Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Little boxes made of ticky tacky--and GLITTER!

Captain America is always teasing me about having too much book sense and not enough common sense. This mainly happens when we are comparing old report cards. He has no other defense. But it's true that back in the day I got good grades, which I mostly attribute to being a good test taker. I managed to pass the tests that my teachers gave me. I scored really well on the ACT and did just fine, thank you, on the SAT.

But over the years there were three tests I notably did not do well on, and by "did not do well" I mean they ate my lunch.

The first was an eye test when I was in third grade. OK, I know an eye test is not the same thing as a math test, but tell that to an overachieving 9-year-old. They came to my class, made me peer into a dark box with a light on the far side, and asked me how many trees I saw. Trees? What trees? There are trees? Soon after I got my first pair of glasses.

Then there was the driver's test that I flunked. That is a story for another day, but let me just say that there is nothing more embarrassing than coming back to school after flunking the driver's test. If hell is reliving your most embarrassing moment, that may be it. Hills? There are hills? No one ever taught me how to park on a hill and what the heck does it matter when there are no hills to park on anyway??

And then there was that Army test they gave us in high school. I can't remember the name of it, but I remember the lasting hit it did to my ego. I was a senior and feeling overly confident about my test taking ability, until I started reading those questions about gears (If Gear A is turning in a clockwise direction, which direction is Gear D turning?) and questions about flat boxes. You know, questions like this one? For the life of me I couldn't put those boxes together in my head. It bothered me that I could not figure those out. Bothered me so much that I'm still talking about it  some 30 years...wait, I mean 15 years later, of course.

Side note: This is why I love Captain America - because he can do gears and flat boxes in his head. And he takes out the trash. And kills bugs. When he is not on the other side of the world.

Anyway, all my life I've said I do not do flat boxes....until I saw this post about Putz houses last year on my favorite blog, All Things Paper. I don't know what it was about all those little white houses that caught my eye, but I knew this Christmas I was going to conquer my fear and make a whole bunch of them.

And last week I finally did it.  Look!

Aren't they the cutest things?!?

The patterns are part of the tea light village set from the 3dcuts.com website. They worked perfectly with my fancy-dancy Silhouette machine.

I love the variety of all the buildings.

And the extras included in the kit are grand, too. Check out that fence and all the trees--it's all part of the kit. Such a deal!

So I finally figured out how to get over my fear of putting flat boxes together. The keys are:
A. Buy a kit with great instructions and lots of pictures.
B. Reward yourself with

I just happened to have an empty Graze box sitting on my countertop and it soon became my glitter station. (I have a glitter station!!)

Check out all that sparkly goodness!

This is as close to snow as we'll probably see in Houston this year, so this is my white Christmas.

The whole scene is as pretty as a picture sitting on my shelf.

And look what happens when you turn on the tea lights at night (and turn your Disklavier piano radio to the Holiday station).

I mean seriously, why didn't someone tell me how fun flat boxes could be a long time ago? More importantly, why didn't someone tell me I could have my own glitter station??

Let the holidays begin!


  1. Don't you know that glitter is the herpes of crafting? You never can get rid of it!
    They are beautiful and just your style. You have managed to mix old traditional decor with your clean modern style. Love it.

    1. Thanks, Babette. Speaking of which, I'll have to show you what I did with your little snowman paintings. Stay tuned.

  2. Love it! I'm thinking that the time it takes to build it would be about the same amount of time it takes to find all my ceramic houses, people, and trees stored both in the house and at the storage unit; dust the pieces (from last year's dust that I didn't clean off before packing up); dig out all the Styrofoam sheets; clear off a shelf to set up on; wrestle with the before mentioned Styrofoam; place buildings; rig wires for electric lights; etc.

    You, on the other hand, get to be crafty and then, if you want, dispose of it, meaning no packing and no storage. If you choose to store, all you have to do is flatten and stack. I think you win!!

    1. Thanks!

      It's funny that you mention that. I've been wondering how to store these. I may just put them all in a shoebox and re-glitter next year as needed.

  3. This makes my heart so happy, Stephanie! Your houses look wonderful! I just gave my new daughter-in-law a paper house kit for her birthday along with all the glittering, snowy, gluey paraphernalia and am delighted to have a craft-kindred spirit in the family. Btw, I suffer from the exact same lack of spatial reasoning as you and also tanked on tests that had to do with abstract thinking.... I would get sweaty palms even thinking about those kinds of questions, haha.

    1. Thanks, Ann. Speaking of spatial reasoning, the funniest thing about these houses is that when I saw them on your blog last year, I had no idea how big they were. The instructions said 8"x5" or something like that--but I realized after I started making them that those were the dimensions of the flat box, not the completed piece. Doh!

      So the spot I had picked out for them is way too big, but the shelf they ended up on looks great. I'm really happy with them. (And yay to new daughters-in-law, right? I love mine!)

    2. They are truly tiny! Absolutely... love my daughter-in-law too. :)

  4. These are lovely! I need a glitter station, too. "Oh Santa Baby!"

  5. What kind of paper did you use?? These are darling!!