I spent a happy weekend in March with my friend Kate learning cake painting; we each making our own painted gingerbread birdhouse. Kate wanted to "Cath Kidston a birdhouse" while I was going for a more 'cabbages and roses' look, trying to emulate their pretty floral fabrics. We spent around 9 hours making these, over 3 days.
Kate is a regular cake baker and introduced me to using an icing smoother, a turntable, an icing rolling pin, and proper paste food colouring, and then I bought the essentials myself in a specialist icing shop. If you're trying this at home you basically need:
cheap paint brushes from a stationary shop
a few good quality pots of paste or gel food colouring
(a tiny amount is mixed with water for a range of watercolour-esque tones)
an icing smoother and rolling pin
ready to roll fondant icing
gingerbread house or biscuits to put it on
You'll also need a bit of spare fondant icing rolled out a bit, to test and mix your colours with your paint brush before applying them, a bit like a painters palette. I found it easiest to apply the blank fondant to the gingerbread house first, smooth it down and trim, and then start painting. The painting can get a bit wet, and its necessary to wait for colours to dry before applying more paint.
Then in April I made some springtime biscuits, as you can see I can't achieve paintings like Nevie-Pie but stripes and dots are easy and fun to do.
Then there were some birthday biscuits for a friend, and a gingerbread Vauxhall Nova and some Nurburgring circuits for my rally-mad Welshman. He built that Vauxhall Nova from parts when he was a teenager, and now it lives in our garage, ready for many happy saturdays of tinkering.
And then another gingerbread house. I regret the flaked almond roof, and the house is not quite the proportions I intended, but I'm pleased with my Nordic winter tree.