Monday, October 17, 2016

Wow! Where has the time gone?

Hey guys,

Well, we're in the middle of October and this is the first post of 2016.

I'm sorry for the lack of updates, to include last year when we stopped blogging prior to Halloween and didn't even post a walk through video (which we never filmed).

It's not that we are getting tired of Halloween.  Well, we're tired, but not for anything Halloween.  Lynn and I are just incredibly busy and Halloween this year is really feeling the affects of that.

Still, it's not like we're gonna pass on Halloween this year.  It is still happening, but not to the extent of previous years.

So, what do I mean by that?  Basically, we're not going to add anything new to the Hollow this year.  We've been doing Hollinger Hollow since 2002 and blogging about it since 2010, every year getting bigger than the last.  Now, with time not on our side, Lynn and I looked around and saw a lot of aging props.

That's when we decided to work on fixing our current props in place of creating anything new.

That said, it's not like things aren't changing.  Concerning our toughest decision, we decided to retire the bridge from the Hollow this year.  It's in really bad shape and restoring it just isn't an option.  We need a new one and simply don't have the time to build it.  So, we need to put fencing where the bridge used to be.

And that means...

42, 40" and 36, 36" 1/2" PVC pipes plus 12 1x2" furring strips equals...

... 6 new fences!

It will take 6 new "iron" fences to replace the bridge.  As you can see, we've built them.  Now we just need to paint them.

We also have extra furring strips to replace some of the rails on the old fences that have really been abused over the years.  Although the PVC can be re-purposed, the wood will need to be replaced and painted.

We are also sanding down the columns and re-finishing them.

After sanding down the flaking paint.

Left column, newly painted.  Right column, about to be re-finished

The great thing about sanding these down and re-finishing them is that they will, for the first time in Hollow history, be painted to look the same. You see, these columns were built over 3 different Halloweens and therefore their color never really quite matched.

We also plan to repair and bring back the Ground Breaker prop.  We've had him for a couple of years but on the first year he broke and we never got him working in time to put him out last year.  So, in a weird way, putting him out this year is kind of like adding a new prop.

That's where we are at the moment.  I'll be honest, I don't know how many posts this year will have.  I will do my best to have a couple more this year as well as a walk through video so please be patient with us this year and we will hopefully make up for this next year.

Talk to you later!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Added A Window to the Mausoleum!

Hey guys,

So, we've been managing to get some work done this week.

Yesterday we attached one of the windows Lynn made (I posted a pic a while back) to the Mausoleum.


Here we added a strand of LED lights to the interior of the window.

A little industrial Velcro an the window is attached.

Here's a closeup.

And here's the window at night!

And there you go.

So, we only ran the lights around the brickwork because we didn't want them to light up the entire street.

Even though they're turned all the way down, they're still a little brighter than I would like, but it's gonna look brilliant (no pun intended) so all's good.

We also changed the lights from blue, which you see in the first pic, to yellow, which you may be able to tell from the last pic. The yellow allows the color of the window to show up way better than the blue did. With the blue, everything looked, well, kinda blue.

That said, we're still not done.

We still need to add some brickwork around the newly installed window. We can't have all that Velcro showing. The bricks will be painted, then attached on top of the Plexiglas. The intention is that the window will removable so we can replace the lights when needed, but I'm not entirely sure it's gonna be that simple. Foam, glued to Plexiglas attached by industrial Velcro. Should be interesting trying to remove it without breaking anything.

We also have the other window to do but, once that's done, the Mausoleum will be so very close to finished!

And not a moment too soon as it turns out.

More updates to come.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Another Hard Working Weekend!

Hey guys,

Well, it was another weekend of working on the Hollow!

We finally started moving tombstones into the graveyard.  Now it no longer looks as though we thought our front yard needed a complete pathway remake!

Okay, I took this pic after installing the sign but before adding the tombstones so you'll just have to  trust me, they're there!

We also finished painting and aging the new Mausoleum!

Now all we have to do is attache the stained glass windows and we'll be, for the most part, done building the Mausoleum.

Then all we have to do is break it all down and move it out front, get the new prop for the mausoleum working, fix up any props that broke last year, add lighting to the front yard, run pneumatic lines for the props, put all the remaining props out front, lay down the mulch on the pathway and hay everywhere else, build a few sarcophagi to hide the fog machines, install the fog machines, clean up the house for the party and get all dressed up.

As always, we're gonna need a vacation when all this is over.

I'll have more pics later this week.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mausoleum Progressing!

Hey everyone,

We've been making great progress on the new Mausoleum.

First thing I had to do this last week was build the Ridge Cap for the roof.  This was pretty simple.

I used two strips of the rubber floor molding you see if office buildings and tiled it using the same foam and process I used on the rest of the roof.  Here is the start of the process.

And here it is finished.

And here it is attached to the roof with screws. It took a lot of screws to hold it in place and that will be a bit of a bother when it comes time to remove it for break down but I can't argue with the results. I think it looks pretty good. After this we painted it to match the roof.

And here is the Mausoleum all painted with the base coat and put back together with the cross and Hollinger Family Crest attached.

And here it is with the brick treatment.

And a closer look.

A closeup of the Crest and Cross.

And the backside with an aging glaze. Eventually, all the bricks will look like this!

And there you go!

Once all the painting is complete we will finish off the interior with black curtains and I will build a gate for the door.

I'll have pics when that is done.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Started Painting the Mausoleum!

Hey guys,

Wow! Two posts in one week!

We started painting the Mausoleum yesterday.

Got the first coat of paint on the roof!

Mausoleum broken down.



And a close up...

And there you go!

We've only got the first coat of paint on the roof. We still have to paint the underside black, as that is the interior of the Mausoleum, and do a second coat of paint of both the gray and the black.

Then, of course, on to the rest of the Mausoleum.

What will that entail? We're going to lay down a light gray color, for the mortar, and then paint each individual brick.

So, we still have quite a ways to go, but I thought I'd at least let you know we've started.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Finished Building the Mausoleum!

Hey guys!

Well, it took us a weekend longer than we planned (last weekend didn't really give us a lot of free time) but we finally finished the construction of the new Mausoleum!

Don't get too excited.  We still have to paint, add the windows and age it up but, the construction is finally done.

Have a look...

Stevie the Dog is very excited about her new doghouse!

So, as I said, we still have to add the windows and paint it.  I also need to construct a gate for the entrance but it is coming along nicely and we're very excited.

This week we hope to paint it so hopefully this time next week I'll have those pics to show you.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Moving Forward on the Mausoleum!

Hey guys,

Again, we've been extremely busy working on the Mausoleum.

So, what progress have we made?

We've (and by "we" I mean Lynn) finished distressing the bricks. She did this by using a hot knife on the edges to give it that "worn down" look and to create the cracks as well as finished off the brick by wetting the foam and applying a hot gun until she got the desired effect. These pictures don't do it justice. It looks fantastic!

And we've (and this time I mean the both of us) started caulking between the bricks to add the "mortar".

Now, that may not seem like a lot but believe me, this has been very time consuming. Also, a little more expensive than I originally planned. I will go into the cost of this "little" project in a later post. I don't want to bum myself out right now.  :)

This weekend we hope to finish the caulking and we have some other projects we're working on, of which I will tell you about those later as well.

So, see you later!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mausoleum Update!

Hey guys,

Sorry for the lack of updates but we've been very busy and working exceptionally hard on the new Mausoleum!

When I last posted we still didn't know how we wanted to do the exterior. We finally decided to do a brick exterior with a slate roof.

Great! So, where are we now?

Well, We've finished the roof, started distressing the bricks and are making customized stained glass windows!

So, as you can see, we've cut 3"x 8" sections of a roll of very thin foam (I have no idea what it's actual purpose is meant for but Home Depot sold it for under $6 for a giant roll) and laid down each individual piece as though they were slate.

The finished roof. Admittedly, the glue is a little sloppy but you won't see it once we've painted everything!

Close up on the first part of the distressing of the bricks.

Full shot of the first part of brick distressing.

My wife is a genius! This is the first stained glass window she's ever made. The second one is even better!

And there you go!

So far everything looks great, but we are far from done.

We have the second part of the brick distressing before we add the "mortar" between the bricks. We still have to finish the interior and then we have to paint.

Also, you'll notice the windows don't go through the walls. That's because we need the interior of the mausoleum to be as dark as we can make it. That said, we want the windows to light up a little up to show them off. We're working on a plan to do that and I'll show you what we come up with later.

I also don't know if the roof looks like slate tile. To me, it looks like classic roofing shingles. We'll have to see what we can do with painting. I don't think we can pull off slate so we may just paint the roof gray.

Anyway, that's where we are at the moment.

Plus, we still have all the other things we've got planned. I'll tell you more about that some other time.