Saturday, January 26, 2008

Web Stats for Copeland Christmas

After the Post article and the news broadcast aired, we had a HUGE spike in web hits. We had a fairly significant spike in the last few days as well. I noticed a nice post about our display on a Christmas Enthusiast forum of which I'm a member. As a result, we had a bunch of hits. I enjoy understanding and thinking critically about the correlation between website hits and outside chatter about our display.
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Garage Tear-Down Photo

I used Canon's Photostitch software to piece together 8 photos I took during the garage teardown. This is the raw output from the's pretty cool. The distorted shape of the train track is the most noticeable sign of the software's limitations. I could have stood in a better position though too.
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Starry Starry Night Backdrop for Garage Display

Did I mention we finished tearing down the garage two weeks ago? I painted 1/3 of the garage this weekend and will finish next weekend. Here's a shot I took two weeks ago while I was tearing down the backdrop. A How To for this backdrop can be found on our website here.
This is a photo of the ceiling. You can see the fluourescent light to the right. I had just torn down the plastic sheeting which was stapled to the ceiling between the cup hooks and the light fixture. You can see two sets of lights here (one blue and one clear). To the far left, you can see the black sheers (or curtains) that face the driveway where visitors stand.
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Finally Updated

So, here's the run-down of the updates I've made. All these updates took me about 8 hours over the past two days (some are not listed). The bad part is that it's not done...I do global Search & Replace only when I am 100% certain it won't mess up anything. My Dreamweaver skills are still intermediate, so I don't trust myself doing S&R every time.......hence, things take me longer than they should.
  • Added a 2008 display page
  • Added a How To on elevated train tracks
  • Updated the FM sign page with email link, new photos, more clear instructions
  • Fixed header to show a light status of "off"
  • Fixed the linking to the How To on the garage display child barrier
  • Had ot change the link sitewide from "Why We Do It" to "Our Story." This way, all the header buttons fit across the screen.
  • Changed the copyright date from 2007 to 2008 (on most pages)
  • Changed garage video to a youtube link instead of launching an .avi or .wmv file
  • Took off some old information, but instead of deleting it, I added it as a blog entry with an old date (clever!)
  • Added a link from the Palm Beach Post about our display
  • Fixed a ton of links

I still need to fix the North Poles How To. It just takes too long to download right now. Plus, I received an email from someone saying I may have said something wrong about wiring...uh oh.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tearing Down the Christmas Decorations

This is the AFTER photo...

This is the BEFORE photo.

Now, I need to put all my normal accessories back up on top of the cabinets. I'm going to wait until I clean them. They get greasy and dirty in a year's time because the stove and oven are just below the cabinets. I suppose this happens in all kitchens. I haven't even touched the garage yet. Today, I need to get another storage unit. That's next on my list.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Danielle + Danielle = double the cleaning power

My neighbor friend helped me begin to take down the Christmas stuff. In two days days, we broke down the whole kitchen display and the whole living room display. We've made 3 trips to Safe & Sound Storage so far.

The next one is scheduled for tomorrow morning. I have a feeling were going to need to upgrade to a larger unit, or maybe a second unit. Perhaps John will get his way, and we can take down the playset in the back yard and put up a storage shed.
The goal for tomorrow is to take down a large portion of the garage.