Every December in Paso Robles, the folks who live on Vine Street between 8th and 21st streets decorate their houses to the hilt for an event called Vine Street Victorian Christmas Showcase. http://www.pasoroblesdowntown.org/paso-robles-events-vine-street-christmas-holiday.html People are encouraged to bring canned goods to donate in front of the house they like best. There are performances by local bands, choirs and dance troupes in front of many of the houses, hayrides, food and beverage offerings. It's a wonderful event for the whole family. The favorite of many of my students is the enactment of Scrooge, by a Paso Robles local, from the 2nd floor balcony of one of the beautifully decorated Victorians that line Vine Street.
I tie this community event into a project for my 8th grade students. Yesterday I went down Vine Street and a few others to take new pics of the houses. I'm switching from showing my students the houses via an out-dated slide projector to a power point presentation, since I now have a slick document reader and projector in my classroom.
Here's pics of some of Paso's 'painted ladies', as Victorian houses are often called.
Students learn about Victorian houses and architectural elements as they draw a house from that era. Then they transfer their drawing onto a piece of aluminum. Next, they achieve more dimension through pressing in some areas and poof out others, working form both the front and the back. Lastly, they coat the piece with black, permanent ink allowing it to dry then buffing up the top areas, leaving ink in the recessed ones.
The photos don't do justice to these pieces, due to reflection on them, but they are really fabulous.