Late Saturday night Bill came in from the garage and said “you need to come see this.” I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. He had the spokes of the Ferris wheel on the stand plus the cars attached and they were spinning around. Not with the motor yet but with a little push the wheel turned smoothly around. It was so exciting to see that much of it come together! To see for the first time the basic structure of what we are trying to put together! I took a video but I’ll have to upload it later and share it here. [I’ve uploaded it. Just click on the image above and it will take you to the video!]
Also on Saturday, I finished all the faces of the figures. I forgot to take photos and didn’t realize it until just now. I’ll have to do that tomorrow and add them too. Then I looked at how many weeks are left until we need to install the window, just 5 weeks, and figured out how many things I need to get done each week to be ready. I’ve committed to the South Jordan Youth Council to work on the window every afternoon so hopefully more of them can come and help. From my calculations if I get one object done each day I’ll be ready. That will be tough without help from the Youth Council. My goal for today was to finish Olaf. I had a crazy morning but I worked hard on Olaf this afternoon and evening but didn’t get him finished, but I came really close.
It will be revealing how much gets accomplished this week. I’ll let you know next Monday if I’m confident, hopefully or in a panic about the next few weeks.
I finally figured out how to do the faces for the figures. Yeah! The first one I did was the Nutcracker and I didn’t like how he turned out but wasn’t sure what to do about it. He just looked old and not very happy. Bill suggested that the fondant was to bumpy. I was pretty sure this from the texture of the Styrofoam base.
So taking that into account I tried again with man. I put some extra fondant down for his cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. This was to give the flat form of the Styrofoam more of the shape of a face. Then I rolled out a really thin sheet of the fondant (it is actually half fondant and half gum paste) and laid that over the whole face area. I smoothed that out and did a little adjustment to the shaping. Next step was to roll out a thicker layer of skin colored fondant and put that down over the other two layers.So far so good, I was feeling hopeful at this point.
After smoothing that out, I added his ears, a nose, cut in a mouth and poked holes through the fondant for his eyes. I widened the eye holes out a bit and put in two small balls of white fondant and patted that down into an eye shape. Next came two small green balls of fondant for his iris that I smooshed flat and finally two tiny black balls for the pupils, also smooshed flat. I like how he came out! I also got the woman done. There is hope after all! When I get the rest of the faces done, I will probably go back and do the Nutcracker over. But I’ll wait in case time gets critical and I can’t get it done.
We had five kids from the Youth Council come on Saturday. The cars for the Ferris wheel are almost all covered on the outside with licorice. Bill got the pillow blocks for the Ferris wheel axle. The batteries for his drill died so he went to get some new ones and ended up with a new drill. Same price as buying two batters plus it included a charger. Then he got called back into work so he only made a little progress. Bill is thinking about taking a couple of days off this week so he can get some more time in on the Ferris wheel.
I got all the figures shaped in the last week. Yeah! That is a big load off my shoulders. Bill got sick Friday night so no progress to report on the Ferris wheel structure. But the Youth Council made some progress on getting licorice on the cars. This week I hope to get the figures painted and their faces done. Fondant is the plan for the faces but I’m checking into gum paste that a cake decorating friend recommended.
(I forgot to take photos of the rest of the figures and can’t seem to find my camera at the moment. I’ll add photos soon.)
close up of the hardware on the Ferris wheel seats
This week we made good progress on the cars. Besides painting the cars, half of them have the hardware for attaching to the Ferris wheel welded in place. There is some touch up painting to do because I knocked one of the cars off the table and it cracked on the sides by the foot rest, so Bill reinforced all the cars there. Plus where the hardware attached needs some painting too.
partially done tree
We made some progress on the trees. The third tree is about half done. I need to get some more apple fruit slices to finish it and the fourth tree has some of the lights candy on it. The fifth tree is getting closer to being ready to glue together with most of the green gel material hole punched to let light through.
to scale figures
For me the part that feels the best to get done last week has to do with the figures. I decided on the scale of all the figures and sketched rough outlines to scale of paper. There are 16 figures, more than I’ve done and a different size than I’ve done before. The next step on the figures is to get Styrofoam rough cut to size for them. That is my big goal for this coming week.
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.
I couldn’t bring myself to brave the cold garage and work on Snoopy today so I decided to do the wreath that goes over the door of Snoopy’s doghouse. Small parts like this are kind of fun because I can get them done in a day. Yeah for feeling like I got something done. This was also fun because it is the first piece of the window with lights in it. I love lights glowing through candy. To me it has such a Christmasy feeling.
wreath with lights on
I finally got some photos of the doghouse added to the post from a couple of weeks ago.
Today I thought I’d update on what Bill is doing for the window this year. The core piece is a Raspberry Pi board like in the photo above. What does a computer board have to do with a candy window display for Christmas? I’ll try to explain. There are three sets of Christmas lights in the design: one on the Christmas tree, one on the wreath over the doghouse door and two strings of the large lights that drape over the roof of the doghouse. The plan is to use the Raspberry Pi board along with some other hardware to control how the lights go on and off. We are keeping it pretty simple this year to test things out but hope to do more complicated things with lights in future years.
We are playing around with having the lights synced to music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas“. This is new territory for us but I’m excited at the possibilities. In the worst case scenario we can have the board turn the lights on in the evening and off at midnight or so. Hopefully we will get succeed in doing lots more than that.
As far as candy gluing goes I’m now behind the schedule I made for my self for getting my this years candy window done. Yakira’s career change has distracted me. The plans for getting her to Florida are mostly in place so I’ve got to get back on track.
Still plugging away on Snoopy‘s doghouse. I’m getting close though. I didn’t get any work done on it last Saturday so the roof didn’t get finished until this week. The last step is the trim which consists of around the door, the eaves and the edges of the roof (can’t think of what that is called, or maybe those are the eaves and the other is the soffit). Anyway, I digress. Around the door is done, both gable ends are done. I have a little piecing to do on the soffit on one end and about 2/3 of the edge of the roof on one side.
I’m excited to be almost done with the doghouse. That is a big chunk of the window.
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.