This week the candy gluing started in earnest. I prefer to do the parts that I use silicone caulk as the adhesive out in the garage. That way the house doesn’t get stunk up and I don’t have to worry so much about having adequate ventilation. But first I needed to make a space in the corner of the garage for me to work. It is amazing how much stuff accumulates in the garage over the course of a year. I’m really happy with how I was able to fit an old table into the corner. It has created a great workspace.
Since then I’ve been gluing red Aussie style licorice to Snoopy’s doghouse all week. I’m just about done with the walls. I should be able to finish them tomorrow. Then the roof covered with cinnamon bears is next on the list. Last step of the doghouse is the trim. I’ll work on that next week. Which should keep me on schedule.
Here is a photo of the window as it looked late last week. Bill helped me get the support structure for the tree finished. Yeah! This week, I got some work done on the red star and I got the lights put on the tree. The tree still needs to be painted green. Today I picked up 7 cases of candy from World Foods. I should have most of the candy I need for the window now except the sky which I’ll be order in the next week or so.
I haven’t gotten as much done this week as I’d hope. I’ve been fighting a cold and I finally feel like I’m winning the battle after a week. Hopefully Saturday will be a good day to get lots of candy attached.
I’m almost ready to start gluing on the candy. All the structure is shaped and most of it is painted. I still need to paint the inside of the doghouse black. The biggest thing I have left to do on this stage is the tree. While I have the tree shaped, I still need to build the support structure that will go through the roof of the doghouse to the ground. Then I need to put the lights on the tree and finally paint it. The only other pre-candy prep I need to do is to attach the string of big lights the will drape across the roof of the doghouse to some stiff wire so that it will look the way I want it to. I think I’ll use duct tape.
I’ve got the candy pretty much planned out but I’ll go over that in another post. (I’ll put up pictures as soon as I get some more taken.)
I’ve been putting a lot of time into my candy window the last week or so, trying to reach my goal of getting the structure done before Pup “E” gets here tomorrow. I’ve made good progress too! We just finished up Snoopy (minus his ears). The doghouse is finished. The tree is shaped. It still needs the trunk and support structure put together but we have all the supplies. The snow and on the top of the doghouse is shaped but it needs some more work. I also made the large star for the top of the doghouse and a dog bowl.
I need to get some of the super thick pellon for Snoopy’s ears, his hat, the ribbon etc. I still need to build the whirligig. Once I have the actual box that the window will go in I’ll need to build the base snow and the background snow structure. But I’m really pleased with the progress this week. Hopefully Pup “E” settles in quickly and I’ll be able to get a few things done next week.
I really thought that my window location was set but I was wrong. It has moved twice since the last post. Now I hope that it really is decided! But I’m moving forward anyway. I finished Step Two: Organize, today by searching through my candy stash to see what I already have that will work. I’m in good shape except for the larger candy areas like the sky, the doghouse etc.
So now to work on Step Three: Analyze.
Part 1: Assess – I think my plans for this years window are as reasonable as I can make them. We are hoping to do some fun things with computer controlled lights but the design is such that if that doesn’t happen it will be OK. I’ve been careful not to let the size of the window get too large. With getting a late start on things and a new puppy coming time is limited and larger objects means more candy and more candy takes more time to glue it on. This will be one of my smaller windows at about 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall and 2.5 to 3 feet deep. Hopefully it won’t feel small when it is done. So the project moves forward.
Part 2: Plan – I’ve looked at all the parts and pieces of the window and come up with more than 50 tasks that need to be done. Some are fairly simple and easily completed while others might need to broken down into even smaller task when I get involved in the reality of doing that part of the project. I’ve done enough candy windows that there shouldn’t be too many surprises.
Part 3: Timeline – I have a firm deadline (the unveiling on 7th) so the thing the timeline does for me is to help me make sure that I get enough stuff done early so that I don’t have to pull all-nighters to make my deadline. I have it when I have to do that. Creating the window looses all it joy when there is too much pressure. So here is my rough timeline:
window box size – August
list of construction materials – August
purchase construction materials – August
choose candy – August
build structure – September
purchase candy – September
purchase other supplies – September
paint structure – September
attach candy – September through November
final detail & fix problems – November
promotional stuff – November & December
install window – before December 7th
unveiling – December 7th
The timeline is still pretty rough and so I’ll be making detailed plans and goals each week. My first deadline is to get all the structure built (if possible) by the time Pup “E” comes on September 6th. Timelines need to be adaptable to changing circumstances yet help the project stay on track to meet long-term goals.
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.
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.
Today to celebrate my 50th year we drove to Provo and ate at Osaka on Center Street. We use to live less than a mile away but what this place reminds me of most is when I did Christmas windows out of candy for Provo City Arts Council. I did my window in Osaka all but the very first year that I did a window. Mary was always so nice to work with and she always wanted to keep my window up until after Valentines day. By then they were pretty faded and certainly ready to take down. She actually still has the focal point from one of the windows in her lobby. The year our theme was Christmas Around the World I made a life-size Japanese woman in a Kimono covered with sliced jelly belly candy. She has gotten a bit dusty over the years but for the most part she is still in pretty good shape.
Each year we did a window, Mary would give us a gift certificate to her restaurant. And I still had some money left on the last one she gave me. Also one of my fellow puppy raisers has a dog about the same age as Yakira whose name is Osaka. When Karen got Osaka off the truck and thought it would be fun to take our pups to Osaka and have lunch. Well it has almost been a year and we finally got it done. I forgot to take my camera today but I took a couple of shots of Karen and Osaka in front of Osaka with her camera. I’m sure she will share the photo with me then I can post it here. Zodiac was a good boy and resisted playing with Osaka under the table until it was about time to leave.
Yakira ended up having to stay home. She has been given no car travel until Monday as part of dealing with her anxiety during the trip to Denver last week. I’ll have to find a photo of the candy windows I did at Osaka and post them here also. Today is another one of those lovely fall days with blue skies and nice temperatures.