Monday, December 17, 2007

gingerbread village

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Many thanks to Geneva residents Alain and Esther Roby who organized and hosted the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Competition. This event is part of the Geneva Christmas Walk. The Roby's original concept was to create an event that would encourage family and friends to collaborate on a creative effort, and also to raise money for a local charity.

Alain is the head pastry chef at Hyatt Regency Chicago hotel and one of the world's top chefs. He has been inducted in the Culinary Hall of Fame alongside James Beard and Julia Child. Esther is a creative force in her own right. They invest much time and effort and those efforts are rewarded with a premier event.

This year there were over 60 houses from the fantastic to the sublime. My entry last year did not win and I was determined to at least place this year. My son and I joined forces and chose a theme that we felt would allow us to run with creative ideas. Our hard work paid off and we were awarded 3rd place. We had lots of fun in the process. Here's our entry "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

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Here's a close-up of the house:

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There were so many creative entries including "Fleas Navidog" complete with dog food bowl and a napping Chihuahua named Chico.

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Here's the beautifully decorated church hall at St. Marks in Geneva, Illinois. They graciously hosted the event.

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This is a house from the Harry Potter books:

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The house from A Christmas Story was complete with "Fragile" box in the front yard and leg lamp in the front window. So cute.

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Skyscraping gingerbread - this entry stood over 7 feet tall when it was sitting on the table. It was an awesome effort.

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One of our favorites was Santa's Candy Factory. It was clever, graphic and very well made.

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The People's Choice award was a replica of St. Mark's church.

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The 1st place winner was a replica of the Dunham Castle in Wayne, Illinois. It was technical perfection. Notice a replica of Elvis' Graceland in the background!

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Many thanks to The Past Basket of Geneva, Illinois for donating the prize that we were awarded. It was very generous. I'll show you photos another day of the hand turned wood bowl and hand carved cherry kitchen utensils, something I'll treasure for a lifetime! They also included a $50 gift certificate so The Farmer's Wife is going to shopping.

Thanks for taking time out of your day to attend the gingerbread competition with me!

Be sure to visit tomorrow. I'll show you some of the handmade gifts I've made for Christmas.


Marty52 said...

These are beautiful! You must have had a grand time making yours with your son... I love how it came out. I really like the Candy Factory one, too. I make my first gingerbread house this year... now I get to figure out what I'm going to do with it!

I've been reading your other blog for quite awhile, and it's great to come inside with the farmer's wife!

Zanne said...

Thanks Marty! Please come back often because we're going to have some fun. Good luck with your gingerbread house. You're not a success unless you get plenty of royal icing in your hair!

rpm said...

I loved seeing these Gingerbread houses. Yours was great! I went to see the houses at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC last year and the ones in your contest are as good as most of theirs.

Trish said...

What wonderful gingerbread houses! Thanks so much for posting these pictures. Living in Honduras, my family doesn't get to participate in these kinds of fun holiday events . . . my kids will love seeing these!

Kristin Nicholas said...

These are so amazing. I am so happy you commented on my blog so I could find yours. They are all great.

On a different note, I appreciate your commments about people not knowing where their food comes from. I've lost some subscriber's to my blog and I think it is because of my last post about the pigs. Aw - come on people - where do you think the grocery store gets all those pretty wrapped packages. Geez. I'll link to your blogs next time I do an update - wonderful.

Happy Christmas!

Liquid Sky Arts said...

These are so creative... I love the Harry Potter house!

Zanne said...

Yes, the Harry Potter house was so cute. I zoomed in using Photoshop on another shot from a different angle. I knew the house had a name because some explained to me that this was the cottage where Harry first learned the special nature of Christmas....or something like that. It's called "The Burrow". This house was a puzzle to me because the top part was bigger than the bottom and I couldn't figure out how they reinforced it to make sure it kept from falling over. The same lady who explained the significance of the Burrow also critiqued my "Nightmare Before Christmas" entry (having no idea it was mine).

"This is a puzzling choice of subject matter" she exclaimed. "In that movie they put Santa Claus in a sack!!! How does that give the message of joy and hope at Christmas?" she continued.

Ahhhhhh.....hmmmmm....I don't know. We're just wacky that way!

LaurieAnna's Vintage Home said...

What a delicious post.....what talent! Thanks for sharing with us!


Sabina said...

You are a very creative and interesting person!! What wonderful Gingerbread houses!!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Omigosh! Those are too gorgeous for words. I have to leave graham cracker house is having a meltdown.