Aside from books, I also collect Sylvanian Families, which are miniature toys that hail from the ’80s (released the year I was born, in fact). I played with them as a child but never had any of my own, so I’ve spent the last couple of years building my collection.
Because this is a book blog, I don’t think my critters have ever appeared here, but I recently completed my first full diorama (I’ve only done vignettes in the past) for a contest (theme: love) and of course I couldn’t help going bookish.
The contest was for a club for local enthusiasts (PH Sylvanian Families) and we had to send a photo based on the theme. So I went for “Love Among the Stacks” and this was my official entry:
I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t have a lot of time to do it — the deadline was days away when I finally decided to sit down and do it. I wanted the scene to depict a proposal in a bookstore (still on an “84 Charing Cross Road” hangover), but Sylvanian Families doesn’t have a ready-made bookstore so I knew I was going to have to craft a lot of things, easily my favorite part of collecting these toys.
The diorama shell is actually secondhand hamburger restaurant that I picked up from an online seller (on the outside, the hamburger stickers are actually still on — I didn’t bother because I was only taking photos of the interior). I dressed it up with a curtain (to cover the window with “Hamburger” embossed on it), custom signage (made from polymer clay, of course the bookstore is named “Bookmarked!”), buntings (“We flip pages”) and stickers.
I wanted a central display and books against the walls so I pulled some furniture from different playsets and converted them into book display receptacles: the flower stand, rack (which slotted perfectly into the drive-thru window), wheel barrow and wooden bowl from the garden set, the shoe display from the village shoe shop), the counter and side table from the sweets store, a loose cash register, even a school desk! The tall book shelf I got from Papemelroti, and the ‘magazine’ racks are business card holders from National Book Store.
The books I had to make myself. The hardcovers (several dozen) are made of polymer clay, which took me so much time so I decided to add some paper books. The magazines, comic books and paperbacks are out of scrap paper, with covers cut out of magazines, calendars, comic books (Doctor Who! :D) and an Adarna House catalog I got from the MIBF last year.
I’m pretty happy with how the diorama turned out, whether it wins a prize or not (though liking my entry will help!) .
Here are some “behind the scenes” detail shots featuring the happy couple, Olivier Ocher and Tawny Terracotta (soon to be Ocher), Bobo Darwin, Harry Spotter (LOL), Jocasta Barker, and Angelica Butterglove. Plus a few more photos with Max Bramble and Nancy Babblebrook:
Here’s the scene from another angle:
And more photos of the happy couple:
And one last photo — the bookstore got a little crowded! :p