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As many of you know, A LOT of thought, love and work goes into our annual holiday card. We spend a lot of time thinking about our theme for the year and even more time constructing it to make it just right. Our business is so personal that we really focus on reflecting that in our cards. 

This year was particularly challenging as we decided to make a "Gingerbread Shop". Since we did not have access to an oven during the work day, we decided to use cardboard as our structural supply and since icing will stain cardboard, we replaced it with hot glue. 

So if you're curious what 3 days of fun/painstaking work looks like, follow along. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it (and eating all the leftover candy afterwards!) 

Hoping your Holiday's were wonderful and your New Year to come is even better!

~Bill Marino Auto Repair ~

First we started with a lot of measuring and a little bit of math (and some brushing up on high school algebra) to scale the shop down to 1/10th the size.

Next we had to construct our "building"

With the help of some storage boxes, a variety of measuring tools and a few exacto knives, we started cutting out the pieces to construct our tool boxes, workbench and shelving

Measure twice, cut once - tape it together first, just to be sure - as they say

Our equipment is starting to gain some structure

What a better way to color match to the shop than to use the leftover paint we had. Now even the cardboard cut outs are safe from dirty fingerprints!

*tick tock tick tock* now we wait for paint to dry....... sigh....

Now the fun (and singed fingers) begins

Starting to look like our shop!

Thanks to the help of some lollipop sticks, our loft did not immediately fall down #minor_engineering_fail

FYI: Softening Tootsie Rolls in the microwave is not a good idea. 

The pellet stove on the other hand worked out much better

As you can tell, things did not stay neat and tidy for long. 

Lift construction begins! Bill had a great idea to use blue jolly ranchers for the posts. The only problem with that was that jolly ranchers are not square. Some quick work with the belt sander and we had nice flat sides to build on

Using kebab skewers as supports, we constructed the other lift out of pull and peel twizzler's and black licorice

Add in some lights and a lot more candy and our shop is built! 

Of course, you can't have a Gingerbread Shop without Gingerbread people. Last but not least, we construct our staff.

Have to make sure everyone's uniform's are tailored to fit comfortably

Our "Shop Manager" Samson had to be included as well. 

Didn't he come out great?!

And there you have it! a scaled down, simplified "Gingerbread" version of everyone's favorite auto repair shop!

Looking forward to seeing all of you in the coming year. Thank you for your continued friendship and thank your for allowing us to care for your vehicles. 

Best Wishes!!

Bill, Gail, Leo and Samson