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Julia's November 2021 Stencil and Cutter Release - Gingerbread Village and Fairbank Plaque!

 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! If all goes as planned, this stencil release should go public on Thanksgiving Day, just in time for Black Friday sales and the post-Thanksgiving Christmas shopping rush. With a host of charming gingerbread houses and a candy cane-striped landscape as their background, these sets are sure to make your Christmas extra sweet. And remember, if you pop them into your online shopping cart right away, you can take advantage of my partner Confection Couture Stencils' flash sale, which runs from 6 pm to 9 pm EST today, November 25. With code FLASH30, you'll get 30% off all Christmas cake, cookie, and barista stencils on their site!

FLASH30_SQUARE

But, back to the matter at hand - this release! Here's what it looks like in a nutshell:

NEW LARGE QUAD NOVEMBER 2021 V1

And here's where you can find all of this delightful Christmas stuff on my partner Confection Couture Stencils' site:

Once again, the background stencil in the background set (which is the half-and-half snowflake and candy cane-striped stencil shown to the far left in the image below) is sold separately and can be found under Candyland Snowflakes Background Cookie Stencil on my partner's site.

Let's quickly address my Stencil of the Month Club offering for November. Here's what this carefully curated bundle looks like:

SOM_NOV_2021 BORDER

Remember, if you join my club, each month you'll automatically get the current month's background set along with my partner's single companion stencil, all at a substantial (~20%) discount. A membership makes a great Christmas gift too (hint, hint! )

And, last but not least, my November cutter, designed specifically for this set is called the Fairbank Plaque and looks like so:

Fairbank Plaque Tope View - Adjusted BORDER

Though my love affair with gingerbread began at an early age while Christmas cookie-baking alongside my mom, it wasn’t until much later in life when I developed my signature Cutout Cookie Gingerbread recipe for my books, that the relationship truly blossomed. Named after Sorche Fairbank, the literary agent who took a chance on my first publications, this cutter is amply sized with subtly curved edges that frame my gingerbread houses in this release just perfectly! It's also one of those cutters that looks equally great in both vertical and horizontal orientations - and it comes in three sizes for extra versatility! I've used the largest (4 1/2 inches wide) for the cookies in this post. Now, about those cookies . . .

With three styles of gingerbread houses, a tree, and multiple messages and frames, this release will keep you busy the entire holiday season, mixing and matching to create new designs! The style reel below shares a small sampling of the designs I made this month, and the time-lapsed tutorial underneath it shows how I made one particular cookie where most of the foreground elements are fondant appliqués.

Style Reel

Time-Lapsed Tutorial

For more details about how some of the cookies in the style reel were made, please read on! I'll start first with some designs that use only the background set in this release.

Gingerbread Village Dynamic DuosTM Background Set (7 pieces)Back Set Final

What's especially fun about this set is the rich detail that can be added to the gingerbread houses by using the window-and-door overlays that sit next to each house on the foreground stencil. We'll come to some of those designs in a sec, but let's talk first about the background stencil (first image) in this set, which, again, is also sold separately as the Candyland Snowflakes Background Cookie Stencil. It's a rather universal two-part design that looks good all by itself or with a simple, striking embellishment, such as this modeling chocolate bow . . .

Just Back Double deck to Side NICE USE

And here it is solo on the plate . . .

Just Back Bow Closer USE

You could, of course, do this cookie in traditional Christmas red and green, but I chose a less conventional palette of lime green (actually, AmeriMist Electric Green), bubble gum pink (AmeriMist Electric Purple), soft blue (Spectrum Flow Sky Blue), and a chocolate-y brown (Chefmaster Harvest Brown), because I wanted to use the same scheme for my cookies with the gingerbread houses, and these colors evoked "sweets shop" or "candy shop" to me. I'll be decking more of these background stencil-only cookies with framed messages in the next section. But, for now, let's add a single house and some trees to see what that looks like. First up, a small cookie with a large Electric Purple (which looks pink) house . . .

SINGLE SMALL PINK HOUSE NICE LOTS OF CONTEXT

In the above cookie (and the closer look below), the smoke was airbrushed directly on the cookie, whereas the house and trees were made as fondant appliqués and then layered to create a sense of perspective and depth.

SINGLE PINK HOUSE NO MESS SUPER CLOSE NICE

A simple color change, and the cookie takes on an entirely new look . . .

blue house super close other house artsy NICE USE

Just backing out a bit so you can see all of the trees . . .

BLUE HOSUE OTHE RCOOKIE MORE CONTEXT NICEST USE

I airbrushed them in various combinations and intensities of Electric Green, Leaf Green, Avocado Green, and Harvest Brown to lend subtle color variations and interest from cookie to cookie.

As a more-is-more person, I just couldn't leave the one house on its own though! Here's a two-house cookie with all gingerbread-brown houses . . .

Brown Houses again tinsel less in way in back USE

Note that it's substantially easier to airbrush these houses using the same color for the roof and house sides. It takes some clever masking and precision-control of your airbrush to use different colors and to prevent overspray of one into the other. So a cookie like this one is a good place to start . . .

Brown house super close REALLY NICE USE

And here it is on a different color and style of plate, which just goes to show how food styling and propping can have a considerable impact on your photos . . .

2 BROWN HOUSES MOST CONTEXT V NICE USE

Speaking of which, these photos don't really do justice to the sparkly nature of these cookies. Trust me, they dazzle in almost any light (except for that captured by my camera - ugh!). The sky is be-glittered with both edible iridescent dust and itty-bitty silver Wilton stars that I secured one by one with the tiniest touches of piping gel. And I'm loving the edible Sparkling Snow Wafer Paper (at the bases of the trees and houses) that I recently got from Intricut Edibles. It's so festive!

Okay, ready for more houses?! I am. Just a few more variations before we start adding holiday messages from the companion set . . . first, a big pink house on a bigger cookie . . .

BIG PINK HOUSE ON BROWN PLATE BRIGHTER NICER USE

Aside: My airbrush was a little dirty when airbrushing the roof on the cookie above; you can tell by the slight "granularity" in the spray pattern. Cleaning my airbrush with vodka returned it to normal, as you'll see on the cookies that follow.

Wondering just how many houses one can fit on a single cookie? I was too . . . let's see!

Many Houses MOST CONTEXT NICE USE

And, now, a bit closer so you can confirm the return to a fine, even spray pattern - and appreciate the three different house styles on the foreground stencil . . .

Many HOUSES NO MESS SUPER CLOSEUSE

Last but not least, a message-less cookie that uses my new Fairbank Plaque cutter!

My Cutter One Brown House MORE CONTEXT NICE USE

I love its soft curves and ample decorating space.

My cutter one brown house super nice USE

As always, layering on framed messages (from the complementary message and frame set) opens up a world of expanded possibilities, especially as this set has five messages (more than the usual)! Let me show you what I mean!

Gingerbread Village Dynamic DuosTM Message and Frame Set (6 pieces)
Message and Frame Set Contents BORDER

Once again, I'll start with the simplest of message cookies - ones that lay a message on just the background stencil in the background set . . .

HSH simple mess on JUst Back CloSE USE

JTW SIMPLE BACK STEN MOST CONTEXT USE

Here's a closer look . . .

JTW SUPER CLOSE JUST BACK STEN USE

Note that I chose to minimize the striped pattern on these cookies (to potentially leave more room for houses on top of the snowy sky), so my striped pattern is shifted far to one side. You could, of course, use more of it simply by shifting the stencil so the striped part covers more of the cookie.

Now let's bring in some houses and more messages! Here's "Joy to the World" as a fondant appliqué . . .

JTW SIDE VIEW MORE CONTEEXT PINK PLATE REALLY NICE USE BRIGHTER

And here's the same message and frame directly airbrushed and stenciled on the cookie . . .

JTW SUPER CLOSE NO SNOW MESS ON COOKIE

Oops, I forgot the wafer paper snow on that one, but it still looks cute! And, finally, a series of jazzier styles on cookies cut with the Fairbank Plaque . . .

MY CUTTER HSH MESS OVERHEAD NO SPOON MOST CONETXT NICEMY CUTTER HSH MESS PINK HOUSE BRIGHTER USE

The cookie below demonstrates just how nice this cutter looks in any orientation. In fact, by orienting it horizontally, I can fit more foreground elements. I've almost got a whole gingerbread village on this one!

SHW HOR MORE CONTEXT CENTERED NICE USE

And a closer look so you can appreciate the details of the darling house overlays . . .

SHW HOR MANY HOUSES V CLOSE NICE

Well, I hope I've whet your appetite for this sweet stencil set. I'll let you get back to your Thanksgiving turkey in just a moment, but not until I share a final image, a VERY IMPORTANT housekeeping note related to my December release, and my usual reminder of key links!

CC Thumb Style 2

** Important Housekeeping Note **

Due to insanely busy work schedules over the last few months, both here and at Confection Couture Stencils, my partner and I have mutually decided to take a real Christmas vacation this year. Hurrah! (Ever since launching my stencil line five years ago, I've worked every holiday so I wouldn't miss a monthly release.) What this means is that I won't be releasing sets in December, and Stencil of the Month Club members won't be charged that month. All will quickly return to normal, however. In January, I'll resume my monthly releases with a wonderful Paris-themed Valentine's Day set. Stay tuned, and have a wonderful holiday season (though I'm sure you'll catch me on Cookie Connection in the meantime)!

December Off Update

Key Links:

If you have any technical questions about these stencils, just email me at sweetlife@juliausher.com or leave a comment below. Please, however, direct all ordering and Stencil of the Month Club questions to my stencil partner, Confection Couture Stencils, at service@confectioncouturestencils.com. Thank you!

Attachments

Images (31)
  • Flash Sale Banner - Thanksgiving Day Sale, 6 pm to 9 pm EST: Graphic Design by Confection Couture Stencils
  • Julia's November 2021 Stencil Release in a Nutshell: Cookies and Photos by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils; Graphic Design by Julia M Usher
  • Julia's November 2021 Stencil of the Month Club Offering: Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils; Graphic Design by Confection Couture Stencils
  • Fairbank Plaque, Julia's November 2021 Cutter Release: Cutter Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils; Photo by Confection Couture Stencils
  • Gingerbread Village Dynamic Duos™ Background Set Contents: Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils; Graphic Design by Confection Couture Stencils
  • Background Stencil Only in Use: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Cookie with Chocolate Bow, All By Itself: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Single House and Two Trees Using Foreground Stencil: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Closer View!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Blue House Changes Things Up!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Another Look at Blue House!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Two All-Brown Houses Using Foreground Stencil: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Zooming In!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Styling and Propping Changes Up Look Too!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Big Pink House with Forest!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Cookie with Entire Gingerbread Village: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Closer Still!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Fairbank Plaque Cutter in Use!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils and Cutter Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Zooming In Again!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils and Cutter Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Gingerbread Village Dynamic Duos™ Message and Frame Set Contents: Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils; Graphic Design by Confection Couture Stencils
  • Framed Message on Background Stencil Only: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Another Framed Message on Background Stencil Only: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Getting Closer Again!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Single House with Message as Fondant Appliqué: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Message Airbrushed and Stenciled Directly on Cookie: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Julia's Fairbank Plaque Cutter Returns!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils and Cutter Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Another Design Variation on Julia's Fairbank Plaque: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils and Cutter Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Fairbank Plaque Looking Good in Horizontal Position: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils and Cutter Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Julia's Fairbank Plaque Fits So Many Houses!: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils and Cutter Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • Cookie Duo Looks Sweet!: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils
  • December Hiatus Banner: Cookie and Photo by Julia M Usher; Stencils Designed by Julia M Usher with Confection Couture Stencils; Graphic Design by Confection Couture Stencils

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Comments (7)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

Hi, all! I am posting a little early since I have commitments tomorrow morning when all of the links on my partner's site will go live. Tune back around 8 am EST on November 25, and every link should be functioning! Happy Thanksgiving.

Last edited by Julia M. Usher
@LisaF posted:

So many options! Thank you for sharing so many possibilities. The perfect usher for the holiday season. No pun intended 🤣❤️😘

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