Many children join their parents in the building of a gingerbread house as Christmas draws near. The gumdrops have to be placed along the cookie roof, the icing has to mimic snow along the front path, and the little picket fence, the one made out of wee candy canes, has to surround the whole edible enterprise.
Fewer children, however, create a gingerbread house out of their parents' real, physical, live-in home, no baking or flour required. Artist Christine H. McConnell recently did, and the results are straight out of a brightly illustrated storybook.
"I knew I wanted to do something really fun for Christmas," says Ms. McConnell, who turned to the candy-packed, bread-crumb-y tale of "Hansel & Gretel" for inspiration. This isn't the first time the popular photographer has employed her parents' historic Highland house as a very large canvas; she gave the front entry some impressive teeth during the recent Halloween season.
Calling the tale of two adventuresome kids and one very eatable abode "a lifelong favorite," Ms. McConnell spent "seven full 15 hour days working in total" on the toothsome transformation. As for the final photo? That's the artist at the center, and her nieces, too.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Let us also note, with admiration, that Grimm-tastic garb seen on the models was also handmade by Ms. McConnell.
Stripey front pillars and frolicsome gingerbread people and a trim that looks like it came straight from a tube of thick white frosting give the home, which the artist calls "versatile," its fanciful fairy tale wear.
Best not to walk up to the house, though, and try to sneak a lick or bite in -- that's paint and Insulfoam you're looking at, and not chocolate or peppermint.
What will Ms. McConnell see next in the front of her mom and dad's place? Her Instagram followers, who number into the two hundred thousands, know she has a stylish penchant for arch symbolism and surreal details and retro chic and cheeky satire.
Could the Easter Bunny's whimsical warren be next for a certain Southern California home? Stay tuned, lovers of domestic daft-a-tude and seasonal flights of fancy.