This post was born out of the genrosity and loveliness of one our very good friends Maren. Maren is one of our “German” mum friends and she has two little girls roughly in Red Ted’s and Pip Squeak’s age. She invited us all around to celebrate advent and to make some fabulous gingerbread houses. So gingerbread houses we made (or Knusperhäuschen in German). I don’t know who was more excited – Red Ted, Pip Squeak or me, but we all loved it. And we were SO pleased with our sugar sweet creation, that Red Ted and I decided to make some gingerbread house thank you cards. Don’t get too excited, they are not edible!!!
Fristly, let us show you our creation. You can actually buy “shop bought” gingerbread all ready to be stuck together in a little house. This is perfect if you are doing this sort of activity in a big group. On a certain level it is more fun, as it lets you fully concentrate on the important task of sticking on lots of sweets.
Here is a picture on the box:
Here is what we made:
Isn’t this just too marvellously decadent? Maren had bought EXTRA sweets. “Extra” being an understatement.
This reminded me of one of my childhood books (I am sorry, it is in German, but you can enjoy the pictures I scanned):
Mecki im Schlaraffenland, by Eduard Rhein and Reinhold Escher. Mecki is a hedgehog that goes on grand worldwide adventures. This particular adventure is about his visit to “Schlaraffenland” (The Land of Milk and Honey) with his 7 hamster friends. It is a marvellously decadent place (see why I had to bring this book today?). There, everything is made out of sweets and delicious food – even to “get there” you have to eat yourself through a mountain of porridge. Once there, you have to sleep for four whole days and nights in order to be accepted – laziness is key to success. The king is the laziest of all. We hear of Mecki’s adventures in Schlaraffenland, which every so often are upset by his naughty friend Charley the Penguin (who snug onto the trip in the first place).
Enough of the story. What I remember, as a child, was spending hours looking at the pictures and making up my own story to go with it. I couldn’t wait to read this to Red Ted and now finally I can. I hope this forms part of his childhood memories and sparks off his imagination.
Just take a look at this fabulous train:
Mmmh, I want the strawberry and then maybe a piece of ham hanging off the tree:
And look… when it rains, it rains sweets!
Whilst decorating we did a little bit of singing, including Hänsel & Gretel, who of course stumble on a house this wonderful. Though the story is more sinister. The song:
So. To our thank you craft:
Very simple: “Gingerbread House” cards. I would do all the cutting and Red Ted all the sticking!
Materials: Card stock, brown paper (I used some old packing paper), white paper & a red felt tip pen, some funky foam for the “smarties” (you can use coloured paper though), some corrugated card for the heart (again you can use coloured paper), blue paper for clouds (optional of course), scissors, glue, hole punch (optional).
- Icing: I made the white “icing border” with a hole punch – punching lots of holes in a row and then cutting it out in a wiggly line.
- Candy cane: windows, door and cane – I drew diagonal read stripes and then cut out what I needed
- Smarties: circles cut from foam
- Heart: corrugated heart
Red Ted “got” straight away that we were going to make a Gingerbread House. I think the Candy Cane gave it away. I showed him roughly were things “should go” but let him stick it down himself.
He decided the smarties should go in the windows and door, but later took the ones on the door off and placed them around the house. As with the “edible” Gingerbread House, we were tempted to cut out more and more things and your imagination is the limit. But there is a part of me that says “less is more”.
Here is the “plain” house.
Here is the “finished” house.
One card went straight into the post for Maren and the girls and the other… was SUPPOSED to go to Granny or Opapa, but no, Red Ted insisted once again, to, ahem, post it to himself. So we did.