Ralfie and Jemima

Ralfie and Jemima

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

A Ghostly-White Christmas

I made the bird pictures in this photo myself by painting two miniature
frames with nail polish and cutting out birds from an old greeting card. 

Welcome to the Ghostly-Whites' haunted Mansion!

What? It doesn't look haunted from the inside? Well, I guess you are right. It also doesn't look as dark as it does from the outside. As you can see, there is sunshine streaming in through the windows today. 

It is the afternoon of the 24th of december and today the Ghostly-Whites celebrate Christmas. Silvester has turned on the gramophone with some Christmas music.

This lovely Christmas tree wall hanging is a gift from
Maria from http://prettythingsireland.blogspot.com

Friederike is on the telephone with aunt Ludmilla. Talking to aunt Ludmilla comprises a lot of nodding and saying "Oh really??", "You poor thing!" and "You don't say."

Stella and Anne-Marie are ecstatic that their father has turned on his beloved gramophone, because now it is time to dance.

Animal lovers do not fret, the beautiful stuffed reindeer head is actually
a Hershey's kiss (made from chocolate). The reindeer and blanket are
gifts from Emily in New Zealand and her critters of Dandelion Creek

The girls have watched enough Downton Abbey in their lives to know how one dances like an aristocat at the beginning of the twentieth century.

After a while they try out some other dance moves too and soon their parents join them on the dance floor. 

I made the shelf myself using a wooden box and several ice cream sticks.
I then painted it in the same dark red colour I used for one of the frames. 

They waltz around the living room like crazy and almost stumble over their vintage bordeaux carpet. 

The Ghostly-Whites living room is filled with items the parents collected during their trips abroad. There is a mahogany shelf from China, a German gramophone and the floor is made of Portuguese tiles.

The Ghostly-Whites receive another telephone call. This time it is the twins' grandmother. They talk to her until it gets dark. Stella does most of the talking, while Anne-Marie reminds her of things to say.

The exotic ornaments on the top shelf, such as the buddha figurine and the plant
inside a tea cup, are gifts from Birgit and her little biwubears

It has gotten dark outside, but the girls' parents are still dancing. So who turned on the artificial lighting? Oh, it was probably Silvester with a spell! Silvester is acting so non-magical today, I almost forgot about his talent.

Now it's time to decorate the Christmas tree. 

I guess Silvester just did some more magic, because I didn't notice anyone dragging the tree up the stairs and into the living room!

"Stella! Anne-Marie!" says Friederike, "time to do your magic," and with that she means that the girls are allowed to decorate the tree by themselves.

"Isn't it a marvelous tree?" Friederike sighs contentedly.

While the kittens take care of the tree and Friederike prepares some drinks in the kitchen, Silvester makes himself comfortable in his armchair. During the holidays, he likes to snuggle into his blanket with a mug of hot spiced punch and just relax. The wizarding world can be loud and chaotic, so he relishes the peace and quiet at home with his family.

Stella and Anne-Marie have already finished decorating the Christmas tree. Wow, that was quick!

This year, they have decided to keep it rather simple and go with a golden chain and several wooden deer.

These gorgeous snowmen are another gift from Birgit.

"But what about the snowmen? I love them so much with their friendly smiles and tiny carrot noses," says Stella to her sister. 
"I know! I adore them too. Let's take them to our bedroom later and place them on our night stands," suggests Anne-Marie and Stella agrees.

"Here is some hot cocoa and whipped cream for my kitty-cats!" sings Friederike.

Silvester is still relaxing in his chair. 

Friederike goes to the telephone to place the handset slightly askew. She doesn't want any more callers interrupting the families' celebration.

Finally everybody has a seat at the dining room table for the Ghostly-Whites' special three course menu. 

The first course consists of chocolate and vanilla muffins. Delicious!

Second course is a huge assortment of Christmas cookies and Silvester's personal favourite: heart-shaped gingerbread cookies topped with almonds and maraschino cherries.

He will have the entire platter if they let him...

And last, but certainly not least, they have mother's astonishingly beautiful and scrumptious gingerbread house in the snow (with snowman).

"Somebody light the candles! This is cause for celebration!" cheer Stella and Anne-Marie.

I made these candles following a super easy tutorial on Drora's blog.
I am so pleased with how they turned out!

And as the kittens are purring and licking their mouths in anticipation, Silvester lights the wicks by snapping the fingers of his right paw.

After the cats have finished their last course, Silvester turns on some relaxing music.

This wonderful tea set is part of a much larger set of kitchenware given to us by
Sarah from Magic Mayhem!

As is tradition, Friederike has prepared herbal tea for everybody, to help with the digestion of all the sugary delights. 

The kittens are purring into their mother's ears, "Thank you, Mommy! It was delicious."

Finally, it is time to leave the room for a while, so that Santa can bring the gifts.

As the family re-enters the living room, all eyes are on the beautiful tree and the presents sitting underneath it. There is a mint coloured sleigh for the girls and three more beautifully wrapped packages. And for Mommy and Daddy there is a little baby kitten with a piano.

A what?? 

Oh yes, there he is, a little baby brother for Stella and Anne-Marie.

Everbody hears a loud "thump!" as Mrs Ghostly-White falls to the ground. 

It's not that she hasn't fallen in love with the little baby immediately, it was just a bit of a shock to see him there so unexpectedly.

"B-b-b-b-but we told the Stork to bring the baby next autumn! Why did the baby arrive now and why did Santa bring him? We're not prepared!" Friederike stammers. 
"I guess there's been a bit of a mix-up..." sighs Silvester. 

He is very aware that in the wizarding world (or even at the North Pole) mistakes happen, so I am pretty sure that he will not submit a complaint.

"We'll keep him anyway, won't we?" Silvester and the twins plead with Friederike. 

This little baby is a gift from Cutata in Sweet Berry Valley.

"Of course we are keeping him," she replies beaming and gives him her first kiss.

Friederike tucks her husband and the baby in together under the warm blanket. Now Silvester has someone to relax with in his armchair.

"We got a baby brother and a sleigh?! Isn't Christmas just the best day of the year?!" exclaims Anne-Marie and her sister Stella agrees.

And with that I wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

For some of you Christmas is already over after the 24th or 25th 
and others will celebrate on the 6th of January. 

Whatever your tradition, I wish you a wonderful time of year and 


Sunday, 10 November 2019

Tales From the Yard

It was Wendelbert Wolperting's favourite time of the year - October.

He had organised a pumpkin sale in the front yard of Riverside's empty Victorian mansion. It was said to be haunted, so what better place for a pumpkin sale?

His friends Matthäus and Matilda Mandrake were there too.

Little Ralfie Hazelnut was there also. He was enjoying some Halloween candy and getting acquainted with Woody, the friendly tree.

Soon Rona and Joey and Hippolina came by too. They had heard that Wenderlbert was telling scary stories that evening. They couldn't wait to get scared.

"Come closer, children, come closer," he beckoned.  

"Come close enough so I can WHISPER this story to you, because it should not be told with a loud voice. It should better not be told at all... But, since you are all here... I will begin.

Once upon a time, there was a town by a river. It was a lovely little place full of friendly townfolk and goodlooking pumpkins. 

Right smack in the middle of the town stood an old dark mansion. People had been telling stories about it for decades. That it was haunted, that it was inhabited by monsters, that it was CURSED." 

Rona, Joey and Hippolina jumped.

"Nobody believed the stories. The children heard them from their parents and told them to their younger siblings, but nobody really believed that there could be anything wrong with an old, empty house.

Until, one day in October, children from the neighbourhood began to go missing. Nobody knew where they went. There were never any clues and each case was different. One child disappeared on its way to school. Another was apparently snatched out if its pram while the mother was standing right next to it, talking to a friend. Another child went to the market to get some carrots for dinner and never came back. 

Soon, nobody was allowing their children to go out alone after dark. Or to go out at all. Children had to be accompanied by an adult or stay at home. Some children got seriously ill from boredom," Wendelbert said, rolling his eyes around inside his pumkpin head in a threatening manner. 

Rona, Joey and Hippolina almost peed their pants. What a SPOOKY story.

Little Ralfie wasn't listening, though. He was busy sharing his lollipop with Matilda Mandrake.

Some time later the children went back home. Skin full of goosebumps and panties wet with fear of the child-eating monsters living in the mansion. 

Was Wendelbert's story real? Could he have been talking about the mansion in Riverside? Were BAD THINGS going to happen?? Such was the effect of Wendelbert's story on the children that after trembling themselves to sleep they had the most fantastic dreams about ghosts and blood sucking vampires and houses that came to life.

Later that same night at the mansion, after everybody, including Wendelbert, had left...

A Sylvanian came out the front door of the mansion. He looked like a black cat wearing a suit and tie.

Nobody had oficially moved into the mansion, so what was he doing there?? 

He started to hum and then sing a little tune that went like this:

"Halloween, oh what to do?
Cook a pot of witches' brew.
Pop some children in the pan
Fry them just because I can

Halloween, oh what to do?
Boil a pot of childrens' brew
Steam them 'til they're soft as fudge
Mix some snails into the sludge..."

Suddenly, as if by magic, a broom appeared in his paw. Was he a wizard, just like Hester Hogwart was a witch? Or was he someone sinister, preparing to steal and eat all the little children of Riverside?

"Stella! Anne-Marie! Friederike! Let's go, my darlings!" he called out behind him.

Soon two little kittens, both cute as a button and wearing fancy dresses, came dancing out the front door meowing "Daddy, Daddy, we're coming! Don't fly without us!"

There was a mother cat too. The elegant Friederike. She was wearing a dress just as fancy as her daughters.

These were the Ghostly-Whites and they had just arrived in Riverside that week, unbeknownst to anyone.

"Mommy, I can't wait to fly together on Daddy's broom tonight," Anne-Marie said to her mother. "I know, dear. It's wonderful weather for a moonlit flight."

"See that very large, very bright star right over the old oak?" Silvester said to his dautghter Stella while pointing into the direction of the star with his broom. "That's the cat star and the direction in which we are flying tonight."

Silvester was murmuring a spell so that his broom would grow and all of his family would fit onto it. Stella had already taken a seat. She loved to sit in front. Anne-Marie was looking forward to the outing too, but she was a teensy bit afraid of heights, so she was glad to sit in the back.

* * *

Several days later...

There was a beautiful antique white car standing in the front yard of the mansion, on the spot where Woody the tree had been growing. Apparently, the Ghostly-Whites had moved into the mansion for good, but they had kept to themselves, so still nobody in Riverside knew about it. 

What had happened Woody the tree? Where was he?

Oh, there he was! Woody was apparently "walking" around the garden that day. I guess that's because he was a wandering tree.

The car was soon filled with Silvester and his family. "Put your seat belts on, my dears", Friederike appealed to her daughters on the back seat. 

"Can't we just conjure it on, Mommy?" Stella asked on behalf of her and her sister.

"No, dears, I don't want your magic powers to turn you into lazy little sloths. So please put your seat belts on with your own two paws."

"Alright, Mommy..." The sisters sighed.

And off they went, and I am pretty sure they drove someplace special, because the little grey mouse was sitting on top of one of the car wheels and I don't think she would have gone along to any place less than interesting.