I think you can tell from my title's exclamation mark that this Challenge was a SUCCESS!!
Before I launch into my Challenge, I have to say to Debbie, OMIGOSH! Kudos!! That is so fricking adorable! I had no idea you were going to KNIT it! What a great idea!
Honestly, if I had looked at Deb's before finishing mine, my heart would have quailed. As it was, I procrastinated on this one even though it was given to us so early, and then I was swept up in Christmas preparations and before I knew it, I had no time. I can't do any big projects during the day with the little boys, and evenings were eaten up by other Christmasy things.
And another reason I probably procrastinated in the first place was sheer fear about this one. Why? Because years ago when I was probably about 11 or 12, my Pioneer Girl's Pal [Pioneer Girls was like Girl Guides, but church based] and I attempted to make a Gingerbread House and it was a lesson in frustration. I loved spending time with Myrna -- a wonderful, sweet and loving woman who was also my mom's friend -- so I still had a ton of fun that day. But my overall impression of Gingerbread houses was that they were impossibly hard to put together.
So anyways, I finally got the nerve to start this project this week. I made the dough and put it into the fridge to chill, and then used cardboard to make myself a pattern. I used tape to keep the pieces in place so that I could get a good idea of how the finished house would look.
I added at least a cup more icing sugar to make it thicker and I probably could have added even a bit more, but it worked!
Now for the super tricky part. Thanks to Martha Stewart, I realized that I should decorate the pieces FIRST, and THEN put the house together. Brilliant!
I had completely forgotten about the windows on the roof, so I had to improvise with a bit of cardboard. And it worked! Yay, yay, yay!
I TOOK MY TIME this go around ... wow. What a difference that makes after all. I waited till the icing hardened each time, built the front porch thingy and the chimney separately so they were solid.
Oh, also, I didn't have Smarties [which I just found out are vegan!] so I added more icing sugar to the icing along with red food colouring [Wilton gel], and rolled it into little pseudo-candies.
I didn't have any greenery, so I used a bit of parsley from my window herb garden.
I was running out of icing, so I used the yellow for the base of the house and what I could spare of the white to fill in the yard, then used coconut for snow. I think the yellow under the windows looks a little bit like light spilling out from the windows ... what do you think?
I borrowed some ornaments from the tree and voila!