The 2003 Side of the Tie   

Sam's Jacob's Ladder Tie

On December 31, 2003, I attended the Second Annual New Year's Eve TY (Thank You) Party hosted by Albuquerque's Parents Without Partners chapter, S.P.A.R.K.S. In order to spark some tie-making enthusiasm among club members I first created a bunch of ties I would not be wearing, and then created this award-winning masterpiece.

The main part of the tie is a Jacob's Ladder (learn how to build one), an ancient wooden toy made of blocks that are doubly-hinged. One can change the tie from the bland, 2003 side to the festive 2004 side by simply turning the top block outward and watching the remaining blocks tumble over.

The tie is completely homemade from a 1x3 cedar board, cloth binding tape, aluminum strips, nails, screws, elastic, and velcro. Decorated with colored and glitter glue, foil letters, and stickers, the tie won the top prize at the party thus keeping my winning streak going (see last year's winning tie).

The tie took about five hours to create with much of the decoration of the 2004 side taking place in the hotel room during a trip with my sons to Disneyland.

Cheers, Sam
    The 2003 Side of the Tie


  Here is a side view of the tie folded up. You might get an idea of how the tie works by seeing how the binding tape is attached. The small indentations in the edges of the blocks are where I embedded fishing sinkers to weight the edges of the blocks to make the tie work more smoothly.
  The words are made from foil letters that were individually glued in place. I had plans of having the words "So Long 2003" and "Out With The Old" on the 2003 side of the tie but ran out of time.
  The numbers and dots were made from colored glue, some with glitter in it. The numbers on the 2003 side are actually black surrounded by red but I didn't let the black dry completely before adding the red so they bled together pretty badly. The ribbons were stickers purchased specifically for the tie. Note that the glue is cut at both edges of the binding tape because the tape actually moves when the tie is flipped.
  When flipped the single tape from the "2" above is actually face to face with the "0" on this block. Good rule of thumb is to let the glue dry completely before flipping the tie else the tape sticks to the number on the next block (sigh).
  And here is me wearing the tie at the party shortly after being declared the winner of the "Holy Grail Tie" award. In my hand is the prize I won, the Polka Party Squeezebox from Accoutrements (makers of such classic items as Nunzilla, the Donkey Cigarette Dispenser, and my personal favorite, the Jesus Action Figure).

Thank to Ellen for picking out such cool prizes (and hosting the best party of the year).

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