Sunday, November 13, 2011

Victorian Splendor - FINISHED!

Well it's finally done, actually it was finally done Monday evening, delivered on Tuesday, but I gave myself a small breather before completing the blog. The last blog left off with me having finished putting the tiles ( cocunut cookies) on one roof.  The rest of the roof got the tiles and this is what it ended up looking like:

So, as the tile dried, I kept looking at it and I kept thinking.....the color isn't right.  To me it ended up looking too much like a cottage and I wanted something a bit I mixed up some blue.....more of a slate blue really, how I came up with that, I don't know.  Maybe it was my Gramma Elsie giving me ideas from heaven.....but however I came up with it,  I totally LOVED the look it gave the house.  My thought is, you either will hate it or love it. LOL

So, with the roof complete, the fence and trim work was I started to place trim work in place, it started breaking.....and let me tell was one of those moments, when your mouth drops open, and you are in complete shock.....I had days left to complete this whole project and my delicate lace pieces, that in my opinion would make the house look like I wanted it too, were breaking!

so, it was back to piping more pieces to let them dry.  The second time around, I used a bigger tip and made them a bit ticker in hopes that they wouldn't break and apparently that worked, because here it is with the pieces intact!  WOO HOO!
I also started piping royal icing vines and leaves up the side on the house to give it a little character and I love, love, love how that all turned out.  I made a wood pile with complete with a chopping block and a little pond with a small duck in front....all those little details in my opinion, make the whole thing come together.  So, here is the whole thing before the "snow:

The snow was the last thing to do, which was simply done by putting powered sugar in a sifter and sprinkling it all over the top.  It added that last little detail that truly transformed it into my vision of  Victorian Splendor!

So there you have it.....I finished it, and I didn't kill the designer either, so all in all, very proud at my 2nd gingerbread house.  Here is the final photo, that was set on the table with my gingerbread house.....kind of cool seeing my name before pastry chef.......I'm not a real pastry chef but I do love to bake and decorate. LOL

I hope you all enjoyed following me through this project and thank you for your'll never know how much that kept me going!  Next project is holiday cookies and I don't have all that much time left so I better get to it.!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Victorian Splendor - Part 5

So, it was a very busy weekend. The first order of business was to trim up the roof line.  Let me just state....Rich  now understands how there are many men doing gingerbread's because they get to use power tools!  Here he is with the dremel:

 The remaining roof pieces were then put on.  All the pieces first has to be primed with thinned royal icing because they were all sagging and a bit too pliable.  The icing seemed to have helped.  The chimney was painted and put in place and the shingles started going on up the roof.  The two largest roof panels are covered in "shingles" was more time consuming than we thought, trying to get them all lined up and such, and while we are happy with them, we both can see how we should have done and learn. LOL  Here is the house with the roof panels and as the shingles starting going on:

As I mentioned on part 4 of the blog, I did the banister piece for the top of the round it is :

I also did the archway for the it is when it was dry and then after I added some greenery to it:

It seems like not a lot was done on the house but there are things that are time consuming that can't be photographed, as in, the hours spent on making trees, covering marshmallows to resemble bushes, making a topiary, finishing painting all the fence pieces, and making 2 more batches of royal icing.  It is amazing how many hours just fly by!! LOL

Here are the bushes and trees :

so basically, here is where we are at....with a week left to complete everything :

I think at this point, the next blog will be the final one......and while this has been fun and I have learned a great deal, I'm ready for it to be finished......although, knowing myself as I do, even when done, I'll think of all the things I should have included but didn't. LOL

Enjoy, until next time!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Victorian Splendor - Part 4

Hi to all once again.  The walls started going up this week and while it seems like it's taking forever for it all to come together, after looking through the 54 photos I took this week as it progressed, it IS taking shape.  All the walls have gone up and the 2 of the 6 roof panels.  Now the roof panels have proved to be a challenge.  I'm not sure if the pieces are just so big or if it's because, living in Central Florida has a lot of humidity or a combination of both, but the roof panels sag a bit.  So that has been the biggest challenge of the week.  Let's start with the walls going up though.....

This is before the first wall went up:

Then a couple hours later......yes, it's more time consuming than one would think:

I used canned good to keep walls propped up while the icing dried.   A few more hours later, it's starting to resemble a house.

and here is a shot from the back.....

The floors were made made making black marks with a edible marker and then painted over it with brown icing......sort of looks like wood floors.....then we started adding the furniture and such.  The items did not end up in the rooms that they were originally intended for.  When making them I though everything looked so small but when they started going in the actual rooms, they were too big and so some rearranging took place.

Here's what it's looking like from the front:

This will be the inside wall that the round room looks into, and because of the previous trouble with the round room, it doesnt' have the depth that was originally intended and so it's really hard to see the details of the fireplace, so I took a picture, so I can remember it later. LOL

I tried to take a picture from the outside looking in through the windows.....this is really the only one that came out pretty well.

the one light that was installed didn't really turn out to be enough light, so some tiny little LED Christmas lights were put in to help illuminate the rooms a bit more.
The "mirror" was placed on the wall behind the Christmas tree as we realized you couldn't see the angel at all since she, and the wall, were both yellow.  I also added a Live, Laugh, Love plaque on the wall, since that's sort of my trademark....I have it in every room of my own home. LOL

I thought, to give you all an idea of the size of this house, I stacked my canned goods, that were helping to support the walls as they dried, up and the house is 4 canned goods high, 7 canned good long and 5 canned good wide.

I also worked on getting the fence posts and such painted......I'm thinking now, maybe I should have just left them the original gingerbread color.  LOL
Last night I worked on the banister for the roof of the round room and also the archway into the yard.  This weeks plan is to get the rest of the roof pieces on, and the yard decorated.  I have 10 days left to finish this the frustration with it, as well as the fun I've had is quickly coming to an end.

Until next time.....thanks for following my Victorian Gingerbread Project.  :-)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Victorian Splendor - Part 3

So, as the project continues, I have to tell myself, this doesn't need to be perfect....even real house have imperfections and it will be great once it's finished.  So, with the trauma of the round room over, and coincidentally, it's still standing, YAY, it was time to start decorating the walls, both outside and inside.  The outside walls will have 2 textures, the stone/brick walls and then the stone walls.  The stone/brick walls was accomplished by outlining the bricks first with an off white color of royal icing and then filled in with 3 different colors of stone/brick.  Our first thought was brick walls, but after the texture was done, we decided maybe they look more like stone.  You all can be the judge of that.  so here are the photos for those walls, the picture will show just two of the walls through the process.

The door and windows were all framed out with black fondant, but I failed to get pictures of that process but you will see some of them on the stone walls.  The stone walls were accomplished by painting the walls with brown royal icing and then sticking Cocoa Pebbles cereal to the walls while the were still some of the cereal fell off once they were dry, but most of it stuck and it looks pretty cool......putting the walls up without messing up the stone, should be fun. LOL

As you can see, both these rooms have windows and gelatin sheets were used for the windows.  I tried the crushed jolly rangers last year and eventually the windows started leaking so after some research, I found that gelatin sheets are perfect for windows.

I also painted the inside of one room thought was to make it look like wall paper as I was going to put a little design on it......I never could get the color even and after discussions with Rich, we decided, a tiny design would be hard to see through the windows anyway, but the yellow color should make for a nice glow in the room.  This is what they look like at this point.

So, that being done and the walls needing to dry and get really hard, I worked on fondant things for the inside.....I made a couch and side tables along with a rug for the floor and for a different room, a small side table with a book and candle with chair to sit beside it.  I also made a Christmas tree out of a sugar cone, coated with green royal icing and added mini M&M's as decorations.  I made a small fondant angel to go on top.  Then I made a small dog to go by the dog house that will sit in the yard.

I don't really have a dog named Spike, I have a cat.....his name is Spike, so I thought to include him in this whole process.  Yeah, he's a cat, he doesn't really care, but I couldn't come up with another dog name I liked. LOL

The final thing I did last weekend was work on the lace "gingerbead" work for the gables of the house.....Rich designed them and printed them out for me.  I taped them to boards, covered it in parchment paper and then traced the design.  I've never really done this before, but I've read about it in books, so in theory, I think I know what I'm doing.  I did 3, one being my test one.  I let it dry 2 days and then lifted it off the paper and it didn't break, so hopefully once it goes on the house, it'll be fine.  It will be one of the last details put on the house itself.

So, that's what was accomplished last weekend.  This week nothing really got done on the house since we had even more exciting things happening.  Vanessa had her baby, Xavier Armand Velasquez made his arrival on Monday evening, 10/17/11 at 8:53 pm.  He's so beautiful and perfect.  Congratulations again Vanessa and Wil!!

Until next time!! :-)