Powered by Blogger.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2013 Christmas from Heaven - the Candy Bomber Christmas tree.

For the past 3 years I have been hired on to design and decorate the 12 foot Christmas tree for Deseret Book Store's downtown Salt Lake City location. Deseret Book gives me a theme and some color guidelines around July, then I get to work. This years task was a little more exciting because they asked for not one, but two trees to be decorated - The Down Town and University Village store in Orem.

The theme for the 2013 Christmas tree? Christmas From Heaven based on the true story of the Candy Bomber.

I had the privilege to attend the Mormon Tabernacle Choirs Christmas concert in 2012 when Tom Brokaw retold the amazing true story of the Candy Bomber.  I was brought to tears (seriously the ugly cry) when the LDS Conference Center began to rumble with the sounds of a C-54 air plane and witnessed real parachutes beginning to descend upon the crowd from up above.
Then when Tom Brokaw invited the real life Candy Bomber on the stage it was an amazing exclamation point to all the Christmas magic.

As you can imagine I was THRILLED with the idea of the 2013 Christmas tree taking on the theme of this true story - The Candy Bomber. The wheels in my heads began spinning and my fingers were itching to get to work.

1st - the Parachutes
25 of them to be exact. Five for the top of each tree and then 15 more for the Downtown Store to use for their display of the Children's book.
I began by cutting muslin into 18" circles, dipped the cut fabric into fabric stiffener mixed with glitter, then draped them over balloons to dry. After the parachutes were dry, I popped the balloons, trimmed any frayed edges of the fabric, and then sewed on the parachute strings
I blew up the balloons into three different sizes to give the parachutes the effect of being in different stages of falling.
2nd - Circa 1948 Hershey's Bars
 I used foam core board (cut in the size of and actual candy bar) and wrapped them in foil wrapping paper.
Did you know the Hershey's website has an archive section with all their chocolate bar wrappers from over the years? Well they I printed off the appropriate wrapper for 1948, had them printed in color by my favorite handsome xerox worker (my husband), and gave those pretend chocolate bars their finishing touch. They turned out great! My kids were fooled. They kept begging to eat one :).

A finished parachutes with a faux Hershey's bar.

 3rd - The key ornament to tie everything together 
Every year there is a key ornament that helps anyone viewing the tree to "connect the dots", if you will. This year it was a week before the trees where due to make their debuts and I had yet to come up with "that" ornament.
We had candy, parachutes, large tin air planes, Hershey bars etc. but there wasn't anything to finish telling the story until......
When I saw the children's book for the first time, I was particularly touched by a picture of a thank you note one of the German children had actually written to the Candy Bomber. I remember being impressed by the art work the little girl had included with the note and the sweetness of the words of the note.
Below is a picture of the actual note.
That was it! I needed an ornament that was made using that note.

I found some REAL photos taken by the military of the Candy Bomber event, paired them with the note and.....

Are you ready to see the Candy Bomber Christmas trees? Hold on tight cause here we goooooooo!

44 Bows tied,
30 hand made floral candy picks,
21 glittered card ornaments, 25 parachutes, 40 vintage Hershey bars and......


No comments:

Post a Comment