This was how Cedar Terrace house looked (not up there, down here) in my last scintillating Sylvanian post (here)
Since then I’ve been staring goggle-eyed at various Sylvanian Family personal blogs; blogs which all seem to have been abandoned by their owners a couple of years ago. I wonder what cataclysmic event occurred within Sylvanian Arcadia to cause such a blog-based exodus? Those unattended blogs are still floating about in the internet ether so I’ve been reading Sylvanian stories (these things exist) where the blog owner takes millions of photos of their little critters and weaves a fascinating tale around their family’s general doings – not too fascinating you understand, the focus generally being on going round your furry neighbour’s house for tea and a gossip, or taking a walk to the local store. For the adult Sylvanianites it seems to be about escapism from the daily grind; although not sure about this as, in one convoluted tale, the poor, plastic, mother rabbit appeared to have lost her baby (as in it died.) For the kids and teenagers it’s more about showing off their collections and cataloguing how many families they now own. Anyway it’s all lovely (except for the dead rabbit) and very nice to look at.
On with my Sylvanian renovations.
I found a company in Bromley, Kent who supply everything miniature and ordered wallpaper/carpet/lino online. It arrived a fast couple of days later all rolled up in a tube. Its arrival caused a level of excitement entirely inappropriate to the very mundane postal situation, being that I don’t order much stuff online. Grabbing the cardboard tube I started pulling off one plastic stopper end, which refused to budge. The other end wouldn’t budge either (this was one of those examples where secure packaging does no-one any favours.) I ended up cutting into the cardboard tube (hoping I wouldn’t also cut holes in my mini-wallpaper) and slowly unravelled the cardboard until the contents appeared. Checking through everything I discovered that one wallpaper was missing. I emailed the company (wondering if they’d think I was trying to get more wallpaper for free by pretending it was missing, since there was no way of verifying the situation at my end) I told them how pleased I was with the speed of delivery etc but they’d cocked up on the supply front, and they immediately despatched the missing piece.
The missing piece was called ‘yellow poppies’ and was lovely enough to bung on the walls of my own home, let alone my bears’ house, if I hadn’t decided, last year, to slowly get rid of the wallpaper covering our walls and replace it with re-plastered walls and coats of Dulux Light and Space paint, which claims to make your rooms look twice as big and positively glow with light reflected brilliance. This is a dubious claim but might just be true, judging by my neighbour’s reaction on seeing my newly painted bedroom – ‘It looks so big, bright and airy now’ – were her exact words.
I decided to use a Pritt power glue stick to put the wallpaper on my plastic walls. That company in Kent even supply little pots of ready mixed wallpaper paste for your tiny projects (I couldn’t believe this when looking over their website, thinking the paste pot was another miniature, in case your toys want to put up their own wallpaper, but it’s a pot of actual wallpaper paste with a very small brush.) Using the baking paper templates from my last post I set about cutting the yellow poppy paper, which was going in the kitchen.
I placed the paper on top of an NHS leaflet (to protect the table) which arrived that day, enclosed with a letter asking me to make an appointment for a free NHS health check, something I’d not heard of before. This was apparently rolled out a few years ago at great expense. Everyone over the age of 40 can turn up at their doc’s to be weighed, measured, BP taken and a ‘simple’ blood test taken, then go home with a record of their current state of health. Not liking the sound of the ‘simple’ blood test at all, I rapidly researched the benefits of this free MOT via the NHS website, to find people telling their horrific tales (via video) of how they’d thought it not worth bothering with this free health check malarkey, but something made them go only to discover, in one case, that their BP was at a death defying level and they were immediately thrown into hospital on a drip. The ‘simple’ blood test in another case revealed cholesterol levels so high (even though the case was stick thin and walked miles every day) that the case was actually an impending heart attack on legs. The gist of all these blood curdling videos was: ‘you might think there’s nothing wrong with you mate, but unless you turn up for this health check then you’re practically doomed.’ I’ve still to make an appointment.
Trying not to look at the scary leaflet I carried on with the cutting out of the paper which would go in the lounge and stuck my bits of paper onto the first floor level of my house (the Pritt worked very well.) Then I moved onto the second floor, the kiddie polar bears’ room and then top floor, which would be the bathroom. I removed the top floor to make the wallpapering easier.
I added carpet to the second floor. The paper and carpets all came in roughly 2′ by 1′ pieces (I don’t do decimal) and had to be cut to fit. I won’t bore you with what a laborious process this is but will tell you that the carpets, being self-adhesive, are a pain to fit; you must lay them in the exact right place on your first go, as the glue sticks instantaneously. A way round this is to peel the self-adhesive backing off one corner, lay that piece then peel the rest of the backing off as you go. I cocked up the carpet fitting and had to cut an extra sliver of carpet to stick down at the right side.
Then I carpeted and lino’d the first floor (kitchen/lounge) underneath the kids’ room. The Pritt power stick failed miserably where the laminated lino sheets were concerned. The tube claims it will stick anything, including plastic, but anything beyond paper and it seemed to give up the gluing ghost. I ended up using selotape on my bathroom lino. I’m not the only one here; on typing into Google ‘my pritt stick won’t glue laminated card’ (hoping for some tips on how it might glue the lino) an hysterical rant appeared on an obscure message board, which I actually took the time to read, in which the aggrieved party wondered what the f*ck is wrong with Pritt stick? preferring to call it ‘sh*t stick’ before going on to say that, furthermore, it’s a load of cack.
I wouldn’t go as far as this heavily disillusioned individual. There’s probably a law of Physics which explains why Pritt won’t stick my lino down; something to do with how porous the material is perhaps and things called ‘forces’? Quick spot of research revealed that scientists don’t fully understand how glue works either – which sort of explains the Pritt stick situation. Anyway the husband is going see if his copious supplies of super glue will work.
All this measuring, cutting and gluing took quite a few days, being as I had other things to do, and was also interrupted by the arrival of another package full of Sylvanian furniture, bought online from the only shop in the world (based in London) who specialise in selling Sylvanian Families and nothing else. This meant a good hour or two was spent opening packages and setting up the contents.
And so Cedar Terrace house is now in a sort of renovated state. Believe it or not there is more to do and my washer had to go in the bathroom being as Sylvanian houses lack space.
(This post contained photos of each stage of renovation which sadly got lost in the move to WordPress.com)