domingo, 11 de abril de 2021

It´s Farmers´Market day for the Cottontails

Dear Readers,

Today´s story is my entry for the 6th creativy/crafting challenge of the year in the Sylvanian Families Collector Community.

The theme for this challenge was "Farm Shops and Farmers´Market.

This year,I haven´t had time to participate in any of the previous challenges but I took advantage of my days off during to the Eater holidays to take some pictures and write this story.

Two years ago I set up a Farmers´ Market as my contribution for one of these challenges: #5 "Farm life". It was an ambitious project that I really enjoyed.

This time,I only intended to take some pictures of the Cottontails getting ready to go the Farmers´market but I ended up writing a story much longer than I had in mind.

Hope you enjoy it!

.....................................................................

It was an early Saturday morning in Sweet Berry Valley.

Aaron Cottontail was loading up his cart with the fresh vegetables, he had just harvested, to sell them in the Farmers´Market.

Charlie,his youngest son, was giving him a hand.

"Daddy, look! I´m putting the carrots in the basket,is that ok?"

"Thanks,Charlie! You´re a great help!


Aaron was particularly happy with his harvest of carrots.

"You know, Charlie? These carrots are the sweetest, crispiest and tastiest in the whole Sylvania!  

"Can I eat one, dad?"

"Sure, go ahead! Carrots are good for you!"

Charlie munched on the carrot and said with his mouth still full "Mmm...it´s yummy, daddy!".

When all the vegetable crates and baskets were in the cart, Aaron said:

"We´re done! Now, it´s time for a good breakfast and then we´ll head to market".

Aaron sounded very cheerful.The truth is he really enjoyed his job, not only tending his crops and harvesting veggies but also delivering and selling his fresh produce. He loved chatting with his customers and the vibrant and lively atmosphere of the market on Saturday morning.


As soon as Aaron came into the house the nice smell of food led him straight to the kitchen.

"Morning, love!" Aaron hugged and kissed his wife affectionately.
Sorrel kissed him back and looked around looking for Charlie.

"Where´s Charlie? Wasn´t he with you?"

"Yes, he was my little helper today. He wanted to go to the stable. Gromwell and Willow were there. They said they were getting Cinnamon ready to go to market."

"That´s fine". Sorrel said."It´s good they take care of her".



Cinnamon is part of the family. She is the family´s cart pony.
They all love and care for her.
Willow and Charly like to brush her hair and Gromwell makes sure she always has a bucket filled with fresh water.



As today is Saturday and the weather is nice and warm,Charlie, Willow and Gromwell are also going to the market with their parents.

Willow wants Cinnamon to look her best when they go to the Farmers´Market but this always causes a bit of an argument with her brother Gromwell.

"Come on Willow! Are you going to make her wear that silly pink bow again?"

" Yes,I am !She looks lovey and today she´s also going to wear this hat" I don´t want her to get heatstroke".

"This is ridiculous,Willow! We´re not going to a pet show contest, sis! We´re going to the Farmers´Market" Gromwell said, rolling his eyes.


But her brother´s words didn´t make Willow change her mind about "dressing up" the family pony.
"You look gorgeous Cinnamon!. Don´t mind Gromwell!If you could talk you would agree with me, wouldn´t you?" 

Who knows, she probably would. By the way they look at each other one can tell there is a great mutual understanding.


Willow was petting Cinnamon when Gromwell said :"Charlie is hungry, we´re going to get some food".

"I´m hungry too,get something for me, please and don´t get mad with me, bro!

"Ok,let´s forget about it!" Gromwell didn´t want to keep arguing with his sister. She was a bit stubborn but he also had to admit Cinnamon didn´t seem to be uncomfortable.Otherwise she would have bared her teeth or even kicked.


At the Cottontails´kitchen, Sorrel was packing some sandwiches for lunch.
"We can have a picnic by the river on our way back from the market"
"Great idea love!, but have some breakfast. We have to leave soon".


The picnic basket was ready and Sorrel was about to sit down to have breakfast when Gromwell and Charlie came into the kitchen.

"Mummy,my tummy is hungry!" said Charlie looking at the basket of sandwiches.

"Me too and so is Willow. We had a very early breakfast this morning,mum" added Gromwell.


"Here you are, have a banana each and give this apple to Cinnamon".
Sorrel said handing them the fruit.

"Don´t go anywhere. We´re leaving as soon as we finish breakfast". Aaron told their sons.

"We´ll be at the stable, dad". "See you in a while and thanks mum" .


After having breakfast and tidying up the kitchen, Aaron and Sorrel went to look for their children. It was time to hitch Cinnamon to the cart and head to the Farmers´ market.
Before going to the stable they went to put the picnic basket in the cart.
When Aaron opened the back door of the cart he said, surprised:"The carrots are gone! 


"How come?. Are you sure you put them in the cart?" Sorrel asked looking at the empty space his husband was pointed to.
"Of course, I am! It was a heavy basket and it was right there!".

"That´s very strange,Aaron!".

The missing carrots issue left Aaron clearly perplexed.He was also dissapointed.His carrots were always in demand and today he won´t be able to offer them to their customers.

"It is very strange indeed but we have to go or we´ll be late. There´s nothing we can do about it".


When Aaron and Sorrel arrived at the stable they told their children it was time to leave.

"Are you OK, dad? Gromwell asked his father. It was obvious he was still a bit concerned.
"I´m fine,Grom! It´s just that the basket with the carrots has dissapeared and I wonder what could have happened".


 All of a sudden ,Charlie jumped from the haystalk where he was standing and said:
"I know where the carrots are, dad!"
Then,Cinnamon turned her head and the mystery of the missing carrots was solved.


"Look,dad! You were right! Your carrots are the best, she ate them all!
Charlie said showing his father the empty basket.
"Cinnamon was hungry, dad!" Gromwell pointed out with a guilty look on his face.
"Sorry, dad!" Willow whispered."Grom is right dad, Cinnamon was very hungry, she ate my banana and she even ate the peel!


"Are you angry with us, dad? Gromwell asked still feeling kind of guilty.

Aaron´s worried look vanished.He was quite pleased to see his kids cared so much about the family pet.

"Not at all! He exclaimed while he was putting the sadle on Cinnamon´s back. Cinnamon deserved a good breakfast and those carrot will give her enough energy to pull the cart.I´m glad you noticed she was hungry but... from now on you are going to grow a carrot patch just for her. The three of you will be in charge of watering and picking up the carrots, is that OK?"

Charlie, Willow and Gromwell embraced their father´s idea with great enthusiasm.

"That´s great and now it´s time to set off. It´s getting late! Aaron  said patting Cinnamon affectionately. 



The Cottontails are already on their way to the Farmers´ Market. 



As soon as they arrived, they all helped set up the stall.



When the stall was ready, the kids asked if they could go to the meadow next to the school to play with their friends.When the weather is nice most stall ownwers take their children to the market.

"Iona,Winton and Emma Dale will be there and Mandy Brightfield and her sister Jenny and Justine Apple-Blossom will bring some pastries from her father´s stall. They always go to the meadow and then to Primrose Park, the one next to the nursery". Willow explained.

"Ok, you can go but keep an eye on Charlie" Sorrel warned Willow and Aaron added: "Be back when the Town Hall´s clock strikes twelve".

"We will! The children and Cinnamon went to meet their friends.



The first customers didn´t take long to arrive.
Mabel and Mack Periwinkle were usually the first to approach the Cottontails´stall.

"Morning Sorrel,morning Aaron, don´t tell me you had already run out of carrots! Mabel said after having a look at the produce.

"I´m afraid your grandchildren are going to miss your delicious carrot cake, Mrs. Periwinkle. There are no carrots today.Our pony Cinnamon ate them all this morning.

"I don´t blame her. It´s hard to find carrots as crunchy and tasty as yours". 


"Well...Let´s see what other veggies we can get..."


Sorrel was happy to see Betsy and Olly Oakwood.

"It´s great to see you! How was your honeymoon? Sorrel asked the newly married couple.
"We had a great time! Ollie and Betsy said with a smile.

Ollie has been living in Sweet Berry Valley all his life.Last summer he visited Alcala de Sylvania and met Betsy.He felt in love with her straigth away and six months later they celebrated their wedding. 

"I´m glad to hear that. What can I get you today?" 
"Can we have some peppers, tomatoes,radishes and a lettuce, please? Betsy ordered in her sweet soft voice .
Haven´t you got carrots today, have you? Ollie asked.



Aaron also congratulated the Oakwoods on their wedding.He enjoyed having a chat with his customers. Actually, most of them were good friends and going to the market was a good opportunity to meet them and talk to them.


"Mortimer Bramble! How are you doing, my friend?
And look at this big boy! Nice cart, Bilberry. 
Do you like veggies?"  "I do,Mr.Cottontail. Carrots are my favourite".Can we get some, dad?"
And Aaron had to tell the story of the missing carrots once again.



The market was getting busy and the produce was selling well.

"I should have brought my bike with me!PC Booby Roberts said."I miss having a basket to carry all the good produce I´d like to buy in this market."

Bobby Roberts has recently moved to Sweet Berry Valley.Walking along the street market gives him the chance to get to know the villagers.

The population of Sweet Berry Vally has been  increasing at a fast pace.Mayor Cameron Moss considered it was necessary to have a policeman in the village to make sure everything is just as it should be.


 As you can see, the Farmers´ market was bustling with activity!



Shortly after twelve´, the children and Cinnamon came back to the market.
Most of the produce was sold and it was time to put everything away.

"I think we can call it a day!" Aaron said looking at the empty boxes.


The children helped put the boxes and crates back in the cart.


"All set to go!" Aaron was going to close the cart door when Willow asked her father to wait.
"Hold on a sec, dad! Iona wants to tell me something"



"I kept the last four apples from our fruit stall for Cinnamon" She is such a beautiful and friendly pony!Hope she likes them. They´re crisp and juicy."
"You´re so kind, Iona! Willow told her friend.
"Thanks very much! "Cinamon is having a feast today! Carrots for breakfastS and apples for lunch.They´re her favourite treats." Aaron said.


"Would you like some veggies? There´s not much left but you´ll have enough for a soup or a salad" Aaron handed a crate of vegetables to the Dales to repay Iona´s act of kindness.



Sorrel got out of the cart and went to talk to Barbara and Ewan.
"Would you like to join us for a picnic? I made some sandwiches and  brought some juice and fruit too."

"Thanks Sorrel but I feel a bit tired and I can´t wait to get home and have a rest. Didn´t I tell you that I´m expecting?" 

"That´s great news!  Sorrel and Aaron congratulated the Dales, wished them the best of luck and offered them their help.




The Dales went back home and the Cottontails headed to their favourite picnic spot.
After the hustle and bustle of the morning at the market, this peaceful area by the river was the perfect place to fold out their yellow gingham picnic blanket and enjoy a relaxing lunch outdoors. Sharing family time in such a stunning scenery was one of the greatest joys in life for the Cottontails.


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The "Pony and Trap" is one of my SF Tomy vintage sets (1990). I bought it second hand long time ago but this is the first time I featured it in one of my stories. 
At first, it was meant to belong to the Underwoods. I even took a picture of this family in front of the cart a few years ago.



Then, I thought the colours of the cart suited the Brambles´s outfits, (the figures that come with the bakery and the pizza set).In Sweet Berry Valley, Yvonne and Michael Bramble are the winemakers so I thought this cart could be very handy for them.


As the Cottontails also needed a means of transport to deliver and take their produce to the market this cart was the best option I had, so they´ll probably become the official owners from now on. 

This story also gave me the chance to introduce some new residents in Sweet Berry Valley such as Betsy Oakwood. My good friend Berna had a spare Oakwood squirrel that was missing an eye. She managed to give Betsy a new eye and gave it to me.  Ollie was delighted and so I was when she arrived.

Have you spotted Reverend Kelvin Waters in the market?.Last Christmas Berna  made the perfect outfit for a spare sylvanian beaver I had and since then Reverend Kelvin has been living in Sweet Berry Valley.




Another addition to my collection is PC Bobby Roberts. I was over the moon the day I saw that Rowena Moss, a fellow collector from the Sylvanian Comunity forum, had him for sale. He arrived last September but I didn´t have the chance to introduce him before.
 

And that´s all for today! Hope you have enjoyed this post!
See you soon!
Take care!
Hugs!

lunes, 22 de marzo de 2021

Hello spring!

 Dear Readers!

Long time no post! 

Life is busy and quite demanding these days but I´m glad I´ve found some time to drop by and say hello.

I can´t believe it´s already spring!(well, at least in this part of the globe.I guess it must be autumn in the southern hemisphere)

Spring has never been my favourite season but I´m changing my mind about it. 


A few weeks ago, on one of my walks around my neighbourhood I was delighted to see how the trees were blossoming and it wasn´t even spring yet!. I love autumn because of the changing colours of leaves but flowering trees are also a stunning and a gratifying sight after the cold winter.


Isn´t it lovely to see the trees getting dressed for the warmer months?






I coldn´t help taking a picture of these daffodils which were a clear sign that spring was in the air.



I´m not going to post more botanical pictures,( even though I got carried away and took some more). I know this blog is about Sylvanias but I relate nature to them so,to some extent, it makes sense to pay attention to the beauty of nature and the changes that every season brings.

I haven´t had time to show you what has been going on in Sweet Berry Valley for the past few months but it seems the cold winter days are over and spring is starting to settle in.




This morning, the weather was sunny and warm so Peace felt like going for a walk. She was delighted to see wildflowers showing their faces again after winter. She was glad she had taken a basket with her so that she could pick up some flowers and take them home.


When she passed by the river she thought about having a picnic one of these days. She knew Peter would love the idea. Today, Peter preferred to stay at home. He´s working on a new song and felt particularly inspired this morning. 




When Peace arrived home, the first thing she did was to arrange the flowers in a vase. What a nice little bouquet!



I think this is a nice picture to send you warm and colourful wishes for the new season. Peter and Peace wish you "HAPPY SPRING!
The decor and colours of their living room make me feel warm spring vibes. Hope you like it too !





The good thing about spring is that the Easter break is approching .I can´t wait to have some days off to unwind, relax and hopefully to do something sylvanian-related.

Talking about spring and Easter, I have to show you a wonderful package I received a few days ago. It was a surprise gift from Nina
What a kind gesture to wish me Happy Easter! She brightened up my day!

She put so much care and attention to detail preparing everything!
I´ll show some pictures so that you can understand my excitement.






The napkins are so nice! Tulips are my favourite flowers!



Look how nice and neat all the packages look! Everything looks very spring-like.
 

Before opening the gifts. The little parcels look lovely, don´t you think so?




Look how many cute things I got!

A beautiful Easter card , a cute little notebook, three egg-shaped candels in pastel colours, two Easter eggs for decoration, tiny wooden birds,a floral ribbon, a lovely bag and the most delicious sweets and chocolate. My kids were as happy as I was!





Everything is lovely, isn´t it? 

Nina, thanks a million for your generosity, your kindness and friendship! 



That´s all for today, my friends.

I have some stories to post that I wrote ages ago and when I say ages I really mean it. 

I hope to find the time and peace of mind to be back posting regularly.

Take care!
Hugs!