My husband and I decided to make a Painted Lady for our first stab at a gingerbread house. I found this template and thought if I "de-Halloween'd" it we would get what we were aiming at. I think it worked out quite well. Thank you to Ray Keim for his wonderful template!
Sorry about sideways pics!
Step 1: Getting everything ready
A Painted Lady needs to have at least 3 contrasting colors, so I made my gingerbread a light brown, then divided it and colored part of the dough pink and part green.
The hardest part was at the beginning, getting all the architectural units to hold together with the royal frosting. They needed to sit for a little while - not very long, but still a little while - with support so that they would dry in the right position and be stable. I ended up doing a frantic search around my house for understructure bits that were the right size. Things like spools of thread, marshmallows and small boxes just to hold things in place for a few minutes. It worked out alright, but I swiftly got off to a messier start than I had anticipated.