Monday, November 21, 2011

I have installed Hillside Shopping Centre's Christmas display.

I am totally fascinated with cakes, pastries, and food presentation from the Edwardian era and earlier. I also love contemporary French pastries. Check out these past blog posts about cakes and pastries here, here, here, and here.

The summer window that I created for Hillside had a few cakes and pastries in it; I wanted to expand on this theme for this year's Christmas window. All of the images are fairly large so click on them and browse to your heart's content!

I took this photo inside the window so that you can get a better look at a selection of the delectable treats. The colour scheme was completely influenced by the cakes and pastries. I love bright colours and wanted to get away from the traditional red and green but still make the setting a Christmas fantasy.

The gifts at the base of the table are wrapped in very bright plastic tablecloths from the dollar store. The tops are decorated with a variety of items that you don't readily connect with Christmas but the addition of silver or gold tinsel, ice encrusted evergreens, and whimsically bent bottle brush trees magically turns them into fantasy Christmas presents. The floor has a bold black and white check pattern to counter balance the bright busy colours.

A look at the left side of the window with all of the desserts and gifts that would delight any child... or adult for that matter! The banquet table is covered with a beautiful tie dyed, embroidered, and bespangled sari.

The right side of the window has a polar fleece covered chair/throne. Halfway through the installation of the window I had one woman mention to me that she would be back later for tea.

Here is the finished window display. I had so much fun assembling this window. At one point I felt delighted and excited; I hope that the same feeling comes across to everyone that sees it.

This small window display is for advertising the Hillside Shopping Centre's gift cards. I like the addition of the tinsel, bottle brush tree, and grapes; it helps to get rid of any stuffiness but still be elegant.

I am off to my studio, it desperately needs a cleaning.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gift Wrapped Boxes and Fancy Cakes.

Here is a sneak peek at some of the props for the Hillside Shopping Centre Christmas window display. I wanted to go with VERY bright colours that are not associated with Christmas.

The red box with the purple ribbon is going into a small window display advertising the shopping centre's gift cards that are for sale at the customer service desk. The rest of the parcels will be on the floor underneath a banquet table filled with cakes and pastries displayed on cake stands and plates.

It is quite surprising that once you add a little sparkle from tinsel wire, some ice encrusted evergreens, and  a few comically twisted bottle brush trees It all says, "Merry Christmas"! I have added some very un-Christmassy touches to the tops of the gift boxes such as fireworks and out of season fruit but those traditional touches pull it all together.

I bought this giant ice cream cone bank last year at Christmas. I put a strand of fresh water pearls in it for my wife. I had bought three bags of fresh water pearls at Salvation Army for about $6 and strung them all together into about a 30" necklace, that was a very good buy to say the least!

All of the parcels are wrapped with plastic table cloths from the dollar store. Not a very green choice but the colours are wonderfully gaudy. A banana, an apple, an ear of corn, purple grapes, three ranunculus blossoms, and three purple iris; what more could say, "Merry Christmas"?

The magician's hand with wand is a very old prop that I liked so much I kept it. The playing card quite mysteriously floats above the parcel.

This is just a sample of the cakes that will be going on the banquet table. The cakes set the colour palette for the window. I made all of the cake stands as well from wooden candle pillars, wooden plates, and gold plastic chargers.

There are these five mini cakes as well as pastries, fruit, and candy that will be used to fill in any spaces on the table and on this stand.

I bought the stand at Sally Ann. The first day I saw it I carried it around the store and just before I was going to pay for it I put it back. I didn't think that I could use it. It was an ugly brown stand with gold printed brown leatherette on the tray areas. I bought it the next day, spray painted it with browns, burgundies, purple, and a dusting of gold to allow the other colours to show through and, "Voila", a very interesting gilt surface that doesn't yell "GOLD". The aqua paint that I mixed was a happy accident that works beautifully with the gilt surface.

The window will be going in tomorrow. I will take pictures of it and do a post about it in the next few days.