Not for the first time in my life, I wanted to be "crafty" for Christmas and make my gifts this year. Unfortunately, owing to poor hand/eye coordination skills, my attempts at "craft" have all too often wound up as "trash". At the very least, most of my attempts have gone back in the box waiting to be recycled for the next "white elephant" gift exchange at the recipient's place of work.
As I am laid off and have more time than money on my hands this year, I figured that maybe I could manage a little something like the house shown below:
This is what ebay classifies as a "putz" village house. These were very popular and quite common in American Christmas scenes from about 1920 to 1970. Most were made in Japan, were very cheap and provided a cheery and whimsical sense of the season from their rosy, Christmas bulb lit cellophane window panes.
The "putz" house is enjoying a revival of sorts just now as retailers look to cash in on the nostalgic feelings for the first great depression that the current one is bringing about. The houses can sell anywhere from $5.95 to a high of $19.95. Ouch!
So why not just make one? Card stock, paint and glue; how hard is that?
VERY hard according to Mr. Exacto AKA "dear Husband". Mr. Exacto came with me on my shopping trip for supplies. Card stock? Don't make Mr. Exacto laugh! That is too flimsy, what is needed is matt board. Matt board that costs $12.95 per board.
"You can easily get 6 houses from this one board alone!" he reasoned as I pulled out my wallet.
"Here's what I want to do", I told him, showing him the picture lifted from ebay, "Just something simple and charming..."
Mr. Exacto looked down his considerable long British nose and sniffed with disgust. Oh, these Americans with their quaint ways!
Three hours later, Mr. Exacto had produced the house shown at the top of the entry. He painstakingly painted tiny bricks. He measured and calculated the size of the windows to the door and then cut them out with his exacto blade employing all the skill and care of a top surgeon. Miniature steps were crafted from wood, the same wood that was used to provide joists and backing beams for the the matt board walls.
An offer of the use of my one and only craft tool, a glue gun, (never opened), were met with a sneer. Top of the line wood glue was the bonding agent of choice that any serious crafter would ever consider!
Mr. Exacto is now working on the roof of Exacto mansion. In true Mr. Exacto style, the roof is being measured and fussed over as tenderly as any real roof should be constructed.
When he's done with this house, Mr. Exacto intends to produce a whole village of tidy, well built houses that will be tastefully painted and decorated as only one of his exacting caliber can produce.
Suggestions such as;
"I'd like to do like a blue stucco house with cracks that show the brick behind"
are met with horrified intakes of breath. CRACKS on the face of an Exacto built home????
BLUE stucco in Exacto Village???
A sudden idea occurs to me; how about I make little Christmas wreaths to go over or on the little doors of the houses?
Mr. Exacto sighs and regards me with a baleful stare.
"Only if I can check them first!"
So for now, I am leaving Mr. E to go about his business. In the meantime I guess I'll dust off the directions for how to create rugs from plastic bread wrappers thus providing some lucky soul with at least a minute of unconfined mirth as they and their companions try to guess just what in the hell is that blob of plastic meant to be?
I'll be damned if I make any little plastic rugs for Exacto Village tho', not even if he begs!