Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Vintage DIY Terra Cotta Gingerbread and more

Family traditions are most important. 
Across the northern Chicago suburbs, I hope some of the several hundreds of terracotta Gingerbread houses in the 1970's-90's I made for craft shows are still lighting and warming homes.

oldnewgreenredo

Our village collection is a smattering of those I made, and those purchased for a memory or likeness of something in our lives. We added the slide-in frame that juts out from the buffet, to give us some more village room. The frame has a lid, so the electrical, pond, streets all stay the same now and the whole thing is stored in the garage. Setup is now an couple of hours, instead of days.

oldnewgreenredo

 Here is our house...of course not to scale, but certainly a good facsimile, complete with birdfeeder and bath and the tree in front with the lights. One of the four reindeer is left on the roof, and Santa must be down the chimney--because he isn't in the sleigh anymore.

oldnewgreenredo

All the terra cotta houses/shops were all made with slabs of red clay--glazed with tinted froth--that was used on the ceramic trees so popular at the time and fired in a kiln. I used chromium green, a yellow, white, pink and blue frosting look and that's all. They were assembled with silicone tub caulk.

oldnewgreenredo

I added new houses/shops each year and made special requests, the prices ranged from $20-$50. All were custom decorated with amber windows, little decorations---which have held up pretty well over the years.

Across the street from our house is the sweet house with a front porch and train decorations...it is has the lovely blue roof, and of course, real bottle trees, already 40 years old or so.


oldnewgreenredo

Over the years have added a few meaningful pieces for various manufacturers.

Up the street is a Victorian, very close to the one we had in northern Wisconsin. Remember the movie "The Money Pit"---yes that was it--a three-story Victorian with original plumbing a monster oil furnace and a 1/4 of a lot. Only thing missing on this is the listing front porch...LOL.

Here is its lovely--all painted, shingled, roofed and lovely. It's perched on a small hill and all the neighborhood kids are sledding there.

oldnewgreenredo
 Here is Snoopy and Woodstock sharing a house with a family pet. (They are vintage from the 1980's, I believe.)


oldnewgreenredo

Just west of the Victorian is the Market---the meeting place for carolers...and like all good merchants, the entire place is on SALE, lol.

oldnewgreenredo
 

Across the street in the park is the Municipal tree, and of course our armed forces represented, purchased when my son was in the navy in the early 1990s.

oldnewgreenredo

The park has a playground for the kids,


oldnewgreenredo

and icefishermen jaw as they fish the pond.  A few kids enjoy a bonfire and roast marshmallows---on the pond, lol. The three-year-old Grand did most of the figure placing...missed that. The ice is a mirror with stain-glasspaint on it, and the snow is just that---snow. It's magic you know. Great-Grandpa stands ont he dock with the fishing gear. Hope he has good luck to stock the Fishmarket.

oldnewgreenredo

Across the street from the park is of course the Candy shop---complete with sucker decorations and candy canes. Yellow gumdrops are glazed on the front. You can see the texture of the glaze and the 'icing' dripping. The bicycle built for two must be ours...as we shop for candy for the stockings.

oldnewgreenredo
 To the left of the Candy Shop is the main bridge over the stream that feeds the pond...trickling over rocks and piles of snow.

oldnewgreenredo

 Also in the center of the village is the church--complete with steeple, glazed cross doors. I didn't tell you all the glaze was applied with squirt bottles for authenticity---and if it dripped, it dripped. The reverend is calleing everyone to 9:00 services ---see on the clock! Some of my lamposts have lost their tops---need to call the city maintenance teams about that!


oldnewgreenredo

 You can see the Steeple on the church just to the left of the blue stream.

oldnewgreenredo

The Bakery is all yellow and pink, see the cupcake painted on the side. The window is full of decorations, and unlike Chicago there is lots of snow!


oldnewgreenredo

 One of my favorite shops is the Mercantile with its flat front and Victorian roofline. Goods spread out on the porch, everything from bread and fruit to animal feed. Santa is busy collecting for the kettle. And kids sledding between the shops.


oldnewgreenredo

In the back corner is the Sports Shop, made for my boys in the 1980's as they got older and toy and bakery shops weren't that exciting. Behind is the Deer Grove-a real Forest Preserve near our house. When we moved here in the 1980's, we had deer, possums, pheasants, bull frogs, and a racoon that dragged clams up from the lake to wash in our little pond. I could tell because he left the clam shells smashed on the sidewalk.

oldnewgreenredo

When I added floral designer to my resume in the 1990's we purchased this floral shop. It is very reminiscent of my shop BarberryLane in the Volo Antique Mall complex. I was there for 10 years, until my parents needed more care.

oldnewgreenredo

We are avid fisher people, so the Bait shop was made for my husband and has tons of miniatures around it. Yes, that is a bobber display and Coke next to it. Lures and worm tins are in the window.
I had so much fun making this one-of-a-kind for my hubby!

oldnewgreenredo

For my family history is the FishMarket. My Dad loved this...and the proprietor has quite a fish from right off the boat. The window is full of Fresh Catch---There's always good fishing here.

oldnewgreenredo

Now a quick sleighride home, can't you just hear the sleigh bells!

oldnewgreenredo

From our Village to yours....Merry Christmas!


Thank you always for stopping by, I will be happy to answer any questions and answer comments.


All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

9 comments:

  1. Oh Sandi! This is truly a work of art and love! I love gingerbread houses and this is fantastic! What a pretty scene this makes in your home. I am sure it is the delight of your family. Have a very Merry Christmas week my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sandi!!
    Love it!! So pretty and so well displayed!!

    Merry Christmas!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow - what a wonderful collection and so personal to you!
    Christmas greetings from Scotland.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is amazing! What a beautiful and meaningful labor of love! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love your Christmas Village, what beautiful scenes you have created! I love Gingerbread anyway and this is BLISS!

    Thanks Sandi, I saw your "Porch of Wicker" blogpost at Etsy Cottage Style Ning Group! New follower, Pinterest, Google, and Facebook post promoted!
    Smiles, Cyndi

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, the attention to detail in each little vignette that tells a story is amazing. I love a Christmas Village and could spend hours peeking at each vignette in yours. LOVE it, especially the fact that some of those buildings are handmade. I hope you had a nice Christmas and wishing you all the best in 2016!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marie, thanks for stopping by the little town...they were fun to make...and starting to show their age. Might do a REDO, next year, lol. Sandi

      Delete
  7. What a lovely village, Sandi--made with so much care and attention to detail. You are so talented! Thanks for sharing it at Vintage Charm, and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fabulous Sandi! I love that you made so much of it and all of the little details are wonderful! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi