Visions of Sugarplums!

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     I have always loved the VISUAL inspiration I get from all sorts of candy confections and I often use them as fanciful elements in my floral art pieces. In fact, I would much rather decorate with candy than eat it!

           A few years ago, my daughter and I spent a wonderful week in Manhattan at Christmastime. We hit all the happiest tourist spots, including the colorful, sugar-filled Dylan’s Candy Bar ~ which was just as much a treat for the eyes as for the sweet tooth! Talk about “visions of sugarplums!” To step through the doors of that candy wonderland is to enter a magical world, a swirling kaleidoscope of candy confetti, with endless shapes and forms and colors I could barely comprehend!

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Over the last 40 years of creating Christmas decorations for clients and for my holiday shows, I’ve created dozens if not hundreds of wreaths and tabletop arrangements using all sorts of “candy” pieces for a whimsical touch, and they always fill me with childlike delight. I’m constantly on a treasure hunt for artificial cookies and candy-like ornaments, and there are plenty to be found! Look in the ornament departments of stores like Kohl’s and Target, not to mention the major crafts stores.

Photos: This gingham-bowed wreath I made for a client is decorated with “frosted cookies” that look real enough to munch on, and my big teddy bear is holding a gift box with candy canes and a gingerbread house ornament I found at Walmart.

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     I have also used real candy canes and peppermint sticks (wrapped) in some of my designs ~ and sometimes even fresh cookies (see the next two photos) ~ although anything edible has to be removed when you store away your arrangements.

Next two photos: An artificial tabletop Christmas tree with purchased cookies tied on using different narrow red ribbons. It’s a great gift idea, by the way ~ and one so easy children could help!

The chandelier is made festive with some bows, garland and a bunch of gingerbread hearts from IKEA. The bonus is that they smell delicious!  (PS: I love that you can see the chandelier reflected in the mirror, too.)

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 My point is this: Inspiration can be found ANYWHERE. When you’re drawn to something that catches your eye or tugs at your heart, just try to picture using it in a new way to bring a little extra holiday sparkle to your decorating.

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