Our mini ginger-village!
Last year, we reported that 2012 would be the 20th anniversary of our house-making tradition, but after a year-long diligent search for pictures and other "archival evidence" on the part of both friend T and myself, we've come to the conclusion that we probably started our tradition a year later than we initially assumed. That means that this year was officially our 19th (despite last year's report to the contrary), and that next year we'll be celebrating the "big" 20th. So all of those ideas that we were brainstorming last year are still on the table for next year's round of houses!
My inspiration this year came from candy canes, though it still has a pseudo-Victorian flair. As usual, I started by "painting" my walls with frosting, but instead of doing the standard solid color, I did a marbled look with red and white. I wasn't quite sure if the experiment would be successful, but in the end, it worked pretty well and I was generally pleased.
Waiting for the "paint" to dry: my walls are on the left, with J's on the right.
The pillars of the front porch literalize the candy cane theme, which is carried into the tiled roof. Green wreaths, garlands, and little sprigs of holly add a splash of green to the mix, making for the most Christmassy house I think I've ever created!
My "candy cane" house...
...with the front porch decorated for Christmas!
Friend T's house came out lovely, created to echo a traditional New England farmhouse, complete with stone chimney, long back porch, and a mini grove of trees.
T's "New England farmhouse" house.
T's house from above.
Her brother J's house, as expected, was yet another engineering marvel. After last year's windmill, we wondered what new tricks he could possibly have up his sleeve, but he certainly didn't disappoint; his lighthouse actually does light up, cleverly concealing its electric components within walls of gingerbread, pretzels, and frosting. Pretty impressive, isn't it? It goes without saying that the bar for next year's creations has now been considerably raised by the introduction of this new potential!
J's lighthouse with...you guessed it...a light!
And just in case you're wondering, T and J's mum crafted a log cabin house, decorated with Christmas lights and surrounded by a neat little pretzel fence. My mum ended up with the most traditional house, covered in gumdrops and lots and lots of frosting. When we arranged them all on the table for a finale photo (see above), we were quite chuffed with how cute they all looked together, clustered in their little ginger village.
The gingerbread-and-pretzel log cabin crafted by T and J's mum.
Additional pictures can be found in the flickr set. Stay tuned for next year's anniversary edition of the Gingerbread House Tradition!