December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve in a cozy (gingerbread) cottage

Whew!  I was saved by the bell … or should I say, hallelujah to Michael’s for still having a Wilton gingerbread house kit in stock on Christmas Eve (of all days).  After my pre-baked bungalow totally failed to show up (ordered on December 12, thank you very much), I was scrambling to put together my entry for the first annual Designer Gingerbread House competition … hosted by Stacy Naquin Interiors and judged by Tobi Fairley and Jamie Herzlinger.  Oh, the pressure!!!

Especially considering the time crunch, I am more than pleased with Team TZD’s entry — a cozy painted-brick cottage tucked back into the woods.  The dark shingled roof is especially charming after a fresh dusting of snow.  Dark brown trim draws attention to the window casings and mullions, while a red paneled front door welcomes all who pass by.  A “Merry Christmas” doormat and “Reindeer Parking” (complete with snack) right up front invite Santa and all guests inside to warm up by the fire!  These prepared homeowners won’t run out of wood, because a nice stack is right outside.  Oh, and Santa can check the address to be sure this house is on the “nice” list!

The main ingredients for Team TZD were the Wilton pre-baked gingerbread house kit, Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats “Little Bites” in chocolate (whole for the roof and shredded for the ground cover), cherry Twizzler bites (for the paneled front door), copious amounts of Eclipse gum (bricks), marzipan (dyed brown for the firewood and chopping block, also used for the stone pathway, windows and parking sign), Royal Icing (wreath, bow, window casing and mullions, and writing on doormat and parking sign), marshmallow (address sign), miscellaneous candy (reindeer food and front bushes), and silver mini dragees (ornaments on wreath).  Can you just say that I was quite a sight at the Taj Mah-Teeter self check-out?

What was even more enjoyable than the construction of Team TZD’s gingerbread house, however, was the pure joy that my Henry took in creating his very own gingerbread house.

Daddy helped to assemble the house, but Henry decorated from start to finish.  Twin brother Charlie was completely uninterested in serving as sous-chef.

And here is Henry’s creation!   Henry is lobbying for a “five years and under” age category in the competition.  His design philosophy can be summed up as “More Is More.”  Despite the fact that his cottage failed inspection due to numerous Gingerbread Code violations (the extra candy on one side threatens the structural integrity of the roof), Henry is confident that his unique “maximalist” aesthetic will ensure that his design stands out in a crowded marketplace.  Henry was overheard remarking, “If Frank Lloyd Wright can be famous for building roofs that leak, so can I.”

The main ingredients for Team Henry were the same Wilton pre-baked gingerbread house kit, every single piece of candy in the kit (on one side of the roof), two marshmallows (on the other side of the roof), cherry Twizzler bites and Brach’s Star Brites peppermint candy (for house front), Royal Icing and shredded coconut (snow).

All you need to do to vote on our entries is to visit Stacy Naquin Interiors’ Facebook page and “like” the respective photos.  Just so you know, Henry asks me approximately every ten minutes how many “likes” his house has — and twin brother Charlie is fond of spontaneously proclaiming “I hope Henry wins!” — so I will greatly appreciate each one of you who takes the time to visit Stacy’s Facebook page, weigh the merits of all entries, and — of course — vote for the house that you deem most worthy.  Hint, hint, hint.

How did you spend Christmas Eve day?


  • Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll
    Dec. 26, 2011
    So cute & what a fun project. Hope you had a fab holiday & a Happy New Year!
  • Teresa @ Splendid Sass
    Dec. 26, 2011
    They both look fabulous! Henry has a future as an architect or a designer! Have a nice week. The tree can wait, lol. I know that you are tired. Teresa xoxo
  • Holly
    Dec. 27, 2011
    How fun! I can't wait to make a gingerbread house with Sheila - such a fun activity to do and fun for all ages too. Good luck your gingerbread house is beautiful!
  • Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES)
    Dec. 27, 2011
    Traci- What a sweet house! I can't believe you pulled it off with that deadline! When I worked in an architecture firm twice I was given a day off to decorate a gingerbread building for a Charity Chocolate Expo. The partners were trying to beat a certain "other" nemisis firm entering - but we always came in second! I'll have to dig up those photos... Loretta
  • Maria Killam
    Dec. 27, 2011
    So awesome Traci! Love the photos of your little angels and that is a fab gingerbread house! Christmas Eve is when we celebrate Christmas in our family! xo Maria
  • Lori @ Lori May Interiors
    Dec. 28, 2011
    There should absolutely be a 5 and under category! Way to go Henry! What a wonderful way to spend Christmas eve. There were no houses for us this year, but we did decorate some adorable gingerbread men/women! Happy New Year Traci! I appreciate your support over the past year. Lori
  • Marianne Simon Design
    Dec. 29, 2011
    I think your house turned out beautifully! Henry did an amazing job on his, too! Wish I had time to squeeze in a house of my own, but couldn't make it happen. Hope you had a great Christmas and Happy New Year! P.S. Your card arrived yesterday. Even more gorgeous in person! Gotta love mail that arrives a week later. Thanks USPS!
  • Classic with a Twist
    Dec. 31, 2011
    You are a busy girl... don't know how you do it! Very talented in a aspects- even Gingerbread house making. PS... your boys are adorable:)
  • Traci
    Jan. 02, 2012
    Love the ginger bread house!! Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!!

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