Never in a million years did I expect I would come to design and create gingerbread houses.
I did make a few of the kit ones you can buy. I remember the feeling of “that is all” after the simple build. Though I never had a reason to build anything bigger.
Many years later and a move to north of Grande Prairie I had seen pictures from the local Festival of Trees in the newspaper. My first thought was cool, gingerbread houses. My second thought, wow, I bet I could create some seriously cool gingerbread.
So inspired by simple design I decided to find out how I could get involved with the Festival for the following year. I was very excited to be able to partisipate. To see what I could come up with and just have fun with it.
I went with 2 smaller buildings, I pictured a sort of town square in my mind. Having limited space I had to keep it fairly simple.
Truly, I was flying by the seat of my pants. I had taken a few years of drafting in high school so had an idea of how to draw out the plans. Then I turned the plans into templates which were then used right on the surface of the gingerbread dough.
I wanted fairly bright colors so I decided to go with fondant siding. It is a great decorating medium and is very inexpensive to make.
I had 3 different buildings to start but realized only 2 would fit the board. The blue and yellow really stood out so I went with them.
I did not own a very good camera back then so the limited pictures I do have really are not of great quality. But they do give a good idea of what the project looked like.
Being completely new to the Festival, Gingerbread Lane and doing something of this size I was nervous going into it. I did not know know what to expect.
And I had hoped I had done a good job. I had only see a few pictures in a newspaper and the only gingerbread houses I had ever seen in person were the kits I made with my kids.
I worked for 38 hours straight to finish it for delivery. Total hours into the complete build was somewhere around 150. I had 2 goals in mind while doing the build. One was keep it nice and clean. Second was making it fun for the kids.
Get down to their level and look at what you are building. Now scroll back up 2 pictures. Do you see him stuck in the chimney?
The kids noticed him right away.
I am so proud to announce that Gingerbread Dreams did very well. It was lucky enough to get first place as the Judge’s Choice and was selected for the winners circle. Which means the house was sold at the live auction the night of the gala.
When I called the QEII offices a few days after the sale to inquire how it did at the auction I was very happy to learn that we broke the sales record for gingerbread houses at $450.00. Wow! I truly never expected that. But am very proud that I was able to make a contribution like that with my house.
I look forward to many more gingerbread houses. And maybe a few more records can be broken.
A step by step gingerbread house tutorial I wrote can be found over at the Food Bloggers of Canada!