Today I did my first attempt at an interactive eBook. The links below should take you to a pdf of the book. I kept it pretty simple with just a link on each page to jump to the page with the entire tree to search for the symbols of Christmas. I think it is sized for viewing on an iPad so let me know how it works on that or other devices you try it on.
Finally coming up for air after a couple of weeks of total focus on finishing this years candy window. Last night was the unveiling and though we had some snags and challenges along the way Snoopy and his dog house look great. If you are in the Salt Lake Valley during the holidays let me know and I’ll give you directions to find the window. There are 8 other candy windows too, including my Frosty from last year. I only got a couple of pictures snapped. Hopefully I can get some more next week of Snoopy and the other candy windows too.
Christmas from A to Z at Festival of Trees
Part of what made this week extra crazy is that we donated the candy sculpture (Christmas from A to Z) I did two years ago to the Festival of Trees. It was in pretty bad shape and I spent 12 hours fixing it up. Good news is there were multiple bidders and it sold for about $650. All that money goes to Primary Children’s Hospital.
When I made the Christmas from A to Z candy sculpture two years ago, the idea I had was to use it as illustrations for a children’s book. This year the tree is being donated to Festival of Trees to be sold to raise money for Primary Children’s Hospital. I want to have a copy of the book to go with the tree so pushed this week to get it finished and yeah, I finally got it done! Clink the link below to see a preview. For some reason I can’t get the preview to embed properly.
Bill and I at the Gale Center with Christmas from A to Z
Today was the day to take the tree to the Gale Center. I picked up a cold last week and didn’t quite get the green finished on Saturday so I had to finish this morning along with a few touch ups. Finally it was ready to clean off all the hot glue threads. With that done I gathered up my supplies and waited for Bill to come to help me get it moved. It wasn’t too heavy, less than 50 lbs. I would guess so it wasn’t too hard. We put couch cushions in the back of our station wagon and it just fit. Once at the Gale Center it took a few minutes to get the table set up and then move the tree into place. It was too tall to go on the stage but the table fit on the step down so the stage area still worked fine. We played around with how to best arrange the packages etc. that go under the tree and then we glued them into place. Last thing was to make sure that all the new hot glue strings were cleaned off. Bill went the extra mile and took the heat gun over the whole tree again.
It will be on display at the Gale Center along with their annual Gingerbread contest through December 2nd. The Gale Center is at 10300 South Beckstead Lane. ( Beakstead Lane is the first light east of Redwood Road.) They are open from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. But they are closed for Thanksgiving from Wednesday to the end of the week.
It feel so good to have this done. I still want to use the images to make a children’s picture book. I’ll have to squeeze that in between other projects that have taken a back seat while I finished this one up.
Today (and the next week) was all about gluing on the green candy to cover the tree. I am cutting most of the candy in half but not down the middle to help the candy go farther and to make them different lengths. Hopefully this will give a more realistic look to the tree. After I had done a section, I decided that it needed something more so I decided to add a bunch of yellow sour balls. It was a bit of a pain to get them on in the area that I had already covered but I think it helps the tree look better and it should help the green candy stretch farther. I’m pretty sure I don’t really have enough but I’ll have to find a way to make it work. The back side probably doesn’t need to be glued as close together as the front side because it won’t be viewed as closely. I’ve calculated that if I get one side of the tree finished every two days I should finish the tree next Saturday. That will give me Monday to clean things up and get it transported over to the Gale Center.
Because I’d like to use this project to illustrate a children’s Christmas book, today I tried to get some decent photos of all the A to Z parts before I assemble the project together. I set up a white backdrop and a couple of extra lights to shoot the objects against. It was ok but not wonderful. I got out my heat gun and worked on getting all the hot glue strings off and then taking several shots of each object. This took and while and my camera battery was flashing red by the time I finished. I sure hope that the quality of the photos is good enough to make a cute children’s book.
Next step was to decide final placement for all the parts and pieces. I thought I might need all four sides of my tree but when it got right down to it two sides for the ornaments was more than enough. I really should have made the tree shorter. I pulled out a measuring tape today and the project is bigger than I had originally planned. It is almost 60″ tall instead of being 3 or 4 feet tall. I’m not really surprised but I should have thought through some of the implications before I let the project grow that tall. It takes a lot more candy and time when it is at least 12″ taller than needed. The back of the tree will still be finished but it won’t have any of the A to Z search items on it. It took some trial and error to get what felt like a good arrangement under the tree and on the tree. Than I attached all the ornaments to the tree. The items under the tree are not glued down yet.
Tree with ornaments and packages
After attaching all the ornaments I added a bunch of large red gum balls to help fill the tree up and to give it more color. For the most part I’m happy with how it is looking. I then started the last big step of the project, gluing all the green licorice pastilles to the tree.
Today was gingerbread day. I make two gingerbread men and broke one in pieces getting it off the tin foil. So I let the other one cool before trying to move it and it was just fine. While I was out getting molasses I checked out the Christmas candy that they were just putting on the shelves. I didn’t find anything exciting though. While the gingerbread was cooling I added some color to the extra yellow box. Wow! what a difference some color and a bow made to that box. When the gingerbread was cool I decorated him with licorice and a few little candies. Now all the little parts and pieces of the project should be done. The last thing I worked on today was getting some of the green candy around each of the lights on the tree. It seems like a good idea to make sure that none of the ornaments are too close to the lights so I can’t fit the green candy in. Tomorrow is a big day. I’m going to shoot the best photos I can of each ornament and then it is time to attach them all in place.
Before I got back to work on the quilt I put together a simple ornament. It kind of slipped through the cracks and I forgot that I needed it. Then it was hours and hours of placing red Mike n’ Ikes. Each row got a little faster as each row was a little shorter. I listen to audio books while I’m working on the project so that helps the time go faster. Today the book was “Cruel and Unusual” by Patricia Cornwell. I still need to make a gingerbread man but I realized I have no molasses so I’ll have to pick some up I make a batch tomorrow.
Today I finished the zippered jacket which didn’t take too long. Next on the list was the yule log. This went pretty well as I was using tootsie rolls for the bark and pina colada licorice for the ends of the log. The tootsie rolls I have are from the candy stash and they are very hard. I thought I would need to buy a few fresh ones to fill in some of the spots that need a different shape but I decided to try microwaving them and see if that would soften them up. It did! Finally I started on the quilt that goes under the tree. I got a good start but there is lots of candy to put down on this and the outside edge has a border will very small candy so it took a long time. I’ll have to finish is tomorrow.
I spent lots of hours gluing candy today. I forgot that there is one more gift box for under the tree so that got added to my list. I got the “unwrapped” box finished and the other extra box. I made a bow for the unwrapped box and also an “xmas” tag. I’ll add some more detail to this when the fondant dries. I’d like to add some more color to both of these boxes but will wait to see if I have enough of the tart n’ tiny candy left after I get the quilt under the tree done. If not I’ll might see if there are some fun Christmas shaped candy at the store when they put out Christmas candy next week. I got a good start on the jacket with zipper for inside the unwrapped box but I didn’t get it done. I had an overly ambitions plan for this week trying to make up for last time a couple of weeks ago. I made good progress but not as much as I’d hoped. I think I may have some late nights coming up in the next two weeks to get this project done on time.
Bow and ribbon for unwrapped box
Extra Gift for under the tree
Incomplete zippered jacket for inside unwrapped box