Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Don't you just love how your creativity is at it's greatest when your pocketbook is at it's lightest? A lack of funds ALWAYS pumps my creative juices.

And this was the case at Christmas time some twenty years ago. The year was 1990, and it was my first Christmas after graduating college and moving out on my own. Somehow I was surviving on minimum wage, so money for Christmas gifts for family was non-existent. From this serious absence of cash flow, one of the Greatest Christmas presents ever (in my opinion) was Created.

For my parents, I made this model of the house I grew up in - entirely out of paper.
I don't recall what kind of paper I used, but it was probably drawing or watercolor paper. Either of those would have been what I would have had on hand. I constructed the shape of our 1970's tri-level home, and used glue (probably rubber cement) to hold it all together. Then, using colored pencils, I added as many details as possible. To give the entire vignette a feel of depth and dimension, I also added landscaping. I cut out shapes, colored them accordingly, and glued them on, independent of the house structure, to really give it a 3-D look.
Some of the details on the front of house I captured were our three window wood front door with the painted red concrete planter next to it, in which Mom always grew red geraniums. Even though it's not visible in this photo, there is also the watering hose that hung on a rack to the right of the garage door.
And if you could look down from above, you could see the sidewalk that is behind the row of yellow hyacinth - complete with the imprints of mine and my sister's hands.
The East side of our house was the garage and had an all bricked exterior. At the front corner, there was a large flower bed, built up on railroad ties, where our flagpole was located.
This is also the side of the house where Mom and Dad cultivated their beautiful red rose bushes.
The back of the house was probably my favorite. It showed a lot of important details, like the sliding glass door, which lead out from the Dining room. We NEVER used this door which is probably why a deck or patio was never built - there were just the stacked cinder blocks for the steps to the ground.
Probably the most important detail was the dinner bell, which was atop a pole at the back corner of the back stoop. In the warm weather months, this bell was rung pretty much every evening, to let my sister and I know, from wherever we were in the neighborhood, that it was time to come home for dinner.
The West side of our house was pretty plain, but in the Blizzard of 1976, we had a snowdrift as high as those second story windows.
I lived in this house from the time I was a toddler until my parents sold it my Sophomore year of college, and I have many, many, many Wonderful Memories from growing up there.

Since receiving this inexpensive, but Special Christmas Gift from me twenty years ago, my parents have had a plexiglass box made. In this box it is stored and displayed, and kept on a bookshelf in their living room.

Thank you Mom, for taking the time yesterday to take these pictures of it for me.

I'm linking up here... be sure to go there to check out all the other awesome projects.
Catch a Glimpse ButtonJoin  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up     party!UndertheTableandDreamingmmm buttongiveaways

This project was Featured here...


Allison {A Glimpse Inside} said...

What a precious gift this was! It looks fabulous!
Thanks for linking it up!

Kitty Deschanel said...

What a sweet post! This is probably the most unique thing I've seen on Tatertots & Jello this weekend. If you get a chance, I'd love for you to link it up to my blog hop tomorrow :)

Amanda said...

Adored this post!

I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I linked to this post today from the Home & Garden channel at Craft Gossip. :)

Your feature will appear in the main Craft Gossip RSS feed, on the main home page and can be found directly here

If you would like a "featured by" button, you can grab one here!

Emily said...

Amazing house! I love the detailing and that your parents preserved it and display it. What a lovely and thoughtful gift.

Corinna said...

This is spectacular! What a wonderful clever gift you gave your parents!

DANA said...

I found you on Tater Tots and Jello! I am loving your blog, I saw it before, but now I am hooked! I would like to invite you to my $50 American Express giveaway and a linky party I have, all going on this week! Happy Holidays! Keep up the great blogging!
-Dana Jean


Christmas-etc... said...

Okay... now I thought you were going to show stockings or some sort of food (which would have been nice too). But these recreations of real houses are amazing!! They give doll houses a whole other name!! I actually came to you right now from Embellishing Life because I saw your lamp! I really really liked it - it was my favorite thing (and everything was so nice!) Going to be following along and would love for you to join me at my history blog too!
merry merry Christmas!

Unknown said...

That is amazing! Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.

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