Monday, November 11, 2013

Stephanie's Perspective: How it all Began

It starts as a hobby, and grows to a passion.  Do you ruin it by making it a business?  Or do you dedicate your days to what you love?  Depends on how you look at it.

It certainly helps to work with your friends. :-)

2010.  It all started for me when...

I saw a friend's photos from a cake decorating class on Facebook.  "Hmm, that looks like fun," I mused, and moved on with my life.

Weeks later, she built a gingerbread bowling alley for the local town's gingerbread house holiday contest.  (I didn't even know this contest existed.)  I saw the bowling alley and thought, "How cool!  I'd love to build something as awesome as that."

Must have also said as much to Erin, who told me she'd built gingerbread houses before and would happily show me how.


After about an hour of shopping on Amazon, I finally settled on Making Great Gingerbread Houses by Aaron Morgan and Paige Gilchrist, and my new hobby was born.

I studied photos, read the book cover to cover several times, and tried out the recipe and house pattern. 

Mid December, I brought my gingerbread pieces to Erin's house, who was impress with my choice of pattern.  My very first gingerbread would not just be 4 walls and a roof, but a porch too.  I'd like to go back and build the house again, actually.  See how we could change it up now that we've grown in our craft.

With a Kitchen Aid Mixer and some soup cans to hold everything up while it dried, our first gingerbread house was created.

 Erin told me it was fun to mold with Marzipan.  She was right!  The snowman and pig were fun trials.

The tree is "stylized."  One of our favorite words!

The "Christmas lights" are chocolate covered sunflower seeds that I found at TJ Maxx.

As per the books instructions, I also melted some (sugar free actually) candy to make frosted windows.

 I made the wreath.  I was just discovering how much I liked to play with icing.

Erin made the cute marzipan pig.

 Pretty sure this house took us about 4 hours and 2 bottles of wine.  (Yes, we operate on wine time.)

But wait, there's 3 Gingerbuilders, you notice...

How keen of you.

Megan saw our pictures on Facebook (clearly the catalyst of our creation) and also wanted to make a house.  I had left over dough, so I made another pattern and us three girls met the very next day.  The master Erin, the apprentices Stephanie and Megan.

I reviewed what I had learned by teaching Megan.  Erin was so proud of her gingerbread students.  :-)

We took many more photos of our process.  And stopped to admire our work. :-)

 We found that a wine bottle is a perfect helper when making ice cream cone trees!  (Note the first house in the background...and the wine glass...)

 Our Greedo house (a happy accident) took us the whole day, with a lunch break of course.  We played with different snack foods and decided what we could use.

 Megan puts the finishing bows on my wreath.  I took to the icing, and she took to the details!

 We tried our first icing river!  and a sweet covered bridge that we wanted to start using in all of our pieces!  (Yes, of course there would be more!)  We discovered that the three of us made an excellent and creative team!
 By now, we were pretty sure that we were all awesome.

 We finished off the landscape.  Erin taught us how to make snow drifts.

and Gingerbuilders was born.