The Angel Academy, where all angels come to get their wings!
The annual Festival of Trees in Grande Prairie kicked off last night with the Decorators Take A Bough event out at the Tec Center.
It is a chance for those who designed and donated for the event to gather for a few hours, have a coffee and explore the venue. It is an evening of fun without the crowds and is a fantastic way to get into the Christmas Spirit!
My theme for this years gingerbread house was designing an Angel Academy. I wanted it to have a fun whimsical feel, straying off from a heavy Christmas theme. I used bright pastels and made flowers in place of the more traditional Christmas decore.
I tend to lean towards sided buildings. I love the color that fondant can bring to the build. The strong colors are always sharp against the black rooves with the bright white snow.
My projects usually have a path somewhere as well. The Angel Academy is no exception with the path being a strong element in this years project. I really had no plan when I started but am extremely pleased with how it evolved.
I also took a different direction with my trees, which are usually sharp and green. Keeping with the white “heaven” look the trees were made of rice krispies and then dipped in royal icing. They turned out quite nice and took only a short time to complete compared to trees of previous builds I have done.
The flowers were made of fondant and dyed green spaghetti. Which is kind of obvious. I just really wanted to say dyed green spaghetti.
And a quick look through the front window will reveal a painting of a scene from a sunny memory down by a remote lake.
And of course, we have the bears. I always have to add that little something for the kids. Once it was Santa, stuck upside down in the chimney. Then there was Sugar from The Sugar Shack! Even a group of troublesome penguins made an appearance a few years. Of course these house are made to raise money for the QE II Foundation but I build these houses with the kids in mind and always gear them towards the little ones. Nothing better then to be able to light up their faces when the discover all the cool things to be found in Gingerbread Lane!
Just a bit of an update. I was asked about the competition end of the gingerbread tonight so am updating what I know.
As most everyone knows I am a fierce competitor, it is what drives me! That is just how I am hard wired and I work hard to do well when I put myself into these competitions. In the next year I plan on taking that to a whole new level.
But first a little about this years gingerbread house build.
Some ribbons were awarded at the Decorators event Wednesday night. I was there for a short time but I left the event early. This year it is not about winning, it is just for the kids. There is a sad story that motivated this build. A few weeks ago a few boys down the street came home from school and found their mom in the house, dead. The oldest one is 10 and I just can not get them out of my mind. The police were there for many many hours that night. I knew something bad had happened. That truly has to be every child’s nightmare, to find a parent like that.
I don’t care if I do place this year, I just hope those little boys can find some peace this Christmas. My worry for them pushed me through this build. At one point I wanted to toss it all and just quit. It just breaks my heart. But not being one to quit, I sucked it up and finished the house with no expectations except to hopefully give the kids who go to gingerbread lane a smile. I can not imagine this family’s grief. The burden this little boy will carry in his heart will be there for a long long time. I know my thoughts will be with them all throughout the Christmas season.