Wednesday, November 25, 2020

An Eventful Day at Well-Laced

Hello everyone,

I hope you're all doing well and staying safe and healthy!

It's been a while since I last posted a story here, but recently I found myself missing my Sylvanians and managed to gather enough motivation to take some pictures and continue the story following the opening of Camilla Hunter Smyth's shoe and accessory shop.

This time I attempted to cover two of this year's SF Collectors Forum's Creative Challenges, specifically Happy Birthday and Sylvanians at Work.

Last time, the story ended with Camilla realising that she hadn't thought of a name for her brand new shop. As you might have seen in the title for this post, she finally decided to call it Well-Laced.

I hope you enjoy the story and pictures!

Camilla Hunter-Smyth was satisfied. Her shoe and accessory shop's grand opening had been a success and the little business that had been a long-time dream of hers was doing well so far. Before the opening of Well-Laced, the villagers of Arcfield had to either order their shoes via catalogue or go all the way into town to buy them, so the little store was very convenient for them. In addition, Camilla knew her products well, did her best to assist her customers, and was able to order things for them if they needed anything specific. 

A few weeks after opening day, she had a particularly eventful day at the shop. It all started when the first customers of the day, Yvonne Woodbury and her daughter Angela, came in. They both smiled warmly at Camilla and greeted her. Angela was quickly distracted by the shoes and bags on display near the entrance, though!

Yvonne, her husband Henry, her twin daughters Angela and Harriet and her baby son Oliver didn't live in the village per se but nearby, in in a small clearing in the woods. The couple preferred a more relaxed lifestyle closer to nature, and home-schooled their children. They were also the drivers of the bus that allowed for both villagers and visitors to travel in and out the village, and apparently they actually used it as a living space when it was cold or rainy outside! It doubled as their work vehicle and a tiny home. Camilla had heard that they had had it custom built so that everything inside, be it the bus seats or the furniture, could be easily removed and stored in the trunk according to their needs.

"How can I help you today, Yvonne?" Camilla asked, smiling in turn.

"Oh, dear Camilla, I was looking for some comfortable sandals to wear when I'm off work. Something that's easy to move in. Do you have anything like that?"

"Ah, of course! I have a pair that I believe would be perfect. Let me get them out for you".

"What about these? The material is very soft and flexible, and they're guaranteed to be comfortable. The design also matches the dress you're wearing perfectly!"

"Oh, I do love them! Can I try them on?"

"But of course! Please, go ahead".

Yvonne put the sandals on and looked at her feet in the mirror with a satisfied expression.

"What a perfect fit! They're just the right size. You really do have an eye for this, Camilla!"

"Well, it is my job!" Mrs Hunter-Smyth replied with a small laugh.

Angela squealed with delight:

"They're so pretty, mummy! They look great on you!". Camilla noticed that it seemed like a yellow bracelet had caught Angela's eye, since she was trying it on already as well!

"They're truly comfortable, just what I need. I love them. I think I'll take them!"

"Can I have this bracelet as well, mummy? Look how well it matches my dress!"

"It's lovely, my dear. Of course you can have it, you're always such a good girl. Maybe we can come with Harriet next time and let her pick something as well."

"Oh, thank you so much!"

While mother and daughter were talking, Camilla noticed that Yvonne was eyeing a headband she had on display. She had heard that Mrs Woodbury had been involved in an accident while driving the bus a few years back, before becoming a mother. It had been late at night when it happened, no passengers had been on board and fortunately she hadn't experienced any serious injuries, but the whole experience had left some scars on her face and head. They were barely visible, but Camilla sensed that she was self-conscious about them; she had seen Yvonne unconsciously and nervously touching them while they talked. She decided to intervene.

"Yvonne, why don't you try that silver headband on the display? I've just recently received it, and I think its colour would match your beautiful grey fur quite nicely".

"Oh, I'm not sure...".

"Do try it on, mummy!" Angela said, beaming. "It's really nice!"

"How does it look?" Yvonne asked, her smile a bit uncertain. Angela made a happy, approving sound, and Camilla nodded complimentarily.

"It looks beautiful on you, Yvonne" she said. "You should take it".

"Oh, I'm not sure... I've spent a lot already, and..."

"Since you're buying other things, I'll give you a big discount." said Camilla. "I want you to have it".

Yvonne gave her a warm smile then, her eyes slightly dampening, and Camilla reciprocated. A very important part of her job, and one that she took close to heart, was to make her customers feel good about themselves; hopefully her small gesture would contribute to that for Mrs Woodbury.

 "No need to wrap anything up, Camilla. We'll just wear everything on our way out." Said Yvonne, laughing, as she paid for her items.

"Thank you, Mrs Hunter-Smyth!" Angela exclaimed, quite happily.

Camilla smiled at the mother and daughter and waved goodbye to them. Her day was off to a good start!

Her following customers were the Spinelli children, Silvio and Livia.

"Good day, Mrs Hunter-Smyth!" Bright and energetic, Livia was taking the lead, as usual. Silvio just gave Camilla a timid smile behind his sister's back.

"Good day, children. It's so nice to see you two! How can I help you both today?"

"Well, actually..." Silvio said, muttering a bit. "You see, it's our mum's birthday soon, and, and... we were... hoping to find a present for her".

"Oh! It's Carmela's birthday soon?" Camilla smiled gently. "She's always so kind to me and my family, I'll have to pay her a visit on that day, maybe bring some sweets. In any case, how about a nice necklace? Let me show you what I currently have in stock".

"Oh, I do like this one!" Livia said, holding a white bead necklace with a pink flower ornament. "What do you think, Silvio?".

"It's quite nice, yes... I think mum might like it".

"I'll even give you a nice bag to give it to her in, free of charge." Camilla said. "I'm sure she'll love her birthday present."

After paying for their mother's gift, both children beamed at Camilla and, in perfect sync, exclaimed: "Thank you so much, Mrs Hunter-Smyth!"

She couldn't help but laugh: "It's my pleasure to help. Your mother truly deserves a nice gift for her birthday. And make sure not to let her do any chores that day, hmm?"

"Of course not! We already have a lot of plans to make her day special!" Livia exclaimed, matter-of-factly. Camilla noticed with amusement that Silvio seemed a bit scared at his sister's enthusiasm.

Happily waving goodbye to Camilla, the Spinelli twins then left the shoe and accessory shop.

Not long after, many Sylvanians entered the shop at once! It was Camilla's good friend, Ariadna Andes, accompanied by her daughter Fiorella, Fiorella's best friend Evie Hazelwood, and Evie's mother, Karen.

"Oh, good day, girls!" Camilla beamed at all of them "Are you having fun shopping today? You'll have to invite me next time, you know!"

"Hi, Camilla" Ariadna smiled, shyly but clearly happy to see her friend. "Fiorella and Evie were playing together today, and Karen and I decided to join them for a short stroll. I just had to bring them to your new shop!"

"I adore what you've done with the place, Camilla!" Karen gave her a sweet smile. Camilla had heard from Ariadna that Evie's mother was very down to earth and easy to get along with, and it sure seemed that way.

"Thank you so much, Karen. Come here the both of you, let's chat for a spell!".

While their mothers caught up with Camilla, Fiorella and Evie spent some time looking at the shop's products.

"Doesn't this tiara look good on me, Evie?"

"Oh, Fi, you look like a princess!".

Fiorella smiled widely, delighted at her friend's compliment: "Maybe I'll add it to this year's wishlist for Holyster!".

Before the four left, Karen ended up buying a pair of comfortable leather shoes for her husband, who worked as a chef and spent many hours on his feet.

"Basil will be delighted, Camilla. Thank you so much for your help. See you next week for tea, then?"

"Thank YOU, Karen!" Camilla was happy about the sale, but also to have made a new friend. "Don't hesitate to let me know if there's any issues with the sizing or anything. I'll see you both next week, yes! I'll even bring a couple of shoe creams and waxes, that way Basil's new shoes will stay like new for much longer!"

Camilla's next visitor was none other than Anthony Spinelli, Livia and Silvio's father.

"Oh, good afternoon, Mr Spinelli. How can I help you?"

"Good afternoon, and just Anthony is fine!" He smiled at Camilla. "I was looking for a gift for my wife, actually. It's going to be her birthday soon, you see! I was thinking about a necklace..."

"Oh, no, no, definitely not a necklace!" Camilla said, a bit too abruptly. Anthony looked a bit put off and gave her a strange look, so she continued speaking. "I mean, Carmela is always so busy working at the bakery or doing errands. What about a nice bag? She'll have something to carry things around and it will make her smile each time she uses it, since it was a gift from you. A thoughtful yet useful present!".

Anthony still looked surprised, but a smile slowly started to appear on his face. He let out a little laugh and then shrugged. 

"Well, you sure know your stuff, Camilla! You have convinced me! Let me see those bags of yours!"

"What about this one? Carmela's very feminine, I'm sure she'll like the pink bow and handle. It's also spacious and very light and practical."

"After your sales speech earlier, I completely trust your judgement, Camilla!" Anthony laughed heartily, and in a determined tone of voice, exclaimed: "I'll take it!".

"Thank you for your purchase, Anthony! I hope Carmela likes her gift."

"So do I! Come visit us with your family sometime. I'll get the triplets out of your hair for a while and make pizza for all!".

"We'll have to take you up on that offer! We all love your pizza!".

With a smile and a wave, Mr Spinelli was off.

The rest of the afternoon up to closing time was mostly uneventful. Camilla made sure to try and help all of the other customers who visited her shop to the best of her ability.

"I believe these might be too big for you, Mr Warren. I don't currently have your size in stock, but I can order them for you, and you can pick them up next week if you'd like".

Later, just as Camilla was preparing to close up shop, a last visitor arrived: it was Christopher Spinelli, Anthony's younger brother. He had apparently been to university but hadn't taken his studies seriously, so his parents had sent him to Arcfield to work for his older brother. He mainly did deliveries for Anthony and Carmela, both baked goods and pizzas. Cheeky and charming, he was pretty popular in town.

"Sorry to bother you this late, Mrs H-S." He said, a bit out of breath. "I'm between deliveries, but I really wanted to come by before you closed up shop today".

"Oh, welcome, Christopher!" Camilla said. "No worries, the shop's still open. Let me guess; are you here to buy a birthday present?"

Christopher's eyes widened, and then he laughed loudly.

"Colour me impressed, Mrs H-S! You're absolutely right. It's my sister-in-law's birthday soon, and I wanted to get a little something for her. I might not always show it, but I'm really grateful to her, you know? For putting up with me staying at her place for so long and being so cool about it. So..."

"I completely understand, Christopher". Camilla smiled. "I wouldn't worry if I were you, though. I'm sure Carmela thinks nothing of it. You're family!".

While she was talking, Camilla led Christopher to the accessory display.

"How about this bracelet?" She suggested, showing a pink beaded bracelet to Christopher. "Beads are very in style right now, and I'm certain it'll look good on her. It might even match some of her other accessories..."

"Oh, that's nice indeed. I think it'll do the trick. Thank you so much, Mrs H-S!".

After Christopher left, Camilla smiled to herself, knowing that she had succeeded in helping the last customer of her busy day.

That night, she had a good laugh with her family when she told them that the whole Spinelli family had come to her shop in their search for gifts for Carmela! What could be the chance of that happening? She wasn't going to complain, though! And she sure hoped she would like her presents!

I think she did, what do you all think? :)

The End!


I hope you all liked this story. I'm out of practice and it might be a bit long, but hopefully you enjoyed it nonetheless! 

Before ending this post, I want to say a HUGE thank you once again to my friend Berna, who's very generous and talented and has sent me many Sylvanian items and gifts! It's thanks to her that I was able to use this building for the shoe shop. 

She also made and sent me the beautiful clothes Yvonne Woodbury is wearing (I only had her driver's uniform before! She made everyday clothes for Yvonne's husband, too!). 

Moreover, she kindly made Mr Warren and his family and sent them to me; they're my very own, special and unique mole family! She made all of their clothes by hand as well!

Here's a picture of the whole Warren family. I absolutely love their colourful outfits!!

Thank you, Berna! I hope they will be very happy in Arcfield!

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

Friday, November 13, 2020

November 2020 Calendar Picture

Hello everyone,

It's November already, so here I am with this month's page in the SF Official Calendar.

I really like this cosy, autumnal scene. We can see both fruit trees in the background and deciduous trees with their orange leaves in the foreground. 

There's also the new thee-story house, with its cool elevator, and even vegetable gardens!

I really like the new Persian cats. I love how two of them are grey-coloured, and their funny backstory; they're all interested in science and machines (one of the babies likes photography, even!) except for the dad, who loves dancing and having fun, haha! I recommend you check out Mimi's review on them, it's very informative and entertaining. The rest of her site is absolutely worth checking out, too! She makes amazing dioramas and has many tutorials and reviews available. :)

I love the clothes the family and the other Sylvanian present are wearing in this picture, too. They fit their surroundings perfectly! Father Persian, his daughters and Aidan Osborne seem to be getting ready to enjoy eating their yams/sweet potatoes after roasting them at the fire (I'm guessing that's what they are, since they are white inside but turn yellow after cooking them; the dad seems to be putting out the fire, too). The cute baby to the right seems to have found an acorn, and the mom is working on sweeping the leaves. At the background, Coco Chocolate and Millie Maple seem to be having fun with a particularly big crop!

A lovely scene, as usual. Don't you think?

I hope you have a great and safe month of November. Stay healthy, everyone!