Candy Day 18

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.

Photos and Assembly

Angel from photo shoot

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.

Candy Day 15

Finished zippered jacket

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.

Yule Log

Candy Day 14

Unwrapped box

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

Candy Day 13

Drum

I had other commitments today and I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped. But I did get the drum finished and I also made a good start on the unwrapped box. I need to pick up something for the drum sticks. I’m going to wait until after Halloween when they put out the Christmas candy. That will give me some more options in Christmas colors. Lots left to do and not that much time to do it in.

Candy Day 12

Finished elf

Good news today. I got the last three figures done! I got the elf done first and then tackled the reindeer followed by good old Kris Kringle. Woow! It feels so good to have all of the figures tackled. I’m pretty happy with all of them. They certainly aren’t perfect, candy creations never are, but I’m pleased with the overall effect.

Finished Reindeer

Finished Kris Kringle

For the on the tree decorations I still have to finish the ice skate. It is mostly done it just needs to be assembled after the blade dries. So I’ll do that next week. Plus I have the gingerbread man to do. I made a mini one out of rolled fondant but it is very small compared to the size of the other tree decorations so I need to make a full sized one. I don’t have enough fondant left to do it so I think I’ll make a batch of actual gingerbread to take care of that. Saturday should be a good day to do that.

So Tomorrow I’ll be moving to the stuff under the tree. I have the drum, the unwrapped package and the jacket inside the package on my to do list.

Construction Day 9

finished under tree structure

Today concluded the construction phase of this project! I got the rest of the painting done which finishes my goal for the week. I hope to take some time tomorrow to move ahead on next weeks goal. It is kind of a big milestone to be ready to start putting candy on the structure. So far I’ve enjoyed this project and I’m kind of excited to see how it turns out. I hope it is my best yet.

Construction Day 8

My workspace

Didn’t get everything done today I had hoped.  But I spent some time getting my workspace set up inside because we had a major change in the weather and it was very cold outside. So I’ve moved the tree inside where I finished painting it. The next step was to paint the objects under the tree but then I realized that I needed to decide what color they should be. In order to decide on the color I needed to look at my candy stash and figure out what I had that would work for each object. That takes time and I didn’t get very far. It is an important step in the long run.
I got an email from the candy company to day telling me that they only have 25 lbs of the green candy and did I want them to just send what they had. I said that was fine and I got notification a while later that the candy had been shipped.
Some other exciting but challenging news today. We will be getting a new puppy to raise for Guide Dogs for the Blind next week. We thought we were going to wait until November to get our next puppy but they have one ready for us now and we decided that would be o.k. I hope she is a good puppy and I can find good ways to work on this project while she is still very young.

Construction Day 7

I shaped the rest of the support structures for under the tree today. Plus I got more green paint and blades for my xacto knife which will come in handy later when I need to cut candy. I also ordered almost 30 lbs of green licorice pastilles. I hope I got enough. I tried to calculate how much I would need but the number I came up with was way more than I can spend and didn’t take into account all the other stuff that will be on the tree. I think I can make it work out. While I was shaping the support for Mary and Jesus I went ahead and did some for the ornaments on the tree too. So I should have the bulk of the really messy Styrofoam work done now. I meant to take a photo at this stage but it didn’t get done. Tomorrow I’m planning to paint all the under-tree stuff so I should be able to get a photo of it than. That will complete my tasks for the week. Next week is kind of exciting because I get to actually start working with the candy!

Construction Day 5

tree structure with lights and most of the green paint

My goal this morning was to get the lights on the tree, get the tree painted and pick up some supplies. I did darn close to getting that all done. First I picked up supplies (hot glue, rolled fondant and paint). Then this afternoon a spent 2 hours putting the lights on the tree and then painting it. Painting was much slower than I thought because of the rough texture I put on the surface. The only flaw was that I ran out of green paint! I’m close but I didn’t quite get it all done. But not bad to come so close to my goal. I had to move into the garage soon after I started painting because it started to rain.