered Ralfie's mind. He couldn't help it, but it seemed to him like the thing was using the cookie as bait. What if it was HIDING in the brush, WAITING for somebody to come along and reach for the cookie, so that it could then POUNCE on them and EAT them??!!



Crazy with fear, little Ralfie darted out of his hiding place.



He decided to take one last look at the thing as he ran homeward.



Luckily, it remained covered with leaves and silent. 
Ralfie ran and ran and ran.



When he got home he climbed through the window into his room and fell asleep on the chair underneath. Never again would he leave the house alone at night. Not if there were creepy tentacle-monster-tree-things lurking around Riverside!


THE END


NOTE:
What little Ralfie Hazelnut didn't know (and I don't know whether we should tell him) is that this creepy "tentacle-monster-tree-thing" was Matilda, a squiddy mandrake that had escaped that week from a shop called "Prissy's Peculiar Plants". 

Matilda is actually a rather benign creature and (if you ask Hester) squiddy mandrakes are known to love ornaments and decoration of all sorts, so I believe the cookie wasn't meant as bait at all, but rather as a kind of tiara.




Thank you to Irinaminiatures for the beautiful handmade mandrake root.