Besides a house and cookie here and there of course.
I knew how to bake. I knew the term "tylose". And I knew the craziness I was about to encounter. At least I thought I did.
My friend, Grier Rubeling at The Craft Crib, tried to warn me. With a hundred questions to her and answers under my belt, I went in with our first faberge egg we wanted to design for our national piece.
First step was baking her "construction grade" gingerbread in egg molds. I can post recipes soon or you can head to her blog linked above!
The egg molds were in 2 pieces so the next step was to "glue" the pieces together with Tylose glue and fill the gap with gingerbread. You can use sand paper to smooth out the edges once dry.
In order to get anything close to our inspiration piece below, I needed to learn about ginger "clay" next. This is a moldable dough made from crushed ginger snaps and other ingredients.
I sketched on the egg really quickly to get placement and set out with the small details.
The gingerclay does take a little bit to dry but I was so thrilled with it. I used a set of clay sculpting tools and silicone molds to help with leaves, grapes, and parts of the insects.
While the top was drying, I was able to drill a hole in the bottom of the egg and in the top of the base. The base was made from a candle silicon mold and baked gingerbread. A small cinnamon stick and tylose glue were used to secure the egg to the base. I gave it a solid week to dry just because I was nervous to touch it. But once it was secure, I brought the decoration down on the base just a bit to help hide the seam.
Painting was the last and most enjoyable step for me. I started by covering the egg and base entirely in Master Elite Black paint powder. You can use vodka to mix the color but I did fall in love with Master Elite's Color Solution during this project. Vodka tends to crack the paint if used in large doses. But the mixture of glycerin AND alcohol found in the Color Solution helped solve this problem.
Once the black was completely dry, I dry brushed various silver lusters on to achieve a metallic pewter look.
Last step to the egg was to drill the spots in the rings and add some large sprinkles affixed with tylose glue.