Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gingerbread House Party

I decided to host my very first Gingerbread House making party for the children in my homeschool group. I was nervous at first about what I was undertaking because I had never made a gingerbread house from scratch, and I had a lot of kids coming over to my house. I thought I might have bitten off more than I could chew. Well... I found an awesome website called ulitmategingerbread.com and found all the recipes for the gingerbread dough and frosting. Then I set out making my prototype. I wanted to test the recipes and work out any kinks. I had some problems at first and I was really starting to worry if I could pull it off. It looks so simple, but the actual construction is a bit tricky... my roof kept sliding off and it was looking like a disaster. But after I figured out the problem (the dough needed to bake more till almost burnt) my roof stayed put. After my house was set up I started to decorate it... now this was the fun part! I really enjoyed decorating this, and my kids even helped me out. I think I am now going to make a yearly tradition of making one at Christmas time. Here is my protoype

Now that I was satisfied with the results of my first project... it was on to mass produce pre-fab gingerbread houses. My house really smelled good.
I stayed up till 2 in the morning, twice, mixing, rolling and baking the
pieces for the houses.
If it wasn't for the great tips from Ultimategingerbread.com I would've given up. The aluminum foil was the trick. Wet your countertops with a sponge then the aluminum foil will stick to it so you can roll out your dough without it sliding... then just lift the sheet and put right onto the baking sheet to go in the oven. This keeps the pieces from getting distorted while transferring.

Here is the result of a few nearly sleepless nights work! Only took 4 batches of dough to make twenty childsized houses. Whew!
The results were so worth it though. The kids (and adults) had such an enjoyable time decorating their houses and eating candy. And some even decorated themselves! Haha! Here are a few pictures from our party day...

The day turned out to be a big success! I was so thrilled to see everyone getting so involved and being so creative in this process. I was really amazing to see how the kids translated things like pretzels into little windows, and wafer cookies as doors or roof shingles... I think everyone really enjoyed themselves... and I was so amazed at how quiet the house was with so many children in it... Here is a picture of Gingerbread Lane...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My Second Official Post

I must be on a roll! I wanted to post some pictures of the project I just completed today. I have been working on this for almost a year now. I made it one of my New Year's resolutions to finish all of my projects I have begun and focus on one at a time. So my goal is to stick to one project only until it is completed then go to the next one. This is good for me because I begin so many things at once then have something like 10 projects in some sort of in process stage. Like this dress I began for my daughter almost a year ago. After having boys then a girl, I couldn't wait to begin making cute dresses. My grandmother used to make smocked dresses for me as a girl, and I took up the craft too. I began this dress almost a year ago, and what with having a new baby and all that... It didn't get finished until today! This is a pattern called "Lily" from Beautiful Bishops. The top is smocked and embroidered. The hem is embroidered with a shadow embroidered bow with boullion roses and french lace. It has matching knickers too. A very special dress for a special girl!

My First Official Blog

O.K. So this is it for my first blog. I am no writer, but I will try to tell you a little about myself. I am a stay at home mother of 4 children. They keep me extremely busy. I homeschool, sew, knit, crochet, smock, cook, etc. Whatever interests me. I have been reading other blogs for some time and have finally stepped out of my box into the "real"? world. Most of the time I do laundry. Looads and loads of laundry!! No kidding. It seems I am constantly cleaning and changing diapers, or fishing toys out of the toilet. (I try to explain to my 3 year old and 2 year old that it is not a "TOY-let") HMMM....it doesn't get through. Boy if crap really was holy, my home would be a shrine! Here is a picture of my brood...

Jesse (9)
Nathan (3)
Emily (2)
Sammy (8 months)

I am having too much fun!
(Most of the time)
But thank God for coffee! Mama doesn't get much sleep these days!