I haven’t posted anything on the Candy Window project all year. It is about time I did. So first thing to do is catch you up on what has happened so far. In January we picked the theme “Hearts All a Glow”. Then not much happened for several months. I thought about window ideas but didn’t settle on anything because I didn’t know where my window was going to be and some ideas just aren’t very conducive to some spaces. Things have been up in the air on funding. Last year the developer of the shopping area gave us some money but the property was sold to a new developer and we still don’t know if they are going to come through with money. The back up plan is the South Jordan Arts Council.
I had hoped to work with the Bingham High School Art Club (they helped a little last year). But the adviser for the club has too much going on to do the club again and no other teachers came forward to help. Then in the spring there were some rumblings about having the South Jordan Youth Council help on the project. About that same time I found out that my window was going to go between the main front doors of South Jordan City Hall. I went to see the space and it was about 4 feet by 8 feet, so generously sized. My big concern was getting power to the space. It is in the entry way between the sets of doors. Not an area that normal has electrical outlets.
About that time I got the news that the Youth Council wanted to help. So I got together with the kids and their leaders to brainstorm ideas. I didn’t want to pick an idea and then tell them what we were doing. I wanted them to feel like they were part of the project from the beginning. There are two things I’d like to accomplish by using a youth group. First is just hands to help get it done. There is lots of gluing to be done and my hands are starting to show the wear and tear of the repetitive motion. The second and in the long run the more important, teach them how to do a candy window and hopefully over the years a few of them will catch the vision and want to do windows of their own. I’d like to move into a more advisory role with the windows but to do that we need more artists.
On the day of my meeting with the Youth Council, in July, the power for the window got worked out. The city is installing outlets in the back wall above the window. I asked them to put outlets in the two side areas too. It would be super fun to have a three-part window the could be walked between. I can image it would be like walking through candyland.
half-scale model of the Ferris wheel
After some brainstorming with the Youth Council we came up with a really fun idea. A big project for sure that I wouldn’t tackle without their help and couldn’t pull off without Bill’s help too. We are building a Ferris wheel with more than a dozen different Christmas characters on and around the wheel. The plan is to have lights on it and to have it rotate. I’ve been meeting with the Youth Council a couple of times a week to work on getting things going. They start school this week so hopefully they will still have time to come regularly to help. Their leaders are great and easy to work with.
section of snow with dehydrated mini marshmallows
Last week we got miniature dried marshmallow glued down on half of the snow for the base. We have 5 polycarbonate Christmas trees that will have light inside them. All the plastic is cut out but only one is assembled and ready for gummy bears. Bill has the steel to build the Ferris wheel but has only done a little bit of the cutting. There are lots of technical details to work out on the Ferris wheel. We have the plywood for the seats on the Ferris wheel and the pattern printed and ready to go for cutting them out. The original goal was to have the structure done by the end of August. That wasn’t realistic but I hope we can have most of it done by the time the new puppy comes on September 11th.
It is kind of funny because Bill and I were busy working on the very first candy window we ever did when the World Trade Center collapsed all those years ago. Interesting the connections we make to different events in our lives.
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.
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.
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 started on Step Four: build following the DOABLE approach to story projects. We picked up a 4×8 sheet of 1/2″ thick Styrofoam insulation to build the doghouse. Bill asked me if I didn’t need two sheets. I replied that the doghouse wasn’t that big so one should be enough. I was wrong. I was missing one side and half the roof. I patched two pieces together to make the side but there isn’t nearly enough to make the other roof panel. That’s what happens when you don’t plan very well. Now it will take another trip to the store. I guess I was being lazy.
I’ve glued together the four sides of the doghouse so they will be set when I get the rest of the roof cut. I also made a little wreath to hang above the door on the end. One item is ready to go. I even have candy that will work for the wreath. It is exciting to be starting on the actual building part of my window! My first big goal is to get the structure done (hopefully before our new puppy comes next Friday).