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.
Tonight was the official unveiling of my candy covered sculpture inspired by Frosty the Snowman. At about 6:30 p.m. with a gathering of family and friends and the crew of Cold Stone Creamery we remove the butcher paper covering my snowman. It was fun to see every ones reactions. All seemed to enjoy it. I loved it when a young toddler pulled up a chair so he could see the window better. The owner of Cold Stone organized a scavenger hunt to encourage everyone who came to see South Jordan‘s Light the Night to see all the candy window. By going to the 5 stores and turning in your sheet you got a free small ice cream cone. It was a great idea and lots of people took advantage of it. It made the night that much more fun.
I didn’t get any close up shots taken of my window. I’ll have to go back and get some more pictures taken and post them here. Tonight was more about enjoying the experience than taking photos.
When I made a list of things I might like to do to celebrate turning 50 years old this year, I didn’t think that “build a snowman” would be a snowman out of candy. But that is how it turned out. If you have followed my blog much you know that I’ve built Frosty for several months now. Well today he is official built! I finished installing him in the window at Cold Stone Creamery on Redwood Road in South Jordan. He looks good and I’m excited for the unveiling tomorrow night. I won’t be cold but they are forecasting some rain. Hopefully it won’t come until after the unveiling. The install went fairly smoothly. A few little glitches but nothing major. It is amazing how tired I feel now that it is all in. I’ll post some photos of the completed window after the unveiling tomorrow night.
some of the miniature figures in the Frosty window
Sorry to be slow about posting today. I’m in the middle of installing my candy sculpture Frosty the Snowman. The unveiling is Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Cold Stone on Redwood Road in South Jordan, Utah. If you live in the area, come and join the fun. South Jordan has lots of fun stuff planned to kick off the holiday season. He is looking good so far. I can’t wait to see all the parts and pieces come together. I’ll post some photos soon.
The last few days I’ve been working on the houses and the figures for the two little scenes that I’ve planned on each side of the large Frosty. The one on the left is about Frosty being built and the one on the right shows Frosty and the kids that built him marching over the hills of snow. I’m so glad that I’m getting to make these two little scenes. I think it will be nice to have something more to look at one people get close to the window.
My original plan just had kids but I’ve added a dog to the scene and a little dog house. He was challenging to make because he is only about an inch tall. A Google search lead me to a couple of great videos on how to make a dog out of fondant. It was very helpful.
I ran into some trouble in making Frosty’s black hat. I bought a box of the natural colored fondant but the black was missing from the box. It looked like someone and purchased the box, removed the black, then resealed the box and returned it to the store. I don’t have any black food coloring and didn’t really want to buy any. Plus getting a really dark color can be hard. But I decided to take the dark brown fondant and add some of the food coloring I had. By mixing in orange, green and purple I got a satisfactory black. Yeah!
I decided to use some licorice snaps from my candy stash on one of my houses but then didn’t have enough. I spent a couple of hours of three days looking for snaps but everyone seemed to be out of them. Finally I went to the Candy Barrel in the South Towne Mall. When I asked about snaps I found out that they had been recalled because of high lead content. So I gave up trying to find any and figured out a way to work with what I had.
I finally got the base of the shadow box that is being built to hold my candy sculpture. Even though I had done some shaping of the base there was lots more to do to make the whole thing work. It was nice outside on Saturday while I was working on it on our driveway. It looked like we had a snowstorm with all the little white bits of Styrofoam that collected around me.
It was exciting to put most of the pieces together and get a feel for how it was all coming together. I had some concerns that maybe Frosty wouldn’t fit in the window. But though it looks to be a bit tight in a couple of places I think we are going to be fine. I’m happy with how things are coming together and I feel like there is real hope I can get this done with out pulling some all nighters. Just 3 1/2 weeks to the unveiling!
It has been awhile since I posted about my candy sculpture project for Christmas. While I’m behind my original schedule I think it will be ok. The biggest obstacle as the moment is getting the box structure and backdrop for the window. I need it to properly size the base and to do the sky that goes in one panel of the backdrop. It is too bad that I’ve missed the nice weather this week to get the base and the sky done. I’m using silicone caulk at I prefer to do it in the garage so the fumes don’t stink up the house. I’ll soon be stopped from progressing if I don’t have the box.
almost finished broom with pins to hold the licorice in place
The status on all the parts and pieces:
Bow tie (finished)
Broom (almost finished)
Small figures (ready to start)
Village (need to design)
Base (ready for final sizing – waiting for box)
Sky (need black caulk and backdrop)
Large snowflakes (need to design) (this is my last priority)
I’m hoping that putting the Jelly Belly’s on the base and the backdrop will go pretty quickly. They don’t need precise placement and if needed I can recruit some helpers. I would like to wait to design the village until I get the box and exact sizing for the base. It feels good to have Frosty done. He is the most important part of the window. The rest is support for him. I now know I will find a way to get this done even if I don’t get all the parts I’d like to get done.
Somehow I haven’t gotten the time in on Frosty over the last couple of weeks that I wanted and needed to. This last week was a bit better but I’m behind. I focused this week on getting the front of his body covered with candy so at least it looks like I’ve made some good progress. My schedule this coming week doesn’t look too bad so I will focus hard on Frosty and get lots of work done. In a perfect world, I would be finishing Frosty up this coming week so I could start on the background the following week.
I have decided to wait on his hat the broom. They are good projects to work on inside as the weather get colder and the garage gets uncomfortable. I prefer working on Frosty in the garage because I’m using silicon caulk and it has a strong odor and needs good ventilation.
I may have to ditch my plans for putting a small village on the left side with small figures of children building Frosty and on the right side Frosty and some kids marching off into the hills. I hope that I can get them done. But if I have to leave them out no one will know that they are missing. I just like it when there are extra details to see when you get up close to the window.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on getting all the construction phase of my “Frosty” project done. The deadline I set myself was September 8th but I didn’t make that. Other project with a closer due date took priority. But I think I’ve finally got Frosty built and ready to start putting candy on.
Frosty with “skinny” legs
I ran into a couple of snags. His body shaping went pretty good but I was concerned about how skinny his legs turned out. After shaping his left arm I even more concerned because it just didn’t work. But I went on to the right arm and I was happy with that so using that as a reference I did the left arm over and it was better. With both arms done it was obvious that his legs were too skinny. Frosty is a really short and tubby snowman and the legs he had just visually couldn’t hold him up. So with Bill’s help we performed surgery. We cut of the inside half of both his legs and feet. After added in a couple of inches of Styrofoam, we glued the him back together. After more than 24 hours of drying, I reshaped his legs. Now they are much better.
[I will insert a photo of Frosty with his new legs as soon as I get one taken]
I also go his hat, bow tie and broom all ready for candy. Last Friday I actually put the candy on Frosty’s bow tie. It helped me feel a little better about being behind my schedule because at least I started putting candy on. I’m happy with how Frosty is coming so far. There is a fun quirkiness about his shape that I hope will be enhanced as he moves forward in the process.
candy covered bow tie
Candy on bow tie: Tart ‘n’ Tiny (red), Gum Balls (purple & green), Runts (orange)
Today I made an official start on my candy sculpture for South Jordan‘s “Something Sweet” Christmas window displays. For those of you who were lucky enough to grow up in the Salt Lake area during ZCMI‘s famous Christmas window displays you will be excited to know that the city of South Jordan is working to restore that Christmas tradition. After a google search I came up with this link to a few images from Christmas 1998.
When ZCMI was sold the new company didn’t have the in-house designers to continue the tradition and then Provo City Arts Council started sponsoring candy windows in various Center Street businesses. I got involved with that project in 2001 and continued making windows for them until 2007 when I started to raise puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Provo had candy windows in 2008 and then with the change in focus with the new Covey Center for the Arts the Christmas candy windows in Provo came to an end.
Last year South Jordan approached me about doing a candy sculpture for them to kind of get things started on reviving the Candy Window tradition. Because I would love to see this wonderful holiday event make a come back I said yes. You can see my “Christmas A to Z” project here. This year is the next step in bringing back Candy Windows. South Jordan will have 4 candy window sculptures in the Town Center Drive area just off Redwood Road and south of 104th South. I’m also excited because one of the candy artist comes to us with experience doing the original windows at ZCMI. My sculpture will be in the Cold Stone Creamery. Our theme is Christmas Carols and with my window being in an ice cream shop “Frosty the Snowman” seemed like the perfect match.
So here are a few photos of Frosty starting to take shape. We gained a lot of expertise from Gary’s many years at ZCMI and he let us use his big hot-wire cutters to cut the rough shape out of big blocks of Styrofoam. This is so much faster than how I’ve done it in the past. Bill is planning to make me a smaller hot-wire cutter but he hasn’t had time yet. So much more to do and after I get Girls Camp finished this project will have to take some priority.
Gary and Bill making the first cut to shape Frosty
making the second cut on Frosty
the second cut finished
close-up of the third cut on Frosty
nearing the end of the fourth cut
cutting out Frosty’s legs
more rough shaping of Frosty
Frosty strapped into the back of the pick-up for the trip to our house