With the hustle and bustle of Christmas behind us I can now share the Hillam Gingerbread House with you.
2010 was the first year we made our own gingerbread house and we were pretty pleased with our efforts. But we learned a valuable lesson that first year: gingerbread and humidity don't go well together and if you construct your house too early, it WILL sag!
So with that lesson learned, our Gingerbread house is now a last minute Christmas Crafting project which we start just a day or two before Christmas.
This year our kit came from Woolworths. We didn't use the decorations or icing that came in the kit, preferring to visit Tom's Confectionery Warehouse for all the lollies we needed to make it a sweet treat that no bought gingerbread house can compare to.
It was a rather small house, more like a cottage than a house so the decorating was a little less extravagant than our last couple of efforts but we still managed to pack a lot onto that little frame.
So here it is - from construction to demolition..... in just 3 days!
The walls went up in record time. Whilst they were drying, we attached freckle shingles to the roof panels using royal icing. It dries like concrete so the shingles were set solid by the morning.
In the meantime, my big kids filled the inside with their favourite sweets (and some of mine too!)
The roof panels were really heavy with the shingles so after attaching one side of the roof we propped it up with a box of Rice Bubbles and a few drink coasters until it was solid. We did the same thing for the other side.
A few bushes at the front door, a path and a picket fence were all that would fit in the front yard. But the pretty heart wreath over the door and the twisted pillars which support the roof add some colourful detail. And the finishing touch was to add the icicles to the roof.
With much less garden to landscape we placed it amongst a forest of fibre optic trees. The whole scene was very pretty with the lights turned out.
We placed it on the table and admired it all through Christmas lunch but we left it until Boxing Day to smash it open.
People often ask me how I can bear to smash it after all the effort that goes into it but it really is as easy as whacking it with a rolling pin.... one.... two.... three!
and the roof comes crashing down......
.... to reveal the wonderful assortment of hidden sweets!
It is such a joy to see everyone sitting around the table waiting for the moment that the house is broken up to reveal the sweet cache inside.... the stuff Christmas memories are made of!
And so now we look forward to the New Year..... a new year and new craft beginnings. I have plans.... big, big plans for 2013. Just thinking about them scares me and they will take me way out of my comfort zone at times. But that is what new beginnings are all about.
'Til next time....