Gingerbread House 2014: Arendelle is in Deep Deep Deep Deep Snow
Sometimes it feels like I’m living in a perpetual winter. We are on year 2 of the snow queen’s domination over both Arendelle and my home. What can I say? The movie is beloved here… watched all the time. As an artist, I often take inspiration from my surroundings and as many of my followers can attest to, Frozen is in my surroundings A LOT! Also, I thought my kiddos would get a kick out of this next project.
Every year some friends and I plan a get-together to make gingerbread houses. Everyone brings tons of candy (and leaves their kids at home for some much-needed mom’s night in). Each year, I try to use the opportunity to learn a new skill. Last year, it was to practice piping 🙂 This year, I wanted to sculpt and work gumpaste. So my gingerbread house was the setting I used for the snow queen.
Upfront, I’ll mention that I always use a gingerbread house kit. We don’t eat ours and I find that I’d rather spend my time on decorating rather than baking. Since I wanted a house with an Arendelle look/feel to the whole thing (long tall roof was a necessity), I chose Trader Joe’s Hexen House kit. (I realize that the Hexen House is actually German and not Scandinavian, but it was the closest I could find without actually making my own).
I pretty much just used some white candies and piping do the front. The front took a few minutes. I wanted the roof to look laden in snow so I used some mini-marshmallows cut diagonally and laid on top of one another. This part was TEDIOUS. It took me more than an hour to hand set these tiny tiles, but it was while talking with my friends and constantly laughing so it wasn’t so bad 😉 I then piped icicles coming down from the roof. As you can see, I had tiny little pieces of frosting speckling the house, and I decided that it was an authentic representation of snow rather than the breaking off/smudging of the frosting. Perspective. It’s all about perspective:
It was rather difficult to pipe with the house all set up, so if I were to do this again, I would probably pipe the pieces flat and then put the house together to do the roof.
Sorry that I don’t have many process picture but it was hard to hold the camera in one hand and my sangria in the other… perspective and priorities, of course.
I do have a pretty decent aerial shot though, that shows one of my favorite parts of the scene, the “expanding” ice ring, made with melted blue candy (Ring Pops!), rock candy “crystallizing” the edges of the pool and then the blue (and white, which are a bit hard to see) Sixlets that I used to try to give the idea of expansion:
And now onto Elsa.
I created the gumpaste Elsa after the party because she herself took quite a bit of time. It was a fun challenge because it was a different kind of 3D work than I’m used to. I looked at a few tutorials and some fondant Elsas on Pinterest for reference and all of it was hand sculpted (although molds might have been easier, especially for the body which is pretty standard). Here she is right-side beauty shot:
All in all, I’d say the gumpaste was a little different than working with fondant in that it hardens quickly (which is good in this case). A few tips for making the Elsa figure:
- The best tutorial I found (and the one I referenced the most) was this one: Yungjung Cake, although my Elsa was a mix of many different ones that I found, this had some good directions.
- Make the body in parts. Lower half, torso, and then head. I tried to make the body all one piece and it wasn’t working at all.
- I used a toothpick for the body structure. It went through the whole body and up through the neck and gave the head a secure spot to sit.
- Use what you have on-hand. I was going to make custom snowflakes, but used some snowflake sprinkles instead to put in her hair.
All in all, I’m happy with the way it came out. It’s so fun to see it come together and hanging out with my friends and crafting is always fun. Can’t wait for next year’s get-together 🙂
Today I used: