November 1st always seems to be one of the saddest days of the year for me because I wake up in the morning only to find my yard naked, a simple plot of grass, leaves and trees. After days of being home to an array of creatures, lights, music and fog my yard seems so barren and empty that it usually makes me sad.
Here are a few photos of my yard on November 1st, 2007 and a quick behind the scenes of how I display and anchor my props.
Here’s a quick over view of the “system” I use to display my props. My first priority is strength, as this year we got blasted with 40+ mph winds for several days. My second priority is ease of set-up. My third priority is storage.
The basic armature consists of 2’x4’s or 1’x3’s . The vertical center post determines the overall height, all of my heads contain a circular opening in the bottom and are simply placed on the top of the post. (Because they are not attached, the heads can easily be angled into different positions…looking up or down, to the right or left, or in a cocked position.)
A piece of 2’x4’ creates the shoulders, and two additional pieces form the upper arms which can be mounted in various angles. Two pieces of plywood are attached to the cross board to create the illusion of shoulders or more accurately exaggerated shoulders.
The papier mache hands and forearms are created onto furring strips. I left about seven inches of exposed furring strip on the back of the forearms which are attached to the upper arm structure via conduit brackets.
The ribcages or chest plates have an eyehook attached to them which allows them to simply be hung from a screw that is partially drilled into the vertical support column.
And finally, the entire armature is attached to a large fence post that has been sunk into the ground. Strong winds no problem. Set up is easy. And most importantly, tear down fast and simple.