Monday, September 29, 2014

Our candy-coated Christmas tradition

Well hello again!

I hope you all are enjoying the little tastes of our upcoming Happiest Holiday release so far. I’m having a ball getting everything ready and am taking a bit of sneaky pleasure in stringing you along this week. Hehehe!

Now are you ready for something truly tempting? Today’s stamp set is inspired by an activity from my childhood that I like to do with my kiddos each year.

Do these gingerbread cookies conjure the scent of spicy ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves baking up perfectly in the oven ... the cheery sound of Walking in a Winter Wonderland playing on the stereo ... the giggle of little kids while they shake, shake, shake the sprinkles and colorful sugars onto their freshly frosted cookies — and then the PING! PING! PING! of the silver dragees as they bounce onto the floor, never to be seen or heard from again?

What a special time! So special, in fact, that we do something along these lines every Christmas, whether it’s decorating gingerbread cookies OR constructing and decorating houses — and I get such a kick out of watching the imagination that goes into the kids’ creations. 

When I was little (even into my teen years), my mom helped us build elaborate houses from graham crackers and royal icing, and we’d decorate them with candy she’d hunted down at shops all over town. I believe we skipped the gingerbread mixing and baking and used readymade graham crackers instead because then you could get straight to the nitty gritty: the fun candy-decorating part! I remember using paper-thin, hand-spun ribbon candy along a rooftop, then tiling the roof with sugared wedges of orange, lemon, lime, and watermelon pectin. We sprinkled coconut shavings for snow, and built snowmen with marshmallows to put in the front yard. Of course we were sampling the sweets the whole time we were decorating.

Ain’t it great being a kid? :)

I look so forward to this activity each holiday season, though some years the results are better than others. One time we had several young friends over for a decorating party, only to realize well into the process that the royal icing I’d made hadn’t gotten thick enough. As we were dotting the rooftops with gumdrops and affixing licorice for our shutters, the houses started slanting sideways, shifting totally cattywampus, chimneys drooping, eaves sloping. We had to shore up the roofs with pretzel sticks or reinforce the walls with stacks of Nilla Wafers. We joked that we’d created more of a village of candy lean-to’s than candy houses. It was still a total hoot.

This past Christmas all of our kids (my Finn and Lulu, and Doug’s daughters Sylvia and Clara) spent two whole days working on their houses. Even though they all sat at the same workspace and had the same supplies available, they each came up with something so unique! Clara even made two cottages. She said they were next-door neighbors. We used the houses as the centerpiece of the holiday table — sweets for the sweet!

I suppose I’ve gone on and on about the inspiration for this new set, and it’s probably time to go ahead and share it with you! Here we have one super yummy stamp set in store:

Frosted Gingerbread features seven sweet stamps, each with tiny details and special touches, from bitsy-sized candy baubles lining a walkway, to a frosted gingerbread boy and girl in a festive border. Lots of hand-drawn sentiments to help you spread the holiday love! Can you smell that gingerbread baking? Can you hear the sprinkles hitting the floor? Can you taste the M&Ms that you were supposed to be saving to outline the window trim but gobbled down instead? (I’ll never tell.) Let’s go see what the BLOOM BRIGADE has baked up for us today....

May we have a taste of your gingerbread treats, BLOOMIES?

Cindy Lawrence

Hope to see you all back here tomorrow — we’ve got ONE MORE DAY of sneaky peeks to share before we’re ready to put everything up in the shop for you! Have a great one!


Elise S. said...

Oh Marcella! What a wonderful tradition, and I love that you used it as inspiration for this set! I can't wait for this release which definitely lends itself to lots of different colouring possibilities! On my way to see what the girls created! Thank you for sharing your story and your creativity!

Elise S. said...

Marcella! The Brigade girls did a phenomenal job! Definitely putting this one on my list to buy! Can't wait! Everyone had great ideas for the icing on the roof and loved their techniques, with the detail you put into this stamp set, it is going to be an absolute blast to color! Yay! Thank you for producing such fun and beautiful stamp sets! I'm a fan!

Annheidel said...

My mom made the most amazing gingerbread houses. Each of us kids got to make one of our own every year. Such good memories!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Marcella! How lovely! The 'Frosted Gingerbread' set is oh-so sweet and meaningful! It was such fun to see your family with their wonderful creations. Making gingerbread houses together was always our family tradition, too! The talents of the Bloom Brigade truly amaze me. Happy First Christmas @ Power Poppy! ♡Dawn

Dawn B. said...

You are making such great memories for your children. I love all of their happy little faces. This set brings back so many memories of when my children were little. Great job.

Leslie Miller said...

Wow! Great job, kids, and great job, Marcy!

CherylQuilts said...

Oh, what a fun tradition, Marcy! I remember making Christmas cookies...and having such fun!! Thanks for the inspiration and beautiful set! Hugs!