19 Sep Responsibility – Opportunity Knocks – September 2014 – Part 2: Our Finished Product

Life App: Responsibility—Showing you can be trusted with what’s expected of you.
Theme: Opportunity Knocks
Date: September, 2014

The Best Laid Plans…

Our finished set for Responsibility is working well with our large group scripts for this month, but two weeks ago I wasn’t sure if that was going to be the case! You can read about our preliminary process and original plan here. We didn’t deviate too much from the original plan, but getting there was quite an adventure.

I usually have a good number of volunteers to help me create the set each month. This month however, it was tough to get people together. Back-to-school schedules and last minute vacations had our volunteers committed elsewhere. While I had helpers to paint the doors and plywood boards, I really needed the help putting the set together. This was the part that required more craftsmanship … not my forte! I couldn’t seem to find anyone that was available to help at the same time I was able to work. Usually when that happens, I rope my husband into helping me… but he was out of town that week. So, it was up to me to somehow attach four doors to four pieces of plywood in such a way that they would all hang evenly, open properly and look attractive. To some, that may not sound like a big deal, but for me… it was one problem after another.

Oops! Oops! and Oops again…

  • IMG_1588It all started out okay as I drilled holes and screwed the hinges into the first door and attached it to a piece of plywood. I put the first one in place and felt pretty proud of myself – until I tried opening it and it squeaked – loudly! Apparently, I didn’t leave any space between the door and the plywood and the door was rubbing against the plywood it was attached to. That wouldn’t do.
  • Door #2 was another story. I measured everything from door #1 and matched it exactly for door #2. The only problem was, I didn’t realize that door #2 was significantly shorter than the rest of the doors I had purchased. So, it hung about six inches off the stage floor and looked as if it was suspended, while exposing all that was behind the door at the bottom.
  • IMG_1586In addition, the doors were much heavier than the plywood they were attached to. There was also a gap in the track that each door sat in, so the weight of the door pulled the entire thing to the left and everything was crooked. My director suggested a solution using a bolt through the top right corner of the plywood, so that as the door tried to pull the entire assembly, it would be stopped by the bolt. Thankfully, this worked, but not without a lot of trial and error as to where the bolt should be placed for each door.
  • IMG_1591I knew at this point, I could not finish this project alone. Thankfully, our student minister (who is gifted in craftsmanship) jumped in and helped me hinge the doors, fix my mistakes, and put the bolts in place at the top. In about and hour and a half, he was able to finish hanging the doors for me and help me get them onto our backdrop tracking system. It took me over an hour and a half to do just one door and I did it wrong!
  • I also ran into trouble with the door knobs. I was using dummy door knobs and they kept pulling out of the wood doors whenever I tried to open them. I had to anchor the screws to make sure they would stay in tact.
  • One of the doors would not stay shut… it just kept floating open, exposing the entire wall behind it and making the backdrop look funny. I ended up creating a latch to hold it shut.
  • IMG_1593After that, I painted some embellishments on the doors. The doors with panels worked out fine, but on the plain door, I projected an image from the theme graphics and attempted to paint the design – free-hand. It was awful! So, Sunday morning I was re-painting the door to cover that design! I added some other decor I had created at home (a wreath that said Opportunity Knocks and a ribbon with the word Responsibility). The doors didn’t look like I thought they would, but they worked!
  • And finally… we originally planned to create the objects that we’d find behind the doors each week (watering can, etc.) out of foam core. I had not read the scripts thoroughly enough at the onset to see that they needed to be actual props. Mental note to self – edit scripts at least one month ahead from now on! I had already gotten too far into the process of creating the backdrop to make changes at that late date, so we went forward with our plan and I’ve had to find creative ways to hide things like the watering can and/or the organizational bins behind doors that have about three inches of space between them and the wall they open up to. It’s been interesting to say the least.

All this to say – this set did not go as planned. But, I learned a lot and was reminded not to give up. I have become an expert at tweaking and am learning that Plan B is not always a bad thing! As my girl’s art teacher in elementary school taught them – “Mess it up, dress it up!” That became my favorite phrase over the last few weeks.

Misery Loves Company???

I hope sharing my mishaps encourages you all in some way. I know that may sound a bit funny but personally, I appreciate and learn just as much (maybe more) from people who share their challenges/mistakes, as from those who share their success stories. I hope my crazy experiences inspire you in some way to keep going and to figure out how to recover!

For now, here is a gallery of our finished product for September’s set.

Be sure to check back soon for this month’s SHOWCASE of amazing environments created by churches around the country.