RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Bright color, intricate detail, and every bit of it is edible.
"This is a whole world...once you're in, you're hooked," said Heather Nadeau.
"It's really nice to be able to do the part that I like the best which is the construction and the creating something from food that you wouldn't normally think to create," said Grier Rubeling.
By day, Rubeling is in finance. But in her spare time, gingerbread has become her passion project.
"I know that I'm always thinking about gingerbread ideas," Rubeling said. "I think we're always thinking about things in life and how they can be applied to gingerbread."
The creator of the Craft Crib blog, Rubeling says she's always loved DIY projects. After she won her first local gingerbread competition in the Triangle, she was hooked.
"Eventually I just decided I want to see if there's something bigger out there," she said.
And there was, the National Gingerbread House Competition at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville.
"People are always looking to do things differently to get the attention of the judges. So I think eventually it went from gingerbread houses to more obscure structures," Rubeling said.
In her first year, she came prepared taking home the third-place prize with a unique creation, reindeer playing poker.
"I just kind of fell in love with it and I was like this is it! I have arrived...I'm doing this from now on!" she said.
Two years ago, her nutcrackers brought home the second-place prize. And this year, she knew she couldn't do it alone.
A fellow bus stop mom, neighbor, cake connoisseur and artist, Heather is now Grier's right-hand woman.
"All of my family and friends would walk into my house and they're like, 'What is that smell?' And they're like checking their watch like, 'it's March.' And I'm like," Heather said.
Since the spring, they've worked tirelessly preparing for the competition. Using tools you wouldn't expect.
"I like to take a power tool approach to my gingerbread sometimes so I will use my scroll saw and my sander and my Dremel," Grier said.
Both hope this year they can bring home that first-place prize.