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Eco-friendly construction

At a yardsale earlier this summer, I picked up the “Woman’s Day Book of Best-Loved Toys & Dolls” published in 1982. It’s full of slightly creepy-looking dolls, a hideous satin teddy bear billed as “a smooth and shining example of the latest style in bears” and a ridiculously complex Star Wars play set that required a table saw, saber saw, band saw, drill, awl, nailset, hammer, screwdriver, C-clamps, vise … you get the idea.


Once I talked him out of THAT, my son settled for the cardboard “Super City” which looked, if not simple, a heck of a lot easier that cutting and applying Formica to teeny tiny spaceship consoles.

We decided to make the skyscraper, naturally, because it was the biggest building and sported not only an elevator but a revolving door. And by “we” I mean: I made the whole thing, working about an hour a day for a week, pausing only to snap “Don’t throw that at me when I have a sharp knife/hot glue gun in my hand.”

I admit to taking some short cuts, i.e., eliminating three of the top floors and half the windows. Imagine this with TWICE as many windows! By the time you finished cutting them there’d be no walls left.

At one point, as I started drawing the little brick pattern on the walls, my husband walked by and said, “You’re crazy.” But honestly, the bricks were by far the easiest and most satisfying part of the whole project, and my son actually was able to help, coloring about 10 bricks before he wandered off, bored. The shading just involved scribbling with a brown crayon along the left side and bottom edge of each brick, and doing the same with a white crayon along the top and right side. It probably took about 10 minutes per side, and I didn’t stab or burn myself once.

Though the building is designed for super heroes, we’re more into “anmials” around here, including my husband’s vintage Garfield collection.

Party on the third floor! The cat in the background clearly already has had too much to drink.





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