Candy Window Update: Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Board from Wikimedia Commons

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.

 

Candy Window Update

Snoopy’s Doghouse

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.

Candy Window Update: Snoopy’s Doghouse

my work space in the corner of the garage

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.

 

Candy Window Update

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.)

Frosty Update – final base shaping

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!

Frosty Progress Report

Frosty’s hat

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:

  • Frosty (finished)
  • Hat (finished)
  • Bow tie (finished)
  • Broom (almost finished)
  • Trees (started)
  • 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.

 

Frosty Shaping

 

Frosty with no arms

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)