The Sugar Shack was a gingerbread house for Festival of Trees Grande Prairie 2009 designed and created by Redawna Kalynchuk from Nutmeg Disrupted.
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 year’s 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 known 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!
These 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 year’s 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!
And this is her house.
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!
I used blue and purple Nerds for the rock stucco detail.
Then I add the main floor using gingerbread pilings for support.
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 collapse 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.
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!
And a shot of the living room from above.
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 every day!
With the inside complete its time to put the roof on and work out the details of the exterior of the house.
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….
I thought this really brightened it up enough, yet it still felt Christmasy….if that’s 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.
As with any project, if feels good to come to an 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
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.
And this is what I found when I returned to the festival!!
I could not have been more thrilled!
For my American readers, first place in Canadian competitions is represented by RED ribbons!!!
And I am very proud to say we raised $250.00 with this very large cookie! And up to date I have raised over $1000 with gingerbread!
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!