Monday, August 30, 2010

Gingerbread House!

Wanted to share with you my latest "re-do".  It's a gingerbread house I made about 7-8 years ago, that I designed based on one that was shown on a Christmas television special sponsored by Southern Living (At least I think it was them).  I remember seeing the house on their previews of the show earlier in the week and I was immediately taken with it's charm.  But the previews only allowed a second or two of viewing time, so I anxiously awaited the coming show.  Finally the day arrived and I was glued to the set, patiently going through each room of the house with the cameraman as they showed off the various decorations.  Finally, after what seemed like hours, they got to the kitchen and there sat the gingerbread house, in the background.  Suddenly the camera zoomed in.  By this time, I realized the show was almost over so I knew I wouldn't have much time.  I had paper and pencil at the ready and I was determined to memorize every detail I could in order to recreate my own version.  It's a good thing too because the camera stayed on the house for perhaps all of five whole great big seconds and then the show was over!  But I'd managed to capture the basic idea and it wasn't long before I was gathering my materials.  Here it is - The Fursdon Gingerbread House!

I can't remember if the original was edible, but I decided to make mine non-edible.  Instead of using white icing, which would detract from the woodland theme I wanted, I decided to use a glue gun instead.  Almonds on the roof top each received a white fabric paint design and Spanish moss was placed at the base surrounding the house.  This was interspersed with small red "berries" from one of many faux garlands I possess.  The terra cotta pot was the smallest I could find at the time, but I've since located many that are much smaller and more in scale with the actual house.  Also, the gingerbread sides and roof all came from a basic Christmas Gingerbread House kit!  I didn't bake any of it!  Far too complicated when you can have more fun decorating!!

The sticks surrounding the door came from my back garden, as did the "bark" for the little door, which had fallen off our River Burch tree!  Just a note - it's very important NOT to peel bark from trees, as this allows disease to enter and potentially kill the tree.  Tree bark, much like our human skin, is designed to protect the tree but, also like our skin, it generally sloughs off from time to time, making room for newer bark!  Then crazy souls like myself gather it up and use it in various projects!

These were the smallest little birds I could find and I love them.  They're adorable! 
You can see how it's beginning to deteriorate though.  Some of the almonds have fallen off, showing the dried glue at the top peak, and the gingerbread itself seems to be turning into a fine meal like substance!  Not sure what's going on exactly, but it's high time for a facelift!!

One of the sides showing still more decay, with a "window frame" of sticks that's fallen from the house to the "ground" below.  You can also see more places where the almonds have come off. 

I guess I ran out of birds!  The facelift will definitely include one in this wreath on the back of the house.  You can also see a vague design just below the wreath, where stick "window frames" had been glued.  Long gone by now, but again - will be added back soon!

I included this view to show you the long "log" on top of the house that blends the two sides together.  It's a pretzel stick!!  As you can imagine, I had a GREAT time recreating this house and it's lasted about 8 years (if my memory is correct).  The biggest threat to this type of project is moisture!!  And I have to admit, I didn't store it properly for many years, which only hastened it's decay.  I've since learned many things about proper storage and plan to have a special container for the next Fursdon Gingerbread House!!  May God Bless, Jan


  1. Hi Jan,

    My name is Susan and I am one of the Blissful ATC Swap ladys. I thought I would find out who some of the gals are and visit their blogs and so here I am. I loved scrolling through your blog and love the story about the Flag pin..I actually have one just like it that belonged to my father, he was a Marine.
    I also read about your doll house and fell in love with all the little rooms. I always wanted
    a proper doll house and still do even though I just turned 54. I think my favorite doll house room is your kitchen. All the little blue plates that you cut out of clever is that!! The stove is darling...gee it is all so cute...oh yes and the attic and yes it looked like you had lots of fun being messy in there!!

    Well Jan it was truely a pleasure meeting you through your blog and come by and visit me anytime!!
    I love your Gingerbread house too...something else I have never made before.

    Blessings and Hugs,


  2. Hi! I think your Gingerbread House is awesome! Several years ago I made a fashion doll complete with a beautiful dress with a "lace" bodice all out of fondant and royal icing. I encased her behind glass, but the lace finally fell off exposing know! I sorrowfully just threw it out!
    I'm looking forward to getting to know you through the ATC swap as we are partners this month! Please feel free to email me and or swing over to my blog anytime!