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Plot bunny

argus
Psych crossover. Wee!Chesters, young Sean. Sean;s dad is investigating john Winchester. Sean and Dean alternately hate and love each other. Sam tagalong gets along with Gus.

gingerbread carousel

sun
So, I wanted to post something to learn how to use LJ a little better, and couldn't think of a better topic.  So here's a step-by-step of how I made this gingerbread carousel one Christmas, for anyone interested in doing something similar.
finished

Step 1: Plan.
Think ahead about the measurements of your completed carousel. In my case, I chose the diameter to correspond with a small metal Lazy Susan which would allow the finished product to spin in place. Happily, I had a springform pan of the same size, and used it to create the base and middle platform of the carousel.

base   
middle

Why is there a hole in the middle platform?
If you wish to light the carousel from the interior, the easiest way is to insert the light from the top. The hole size can vary according to your light source; just remember when making your central pillar/hub to ensure the diameter of your hub is larger than the hole you've made.

Side note on lighting:
There are lots of options for lighting. I chose to go with one of these:
dot-it light
I chose it because it was long and lit up along its entire length with a soft glow, ensuring that all of the windows would shine; also, its on-off switch is located in the base, allowing it to be controlled easily through the top of the carousel. Final selling point - it was cheap! :)

I made my central hub hexagonal, to correspond with the six sections making the roof. The height is variable - again, think about fitting your light source, and the height of any candy products you might use as poles for the horses or other supports (in my case I used 'old fashioned candy sticks'). Your hub diameter is your choice, just remember to leave enough room for your horses, etc., and remember that the candy windows will shine brighter if they're closer to the light source.


For the roof:
You may need to do some math. I googled an equation for creating a hexagonal roof for a gazebo. You might try something like this site. This will give you the dimensions of the six triangles which will form the roof.
Note: I recommend making the radius (level) of the base of the roof slightly less than 1/2 the diameter of the base and middle sections. This will allow a small ledge around the roof for ease of icing and candy placement.

If you will be lighting the carousel, cut off the tips of the triangles so that the final product will leave a hole large enough to fit your light fixture(s).
roof sections

Something I should have thought of before baking:
If you will be using candy poles for the horses and around the circumfrence, think about how they will be affixed to the base and ceiling. You can make small gingerbread supports for them, or poke holes in your base and ceiling pieces to fit them. I neglected this and went through a lot of icing and gumdrops attempting to make them stay in place.

I recommend making a trial carousel, or at least the roof, out of cardboard before baking, to ensure your math works out. The cardboard pieces can then be used as tracing patterns when you're cutting your gingerbread dough.

Step 2: Make your gingerbread pieces:
Use a large gingerbread recipe. It's good to make more than you think you'll need, as this allows for re-dos of burned, broken, or misshapen pieces. Cut your roof and column pieces carefully, using cookie cutters or freehand for any 'windows' you'd like light to shine through. Remember to also cut a small circular (or star-shaped, etc.) cookie to form the top to cover the hole in the roof. Also cut the horses or other carousel animals at this point.
horses

Windows: For any pieces with windows to be lit, cut the shapes and bake the cookies. Don't overcook!! Atop a piece of parchment paper, fill the window slots (from the top/cookies right-side up) with ground-up coloured hard candies. You can get suitable candies from any bulk food store - lifesavers, jolly ranchers, trebor, etc.
ground candy filled windows

Bake the cookies on a low heat until the candy melts. Allow them to cool and harden completely on the tray before removing them from the paper.
pieces with windows

Step 3: Assemble

Make lots of royal icing, and don't be stingy! I recommend assembling the central column first, then affixing it to the base, then creating the roof atop the middle section, and finally joining the top half to the bottom. During the initial stages, use a plastic-wrapped can or similar object of the right size to support the pieces until the icing hardens enough for the pieces to support each other.
column assembly roof assembly

I recommend icing the interior of any lighted sections everywhere - the white icing reflects the light better than brown gingerbread and the windows will seem brighter.
iced interior1
iced interior2

Note: It is easiest to do any icing decoration of the central column or base of the carousel before or midway through the assembly - once the ceiling and roof are added, these parts are hard to access for detail work.

It's a good idea to let the 'glue' icing harden completely before proceeding.

Step 4: Decorate!

This is the fun part! The only limit is your imagination, and the kinds of candy you have access to! Again, it's recommended to decorate the horses before placing them on their poles. Use lots of piped icing and candy to cover the seams where the various components are fixed together, and to make a level surface around the roof top hatch for the top cover to sit on.

Helpful hint: the inside goo of large gumdrops makes a great 'glue' for affixing candies together where the icing alone isn't doing the job. I used it quite a bit for putting the horses on their poles.

Lighting: I tied my light stick to a small hole in the centre of the hatch cover using simple kitchen string, and covered the knot with a candy. This allowed the light to hang down into the carousel invisibly, yet be drawn up far enough to be turned off and on at any time.
hidden light


Enjoy!
final

Random spn thought

what?
for all that I don't generally read or support non-canon slash, the following just occurred to me.

Michael is depicted in text and art as having a flaming sword.
Dean = the Michael sword.
Therefore, Dean=flaming.  Discuss.

Plot bunny

argus


Plot bunny for adoption:

 

Epistolary or dialogue fic btw Sam, Dean & Pastor Jim, , John during Stanford yrs

 

plot bunny for adoption - crack

what?
Crack plot bunny up for grabs:
I recently read a short crack!fic where Crowley shows up at the door b/c Growley has had puppies, and he gives Dean and Sam a hellhound puppy.  This plot bunny is a sequel in which the Winchesters enlist the aid of Cesar Millan, the "Dog Whisperer" to help them 'rehabilitate' the puppy's behavioural issues.  Will Cesar be able to lead this pack?

First post: Plot bunnies needing adoption

sun
So, I've been on LJ about a month, and haven't yet posted an entry. Right now, I doubt too many people (if any) are actually looking at my journal, but I figured I should have something

Since SPN fanfic took over my life I started reading SPN fanfic, I've had lots of plot bunnies popping up at me for stories I'd love to read, but frankly I just haven't been able to write them.  I used to write fanfic a long time ago, but my writer's block has become a rather large desert (if you'll pardon the bad and mixed metaphor) and, though I've started a few that didn't go anywhere, I just don't have it in me right now to write.

So, I figure I'll post some of these bunnies here; that way, I can come back to them if I ever get the yen to write, and also anyone happening across this journal can feel free to adopt any of the bunnies to write the stories.  If you, dear reader, should be interested in adopting a bunny, please let me know so that I can read the resulting fic! :)

All of my plot bunnies are gen. Some might be familiar as I've asked the spnstoryfinders community if there are already fics along these lines. If you know of any stories already written along these lines, let me know!

Plot bunny adoption this way!Collapse )

That's it for now!  Off to go read some more... :)

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