I have never made a gingerbread house and it has never occurred to me to do so. In fact, I don't think I know anyone who has ever made one. This year, they started to catch my eye and I found myself looking at them on Google Images. There are some truly amazing gingerbread house photographs on there - the creativity is so inspiring! So, I decided I would give it a go.
I ordered a book from Amazon - Gingerbread Houses by Christa Currie as the reviews on Amazon suggested it was good for beginners with all the basics to get started. It is a good book for all the boring details and a great template to make a basic house from which you can then start to add more intricate details as you get more confident. The book has no photographs however so is not one for flicking through and dreaming or particularly inspiring.
Have to say, this is a time consuming hobby. I would like to maybe start doing one each year. I did it all myself this year and surprised the kids with it this morning but next year, I think I'll construct the house and then let them decorate and maybe the year after they'll be able to help me at every stage. Will make a nice family tradition, I think.
Sorry for the abundance of photos but I just want to record it for myself. My photography is not great, I'm afraid so it really does look better in real life. The LED candles inside are the flickering type so you get a really cosy feel from the house. I am a science person through and through and have never been arty or creative, so I am actually very proud of this house.
A few days ago, I got an early Christmas present in the post from a friend who had seen on facebook that I was struggling with my gingerbread house. She sent me this book - Gingerbread Architect by Susan Matheson and Lauren Chattman. Now this IS an inspiring, coffee-table book with amazing photographs. Love it. So, next year, I'm maybe going to go for something slightly less traditional.
Steve bought us a kit gingerbread house for the boys to build so we did that yesterday. It was really easy and no-fuss and they enjoyed doing it. However, it only kept them occupied for about 10 minutes and I'm not sure we're really going to want to eat that much of it. It did let them have a wee practice at it before next year's big project - hee hee.