Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Our Town in Miniature { a fun family project}

I hope you and your family had a blessed Christmas time. We did. God is so good to bless us and provide for us each and every day. We had a fairly quiet holiday time at home with the family. My parents and a friend came over for Christmas Dinner but otherwise it was a time of celebrating with just our immediate family. I don't like that small of a crowd for Thanksgiving but I don't mind it at Christmas time. (My other local siblings were out of town visiting in-laws.)

  One of the things I enjoy about Christmas time is spending extra time creating things. We did a fair amount of that this year and really had some fun working on some group projects.

  One of the big family projects of this year was creating a Christmas window scene for Ken's office window at his Insurance Agency. The Jaycees club had announced a contest for the downtown businesses and Ken thought it would be fun to participate. We thought that would be pretty cool if a bunch of businesses would decorate their windows as it would make walking downtown a lot of fun. So we started brainstorming about how it would be fun to decorate it. We decided that it would be quite fun to make a miniature of our town (parts of it anyway) set in an earlier era. We especially wanted statues of Paul and Babe as that is iconic of our town.

  So we began....
Making Paul and Babe was a little intimidating. I wasn't quite sure how to do it. I have found with projects though that if you just get started and try usually you can figure things out as you go along and it will work out. So I printed off and picture and got some wire to use and got started.
I made some rough looking wire frames.
Then came the paper mache. I have hardly ever done paper mache but I think it is rather fun now. I can see more paper mache projects in my future. It is such a cheap craft using old paper, flour, water and then some kind of form. The form above was my original look for Babe but then members of my family gave me some good constructive criticism and I was able to add more paper and improve his look quite a bit.
They are coming along....
Meanwhile buildings were also being constructed. My big project was the old Carnegie Library and Mara made 2 houses, Jonathan constructed a neighborhood store/house (Which I found were extremely common in the 1940s - Our town had around 20 of them that year and our town is not that large), and Megan made a house.
After the paper mache was dry it was time for painting.
Late one night I also constructed a car. My family wasn't to impressed (the boys were really hoping I would find appropriate cars of the right size and era to buy- but we didn't) but I was pretty delighted with my attempt to turn a butter box into a car. I also was able to use some dried-up/gooey black paint to form around milk lids to make tires. The tire guard things are from toilet paper rolls. I find turning trash into something else very satisfying.
I mounted Paul on a piece of wood so he could stand up. They were placed in a snowy field by the "lake".
Here is our Carnegie Library decorated for Christmas.
Megan and I cut out bunches of snowflakes to hang with lights above. They look a lot better when the lights are on but I guess I didn't get a picture that way.
The side of Jonathan's house/store.
One of Mara's houses.
Megan decided that she wanted to have her little girl (we also hand made around 20 wire and yarn people for our scene) looking out the chimney, of the house she made, checking if it would work for Santa to go down. Ken and I weren't so sure about that look but humored her. The mother holding a baby is outside watching her.
The grocery store from the front with a lady with packages coming out of it.
We made some carolers to go sing at one of the houses.
We also made a bunch of paper mache snowmen that were scattered here and there. Mara made some "Christmas lights" from little beads which you can see in the "tree".
We had some people sledding on our hill. We created hills in various places by putting boxes under our tablecloths and batting.
This little boy is making a snowman while the gentlemen is looking at Paul and Babe.
The carolers at another house that Mara made.

The finished product.

 Also... Because you know I am frugal I just wanted to share that we only used things we already had for this display. Much of what we used was repurposed and so that made the project even more fun for me.

Here is some more information shared by our local TV station:

We worked on another big project this season as well - a gift for Ken - that hopefully I can tell you about soon. Did you do any fun creating lately? I would love to hear about it. Also if you have written about it online please leave a link!


Mrs Shoestring said...

That is the most amazing project, thank you for showing it to us and what a great idea !

Abbi said...

Thank you! It was a lot of fun to do.


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