Thursday, 27 October 2016

Introducing: the Neptune family of Neptune Island Lighthouse.

Welcome to the Neptune family!

Father Caspian Neptune spends as much time as he can with his family swimming in the sea even during those cold, windswept winter days. After a refreshing swim he enjoys a long walk along the beach looking for 'treasure' - strange bits and pieces the sea has washed up on the golden sands. Caspian has quite a large 'treasure' trove displayed around the family home.

Mother Narrisa Neptune likes everything neat and tidy in her family home and her husband and daughter's 'treasure' collection makes for a lot of extra dusting and cleaning! Narrisa has decided this is a small price to pay for all the family time together on the beach.

Sister Shelly Neptune is a beachcomber like her father. Her love is sea shells of all shapes and sizes. The shell colours are so bright and shiny when they are wet but so dull by the time she has carried them home. So with the help of her father, they varnish the shells to bring out the bright colours, before adding them to her vast shell collection.

Baby Sister Sandy Neptune loves building and knocking down sandcastles and like the rest of her family is also a beach collector, she collects sand! In her clothes, in her hair, between her toes, everywhere!

(biographies from:

The Neptunes quite enjoy their lifestyle, living on a secluded island as Lighthouse keepers.

It gives lots of time for family

and hobbies

although there is often a bit work to be done

there is also much time to enjoy life.

While this is the newest family to join us here, I've had the idea to put them in the Lighthouse for quite some time. So I'm going to say, story-wise they have been living in the area for a long time, but are so secluded that many don't know that they are there.

Sunday, 23 October 2016


Dr. Theodore Murdoch Jr (Teddy to his friends) was on his way to work. It was a lovely bright spring morning so he decided to walk to the hospital, where he would prepare himself to do his clinical home visits.

As he was about to enter the hospital he noticed Thomas Nightingale, the ambulance driver, & called out his greetings. Teddy & Thomas had met in medical school as first year students, & it had been Thomas that first told Teddy about the need for a doctor in Slydale Hollow.

As Teddy walked inside he smiled at the bustle of activity from the 2 nurses. Emily Nightingale & her Aunt Emily (whom they called "Matron" as she was the most senior staffer & it made telling them apart easier) were both busily setting up the small hospital for whatever the day might bring. Matron was also packing the medical bag Teddy would be taking on his rounds, Matron had been working in small communities like Slydale Hollow so long she knew exactly what would be needed. Teddy trusted her judgment completely, after all it was Matron who taught him most of what he knew now.  

Suddenly Teddy was reminded of a day, so very similar to this one... a very special day...

The day he had met his lovely wife May...

Teddy's reminiscing was cut short by Matron handing him the medical bag & shooing him on his way.

As Teddy set off for his first patient's house his mind wandered back to the first time he ever saw May...

It was a beautiful day & he was in his first year internship. (for those who are unfamiliar with the word it means when a doctor in training is learning at a hospital or clinic & working with real people)

He was running late, & as he opened the door to the small country hospital where Matron was teaching him the skills he needed to become a qualified doctor, the scene that met him was not exactly what he expected. The ambulance had just arrived with an emergency, Matron looked at Teddy & said in a sarcastic tone "So glad you could join us Dr Murdoch, we will be needed all hands on deck for this case."
Teddy fully intended to rush over & help, but as Thomas & Matron unloaded the patient from the ambulance Teddy's eyes saw the most beautiful, sweetest face. Even through all the masks & tubes this lady was stunning to Teddy. For some unknown reason he could not move, he felt totally stunned & could do nothing but watch as Matron & Thomas the paramedic transferred & began stabilising the patient. All of a sudden Matron's crisp voice cut through Teddy's stunned daze "Doctor Murdoch, if you wouldn't mind helping over here, I'm sure Mr. Nightingale has other duties to attend to!"

Teddy rushed over, "What do I... I..."
"You check her blood pressure while I set up the drip, monitor her oxygen & listen to her heart rate" replied Matron
Thomas came to check on the patient, "I've restocked & repacked the ambulance. I am supposed to go & do a patient transfer, but if I'm needed here the transfer can wait."
Matron smiled, "You can be on your way Thomas, the doctor is here now. He will help me stabilise Miss May properly."
Teddy couldn't help but notice the wink Matron gave to Thomas.
Thomas smiled & wished him good luck (with Matron) before turning to leave.  
Matron turned to the patient & started teaching Teddy about what was wrong with May & how intensive & long term her treatment would be.

After such a rocky start to his career, Teddy was determined to do his best for May, especially as her condition was going to be lifelong & something that would require constant care.  Being such a small hospital Teddy could devote a lot of time to May, & in the months that she was under his care they came to know each other quite well.

Matron would often smile when she saw Teddy at May's bedside, she was very proud of the doctor he was becoming & she was pleased that May had someone who was dedicated to her.

On the day that May was to go home, Teddy bought her some farewell flowers, he was going to miss her. As he was handing them to her, he had the wildest, craziest, brightest, idea! He should ask her to go out with him! After all they had become good friends while she was in hospital... He blurted out "Miss May, I love you, & I want to take you to dinner... Always!" 

All of a sudden he realised what exactly he had said! Oh my goodness, what must she think!

May got up & walked over to Teddy, "Dr Murdoch... Teddy, I would love to dine with you." she smiled as he handed her the flowers.

Giddy with excitement, Teddy took her in his arms & kissed her...

Dr. Murdoch had been so caught up in his reminiscing that he had totally forgotten about his clinical home visits, but as he drew close to his first stop he was glad to start the day with such happy memories.

Mable Periwinkle was waiting out the front of her house "Doctor! You are finally here! I thought maybe you had forgotten that today was our home visit! It's been such a long time since we had our check ups & Mack is always complaining about his health...."
"Mable, don't you go telling the doctor such tall tales!" called a voice from inside

Teddy just smiled as he entered the house...

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

In Memory

In loving memory of our cat Tinuviel. Gone for 2 years & missed every day. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

DIY hooded shawl/cloak


the rectangule piece should be 10cm long x about 4cm wide. 
The "L" shape is 10cm (from corner to tip) on the outside & 4.5cm on the inside X 3cm wide. 
Those are the measurements for the child's size. If you add a couple of cm to the lengths it could end up adult size (I'll play around with it a bit to get better measurements)

Also to fit rabbit ears you could cut holes it the top, but I haven't tried that yet.

you will need:
interfacing (I find iron on interfacing best)

attach material to interfacing
Cut 1 of each piece of pattern

fold rectangle in half, sew along one side from fold down to end

pin end of seam to middle of shawl piece (the one that looks like an "L" shape)
sew pieces together

iron on interfacing will keep to material from fraying

print image to A4 for correct sizing

Monday, 3 October 2016


Introducing "Potterville" 

This is a side project I've been working on. Turning spare Sylvanian figures into characters from Beatrix Potters "Peter Rabbit" books. If you have been following my blog for a while you would have seen Peter, Benjamin & Lilly. 

Now I can introduce you to a rather "foxy gentleman" called Mr. Tod Slydale 

And here he is with the other "Potterville" residents. 

Mrs. Jemima Puddleford, Benjamin Bunny, Peter Potter, Lilly Bobtail, Mr. Tod Slydale 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Timbertops & the city orphans.

Here it is, what seems to be my longest story yet. It has taken me most of this week to photograph & write. And I'm hoping it will lead to several other stories...
I hope you all enjoy reading it, as much as I enjoyed creating it.

It was a regular night at the Timbertop's manor house. They had just finished dinner & were in the process of tidying up when the phone rang.

Taylor Timbertop (the Mayor of Slydale Hollow) sighed, passed his baby daughter to her grandmother & rushed to answer the phone to find out whatever urgent need his town had.

It turned to be his sister Faux Timbertop, who worked as a nanny in an orphanage far away in the big city.

"Nanny" (as all the children called her) was concerned about the health of her city orphans & wanted to ask if there was a way she could bring them to visit the beautiful countryside around Slydale Hollow.

While Taylor was on the phone he could hear the younger boys (Bud & Peter) downstairs, they had decided it would be a fun time to start teasing Daisy their sister, by trying to eat all the supper...

Until their Mother told them to behave themselves!! 

Later that night while getting ready for bed Taylor told his wife Rose what the phone call had been about, & Nanny's plan to get the orphans to Slydale Hollow.

The next morning Nanny nervously chatted with the head of the orphanage, Rev Kevin Waters. He thought a trip to the country was a wonderful idea! They started to make arrangements immediately.

Finally, (several weeks later)  the day had arrived that the city orphans were coming to visit! Mayor Timbertop & his whole family waited at the bus stop to greet them.

The Woodland arrived looking more full than it ever had before! not only were the orphans on it but several new trades people come to work in Slydale Hollow.

The boys from the orphanage had decided to sit at the top of the bus, Owen Bearbury (whose parents drive the bus) was so pleased to have some company for a change, & his Dad had given him the responsibility of making sure the other boys behaved!

The middle of the bus had one of the cutest sights, all the babies from the orphanage were sitting in row, wide eyed & nervously excited. They had never seen anything like this countryside before, so much green! The older girls were sitting quietly up front, unsure how the day would go, & desperately wanting to please Nanny. 

As the bus stopped the boys rushed to get down, while Mr. Bearbury reminded them to be careful.

Rev. Waters' heart jumped into his throat when he saw what the boys were doing.

While the Reverend sorted out the boys, Nanny had the girls & babies line up 2 by 2 & thank the Bearburys for the lovely ride.

The bus drove off & Nanny was able to introduce everyone. Grandpa Timbertop & Mayor Taylor rushed up to greet Nanny & both gave her the biggest hug.

Then a quiet light brown dog can up & introduced himself to Taylor. "Mayor Timbertop, sir, My name is Milo Bassett & I'm here to work for Mr. Wade Waters the carpenter. If you could possibly point me in the direction of his workplace, I shall be on my way."
Tayor gave him the directions & turned back where his family were chatting with Nanny.

Poor Grandma Timbertop had been feeling a bit worn out so Taylor helped her over the where Nanny was standing with the children,

"Now Taylor, what is next on this trip? You told me you had a surprise organised that the children would love!"

"Yes, I do Faux, Or should I call you NANNY?"

"Very funny brother"

"Our school teacher Mr. Slydale is bringing his pony & wagon for all of you to ride in. Now why don't you & I come sit over here. Rose has said she will look after the children while we wait for the wagon."

"I couldn't do that! Do you have any idea how difficult it is to watch over so many children?!"

Rose laughed, " Nanny Faux, I'm used to looking after quite a few children, plus I'll have my older ones to help me."

Rev Waters stepped up to address the children, "Mrs. Timbertop is going to look after you for a short time. please be on your best behaviour!"

"Yes, Reverend" the children chorused

"OK children, go & play. I'll be near the swings ready to help anyone who needs it." said Rose,

The girls could not believe what they were hearing! They weren't ever allowed to just run off & play! Did this lovely lady know what she was getting into?

Nanny, Taylor & Rev Waters were discussing how large the orphanage was becoming. Rev Waters was concerned that they would not all fit into the old building in the city for much longer. Taylor was starting to form a plan that would meaning the orphans could have a larger place to live & healthier air...

Then a pony & wagon came trotting up & Slick Slydale called out a hearty "Hello"

The children excitedly climbed into the wagon & took their seats,

"Nanny, I don't think there's enough room for us all!" called Rev Waters.

"My apologies" said Slick, "this is the biggest wagon we have. If Nanny doesn't mind staying behind, I think we should be able to fit all the children & yourself, Reverend,"

"Taylor do you think, that would be ok? Can Slick handle boisterous children?" asked Nanny

Taylor laughed & laughed "Can Slick handle boisterous children? Faux, sister dear, he works with more than twice as many children in his classroom everyday! And yes they can be, very cheeky. Now stop worrying."

As the pony & wagon started to pull away, Dr. Murdoch Jnr & his wife May were out for their daily walk & noticed the small child seated next Slick.

"Slick, who is your driving buddy?" Asked Dr. Murdoch Jnr.

"This is Jason, from the big city orphanage. He & his friends are coming for a ride with me today."

Rev Waters, hopped out to see what was holding up the ride.
"I'm sorry Reverend, we were just asking who this sweet little fellow was, & Slick was explaining. We would be most interested to speak with you about the orphanage at another time, that is convenient for you." apologised May 

"I look forward to it." replied the Reverend

The wagon pulled away & they were off to enjoy the countryside around Slydale Hollow

All too soon the ride ended & Slick dropped them back at the bus stop where Nanny & Mayor Taylor were waiting.

"Reverend, Nanny tells me the orphanage is getting a bit crowded with so many children. Do you have any plans to extend it or add new buildings?" asked Taylor

"Mayor Timbertop, I wish we could afford the extra room needed, but unfortunately our finances are quite limited."

"Well then I have a proposal for you. If the county of Slydale Hollow were to donate some land & a building would you be interested to move your orphanage out of the city & set it up here?" replied Taylor

"But Mayor, how could the county afford such a venture? And what about facilities for prospective parents to meet the children?" asked Rev Waters

"Interestingly enough I have looked at these issues. If we donate facilities to a charitable organisation we receive a percentage of the cost back in grants. Also since it would increase the size of our school we could be eligible for funding to go toward expanding the classes as well. As for the necessary facilities for prospective parents, would self contained rooms similar to small apartments set aside in the orphanage building be adequate?" Taylor

"This is indeed an interesting turn of events! I shall have to meet with the other leadership & see what they have to say about it, but I do believe they will be quite relieved to know we have a possible solution to a problem that has been troubling us for quite some time." Rev. Waters breathed a sigh of relief then turned to look at Nanny Timbertop, "Nanny Faux, did you have a part in organising this? If so thank you."

And with the promise to return Nanny, Rev Waters & the children headed back to the big city.

After some months of organising grants, funding, builders, & many other important things Slydale Hollow finally had an opening date for the new orphanage! Many of the local residents came to celebrate the new additions to their town

During the celebrations the Murdoch Jnrs approached Rev Waters about fostering young Jason, with the possibility of adopting him at a later time. They had been talking with the Furbanks who had 2 adopted children (the Furbanks had adopted their children Alfie & Ambrose from Rev Waters city orphanage, & they were looking to foster little Ruby as well)

Rev Waters was so pleased! As he looked around he saw so many happy, friendly faces. The whole town were keen to help these young children.

It seemed as though this move to the country was going definitely going to be worth it!