The Christmas village

Part of the decorating this year was finally decorating my beautiful new mantel. Sparks built the mantel last winter but I failed to buy brackets for it and so it was never put up. This year, he fashioned his own bracket and put it up in October. Hooray for the mantel!

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On it went the village I built of cardboard boxes last winter. That was my second attempt, in my second winter, to build myself a cardboard village. There are tutorials and patterns all over the internet for houses like this now, but two winters ago when I started, there weren’t. I found a wonderful series of books called “Build Your Own” and used the house shapes from them–Build Your Own English Village, Build Your Own Irish Village, and Build Your Own Main Street.

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The colors of the houses were loosely inspired by Barbara Cooney’s illustrations from my last blog post. I even made two townhouses. I love townhouses. Can’t explain why, but I do. It might have something to do with Howard’s End.

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The houses have vellum behind the windows and doors, so when they are put over a light they glow. This looks SO much better than I could have imagined. It’s wonderful! They also have a coat of snow glitter on their roofs and in the bottoms of the windows.

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Maybe some year in the future I will have Sparks build a board for me, on to which all the buildings and bottle-brush trees are firmly attached, and through which the lights can be poked. For this year though it’s all just sitting on the batting-snow. Things are a little topsy turvy.

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Here is how our fireplace nook looks at night just before I go to bed. There is the big tree, and the pink tinsel tree, and the mantel all lighted up. (Oh, and baby gear.)

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