The magic of Christmas in any city includes the twinkling lights and the elaborate holiday display windows, but just because we lack the financial resources and huge walls of plate glass doesn’t mean we can’t make our little “Five and Ten” glisten once again.

Last year we simultaneously made fun of the idea of Black Friday and paid homage to our first annual Victorian Holiday Celebration.

This year we took our inspiration from the classic holiday tune Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  With the help of our friends at Groton Hobby in Groton, NY, we interpreted the idea of “little” quite literally.

Below are the scenes and some details on how each was created.

 

The Beekman 1802 Mercantile:  The flooring is a commercial flooring sheet that is cut and glued into place.   The shelving and tables are all handmade using basswood and Mother Stover’s doll house model glue.  The simulated Beekman soaps are made of miniature square bricks wrapped in kraft paper.  Notice the small copies of The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook and wheels of Blaak.  The miniature shopping bag is actually one our Merry Little Christmas Gift Tags.

 

Chalybeate Park:  The gazebo is a commercially available miniature gazebo that was modified and painted to look like the original.  The figure looks a great deal like Doug Plummer, one of the proprietors of The American Hotel, so we dressed him in his trademark kilt!  The deciduous trees are just sticks that are decorated for winter!  After the season, this window box will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Proceeds will be directed toward the Chalybeate Park restoration fund.  Call the Mercantile at 518.284.6039 to place your bid and solve the mystery of what Doug keeps under that kilt.

 

The Beekman Barn:  The barn interior siding is made from coffee stirrers that have been glued to the surface of the box somewhat haphazardly to create the rugged appearance of a barn.  The window has a separate box surrounding the back of it with a powerful bright white LED strip lighting it from above to look like daylight coming through the window.  Farmer John is such a doll.  His likeness was handmade from scratch. The hay is created by cutting doll house thatched roofing material in small strips.  Another good use for wood coffee stirrers is to make doll house wood floors.

 

The Beekman Dining Room:  The table is a handmade replica of the famous dining table that Brent built for Josh’s 40th birthday.   Note Brent’s box of Stove Top Stuffing sitting on the table!  The miniature wood trim is what really completes this miniature.  It’s available in various designs that can fit just about any room.  The wallpaper was recreated from a photograph of the actual wallpaper in the Beekman dining room.  The portraits on the wall are actually from our 2011 Barnyard Royalty Ornament Collection.  Did you see the fireplace “burning?”  Even the embers in the fireplace glow. Can you find the ghost of Mary Beekman keeping an eye on Josh? 

 

The Beekman 1802 Mercantile Porch:  A miniature of one of the holiday windows as viewed from the outside. The doll is a likeness of Maria’s husband Pete (no doubt buying her Christmas present at the Mercantile) and the window scene he is viewing is the Beekman Dining Room.    The bag that the doll is carrying is one of Merry Little Christmas gift tags that are available from the Beekman Mercantile.  It’s a perfect 1/12-scale handmade shopping bag.  The flooring is actually doll house wainscoting that is available commercially and then painted.  It makes a great antique-looking floor with ease!  The LED lighting from above is bright white to resemble sunlight while the lighted wreath is a yellow light to resemble an incandescent bulb.

 

The Imperial Baths:   Since Sharon Springs is famous for its turn-of-the-century bathhouses.  Not even a travel-weary Santa could resist.  The tile in the bathhouse is commercially available ceramic doll house tile.  It’s glued in place and then grouted with real white tile grout.  Santa is handmade and sitting in a bath of Scenic Water.  The vintage heater in the right corner is hand painted as is all of the furniture in the room.  The rug is crocheted by hand.  Can you find the frog in the room?

 

Ice Skating on the Pond at Beekman Farm:   The pond is made of a mirror base surrounded by carved Styrofoam.  Then, a product called Scenic water was poured in the pond to create the ice.  Finally, finely ground Styrofoam is used to create the snow on the pond. Additional snow and ice scenery is created using a Woodland Scenics winter snow kit.  The background in the box are photographs  of the Mansion and Barn that were printed and glued to the box.    The trees are made of real branches that have been dried and had Woodland Scenic snow attached.  The dolls are handmade.  We had originally intended for snow to swirl around the box like a snow globe. There is a plexiglass front attached to this box to keep the swirling snow in the box and to stop it from sticking to the window.   A hair dryer was attached to a vent cut into the top of the box, but the force of the air stream was not strong enough to keep our snow circulating.  Sometimes you just can’t replicate Mother Nature.

To continue the theme throughout the Mercantile, Groton Hobby created a scale replica of the Beekman Barn as a centerpiece for one of our display tables.  You can now order kits to assemble your own!  Click here for more info.

Groton Hobby will be represented in the market at this year’s Sharon Springs Victorian Holiday Celebration.  Click here to learn more.

We also found 30 different variations of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, ranging from Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland to Zooey Deschanel.  (If you stay in the store shopping long enough, you may hear them all!)

Can’t make it to Sharon Springs this holiday season?  Let Brent give you a guided tour of the holiday windows.  Click “play” on the video embedded below.

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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Kate

Did ya'll make these yourself?! Or did you just collaberate with someone? They're absolutely wonderful either way, have a great Christmas!

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Lori

I was so hoping to get there and see them in person this past weeked for the Victorian celebration, however, my little one decided it was a good time to come down with the stomach bug. They look absolutely enchanting! Great job!!

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Rena Mills

Merry Christmas from Wisconsin! I hope all of your dreams for 2012 come true. I have never seen two people work as hard as you two do. I think you're fantastic and I enjoy all you do for all of us.

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Wanda

Happy, Happy Holidays Brent & Josh!! Hope this Christmas is filled with lots of love, good times and great memories! I hope the New Year brings you all the happiness and love, your hearts can hold. I just love you both. I miss seeing you on TV.

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Robin

These presentations are perfection! The only concern I can imagine is creating something equally wonderful next year. Brent, your inspiration and wonderful sense of whimsy has done it again! It's amazing how you can inspire and involve these fabulous aritsans to create something so wonderful! These presentations are truly a work of art! Thank you for sharing!

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Ed and Heidi McNamar

What a "Fabulous" way to kick off the holiday season! Great naration on the video Brent and I want to thank you for taking time out to chat with Kait, my NYU daughter and I over the Thanksgiving weekend while running into you outside your store on Friday and I apologize for not inviting you to have lunch with us at the Black Cat, next time for sure! Kait and I saw the windows and were very impressed of the amount of detail involved in recreating those scenes from the show and the craftsmanship was remarkable! We had such a great day in town and had many great conversations with you, Tony, Deb and Doug and you all are very special people in a very special town! Have a fabulous holiday season!

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necee

What a special and creative way to celebrate your lives on the farm and all of your hard work this year. I hope you have a joyous holiday season and many good wishes for the coming new year!

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Linda Schoener

MERRY CHRISTMAS BOYS! Hope all your dreams come true! Have fun skating on the pond….Love you both and all of the Beekman folks and animals!

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Joshua Brewster

I also have had the pleasure of seeing a few of these in person as well (The Chalybeate Park one, as well as the Beekman Barn) and they are both definitely works of art. 🙂 I hope sometime soon I can get up to Sharon Springs to see all of the completed window boxes. They look amazing 🙂

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Nancy McGee

WOW! Kris and Ed did an awesome job! You guys must be so proud! I showed the one of the inside of the Beekman to my husband and he knew what it was right away. 🙂

-The Girl with the Green Hair. 🙂

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sue tolbert

Brent and Josh, Another example of imagination and perfection coming from Beekman 1802. It is with great joy I wish you a wonderful Christmas season. With love sue t.

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Linda Turner

LOVE the miniature scenes-looking forward to seeing them this weekend! My mother used to make me a little terrarium-like display with skaters on a mirror. She'd go out on our property and collect soldier moss (that's what she called it-the crunchy silvery green type with red tips-supposedly it represented British soldiers)and other things to decorate the little pond.

I could sit and look at that scene for a long time….

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Leigh

I've seen these wonderful WORKS OF ABSOLUTE ART firsthand. I only have one question:

Whose merry little fingers were able to tie the teenie-tiny soap parcels? Has someone been playing with the shrinking machine?

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Karin

I love, love, love them all! I have to visit Sharon Springs at Christmas. I really miss seeing you both on TV every week. Are you coming back?

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quin

Excellent work! I enjoyed the little tour and am very impressed with the details of the miniatures. (Although it made me think of episodes from CSI). Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas.

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