Saturday, November 8, 2008

Village begins a little early

The weather guy tells us Saturday won’t be a washout, but it will be cloudy with some off and on drizzle until a front arrives later in the day and brings with it a chance of some rain. Sunday might start out less than nice, but there’s a chance for some afternoon sunshine.

Since my leaves and grass were wet Friday and that drizzle Saturday sort of means we won’t get to the leaves this weekend so Gator Wife will prevail. We are beginning our annual Christmas Village construction project a couple days early. We usually get started on Nov. 11th. Our target for completion won’t change, though. We hope to light the Village during the weekend of Nov. 29th and 30th.

For those of you who may be new to my blathering, each year we put up a rather large display of lighted buildings and accessories depicting the Victorian England and the novels of Charles Dickens. All the display is from one or the other. Except we do have one particular section devoted entirely to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

The Village takes most of the area on three sides of the room. Only the fireplace wall is left. We used to put up a large, main section in front of the fireplace, but that means we can’t use it. So last year we made the decision to change the layout completely and leave the fireplace free. The new design does make it a little more difficult to enjoy the magnitude of the display, but it gives us the use of the room.

And it starts this weekend. Actually, we broke out some of the table frames a couple of weeks ago. They are “homemade” and, frankly, last year’s new frames were rather flimsy. This old Gator isn’t exactly a carpenter, but he plods along and even succeeds sometimes. All three of our frames were so unstable last year that they could have fallen down. The one behind the couch, which you can see below, actually did tilt to the point the only thing saving it was
that couch.
We put some bracing on the legs and the tables seem to be much better this year. This is what the basic table looks like. During this weekend, we’ll add a base layer of Styrofoam to start the appearance of a snow-covered ground. We add layers of Styrofoam to various sections to give the design some depth. Our mountain on the far end will be made from the base material. The first step will be to put some pads under the legs on the rug to protect the rug. They will also level the table.

We’ll pick out what structures we want in the “city” and begin placing them. They are all electrified so we drill holes in the table to hide the cords underneath. Since we cut out the depth pieces for each design and each building, we’ll be spending most of the weekend on this one project. Even when we get the structures set up, the scene won’t be complete. Accessories, such as people, traders, small merchant carts, and other supporting pieces will be added. Finally, we’ll put in trees and bushes. After all three tables are finished in a few weeks, we’ll add some light, flakey snow to all three.

I’ll include some pictures here to show you the progress along the way. Right now I’m hoping you have a great weekend yourself. And we’ll be back on Monday.


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