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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)