The Sugar Shack Festival of Trees Grande Prairie 2009

The Sugar Shack Festival of Trees Grande Prairie 2009

The end of summer means a lot of things to people, and for this girl, it means gingerbread!

The emails and donation material came out a few weeks ago and I am so excited about this years Festival!

Truthfully though, gingerbread is never far from my mind, I am continually on the hunt for inspiration for the next showpiece!

And good news! After a suggestion by yours truly, this year we are going to be using bigger boards!  24 x 24 wonderful inches!

Only 2 inches bigger but that is a lot of prime gingerbread real estate to work with!

I have a rough idea of what my building will look like and for the first time I have the design and name picked out early.

I have been know to,  at times push it right to the sign up deadline before I nailed down the perfect name and idea.

Feels good to be ahead of the game this year!

I stopped by The Home Depot yesterday to pick up  my board and will start the sketches this evening on my 2010 competition entry.

I draw the complete house on paper then plot it out on the board. Patterns are made, then the fun begins!

This weeks shout out is to……Mr Koscielnuk, my high school drafting teacher!  Little did I  know, back then, that drafting would be so handy in the kitchen?!?!?!  Thanks Mr. K!

Now to get down to the nitty gritty……

Because of the HIGHLY competitive nature of gingerbread competition…….I will not be talking about this years design on the blog until right before I drop it off with the Festival committee on November 16th.

I am looking at the possibility of doing a Gingerbread Cam to follow the progression of the construction so stay tuned for further details.

In the meantime, I would love to share my 2009 entry!

I introduce….

Sugar…..

Sugar from Nutmeg Disrupted

And this is her house.

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

The Sugar Shack!

I was looking for a more rustic looking entry, a change from the very colorful houses I usually create.

I love the deck and railing design, it really lends itself to the country feel of the house.

As with any construction, you need a nice strong solid base.  This holds up the whole structure, make sure its strong!

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

I used blue and purple Nerds for the rock stucco detail.

Then I add the main floor using gingerbread pilings for support.

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

Now you turn your attention to other things while you let the base dry.

If you rush this step you could cause  damage now that will cause a collaspe later.

I like to add a lot of little details to my houses, whatever fits the setting you are trying to create.

This time I used candles, gifts and the green wreaths you see placed around the house.

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

Before I put the front of the house up I need to do a touch of interior decorating, for the kids of course!

They are on eye level with these creations so I design to please not only the Judges but love when the kids hit Gingerbread Lane and also keep them in mind!

To see the delight  in their faces when they first peer into my houses is pure joy for me!

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

And a shot of the livingroom from above.

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

Hummmm…..looking at it now I am wondering why I did not paint a pattern on the rug?

Won’t let that kind of detail slip by me again…..

See you can learn something everyday!

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

With the inside complete its time to put the roof on and work out the details of the exterior of the house.

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

At this point I decided that although the roof shingles looked good, I found it all to be a touch too dark and decided to modify the roof plans a bit looking to add some brightness to the house.

100’s of cirlces later…..

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

I thought this really brightened it up enough yet it still felt Christmasy…..if thats even a word!

The wonderfully detailed steps, front deck and railings where my favorite part of the construction.

Also the most time consuming as it took a long time to place the Ovation stick railings in place, with tweezers, so as to not melt the chocolate on the sticks and mess up the nice swirled pattern on the surface of the minty Ovations.

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

As with any project, if feels good to come to the end! I was very happy with my Sugar Shack!

It took a total of 115 hours to complete.

Here is a short list of some of the ingredients.

85 cups of flour

37 eggs

92 cups of icing sugar

17 cups of regular sugar

17 cups of molasses

20 boxes of Nerds

5 oz of Vodka

and a whole lot of little ingredients.

Here was the final shot before I turned it over to the Festival of Trees.

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

And this is what I found when I returned to the Festival!!

The Sugar Shack Gingerbread House on Nutmeg Disrupted

I could not have been more thrilled!

For my American readers, First place in Canadian competitions are represented by RED ribbons!!!

And I am very proud to say we raied $250.00 with this very large cookie! And up to date I have raised over $1000 with gingerbead!

Sugar would be very pleased!

Be sure to head over to the Food Bloggers of Canada to see a step by step tutorial I wrote on designing and building your own one of a kind gingerbread house!

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