“I tried making a chimney in the past and using cotton candy for the smoke, but it doesn't stay afloat for long,” Starr said.
Once your scene is completed then comes the final step — filling with powdered sugar.
“Put the powdered sugar in a bowl and fill one spoonful at a time — that's how it works best. It's slow, but it looks better that way,” Starr said. “Then drop in some dessert sprinkles.”
While Starr can make a two-box gingerbread house scene in one hour, it would take most people a couple of hours.
“My husband (Brent) helped me with one recently and it took two afternoons because I was working more slowly to show him how to do it,” Starr said. “It's a detailed process.”
The best part of making the gingerbread house is eating it.
“It really does taste good — sweet and salty. Everything is edible,” Starr said. “The gummy bears are the kids' favorite.”
When Starr was 10 or 11 years old, she remembers her mother making72 miniature gingerbread houses that would feed 100 people at a special Christmas party. Because no one wanted to take it apart to eat, Starr's mother made her be the first one.
“They all thought I was crazy, but I broke one of the houses and started eating it. Then everyone else finally joined in,” Starr said.
Some of the more elaborate scenes she or her sister have made is a choir of teddy bears, a huge animal cracker carousel, a school and a log cabin. She has lots of other ideas she hopes to try out in the future, but enjoys making spontaneous creative changes to make it look different from in the past.
Meanwhile, her children, Kylie, 11, and Jaden, 10, enjoy the leftovers from their mother's gingerbread house creations.