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1  Gingerbread Horse Farm in CHALLENGE 106 ENTRIES by Tropicbird on: January 10, 2015 11:11:50 PM
This year's creation was a lot of fun.

We had six horses and a foal in and around the stable.

Even a jumper

The brown m&m's and shredded Mini Wheats added the special barn touches we needed:

But my favorites were all the little barn cats hanging around the stable and under the apple tree:

And as usual, every single bit was deliciously edible. Oh, and each horse had a name: Ginger, Sugarlump, Cookie, Butterball, Mr. USA, Seabiscuit, and Gumdrop.
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2  Gingerbread Island in CHALLENGE 82 ENTRIES by Tropicbird on: January 03, 2013 08:42:49 PM

The beach cottage at Cookiedough Harbor...

...lies in the shadow of Gumdrop Point Lighthouse.

At the south beach, gummy sharks prowl benignly offshore,
while a sea turtle crawls over brown sugar sands to lay her eggs.

Between south beach and the rocks at Gumdrop Point are the craggy
So-called Fish-cal Cliffs with a few fossilized sharks teeth at their base.
A couple of surfboards can be seen stowed under the cottage.

On the other side of the island, where the waters are calm,
licorice lines keep boats snugly tied to the docks.

The dogs watch for a sailboat navigating by the
treacherously delicious rocks around the lighthouse.

At Sugar Beach, near the dogs, a tiny sandcastle sits by a little
plastic bottle (Thank you, PlayMobile), with a message
inside, which washed up on a wave.

Surfboards lean against the cottage between palm trees and a Christmas tree.

Beach chairs sit at water's edge, and sand inevitably gets tracked up the steps.

Up on the deck, a fish is broiling on the grill by the door.

It's just another day in cookie paradise.

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3  The one brief sugary moment that was known as "GINGERLOT"! in CHALLENGE 70 ENTRIES by Tropicbird on: January 03, 2012 09:39:41 PM
For this year's project, I wanted something big and different, and the idea of a castle hit me in late November. The end result a couple weeks later was a surprisingly grand but far-from-flawless fairytale castle which we named "Gingerlot". 

Several gingerbread houses I've designed and built in recent years, for and with the two grandchildren, were each different, fun and cute, but this time, without even trying, an actual story began to evolve around the structure which made it even more interesting and entertaining.

More challenging than a four-sided house, it required a few towers, some walls, a dungeon and a gatehouse with a drawbridge. Lots of ropey, red licorice candy served as "the moat".

And any castle worth its cookie-dough would need a dragon. Ours was "Gumdrg", breathing lots of orange-fruit-roll-up "fire".

My husband noted that if there's a dragon, the castle should be defended somehow, say with a catapult. So we made a cookie catapult complete with a nearby pile of perfect "projectiles"--just the right size of large, round, colorful candy balls--from a local sweet shop.

And wouldn't a small army of knights be needed to man the catapult?  What about a unicorn?

Just about every fairy tale has a queen and a king ....

... and a princess...

One thing led to another, often quite unexpectedly. When one of the knights was accidentally overbaked, he became "The Dark Knight".

The main cookie characters in the Medieval and Royal-Icing-ed scenario were taken from the real-life household. Daughter-in-law was "Queen Kathleen". Son was "Sir Jed the Elder"---who incidentally would be assured that he was actually the "True King Jed" after climbing the dungeon tower and removing "Excookibur" from the "stone".

Grandson Cedric chose to be the hero "Ranger" lurking in a dark recess.

His sister was "Princess Leah", and the family's female Labrador Retriever became "Lady Nahla", the Princess' Lady-In-Waiting. Nahla's real-life male Yellow Lab consort, Flash, (who figured prominently in last year's gingerbread entry) was "Sir Flash The-Not-So-Brave".

As Sir Flash and various knights within the castle were poised to slay Gumdrg on the other side of the wall, a mysterious Knight in Shining Cookie Dough was approaching on horseback to lend a hand.

Creating Gingerlot was ambitious and plagued with many imperfections of design and sloppiness of construction, but---as are all my gingerbread creations---it was 100% edible and absolutely delicious.

And that one brief sugary moment that was known as Gingerlot was so much fun while it lasted.

Thank you for allowing me to share this project and to inspire others.

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4  Flash's Gingerbread House in CHALLENGE 58 ENTRIES by Tropicbird on: January 08, 2011 11:09:11 PM
In December, when I began this year's gingerbread house, the farthest thing from my mind was entering a competition, but someone suggested this contest after seeing a picture I'd posted on Facebook.

Since I'm a novice to these forums, I couldn't figure out how to post the photos here, but I've uploaded 11 photos of the project to Craftster's Member Gallery under "Flash's Gingerbread House 2010".

So now I'm wishing that I'd cleaned up all those messy Royal Icing splatters, drips and clumps

and taken more close-ups of key architectural features. ;-]  

My inspiration for cookie houses began in 1974 with a mass-produced one that my then-little sons received as a gift. Before it was torn apart and eaten I traced the basic cottage design, and the next Christmas, with the help of a delicious gingerbread recipe, the tradition began.

The boys grew into adolescence and lost interest, of course, but decades later, with grandchildren entering the picture, the tradition is back. Each year begs for a new design, and since the grandchildren recently moved into a new house, it seemed perfectly logical to present my rendition of their two-story colonial in cookie form.

The back of the house has a deck, like their real house does, but when my grandson pointed out that there really aren't shutters on all four sides, I had to explain artistic license and that all my gingerbread houses have shuttered windows and window boxes. I also pointed out that cookie houses differ from real homes in other ways as well, such as not having a bathroom!

One touch of realism, however, was having a gingerbread version of their Labrador Retriever, Flash, looking out the front window as he does on a regular basis. The gallery shows the real Flash (in the flesh) looking out the window while our attention was on the freshly-standing and unadorned four walls of the cookie house

It also includes a view of Flash-the-cookie on the inside of the gingerbread house before I put the roof on

And there's a photo of the cookie version of Flash as seen from the outside of the gingerbread house as well

Besides Flash, there were other fun things inside to draw interest: a round, red licorice rug; a fireplace with stockings; a tree; some presents; gingerbread boys; dolphin-shaped cookies and hearts, etc. on the walls. So peeking inside with flashlights was part of the fun.

My basic expectations for a cookie house is that it has to be 100% edible and 100% delicious. Help from little hands is encouraged as much as attention spans last, and nibbling on candies, and "gingerbread-mistakes" during the construction and decorating phases is part of the tradition.

I just want to thank Craftster for this competition which provides an opportunity to share these unique and clever creations, and to say good luck to all the other gingerbread-bakers who have presented some strong competition. I admire all their efforts and am taking notes for next year's design!
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