Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ski Condo Gingerbread

For the past few years, our Christmas vacation has included a 6 person ski vacation which requires nothing short of a 12 month planning effort to pull off. The logistics involved in getting 6 people, 10 skis, 1 snowboard, 12 boots, 12 gloves, 6 pairs of snowpants, an entire case of handwarmers and enough carbohydrate laden groceries to fuel an entire naval battalion packed and transported from Connecticut to Vermont takes about all of the energy I have. One thing that the ski trip precluded, however, was our traditional gingerbread extravaganza. So last year, along with the winter clothes packing melee, I packed up all the gingerbread paraphanalia and took it along, too.

One thing we changed, however, is the substitution of graham crackers for real gingerbread. And this small change made a world of difference in my ability to pull this off! I highly recommed it.

Here's the set up:

Note the number of candies stored in tupperware. Doing this ahead of time made the packing and clean up much quicker. Also, key to clean up was the disposable plastic tablecloth that we just wrapped up and threw away at the end of the night. It conveniently kept the rainbos sprinkles out of the carpeting.

With the artistic freedom of graham crackers (which can be broken and cut on demand, rather than gingerbread which needs to be templated and baked ahead of time), creativity ran rampant. Yes, Bruce constructed a volcano...complete with red hot spewing lava (that was made of, well, red know,the cinnamon candies?). This may be the only graham cracker volcano ever constructed:

I also packed up our icing spatulas, not wanting to rely on whatever odd and assorted cutlery we may have found in the condo kitchen. Here you see Mary, hard at work on her one storey saltbox.

And finally, here is my storybook cottage, complete with christmas lights in the hedges, a pretzel picket fence, and coconut snow in the front yard.

Another baby, another quilt...

Remember the Great Cousinly Quilt Project from 2009? Cousin Kris and I collaborated on a quilt for Cousins Steve and Esther, with Kris piecing one side, me piecing the other side, and swapping fabrics back and forth along the way. The quilt turned out great, and baby Kira
enjoys her quilt today.

Fast forward to 2011. Cousins Kris and Christopher, were expecting their first baby! So, Esther and I decided that another collaboration was in order!

When Esther suggested that she could do some batik animals, I had no idea what to expect. Lo and behold, on one winter day, this arrived in the mail from Esther:

Have you ever seen anything more amazing? Each on adorable and unique! And my stash held an unusual stack of matching fabrics, including some of the remnants from Kira's quilt, made 2 years earlier!

The searsucker batiks were a unique find several years ago. In my normal fashion, i bought only fat squares of each. I wish, in retrospect, that I had purchased at least half yard cuts of these. They are really unusual, and I've not seen them anywhere else. I can't even remember where they came from.

But here's where they are now. Check out Esther's turtle, surrounded by searsucker batiks!

I apologize in advance for this next picture. This quilt was finished while my good camera and laptop were not in communication. This is the best picture I have, however...

The quilt was finished in time to be sent to baby Cole Emerson, who surprized us all by arriving 6 weeks early! Hopefully, Cole's photographic biographer will provide some high quality photos of baby Cole on the second installment of the Great Cousinly Quilt Project.

Rumor has it that another quilt may soon be required...