Monday, January 30, 2012

Gingerbread Madness

As with most crafting adventures, this began innocently enough. The company I work for was hosting a gingerbread house (gbh) building contest for the holidays, this was back in December. The stakes were high: winners would have $500 donated to their charity of choice.

Never having ever made a gbh before, of course I thought it was a great idea! And it was! But only because I had my colleague Miss V, who is an expert baker and cake decorator on my side! Together we brainstormed ideas and came to a conclusion, we wanted to win, and we didn't want a run of the mill gbh. This one was going to be worthy of architectural digest. (if they had them for gbh. not really, but go with me)

We had about 5 days to pull it all together and thank goodness for the Internet, we had a game plan in place. V painstakingly found a great recipe for sturdy gbh's and baked the pieces from scratch so perfectly that construction was a breeze. All the ingredients were edible, and it smelled really good if you weren't spending all day with it like we were. ;P

V's cake expertise really came into play with the fondant and cookie cutters and all the glorious tools she's got for making fondant look like anything you want! It was like having a grown up set of play doh tools & gadgets at my disposal. TOO MUCH FUN!!! :-)

So we got to be the architects, builders, decorators, and even electricians on this project. Needless to say, our gbh won for 'best house made from scratch' :)

We've got the gb couple, Rudolph and his gf and of course a sleigh...go ahead and take a peek inside the gbh!!

The indoor tree with presents! The floor is wood grain too, so there's that red rug to warm things up...

You can see the fireplace with the roaring fire and stockings, and of course the brick work!

Bear-y Special Baby Shower Craft

I was helping with a baby shower for my cousin, and when the bear theme was chosen, I knew right away that I wanted to make these sweet little drawer sachets as part of the favor bags. My sister had received one of these as a favor many moons ago, like in the 1900's! I know. A long time ago. So naturally, I  had to punch it up for the millennium. The colors for the shower were pale green & yellow to keep things gender neutral, so I set off to find the perfect fabric thinking this must be a popular color combination. I found one that was passable at Hobby Lobby, but it the print was too large. Then I looked, and looked, and looked at Jo-Ann's to no avail. That is when I finally yelled uncle and revised to just go with the pale green and accent it with yellow accessories. Looking back, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner! D'oh!

They were pretty easy to make, cut out a square of fabric, add a golf ball & and half's worth of stuffing, and gather with needle and thread. Plus a few drops of your fav essential oils to give it that sachet-y scent. Then came the pom poms each one needed 9 at varying sizes for the paws, head, and of course tail.

one false move, and the bear gets it

When I got to the eyes & nose, I was in a jam trying to find the right beads which would stay stuck, and after consulting with a local bead expert, we came to the conclusion that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. So thankfully since I am obsessed with crafts of all kinds and find them difficult to give up, I had some (read: a bunch) polymer clay that I rolled into the face parts, and since I didn't actually have the color black, I intended to paint them or sharpie them. My rusty poly clay skills actually helped me here, since when I went to bake the clay, I burned it, and they turned the perfect black on their own. Gotta love it when that happens!! Crafty coincidences. woo hoo.

Here's the final product... :-)