Posts by Abbey H

hanging lights, holiday, DIY home, home exteriors, garage doors

How to SAFELY Hang Christmas Lights

This Year, Hang Your Christmas Lights Like a Pro

You’ve pulled your Christmas lights out of storage, dusted them off, and likely spent hours unraveling fairly lights and undoing knots that definitely weren’t there last year, but what next?

Hanging your Christmas lights is one of the best activities you can do to get into the Christmas spirit. However, putting up Christmas lights inside and outside of your home is something that normally takes a long time and requires a lot of patience. As the temperature drops and the winter weather sets in, safety is something that should be at the forefront of your mind when hanging your lights.

There are endless issues just waiting to happen when climbing onto your roof, balancing on a ladder, or trying to attach lights to walls that simply don’t want to stay up. But, with a few simple tips and tricks, hanging those lights doesn’t have to be such a pain, or a safety hazard just waiting to be put to the test.

To help you avoid any unnecessary safety issues, and possible disasters, we have put together a guide for the best ways to hang indoor and outdoor lights for Christmas. If you follow our guidelines and take on board the safety tips, then you will be one step closer to putting those lights up quicker and more efficiently than ever before.

Safely Hanging Indoor Christmas Lights

Indoor Christmas lights are some of the most magical, completely transforming a space into a festive paradise. As anyone with a particular penchant for indoor lights will already know, sometimes all it takes is a string of fairy lights to get into the Christmas spirit. However, just as there are countless different ways to light the inside of your home, there is a lot that can go wrong if you don’t hang your lights up safely.

Preparing your Lights– Whether your lights are brand-new, or you have just pulled them out of storage, it is essential to test each set before you even think about hanging them. This will help to prevent further problems down the line. It is also essential that interior lights are only used indoors, never as exterior decorations.

Placement of Lights– One of the biggest safety risks with indoor lights often occurs not with the lights themselves, but what you put them near. Lights placed near loose paper or other flammable materials will become a fire hazard. Other fire hazards, like heaters and candles, should also be kept away from interior lights at all times

Window Lights– There are many ways that you can turn your windows into the most eye-catching part of your home from the inside, however, hanging window lights can often be a lot more difficult than the task initially seems. For the safe hanging of window lights, ditch the sellotape or blue tack, and invest in specialist products, like cup hooks to hang lights and wire suckers to keep wires out of the way.

Wall Lights– Hammering a nail straight into a wall is never a good idea, not just for the appearance of your walls, but also for what’s hiding behind them. Decorating clips or brick clips, as well as thumb tacks, are fantastic alternatives for hanging lights on your walls.

Hanging Lights on Your Christmas Tree

As the center-piece of your home’s decorations, the lights on your Christmas tree are perhaps the most important of those inside your home. From fairy lights to lanterns, you can adorn your tree in endless ways, but doing it safely and not creating a fire hazard, is extremely important.

Before dressing the tree, ensure that your lights work, and that you have a suitable power supply nearby, or are using the correct type of extension cable. For the best look, double check that you have enough lights to fill the whole tree, starting from the bottom up – ensure that you don’t just decorate the furthest reaches of the branches, but the interior as well.

Safely Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights

For many families and neighborhoods, hanging outdoor Christmas lights is a tradition, and quite literally, a way to make your home shine. While your exterior decorations generally create the most impact, they also come with substantially more risk than hanging indoor decorations. From frozen roofs to icy driveways, and even overloaded sockets, if you don’t approach hanging your outdoor decorations in the right way, you could be in for a bit of a disaster.

Step One– Double check your lights. If you finish hanging your lights, and then switch them on only to see nothing happen, it’s likely that you’re going to be pretty unimpressed. Checking that your lights work, and that they are specially designed to be outdoor lights, is essential.

Step Two– Begin mapping out the area that you’re planning on decorating. While you may have an image of the final look in mind, in practice, that may not be a reality. As most of your lights are likely to have different cable lengths, careful planning can be a big time saving element of hanging Christmas lights.

Step Three– Sort out your power ahead of time. Make sure that you have all the extension cables ready, the wires won’t be a hazard or in the way, and everything will be protected from the weather. It is essential that power supplies aren’t overloaded, so checking the requirements of each light and extension in advance, is a must.

Step Four– Prepare the area in advance. Using your map as a guide, setting up the required clips and fastenings before you hang anything is very important. Some of the biggest risks can occur when you’re in the middle of hanging, and you realize that you don’t have the right fastenings in place. Window clips should be screwed in prior to hanging, and all electric cables should be tucked away, ready to be used.

Step Five– Start hanging your lights. With everything prepared and organized in advance, this should now be a very quick process. Taking one section at a time can help you to minimize the risk of problems, as you can identify possible issues as you go.

Safely Installing Free-Standing Lights

Once you have hung your main lights, it’s time to get started on any free-standing lights that you may be using as a part of your display. Thankfully, the potential hazards are somewhat reduced with free-standing lights, but nonetheless, it is vital to stay safe.

Primarily, the main risk that free-standing lights can pose, is overloading a power supply, so it is important to double check the wattage of each light in advance. However, free-standing lights also need to be secured firmly, to avoid problems with the lights becoming a hazard in bad weather, possibly damaging your other lights at the same time.

Top Safety Tips to Remember

To ensure that your exterior and interior lighting is dramatic for the right reasons, bearing in mind our top safety tips is essential. Hanging decorations is that much easier when you know in advance the precautions to take. Along with the tips we have already covered, the following top 10 tips for safely hanging decorations should be followed when applicable:

  1. Ensure that your lights meet the required safety rating standard.

 

  1. Never use lights with damaged or frayed cords.

 

  1. When hanging exterior lights, always make sure that you have help.

 

  1. Double check that ladders are secure before using them.

 

  1. Reinforce ladders so that they won’t damage your property when taking your weight.

 

  1. Don’t be tempted to over-stretch, always move a ladder when needed.

 

  1. Check areas for ice before walking on them, or using them as a support.

 

  1. Always prepare in advance and never just make-do with what’s around.

 

  1. Ensure cables running through open windows are well protected.

 

  1. Don’t use interior extension cables and power sources outside.

Unlike other Christmas decorations, festive lighting has the one of the biggest influences on the look and feel of your home. In a matter of hours, the appearance of your home will undergo some major changes, indicating the true start of the festive season. If you stay safe, hanging your Christmas lights can be a fun experience that the whole family can get involved with.

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garage, garages, garage door

Epic Rock Stars That Started as a Garage Band

The projects you’ve started in your garage usually involve the following: changing the oil in your car, building a birdhouse from scratch, or, if you’re really looking to kick the fun up a notch, sanding down and refinishing furniture. Oh, the glory.
Luckily for humanity, other young souls have opted to put their garages to use for more creative purposes outside of refreshing the family boudoir with cherry varnish. Throughout the musical history of garages, which consists of many tens of thousands of failed musical experiments, there have been a handful of aspirational teenage phenoms that have gone on to change the world of music. And their humble beginnings were birthed in ordinary garages just like yours and mine. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite garage rock bands.
Weezer
This insanely popular quartet was formed as a garage band in 1992 by frontman Rivers Cuomo in Los Angeles. Deriving the name “Weezer” from the nickname bestowed upon Cuomo by his father, the alt rockers practiced and progressed, blending the sound of The Beach Boys with power pop, indie rock, and pop punk to develop their own sound.
The final ingredient was a powerful sense of melody by writer, producer, and frontman Rivers Cuomo, a skill not lost on Geffen records, to which Weezer signed in 1993. Their first album resonated with listeners, especially the hit song “Buddy Holly”, and captured fans around the world as they shot up the charts to platinum status. Weezer, which is still active today, has sold 17 million records around the world.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
“We were a garage band from our inception, and we worked hard at our craft.”— Stu Cook, CCR bassist.
Legendary American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival formed in the middle of the 60s. By the end of the decade, it was well on its way to superstardom, releasing a litany of successful records in the late 60s and early 70s. Due to the band’s bluesy, roots rock, and swamp rock sound, many assumed that CCR’s origins lay somewhere in the American south; however, the band actually hailed from sunny and progressive San Francisco.
The band moved through several musical formulas, but CCR truly spread its wings when John Fogerty assumed creative control as lead singer, writer, and guitarist. Fogerty propelled the band forward through his creative vision, lending his talent to production and songwriting, which focused on hot political and cultural issues. The formula was a success, to the tune of nearly 30 million albums sold in the US alone.
Unfortunately, the band endured its fair share of drama while cycling through multiple lineups. Despite the great success and world tours, relationships began to decline in the early 70s. The once thriving band devolved into bitter feuds and court cases despite earning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors and being regarded as one of the best rock bands of all time. Starting in the garage is easy, creating art with a group and handling the rigors of success, not so much.
The Who
bands, garage bands, garage band, garages

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/9fdaa16b-a6c4-4831-b87c-bc9ca8ce7eaa

 

The Who, the English rock band that currently resides at number 29 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s “100 Greatest Artists”, formed in 1964. The founding members of the band met in grammar school in Acton, a borough in London. The band hit its musical stride in the late 60s and at its height rivaled the Rolling Stones as a force of music. The Who was famous for its live shows, which included the occasional on-stage destruction of guitars, a signature of the band’s live performance. One of the pioneers of arena/anthem rock, The Who has sold a whopping 100 million albums worldwide.

The Ramones
The Ramones launched out of a humble garage in Forest Hills Queens in the mid-60s, grinding in obscurity for several years before officially taking shape in the mid-70s. Their first record, released in 1976 and entitled “Ramones”, was immediately hailed by critics despite the lack of commercial success. The US was slow to catch on, but it was in the UK that the band’s success grew astronomically. The Ramones eventually became a part of the dynamite the helped the UK punk rock scene explode throughout the world of music.
Nirvana
Nirvana, a band that some say changed the course of music, helped spill the raw and emotional sound of Seattle grunge onto the word. Founded in 1987, the band released its first album in 1989 and experienced its initial success through college radio stations. An appearance at the 1992 MTV Music Video Awards catapulted them into living rooms around the world and propelled a career that included world tours and over 75 million records sold. Their short-lived career—just three full albums and seven short years—ended prematurely by the tragedy of frontman Kurt Cobain’s suicide. To this day, Nirvana is one of the most beloved bands of all time. Nirvana released a number of world-renowned hits: “Come As You Are”, “You Know You’re Right,” and of course, the 90s mega-hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Paul Revere & The Raiders
Paul Revere & The Raiders began with organist and founder Paul Revere in Boise Idaho. Considered one of the contributing pioneers of the punk sound, the band created success in the late 60s and early 70s, active years filled with charting albums, singles, and world tours.
PR&R is best known for the song “Kicks”, an anti-drug anthem penned about the writers’ friend and his ongoing drug problem. The band had a long rock and roll history, filled with the typical rock band drama involving lineup changes, sound changes, and breakups due to creative differences. The group is often described by some as a flame that burned out too quickly—massive success early on fanned out in the early seventies and the band that once played arenas were toward their end playing county fairs.
The Kinks

Source: http://www.rebeatmag.com/album-the-kinks-sunny-afteroon-the-very-best-of/

 

The Kinks, the iconic and highly influential British band, was formed in 1963 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in Muswell Hill, North London. Influenced themselves by R&B, folk, and country music, the band burst onto the British rock scene and opened the “garage” door to their success with a cover of Little Richard’s famed “Long Tall Sally”.
What set The Kinks apart was that it embodied and reflected British culture more than other contemporary bands, an aspect that helped The Kinks eventually go on to smash charts in both the US and UK.
The Kinks achieved International success with seventeen Top 20 singles, five Top 10 albums, four gold albums, and over 50 million records sold worldwide. Its success helped spearhead the British Invasion into the US, along with mega acts like the Beatles.
But its legacy came not just from commercial success, but also from the influence it had upon many American genres and bands of the 60s, particularly on garage rock through their hit “You Really Got Me”.
One of longest tenures of any of the bands on our list, The Kinks made music for nearly three decades through various lineup changes and intermittent breaks in between. When it was said and done, the band achieved commercial success, garnered international fame, and became a dominating influence on punk rock, heavy metal, and psychedelic music acts.
Even in our modern era of autonomous cars and AI that orders pizza, there are still plenty of aspiring teenagers gathering eagerly in their parents’ garages, hoping to turn sappy songs and rough chords into success and superstardom. And, after reading this, we hope that aggravated parents who have been assaulted by countless hours of terrible songs, errant notes, and pitchy singing will think twice about stomping over and shutting down the practice session taking place in their garage. You never know, you could be derailing the next Nirvana.
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