ginger 2015: group 1

Behold! Your first grouping of Ginger 2015 masterpieces! I like to call this set of entries Non-Buildings, Non-Conformists. (Ginger visionaries, if you will.)

Cast your vote at the bottom of the post to help determine the winner of the 2015 People’s Choice Prize. (For more information on how this competition will go down, click here.)

. . .

patrick’s holiday express

ginger 2015 // movita beaucoup

Patrick sent the following information along with his entry:

this is part of a 34′ long train i made for my son’s preschool class. it’s complete with flashing gum drop lights and the interior of the caboose lights up as well. there’s a snowman driving the train but i didn’t take a picture of him. you can kind of make out the back side of him through the candy glass windows.

Yup. Patrick wins Dad of the Year. Look at that train! The perfectly piped lettering, the cars filled with sweets, the edible conductor!

Picture, if you will, a class of little ones awaiting the train at Preschool Station. Patrick pulls in, carrying his carefully crafted ginger display high above his head as he marches toward the children. Choo, choo! All aboard the Holiday Express! The wonder and joy, the squeals of delight. Wait… what’s that little kid doing? Behind you! Behind you, Patrick! OH NO! The train is falling… it’s a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen! HE’S DOWN! My god, he’s down. Tiny hands are grabbing at the locomotive, clawing at the candy and icing. Chaos and pandemonium! Get out of the way! The screaming… the screaming… Ginger shrapnel is flying through the air. Someone just stepped on Patrick’s face! It’s like they don’t even see him there!

Oh, the humanity.

. . .

beverly’s gingerbread fairy tree house

ginger 2015 // movita beaucoup
ginger 2015 // movita beaucoup
Beverly included a number of details with her entry:
  • the fairies, plants and mushrooms are made of gum paste
  • the tree was constructed from gingerbread formed around and baked on cans
  • the tree was painted with food color gel to give it the look of bark 
  • the top of the tree includes 8 recipes of popcorn balls dyed green and then airbrushed for more colour  
And possibly most important:
  • there is liquorice root on the roof at the top of the tree, and people in Spain chew liquorice root as a breath freshener

Now, Beverly didn’t give me the exact dimensions of that delightful treehouse, but if I have calculated correctly (and I’m pretty sure I have), I could reside in that tasty tree. There would be several advantages to this sort of living arrangement:

  1. I could sleep up high, far away from potential kidnappers. (I am very adorable, which makes me just the sort of person that a great number of nefarious criminals would like to steal.)
  2. The amenities provided would make me very comfortable during my stay. The idyllic yard and walkways would be very soothing after a stressful week. The popcorn leaves would keep my room cool in the summer, and there’s a nice supply edible bark to munch on (with mushrooms for dietary balance). And morning breath? Not a problem. Liquorice root!
  3. I am accustomed to beautiful surroundings. This abode does not disappoint. The rich colours, attention to detail, and masterful construction – incredible!
  4. Look at all the friends I’d have. All the edible friends…

. . .

isobel’s magnificent minions

ginger 2015 // movita beaucoup
ginger 2015 // movita beaucoup

Isobel writes:

Hi, this is the second year I did this.

Last year I did Maleficent for work. Monies raised went to Habitat of Humanity. This year work didn’t have a gingerbread competition, so come Monday 3rd Dec it will go to Blueback Square, West Hartford.

Everything is made out of food.

Duly noted. I like things made out of food.

There are battery operated lights that run from the tree to the fireplace.

I’m not a cook. I can hardly boil an egg so forget about me baking gingerbread.  I used graham crackers which go soft very quickly unless you cover them with icing.

Isobel, have I told you how much I hate graham crackers? Covering them with icing might be just the solution I’ve been looking for. Thank you.

I used a lot of fondant for the characters and many other little things.

I chose the Minions because they are everywhere and if you don’t know what a Minion is you must not get out too often lol. 

Oh, Isobel. Dear, sweet Isobel. You must be new here. Of course I don’t know what a Minion is! (I don’t get out very often at all.) I do know that they look very tasty, and the details in this display are remarkable! The figurines are beautifully crafted, of course, but then there are the finer points. The miniature gifts, the carefully fashioned overalls (microscopic buttons!), the crackling fire and itsy-bitsy ginger-person sitting on an even tinier plate! So many things to look at, so many things to eat! Isobel, I love your attention to detail. Gingery artistry is alive and well!

. . .

cyndy’s christmas dreams

ginger 2015 // movita beaucoup
ginger 2015 // movita beaucoup

Cyndy sent AN ESSAY with her entry. Here are some highlights:

This year’s entry is inspired by our own furry children that lay around our house. Each has four functioning legs but choose to enjoy life by sleeping through most of it, yet find time to eat and shed daily. I tried to avoid using the ten plus pounds of dog hair we have literally collected over the years on this project since we have other plans for it. 

HOLD UP. What are The Plans? Cyndy? Cyndy, what are your plans for the hair? What sort of storage system are you using? And what do you mean by tried to avoid using it?

This is called “Christmas Dreams” because it needed a name and you can see how that became part of the dog tag. Doesn’t everyone dream of having a puppy in a box show up on Christmas? 

Not now. No way. I refuse to do hair crafts.

This box isn’t just any box, one side is a house complete with a couple dreaming of different breeds of dogs, a fireplace with dog bone stockings, a Christmas tree, decorated wreath and a calico cat (inspired by our own cat) waiting with a dog treat for a new puppy.    

Yah… I’m not sure if that’s a treat. I wouldn’t let that puppy get anywhere near anything the cat wants it to eat.

In the spirit of giving, Santa Paws has real puppy treats coming down a conveyor belt dressed up with bows in four delicious flavors. Yum! 

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a baby in a stable.

Wait… what? Are we just shoving helpless babies into stables now?

The last side of the gingerbread gift box is a stable with mini shredded wheat bales of straw in a rustic stone, wood and tile roof setting. The second cat helper is checking in on the Dalmatian family inside. The mom and dad dogs are watching over their sleeping puppy nestled down in the straw. 

Shhhh…. don’t wake the sleeping baby! 

I’m sure that baby won’t wake up, Cyndy. It’s probably snuggled down into a ten pound bag of pet fur. (Fur really muffles sound.) Still, this is a ginger treasure. It is the sort of display that captivates – so many details, big and small. The glorious colour scheme and multiple tableaus! The wrapping paper! The puppy’s face – sublime!

. . .

kate & clayton’s while the hobbits are away, the sheep will play

ginger 2015 // movita beaucoup

ginger 2015 // movita beaucoup

Kate and Clayton work for me at the Conservatory. Or with me. Whatever.

Clayton writes:

On a quiet day in Hobbiton as Bilbo was away adventuring, the sheep decided to play. Enlisting the help of their friend and companion Snuffles the polar bear, up went the Christmas decorations as a soft snow began to fall.

Alright. I have no sweet clue. I’ve never heard of Hobbiton, Bilbo or Snuffles the polar bear. But would that stop me from eating that hobbit mound? No way.

Kate says:

We used curved gingerbread which was baked in a curved shaped, not formed after, it was difficult. Also notice the very realistic looking yet edible rock wall and path. There are 9 tiny sheep and one even tiny-er polar bear (Snuffles) who is dusted in edible white glitter. He is on the grass covered hill that is the roof of the Hobbit house, helping the sheep to finish off the decorating.

As many of you know, this competition is gingercational. It’s a great opportunity for you to learn about the stuff I don’t know anything about. So, I went ahead and Googled the lifestyle habits of hobbits, and learned that they live in luxurious houses called hobbit-holes. (Apparently, they have well-stocked pantries.) I also learned that Bilbo is a hobbit. Did you know that? And Snuffles? Well, I gather Snuffles was a Gund toy, so I’m not sure how he relates hobbits. A Google search of do hobbits like stuffed animals? proved inconclusive.

Here’s what I am sure of: the thick layer of icing on top of the hobbit-hole looks very inviting. As in: it’s inviting me to lick it. The sheep are utterly charming, and it’s nice to think that the polar bear has resisted any temptation to eat them. Bilbo’s holiday decorations are tasteful, and I can only assume that his humble abode is the talk of Hobbiton. Which is, by the way, a village in the Shire, and home to many illustrious hobbits.

You’ve been schooled.

. . .

melissa and family’s AT-AT walker

ginger 2015 // movita beaucoup

ginger 2015 // movita beaucoup

Melissa wrote a ginger dissertation for this year’s competition. Here are a few snippets:

December is that “most won-der-ful time of the year” when our kitchen becomes a disaster area for days on end and everyone (even my husband) understands why: GINGERBREAD CONSTRUCTION ZONE!  Yes, during that time, we gather for three meals a day around our kitchen table which is adorned with a large, awkward gingerbread centerpiece in various stages of completion (or repair in some cases, when we’ve hit a design “snag”).

Melissa has basically described my house every damn day.

The floor has a slightly crunchy feel under our feet from sprinkles, stray candy fragments and dried royal icing that lost its way (I mean, it would be wasted time to sweep up before the project is finally done, right?!).  

This is why I only vacuum once a year. To do more would be a waste of time.

… I asked for construction ideas from our son (six years old and currently obsessed with Star Wars). Yep – you guessed it. He requested “anything Star Wars, Mom.” So, for the first time ever in my 30-year gingerbread history (I’ve made a project each year since I was a senior in hs), I had to research online to come up with just the right strategy. (I knew it would be “Do or do not. There is no try.”)

Melissa, you are a better woman than I. I would never quote Star Wars. Ever. Not even for a little kid.

To summarize the next seven pages of Melissa’s essay: do you see how in the second/bottom photo there is a second AT-AT walker? The one tucked in behind? That’s the first draft, which went to Melissa’s son. Then she made a second version:

Since we now knew it would hold together, I took more time decorating the pieces (more colors, more detail, more “gadgets”) and added Santa Skywalker re-enacting Luke gaining access to the AT-AT (this time with licorice string – quite different than in the movie – has to be edible, you know).

The final draft was donated to a local arts organization for auction to raise funds for enrichment programs, concerts and classes in the community. Yay!

How does that thing stand up? My mind is blown! Ginger engineering at its best. This entry also seems very fitting given that ANOTHER Star Wars movie was released this week, and people are freaking out about it. Know what I wanna do when I hear people talking about Star Wars? I want to climb into an All Terrain Armored Transport combat walker that is constructed entirely from gingerbread, and make a getaway. If necessary, I would use the light blasters to shoot liquorice laser beams at anyone who dared to ask if I’d “like to stand in line overnight for Star Wars tickets.” The sugar detailing could easily sustain me until well after opening weekend, when I could emerge unscathed from the vehicle’s cockpit.


. . .

Cast your vote below! The (one) overall winner of online Ginger polling will win the 2015 People’s Choice Prize!

Repeat voters are blocked by cookie and IP address.
Polls close at 10 am AST, Monday, December 21, 2015.

You can also cast a vote for your favourite Group 2 and Group 3 entries.

Groups 4, 5 & 6 will be posted on Sunday, December 20th.


  1. Ann on December 19, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    They are all beautiful…But my favorite is Cyndy Christmas Dream. This should be given to the ASPCA or any dog group as a fund raiser to auction off. Wonderful to remember our furry companions at this time of year.

    • movita beaucoup on December 19, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      I agree, Ann! Our pets are a huge part of the family! Happy holidays, and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Dave & Kim Marshall on December 19, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    We like Cyndys and good essay too 🙂

    • movita beaucoup on December 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      The woman has a way with words! I’m so glad Cyndy is back this year – and can’t wait to see what she comes up with in 2016!

  3. R Wilke on December 19, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Amazing creativity, it’s like 4 gingerbread houses in one and with all the details.

    • movita beaucoup on December 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      It’s astounding. I can’t even imagine designing something so involved!

  4. Tyler on December 19, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    My vote is definitely for Cyndy! We all love our furry friends <3

  5. Steve Hinton on December 19, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Yup…Cyndy’s is the awesomist piece of creative genius. Such talent.. cool man..!!

  6. Jeanne on December 19, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Cyndy’s fur sure! (Pun intended). Sometimes we love our dogs more than siblings….

  7. Lisa Havens on December 20, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    I love Cyndy’s Christmas Dream. Yes who doesn’t want a puppy under the tree. It is all so well done. Not a lick of frosting out of place. Lisa H

    • movita beaucoup on December 21, 2015 at 7:14 am

      Agreed – it’s so perfectly constructed! I can’t even imagine the time (and love) Cyndy dedicated to this project!

  8. WillCookForFriends on December 20, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Oh man, these are all amazing! I seriously took one look at Patrick’s train and went “ain’t no way anyone can beat that!” which I then proceeded to say for every. single. entry. AND IT’S ONLY THE FIRST GROUP. I’m doomed. Why did I decide to judge this thing. WHY?!

    • movita beaucoup on December 21, 2015 at 7:13 am

      Huge mistake, Willow. You should probably go ahead and block my email address so this doesn’t happen again next year.

  9. Cyndy on December 21, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    This is so much fun and so much talent. Thanks for hosting this Rachael! Looking forward to seeing more next year!!! We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very Gingery New Year!

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