Parachutes and dead animals

I've been really busy the past couple weekends working on a project for a friend's uncle. Uncle Ron is a retired 82nd Airborne Army paratrooper, and when he decided that he wanted a bar and brewery at his hobby farm, his family rallied to get it done while he was in Arizona for the winter. He's returning this weekend, and I still have a lot of work to do!

I was asked, first and foremost, to hang a parachute in the barrel ceiling above the bar, making it look as though a cutout picture of the young Ron is landing in for a drink. It doesn't sound difficult, but it really is a perplexing task. We originally had a 6-foot fighter jet ejection parachute to work with, but it was just way too small to give the wow factor we were looking for. I had my friend's dad, Ron's brother, order a 25-footer that was actually used in the 82nd Airborne- it's easier to make something smaller than it is to make it bigger!

I cut out a section of the parachute (which was very nerve-racking! What if I screwed up?) that was about 12 feet wide. I wanted to save the cool details of the bottom edge where the cords connect, as well as the top, so I cut a strip out of the middle and tacked the pieces back together. I now have a wedge that is 12 feet wide with a 7-foot radius. I've got to attach Velcro along the edge so it can be strapped to a rigid tube to give it roundness, then mount the tube onto the ceiling in an attractive manner and run the cables back to the 6-foot tall cutout picture of young Ron in military parachuting gear. Simple, right? I guess we'll find out... I ended up not using the bendy tube- once the chute was in place and everything was tacked down, it held it's shape just fine and I removed it. It was helpful to keep everything in the right places while I attached it, though!


The fun part is that there is a lot of soft, durable, green parachute material left over from the huge chute- it will make great throw pillows and blankets for the leather couches that have been relocated to the bar.

But the parachute is only half of my project... I was also asked to add some ambiance to the sky-blue colored barrel ceiling by painting some military aircraft and paratroopers. Mind you, I'm just about 5 foot-nothing tall, and these ceilings are probably 15 feet high. Not to mention the odd angle caused by bumping a ladder up next to a bar perpendicular to the curve of the ceiling... no cushy task! I kind of felt like Michelangelo; I guess he was 24 when he painted the Sistine Chapel. Not that this is going to be the culmination of my life's work... I just thought it was interesting. :)

I'm also putting together a German "brauhaus" sign to hang above the bar. I guess Ron was stationed in Germany through most of his deployment, so it only makes sense!

I'm just a little unclear where all the dead animals tie into this... for some reason army paratroopers and stuffed wildlife don't mix in my head (unless a beaver is parachuting from the ceiling!), but hey, it's a man cave. What man cave wouldn't be complete without beer, heavy machinery, fancy sports cars, leather couches, an 80" flat screen and dead animals?


Popular posts from this blog

Football Blanket Crochet Chart

It's football season... already??