Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Birthday Contraption

Yes, my friends, it worked. This is the wreckage. I will have to do some forensic work here as the chaos of the moment did not allow pictures. Daddy came home early. Heads spun. String tangled. Children clamored to pull the trigger . . . . Daddy was definitely surprised.
Exhibit A - Wreckage

Exhibit A (above) shows the sequins fabric, D-ring with painters tape and one of the dowel rods. I happened to have the sequins fabric left over from an Elvis party. (A prepared mother should always keeps some on hand).

Exhibit B - Trigger rings
I cut twelve lengths of blue ribbon (12 inches each). I made a loop at one end and attached that end to a ring. Each open end of ribbon was tacked to the floor in front of a opening between the spindles in my loft's railing. (Shh! Don't tell Mom. Oh, I am the mom). The ring end of the ribbon could then dangle down towards the family room.

Exibit B - Coiled sequins fabric.

I measured the fabric strips very carefully on the floor by running my scissors up them in three inch increments, plus or minus a few inches. Meanwhile, Gladys helped by jumping up and down on the fabric cheerfully screaming "Mommy, why are you cutting my dance floor? Why are you cutting my dance floor?!"

I then very carefully rolled each strip into a coil (toilet paper style). The end of the strip was attached to the floor with a tack on top of each blue ribbon.

Then the ribbon was pulled back around the coiled fabric, suspending the fabric above the family room below. I slid each of the rings onto the dowel rod.
I taped string to the end of each dowel rod. The strings were then laced to the opposite walls of the loft (attached a D-ring to the wall). The extra string was left to hang downstairs as the triggers for the children to pull.

While Andrew and Gladys created "Happy Birthday" posters for their father downstairs, I attached two additional D-rings to the ceiling above the loft.

Exhibit C - Banner Attachments (D-rings near ceiling)

The posters were taped one on top of the other as a verticle banner. Then the corners of the top poster were attached to strings laced through the D-ring as show above. The other end of those same strings were attached to a larger ring, which was then laced through the dowel rods. The left side was attached to the left rod and the right to the right rod so the banner would fall down in the center. Since the rod was on the floor of the loft, the distance from the larger ring on the end of the string to the D-ring on the ceiling was the perfect length needed for the banner to drop down into the family room. The large rings would get caught at the D-rings and stop the banner from falling any further. (It worked perfectly).

Exhibit D: Sequins strips

Exhibit E - More Sequins strips

So, the banner fell first in the center. Then, one by one, the strips of sequins were released as the kids pulled the dowel rod. It gave the presentation a nice delay-action that brought Vegas right here to the midwest.
Truly, it should be on Youtube. Maybe next time.
Not everyone gets that kind of action on a Monday evening. Yeah, that's right, you're jealous I can tell . . . do try to control your excitement.


Badass Geek said...

I am jealous! What a great idea!

enthalpymama said...

Thank you! I was feeling bad that I didn't have time to build it with Andrew. But, when my husband asked him how it was done he gave a detailed description that rivalled this post. He had run upstairs and checked it out. I was filled with geek pride. =)

Indy said...

That is something else. What will you do to top it next year?

Indy said...

If we are talking Vegas, you could be in the sequin cloth and unveiled in the living room. Just saying...see your hubby should really be reading this. It's not all bad. Somthin' in it for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Ha-ha! That was lovely!

Rachel said...

Great idea; I would have loved to have seen it!

enthalpymama said...

Indy - Hmm. I do need to get to Vegas more often . . . . I will keep the sequins fabric and see if I can arrange something inappropriate. If he does read this, you will now be his favorite friend. =)