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Carry on or throw in the towel?


Steve Lelinski

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Steve,

I think it looks great from your videos. I agree carry on but if you don't think you'll finish this year then finish part way. Like one poster said people like coming back year after year and seeing what is new.

I for one want your address so I can bring the family up to see your display this year. From what I've seen so far its going to be great and can't wait to see it.

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Steve,

I agree that they look terrific!!

I found it is much better to have the lights plugged in when pushing them into the coro so you know instantly if you twisted a bulb and made it go out. I just finished my santa project and though I had sorer fingers from the 900 lights, I had less headaches than with the singing tree.

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I know you're not a beginner, but these suggestions are meant to show beginners that there can be several causes/solutions to a problem as well as to give encouragement to you and others who are struggling with something that doesnt come out exactly as they envisioned.

1) If you are having trouble with the weight of the lights making it "buckle":

  • are you using the flutes up and down or parallell to the ground.
  • If the flutes are upright (as they should be to distribute the weight evenly) try adding a few 1X2 pieces of wood to the back as a brace.

2) If you are having trouble with the heat from the lights making it buckle...

  • wondering if the ambient heat of the weather plus the heat from the lights or is it just the light heat alone?
  • If its both, perhaps the winter cold will eliminate the problem.

3) If its just the heat:

  • try LED's,
  • try using FEWER lights (ie shorter strings) to solve the weight problem.

Sometimes with our eye for detail & perfectionism, we go "overboard" with the lights...ie using way more strings of lights when others would use fewer to achieve a similar result. Remember: sometimes "good enough" is not "perfectionism"!

Look at pre-made items you buy. They don't put lots of lights on an item to "be perfect" but rather they accent the importaint points to let your mind's eye fill in the detail so things "look good". If you ever see "theater sets" up close, you wonder "how would that ever pass inspection" as the techniques for painting for an audience to view are much different than painting for a wall that will be viewed up close.

As an experiment if you have identical pieces to make: Try the next piece with fewer lights, and see if you get "a good finished product as seen from the eyes of the viewer" (ie make sure the item is mounted in your yard/ on the house with you located where the potential viewer would stand/sit/see it) You may not think much of it when you are "up close to it", but as viewed by the audience...it looks fine!

Remember: ONLY YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WERE ATTEMPTING TO ACHIEVE! Most people will be so impressed by your finished product, they will not be picking apart your display for techniques you used Those who do critique are only trying to trouble shoot and improve upon the design you created! Do you watch a Star War's movie to criticize the art director or to see the overall effect of the movie? Most adults will quickly see that you have put much more effort into your display than they would!! Most kids will only see the magic in your display!!

Besides, that's why Christmas only comes once a year....that way we have 11 months to regroup, refine and remake any parts of our display that we didnt care for last Christmas!!!

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I know you're not a beginner, but these suggestions are meant to show beginners that there can be several causes/solutions to a problem as well as to give encouragement to you and others who are struggling with something that doesnt come out exactly as they envisioned...

Actually, I'm still very much a beginner, I just don't know how to start small! And I definitely appreciate your sections.

I had to build it with the flutes running side to side. Due to the size I needed, it's the only way it worked. As of yet, I haven't mounted it to the wood frame. I'm working on it in my basement, and in order to get it up and down the stairs it needs to bend slightly. Once all the lights are on, I'll take it outside and secure it to its frame.

I'm convinced the bubbling is from the heat of too many lights, in too little space. I had 1200-1500 lights on in a 2'x3' area. On top of that it was leaning against a wall, the heat had no where to go! Since I noticed the bubbling, I've been real careful to only light all the lights in a section when absolutely necessary, and to make sure the lights aren't sandwiched in where the heat will be trapped.

The problems causing my initial post on this have not reoccurred. The best tip truly was to remove/shorten the 2nd and 3rd wires. It takes a bit of time to get the wires out, cut them to length, and solder them back together, but everything else goes so much easier. I expect to be halfway done this weekend. I'm thinking about taking a break and doing a bit of sequencing for the band so I can see how it looks set to music.

I'm certain I'm using too many lights. I would cut back on the second half of the band, but I worry that even if fewer lights would look just as good, next to each other it might look funny and inconsistant.

I thought you were going to give up on that thing and ship it to me?

I totally was. But then everyone seemed to really like how it looked. Blame them, not me!

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If you ever see "theater sets" up close, you wonder "how would that ever pass inspection" as the techniques for painting for an audience to view are much different than painting for a wall that will be viewed up close.

Excellent point. And one that is difficult to convince beginning scenic artisans. When in doubt, step back until you are as far away as your nearest audience member. In Steve's case, this could be the curb, or as far as the street.

Note: In Joseph Ayo or Greg Young's case the audience is much closer, since Joe and Gregg have walk or drive-through displays, resulting in a much shorter aesthetic distance. But they would still be able to use less detail than would be necessary inside your home. For outdoor displays, the intended audience vantage point is typically very far away from the display elements.

You think that theater scenery looks different up close? Try television sets. To get an idea how much different, just look at something from twenty feet away while covering one eye. How much detail do you think is necessary now? :eek:

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Just wanted to say thanks again everyone. I've been hard at work on this lately, and something interesting happened... it became fun again! Funny, that's why I started this project in the first place!

This weekend I built the framing and mounted the coro. I did a "rough draft" of the sequencing to tested it out. I started a new thread for it, since the issue of carrying on/towel throwing in is moot at this point. Check it out, and let me know what you think: [thread]24677[/thread]

Edited by Steve Lelinski
Fixed the bad link. Thanks, Paul!
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Just wanted to say thanks again everyone. I've been hard at work on this lately, and something interesting happened... it became fun again! Funny, that's why I started this project in the first place!

This weekend I built the framing and mounted the coro. I did a "rough draft" of the sequencing to tested it out. I started a new thread for it, since the issue of carrying on/towel throwing in is moot at this point. Check it out, and let me know what you think: [thread]244382[/thread]

The link in the above quote says it is a dead link.

This is the link.....

http://talk.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php?t=24677

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