Friday, December 28, 2012

A Completed House!


I felt inspiration kick in and finally decided on a the rest of the candies that I wanted to use to finish up the house.   I knew I was going to use the gumdrops again for the roof,  and the other pieces I included were a round peppermint candy, three pink bubblegum sticks and a couple of mini lollipops.   I also made a couple of red hots that I would use for the front windows.





The chimney section was made from a left over piece of my gingerbread clay.  I used a large pin to press in the brick pattern.  After baking and cooling, it would be ready to attach to the house.


After having waited a full 24 hours for the roof decorations to set up, I moved onto the sides of the house.  The resin clay probably does not need quite that long to cure, but I wanted to be sure it was fully hardened since I was going to be continually handling the house in the next few steps.

I positioned the lollipops between the gumdrops and attached them with super glue.  You may not want to use super glue on your project unless you are very confident in where you want your pieces placed.  Super glue is not always very forgiving. 





I decided to use the candy canes on the opposite side of the house, instead of on the roof eave.  I glued one of them on at an angle,  then cut the other in half with a razor blade and finally attached the two remaining pieces- mimicking the crosshatching on the roof.





Then it was on to the backside.   I had already piped on the windows and included the long peppermint stick across the back,  but I knew that it definitely need something more.  The pink sticks of bubble gum over the three windows added a little color and that other candy element I felt the backside really needed.   The round peppermint candy found the perfect home in the empty area above the windows. 





In the above picture you can see that next I added the gumdrops to the roof peak.  They were attached with the piped resin clay.  They look as though they are perfectly nestled in snow. 







I added those two red hot dots just above the windows on the front of the house, using just the resin clay to attach them as well. 
Then the final element to add was the chimney.   After gluing, I piped more resin clay around it's perimeter to fill in any cracks.    My house was finally complete.

For most foods in my shop I apply a clear sealer, either a gloss or matte coating, depending on the food's texture.  It helps to seal the color and make the foods more durable.   However,  for this house I won't be doing that.   Not just because I wont be selling it,  but because the gingerbread  has that dull matte surface appearance that perfectly mimics the real thing- I did not want to compromise that.   The candies have all had a coat or two of an acrylic gloss though- especially the peppermint pieces.  





I hope this inspires you to make your own gingerbread creations- real or doll sized!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Progress!

I knew I wanted some mini candy canes for the front, just over the door.  And I finally decided on using a single peppermint stick for the back.  I made two larger candy canes in the process, thinking I may use them on the back eave.





 I used those two mini candy canes to form a sweet little heart positioned just above the front door.  The heart filled the space perfectly and added the visual interest it needed.  I knew I was going to incorporate that element in my design even before I started searching gingerbread house images.

To mimic bushes I used a green gumdrop that I sliced in two- applying one half under each window with super glue. 



With the front complete, I moved onto the backside.   I did hem and haw a little about what candies to incorporate for the back side of the house.  I had wanted to include another type of candy, something I had not used on the front or sides. I had given some thought to using pink bubblegum sticks, fruit stripe gum, chocolate kisses, pretzel sticks, green leaves, m&ms, life savers or even that old fashioned ribbon candy.  But in the end none of those choices inspired me.  I tend to apply the "less is more" theory to my designs.  And I think in the 1:3 scale it's very easy to quickly overwhelm a design.  I apply this to everything I make for the dolls, especially garments.






For the back I ultimately decided on just a single peppermint stick header across the back.  I then piped on a trio of windows and and outlined the back with the mock royal icing and called it a day.  I 'm still not in love with the design- and for me that means it will likely get a modification...at some point.


Then it was on to the sides.  They were given an outline of royal icing as well and three gumdrop bushes each.




In the above pic you can see that I have already moved onto the roof- adding a crosshatch design dotted with mini candies, once again using the "royal icing" resin clay that air dries and hardens.

After Christmas I will finish up the house, adding a chimney and a few more surprise elements.

                                             ~ Merry Christmas ~







Sunday, December 23, 2012

Now for the fun part!

My first step was to glue on the candy cane side pieces and the chocolate door.  I needed them to be positioned first before I could determine the sizes of some of my other elements.  I used super glue to attach them.


 I attached the sugar wafer piece next- it fit just inside the roof peak.

With that I am reminded of a silly joke told to me by my 8 yr old just last night:

"Why was the sugar cookie crying?"          

ANSWER:  "Because it's mother had been a wafer so long!"



To mimic the type of frosting used on real gingerbread houses (royal icing- the kind that hardens), I used a white resin clay.  After piping it in a delicate lace effect just under the eave, I moved onto piping on the windows.   I piped around the sugar wafer as well, filling in the gaps and spaces.   

And then I waited a full 24 hours for the front to dry before piping on the back side.


My next step will be to finish applying candies on the front, back and sides of the house.  The roof will be the last section decorated.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Candies!

I knew I wanted to incorporate the standards: peppermint sticks, chocolates, candy canes, gum drops and lollipops.

I started out by making several of those elements. 



The chocolate bar is made from a mold and was cut away from a part of a larger piece, scaled down to just the right size for a door.

The peppermint sticks are a favorite of mine to make.  I love doing them in all different kinds of colors.  I chose red, pink and white- these will go on the front and back of the house.

The gumdrops were rolled in glue and fine crystal glitter.  I know I want them for the roof top. 

The tiny candy dots will also be used on the roof. 

The last element in this group- the piece of sugar wafer cookie- it fill fit snugly under the eave in the peak of the rooftop. 

I will have more pics in the days to come....

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Gingerbread House In the Making

I love gingerbread.  Cookies, cakes, houses.   It's the part of the holidays that I cannot imagine anyone finding objection with.

Having been asked many times to make a gingerbread house for the dolls, I always have to politely decline.  The amount of work and time required in this scale would make for a very expensive house! 

Instead, I have decided to make one for my dolls and chronicle it's progress, step by step, giving tips and hints along the way.  Maybe it will inspire you to make a gingerbread house for your own dolls.


First I had to decide on a design.  I searched images of other gingerbread houses, drawing elements and bits and pieces from different designs I liked- and added in a little of my own inspiration as well.   My talents lie in sculpting-  not drawing.   So I have refrained from including the sad sketch I made of the gingerbread house I ultimately decided on.


Next I made a template from cardboard.  I took about 15 minutes to figure, cut and retool the pattern pieces until I came up with a design that worked. 




Then it was off to make my gingerbread!  I rolled the clay to about a 1/4" thickness.  I did not want the walls too thin for fear of breakage when gluing the pieces together. 
I carefully cut the clay from my pattern pieces,  gave them each a little texture to mimic the real thing, and soon they were baking.

After having cooled I began to assemble my pieces, shaving off bits of gingerbread here and there so that the house fit together nicely.  




I quickly snapped this pic next to a Sharpie so you can sort of see the relative size I decided on.  
The fun part comes next- the decorating......

Monday, December 3, 2012

UPDATED HOLIDAY MENU

For this holiday I tried not to tip the scales too heavy in favor of sweet things.  I think I managed surprisingly to find that balance, since I will admit that I prefer making desserts for the dolls.  It's just, simply put, a whole lot more fun.   

Here is an updated menu and price list for the 9th of December.  As alwyas, items will be available 12:00 noon EST. 


www.etsy.com/shop/pippaloo


raspberry cheesecake slices  7.00
chocolate cake slices with white fluffy frosting  12.00
red velvet cake slices  12.00
holiday sugar cookie cut outs   7.25
cookies for Santa   8.25
pigs in a blanket   7.50
holiday twister pops  2.00
icicle twister pops   2.00
whole pumpkin pie    20.00
festive cookie assortment   24.00
peppermint brownies   5.00
meat cheese and roll spread  18.00
deviled eggs  22.00
peanut butter cookies  5.00
stocking stuffer candies 11.25
crackers and cheese cubes set  17.00
chocolate yule log cake with slice  24.00
ham and turkey roll ups  7.25
party sub  26.00
raviolis  6.00
baked potatoes with butter 6.00
ice cream sandwiches  5.50
swirl lollipops  4.25
sliders  11.50
coconut cake with slices  17.50
grilled cheese  5.25
chocolate Santa on stick 4.50
crescent rolls 7.00