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Preparing for the Nativity Play
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 Here is the pastor of our church.  He's trying on one of the little shepherd's costumes.  Well, he's got a nice smile but it doesn't fit him very well.
 Here is the front of one of the backdrop panels.  You can see how Kim has painted green hills and clouds in a night sky.  Look at the backdrop but please don't look at our messy garage!
 This is the back of the panel.  It is really a fairly simple frame made from pvc pipe and we painted on canvas.
 A closeup of the pvc pipe frame. 
 Here you can get an idea of how we attached the canvas at the bottom and put tension on it with shock cords.
 The top of the frame
 A view of the bottom of the frame
 More of the same
 The pipe frame was designed to come apart for easy disassembly and storage.  Some pieces were glued together and others conneced with long scrrews.
Example of  parts held together by screws inserted in holes we drilled through both the joint and the pipe.  We will be posting more detailed instructions on these frames.
 Here is Dave, one of our friends, who helped with the construction.  He is cutting parts for the manger on John's scroll saw.
 Smile for the camera Dave!
 Larry worked on one of the pvc frame for the backdrops.
 Our construction crew.  John, Larry, Dave. 
 Here is Kim busy painting the "outdoor" scene.
 Hey, remember, I asked you not to look at our messy garage!  That's Kim busy painting the clouds for outdoor scene.  The scene on the left is the backdrop for Herod's throne.  John did the painting and Kim made drapes of red cloth extending from top to bottom on either side of the "window".  Herod's throne started with a chair Kim found in the trash somewhere (hey, we're cheap!) We spray painted it gold and Kim re-covered the seat with red material.  If you click on this image to enlarge it, you can see the gold throne behind the ladder.
 We bought a lot of the paints from the "Oops" table at Home Depot.  They sell it really cheap because they mixed the colors wrong. 
 Quiet! Artist at work. (Rembrant may have started this way.)
 We cobbled this sound system together.  Speakers John made in Jr. High School wood shop, an amplifier he got for $5 at a yard sale, Joshua's old CD player, and various patch cords.  John saves stuff like this - that's why the garage looks the way it does.
 Here is the test assembly for the stable.  John's own design.  It assembles easily and packs up fairly small for storage. I used 8 pieces of cheap grade 1"x4"x8' lumber for the frame (cost around $1.50 each).  This worked fine but if it had gotten wet I think it would have warped like crazy.  If I make this again, I will use better quality exterior grade treated lumber.
 Here is the manger assembled.
 The manger pieces. John also designed this - to look good but also pack up easily into small pieces.  No hardware needed.
 Another view of the assembled manger.
 The lumber is held together by a 1" wooden dowel passing through holes I drilled through all 8 boards. Then a smaller dowel passes through each end of the large dowel (like a cotter pin)
 John designed and built the light control box. Used regular light dimmers, outlets and other electrical hardware and mounted in a box made from extra pieces of white shelving material. Each dimmer controls the outlets directly above it.  Five dimmers and a couple of switched outlets were just enough.
 This little spot light will be hidden up at the back top of the stable to shine light down on the manger.  John got the outdoor rubber light socket at Home Depot and fitted it into a soup can painted black.
 Same spot light from a different angle.