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Christmas spirit. We Haz It.

December 7, 2009

We thought it wold be cool to do something to the building for Christmas. We have a large fake wreath that we put on our current cottage-in-the-woods, which we hang outside of the chimney and point a spotlight on it, and we thought that might be easy to put on the building over the front door or something. But this wreath only LOOKS large because it’s on a 963sf little house. Putting THAT wreath on our building would be like looking for the diamond in the ring that your cheap soon-to-be brother-in-law bought for your sister: “Where? I don’t see any diamond…”

So we sketched a bit on a drawing of the front (north) elevation of the building and determined that an appropriate wreath would need a diameter of about… ten feet. Sue skillfully convinces me that I can make anything and “wouldn’t it be cool if it were welded wire” with lights woven through it. (So how does a ten foot diameter welded wire wreath get out the door? Shhhhh… forget about the dock!) Not wanting this to be a 100-hour project, and me not having any shopping done for the holidays, we agreed that maybe something simpler could be just as effective. Lots of Lights it is! (The welded wire wreath is on the to-do list for next year.)

So strings of little white lights are quite affordable these days – we had just purchased almost 2000 of them to use inside for our big party. We would get more, then string them up in the windows. But in all of the windows? Hmmm… not sure. Okay, just the second story windows.

Since every task we undertake in this building has to have some puzzle to solve, this was no exception. How do we attach these strings of lights? These are metal windows with metal frames surround by brick and/or plaster. I studied them for a bit looking for places to insert little bent-wire hooks; kinda worked except the weight of the lights slid the hook around. I definitely didn’t want to drill a hole anywhere. So I took a road I usually don’t: tape. My justification: it’s a temporary project, no one would see it because it’s nearly 30 feet above the sidewalk, and it would be fast, cheap and easy. (The other road I don’t normally take.)

I figured out that if I put my stepladder directly in the middle of a window, I could straddle it over the top (it’s one of those aluminum ladders that with identical rungs on both sides and has pivot hinges at the top) and I could not-so-easily reach the top corners of the window from the same ladder position. It required a little stretching and maybe some less-than-OSHA-compliant reaching, but it saved me from having to move the ladder twice for each window. Oh, and there was years of cruddy film on the glass so I took a cloth and wiped the area where I would tape the wire to help the tape stick.

We think it turned out pretty well. (This is a crappy underexposed picture that doesn’t do it justice.) What’s cool is that because all the leaves are off the trees, and our building is the biggest thing for several blocks, the lights can bee seen from several streets away.

Our Christmas lights... 2009

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