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Ok guys, I've been really nervous to put this up here because it's pretty rough and just starting out. I think it has potential though, so I'm going to brave it and you'll hopefully give me some feedback to help make it better. I've read and been told that thinking outside the box (or outside the house as the case may be) is better when it comes to a gingerbread competition so I attempted to branch out a bit (no pun intended) and try something a little different. I hunted around the internet and was inspired by this picture:

The idea of putting a house into a tree seemed pretty cool and it's nature so it can be rather forgiving with it's lines, which I definitely need. So what do you think so far?

Of course, the obvious question is how the heck do you make a tree? I pondered this problem for awhile and then came to the conclusion that I would make a plaster mold of a real tree to use as my model. Alex and I went hunting around our back woods and here's what we came up with.

Bring on the plaster.

I wrapped the plaster around the tree giving it about three layers and left it to dry. Are you starting to see where this is going?

Once the plaster was dry I cut it off of the tree and here is what I was left with.

At first I tried placing the gingerbread on the inside of the mold, bark dirt and all, but that was an epic fail so next I covered the mold with aluminum on the inside and tried it that way. No go as well. I finally settled on covering the outside of the mold with aluminum and baking it that way.

I baked it up in two pieces because A. there's no way I could bake a 360 degree cookie. If someone has ideas, let me know! And B. I wanted to do some decorating on the inside of the tree as well so I figured leaving the back open would make it easier to work with on the inside. Next I took a candle I had and made another semi circle mold to represent a root. I think I'll make at least one more root before all is said and done.

And are you ready for what there is so far? I'm pretty sure it won't be winning any contests right now but go easy on me just the same.

Those pieces laying flat in front of the house are the door and the steps that will lead down from the door. I hope to cover the house in some form of bark once I have it all baked, connected and finished. Maybe fondant? What do you all think? I also plan to make some window glass for that circular window. The only part I haven't really decided yet is whether to make it a full fledged tree or top it off and leave it as a stump. Thoughts? Opinions?

The next step is working on the inside. I stopped at the gingerbread home depot store today and picked up some wood planks for the inside of the house. I hope to lay them tomorrow. In case you're curious, they're Asian noodles that have been painted with white chocolate that was tinted with a bit of brown food coloring.

So there it is. It's just the bare bones and there's a lot to go, but you get the general gist.

I'm thinking it's better than a first grader but not as good a teenager. It can only go up right? Alright back to work.

And don't forget to link up below. All family friendly links are welcome; recipes, crafts, vacations, and mom blog posts. Have a great weekend!

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